Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
1. Expedia named chief financial officer Mark Okerstrom as its chief executive. Okerstrom will replace Dara Khosrowshahi, who is taking over the top job at Uber.
2. Amazon and Microsoft are teaming up to get their virtual assistants to talk to each other. The surprising partnership will mean Alexa and Cortana, the two voice-activated AI assistants from the respective companies, will be able to communicate with one another to access their respective features.
3. Samsung introduced three new products into its lineup of wearables. The products are called Gear Sport, Gear Fit2 Pro, and Gear Icon X.
4. Apple’s next iPhone won’t have a home button, according to a Bloomberg report. Instead it will come with a “software bar”.
5. Dara Khosroshahi spoke to Uber employees on Wednesday at his first all-hands meeting since taking the top job at the app-based taxi company. The new CEO will officially start on Tuesday.
6. Japanese automotive giant Toyota has made a strategic investment in South East Asia taxi-hailing service Grab. It’s the latest car firm to back a taxi app.
7. A group of 17 engineers who worked on Apple’s car project have left to join the self-driving startup Zoox, according to a Bloomberg report. The engineers left Apple after the tech giant abandoned plans to build its own car and decided to instead develop a self-driving system, according to the report, which cited sources familiar with the matter.
8. A Shenzhen-based electronic parts maker has filed a lawsuit against Apple. Pisen claims that a mandatory certification program from Apple is a form of “unfair competition” in the data cable market.
9. A legal battle between Uber cofounder Travis Kalanick and one of the ride-hailing company’s largest investors will now be fought behind closed doors. A Delaware judge told Uber investor Benchmark that its dispute with fellow Uber board member and former CEO Kalanick should be handled in private arbitration.
10. Dara Khosrowshahi told staff at Expedia that he is “scared” about leaving to become Uber’s next CEO, Recode reported. It’s a big move for Khosrowshahi and one that wasn’t anticipated by the media and Uber’s closest watchers.
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