Saturday, October 10, 2009

[Rumour] Cloudboard: Google’s upcoming Web-based clipboard

A leaked internal feedback form and other data from Google suggest that the Internet search giant is getting ready to roll out a new Web-based clipboard manager called Cloudboard.
The Google Operating System blog stumbled upon the feedback form for internal testing purposes, and it gives out quite a few interesting details.
Calling it a ‘server-side clipboard for Google Apps’, the Cloudboard is kind of a replacement for Google Notebook, making it easy to paste excerpts from Google Spreadsheets to Gmail, copy multiple images from Picasa Web Albums, copy YouTube videos, copy an event and pasting it into Google Docs or Gmail, paste copied items from Google Image Search, copy maps into Google Docs, etc.
One of its coolest features seems to be an ability to automatically format the data you are copying to play nice with the app you paste it to. The form cites an example that if you copy a formatted cell in Google Spreadsheets onto the Cloudboard and then paste it into Google Docs Writer, the Cloudboard would transform the data into a comparably-styled HTML table.
This seems like it would be quite a useful app, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Google integrate it in some way into the Chrome browser too.

Credits:- by Mihir Patkar

Office 2010 to come in Ad-supported version

With the coming 14th version of Office, Microsoft is introducing new models for people to try out and buy the suite, which include a web-based Click-to-Run approach and an Ad-based model.

No doubt Microsoft Office is popular, and a large number of its users, especially in India, use unlicensed versions. Few here can afford even the cheapest Home and Student Edition which comes for around Rs. 300 after spending 5,000 to 10,000 on a Windows license (if they even bought that).

According to Mcrosoft's statistics, 500 million people around the world use Office, and that the last two years have seen s boost in sales of their entry-level product, the Home and Student edition of Office.

Now they plan to introduce another edition of Office, the Starter Edition. Much like the starter editions of Windows, they plan to have this product available only on new PCs. This version will be ad-supported, and will only include Word 2010 and Excel 2010, and offer "basic functionality for creating, viewing and editing documents."

Till now new laptop or PC buyers often found themselves with either a trial version of Microsoft Office, or a Microsoft Works, which is another office suite by Microsoft which has a rather poor workflow with the Microsoft Office suite. The new Starter edition of Office will replace Microsoft Works and eliminate the need for a trial by straight away giving people a version of Office which doesn't expire.

This is a smart way of raking in money from those who are uninterested or uninclined to purchase a full copy of the Office suite, and to get some money from an audience which would otherwise have just installed a pirated version.

Another new optimization in Microsofts approach towards Office is the introduction of a new "Product Key Card". It is essentially just the serial key you need to activate the version of Office bundled with your PC, and does away with everything else which is inessential, such as the DVD itself!

These new models are mostly to the benefit of those buying a new PC bundled with Office. For the people who already have PCs, Microsoft will offer a new Click-to-Run Office 2010 version, which will allow people to install and run a trial of Office 2010 with ease, and in fact it even uses virtualization technology which allows you to try Office 2010 even with an older version installed.

It is nice to see Microsoft realizing that piracy will not stop no matter how much protection you add, as people will find a way around it. The answer lies instead social engineering, providing people with something they need or want is such a way as to still make a profit, but Microsoft still needs to cater to those not buying new PCs, and provide a downloadable version, we're sure it'll end up on the web anyway.

Credits:- by Kshitij Sobti

Friday, October 9, 2009

Google: We will never be evil like Microsoft

At a press conference in New York on Wednesday, Google CEO Eric Schmidt and co-founder Sergey Brin fielded a lot of questions from the media about everything from Bing and Chrome OS to the recent Gmail outages and never being as evil as Microsoft.
Peter Kafka of AllThingsD was at hand to transcribe most of the event. Here are some of the most interesting aspects of the talk:
On Microsoft Bing, its innovations and whether it’s really different:
Brin: Competition is healthy. But many of the tweaks in Bing we’d already seen from Microsoft Live earlier in the year.
Schmidt: I agree!
On the recent Gmail outages:
Brin: We are focusing not only on outages, which we don’t like, but recovery time. The second outage could have been resolved in five or ten minutes, but we made errors in handling it, and it extended over an hour. But if you look at a typical enterprise today, those outages tend to add up to more than even these kinds of outages that we had. Also, we’re working on the number of people affected by outages, trying to group people into pods so that if one goes down, it doesn’t affect others.
On Google Books and persisting with it despite its controversies:
Schmidt: It’s not a particularly good business for us. We’re going it because we think it’s the right thing to do.
On the Google Chrome browser:
Schmidt: It’s being adopted a lot more than it seems. I see a lot of Macs in this room, and a lot of very sophisticated people are using Macs now and we need to get a version of Chrome out for that, which we’ll have in a couple of months. Key to browser strength is speed.
On hardware and phone OSes:
Brin: Hardware is getting amazing with regard to cost. Used to be that displays were expensive, but now they’re cheap, and so are chips. Now, the main cost is broadband connection, or cellular, or however you get to the Internet. That’s why wide broadband availability is important to us. Think about how much you spend on access costs compared to the amount you spend on your handset. The phone cost is negligible. I think it’s better if hardware isn’t locked down to specific platforms.
On the clash or overlap between Android and Chrome OS
Schmidt: Currently, we define Android as being for mobile, delivered via a telecom store and heavily integrated with the telco’s offerings. Chrome is designed for a 10, 12-inch form factor, like that of netbooks. They both use Linux, but they’re designed for different uses. May be some overlap there…
On Google News and getting into journalism/media:
Schmidt: We have to be very very careful not to favor one media organization over another, with regard to speed or latency. We are staying out of the media business. You guys are very good at it, and we’re not.
On reasons they will never be like Microsoft with regard to anti-trust:
Schmidt: Culture, for one. Another reason is that majority of users are one click away from moving away from us. Third: If we went into an “evil room” and had an “evil light” shined on us, and we then behaved in an “evil way”, we would be destroyed. There is a fundamental trust between Google and its users.

Mihir Patkar / Oct 08, 2009 15:21:10 IST / Tags: Google, AllThingsD, Google News, interview, Gmail outage, Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt, press conference, Microsoft anti-trust, Google Books, Microsoft Bing

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What is a Browser??

I've been trying to explain to my mom for months what a web browser is, with little luck. After a few rounds of failed attempts, I grew curious about people's general understanding of web browsers. So I decided to conduct a highly-scientific (read: not scientific at all) survey of my friends and got the following results:

As it turns out, my mom's not the only one who is confused about web browsers — even though the browser is one of the most-used programs on computers.

For my mom, my friends and everyone else who may be wondering about web browsers, I created a one minute video to help explain what they're all about about

I've also created a simple site,, that gives even more information about browsers. On this site, you can see which web browser you're using, explore links to browser diagnostic tests and read some useful tips for getting the most out of your browser.

Lots of our time each day is spent online, and every page on the web is experienced through the browser. Unfortunately, most people don't realize that there are many browsers out there, which differ on features like speed, security and extensibility.

So, the next time you find yourself as the informal tech support for your family and friends, make sure to explain why their browser matters — and of course, what it is!