Does Google’s California Privacy Case Impact Public Sector and Business Users?

September 25, 2013

By Doug Miller

Many of us have been following a legal case being fought in California in which 10 plaintiffs are suing Google over its practice of scanning the content of private Gmail messages for the purposes of showing ads related to the content of the user’s email.

The plaintiffs and many privacy organizations claim Google “unlawfully opens up, reads, and acquires the content of people’s private email messages” and this violates California’s privacy laws and federal wiretapping statutes. Google states that it has always done this and “all users of email must necessarily expect that their emails will be subject to automated processing.” Google also states that the revenue gained by delivering context-sensitive ads to Gmail users enables it to offer a free service. In fact, Google was just awarded a patent related to scanning the content of emails, ranking the content and matching ads to the content. Read the rest of this entry »


Office 365 web access still broken

August 18, 2012

By Jeff Gould

I’ve blogged several times about my frustrations using Microsoft’s Outlook Web Access (OWA) as an interface to Office 365 (see my friend and co-blogger Doug Miller’s defense of Office 365 here). I subject myself to the discipline of using OWA instead of the vastly superior Outlook thick client – which I used for years as a front-end to Gmail – because I want to experience at first hand the reality of an all-cloud approach to email.

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Why Gmail beats Office 365

April 17, 2012

By Jeff Gould

Regular readers of this blog will know that, following a self-imposed policy of eating the cloud dogfood I write about, I use both Gmail and Office 365. Now I’ve frequently argued here and elsewhere that enterprise software and advertising are two different things that don’t mix well. That’s why I think that – in the current state of play (which might change) – Office 365, based as it is on Microsoft’s rock-solid server-side Exchange and SharePoint, is a safer and more secure cloud platform than ad-driven Google Apps. Of course, Google could certainly strip out the advertising functionality from Google Apps and make it into an outstanding piece of true enterprise software. They could even make it into something that works in hybrid scenarios that combine cloud and on premises delivery. That would be a big step forward both for their larger customers (such as Federal agencies and Fortune 500 corporations) and for their long-term prospects as an enterprise provider. Maybe one day they will do this. But so far they haven’t.

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