Welcome to Release Notes--and Inside eWEEK Labs

Welcome to Release Notes. Here, you’ll get info on all the goings-on at eWEEK Labs—what the analysts are testing, how they’re testing and what they’re finding. The analysts will also be using this blog to reach out to you—asking what you want to see tested and how. It was just

Welcome to Release Notes. Here, you’ll get info on all the goings-on at eWEEK Labs—what the analysts are testing, how they’re testing and what they’re finding. The analysts will also be using this blog to reach out to you—asking what you want to see tested and how.

It was just two months ago that we welcomed you to the new eWEEK Labs site. eWEEK (and PC Week before it) has long been differentiated by Labs. There are few more important decisions than what technology to purchase for your company, and the Labs’ trusted product reviews have been helping IT professionals make smarter choices for two decades.

The pace of technology change has certainly increased during that time, and it’s getting more and more challenging for IT pros to keep up, especially as their resources have been cut down. The eWEEK Labs site was developed to extend the insight and expertise of the Labs, by tapping into the tech expertise that lies in the IT community. The site provides reviews conducted by members of our Labs staff and by IT professionals who have tested products under real-world rigors and over time.

In the best of cases, there will be synergy between the two. One very powerful example: Labs Managing Editor Jason Brooks recently reviewed Ubuntu 10.04. Jason is a huge Linux proponent, and he has done a terrific job of describing the new distro’s technical strengths and weaknesses based on his hands-on testing. Labs site community member Eric Bruno’s review of Ubuntu aligns with Jason’s to provide time-tested insight: “I've been working with Ubuntu Linux for many years. Prior to that, I had been using a combination of SUSE and Red Hat Linux. Additionally, I regularly work with Mac OS X and Windows XP, so I have a well-rounded set of UI experiences to compare with. … With excellent security and performance, and office productivity applications included from the start, Ubuntu makes perfect sense for use in the enterprise.”

These reviews also sync up nicely with Joe Brockmeier's review of Ubuntu over at eWEEK.com--an example of the in-depth product analysis you have come to expect, and will still find, at eWEEK.com and in the pages of eWEEK magazine.

At the eWEEK Labs site we’ve also seen lively technology discussions around OpenOffice.org (certain to get livelier as the new version of Microsoft Office drops) and the iPad.

The site is also a great place to get tech specs on new IT products. Every day, vendors are uploading product info and images, and the product entry format is designed to force real data, as opposed to marketing-speak. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s not helpful when you’re trying to, say, create a product shortlist.)

Currently, the eWEEK Labs site is in beta. We’re proud of how the site is evolving, but we know it can be better—and we want to tailor it so that it makes your jobs easier. We invite you to join the community—check out new products every day, read and write reviews, comment, and ask questions. But, most importantly, tell us what we’re doing right and wrong. Let us know what you’d like to see in the future.

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