Software bugs cost $59.5B annually: Software bugs cost the U.S. economy about $59.5 billion a year, with more than half of that borne by software users..... and the remainder paid by vendors and developers, according to research funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The study also found that about $22 billion of the costs could be eliminated with improved testing infrastructures that provide earlier identification. "Currently, over half of all errors are not found until ‘downstream’ in the development process or during post-sale software use," the NIST said.

Software’s growing complexity is the main culprit, according to NIST, which notes that products "are no longer measured in thousands of lines of code, but in millions." The study, conducted for NIST by Research Triangle Institute, in Research Triangle Park, N.C., covered software activities in several major industries, with a focus on automotive and aerospace equipment manufacturers, and financial services providers.

The study predicts that the worldwide market for software testing tools will grow to $2.6 billion in 2004, from $931 million in 1999. The report, "The Economic Impacts of Inadequate Infrastructure for Software Testing," can be obtained by logging onto NIST’s Web site at www.nist.gov/director/prog-ofc/report02-3.pdf.

MYOB claims top spot in Mac sales: MYOB U.S. claims to have taken the top spot in the Macintosh operating system-based accounting software market.

The Rockaway, N.J.-based vendor said that it has about 54.4 percent market share in the Mac accounting category, placing it ahead of its competitors, including Intuit. The company calculated its figures by combining recent results from the NPD Group, a Port Washington, N.Y.-based market researcher, and Apple Retail, Apple Computer’s retail store chain.

MYOB attributes its growth to "favorable channel sales" of its new entry-level business accounting product, MYOB FirstEdge, and to having been the first to market with a Mac-based business management/accounting product, MYOB AccountEdge.

Tablet PC products to debut in November: Tablet PCs, which look similar to notebook computers but can be used without keyboards, will get a major lift in November when three hardware vendors are set to launch their first models, according to Microsoft Corp., a leading evangelist of Tablet PCs.

Toshiba, Acer and Fujitsu are all set to launch their first Tablet PC models, each running on Microsoft’s Windows XP Professional Tablet operating system, Jeff Raikes, Microsoft’s group v.p. of productivity and business, announced at the TechXNY show, in New York, in late June. Microsoft’s Professional Tablet operating system is scheduled to go into customer trials this month.

"The Tablet PC represents a major advancement in how PCs can increase productivity in the workplace," Raikes said. "Tablet PCs will enable information workers to use their computers in new ways, in new places and more frequently than they ever have."

Former CPA2Biz exec joins Knowledge Concepts: Mike Harnish, the former COO of CPA2Biz, the Internet portal marketer of the American Institute of CPAs’ products and services, has joined the board of directors of Knowledge Concepts, a vendor of practice management software for accountants and other professional service providers.

Harnish will assist in setting the strategic direction for Knowledge Concepts, which was established last year by accounting industry practice management consultant Tom C. Davis. The Valdosta, Ga.-based company’s main product is called FirmWorks.

"Mike’s extensive knowledge and experience will prove highly beneficial to Knowledge Concepts’ direction as a company and the development of FirmWorks," said Davis. Harnish, a past member of the AICPA’s Computerization Implementation Committee and the American Bar Association’s Futurist Committee, left CPA2Biz as part of larger cutback in staff by that concern earlier this year.

Hosts become ghosts: In another setback for the struggling Web-hosting industry, computer chip maker Intel Corp. announced plans to wind down its Web-hosting business because of bleak business prospects. Its announcement came shortly after Loudcloud, of Sunnyvale, Calif., said that it was selling its Web-hosting business to Electronic Data Systems, of Plano, Texas.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel said that it will continue supporting existing users of its Intel Online Services business over the next 12 months, but no new customer engagements will be pursued.

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