You know you're doing well when your product is used not just on Earth, but in outer space as well. That's something Microsoft can boast with its Outlook email client, which was used on the space shuttle Atlantis, as well as the International Space Station.
Office Watch has a pretty interesting write-up on the whole ordeal, describing how the astronauts use Outlook 2003. It's a little different than what you might think. According to Office Watch, the crew is equipped with fairly standard laptops running Outlook 2003 with Exchange Server, only they don't link to the server using any of the standard methods.
All incoming and outgoing messages are bundled into a tidy file and exchanged one-by-by through a network link. This happens just a few times a day, when NASA uploads a small .OST file to each crew member. Unlike a regular .OST file, this one is nothing more than a container for exchanging groups of messages - no calendar, contacts, or anything else typically found in one.
There isn't a whole lot of bandwidth to work with, so extra effort is made to keep the .OST file as small as possible, usually no more than 4MB, as least for the space shuttle. OST files bound for the ISS typically check in at 30-40MB.
Outlook users beware, According to Red Condor, an email filtering company, bogus Outlook alerts are making the rounds in an attempt to spread banking Trojans, which are used by hackers to access online accounts.
Red Condor said potential victims receive a personalized email message that appears to come from a tech support rep. Adding to the scam's effectiveness, the emails appear to come from the same domain as the target.
The security firm claims to have blocked over a million of these types of messages, which would indicate a botnet is at work and that the hackers are playing a numbers game.
"We're announcing Xobni Enterprise, our second revenue-generating product in three months," Hozer stated in a blog entry. "Xobni Enterprise consists of a web-based admin portal that allows IT administrators to easily control, customize, and deploy Xobni across their organization."
According to Xobni CEO Jeff Bonforte, Xobni, or 'Inbox' spelled backwards, is already being used by employees in 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Xobni Enterprise will make it easier for those and other businesses to deploy and manage the plugin through a Web-based portal. Customers will also be able to add their own custom extensions.
Xobni Enterprise is available now "with pricing options to fit the needs of any business."
Are you stuck using Outlook at work? We feel your pain. Compared to the alternatives, like Mozilla's light-weight and customizable Thunderbird client, Outlook is slow, bloaty, and downright unwieldy. Add to the fact that it isn't free and Outlook doesn't appear to have much going for it.
But whether you use Outlook because you have to or have grown accustomed to its interface and are reluctant to switch (or maybe you just want to justify the cost of Microsoft Office), we have some tricks to help you manage your email and contacts like a pro. After all, if you're going to use Outlook, no matter what the reason, you might as well get the most out of it, and we're here to help you do just that.
According to Microsoft, the Redmond company has taken several steps over the past year toward increased openness and document interoperability, so it shouldn't come as much surprise that they're now focusing on Outlook. More specifically, the software outfit wants to improve platform-independent access to email, calendar, contacts, and other data contained in the Personal Folders (PST) file every Outlook user is familiar with. Towards that end, Microsoft said it plans to release documentation for the .pst format.
"This will allow developers to read, create, and interoperate with the data in .pst files in server and client scenarios using the programming language and platform of their choice," Microsoft wrote on its Interoperability@Microsoft blog.
Microsoft went on to say that the technical documentation will reveal how data is stored, along with instructions on how to access the data from other software apps. In addition, it will also detail the structure of the .pst file and show developers how they can navigate the folder hierarchy.
It's unknown when the document, which is still in its early stages, will be released. When it's ready, Microsoft said it will be released under its Open Specification Promise, "which will allow anyone to implement the .pst file format on any platform and in any tool, without concerns about patents."
Earlier this week Google announced their Google App Sync for Microsoft Outlook, which they hope will give them the edge in the business email world.
“Many business users prefer Gmail's interface and features to products they've used in the past. But sometimes there are people who just love Outlook. For them, we've developed Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook,” writes Eric Orth, a Software Engineer on the Google Apps team. “It enables Outlook users to connect to Google Apps for business email, contacts and calendar. And they can always use Gmail's web interface to access their information when they're not on their work computer.”
Best of all, Google makes this that much easier by providing a tool that takes care of all the heavy lifting. Microsoft Outlook servers, you’re officially on notice.
Nvidia this week revised its fourth-quarter outlook saying its revenue is expected to plunge at least 40 percent sequentially, and possibly as high as 50 percent. The graphics chip maker blames the revised estimate on a one-two punch of weakening end-user demand and inventory reductions by channel partners. Nvidia didn't have much more to say on the matter, other than that no conference call will be held regarding the update and we'll have to wait until February 10, 2009 when Nvidia reports its financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.
While everyone seems to be struggling in a weakened economy, and Nvidia in particular is coming off a year plagued with negative PR over GPU failures, the company appeared to be righting its ship by landing some big contracts. Earlier reports showed several global top-tier notebook vendors jumping on board Nvidia's 9400M graphics, including Apple, who ditched Intel in favor of Nvidia to supply the graphics chipset for the refreshed MacBook line. But this latest revenue warning trumps other big players in the tech market, such as AMD, Intel, and LSI who recently offered revised guidance ranging from 15 to 25 percent lower sequentially.
Meanwhile, we're still waiting for Nvidia to make good on its promise to "open a can of whoop ass."
Windows Live Hotmail’s 260 million users worldwide can look forward to a multitude of new features that were recently unveiled by Microsoft. Hotmail wave 3 promises a speed boost of over 70% during sign in, and will enable dynamic storage that will grow at a rate of 250 MB per month. Microsoft is also reportedly working to address the user interface problems which have plagued the service since the roll out of wave 2. Hotmail users currently have the option of picking between the well loved “classic” or the “full” user interface which reportedly suffers from a low adoption rate. This low adoption rate has kept the classic version alive, and made it difficult for Microsoft to roll out new features. Hotmail wave 3 looks to merge the layout of the “classic” with the functionality of the “full”, an approach they are hoping will finally please everyone. This is something that is desperately needed to help attract and retain users currently considering competing services such as Gmail or Yahoo. Improved integration of Live contacts, calendar, and instant messaging help to round out the initial batch of leaked features. The press release doesn’t make any mention of the long rumored POP support or any Skydrive integration, but hopefully these features are still in the works. No public beta has been announced yet, but the “coming soon” headline suggests it probably isn’t that far off.
Are you a former or current Hotmail user? Will these new features keep you with the service or send you running back? Hit the jump and let us know what you think.
For years, we’ve had the ability to synchronize email across offline and online platforms. That’s a no-brainer. But only recently have we stumbled across a rock-solid method for synchronizing that other big part of the typical email program: the calendar.