Microsoft's release of Windows Phone 7 brings updated Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote Mobile, to your fingertips. The touchscreen-friendly revamp of Office Mobile is radically different from the previous version. And files are supposed to resemble their appearance on the desktop more closely.
Shrinking Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote to fit in the palm of your hand is no easy feat. Microsoft does a decent, though not spectacular, job of placing basic editing features on the hand. You swipe and slide through the screens (which feature large, legible fonts), tapping on the touchscreen keyboard to type.
Office Mobile comes preinstalled on Windows Phone 7 phones. I tested the tools on an HTC Surround for AT&T. If you have a Windows Phone 6.5 device, you can download an Office Mobile upgrade from the Windows Marketplace
After answering a phone call and sending text messages, though, it was torture figuring out how to return to the last document. I went back to Hotmail, and the document was no longer open. I went to the Office menu, yet the document did not appear. (I thought the iOS, despite its lack of multitasking, to be more intuitive than Windows Phone 7 for finding your previous place after an interruption.)
My lesson was to remember to save a document the moment you open it. When you do that, you can be sure it will appear in the Office Hub even if you get interrupted right away.
And wait, how did I get to the point of e-mailing files to myself again? I stopped doing that when Writely, the Google Docs predecessor, launched more than 5 years ago.
With Exchange, your Outlook e-mail inbox matches the one on your desktop at the office. Beefed up Exchange Server support lets IT administrators can set up one phone for multiple Exchange server accounts. (I wasn't able to test this by the time of posting, but I'm hoping to follow up in another story that explains how.)
You can set up POP3 and IMAP e-mail, and directly from third parties such as Google and Yahoo just by entering a user name and password.
Facebook's new features will fundamentally change the way many people use the site. Revamped Groups and a control center for third-party applications will reassure users who want to play on Facebook without accidentally oversharing with the wrong audience.
The changes offer more control over who sees your activities and how applications access your profile, in addition to letting you zip up and download all your messages, videos, photos, and wall posts.
Facebook's 500 million users will see the new features roll out gradually, starting today.
Managing technology comes last on the to-do list for many small companies. You want to focus on front-end business while hardware and software magically work behind the scenes.
For your tech backbone to function, however, it needs steady support. Finding the right IT expert can not only save money over the long run but also make the difference between merely surviving an emergency and powering ahead for growth.
Many mom-and-pop or home-based ventures rely on family and friends for tech help. In a crisis, some call a third-party service at a mall or big-box store. Larger companies may lean on an informal pool of on-staff "experts" or a part-time consultant.
What to Avoid
When the consultant speaks in buzzwords and acronyms, don't be intimidated. But be ready to let that person go if they won't explain; efforts to bewilder you with jargon reflect arrogance or fear, not expertise.
Stay away from fly-by-night, crisis-based services that try to sell you the tech flavor of the month. They're not equipped to look at your operations as a whole for the long term.
The online world was all aflutter yesterday with news of a worm spreading through Twitter. The "onMouseOver" issue--which presented pop-up boxes and redirected users to porn sites--was quickly handled by Twitter, but the events that led up to it hold some valuable lessons for IT.
A blog post from the official Twitter blog explains the worm incident in more detail. "Early this morning, a user noticed the security hole and took advantage of it on Twitter.com. First, someone created an account that exploited the issue by turning tweets different colors and causing a pop-up box with text to appear when someone hovered over the link in the Tweet. This is why folks are referring to this an "onMouseOver" flaw -- the exploit occurred when someone moused over a link. Other users took this one step further and added code that caused people to retweet the original Tweet without their knowledge."
Don't get me wrong, I have used my iPad in place of a netbook or notebook for a wide variety of functions since it launched. I can get and send e-mail, surf the Web, instant message, participate in online conference sessions, stay engaged with my social networks, keep track of my calendar, and create content. In truth, there are very few things that I need to do with a mobile computing device that can't be done on the iPad.
The Galaxy Tab has many of the features and functions missing from the iPad--front and rear facing cameras, wireless phone capabilities, support for Adobe Flash, true multitasking, and an SD memory card slot. Even so, the Android tablet won't deliver all that businesses need from a mobile computing platform, either.
Google announced that it is implementing two-factor authentication for Google Apps to improve security. The introduction of more stringent authentication controls removes one of the hurdles for businesses to embrace Google Apps and makes the productivity suite a more viable option for organizations concerned with security in the cloud.
Security is one of the biggest obstacles for many organizations when it comes to considering cloud-based services. Web-based services have the benefit of being available from virtually anywhere rather than being shackled to the local storage of a specific machine, but if users can access the data from anywhere so can attackers.
Despite decades of user awareness efforts, passwords are often trivial to guess or crack. The compromise of passwords at RockYou.com provided a unique opportunity to examine actual passwords used in the real world. A study of the more than 30 million passwords exposed when RockYou.com was hacked found that almost half use names, common dictionary words, or sequential characters like "qwerty".