Box.net is beta testing a new plug-in for Microsoft Office that lets users save Office files to their Box.net storage folders. The plug-in works for both Office 2003 and 2007 on Windows XP and Vista, provides users a new "Save to Box.net" button, and gives visual notification when the file is uploading and then successfully sent. Users can then access that file anytime on their Box.net Web storage folder.
File this one under the heading of "after-the-fact" ruminations. But a recent report in The Wall Street Journal that Google and Salesforce.com were talking about ways to collaborate particularly piqued my interest. This potential partnership makes sense in so many ways--not the least being that it would drive Steve Ballmer to pull out what's left of his hair.
Would Google actually buy Salesforce? I'm sure Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff would sell at the right price, and Google obviously has money to spend. But these two don't have to head to the altar right away … Read more
LAS VEGAS--I'm here at the Interop conference, networking-geek heaven. Yesterday was Network Access Control day, so I'd be remiss if I didn't wish everyone a belated happy NAC day to start.
Yesterday's big networking news didn't break here. It came from Redmond, Wash.: Microsoft announced two partnership announcements.
First, Microsoft announced that its version of NAC called Network Access Protection would interoperate with the Trusted Network Connect (TNC) framework from the Trusted Computing Group, or TCG. Not content with a single new friend, Microsoft made a similar announcement with Juniper Networks, declaring NAP interoperability with … Read more
Back from vacation after disconnecting myself from the real world--only to discover that reality is becoming more bizarre than ever.
So it is that Friday's news wires bring word that Microsoft is buying a company called Aquantive for 6 billion--that's right, 6 BILLION--dollars. Congrats to any Aquantive shareholders out there who today are celebrating the 85 percent premium Microsoft agreed to pay. But is it just me or is this price borderline insane?
No doubt Microsoft can afford the price. At last look, it had about $25 billion to spend on any shopping spree. So have at it, … Read more
Microsoft on Friday morning launched Popfly, a service for creating mashup applications specifically designed for people who don't know how, or want to, write developer code.
The free service, which is now in private alpha, provides a visual way for constructing mashup applications and widgets which can be embedded in blogs or personal pages. Once a project is written, people can share and modify other people's mashups.
People can drag and drop icons that do things like display photos from Flickr in a photo gallery. Or they can combine these blocks to display photos tagged with the word &… Read more
Microsoft held a design contest for new PC concepts, and Bill Gates himself showed off some of the top contestants during his keynote speech at the Windows Hardware and Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Los Angeles. The prize winners certainly broke traditional molds, ranging from the "Bulb PC" (pictured here) to one dubbed "Made in China," sort of futuristic tablet using a chopstick-like stylus. See more photos from the show at this gallery.
Microsoft said on Tuesday evening, just hours before the Halo 3 beta was about to open, that the much-anticipated game will launch publicly on September 25.
This is the follow-up to Halo and Halo 2, which have been huge hits for the Xbox platform. Microsoft has been hoping it would be the monster hit it has been missing for the Xbox 360.
But reviews from a press event last week were mixed. Still, the fan base is huge and the game is almost certain to generate tremendous amounts of buzz, especially in the early going.
Microsoft also announced that next … Read more
Vayama is a new airfare-ticket-finding service the likes of Expedia, Priceline and Travelocity. However, instead of focusing on domestic travel, Vayama is marketing itself as a provider for international flights. The service is also beginning to build what looks like a people-powered travel tips section to help newbie travelers with the post-airport journey into foreign cities that can often be confusing.
To begin any travel search, users can enter their data as usual, or use Vayama's neat touch-and-go map, which lets you zoom into various parts of the world to select arrival and departure cities. The map is powered by Microsoft Virtual Earth and is a nice way to see where airports are geographically located without having to look them up elsewhere. Each airport's dot is also proportionately sized for how big it is in real life. Large international airports such as LAX and JFK have big dots, whereas some of the stateside and municipal airports get tiny ones.
Once you've found your tickets, you can pick out your seat with Vayama's seat finder, which is presented in a slightly angled 3-D image. Seat finders for plane travel is certainly nothing new, but it's fairly simple to visually see the open and full seats--and even cooler to click an open seat and see yourself appear.
Before buying any tickets, you can also do some brief research on any city, which will show you how much it costs (in U.S. dollars) to get to and from the airport, as well as around selected cities using private or public transportation. To make those numbers a little more accurate, Vayama is building out its own people-powered reviews network, where users can dish on city information in exchange for discount credits on airfare.
In my brief testing this afternoon, some of the fares I searched for were very competitive with those I found on some of the major providers. Vayama was also a little faster in the search, although not nearly as comprehensive as my personal favorite flight-finder, Kayak.com, which found the lowest prices of the bunch.One of the big things missing is a way to check if you're currently getting the best deal on your ticket, or whether it's worth waiting for a price drop; something you can do with Farecast, although not for international flights. Like any Internet shopping experience, ticket services like this are useful, but it never hurts to check the competition--especially when their mascots are gnomes and William Shatner.
To see a shot of the 3-D seat finder, keep reading.… Read more