A committee on taxation of e-commerce has recommended an equalization levy on specified digital services, including online marketing & advertisement, cloud computing, website design hosting & maintenance, digital space, digital platforms for sale of goods and services and online use or download of software and applications. The equalization levy on digital transactions would not be a tax on income and, hence, would not be covered by tax treaties. The committee also recommended that the levy be kept outside the IT Act, 1961, as it is not proposed as tax on income.

Software giant Microsoft will put a billion dollars’ worth of cloud computing power in the hands of non-profit groups and university researchers free of charge. Cloud computing lets people use the Internet to tap into processing or data storage capacity at huge data centers. Brad Smith, company’s chief legal counsel said, the massive computing power available in the cloud can help researchers mine insights and secrets from data.

IT giant Cisco intends to invest $240 Mn in the startup space in India. The company is planning to work with startups, accelerators, developers, researchers, ecosystem partners and VCs. Moreover, the company is interested in startups working on products that have global appeal in sectors like cloud computing, mobile technologies and IOT sectors. Recently, many IT giants including Infosys & Wipro have shown interests in the startups arena.

Google has named Diane Greene as chief of cloud computing business. Diane Greene is a tech industry veteran and known for co-founding VMware. The internet giant is buying Greene’s start-up Bebop Technologies, which helps make it easier to build and maintain enterprise applications. Google is consolidating its cloud businesses into a single group that Greene will lead.