In the frenzied excitement about iOS, iPhones and countless other new devices, Mac users would be forgiven for worrying that Apple has abandoned OS X, the operating system for its PCs. It’s tended to lag behind the mobile software – getting updated no less often, once a year, but tending to focus on much-needed but unspectacular improvements to battery life and performance. The new update, Yosemite (which is Mac X 10, though Apple has dropped the numbers) looks like another minor update, and in many ways it is. But also, in finally bringing OS X and iOS together, it makes a much-needed case for both.
Facebook is buying Oculus, the maker of virtual reality headsets, for $2bn. Like with Whatsapp, that’s a lot of money (though a lot less money). Neither is overvalued, though we’ll hear plenty of it: the premium to what you might have expected them to pay, though, is where the insidiousness lies.
When Facebook buys virtual reality headsets, it’s really buying the opportunity to make a Facebook branded (virtual) reality. When it bought Whatsapp it was buying the opportunity to brand your whole social interaction with its friendly blue and white logo, in the same way it’s already done to your whole personality and social sphere. Facebook wants to re-make your entire world in its image – these new companies that it’s acquired, and the ones that are no doubt to come, are just the most recent signs of that.
There are plenty of reasons to worry about the new lust for tech stocks. King, the UK-based maker of Candy Crush, will be valued at up to $7.6bn when it lists in New York next month, despite being perceived as a one-hit wonder with few apparent plans for the future. Twitter is valued at $30bn after listing in November, 23 times its estimated earnings for 2014 despite failing to post a profit in its first seven years of existence. But the really worrying signs of a tech bubble lurk in the less exciting stocks.