Will iWork for iCloud work for you?

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Apple has made iWork for iCloud available to the masses. It’s technically still in beta, but now anyone can use the cloud-based versions of Pages, Numbers, or Keynote from an iCloud account. The question is whether or not iWork is the right suite of tools for you to use.

Apple trumpeted iWork for iCloud at its WWDC event a few months ago. The tools provide Web-based equivalents to Apple’s iWork apps, and join Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Notes, Reminders, and Find My iPhone on Apple’s iCloud.

Pages, Numbers, and Keynote join the iCloud ranks.
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Box rolls out new cloud storage plans catering to small and medium businesses

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Box has big news today for small companies and individuals. It is launching new, more affordable pricing plans to attract small and medium businesses to its cloud data storage and file sharing service, and it is doubling the amount of storage it provides for free personal accounts.

Cloud data storage today is like instant-messaging services used to be. Everyone has a favorite, but they also have an account set up with virtually every service available to allow them to share files with co-workers, customers, or friends and family who prefer a different service. Because the services offer free storage plans, many people have a Box, Dropbox, SugarSync, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, and other accounts.

Box has doubled space for the free Personal account, and added a new Starter tier for SMBs.
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Despite recent cloud service outages, security a bigger concern than availability

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Wow. No sooner did I finish writing about how the Google and Microsoft outages were not a reason to lose confidence in the cloud, than Amazon went down. The online retail site—and its associated cloud services—were down for just under half an hour Monday afternoon. I stand by my assertion that the sky is not falling, but there’s more to using the cloud than just availability.

Amazon.com was the third major cloud service to suffer an outage in the last week.


Over on WindowsITPro.com, Paul Thurrott summed up the hysteria over cloud outages nicely. “And of course, the cloud computing doubters—who, like global warming doubters are increasingly at odds with reality—will argue that such outages prove that our move away from on-premises hardware and local storage is nothing but a temporary trend.”Let’s start with some perspective, breaking down the math like I did yesterday for Google and Microsoft. Amazon was down for about 25 minutes (although I’ve seen reports from 15 minutes to 40 minutes). In the grand scheme of things, Amazon was down for an infinitesimally small period of time. Depending on the estimate you go with, Amazon lost about $5 million in retail commerce during that timeframe—or about two percent of what it cost Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to buy the Washington Post, or about two thousandths of a percent of his net worth.

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Facebook mobile payments a boon for businesses

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Facebook is reportedly looking to get into the mobile payments game. If it does it right, businesses will reap the benefit of monetizing their Facebook presence and be able to simplify the process of turning Facebook followers into revenue.

Rivals should be worried any time an 800-pound gorilla like Facebook enters a market. Facebook is the online destination where users spend the most time each month, and with a billion-ish users it represents a dominating force in whatever market it chooses to compete.

Your customers already like and use Facebook--making it an ideal e-commerce platform.
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5 ways your smartphone's ‘smarts’ have become more important than the ‘phone’

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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It’s been headline news this week that smartphones outsold feature phones for the first time. Huzzah!

My first thought was, “They still sell non-smartphones?” My second thought was “Why do we even still call it a ‘phone’?” I mean, a PC is basically an evolution of a calculator, but we don’t get excited about whether or not PCs outsell calculators, and we don’t call PCs “supercalculators.”

If you think about it, making and receiving voice calls is one of the more minor functions of a smartphone. Sure, the devices we use today evolved from a basic mobile phone, and they’ve gotten “smarter” with new features and capabilities and a seemingly endless array of apps. But the term “smartphone” is a bit of a misnomer that doesn’t accurately describe what the device is.

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Microsoft patches critical flaws in Internet Explorer and Exchange Server

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Is it already mid-August, and are we really up to the eighth Patch Tuesday of 2013? It’s time to start planning Halloween costumes and thinking about holiday shopping. Yikes!

For the August Patch Tuesday, Microsoft has released eight new security bulletins. That’s not a light month by any stretch, but considering there have been many months with nearly double that amount, it’s not too bad. More importantly, only three of them are rated as Critical, and none of them are being actively exploited in the wild. Security experts seem to unanimously agree that the top priorities this month are Internet Explorer (MS13-059) and Microsoft Exchange Server (MS13-061).

microsoft internet explorer
Microsoft has released a Critical update
for Internet Explorer.
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Aha! streamlines development with cloud-based project management platform

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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There’s a new tool available for software development projects. Aha! is designed to help define a product roadmap and enable collaboration to keep the project humming along smoothly.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been involved on the project management side of the fence. I always used—and still have—Microsoft Project. The thing with Microsoft Project, though, is that it's a complex and cumbersome tool, and it requires a fair amount of knowledge and experience to use properly.

Aha! is a cloud-based project management platform designed with software development in mind.
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