Microsoft Closes $26 Billion LinkedIn Social Network Buyout

Today's topics include Microsoft’s official acquisition of the LinkedIn social network, Google’s new file patching method that reduces the size of app updates by 65 percent, why the vast majority of iOS software developers are likely to miss Apple's deadline to implement encryption in their mobile apps, and Qualcomm’s effort to break into the server sector with the help of its 10 nanometer Centriq chip.

Two days after the transaction was cleared by the European Commission, Microsoft declared it had signed and sealed its $26 billion deal to acquire the LinkedIn social network. Microsoft first announced its intent to acquire the professional and career-focused social network nearly six months ago, on June 13.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said that today "marks the close of the agreement for Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn and the beginning of our journey to bring together the world's leading professional cloud and the world's leading professional network," in a LinkedIn Pulse blog post. He also offered more details about what the combined company has in store for both ecosystems.

Google this week said it has reduced the size of its application updates by 65 percent using an approach that, however, doubles the time it takes to apply them on end user devices.

The company's new file-by-file patching mechanism is designed to minimize the amount of data that end users have to download, especially when not on WiFi, for application installations and updates.

App updates using file-by-file patching can be up to 90 percent smaller than the full app in some cases, Google Play software engineer Andrew Hayden wrote on the company's Android Developers blog.

However, Google's analysis has shown that when a patch size is halved, the time spent applying it tends to typically double, Hayden said.

Application developers for Apple’s iOS platform are running against an end-of-the-year deadline to encrypt all communications to and from iOS apps using the platform’s encryption standard, known as App Transport Security or ATS, mobile-app management firm Appthority said on Dec. 6.

So, far only 3 percent of apps currently seen in enterprise environments implement the mandated communications encryption, Appthority found in a recent analysis of its collected data. Another 55 percent of applications allow the use of ATS but do not require all data to use the communications-security protocol.

Qualcomm, already highly successful for making processors that power millions of smartphones, now is set on conquering another new market territory: enterprise servers.

The San Diego, Calif.-based chipmaker is climbing into a tank full of internationally successful sharks with familiar names such as Intel, AMD and ARM. Qualcomm sees itself as becoming a liberator of sorts in the server processor world in its quest to bump Intel from its position on top of the server processor market.

The processor-maker showed a small group of tech journalists Dec. 7 its first ARM-based server chip with 48 cores, produced in an advanced 10-nanometer manufacturing process. It's called the Qualcomm Centriq 240.

However, Qualcomm Senior Vice President and General Manager of Datacenter Technologies Anand Chandrasekher was mysterious about describing the exact capabilities of the new chip but said the company has been working on the project for about four years.