Microsoft launch of the consumer preview of the next generation Office 2013 suite which media event took place in San Francisco on Monday has perhaps presented the most remarkable architectural departure, inline with the Windows 8 technologies, aimed at positioning the company in the cloud computing and enterprise collaboration space.

Microsoft Office had been criticized for lack of data portability and seamless experience as the case on the Google Docs service, leading to the need for the company to setup Office 365 to address the critical enterprise challenge.

Now, Microsoft intends pushing users of both Office services into its cloud-based offering, SkyDrive, which will enable users to store data in the cloud with the ability to sync files across different platforms. The company has lately set a keen eye on the mobile market, and thereby have effected the necessary changes to embracing mobile with the latest Office suites.

What that means is that Microsoft has taken desktop programs and its web-based office equivalent and unified them into a product that feels more simplified without altering the traditional Office motto.

However, MS Office 2013 and Office 365 update will not support older Windows versions like XP and Vista. It will only run on Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs and Tablet devices. And the actual product launch date is yet to be fixed by Microsoft.

Google had earlier tried to woo MS Office users into joining the Google Docs train by offering Cloud Connect, which afforded Microsoft Office users the syncing option and accessibility of files on the go. But, with Microsoft full footing on the cloud-storage space and the revolutionary technology drivers put in place, definitely, the cloud computing battle-line has just been drawn.

MS Office 2013 Intensifies The Cloud Wars

Google has launched an extension to its Gmail service whereby users have the option to receive email on their mobile phone as SMS and also be able to reply same through SMS. The service is especially useful to feature phone users who may not have the internet capabilities available on smartphones. The actual receiving of messages via SMS is free, while local SMS rate applies to replying messages.

Gmail SMS is targeted at African users who invariably are denied the now much needed internet access, and coupled with the high cost of bandwidth.

The service, nonetheless, works on any phone type, and for now, available only in three African countries, namely: Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana. However, there is still the possibility of the extension of the service to other African countries, however, the availability worldwide seems highly untenable.

The next-generation  messaging system is one that will offer seamless messaging across different forms of communication media supporting all formats. Facebook had earlier announced what appears closer to that definition late 2010, but the actual application remains illusive.

Google has demonstrated that messaging is the pivot of the social web, and with the latest offering, will be tapping into the vast population of under-served African market in terms of internet access.

Messaging System: Gmail SMS Extension

The ongoing case of Yahoo password hack, which nonetheless, is one amongst millions of other password breaches experienced by notable web companies in recent times, has exposed the lackadaisical attitude of some web companies in protecting their users information.

Albeit, Yahoo password hack exploited a vulnerability on the database on its Contributor Network through SQL injection (a basic attack that comprises entering command into the search field of a website to access information stored on the server), the catch remains that such level of sensitive data was not stored cryptographically.

And ironically as it seems, there were no firewalls setup to monitor and detect such malicious activities.

The hackers, despite breaking into the database, would not have been able to make sense of the users information, were it randomly and cryptographically stored.

The security breach has again highlighted how the basic online security best practices have been neglected by leading companies, which follows after more than 5 million passwords were stolen from top networking sites, including Linkedin and eHarmony.

The lapses inevitably means users  log-in credentials, even extensively robust passwords are at risk, and given that some users replicate passwords across several web services portal, its thereby advised to make necessary password changes.

Yahoo Hack: Data Encryption Issue

Mac users running the old version, Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) will not continue to get security and stability updates starting from Chrome 22 according to the Google Chrome Support website. However, users with Chrome already installed will continue to use the browser, but subsequent updates will not be effected, whilst users without Chrome will not be able to download and install the browser.

The newer versions, Mac OS X 10.6 ( Snow Leopard) or 10.7 (Lion) are fully supported by Chrome, so users are advised to upgrade, as even Apple has discontinued support for the older Mac OS X version.

Google Chrome has remained the top browser for those who consider internet security paramount in their online transactions given its innovative sandbox technology.

The more reason for the discontinuation of support for the older Mac version hinges on security concerns.

Mac OS X has been the target of recent botnet attacks making the company revert from its old stance that the platform is impregnable to malware threats.

Chrome Ends Support For Mac OS X 10.5

Adobe earlier hinted on plans to focus more on PC browsing and mobile apps packaged with Adobe AIR, stressing that the emerging web standard, HTML5, is now universally supported across major mobile platforms, hence, will be discontinuing Flash for mobile. The company in a blog post over the weekend have stated that it will discontinue the development of Flash Player for mobile browsers.

Flash support has been the distinguishing factor for Android devices, giving it an edge against the Apple platform. The extensive support for Flash on Android is such that in many instances, Flash Player is downloaded to non-certified devices from the App store, Google Play, and it works.

However, Android 4.1 will not have that support, as Adobe has discontinued the development of Flash Player for this latest version of Android.

Starting August 15, Flash Player updates will be limited to only those mobile devices with Flash already installed.

Mobile devices that do not have Flash Player already installed will likely be incompatible with Flash, and may no longer be able to download and install it from the App Store.

Hence, to continue enjoying Flash Player for Android, it is recommended that those users who have upgraded to version 4.1 should revert to the older version. If a device is upgraded from Android 4.0 to 4.1, the current version of Flash Player may exhibit unpredictable bug due to incompatibility.

The emerging web standard, HTML5, is indeed now the best platform for the development of contents for browsers on mobile devices going by Adobe's own rating.

Flash Focus On PC Browsing And Apps