Today in Tech: How Apple may tackle the 7-inch tablet by JP Mangalindan @FortuneMagazine July 16, 2012, 1:02 PM EST E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons Microsoft quietly gears up to take on Google Apps; one iPad lovers’ take on the Nexus 7. As tablet race heats up, Apple may try smaller device [THE NEW YORK TIMES] Apple’s plan for a tablet with a smaller screen is part of a textbook business strategy: to lure customers who want different sizes of tablets into the iPad product family, say analysts and technology industry executives. … The strategy would most likely include devices with different prices and functions tailored to various uses, they say. The idea is to help Apple solidify its dominance in the tablet market even as the richest companies in the tech business are trying to figure out how to outflank Apple. Microsoft hits back as Google muscles in [THE WALL STREET JOURNAL] Microsoft Corp. has publicly dismissed Web-based Google Apps as a competitor to its Office software suite. But, behind the scenes, Microsoft is stepping up its efforts to halt Google Inc.’s encroachment on its business-software turf. … On Monday, Microsoft is expected to announce a next-generation version of Office, its single-biggest profit engine, exceeding even its Windows operating system. An iPad lovers’ take on the Nexus 7 [TECHCRUNCH] To be clear, the product isn’t perfect. But no product is. Yes, that includes Apple products (though the MacBook Air in the pre-retina world was pretty damn close, in my opinion). But with the Nexus 7, Google has, for the first time, created an Android product that I would buy for myself. And I wouldn’t have an issue recommending it to anyone else. U.S. venture capital has its biggest quarter since dot-com days [ALLTHINGSD] It’s clear factors like the greater American economy and the bumpy tech IPO market don’t necessarily have a direct and/or timely correlation with venture capital spending. Funding was up 37 percent from the first quarter, and five percent from a year ago. Number of deals were up three percent from the past quarter and four percent from the past year. Goldman Sachs and a sale gone horribly awry [THE NEW YORK TIMES] James and Janet Baker spent nearly two decades building Dragon, a voice technology company, into a successful, multimillion-dollar enterprise. It was, they say, their “third child.” So in late 1999, when offers to buy Dragon began rolling in, the couple made what seemed a smart decision: they turned to Goldman Sachs for advice. And why not? Goldman, after all, was the leading dealmaker on Wall Street. The Bakers wanted the best. America’s new business model: sharing [USA TODAY] The notion of individuals selling and donating to others online is hardly new. EBay and Craigslist pioneered peer-to-peer commerce through tools that allow users to be anonymous and that make uploading photos and descriptions quick and easy. But the ventures launched in recent years with gobs of venture-capital funding and targeting niche markets have accelerated the movement with user-friendly designs and a tight knit to social networks Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.