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Gary Edwards

The Document Foundation, LibreOffice and OOXML - The Document Foundation Wiki - 1 views

  • Why does LibreOffice offer to read, edit and save documents in OOXML?

    Just like OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice lets its users handle documents in the format used by Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010. It is important to understand that these formats, also called OOXML are in fact somewhat different from the ISO standard bearing the same name; in fact it is unclear whether anyone is able to implement the ISO standard.

    To avoid confusion, we will refer to the Microsoft formats produced by Microsoft Office as Microsoft Open XML (MOX) hereafter. To enable data interchange, LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org before it, has traditionally engaged with the reality of a world filled with data in many, less than ideal formats. Our users are used to exchanging data bi-directionally between many proprietary formats, and their Free Software equivalents. Indeed there are few choices for a non-dominant player to deliberately shun inter-operating, and remain relevant.

  • Don't you feel as if you are betraying Free and Open Source Software, as well as Open Standards such as ODF?

    No. And if we felt that way, we would take immediate action to remove the full stack. What we are offering our users is convenience; if we didn't offer these features we would not be serving users and we would get daily messages requesting the support of the new Microsoft Office formats. Besides, the same reasoning applies to the old Microsoft Office formats we support; and while it was thought for a while it was possible to prevent people from using these formats or even buying Microsoft Office, it turned out that it was not possible. We do believe, however, that by offering a full-featured and innovative office suite that exists among a rich and diverse ODF ecosystem, ODF shall prevail in the end.

Gary Edwards

LibreOffice 4.3 boosts document compatibility | InfoWorld - 0 views

  •  
    "Version 4.3 of LibreOffice, the free and open source productivity suite developed by the Document Foundation and derived from the OpenOffice.org project, was released today. Aside from the usual array of bug fixes and new features designed to make it more cross-compatible with Microsoft Office, version 4.3 has features that give files from legacy Macintosh productivity software a new lease on life.


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    Most of the improvements around file handling in 4.3 involve better support for various aspects of the Office Open XML (OOXML) format used by Microsoft for its productivity software. LibreOffice users have often complained of opening Word 2010 or Word 2013 documents and finding that the formatting had been mangled or features like annotations hadn't survive being resaved in LibreOffice. Version 4.3 preserves many more of the attributes used in OOXML documents, such as style attributes for text and images.

    Also new to this edition of LibreOffice is import support for document formats created by a slew of legacy Macintosh applications: BeagleWorks, ClarisWorks, Claris Resolve, GreatWorks, MacWorks, SuperPaint, and Wingz. Likewise, Microsoft Works spreadsheets and databases -- not just word processing documents -- can now also be imported into LibreOffice.

    Another change, which might not directly affect many users but hints at how the refactoring of LibreOffice's code is reaching many legacy issues, involves the lengths of paragraphs. Previously, paragraphs in a LibreOffice document couldn't exceed 65,000 characters due to a bug in the underlying OpenOffice.org code that had persisted for over a decade and remained unclosed.

    Other changes include comments that can now be "printed in the document margin, formatted in a better way, and imported and exported," according to the Document Foundation; better behaviors for sp
Gary Edwards

Online brochure maker by pub HTML5 is available online for everyone - WhaTech - 0 views

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    "The press release introduces detailed capabilities of PUB HTML5's online brochure maker. The software is developed for people to prepare brochures online easily.

    PUB HTML5 is a leading publishing destination suitable for business owners, non-profit organizations as well as individuals. Whether you have a small scale business or a huge multinational company, you can certainly depend on PUB HTML5 for digital publishing.

    It is an open access HTML5 Digital Publishing Platform that allows you to convert PDF, MS Office and Open Office documents to HTML5 and jQuery based publications at no cost at all. These features make your flipbook even more attractive for the customers.

    Anna Lee, the chief designer of PUB HTML5 has announced a new online brochure maker (http://pubhtml5.com/digital-brochures-maker). It would make brochure designing simpler for the users. With the help of this software, you will be able to customize your catalogs, brochures and magazines online.

    More than six lakh users rely on PUB HTML5 for online publishing.

    The content published using the software program is compatible with all leading computers, laptops, tablets and mobile interfaces. Operating Systems like Android, iOS and Windows 8 also support this software quite well."
Gary Edwards

Microsoft pushes Trade Secrets Bill - 1 views

  • A spokesman for the Microsoft On The Issues website has expressed the company’s support for new legislation that would reform the legal framework for companies wishing to protect their trade secrets in a cloud-centric world where such information is frequently forced to reside on networks.

    In the post Microsoft’s Assistant General Counsel of IP Policy & Strategy Jule Sigall rallies behind business and academic concerns supporting the proposed Defend Trade Secrets Act 2015 (DTSA), which goes before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee today.

    Sigall, who is also Associate General Counsel for Copyright in Microsoft’s Legal & Corporate Affairs department, makes an ardent case for reform of the current legislation, as furnished by the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA). UTSA’s provisions are argued to be fractured, and rendered ineffective both by the inability of plaintiffs to pursue suits in federal courts (despite trade secret infractions being Federal by nature), and by the fact that not all states have adopted or instituted all the measures provided by the legislation. Additionally the limited provision for redress in international cases of trade secret theft are to be addressed.

  • Sigall presents the case of Microsoft’s Cortana AI as an example of why new legislation is necessary:

    ‘[Behind] Cortana sits a vast amount of technology developed or enhanced in-house by Microsoft – voice recognition; language translation; reactive and predictive algorithms that can synthesize context, location and data, and interface with the vast resources of the Bing search engine index; and a complex array of cloud servers to crunch and serve data in real time. This technology represents tens of thousands of hours of research, trial and error, and continued improvement as Cortana is adapted for new devices and new scenarios’

  • Sigall argues that better protection procedures for trade secrets, the only form of IP which currently lacks comprehensive cover in law, is essential for start-ups whose ideas, business plans and even customer lists may constitute the only marketable value of a company that is just in the stage of consolidating.

    ‘A trade secret is unique among forms of intellectual property in how it is legally protected. While it is a federal crime to steal a trade secret, a business that has its trade secrets stolen must rely on state law to pursue a civil remedy. Owners of copyrights, patents, and trademarks can go to federal court to protect their property and seek damages when their property has been infringed, but trade secret owners do not have access to such a federal remedy.’

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  • Defend Trade Secrets Act 2015 contains [PDF] significant material from its doomed predecessor of 12 months ago, and one of its boldest initiatives is the extension of ex parte seizures, instituted in UTSA in a more limited form (particularly in the 1985 amendment to the Uniform Law Commission’s 1979 initial legislation). An ex parte seizure provides a kind of restraining order or injunction on disputed information, or even the dissemination of knowledge about whether the information is disputed, and places it under federal protection on the plaintiff’s behalf.
  • Microsoft had a hard time adjusting to the open source revolution, particularly in regard to the PC/Mac Office product which at one time represented the most successful and ubiquitous software in the world, and the many legal and semantic wrangles over the closed-source nature of Office formats such as Word led ultimately to a hybridised open source .docx format which is still argued to not be the OpenXML that was promised.
  • According to Sigall the state-by-state system currently in place was ‘simply not built with the digital world in mind’, and calls for ‘A uniform, national standard for protection’ which does not stop at state lines or even national borders.

  • In practical terms this seems likely to extend the circumstances under which information about leaks, hacks or thefts of information can be made the subject of gag orders for legal reasons, since it brings trade secrets into the same legal framework as other forms of intellectual property which enjoy more comprehensive coverage and recourse in law. The bill would also extend the purview of the 1996 Economic Espionage Act to take in a more rigorously conceived concept of ‘trade secrets’.
  • Even with the issues clear, the risk of disproportionate or over-reaching response in the event of the new bill passing successfully through congress in 2016 (it is unlikely to pass this year) is clear enough that the lack of network discussion about it is quite surprising. Essentially DTSA represents the same kind of proposed ‘judicial fast track’ – though in favour of corporations instead of governments – that has outraged so many commenters in the wake of the November 13th Paris attacks.
  • Silence in court

    Amongst its more quotidian clauses, the Defend Trade Secrets Act 2015 effectively offers corporate plaintiffs increased opportunity to federalise disputed private material in cases involving trade secrets, with all the penalties for infraction associated with that change of status – and far greater scope for sub judice orders likely to contain and conceal future breaches of information.

  • Eric Goldman of the Santa Clara University School of Law has just published a paper outlining the risks of extending ex parte seizures in the manner that DTSA 2015 proposes. Goldman writes that ‘the Seizure Provision does not solve many, if any, problems. In light of the remedies already available to trade secret owners in ex parte temporary restraining orders (TROs), the Seizure Provision purports to apply to only a narrow set of additional circumstances. In exchange for that modest benefit, the Seizure Provision creates the risk of anti-competitive seizures and seizures that cause substantial collateral damage to innocent third parties. To discourage such abuses, the Act imposes procedural safeguards and creates a cause of action for wrongful seizures. Unfortunately, those safeguards are miscalibrated to achieve the desired protections against abusive seizures.’
  •  
    Lots of possible Constitutional issues lurking. The Constitution creates only two types of intellectual property, patents and copyrights. "(P)roperty interests . . . are not created by the Constitution. Rather, they are created and their dimensions are defined by existing rules or understandings that stem from an independent source such as state law." Ruckelshaus v. Monsanto Co., 467 US 986 (1984), https://goo.gl/ZljO1H (trade secrets case). The traditional source of rights in trade secrets have been state law. Thus there is a state's rights issue lurking in this legislation, a question whether the federal government is invading the States' police power, an "our federalism" question.
Gary Edwards

ODF - the state of play - The future of ODF under OASIS, now that the... - 1 views

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    "ODF - open document format - is an open, XML-based rich document format that has been adopted as the standard for exchanging information in documents (spreadsheets, charts, presentations and word processing documents), by many governments and other organisations (see, for example, here), including the UK Government. This is despite strong opposition by Microsoft; but I have seen Microsoft's proposed "open XML" standard and, frankly, it is huge and horrid (in the word of standards, these go together). If I remember correctly, the early draft I saw even incorporated recognition of early Excel leap-year bugs into the standard.

    ODF is now a pukka ISO standard, maintained by OASIS, under the proud banner: "The future is interoperability".

    My personal thoughts, below, are prompted by an ODF session at ApacheCon Core titled "Beyond OpenOffice: The State of the ODF Ecosystem" held by Louis Suárez-Potts (community strategist for Age of Peers, his own consultancy, and the Community Manager for OpenOffice.org, from 2000 to 2011), and attended by very few delegates - perhaps a sign of current level of interest in ODF within the Apache community. Nevertheless, and I am talking about the ODF standard here, not Apache Open Office (which is currently my office software of choice) or its Libre Office fork (which seems to be where the excitement, such as it is, is, for now), the standards battle, or one battle, has been won; we have a useful Open Document Format, standardised by a recognised and mature standards organisation, and even Microsoft Office supports it. That's good.

    So what could be the problem? Well, I don't care whether I use ODF from Open Office, Libre Office or even Office 365, I just want to be sure that everyone else can read my ODF documents (with a .odt, .ods or .odp extension, for text, presentation or spreadsheet, respectively), with whatever software they like; and that they'll either see exactly the functionality and formatting I see; or a well defined (an
Gary Edwards

Consumer Office 365 tops a half-billion dollars in annual revenue run-rate - Computerworld - 0 views

  • In the June quarter, Microsoft added approximately 1.2 million subscribers to its consumer Office 365 rolls, a quarter-over-quarter growth rate of 27%, but a year-over-year increase of 460%.
  • Microsoft's Office 365 "rent-not-buy" subscription service is at an annual revenue run-rate of more than half a billion dollars, Microsoft signaled last week.
  • According to CFO Amy Hood, Microsoft ended the June quarter with more than 5.6 million Office 365 subscribers to its consumer-grade plans, labeled "Home" and "Personal." The former sells for $100 annually, while the latter -- which was introduced in mid-April -- lists for $70 a year.

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  • Microsoft's quarter-over-quarter gain was 100%,
  • Pacific Crest Securities said it anticipated 1 million new consumer subscribers per quarter. If Pacific Crest's forecast is accurate, the quarter-over-quarter gain for the three months ending Sept. 30 would be about 18%, but would represent year-on-year growth of 230%.
  • Nor would Microsoft assign credit for Office 365's gains -- whether on the consumer or commercial side -- to any specific move it has made, including the release of Office for iPad in March.

    When a Wall Street analyst asked Hood about the source of a large gain in cloud revenue -- which includes Office 365 for businesses -- and if Office for iPad played a part, the CFO declined to name any one factor. "I wouldn't point to one product area," Hood answered.

  •  
    "Microsoft's Office 365 "rent-not-buy" subscription service is at an annual revenue run-rate of more than half a billion dollars, Microsoft signaled last week.

    According to CFO Amy Hood, Microsoft ended the June quarter with more than 5.6 million Office 365 subscribers to its consumer-grade plans, labeled "Home" and "Personal." The former sells for $100 annually, while the latter -- which was introduced in mid-April -- lists for $70 a year.

    "
Gary Edwards

Why Google just rebranded Google Enterprise to Google at Work | CITEworld - 0 views

  • Google at Work security director Eran Figerbaum
  • Amit Singh, the president of Google at Work
  •  
    "The enterprise ain't what it used to be.

    That's the message from Google today as it changes the branding of its business products from Google Enterprise to Google At Work. The new brand will be applied to the business version of Google Apps (including Gmail), the Google Cloud Platform, and the Google Search Appliance, among other products.
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    Amit Singh, the president of Google at Work, explained why Google is changing the name now, more than 10 years after the company began selling products -- initially the Search Appliance and Gmail for Domains -- to businesses.

    "Corporate is normally associated with long sales cycles, centralized purchasing, and software that sits on a shelf. Many of the things associated with the word 'enterprise' are not what we do. The dissonance kept growing bigger."

    In other words, the big shift in business technology over the last ten years -- from centralized IT buying products and forcing them down the throats of users, to users choosing their own tools for work regardless of what IT wants them to use -- has been the big driver of Google's enterprise business. Now the company wants to embrace that trend by abandoning what it sees as a legacy term with negative associations for many users.

    Google at Work security director Eran Figerbaum told the story of how he joined Google in 2007, and it reflects this shift perfectly."
Gary Edwards

Two weeks later: My switch from Outlook to Gmail | ZDNet - 0 views

  •  
    Two weeks later: My switch from Outlook to Gmail

    Summary: ZDNet's David Gewirtz has been using Gmail for two weeks after switching all his email from Outlook. After two weeks with Gmail as his primary mail environment, what's his verdict? It might surprise you.
    David Gewirtz

    By David Gewirtz for DIY-IT | August 26, 2014 -- 12:00 GMT (05:00 PDT)
    28Comments
    4 Votes
    inShare
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    emptyinboxCan there be anything more relaxing than an empty inbox? Besides my car, wife, and puppy, of course.

    I have been using Gmail instead of Outlook for the past two weeks. And you know what? I couldn't be happier with it.

    Yeah, I didn't expect that, either.
    More on Gmail & Productivity

    Why I bit the bullet and finally switched from Outlook to Gmail
    Your questions answered: Why I switched from Outlook to Gmail

    I figured I'd be somewhat satisfied at best, but more probably I'd evidence the general level of disgruntlement most technology inspires in me. But no. I'm actually quite happy with Gmail.

    Fundamentally, the reason is simple: my email has been under control for two whole weeks. I can't remember when that was last the case, but it sure hasn't been for a few years, at least.
    Achieving Inbox Zero

    Within two days of moving to Gmail, I actually achieved Inbox Zero, that mythical state that described an inbox completely devoid of messages. Even more astonishing, I've managed to keep my inbox at Inbox Zero each day for the last few weeks.

    I attribute this to a number of factors, each of which I will enumerate here."
Gary Edwards

Google Brings Native MS Office Editing Features To Its iOS Productivity Apps - 0 views

  • Google’s new Material Design user interface language and all the Microsoft Office conversion goodness the company acquired when it bought Quickoffice in 2012.
  • Google is closing the loop on bringing support for natively editing Microsoft Office files to all of productivity apps today.
  •  
    "Google is closing the loop on bringing support for natively editing Microsoft Office files to all of productivity apps today. The company's iOS apps for Docs and Sheets are getting a couple of minor new features and design updates today, but most importantly, these apps will now also be able to natively open, edit and save files from Microsoft's Office suite.

    After launching the original standalone apps for Google Docs and Sheets on iOS a few months ago, it was only a matter of time before Google would also free its PowerPoint competitor Slides from the Google Drive app. Today is that day. Google Slides is now available as a standalone app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

    2014-08-25_1104Just like the Docs and Sheets apps and their counterparts on Android (the standalone Slides app launched there two months ago), the new Slides app will feature some aspects of Google's new Material Design user interface language and all the Microsoft Office conversion goodness the company acquired when it bought Quickoffice in 2012."
    ...........................................................

    Hey, Google is pulling the Cloud version of "bait and switch". The bait is calling a standalone application for iOS "native". The switch is that Microsoft is using the term "native" to describe the editing of MS Office native documents. Google is trying to market a native, written explicitly for iOS application, presenting it as "supporting native document editing and collaboration".

    Wow. They've got nothing!! This is just market spin. And the article's title suggests that they know exactly what they are doing with this egregious misrepresentation.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Microsoft has committed to the "Office 365 - native document" narrative. Its designed to totally obliterate Googe, Dropbox, Box, iCloud and anyone trying to offer Cloud based business solutions. They are going to crush Google, taking both Android and Booble Apps / GoogleDrive out of th
Gary Edwards

9 Secrets to Project Management Success | CIO - 0 views

  •  
    "Project management seems so straightforward. You set a deadline. You set a budget. You select the right people. The project gets done.

    In reality, project management is rarely straightforward. The wrong people are assigned to the project. People don't know what is expected of them or get conflicting information. The scope changes. Deadlines aren't met. Put more succinctly: Stuff happens.
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    So what can businesses, and project managers, do to improve the odds of projects being completed on time and on budget? Dozens of project leaders and project management experts share nine secrets to successful project management. "
Gary Edwards

Dropbox Slashes Its Price as the Cost of a Gigabyte Nears Zero | Business | WIRED - 0 views

  • how many gigabytes you can store, and at what price.
  • The cut brings Dropbox in line, once again, with rival services at its gargantuan competitors: Google and Microsoft. But Dropbox’s decision to bury the lead signals something more important about the business it’s in:
  • in the competitive market for file storing, syncing, and sharing, gigabytes don’t matter quite as much as they did in the past.
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  • The game is all about what you can do with them.
  • ChenLi Wang, Dropbox’s head of product
  • So, if Dropbox isn’t really selling storage, then what is it selling? Services.
  • The competition becomes squarely about what each competitor can do, rather than how much users can upload.
  • That’s been the approach Microsoft has taken, says Michal Gideoni, director of product management for Office.
  • Gideoni describes storage for Microsoft as just one aspect of its “holistic” approach to the cloud, an approach anchored not by file-syncing but by Office 365, the online version of its iconic productivity software.
  • As at Dropbox, Gideoni talks in terms of workflow, of data on the move, not just of a box for holding data in place.
  • Dropbox for Business also offers deep integration with Office files, but so far those features are not available with the consumer version.
  •  
    "When I talk to folks at Dropbox, they're eager to tell me about how different people are using its file-sharing service: the musician, the photographer, the professor, the startup founder. They like to talk about new features, like password-protected links and the remote wipe tool that lets you remove files from a lost computer.

    But what they save for the end of our meeting, almost like an afterthought, are the two numbers that traditionally meant the most for a data storage service: how many gigabytes you can store, and at what price.

    As it turns out, these numbers look at lot better than they used to. On Wednesday, the company slashed the price of a gigabyte by 90 percent on Dropbox Pro, the paid version of its signature consumer product. Up until now, users paid $9.99 per month to store up to 100 gigabytes of data. Now, for that same price, they can store one terabyte.

    The cut brings Dropbox in line, once again, with rival services at its gargantuan competitors: Google and Microsoft. But Dropbox's decision to bury the lead signals something more important about the business it's in: in the competitive market for file storing, syncing, and sharing, gigabytes don't matter quite as much as they did in the past. The game is all about what you can do with them.

    "It's how you get the content in and out and how does it let you do the work you want to accomplish," says ChenLi Wang, Dropbox's head of product. "We want people to rely on Dropbox as the home for all their stuff as opposed to thinking of it as a fixed storage limit."
    What Dropbox Is Selling"
Gary Edwards

Microsoft, Apple, and Google: How three tech giants have evolved in the 21st Century | ... - 0 views

  • In 2002, the Desktop Platforms division accounted for 33 percent of Microsoft's total revenue. That percentage has been steadily dropping, and in fiscal 2013, the corresponding division (which now includes Microsoft's Surface hardware) was responsible for only 25 percent of the company's steadily rising total revenue. Server products, Office and other desktop applications, and cloud services increased steadily during that time.

    Looking at operating income (what's left of revenue after you subtract expenses) tells a more interesting story.

    From 2002 through 2004, Windows was the dominant contributor to Microsoft's profits, accounting for as much as 89 percent of total operating income. But that began changing in 2005 as those investments in enterprise software and cloud services began to pay off.

  •  
    "Over the past week, I've been blowing the virtual dust off more than a decade's worth of annual reports from Microsoft, Apple, and Google.

    My goal was to follow the money and figure out how each company's business has changed over the past decade. Consider this a follow-up to my February post, "Apple, Google, Microsoft: Where does the money come from?"

    My tally starts with financial results for 2002, the year after Microsoft signed a historic consent decree that settled the U.S. v. Microsoft antitrust lawsuit. It was also the first full year after the introduction of the iPod, which was the first step on Apple's transformation from a PC company to one that revolutionized mobile computing and communication. The earliest annual report I could find for Google was from 2003, the year before its big IPO.

    In Microsoft's case, the question I was most interested in was "How dependent is the company on Windows?" The Windows monopoly began crumbling as soon as the settlement was signed (although it's debatable how much influence that lawsuit had on the market).

    Over the past 10 years, Microsoft has shifted its reporting structures a few times, making it hard to draw perfect comparisons over time. But the chart below, which shows revenue from the desktop versions of Windows and related products, is close enough."
Gary Edwards

Microsoft Office 365 vs. Google Apps: The ultimate guide | Applications - InfoWorld - 0 views

  •  
    "Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps have raised the bar for cloud productivity suites. Formerly pale shadows of available desktop programs, the two suites are now more than enough for many offices and businesses. But are they right for you?

    In this exhaustive review, InfoWorld covers multiple aspects of the cloud suites, starting with the many Office 365 SKUs and Google Apps for Business options and proceeding to:

    Setup
    Features
    Ease-of-use
    Administration
    Value

    InfoWorld examines all the details and fine points Microsoft and Google have to offer over the desktop suite -- and potential deal breakers for anyone considering the switch. If you've been thinking about breaking up with Microsoft Office on the desktop, this could be the time, but don't make any decisions before checking out InfoWorld's Microsoft Office 365 vs. Google Apps superguide. Download this PDF -- with InfoWorld's full and complete review, along with more expert advice -- for a handy rundown of both offerings and how they apply to your business.

    Office 365 and Google Apps have changed in the last couple of years. Find out if it's enough for your office to make the switch too.

    Download InfoWorld's Microsoft Office 365 vs. Google Apps superguide here."
Gary Edwards

Google Makes it Easier to Dump Microsoft Office #io14 - 0 views

  •  
    "At I/O, Google always seems to find a way to squeeze the fun from Microsoft's master plan to rule the business world. This year, the 'something' comes in the ability to edit Microsoft Office documents in Google Docs.

    At face value, it doesn't seem too serious. But when you stand back and look at it, it takes on far more significance than first impressions convey.

    Who Needs Office?

    Equally important is the fact that Google Docs enable users to open Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, make changes and then save them onto the Google cloud in their native formats.

    By enabling users to edit Office documents through the cloud-based platform, it removes one of the biggest obstacles to Google Docs adoption. It also puts Google right up there with Microsoft Office as an option for enterprises looking for a business productivity suite.

    OK, we know. Microsoft Office has a lot more punch than Google Docs or even Google Apps, offering all kinds of functionality that Google still hasn't introduced.

    But Google Apps is still cheaper than Office 365 - and in light of this week's Outlook.com outage, it is probably looking a lot more attractive, especially to those who couldn't access their emails.

    It is also worth remembering that, as we saw in April, a lot of business users are using only limited functions in Office and could quite happily dump it, take up Google Docs and still work away without any problems.

    In fact, the research by SoftWatch showed the average employee spends only 48 minutes per day in MS Office programs, and most of that time is spent on Outlook. Other Office application use usually occurs for viewing and light editing purposes, with only a tiny portion of the workforce identified as heavy users.

    The new editing functionality Google is offering is also available for mobile devices along with offline support that means that users can work away on their documents even when they are out of mobile reach and have the changes uploaded once they
Gary Edwards

A Graceful Exit for Box? - 0 views

  •  
    "What's less likely to be out for display are Box's miserable finances, its delayed IPO and talk of increasing competition from industry giants like Microsoft, EMC, Google, Citrix, VMWare, Amazon and fellow Sync and Share startup Dropbox.

    Though you certainly don't see Levie sweating in public, he has to be feeling the heat. Consider that one year ago analyst Forrester gave Box the pole position in the Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) space, by last month Gartner tagged it as the third of four leaders in its Magic Quadrant for EFSS."
Gary Edwards

Microsoft Leaves Ballmer Bleeding as It Moves On - 0 views

  • Nadella has only been in there six months and his daring — daring for Microsoft, that is — is breathtaking. He has released Office for iPad, which rumor has it was developed under Ballmer, but kept in storage for fear that it would impact on Microsoft’s Office business.
  • Office 365 has also been opened up and he has made its roadmap transparent, enabling enterprises plan where their productivity spending will go.
  •  
    "the road that Nadella chose marked a shift in direction from the old Microsoft.

    Nadella has only been in there six months and his daring - daring for Microsoft, that is - is breathtaking. He has released Office for iPad, which rumor has it was developed under Ballmer, but kept in storage for fear that it would impact on Microsoft's Office business. Nadella also oversaw the release of a free version of Windows for devices that had screens less than nine inches.

    On top of this he changed the entire release cycle for Windows by announcing regular upgrades as soon as they are developed, and not as a single major release once a year. Office 365 has also been opened up and he has made its roadmap transparent, enabling enterprises plan where their productivity spending will go."
Gary Edwards

Google is stealing away Microsoft's future corporate customers - Quartz - 0 views

  • This says two things. First, Microsoft and other vendors like IBM still have a tight grip on the largest companies.
  • Gartner analyst Tom Eid—who predicts that enterprise email alone will be a $5 billion global industry this year, growing about 10% from last year—confirms this. He estimates that Microsoft still commands 75% of the market’s spending, versus about 3% to 5% for Google.
  • Still, its legacy business of licensing software to corporations—the one under attack—generated $42 billion in highly profitable sales last fiscal year, barely growing.
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  • Microsoft has entered cloud-based email and apps markets, and said in its most recent earnings report that commercial Office 365 subscription sales—which includes email as well as Office apps—grew more than 100% year-over-year.
  • Microsoft has long dominated the corporate-software market, and its new CEO Satya Nadella has set his sights on owning all things related to productivity and the cloud. But Google—fueled by its search-advertising business and consumer popularity—has been coming on strong for years with lower-priced, cloud-based services such as email and calendars, productivity apps, video hangouts, and storage. And among certain types of customers, it is succeeding.

    +

    For a snapshot of Google’s progress, Quartz looked up the email-hosting MX records for 150 companies across three general size categories: the “Fortune 50″ largest US companies; a group of mid-size tech and media companies, both public and private; and 50 startups from the last Y Combinator incubator class in Silicon Valley. The results are…exactly what you might expect!

  • Among the Fortune 50, only one company—Google—had its mail records pointed at Google’s servers.
  • But Google is capturing Microsoft’s future customer base.
  •  
    "Microsoft has long dominated the corporate-software market, and its new CEO Satya Nadella has set his sights on owning all things related to productivity and the cloud. But Google-fueled by its search-advertising business and consumer popularity-has been coming on strong for years with lower-priced, cloud-based services such as email and calendars, productivity apps, video hangouts, and storage. And among certain types of customers, it is succeeding.
    +

    For a snapshot of Google's progress, Quartz looked up the email-hosting MX records for 150 companies across three general size categories: the "Fortune 50″ largest US companies; a group of mid-size tech and media companies, both public and private; and 50 startups from the last Y Combinator incubator class in Silicon Valley. The results are…exactly what you might expect! "
Gary Edwards

Why Microsoft Azure could have the last laugh in the cloud wars | CITEworld - 0 views

  • Second, the quality argument. Like Feld, we've also pointed out that there are niche cloud providers that do a better job than the big guys at providing infrastructure-as-a-service for specific verticals, but when you move all the way up the stack to full software-as-a-service applications, Microsoft has an edge among the big three with Office 365.
  • Google has been making inroads into smaller businesses with Google Apps for almost a decade now, Microsoft remains the standard in the biggest and most profitable business customers -- as this recent investigation from Dan Frommer at Quartz showed, only one company in the Fortune 50 uses Google Apps. (That company happens to be Google itself.) 
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  • But then comes the fourth argument. Feld points out that once companies get to $200,000 per month of cloud-infrastructure spend, it's actually significantly cheaper to build their own data centers
  • The third argument, support, is mostly a wash. While Amazon's support may be terrible (I have no evidence of this, but I'm taking Feld's word for it), Microsoft and Google and their respective ecosystem partners do a decent job of supporting customers on their stacks.
  • It's unclear how the Google Cloud Platform helps that business. Are customers using Google's cloud somehow more likely to advertise with Google? I don't see it. Are Google advertising customers demanding to run other workloads on Google technology? I don't see it.
  • There's one more point favoring Microsoft. Google's core business is selling online advertising. That business makes up about 90% of Google's revenue, and it has enviably high operating margins -- around 30%, based on Google's 2011 financial report. (I picked 2011 because that was before Google bought Motorola Mobility, which changed the margin structure.)
  • Microsoft is the only one of the big three players with an on-premise offering -- Windows Server and the rest of the Microsoft infrastructure family. Maybe the exact break-even point will change as the cloud price wars continue, but Microsoft has the most pieces customers would need to move from all-cloud to a hybrid or on-premise solution. Or, for that matter, for existing on-premise customers to begin experimenting moving some workloads to the cloud.
  • Meanwhile, while Azure almost certainly offers lower margins than, say, on-premises Windows Servers, it's necessary -- customers are moving workloads to the cloud, and Microsoft needs a competitive offering there to keep them on the Microsoft stack so they continue to buy other Microsoft products. Plus, as I argued in point four, today's Azure customers could become tomorrow's on-premise Microsoft infrastructure customers.
  • In other words, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Engine both lower the profit margins of their parent companies. But Azure is clearly strategic while Cloud Engine, as far as I can tell, is not. Who's more likely to keep investing in and improving its cloud? 
  • right now, Microsoft's chances look pretty good to me. No wonder they put the cloud guy in charge of the company.
Gary Edwards

Microsoft preps Office 365 document management tool for lawyers | Network World - 2 views

  • The product apparently has a special search engine that can be accessed from within Outlook and Word, and it offers functionality to “track or pin” frequently used documents and “matters,” those issues related to managing a law practice. Emails can be dropped into the appropriate context from Outlook, and documents retain their metadata, permissions and version control as they’re stored and shared.
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    "Microsoft has developed a document management add-on for Office 365 intended for lawyers, signaling a possible interest by the company in creating vertical-industry tools for the suite.
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    Microsoft announced the product, called Matter Center for Office 365, Monday, saying it's in limited preview and available via a beta program to which customers can apply.

    The company provided few details about how the product works and what features it has, focusing instead on the fact that it is closely integrated with Office 365. Customers will be able to use Matter Center from within the suite's interface and components, like the Word and Excel apps, the SharePoint Online collaboration server and the OneDrive for Business cloud storage service.

    Matter Center has been designed to let lawyers and other legal professionals "easily find, organize and collaborate on files" within Office 365, instead of having to use a separate document management product. It remains unclear whether Matter Center will have all the security, compliance, retention and search functionality of full-featured document management products already used in legal settings."
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    Big barrier in that vertical market; law firms are required by Bar disciplinary rules to protect the confidentiality of client files. Unless Microsoft implements end to end encryption for Office 365 so that it's nigh impossible for the NSA et ilk to gain access to the plain text and rewrites its end user license to guarantee confidentiality of customer files, MSFT will get only the unwary law offices to use Office 365.
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