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Showing posts from June, 2011

Why Microsoft’s Office 365 will clobber Google Apps

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This post was also published in VentureBeat. Yes, Microsoft is a slow, lumbering giant. It has been working on cloud for years, with numerous iterations, that took so long cloud proponent Ray Ozzie got fed up and left. Microsoft had to work through cannibalizing reseller arrangements, reconciling how to reach consumers versus businesses and a host of other issues. With Office 365, Microsoft has finally delivered an end-to-end cloud platform for businesses that encompass not only its desktop Office software, but also its server software, such as Exchange and SharePoint.

Contrary to Google’s narrative, cloud based office software is still a wide open market. The three million businesses that have “Gone Google” — proclaimed on billboards in San Francisco airport’s new Terminal 2 — are for the most part Gmail users, who are still happily using Microsoft Office and even Microsoft Outlook. Gmail is a fast, cheap, spam-free and great solution for business email, especially relative to the e…

Is Apple’s iCloud an excuse to overcharge for storage?

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This post was also published in VentureBeat. After falling far behind in the shift to cloud computing, Apple’s much-anticipated iCloud offering fell far short of expectations. Rather than a cloud locker that could stream media to a variety of clients, iCloud turned out to be a glorified file synchronization service like Dropbox. iCloud will automatically sync all of your apps, settings, and files to all of your iOS devices.

Syncing all of your files is definitely a useful feature for consumers, but it is starkly different from the approach of other industry titans. Google and Amazon were so terrified of Apple streaming music that they both pushed shoddy beta-quality music lockers out the door in the past few weeks. Instead, Apple shipped the ability to recognize ripped or illegal music on a user’s hard drive and then automatically sync copies of songs at higher quality across devices. While recognizing that a user already has ripped a CD and skipping the upload does not seem like a k…