Daily Tech Briefing: April 30, 2014

Mozilla has officially launched Firefox 29, which is the first major overhaul of the open-source browser's user interface since Firefox 4 came out in March 2011.

The Firefox overhaul was developed under the code name "Australis" and has been in beta development since March 20. Jonathan Nightingale, vice president of Firefox at Mozilla, told eWEEK that the company received a lot of feedback during the beta testing phase, and used it to make refinements to the interface.

Users of the free version of Skype will now be able to conduct group virtual face-to-face chats without having to pay extra. Previously, this benefit was only available to users of the paid Skype Premium service.

The move concerning Skype may help Microsoft in its campaign to make its voice over IP and video conferencing platform even more popular. In 2011, Microsoft purchased Skype for $8.5 billion. Skype is now part of the standard bundle of apps included with Windows 8.1 and the Xbox One console, and will be included as part of the Windows 8.1 update.

IBM has launched its IBM Cloud Marketplace, designed to deliver its portfolio of cloud services from both the company and its partners. The marketplace aims to offer a simple experience for developers, IT managers and business leaders to learn about, try and buy software and services from IBM and its global partners. The marketplace also allows IBM to compete with Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft, along with other companies that offer services via cloud computing.

Advanced Micro Devices will be launching its latest low-power mobile processors for mainstream and entry-level notebooks and tablets. According to AMD, the "Beema" and "Mullins" chips offer greater performance and energy efficiency than comparable products from Intel and also have security, performance and power innovations.

AMD CEO Rory Read and other company officials said that they expect these chips to give the company a greater reach into a range of form factors, such as tablets and two-in-one tablet/notebook systems.

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