10/22/2010

Microsoft launches cloud version of Office

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp launched a fully online version of its popular Office suite of applications on Tuesday as it looks to extend its customer base and beat back rival Google Inc.

The new service, called Office 365, is available as a test from Tuesday in 13 countries, and will be on sale on a subscription basis worldwide next year.

Combining some of Microsoft’s existing cloud-based services, it will be available through most browsers, including Mozilla’s Firefox, Apple’s Inc’s Safari and Google’s Chrome, and can be used on mobile devices such as Research in Motion Ltd’s BlackBerry and Apple’s iPad.

That means customers can get access to Office programs like Outlook e-mail, SharePoint websites and simplified versions of Word and Excel without installing software, from virtually anywhere. Customers get access to more features when the software is also installed.

HP unveils $799 tablet with a PC feel

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Hewlett-Packard Co unveiled its first product for the fast-growing tablet market, a $799 device running Microsoft Windows that is aimed at business customers.

HP’s Slate 500 attempts to replicate the PC experience in a tablet form, providing a contrast to rivals who have brought more of a smartphone feel to their devices. The Slate runs the same version of Windows 7 used by many companies on their standard PCs.

The tablet has a bigger price tag than competing products such as Apple’s iPad, which kick-started the tablet craze when it debuted earlier this year.

HP’s offering has an 8.9-inch, multi-touch-enabled screen, weighs 1.5 pounds and comes with 64 gigabytes (GB) of storage and a digital stylus pen. It gets five hours of battery life.

It comes equipped with Wi-Fi access but no built-in capability to connect to high-speed cellular networks, as rivals including the iPad, Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Tab and Dell’s Streak have.

Television broadcasters block Google TV

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Three of the biggest U.S. television broadcasters have blocked their shows from Google Inc’s new Web TV service, throwing a wrench into the company’s plans to expand from computers to the living room.

Spokespeople from Walt Disney Co and NBC Universal confirmed on Thursday that the companies blocked access to its broadcast TV shows from Google TV. Disney owns network and cable TV businesses ABC and ESPN.

News Corp’s Fox is also considering blocking access to shows on its Website, but a decision has not yet been made, a source familiar with the matter said.

CBS has blocked access to full-length episodes of their programs, including popular shows like “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

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