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Microsoft joins the corporate chatter as companies go social

Yammer’s got some great numbers. Its software is used by five million people at 200,000 companies, nearly 85% of the Fortune 500 companies. What's more, reports suggest Yammer reached seven-figure revenues at least two years ago. But will it be the answer to Microsoft's social ambitions?

Adelaide steals a march in 2012 ANZ Innovyz Start

The 10 successful startups will get up to $18,000 each ($6,000 for each founder), free rent and tuition, besides at least $85,000 in free perks offered by companies such as Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and others. The program starts in Adelaide on May 28, with 45 mentors from Australia and around the world.

Is Microsoft merely flirting with So.cl? Or can it get serious?

Facebook is the default social site of the world. With 900 million members, it would be the third largest “country” in the world, behind only China and India. In comparison, Google+, a late and weak effort from the search giant, is a “ghost town.” So where does Microsoft, the giant that likes to sleep in, fit into the picture?

Steve Ballmer vs Alan Greenspan. Product marketing 1985-style [VIDEO]

I've always been a little afraid of Steve Ballmer. This video doesn't help. In 1985, on November 20, Microsoft released Windows 1.0. Steve Ballmer, ever the affable chap, stepped in front of the camera to sell this amazing new product.

Deskarma: Gamification as social currency for workplace change

Apparently work isn't fun enough. Now, work has to become a game to foster innovation and staff engagement. And, it's not just the social networks and startups taking this path. The World Bank and the U.S. Army have begun to gamify their workplaces.

A kinder, gentler Bill Gates dishes on taxes, charity and… Steve Jobs?

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, long removed from his days as soulless overlord of the company that ruled our PCs, warms up for his appearance at the G-20 with this interview, in which he talks about taxing the rich, helping Third World nations and... Steve Jobs.

Can Australian companies really afford NOT to have an online presence?

In Australia, 90% of businesses have Internet access and that access is predominantly broadband. Yet, still only 40% of Australian Businesses have any form of web presence. Here are my five top tips when building an online presence.

What are technology trends can we expect in 2012? (Enterprise tablets, apps, low-energy servers...

For years, companies – and tech enthusiasts, no less – have leaned on Gartner to navigate the rapidly changing world of technology, and be...

Is it Windows 8 or bust for Microsoft?

Windows 8 or bust? Microsoft’s fate in the post-PC world is inextricably linked to Windows 8, the newest version of its ubiquitous but antiquated operating...

Is Googorola a bid to challenge Apple?

There’s been a flurry of shy interpretations, punditry and, yes, speculation, too, since Google agreed to buy Motorola Mobility, the handset maker, for $12.5 billion. Some see the deal as a defensive play that secures Motorola’s treasure trove of patents as Google protects its mobile Android operating system from lawsuits. Some others see in the deal a threat to other mobile makers who build phones based on the Android. Can Google pull it off?

Google’s $12.5bn Motorola bid has mobile industry in a tizz

Google’s recent announcement that it had snapped up Motorola Mobility for a cool $12.5bn cash has techie types all a-quiver. Top smartphone and tablet manufacturers that use Google’s Android operating system to power their devices have put on their game faces following the announcement. However, many pundits have speculated that they're collectively bricking it (our words, not theirs).

Running a small business? Here’s the greatest lesson you’ll ever learn.

One of the pitfalls of being a small business owner is the strange belief that you've got to do everything, from scrubbing the floor...

World’s top tools for learning unveiled. But where’s Microsoft Excel?

A recent list of the World’s Top Tools for Learning is a stark reminder of how rapidly the educational ecosystem has moved beyond the traditional classroom. Most young professionals seem to have readily embraced the ability to learn quickly and interactively, formally and informally, in a real-time environment that was utterly unimaginable only a decade ago -- citing YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitter and Slideshare. But where was Microsoft Excel?

Upstart Paycycle acquired by New Zealand’s Xero

Payroll entrepreneurs Stuart McLeod and John Freeman will no longer be needing to count their pennies. Their two-year-old bootstrapped startup, Paycycle, which provides an online payroll system, is being acquired for $1.5 million by New Zealand’s accounting software provider Xero. Of the amount, $500,000 will be paid in cash and the rest in shares of Xero, which is listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange. The shares will fully vest over three years.

What is Office 365?

Office365 makes it easy for every business to stay on top of everything through its virtually anywhere-access mode. Easy and secure passageway to all your important documents is what it offers. Its familiar Microsoft Office collaboration and productivity tools are compatible with your office computers or any internet-run device.

Does Microsoft think the mouse is an endangered species? Here’s your first look at...

Based on this first-look video, Windows 8 looks eerily familiar to those of us who paid any attention to the Windows Phone 7 operating system when it came out a year ago -- big tiles that contain themes and logical (to the folks in Redmond, Wash., at least) collections of apps and data. And touching. Lots and lots of touching.

Nix pesky cyber spies [leaving your computer unshaken and unstirred…]

For the regular Joes and Josephinas amongst us, encounters with 007-style super-spies or shifty-eyed, trench-coated baddies aren't part of our day-to-day lives. But if you’re the proud owner of a computer, you do need to be vigilant for cyber spyware.

Hackers take Xbox 360’s motion-detection tech in wild, new directions

Hackers and open-source software magicians are taking the motion-detection capability of Xbox 360's Kinect and plugging it into all manner of eye-popping stuff. Imagine what an entrepreneur could do with hands-free computing.

Four marketing lessons at 60 kms/hr (What your business can learn from a speed...

Here’s your brief: You are to create a sign that will be posted in public that needs to do one thing – change behaviour. You can determine the shape of the sign, but it must include only three colours (or less), one graphic and up to three letters or numbers. Now, remember your audience will be very distracted as they come across your sign. They could be in a life threatening situation, and have milliseconds to process your message. Are you up to the challenge?

Twitter joins with heavyweight Apple to spread some iTunes love [VIDEO]

In a strong signal that Twitter has reached the Olympus of Internet gods that look down on us all, the mini-message network is now integrated with Apple so users can share their favorite tunes. Twitter now works with Ping, iTunes' social network for music. Who will be Twitter's next partner as it hobnobs with the 'Net's other heavy hitters?

FREE BUSINESS TOOLS

Five ways to manage your time by managing yourself, with Helen...

Finding the time to tackle everything is one of the greatest challenges faced by business owners. To help time-starved business owners work smarter and not harder, we spoke with Helen Ebdon. The director of Affirming Business and Executive Coaching, she’s a serial entrepreneur who started her first business at age 25. She’s built and run direct marketing and communications businesses and she’s also the creator of the Take 15 Program for business effectiveness.

FREE BUSINESS TOOL

The Facebook Honey Trap with James Tuckerman [CHEAT SHEET]

This cheat sheet was developed to help small business operators harness the incomparable (and undeniable) potency of Facebook to recruit fans, spread the word, and (most importantly) generate inbound business.

INFOGRAPHICS

New Zealand’s Xero eyes US IPO, further disruption as subscribers increase...

Xero recently held its annual meeting in Wellington, during which the company revealed some interesting details about its future. As has been widely suspected, the...

OPINIONS & ADVICE