Home Weekly Wrapup: Microsoft Azure, Google Chrome, iPhone Apps, And More…

Weekly Wrapup: Microsoft Azure, Google Chrome, iPhone Apps, And More…

It’s time for our weekly summary of Web Technology news, products and trends. On the product side, Microsoft had two major Web announcements: 1) the release of Azure, a cloud computing OS; and 2) browser-based versions of four Office products. Google was also active this week, releasing the third beta of its new browser Chrome and announcing it will support OpenID. On the trends side, we wrote in-depth analysis pieces on LinkedIn and Hulu, advised you how to use the new Google web search RSS feeds, and more. And this week ReadWriteWeb had our own special announcement: a new product, Jobwire!

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Web Products

Ray Ozzie Announces Windows Azure – “Windows in the Cloud”

Ray Ozzie opened the Microsoft PDC ’08 this week with a keynote speech. In it he announced Windows Azure, Microsoft’s “Windows in the cloud”. It is a new service based operating environment. He described it as a massive highly scalable service platform. What was released this week is just a fraction of what it will become. It will be Microsoft’s highest scalable system enabling people and companies to create services on the Web.

See also our analysis, Microsoft Azure Aims to Re-define the OS

Google Releases Third Beta of Chrome: Better Security and Performance

Google released a new beta version of Chrome, Google’s first web browser, which addresses a number of issues we had noticed in earlier releases. Besides improving the performance and stability of a number of plugins, including Flash, Sliverlight, and Quicktime, as well as fixing some security issues, Google also finally added the ability to add words to the built-in spell checker.

Microsoft Office Comes to the Browser (Finally)

Microsoft announced this week at its PDC conference that the next release of Microsoft Office will include browser-based versions of some of its main office software products – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. These will be “lightweight versions”, but Microsoft told us yesterday that they’ll still have rich functionality and will be comparable to Google’s suite of online office applications. The apps will enable users to create, edit and collaborate on Microsoft Office documents through the browser. The apps will work in IE, Firefox and Safari browsers (no word on whether Google Chrome will be supported).Microsoft clarified in an email that these apps will use HTML and AJAX, but also Silverlight components.

Seven Must-Have Offline Apps For Your iPhone/iPod Touch

If you have an iPod Touch, then you know the benefit of finding apps that work offline. But some iPhone owners, too, need offline access from time-to-time. Maybe you spend your commute in an underground subway or perhaps your office building has shoddy cell coverage, or maybe you just want to use your iPhone on a plane…whatever the reason, offline access to apps is still a necessary evil these days.


A Word from Our Sponsors

We’d like to thank ReadWriteWeb’s sponsors, without whom we couldn’t bring you all these stories every week!

Web Trends

How to Use the New Google Web Search RSS Feeds

Google’s been the lone hold out among major search engines on RSS but the company quietly enabled feeds for web search results this week. The offering is pretty limited and frustrating, you have to go through Google Alerts to get an obscure RSS URL, but we offer a tutorial and some strategic advice in this post.

Web search RSS is useful for being alerted whenever search results for your keywords or link have changed; subscribing to at least a few searches will let you know when Google users are seeing something new in the first few pages of search results for your company name, for example.

LinkedIn, Stop Hiding People Behind Links

Last week LinkedIn announced an additional
infusion of capital from strategic investors. The company has been
around since 2003 and
Bernard Lunn recently
an in-depth analysis
of the LinkedIn business here on ReadWriteWeb. Most of us use LinkedIn a few times a week, yet almost
no one is emotionally connected to the company. Isn’t it strange that a
which at its core is about
connecting people, is rather bland and unexciting? LinkedIn as a company and brand has never paid attention to the human

Google is Now an OpenID Provider

It was quite a good week for OpenID, an increasingly popular mechanism for creating and managing a single identity across the Internet. On Monday, Microsoft announced that it would give every Windows Live user an OpenID account, and later in the week Google announced a very similar plan.

Google will allow web services to join a limited test of an API based on the OpenID 2.0 protocol that will give Google Account users the option to sign in to websites with their Google credentials and without having to sign up for a new account at those sites.

Hulu: Ugly Duckling No More

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since Hulu – the joint online video venture between NBC Universal and News Corp. – began streaming content. Its initial reception, after months of anticipation and a good helping of ridicule, was less than warm. Old media companies trying to take on YouTube? Were they serious?

Clearly, they were. Fast forward to today – a year after the company released its private beta – and you’ll hear a completely different story about Hulu. How did we get here? Let’s take a look back at Hulu’s first year.


NEW ReadWriteWeb Product

Announcing a Major New ReadWriteWeb Project: The Jobwire

We’re excited to introduce this week the launch of a new content channel here at ReadWriteWeb. It’s called the ReadWriteWeb Jobwire and it’s a site dedicated to reporting on people who have been hired for new jobs in tech, new media and related companies.

We’ve been working on it for months, well before the current economic climate unfolded, but we’re hoping that a whole site of good news will serve our readers well in these troubled times. Companies are still hiring, people are still getting cool new jobs, and we’re going to report on it. We invite you to check out the new Jobwire site to meet the Jobwire team, learn about our special guest editors and check out some of the great new jobs people have landed lately! Click here to read more and meet the Jobwire team.

RWW Enterprise Channel

The New Stack: SaaS, Cloud Computing, Core Technology

During the PC era, the technology stack was controlled by Microsoft Windows and Wintel – the “Wintel” era. We are now entering a new era, called variously ‘Cloud’ or ‘SaaS’ or ‘Enterprise 2.0’. In this era everything is different – the stack, the players and the potential for value creation. Let’s outline the basic shape of this emerging era, in particular defining what makes up the new stack.

Email us if you’re interested in writing for ReadWriteWeb’s Enterprise Channel.


That’s a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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