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Gary Edwards

Cisco "Thinking About" Going Up Against Microsoft Office and Google Apps - 0 views

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    Knock me over with a feather. Now comes news that Cisco wants to challenge Microsoft Office and Google Apps.

    Paul Smalera of Business Insider questions the wisdom of this initiative, insisting that Cisco must know it can't beat either MSOffice or Google Apps.

    Maybe Cisco is fishing for help? Where is that wave-maker application Jason and Florian are said to be working on? :)

    Excerpt: Cisco VP Doug Dennerline told reporters, the company is "thinking about" adding document drafting and sharing to WebEx, which already features instant messaging, online meeting and email services.
Gary Edwards

The better Office alternative: SoftMaker Office bests OpenOffice.org ( - Soft... - 0 views

shared by Gary Edwards on 30 Jun 09 - Cached
  • Frankly, from Microsoft's perspective, the danger may have been overstated. Though the free open source crowd talks a good fight, the truth is that they keep missing the real target. Instead of investing in new features that nobody will use, the team behind OpenOffice should take a page from the SoftMaker playbook and focus on interoperability first. Until OpenOffice works out its import/export filter issues, it'll never be taken seriously as a Microsoft alternative.

    More troubling (for Microsoft) is the challenge from the SoftMaker camp. These folks have gotten the file-format compatibility issue licked, and this gives them the freedom to focus on building out their product's already respectable feature set. I wouldn't be surprised if SoftMaker got gobbled up by a major enterprise player in the near, thus creating a viable third way for IT shops seeking to kick the Redmond habit.

    • Gary Edwards
       
      This quote is an excerpt from the article :)
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    Finally! Someone who gets it. For an office suite to be considered as an alternative to MSOffice, it must be designed with multiple levels of compatibility. It's not just that the "feature sets" that must be comparable. The guts of the suite must be compatible at both the file format level, and the environment level.

    Randall put's it this way; "It's the ecosystem stupid".

    The reason ODF failed in Massachusetts is that neither OpenOffice nor OpenOffice ODF are designed to be compatible with legacy and existing MSOffice applications, binary formats, and, the MSOffice productivity environment. Instead, OOo and OOo-ODF are designed to be competitively comparable.

    As an alternative to MSOffice, OpenOffice and OpenOffice ODF cannot fit into existing MSOffice workgroups and producitivity environments. Because it s was not designed to be compatible, OOo demands that the environment be replaced, rebuilt and re-engineered. Making OOo and OOo-ODF costly and disruptive to critical day-to-day business processes.

    The lesson of Massachusetts is simple; compatibility matters. Conversion of workgroup/workflow documents from the MSOffice productivity environment to OpenOffice ODF will break those documents at two levels: fidelity and embedded "ecosystem" logic.

    Fidelity is what most end-users point to since that's the aspect of the document conversion they can see. However, it's what they can't see that is the show stopper. The hidden side of workgroup/workflow documents is embedded logic that includes scripts, macros, formulas, OLE, data bindings, security settings, application specific settings, and productivity environment settings. Breaks these aspects of the document, and you stop important business processes bound to the MSOffice productivity environment.

    There is no such thing as an OpenOffice productivity environment designed to be a compatible alternative to the MSOffice productivity environment.

    Another lesson from Massach
Paul Merrell

Martian Headsets - Joel on Software - 0 views

  • You’re about to see the mother of all flamewars on internet groups where web developers hang out. It’ll make the Battle of Stalingrad look like that time your sister-in-law stormed out of afternoon tea at your grandmother’s and wrapped the Mustang around a tree.
  • The flame war will revolve around the issue of something called “web standards.”
Paul Merrell

MSDN Blog Postings » Blog Archive » Semantic interoperability - Dream or r... - 0 views

  • Last week, European Commission and the Ministry of Health from Germany, with the support of Microsoft, organized a two days workshop on semantic interoperability in EHRs.  The initiative was triggered by the work performed by 12 countries in the project epSOS - the large scale pilot conceiving and testing a EU shared EHR and ePrescribing solution. The workshop involved experts in terminologies from Europe, United States and from international organizations such as WHO, European Commission and International Health Terminology Standard Development Organization (IHTSDO).
Gary Edwards

Horizon Info Services | Google Apps Premier Edition & Message Security & Discover, Amer... - 0 views

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    "Horizon Info Services is committed to offering industry-leading technology services to small businesses at affordable prices."

    This is an interesting approach. Horizon is a reseller of customized and enhanced Google services. They provide enterprises and SMB's with gMail hosting, on-line backup services, security, and customized Google Apps. They are also ready to dive into Google Wave, as the ultimate interface for aggregating Web based communications, messaging, conversations and collaborative documents.
Paul Merrell

Chromium Blog: Developer Tools for Google Chrome - 0 views

  • Since the initial launch of Google Chrome back in September we have had the Elements and Resources tabs of WebKit's Inspector available. We are now ready to present Inspector's Scripts and Profiles panels built on top of the V8 engine providing web developers with full-featured Javascript debugger and sample-based profiler in the dev channel release of Google Chrome. We are also re-introducing the Elements and Resources tabs running out of process for better robustness, security and support for the new debugger and profiler setup.
Gary Edwards

The Future of Collaborative Networks : Aaron Fulkerson of MindTouch - 0 views

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    MindTouch was by far and away the hottest property at the 2009 Web 2.0 Conference. And for good reason. They have figured out how to tap into the productivity value of enterprise collaborative networks. Most their underlying stuff is based on REST based data objects and services, but they also allow for proprietary data bindings. The key to MindTouch seemd to be the easy to fall into and use collaborative interface: imagine a workgroup project centered around a Web page filled with data objects, graphics and content, with each object also having a collabortaive conversation attached to it. Sounds complicated, but that's where the magic of MindTouch kicks in. It's simple.

    One the things that most impressed me was an interactive graph placed on one of the wiki project pages. The graph was being fed data from a local excel spreadsheet, and could be interacted with in real time. It was simple to change from a pie chart to a bar graph and so on. It was also possible to interact with the data itself and create what-if scenario's. Great stuff. With considerable persistence though, i was able to discover from Aaron that this interactivity and graphical richness was due to a Silverlight plug-in!

    From the article:

    "..... Rather than focusing on socialization, one to one interactions and individual enrichment, businesses must be concerned with creating an information fabric within their organizations. This information fabric is a federation of content from the multiplicity of data and application silos utilized on a daily basis; such as, ERP, CRM, file servers, email, databases, web-services infrastructures, etc. When you make this information fabric easy to edit between groups of individuals in a dynamic, secure, governed and real-time manner, it creates a Collaborative Network."

    "This is very different from social networks or social software, which is focused entirely on enabling conversations. Collaborative Networks are focused on groups accessing and organiz
Gary Edwards

Zoho Office For Microsoft SharePoint, Online Collaboration, Online Word Processor, Onli... - 0 views

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    Collaborate and Edit documents with Zoho, Store and Manage
    in Microsoft® SharePoint®.

    Zoho is onto something here. The video is well worth the watching.

    Anthony Ha of Venture Beat ahd this to say:

    "As online office software tries to move into big corporations, it's starting to work more closely with entrenched solutions - which often means technology built by Microsoft. In the latest example, Zoho just announced plans to offer its collaboration services as an add-on for SharePoint, Microsoft's server and software for collaboration and document management."

    "Basically, that means you can use Zoho Office as the interface for collaborative editing of documents, while the documents themselves sit safely on the SharePoint server, behind the corporate firewall. The add-on brings a more web-like interface to SharePoint; rather than having to check documents in and out as they work on them, multiple users can jump into a document and edit it at once, and also send instant messages back-and-forth within their application using Zoho Chat."

    "This is a smart way to get Zoho into companies that wouldn't consider making the full jump into online office applications, but want to experiment with these kinds of tools without sacrificing security or throwing away existing hardware. The financial investment is small, too - a 30-day trial period, followed by $2 per user per month if companies pay for a year, or $3 per user per month if companies pay by month."
Paul Merrell

Working to Fulfill our Legal Obligations in Europe for Windows 7 - Microsoft On The Issues - 0 views

  • Earlier today CNET reported that Microsoft had sent a memo to computer manufacturers and retailers about our plans for Windows 7 in Europe.  We’re getting quite a few calls on this, so we thought it would be helpful to explain our plans.
  • In January the European Commission provided its preliminary view that Microsoft’s “bundling” of Internet Explorer in Windows violated European competition law.
  • Windows 7 will be offered in Europe in all of the versions that will be available here in the United States, both 32- and 64-bit, with an “E” at the end of the product name (for instance, Windows 7 Home Premium E).  The E versions of Windows 7 will ship at the same time as Windows 7 ships in the rest of the world, and they will be available in 23 European languages.

    What does this mean for European consumers?  The E versions of Windows 7 will include all the features and functionality of Windows 7 in the rest of the world, other than browsing with Internet Explorer.  Computer manufacturers will be able to add any browser they want to their Windows 7 machines, including Internet Explorer, so European consumers who purchase new PCs will be able to access the Internet without any problem.  Consumers will also be able to add any Web browser to their PCs, to supplement or replace the browsers preinstalled by their computer manufacturer. 

    Most importantly, the E versions of Windows 7 will continue to provide all of the underlying platform functionality of the operating system—applications designed for Windows will run just as well on an E version as on other versions of Windows 7. 

  • ...2 more annotations...
  • Our decision to only offer IE separately from Windows 7 in Europe cannot, of course, preclude the possibility of alternative approaches emerging through Commission processes.  Other alternatives have been raised in the Commission proceedings, including possible inclusion in Windows 7 of alternative browsers or a “ballot screen” that would prompt users to choose from a specific set of Web browsers.  Important details of these approaches would need to be worked out in coordination with the Commission, since they would have a significant impact on computer manufacturers and Web browser vendors, whose interests may differ.   Given the complexity and competing interests, we don’t believe it would be best for us to adopt such an approach unilaterally. 
  • In January 2009 the Commission sent Microsoft a “Statement of Objections.” In it the Commission advised Microsoft of its preliminary view that the inclusion of Web browsing software in Windows violates European competition law. The Commission said in this document that it intends to impose a fine for this. The Commission also said that, with hindsight, the remedy adopted in its 2004 decision was not effective because there was very limited consumer demand for the versions of Windows without media player. We were, of course, disappointed to learn that the approach we took in September 2008 would not adequately address the Commission’s concerns.

    Microsoft filed its response to the Commission’s Statement of Objections in April. We believe we made a strong showing that including Internet Explorer in Windows is lawful so that no remedy is needed. We hope that the Commission will ultimately agree with us. In the meantime, we have to move forward with final planning for the release of Windows 7, so we’ve decided that instead of including Internet Explorer in Windows 7 in Europe, we will offer it separately. As noted, we will continue to discuss browser issues and other matters with the Commission.

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    Note the emphasis that this is a unilateral move by Microsoft and a different remedy may still be forthcoming from DG Competition. In particular, not only the remedy as to bundling may be different, but other related issues remain, such as Opera's complaint that Microsoft had been undermining Open Web standards with inadequate support.
Paul Merrell

Europe to get Windows 7 sans browser | Beyond Binary - CNET News - 0 views

  • Microsoft plans to remove Internet Explorer from the versions of Windows 7 that it ships in Europe, CNET News has learned.
  • "To ensure that Microsoft is in compliance with European law, Microsoft will be releasing a separate version of Windows 7 for distribution in Europe that will not include Windows Internet Explorer," the software maker said in the memo
  • Microsoft confirmed the authenticity of the document but declined to comment further.
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • Update, 12:20 p.m.: Microsoft has posted a blog on its law and policy Web site, in which one of its lawyers responds to our story.
Paul Merrell

Nokia Targets Web Developers -- Web Developer Tools -- InformationWeek - 0 views

  • Nokia on Tuesday introduced a set of developer tools that seeks to make it easier for Web developers to create widgets for mobile phones.

    Nokia released Web Runtime plug-ins for Microsoft's Visual Studio, Adobe's Dreamweaver, and Aptana Studio, enabling third parties to create mobile widgets using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ajax, and other standard Web development code. The company said this should streamline the development process, as well as attract a new set of content creators who may not have mobile experience.

Gary Edwards

Google's Microsoft Fight Starts With Smartphones | BNET Technology Blog | BNET - 0 views

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    .... "I recently described how Google's Wave, a collaboration tool based on the new HTML 5 standard, demonstrated the potential for Web applications to unglue Microsoft's hold on customers. My post quoted Gary Edwards, the former president of the Open Document Foundation, a first-hand witness to the failed attempt by Massachusetts to dump Microsoft and as experienced a hand at Microsoft-tilting as anyone I know......"
Gary Edwards

Are the feds the first to a common cloud definition? | The Wisdom of Clouds - CNET News - 0 views

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    Cisco's James Urquhart discusses the NIST definition of Cloud Computing. The National Institute of Technology and Standards is a non regulatory branch of the Commerce Department and is responsible for much of the USA's official participation in World Standards organizations.

    This is an important discussion, but i'm a bit disappointed by the loose use of the term "network". I guess they mean the Internet? No mention of RESTfull computing or Open Web Standards either.

    Some interesting clips:

    ...(The NIST's) definition of cloud computing will be the de facto standard definition that the entire US government will be given...In creating this definition, NIST consulted extensively with the private sector including a wide range of vendors, consultants and industry pundants including your truly. Below is the draft NIST working definition of Cloud Computing. I should note, this definition is a work in progress and therefore is open to public ratification & comment. The initial feedback was very positive from the federal CIO's who were presented it yesterday in DC. Baring any last minute lobbying I doubt we'll see many more major revisions.

    ....... Cloud computing is a pay-per-use model for enabling available, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and is comprised of five key characteristics, three delivery models, and four deployment models.
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    Gary, NIST really is not "responsible for much of the USA's official participation in World Standards organizations." Lots of legal analysis omitted, but the bottom line is that NIST would have had to be delegated that responsibility by the President, but never was. However, that did not stop NIST from signing over virtually all responsibility for U.S. participation in international standard development to the private ANSI, without so much as a public notice and comment rulemaking process. See section 3 at http://ts.nist.gov/Standards/Conformity/ansimou.cfm. Absolutely illegal, including at least two bright-line violations of the U.S. Constitution. But the Feds have unmistakably abdicated their legal responsibilities in regard to international standards to the private sector.
Gary Edwards

AtomPub, beyond blogs | Presentation by Mohanaraj Gopala Krishnan - 0 views

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    Excellent presentation discussing the AtomPub protocol as a key Open Web API . 52 slides, and everyone worth some study.
Gary Edwards

LIVE: Google Apps Event | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD - 0 views

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    Digital Daily is carrying John Paczkowski's point-by-point twitter stream of the Google Apps Event. Fascinating stuff. Especially Dave Girouard's comments comparing Google Apps to MSOffice.

    One highlight of the event seems to be the announcement of a Google OutLook integration app. Sounds like something similar to what Zimbra did a few years ago prior to the $350 million acquisition by Yahoo! Zimbra perfected an integration into desktop Outlook comparable to the Exchange - Outlook channel. If Google Apps Sync for Outlook integration is a s good as the event demo, they would still have to crack into MSOffice to compete with the MSOffice-SharePoint-MOSS integration channel.

    Some interesting comments from Google Enterprise customers, Genentech, Morgans Hotel Group, and Avago

    ....... At an event in San Francisco, Google is expected to discuss the future of its productivity suite and some enhancements that may begin to close the gap with Microsoft (MSFT) Office, something the company desperately needs to do if it wants to make deeper inroads in the enterprise area. As Girouard himself admitted last week, Apps still has a ways to go. "Gmail is really the best email application in the world for consumers or business users, and we can prove that very well," he said. "Calendar is also very good, and probably almost at the level of Gmail. But the word processing, spreadsheets and other products are much less mature. They're a couple of years old at the most, and we still have a lot of work to do."
Gary Edwards

Microsoft Office vs. the other guys - FierceCIO:TechWatch - 0 views

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    A new report by research analyst, Forrester says that 80 percent of enterprise customers are using some version of Microsoft Office. This reflects the stranglehold Microsoft has on the office productivity market, despite increased awareness of alternatives such as Sun's OpenOffice.org suite, and the rise of web-hosted variants such as Google Docs.

    I had a chance to comment on this brief lament regarding Microsoft's iron grip, desktop monopoly.
Paul Merrell

OASIS Protects Open Source Developers From Software Patents [on Simon Phipps, SunMink] - 0 views

  • OASIS seems to have taken it to heart, because it has today announced what looks to me like the perfect basis for technology standards in an open source world.

    Their new rules2 include a new "mode" which standards projects can opt into using. In this new mode, all contributors promise that they will not assert any patents they may own related to the standard the project is defining. Contributors make this covenant:

    Each Obligated Party in a Non-Assertion Mode TC irrevocably covenants that, subject to Section 10.3.2 and Section 11 of the OASIS IPR Policy, it will not assert any of its Essential Claims covered by its Contribution Obligations or Participation Obligations against any OASIS Party or third party for making, having made, using, marketing, importing, offering to sell, selling, and otherwise distributing Covered Products that implement an OASIS Final Deliverable developed by that TC.
  • The covenant described in Section 10.3.1 may be suspended or revoked by the Obligated Party with respect to any OASIS Party or third party if that OASIS Party or third party asserts an Essential Claim in a suit first brought against, or attempts in writing to assert an Essential Claim against, a Beneficiary with respect to a Covered Product that implements the same OASIS Final Deliverable.
  • There's a redline PDF document showing the changes - the new stuff is mainly in section 10, although other areas had to be changed to match as well, I gather.
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • OASIS Protects Open Source Developers From Software Patents
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    This new technical committee IPR mode may not make much sense to the legally-inclined without reading the new section 2.7 definition of "Covered Product." There we learn that the patent covenant extends only so far as the implementation is conformant with the standard. I count that as a good thing, curing a defect in the Sun Covenant Not to Sue in regard to ODF, which at least arguably extended far enough to confer immunity on those who embrace and extend a standard. But the reciprocity provision allowing contributors to counter-sue for infringement if sued clashes with many definitions of an "open standard" adopted by governmental entities for procurement purposes. So a question remains as to who must bend, government or OASIS members.
Gary Edwards

Amazing Stuff: ThinkFree Office Compatibility with MSOffice compared to OpenOffice Comp... - 0 views

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    This is amazing stuff. With all the talk about OpenOffice ODF compatibility problems with existing MSOffice productivity environments and documents, this comparison is stunning.

    I stumbled across this Compatibility Comparison reading this article: ThinkFree Set to Launch The First Complete Android Office Suite. Documents To Go is currently the only provider of Word and Excel documents on Android.

    The ThinkFree Office comparisons to OpenOffice cover a number of familiar compatibility issues, with layout at the top of the list.

    ThinkFree Write 3.5 vs OpenOffice Writer 3.0

    ".....When using a word processor to create documents, you really shouldn't have to worry about whether your client will be able to see the document as you intended."

    ".... However, if you use a low-cost solution like OpenOffice, you should be prepared for frustrations and disappointments....."
Paul Merrell

White House preparing Data.gov 2.0 -- Government Computer News - 0 views

  • White House officials plan to release Version 2.0 of the new government data portal, Data.gov, in the next couple of months, federal chief information officer Vivek Kundra said today.

    The federal Web site, which makes government data available for public reuse, will likely feature new tagging capabilities and an expanded array of information tools, Kundra said.

    Data.gov, which debuted May 21, has 87,000 data feeds from various government agencies. That number is expected to top 100,000 by next week, Kundra said.

Paul Merrell

Google to slip SVG into Internet Explorer * The Register - 0 views

  • Microsoft might be hesitating on Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) in Internet Explorer 8, but Google's pressing on.

    The search giant's engineers are building a JavaScript library to render static and dynamic SVG in Microsoft's browser. Google promised that the library, a Javascript shim, will simply drop into IE.

  • SVG has a huge presence on the web. This facet of the World Wide Web Consortium's HTML 5 spec is supported in Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome, and Apple's iPhone, and is used in Google Maps and Google Docs. It also topped a list of features wanted by developers in a OpenAJAX browser wish list last year.
  • There's suspicion, though, that the reason has more to do with Microsoft's internal politics, with the company wanting graphics and drawing in IE done using Silverlight instead.

    SVG Web is more than an answer to Microsoft's foot-dragging, however. Google has declared for HTML 5 on the web, proclaiming last week that the web programming model has "won".

    Support for graphics capabilities in HTML 5 should also be seen as Google's partial answer to Adobe Systems' Flash. Google has complained that Flash is not open source and its development is not driven by the community. Google said the benefit of SVG Web is that it would sit inside the DOM whereas Flash "sits on top of the web, it's not part of the web"

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