Andrew Nusca is a senior editor at Fortune.
Frenemies make the world go ’round, especially in today’s technology industry.
Did you catch the news yesterday? Apple, that decidedly consumer-friendly American giant, and SAP, Europe’s largest software maker by a long shot, announced a partnership to work together on improving the mobile device experience for large companies.
The details—a few iPhones and iPads here, a dash of SAP’s HANA in-memory database there—are a bit like those announced in 2014 between SAP and another enormous American peer: IBM. Then, as now, the companies’ chief executives were photographed smiling broadly together, as if to say: “We shared the same cab on the way over—because we wanted to.”
And for those keeping score at home, you’ll recall that Apple and IBM struck a partnership in July of that year. The subject? Why, mobile applications for big businesses, of course.
Apple-SAP. SAP-IBM. IBM-Apple. Notice a pattern? We are in the midst of a great convening of global tech powers, who are uniting to tackle this mobile-first, cloud-based, data-driven shift in the way large corporations operate.
It is refreshing to see Fortune 500 and Global 500 fixtures teaming up to tackle the big problems. But all this deal-making has me wondering: Who’s left out? When all this settles, who won’t be sitting at the cool kids’ table?
NewCo: TechCo, we have to talk to you.
TechCo: Is cloud computing a carb?
NewCo: TechCo, you’re using on-premise software. It’s Monday.
iCo: So that’s against the rules, and you can’t sit with us.
TechCo: Whatever. Those rules aren’t real.
BITS AND BYTES
Oracle and Google lawyers prep for redo of copyright face-off. A San Francisco jury will consider Oracle’s claim that Google violated its copyrights for the Java programming language by including pieces of it in the Android operating system. Oracle wants $8.8 billion in compensation, plus an injunction preventing Google from using the code in the future without paying royalties. A previous jury deadlocked over the matter. (Reuters)
Facebook must face privacy lawsuit over face-scan technology. The case was brought by a group of users who believe the social network “unlawfully” collected and stored biometric data derived from their faces in photographs. Facebook had argued that the Illinois law they’re using to support their case shouldn’t apply in California, where the suit will be heard. (Reuters, Bloomberg)
Square beats revenue projections, but loses more than expected. The mobile payments company generated almost $380 million in sales for the first quarter, but operating expenses surged—especially personnel and development costs. The balance sheet included an unusual line time: a one-time $50 million payout to Robert Morley, who claims to have invented the Square credit-card reader. Morley sued co-founders Jack Dorsey and James McKelvey back in 2014 for patent infringement and fiduciary breaches. (Reuters, Bloomberg, Fortune)
Toshiba nominates new CEO to leave accounting scandal behind. The candidate, Satoshi Tsunakawa, is credited with turning the company’s medical equipment unit profitable. Tsunakawa wasn’t involved in Toshiba’s $1.3 billion book-keeping debacle. A shareholder vote on his appointment is scheduled for June. (Reuters).
Alibaba’s cloud business triples. The Chinese e-commerce giant’s Aliyun division generated about $154 million in the first quarter and now has about a half-million customers. Most of that business is domestic, but its Silicon Valley data center opened last October and some analyst estimates call for a $1 billion annual run rate by 2018. (Bloomberg)
Tim Cook plans meet-up with Chinese officials. Apple’s CEO is a frequent visitor to the country, but his planned visit in mid-May is his first one since China suspended Apple’s book and movie services there two weeks ago. China is cracking tightening control of media and content over which it doesn’t have control. (Reuters)
Strikers protest Verizon’s annual meeting. More than 250 protesters took the unions’ cause to Albuquerque, N.M. Hundreds of additional demonstrations are planned by the more than 40,000 strikers, as the walkout stretches into its fourth week. The unions have rejected Verizon’s “final” offer, which included a wage increase of 7.5%. (Reuters)
Google and Honeywell resolve patent dispute over Nest. The complaint surfaced about two years ago before the home automation startup became part of Google. Honeywell argued that Nest’s programmable, Internet-connected thermostats borrowed many features from its own products, including the shape. The two companies didn’t release many details, saying only that they have agreed to cross-license relevant technology. (The Verge, Computerworld)
GoPro’s new drone isn’t ready for takeoff. The action-camera maker said that it would delay introducing its much-anticipated Karma drone in the first half of 2016 and will instead start selling it during the holiday season.
GoPro CEO Nick Woodman mentioned the delay during a call with analysts on Thursday without elaborating about the reasons. He acknowledged the abrupt about-face, which he described as a difficult decision, by saying the company had planned to go ahead with the drone as scheduled as recently as earlier this week. GoPro’s revenue skidded almost 50% in the first quarter to $183.5 million. (Fortune)
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Apple and SAP team up for blockbuster partnership by Jonathan Vanian
Carpooling startup Via raises big money to take on Uber, Lyft
by Kirsten Korosec
GM and Lyft will test self-driving taxis within the next year
by Kia Kokalitcheva
Amazon leases more planes for air cargo network by Leena Rao
Apple’s App Store suffers major outage by Lucinda Shen
Box ramps up offerings for government buyers by Heather Clancy
Apple vows court battle to keep “iPhone” trademark in China
by Don Reisinger
Privacy group gives Uber and Lyft high marks by Kia Kokalitcheva
ONE MORE THING
300 million and counting. That’s how many devices are “actively using” Windows 10. It’s an impressive uptick of 100 million in just the last four months, although not really surprising given that free upgrades end July 29. (Fortune)
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
The Marketing Nation Summit: Marketo’s annual conference. (May 9-12; Las Vegas)
Digital Transformation: Forrester’s new forum for digital business leaders. (May 10-11; Orlando)
Salesforce Connections: Cloud marketing trends. (May 10-12; Atlanta)
Coupa Inspire: Rethink the possible. (May 10-12; San Francisco)
Hub16: Smarter planning apps for numbers-driven companies. (May 10-12; San Francisco)
Relate Live by Zendesk: Customer engagement strategies. (May 11-12; San Francisco)
Knowledge16: ServiceNow’s service management conference. (May 15-20; Las Vegas)
SuiteWorld: NetSuite annual customer gathering. (May 16-20; San Jose, Calif.)
Fortune Brainstorm E: The intersection of technology, energy, and sustainable business. (May 16-17; Carlsbad, Calif.)
SAPPHIRE Now: SAP’s annual conference. (May 17-19; Orlando)
Gartner Digital Marketing: How to move from vision to execution. (May 17-19; San Diego)
Gartner Supply Chain Executive: Creating a value chain. (May 17-19; Phoenix)
Google I/O: For creative software coders. (May 18-20; Mountain View, Calif.)
MuleSoft Connect: Enable your digital transformation. (May 21-25; San Francisco)
Twilio Signal: The developer conference for communications. (May 24-25; San Francisco)
Cloud Identity Summit: The world’s leading identity industry event. (June 6-9; New Orleans)
Bullhorn Engage: New models for business-to-business relationships. (June 8-10; Boston)
Apple Worldwide Developer Conference: The Apple developer ecosystem. (June 13-17; San Francisco)
Red Hat Summit: The premier open source technology event. (June 27-30; San Francisco)
MongoDB World: For giant ideas. (June 28-29; New York)
NewVoiceMedia Connect: Rethink sales and service. (June 30; San Francisco)
Inforum: Infor’s annual user conference. (July 10-13; New York)
Fortune Brainstorm Tech: The world’s top tech and media thinkers, operators, entrepreneurs, innovators, and influencers. (July 11-13; Aspen, Colo.)
Sage Summit: For fast-growth businesses. (July 25-28; Chicago)
Oracle OpenWorld: The future of the cloud is now. (Sept. 18-22; San Francisco)
Gigaom Change: 7 transformational technologies. (Sept. 21-23; Austin)
Workday Rising: Talent management in the cloud. (Sept. 26-29; Chicago)
Microsoft Ignite: Product road maps and innovation. (Sept. 26-30; Atlanta)
Dreamforce: The Salesforce ecosystem gathers. (Oct. 4-7; San Francisco)
Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing: The world’s largest gathering of women technologists. (Oct. 19-21; Houston)
TBM Conference: Manage the business of IT. (Nov. 7-10; San Diego)
Drone World Expo: Commercial apps for unmanned aircraft. (Nov. 15-16; San Jose, Calif.)