Microsoft announced on Friday that it is permanently closing nearly all of its physical stores around the world.
Like other retailers, the software and computing giant had to temporarily close all of its stores in late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company opened the first of its modern retail stores in 2009, around the time of the launch of Windows 7.
According to its website, Microsoft has 83 stores worldwide, including 72 stores in the U.S., and several others abroad where it showcases and sells laptops and other hardware.
Friday's announcement reflects what the company calls a "strategic change" for its retail business as sales increasingly shift online.
Microsoft will keep four of its stores open, in London, New York, Sydney and its home base of Redmond near Seattle. But they will be "reimagined", the company said in a statement.
All employees will have the opportunity to remain with the company, Microsoft said.
Microsoft Corp. said the closures would result in a pretax charge of about $450 million, or 5 cents per share, taken in the current quarter ending June 30.
Walton Hi-Tech Industries (WHIL) is going to be listed in the capital market with a very high Earnings Per Share (EPS) recorded during the Initial Public Offering (IPO).
Compared to the listed companies’ EPS disclosed in their previous year’s financial statements, the electronics giant’s EPS of Tk 45.87 is in the top eighth position, said a press release.
Walton’s EPS was higher than that of some listed multinational companies like Berger Paints and Grameenphone.
On the other hand, Walton EPS is the second highest compared to listed local companies’ last financial year’s EPS.
Walton’s Company Secretary Partha Protim Das said, investors generally get their expected profits as capital gains or dividends from the investment in high EPS recorded companies.
Capital market analyst Prof Abu Ahmed said, Walton’s overall business performance is very sound.
“Listing of the company’s securities in the stock market will have a positive impact in strengthening the market,” he added.
According to the EPS disclosed by the capital market’s listed companies in their last financial year’s statements, Reckitt Benckiser’s EPS Tk 131.06 was the highest and the followings were Marico Bangladesh Ltd’s EPS Tk 84.01, GlaxoSmithKline EPS Tk 81.83, Linde BD’s EPS TK 80.93, Bata Shoe’s EPS 72.79, British American Tobacco’s EPS Tk 51.37, Renata’s EPS 46.63 and then Walton’s EPS Tk 45.87.
Among the listed companies, which had higher EPS than that of Walton, the lowest prices of the shares of Bata Shoe was Tk 693.20. Considering the facts, the general investors of the IPO will get Walton’s each share at only Tk 252.
MA Hafiz, director of AAA Finance and Investment Limited, said that Walton’s EPS is the highest he has ever seen during the IPO of a company.
Capital market experts said that EPS is a very good indicator of the profitability of any organisation.
EPS is an important measure of management performance as it shows how much money the company is making for it’s shareholders.
Rakuten Viber, one of the world’s leading messaging apps for free and secure communication, has cut all business ties with social media giant Facebook aiming to protect its one billion users.
The messaging app will remove Facebook Connect, Facebook SDK, and GIPHY, as well as cease all advertisement spending on the social networking platform, said a press release.
Amid the protests that broke out all over the US over the past few weeks, a group of six organisations, including the Anti-Defamation League and NAACP, called on Facebook advertisers to pause their spending on the social networking site during the month of July over the company’s inability to protect users from hate speech.
On top of numerous instances of data misconduct, including the infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal in which the political consulting firm improperly harvested data of up to 87 million Facebook users, Viber sees Facebook’s hate-speech stumble as the last straw.
The messaging app is taking the #StopHateForProfit movement a step further, cutting all business ties with Facebook.
Djamel Agaoua, CEO, Viber, said, “From Facebook’s mishandling of data and lack of privacy in its apps to its outrageous stand of avoiding the steps necessary to protect the public from violent and dangerous rhetoric, Facebook has gone too far. We are not the arbiters of truth, but the truth is some people are suffering from the proliferation of violent content, and companies must take a clear stand.”
The actions to remove the relevant Facebook touchpoints from the Viber app are expected to be completed by the beginning of July while Ad spending on Facebook will cease effective immediately.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) headquarters is going to be named after its first black female engineer Mary Jackson.
Jim Bridenstine, an administrator of the Nasa, said Jackson contributed in breaking down the barriers for the African Americans and women in engineering and technology, reports BBC.
Mary Jackson and her tale were featured in the film Hidden Figures.
Nasa had earlier named the street in front of its headquarters after its first black female engineer’s name.
In his statement, Bridenstine also said they will keep recognising the contributions of women, African Americans and those who contributed in the glorious journey of Nasa without coming in limelight.
“Mary W Jackson was part of a group of very important women who helped Nasa succeed in getting American astronauts into space,” Bridenstine said.
He said Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women in the field of engineering and technology.
The move comes at a time of introspection across the US about historical injustices suffered by African Americans.
The recent death in police custody of George Floyd triggered protests around the world and renewed demands for an end to institutional racism.
Nasa began recruiting some college-educated African American women in the 1940s as ‘human computers’, but they experienced both racial and gender discrimination at work.
Mary Jackson was recruited in 1951 by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics which was succeeded by Nasa in 1958. She worked under Dorothy Vaughan - whose story was also told in Hidden Figures - in the segregated West Area Computing Unit at Langley, Virginia.
Jackson died in 2005 and in 2019 she was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
Global leading ICT provider Huawei launched its Asia Pacific Partner Ascend Program in a virtual summit on Thursday.
“Ascend Partner Program has been launched to build an innovative and sustainable AI ecosystem that enables digitalization and intelligent transformation in the region,” said a press release.
Government officials, business leaders, industry experts, and academic scholars attended the summit with the theme “Ascend to Pervasive Intelligence.”
The APAC Ascend Partner Program consists of three sub-programs of Independent Software Vendor AI Collaboration, Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) AI Talent Cultivation, and Government AI Industry Development.
Huawei and its partners will support Asia Pacific countries with their strength in AI development, knowledge transfer, go-to-market, and strategic resources through the programmes.
“In the new AI era, a strategic partnership between the National University of Singapore and Huawei in research and talent development will make a great impact on society,” said Huang Zhiyong, Deputy Director at the National University of Singapore’s Business Analytics Centre.
“Indonesia National AI strategy empowered by BPPT, is the most important milestone toward Innovation-driven nation, the golden vision of Indonesia 2045.” said Dr Ir Hammam Riza, M.Sc, head of Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT).