After numerous hacking campaigns and several high-profile arrests, companies are increasingly going on the defensive, and some have even pushed to be allowed to bring the fight to their attackers. On Wall Street, industry group SIFMA is trying to help banks figure out what they would do in case of a large-scale cyber attack — with a simulation called “Quantum Dawn 2.” As Reuters reports, the Quantum Dawn 2 test will set participants up in a kind of trading sandbox, where they’ll be assailed with transaction slowdowns or other signs that could indicate an attack.
Tech giants Hewlett-Packard and Google just announced a plan in which they will join forces under the banner of Google Apps.HP has become a Google Apps reseller and will package management tools with its PCs, printers and other IT gear. One extra thing that HP brings to the table is some management software that will simplify setup.
Segment.io, a Y Combinator-backed startup making it easier for developers to integrate APIs from multiple analytics providers into their applications, is today expanding its service to include support for mobile. The company is introducing mobile software development kits for both iOS and Android, which will allow developers to toggle on or off 25 different analytics services without resubmitting their apps to the various app stores.
Microsoft has acquired InCycle’s release management solution InRelease, a tool for automatically deploying application components to target services in different environments. InCycle is a Canadian company that specializes in application lifecycle management (ALM) and release management solutions on Microsoft’s .NET platform.
Microsoft is preparing an update to Windows 8 for release later this year. It says the changes are designed to address complaints and confusion with the new operating system. Windows 8 is the most radical overhaul of Microsoft’s operating system since Windows 95 came out nearly two decades ago. It was revamped to embrace the types of touch-screen controls popular on smartphones and tablet computers, devices that are siphoning sales from the desktop and laptop PCs that have been Microsoft’s traditional stronghold. Windows 8 was released with much fanfare in October, but got a lukewarm reception from consumers. Part of the problem is that Windows 8 tries to be all things to all people. It’s designed to respond to touch-screen controls, but it also works with traditional mouse and keyboard commands. It offers a new layout that resembles tablet computers, but it also has a desktop mode that looks like previous versions of Windows. What results is confusion.
Companies moving into enterprise mobility for the first time often make the mistake of thinking of the mobile platform as “just like the desktop, only smaller.” There are substantial differences between the mobile and the desktop environment. The biggest difference is in communications. The always-on, high-bandwidth communication we have grown accustomed to on our desktops has ushered in an era of thin clients with lots of functionality. Mobile platforms must work in a world of spotty communications — not always available and often very low-bandwidth.
Microsoft is bringing back the Windows “start” button, offering a stripped-down version among a slew of improvements aimed at winning over tablet users and placating PC customers alienated by Windows 8. The world’s largest software company is looking to re-energize sales of its latest Windows version, which has not made the splash with computer users it was hoping for. Executives say the plan is now to update Windows periodically, rather than waiting three years or so between big releases. Although Microsoft has sold more than 100 million Windows 8 licenses since October, broadly in line with Windows 7 three years ago, the company must tackle a dwindling PC user base and its inability to make a mark in the exploding tablet market.