Google Docs Gets New Drawing Feature

All editions of Google Docs include a new feature that lets you create and insert drawings into documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. The Insert Drawing menu option provides the ability to add, color, rotate, and adjust lines, shapes, text labels, and free-hand scribbles.

Learn more ….

Google Docs gets better “Find and Replace”

Google has released an improved “Find and Replace” toolbar in Google Docs. Available in all editions, you can more easily search and replace text. The toolbar adds more options for controlling your search, such as case-sensitive matching and regular expressions.

Learn more …

Usage Reporting added to Google Apps Premier and Education Editions

Administrators can view charts on active users and disk space utilization from the Google Apps Control Panel. Learn More.

First Microsoft SMB Insight Report Highlights Virtualization and SaaS

In the first edition of an anticipated annual survey and report, the 2009 Microsoft SMB Insight Report confirms key trends in virtualization and Software as a Service. Key findings from the survey of more than 600 companies and Small Business Specialists from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Brazil identified the following technologies more likely to drive SMB growth and profitability in 2009.

  • 50% of the surveyed Small Business Specialists identified virtualization or IT consolidation through a small or mid-size server as the technology most likely to reduce operating costs
  • The Small Business Specialists expect a 20% increase this year in the use of Software as a Service
  • More than 35% percent of the Small Business Specialists considered
    customer relationship management (CRM) the best investment

    for maximizing business growth in a down economy
  • Nearly 40% expect an increased interest in business intelligence and identified it as a critical tool for helping improve a customer’s experience and increase loyalty
  • Over 50% expect an increase in the number of SMB remote workers, and nearly 60% expect that the shift to more remote workers also will lead to bigger roles and more responsibilities for those individuals working remotely.

While “Small Business Specialists” are resources from within the Microsoft community, the report confirms broader trends towards more efficient computing solutions.

The Open Cloud Manifesto is Finally Here … What do YOU think?

Following a very noisy public spat between Microsoft and the Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum (CCIF), and within the CCIF itself, the Open Cloud Manifesto is available to the public.

Here is my opinion on the conflict and the process to date.

Please read the “Manifesto” and let me know what you think.

Cloud Computing Brought Down to Earth

If you are interested in a macro view of cloud computing and the emerging industry, this blog post from Gregg Ness is a great place to start. Gregg looks at three key factors from a network perspective (network automation and management, capacity, and security) and provides a context for understanding reality versus vendor hype.

Where do Google Enhancements Come From?

Ever wonder where new ideas for Google Apps come from? Here is a peek into Google Labs as published on CNN.COM

Import/Export Gmail Filters

As part of a continuing “series” of posts, here are some of the recent feature enhancements for Gmail from the teams at Google Labs.

  • Filter Import/Export — Export your mail filters as a file: back them up, share them, or save them before deleting so you can restore them later. Import one of these files to quickly add or restore filters. These options become available under Settings/Filters when you enable this Lab.

To use Lab features, your administrator must allow access to Labs. Go into Labs and click on “Enable”.

Cloud Computing to Grow by 21% This Year

As reported on PCMAG.COM, Gartner is projecting a 21% world-wide growth in Cloud Computing. The report identifies the success of Google in creating a new business and delivery model which Microsoft, Yahoo, and others are now starting to emulate.

Google Adds Voice Search to Blackberry App

Blackberry users can not take advantage of Google’s voice search. Simply go to in your Blackberry browser and download the app.