Friday, 15 April 2011

Office 365 beta, Microsoft finally makes it to the Cloud with SharePoint

UPDATE: Since I wrote this original post in 2011 Microsoft has released the mature ready to go Office365 for the Cloud.  And it is a vast improvement and a real game changer.  

It has a simpler new layout which works well with tablets, not just Surfaces.  I use my Office365 on my iPad and it is great.  It also has  a wonderful new App Development model which will make it much easier to add SharePoint to the entire Enterprise.  Things are just getting better and better from the Cloud.

Office 365 beta is here. And the wait is almost worth it. Almost. First the good news. You get SharePoint and Office Web Applications in a Cloud solution. And this is real SharePoint 2010. You even have the ability to start workflows, edit page layout, set site properties and even open the page in Designer 2010. Everything with the same ribbon and SharePoint 2010 because it is SharePoint 2010.

With a basic under 25 user Office 365 beta you get Outlook Web Application, which looks and feels like the real office. You get a basic web site which frankly is terrible. But the real killer app is, or will be, Cloud based document Management using Office Web Apps and SharePoint 2010 Team Sites!

Now on my computer I could not create document using the Web App, but I would imagine they will fix that soon or I will fix my machine. Oh and you get Lync too but frankly anyone in a small business who needs another cloud based IM service must be living under a rock.

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Frankly for a 25 person of less business Lynch will be useless give Skype and other basic IM services. But the ability to use SharePoint and Outlook in the Cloud is pretty cool.

And I am going to be clear about this: Office 365 beta is not kind of SharePoint 2010, or something that looks like SharePoint 2010; it is SharePoint 2010. This is Microsoft breaking in to the Cloud in a massive way. Good job folks, now get the phone to sell.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Web 3.0 Lab: BBC News - How is technology changing protests?

Police officers stand in front of a fire lit be demonstrators after a protest organised by the Trades Union Congress

BBC News - How is technology changing protests?: "Technology has always been at the forefront of policing protests, from video cameras, CCTV and now social media. But it is the protesters who are now using technology to their advantage."

Web 3.0 Lab: BBC News - How is technology changing protests?:

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

How much information does IT produce? Try a number with 19 zeros!

World's information consumption: 9,570,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes per year: "The world's roughly 27 million computer servers processed 9.57 zettabytes of information in 2008, according to a paper to be presented April 7 at Storage Networking World's (SNW's) annual meeting in Santa Clara, Calif.
The first-of-its kind rigorous estimate was generated with server-processing performance standards, server-industry reports, interviews with information technology experts, sales figures from server manufacturers and other sources. (One zettabyte is 10 to the 21st power, or a million million gigabytes.)
The study estimated that enterprise server workloads are doubling about every two years, which means that by 2024 the world's enterprise servers will annually process the digital equivalent of a stack of books extending more than 4.37 light-years to Alpha Centauri, our closest neighboring star system in the Milky Way Galaxy. (Each book is assumed to be 4.8 centimeters thick and contain 2.5 megabytes of information.)"

Web 3.0 Lab: The Tablet is mobile, cameras and 3G now becoming ...

Web 3.0 Lab: The Tablet is mobile, cameras and 3G now becoming ...: "Pickup in Lens Orders Points to More Tablets With Cameras - PCWorld Business Center: 'A lot of first-generation tablets didn't feature came..."

This confirms with our own survey of local tablet sales centers in London where staff have told us the ability to attach to the 3G network has become a make or break features for tablet sales. It seems that a tablet must have all the features of a mobile phone and then some, rather than being a half way hybrid between a PC and a mobile phone.

This is good news for the players coming at the tablet space from the mobile side: Android, Apple and potentially Blackberry. This is continued bad news for Microsoft though, as a tablet evolves to be more and more like a mobile phone the strengths of Windows will count for less on the mobile space.

What were are fearing on tablets is people want a camera, they want mobility, they want a camera and video but they don't care to much about productivity and file sharing features. Perhaps as the tablet space expands people will see their potential as productivity tools, but right now they are being seen as big phones rather than mobile PC, and this is very bad news for Microsoft.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Web 3.0 Lab: Cancer Research UK embraces Wikipedia

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In a move that shows the emerging importance of Social Media, Cancer Research UK has announced that it will be enhancing Wikipedia pages on cancer. This is because Wikipedia pages come up higher in search than the Cancer Research UK's own web pages. Here is part of the story on BBC:

"Cancer Research UK is turning its specialists loose on the internet to get them to tidy up the online encyclopaedia - wikipedia.

"The charity said many people researching the subject are turning to the website.

"But it said there were problems with accuracy and clarity on some of the pages.

"Wikipedia said it encourages experts to edit the site as they have a lot to contribute.

"Cancer Research UK's website has pages of detail about a range of cancers.

"However, using a search engine for the terms 'Breast Cancer' puts the charity in eighth place on the results page. Wikipedia comes second. A trend it repeats across other cancers."

Cancer Research UK move illustrates the importance of a two track approach to social network research. Having an excellent authoritative web page is no longer enough. It is critical to engage social media like Wikipedia, blogging, twitter and facebook.

The lesson here is that the line between experts and laymen is no longer respect by the Internet itself. In fact crowd sourced content engines like Wikipedia will dominate search results. Therefore experts, if they really want to get their message out, must work with the community as peers rather than broadcasters.

Web 3.0 Lab: Cancer Research UK embraces Wikipedia: