The Scoop on Windows 7

Microsoft Windows 7 will be in stores October 22, but surprisingly few details of its features have been released. Thankfully, Ed Bott, a ZDNet blogger, researched it for his readers. We now know that, like its predecessor Vista, Windows 7 will ship with different editions: Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate/Enterprise, and the new Starter Edition, specifically for Netbooks.

New Google Service Helps Small Businesses

Google announced the release of a new Local Business Center feature called Search Dashboard that promises to help small businesses gain insight into how visitors came across their local listings. Local Business Center is a Google service that allows business owners to enhance their business listings in Google Maps and other search results.

Are You in Danger When Searching the Internet?

Research recently released by antivirus vendors Mcafee and Panda suggest that searching for certain key words on Internet search engines can prove dangerous.Hackers and malware authors have become adept at Search Engine Optimization and are using frequently searched key words to create sites that will rank favorably in search engines, but are a host for malware or phishing attacks.

SMBs poised to rebound when economy turns

A new study, “ Understanding Growth Priorities of Small and Medium-sized Businesses ” conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by services company Verio, finds that 83 percent of small-business executives are optimistic about their potential for growth once the economy turns.

Get Ready for a New Threat: Vishing

Tech-savvy criminals have thought of with a new way of scamming us out of our money. In a twist to “ phishing ” (when spoofed websites are used to trick users into surrendering passwords or credit card numbers), “vishing” is when phone calls using spoofed caller ID numbers hide the identity of the caller and trick people into surrendering sensitive information.

Social Media Poses Security Risks

Security company Websense released a survey of of 1,300 IT professionals worldwide revealing that although social media or the use of “Web 2.0″ technologies such as blogs , wikis and social networks are already pervasive in business, a majority of IT managers seem ill equipped to manage its use, much less protect against security concerns associated with it.

Australian Government Provides Tax Breaks for Small Businesses Buying New Equipment

The Australian government recently announced a new tax break for small businesses that could help defray the cost of acquiring new assets, as well as provide stimulus for growth despite tightening credit markets. The incentive, announced by Treasurer Wayne Swan and Small Business Minister Craig Emerson as part of the federal budget , boosts from 30 per cent to 50 per cent the amount that businesses with incomes under $2 million can deduct on equipment purchases over $1000. These purchases can include IT-related hardware such as desktops, laptops, servers, routers, switches, storage, and other peripherals.

Facebook Users Targeted By Phishing Attack

Last May 14th, reports indicated that hackers had launched a phising attack on Facebook ’s 200 million users, successfully stealing passwords from some. The hackers set up websites designed to look like the Facebook home page. Victims were directed to log back in to the site, but were routed to the fake site instead, unwittingly giving away their passwords.

Stop Wasting Money with Inefficient Communications

Research conducted by SIS International Research and sponsored by Siemens found that small and midsized businesses (SMBs) with 100 employees could be leaking a staggering $524,569 annually as a result of communications barriers and latency. The study identifies these top five pain points, in order of estimated cost: inefficient coordination waiting for information unwanted communications; customer complaints barriers to communication In addition, researchers determined that the time spent per week dealing with communications issues was more than 50 percent higher in companies with more than 20 workers.

Look for New Microsoft Office and Windows Vista Service Pack

Microsoft recently announced the release of the newest service pack to Microsoft Office 2007 , and has finished work on the second service pack update to Windows Vista . The MS Office update includes a collection of stability and performance updates as well as support for more file formats including Open Document Format (ODF) and Portable Document Format (PDF) files.