Understanding Microsoft’s Value Proposition in the US Software Space

Understanding Microsoft’s Value Proposition in the US Software Space

Microsoft’s scale in systems software

Previously in this series, we discussed Microsoft’s technical indicators. Now, let’s look at its value proposition among other system software companies in the United States. The systems software space comprises OS (operating systems), system and network management, and information management. Microsoft is a leading player in this segment with a majority of personal computers using Windows OS.

On July 18, 2017, Microsoft (MSFT) was the largest global player in terms of market capitalization, followed by Oracle (ORCL). IBM (IBM) was third in market capitalization. Salesforce (CRM) and SAP (SAP) are also leading players in this space.

ETF Bubble or the Promise of More Growth? By TETF As stock markets have reached all-time highs, some people are pointing the finger at exchange-traded funds.

Audi to recall 850,000 diesel cars to update emissions software

Story image for Software from Reuters
FILE PHOTO – The logo of Audi is pictured at the Auto China 2016 auto show in Beijing, April 25, 2016.Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Luxury car maker Audi (NSUG.DE) has launched a recall for up to 850,000 diesel-fueled cars to update vehicle software controlling emissions in a bid to avoid potential driving bans, it said on Friday.

The service is also being offered to Porsche- and Volkswagen- branded cars using the same six- and eight-cylinder engines, Audi said.

The German government and car industry have agreed on a diesel rescue plan to be presented early August, industry and political sources told Reuters earlier on Friday.


Shopping for New Software

Q. Why are some programs not available in the software app stores, even if I know they exist? If I find them anyway, are they safe to install?

A. The “app store” approach to distributing software, which downloads the program directly to the device (or computer), is a convenience for consumers, but not every developer chooses to sell work that way. For one, the bigger electronic marketplaces run by Apple, Google and Microsoftplace technical restrictions on what a program can and cannot do once it is installed, and some software creators do not wish to abide by those rules.


Desktop app stores are one easy way to find, buy and install programs for your computer, but you can still purchase software from other sources. CreditThe New York Times

Other developers may also balk at registration fees and the revenue-sharing policy of an online app emporium. Apple, Google and Microsoft often take a 30-percent cut of the sales in their app stores, although some in-app subscriptions now require only 15 percent of the overall price as payment.

Certain programs you seek may not be available for other reasons, like regional restrictions or the creator pulling a program from the store. If you are looking for an app you know exists, make sure any parental-control settings on your device are not blocking you from seeing the software.

Apps approved for sale in Apple’s App Store (and Mac App Store), the Google Playstore and Microsoft’s Windows Store have presumably been screened for quality and security, which is one advantage to buying programs there. While it often takes some extra work, manually installing third-party apps from unofficial sources is possible; the practice is also known as sideloading.

In some cases — particularly with Apple’s devices — you may need to “jailbreak” or “root” your gadget to override the manufacturer’s protections and install unauthorized software. Proceed at your own risk, however, as manufacturers warn this may lead to security issues and possibly a voided warranty.

Long before smartphones and tablets arrived, developers were selling their wares as downloads from their websites or offering them in software repositories (like those used by many Linux distributions). You can still install many desktop programs this way. Just make sure that the seller is legitimate and that the security software on your computer is activated and up-to-date.


Your Company May Soon Pay More for This Key Software

Many Fortune 500 companies will probably pay more to use Atlassian software starting next month, but it’s sort of hard to tell given the complexity of the newprice model outlined in late June.

While these Atlassian (TEAM, +0.31%) products—like Jira for tracking bugs and Confluence collaboration software—may not be name brands to non-IT pros, they are a big deal to software developers. And because most companies now build and maintain at least some of their own custom software, this price change is worth noting.

An example: Right now, a team of 26 to 50 people pays $3,000 per year for a cloud version of Jira. Starting July 31, 2017, that same team will be on the hook for $3,500 per year. Under the current plan, once a team hits the 51-user mark, it paid $4,500 per year. Now that bill will be $7,000.

With these changes, Atlassian, which went public two years ago, will offer what tech news site The Register called a “mind-muddling” 17 tiers of annual pricing. It is hardly the only software company to offer a dizzying array of price points. As cynics often point out, there is often money to be made in complexity.

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For those paying on a monthly basis, Atlassian is moving to per-user pricing at least after the first 10 users which can use the product for $10 per month flat fee. But once an 11th person is aboard, the price will jump to $77 per month (at $7 per user per month).

In its post, Atlassian characterized that $10 flat fee for up to ten users as its introductory rate. The company’s Jira Service Desk price will still carry a $10 flat fee covering three agents, the people assigned to handle support tickets. Atlassian also offers versions of all these products that can run on a customer’s own servers.

Atlassian claims many name-brand customers including Cerner (CERN, -0.89%), DocuSign (DOCUSIGN), Rockwell Collins (COL, +1.49%), and NASA.

Related: Atlassian Goes All In With Amazon Cloud

Atlassian became a bit more familiar to workers outside software development early this year when it announced plans to purchase Trello, a popular workforce collaboration application, for $435 million. There were no price changes listed for that product.

Fortune contacted Atlassian for comment and will update this story as needed.

Note: (July 10, 2017 11:11 a.m. ET) This story was updated to note that the Atlassian blog outlining the price changes posted in late June and that the company also offers on-premises versions of these software products, the price of which was unaffected by these changes.


Britain’s software sector must be protected throughout the looming Brexit negotiations


Software is ubiquitous.

It is at the heart of every aspect of modern life. We depend on software at the office, at school, at home, in our leisure time, when we travel and when we communicate. Software helps us to be more effective, more creative, and more efficient.

Ironically, software is so pervasive that one would be forgiven for overlooking just how much it contributes – from both an economic and job creation perspective. With Brexit on the horizon, it is more important than ever to consider how the industry may be affected.

Read more: Finance firms which adopt new technologies are more successful, says study

We recently worked with the Economist Intelligence Unit to reveal the true value of software, both in the UK and more widely across the European Union. We wanted to quantify software’s impact and assess how the EU and certain member states gain from its burgeoning influence.

The results from the research were intriguing. Overall, software delivers a total value-added (direct, indirect, and induced) GDP of £709.8bn – over seven per cent of the EU28 total GDP. This contribution comes from all sectors and all levels of the economy, from farming and manufacturing, to services, education, and healthcare.

When you hone in on the UK, software’s direct and indirect contribution is also substantial, and higher than any of the other “Big Five” EU markets (Germany, France, Spain and Italy). In 2014, the software industry added £50.9bn directly to the UK economy, equivalent to 2.9 per cent of the country’s GDP. When factoring in its full impact (including indirect and induced effects), software’s contribution climbs to around 7.1 per cent of UK GDP, which is a staggering contribution of £124.8bn to the economy.

The UK software sector also supports the employment of the most people compared to the other major EU countries analysed in our study. It has the highest percentage of total jobs too, generating nearly 2.6m – more than twice the size of the entire population of Birmingham, and equivalent to 8.4 per cent of all jobs in the UK.

Software also contributes 9.7 per cent of total private sector research expenditure in the country.

With Brexit negotiations looming, a new regulatory framework must be crafted to allow the software industry, and in turn the British economy, to thrive in a post-Brexit environment. To maintain its leadership of the IT industry, the UK needs to have a better, or at the very least equal, regulatory environment – and one that is fully aligned with international and EU regulations.

It will be important to devise legislation that is future-proof to avoid stifling innovation or delaying the uptake of new technologies. Countries choosing policies that encourage technological developments and support a digital economy boost their competitiveness and guarantee their role as hubs in the globalised economy.

To keep pace with growing global competition, the UK must embrace software’s potential. The regulatory landscape needs to acknowledge the inherently global nature of the software industry while leaving room for digital innovation.

Championing the free flow of data across borders without unnecessary restrictions would send a strong signal, as would embracing fully the development of the next generation of digital standards in international fora and opposing mandates on the localisation of servers and other computing infrastructure.

Our health, wealth, work, social lives, leisure and security are all improved by software, and the potential for further benefits is limited only by our imagination. Software is the key to realising the benefits of the twenty-first century and beyond. The new UK government will need to seize the opportunity.



Frantic traders rush to buy new accounting and tax filing software

Keeping up with change Cloth traders at work in a shop in Allahabad

Ramesh Khandelwal (name changed), a steel trader in Delhi’s Chandni Chawk market, was frantic on July 1, the day the GST came into effect. On a busy working day, his business was stalled as he could not generate invoices on his existing accounting software.

Khandelwal made a panic call to Chennai-based Zoho Corp’s office to buy its latest GST-compliant accounting software

“Just get me the software and I’ll pay you in cash. No matter what the amount is,” he told a Zoho executive on a call. The company explained to him that he could download the software and start using it immediately without paying for the first four days. Yet Khandelwal persisted that the software be installed immediately by Zoho.

Zoho’s office was flooded with such calls throughout the weekend where hundreds of engineers and support staff have not gone home and are tirelessly responding to customer queries, making their office their temporary humble abode.

“Our call centers are flooded with calls. We’ve seen more than 50 times increase in daily installations of our Zoho Books software over the weekend,” Sivaramakrishnan Iswaran, Director, product management and business development at Zoho, told BusinessLine. The new customers are in lakhs.

Iswaran, who can barely speak in Hindi, was forced to take 60 calls in the language since 5.30 in morning on Monday after he got a brief break to go home and catch some sleep on Sunday night. The company has started taking 3-4 online seminars or webinar each day in English, Hindi and Tamil to cater to the rush and explain to consumers how to use the new software.

Adding more customers

Tally, the largest accounting software company in the country, went through a similar craze over the weekend. Tally’s GST-compliant software Tally.ERP 9 Release 6 was launched about a month ago and by Friday about 4 lakh customers had upgraded to it. However, as many as 3 lakh additional customers upgraded the software over the weekend. Overall the company has 11 lakh customers in India, leaving 4 lakh customers still on the non-GST compliant addition. But the change has started on a frantic pace.

“Traders needing to go digital haven’t yet started the process in mass numbers. There is still time for them to make the transition and they aren’t taking rushed decisions. However, confusion still prevails on what they need to exactly do,” Tejas Goenka, Executive Director – Tally Solutions, said.

“We have met close to 3 lakh of them (customers) and are going to meet several thousand more in the “Upgrade your Tally” camps we are running across the country. The sense we are getting is that everyone wants to get ready real fast and that there is a huge rush of businesses wanting to move smoothly into the new tax era,” Goenka said.

There are only seven software companies licensed to sell GST filing software, approved by the GSTN. Tally, Zoho’s Go Frugal and Spice Digital are among the 34 software companies who were granted the licence as GST Suvidha Providers. Others include TCS, Ernst & Young and Deloitte.

“There is still a lot of confusion among traders as many of them are actually paying taxes for the first time. We’ve seen cases where traders are charging 18 per cent GST wherein they are supposed to charge only 12 per cent on the particular products. This is due to confusion and in some cases traders deliberately trying to take advantage of the prevailing confusion,” said Saket Agarwal, Globa CEO, Spice Digital. Spice Digital was ready with the GST filing software in February but could launch it in the market only in June due to constant changes made by the GST council.

“We’ve just integrated the new APIs in the software after changes were made by the GST Council. The updates however, will be regular for at least some time as we expect more changes to be made by the GST Council in the coming weeks,” Agarwal said.

Many traders who were holding off their purchase of such accounting and tax filing software to look for loopholes in hopes of avoiding tax are now finding themselves in a fix as they are unable to conduct business unless it is done in a tax-compliant manner.


Look Out Spotify, Apple Music: Tesla Considering To Launch Its Own Music Streaming Service

Spotify and Apple Music may soon find a new challenger in the music streaming service industry from an unlikely source: electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla.

According to reports, Tesla has been speaking with the music industry on the possibility of creating its own music streaming service that will be bundled with its electric vehicles.

Tesla To Enter Music Streaming Scene?

Sources in the music industry claim that Tesla has spoken with all the major music labels on licensing a music streaming service. The service will be bundled with the company’s vehicles, such as the electric sedan Model S, the electric SUV Model X, and the upcoming mass-market electric sedan Model 3.

The full scope of Tesla’s ambitions was not made clear, but sources believe that the company is looking to offer multiple tiers for the planned music streaming service. The tiers will start with a web radio service, such as the one offered by Pandora, which will be enabled by the internet connectivity already present in Tesla’s electric vehicles through their dashboards.

The whole plan is seemingly not yet fully formed, but Tesla is already doing its due diligence by asking about acquiring the rights to stream albums and songs from the top artists from all over the world.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk actually hinted that the company was exploring music products at the latest shareholder meeting of the company in June. He said that it was difficult to “find good playlists or good matching algorithms” for music that drivers want to hear while on the road, and that the company will be announcing how it will solve the problem within the year.

Why Will Tesla Challenge Spotify And Apple Music?

The big question is why Tesla is planning to go through the trouble of creating its own music streaming service, when it can instead integrate Spotify or Apple Music into its electric vehicles. Tesla already has a deal in place to include Spotify in electric vehicles sold outside the United States, so such a setup can be done if the company wants to.

The labels will not turn down Tesla’s overtures if it pushes through with creating its own music streaming service, as it will be another source of revenue. From the comment of a Tesla spokesperson, it appears that the company is indeed serious about its plans.

“We believe it’s important to have an exceptional in-car experience so our customers can listen to the music they want from whatever source they choose,” the spokesperson said, adding that Tesla’s goal is to “achieve maximum happiness” for its customers.

While Tesla is considered as the market leader in the burgeoning electric car industry, it will be jumping into a music streaming space that is currently dominated by Spotify, with 50 million premium subscribers, followed by Apple Music, with 27 million paid users and looking to pose a bigger challenge to Spotify by launching a $99 annual subscription option.

How Tesla’s music streaming service will stand up against these two remains to be seen, but it will have to offer something beyond the usual features if it wants to make a significant impression in the industry.


How to use Gmail’s Google Tasks as your daily to-do list

gmail logo resized

Dedicated to-do apps abound, but one of the best may be right in your inbox. Google Tasks, integrated into Gmail, provides a simple way to create ordered task lists, complete with due dates, and even turn emails into action items. Here’s how to get started.

Create a task

add to tasks


With Google Tasks you can create a to-do list right in your inbox.

To start building a to-do list, click the down arrow next to “Gmail” in the upper left corner of your inbox. The Tasks window will open in the lower-right corner. To add a task, click the plus icon at the bottom of the window. A blank field will open with a checkbox and a blinking cursor. Type in your action item.

If you want to add a due date or notes, click the arrow to the right of the task and enter the details in the appropriate fields.

Turn an email message into a task

create task


You can type to-dos directly in your task list or add emails as action items.

You probably find that a good chunk of the emails you receive require some action from you. Google Tasks allows you to quickly turn these messages into to-do items without leaving your inbox.

To turn an email into a task, select the message either by selecting the checkbox next to it or opening it. Next, click the More button above your inbox and select Add to Tasks from the drop-down menu. The message is added to your to-do list using the subject line as the item name. A link to the original message is also included. As when you create a task, you can add a due date and other details by clicking the arrow next to the task.

Add sub-tasks

For more complex to-dos, you’ll want to break the main task into several sub-tasks. To do this, create each sub-task under the main task and hit the Tab button to indent each one.

Make multiple task lists

task notes


You can add a due date and notes to any task by clicking the arrow next to it.

In addition to your daily task list, you may want to create separate lists dedicated to specific projects. To do this, click the Switch List icon (it looks like three bullets, each followed by a line) at the bottom of your main task list and select New list from the pop-up menu. Enter the name of your new list, then click OK and add your tasks. When you want to switch between lists, just click the Switch List icon and choose the one you want.

Print or email lists and other actions

To print or email a task list click the Actions button and select the appropriate option. From here you can also rearrange your tasks either by sorting them by due date or manually moving them up and down using the displayed key combos.

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New national statistics report shows over 5m fraud and computer misuse offences in 2016

UK statistics cyber crime

New figures from the Office of National Statistic’s ‘Crime in England and Wales: year ending Sept 2016’ report, showed an estimated 6.2 million incidents of crime in 2016.

In addition to covering a wide variety of crimes, such as burglary and theft of vehicles, new for the 2016 results is the inclusion of statistics on fraud and computer misuse.

There were 3.6 million fraud and 2.0 million computer misuse offences for the first full year in which such questions have been included in the CSEW.

“The inclusion of these new offences yields a new headline estimate of 11.8 million incidents of crime covered by the survey, but it will be another year before a comparable time series is available,” the report stated.

“The new fraud and computer misuse estimation of 5.6 million offences highlights the challenge forces face to be better equipped to fight cyber enabled crime and the need for all of us to better protect ourselves,” said Andy Lea, Head of Policing at KPMG. “These figures also show the difficult decisions forces will need to make when prioritising their use of resources.”

Fraud and computer misuse details

The survey results show that adults aged 16 and over experienced an estimated 3.6 million incidents of fraud, with just over half of these (53%; 1.9 million incidents) being cyber-related.

The CSEW classifies a crime as being ‘cyber-related’ when the internet or any type of online activity was related to any aspect of the offence.

Key findings include:

  • The most common types of fraud experienced were “Bank and credit account” fraud (2.5 million incidents; 68% of the total).
  • “Non-investment” fraud – such as fraud related to online shopping or fraudulent computer service calls (0.9 million incidents; 26% of the total) was the second highest.
  • There were an estimated 2.0 million computer misuse incidents reported.
  • Around two-thirds (66%; 1.3 million incidents) of the computer misuse incidents were computer virus-related and around one-third (34%; 0.7 million incidents) were related to unauthorised access to personal information (including hacking).
cybercrime statistics
CSEW fraud and computer misuse – numbers of incidents for year ending September 2016 (Experimental Statistics).

Financial losses to victims

The report shows that, although a high number of cyber crimes were reported, in just under two-thirds of incidents resulting in financial loss, the victim lost less than £250 (61%).

Two-thirds of fraud incidents involved initial loss of money or goods to the victim (66%), independent of any reimbursement received. This equates to an estimated 2.4 million offences, compared with 1.2 million incidents of fraud involving no loss.

Incidents of bank and credit account fraud were more likely to result in initial loss to the victim (73%, equivalent to 1.8 million) than other types of fraud.

In the majority of these incidents, the victim received a full reimbursement, typically from their financial services provider (83%).

Traditional crime blurs into virtual crime

“We see a blurring between traditional, real world crime and virtual crime; criminals are happy to blend their techniques across the two and so ‘cyber’ can no longer be seen as a separate compartment of crime,” said David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

“It is important to note that an accurate year-on-year comparison from the ONS, to demonstrate the growth of fraudulent cybercrime, will not be possible until January 2018. However, we agree that bank and credit account fraud is one of the most problematic areas with the continuing rise of e-commerce,” Emm continued.


[Source:- softwaretestingnews]


Software innovation in healthcare round up

software healthcare

The healthcare sector is benefitting immensely from going digital. Recent eHealth announcements show how cloud-based solutions and collaborative platforms are pushing future medical discoveries, cross-border healthcare, and patient care into the
21st century.

Cloud-based open source platform inspires genetics research collaboration

Writing in Wired, Commis­sioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, Robert M. Califf, MD, discusses a new open source R&D portal called precisionFDA, where “nearly
2100 individual members from 568 organi­sations are sharing and comparing data, software tools, and testing methodologies on the site.”

Designed to spur collaboration among next-generation sequencing (NGS), an advanced DNA testing process, researchers, the cloud-based portal will accelerate NGS technology development, increase collaboration, and ensure the medical community can develop data collectively rather than indi­vidually, reducing the need for duplicative clinical studies.

Another benefit “besides helping to accelerate the development of NGS technology, [is] it puts the agency at the centre of ongoing discussions, allowing us to stay up to date on issues and breakthroughs in the field,” Califf wrote.

NGS tech­nology will be able to chart almost all of a person’s genome in a single run, much quicker and more economical than current methods. Genetic markers for diseases can help inform prevention efforts and improve diagnoses.

Common IT platform connects rare diseases specialists across the EU

In similar news of online collaboration, Dublin-based software company OpenApp has announced its software will aid 24 European Reference Networks to connect over
370 hospitals and nearly 1000 specialist rare disease centres across 25 EU Member States.

The Irish eHealth firm will develop and manage a common IT platform to support the ERNs.

The platform will allow teams of multi-disciplinary medical specialists to meet as a virtual clinical board. Some 30 million patients across the EU suffer from rare diseases, and will now be able to benefit from specialist diagnostics and suggest treatments wherever they are in Europe.

“Seeing this embedded in a pan-European effort to address rare diseases is exciting and will revolutionise equity of access to high-quality care.” commented Professor Alan Irvine, Crumlin Children’s Hospital Ireland.

Investments in diabetes management software

Atlanta’s Grady Health System, operator of Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital and numerous health centres, has begun implementing Glytec’s eGlycemic Management System® (eGMS), a personalised diabetes therapy management solution.

The diabetes management software system is made up of a set of modules that helps healthcare professionals better regulate insulin dosing for the care of patients with acute diabetes, hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.

eGMS is integrated with Grady’s Epic electronic medical record (EMR), allowing users direct access from a patient’s chart without the need for a separate login.

Also included in the software systems is a surveillance solution, which the hospital relies on for rapid identification of patients in need of insulin therapy. GlucoSurveillance® interfaces with Grady’s laboratory information system to perform continuous real-time surveillance of blood glucose values, flagging patients who meet
pre-defined criteria for persistent hyperglycemia.

“Our rate of hypoglycemia among critically ill patients was not at a level we were comfortable with,” said Dr. Robert Jansen, Grady’s Chief Medical Officer and Chief of Staff. “As we worked to improve our care model, the clinical research conducted by
Dr. Umpierrez using the Glytec system showed that the system has real merit. We were unanimous in our decision to use eGMS.”



[Source:- softwaretestingnews]