New Projector Lets You Take Your Presentations on the Road
BY Peter Hoy
A weekly look at the latest products and services designed to help you run a better business.
A new portable digital projector from BenQ will allow you to transform any room into your boardroom.
The MP510 projector, which will be available later this month, weighs less than six pounds and takes up about as much surface area as an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper.
It also comes with a variety of features to improve its portability. A special wall-color correction feature allows users to project on almost any wall, without the need for a projection screen. An auto-shutoff and a quick-cooling feature reduce the waiting time needed after the unit is turned off by more than 60 percent.
It projects at 15,000 ANSI lumens and with a 2000:1 contrast ratio. At 22 decibels, it is as quiet as a person whispering.
The MP510 will be available at a suggested retail price of $499.
Microsoft Readies New Version of Office Live
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is set to launch a new version of Office Live, its suite of Internet-based software and services designed to help small businesses manage communications with their customers.
"Small businesses face the same pressures as large enterprises to continuously improve their offerings, raise their market profile, attract new customers and generate repeat business, but typically lack the in-house IT expertise and dedicated technology budgets of most big companies," Rajesh Jha, corporate vice president of Microsoft Office Live, said in a statement.
Office Live, which will be available on Nov. 15, is designed to help close that gap by offering tools to simplify website design, e-mail and instant-messaging accounts, customer and business contacts, calendars, mobile technology, advertising budgets, and keyword purchases.
Office Live provides an open platform on which developers can build customized or industry-specific software applications.
Office Live is offered at three levels of service -- the premium package costs $39.95 a month and comes with more features and website storage space than the more basic packages. Office Live Essentials runs $19.95 per month, while Office Live Basics is free.
Web Applications Made Easy
Business owners who want to move their companies online but don't have the knowledge to write Web applications themselves might consider the Caspio Bridge SOHO platform.
Caspio, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Web-application firm, introduced a free version of its bestselling platform on Oct. 26.
The package is designed for non-technical users who want to build Web database applications that manage customer information, record communications, schedule reminders and run reports -- all without programming.
SOHO is free, but it only accommodates a limited number of applications and might leave business owners wanting a costly upgrade. In addition, any applications deployed from SOHO will display Caspio branding.
Still, it has most of the features of the original, including user authentication, free SSL encryption and support for foreign languages. So while SOHO isn't quite as comprehensive as the more expensive version, it's a good, and cheap, place to start.