Long time ago the Internet giant Yahoo! tried its hands in business-oriented projects. Remember, they even bought the collaboration star Zimbra. But then Yahoo! partnered with Microsoft and decided not to compete with the partner. And then Zimbra was sold to VMWare. But one business-oriented service still remains in the Yahoo! portfolio - Yahoo! Small Business, which allows small companies and entrepreneurs to easily create a website, email account and online store. During the recent years Yahoo! changed its executives, priorities and strategies and many services were closed. However, this service has survived for one simple reason - it's really demanded by customers and brings profit to the company. Moreover Yahoo! still finds resources for the further development of this service. Recently Yahoo! Small Business added a free marketing dashboard that allows to monitor Facebook, Twitter and other social networks (for online reputation management), analyze website metrics, submit your site to small business directories, conduct email campaigns. For example, the dashboard enables social media monitoring and provides recommendations on new listing opportunities, including on Yelp, Yahoo and others.
Before now IT vendors struggled for the environment ecology - persuaded companies to use electronic documents instead of paper. Now that most of the documents are electronic - it's time to struggle for the ecology of computer networks. Indeed, the huge amounts of traffic (data transmitted back and forth), multiple copies of the same documents in different places - becomes an ecological problem. The new appeal of IT- companies goes something like this: "Documents should be created in the Cloud, stored in the Cloud, viewed, edited and approved in the Cloud". When you download a document from the Internet to your computer - you chop wood and kill a beaver. That's how Google developers think. Today they have added another new feature in GMail - the ability to save attachments (files , documents) from the received messages directly to your online storage in Google Drive. Early GMail also added the ability to attach files to outgoing messages directly from the online Drive, so you don't need to download and upload documents to your email and back any more.
Google Wallet was launched a couple of years ago as a futuristic payment service for offline stores via smartphone. However, this trick had no success (even in the US) due to the lack of NFC-smartphones among users and the lack of NFC-terminals in the stores. But not to loose the beautiful name, Google first combined Google Wallet with its online payment service Google Checkout, and now Checkout will disappear and Wallet will remain the only Google's payment service. Maybe it will be a surprise to you, but if you have bought something in the Play Market (app or book), then you already have a Google Wallet account. And soon, you probably will be able to send money to other Wallet users and receive money from them (like in PayPal). And you'll be able to do it simply by sending an email from GMail and attaching the desired amount (as shown in the video). For while this feature will be only available in the US.
Having read the title of this news you could thought that the miracle occurred and IT monsters finally stopped building walls around their empires and decided to implement open standards for the overall happiness. But in fact the things are much more pragmatic. Microsoft still doesn't like Google, and Google still doesn't like Microsoft. Microsoft just wants to move GMail users to its Outlook.com, and one of the reasons that keeps them from moving - is the loss of the ability to chat with contacts "that stuck on GMail" (it's a quote from Microsoft's blog). Within few days, Microsoft will add this feature in Outlook.com. By the way, Outlook users already can chat with contacts from Skype and Facebook.
Google continues to close good services and invent stupid things. Youtube was very useful service for business. It was the primary channel for video marketing and hosted a lot of training videos. But it turned out that Youtube - was just a contest to define the best video in the history, and now when the contest is over - Youtube will be closed. In order to compensate this loss Google introduced two big updates for GMail and Google Apps. The first of them - Gmail Blue - it's the new revolutionary inbox interface that is completely blue. Blue buttons, blue icons, blue text. They say it's the interface of the 21st century (see video above). And the Google Apps adds "Levity" mode, which makes calendars, messages and documents more interesting and relaxing and increases the efficiency of team work. Video:
Specially to the St. Valentine's Day Microsoft prepared the present to its beloved Google - one more video on its favorite topic: "How Google is reading people's emails in order to show them relevant ads." This video is a sequel to the successful musicals GMail Man and Googlighting, and to the new series Scroogled, in which a couple of friends is constantly suffering from Google's bullying. Who knows, maybe Microsoft will soon produce the full-length movie about the battle on Outlook and GMail (Good and Evil).
Competition - is good for customers. When competition is strong, vendors stop being lazy and even forget about their political principles. And we've got the very interesting competition here: GMail vs Outlook.com. Microsoft recently turned its "mail for blondes" Hotmail into a solid and practical Outlook.com and now (as Microsoft says) it entices GMail users every day. Outlook.com advantages over GMail (according to Microsoft) are better spam protection and cleaner design. And different GMail features (discussion threads, hotkeys, themes ...) are gradually coming to Outlook.com. Today Outlook.com added an Android-application. Of course Android - is the competing platform, and so what?
This year, marketers in Enterprise 2.0 companies haven't prepared well for the April Fools' Day, perhaps because it fell on Sunday. The only diligent company was Google, that released several April 1 products. One of them - is GMail Tap - the new app for mobile GMail, which allows to quickly type text with just two buttons - dot and dash (watch video above). At the same time Microsoft, which recently was very productive in funny videos, at that time only unveiled the new interface for the online file storage and sharing service SkyDrive - SkyCMD. It allows you to manage your files using the classic DOS-syntax and the command line: