management Stories May 19, 2014

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is purchasing Divide, a company that builds mobile device management software for enterprise customers. Divide confirmed the deal in an announcement on its website saying it will be joining the Android team and that existing customers will continue to be able to access the service (above).

Divide provides a cloud-based service that lets companies and large organizations oversee and manage mobile devices used by employees on their networks. The software can create separate work environments on personal devices used by employees, offers a number of security features, and also supports both Android and iOS: expand full story

management Stories April 9, 2014

Dropbox launches new “Carousel” photo & video gallery app

Dropbox is introducing its latest product today, a photo and video management app called Carousel that integrates many of the features from the photo storage service Snapjoy acquired by Dropbox back in 2012.

The company unveiled the app at an event today in San Francisco as a gallery to store and share all of your photos and videos.  The app is built for quick and easy sharing of one or multiple photos to phone contacts or email addresses (even if the recipient doesn’t have a Dropbox account), allowing you to get around the upload limitations usually associated with sharing photos. With everything backed up in full resolution directly to Dropbox, it essentially becomes a standalone app to manage just photos and videos that you want to store in Dropbox.

With Dropbox, we built a home for your photos and videos but never gave you a great way to experience them. We’d like you to meet Carousel, the newest member of the Dropbox family. It’s a gallery that houses your entire life’s memories. Even more, Carousel lets you share and relive these memories in private conversations with friends and family.

Carousel is now available as a free download on the App Store for iOS and the Play Store for Android.

The company also made some other product announcements today including news regarding versions of its Mailbox app for Android and Mac OS X.

management Stories November 27, 2013

How Google manages over 40,000 Macs…without much help from Apple

During a talk at the LISA ’13 conference in Washington D.C earlier this month, a couple members from Google’s Macintosh Operations team explained how the company has been forced to develop its own set of tools to manage its fleet of roughly 43,000 Macs. The reason, according to Google engineers Clay Caviness and Edward Eigerman, is that Apple isn’t doing a great job at supporting its enterprise management tools. As the first slide of the presentation (pictured above) puts it, “While Apple won’t do much for you, there are tools out there you can use to keep your machines secure, up to date and useful.”

“We don’t use any of Apple’s tools to manage the Macs. Apple arguably produces two tools, Mac OS X server… and Apple Remote Desktop. It kinda breaks down when you get it over 50, 100, 200 machines that you’re managing… we’ve sort of lost their attention as far as enterprise management tools.”

During one slide (pictured above, right), Google uses the red line to represent the release of the iPhone while noting Apple’s remote desktop “hasn’t had a major revision to it since 2006.” To avoid using Apple’s management tools, Google has either developed its own tools or is using open source tools for everything from configuration, to package management, monitoring system levels and more. Google announced during the talk that one of the imaging tools it developed, CanHazImage, will soon be hitting open source. 

While Google mentioned during the presentation that it supports four desktop OS platforms (OS X, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS) internally, it also said these days employees that want to use a platform other than Mac OS X “have to make a business case” to do so. Compare that roughly 40k monthly actives from Macs reported during the presentation to the 42,162 full-time employees at the company (not including Motorola). The Googlers also noted that the company managed to update from 10.7 to 10.8 for 99.5% of its fleet in 8 weeks and it’s currently trying to accomplish the same for 10.9 Mavericks.

You can watch or download the full presentation here.

(via TheRegister)

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