This week’s News of Note from the Silicon Valley – Oct 31, 2014

News – Tim Cook’s pride

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that he is “proud to be gay” in an essay in Bloomberg Businessweek, making him one of the most prominent openly gay executives in the world. Some see meaning in where and when he chose to tell all, noting that his message could send a signal of openness throughout the corporate world.

Newest – Microsoft goes wearable

The market for wearable fitness technology is growing. No wonder Microsoft wants to get in on the action. They created a wrist-worn fitness device called Microsoft Band and related online service (Microsoft Health). At the relatively low price of $199, Microsoft hopes to get up and running in a market where they currently have no footing.

Next – Mobile payment gets ugly

Only one week after Apple Pay debuted in the pharmacy chains CVS and Rite Aid, both of them cancelled the service. Instead, the stores—both part of a retail conglomerate including Walmart, Best Buy, Shell Oil, and Target—will launch their own system called CurrentC to avoid credit card fees, build consumer loyalty, and gain customer data.

How will it all turn out? Who knows, but consumers are getting whiplash trying to figure out which mobile payment system they can use and where.