Microsoft has announced that Jeannette Wing, who has directed or co-directed initiatives at NSF and Carnegie Mellon, has been hired as the new VP of Microsoft Research and the head of Microsoft Research International.
Looks like the ultimate party game will be making a comeback this year after all. Harmonix has announced that “Rock Band 4,” the latest version of the popular music-playing game series, will debut on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 later this year. [Source: Ars Technica]
Fitbit announced today that it has acquired the FitStar training service for an undisclosed sum. FitStar users will be able to send information about their workouts to FitBit’s apps, and the two companies will boast further integrations in the future. [Source: Fitbit]
Etsy, the craftsperson-focused digital marketplace, has filed its S-1. The company intends to be listed on NASDAQ with the ticker symbol “ETSY”; it’s seeking $100 million; and it posted a $15 million loss in 2014. [Source: Fortune]
Pebble Time, the followup to the original Pebble smartwatch, has become the most-funded Kickstarter project in the platform’s history with more than $15 million raised in just a few days. Looks like using the platform as a pre-order service works after all. [Source: Quartz]
Nextdoor, the neighborhood-focused social network, has raised $110 million at a $1.1 billion valuation. The company reportedly hopes to “extract data” from the millions of conversations on its service to fuel its monetization strategy, which might include ads for local businesses, to justify that valuation. [Source: The New York Times]
Uber has acquired deCarta, a mapping startup, for an undisclosed sum. This is the first acquisition the company has publicly announced, though it has made others in the past. Most of deCarta’s team will join Uber, and the company itself will be run as a subsidiary of Uber, under its own name. [Source: Mashable]