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Gary Edwards

Gary Edwards's Public Library

  • New research from the Bitglass, a cloud access broker based in the Silicon Valley that has tracked SaaS adoption rates for the past couple of years, proclaims a complete inversion of the competitive landscape, in Microsoft's favor.
  • The Bitglass 2015 Cloud Adoption Report, which will be made public this week, will show that Microsoft has jumped ahead of Google in adoption rates, a Bitglass representative told CRN. Over the past 15 months, Office 365 has far outpaced Google Apps with rapid adoption "that shows no sign of a slowdown."
  • That's a stark turnaround from 2014, when Google dominated the cloud productivity market with 16.3 percent adoption of Google Apps, compared with Microsoft Office 365's 7.7 percent share, according to Bitglass.

     

    Of enterprises surveyed by Bitglass, 29 percent plan to deploy Office 365 sometime in the future, compared with 13 percent for Apps.

Apr 28, 16

"Some of Google's most loyal cloud solution providers -- including those who have been working with the vendor since it launched its channel efforts in 2009 -- told CRN it's no longer financially viable to exclusively partner with the Internet giant.

A number of those regional Google channel pioneers who had bet big on Apps, the centerpiece of the Google for Work portfolio, told CRN they are adding a Microsoft Office 365 practice. Some are even striking Google from their portfolios altogether. "

Apr 28, 16

"Google on Tuesday extended the duration and scope of an aggressive program meant to lure customers to Google Apps from rival cloud-based office productivity products, primarily Microsoft Office 365.

The subsidiary of Alphabet introduced in October the incentive, which allowed midsize businesses locked in contracts with other vendors to use Google Apps at no cost until those contracts expired. The offer officially ended April 14.

But pleased with its success, Google decided to maintain the incentive until the end of 2016, while also making it easier for smaller companies to qualify, wrote Neil Delaney, sales director for Google Apps for Work, in a company blog."

  • Perhaps we need to go further back — before the big valuations — to the inception phase of a startup, and ask the question: Why are startups seeking venture capital rather than other types of funding?

     

    Let’s start by saying that venture capital is, of course, an essential component of a flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem, giving companies the means to grow exponentially over a short period of time. But here in Silicon Valley, we’ve propagated the myth that value (i.e. market cap) and success (i.e. exit) can only be tied to venture-backed startups. We espouse that more venture money needs to flow to more businesses — full stop.

  • But this philosophy is inherently flawed. If we want our brightest minds to tackle society’s biggest problems, we need to move away from the notion that being venture-backed is the only way to build a successful company.
  • Redefining startup success

     

    It doesn’t have to be this way. What if entrepreneurs were told that success is actually determined by how you define it? Being venture-backable implies certain characteristics: a $1 billion-plus market, exponential growth, spending excess capital and having a strategy for a major liquidity event within a predefined time frame.

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  • Basically, quantum tunneling means that a particle, or in this case a molecule, can overcome a barrier and be on both sides of it at once – or anywhere between. Think of rolling a ball down one side of a hill and up another. The second hill is the barrier and the ball would only have enough energy to climb it to the height from which it was originally dropped. If the second hill was taller, the ball wouldn't be able to roll over it. That's classical physics. Quantum physics and the concept of tunneling means the ball could jump to the other side of the hill with ease or even be found inside the hill – or on both sides of the hill at once.
  • "In classical physics the atom cannot jump over a barrier if it does not have enough energy for this," ORNL instrument scientist Alexander Kolesnikov tells Gizmag – Kolesnikov is lead author on a paper detailing the discovery published in the April 22 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters. But in the case of the beryl-trapped water his team studied, the water molecules acted according to quantum – not classical – laws of physics.
  • "This means that the oxygen and hydrogen atoms of the water molecule are 'delocalized' and therefore simultaneously present in all six symmetrically equivalent positions in the channel at the same time," says Kolesnikov. "It's one of those phenomena that only occur in quantum mechanics and has no parallel in our everyday experience."

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  • Barth: To start, we are sunsetting legacy applications and migrating the important content to a single platform. We're tackling mostly administrative documents to start. The program is brand new. We've been around 100 years, but this is the first time we have established a formal ECM program. We're taking small steps.
  • Barth: Yes. Cummins has made the decision to eliminate some legacy applications and centralize our collaboration on the Office 365, SharePoint Online platform. Our ECM governance will start with SharePoint, then legacy systems and then new platforms as they come online.
  • There is still a nervousness about putting all things in the cloud -- especially when it comes to our crown-jewel documents. We have a hybrid architecture for two reasons: One, because some will feel more comfortable if critical content is housed and managed on premises, and, two, for those wanting to do customization of the SharePoint platform and hard-core workflow. Those reasons justify the use of the on-premises environment.

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  • Our goal at Quip is to reimagine the modern productivity suite around communication and mobile devices. Quip 2.0 is the culmination of nearly a year of product feedback and improvements. Since our launch last July, we've grown from a new product used by a handful of early adopters to a mature collaboration suite used by over 5,000 companies across the world.
  • Publishing — You can now publish Quip documents with a link that anyone can read without installing the Quip app or creating an account. This feature makes it easy to share a private document with your team to collaborate on or even to publish a read-only version of a public document to Twitter.
  • Search — Quip 2.0 has a powerful full-text search system that works on all your devices. In addition to searching all the text in your documents and messages, you can quickly find documents with custom search operators and an innovative mobile interface that makes searching on your phone even easier than on your laptop.

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  • I mentioned above that Quip allows easy collaboration with others, but this feature is so important it deserves its own section. The app’s collaborative editing feature is really what sets it apart from other similar services out there. Your updates to documents are processed in real time, such that anyone else working on the project with you will see what you’ve done instantly.
Apr 27, 16

"Startup Quip is taking on big boys Microsoft, Apple and Google with a revamped Web and mobile word processing app called Quip 2.0 that provides users with new publishing and search capabilities.

Quip 1.0 launched last July and is now used by over 5,000 companies, including Path, Taser, Zomato and Facebook, for whom Quip leader Bret Taylor used to serve as chief technology officer. Quip 1.0 includes a word processor and built-in messaging capability."

  • In an AppStorm review of Quip 1.0, Oliver de Looze writes: "Due to the built-in messaging system, there's no need to save your documents and email them, or even share them outside the app itself. This is where Quip sets itself apart from its competitors such as Google Docs or iWork for iCloud."
  • he upgrade to Quip 2.0 adds the ability to publish documents and share them with colleagues who don't have the Quip app installed, and a full-text search system that works on all devices, the company explained on a blog.
Apr 27, 16

"A LITTLE LESS CONVERSATION, A LITTLE MORE ACTION

I don’t know about you, but here’s what I want to see happen.

I want the first tab of my OS’s home screen to be a central inbox half as good as my chat app’s inbox. It want it to incorporate all my messengers, emails, news subscriptions, and notifications and give me as great a degree of control in managing it. No more red dots spattered everywhere, no swiping up to see missed notifications. Make them a bit richer and better-integrated with their originating apps. Make them expire and sync between my devices as appropriate. Just fan it all out in front of me and give me a few simple ways to tame them. I’ll spend most of my day on that page, and when I need to go launch Calculator or Infinity Blade, I’ll swipe over. Serve me a tasty info burrito as my main course instead of a series of nachos.

The next time I’m back stateside, I want my phone to support something like Chrome Apps, but retaining a few useful properties of apps instead of being big, weird icons that just link to websites. I want to sit down at T.G.I Friday’s4 and scan a QR code at my restaurant table and be able to connect to their WiFi, order, and pay. Without having to download a big app over my data plan, set up an account, and link a card when it is installed. Imagine if I could also register at the hospital or DMV in this fashion. Or buy a movie ticket. Or check in for a flight.

As a user, I want my apps — whether they’re native or web-based pseudo-apps — to have some consistent concept of identity, payments, offline storage, and data sharing. I want to be able to quickly add someone in person or from their website to my contacts. The next time I do a startup, I want to spend my time specializing in solving a specific problem for my users, not getting them over the above general hurdles.

I don’t actually care how it happens. Maybe the OS makers will up their game. Maybe Facebook, Telegram, or Snapchat can solve these problems for me by bolting solutions onto their messaging products. Hell, maybe Chrome or UC Browser will do it. Or maybe it’ll be delivered in some magic, blockchain-distributed, GNU-licensed, neckbeard-encrusted solution that the masses, in a sudden epiphany, repent to. As they say at Pizza Hut, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

But more than anything, rather than screwing around with bots, I want the tech industry to focus on solving these major annoyances and handling some of the common use cases I described that my phone ought to do better with by now."

  • The key wins for WeChat in the above interaction (compared to a native app) largely came from steamlining away app installation, login, payment, and notifications, optimizations having nothing to do with the conversational metaphor in its UI.
  • Indeed, the cornerstone of whole experience is effectively a common, semi-hierarchical stream of messages, notifications, and news with a consistent set of controls for handling them. It’s no stretch to see WeChat and its ilk not as SMS replacements but as nascent visions of a mobile OS whose UI paradigm is, rather than rigidly app-centric, thread-centric (and not, strictly speaking, conversation-centric).
  • This term – “app” – is rather old, yet only entered common parlance with the proliferation of smartphones. This is no coincidence. The app paradigm introduced on smartphone OSes circa 2007 was a radical improvement over what we’d had on the desktop. For the first time, software was easy to install, even easier to delete, and was guaranteed to not totally screw with your system (due to sandboxing/permissions models).

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Apr 26, 16

"You can sign up for the service on the official website currently but the makers plan to release repositories that you can install on servers you have control over to create a self-hosted version of Open365 that you have more control over.

When you sign up for the service you get an email address automatically assigned to you that you use to sign in to the web service and the sync clients, and for mail.

You do get 20 Gigabyte of storage as well right now which is more than what many other file synchronization services offer at the time of writing.

It is unclear however if the 20 Gigabyte are only available during the beta period.

The web service loads the "Hub" view on start automatically. It lists all libraries that you own and that are shared with you by default.

A click on a folder opens the contents directly on the web, a click on files either in one of the editors if the file format is supported, or offered for download if it is not.

The focus is on documents but support goes beyond typical document formats such as docx, xls or pptx. Open365 supports an image viewer that supports all common image formats, and a media player to play audio and video content.

Libraries or individual files can be shared or deleted online, and you may upload new files directly to the web interface using your web browser of choice.

One interesting feature is the ability to create new libraries on the Web, and here specifically the option to encrypt content so that it can only be accessed if the right password is supplied. The password is not linked to the account password.

As far as sharing is concerned, you can share files or libraries with individual users or user groups, and get full control over shared links and permissions online as well.

Document editing and creation"

Apr 26, 16

"One standout in the cloud business is the company’s “Office 365” product suite. Nadella took the old Office suite, which charged users every couple of years for a licence, and moved it to the cloud, where users now pay a monthly fee instead.
Microsoft hasn’t given a revenue breakdown for Office 365, but in the latest quarter, Microsoft said that revenue grew 63% on a constant currency basis over the same time last year. It also now has 22.2 million subscribers, up from 20.6 million subscribers in the previous quarter.
Bernstein analyst Mark Moerdler forecasts that the cloud version of Office 365 had annual sales trending to $6.5 billion in the most recent quarter. (Source: “Microsoft Office Shines in the Cloud, Azure Will Be Profitable, Says Bernstein,” Barron’s, April 8, 2016.) That’s out of total commercial cloud revenue that Microsoft reported of $10.0 billion in annualized sales. (Source: Microsoft Corporation, op cit.)
So Office 365 is growing like crazy, but that’s not the only bright spot in Microsoft’s cloud business.
In the battle for cloud computing services, “Microsoft Azure” is second to Amazon.com, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) “Amazon Web Services” (AWS). However, Microsoft is starting to gain. While Azure has about 10% of the market to AWS’s 30%, Azure is becoming bigger and bigger and it’s bound to erode Amazon’s lead.
In the latest quarter, Azure grew 120% on a constant currency basis, which is almost double AWS’s growth. (Source: “How Microsoft’s Azure Is Giving Stiff Competition to Amazon’s AWS,” Yahoo! Finance, April 8, 2016.)
Again, Microsoft didn’t break down revenue for Azure but according to Bernstein’s Moerdler, Azure’s annual sales run rate is about $1.8 billion. (Source: Barron’s, op cit.)"

Apr 26, 16

"Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) posted the following to its Office blog on Tuesday:

This month, we’re announcing several new Office 365 investments to help people better collaborate. This includes the much anticipated Skype for Business Mac Preview, new Yammer external groups and improvements in our Office Mobile apps on Windows Phone, iOS and Android. Please read on for details.

Introducing Skype for Business Mac Preview

Today, we are excited to announce the start of the Skype for Business Mac Preview. This new app offers a simple yet powerful experience that brings our Mac customers into the modern era of Skype for Business.

"

  • The Skype for Business Mac Preview will release in three cumulative stages leading to public availability planned for Q3 of 2016. Today’s initial release lets you see and join your meetings. We’ll soon follow up with additional value, including the contact list and conversations via chat, audio and video. Commercial customers can request an invite to test the new Skype for Business Mac Preview at SkypePreview.com. We’ll start by issuing invites to IT professionals and continue rolling out invites on a daily basis with the goal of rapidly increasing usage before opening up the preview to everyone. To learn more about the Mac Preview, read the Skype for Business Mac Preview blog.

    Bringing collaboration to the forefront in Office

    This month’s updates to Office 2016 desktop client bring the collaboration experience front and center. Core sharing capabilities, a new document activity feed, presence information and Skype for Business instant messaging are now all available at a glance in the top right corner of documents that you are sharing with others.

    • Now you can easily see who’s working and where in your documents, as well as quickly start real-time conversations with Skype for Business.

      The enhanced collaboration experience in Office 2016 includes:

      • People hub—Now you have more visibility into who is actively working in a Word or PowerPoint doc with you. At a glance you can quickly see everyone participating in the document on the ribbon and then, with one click, jump to exactly where they are working.
      • Skype for Business integration—You can click a person’s thumbnail to initiate a Skype for Business IM conversation or see their full contact card. Click the Skype for Business logo to initiate a group chat with everybody currently working in the document.
    • The Activity feed provides access to a full history of document changes, including prior versions.

      • Activity feed—Quick access to the activity feed makes it easy to see what’s been happening in your document, presentation or spreadsheet saved in SharePoint or OneDrive for Business. The Activity feed shows you a full history of changes, and you can easily open or even revert to a prior version if you need to.
      • Comments—With one click you can make or view comments in your document or slide. Collaboration flows easily with threaded conversations and quick access buttons that let you reply to or resolve comments, and then mark items as complete.

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  • Office 365 Video requires SharePoint Online. Once Office 365 Video has been rolled out to a qualified customer (as specified in the previous FAQ), Office 365 Video will be enabled for all users that have one of the eligible plans and have a SharePoint Online license assigned.
Apr 25, 16

"I’ve purchased the latest Microsoft Office for every computer I’ve owned. It was a foregone conclusion. Dating back to when Word was white type on a blue screen, I used it so often I could recite the shortcuts. (Thesaurus? Shift-F7.)

But Microsoft has run out of reasons to keep me paying. How we get work done on computers has fundamentally changed.

For the new Office 2016, Microsoft wants you to pay $150 for collaborative capabilities that others already do better, free. It brings little new to people who rely on deep features in Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook. Its mediocrity led me to a larger conclusion: It’s time for Microsoft to press Control-Alt-Delete on the whole concept of Office.

My relationship with Office started to sour as smartphones carried my work everywhere while my Office files stayed in the cubicle. I began emailing myself instead of fretting about scattered .doc files.

Google ran with the work-anywhere idea early. Its free Web-based word processor and spreadsheet allow people in different locations to edit a document together. With Google Docs and Sheets, there’s no more emailing drafts back and forth."

  • The target customer for much of Office’s evolution is corporate. But there are 15 million people who pay $70 or more a year for Office updates—and countless more who, like me, have bought Office for a home computer.
  • There’s a generational divide at work here: A survey last summer by the tech firm BetterCloud found that companies whose employee base averaged between 18 and 34 were 55% more likely to use Google than Office; those who average 35 to 54 were 19% more likely to use Office.
  • I'm a transactional lawyer, been using Word since 2002, and I think it's a terrible word processing program.  But we're stuck in it - there's no way out.

    MS has never fixed the two core horrible problems in Word - Styles and Section Breaks.  They should be removed from the program completely - there is no way to "fix" them.

    Before you say that they can be learned -- and I have indeed learned them -- here's the reality:  No one but me -- and I mean not one single lawyer or secretary I have ever worked or emailed with -- works correctly with Styles or Section Breaks.  Our long documents are emailed to the lawyers for the other parties, they make changes in their own, different Styles with additional manual formatting, and the documents become a mess.  Since we save and re-use our documents, I have to spend a lot of time cleaning them up, only to see them messed up again by the end of each deal.  And Styles can break by themselves.

    Word is junk.  Still inferior to 1996 WordPerfect.

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Apr 25, 16

"Uber, the car-sharing service, has become ubiquitous. It’s now a multi-billion-dollar global business. It’s even become a noun of sorts — uberization — which people use to describe a disruptive change to a staid industry ripe for innovation (though, to be sure, the popularization of the word “disruptive” means that it is often used in ways that the concept’s author, Clay Christensen, didn’t intend).

But I would argue that the real reason Uber is disruptive is because it is reshaping how we can think about organizing people, not cars. Uber has shown how you can actually empower many thousands of people to self-organize to tackle a task (shuffling people to their destination in this case) without the preplanning that is the norm in traditional enterprises. Put another way, Uber’s business model extends a very complex supply chain beyond the boundaries of a corporation in a way that creates real results without any planning in advance.

That is a remarkable example of how technology will reshape how we organize to get work done at scale in the future.

For context, I worked at Delta Air Lines for many years before I joined Red Hat, the open source software provider where I am now CEO. When I was at Delta, we spent enormous resources in terms of time and money on planning. Airline operations are a huge optimization challenge. There are hundreds of planes, thousands of pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and ground crews that must be properly deployed for the system to work efficiently. We needed to process reams of data using expensive and sophisticated software and computers to predict demand, know the capabilities of each aircraft type, and to understand each work group’s constraints. We also had an army of PhD-caliber people whose full-time jobs involved figuring out this puzzle in a way that we could still make money.

Uber’s value chain has a similar optimization challenge — it needs to deal with variable demand, thousands of drivers, and vehicles that require fuel and maintenance. Optimizing that in a traditional way would be a massive exercise. But Uber doesn’t do any of this. Rather, they focus on creating a market where people with cars can connect with people who need rides. The individual drivers optimize against their own schedules and handle maintenance and fueling in a way that works best for them. The result is that millions of people self-organize in a way that the supply of rides rises to meet the demand for them in a very efficient manner. Uber is basically a mechanism that shares information that enables people to decide what they want to do when they want to do it. Even a PhD would have to admit at the beauty of that efficiency."

  • they focus on creating a market where people with cars can connect with people who need rides.
  • It’s also interesting to note that Uber doesn’t expect exclusivity from its extended labor force. Many people who drive for Uber also drive for competing services like Lyft. That lifts a key constraint — namely that the company must optimize a fixed amount of a worker’s time. Drivers opt-in to drive the schedules that work best for them — maybe the free time they have between dropping kids off at school and then picking them up. For others, they may opt to work 12-hour-long days. There is no central actor setting the rules such as having to manage artificial constraints like a fixed eight-hour workday. Nothing is pre-planned and everything is left to the market to come up with efficient solutions.
  • How does Uber handle the holiday crunch? They let the market solve that issue through surge pricing. At peak times, prices rise — which reduces demand AND increases supply of drivers. Sure, some folks consider this price gouging at times. But it’s interesting to see how the higher fares create incentives for more drivers to hit the roads to meet that demand. Problem solved, again without any preplanning.

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Apr 24, 16

"Any computer user with normal level skill set knows that any data removed from computer system can be recovered later with little bit of efforts. This is a good thing in the scenario when you have accidentally deleted your critical data. But in most cases, you don't want your private data to be recovered easily. Whenever we remove anything, the operating system deletes just the index of the particular data. It means that data is still there somewhere on the disk, this method is insecure, as any smart computer hacker can use any good data recovery tool to easily recover your deleted data. Linux users utilizes the well know “rm” command to remove data from their operating system, but “rm” command works in the conventional fashion. Data removed using this command can be recovered by special file recovery tools.

Let’s see how we can safely and completely remove files/folders from our Linux system. The methods mentioned below remove data completely so it becomes very hard for recovery tools to find traces of the actual data and recover it.

"

Apr 23, 16

"John Lilly, a partner at Greylock Partners, invests in companies that zhuzh office productivity tools for today’s mobile worker. He sits on the board of Quip (a more collaborative Microsoft Word) and Figma (an Adobe Photoshop for the sharing generation), among others. He also led Greylock’s investment in Dropbox, along with its stakes in Tumblr, acquired by Yahoo in 2013, and Instagram, which Facebook bought in 2012.

Before joining Greylock in 2011, Lilly was C.E.O. of Mozilla, the organization behind Firefox, the Web browser that quietly grabbed share from Microsoft’s then-dominant Internet Explorer in the early 2000s. While Lilly is betting on a new generation of Microsoft antagonists, he explains why he isn’t writing off the software giant, how new tools will change the way we work, and why he finds Slack so vexing."

  • I’m an investor in a company called Quip. The idea is, if you take Microsoft Office—Word and Excel—and re-do that with modern mobile materials, what does that look like? Suddenly you get this document-construction tool that’s infused with real-time notification and touch-screen collaboration, and it feels much more alive than typing a Word document.
Apr 22, 16

To no one's surprise, Microsoft isn't turning much of a profit from its phone business. According to its latest quarterly report, the company saw a dip of mobile revenue by as much as 46 percent. It sold 2.3 million Lumias over the past three months, which is a 73 percent drop from this time last year. Sadly, this is an ongoing trend; last quarter, it reported a phone sales drop by as much as 54 percent.




Still, the company is making money. Revenue was $20.5 billion while net profit was $3.8 billion. Microsoft also saw growth from its Surface segment, which grew by $1.1 billion over the past three months. That's up 61 percent year-over-year. The company credited the surge in Surface sales to the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book, but there's no word in its report exactly how many of those tablet computers it sold. Windows OEM revenue dipped by only 2 percent, which outperforms the PC market.

  • Microsoft is also seeing some gains in its non-Windows related businesses, like Office, Azure and other cloud-based endeavors. Office revenue went up by 7 percent in the commercial sector and 6 percent in the consumer sector, thanks in part to growth in Office 365 adoption. Indeed, Office 365 itself experienced a huge growth, with a jump of 22.2 million consumer subscribers. Azure revenue grew by a whopping 120 percent.
  • In fact, CEO Satya Nadella's decision to push Microsoft's ambitions in the cloud may have saved the company from trouble ahead as it should be able to eke out a living for itself while other PC businesses flounder. For instance, Intel, which makes the bulk of its money with chips for PCs, is having to cut 11 percent of its workforce since the PC market is dying so rapidly.
  • The company also reported that Xbox Live monthly active users has grown by 26 percent year-over-year to 46 million people, and that search advertising revenue has gone up by 18 percent.

      

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