Microsoft Office relaunched
Microsoft Corp unveiled a new version of its Office suite aimed at traditional PC users as well as the fast-growing tablet market in a major overhaul of the ageing workplace software. The revamped Office makes use of cloud computing and is compatible with touch screens widely used in tablets. It comes as Apple and Google make inroads into the workplace, long Microsoft’s stronghold. Office is Microsoft’s single-biggest profit driver. Microsoft last updated Office in 2010, when it incorporated online versions for the first time. The full version of Office 15 is expected to be available early next year.
GSK secures Genome bid
UK drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) PLC has secured its takeover of longtime partner Human Genome Sciences after agreeing to pay more, a move to expand GSK’s drug portfolio in crucial areas: biologic drugs and treatments for the hundreds of millions of people with diabetes and heart disease. The two companies said on Monday that GSK will pay US$3.6 billion, or US$14.25 per share, for the US biotechnology company. The final price is up from GSK’s previous offer of US$13 per share and almost double the US$7.17 closing price for Human Genome shares on April 18, the last trading day before GSK’s initial offer was publicly disclosed. Under the agreement, GSK gains full ownership of two experimental drugs plus Human Genome’s only marketed medicine, Benlysta — the first new drug approved in about 50 years for lupus, a chronic immune disorder believed to affect about 5 million people around the world.
LG faces TV tech theft case
LG Display Co said 11 people, including six of its own employees, have been charged with stealing advanced television display technology from rival Samsung. LG Display said yesterday that it was charged along with the 11 for alleged theft of OLED technology between 2010 and last year. Three of those charged currently work at Samsung Display, a display-making unit of Samsung Electronics Co. LG denied that it or its employees were involved in the technology theft. Samsung said LG Display systematically stole its display technology and poached Samsung employees.
IMF extends loan to Portugal
The IMF said on Monday it was releasing 1.48 billion euros (US$1.82 billion) in new funds to troubled Portugal after Lisbon passed a performance review under its bailout loan program. The financial body said Lisbon was on track to narrow its fiscal deficit under tough austerity measures required under the 78 billion euro joint IMF-European Union rescue program launched in May last year.
Samsung buys CSR unit
British chip firm CSR has sold its mobile phone connectivity and location technology to Samsung for US$310 million in cash in a deal that boosts the South Korean company’s patent portfolio. Samsung will also invest US$34.4 million in buying a 4.9 percent stake in CSR at a price of 223 pence a share, CSR said in a statement yesterday. CSR chief executive Joep van Beurden said the deal unlocked value for shareholders and would enable the company to focus on areas where it had a leading market position, such as audio, automotive, indoor location, imagining and Bluetooth.