HPE Discloses Details of Plan to Spin-off Micro Focus Software Unit

Today’s topics include Hewlett Packard Enterprise spinning off of its software business; Google tweaking its Play store search to reward Android app quality; Microsoft Eye Control making accessibility widely available to the disabled; and Oracle joining SafeLogic to develop a FIPS module for OpenSSL security.

Last September, Hewlett Packard Enterprise merged its software business with Micro Focus in an $8.8 billion deal. On Aug. 4, HPE announced that its 50.1 percent portion of the Micro Focus software business will be spun off into yet a new entity called Seattle SpinCo at the close of business on Aug. 21.

The resulting company will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Micro Focus, but HPE will still have a relationship with the company and likely will license some of its intellectual property.

While developing software won’t be the frontline business anymore, HPE employees will still have plenty of products to make. The company makes servers, storage, networking equipment and a list of other back-end IT system products. Google has made changes to the search algorithm in its Play store so users can find higher quality Android apps more easily while poor quality ones are buried.

According to Google, an internal analysis of application reviews on Play store showed that applications with the poorest reviews shared several common attributes.

Many of the apps that people were most frustrated with on Play store had excessive battery usage, slow render times and crashed frequently. In fact, half of all the applications that received a 1-star rating on Google Play were described as having application stability issues, according to the company.

The update to Google Play's search and discovery algorithms are designed to weed out such low-quality applications while highlighting those that perform efficiently and conserve battery power.

Microsoft is making computer eye control a reality for everyone. In an Aug. 3 Windows Insider blog entry, Windows software engineer Dona Sarkar detailed the improvements to Windows 10 that are coming out now for users of the new Creators Update for Windows 10.

A lot of what’s in Sarkar’s announcement consists of bug fixes and security updates, but right at the top of the list is Eye Control, which will provide such functionality as the ability to spell out words using predictive text, text to speech and control of Windows.

This move by Microsoft is important for several reasons, the most obvious being that it makes its products available to people with disabilities who otherwise can’t easily use a computer.

Oracle announced on Aug. 3 that it is joining SafeLogic in an effort to develop a much needed FIPS 140-2 module for the open-source OpenSSL cryptographic library.

OpenSSL is widely used to help secure internet communication and infrastructure, though it currently is lacking a critical module for government standards, known as FIPS 140-2.

The Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 140-2 is a U.S. government cyber-security standard used to certify cryptographic modules. FIPS validation is important as it enables technologies to be used within government agencies and industries that require validation.

To help advance the required development work for a FIPS 140-2 module for OpenSSL, Oracle is contributing $50,000 to that effort, providing an additional $50,000 after progress is made.