Microsoft announced the availability of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for the 2007 Microsoft Office system. The service pack includes major performance enhancements for Office applications, most notably Microsoft Office Outlook, as well as Microsoft Office SharePoint Server. With SP2, Office 2007 now has built-in support for Open XML, ODF and PDF, along with the dozen or so other formats that were already supported in Office 2007. In addition to the support for additional file formats, SP2 also includes the Open XML Format External File Converter. This allows developers to make any third-party document format a first-class citizen in Office. This means Office will support most government-preferred formats, and can easily be made to support any others that come along. This release offers enhanced stability for Outlook, calendaring reliability, and more improvements to applications that run on both PCs and servers. Users should notice the improved performance and stability of Outlook, better charting functionality in Excel, and more control over the appearance of SmartArt graphics. On the server side, IT professionals will notice several enhancements to the security and performance of SharePoint Server 2007, including support for read-only content databases, improvements to forms-based authentication, and an STSADM command-line utility that enables administrators to scan sites that use the variations feature for errors. SharePoint Server will also feature better support for newer versions of the Firefox browser. Customers can download SP2 right away. In addition, Microsoft will release SP2 via Microsoft Update’s automatic update mechanism no sooner than three months from now, and with at least 30 days notice. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968170
SDL and Language Weaver announced a strategic partnership to deliver Language Weaver’s translation software tightly integrated into SDL’s GIM platform and as part of SDL Knowledge-based Translation System (SDL KbTS). Language Weaver automated translation solutions have been deployed for the enterprise and large web properties to deliver translations of digital content. This partnership will give SDL customers the opportunity to deliver effective communication to customers across many more languages. The companies announced that the agreement encompasses a number of different applications of automated translation, including: Translation of content that is otherwise too expensive or time consuming to translate, such as online support content that re-directs customers from expensive call centers to more cost-effective self-service on the web; Integrating automated translation into the translation process for high-quality technical documentation; Providing ubiquitous access to automated translation, through integration into desktop translation technology, SDL Trados, and integration into the translation website http://www.freetranslation.com. Integration with SDL Trados and the addition of new language support within SDL Knowledge-based Translation System are planned for the second half of 2009. http://www.sdl.com/lwsdl
Zoho has announced access and usability enhancements for mobile users of its suite of productivity applications. Until now, Zoho offered mobile access to only a few applications and did not do so in a consistent manner. Each application had a unique mobile access URL and interface. With today’s announcement, all mobile-enabled Zoho applications may be accessed at one location, http://m.zoho.com, and they share a common look and feel.
The following applications are currently available at Zoho Mobile:
- Zoho Mail
- Zoho Calendar
- Zoho Writer
- Zoho Sheet
- Zoho Show
- Zoho Creator
Zoho also announced support for additional mobile platforms. Previously, its mobile applications were available only on the iPhone and Windows Mobile, with limited functionality on the latter. Zoho Mobile is now available for:
- Windows Mobile
Palm access is anticipated in a future release.
The text of Zoho’s announcement may be found on the company’s blog.
Ephox announced the latest release of its online rich text editor, EditLive! 6.7. Included in the new version are multiple features to help website authors easily create accessible web content. With EditLive!’s built-in accessibility checking tools, users get detailed analysis of content errors based on the latest standards of the US Rehabilitation Act Section 508 and the W3C. The latest version of EditLive! includes accessibility check as-you-type functionality and makes compliance with web standards as easy as spell-checking a document. Business users receive immediate, visual feedback when they create non-compliant content and are then directed to resources that will help resolve the errors. In addition to the accessibility tools, some of the new features in EditLive! 6.7 include a broken hyperlink report and the ability to open Microsoft Word documents directly within EditLive!. All of the features in the latest release are included in the EditLive! Enterprise Edition which contains advanced productivity, multimedia and collaboration tools like an inline image editor, track changes, thesaurus, and auto-correct. http://www.ephox.com
ISYS Search Software announced the arrival of ISYS:sdk 9, the company’s next-generation enterprise search integration kit for original equipment manufacturers (OEM), independent software vendors (ISV) and systems integrators. ISYS:sdk 9 offers customers several major enhancements, all designed to deliver the performance, scalability and accuracy required for empowering third-party applications with search. Most significantly, ISYS has expanded its core engine’s content mining capabilities using deterministic and reliable methods that help customers better understand their content. Through its Intelligent Content Analysis, ISYS notes key characteristics about a content collection, such as metadata patterns and entities, thus enabling OEMs to leverage these facets for improved search and discovery. ISYS’ Intelligent Content Analysis identifies characteristics can that can be exploited by OEMs to bolster their applications with greater content mining capabilities, an increasingly critical requirement in compliance and ediscovery applications. ISYS’ Intelligent Content Analysis manifests itself in the form of several parametric search and refinement options, all of which are callable from a variety of languages, including C++, C#, VB.NET and Java. The core ISYS indexing engine can be configured to note aspects like entities in the full text (e.g., names, locations); commonly recurring metadata values in semi-structured and database formats; location of files; dates and numbers; and position of words. http://www.isys-search.com
PBworks, formerly known as PBwiki (the company officially announced the name change this week), a provider of hosted collaboration solutions for business and education, announced the launch of PBworks Legal Edition, the first of the company’s market-specific solutions. PBworks Legal Edition applies hosted collaboration to the unique business needs of law firms and corporate counsel. PBworks Legal Edition includes all of the features of PBworks Professional Plus, such as unlimited storage for documents and files, full-text search of document content, Mobile Edition access via Blackberry and iPhone, and 24/7 customer service. The new solution adds complete audit logs of all activity, built-in legal templates that firms can customize for their business processes, and bundled professional services to optimize the rollout and adoption process. PBworks Legal Edition is available immediately at a starting price of $50/attorney-user/month. Licenses for paralegals, legal secretaries, and other staff and clients are included for free. http://pbworks.com/, http://pbwiki.com
iSpeech.org, text to speech software as a service (SaaS) company, announced its services are now available to anyone using the Box.net platform. The integration allows Box customers to instantly listen to documents with a few clicks of the mouse. This software-free feature is available through simple Web menus. The integration marks the first deployment of a text to speech Web service with an online content storage and collaboration platform. iSpeech brings text to speech to over 50,000 businesses currently using Box.net. Business and people can now have instant audio access to any document containing text. The resulting audio files can be used to help employees or students absorb information faster and, “even during their commute”. iSpeech usage is available in various packages ranging from a free ad-supported voice to the use of premium voices for $7.85 per month. Customers are able to try premium voices free for 15 days. The resulting audio files can be downloaded as MP3s, podcasted to iTunes, or embedded. http://www.ispeech.org/, http://www.box.net/