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Bits Daily Report

Monday, April 11, 2016
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Daily Report
Intuit, a True Survivor, Relocates to the Cloud | Intuit is still one of the tech industry’s best-known names. Famous for its personal finance and tax software, the Silicon Valley company rose to prominence more than three decades ago as one of the first and most popular makers of PC software.
But among people who have spent years in the tech industry, Intuit is just as memorable for being the company that got away from Microsoft in the mid-1990s — a rare moment when Bill Gates’s giant, at the peak of its influence, did not get its way.
In 1994, Microsoft tried to acquire the financial software company for $1.5 billion in stock.
“In acquiring Intuit, Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., is conceding the weakness of its own personal finance software, Money, which has captured only a tiny share of the market since its introduction a couple of years ago,” a 1994 New York Times article said about the deal.
Even then, Microsoft was squarely in the cross hairs of antitrust investigators, so to satisfy antitrust concerns, it planned to sell Money to a rival called Novell, which at the time sold PC software that competed with Microsoft’s Office software package.
It was not enough. Banks (not to mention other software companies and a few government regulators) were horrified that Microsoft could end up having so much control over personal finance software. The Justice Department sued to block the deal, and it was eventually called off.
Microsoft was already the biggest software company in the world in 1994, and it recovered just fine from the failed acquisition, though it never did dominate the market for personal finance software (unlike the market for just about every other kind of PC software). Microsoft stopped selling Money in 2009.
More than two decades later, Intuit is reinventing itself for another era of technology: cloud computing. Last month, Intuit sold off its traditional software business. But the company lives on as an online service, and this week, the final few days before taxes are due, is likely to be one of its busiest of the year.

Intuit Sheds Its PC Roots and Rises as a Cloud Software Company | Intuit’s willingness to change course was an asset when Xero established itself as a clear alternative to QuickBooks, especially in foreign markets.

More From The Times
Marissa Mayer, chief executive if Yahoo.

Daily Mail Considering Bid for Yahoo Assets | The British tabloid newspaper and website confirmed that it had “very early stage” discussions with other buyers on a potential bid.

Andrew R. Jassy, the senior vice president of Amazon Web Services. The per-millionth pricing began last November, in the A.W.S. product Lambda.

Billing by Millionths of Pennies, Cloud Computing’s Giants Take In Billions | This economics of tiny things demonstrates the global power of the few companies, including Amazon, Microsoft and Google, that can make fortunes from the small.

A screen shot from

Donald Trump Finds Support in Reddit’s Unruly Corners| Sites like Reddit and 4chan have become a sort of proving ground, where an extreme, Internet-amped version of Donald Trump’s message is shared and refined.

Smartphones at the ready, from left, Andrew Warren, Barron Hilton and Ezra J. William with friends at Vandal in Manhattan.

Move Over, Rat Pack and Brat Pack: Here Comes the Snap Pack | New York is home to a young, wealthy group for whom taking photos for Instagram and Snapchat is not a way to memorialize a night out. It’s the main event.

Job Hunting in the Digital Age | Robots may be scanning your résumé for keywords, but that doesn’t mean you have to think like one.

Alex Kassirer is a security analyst at Flashpoint in New York.

Scouring the Dark Web to Keep Tabs on Terrorists | Alex Kassirer, an analyst at Flashpoint in New York, helps government agencies and corporations by monitoring jihadists and criminals in hidden corners of the web.

Insight and Analysis
Bradley Katsuyama, chief executive of the Investors Exchange, an upstart market trading technology.

Big Board Aims to Keep an Upstart at Bay, but Copy Its Technology | While the Investors Exchange awaits official status from the S.E.C., the New York Stock Exchange wants to adopt its would-be rival’s trading innovation.

Personal Technology
Marking Up Web Pages in Windows 10 | Microsoft’s Edge browser comes with a tool that lets you scribble, highlight and make other notations on your personal copy of an open web page.
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