Samsung Bixby, Apple 3D Sensing to Miss Handset Releases

Today’s topics include major mobile feature development setbacks for Samsung and Apple, a senior Google executive's rebuttal of claims of pay discrimination against women, Adobe's patches of serious software flaws disclosed at the Pwn2Own 2017 hacking contest, and Microsoft’s announcement that  Azure AD B2B Collaboration is generally available.

Media and analyst reports indicate that Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant and Apple's planned 3D sensing features won't be ready when the two mobile device makers release their latest smartphones.

While Bixby won’t work with Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones out of the box, certain components such as such as its visual search and reminder capabilities will be available. Bixby should be fully available later this spring.

Meanwhile 3D sensing is not expected to be ready to ship with the forthcoming iPhone 8, and it may not appear until Apple releases a later iPhone 8s model, according to a research not released by Needham & Co.  

Eileen Naughton, Google vice president of people operations, denied claims from the U.S. Department of Labor that the company engaged in systemic pay discrimination against women.

Her denial follows a recent report in The Guardian quoting a department official as saying the government had found evidence of widespread discrimination against women in most common job positions at Google’s headquarters.

“Pay equity is a huge issue, not just for Silicon Valley companies, but across every industry in every country,” Naughton wrote on The Keyword blog. “Google conducts rigorous, annual analyses so that our pay practices remain aligned with our commitment to equal pay practices,” Naughton wrote.

Google's claims about there being no gender pay gap at Google found some support this week from job search website Glassdoor, which published a blog stating that an analysis of salary reports shared by Google employees on Glassdoor shows no significant differences in pay between men and women at Google.

On April 11, Adobe released its monthly Patch Tuesday update, providing patches for 59 vulnerabilities across its software application product portfolio. The update included fixes for multiple issues first revealed at the Pwn2Own 2017 hacking contest in March.

The fixes addressed security vulnerabilities in Flash Player, Adobe Campaign, Photoshop and the Creative Cloud Desktop. In total, Adobe provided patches for 59 vulnerabilities.

Microsoft on April 12 announced the general availability of its Azure Active Directory B2B Collaboration feature set. The toolkit enables business-to-business collaboration while enhancing security and preventing leaks of sensitive data.

It allows customers to extend the platform's secure identity management services to vendors, consultants and other partner organizations. Businesses can invite external users using their own email addresses.

Nasos Kladakis, senior product marketing manager of Identity and Access Management solutions at Microsoft, described Azure AD B2B Collaboration as the "perfect combination between security and collaboration."