Epson portable document scanner yields one-touch cloud uploads

LAS VEGAS--Years late to the game, Epson enters the portable document-scanning market with the WorkForce DS-30, a mobile workstation that lets users hit one button to scan originals directly to Web-based cloud services like Google Docs, Evernote, and SharePoint.

As more professionals take their desks on the road, mobile workstations are increasingly in need of portable scanners like the DS-30 that draw power from a laptop's USB port, meaning users don't need to lug around another bulky power cord.

In terms of design, the DS-30 isn't winning any beauty contests and certainly doesn't sound as adorable as the similarly featured Doxie Go, but it weighs just 11.5 ounces and looks easy enough to slip in a bag or briefcase.… Read more

Microsoft Office 2010 reviewed

The bottom line: Microsoft Office 2010 is a worthy upgrade for businesses and individual users who need professional-level productivity apps, but it will take some time to get acclimated with the reworked interface. Users looking for bare-bones, dead-simple office software should stick with Google's and other online offerings or continue using older Office versions they have already mastered.

The world has changed plenty since Microsoft introduced Office 2007. In that time, Google has become a major player, with its suite of online tools, and even Apple has made inroads with its iWork office suite, though admittedly within a smaller … Read more

Sharepoint beta gets Olympic tryout

Although still in beta, the latest version of Sharepoint has already made it to the Olympics.

The United States Olympic Committee relied on the test version of Sharepoint 2010 to power the Web site used to deliver statistics, photos, news, and other information to the many journalists covering the Winter Games in Vancouver.

And the results, Microsoft says, were positive. A survey showed that 92 percent of the reporters said they found the site helpful--nearly half said very helpful--and almost three-quarters used the flash quotes (quotes gathered from athletes right after their performance or training) and press conference transcripts to … Read more

Microsoft dropping FAST search for Linux, Unix

Microsoft plans to begin phasing out Unix and Linux platform support for its FAST enterprise search products, as of its next release.

According to a Thursday blog post from Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Bjørn Olstad, the team will be "investing in interoperability between Windows and other operating systems, reaffirming our commitment to 10 years of support for our non-Windows products, and taking concrete steps to help customers plan for the future."

Enterprise search remains a lucrative, if oddly fractured market. According to analyst firm Gartner, in 2008, software revenue (new licenses and maintenance revenue) in the enterprise … Read more

Office 2010 to enter public beta next month

Microsoft on Monday is announcing that it will release in November a public test version of Office 2010.

The software maker released a limited technology preview of the software in July and plans to release the final version next year. It also started testing of the browser-based "Office Web Apps" in September.

Microsoft, which is making the announcement at its SharePoint conference, is also detailing some of the features of the next version of its portal software, which will also enter beta next month.

The new version, SharePoint 2010, includes Office's Ribbon user interface as well as … Read more

Red Hat to collide with Microsoft

For years, Red Hat has happily sold Linux to Unix shops anxious to save money at equivalent or better performance. During this time, the company largely avoided Microsoft, which has tended to compete much higher up the stack. No longer. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer argues that one of Microsoft's biggest opportunities lies in enterprise infrastructure and associated application development.

Red Hat, meet Redmond.

Red Hat wants to own the infrastructure market. The company is nearing its initial $1 billion goal, but has a far more audacious ambition: own half the associated middleware market.

This is a direct challenge to … Read more

Opening up in self-interest of Google, Microsoft

Microsoft is launching an open-source foundation. Google is promising to keep user data portable. Both moves seem to cut against the financial self-interest of the two technology giants. Have the gods gone crazy, or are the business strategies of the industry's biggest players more subtle than "Embrace. Extend. Extinguish"?

With a steady adoption of open-source business and development strategies, Microsoft has gone from open-source hater to open-source embracer in just a couple of years:

Created its own open-source foundation, the CodePlex Foundation. Launched CodePlex, an open-source project-hosting site. Started actively contributing to outside open-source projects, including those of the Apache Software Foundation, … Read more

The future of Apple, Google, and Microsoft is...already here

We like to ascribe secret designs--nefarious and otherwise--to software vendors. Super-secretive Apple, in particular, tends to excite endless rumor-mongering as to what it's up to. It seems to me, however, that Apple and its top competitors, including Google and Microsoft, are increasingly transparent about their plans. We simply don't pay attention to the signs.

Let's start with Apple. The big rumor at present is the company's alleged work on a tablet computer, kicked off by The Wall Street Journal's bold declaration that "people familiar with the situation" suggest Apple is working on "… Read more

Microsoft, Google, and VMware redefine the OS

While the open-source crowd gets (rightly) excited by Linux's growing market share, three companies are pulling the rug out from under the feet of traditional operating systems.

Red Hat is winning in Linux while IBM cleans up the Unix market. But those are increasingly yesterday's markets as Microsoft, Google, and VMware create different breeds of operating system, each tuned to the strength of its product portfolio.

The easiest to understand are Google and VMware. Google, with its Linux distribution Chrome OS, is placing secondary emphasis on the operating system and primary emphasis on where it takes you: the … Read more

Microsoft's technology strategy needs a refresh

As news broke this week that Microsoft and Nokia would be partnering to (brace yourself!) port Office to Nokia phones, followed by the equally momentous (or not) news that (sit down for this one!) Microsoft will replace Entourage with Outlook for Mac OS X, I couldn't help but agree with Larry Dignan's assessment of the Nokia deal:

Simply put, Nokia and Microsoft are the equivalent of two St. Bernards that are forced to run in 90 degree heat and high humidity. They're big. They're winded. And they could knock you over--if they could only catch you.… Read more