Microsoft Teams Up With SpaceX
It wasn't even a month ago when we wrote about Microsoft's announcement that it would venture outside of Earth to outer space in pursuit of the next big cloud computing opportunity.
Microsoft introduced Azure Orbital, which enables satellite operators to communicate with and control their satellites, process data and scale operations within Microsoft Azure. The launch of Azure Orbital puts Microsoft in direct competition with Amazon's AWS Ground Station, which offers similar capabilities and was launched nearly two years ago.
Microsoft expanded on its space initiative yesterday with the launch of Azure Space while also announcing a partnership with Elon Musk's SpaceX. Through the partnership with SpaceX, Microsoft will connect its Azure Orbital to SpaceX's Starlink satellites to provide high-speed, low-latency satellite broadband for the Azure Modular Datacenter (MDC).
The MDC is built for customers who work in remote areas that may not have reliable power or infrastructure and need cloud computing capabilities. The two companies have been testing the software to link the two services together over the last few months.
"We have brought together a team of renowned space industry veterans to work alongside our world-class product engineers and scientists to build cloud capabilities that meet the unique needs of space," Azure Global Corporate Vice President Tom Keane wrote in a blog post. "Our innovation areas include simulating space missions, discovering insights from satellite data, and fueling innovation both on the ground and in orbit."
As for the MDC, Microsoft says they are "in early use with defense and private sector organizations." Microsoft says the product could be ideal for areas such as military needs, humanitarian efforts, mobile command centers and mining.
"The collaboration that we're announcing today will allow us to work together to deliver new offerings for both the public and the private sector to deliver connectivity through Starlink for use on Azure," SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell said.
With Microsoft and Amazon now conducting their own space race and the sector getting more attention as of late, yesterday may have been a warning sign as Virgin Galactic gave up its gains after well-known short seller Jim Chanos had to clarify that he was joking about talking "positively" about space-related stocks.
Google hit with antitrust lawsuit. The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a long-anticipated antitrust lawsuit against Google for illegal monopolization of search and advertising markets. The lawsuit is one of the largest antitrust lawsuits ever undertaken by the DOJ. "Countless advertisers must pay a toll to Google's search advertising and general search text advertising monopolies," the suit says. "American consumers are forced to accept Google's policies, privacy practices, and use of personal data; and new companies with innovative business models cannot emerge from Google's long shadow."
Intel sells NAND business. Intel is selling its NAND memory chip and storage business to South Korea's SK Hynix for $9 billion. Intel is holding on to its "Optane" business which produces more advanced memory products. As part of the deal Intel will sell a manufacturing site in the Chinese city of Dalian. The deal, which is expected to be approved next year, would make SK Hynix the world's second-largest producer of NAND flash memory chips after Samsung Electronics. Intel said it will use the funds to invest in artificial intelligence and 5G technologies.
Walmart's ad business is growing. Walmart's in-house advertising business, Walmart Media Group, is reportedly nearing $1 billion in sales this year, which would be more than double the amount brought in last year. "One thing we do at Walmart Media Group is make sure that the advertising we’re placing is additive to the customer experience, that we’re not just throwing ads on anything anywhere, that we’re really strategic," Walmart spokesperson Molly Blakeman said.
AMC again warns of bankruptcy. For the second time in a week, AMC has warned investors that it may have to file for bankruptcy as the company runs out of cash. AMC also disclosed a stock offering to sell 15 million shares. "We will require significant amounts of additional liquidity and there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern for a reasonable period of time; holders of our Class A common stock could suffer a total loss of their investment," AMC said in the filing.
Travis Kalanick is gobbling up real estate. Uber co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick's new startup CloudKitchens has spent more than $130 million buying real estate across nearly two dozen cities. CloudKitchens has acquired more than 40 properties over the last two years as it hopes to build out a network of food-prep spaces for restaurants to fulfill delivery orders. Kalanick started the company after leaving Uber and subsequently received a $400 million investment from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.