The big news, if it really is news, this week will be the business launch of Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010. Everyone will be watching in the coming weeks to see what happens with Google Docs, while IBM adds text analytics for social media to SPSS’ Modeler.
Office 2010 Launch And Google Docs
Not exactly news, but something that still needs to be marked is the launch of Office 2010 tomorrow for business users. So we all know the score on the Microsoft v Google, Office v Docs thing, but take the sniping out of the equation and Office 2010 is a serious application.
While all the folks in Microsoft (news, site), along with an assortment of Microsoft offspring, are celebrating in New York tomorrow, businesses across the US will get their first look at the final, official version, with home users having to wait until next month for the general release.
That said, probably the most interesting features in the new release won’t be on the shelves anyway because you can only get them online. That is, of course, Office WebApps' slimmed down versions of Excel, PowerPoint and Word.
And it is this feature that Microsoft is hoping to attract users away from Google Docs or -- even better -- stop them going there in the first place. With Office Web Apps, users have all the major document capabilities online and can download files to work locally.
With Google, recent upgrades included, users can’t download them and play with them in any Google desktop software.
While Microsoft may be publicizing this difference in a big way at the moment, it really remains to be seen in the future whether anyone actually cares once they get used to working on and storing documents in the cloud.
Google Adds Apps Improvements
Speaking of Google, work on improving Google Apps continues with the recent announcement that new improvements to the document and spreadsheet editors, themselves only recent releases, are coming on stream.
It’s only a small addition, but one that shows just one of the directions Google is taking with Apps. Last week, Google added the ability to copy sheets across spreadsheets without having to duplicate an entire spreadsheet by just pressing the “Copy to...” option in the sheet options menu.
Along with this improvement, Google also announced that a whole load of applications are on the way later this year that are focused on businesses, schools and organizations using Google Apps.
Users will be able to publish their organization’s blog on Blogger, share project images with Picasa Web Albums, track industry news in Google Reader and advertise online with AdWords and, Google says, much more -- all without switching back and forth between multiple accounts.
IBM Analyzes SM Text
You probably remember last year that IBM bought SPSS for US$ 1.2 billion -- the result of the acquisition was an expanded Information on Demand (IOD) software portfolio and business analytics capabilities.
Now IBM is releasing an upgrade to the SPSS predictive analytics tool that will enable users to analyze text gathered from social media sources, including Twitter, Facebook, blogs, wikis and RSS feeds.
The upgrade represents a considerable advance in the SPSS Modeler data mining and text analytics solution with abilities that stretch as far as detecting the context of the words used. Data from the social web can also be merged with internal data to create even more accurate intelligence about consumers, IBM says.
The text analytics capability is only available in the premium edition of the SPPS Modeler.
EMC Rebrands ECM Group
In case you missed it on Monday, EMC (news, site) has made several important announcements about their enterprise content management group and its main product Documentum at the EMC World conference in Boston. The most important of which is that the group's new name is now the Information Intelligence Group (IIG).
This is not just a simple re-branding of the Content Management and Archiving Group. The new name reflects where EMC is now with their product suites and where they plan to go in the next few years.
Noting that 5% of the world's information is structured, which can be measured in zettabytes, EMC also announced that it is preparing to announce two new partnerships. One is with SAP (news, site) with details coming next week at the SAPPHIRE conference, and the second with Informatica.
IBM Playing Games With BPM
We all know how serious IBM is about business process management, but you should also know that Big Blue is also playing games.
What it has done is unveil the third iteration of a game developed to help IT and business people understand the value of using integrated business processes.
Inspired by electronic games such as SimCity and Civilization Revolution, CityOne Serious asks users to efficiently manage a city that already exists using business process management methods.
As the latest in IBM’s training games, it follows the first game, which focused on optimizing call center operations, and the second, which was an online offering focused on managing supply chains.
Displayed at last week’s IMPACT 2010, it has been distributed to 1000 universities globally who will use it as part for their curriculum. It will be made generally available -- at least that’s what IBM’s website said -- in the Fall, but dates have not been announced. If you’re interested in more check it out.