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Data Sheet—Why Developers Are Feeling the Love From Apple and Microsoft

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It’s a very good week to be a software developer

First Apple showers loads of attention on your tribe with the Worldwide Developers Conference, an event meant to educate and otherwise inculcate software coders in Apple’s ways.

Then Microsoft shells out $7.5 billion to buy GitHub, a company whose technology facilitates collaboration among software developers. This acquisition is noteworthy in three ways:

  1. GitHub is an “open-source” tool, a kind of religion among a certain type of developers who believe in sharing. Microsoft famously didn’t believe in open-source. That was before it was in the business of managing programs in the cloud, which lends itself to open-source development. Now Microsoft sees the value of having a relationship with coders who have to store their work somewhere. It might as well be with Microsoft.
  2. GitHub made very little money. That’s no concern for Microsoft, which makes plenty of its own. GitHub’s 28 million users are a golden opportunity for Microsoft’s cloud business, profitability be damned.
  3. Crazy bets sometimes pay off. Years ago Andreessen Horowitz invested a shocking $100 million in GitHub, which we’ve already established wasn’t exactly gushing profits. That stake has returned a cool billion dollars. This is why the worlds pays attention to VCs.


A reader in the Czech Republic wrote to ask why Data Sheet suddenly stopped appearing in his inbox. The culprit, I’m told, is the GDPR requirements. Meredith Corp., the parent of Fortune, simply stopped sending newsletters to European addresses. The reader thought that was as little embarrassing considering how hard all media is trying to preserve markets and connect with eyeballs.

I can’t disagree.

Adam Lashinsky


Bursting at the seams. As Adam mentioned, in the WWDC keynote on Monday, Apple unveiled annual upgrades and loads of new features for its four operating systems. New data privacy and time-management features could pinch Facebook. (To help get the word out, Tim Cook admitted to CNN that he was “spending a lot more time than I should” on his iPhone.) Also, FaceTime finally is getting multi-party calling. Much of the keynote’s focus, as expected, was on augmented reality apps.

Super duper speed. While Apple was talking about improving software, a couple of other companies made news with faster hardware. Intel says it will release what I’d call a “ludicrous mode” edition of its i7 CPU. The limited edition Core i7-8086K, so named to mark the 40th anniversary of Intel’s groundbreaking 8086 processor, will hit a maximum speed of 5 GHz. At the Computex show on Monday, Intel also teased a super-high performing processor with 28 cores, but gave few details. Mobile chip giant Qualcomm has a new offering, too, but this one is aimed not at phones but at Intel’s lucrative laptop CPU segment. The Snapdragon 850 is for “always connected” laptops and includes cellular connectivity.

If you feel that the bare minimum is enough, then okay. Can President Trump block Americans who disagree with his views from reading his tweets? After a court ruled last month that the Twitter feed was a public forum that everyone should be able to access, Trump’s team on Monday unblocked the seven plaintiffs in the lawsuit. But the Justice Department said it plans to appeal the ruling. Many other people not involved in the lawsuit remain blocked.

Thanks but no thanks. Electric cars are surely the future, but it’s getting less clear who will bring that future to the masses. Tesla’s $30,000 Model 3 was supposed to be that car. But now with the company’s highly publicized production delays, many people who put down deposits are seeking refunds, Recode reports. As of April 30, about one-quarter of all U.S. early orders were cancelled and the deposits refunded.

Cue the confetti. The new $200 Versa smartwatch from Fitbit looks like a hit. The struggling wearables maker said it shipped 1 million Versas less than two months after the device went on sale, making it Fitbit’s fastest selling product ever. The overall market for wearables grew just 1% in the first quarter, lead by Apple, according to an IDC report on Monday.

You had one job. Think the regulatory pressure on digital currencies can’t get any higher? Think again. The Securities and Exchange Commission named Valerie Szczepanik as senior advisor on digital assets. A lawyer with an undergrad degree in engineering, Szczepanik has been with the agency for more than 20 years and most recently was assistant director of the SEC’s enforcement division with a focus on cyber issues.

Money, money, money. New York startup Dataminr has raised $221 million of additional venture capital, Axios reports. The company sifts throughs volumes of public information in real time to discern news trends. In the public markets, Smartsheet announced its first quarterly results since going public in April. Revenue jumped 63% to $36 million while the company’s net loss doubled to $14 million, or 68 cents per share. Smartsheet’s stock gained 4% in premarket trading on Tuesday.

Opinionated. Yesterday, we reported that Google would let its pentagon contract to develop military AI apps lapse when it expires next year. But Fortune’s own Alan Murray thinks that’s a mistake by Google. The AI app could help drone strikes avoid civilians, he argues. Also “worth remembering the Internet began with technology transfer from the Pentagon,” Murray writes.


The late Steve Jobs was a notoriously prickly boss but that didn’t intimidate programer Sal Soghoian. An ace in the niche of developing automated software with macro-like features, Soghoian spent almost two decades at Apple helping add such capabilities to the Mac and iPhone. Lately, he working with indy productivity software developer The Omni Group. Jordan McMahon has a sweet and rich profile for Wired that delves deep into Soghoian’s experiences at Apple. Even beyond Apple, Soghoian is still at it:

Soghoian’s convinced automation fills a continuing need in computing. His forced departure from Apple took him by surprise, but he thinks his work in the field is just getting started. “I’d like to be an old guy, looking back at things, and say I did something that made people’s lives better, that they were able to control their destiny to some degree because of the work that I and people that I worked with produced,” he says.

He’s already done a lot to make that happen. Paul Kent, founder of the event consulting firm pKreative and former show manager for MacWorld, calls Soghoian the dean of automation. “He ate his own dog food, he lived amongst the community and championed them.”


Apple Hopes to (Finally) Kill Off the Cable Box By Kevin Kelleher

Why Classes on Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, and Bitcoin Are About to Boom at Colleges By Lucinda Shen

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Wants ‘Pure’ Bitcoin to Become the Global Internet Currency By David Meyer

John McAfee Says He Will Run for President in 2020 By Polina Marinova

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Still Doesn’t Like the iPhone X’s Home Button By Don Reisinger

The White House Was Going to Pay Boeing $24 Million for Two Refrigerators on Air Force One. Not Anymore By Hallie Detrick


You already know I’m a photo geek, so you realize I couldn’t resist telling you about designer Bastiaan Ekeler’s little side project: attaching a massive Canon camera lens to his Nintendo Game Boy’s camera. Even with the game playing device’s minuscule image sensor, Ekeler was able to use his self-described “abomination” to capture some pretty cool shots.

This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Aaron Pressman. Find past issues, and sign up for other Fortune newsletters.