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“His continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft’s stock.”
— hedge fund manager David Einhorn on CEO Steve Ballmer (Reuters)
Tech blog “This is my next” confirms Google will introduce the a near field communications (NFC) payment system later today along with participating retail partners that will at the very least include The Container Store. (This is my next)
* In other Google-related news, VP of Maps and Local Marissa Mayer announced yesterday that installations of Google Maps for mobile crossed the 200 million mark and that mobile usage will eclipse desktop use by June. (Fortune)
* Facebook reportedly inked a partnership with music-streaming service Spotify that will result in the launch of a Facebook-integrated music service in as little as two weeks. When that happens, a Spotify icon will appear on the left side of users’ newsfeeds. (Forbes)
* Square COO Keith Rabois says Jack Dorsey’s mobile payments startup has a 95% chance of becoming worth more than PayPal one day. (Fortune)
* Tech CEOS in the hot seat, including HP’s Leo Apotheker and Yahoo’s Carol Bartz. (CNNMoney)
, the startup that’s being pushed as an Airbnb for car rentals, won TechCrunch Disrupt’s New York City competition yesterday. The new car rental market place lets users rent other people’s personal vehicles by the hour, day or week through a smartphone app; an all-inclusive package throws in insurance, 24-hour roadside assistance, a “Getaround car-kit” or key-less remote, and web app.
* Here comes Twitter 2.0. (VentureBeat)
Remember when Amazon offered Lady Gaga’s new album, Born This Way, for a mere $ .99 to drive interest in its recently launched cloud-based music service, Amazon Cloud Drive — and remember when all those downloads caused servers to crash? Well, the e-marketplace is offering the same deal again today and promises a no-fuss download process. Customers who purchase the album will also get 20-gigabytes of free Cloud Drive storage. (Amazon)
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