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Microsoft Software

New Microsoft App To Coordinate Disaster-Relief Efforts 69

Posted by timothy
from the it-just-plays-marco-polo dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft on Wednesday launched a new mobile app powered by Windows Azure called HelpBridge that lets you both ask for help after a natural disaster, as well as offer to give it. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the launch is an excellent initiative to rally everyone around one cause: supporting each other during a time of need. You can download the app right now from the Google Play Store, the Apple App Store, and the Windows Phone Store. Unfortunately, it's only available in the US right now, but hopefully Microsoft will be expanding regional support soon."
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New Microsoft App To Coordinate Disaster-Relief Efforts

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  • What a great thing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by frovingslosh (582462) on Thursday January 17, 2013 @05:38PM (#42621061)
    What a great thing it is that Microsoft is launching a program to let people say "give-me give-me give-me" when they build in a flood plane but don't want to bother to buy flood insurance. After all, they needed to money that they could have spent on flood insurance to pay for their fancy smart phone to run the app. And at least we will not be pestered by the truly needy, since they are the ones who don't have smartphones.
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Thursday January 17, 2013 @05:40PM (#42621083)

    Unfortunately, it's only available in the US right now, but hopefully Microsoft will be expanding regional support soon."

    Making the app available in jurisdictions other than the US is a no brainer to me. If I am a company, all I want is to make as much dough as I can. So why would a company restrict availability of a product to a selected market at the outset; if making it available to a larger customer base is a matter of coding?

    I have done it on behalf of my small startup which unfortunaltely, was aquired and the new owner discountinued the product. But for a number of customers outside the USA, our products were good. And we sold them without any support. Cusomers [still] bought. We made about 19% of our sales this way. Now Microsoft launches an app and makes it only availabe to those in the USA.

    Why do companies do this? Let the customer purchase the product at his/her own risk. They will still buy - I mean some.

  • by GiganticLyingMouth (1691940) on Thursday January 17, 2013 @06:13PM (#42621299)

    ... when they build in a flood plane but don't want to bother to buy flood insurance. After all, they needed to money that they could have spent on flood insurance to pay for their fancy smart phone to run the app...

    That's a very cynical view; insurance policies are much trickier than that. For example, the "anti-concurrent causation clause", which states that "if you have two events happen at the same time, one that is covered and the other that is not covered by the policy, the insurance company doesn't have to pay for either. So if your house has damage from wind, which is covered by your policy, and it also has damage from a flood, which is not covered, the insurance company doesn't have to pay for either the wind or flood damage." Taken from here [npr.org]

    So you can have full flood insurance, but if your property received damage due to something else, you'll still be screwed. If you're in say, a hurricane, odds are you'll be getting more than just flooding. Try having a little compassion for your fellow man, although with sentiment like

    ... at least we will not be pestered by the truly needy

    I suppose that might be asking for too much

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