Objective View of Google vs. Microsoft

Twinstrata, the company that sells Clarity AP (assessment and planning) software, conducted a comprehensive study of the costs and risks of Google Apps versus Microsoft Exchange. In his Storage Bits blog, Robin Harris provides a good summary of the results. Robin’s summary explains the stark cost difference — 20x on capital equipment and 5x to […]

Things To Like About Firefox

Those of you that know me, know that I have been using Firefox as my default browser. I still need to use IE for some sites that do not work properly in Firefox. As I use Firefox, there are a few features that seem to make life easier. Tab Use Order: I use tabs … […]

Bored by Forms — Themes Can Help

Google Forms now include the ability to add themes with background images and color selections. Learn more here …

Manage Permissions by Sheet in Google Spreadsheets

Google has enhanced Google Spreadsheets, allowing you to manage who may edit sheets within a workbook. Learn More …

Google Acquisition Improves the Image of Google Docs

In 2007, Google purchased a startup called Tonic Systems. The technology from this startup provides the basis image features in Google Docs. The Insert Drawing feature lets you add drawings, using lines, curves, freehand squiggles, and shapes, directly into your Google Docs. Click here to learn more about this cool feature.

From the Continuous Improvement Files …

Over the past several weeks, Google has made a set of minor (but very helpful) changes to Google Apps: Arial and Times New Roman fonts are now available in the text editor in Google Docs for users who have these fonts locally installed on their computers In Gmail, you can now view .ppt and .tiff […]

Of Swine and Men …

The reaction to the Swine Flu may be worse than the flu itself. Our sister firm, Horizon Information Group, has some sound advice on the topic here.

Cloud Computing Reaches Mainstream Media

Cloud Computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is gaining coverage in mainstream, non-tech media, such as USA Today. This is an indication of broader acceptance in the market.

A Real Example of Calendar Integration

Worcester Fitness recently launched their new website. In addition to a great new look and feel, the site boasts new calendars. The daily class list on the home page and the multiple class schedules are both powered by Google Apps Premier Edition. Using APIs and the calendar publication wizard, the web developers at Cold Spring […]

Microsoft Moving Towards a Real Office Cloud? Maybe.

As reported in IT World, Microsoft announced that its next generation MS Office suite (Office 14) will include Office Web Applications, a suite including lightweight versions of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Signaling a potentially major shift in Microsoft’s view of SaaS, the service will run in Firefox and Safari, as well as Internet Explorer, giving […]

Is 99.9% Up-Time Good Enough?

Google’s commitment to Google Apps Premier Edition availability is 99.9%. Is this enough? Earlier this week, I posted an entry that compared 99.9% availability of a 7x24x365 system with higher availability claims for solutions that require downtime for scheduled maintenance. Back in October 2008, Google turned to research conducted by Radicati Group, an independent industry […]

Understanding SaaS Availability Claims

As small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) evaluate cloud computing solutions, vendors often tout availability, or up-time, commitments. Understanding the metric, and how to compare vendor claims, is critical when selecting a solution. Availability is generally expressed as a percentage — 99.9%, 99.99%, and so on. With 8760 hours in each year, 99.9% availability equates to […]

Google: Mobile List View Comes to Your Browser

List View, a filtering and sorting feature for Google Spreadsheets previously released for mobile devices, is now available in your browser. The feature makes it easier to add, edit, sort, and filter rows. Learn more …

A Better Option

Yesterday, I blogged about the cost of MS Exchange 2007, particularly since most SMBs do not buy Software Assurance and will need to purchase new licenses and new hardware. In our example, a 20 person company looking to run a Standard Edition of Windows Server and MS Exchange would likely spend $20,000 to $25,000 over […]

How Expensive is MS Exchange 2007?

For most companies, the time to upgrade from MS Exchange 2003 to MS Exchange 2007 is when the physical server is ready for replacement. In part, this is a necessity because Exchange 2007 only runs in a 64-bit environment and most servers running MS Windows Server 2003 are running on a 32-bit system. Unless you […]

Google Video Enhancements for Premier and Education Editions

Google has expanded the capabilities of Google Video for Google Apps Premier and Education Edition users. You can now:– Add captions to your videos– Upload videos up to 1 GB in size (increased from the 300 MB previous limit) Click here to learn more about these features. Also, Google has set the video storage size […]

A Small Gmail Improvement for Managing Conversations

Google has made a small, but effective, change to how Gmail handles the “Mark Unread” function in conversations. Now, when you open a conversation and use the “Mark as Unread” button, messages that were previously previously read will remain as such. In effect, you will not loose your history of read messages. Learn more …

Gmail Contacts can Share Email Addresses

Every wish you could use the same email address for multiple contacts? Now you can.

Use Analytics to Monitor Gmail Usage

If you have a Google Analytics account and use Google Apps Premier or Education edition, you can now monitor Gmail usage. This capability expands your ability to use analytics to monitor usage of Google Sites and Google Docs. Learn more … For organizations that integrate Google Analytics in their web site, SEO, and email marketing […]

Check your Browser Performance

From Stop Buying Servers, here is some sound advice on managing Browser Add-Ins to improve performance.