Tech wrap: Microsoft backs Ballmer
Microsoft’s board stood behind CEO Steve Ballmer, defending its longtime leader after influential hedge fund manager David Einhorn touched off a debate by calling for his dismissal. The fund manager, who made his name warning about the financial health of Lehman Brothers before the investment bank’s collapse, accused Ballmer on Wednesday evening of being stuck in the past, launching the sharpest attack yet by a high-profile investor against the company’s leadership.
Google and four bank and telecom partners unveiled “Google Wallet” and “Google Offers”, taking U.S. shoppers a step closer to paying by waving their mobile phones at the checkout counter. Designed to work as an app on Android phones, it hitches a ride on MasterCard’s “PayPass” technology, which lets shoppers tap cards for payment. Google has signed up retailers including Macy’s, American Eagle Outfitters and Subway to blend the service with loyalty programs and discount offers.
Google, MasterCard, Citigroup, First Data and Sprint will make the service available this summer to people in New York and San Francisco.
LinkedIn will seek out opportunities in China to capitalize on its massive user base even though it sees the market as complicated, a company executive said. LinkedIn has a small presence in the country and is one of the few foreign social networking sites to still have access to Chinese Internet users.
Two Democratic political consultants may proceed with their suit alleging that The Huffington Post’s founders stole their idea for the news website, a New York judge has ruled. The attorneys for co-founders Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer and TheHuffingtonPost.com had asked the court to dismiss the complaint filed by the consultants, Peter Daou and James Boyce, who alleged that the defendants broke their promise to work with them to create the site.