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On-demand software news, reviews, and tips, covering Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) topics, including Google Apps, Office 365, Salesforce.com, and other hosted software and services.

On-demand Software Reviews

  • Review

    Streaming music showdown: Xbox Music versus the world

    Posted November 24, 2012 - 8:05 am

    If music soothes the savage breast, then why are so many 800-pound gorillas slugging it out in a battle for your eardrums? Microsoft recently stepped back into the streaming music fray with Xbox Music Pass, a revitalized Zune Pass replacement that's baked right into Windows 8 and Windows RT. It may be pretty and it may be (somewhat) free, but Xbox Music Pass faces stiff competition from a crowd of contenders that includes heavyweights such as Pandora, Rdio, Slacker and Spotify.
  • Review

    Review: 6 Business dashboards that help CIOs manage employees, Web services

    Posted October 31, 2012 - 3:08 pm

    These six dashboards help IT executives make key decisions by putting data from a variety of enterprise applications and services at a CIO's fingertips so he or she can better manage employees, website activity, development projects and more.
  • Review

    Gmail vs. Outlook.com: Which offers the best email in the cloud?

    Posted September 27, 2012 - 11:08 am

    There’s an elephant in the room, and it’s wearing a Microsoft T-shirt.
  • Review

    Web conferencing showdown: What's the best software for online meetings?

    Posted September 24, 2012 - 11:59 am

    It's become a maxim of modern business life: Your most important meeting of the year won't take place in a conference room, but rather online with all attendees viewing a common computer screen.
  • Review

    10 essential WordPress plugins

    Posted September 9, 2012 - 8:50 pm

    WordPress has developed into a full-fledged content management system. We look at 10 essential plugins that make it even better.
  • Review

    SkyDox lets you share and collaborate, easily

    Posted July 16, 2012 - 2:59 pm

    SkyDox, a primarily cloud-based service, offers file sharing and collaboration in an easy-to-use format--and it won't break the bank either. That's a rare combination that makes the thirty-day free trial of this $15/month product worth taking a look at.
  • Review

    Review: Up close with NetSuite's deep ERP

    Posted June 13, 2012 - 10:55 am

    NetSuite offers extensive ERP, CRM, and other business management functionality to organizations that recognize the value proposition associated with SaaS
  • Review

    VeriFone SAIL review: mobile payment processor has some impressive features

    Posted June 2, 2012 - 7:50 am

    VeriFone, one of the largest payment-processing companies around, developed SAIL after startups such as Square successfully created a new market to provide very small businesses with payment-processing services. SAIL comes with a free card reader and an app for iOS 4.3+ devices; the company plans to add Android phone and tablet support in the months to come. Using the SAIL pay-as-you-go plan, you can accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards for a per-transaction fee of 2.7 percent, or 3.7 percent for keyed-in transactions. The transaction fee for American Express cards is higher, at 3.7 percent.
  • Review

    PayAnywhere review: a feature-rich mobile payment processor

    Posted June 2, 2012 - 7:50 am

    With PayAnywhere's free card reader and app for iOS 4.0+ devices, Android 2.1+ phones (but not tablets), and BlackBerry 4.7+ devices, you can accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards with a transaction fee of 2.69 percent per swipe. Keyed-in transactions are subject to a fee of 3.49 percent plus 19 cents.
  • Review

    Intuit GoPayment review: processing system includes a sturdy card reader

    Posted June 2, 2012 - 7:44 am

    The Intuit GoPayment mobile payment processing system includes a free card reader and apps for iOS 4.0+ devices and most Android phones and tablets. Using this pay-as-you-go service, you can accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards for a fee of 2.7 percent of the total sale for swiped transactions, or a 3.5 percent fee for keyed-in transactions. Opt for Intuit's $13-per-month subscription plan, and your fees drop to 1.7 percent per swiped transaction, or 2.7 percent per keyed-in transaction.
  • Review

    Square mobile payment system review: tiny reader, simple apps

    Posted June 2, 2012 - 7:25 am

    Square offers a free card reader and app for iOS 4.0+ devices and Android 2.1+ phones (it also works on some Android tablets, but none are officially supported). Through the Square service, you can accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards for a transaction fee of 2.75 percent per swipe. You have the option of waiving signatures for charge amounts less than $25 (but customers can't add tips unless they sign). The fee for keyed-in transactions is 3.5 percent plus 15 cents. You can issue full refunds (but no partial amounts) within the app or via the Square Web interface.
  • Review

    Four mobile payment systems tested and compared

    Posted May 30, 2012 - 1:37 pm

    Accepting credit cards used to be expensive and complicated: You needed to set up a merchant account with a bank, you had to buy or lease a card reader, and you had to pay a setup fee, subscription fees, and fees on every sale you made. Today, a swarm of credit card processing apps for smartphones and tablets has rendered the process easier, cheaper, and highly mobile.
  • Review

    Regain a long-missed Twitter feature with classic retweet

    Posted May 26, 2012 - 7:14 am

    Change is never easy, especially when it's one of your favorite services making the changes--and forcing them on you. But, if you're one of the many Twitter users still lamenting the loss of the old-style retweets in the new Twitter, you don't need to be sad any longer. Classic Retweet, a simple Firefox add-on and Google Chrome extension, can return you to the glory days of Twitter's retweet feature, allowing you to append your pithy comments to everything you retweet
  • Review

    Hands-on with Google Docs's new research tool

    Posted May 17, 2012 - 10:08 pm

    Google Docs has unveiled a new research tool meant to help writers streamline their browser-based research, making it easier for them to find and cite the information they need while composing text.
  • Review

    See what people are saying about your business with VenueSeen

    Posted May 2, 2012 - 12:35 pm

    If you own or run a small local business or a franchise such as a restaurant or shop, you probably care about your reputation. Word-of-mouth marketing it nothing new: People are social, and tend to share their experiences. But with new tools such as FourSquare, Instagram, and Facebook, people don't just share: They broadcast, and you should be listening. VenueSeen (plans start at $20/month; 14-day free trial) lets you listen to what people say about your business and look at the photos they share.
  • Review

    Finally! An Office cloud service for iPad worth using

    Posted April 12, 2012 - 6:12 am

    Products like OnLive Desktop have given desktop-as-a-service a bad name; CloudOn may fix that blemish
  • Review

    Manage all your social media from HootSuite

    Posted February 18, 2012 - 8:29 am

    HootSuite is a Web-based service that offers a powerful set of tools for managing multiple social media accounts
  • Review

    Flexing NoSQL: MongoDB in review

    Posted February 8, 2012 - 7:15 am

    MongoDB shines with broad programming language support, SQL-like queries, and out-of-the-box scaling
  • Review

    Free, cloud-based word processor Zoho writer shows promise

    Posted February 7, 2012 - 8:39 am

    Zoho Writer is an online (with offline and syncing functionality) word processing application that offers a nice amount of functionality, especially given the limitations of the Web as a platform for productivity tools. After creating a free account with Zoho, you can access Zoho Writer. It looks a lot like most word processors, so if you've used any major program in this category, it will take no more than a few minutes of poking around to learn how to do things. This is good, because the "Help" is in the form of a FAQ, not a tutorial or index of functions.
  • Review

    OnLive's train wreck: Office on the iPad

    Posted February 7, 2012 - 7:11 am

    The OnLive Desktop service shows just how wrong desktop virtualization can be
  • Review

    For, fast, free file-sharing at work: Get Ge.tt

    Posted January 15, 2012 - 8:56 am

    I spend a lot of time emailing files to folks. Sometimes, it's just a small Word document that I'm firing off to an editor, but often the files are a little heftier, containing multiple images or videos. I often send an email containing all of the files, and then a follow-up message, just to confirm that my oversized message arrived safely. But not anymore: Now I'm using Ge.tt (various pricing, starting at free). This free file sharing service has made my life a whole lot easier.
  • Review

    How iTunes Match stacks up to Google, Amazon music services

    Posted November 24, 2011 - 7:31 am

    With the release of iTunes Match and Google Music becoming available to all, music lovers are starting to move from "Do I want to put my music in the cloud?" to "Of course I do. Which service should I use?" Currently there are three major services in contention for your music--in addition to iTunes Match and Google Music, there's also Amazon Cloud Player. Here's how they compare.
  • Review

    iTunes 10.5 helps you use iTunes less often

    Posted October 17, 2011 - 2:26 pm

    You can set your iPod nano's clock-like interface by it: When Apple ships a major update to iOS, you can bet that an updated version of iTunes is also on the menu. Such is the case with iOS 5 and its companion, iTunes 10.5. (As is Apple's custom, you need the latest version of iTunes to use a new iOS update.)
  • Review

    A quick look at Adobe's Creative Cloud

    Posted October 4, 2011 - 9:54 am

    Adobe Creative Cloud, announced this week at the Adobe Max 2011 annual conference, is a cloud-based software initiative designed to redefine the process of content creation, storage, and sharing, and as a major component of the company's transformation. Creative Cloud is further evidence—in case any more was needed—of Adobe’s recognition that the mobile marketplace is the current and future cornerstone of art and design and is the company’s future.
  • Review

    Review: Google’s new Flight Search service

    Posted September 17, 2011 - 8:54 am

    Google Flight Search looks great but needs a little more work before it can rival specialized flight-search sites.
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