Facebook and Microsoft are shelling out billions of dollars making big purchases this week. Facebook hit the headlines with its big Instagram purchase and AOL made more than $1 billion by selling patents to Microsoft. In other news, Apple was sued by the U.S over e-book price-fixing, Sony’s new CEO announced plans to revive the company and Google announced first stock split.

10. Google gives social network a facelift
Google’s social network Google+ received a major makeover as part of the pursuit “towards a simpler, more beautiful Google.” The new layout resembles Facebook with a huge focus on visuals and allows the users to customize their profile. The only distinguished feature of Google’s social network is the Hangouts which got a special section making it easier to use.  However, the spring cleaning of Google+ may not be enough to give it a plus one.

9. Deadline extended for new Internet domain seekers
The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced on Thursday morning, that it has pushed the deadline to apply for a top-level internet domain as result of a software glitch. Organizations wishing to buy web addresses in their brand names now have an extra week to submit their applications.

8. IBM aims to ease IT with cloud-friendly PureSystems
IBM unveiled a new product line of integrated systems called PureSystems. The introduction of a new category of ‘expert integrated systems’ namely the PureSystems is a product of a $2 billion investment in research and development and acquisitions over the last four years. IBM’s PureSystems will make it easier for companies to maintain and operate their information systems. The company is updating its technology to be on par with the cloud age.

7. Sony chief unveils plans to revive company
Sony’s CEO Kazuao Hirai announced a string of goals to revive the company which reported loss in its fourth consecutive year.  Sony’s CEO has confirmed 10,000 job cuts as part of the revival strategy. Sony will also look to increase sales of cameras and other digital imaging device and raise revenue in the games division. Sony has major plans to restructure the company and make it a leading player in mobile phones. Really, mobile phones? See below!

6. Investors losing faith that Nokia can stop the rot
The ailing cellphone maker faced dire financial warnings last week. Nokia saw its shares plummet by 14% after it was warned that it would make losses on its first two quarters. Nokia’s new smartphone Lumia 900 received positive reviews; however the demand for the low-end smartphone slumped. It didn’t help that Lumia 900 went on sale on Easter Sunday with major AT&T stores being closed. Investors are losing faith on the Finnish company’s turnaround efforts.

5. Citrix acquires cloud-based social business collaboration platform Podio
Citrix Systems announced on Wednesday that it has completed the acquisition of Podio, a privately held provider of cloud computing services for business. Cloud computing is this year’s hottest trend and many tech companies are expanding its cloud computing services. The acquisition will help Citrix to expand its social media offerings for small and medium sized companies to benefit from the growing demand for social software with workplace applications.

4. Google’s wacky stock split gives founders more clout
Google, on Thursday reported a 61% increase in the quarterly profits and announced its first stock split since going public in 2004. This will enable the founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, a lifetime control over the search engine giant. The 2-for-1 stock split will create a new class of nonvoting shares that will be distributed to existing shareholders.

3. AOL surges 43% on $1 billion patent deal
Microsoft, on Monday agreed to pay more than $1 billion for 800 patents held by AOL. The announcement of the patent deal saw a 43% spike in the AOL shares. Reportedly, the AOL’s deal is one of the larger patent auctions in recent times, representing roughly $1.3 million per issued patent

2. Justice dept. sues Apple, publishers over e-book prices
Lawsuits are trending in the tech world. The U.S. Department of Justice sued Apple and other major book publishers over e-book ‘price-fixing.’ Allegedly, the scheme has cost consumers more than $100 million in the past two years. Apple let publishers set their own prices for e-books on the iPad. As a result, Amazon was forced to raise prices in order to keep books on its platform.

1. Facebook to buy Instagram for $1 billion
The popular photo App Instagram was purchased by Facebook for $1 Billion in cash and stock. Even before its first initial public offering, Facebook has made its first big purchase. Instagram, which was an iPhone-only app expanded to Android attracting over 32 million registered users, very impressive for a 10-person company started by two recent Stanford graduates.

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