In this issue:
Google Takes on Microsoft
by Arie Slob
Hello Windows users,
Over the years, Google always maintained that it didn't want to take on Microsoft in the lucrative Office software market. But that has changed now. At the end of February Google announced that it will be offering a suite of services dubbed Google Apps, combining their previously available email, calendaring, instant messaging (IM), word processing, spreadsheet, and Web page design solutions.
Although Google's offering will appeal to small businesses, they are clearly aiming for the enterprise market too.
Google will offer two versions of Google Apps. A free version which will be supported by advertising will include 2GB of email storage space. Google Apps Premium, which will be priced at $50 per user per year, will provide 10GB of email storage space.
Several Microsoft managers have been quoted as saying that this Google announcement is a wake-up call. Let's hope so, it would probably benefit the consumer. Although Microsoft does offer some Internet-based services, it has resisted to move core Office capabilities to the Web.
Right now Microsoft won't be in much danger of losing any of its larger customers, but it seems likely that many smaller companies will at least test Google's offerings.
New daylight saving time (DST) for the United States and Canada
The US Congress decided in 2005 to extend the period of daylight saving time by three weeks in spring and one in the fall, reasoning that providing more daylight in the early evening would reduce energy use. However, the shift could cause trouble with software set to automatically advance its clock by an hour on the old date, the first Sunday in April, and not on the new date, the second Sunday in March. Canada and Bermuda are conforming to the U.S.-mandated change.
The United States Energy Policy Act of 2005 goes into effect on March 11 and unless certain updates are applied, the time zone settings for your computers' and handheld devices' system clocks may be incorrect during the four-week period affected by the change.
Microsoft has set up the Microsoft Daylight Saving Time Help and Support Center where you can find a rundown of all products affected by the DST change. The site also provides webcasts and technical chats geared to help you apply the DST updates. These updates have been released through a combination of channels including Microsoft Customer Support Services (CSS), hot fixes incorporated in Knowledge Base articles, Windows Update, Microsoft Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), and the Microsoft Download Center.
Microsoft Daylight Saving Time Help and Support Center
Windows Newsletter Schedule
You may have noticed that this newsletter is a few days late. Last weekend I was traveling from Malta to the USA. I had hoped to finish the newsletter before my travel started, but that didn't work out. Next week (12-15 March) I will be attending Microsoft's Global MVP summit, so expect the next newsletter to be published on the 24th March.