When Microsoft executives envision the company's future, they see record-setting sales and profits from exciting new products. But when Wall Street gazes into Microsoft's future, many potential investors seem to see only a blue screen of death.
For several years, Denise Carlevato has studied millions of mouse clicks and keystrokes made by anonymous computer users from all over the world. Her objective: to make Microsoft Office better fit the way millions of people work.
In a recent survey of around 900 Internet and tech experts and social analysts, Elon University researchers found that most of their respondents said Internet users will "live mostly in the cloud" by 2020.
Google kicked off its annual developers' conference on Wednesday by introducing tools to help people build web-based applications, while making a strong push for HTML5, the next generation of the code on which the web is built.
With gas prices inching their way back up and traffic in most metropolitan areas bottlenecking along any rush-hour route, it's a wonder that the majority of the modern office workforce doesn't telecommute.
For years, Microsoft has been trying to devise a "Google killer" (Can you say Live? Bing?). On Wednesday, the search engine giant lashed back with its own Chrome operating system. Could it be a "Microsoft killer?"
Many people found Google's search site was extremely slow or inaccessible Thursday, and other reports pointed to troubles with other properties including YouTube, Gmail, Google Analytics, Google Maps, Google Docs, AdSense, and Blogger.
After six months in development, Zillow's new iPhone application - a data-intensive program that marries the gadget's GPS functionality with the real estate site's property-value estimates, or Zestimates - was finally ready for the light of day.
Is the world finally ready for the mobile minitablet? It's become quite clear over the last several months that Apple is ready to bridge the mobile computing gap, with plans to develop a device that fits somewhere in between the iPhone and the MacBook.
Showing that its Web application priorities extend to the mobile world, Google on Wednesday demonstrated a version of Gmail for the iPhone that could be used even when the phone had no network connection.
Significantly increasing the utility and competitiveness of its Web-based e-mail service, Google is enabling an experimental ability to read, write, and search Gmail messages even while not connected to the network.
What happens when a business throws out its scheduling and collaboration tools and replaces them with Google's low-cost, online business software? To find out, we at Blumsday migrated our entire shop of roughly a dozen employees and contractors to test out Google Apps.
Steve Skinner, the head of information technology for a big Bay Area real estate agency, recently got his umpteenth call from Google. Would Skinner be interested in buying a package of e-mail, word processing and other software known as Google Apps for his company's 1,300 employees?
Sean Knapp had it made. As a young computer scientist, he couldn't have had a better gig: working at Google, the engineer's paradise. He had all the usual perks - a massage every other week, onsite laundry, free all-you-can-eat haute cuisine. Even better, he got to work on some of Google's highest-profile products, including the search technology that is the heart and soul of the company. And he made full use of his "20% time," that famous one day a week that Google gives its engineers to work on whatever project they want. A little over a year ago he and a couple of colleagues, brothers Bismarck and Belsasar Lepe, ages 28 and 21, respectively, did what many of the young geniuses do at Google: They came up with a cool idea, in this case a new way to handle Web video.
How's this for irony? Choosing the software that's supposed to make our work lives easier is becoming horribly complex. Market hegemon Microsoft recently unleashed its most impressive riffs yet on Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and the rest, packaged as Office 2007 and built for the new Vista operating system. Meanwhile, Internet search-giant Google has come to market with a reliable and low-cost suite of web-based tools: word processing, spreadsheets, calendar, e-mail, and more, all packaged as Google Apps.
It's not every day that an African head of state delivers a corporate endorsement at an annual shareholder meeting. But Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda, did just that last week at Starbucks' meeting in Seattle.
The city of Cardiff may seem like an unlikely place for a technological revolution, but in a few months the capital of Wales will be home to a new kind of telecommunications network that could drastically change the way phone calls, Web pages, e-mail and other data are shipped to and fro.
Microsoft used to cast such a pall over startups that venture capitalists would ask them the "M question" -- how does the company plan to coexist with Microsoft? And if the answer was that the startup planned to compete with the software giant, then VCs wouldn't invest.
Google's acquisition of Upstartle, the Silicon Valley-based provider of Writely, a Web-based word processor, is the surest sign yet that the company plans to take on Microsoft in the market for office-productivity software.
As we move toward the Next Net, some of the most useful sites will be those that either help mash up -- meaning mix and match -- content from other parts of the Web or act as a filter for the overwhelming mountains of information now at people's fingertips.
Google may not be the giant-killer it seemed before Tuesday. But the reaction to its earnings miss just makes it all the more critical that the company find new engines of growth far afield from its core business of search advertising.