Tech Giants Support Clean Power Sources to Reduce Carbon Emissions

Today's topics include Google's goal to reduce carbon emissions by supporting the Clean Power Plan, the Microsoft Office suite's recent expansion to include holographic features, IBM's launch of its Bluemix Garage Method cloud application development strategy, and Acer's release of its new all-in-one Chromebase computer.

Google has joined Microsoft, Apple and Amazon in voicing support for the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan for reducing carbon emissions from U.S. power plants over the next several years.

After the Supreme Court in February stayed implementation of the plan, the tech giants filed an amicus brief in appellate court last week.

The companies made the appeal because they recognize that they are some of the biggest producers of emissions. Each of the four companies has developed practices for reducing its carbon footprint by moving increasingly to renewable sources of energy to power their massive data centers, the brief noted.

At its Build conference last week in San Francisco, Microsoft unveiled several new Office 365 capabilities, including an assortment of new features, application programming interfaces and software development kits that are poised to change the way users collaborate and help developers exploit the productivity software ecosystem's growing collection of intelligent services for their own applications.

Among them is an upgraded Microsoft Graph. Microsoft Graph—formerly the Office 365 Unified API—enables developers to create applications that incorporate data and intelligence from Microsoft.

Also at Build, the software maker made preview versions of the Office Universal apps available to download on the HoloLens Development Edition. HoloLens is a Windows 10-powered, augmented reality headset that overlays holograms over a user's physical surroundings.

IBM last week announced that it has distilled its cloud application development practices into a "method.” For this reason, the company was named a market leader in cloud application development and transformation by an independent technology market research firm.

Bluemix Garage Method, IBM's new methodology, is a set of best practices built to help organizations rapidly design, build, deploy and scale cloud applications.

With four Bluemix Garage locations around the world—San Francisco, Toronto, London and Nice, France—IBM employs the Bluemix Garage Method to help clients develop better cloud applications faster and more reliably.

Acer is rolling out an all-in-one Chrome OS system dedicated to video conferencing. It is the latest addition to Google's larger Chrome for Work initiative designed to push the operating system into the enterprise space.

The system is a touch screen Chromebase with a 24-inch display that includes the necessary hardware, software and services in a single device, and it comes backed with technical support from Acer.

It's designed for businesses that want to bring video conferencing capabilities to smaller meeting rooms, according to company officials. The Chromebase for meetings system can support up to 25 people in a Google Hangout across multiple devices, from notebooks and tablets to smartphones.

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