Sunday, April 13, 2008


Think Convergence

I knew if I just continued to write about technology long enough it would move in a graceful way into the whole rest of my life. In 20 years, computers have gone from these big clunky gray boxes that covered half the desktop to slick little fit-in-your-pocket (sometimes) items that enable you to stay connected to people anywhere in the world. And connected how? Through email, phone, instant messaging, gaming--almost anything.

I've just finished writing a new book for Microsoft Press called Take Your Business Online and it's about Office Live Small Business, a completely Web-based set of tools that helps you create, post, and manage a Web site (free!); organize all sorts of contacts, projects, and relationships; use search advertising, shopping carts, and more. It's really a slick set of utilities--and most of it is free. You pay only for the search advertising (and you can set your own budget, whether you want to spend $30 or $3,000 a month in web ads) and the Store Manager feature, which enables you to create product listings and sell, track, and report on your sales on your Office Live Small Business site or on eBay.

Another piece to this great convergence puzzle is Office Live Workspaces, now in beta from Microsoft. This is also a free, web-based utility that enables you to create a shared workspace for all sorts of groups and projects. And it plugs right into Office Live Small Business without any action from you, so you can move seamlessly back and forth, using your 2007 Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents with everything you need for your business.

So technology has done wonders (so far) in bringing us convenience, efficiency, and flexibility. Now if only it could make Spring arrive a little faster...

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