Hi from L.A., where I am in town for both Adobe's Max conference (see below) and something else I can't quite talk about yet.
Situational awareness: Apple says it will spend $2.5 billion to help remedy California's housing shortage.
Today's Login is 1,480 words, a 5-minute read.
Microsoft's revamped Edge browser has a new rendering engine and a focus on business users. Image: Microsoft
Microsoft is announcing today that its Bing search engine and Edge web browser will now focus primarily on business users.
Why it matters: For Bing, the move is a recognition that a years-long effort to take on Google in the broad-based search business has failed. In browsers, meanwhile, the shift is a sign of how far the mighty have fallen: Two decades ago, Microsoft's Internet Explorer dominated the browser market so thoroughly it was seen as a monopoly.
Details: Microsoft is adding new features to the products to enhance their business appeal, including unified web search with search on a company's internal network, as well as new privacy and security features.
"We're trying to stake a claim of saying we are the best browser and search engine for business users," longtime Microsoft executive Yusuf Mehdi said in an interview. "We think people who browse the web in general may actually want to use it for their personal lives."
That said, not many consumers have been choosing Microsoft for their browsing or search needs.
My thought bubble: I knew Microsoft had lost ground in both areas, but I was nonetheless shocked at just how low its numbers were.
Meanwhile: In addition to repositioning its Edge browser, Microsoft has been busy swapping out its core rendering engine to use Chromium, the engine that powers Chrome and a number of other browsers.
Some of the effects possible using Photoshop Camera. Image: Adobe
Adobe is debuting a new app, Photoshop Camera, designed to bring the power of the popular photo-editing tool straight into the camera. The move allows consumers to apply artsy filters, swap out backgrounds and more even before the picture is taken.
Why it matters: Adobe has a goal of getting its tools in the hands of vastly more people. That means reaching consumer shutterbugs where they are at, which increasingly is within the camera app of their smartphones.
I got a very early look at what became Photoshop Camera back in 2017, writing at the time:
"What initially looked like a standard camera app turned out to be a proof-of-concept from Adobe Labs that uses neural algorithms to apply different artistic styles to photos. It's similar to popular apps like Pixma, but with enough real-time abilities that you can see what the result will look like before even taking the picture."
It's come much farther in the last 18 months, adding more depth and utility, while retaining a decidedly simple interface designed to make sure people feel like they can just take a picture without also having to understand Photoshop.
Photoshop Camera is launching in limited preview; those interested can sign up here.
Meanwhile: Adobe is also making several other moves at its Max conference, which kicks off today in L.A.
Specifically, it is:
PayPal CEO Dan Schulman. Photo: "Axios on HBO"
PayPal CEO Dan Schulman has stared down death threats for taking tough stances on social issues. But in entering China, the PayPal CEO could find the biggest challenge yet to his values.
Why it matters: Other companies have gone into China thinking that they could access the giant market without having to compromise their values. At some point, most of them were forced to choose one or the other.
Pressed on the issue, Schulman told "Axios on HBO" he isn't worried.
Between the lines: Schulman has certainly been willing to take stands here in the U.S., throwing white supremacists off PayPal's service and pulling a planned expansion into North Carolina after that state passed a law that severely limited transgender rights.
Meanwhile: Schulman also discussed the future of digital payments and the controversial privacy practices of Venmo, the company's fast-growing peer-to-peer payment unit.
Sen. Josh Hawley. Photo: "Axios on HBO"
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri told Axios' Kim Hart on "Axios on HBO" that Silicon Valley executives "regularly shade the truth" and are "totally untrustworthy."
The big picture: Since joining Congress this year, Hawley has made a name for himself by going after social media companies for censoring conservative viewpoints, failing to protect user privacy and wielding too much power over the flow of information.
What he's saying: When asked if he trusts the word of tech executives, he responded:
"I've only been in the Senate for 10 months. But the testimony I've heard from Twitter, Facebook and Google in that time is easily the most dishonest testimony of any witness I've heard before any committees that I sit on. They regularly mislead Congress and mislead the public. They regularly withhold sensitive information and engage in deliberate obfuscation. So no, I don't trust them at all."— Josh Hawley on "Axios on HBO"
Context: With bipartisan co-sponsors, Hawley has introduced bills to require data portability between companies, to require tech companies to tell users how much their data is worth, and to give users the option not to be tracked.
What to watch: Hawley told "Axios on HBO" that the federal government has not done enough to hold tech execs accountable and that some "structural reforms" may be needed to enforce anti-competitive rules.
When asked what tech industry leaders could do to show they are acting in good faith, Hawley said they need to prove they are not trying to choke off competition.
When asked whether he supports Facebook's latest policy on political advertising, he said wants to see how the company actually handles the issue.
To start off your week, here's a cute little robot made out of the old and new AirPods, along with their cases.