Archive for Microsoft

Gilbane Advisor 9-27-17 — Killing keyboards, conquering healthcare, framework churn, GDPR

Will Microsoft’s new augmented reality patent kill the keyboard?

Well, there is a difference between the function of a keyboard, typing, which has legs for the foreseeable future, and its physical instantiation, which will eventually be eclipsed by something virtual. There are those who think voice will replace keyboards, and perhaps even typing, but it is way too early to confidently predict the relative adoption of voice versus typing. There are use cases, limitations, and reasonable preferences for each, as experiments with chatbots illustrate. Both typing and voice will likely last until well into the future of brain-to-computer interfaces. Read More

How the personal data extraction industry ends

Doc Searls with a positive outlook on personal data protection…

Our influence will be most corrective when all personal data extraction companies become what lawyers call second parties. That’s when they agree to our terms as first parties. These terms are in development today at Customer Commons, Kantara and elsewhere. They will prevail once they get deployed in our browsers and apps, and companies start agreeing (which they will in many cases because doing so gives them instant GDPR compliance, which is required by next May, with severe fines for noncompliance). Read More

Yep, that web project should be a PWA

Whether you’re a technologist, marketer, or both, it’s difficult to keep current on web tools and technologies. A well-researched and thought-out decision made a few months ago may no longer be optimal. Less technical colleagues or executives may be mis-informed by an out of date perception or current yet incorrect article. Aaron Gustafson provides an in-depth update on the state of progressive web apps. If you haven’t considered them in a while you may be surprised. Read More

and of course there is…

Framework Churn

This is perhaps a more hopeful article, and from an interested party. Nonetheless, it is a good explanation of the problem. Ionic’s Max Lynch argues the solution to Framework Churn is web components. Read More

Apple is going after the health care industry

While no surprise to anyone paying attention, most discussion to date has focused on technical details of devices like the Apple watch, the seemingly intractable challenges around managing health care data, or the quicksand of FDA approval. In this research brief CB Insights looks at the business and market leverage Apple has over the large players in the health care industry, including reach, customer experience relationship, and revenue model. Apple is progressing on all fronts. As CB Insights says, “Other players in health care should take notice.” Read More

Apple in Health: A numbers game

Also…

Staying relevant… Java’s late flowering via RedMonk

Amazon’s approach to smart glasses sounds pretty smart, well, I would say “interesting” for now, via Axios

DYI Voice AI… Google’s Tensorflow team open-sources speech recognition dataset.  via Venturebeat

Safari in iOS 11 converts Google’s AMP links back to the original URLs, and Google approves. via 9to5mac.com

The Gilbane Digital Content Conference

The Gilbane Digital Content Conference is focused on content and digital experience technologies and strategies for marketing, publishing, and the workplace.

Conference: November 28–29
Workshops: November 30
Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel

 

Frank Gilbane’s Gilbane Advisor curates content for content, computing, and digital experience professionals. More or less twice a month. See all issues

Microsoft Discontinuing eReader

Microsoft is discontinuing Microsoft Reader effective August 30, 2012, which includes download access of the Microsoft Reader application from the Microsoft Reader website. However, customers may continue to use and access the Microsoft Reader application and any .lit materials on their PCs or devices after the discontinuation on August 30, 2012. New content for purchase from retailers in the .lit format will be discontinued on November 8, 2011. http://www.microsoft.com/reader/

The SharePoint Backend- What are the Headaches – What are the benefits

As I pointed out in my first post (SharePoint: Without the Headaches – A Discussion of What is Available in the Cloud,) you don’t necessarily need to host SharePoint in your own organization.  Although I believe that most businesses should focus on leveraging the front end of SharePoint to its full extent, it is important for non-technical users to have an understanding of what it takes to host SharePoint and why one might want to do so.  Therefore, this post provides a discussion of what it takes to host SharePoint and the driving factors for hosting SharePoint.

 

Microsoft’s original intent was to build a tool that was easy to leverage by non-technical users.  Microsoft thought of this as the natural extension of Office to the web[1].  That being said, the complexities got away from Microsoft, and in order to leverage a number of features one needs access to the back end.

Before delving into the SharePoint back end, let me point out that many businesses hire SharePoint development staff, both permanent and on a consulting basis. I think that developing custom SharePoint code should be done only after thoroughly justifying the expense.  It is often a mistake.  Instead, organizations should clearly define their requirements and then leverage a high quality third party add-on.  I will mention some of these at the end of the post.

SharePoint is a fragile product and therefore custom code for SharePoint is very expensive to develop, test, and deploy. Furthermore, custom code often needs to be rewritten when migrating to the next release of SharePoint.  Finally, SharePoint is a rapidly growing product, and chances are good that custom code may soon become obsolete by new features in the next generation.

In my first post, I pointed out that inexpensive SharePoint hosting options are available in the cloud. These options tend to be limited.  For example, the inexpensive rentals do not provide much security, only provide WSS (not MOSS), and do not allow one to add third party add-ins.  It is possible to lease custom environments that don’t surrender to any of these limitations, but they come at a cost.  (Typically starting at $500 per month[2].)  I believe that robust MOSS offerings with third party add-ons will be available at competitive prices within two years. 

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[1] SharePoint is developed by the Office division.

[2] For example, FPWeb offers a SharePoint hosted environment with the CorasWorks Workplace Suite included starting at $495 per month.

Read More →

Microsoft Releases Service Pack 2 (SP2) for the 2007 Microsoft Office system

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

Microsoft now a platinum sponsor at Gilbane San Francisco

More on this later, but the title of the keynote by Microsoft’s Tricia Bush, "The Web Platform of The Future", should suggest Microsoft’s presence will be interesting.

Join us at: http://gilbanesf.com

Adobe Mobile Products to Ship with Windows Mobile Phones

Adobe Systems Incorporated announced that Microsoft has licensed Adobe Flash Lite software, Adobe’s Flash Player runtime specifically designed for mobile devices, to enable web browsing of Flash Player compatible content within the Internet Explorer Mobile browser in future versions of Microsoft Windows Mobile phones. Microsoft has also licensed Adobe Reader LE software for viewing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) documents including email attachments and web content. Both Adobe products will be made available to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) worldwide, who license Windows Mobile software. Adobe Flash Lite and Reader LE availability for Windows Mobile phones will be confirmed later. http://www.adobe.com

Microsoft and FAST

Yesterday was obviously a big day in the enterprise search space. “Enterprise search”, as opposed to web search news, doesn’t usually make the New York Times, Wall Street Journal Boston Globe etc. We (especially Lynda!) spent a lot of time yesterday just dealing with all the inquiries. Lynda posted her initial thoughts before the analyst call yesterday, as did Steve Arnold. Both will certainly have more to say. In addition to their blogging keep an eye out for the two reports we’ll be publishing this Spring: Enterprise Search Markets and Applications: Capitalizing on Emerging Demand, by Lynda Moulton, and Beyond Search: What to do When You’re Enterprise Search System Doesn’t Work, by Steve Arnold.

Microsoft Announces Offer to Acquire Fast

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) announced that it will make an offer to acquire Fast Search & Transfer ASA (OSE: “FAST”) through a cash tender offer for 19.00 Norwegian kroner (NOK) per share. This offer represents a 42 percent premium to the closing share price on Jan. 4, 2008 (the last trading day prior to this announcement), and values the fully diluted equity of FAST at 6.6 billion NOK (or approximately $1.2 billion U.S.). FAST’s board of directors has unanimously recommended that its shareholders accept the offer. In addition, shareholders representing in aggregate 37 percent of the outstanding shares, including FAST’s two largest institutional shareholders, Orkla ASA and Hermes Focus Asset Management Europe, have irrevocably undertaken to accept the offer. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of calendar year 2008. In addition to bolstering Microsoft’s enterprise search efforts, this acquisition increases Microsoft’s research and development presence in Europe, complementing existing research teams in Cambridge, England, and Copenhagen, Denmark, with new capabilities in Norway. http://microsoft.com, http://www.fast.no/