IDG Contributor Network: How Docker’s new CEO plans to manage the company’s growth

Docker has appointed Concur founder Steve Singh as the company’s new CEO. Singh succeeds Ben Golub, who has taken a position on the company’s board of directors, where Singh serves as chairman. I talked to Singh to learn more about the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Managing growth

Singh sees the container technology provider facing the same challenges that any company at this stage would face — being able to manage the growth of the business.  He has set three priorities for Docker: innovation, customers and talent.

Innovation: “If you look at history, great enduring companies especially in the technology industry are always innovating ahead of the market. They are always innovating ahead of their customers. Innovation is an area that I want to make sure we have really substantive investment at Docker, both in the open-source community and in the products and services that we build internally then deliver to our enterprise customers.”

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How Microsoft plans to reinvent business productivity

Microsoft’s Office applications haven’t changed much over the past 25 years. Indeed, a time-traveller from 1992 who knew how to use Word 5.5 for DOS or Mac System 7 would have to get used only to the tools moving from vertical menus to the horizontal ribbon.  

Yes, Microsoft successfully brought Office back to the Mac after years of neglect. It also used the acquisition of Accompli and Sunrise to quickly get high-quality email and calendar apps onto iOS and Android — those teams are revitalizing the Outlook applications on PC and Mac, and the new To Do service is trying to do the same thing, based on the popular Wunderlist app. Yes, there are some clever new tools in Word and PowerPoint that use machine learning to improve spell checking and automate slide design, and the monthly updates keep adding more features. And, yes, the hidden gem that is OneNote is finally getting significant investment to make the note-taking tool more useful on more platforms.

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Juniper takes a swipe at Extreme’s network buying spree, plans

It’s not at all uncommon for competitors to snipe at one another but it still makes for good reading and it provides an interesting look into a company’s strategy – and perhaps a signal to a competitor they are in for a fight.

Today’s round comes from Juniper which has a piece of marketing out there that says: “In March 2017, Extreme Networks announced it will acquire Brocade’s data center networking business. This acquisition has hindered Brocade/Extreme’s ability to meet your long-term goals. They can no longer deliver networking solutions that will help you embark on your digital transformation journey. Juniper Networks can.”

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Here’s What the Last Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Trailer Revealed About the Villains and Their Plans

Last night was the premiere of the last trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy. A lot of stuff wasn’t new, but what was new was that our new villain explained herself. And Nebula got enough screentime to help us chart her path.

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NASA Plans to Drill Into Europa’s Crust In Search of Life

Since early 2016, a NASA-employed Science Definition Team (SDT) of 21 researchers has been crafting a plan to send a robotic probe to Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter, located over 390,000 miles from Earth. On February 7th, that team delivered their first report to NASA, detailing their recommendations for that future…

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Microsoft plans to show critics how Windows is an open platform at Build

Microsoft is trying to unify its business, and this has some big names in tech feeling anxious.

Microsoft is fending off criticisms of its plan to unify its products and to raise the profile of its Windows Store, and the company is now planning to take that debate into its annual gathering of developers later this month.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer responded to the ongoing criticism of the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) today by reiterating that it is not a closed system. The Microsoft executive also promised to address concerns at the company’s Build conference for developers, which kicks off March 30 in San Francisco. Spencer is responding in part to an opinion piece GamesBeat published yesterday from Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney in which he meticulously argued that Microsoft is attempting to change the definition of an open software platform. The global gaming industry is worth $ 99.3 billion and general PC software is worth even more, but Epic doesn’t think developers in that market should have to share their revenues with Microsoft.

Sweeney has repeatedly said that the industry must stop UWP, and it’s obvious that his company — which makes the game-development tool Unreal Engine — has a lot at stake here. Epic has made efforts to get more people to use its standalone game launcher, which enables players to launch upcoming releases like the strategy shooter Paragon as well as the Unreal software. Sweeney wants to avoid a future where it has to go through Windows to get most people to install that, in which case Epic would have to give Microsoft 30 percent of any revenue it makes through a UWP channel.

Sweeney is making a lot of noise about this subject, and it’s clear that Microsoft is hearing him.

@PNF4LYFE It’s not closed and yes, //build will be a good time for us to show we are hearing the feedback.

— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) March 11, 2016

But when the Windows company does go on stage to talk UWP at Build later this month, it will probably have to address Sweeney’s very specific points. Key among those is that while Windows 10 today enables every user to install apps outside of an official Windows channel, developers still need to register with Microsoft and get their software approved with a digital signature.

“Is this open? You be the judge,” writes Sweeney. “It’s certainly a departure from the win32 precedent, in which any developer can compile a program, put it on a web site, and any user can install or run it by downloading and clicking on it.”

If you tried that today, your software would likely set off a number of ominous warnings on Windows 10, which would scare off a significant portion of customers.

And that’s the key to this debate: Microsoft and Epic are trying to win the war to define “open,” and Microsoft will have to make a compelling case at Build to prevent Sweeney’s side from gaining more momentum.

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HP’s struggles reflected in CIOs IT purchasing plans

HP’s plan to lay off 33,000 workers over the next three years — the latest step in its massive restructuring — underscores the challenges the tech giant faces as it seeks to adapt to changing demands in corporate computing.

CIOs, many of whom are under pressure to inject digital capabilities into their businesses and support increasingly mobile workforces, are shifting spending away from enterprise hardware and services to cloud, mobile and analytics software. Incumbent vendors are scrambling to keep up, each in different ways. However, HP’s answer to the challenges is the most dramatic and headline-grabbing.

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Line delays IPO plans until ‘earnings and market conditions improve’

Reuters / Toru Hanai

Seoul (By Joyce Lee, Reuters) — South Korea’s largest web portal operator Naver Corp won’t decide on when to IPO its messenger app service unit Line Corp until its earnings and market conditions improve, Naver’s CFO said on Friday.

Hwang’s comments were in answer to questions prompted by a Wall Street Journal report on Thursday that said that Japan-based Line had scrapped its plans for an initial public offering (IPO).

Documents for Line’s IPO continue to be under review by authorities in both the United States and Japan, CFO Hwang In-joon told Reuters, but said markets were currently too volatile to give a timetable for the listing.

From VentureBeat

“When choosing when to go to market, we need to consider whether we’ll take our second quarter performance results with us, or third quarter or fourth quarter results. Our results in the second quarter were not that great,” Hwang said.

Naver Corp reported weaker-than-expected second-quarter profit in July, weighed in part by lower revenues at Line Corp due to falling advertising sales.

Line, which operates the No.1 chat app in Japan, Taiwan and Thailand by number of users, reported second-quarter revenue of 27.8 billion yen, down from 28.1 billion yen the previous quarter, after at least three straight quarters of revenue growth.

Naver decided not to list the unit last year, on the belief that Line could command a better valuation by further building its revenue and profit.

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Miral Fahmy and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

VB’s research team is studying web-personalization… Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.


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