Microsoft buys GitHub code-sharing site

Microsoft buys GitHub code-sharing site

Microsoft has announced that it is to acquire the code sharing site Github.

San Francisco based Github is an online platform that allows coders to collaborate with each other on their work.

Microsoft will be paying £5.6bn for the company – which will continue to operate independently. The deal is due to be completed by the end of the year.

In a statement, the chief executive of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, said ‘We recognise the community responsibility we take on with this agreement and will do our best work to empower every developer to build, innovate and solve the world’s most pressing challenge’.

Github is currently used by more than 28 million developers, who in turn represent more than 1.2 million organisations across a range of industries.

The business will be led by Nat Friedman, the founder of Xamarin – a mobile software development service acquired by Microsoft in 2016. Github’s current chief executive, Chris Wanstrath, will move elsewhere in its corporation to work on strategic software initiatives. (5th June 2018)

Gmail set to rewrite webmail service

Gmail set to rewrite webmail service

The redesign is set to help Google compete better with Microsoft’s Outlook on the business side and modernise consumer email by bringing features from its inbox email client into the main Gmail experience. This is the biggest overhaul in five years, bringing a new look, advanced AI-powered features and improved privacy.

“This is an entire rewrite of our flagship, most-used product,” said Jacob Bank, product manager lead for Gmail, which 1.4 billion people use each month.

For consumers, headline features include the ability to snooze emails, as you would with an alarm clock, until a specified time or date, and what Google calls “nudge”, which displays messages with quick reminders that you haven’t responded to certain messages so that “nothing slips through the cracks”.
The smart reply feature, found within Google’s Gmail app on smartphones that suggests quick reply phrases based on the content of the email, will also be rolled out to the web.

Cosmetic changes also bring Gmail in line with Office, placing Google’s calendar, tasks and note-taking services within the same page as emails and alongside existing instant messaging options.

Google has also improved Gmail’s phishing protection with new and more dominant warnings about suspicious emails, as well as a new confidential mode that allows users to send emails with expiration dates, prevent the forwarding, copying, downloading or printing of emails and revoke previously sent emails. Emailers can also dictate that recipients have to input a one-time password to read certain messages, in an attempt to ensure that only the intended recipient receives the information. Google’s approach for its email service has changed from consumer-centric to business-centric as it pushes its commercial G Suite products to business.

One of the things holding G Suite back for businesses has been limited offline capabilities. Gmail now offers up to 90 days of emails offline, allowing users to search, write and manage messages without internet access in the browser.
The changes to Gmail will roll out over the next few weeks with consumers able to opt into the new look by selecting the “Try the new Gmail” option under settings once it is available. Changes to the G Suite system will require system administrators to turn on options before they are available to workers using the Google tools.

The Guardian/technews (26th April 2018)

UK tech giant Micro Focus plunges in value as shares crash

UK tech giant Micro Focus plunges in value as shares crash

Shares in the UK’s biggest technology firm, Micro Focus International, have plunged after it warned of a sharper than expected fall in revenues. Micro Focus specialises in extending the life of older IT systems for Customers such as BMW and American Express.

Shares in the company were down 42% in afternoon trading. Problems are thought to stem from its purchase of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software business for £6.8bn, with problems of integrating the business.

Chief executive of Micro Focus, Kevin Loosemore, is stepping down from his role in order to spend time with his family and pursue other projects. He will be replaced by chief operating officer Stephen Murdoch.

The company’s statement added that its cost savings drive was ahead of schedule and its net debt was expected to be in line with expectations. (20th March 18)





Dyson creates 300 new electric car jobs

Dyson creates 300 new electric car jobs

Dyson has announced plans to build an electric car by 2020. Dyson already has a 400 strong team working on the project and has doubled the number of scientists working on its battery programmes over the last year. The electric car team are looking for a further 300 engineers. The team, originally based in Malmesbury in the Cotswolds, will be shortly moving to a new research and development base in Hullavington in Wiltshire. The firm is yet to decide where its electric cars – once designed – will be manufactured. (1st March 18)



Vodafone and CityFibre form long term Partnership

Vodafone and CityFibre form long term Partnership

Vodafone and CityFibre have announced a long-term strategic partnership that will bring ultrafast Gigabit-capable full fibre broadband to up to five million UK homes and business by 2025.

CityFibre are the UK’s largest alternative provider of wholesale fibre network infrastructure. Under the agreement, Vodafone will have a period of exclusive rights, mainly during the build phase of each city network, to market ultrafast consumer broadband services on the FTTP network to be built, operated and owned by CityFibre.

Construction of the first phase of deployment to one million premises is due to start in the first half of 2018 and will be largely complete in 2021.

FTTP networks use fibre-optic cables for every stage of the connection from the customer’s home or workplace to the Internet, providing extremely fast and reliable broadband and services capable of Gigabit speeds.

The partnership will help to bridge Britain’s fibre gap, bringing world-class Gigabit-capable FTTP connections to households, businesses and public sector sites such as schools, hospitals and GP surgeries, and delivering 50% of the UK Government’s target of ‘full fibre’ to 10 million homes and businesses.

C&W in Business (Issue 63 Jan/Feb 2018)