Intel makes a big buy for IoT and a Taiwanese gadget maker is trying to outdo Apple.
Here's your Tech Top Three and what you need to know this week. The European Union will be able to review the source code of Microsoft products to confirm they don't contain security backdoors. It'll happen at Microsoft's new Transparency Center in Brussels, the second of its kind. Windows 10 isn't on the list of the core products to be inspected, but Microsoft said it could make exceptions.
In Intel's largest acquisition ever it will buy Altera for nearly 17 billion dollars. Intel will combine its chips and manufacturing processes with Altera's technology to develop new products for the exploding Internet of Things market. Altera makes what are called field programmable gate arrays or chips that can be programmed by customers to handle specific tasks in various verticals.
President Barack Obama signed a bill into law that extends the Patriot Act, but limits the National Security Agency's bulk collection of domestic phone records. The USA Freedom Act was needed after Edward Snowden revealed the collection of phone data in 2013. One politician called the bill the first major overhaul of government surveillance in decades while another said it will make the US more vulnerable to terrorism.
In focus this week we take a closer look at Asus, the Taiwanese gadget maker that is wants to grow its marketshare in tablets, smartphones and wearables. The company had a big presence at Computex in Taipei where our team is all this week. You might not have heard of Asus, but it's third in the worldwide tablet market behind Apple and Samsung. According to IDC Apple has lost market share in 2014, while Samsung and Asus maintained theirs. Overall the global tablet market is slowing down with just 4 percent predicted growth in the next few years. Because of that manufacturers are trying to find other reasons to entice consumer to buy tablets. Turning them into luxury accessories might be one way to get fashion conscious consumers to buy them. The company’s new ZenPad tablets are based on Android 5.0, the latest Atom chips from Intel and will come in 7, 8 and 10-inch display sizes. Turning to phones Asus has made one with selfies in mind. It has dual LEDs and a 13 megapixel camera on the front. With an S gesture on the screen you move into selfie mode. While we found the pictures looked bright and sharrp, it took about 3 seconds to switch into that mode. Last, smartwatches. And if Asus can do what it's advertising its watch would be in a class of its own. The Zenwatch 2 is supposed to get four days of battery life. Most smartwatches including Apple's struggle to last a day. We won't actually find out what the real battery life is until September when Asus launches the watch at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin. The watch has different bodies and straps, taking design cues from Apple. t would be an impressive feat to outdo Apple, but we'll have to wait and see. I'm Nick Barber and that's a wrap.