As market conditions deteriorate, economists tell us that investment, and therefore innovation, should slow.
But technologies here on planet small biz are doing anything but. We are experiencing a techno-golden age: Computer makers like Dell (DELL), HP (HPQ) and, yes, even Apple (AAPL), are offering remarkable value. Take the Samsung NC-10. This is a perfectly business-ready small notebook computer, part of a growing line of machines known as a Netbooks, that list for a ridiculously cheap $460.
And mainstream business-application makers continue to add sophisticated features that make these cheap PCs ever more powerful. Google (GOOG) Apps, for example, now supports a robust video service as part of an entry-level business package that is free. Who needs Cisco (CSCO), right?
Small companies are also turning on the developmental software jets. One operation in particular that has caught my attention is Swedish-based Nordic River Software. This week the company rolled out a nicely done beta that the operations claims is the world's first so-called parallel word processor. It is called TextFlow ($49 per year per user). I have spent the last few days testing it ahead of the release.If your business is struggling with managing document revisions or tracking various forms of text-based information, TextFlow is most definitely worth a demo. What You Get TextFlow provides a unique, and dead easy, way to not only work together but to manage the revisions on your business documents. The battle over creating and collaborating on documents has traditionally had clear battle lines. One on hand was traditional PC-based software like Microsoft (MSFT) Word or WordPerfect from Corel (CREL). Documents are created and edited locally on a computer. Versions are emailed between colleagues, who make their own revisions, and then emailed back. Yes, collaboration is possible. But it can be awkward. But this so-called "on-premises" software is very feature-rich, very stable and also very expensive, at least, to start.
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