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This article was published on May 6, 2011

This week at Microsoft: Windows 8, Thin PC, and Google Apps

This week at Microsoft: Windows 8, Thin PC, and Google Apps
Alex Wilhelm
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Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

It has been a wild and woolly week in the world of Microsoft, and so it is time once again to look back over the last seven days and dig through the biggest stories.

For this week’s question, sound off in the comments as to what piece of software you use to manage music on your Windows 7 or Vista machine. Now, follow us on Twitter, and let’s get into the news.

Microsoft Slaps Google Apps

Microsoft is very mindful of its position inside of the world of enterprise software, and is not going to give up even an inch, especially to Google, without a fight.

In that vein, the company took a swipe at Google Apps this week, calling it dramatically expensive once unlisted costs were taken into account:

On the surface, Google Apps may seem like acceptable replacements for enterprise-grade products such as Microsoft Exchange Server or Microsoft Office. But many IT organizations have found that Google Apps bring extra, hidden costs. Organizations that have evaluated Google Apps have found that the projected versus actual costs of switching to Google Apps greatly increase their total cost of ownership (TCO).

Microsoft even put together an infographic that showed the costs of Google Apps to be an iceberg, with most ‘hidden’ below the surface. Yes, Microsoft likened your business to the Titanic. No, they probably didn’t mean to.

But the best part of the kerfuffle was Google’s statement on the matter:

There’s a reality distortion field over Redmond. Customers know Google’s much less expensive than Microsoft.

Oh yes, take that, Redmond.

Microsoft Releases Thin PC Release Candidate

On a more serious note, Microsoft made the Thin PC Release Candidate (RC) available for download this week. The new build, number 7601.17514, can be found  here.

Don’t know what Thin PC does? Using the official language, “[Thin PC allows] customers to repurpose existing PCs as thin clients by providing a smaller footprint; a locked down version of Windows 7.”

This is an important release for the company as it starts to increasingly focus on Windows 8, the future of the Windows world.

Social Media In Office?

Even Microsoft wants to be hip in the social scene these days, and the Office group is suffering from the same delusion. The Office team took the time to write an extensive blog post on the matter of social and productivity, which ended with them declaring the two following things:

“[H]ere at Microsoft, we believe that social networking can also deliver real business value for all types of organizations.”

“[S]ocial tools in the office can help with collaboration.”’

That sound was your boss turning over in his grave. Microsoft is touting heavily its Outlook Social Connector, a tool that makes Outlook socially plugged-in. Time will tell how social Office gets, but one thing is for sure, Google Docs still sets the bar for real-time collaboration.

The Windows Store

Here ye, here ye, the Windows app store is called The Windows Store. Microsoft, why are you so good at naming things?

Anyway, the Windows Store suffered from a massive, and massively awesome, leak this week that broke down many of its features:

  • Will support the purchase of goods and services from directly within applications.
  • You can install trial applications and then decide whether to switch to the full version at a later time.
  • Users can vote and review applications. Each comment can be rated by other users.
  • Users can send reports of problems to the developers of the application in question.
  • You obviously can search applications and filter the results by price or category.
  • List of enhancements in the latest versions (change log)

For each application, the following information will be provided:

  • Minimum system requirements
  • End-user license
  • Feature requests (Webcam, GPS …)
  • Category and description
  • Application functionality
  • Content classification
  • Screenshots
  • Links to support forums
  • Types of supported architectures (x 86, x 64, ARM or neutral)

In other words, it’s an app store. In Windows. No word yet on the cut, if any, that Microsoft will take.

That is all for this week ladies and gents, be sure and follows us on Twitter for more

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