Press Release via MacRumors:
Streamline your purchasing process and put more power and productivity in the hands of your workforce. Every paid app in the App Store is available for businesses to buy in volume through the program website. Simply search for the apps you need, enter the quantity you want to buy, and complete the transaction with your corporate credit card. Apps are available for purchase at the same price listed in the App Store.
A few years ago, I would have been slapped in the face if I had brought up the possible enterprise implications of the iPhone. Have you ever had a frappé slapped out of your hands sending the sweet, delicious drink onto your khakis? It's not enjoyable. Or financially wise, for that matter.
However, this volume licensing does matter financially for companies that need to sort out many hundred, thousands...or even tens of apps for their employees. It can get hairy passing around an iTunes account for users and keeping tracks of apps. That should get easier with iCloud but now the big bosses can buy apps in massive quantities and keep track of their items that way. Boom!
I'd like to see if Windows Phone 7 can make things like that happen. They're a little slow to the draw on many features but they seems to be catching up slowly but surely. At this point, I wonder if Ballmer now considers the iPhone a threat in the enterprise market?
Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the social networking giant was planning to launch "something awesome" on Wednesday. As many theorized, the big announcement was Skype video calling integrated into Facebook.
Users can make video calls directly from their friend's profile, by using the new "Call" button sitting between the "Message" and "Poke." Additionally, users can make video calls via their Chat sidebar, by clicking on a video camera icon.
Other changes have been made to chat as well, with the sidebar getting some changes. It now pops up automatically whenever the browser window is large enough ... it is "social networking" after all, and it also shows the people you message most by default.
Additionally, chat now includes the ability to Group Chat. To add more folks to a conversation, you simply click Add Friends to Chat.
Good heavens, is nothing sacred? The last thing we want to have happen after silently logging into Facebook to see what your awful friends are up to is have a distant relative shoot you a Video Call. Can't I just complain silently about people I don't like but can't unfriend for fear of reprisal in peace? Did we lose a war?
But seriously, folks. Not only is this a huge deal for Skype, but it's also a huge deal for Microsoft. Lest we forget, Microsoft is in the final stages of being the new owner for Skype?
I'm curious to know if Microsoft knew of these negotiations ahead of time and if they impacted their decision to purchase in any way. I don't know about you, but Facebook is generally blocked at the clients I've been to. However, it would be just about the easiest thing for a client to do to enable Video Chat for their users if they just went ahead and allowed Facebook to be viewed. Boom, instant Worldwide Video Chat! No software CDs needed to install those badboys.
What about you, will you enable Facebook now that Grandmas and CTOs can see each other any time of the day? Or will you continue to rule the internets with an iron fist?
Many folks are indeed curious about whether or not Apple will finally cause a stir in the Enterprise scene with regards to Microsoft and possibly even Google. Microsoft as of now essentially owns the Enterprise game. No question about it. Google is starting to make a push with their Google Chrome OS, but has already made a dent thanks to their Google Apps suite. Even if you don't go all-in with Google Apps, you can still utilize the Office suite of apps to make sure your files mingle with others.
As a user, I'm excited with regards to iCloud in that I won't have to sync my iOS devices in order to backup or even to get certain songs or apps onto both my iPhone and iPad. Right now, when creating and editing documents, I don't use Pages, which is Apple's version of Microsoft Word. I use a third-party app called PlainText and even then, I use another third-party service to sync those Text files - Dropbox. For the casual user, that option is quite complicated. That's where I see iCloud making a difference.
Pages would then allow a user to create a document and have that file match all of your other devices inside of the cloud. You wouldn't need to worry about signing up for Dropbox and tracking the file down on the web or otherwise, it will just show up inside of your apps and on your Mac. It's likely that Apple will release this API for similar apps to use iCloud when storing this date, but that last part is really where Apple's vision is separate from Microsoft. At least for now.
Apple's iCloud really banks on your using an iOS device or a Mac. Recent reports are muddy that their web-interface version will even show up in September. Let's say you create a new Pages document on your iPad and would like to edit that on your work desktop which is Windows 7. Right now, that may not even be possible unless you email that file to yourself. That's not so futuristic. Apple wants you in their eco-system entirely to get all of their goodies they offer. iCloud is free, sure. But how much did you pay for that Mac mini, or iPad? That's where their profit comes in.
Apple would love to make money from the Enterprise, but for now, they're happy with getting individual users locked into their eco-system. If you work at a company that has Windows everything - iCloud won't matter to you. Even if you work at a company that has started to phase in iPads for some light remote usage, iCloud won't matter to you.
I really think Apple is happy with Windows and possibly even Google figuring out the Enterprise market. Once their hands are firmly around small to mid-sized businesses, Apple will probably step in and show just how easy it could be if those same businesses went all-in with Apple hardware and services.
Plus, have you ever tried to talk about Apple products with a guy that lives in Microsoft OneNote? It makes you want to jump out of the nearest window. I suppose we're still a few years out from having Steve Jobs prevent me from jumping out of that window.
CBS Tech Talk:
Google's stripped-down laptop, the Samsung Chromebook Series 5, can be purchased from Best Buy and Amazon. Are you planning on buying it? With headlines suggesting that the Chromebook is "tepid" and "works great only if you're online," leaves many on the fence.
The device (which is priced from $430 to $500) - a bargain compared to MacBooks, which start at $999 - is built and optimized for the Web. It promises a faster, simpler way to surf in a more secure experience.
Dissed by New York Times personal technology columnist David Pogue: "Chromebooks assume that you are online anywhere you go. We are not quite there yet. When you're not online, the chromebook is a three-pound 'paperweight,'" he pointed out in yesterday's column entitled "A Laptop, Its Head in the Cloud."
The future sure is off to a bumpy start.
Google has released their first Chromebook into the wild and the reviews aren't so hot. At least, not for their first stab at things. I question the idea of charging upwards of $500 for a laptop that can only use one application - the browser. You can get much more capable "netbooks" at a lower cost. That's just silliness, Google. For a company to make most of its cash via ads, it's odd that they're fine with Samsung and others to charge so high a starting price for such hardware.
Google and Apple have taken very different stances on where they see the future of computing going. Apple thinks that native Cocoa apps are their vision, while Google is perfectly fine with web apps that include their ads inside of them.
Without being locked into Apple's iOS and Mac operating system, the majority of enterprise users could very well fit into Google's vision of computing, but things haven't started off in an ideal manner.
(this article first appeared on Technorati.)
Apple® CEO Steve Jobs and a team of Apple executives will kick off the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address on Monday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. At the keynote, Apple will unveil its next generation software - Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS® X; iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s advanced mobile operating system which powers the iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch®; and iCloud®, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.
Notice how I didn't end that title with "change the enterprise game"? Not a fan of "gamechanger". Not saying "gamechanger" is the new gamechanger.
But let's get serious here, folks. Apple is set to reveal plans for their iOS 5 software in a few weeks which will include details regarding their iCloud suite of cloud services. Is it possible that this could turn the enterprise field on its head?
I started using an iPhone for work email way back in 2008. It was a different era back then. People were still using Windows Mobile. Those same people were using a stylus to type and thought that I was a witch for laughing at them. I was nearly burned at the Frappuccino machnine, er, stake.
Time change, though, and now non-iPhone users are the ones being chuckled at. But there is still hesitation in the enterprise field with iPhones and now iPads. IT Managers are hesistant to use "Apps" in order to access data. They would much rather RDP into a terminal and call it a day. Sure, you can remote in from an iPad, but still folks aren't happy.
I know several people that aren't pleased with the email client on iOS, still. I don't like it mainly because it makes it easy for me to read emails. I hate email. Almost as much as talking on the phone.
I think the real talking point will be the iCloud services. While it may not be the secure unicorn IT Managers are hoping for, the amount of built-in system issues this could solve will definately turn heads. Who wants to so sync phones to an actual computer, anway? Not this guy. And certainly not enterprise users.
At Research In Motion’s annual Blackberry World on Tuesday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced on stage a new alliance between Microsoft and RIM, outlining how the two companies can work together to help people make better decisions with Bing on BlackBerry devices. Central to this collaboration, Blackberry devices will use Bing as the preferred search provider in the browser, and Bing will be the default search and map application for new devices presented to mobile operators, both in the United States and internationally. Also, effective Monday, Bing was designated the preferred search and maps applications with regular, featured placement and promotion in the BlackBerry App World carousel.
Hurrah! Our dreams have been answered. Just kidding! Nobody uses BlackBerry's anymore. Or maybe you do, and have just unsubscribed from this RSS feed. In which case, sorry.
Does this partnership with RIM mean that Microsoft doesn't trust their own phone platform in the enterprise? Maybe. Even so, why partner with a platform that is seemingly losing ground in the enterprise field? The iPhone is moving fast and furious into companies all over the world while nobody is jumping onto BlackBerry anything for their corporate needs.
I like the Windows Phone platform, but it's just not selling as MS had hoped. At least not yet. But, RIM? Will they even have a smartphone market in 5 years? I'll bet you $10 that RIM ditches their own smartphone OS and signs with either Microsoft or Android. A whole $10!
Do you even know how many Frappé's that can buy? About two and half, actually. Don't wait until it's too late to get your own corporate mobile network secure. You know want to end up like the PSN network, do you?
- by Mark, "The Mind", Sarro
Once upon a time Microsoft recommended against putting critical applications and services on the same server… Then came along Small Business Server; the all-in-one server for businesses who couldn’t afford separate servers for each critical application. (Exchange, SQL, Active Directory, File Server, etc.)
Since the introduction of Small Business Server 2003 the productivity and efficiency of small businesses have increased threefold; With Microsoft putting the power of enterprise solutions and software that was often out of their financial grasp directly into the palm of their hands.
Now comes SBS 2011 and its three offerings:
SBS Server 2011 Standard – designed and priced for small businesses with up to 75 users. The technology included in the offering: Windows Server 2008 R2 64 bit, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Foundation and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).
SBS Server 2011 Essentials – designed and priced for small businesses with up to 25 users. Designed to be deployed and managed by individuals within organizations that are limited in the IT prowess. It is designed to integrate with Microsoft online services: Office 365, cloud backup and cloud management solution.
SBS Server 2011 Premium Add-on - This offering allows the option of adding additional servers for data management and applications. It includes an additional license of Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard edition for small businesses. Premium Add-on is available in both versions of SBS 2011; Standard and Essentials.
The SBS product offering has been improving upon its features with each version as they come out. The “Essentials” offering is very promising for those smaller businesses who do not want the administrative overhead of managing and maintaining the upkeep on Exchange or backups.
However, it must be stated that in exchange of the economic factors of going with a single server solution you run the risk of not having any redundancy or guarantee of no downtime in the event that an issue arises on the server. The question must be weighed: “How critical is server uptime to my business operations?” If you answer very critical then a multi-server environment may be a better solution. Either way, we at Trigon Technology can help you with choosing and implementing a solution that is right for your business and operations.
Welcome to Part 2 of our intensive study regarding EWeeks Top 10 list on Chrome OS. Go ahead and read Part 1 and then let's dig in!
Are consumers ready?
As mentioned, consumers need to decide if using Chrome OS is really necessary. But Google must also consider if the consumer market is ready for its platform. It’s a question that Google must answer before it sees its Web-based operating system fail.
I’m going to make a scandalous statement right now. Consumers are not ready for Chrome OS. It’s too mind-blowing. Even though we nerds may not consider it to be mind-blowing, this is a big deal to the general public. You’re essentially buying a computer that just has a browser and no other apps. “How do I send emails”?! “How do I look at pictures”?! Shudder.
When Chrome OS launches, Google is assured that users will be able to access many of the programs they desire from the company’s online Chrome app store. Simply put, when it comes to software compatibility, Chrome OS will fall short.
This is where I think it really shows where Chrome OS is ahead of its time. We’re not really at the point on the web where we can do everything we want to do via web apps. I can’t wait for that day to happen, but it’s just not here yet. Those apps have to be somewhere. What would Andrew Levin do without OneNote access?!
If there is trouble on the software side with Chrome OS, the issue must also span the hardware market. Windows and Mac OS X users want to be able to connect their USB devices, FireWire-connected products, and other hardware to Chrome OS devices and get them to work.
Oh, good point. What happens when Grandma wants to upload pictures of her new crumb cake to her family? Luckily, Chrome OS will allow to store photos locally, but not a whole lot. Grandma is saved for now, but what about VIDEOS of her crumb cake?
Android, the competitor
Chrome OS is designed to be a lightweight operating system at launch, potentially making it effective for customers using netbooks or even tablets. The only issue for Google is that its other operating system, Android, is also capable of running quite well on those devices. Google has said that it doesn’t view its two platforms as competitors. But will consumers?
This is a huge negative among the tech reviewing community. It seems like Google has two competing projects that don’t talk to each other at all. You have a great, lightweight mobile operating system with Android, and what Google thinks is a great mobile operating system. If Google doesn't know what they are selling, how will Grandma?
Data plan considerations
As a Web-based operating system, Chrome OS requires an always-connected experience for users. Simply put, Chrome OS requires a monthly fee to work properly that many customers might take issue with.
This one seems kind of weak. If you’re getting a laptop, chances are you have Wi-Fi, and if you don’t, let’s stop speaking to each other right now. But, the 3G considerations are something. In fact, I think most power travelers would love a built-in 3G plan.
So what’s the final word on Chrome OS? People hate change, especially Grandmas. Many consider web apps the future but, to me, it still seems like a great ways off. Years, in fact. It certainly doesn’t help matters that Google is pushing two competing mobile operating systems, does it?
The folks at EWeek has put together 10 reasons why Chrome OS faces some hurdles. Fatal hurdles, at that. But, since we at Trigon are the smartest and most humble folks you’ll ever meet, we’ve decided to break down these points. Put down that pork roll and pay attention, friend.
It comes down to capability.
When it’s all said and done, customers will judge Google’s Chrome OS platform by what they can do with it. But further inspection reveals that they won’t be able to do as much as they can on, say, Windows or Mac OS X.
Good on you, EWeek. This will be the biggest hurdle of them all. Can you truly run your business in the cloud? Or at the very least, have your employees run their programs via Citrix on their Chrome OS laptops from a main Application Server? Could you run Terminal Server for most or all of your tasks? Time will tell. Cloud is the future, but ChromeOS could be ahead of its time.
Beating Windows is a tall order.
Microsoft’s Windows operating system has a dominant share over the operating system market around the world. Until Google can convince those key parties to switch, it could have a hard time making Chrome OS a success.
Converting a person, let alone a company, to a cloud based OS from their blankee, Microsoft, is no easy task. Impossible, almost. Just ask our resident MS Fanboy, Andrew Levin. He just switched to WP7 from an iPhone and will waste no time in telling you have “awesome” OneNote mobile is. Or how ”ballin’” Windows Live email is. There are many folks out there just like him. The thought of changing from Microsoft is enough to make them flip over your dinner plate. Then stomp on the food.
The enterprise consideration.
Speaking of the enterprise, it seems like one key area where Google’s operating system will fall short. If Google can’t attract the corporate world at all, it could have some trouble making Chrome OS a long-term success.
It’s like EWeek is ready my mind! At Trigon, we tend to know your enterprise needs out of the park. With that said, is your small to mid-sized business ready for a completely cloud OS? That completely depends on your situation. If most of your work can be done in a word processor, email, and some light application work, Chrome OS could be perfect for you. But what if ChromeOS doesn’t stick around for long and is deemed a failure? Danger, Danger!
The important question: Is it necessary?
When consumers finally decide if they want a product or not, they need to figure out if it’s necessary. Chrome OS is likely an unacceptable option for those searching for a single efficient device to spend their hard-earned cash compared to an operating system they know and (mostly) trust.
Very true, indeed. Chrome OS is still very much in the experimental phase. In fact, many of the new products that Google announces and promotes are those that their own engineers create in their approved downtime. Google thinks their invention is good enough for the bigtime, and allow it to become a full-time project. This provides great innovation in the field, but some never turn out as intended, i.e., Buzz, Wave, etc.
Vendor support is critical
Chrome OS could be derailed quite quickly without the proper support from vendors. The sooner it can attract consumer attention to the software platform, the sooner it can limit its chances of seeing Chrome OS become a failure.
This is where I’ll disagree slightly with EWeek. While vendor support is critical, I don’t believe it will lead to success. You can have vendors singing praises to ChromeOS, but without customer adoption, the OS will flounder.
Tune in tomorrow when Trigon gets to the nitty gritty of Chrome OS for YOU with for 6-10!
- by Andrew Levin, via Mosaic Technology.
So, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about regarding Google Apps so I decided to take it for a test run myself. As it turns out, I was very impressed by the surprisingly simplistic configuration process. I was able to sign up, configure my account, repoint my domain, get apps configured, setup users, and email flowing all in under 30 minutes. Granted, everything was a vanilla configuration, but just being able to experience how quickly an administrator could get fundamental IT services up and running so quickly was very promising.
In a nutshell, I will outline the basic configuration process just so you can get a feel of how easy it is.
- I went to https://www.google.com/a/cpanel/domain/new in order to sign up for the free service.
- Followed the prompts to input basic domain information
- Created an administrator account
- Verified ownership of my domain by adding a C-Name record specified by Google
- Successfully logged into my account and was taken to the administrator’s dashboard
- Poked around through all the available settings to get a feel for everything
- Clicked the setup guide to learn how to create custom URLs for my domain, instead of using Google’s.
- Sub domains can be created for any of the provided features. For example, docs.yourdomain.com or email.yourdomain.com. All it takes is adding the proper CNAME value within your domain’s DNS manager and point it to ghs.google.com. Then you simply specify the sub domain name in your Google Apps admin dashboard and they take care of the rest of the redirection.
8. Reviewed the setup guide
I then began poking around admin dashboard to see what other options were available. It has a similar look and feel of other Google offerings which makes it pretty simple. Also, which is great, there isn’t really that much to it. I mean, you have your domain settings, users and groups, service settings, support tools, and you’re good to go. Although I only performed a cursory review, my first impression was that of a design objective similar to Microsoft’s Small Business Server. Google Apps facilitates the ability to not require specifically skilled IT administrators (possibly the skilled IT administrators based out of Wayne, PA servicing the entire Philadelphia area) to run and support the essential features of your business’s infrastructure.
My overall expectations weren’t to see an elaborate feature set, stunning graphics, or an advanced admin console. I expected to see a simplistic, but intuitive UI, both from the user and administrator side, as well as services that fulfilled the fundamental needs of small to mid-sized businesses. That is exactly what I saw. No frills here, it just gets down to business. The goal of Google Apps isn’t to rival the feature set of MS Office because that would be pointless. The goal is to answer the need for a simplified means of deploying, implementing, managing and using core IT services in a business environment. Impressively, that is exactly what Google Apps has accomplished.
Keep in mind too; this is only the first release…