Friday, February 28, 2003

Is .NET a rip off of J2EE?

Is .NET a rip off of J2EE? "My history lesson starts out in 1992 when Microsoft released a technology called ODBC to standardise the connecting and programming to different databases. Four years later, in 1996, Sun came up with the JDBC specification which not only had a very similar name was designed to do exactly the same thing! This same story has been repeating itself for the last 9 years:
1996 Microsoft releases ASP; in 1998 Sun releases JSP
1997 Microsoft releases ADSI; in 1998 Sun releases JNDI
1997 Microsoft releases MSMQ; in 1998 Sun releases JMS
1997 Microsoft releases Microsoft Transaction Server; in 1998 Sun releases EJB
1998 Microsoft releases MSXML; in 2001 Sun releases JAXP
2000 Microsoft releases Queued Components; in 2001 Sun releases Message Driven Beans
2000 Microsoft releases XML Web Services; in 2001 Sun releases Java Web Services Developer Pack"

Via TheServerSide which also hosts a debate on the topic

Microsoft: storage supernova?

Microsoft: storage supernova? "You may have not noticed, but Microsoft is playing a fairly significant role in the storage market. The Redmond, Wash.-based software supernova came out of practically nowhere to capture nearly 30 percent of the NAS market, according to IDC, since the introduction of its WPN (Windows Powered NAS) two years ago. This summer, it'll release Version 3.0, as well as a Web download that augments the forthcoming .Net server to support iSCSI. Has Microsoft truly arrived?"

Via http://www.watchingmicrosoftlikeahawk.com/

Monster Warns Job Seekers About Theft of Personal Data

Monster Warns Job Seekers About Theft of Personal Data "Internet job board Monster.com, acknowledging a growing problem for online career sites, is e-mailing millions of job seekers, warning that fake listings are being used to gather and steal personal information.
An e-mail message from Monster, which arrived in many users' computer mailboxes Thursday, cautions that "regrettably, from time to time, false job postings are listed online and used to illegally collect personal information from unsuspecting job seekers."


Blogman Becomes Harvardman

Blogman Becomes Harvardman Winer heads to Cambridge (via scripting.com, of course...)

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Got .NET Yet?

Got .NET Yet? PowerPoint outline version of a forthcoming Microsoft Smart Solutions article -- past, present, and future of .NET, with a report card for progress to date.

InfoPath and XForms

InfoPath and XForms Jon Udell explores the issues with Microsoft's Jean Paoli:
"Paoli: Forms are too inflexible. You have a choice, when you want to gather data, between two families of technologies. With the family of forms, it's like having a piece of paper that doesn't grow, you write two lines of customer data, and then if you want to have a third customer, it's a big mistake, you have to take another piece of paper...and that's the form technology used today, it really sucks, people hate that. On the other side, you use Word or some other word processor, which can grow normally -- you can have spell checking, you can add rows to a table -- big advance of technology [laughs] -- but you are stuck, you cannot extract data properly from this document which is viewed as a form, you don't have the sophisticated validation that you need. So what we wanted to do was really something in the middle, which was a mix of the two things.
We had numerous marketing meetings to decide what do we call these kinds of documents: DocForms? FormDocs? We finally said, it's easier to call what we are doing a form, but then we will explain that it's far more, it's really a mix, a hybrid, a new thing between those two models.
Udell: And the name XForms had already been taken.
Paoli: Yes, but XForms does not have the same goal. The goal is to gather information. How do you gather information best? You give views on the data. We can create multiple views adapted to the kind of gathering you are doing. Think about an insurance claim. The end user is going to think about the first page, he puts name and address, the second page describes what happened, and then at the end, what he is expecting. He thinks about it as three pages. The name appears everywhere. But it appears only once in the XML file. Having multiple views helps make the user experience extremely natural."

Microsoft HRM On Tap?

Microsoft HRM On Tap? "Business Portal HRM Self Service Suite offers employee and manager self-service solutions that place employees and managers in control of their own human-resources information," explains Microsoft on its Convergence conference site. "Employees and managers can access their human-resources information on their own at any time, decreasing administrative costs and allowing human resource professionals to take a more substantive role in the organization."
Microsoft's Business Portal — the product formerly known as "Business Desk" — is a Great Plains invention that is due to debut some time in the first calendar quarter, if Microsoft is still on schedule.
While the Business Portal is not based on Microsoft's SharePoint Portal Server, it is designed to provide the same kind of functionality. Administrators will be able to set up the Business Portal to provide employees with Web-based access to their applications, which will be viewable via a single dashboard-type interface.
Microsoft has said the Business Portal will be the first product from the Business Solutions Division that will make use of the Microsoft Business Framework (MBF) technology.
MBF is a set of classes, runtimes and development tools that sit on top of the Microsoft .Net Framework. MBF is the "shared horizontal business application logic" that will be common to Microsoft's current and future CRM, SCM, employee-relationship management (ERM) and business-analytic apps from Microsoft's Business Solutions division."

Mossberg: The Palm Tungsten W Is Good For E-Mail, but Not for Phoning

Mossberg: The Palm Tungsten W Is Good For E-Mail, but Not for Phoning "The Tungsten W is pretty good, but also pretty big and pretty expensive, and it makes a lousy phone. For those reasons, it fails to oust the Handspring Treo 300 from its perch as the best communicator on the market, with the best balance of phone, PDA and e-mail functionality."

Multi-function, $549 -- Palm is not quite so simple anymore....

Microsoft researchers from far-flung labs share work in Redmond

Microsoft researchers from far-flung labs share work in Redmond "It's cool, because you get to see stuff that you might get to use but just can't buy," such as software that helps catch errors as they are made, said Mike Piaseczny, a software developer for Microsoft's content management server. "Plus, I got a pen that lights up."

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Putting Microsoft brand on a new breed: Longhorn

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Putting Microsoft brand on a new breed: Longhorn "The biggest change is to the file system that stores documents in the computer. Longhorn's system will be based on a new database the company is developing that is designed to make it easier to find, sort and retrieve each document. ...
This storage technology is challenging, and its refinement will continue after Longhorn is completed, but Gates insisted that it be part of the new operating system. One reason is that he has always dreamed of making it easier to find files on computers. His mandate was that the technology make it easier to find data on different machines. That would make it easier to learn to use a PC because users would have to learn only one way to search for things.
"This is one where very much I'm the most committed to making sure we get it exactly right," he said.
The search tool sounds similar to the popular Google search engine, but turned inward into the computer rather than out onto the World Wide Web.
But Allchin bristled at the comparison. "Google's a very nice system, but compared to my vision, it's pathetic," he said."

BW Online | February 26, 2003 | Tablet PCs: An Overnight Sensation

BW Online | February 26, 2003 | Tablet PCs: An Overnight Sensation "While it will likely take a year to two for the tablets to enter the mainstream, it's already obvious that Gates & Co. has scored a hit. Users love the ability tablets offer to take notes, make sketches, and circle and underline text with a digital pen. They're a noiseless alternative to clicking on a keyboard during meetings or lectures. And, unlike paper notes, the electronic files can't be as easily lost."

(This and the link below via http://www.watchingmicrosoftlikeahawk.com/)

CRN: Microsoft Greenwich Beta To Be Released Friday

CRN: Microsoft Greenwich Beta To Be Released Friday The enhanced presence and PC-to-phone integration features in the next version of Greenwich will enable "follow me" scenarios, in which authorized "buddies" can track and zap instant messages regardless of where users roam and regardless of device, Gurle said."

AOL Offering Music Catalog for Downloads

AOL Offering Music Catalog for Downloads "Unlike music downloaded from Napster, the defunct free music sharing service, and its successors like KaZaA, a subscriber can listen to MusicNet's downloads on no more than two computers. They also cannot be copied to other devices or sent to other people."

If this is really "the strongest attempt yet to create a legitimate alternative to free music-trading sites", there is still a very long way to go.

Monday, February 24, 2003

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft CEO wants company to broaden its reach, burnish its reputation

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft CEO wants company to broaden its reach, burnish its reputation Part of multi-part MS series this week

Ten things to know about XDocs

Ten things to know about XDocs "10. It represents a paradigm shift.
[Jean Paoli:] I try to avoid the "P" phrase. But there is no other way to describe InfoPath. At the dawn of the .Net era, Bill Gates introduced the notion of a "universal canvas" -- a viewing and editing surface for anything that can be represented in XML. InfoPath isn't that yet, but it's a huge step in the right direction."

More Netdocs heritage...

Microsoft Hangs Up on Vo-IP in Messenger

Microsoft Hangs Up on Vo-IP in Messenger "Back in 2001, when Windows XP was being positioned as a clearinghouse for Internet-based services, VoIP firms jostled for placement on the platform, but, with Microsoft pushing its own .NET Voice Services, the ability to make phone calls from the instant messaging application will be removed."

Resources for Competing with Linux

Resources for Competing with Linux Linux counter-FUD central

Sunday, February 23, 2003

BW Online | March 3, 2003 | The Linux Uprising

BW Online | March 3, 2003 | The Linux Uprising Good pair of articles on Linux in this week's BW.

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft at midlife: Bill Gates' view of the future

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft at midlife: Bill Gates' view of the future "The 47-year-old Microsoft chairman has a good idea about when he'll be retiring, he enjoys driving his daughter to school, and he has a home-improvement project he wants to get to one of these days.
But first he has a few things to get done at the office, such as build Microsoft's software platform for the next era of computing and reinvigorate the sluggish computer industry along the way."

See article for links to Gates interview and Microsoft timeline.

Sun, Again, Bets Against the Odds

Sun, Again, Bets Against the Odds Timely snapshot by Steve Lohr

Saturday, February 22, 2003

Microsoft will let users build access controls into documents

Microsoft will let users build access controls into documents "Microsoft Corp. said organizations can better control digital information in their internal networks with software it plans to release this year.
It's part of Microsoft's 13-month-old Trustworthy Computing initiative, which focuses on improving the security of software and the privacy of information. The software, called Windows Rights Management Services, can be used by anyone creating an e-mail, Word document, Excel Spreadsheet, Adobe PDF or other file. The creator can specify which individuals or groups in an organization can read, copy, print, forward or edit the document. Documents can even be given a finite lifespan."

Friday, February 21, 2003

Smart Stuff (second Microsoft Smart Solutions Column)

Smart Stuff FYI my second column for Microsoft Smart Solutions

Review of Web Services Orchestration Tools and Standards

Review of Web Services Orchestration Tools and Standards Looks like a very useful survey

Microsoft's Road Ahead

Microsoft's Road Ahead FYI my view of Microsoft's big-picture road ahead

Connectix CEO Weighs Company's Future

Connectix CEO Weighs Company's Future "Connectix Corp., which this week sold its client and server Virtual Machine technology to Microsoft Corp., is evaluating its future given that it is now left with just two products that are heading toward obsolescence. ...
"As such, we began to talk to Microsoft, which could help with both. So, while the deal is an acquisition by Microsoft, it's also our way of getting an enormous channel for our technology. The company has now split into two pieces, with the technology team largely going to Microsoft and the sales and support team remaining here to sell the VM product."

News: Microsoft OneNote sounds new tune

News: Microsoft OneNote sounds new tune "OneNote differs from Microsoft Word, the company's popular word processing program, in many areas. Most of the major differences have to do with concept rather than the gulf of features between the two products.
Microsoft considers OneNote more of a "pre-content" creation tool, where the user takes more charge of how he or she organizes ideas or information, said a Microsoft spokeswoman. Word, by contrast, gives a more rigidly defined "left to right" means of creating documents, she added.
One visual difference is immediately obvious: OneNote does not come with a "Save" option. The program automatically saves handwritten notes or text as they are inputted and again when the user closes a document."

NEC Solutions America, Intel and Microsoft Announce Record 32-Way TPC-C Benchmark

NEC Solutions America, Intel and Microsoft Announce Record 32-Way TPC-C Benchmark A strong leading indicator

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Neowin.net - Where unprofessional journalism looks better - Exclusive : 3 Degrees screenshots

Neowin.net - Where unprofessional journalism looks better - Exclusive : 3 Degrees screenshots

Microsoft Tests the Blogging-Tool Waters

Microsoft Tests the Blogging-Tool Waters "The Community Starter Kit consists of application code, templates, documentation and forum-based help. According to Microsoft's own definition of the kit: "The Community Starter Kit enables you to quickly create a community Web site such as a user group site, a developer resource site, or a news site."

WSJ.com - Microsoft Acquires Software, Patents for 'Virtual Machine'

WSJ.com - Microsoft Acquires Software, Patents for 'Virtual Machine' "Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash., said Wednesday it has bought software and patents for so-called "virtual machine" technology from privately held Connectix Corp., of San Mateo, Calif., for an undisclosed sum.
The deal, which closed earlier this week, covers technology developed by Connectix (www.connectix.com) that allows computers running one operating system to run other operating systems and their associated programs -- all on the same machine. For example, one version of Connectix's software allows Macintosh computer users to run applications built for Windows operating systems.
About 30 of Connectix's 100 employees will also join Microsoft, said Kurt Schmucker, Connectix vice president for Macintosh products.
Microsoft acquired three versions of Connectix's software: one for Macintosh, one for Windows and a test version for computer servers.
...
Connectix competitor VMware Inc. (www.vmware.com), based in Palo Alto, Calif., said it, too, had been in talks with Microsoft over a possible deal, but declined to give details due to a nondisclosure agreement, said Diane Greene, VMware's chief executive officer. The 300-employee company, which has about 5,000 customers, is concerned about Microsoft's entry into its market, Ms. Greene said."

InformationWeek: Microsoft Buying An Upgrade Path From NT To Windows Server

InformationWeek: Microsoft Buying An Upgrade Path From NT To Windows Server "Microsoft will acquire three products, along with related core engineering and support teams, from Connectix, a private company. They include a VM for running Windows apps on Apple computers, one for running multiple older Windows apps on a single Windows desktop PC, and a VM for Windows servers. Connectix revealed the latter product, which it calls Virtual Server, in September. There will be no interruption in availability of the desktop VMs; the server VM will be available from Microsoft by year's end, after extensive testing, Hebert says. Connectix execs weren't available for comment."

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

e-Pro Magazine: WebSphere Market Booms as the Game Changes for Domino

e-Pro Magazine: WebSphere Market Booms as the Game Changes for Domino "“Domino sales have been steady, but the messaging market has matured. Most of the growth on the Lotus side is in the collaboration products: Sametime and QuickPlace.”
With Domino, the market is about integration and management. Although the number of messaging seats doesn’t look like it has room to grow, there’s still business demand on the Domino side. “Customers have built their platforms on Domino and they’ll continue with it. There’s no reason to move to another platform,” Madden said. “But spending in this area will be in things like Web services and portals for intranets or extranets.” Enterprise spending has moved from messaging and is focused more on concepts like business integration and content management."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Messaging system is geared to youth

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Messaging system is geared to youth "Microsoft's goal in this project is to drive instant messaging forward, particularly for users that are sophisticated when it comes to the Internet, said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with Jupiter Research.
"I don't necessarily see this as a product to drive revenues from directly," Gartenberg said. It could encourage younger customers to buy the Windows XP operating system, or it could be expanded to become a workplace communication tool."

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Boeing preps jets for broadband

Boeing preps jets for broadband "Boeing will charge airlines a one-time fee for each plane they outfit for the network. After that, Boeing will share with the airlines a small cut of the revenue from subscriptions. Passengers will pay about $25 to $35 for access on an eight-hour international flight, less for shorter flights.
The company projects 20 percent of flyers will sign up. On some Lufthansa flights as many as 30 percent of the people on a 747 — or 100 users — are paying for access at peak times."
Via Tomalak

Internet High-Wire Act With an 8-Pound Laptop

Internet High-Wire Act With an 8-Pound Laptop "I tried it out on the British Airways 747-400 test flight to London last week, and my first impression was this: One of the things you really don't want to be hearing in the middle of the night in an airplane 35,000 feet above the black North Atlantic, en route to Heathrow Airport where there are already 400 troops and a couple of tanks assembled over another terrorist scare, is a Boeing technology guy hunched over the computer and muttering "Hmmm, this could be a problem."

Microsoft Gets a Clue From Its Kiddie Corps

Microsoft Gets a Clue From Its Kiddie Corps "Here’s how the software works. You invite friends to form a posse of up to 10 participants. Representing the group on your desktop will be a colorful image, either one from a set provided by the software or something one of the group has produced. (It could even be a digital photo.) If you’re online—and since threedegrees assumes you have broadband, you’re probably online all the time—you give your friends a holler simply by sending the equivalent of an instant message. Everyone in the group will see it. If you want to send them a digital photo, you simply drag it over the icon and it shows up on everyone’s computer. Then there are “winks”: small animations that you trigger to run on everyone’s screen. Some of the standards include big lips smacking a kiss or a heavyset cartoon character who drops trou and cuts the cheese. (Sending these to oldsters might cause a NetGen gap.)
The most ambitious feature is called musicmix, an online equivalent of a pajama party where people take turns playing deejay. Each group member contributes favorite tunes into a shared playlist, displayed on a dashboard with a customized “skin,” and everyone listens together. A click from any participant can choose a new song. Then everyone chats about the tunes. Interestingly, men and women use this feature differently: guys will see it as a contest—who’s brought the coolest tunes?—and do virtual chest-thumps introducing the hottest bands. Meanwhile, the girls use the music as background for their chats.
Threedegrees is a surprising departure for Microsoft. The company that’s relentlessly focused on productivity has now produced an anti-productivity tool, constantly interrupting you and urging you to waste time with your friends. Who would want something like that? According to Tammy Savage, an entire generation."

Monday, February 17, 2003

SD Times: Sun Jumps On Modeling Bandwagon

SD Times: Sun Jumps On Modeling Bandwagon
"Will bundle Embarcadero’s Describe UML tool with Sun ONE Studio"

Group Program Manager Bids Flippant Farewell to Microsoft

Group Program Manager Bids Flippant Farewell to Microsoft "People leave Microsoft all the time, and many of them pass along their departing thoughts in e-mail messages to their colleagues. But the missive sent by David Stutz, a respected technical thinker within the company for more than 10 years, is more intriguing than most.
In his last job, Mr. Stutz, 46, was a group program manager for Microsoft's "shared source" initiative — a crucial effort at the company to deal with the threat from the open-source software movement partly by sharing more Microsoft code with universities and industry partners. And after leaving the company on Feb. 7, Mr. Stutz last week posted what he termed a "sanitized version" of his retirement e-mail message on his personal Web site (www.synthesist.net)."

Google Deal Ties Company to Weblogs

Google Deal Ties Company to Weblogs "Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the move was hailed by users of Weblogs, commonly called blogs, as a watershed moment for the fledgling communications medium, sometimes dismissed as too narrowband and self-involved to have a significant cultural impact."

Microsoft and Intel Unveil Windows Powered Smartphone Concept Design Based on Intel Personal Internet Client Architecture

Microsoft and Intel Unveil Windows Powered Smartphone Concept Design Based on Intel Personal Internet Client Architecture "Today at 3GSM World Congress 2003, Microsoft Corp. and Intel announced the immediate availability of the first Microsoft and Intel Windows® Powered Smartphone concept design based on the Intel® Personal Internet Client Architecture (Intel PCA). The joint hardware-software concept design allows manufacturers to expedite development and reduce the cost of bringing advanced, data-enabled handsets to market."

WSJ.com - THE SKEPTIC: Underdog Symbian Keeps Getting Bigger

WSJ.com - THE SKEPTIC: Underdog Symbian Keeps Getting Bigger "At what stage does an OS software consortium which includes all of the top five mobile phone-makers in the world start to alarm regulators?"

Wired News: Conversation With Marc Andreessen

Wired News: Conversation With Marc Andreessen "With the Internet, we're really 10 years into what will ultimately look like a 25-year cycle from invention to full implementation."

Guess nobody told Marc the Internet is already more than 25 years old.

Silicon Valley - Dan Gillmor's eJournal - Google Buys Pyra: Blogging Goes Big-Time

Silicon Valley - Dan Gillmor's eJournal - Google Buys Pyra: Blogging Goes Big-Time "For Williams and his five co-workers, now Google employees, the immediate impact will be to put their blog-hosting service, called Blog*Spot, on the vast network of server computers Google operates. This will make the service more reliable and robust."

Maybe they'll also fix their RSS generation...

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Who's Blocking the Xbox? Sony and Its Games

Who's Blocking the Xbox? Sony and Its Games "The good news for Microsoft is that industry experts expect it to widen its lead over Nintendo this year. Electronic Arts, the world's largest game maker, is projecting that in North America in 2003, Sony will sell 9 million to 10 million PlayStation 2's, Microsoft will sell 2.5 million to 3 million Xbox consoles and Nintendo will sell 2 million to 2.5 million machines.
Electronic Arts also projects that Microsoft will beat Nintendo in Europe, the second-biggest market after the United States. Still, Microsoft is particularly struggling in Japan, where it has been virtually shut out of the market, selling a mere 300,000 consoles, according to the company. Throughout all of Asia, Microsoft has sold only 500,000 Xbox consoles, according to UBS Warburg, compared with Sony's sales of 3.67 million PlayStation 2's."

Friday, February 14, 2003

The Register: Microsoft returns to form with InfoPath

The Register: Microsoft returns to form with InfoPath "Microsoft's backing of InfoPath is also likely to hamper the adoption of the World Wide Web Consortium's XForms 1.0 standard. According to the consortium, XForms allows authors to choose from the mark-up language of their choice -- XHTML, SVG or XML, when developing forms that can be viewed on a variety of devices."

The Register: Microsoft vs. Nokia

The Register: Microsoft vs. Nokia "A recent article in The Economist about the battle between Microsoft and Nokia for operating system supremacy on wireless instruments (Smartphones) concluded that Nokia with its Symbian OS based Series 60 SDK was already the victor over Microsoft's Smartphone 2002 SDK, writes Rick Rowell."

Interesting that so many news sources and blogs have referenced this article from The Economist. It's an important shift -- Microsoft versus Nokia, not Microsoft versus Symbian; the former is a much clearer target than the latter.

Yukon, Ho!

Yukon, Ho! "David Campbell, Microsoft product unit manager for the SQL Server Engine, talked up a number of the new capabilities Microsoft is building into its major database upgrade that industry watchers expect the company to ship some time next year. A first beta of Yukon is expected to hit around mid-year, possibly at Microsoft's Tech Ed 2003 show in Dallas in early June.
Campbell highlighted Yukon's Common Language Runtime (CLR) integration, built-in Web services support, new messaging features, support for new datatypes and general scalability and availability advances."

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Macromedia - Business : The business impact of Rich Internet Applications

Macromedia - Business : The business impact of Rich Internet Applications A+ in the practice-what-you-preach department

Gates Taking 'Pervasive' Linux Seriously

Gates Taking 'Pervasive' Linux Seriously "The real comparison is between Linux with WebSphere and Windows: compare the price, compare the architectural coherence, the richness of the development tools and/or performance, Gates said. "That will be a very dramatic contrast; our price is still way lower than what you're going to have to do with those others.
"So it's great. There's always been people who thought the Macintosh would take over, that Netscape would take over. Network computers, remember all those ads and those poor customers who bought those things? So we take it seriously. I'm not trying to make light of it. I never made light of OS/2," Gates said."

WSJ.com - Motorola Handset to Feature Linux and Java Technology

WSJ.com - Motorola Handset to Feature Linux and Java Technology "Motorola Inc. says it will launch a handset later this year using the Linux operating system and Java technology software. The new color-screen handset, to be called the A760, will be released first in Asia and could be a blow to Microsoft Corp.'s efforts to enter the cellphone arena.
The introduction of the new handset, which will have a built-in camera and MP3 player and is scheduled to be released during the third quarter, could also mean Motorola is moving away from the use of the operating system software licensed by Symbian Ltd., a consortium based in London that includes Motorola as a 20% investor. Motorola rival Nokia Corp., the world's No. 1 handset manufacturer, has been Symbian's most vocal advocate.
"We've chosen Linux as our primary operating system, but doesn't mean we won't work with Symbian, Microsoft ... if that's what our customers want," said a company spokeswoman, who said the company is working with Symbian on other phones."

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

The Register: Billg on Xbox 2

The Register: Billg on Xbox 2 "Bill Gates has let slip some more details about Xbox 2 and the assault of the Microsoft next-gen games console into the living room, in an interview with Les Echos, the French financial newspaper.
The next-generation Xbox (which many people speculate will be called "Xbox Next", based on recent domain name registrations by Microsoft) is a much more broadly-focused multimedia device than the current console, he says.
Some of this functionality could make it into the Xbox before a new console launch - several sources tell us that Microsoft is considering major upgrades to the Xbox Dashboard in the near future, including a possible integration of Internet Explorer and Windows Media into the console."

Wired News: A Broadband Hookup in Every Home

Wired News: A Broadband Hookup in Every Home "Has a fast Net connection become as essential a modern utility as electricity and running water? The state of Kentucky thinks so.
Taking an aggressive stance on the issue of the digital divide, the Kentucky Housing Corporation, or KHC, has listed broadband Internet access among the inalienable rights of its low-income housing residents."

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Java Developer's Journal - JDJ Asks...IBM [Don Ferguson interview]

Java Developer's Journal - JDJ Asks...IBM [Don Ferguson interview]
": Is there a meaningful approach to comparing WebSphere (J2EE?) to .NET?
: You mean, outside the fact that we're vastly superior? Seriously, I think the functional overlap between .NET and J2EE is about 80-90%. They learn from what we do and vice versa. At the same time, we also feel that WebSphere is much further ahead and much more mature in terms of the implementation of those common functions. .NET will always be limited to a homogeneous Windows environment, while J2EE will be cross-platform and cross-vendor. As for the much touted (at least by MSFT) capability of .NET to support multiple development languages, other languages will begin to appear in "J2EE" as well. We already support JavaScript in WebSphere. I think the approach in the CLR is not workable and overly complex, and simpler models to multilanguage are more appropriate."

.Net patent could stifle standards effort - Tech News - CNET.com

.Net patent could stifle standards effort - Tech News - CNET.com "Microsoft is in the process of applying for a wide-ranging patent that covers a variety of functions related to its .Net initiative.
If approved as is, the patent would cover application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow actions related to accessing the network, handling Extensible Markup Language (XML), and managing data from multiple sources."

Microsoft Preps Platform, Visual Studio Upgrades

Microsoft Preps Platform, Visual Studio Upgrades "But Yukon is much more than a database engine. Microsoft has been slowly working toward the promise of "information at your fingertips," a concept that Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates introduced almost a decade ago, and Yukon will finally provide the underlying technology to make the concept possible. First, Microsoft will integrate Yukon with Longhorn and create a new file system called Windows Future Storage (WinFS). "We've always had the vision of abstracting data away, and people just want to get to their data and work with it," said Tom Rizzo of the SQL Server team. "Windows is the way that they will interact with their data. So we're going to make the experience richer and more easily searchable. The data should find the user." Second, Microsoft will roll Yukon technology into a variety of products, most of which will probably rely on the new file system's underlying support. These products include Active Directory (AD), the post-Titanium Exchange Server release, and any other product that includes a data store of some type."

(I think they started talking about IAYF during 1988.)

Monday, February 10, 2003

News: Microsoft's $10 billion biz war chest

News: Microsoft's $10 billion biz war chest "Q: Would you agree that your business strategy is to dominate the midmarket for business applications--not just in accounting software, but in anything an enterprise would need to run its business?
[Doug Burgum] A: There are four broad business types that we're going to focus on. There is a core functionality that would cut across all businesses, including things like payroll and accounts payable. We want to be participating in that core.
Moving up from those core components, there are four broad types of businesses: retail, services, manufacturing and wholesale/distribution. We are going to provide extended functionality in those areas through applications that can be purchased from us or software partners. We want to provide broad functionality in those four areas. Outside of that, there is a lot of white space for software partners."

Microsoft moves ahead on Xdocs - Tech News - CNET.com

Microsoft moves ahead on Xdocs - Tech News - CNET.com "... InfoPath also runs counter to XForms, an XML-based electronic forms standard being developed by the World Wide Web Consortium, the group charged with setting industry standards for Web functions.
Moore said Microsoft decided to use the Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT) standard--as opposed to XForms--to govern how XML data is presented in InfoPath. Moore said XSLT, which defines how to transform one XML form into another, offered a more flexible way to display data. That's critical in ensuring InfoPath forms can be used by ordinary office workers, he said.
"It lets us display something that's more like a document, something that's more like rich text," he said."

DB2 Magazine: feature: Bound to Succeed

DB2 Magazine: feature: Bound to Succeed This is an exceptional overview of the past, present, and future of DBMS architecture.

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Originator of Web spins a new vision

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Originator of Web spins a new vision "Skeptics see the Semantic Web as little more than a Utopian vision nurtured in academia; they privately pooh-pooh it as the "Pedantic Web." Some doubt it will take root in the real world, where commercial interests are bent on colonizing the Web and have embarked on a drive to reshape the Internet on their own terms. ...
Different from the business automation software known as "Web services," the Semantic Web, Berners-Lee said, is more about "expressing things in data and making the data reusable."

searchWin2000.com: Microsoft to guide DBAs, ISVs, partners into Yukon

searchWin2000.com: Microsoft to guide DBAs, ISVs, partners into Yukon "The event's contents are so under wraps, he said, "attendees are required to sign NDAs on their NDAs."
The preview will include about 40 technical sessions on Yukon programmability, manageability, scalability and business intelligence, according to a mailing touting the event. The preview will be hosted by SQL Server bigwigs Gordon Mangione, vice president of SQL Server, and Jim Gray of Microsoft Research."

Sun Rolls Out Its New Effort to Gain Edge Over 2 Rivals

Sun Rolls Out Its New Effort to Gain Edge Over 2 Rivals "The strategy at Sun is absolutely the right thing to do," Mr. Gillett said, "but they are doing it from a much weaker position than I.B.M. or Hewlett-Packard."
The challenge Sun faces is over the long haul. Sun's fortunes have reversed sharply since the boom years. Its stock price has fallen from $64 a share in September 2000 to $3.07 last Friday, down 17 cents for the day. Still, the company's losses last quarter were mainly write-offs on the value of acquisitions the company made during the bubble years. Sun sits on nearly $5 billion in cash and net receivables.
Laura Conigliaro, an analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Company, observed that Sun was the second-largest seller of big computers to the corporate market, after I.B.M., and that Sun had a large base of customers using its technology who were not about to switch anytime soon.
"But the real issue for Sun," Ms. Conigliaro said, "is how does it claim of position of influence in the industry for the long term."
The product announcements, Sun says, point toward its future path. "The essence of Sun is still an engineering and technology company," said Shahin Khan, Sun's chief competitive officer. "And we'll solve business problems for customers with integrated technology more than our competitors."

(Nice to see Steve Lohr write "GNU Linux" instead of "Linux"; I hope that's a trend)

Boston Globe Online / Business / Talking software development: John Landry, CEO, Adesso Systems

Boston Globe Online / Business / Talking software development: John Landry, CEO, Adesso Systems "... So it begs for something else to happen, and that is to say that people should be able to carry around their applications and their data with them instead of always having to be connected to get to that centralized resource. So that's a decentralized view of the world. We share the same application, but we're going to have multiple instances of it, and it's going to be on multiple machines. And when I do have a connection, then we'll exchange the information, and I'll have the information locally. Well, that is a different architecture, fundamentally different than the centralized Internet Web architecture. This is a decentralized architecture with a centalized component. It's a sharing hub if you will, the exchange point. That is what we're working on at Adesso."

Sunday, February 09, 2003

TNR Online | Ad Share [Tivo essay]

TNR Online | Ad Share [Tivo essay] "My TiVo seems to grasp my heterosexuality well enough, but it does insult my intelligence, suggesting programs featuring the antics of cute animals or sports like bowling and fly-fishing. This week it has flagged upcoming episodes of "MacGyver" and, perhaps concluding I am either eight or 80, "Lassie." Clearly there has been some kind of misunderstanding. But there's no harm done. My real concerns about its intentions run deeper: Perhaps it's the sleek facade, the silently glowing lights, or the tendency to do things without my permission, but my TiVo reminds me of HAL 9000. My fear is that one day it will regretfully inform me, in that Kubrickian deadpan, that the mission has changed and that I am to await orders from the office of Total Information Awareness."

(Read the entire essay for more context...)

Tangled Up in Spam

Tangled Up in Spam ''Spam has become the organized crime of the Internet,'' said Barry Shein, president of the World, one of the original Internet service providers. ''Most people see it as a private mailbox problem. But more and more it's becoming a systems and engineering and networking problem.'' He told the 2003 Spam Conference in Cambridge, Mass., last month that his service is sometimes pounded by the same spam from 200 computer systems simultaneously. ''It's depressing. It's more depressing than you think. Spammers are gaining control of the Internet.'' ...
"We need to be able to say no. No, I'm not looking for a good time. No, I don't want to ''e-mail millions of PayPal members.'' No, I don't want an anatomy-enlargement kit. No, I don't want my share of the Nigerian $25 million. I just want my in-box. It belongs to me, and I want it back."

Company Man to the End, After All

Company Man to the End, After All "A review of previously undisclosed personal records — including years of trading, accounting and other documents — as well as interviews with Mr. Lay's financial advisers and other witnesses in the government's investigation indicates that Mr. Lay retained his faith in the company virtually until its collapse."

Not evil; just clueless...

Friday, February 07, 2003

The Sells Spout: OOD (The D Stands for "Dead In The Water")

The Sells Spout: OOD (The D Stands for "Dead In The Water") "Reading a very interesting book which I'll discuss in a future post, I came to a startling conclusion. As much as I love OO thinking and programming, OO databases are never going to fly. I realize that this may not be so startling considering how long OOD products have existed and how unsuccessful they've been so far, but the conclusion I came to was *why* they'll never fly. The reason is simple: the data itself is more valuable than the programs that use it."

Microsoft Preps Server, Desktop Upgrades

Microsoft Preps Server, Desktop Upgrades "According to sources that Microsoft briefed last week, the company is using the iWave moniker internally as an umbrella marketing strategy for many of its desktop and server upgrades in 2003. Microsoft iWave desktop products include Microsoft Office 11 (shipping June 2), which includes InfoPath 2003 (code-named XDocs); Project 11 and Visio 11 (both shipping in late July); and SharePoint Team Services (which will ship concurrently with Office 11). On the server side, Microsoft is prepping Exchange Server 2003 (code-named Titanium, which will also ship June 2) and SharePoint Portal Server. The company will also soon announce various marketing and sales promotions for the iWave products."

William Gibson's new novel asks, is the truth stranger than science fiction today?

William Gibson's new novel asks, is the truth stranger than science fiction today? "...This dual citizen of the United States and Canada has made occasional visits to Seattle through the years, but had never visited Microsoft until Monday afternoon when he made an author appearance that attracted several hundred fervent fans. The visit went well, despite the writer's initial angst about it drawing the sort of tech insiders who often look on him as a seer yet possess knowledge way beyond his own.
"Microsoft was like some really rich junior college," Gibson says, "where everyone was 20 to 30 and super-bright and very nice. At the podium, I couldn't help but wish I had known people like this when I was 19. They would have understood me. Life wouldn't have been so hard."

I, Cringely | The Pulpit: Earthlink Wants Total Access (to Your PC)

I, Cringely | The Pulpit: Earthlink Wants Total Access (to Your PC) "Earthlink's pop-up blocker for Windows computers is, in essence, a trojan -- innocent appearing code that carries with some hidden pathogen. Earthlink's Pop-up Blocker may stop any pop-ups from www.bigboobies.com, but it generates its own pop-up ads for Earthlink, itself. But it gets worse. What most people have installed is a beta copy of Pop-up Blocker. Now Earthlink members with Windows comptuers are being told that the beta has expired and they should download the permanent version.
Don't do it.
The so-called "permanent version" is a 14 megabyte suite of applications called Total Access 2003 that replaces your FTP client, your e-mail client, your PPPoE application, your browser preferences, your search engines, and more. It "takes over your computer" on boot-up, according to Earthlink, providing a tool bar and other unwanted, undocumented features."

I guess they're trying to be more like AOL...

Thursday, February 06, 2003

O'Reilly Network: Warsharing, anyone? [February 06, 2003]

O'Reilly Network: Warsharing, anyone? [February 06, 2003] "I can't read the Japanese, but from the Flash animation, it appears that Sony is offering a 20GB portable WiFi file server."

NYT: Pocket PC's for Smaller Pocketbooks

Pocket PC's for Smaller Pocketbooks "The point of all this is that it's no longer safe to generalize about the relative sizes, features and prices of Palms versus Pocket PC's. The deciding factor should be your preference in the operating system: Palm OS or Microsoft Pocket PC.
If you can't manage to spend a few minutes with each palmtop type to decide for yourself (in a store, for example), here's a summary:
The Palm OS is simple to navigate, clean to behold and effortless to use. To record "Lunch with Chris," for example, you just write it directly onto your calendar screen; to do the same on a Pocket PC, you have to open a dialog box and tap your way through some menus. As a Palm bonus, there's a library of about 10,000 add-on programs and games that run on the Palm - many times more than what you'll find for Pocket PC. And Palms sync with both Macs and PC's.
The Pocket PC operating system is vast and complex. Computer professionals adore its seething power and the way it effortlessly synchronizes with your copy of Microsoft Outlook whenever it's connected to the PC (you don't even have to push a button). Mere mortals, though, are likely to operate as they do in Windows: they'll master only the features they need to get their work done, uncomfortably aware that they're ignoring the rest.
Either way, the closing of the feature, price and size gaps between the Palm and Pocket PC worlds is welcome. In fact, there's only one disadvantage to all this progress. Now, when people at parties ask, "Which palmtop should I buy?," the answer is, "How much time do you have?"

FT.com: A meeting of Microsoft's minds

FT.com: A meeting of Microsoft's minds "Last year, when most of Microsoft's rivals cut back on expenses, the world's largest software company announced its intention to increase its research and development budget by 20 per cent to $5.2bn (£3.3bn). That is a great deal of money - more, in fact, than the rest of the software industry's R&D budgets combined. But even for a company as large as Microsoft it is an aggressive bet on the future significance of software. ...
The irony is that Mr Rashid has created such an attractive environment that many leading alumni from Xerox Parc have migrated to Microsoft. He hopes that, this time, the benefits of their ideas will be fully realised."

WSJ.com - Personal Technology: Office Documents Look Better On Palms Than on Pocket PCs

WSJ.com - Personal Technology: Office Documents Look Better On Palms Than on Pocket PCs Mossberg: "Anyone seeking to view or edit Office documents on a PDA would do fine with a Palm-based model and Documents To Go -- better, in many respects, than somebody using a Pocket PC."

Business 2.0 - Web Article - The Giant Gets Into Web Conferencing

Business 2.0 - Web Article - The Giant Gets Into Web Conferencing "Meanwhile, WebEx, based in San Jose, isn't going to sit back and watch the newly fortified Placeware eat its lunch. WebEx chief marketing officer David Thompson says the company will have its own partnership announcements in the next few weeks. "Since this partnership with Microsoft, our phone has been ringing off the hook," Thompson says. "The market wants to see a competitive environment."

Executable UML: Diagrams for the Future

Executable UML: Diagrams for the Future "Executable UML marries an abstract program model with a platform-specific model compiler that outputs an executable application. If successful, this combination holds the potential for a major shift in development tasks."

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

RadioFrame Networks - [commentary]

RadioFrame Networks - [commentary] "RadioFrame Networks™ offers an integrated, cost-effective solution that improves indoor wireless communications for the enterprise. The Layer 2 platform solution uniquely combines multiple cellular/PCS standards (GSM, IDEN, WCDMA) and 802.11 networks into a single, converged and centrally-managed system.
Enterprise customers can enjoy higher quality mobile calls, seamless handoffs, and new services like 4-digit dialing to mobiles, differentiated tariffs, and a managed WLAN service offering."

I was very impressed with this company when they briefed me (when I was a Patricia Seybold Group analyst) a couple years ago. I hope they come up with a consumer/home office version soon... (I'm sort of in major wireless consumer mode lately; I'll post some impressions of my untethered trials and tribulations one of these days...)

PCWorld.com - The Insider's Guide to Fixing Windows

PCWorld.com - The Insider's Guide to Fixing Windows "At first blush, Microsoft's long-term goals sound like so much pie in the sky: Windows, says lead product manager Greg Sullivan, should be "as convenient as paper, as simple as television, as connected as a phone." How that translates into specific features is mostly yet to be seen."

PCWorld.com - Sneak Peek: Windows XP's Successor

PCWorld.com - Sneak Peek: Windows XP's Successor "Gartner analyst Michael Silver says that even if Microsoft slates Longhorn for the second half of 2004, its delivery could well slip into 2005. That would be nearly four years after Windows XP's debut--a veritable Saharan wasteland of lost revenues for a company that typically produces a new desktop OS every two years. With Linux and Apple's OS X both continuing to improve, analysts say that Microsoft could issue something smaller--say, a Windows XP Second Edition--before it herds the big one to market."

IT-Director.com | IBM announce Information Integrator

IT-Director.com | IBM announce Information Integrator "Yesterday IBM announced its new Information Integrator family of products, which the company sees as a major software initiative.
Ultimately this will consist of three offerings (although in the longer term the three products will probably converge), based on SQL, an object oriented API and an XML API respectively. However, the last of these, which will use XQuery, has not been announced yet, as it is awaiting the final definition of the XQuery standard."

Monday, February 03, 2003

Competitors Shape Strategy to Gain Edge in Web Services

Competitors Shape Strategy to Gain Edge in Web Services "A poll of corporate technology executives by CIO Magazine, released today, suggests that Microsoft has at least attracted the most attention in the early going for Web services. When the executives were asked what they expect to be the leading "Web services platform," 47 percent chose Microsoft's .Net, while I.B.M.'s WebSphere came in second with 19 percent."

WSJ.com - America Online Faces Threat From Cheap Dial-Up Services

WSJ.com - America Online Faces Threat From Cheap Dial-Up Services "America Online, fighting to stem plunging profits and management turmoil, is now facing a looming price war that threatens to undermine one of the most profitable segments of its Internet-access business.
Much attention has been focused on the AOL Time Warner Inc. unit's failure so far to make significant inroads in the growing market for high-speed Internet-access services known as broadband. But less noticed has been the rise of discount online services that are targeting the Internet behemoth's core base of "dial-up" Internet accounts with some success. ...
But expanding the Internet market appears to be more difficult than it was in the past. According to the UCLA survey, the 29% of Americans who don't use the Internet aren't as wealthy or as educated as those who are already online. Nearly 60% of the non-Internet users have incomes less than $30,000 a year and more than 26% of them haven't completed high school."

Boston Globe Online / Business / R U ready 4 SMS?

Boston Globe Online / Business / R U ready 4 SMS? "The size of the group, estimated to be 20 percent of cellphone users, pales in comparison with Europe and Asia, where text services are extremely popular, and extremely profitable for wireless carriers. In Western Europe, nearly 50 percent of cellphone owners use SMS. In Japan the adoption rate is even higher: more than 80 percent of the subscribers to the dominant DoCoMo service use the text-heavy i-mode product to exchange written messages. ...
According to a recent study by Telephia Inc, a San Francisco-based wireless marketing consulting firm, and pollsters Harris Interactive, use of SMS among US cellphone owners has grew from 12 percent to 20 percent last year, including a doubling of use -- from 22 percent to 45 percent -- among trend-setting young adults ages 18 to 24. Of the subscribers who use short messages, 28 percent send or receive at least one a day, according to the study."

Boston Globe Online / Business / When computer code becomes a moral dilemma

Boston Globe Online / Business / When computer code becomes a moral dilemma "In an e-mail to the Internet security mailing list Bugtraq, David Litchfield admitted his inadvertent role in the disaster. ''On analysis of the code of the Slammer worm,'' he wrote, ''it is apparent that my code was used as its template.'' To be sure, David noted that any competent coder could have figured it out for himself, but thanks to his company's code release, he didn't have to."

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Boston Globe Online / Magazine: A Nation of Voyeurs [Google story]

Boston Globe Online / Magazine: A Nation of Voyeurs [Google story] "How the Internet search engine Google is changing what we can find out about one another - and raising questions about whether we should"

Saturday, February 01, 2003

Microsoft says Xbox unit losses nearly double - Jan. 31, 2003

Microsoft says Xbox unit losses nearly double - Jan. 31, 2003 "Microsoft Corp. nearly doubled its losses from the Xbox video game console in the December quarter, according to a regulatory filing Friday, as the unit that makes its Office software closed in on Windows as being the company's most profitable."

WSJ.com - Microsoft to Pay $200 Million For Acquisition of PlaceWare

WSJ.com - Microsoft to Pay $200 Million For Acquisition of PlaceWare "Microsoft Corp. agreed to pay approximately $200 million for closely-held PlaceWare Inc., according to Microsoft's quarterly report filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission."