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Microsoft is going to let marketers and advertisers dip their toes into the social stream. The tech giant is planning to launch a new social media product, dubbed "Looking Glass," which will let marketers aggregate and monitor social media platforms for brands and companies. According to a report by Ad Age today, the product is still in "proof of concept" stage and will be privately distributed to testers in the coming month. Microsoft's advertising blog also
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alytics/archive/2009/09/23/microsoft-lookingglass-helps-businesses-catch-the-social-media-wave-at-advertising-week-2009.aspx">mentions the new product.

Looking Glass will aggregate feeds from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and other social media sites and will also be able connect with CRMs, databases, service centers and more. In terms of analysis, the product will track sentiment of content but it's unclear what other data analysis and features the application will have. Looking Glass will be browser-based and powered by Microsoft's Silverlight technology. And unsurprisingly, all data collected by Looking Glass will be integrated with Microsoft's Sharepoint and Outlook products. In fact, the product's functionality may be limited for a business that isn't using Microsoft's enterprise suite.
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When Salesforce.com founder and CEO Marc Benioff launched his CRM platform in the cloud in 1999, he embarked on a "No Software" campaign to tout his "Software as a Service" agenda. Today, hosting service Rackspace is promoting a similar campaign with the launch of NoMoreServers.com, a site dedicated to the emergence of Computing-as-a-Service models (like hosting, cloud computing and SaaS) to power enterprise IT.

NoMoreServers.com is a rally cry of the computing as a service era. NoMoreServers.com is hoping to e
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mpower businesses to acknowledge the decline of in-house computing and the rise of the All Cloud Enterprise (ACE). Covering hosting, cloud computing, SaaS, and the key vendors driving them (eg: Amazon, Google, Rackspace, Salesforce, etc), NoMoreServers.com will feature daily commentary explaining all things cloud computing. The site will include third-party content and news about hosting, cloud computing and will have a live community portal for visitors to engage on the topic of outsourcing computing.
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According to Wikipedia, cloud computing is a paradigm of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet. According to Larry Ellison, it's nonsense and water vapor.

The chief executive of Oracle last week at the Churchill Club sat down with former Motorola CEO Ed Zander for a fireside chat about the future of the company he co-founded, the pendin
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g acquisition of Sun and the implications thereof, and the state of the economy in general.

Most amusing however, was his ranting on cloud computing, captured on video by TechPulse360. Of course, we've heard his refreshingly critical take of the buzzword du jour before, but he continues to make it a valid point. (after the jump)
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Rearden Commerce, the under-the-radar automated online assistant that helps people organize travel needs and other services, has raised another $40 million in a Series F funding from JPMorgan Chase. This latest round brings Rearden's total funding up to $240 million since the company's launch in 200
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0. JPMorgan Chase is a marketing partner and a pre-existing investor. Greg O'Hara and Rick Smith, both general partners from One Equity Partners, JPMorgan Chase's private equity fund, will be joining Rearden's board, although the funding comes from Chase Capital Partners.

Unfortunately, the funding is bittersweet for the company because it coincides with a round of layoffs. Rearden let go roughly 60 employees from a staff of 335 employees (or 18 percent), following a round of layoffs last November of around 10 percent (or 40 employees) of the company's staff.
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Xerox, "the data company," announced today it plans to acquire Affiliated Computer Services; a move which will firmly place them in the $150 billion business process outsourcing market. This cash and stock transaction was originally valued at $6.4 billion based on Friday's closing Xerox stock prices, but has since dwindled to $5.5 billion due to a 14% decrease.

The steep decrease in stock stems not from a lack of faith in Xerox and their current capabilities, but rather from concerns regarding the strategic ov
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erlap of the two companies. Deals such as the recent Dell acquisition of Perot Systems and last years purchase of EDS by HP were much less radical as the initial products had far more overlap.
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Social productivity startup Spigit, which creates idea and innovation software, has launched an integration with Microsoft SharePoint, letting enterprises place this data in the cloud, behind the firewall. Spigit's products help businesses and teams contribute ideas, offer feedback and evaluate concepts to streamline idea generation and promote innovation.

Spigit for SharePoint includes a dashboard that provides r
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eal-time updates on activity, hot topics and employee contributions within a business, an advanced analytics engine that identifies the best ideas among all contributions and a customizable workflow systems to manage ideation. The software also evaluates employees and offers an incentive and rewards program.
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IT management software company CA (Computer Associates) this morning announced that it intends to acquire privately-held NetQoS, a provider of network performance management and service delivery solutions, for $200 million in an all-cash transaction. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year, pending regulatory approvals.

If the deal goes through, it will be CA’s biggest acquisition in three years (since it bough
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t Wily Technology for $375 million in January 2006). According to the announcement, NetQoS' solutions will extend CA's capabilities in areas such as network and systems management, application performance management and cloud management.
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JIRA, a product from Atlassian, began its life as a simple alternate bug-tracker, and has since evolved into a popular and robust product and issue management tool. JIRA 4.0, to be released tomorrow, has made several enhancements and additions including an improved dashboard, JIRA Query Language (JQL) for enhanced search features, and activity streams. The [...]
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Dropbox, the impressive file syncing service which makes it easy to sync your files across multiple computers and the web, has released a brand new version of its online interface. Today's upgrade brings with it a number of new features that will make it much easier to manage the large number of files users often have on their Dropboxes.

Among the new features are the ability to select multiple files in the file browser and perform bulk operations on them. You can also select multiple files and have them placed into a new Zip file, which wil
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l make it easy to send multiple files at once. Other new improvements include a search feature, Gmail-style keyboard shortcuts, and a version of the site that's been optimized for mobile phones. Of course, many people primarily use Dropbox through its desktop clients that integrate quite nicely with your operating system, but these are welcome additions for anyone who has to access their files when they're away from their primary computer.
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BrowserMob, an on-demand performance and load testing software service, is launching a new monitoring tool that lets you measure the performance of your website over time, and alert you of problems. BroswerMob, which is a cloud-based service, is designed to help lower-trafficked websites (i.e. websites with less than one million visitors each month) prepare for potentially high traffic situations, such as a launch. BrowserMob presented its sites testing product at TechCrunch's
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d-computing-roundtable-sold-out-but-it-will-be-streamed/">Cloud Computing Roundtable in February.

The monitoring tool checks your website from multiple locations in the cloud, using ta variety of browsers, captures screen shots of your website whenever it detects an error and notifies you immediately when these problems take place. The technology also detects problems outside of your firewall (ad vendor problems, issues with external widgets, etc.).
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