October 13, 2006 10:19 AM PDT

Week in review: Deal or no deal in YouTube?

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Workplace use of Web 2.0--the use of wikis, Internet delivery of applications, and Web-enabled collaboration--is the key way these upstarts hope to distinguish their products, as they try to chip away at Microsoft's franchise. Another benefit they tout is that using hosted services, rather than buying applications, can work out cheaper for customers--or at less expensive up front.

special coverage
Office 2.0
Complete coverage of the players who hope you'll exchange PC-based software for Web services.

On Wednesday, Zoho Virtual Office launched a beta service for its integrated hosted productivity applications, and Coghead opened up a test version of its service for building online applications.

Also, SmartSheet.com announced an upgrade to its online collaboration software, which is built around a hosted spreadsheet and e-mail. Instead of just mimicking Excel in online form, the company is using familiar tools to make project management better, SmartSheet's president said.

This week, Salesforce.com, a customer relationship management (CRM) software company, announced Apex -- the new Java-like programming language along with back-end services for building on-demand business applications that run atop Saleforce's hosted infrastructure.

Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff told CNET News.com that he expects Apex will mean the company's services will appeal to new customers and that existing clients will sign up for new subscriptions.

Fall Processor Forum
The hardware makers that enable computers to process all that Office 2.0 software are also looking to create new appeal, going by this week's Fall Processor Forum in San Jose, Calif. The processor potentates there talked speed and arithmetic.

special coverage
Chipmakers add up their advances
Complete coverage of the Fall Processor Forum.

Sun Microsystems and Fujitsu engineers promised significant performance increases with two next-generation chips on Tuesday, models that they hope will help keep the Sparc line relevant.

Both processors, Sun's eight-core Niagara 2 and Fujitsu's dual-core Sparc64 VI, run Sun's Solaris operating system. Company representatives speaking at the Fall Processor Forum promised significant gains over the chips' predecessors--the first Niagara (now called UltraSparc T1) and the single-core Sparc64 V.

Intel and IBM gave different takes on whether frequency should be the preeminent measure of a chip's worth. NEC, meanwhile, offered a digital olive branch in the form of a new chip that could help companies bridge the gap between the Blu-ray and HD DVD worlds. The chip will start shipping in April 2007, NEC said.

Also of note....

Toyota's hybrid factory will produce a car that runs on 100 percent ethanol, as well as on a blend of gas and ethanol...The DigitalLife Show in Manhattan showed that "Silicon Alley" is coming back to life with gadgets and games...Microsoft announced an end to Windows XP SP1 support as its prepares for the Vista release.

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