Stories by Curtis Franklin Jr.

Small Business Server 2008 gets 'small' right

A small business is not necessarily a simple business. That rather basic lesson has taken much of the computer industry far too many years to learn. Successful SaaS vendors have realized that small businesses need the same sort of functions and support that large enterprises get -- just in smaller quantities. Clearly Microsoft has come to the same realization with the release of Small Business Server 2008.

Office killers pack some heat

There are few pieces of software that users touch more often than office productivity suites. The market monster is, of course, Microsoft Office, with the lion's share of all licenses for office productivity tools. But two trends -- open source and cloud computing -- are offering a new generation of Office alternatives that businesses may want to consider.

The best wireless LAN system for SMEs

Small businesses have, for some time, been able to easily deploy a wide-open access point or two, or put together a couple of access points with a basic level of security. The thing that hasn't been easily available is a small, secure, managed wireless network that's easy to deploy and administer, and priced for the needs of a smaller business. Now there is such a thing, and its existence does a good job of highlighting what we've been missing. The solution is the Ruckus Wireless ZoneFlex Smart WLAN System, and it is a very good thing, indeed, for the SME wireless market.

IT-enabled, self-service cow milking

A boon to the dairy farmer's bottom line, dairy cows' constant milk production is a bane to farmhand productivity, as one fact rules every dairy farmer's life: Cows must be milked. Twice. Every day.