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June 04, 2018

I'll be in San Jose for Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference. (See Friday's Login for a preview.) That said, for you readers in D.C., Axios has back-to-back-to-back breakfast events this week — and you are invited.

On Tuesday, Mike Allen and Kim Hart discuss one of the biggest topics in town: tech responsibility. Joining them are former U.S. CTO Megan Smith, City of Seattle privacy chief Ginger Armbruster, and Senator Mark Warner. RSVP here

On Wednesday, Kim will examine how will the world will change when we have 5G.  More info and RSVP hereOn Thursday, Mike and Bob Herman close it out with a conversation on the way innovation is impacting the health care marketplace. RSVP here.

1 big thing: GitHub buy shows Microsoft's 180 on open source

Microsoft logo on building
Microsoft's New York office. Photo:Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Leaders

Microsoft announced this morning it is acquiring GitHub, the social network for coders as well as home to millions of different software projects, for $7.5 billion.

"The era of the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge is upon us. Computing is becoming embedded in the world, with every part of our daily life and work and every aspect of our society and economy being transformed by digital technology. Developers are the builders of this new era, writing the world’s code. And GitHub is their home."
— Satya Nadellla, CEO, Microsoft

Quick take: This would further highlight the complete turnaround the company has already made in its stance toward open source software.

Behind the scenes: While former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer once called Linux a cancer, the company has steadily warmed to open source, with Nadella embracing it with open arms.

GitHub plays into that strategy as it's used by developers of all stripes to store their code projects. The San Francisco-based company was founded in 2008 and is now home to 80 million software repositories. The company has been searching for a new CEO since last year.

Why it matters: Playing host to the world's code doesn't necessarily make Microsoft a more central player, but it could tightly integrate GitHub into its developer tools. Microsoft decided last year to shut down its own CodePlex software repository, bowing to GitHub's popularity.

What about Windows? Though certainly a fan of its homegrown operating system, Microsoft's main goal these days is to be in tight with developers and get them writing code that can live in its Azure cloud.

  • Microsoft even dropped the Windows name from Azure, reflecting the fact you don't have to use Windows to work with Azure.

History lesson: Microsoft's shift to embrace Linux is somewhat reminiscent of the earlier move IBM made to do so. Both companies are now seen as the mature veterans of the enterprise market, more interested in meeting corporate computing needs than pushing homegrown architectures.

Tick-tock: Here's a quick timeline of Microsoft's changing attitude toward open source software.

2. AR gives everyone a seat at NBA Finals

The NBA has added a 360-degree portal to its augmented reality app
The NBA has added a 360-degree portal to its AR app. Photo: NBA

Last year, the NBA was all about how virtual reality could bring distant fans closer to the action. This year, many of the efforts are focused on augmented reality.

What's new: For the NBA Finals, the NBA's augmented reality app has added a portal that lets you climb into various moments from the finals. So you may be stuck in your living room but you can use your smartphone to draw a window and climb into Oracle Arena.

  • "It just brings you closer to the game," NBA EVP Melissa Rosenthal Brenner told Axios in an interview during Game 2 of the finals on Sunday.
  • For now, though, the viewer isn't heading into the live action, but rather 1 of 5 pre-taped scenes, such as past warm ups or player introductions.
  • The NBA also has separate AR experiences for Instagram and Snapchat.

What's next: During the offseason, she said the league will explore how to make AR a more real-time experience. The NBA is also thinking further out to when AR goggles become a thing, including a deal earlier this year with the buzzy-but-secretive Magic Leap.

Yes, but: The NBA is still big on VR too. NextVR is once again producing highlights and is using the finals to debut a new higher-resolution format that works best on headsets like the HTC Vive Pro and Samsung Odyssey. (Look for Game 2 highlights later today.)

Quick take: Arenas only hold so many seats, and with an increasingly global fan base, the NBA wants to get those who can't attend the games to feel as near to the action as possible.

3. The never-ending tech apology tour

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi speaking at Code Conference
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi speaking at Code Conference. Photo: Asa Mathat for Vox Media

If there was one common theme at last week's Code Conference, it was all the apologies. Of course, there were the mea culpas from Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Uber's Dara Khosrowshahi.

The growing list: As Andreessen Horowitz's Steven Sinofsky noted in a blog post on Sunday, they weren't the only ones saying sorry. Among the other apologies he called out:

  • Snapchat's Evan Spiegel, for the way it rolled out its redesign.
  • Sen. Mark Warner, for the quality of his colleagues' questions for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
  • Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake, for letting IPO stock price expectations get too high.
  • AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, for hiring Michael Cohen.
  • Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, for the way it rolled out its policies on artists' hate speech and hateful conduct.

The bottom line: Apology season isn't over. If you turn on your TV quick, you can probably catch Facebook or Uber apologizing right now.

4. Most Americans fear driverless cars

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A lot of Americans are fearful of autonomous cars, but 33% are at least somewhat likely to buy one once they are available, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.

Why it matters: To the degree the survey is accurate and reflects a broad global trend, everything from the world's sprawling car industry, to roads and cities themselves, could be on the cusp of a fundamental transformation.

Yes, but: According to the poll, a majority of Americans are scared of autonomous cars:

  • 68% are fearful as pedestrians, walking around amid self-driving cars.
  • 64% said they are fearful as a passenger.
  • Only 10% said they would feel extremely or very safe as a passenger or pedestrian.

Go deeper: Steve LeVine has more here.

5. Take Note

On Tap

Trading Places

  • David Eun is taking on an expanded role at Samsung, adding the title chief innovation officer to his role heading its Samsung NEXT efforts.


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