Home automation
Ten start-ups to join Microsoft accelerator

Microsoft is betting on 10 start-ups building technology for the Internet of Things — technologists’ term for a connected network of devices and sensors.

In June, Microsoft announced it was opening a business accelerator for start-ups focused on home automation, within the broader Internet of Things network. This week, the company revealed its first roster of firms.

The 10 start-ups take diverse approaches to home automation. For instance, Neura is a software company that recognizes human behavioral patterns — how often or when a person uses an appliance, allowing devices to eventually adapt to users. Playtabase built a wrist-worn device letting wearers gesture to control home appliances. RedBalloon is a software security company that protects the information transmitted over networks of devices.

— Mohana Ravindranath

Computer hardware
Lenovo deal clears U.S. security review

International Business Machines cleared a U.S. national-security review for the sale of its low-end server business to China’s Lenovo Group, letting the $2.3 billion transaction go forward even amid tensions between the two nations.

The conclusion of the review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is “good news for both IBM and Lenovo, and for our customers and employees,” Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM said last week in a statement. Spokesmen for IBM and Lenovo declined to comment on whether CFIUS clearance included any requirements or concessions.

The clearance of the national-security review may also bode well for Lenovo’s separate $2.91 billion purchase of Google’s Motorola Mobility unit.

— Bloomberg News