Guest post: Jean-Louis Gass?e looks into Apple's MobileMe launch misfire and whether Apple can run a worldwide wireless data synchronization service for tens of millions of users. The essay was originally posted on Monday Note.Simple is hard. Easy is harder. Invisible is hardest. So goes one of the many proverbs of our computer lore. As Apple found out last month with the MobileMe launch misfires, the lofty promise of "Exchange for the rest of us" translated into a user experience that was neither simple nor easy--in a highly visible way. Four weeks later, the service … Read more
Is Zimbra enterprise-ready? Yes, it is.
At least, that's the news from Stanford, which today announced that it is replacing its campus-wide email system with Zimbra. TechCrunch outs the competition on the deal, too: Google's Gmail and Microsoft Exchange.This is the latest in a series of victories for Zimbra, which includes Georgia Tech, University of Wisconsin, Texas A&M, Cal Poly, and University of Pennsylvania. Zimbra powers the email systems for over 300 universities worldwide. That comes in around an impressive 1.5 million email addresses ending in ".edu."
I use Zimbra on a … Read more
Microsoft is again trying to convince the partners that sell its software that they can make money in a world in which customers are getting their software as a service directly from Microsoft.
At its annual partner conference, which is taking place this week in Houston, Microsoft offered more details on the finances that buttress that claim. For example, partners that sign up customers for the new $15-per-month bundle of hosted SharePoint, Exchange and Office Communications Server can get a 12 percent referral fee. The partners can also get a 6-percent cut of renewal fees provided they continue to be … Read more
Before I became a marketing wonk I was a knowledgeable technologist, which is probably why I've never once enjoyed any e-mail system that I have used or implemented. Over the last 15 years, I have tried pretty much everything, from Pine to Zimbra, to MS Exchange to Lotus Notes and several different IMAP and POP options. Every time it's the same thing--the system works within reason but is never great. And there is always something that bites you in the rear.
I first started outsourcing e-mail to managed providers in 2003 when I worked for a CEO who demanded MS Exchange and we only had Linux boxes. It was never great and it was too expensive to boot. But the offerings have gotten much better and at this point I can't see a small- or medium-sized business running its own mail server. It's just not necessary.
Here are my fundamental hopes for e-mail:Reliable delivery of mail (dare to dream) Reliable delivery of mail on mobile devices (Blackberry and iPhone) Shared calendaring with administrator abilities (i.e. admin access) Backup and recovery Reliable SPAM prevention Sync across multiple computers and devices
If you like Microsoft's Outlook e-mail client software but hate the expense of licensing and running Exchange Server, Cemaphore Systems has a proposition for you: a subscription service that effectively lets people dump Exchange in favor of Google's cloud-computing infrastructure.
The product, called Mailshadow for Google Apps, or MailShadow G, is being made available in a beta test version on Wednesday, according to the company. Cemaphore says the product ultimately will be licensed via a monthly subscription fee.
Cemaphore says the service "instantaneously synchronizes e-mail, calendars, and contacts between Outlook, Exchange, and Gmail." Translation: If you … Read more
LAS VEGAS--If the jabs from venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki weren't enough, Steve Ballmer took a bunch of no-holds-barred queries from the audience at Mix '08.
He was asked whether, given Apple's iPhone announcement, Microsoft was trying to get Silverlight on the Apple phone.
"Silverlight for the iPhone is, of course, interesting," he said. "I can't say there's been extensive discussion with Guy's old boss."
He also said it was unclear whether Apple's business model, which takes 30 percent of iPhone application revenue, would allow for royalty-free distribution of Silverlight. (Apple … Read more
When Steve Jobs sneezes, everyone pays attention. On Thursday, he blew out the doors on the iPhone with an array of alliances and applications that make the device less of a phone and more of a powerful computer in the palm of your hand. You can see where the so-called smartphone is heading, and Apple is leading the way in terms of usability. The choice of networks--no 3G as yet--isn't an ideal choice, however.
With more processing power and memory, plus shrinking components and smarter software, you will end up with a supercomputer in your hand. And if Steve … Read more
Apple has finally granted the wish of business users who have craved the coolness of the iPhone but couldn't live without their push work e-mail.
Until now, iPhone users who wanted to get e-mail on their iPhones had to jump through a series of technical hoops. And as a result, a lot of business users, who would have otherwise bought the iPhone right away, have stood on the sidelines with their BlackBerrys or Windows Mobile phones drooling at the iPhone.
But now these business users will be able to get their work e-mail on an iPhone just as easily … Read more
Editor's note: This story was updated at 2:20 p.m. PST to add comments from MercExchange and correct the company's description and number of employees.
It had to climb all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and back again, but a long-running patent dispute between eBay and a three-man e-commerce technology company finally appears to be over.
Since 2001, the Virginia-based MercExchange had been at war with the auction giant. It alleged that the Silicon Valley company's online auction interface--namely, its "Buy It Now" feature, which allows users to purchase items without … Read more
Apple is finally getting ready for the iPhone to mean business.
In its first eight months, the iPhone has been mostly a consumer phenomenon in the U.S. Apple has pitched the device by showing off its iPod capabilities, or how to search the Web for restaurant reservations and car prices, or update your status on Facebook. But next week Apple plans to show off some "exciting new enterprise" features for the iPhone, which will presumably make it easier for those of us who can't push the CIO around to use our iPhones as tools for work.… Read more