Google buys more than 1,000 IBM patents

Sunday, July 31, 2011 0 comments
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Google, which last month failed to grab a huge portfolio of Nortel patents, has bought more than 1,000 patents from IBM.

The new purchase boosts Google's intellectual property portfolio which currently has just 700 patents.

The loss of Nortel patents was a big blow to Google as the search engine was willing to pay anyprice to beef up its bank of patents - which is the smallest among major wireless players.

Since Nortel-patented technology is also used in Google Android smart phones, the Apple-led consortium have not only got the rights to licence this technology to secure royalties but also gain market influence vis-a-vis Google in the multi-trillion-dollar technology field.

As Google is involved in more than 45 patent lawsuits - the biggest against any major player -it is consolidating its patent bank to avoid future litigations.

Google has refused to confirm the price it has paid for IBM patents.

"Like many tech companies, at times we'll acquire patents that are relevant to our business needs. Bad software patent litigation is a wasteful war that no one will win," a Google spokesperson was quoted as saying by the LA Times Friday.

Google' popular Android smart phone operating system is the target of legal challenges. Oracle is seeking billions in damages from Google claiming that Android infringes its Java patents.

Facing so many patent-related lawsuits, Google has urged the US Federal Trade Commission to curb this practice.

"Like many tech companies, at times we'll acquire patents that are relevant to our business needs. Bad software patent litigation is a wasteful war that no one will win," the Google spokesperson was quoted a saying.


Twitter to display ads with 'Promoted Tweets'

Saturday, July 30, 2011 0 comments
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Twitter said that it will begin placing advertisements known as "Promoted Tweets" in the timelines of users who follow a particular brand or company.

Twitter said it will begin testing the new advertising offering with a number of companies including Dell, Gatorade, Groupon, JetBlue, LivingSocial, Microsoft, Red Bull, Starbucks and Virgin America.

Promoted Tweets from non-profits such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the American Red Cross will also be shown, the San Francisco-based Twitter said in a blog post.

"When we decide to follow a favorite brand, business or charitable organization, we expect to be among the first to get a special announcement, access to exclusive content or a great offer," Twitter said.

"That's why starting today, we're introducing a way to ensure that the most important tweets from the organizations you follow reach you directly," it said.

Twitter has enjoyed explosive growth since it was founded in 2006 but it is unclear how successful it has been in translating its popularity into profit.

Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo, speaking at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado, last week declined to reveal whether the privately held company is profitable.


Hotmail to block 'easy-to-guess' passwords like '123456,' 'ilovecats'

Friday, July 29, 2011 0 comments
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Microsoft will ask Hotmail users, who have chosen common passwords, to change them as part of an effort to increase the security of its popular webmail service.
The firm will ban the use of passwords such as "123456" and "ilovecats", which can be easily cracked by malicious hackers using trial-and-error techniques.

"This new feature will be rolling out soon, and will prevent you from choosing a very common password when you sign up for an account or when you change your password," the Telegraph quoted Dick Craddock, Microsoft's group program manager for Hotmail, as saying.

"If you're already using a common password, you may, at some point in the future, be asked to change it to a stronger password," he stated.

Apart from tightening its rules on passwords, Microsoft has implemented a feature in Hotmail to allow users to report when a friend's account appears to have been hacked by spammers.

Incoming emails can now be flagged as "My friend's been hacked!" which alerts Hotmail's security systems to a potential breach.

The user whose account sent the email is also asked to change their password so the spammers cannot gain access again.

The firm said alerts would also be shared with Google and Yahoo! when a Hotmail user receives spam from a friend's Gmail or Yahoo! Mail account.


Google Chrome gets update for Apple Mac OS X Lion

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Google has updated its popular browser Google Chrome to work better on recently announced Apple's Mac OS X Lion.

The new Chrome 14.0.835.0 version will support Lion's multitouch gestures. With the new Chrome, users can avail two-finger swipe gestures for forward and backward navigation on OS X Lion.

The new version also adds support for a new communication protocol for Web Sockets, a high-speed communication mechanism between browsers and Web servers.

In the new version for Mac, Native Client has been disabled for official releases of OS X 10.6.7 and earlier using a 64-bit kernel.

Google said that PDF viewing has been broken in this release, but a fix will be release for this later in the week. The existing copies of the Chrome's dev build will be updated automatically, others have to download dev edition from Google's website.


Twitter to display ads with 'Promoted Tweets'

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Twitter said that it will begin placing advertisements known as "Promoted Tweets" in the timelines of users who follow a particular brand or company.

Twitter said it will begin testing the new advertising offering with a number of companies including Dell, Gatorade, Groupon, JetBlue, LivingSocial, Microsoft, Red Bull, Starbucks and Virgin America.

Promoted Tweets from non-profits such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the American Red Cross will also be shown, the San Francisco-based Twitter said in a blog post.

"When we decide to follow a favorite brand, business or charitable organization, we expect to be among the first to get a special announcement, access to exclusive content or a great offer," Twitter said.

"That's why starting today, we're introducing a way to ensure that the most important tweets from the organizations you follow reach you directly," it said.

Twitter has enjoyed explosive growth since it was founded in 2006 but it is unclear how successful it has been in translating its popularity into profit.

Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo, speaking at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado, last week declined to reveal whether the privately held company is profitable.


Wal-Mart offers video streaming on website

Thursday, July 28, 2011 0 comments
Back of a Blu-ray Disc. I took this.

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The world's largest retailer started streaming many movies the same day they come out on DVD, in a second bid for a share of popular movie rental and streaming website Netflix Inc's business and just two weeks after Netflix announced new price increases.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. bought video-streaming service 18 months ago and now offers 20,000 titles that can be viewed on almost any device with Internet access, from computers to televisions to Sony's PlayStation3 and other Blu-Ray disc players.

Movies are available at to rent for $1 to $5.99 or to purchase for $4.99 and up. Wal-Mart is not offering subscriptions, making its service more similar to Apple Inc.'s iTunes, which charges $3.99 to rent newly released movies and $14.99 to buy a movie.

In addition to Netflix, another competitor streaming movies and TV shows by subscription is, which now offers a premium service for $7.99 a month with more back-season shows and more movies. Without a subscription, Hulu viewers can watch shows and movies free in exchange for watching advertising.

The movie offering fits with the Wal-Mart website's strategy of offering a "seamless continuous shopping service," said Steve Nave, senior vice president and general manager of

Wal-Mart's announcement comes on the heels of Netflix saying it will raise rates and charge separately for streaming and rental DVDs. Its second price hike in eight months, Netflix's planned increases could amount to 60 percent for existing customers, starting September 1. New subscribers have to pay the new prices immediately.


Amazon set to launch services in India next year

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 0 comments
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Image via CrunchBase is set to enter India, riding on the second wave of ecommerce boom in India. Amazon is in discussions with leading Indian e-commerce players like, and, among others and may enter the market as early as the first quarter of next year.

Acquiring Indian players has been the dominant theme for foreign majors looking to enter Indian market with eBay acquiring and Groupon picking up to enter the market. But sources say that Amazon is looking to set up operations on its own as its discussions with many players on acquisition front haven't seemed to work out. "Indian players see the huge potential in the e-commerce segment here and so have so far been resistant to being bought out easily," said another source. Amazon is likely to ramp up through inorganic ways later, depending on market growth and their performance relative to competition.

Hiring is currently on in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai to fill up the various positions in this team, say sources. "A team of over 200 people is being built, though all of them might not end up in the core retail arm," said another source.

The earliest indications came from the hiring of Madhu M, a senior executive at Landmark (retail chain), by Amazon to head its India operations. Madhu is an IIM Ahmedabad alumnus and is currently holding the position of SVM at Amazon. He is based out of Chennai where Amazon's Kindle development team is also based.

Amazon is also establishing a warehouse in Mumbai, a standard step before entering the e-commerce space going by what Amazon has been doing globally. Another interesting development has been the buying of 80,000 sq ft by Amazon at SP Infocity, promoted by Shapoorji Pallonji & Co Ltd, in Perungudi in Chennai. The company already has a development centre in Chennai.


iPhone app helps kids do virtual drives

Saturday, July 23, 2011 0 comments
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A new iPhone app called Backseat Driver permits kids to enjoy a virtual drive linked to the real journey via GPS.
Players chase the 'Papa Car', the real driver, in their own vehicle along a route similar to that which they are really moving along.

The app uses satellite positioning and creates a road layout with a similar number of twists and turns. Children steer to the left or the right by tilting their phone and earn extra points for driving well.

The game could prove a valuable tool for parents with children who are bored on long journeys with nothing to do, the Daily Mail reports.

But it could also be handy for relatives who insist on driving from the backseat even when it annoys the person behind the wheel.

In Backseat Driver, the Papa Car drops various objects which are linked to landmarks and shops taken from real life buildings which are driven past.

Players collect the objects and save them to view information about the locations later. Points collected can be used to modify the car with a different colour or better engine.

The game allows users to share their routes via social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and compete in an online league table of how far they have travelled.

A promotional video for the app shows a family driving around Tokyo with their daughter in the back seat - turning her iPhone at the same time her father turns the steering wheel.

The voiceover says it is 'the world's first application that you can enjoy driving from the back seat of your car'.

Backseat Driver is free to download from the iTunes store from ToyToyota, an offshoot of the car manufacturer Toyota.


Google adds virus alert to search

Friday, July 22, 2011 0 comments
Current example of Google's (and web search en...

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Google has begun warning some users of its popular Internet search service that their computers may be infected with a virus.

Routine maintenance on one of the technology giant's data centers revealed unusual traffic from computers infected with a form of malicious software, according to Google security engineer Damian Menscher.

The traffic was sent to Google through intermediary computer servers referred to as "proxies," Menscher said.

Google began delivering warning notices along with search results to computers that appear infected with the virus.

"We hope that by taking steps to notify users whose traffic is coming through these proxies, we can help them update their antivirus software and remove the infections," Menscher said in a blog post.

"We hope to use the knowledge we've gathered to assist as many people as possible."


Google Labs to be shut down

Thursday, July 21, 2011 0 comments

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Google Inc will shut down a website that offered public access to experimental products, the latest step by the company to refocus resources under Chief Executive Larry Page.

Google said it will "wind down" Google Labs, ending many of the projects offered on the site, in a move to "prioritize its product efforts," the company said on its corporate blog.

Google said that many of the products and technology from Google Labs would be incorporated into some of the company's other products, which range from the world's No. 1 search engine to its popular Android smartphone operating system.

Google Labs functions as a central hub for the various projects created by Google employees, who are allowed to spend up to 20 percent of their time working on side-projects. Google Labs products were available as prototypes that users could try out and provide feedback on, while Google made ongoing changes and adjustments.

Among the products listed as "alumni" of Google Labs on the Labs website are Google Maps, Google Alerts and Google Transit.


Jaguar XF 2.2D coming soon in India

Friday, July 15, 2011 0 comments

Jaguar XF 2.2D luxury sedan will be launched soon in Indian market at lower price range by Jaguar Land Rover. Jaguar XF 2.2D comes with a fresh and attractive look so car buyers surely attract towards it. Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5-Series will be the competitors of Jaguar XF 2.2D. Jaguar XF 2.2D is the first sedan that will be assembled in India. This new 2.2D luxury sedan will also ideally suit to Indian customers. Jaguar XF 2.2D is featured with smaller bi-Xenon lights, and the new XJ-like slit-eye headlamps with stylized ‘J’ traced out in LED.Jaguar-XF-2.2D


New smaller bi-Xenon lights will allow for a lower bonnet line. Wheel arches and new elongated, three-dimensional tail-lamps will also be included in this sedan. Several new themes and elements have been included in Jaguar XF 2.2D to freshen up the cabin but the basic design of the interiors is similar to previous models. Jaguar has lost some of the glossy material on the central console whereas when users start the car, the vents still flip open and the gear knob still goes up similar to Excalibur from the pond for that sense of event.

Jaguar XF 2.2D luxury sedan will contain a start/stop activation button on the central console and a host of new equipment such as Bluetooth and iPod compatibility. This car will not have sense of occasion that the E-class and 5-series appear to be able to muster. It is appeared that rear comfort is not as much a priority in this car because the roof is low coupé-like. The XF shows a surprising turn of foot, regardless of the motor not having twin turbos. It is pretty clear that this motor has carried plenty of work out and the list of developments is endless.

Jaguar XF 2.2D will include a double layer of thick insulation under the bonnet, the water-cooled turbocharger, modified block and sump. Flat-out performance of this car is very impressive. Star-stop system of this car is very effective but may be this function is removed for India and a six-speed gearbox is included in its place. Jaguar XF 2.2D looks pretty sporty from behind the wheel. It also contains electric steering system to boast a fair amount of feel. It is expected that Jaguar XF 2.2D will be available in India later 2011 with the price tag of approximately Rs. 35 lakh.

Specifications of Jaguar XF 2.2D:

Fuel: Diesel
Installation: Front, longitudinal, RWD
Power: 188bhp at 3500rpm
Type: 4 cyls, 2179cc, turbodiesel
Torque: 46kgm at 2000rpm
Type: 8-speed Automatic
Chassis & Body
Length: 4961mm
Width: 1920mm
Height: 1460mm
Boot Volume: 500/920litres
Weight: 1650kg (est)
Tyres: 255/35-R20
Wheel Base: 2909mm
Wheels: 20-inch alloy


New BlackBerry App World 3.0 Screenshots leaked

BlackBerry App World is just behind the Apple App Store and the Android Market. The rumored 1st screenshot of BlackBerry App World 3.0 for smartphones was seen in May though no other details were leaked. The newly leaked screenshot demonstrates that the new App World 3.0 will be same as RIM’s recently revised App World in a look and feel.BlackBerry App World 3.0 Screenshots

New BlackBerry App World 3.0 Screenshot leaked recently and back in May

The BlackBerry App World webstore has been redesigned by RIM only before few days that prompted several to speculate if they will release an updated 3.0 version of the application for BlackBerry smartphones. A new image of the App World 3.0 application is being available by New BlackBerry App World 3.0 Screenshot differs from the one leaked in May however it seems pretty good. It is expected that new version will arrive pre-loaded on the BlackBerry Bold 9900, scheduled to release in late August.

The BlackBerry App World 3.0 version has a simple to find search bar at the top of the page while buttons on the bottom of the page filters apps based on 3 various categories – Apps, Games and Themes, amid the 35,000 modern apps available from App World. It shows a 360% growth in the number of apps accessible for ‘Berry users over the last 12 months. It’s hard to say whether the new App World 3.0 will begin attracting more users back to RIM. There is no other option rather than to wait and see what type of new updates and features App World 3.0 will be able to bring to the table.


Google unveils new photo-sharing social network

Thursday, July 14, 2011 0 comments

Google has started rolling out a new photo service, dubbed Photovine. The service -- currently available on an invite-only basis -- allows users to share photos online. photovine-580x314

Though few details are available about the new service, an FAQ and brief demonstration video suggests that the service will allow users to share photos based on specific themes.

Google reportedly said in a statement that Photovine is a photo-sharing service built by a few folks at Slide. The company acquired Slide in 2010.

PhotoVine comes close on the heeels of Google launching its social network Google +. It remains to be seen if and when the company integrates the two services.


Google+ for businesses coming soon

Sunday, July 10, 2011 0 comments
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Google Inc is readying business-focused features for the Google+ social-networking site, potentially opening up new competition with Facebook Inc's company pages and sites such as LinkedIn Corp.

The business tools are expected to be available later this year, said Christian Oestlien, a product manager at Mountain View, California-based Google.

"Right now we're very much focused on optimising for the consumer experience, but we have a great team of engineers building a similarly optimised business experience for Google+," Oestlien said on a YouTube video.

Google+ was unveiled June 28, marking a fresh attempt to compete with Facebook. The service has similar features as Facebook, with streaming updates of photos, messages, comments and other content from selected groups of friends.

Google has set up a test version for businesses, Oestlien said. It will link up with existing Google services, such as its AdWords advertising system for Internet searches.

"It'll include things like rich analytics and the ability to connect that identity to other parts of Google that businesses might use on a daily basis like AdWords," he said.

Google has struggled to handle demand for Google+, which for now is an invitation-only service. Oestlien recommended that businesses not create Google+ accounts with the current consumer version.

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Vodafone launches mobile newspaper service in Hyd

Friday, July 8, 2011 0 comments
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Vodafone Essar today launched its mobile newspaper -- Newswrap -- for its customers in the city.

Users subscribing to this service can read the news as an MMS and be updated with the latest happenings around the world. In addition to regular morning and evening alerts, all breaking news will be available at the subscribers' fingertips, a Vodafone release said here.

Newswrap provides the reader with a brief synopsis of the news bulletin along with pictures and makes the reading experience more informative, it said.

It covers national, international, business, sports and entertainment-related stories, release added.

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Mahindra rolls out double-cabin pickup

Thursday, July 7, 2011 0 comments
Mahindra & Mahindra Limited Logo

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Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd Wednesday rolled out its premium double-cabin pickup vehicle Genio DC that can carry cargo as well as passengers.
"We have designed and developed the pickup truck to enable small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) offer efficient cargo movement and cabin comfort for passenger travel as well," company's marketing vice president Vivek Nayer told reporters here at a preview of the product launch.

Priced at Rs.5.46 lakh in the Karnataka market (basic version), the fourth product from the company's new Chakan plant in Maharashtra is equipped with 75 horsepower (HP), 220 Nm (Newton meters) torque and adjustable power steering to negotiate terrain area with ease.

The 4+1-seater double cabin pickup has also a two din music system and power windows to make driving in it pleasurable for passengers.

"As a leader in the pickup segment, we are committed to offer superior products to our customers and elevate their status and lifestyle," Nayer said.

Packed with utility, technology and comfort features, the Genio DC creates a new benchmark with dual benefit of being an efficient cargo and comfortable passenger mover.

The $12.5-billion Mahindra group has a presence in the automotive industry, agri-business, aerospace, components, consulting services, defence, energy, financial services, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, retail, steel and two-wheelers.

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Huffington Post launches British edition

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 0 comments
Chamomile Tea Party Posters at the Rally!

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The Huffington Post launched a British edition, in the first expansion outside North America for its news and opinion website.

The Huffington Post UK has hired a small team of full-time journalists to produce the website as it seeks to push into international markets following its acquisition in February by Internet company AOL for $315 million (218 million euros).

The site,, has enlisted high-profile contributors from the world of politics and entertainment, including former British prime minister Tony Blair and comedian Ricky Gervais.

"I am delighted to be in London today for the first Huffington Post launch outside of North America," said a blog post from founder Arianna Huffington, who is now president and editor-in-chief of AOL Huffington Post Media Group.

"We are arriving here in the midst of a rich and thriving media culture marked by great innovation."

A Canadian edition of the site was launched in May and a spokeswoman said there were plans to expand into France and Russia although there were no firm launch dates as yet.

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Google temporarily disables 'Realtime' search

Tuesday, July 5, 2011 0 comments
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 Google Inc has temporarily shut down a search engine feature that allows users to find real-time updates from Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed and other social networking sites.

A message posted early Monday on Twitter by the team behind Google Realtime says the search feature has been temporarily disabled while Google explores how to incorporate its recently launched Google+ project into the feature. The tweet tells readers to "stay tuned."

The company envisions including Google+ information along with other Realtime data from a variety of sources, said Gabriel Stricker, a Google spokesman.

Google+ is the search giant's latest stab at entering the social networking segment of the Internet. The project was unveiled last week and lets users share things with small groups of people.

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ForMe Mobiles enters Indian market

Monday, July 4, 2011 0 comments
Hong Kong Skyline Pano

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China's leading mobile brand ForMe Mobiles on Tuesday made its foray into the Indian market.

Launching the brand in India, Abdul Gaffar, director, Peace Telecom, a Hong Kong based marketing and tranding company said his company planned to sell 5 million mobiles in two years across India.

India adds 2.85 crore new mobile connections every month and the company's target could be easily achieved, he said.

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Facebook and Skype to team up for video chat function?

Sunday, July 3, 2011 0 comments

Social networking site Facebook is reportedly planning to team up with Skype to launch a video chat function for its millions of users.Capture

It would mean that Facebook members would be able to video chat live with other members.

The news was reported by technology blog, Tech Crunch, in a story written by its editor, Michael Arrington, the Guardian reports.

“Next week, says a source with knowledge of the partnership, Facebook will launch a new video chat product, powered by Skype,” Arrington wrote.

Rumours about a tie-up between Facebook and Skype have swirled for several years without a finished product emerging.

Another influential tech blog, Mashable, confirmed the story.

“While Facebook and Skype aren't saying anything officially, our sources confirm that Skype-powered video chat on Facebook will indeed be launching next week,” the website reported.

But this latest round of speculation is given credence by the fact that Facebook's founder, Mark Zuckerberg, recently announced a major news conference for a new product.


Groupon's Indian subsi SoSasta accidentally leaks data

Saturday, July 2, 2011 0 comments

Online search giant Groupon's Indian subsidiary -- SoSasta -- accidentally published the email addresses and passwords of its 3 lakh subscribers last weekend, but has taken corrective measures and said that the issue has been brought under control. The online discount portal, alerted its subscribers about the security issue and asked them to change their passwords immediately.Groupon, which was acquired by Groupon in January this year, said that none of the financial information such as credit card, debit card, netbanking has been compromised since this information is not stored on SoSasta, as per law.

The discount portal said, "we are working aggressively to prevent this from happening again. SaSasta takes security and privacy very seriously -- it is important to us to provide you with a safe shopping experience of the highest quality, and we will do everything possible to keep your trust."

The data leak was discovered by an Australian security consultant Daniel Grzelak as he searched for publicly accessible databases containing e-mail address and password pairs.

Grzelak is the creater of, a website that allows any internet user to search a database of known-compromised e-mail address and password pairs to see if their password has been compromised.


Microsoft launches Office 365 in India

Friday, July 1, 2011 0 comments

Microsoft Wednesday launched Microsoft Office 365 in India to enable easy access to cost effective business productivity solutions.
According to the company, the launch is a part of Microsoft's comprehensive cloud services strategy. It said its low price offering starting $2 per user per month will allow small and medium businesses and enterprise customers to access Microsoft's popular e-mail, collaboration, conferencing and productivity capabilities online.

"Microsoft Office 365 provides all of the familiar enterprise class productivity solutions on a flexible usage and payment model, delivering streamlined communication with high availability, comprehensive security and simplified IT management," said Sanket Akerkar, managing director, Microsoft Corporation India Pvt. Ltd.

"Customers who have already started using the services are realizing savings from reduced hardware, software and operational costs," he added.

The company said that over the last 45 days, more than 12,000 organisations have signed up for Office 365 trials.

Office 365 is built with an updated platform and new infrastructure investments and is backed by the industry's most rigorous financially-backed SLA. It will be available in different 'packages' depending on the size and need of the customer organisation.
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