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Microsoft Gets the Lead Out
June 26, 2013
Microsoft kicked off its Build 2013 developers conference on Wednesday with the announcement that its highly anticipated Windows 8.1, aka "Windows Blue," has arrived. CEO Steve Ballmer also said that rapid release will be the new norm in the Microsoft ecosystem, and that Redmond will transform Windows devices. "Rapid release's cadence is fundamental to everything we're doing," Ballmer said.
SolydXK: New Kid on the Linux Block Delivers Rock-Solid Performance
June 26, 2013
SolydXK is a Debian-based Linux distribution that offers a choice of two desktops: Xfce and KDE. It is a very new Linux OS, but do not push this new kid aside assuming stability and performance need a lot of maturing. In fact, SolydXK is already a solid and very impressive distro. It has more polish and smoother performance than many older Linux OS counterparts.
Oracle Lets MS, Salesforce Onto Its Cloud
June 25, 2013
"Keep your friends close and your enemies closer," as the old saying goes, and this week Oracle took steps to do just that. Specifically, it inked partnership deals with longtime competitors Microsoft and Salesforce.com in a bid to expand its reach in cloud computing. The partnership with Microsoft will allow companies to run Oracle software on Windows Server Hyper-V and in Windows Azure.
HP Targets Salesforce Users With New Document Tool
June 24, 2013
It's no secret that Salesforce.com has already inspired virtually countless ancillary products and services, including Thunderhead.com's ONE Correspond for Salesforce 2.0. Another example launched even more recently, however, is HP Relate, a cloud-based document management product that provides tools for creating interactive documents within the Salesforce environment.
Debian 7: A So-So Distro Not Worth Switching For
June 19, 2013
After a hiatus of more than two years, the developers of Debian last month released a major upgrade. That surely came as good news to fans of this granddaddy Linux OS, but the new Debian 7 "Wheezy" may not be worth the wait if you are happily using more popular Linux options. I feel somewhat like a turncoat for saying that about Debian Linux -- I should be revering its 20-year-long lineage.
Adobe Sends Creative Suite to the Cloud for Good
June 18, 2013
After announcing last month that all of its Creative Suite apps would soon move to the cloud, Adobe on Tuesday made good on its promise and delivered the resulting subscription-based software. Now included under the umbrella name Creative Cloud, the latest versions of apps including Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Premiere Pro are now available exclusively to Creative Cloud subscribers for prices starting at $19.99 per month.
Contact Center Managers Get Some Mobile Mojo
June 18, 2013
Another day, another mobile app release; except in this case, the app is aimed at the contact center supervisor -- not exactly a role that has been inundated with mobile functionality to this point. The application in question is Five9's latest cloud contact software application, which includes mobile functionality. Enhancements to the suite include multichannel capabilities and an iPad app.
Best Buy Clears Floor Space for New Windows Shops
June 14, 2013
Microsoft is the latest product manufacturer to follow the retail trend of setting up shop within a big box store. Best Buy and Microsoft on Thursday announced plans to open the Windows Store only at Best Buy in 500 retail locations in the U.S. and more than 100 in Canada. The stores will range in size from 1,500 square feet to 2,200 square feet. Microsoft specialists will staff each shop.
Great Little Radio Player Tunes In Simplicity
June 12, 2013
The Great Little Radio Player is a perfect example of how great things can come in small packages. This robust Internet radio station streamer does not burden system resources and packs a powerhouse of listening pleasure immediately after installing it. It's so fine-tuned that it needs no configuring to use it, but you can still tweak a few pleasantries to make it feel more at home on your PC.
The Linux Standard Base: Order From Chaos
June 06, 2013
Imagine going out to do your shopping errands in a world devoid of standards. What would that be like? Without standard sizes, something as routine as buying clothes would be an exercise in frustration. Finding a replacement bulb or buying tires for your car would require unique parts made only by the manufacturer. That's why the world of Linux has the Linux Standard Base.
Mozillux: A Nice Linux Distro With a Unique Software Set
June 05, 2013
As Linux distros go, French Mozillux looks a lot like LXDE-based Lubuntu. But don't be fooled. This year-old OS, which targets both beginners and intermediate users, offers a surprisingly comprehensive selection of installed software for users with a wide range of interests. It's easily as flexible and usable as Puppy and Knoppix, yet leaner and more family-oriented than most young distros.
Nothing Nutty About Acorn 4's Powerful, Affordable Image Editor
May 28, 2013
Acorn 4's tagline says all you need to know about the app. It's "The Image Editor for Humans." Image editors are like a new pair of shoes. You have to walk in them awhile before they get comfortable. With this latest version of Acorn -- the first major overhaul since 2011 -- author Gus Mueller keeps that comfort period short and sweet.
Midnight Commander Will Whip Your Files Into Shape
May 22, 2013
Midnight Commander is one of those original computing tools that keeps getting better with age. It may be old school, but its file managing capabilities keep it at the head of its class. Midnight Commander is a text-mode file manager that runs in a terminal. It uses a two-panel interface and a subshell for command execution. It is reminiscent of the Norton Commander file manager.
The Clock Is Ticking on 30/30's Simple, Powerful Task Manager
May 20, 2013
I'm a sucker for productivity management -- too much to do, never enough time, and there is always, it seems, some sort of flashing distraction. There are plenty of people out there with similar problems: Even if they survived a round of layoffs, there's usually a business need to get more done with fewer resources and people.
Google+ Photos Get the Pinterest Touch
May 16, 2013
Continuing its revamp of the Google+ social network that began in March, Google announced on Wednesday the addition of 41 new features and a redesign of the service, which it claims has 190 million active users. The changes focus on three areas -- the Google+ stream, photos, and the Hangouts feature.
Apple Tries Patent Fight to Cool Off Samsung's Hot New Phone
May 15, 2013
Apple is attempting to add Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone to its list of infringing products in its ongoing California patent lawsuit. The hope is to strike down its rival's latest smartphone before it can penetrate the market. Apple's claims against Samsung are nothing new. However, the patent process can be slow compared to an industry that's moving fast.
Google Tears Down the Storage Walls
May 14, 2013
Google has consolidated the storage allowances for its various products. It will now provide 15 GB of free storage space for use across Drive, Gmail and Google+ Photos. Before, Google gave users 10 GB for Gmail and 5 GB to be used for Drive and Google+ Photos. Google is also updating its Google Drive storage page with pie charts displaying how those 15 GB are being allocated.
Skype Rival Viber Joins the Desktop Phone, Video Chat Party
May 08, 2013
Viber, a proprietary cross-platform instant messaging VoIP app for smartphones, is now available for Windows and Mac OS X desktops, Viber Media announced on Tuesday. The mobile version of Viber runs on Android, iOS, Symbian and some versions of the BlackBerry and Windows Phone OSes.
Adobe Crowds Its Cloud, Says Buh-Bye to Boxed Software
May 07, 2013
Adobe announced major changes to its business model this week and revealed that from now on, it will sell its software via a monthly subscription plan and forgo boxed software and perpetual licenses. The maker of popular creative software such as Photoshop and InDesign unveiled the new policy at its MAX conference this week.
A Bond Sale Today Keeps Apple's Taxman Away
May 01, 2013
A week after announcing its first drop in quarterly earnings in a decade, Apple is selling $17 billion in bonds to fund a $100 billion buyback program for its stakeholders. The sale will be the largest non-bank bond deal ever. The move was somewhat unexpected coming from a company with $145 billion in cash on hand and no debt, a rarity among tech companies.

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