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Weekly Highlights: Apple Confirms Beats Buyout, Microsoft Teams With Salesforce & More

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May concluded with a bang after Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) made a handful of big announcements.

Apple, of course, confirmed that it will acquire Beats Electronics.

Microsoft and Salesforce teamed up for Office integration.

Google unveiled its latest plan for self-driving cars, which includes a wheel-free automobile.

Researchers speculated that Twitter's (NYSE: TWTR) global popularity could rise.

Ubisoft (OTC: UBSFY) released its newest IP.

And a startup told entrepreneurs to kill their ideas.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Posted-In: Apple Beats Beats Electronics iPhoneNews Rumors Success Stories Tech Best of Benzinga

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    Apple Finally Confirmed The Beats Buyout

    Apple Finally Confirmed The Beats Buyout

    Apple loves a good tease.

    The Cupertino, California-based tech giant remained tight-lipped about the Beats buyout for a couple of weeks, allowing investors to doubt its potential.

    Then, just as the tech world began to think it wouldn't happen, Apple announced that it is planning to acquire Beats Electronics.

    Analysts have mixed opinions on the matter, but one thing is for certain: Tim Cook's Apple is vastly different from the one started by Steve Jobs.

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    Microsoft And Salesforce Teamed Up For Office Integration

    Microsoft And Salesforce Teamed Up For Office Integration

    Microsoft and Salesforce announced an interesting "strategic partnership" this week that could be big news for both companies.

    In short, Salesforce will develop Salesforce 1 for Windows and Windows 8.1, providing customers with access to the service directly through a Windows device.

    The company will also build something called "Salesforce for Office 365," which will allow users to access, share, edit and collaborate on Office content from within Salesforce.

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    iPhone Sales Could Benefit From Improved Upgrade Cycle

    iPhone Sales Could Benefit From Improved Upgrade Cycle

    Long-term, Apple hopes that the Beats acquisition will lead to big things for the company.

    In the interim, BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk is keeping an eye on Apple's improved upgrade cycle.

    "Our interest in Apple now is primarily driven by the upgrade cycle that, in the United States, may be improving given some changes that they've made in how they're selling phones in the market," Piecyk told Benzinga. "That should be a primary driver to help earnings growth."

    "…Now a lot of the sales of phones to customers is on phone leasing programs, which enables the customer to exit the two-year commitment that they've made in order to buy phones on a more frequent basis," Piecyk added.

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    Entrepreneurs Were Advised To Kill Their Ideas

    Entrepreneurs Were Advised To Kill Their Ideas

    Believe it or not, entrepreneurs can succeed by attempting to kill their best ideas.

    "Instead of trying to figure out how to make an idea work, I think a lot of entrepreneurs would benefit instead from trying to kill their idea," David Gomel, co-founder and co-CEO of Finom, told Benzinga.

    "The success in their endeavor is really figuring out how your idea cannot work. We spent a lot of time going through every little unknown point early on, and taking meetings, and tried to figure out why [Finom] wasn't possible. We failed at that mission, but it gave us a lot of conviction that we could do something with this."

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    Twitter Could Grow Substantially Overseas

    Twitter Could Grow Substantially Overseas

    Twitter could enjoy massive growth in overseas markets.

    The U.S.-based social network is popular in North America, but its real growth potential could be elsewhere.

    Asia-Pacific, for example, could account for 32.8 percent of Twitter members worldwide, versus 23.7 percent in North America. And that's without China, which has banned the use of Twitter.

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    Apple's Smart Home Concept Surfaced, But Is It Real?

    Apple's Smart Home Concept Surfaced, But Is It Real?

    Apple is reportedly working on a smart home concept, which could be unveiled at the company's annual Worldwide Developer's Conference.

    The platform (iSmart, perhaps?) will reportedly allow users to adjust their lights, security systems and household appliances.

    Little else is known about this unconfirmed feature, and few analysts have been eager to speculate.

    "I don't think much about it until we see it," Pacific Crest Securities analyst Andy Hargreaves told Benzinga.

    Not to be outdone, Google is rumored to be getting into the smart home market as well.

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    Google's Self-Driving Cars Could Hit A Road Near You (But Hopefully Not The Curb Or Fire Hydrant)

    Google's Self-Driving Cars Could Hit A Road Near You (But Hopefully Not The Curb

    Google plans to take its self-driving car initiative to the next level.

    The company hopes to deploy roughly 100 intriguing prototypes of vehicles that can drive without any human intervention.

    These vehicles are very compact and do not have brake or gas pedals -- or a steering wheel.

    To keep riders (and pedestrians) safe during the test, Google won't allow the vehicles to drive faster than 25 miles per hour.

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    Watch Dogs Reviews Were "Good Enough" For Ubisoft

    Watch Dogs Reviews Were "Good Enough" For Ubisoft

    Watch Dogs, the newest game (and potential franchise) from Ubisoft (OTC: UBSFY), received a cornucopia of reviews this week.

    The average score came out to roughly 82 percent (out of 100 percent).

    "A review score between 80 [and] 89 is 'good enough' for a game to sell really well," Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter told Benzinga. "Most big sellers are rated in the 80s. Only a handful of games get 90+ scores."

    Later in the week, Ubisoft announced that Watch Dogs set a new company record for first-day sales.

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