Nicholas Carr (former exec editor of the Harvard Business Review) has just posted a rumour on his blog that Microsoft may be planning to announce a move to push it’s applications into the cloud. It’s something that’s been expected but there hasn’t been any rumours that it’s impending for ages. Moving to web access for apps is a natural thing for Microsoft to do soon and could be huge!

Nicholas is highly respected (I’ve been a fan of his FT and Guardian articles for ages) and even if the rumour isn’t true it most likely does mean some kind of announcement is coming soon.

More problems at HMRC

February 6, 2008

I posted the other day about HMRC’s issues with security on it’s tax return website. However I never realised they were having such IT problems as this.

Apparently they are losing billions of pounds a year thanks to some less than ideal software that deals with the UK’s tax credits system. You would have thought this would have hit the mainstream news long ago, a loss in the billions is usually big news especially when it’s a government department. Apparently software errors are causing incorrect payments, seems like a core bit of functionality that’s not working to me. Where are the goverments Q/A processes?

After all the data loss and security issues the last twelve months has not been kind to the HMRC. I’m expecting there to be a lot of government related IT stories this year; there are rumours of issues at other government departments with their new systems at the moment, I expect this to become big news later in the year.

Great article here in the NY Times about Googles ambitions to move all computing to the cloud and Microsofts continued reluctance to cannibalise their existing revenue streams by moving away from desktop software.

I side with the people who think the future of computing will be distributed in the cloud. What’s the point of running software on the desktop when access speeds will be so quick we can all work on thin-client type terminals and access our data and applications from anywhere with any device we choose.

Of course, whether Google becomes the winner waits to be seen. Plenty of time for another entrant to make themselves known as well, so it’s still a very unpredictable future ahead.

So what is Android?

November 6, 2007

Well it’s the codename for the Open Handset Alliance software created by Google with input from a raft of other software and handset companies. It should (if all goes to plan) open up the mobile world completely and allow for much better applications and integration to occur on mobiles in the future.

The Open Handset Alliance have released a video (below) to explain Android:

Sounds very promising. I wonder how RIM and Apple are feeling?

The UK’s biggest retailer Tesco is set to launch a number of software titles it has had developed exclusively for its customer base at what appear to be very reasonable prices. It’s a move guaranteed to create waves in the software industry as the titles are promising to be in competition with some of the largest software firms out there and with such a huge customer base they will no doubt steal some market share for these titles pretty quickly.

Tesco are promising six software titles including office software, a security suite, cd/dvd burning tool and photo editing tools. The prices have been announces as ‘less than £20’ to challenge what Tesco calls the current high prices of software today. Title such as these could bring it into direct competition with the likes of Microsoft and Symantec which can only be a good thing for consumers.

The software has been developed by software firm Formjet who If I remember rightly distribute Panda and Ability software so that could account for the security and office systems. I hope the office system will be compatible with Microsoft Office file formats as that will make it a real option for users who don’t want to spend the money Microsoft products command.

Tesco say they are trying to bring choice and value to the software market, which is great. Not everyone is aware of the free and open source software that so many tech savvy people use so this will give them a real chance to save money and move away from the high prices suppliers. It will be interesting to see how this goes down with your average Tesco shopper!