By now, all Orgs have been upgraded to Spring ’13. For salesforce.com, it’s a light release. One of the notable new features is the availability to create Tasks while sharing a Chatter post. But note – you must ‘turn on’ this Beta feature in Chatter Settings.
Smallbizsalesforce.com was initially excited to see that the longstanding issue of state and country entry was potentially addressed. This is the situation in which U.S. states, for example, can be input by users in a number of ways; “Ohio”, “OH”, “OHIO”, etc. I have addressed this situation in the past with validation rules. But while that works for U.S. States because there are only 50 of them, it does not work so well for Countries, given the high number of them.
But this picklist change in Spring ’13 is not the answer, at least not yet. Picklists this long are bulky for users. For now, I’ll continue using validation rules for states, and a few ‘common’ countries.