A full-scale war is brewing between Amazon and Wal-Mart and it’s not completely obvious that consumers will be the winners. Prices are not the only thing that matters; we will all be poorer if we have less variety available as a side effect of the war.
Wal-Mart started the war last month by marking down ten best-sellers to ten dollars if they were ordered online from Wal-Mart. Amazon responded quickly by matching the price, Wal-Mart went down another dollar, Target jumped in to lower things a few more cents, and the result is that I got Stephen King’s massive new book Under The Dome for nine dollars. […] continued
Until recently, merchants tried to build excitement by keeping the Friday sale prices secret until the Thursday ads appeared in the newspaper. An online cottage industry grew up around early leaks of the sale information, causing WalMart and Target and the other giants to get terribly excited and issue dire threats of lawsuits against anyone daring to publicize their sales. That never really made much sense, actually.
Meanwhile, as online commerce took off, the online retailers tried to create “Cyber Monday” out of whole cloth as a spontaneous shopping explosion for people sitting down in their offices after shopping all weekend in the brick and mortar stores. […] continued
Billing Matters, the LexisNexis law office billing and accounting program, was killed last week. This was circulated Thursday and appeared in the TechnoLawyer newsletter.
"Effective September 1, Billing Matters® will be placed in maintenance mode. During maintenance mode, LexisNexis will continue to resolve known issues and provide technical support in accordance with our standard practices, but no new features or functionality will be added. Billing Matters will continue to be released in conjunction with new versions of Time Matters until Billing Matters is sunset on 12/31/2013. Existing users of Billing Matters will continue to have access to update versions of the software and access to technical support through the purchase of an Annual Maintenance Plan until 12/31/2013.
Microsoft Online Services has unexpectedly become more affordable and a more compelling choice for small businesses. I want all law firms and businesses with five or more employees to consider moving their mail to hosted Exchange mailboxes.
Effective immediately, the price of a hosted mailbox has been cut in half to $5/month per mailbox. Existing MOS customers will automatically get the price break starting today.
Later this month, mailboxes will be increased in size to 25Gb at no extra charge.
For a small monthly subscription fee, small businesses can get the full value of Exchange Server:
MULTIPLE COMPUTERS The same Outlook folders can be displayed on multiple computers at multiple locations.
Microsoft is now completely out of the accounting software market, following Friday’s announcement that it is dropping all of its remaining Office Accounting products.
At one time it appeared that Microsoft was going to be a player in accounting software for small business. It created overlapping products – “Small Business Financials,” “Small Business Accounting,” “Microsoft Office Accounting” – and claimed to be fully committed to staying in for the long haul. By the end of last year, it had killed all but the Office Accounting line, and that was already looking a little shaky.
On Friday, Microsoft bailed out completely, essentially conceding that Quickbooks cannot be dislodged as the owner of the entire market for small business accounting. […] continued
Philip Churchill’s WHS blog has more details on the HP Data Vault, built on Windows Home Server. There are some fuzzy screen shots in the HP white paper showing that HP’s software has been lightly overhauled to make it look more businesslike, with less emphasis on media streaming and sharing photos and music. The HP Data Vault is otherwise virtually identical to HP’s consumer MediaSmart boxes.
This strikes me as a good thing. The Windows Home Server devices deserve a businesslike look and feel – they’re tremendous for small businesses. I’m looking forward to setting them up. […] continued
Devices built on Windows Home Server can be perfect for backups and file sharing in small business networks. Here’s more information about what it means to use Windows Home Server to back up workstations in small businesses.
It’s been hard to explain that to business owners. The name “Windows Home Server” does not precisely shout out, “Backup System For Small Businesses,” does it? I’ve felt uncomfortable in law offices unpacking the HP MediaSmart from boxes festooned with dancing photographs and filmstrips and happy children’s faces.
The reality is that Windows Home Server backs up multiple computers more effectively than anything else on the market, and adds some file sharing and remote access features that can be quite useful in many offices. […] continued
Trying to help a very small business decide on technology that will last for 5-10 years has always been an interesting challenge, and the choices are completely different now than they were just a few years ago. Small Business Server 2003 was an obvious choice for a long time but Small Business Server 2008 is only one of many possibilities now, and I’m frequently recommending alternatives, especially for businesses with 4-10 computers where SBS 2008 might be overkill.
Microsoft has quietly released an interesting product, Windows Foundation Server 2008, and I’m not sure yet where it fits in. It is a fully functional version of Windows Server 2008, which is a very solid platform indeed. […] continued
Wired Magazine has delivered more insightful articles in the last couple of years than any other magazine, offline or online. Take a few minutes to read a fascinating piece in this month’s issue, “The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine.”
Traditionally when we pictured high quality products, we’ve always understood that they were the products with the highest fidelity or the most power or the most features.
Right in front of our eyes, in more markets than you expect, there is a transformation underway: the products that are succeeding are the ones that trade power or fidelity for low price, flexibility, and convenience. […] continued
Two articles about AT&T that tell you everything you need to know about cell phone carriers and their concern for those of us outside the big cities.
Coverage just keeps getting better in heavily populated urban areas! AT&T completed a major upgrade of the network in New York City and is working on a similar upgrade in San Francisco, according to this article. The network will have better voice quality and be able to carry more data for heavy users (mostly on iPhones).