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Office 2010 debuts, SAP snaps up Sybase; other news

Office 2010 hits; SAP's Sybase buy examined; Gremlins beset AWS data center; more headlines.

IT channel news in brief for May 14, 2010

Office 2010 hits

Yet another Microsoft Office "wave" hit the beaches this week in New York City with the formal announcement of the Office 2010 family. Microsoft used SharePoint 2010 to run a virtual version of its press event. An interesting side note: With this version, Microsoft killed off discounted upgrade pricing for the desktop productivity bundle, saying customers typically update Office when they buy new PCs anyway.

The new bundle enters at a time when Microsoft still "owns" desktop productivity apps, but it also now lacks the buzz of cloud-based (and free or less pricey) Office wannabes from Google, Zoho and other vendors. Office Web Apps, an online analog to Office, will be available June 15.

SAP's Sybase buy examined

SAP will soon have a mainstream database of its own thanks to its $5.8 billion buyout of Sybase.

The deal probably means good news for SAP road warriors -- Sybase owns the well-respected SQL Anywhere franchise and SAP is expected to integrate Sybase's mobile technology infrastructure with its own NetWeaver code base.

The deal also is seen as a clear response to SAP archrival Oracle Corp., which owns a powerful database franchise and has now assembled a war chest of business applications that compete with SAP around that core.

Gremlins beset AWS data center

Is Amazon Web Services' Virginia facility snake bit or faulty? The AWS data center suffered three outages within a week leading some to question the real trustworthiness of cloud-based services.

AWS was forthright about the issues, updating customers regularly. One outage was caused by a vehicle hitting a utility pole. The company also urged users to look at their own AWS setups, in hopes of nipping future problems in the bud.

Citrix makes splash at Synergy bash

Citrix Systems Inc. used its annual Synergy show in San Francisco to demonstrate improvements to its contender XenServer server virtualization technology. It also drew some gasps with high-profile customer wins to its new XenServer-based tools for service providers. Rackspace, seen as the poster child for VMware's vSphere cloud onslaught, said it was moving to the Citrix offerings. The company also released another beta version of its XenClient bare-metal hypervisor.

Check out Monday's IT channel news in brief.

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