Modifying Software-as-a-Service

* Latest Small Business Technology column * Latest SMB News Notes

News stories appear every day, but how can you tell which stories will affect your technology decisions? The new format of this newsletter aims to help, James Gaskin will regularly comment on news stories from a small business technology point of view. Will the news make life easier for small businesses? Harder? The answers will vary by circumstance. But if James comments on a story in News Notes, it means technology decision makers for SMBs should take a minute to read the comments, and then the story. What you don't know can hurt you, and will certainly cost you money.

* LATEST SMALL BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY COLUMN:

Modifying Software-as-a-Service

One of the complaints about Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), at least from large companies, is the inability for a customer to modify the software. Enterprises often buy applications based on a database, such as Oracle, and have in-house programmers to make any required changes.

Small businesses rarely have that option, because they almost always buy packaged applications. If the products do allow modifications, outside programmers must be hired.

To read Gaskin's column in its entirety, please click here.

* LATEST SMB NEWS NOTES:

3Com Still Our Friend

You probably saw the headlines about 3Com being bought by a partnership of a private investment firm and the company doing most of their manufacturing in China. Will they remain focused on small and medium business networking tools? Probably, says this article recommending 3Com customers stand pat for now.

Microsoft Blinks Again

Good news for small businesses looking to buy more computers before the end of this year: Microsoft will allow vendors to sell XP rather than Vista pre-loaded on PCs for five more months. That means XP should be available through June 2008.

Why Record Skype?

As this article says, new products arrive regularly to record Skype calls. The question for most people is why anyone, outside of the NSA, wants to record phone calls?

20 Junk Removers

PCWorld's Preston Gralla rounds up 20 Tools to Get the Junk Off Your PC. Tools appear regularly for this job, but Gralla did a good job testing and vetting these tools for you, so check out the article.

More School Savings

It's always nice to hear about school districts saving our tax dollars, and Open Source makes that easier than ever, as you can read in detail here. In this case, Novell Linux products and Open Source applications did the heavy lifting, but similar stories from other schools and districts cover the range of Open Source operating systems and applications.

Appearance on BlogTalkRadio

Thursday, September 20th at 6:00pm Eastern, I have the pleasure of speaking with Denise Wakeman and her BlogSquad co-founder, Patsi Krakoff on their Blog Talk Radio show. Ready Denise's blog about my appearance here.

All Purpose Laptop Roundup

Our friends at PCWorld just compiled their list of “Top 10 All-Purpose Laptops.” Top of their list is a Gateway, er, Acer, laptop that costs $1300. The least expensive laptop is a Toshiba Satellite A215-S4757 for $1000 and the most expensive is a Dell XPS M1330 for $2179.

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