Google launches local business-recommendation engine Hotpot

Google today announced on its blog the release of Hotpot, a recommendation engine for local businesses based on you and your friends’ ratings. Hotpot is an addition to the company’s Google’s Places initiative, a campaign to get local business owners to claim their venues, verify information and engage with customers.

Microsoft VP: Google faces "long, hard road" in business software

Microsoft is launching Office 2010 next month, so I checked in with the man in charge of the Office team, Chris Capossela, to find out how confident Microsoft is feeling with its Office suite now that Google is trying to make a serious claim on the business-application market. After all, Googlers have said 2010 will be the year that Google Apps, the bundle of online business software including Gmail and Google Docs, becomes a formidable competitor to Office.