The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Thursday, April 30

Salesforce in play? It'll be a big deal...Secret is out -- of the apps business...Microsoft opens up even more at Build

CEO Marc Benioff gives the opening keynote at's Dreamforce conference Nov. 19

CEO Marc Benioff gives the opening keynote at's Dreamforce conference Nov. 19

Who has $47 billion burning a hole in their pocket to buy has been approached by someone who wants to acquire it, and is now working with advisers to field offers, Bloomberg reports. Its market cap closed at more than $47 billion on Wednesday, so any suitor needs deep pockets. Analysts speculate that IBM, Oracle, Microsoft and SAP are possible shoppers, but Oracle is seen as the most likely to be looking to make a deal and get it done.

Secret is out

Maybe there's hope for all of us: maybe life is not an extended version of high school, because it turns out there's not a huge market for an app designed for people who want to post anonymous gossip. Secret, the app company that had raised $35 million in venture funding, is shutting its doors, the New York Times reports in a chronicle of its rise and fall. But for those still in high school, the similar Whisper -- which targets teens, not adults -- just hit 10 million users, re/code says. Maybe they'll grow out of it.

Microsoft letting more third-party apps tap Office for information...

Satya Nadella's Microsoft continues to open up to the rest of the world, and at its Build developer's conference on Wednesday showed how it would let third-party developers access and use data that resides in Office products. A new unified API allows third-party apps to pull data from services like Outlook, PC World reported.

... And figures out how to snag Android and iOS apps for Windows...

The wealth of apps available for Android and iOS has long dwarfed what's available for Windows smartphones. One of the more significant pieces of news out of Build is a way for Android and iOS developers to port their apps to universal Windows apps, reusing their existing code. Those apps will then be enhanced with Windows 10 features -- and fill out the shelves on Microsoft's app store.

...While Visual Studio comes to Macs, Linux

In a signal that the Azure cloud now rivals Windows in strategic importance for Microsoft, the company has introduced a version of the Visual Studio development tool that can run on Macs and Linux machines. The development environment was built to help developers create Windows applications, but the new -- and free -- Visual Studio Code is meant to simplify how they deploy their code to Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.

Glitchy iPads ground American Airlines flights

Tech innovations provide such great new ways of doing things -- until they predictably malfunction, like the navigation app that crashed iPads used by American Airlines pilots on Tuesday. The glitch affected several dozen flights; apparently all the iPads used by pilots in the 737 fleet went down at once. Fortunately, some pilots had access to old-school technology: one passenger enroute from San Francisco to Los Angeles tweeted, "We are in the air. Pilots printed the maps."

Apple closing in on Xiaomi as top smartphone seller in China

Apple could be on track to top Xiaomi's market share in China, riding strong sales of the iPhone 6 in a market that prefers larger screen phones and where the Apple brand carries lots of cachet. Home-grown Xiaomi was the leader in the first quarter with 13 percent market share but Apple was closing in at 12 percent, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. Demand for iPhones is so high that Apple could become China's largest smartphone vendor later this year, it said.

Faulty component may extend the wait for your Apple Watch

One of the innovations in the Apple Watch is the taptic interface that mimics the sensation of being tapped on the wrist, but the component that makes that happen is apparently at the center of a supply chain issue throwing a wrench in the production works, the Wall Street Journal reported. Apple had to change suppliers after some of the taptic engines it was using from a Chinese maker failed reliability tests, but the new supplier has yet to fully ramp up to meet its needs.

Watch now

Missing out on Build 2015? Catch the keynote highlights in three minutes.

One last thing

But wait, there's more -- more apparently untold in the Silk Road saga. Wired dives deep into the online black market and comes up with more tales to tell.

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IDG News Service staff

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