Microsoft layoffs, Google’s campus security row, Motorola’s latest foldable and more top tech news of the week

This week in tech brings a mixed bag of news. Tech giant Google amped up campus security which has made some employees unhappy while, Microsoft announced a fresh round of layoffs. On the other side, Motorola launched its latest foldable to compete with Samsung and several other brands like Sony, Realme and LG also introduced their products to the market. Here’s TOI’s weekly wrap of the top tech stories:

Microsoft announces new round of layoffs, what the company’s spokesperson said

Microsoft has announced another round of job cuts, reports GeekWire. Microsoft’s fiscal year ended on June 30, 2024. As the company enters a new fiscal year, it is common for it to implement organisational changes in various business units.

Microsoft has not revealed the number of people laid off as part of the latest layoffs. But the job cuts reportedly impact multiple teams and geographies. According to posts shared by the employee on LinkedIn, the layoffs affect people in product and program management roles. Read the full story here

Google’s campus security gets an upgrade: Why some employees are not happy with it

Google has begun testing facial recognition technology for security purposes at its Kirkland, Washington campus. The company aims to prevent unauthorised access to its facilities.
The company’s security team, named – Google’s Security and Resilience Services (GSRS) – will use the data to identify potential security risks. The system collects facial data from interior security cameras and compares it to employee badge images.
While the company claims the data is “strictly for immediate use and not stored,” some employees at the Kirkland office have raised privacy concerns. Business Insider reported that one employee described the new system as “a little dystopian.” Click here to learn more

Motorola launches Razr 50 Ultra in India: Price, features, and more

Motorola has introduced its latest foldable smartphone — Razr 50 Ultra — in India. The device brings advanced features and enhanced user experience, setting a new standard in the foldable smartphone segment.

The Razr 50 Ultra will be available for pre-reserve from July 10 and will go on sale starting July 20, 2024. The device is priced at Rs 99,999, with a limited period early bird price of Rs 94,999. Additionally, effective pricing with bank offers brings the cost down to Rs 89,999. Get more details here

Sony launches BRAVIA 7 series TVs in India: Price, features and more

Sony India has launched the BRAVIA 7 series of TVs aimed at those who are looking for an option that offers a cinema-like experience. The BRAVIA 7 series comes with Cognitive Processor XR, Mini LED, and XR Triluminos Pro technology. This series also includes smart features like Google TV integration and SONY PICTURES CORE (formerly BRAVIA CORE) for a “premium entertainment experience.” Read all the details here

Realme C63 with 5000 mAh battery, Vegan Leather design launched, price starts at Rs 8,999

Realme C63 is here. Chinese smartphone maker Realme has expanded its budget smartphone series with the launch of Realme C63 in India. The affordable Realme smartphone sports a Vegan Leather design and is backed by a 5000 mAh battery. Realme C63 sports an HD+ display and houses a 50MP main camera.

Realme C63 comes with a price tag of Rs 8,999 and it can be purchased in Leather Blue and Jade Green colour options. The smartphone is now available online on, Flipkart and authorised offline stores in the country starting. Check out more details here

Dyson Airstrait straightener launched in India, priced at Rs 45,900

Dyson has expanded its hair styling range with the launch of the Dyson Airstrait straightener. The straightener features a plateless design and it uses airflow for styling the hairs.
Dyson Airstrait straightener comes with a price tag of Rs 45,900 and it is available in two colour options — Prussian Blue/Rich Copper and Bright Nickel/Rich Copper. The hair straightener will be available online on and the Mydyson app. Click here to learn more

Fujifilm Instax mini SE launched in India starting at Rs 8,499

Fujifilm has launched the Instax mini SE in India. The Instax mini SE is available in two combo packs: the “mini SE Fun Pack” includes 10 shots of Instax “mini” format films and is priced at Rs 8,499, while the “mini SE Joy pack” includes 40 shots and is priced at Rs 9,999.
Fujifilm says that the Instax mini SE is designed to cater to the modern consumer’s needs, offering instant prints with enhanced features, brightness control, and a sleek design. It will be available in green, blue, pink, purple, and light grey colours in combo packs of 10 and 40 shots in retail stores. Read more details here

Boat launches Bassheads 122 wired earphones with Type-C port at Rs 999

Boat, India’s leading audio and wearables brand, has introduced the Bassheads 122 ANC, one of the first wired earphones with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) featuring USB Type-C connectivity.

The Bassheads 122 ANC earphones offer Active Noise Cancellation, allowing users to enjoy uninterrupted listening with up to 25dB of noise reduction. Additionally, the earphones include an ambient mode, enabling users to remain aware of their surroundings while listening to music. Click here to learn more

Indian social media app Koo shuts down: Read CEO’s ‘emotional note’

Koo, India’s homegrown microblogging platform with about 10 million active users, is wrapping up its operations after failing to secure crucial partnerships and funding. Co-founders Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka announced the app shutdown on LinkedIn, citing unsuccessful acquisition talks with potential buyers.

The platform, which supported multiple Indian languages, attracted high-profile celebrities as users (the founders say that the platform had 9000+ celebs registered) and secured over $60 million in funding from investors like Tiger Global and Accel. It also expanded into Brazil, and has about 60 million downloads, as per the founders. Read the full story here

Indian-American CEO and president of this tech startup charged in billion-dollar fraud that defrauded investors Goldman and Google: What court documents say

Three former executives of Outcome Health (Outcome), a Chicago-based health technology start-up company, were sentenced for their roles in a fraud scheme that targeted the company’s clients, lenders, and investors and involved approximately $1 billion in fraudulently obtained funds. The startup’s investors included Goldman Sachs Group, Google parent Alphabet Inc and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s venture capital firm. Click here to learn more

Amazon announces dates of its ‘biggest’ sale of the year 2024, Amazon Prime Day
Amazon India is all set for the 8th edition of its Prime Day Sale. The e-commerce’s biggest event of the year will be held in July this year. As always, Amazon Prime Day Sale 2024 will see exclusive offers for Prime members, new launches, deals on products across categories and brands along with bank offers. Get all the details of the upcoming Amazon sale here

NPCI expands UPI payments to UAE, enabling Indian travellers to pay via QR codes

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has expanded its UPI payments service to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This means that Indian travellers or NRIs in UAE will be able to make payments using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments through QR codes through Point of Sale machines.

To offer UPI payments service in UAE, NPCI International Payments Limited has partnered with Network International, a large digital commerce company in the Middle East and Africa. Read the full story here

After Zomato, Swiggy launches UPI services: What it means for users

Swiggy has joined the growing in-app UPI (Unified Payments Interface) payments trend. This move from India’s domestic online food and grocery delivery platform comes after its rival Zomato introduced a similar service in 2023. With this new in-app UPI integration, Swiggy aims to streamline the checkout process for its users. Click here to learn more

Disney+Hotstar sets this record during ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024: “…new heights in…”

India emerged victorious in a nail-biting T20 World Cup final against South Africa at Kensington Oval, Barbados. The final ball sparked nationwide celebrations, with Disney+ Hotstar recording a record-breaking 5.3 crore concurrent viewers during the match. This win marks India’s return to the T20 World Cup throne after a 17-year hiatus and their first major ICC title since 2013. Get all the details here

This IT hiring company declares holiday on July 1 to celebrate India’s T20 World Cup victory

Xpheno, the staffing firm declared July 1 as a holiday to celebrate India’s win in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024. The World Cup final hosted on June 29 was a historic win for India over South Africa, reclaiming the world trophy after a gap of 17 years.

As per the LinkedIn description, Xpheno is a specialist talent solution for executive search, direct hire, IT staffing, engineering services & sales staffing. The Bengaluru-based company has over 500 employees. Click here to learn more

WhatsApp bans 66 lakh accounts in India, here’s why

Meta-owned WhatsApp has said that it banned more than 66 lakh accounts in India in May for violating the laws of the land. Out of 6,620,000 banned WhatsApp accounts, 1,255,000 were blocked, before any reports from users, the social media company said.

According to the monthly transparency report, which is required to be published by social media companies under the Indian IT Rules 2021, the instant messaging platform received 13,367 grievances from the country. Click here to learn more

Edtech startup Unacademy lays off 250 employees in the latest round of job cuts

dtech startup, Unacademy is facing fresh turbulence, with reports indicating the company has laid off 250 employees across various departments. This comes just weeks after the departure of its co-founder and CTO, Hemesh Singh. Read the full story here

Delhi-based IAS aspirant falls victim to Rs 1.2 Lakh Tinder date scam

A civil service aspirant preparing for Indian Administrative Services (IAS) fell victim to an online dating scam, losing Rs 1.2 lakh. The victim met Versha on the dating app Tinder recently. The scam happened when the duo finally decided to meet in person at Black Mirror Cafe in East Delhi’s Vikas Marg area to celebrate her birthday. An FIR has been filed with the Delhi Police in this regard. The police have arrested the accused and seized the cafe’s register. Click here to learn more


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