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Microsoft - News, Features, and Slideshows


  • Analyst says Office web apps have an edge over Google

    Microsoft may have had its hand forced by web-based alternatives, but the software giant will deliver a free Web version of Office, called Office Web Apps, that will launch in tandem with the paid, desktop version of Office 2010, which is in technical preview now and due to launch in the first half of next year.
    With both online (Office Web Apps) and offline (Office 2010) versions of Office forthcoming, Microsoft seemingly has all the bases covered: a new, feature-rich desktop productivity suite and a lightweight online version to compete with emerging Web-based free alternatives such as Google Docs and the Zoho suite.

    Written by Shane O'Neill16 July 09 22:00
  • Majority of IT execs have no plans for Windows 7

    Microsoft has announced that businesses can get Windows 7 a month and a half before the general release date of October 22, but a new survey suggests that many of them may not want it.
    Results of a survey of more than 1000 IT administrators sponsored by systems management software company ScriptLogic show that nearly 60 percent of respondents have no current plans to deploy Windows 7.

    Written by Shane O'Neill15 July 09 22:00
  • Five big obstacles in the Windows war

    Google has announced that it has an open-source operating system for PCs in development that shares the same name as the company's browser: Chrome.
    The Chrome OS announcement generated more buzz than a swarm of bees and has been called an OS market game-changer by some in the blogosphere. A Google blog post heralding Chrome OS offers a direct challenge at nemesis Microsoft and will raise some eyebrows in Redmond.

    Written by Shane O'Neill09 July 09 22:00
  • The true cost of Microsoft SharePoint

    SharePoint has unquestionably garnered a lot of attention from business users and IT. Toby Bell, Gartner Inc.'s research vice president, calls SharePoint 2007 "nothing short of a phenomenon." He says the growing number of searches for SharePoint on Gartner.com indicates high interest in the product and some confusion about its value.
    "For Microsoft and its partner ecosystem, it's easy to see SharePoint becoming the billion dollar baby in ECM [enterprise content management]," says Bell via email. "[However,] estimating the potential ROI of SharePoint and related products for enterprise buyers is harder."

    Written by Russ Edelman29 June 09 22:00
  • Dancing with the elephant

    This week represents an important inflection point for the Enterprise 2.0 market, a set of software vendors that sell social networking technologies to businesses. Analysts say the number of competitors will consolidate in the coming year as Microsoft captures greater market share. The start-ups that will survive must carve out a long-term place for themselves by building applications that are far more innovative and cheaper than those of the incumbent software giant. In addition, they must convince businesses that Microsoft SharePoint's "good enough" strategy is not, in fact, good enough for today's enterprise collaboration needs
    As Enterprise 2.0 vendors convene for their annual industry conference in the US this week, many continue to fight the complacency of businesses who prefer to use Microsoft as a default choice for all their enterprise collaboration needs. SharePoint, an application that started as a document management system to store (among other items) Microsoft Office files, has since added social features, including profiles, blogs, and wikis. Although Microsoft's smaller, more nimble competitors have built more sophisticated social networking applications for businesses, analysts say SharePoint has been "good enough" for many companies.

    Written by C.G. Lynch22 June 09 22:00
  • Bing: Five areas in search of improvement

    Microsoft has taken its first steps in redefining search with its "decision engine", releasing Bing to a generally positive reception and with a new TV ad in the US that portrays Google (with out mentioning it by name) as a disorganised returner of random links.
    Bing did surprise many a reviewer last week with its user-friendly interface and ability to logically organise content on a results page. It was hard to find a review that panned Bing and the tool has already shown a bump in search share, according to market researcher comScore.

    Written by Shane O'Neill10 June 09 22:00
  • MS Office still sitting pretty in the enterprise

    New research from Forrester shows that while the poor economy has delayed some upgrades to Microsoft 2007, most enterprises are sticking with some version of Microsoft's productivity suite over alternatives such as Google Apps.
    In a recent survey of 152 IT decision-makers at companies of all sizes, nearly 92 percent are supporting either Office 2007 or Office 2003 or earlier. Only 3.3 percent use Google Apps; 2.6 percent use Sun StarOffice 8 or 9; and 1.9 percent use Lotus Symphony.

    Written by Shane O'Neill05 June 09 22:00
  • Microsoft Bing: Five features that give it a shot against Google

    Microsoft made Bing, its new "decision engine", publicly available this week with a background image of hot air balloons lifting off in the countryside on the Bing homepage.
    It's a fitting image given Microsoft's desire to lift search off what it considers the ground level. In a speech last week at the unveiling of Bing, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called current search one-dimensional and said Bing will help people "find information quickly and use the information they've found to accomplish tasks."

    Written by Shane O'Neill03 June 09 22:00
  • Ex-Microsoftie says free software will kill Redmond

    Bill Gates probably will not sing the praises of Keith Curtis, a programmer with Microsoft for 11 years who's now left the fold and written a book about why the Redmond way will fail. Oh yeah, Curtis is not afraid to speak his mind as a Linux guru, either.
    The mantra Curtis repeats throughout his book After the Software Wars: proprietary software is holding us back as a society.

    Written by Shane O'Neill21 May 09 22:00
  • Microsoft's Ackhurst urges industry collaboration

    The local ICT industry remains plagued by self-serving industry groups, image problems and a bias toward employing men, Microsoft New Zealand managing director Kevin Ackhurst told a recent roundtable hosted by the software vendor at the University of Auckland Business School.

    Written by Hamish Barwick18 May 09 22:00
  • Five Windows 7 features IT must prepare for now

    Though eight years old, Windows XP still powers 71 percent of all PCs, according to a recent report from Forrester. That translates to millions of users that Microsoft must convince to upgrade to either Vista or the upcoming Windows 7.
    This has proven to be no easy task, especially in the enterprise sector. A high level of satisfaction with Windows XP from IT professionals combined with a down economy is keeping many from moving on. In a recent survey of 1,100 IT professionals from Dimensional Research, 72 per cent said they are more concerned about upgrading to Windows 7 than staying with an outdated XP operating system.

    Written by Shane O'Neill22 April 09 22:00
  • A close look at Windows 7

    As XP ages, upgrading to Windows 7 is a good step for enterprises and CIOs to make, according to Windows business client manager Ben Green.
    “For a CIO, the conversation we have with them is looking at the total cost of running desktop infrastructure and what is the productivity return. What we know from research is that 70 per cent of cost is labour related and only 30 per cent of it is to do with the cost of the hardware.”

    Written by Hamish Barwick12 April 09 22:00
  • IT managers face Mac-Windows challenges

    Bringing OS X into a Windows environment isn't easy, as results from a survey released early this week show. The Enterprise Desktop Alliance surveyed more than 300 IT managers and found that a vast majority see room for improvement in the current management capabilities for Macs in the enterprise.

    Written by Tom Kaneshige10 March 09 22:00
  • Meet Microsoft's biggest enemy

    In a meeting with financial analysts last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer laid out who he thinks are the biggest threats today to Windows on the client side. Surprisingly, Apple wasn't number one. It wasn't number two or three either.

    Written by Shane O'Neill04 March 09 22:00
  • Virtualisation wars heat up again

    The virtualisation marketing wars that heated up the summer competition among VMware, Microsoft and Citrix, then dampened and cooled with the winter weather, are heating up again.

    Written by Kevin Fogarty04 March 09 22:00