For a conference about getting work done, there are sure a whole lot of toys here at Office 2.0 in San Francisco. Sure many of them are old hat, like the the Nabaztag/tag, but there's some new stuff here too like Pano Logic's zero client desktop. This shiny metal cube is actually a computer--well kind of. Actually it involves setting up a a beefy server to give everyone in your office a full version of Windows sans hardware. Just give give them a keyboard, mouse, monitor and one of these shiny cubes and they're ready … Read more
The Office 2.0 Conference is only two days long, and in that time there are dozens of announcements big and small from a wide array of productivity and business companies. Amidst the bevy of panels, and discussions lies the launchpad event, a small 45-minute time slot carved out for product announcements. It's basically everyone's chance to show off their stuff, or as much as they can in the brief three minute allotments. Here's a rundown:Zoho, mentioned itsits Zoho Business platform, which they launched this morning. We've got a full story on it here.
Veodia, the live broadcasting folks are launching a new portal for the iPhone and iPod touch. The team has been live broadcasting conference coverage all day.
TimeBridge is launching the public beta of its personal scheduling manager. It's a little bit like CircleUp ( coverage) meets Outlook, to lets you sync up your scheduling decision with your Outlook or Google Calendar. Previous Timebridge coverage can be found here.
Pano Logic has a really neat piece of hardware that does "zero client computing." This means with a server setup, you can get little portable computers that run off of these little metal cubes. This is great for small businesses who want to save some cash on desktop hardware, or who want to fool their employees into thinking they're in the future.
OpenSAM discussed creating an open set of standards for sharing online file types and information. ShareOffice is adding calendars from Jotlet, and conferencing from Persony. They've also built an iPhone app for accessing documents on ShareMethods.
Nozbe announced its business service, which features project collaboration for small and medium sized businesses. The team has also put together an iPhone-friendly version of the site for users to access projects on the go.
gOffice has a really nifty service that lets you type a Microsoft Office document on your iPhone. You can type to your heart's content, add a custom signature, and even get gOffice to print it out and send it (via snail mail) to wherever you want for a small fee.
The bookmarking and reference service I use most is adding a show-and-tell slideshow feature. Diigo lets you mark up Web pages, then share and export your notes. Its new WebSlides, in closed beta testing, will enable you to create narrated presentations of Web pages that you've saved and annotated.
Diigo is meant to be more practical than something like StumbleUpon, a fun way to discover new sites. Diigo Vice President Maggie Tsai touted Diigo WebSlides at the Office 2.0 conference today as an ideal tool for teachers. Her demo showed off handy-looking recording and playback controls for making … Read more
First, the bad news: No, Google is not announcing a business wiki or presentation product at the Office 2.0 conference. However, I did get a demo of a few new features in Google's spreadsheet.
First, there's a new autofill function. If you enter a series of consecutive numbers, it will extend the series. OK, yawn. But, using data provided by the old Google Sets experiment, the spreadsheet will automatically fill in a row or column with items it thinks match your selection if they're not in an obvious sequence. For example, highlight a name of a … Read more
For the hardware buffs out there, this morning's panel on "New Devices for Mobile Workers" at the Web 2.0 Conference was all about the tools out there to get work done while outside of the office. Laptops and PCs are far from disappearing from the work landscape, but with mobile development for iPhone we're starting to see that people like accessing work and play while away from their home base.Topics covered:
Battery life: The difficulty in using online office apps is that they require a constant Wi-fi connection, something that's partially being solved … Read more
Office 2.0 is not just about putting Word and Excel online. What are the key things in Office 2.0 moving forward? The first panel at the Office 2.0 conference, hosted by GigaOm's Om Malik, tackles this. Some directions we can look forward to in future business applications:
Social networking. This can be a "game changer" for the workforce, if applied correctly to business needs. So says Microsoft's Richard McAniff. Interesting take, considering Microsoft's lack of juice in this arena. Is McAniff presaging a new product or acquisition?
Better tools to tackle the &… Read more
I'm at the Office 2.0 conference ( more) listening to the organizer, Ismael Ghalimi, discuss his pure Web 2.0 philosophy for setting up the conference: No local software, no files stored on PCs, no paper at all. At this conference, Ismael is even hoping that a special iPhone-friendly Web site set up for attendees will obviate the need for business card exchange (this is so not going to happen, but it's a good experiment).
Today at the Office 2.0 Conference, Zoho (more coverage) is announcing the new, paid business edition of its Web applications suite. Companies will be able to get user administration, company branding, and domain mapping (just like Google Apps for My domain), backup, pooled storage, and telephone support. When the product launches in October, it will cost about $40 per year per user.
Zoho will continue to have a free version, Zoho Personal, but some applications that are currently in it, like Zoho CRM, will move out of Personal and only be available in the Business edition. Other applications will … Read more
The Office 2.0 conference ( more) opens up in San Francisco tomorrow. As it did last year, this show will push the Web 2.0 concept for business as far as it can go. I expect that a lot of activity at the conference will center around groupware and work-flow applicatiosn. In the past few days I've talked to the founders of four companies competing in this space-- Central Desktop, Sosius, Huddle, and ShareMethods -- each of which is aiming to use Web 2.0 concepts like simple design, hosted services, and a-la-carte pricing, to knock Microsoft's Sharepoint off its peg, and take on Web 2.0 work-flow stalwart 37Signals' Basecamp as well. Not to mention blocking upstarts from big companies, like Webex's WebOffice, before they can get major traction.
It's going to be a tough battle for these products to stand out from each other. The founders I talked to have similar pitches. They talk about low-cost, bottom-up (as opposed to IT-driven) sales, and the fact that they're not trying to replace office products like Microsoft Office or even Web 2.0 suites like Zoho, but rather trying to bring collaboration and workflow to every business with a Web connection.
The one area where these products all need to develop the most is in their integration with these online office productivity tools. At the moment, all of these applications will help you check in and manage files that you create on your PC, and they'll handle approval cycles, discussions, and project plans. But these applications really need tight integration with tools like Google Docs to truly free users from the shackles of local software. That's not just a philosophical perspective--working half online (for work flow) and half on a PC (for productivity applications) is confusing and will slow adoption of these products.
That said, I like all these services. They fill a need that e-mail and wikis can't, and that traditional software is too heavy for. Most of the products look great and aren't over-featured, making it fairly easy for users to get up to speed on them.
The differences between these applications are not immediately obvious...
Sony and a technology site are using a conference to show off a confluence of next-generation, monopoly-bypassing technology: a Sony Playstation 3 videogame console running Linux and Firefox as a foundation for Web-based "Office 2.0" applications.
Sony called the conference a great opportunity to "showcase the PS3 system's computing power and productivity capabilities."
"Installing Linux and Firefox on the PS3 enables … Read more