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The City of Munich ditches Microsoft Windows and Office

Industry publication TechRepublic UK recently reported on the successful outcome of the City of Munich's massive, multi-year project to migrate to free and open source software. The article makes for compelling reading due to the sheer scale of the migration (Munich is Germany's third largest city), and the factors which ultimately lead to open source replacing the proprietary status quo.

How not to future proof your business

We recently spotted an article authored by Debbie Mayo-Smith in the New Zealand Herald titled "Future proof your business". The gist of the piece is how businesses can use nominally free or affordable technology tools and services to improve the efficiency of business processes.

France's Ministry of the Interior enjoys massive savings with open source

In what will be reassuring news for small businesses interested in making the switch to open source, France's Ministry of the Interior has announced cost savings in the order of five times in switching to the Mozilla Thunderbird business email client:

Apple Mail on Mac OS X Mavericks breaks badly with Gmail

As you may have heard, Apple has released the latest update to Mac OS X, codenamed "Mavericks". Unfortunately, in the past 24 hours many Apple users have learned that the included update to Apple Mail results in severe functionality problems specifically when connecting to Google Gmail accounts. This includes businesses using paid Google Apps for Business accounts for email hosting.

The issues encountered are being widely reported online, for example:

Kaiten Mail: awesome mobile email for Android

Many reputable technology industry publications over the past few days have reported that Google looks set to introduce advertising in their mobile Gmail client. Unlike most of Google's other consumer-focused services, the Gmail client for tablets and smartphones has thankfully been free of intrusive advertising.

Cool tools: Conversations extension for Thunderbird

One of the many great things about Thunderbird is the freedom of choice it affords its users. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in Thunderbird's strong extensions ecosystem.

Outlook.com – still not (quite) fit for business email

Earlier this year Microsoft launched their free Outlook.com email service to the world at large. We blogged at the time that it was largely unsuitable as a business email solution. This was because Microsoft had failed to implement modern, standards-based support to enable the safe use of standalone email applications with it. As we originally wrote:

"Cloud risk": Xero kills off their Xero Personal product

Cloud accounting software company Xero recently made the move to shutter Xero Personal, an online personal finance management tool. The reaction this provoked from Xero's users is about what we've come to expect from folks who have invested their time and money into an exclusively online, subscription-based product – only to have it closed down.

Everyone should have a Wiki :)

As anyone who has used Wikipedia knows, wikis are a highly convenient way of quickly searching for and accessing information on a broad range of topics using a web browser. But perhaps less well known is the fact that the software which powers sites such as Wikipedia can be easily installed on your personal computer or laptop. Why would we want to do this?

Editable PDF Support in LibreOffice Writer

We recently attended a small business community meeting on the topic of affordable software solutions for small business owners. The issue of PDF support was raised by a participant – specifically, whether an affordable tool existed for editing PDFs.

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