Today in Tech: Yahoo has a new CEO, and she’s pregnant
Also: The fireworks fly between Peter Thiel and Eric Schmidt at this year’s Brainstorm Tech conference.
New Yahoo CEO Mayer is pregnant [FORTUNE]
Marissa Mayer, the Google executive who today was named Yahoo’s new chief executive, is pregnant. Mayer told Fortune exclusively that her first child is due October 7. It’s a boy! “He’s super-active,” Mayer told me in a phone call tonight, three hours after Yahoo announced her appointment. “He moves around a lot. My doctor says that he takes after his parents.”
Thiel vs. Schmidt: The fireworks fly [FORTUNE]
According to Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google (GOOG), technology has had an overwhelmingly positive role, lifting some 2 billion people out of poverty and spreading access to vital information from a relative small number to virtually all the people on earth. Going forward, people in the developed world can expect to have “extraordinarily long lives that are very productive,” he said. And for those in developing countries, “the world gets better too,” he added. The retort from Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal (EBAY): “I think you do a fantastic job as Google’s minister of propaganda.” Thiel is one of the Valley’s most successful investors.
Paul Maritz is out as the CEO of VMware and will be replaced by EMC COO Pat Gelsinger. Maritz spent four years at VMware. It’s uncertain what he will do but rumors have swirled all day about about his departure.
The best thing about Office is not what it does better than Office 2010, but how much more nimble it is in following you from device to device, from shut-down to start-up again. Beyond that, no one single feature of Office 2013 is dazzling, per se, but it doesn’t matter: everything here, from YouTube embeds to the chart generator in Excel, works as promised and is intuitive to use. At the same time, the interface doesn’t mark a radical departure from previous versions, so even casual users with no use for PivotTables should be able to find their way around.
With Apple’s Siri, a romance gone sour [THE NEW YORK TIMES]
Apple introduced Siri as a beta test, meaning it was still a work in progress. That was unusual for Apple, but the company was counting on it to change the way people searched for information on mobile devices. It wanted a head start. But it doesn’t seem ready to change anything yet. Many people I have spoken to have switched Siri off and reverted to the iPhone’s voice dictation service (the little microphone next to the keyboard), which is more reliable because it doesn’t use Siri’s artificial intelligence software.