Saturday, May 31, 2003
Friday, May 30, 2003
Well, you can relax. All the features and services that COM+ provides are available to you in the .NET Framework. The .NET Framework does not replace COM+, for it is dependent upon COM+ for all its middle-tier component services. The .NET Framework provides an environment for managed code to make use of COM+—as well as other enterprise service technologies like Microsoft® Internet Information Services (IIS) and Microsoft® Message Queue server (MSMQ)—more easily than could be done in the past.
COM+ 1.5 takes Microsoft's enterprise component architecture to the next level. Scalability is improved through application pooling and the ability to adjust the transactional isolation level for database operations. For system administrators, the ability to disable or pause an application for updates or to use the new process dump feature increases manageability. The capability to recycle an application based upon predefined triggers, and limit activations in dangerously low-memory situations with memory gates, increases an application's' availability. Web services and Services Without Components add powerful functionality to client code that otherwise may not be able to use component services. Component aliasing, along with the ability to mark components as either private or public, maximizes application architecture possibilities. More control over process initialization adds better resource management.
You are not required to use the .NET Framework and managed code to take advantage of COM+. But .NET Enterprise Services namespace makes access to component services a lot easier on either Windows 2000 and COM+ 1.0 or Windows XP/Windows Server 2003 and COM+ 1.5. You can install unmanaged and managed components into COM+ 1.5. Again, note that any .NET class requires a strong name to be installed in the CSE as well as into the GAC."
The trend suggests that predictions of an economy run by freelancers -- such as those made by Daniel Pink in his book Free Agent Nation, and by MIT's Thomas Malone and Robert Laubacher in their 1998 paper, "The Dawn of the E-Lance Economy" -- were shortsighted."
I suspect it's more a question of timing than right/wrong, and also believe there will be many guru.com alternatives for "e-lancers".
Via Scott Durgin's weblog
"Parsons did not attend the annual retreat for CEOs that Gates hosted last week at Microsoft and his Medina mansion, but Smith said Microsoft hopes he'll be there next year."
Thursday, May 29, 2003
"This is a huge win for Microsoft," Gartner analyst David Smith said.
"This signals detente," said Matt Rosoff, analyst at Directions on Microsoft. "The companies are diverging. AOL no longer sees itself as a technology company. It will use whatever products make sense.""
Legal News: AOL Time Warner Agreement - Transcript of Microsoft/AOL Time Warner Telephone Press Conference
As part of the settlement, Microsoft, Redmond, Wash., will also let AOL license its Internet Explorer browser royalty-free for seven years. AOL has used Microsoft's browser for its flagship Internet access service, despite its ownership of Netscape and its strained ties to Microsoft."
Looks like net gain Microsoft to me...
In the Software Symposium's Lotus keynote, Doug Wilson, Lotus CTO, discussed how the Workplace technology manifests itself. First, and most importantly, many of these capabilities are shipping today, either through Domino/WebSphere integration tools (portlets, JSP tag libraries, etc.) or through new deliverables such as Workplace Messaging. Second, Doug described new tools to pull together Workplaces capabilities into "centers", which could be task-focused or horizontal in nature. Third, Doug described the tools for developers and business partners to use for building Workplaces, including WebSphere Studio (and the new, nearly-shipping Domino Toolkit), portlet-building tools, the rapid application development capabilities for J2EE that we've been discussing, and a future Workplace Designer. The Workplace Designer tool borrows many of the concepts familiar to Domino customers -- template-driven applications that collect and integrate Workplace capabilities. It will be the right tool for power users to quickly assemble collaborative functionality, as a complement to the more structure development environment of WebSphere Studio."
Earlier studies showed that playing videogames leads to better spatial skills (producing ever more kids with the eye-hand coordination needed to land a plane on an aircraft carrier). But this is the first to show enhanced attention skills.
The improvements seem to come from playing not just any videogame, but action games -- including such bestsellers as Grand Theft Auto, Spider-Man, Crazy Taxi, Halo and Super Mario Cart -- that require the player to track known enemies, monitor the scene for new attackers, scan the environment for "pick ups" like weapons, and avoid traps.
To be sure, videogames offer no help, and might hurt, other kinds of attention, such as the ability to concentrate for prolonged periods on reading, writing or solving math problems. And a growing body of research suggests that the virtual behavior that violent games reward can encourage real violence and aggression. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, for example, gives points for killing a prostitute the player has just had sex with and then taking back his money."
In the meantime, each box has virtues that have nothing to do with home networks. Only the TiVo, for example, offers "wish lists" that can record certain shows, or movies with a certain star, whenever they come on, even months or years later.
But only the ReplayTV can automatically skip over blocks of commercials during playback, an irresistible feature even if it works only about 80 percent of the time. The Replay also lets you send shows to friends across a somewhat larger network - the Internet - if they're patient. It takes 12 hours to transmit a one-hour recording (with a broadband connection).
The costs of the TiVo and ReplayTV boxes are about the same: about $250 for a DVR that holds 40 hours of recordings (at lowest quality), plus a one-time $250 for the TV-guide service. (Instead of that $250, you can also pay $13 per month forever - in June, Replay's rate goes up from $10 - but that's a sucker's game.)
In return, you get a life-changing machine that shatters the traditional broadcast schedule to suit your own, lets you zip past ads and endless reality-show recaps, and relegates "There's nothing good on" to the phrase bin of history. And now that they hook up to your home computer, DVR's give "network TV" a whole new meaning."
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
The deal, for which financial terms were not made public, should make MySQL's products more attractive to large and medium-sized businesses. Sweden's MySQL will rename SAP DB and will offer it under the free software/open source GNU General Public License (GPL), which means the source code be available at no cost for anyone to read, review, enhance and redistribute."
Microsoft Office Real-Time Communications Server 2003 Is Newest Member of the Microsoft Office System
Thus, RealNetworks will be competing with its own investment. RealNetworks owns about 40% of MusicNet and this month invested about $4 million in the service as part of MusicNet's $10 million round of financing. Mr. Sheeran said the company would continue to provide underlying technology to MusicNet, which is offered on AOL Time Warner's AOL service, but would vie for retail customers."
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Monday, May 26, 2003
"At first, Sun dismissed this threat. Then it tried to embrace Linux—offering its own cheap Intel-based servers running the free operating system. (Mr McNealy even dressed up as a penguin, the Linux mascot, at Sun's 2002 analyst meeting.) Yet the new computers were poorly received. Potential customers doubted that Sun was really serious about Intel-based machines.
So what is Mr Schwartz's new strategy? In San Francisco this week, Sun unveiled two new low-priced servers based on Intel chips. It also revealed that Oracle had agreed to make its software work on these machines—adding to speculation that Oracle is about to buy Sun. But much more significant was a subtle but crucial shift in the firm's Linux strategy: as well as Linux, Sun will now also push an Intel-compatible version of Solaris."
Via Steve Gillmor
I can relate; I'd guesstimate I now split my time info-foraging ~50-50 between IE and Newz Crawler
The resulting system, with components purchased at retail prices, cost a little more than $50,000. The center's researchers believe the system may be capable of a half trillion operations a second, well within the definition of supercomputer, although it may not rank among the world's 500 fastest supercomputers."
Saturday, May 24, 2003
Friday, May 23, 2003
But IBM's stay at the top didn't last long. Yesterday, Microsoft and HP posted results of 707,102tpm at a cost of $9.13 per transaction. As with the previous Microsoft and HP record, the new benchmark used an HP Superdome with Windows 2003, Datacenter Edition and the 64-bit version SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition.
The renewed interest in the TPC-C benchmarks has started a performance war between IBM and Microsoft and its partners. And Microsoft's recent postings have sparked new interest in the benchmark list, which hadn't been updated for several years. Competitors Oracle and Sun Microsystems have stayed out of the current battle, instead choosing to criticize the benchmark's legitimacy, which is ironic because in the past both companies have touted their performance in the benchmark test. At the Windows 2003 launch, Microsoft said it expects UNIX to temporarily regain the performance crown once or twice, but that Windows 2003 has plenty of headroom and the company expects it will eventually take the lead for good."
Thursday, May 22, 2003
Some of the most interesting changes from .NET 1.0 to .NET 1.1 are in the FCL. Microsoft has catalogued over 100 breaking changes as a result of the new version. While many of these changes are in specialized areas that most .NET developers will never visit, there are some major changes that you should be aware of, lest they bite you when you upgrade."
O'Connell offered a few glimpses of future directions for the handset business. Next generation phones will have Gigabytes of storage, megapixel cameras and morph into super-IM clients, with the user notified of the status and whereabouts of each contact. Even if this proves to be too intrusive for many, Nokia will be able to return a users profile, so you don't interrupt them during a meeting."
Via Security Curve weblog
Most of the questions were directed at Buffett, who prefaced his comments by joking that Gates brought him to Microsoft to replace the company chimpanzee that had been testing all the new products. The chimp died last week, Buffett said, and Gates called him in a panic and said, "We need you, Warren!"
It's interesting, that getting the phone and PC to work together; a lot of people thought about that as requiring you to change the whole telephony infrastructure to work across the Internet, so-called IP-based approach. But it turns out that that example is a traditional PBX, it's a fairly simple piece of software, that talks between the network, the computer network, and the PBX network. And so even without changing out any of the existing infrastructure you can start to get these benefits. Likewise with PlaceWare, what most people do, because the Internet telephony, also called voice over IP, isn't high enough quality yet, they're placing a traditional phone call in parallel with that screen connection. And so they're the best of both worlds, they're getting the screen interaction, and yet the voice quality and all that is the same. And yet, it all gets set up, when you click to join Net Meeting, in one simple step.
"I thought I'd do one last thing, which is just to give you a sense of how I work in a typical day, using these tools; what am I doing sitting in my office. I've got here a pretty nice system, this is a 23-inch LCD, you can see it's got an interesting aspect ratio to let you see lots of information across like this. This is still a pretty expensive display, they're about $2,500, they've just come out, it's a Sony display. These will come down in price over the next three years, we think, to about a third of that, to $700 or $800. So even though today, maybe only the executive staff should have these things, these are going to be commonplace. You've probably seen a rapid shift in your company from CRTs and desktops to LCDs because the 15- and 17-inch LCDs are already at that $600-700 price point. So we're reached crossover where for any new system the LCD is superior, partly because of the text readability, partly because it requires less desk space. But as those LCDs get larger you'll see a couple of cases where that extra screen area really is very helpful in terms of that productivity you get out of it."
However, Oracle held onto its advantage in the market for database software running on Unix and Windows machines, according to Gartner Dataquest. Database software acts as a digital filing cabinet, storing and retrieving numerical and other information kept in computers.
IBM's share of the market climbed to 36% last year from 34% in 2001. Sales, including mainframe products, fell 0.8% in 2002, but Oracle's business tumbled a larger 21%.
The greater decline led Oracle's share to slip to 34% from 40%, Gartner Dataquest said. Still, Oracle maintained 43% of the market for database software running on Unix, Windows and Linux computers. IBM had 24% of this market while Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) won 23%.
Microsoft's SQL Server expanded its lead as the most widely used database on Windows machines with 45% of the market, up from 39% last year. Oracle had 27% of this market, while IBM had 22%.
Overall, the database sales fell almost 7% last year, Gartner Dataquest found."
Maybe IBM will buy Sybase so they can be "number one" again next year...
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Look for other companies to follow Microsoft's actions and for feedback from major IT buyers about whether their plans for Linux are being reviewed. As for IBM, SCO has threatened to revoke Big Blue's Unix license, starting June 13."
(Check FAQ in right-hand column; via John Dowdell)
"Oh, Microsoft execs are coming into the weblog world now. Here's Eric Rudder. He's a senior Vice President. He's also my boss' boss' boss. Or something like that. So far, not much to see, but hopefully he'll take us on a tour of the executive offices in a way that hasn't been done publicly yet."
So a project is under way to create a superior method to help people find, sort and make better use of the content that all those webloggers are creating. Several tools already exist in this arena, including Daypop and Technorati. Google's interest in this is exciting, to put it mildly. (And I can't help wondering if Google's interest will turn into some more acquisitions...)
In the rumor-debunking category, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said there were no plans to segregate weblog content from the main search engine results. There's been wide speculation about such a move."
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
(Consider the source...)
My latest Microsoft Smart Solutions newsletter/Web column
We believe the main concepts of our Westwood plan have been validated. You can see the description of the proposed Westwood version of Chandler and a summary of our thinking about Chandler in Higher Education here."
Microsoft, ACORD Link Insurance Forms to XML Web Services, Helping Agents Enter Data Once and Share Data Across Their Businesses
Monday, May 19, 2003
No financial terms are being disclosed in the deal, under which Microsoft will license SCO's Unix patents and underlying technology called source code. But Microsoft's move suggests that the software company's lawyers view SCO's patents as important, and could encourage other companies to strike similar pacts."
Via Dave Winer
Friday, May 16, 2003
U.S. research firm firm International Data Corp. reports that Nokia supplied 57% of the 1.7 million smartphones shipped world-wide in the first quarter. These handsets use the Finnish company's own software together with software from Symbian Ltd., a London consortium in which Nokia owns a minority stake. Two other leading phone makers, Siemens AG and Samsung Electronics Co., also plan to launch phones running a combination of Nokia and Symbian's software this year.
By contrast, fewer than 10% of the smartphones shipped in the first quarter used Microsoft's software. The U.S. giant is focused on persuading mobile-phone operators to launch own-brand handsets running its software. Aside from T-Mobile, AT&T Wireless Services Inc. in the U.S., TMN, a unit of Portugal Telecom SA, and several other operators plan to launch such phones this year. Orange SA, which launched the first phone running Microsoft's Smartphone software in October, intends to launch an improved version of the handset following complaints from users about glitches and poor battery life."
I'll be ready to say "goodbye" to SQL right after someone convinces me that set theory is broken...
Thursday, May 15, 2003
Lunch on me (in Boston area) for whoever can solve this mystery; Dell, Sony Ericsson (I use a T68i with a Jabra Bluetooth headset), AT&T Wireless, and attbi/Comcast all essentially say "Gee, that's weird, but it can't be our problem..."
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Perhaps just as interesting as the way that social software is transforming group interaction — across different time zones or in the same room — social software is destined to have a huge impact on how businesses get at their markets. So the essential elements of social software will be incorporated into more conventional software solutions, changing the way collaboration and communication is managed within and across businesses, and ultimately transforming how companies sell and interact with customers."
A must-read in this context: The Dream Machine
At the same time, Verizon activated the first 150 of a planned 1,000 wireless fidelity, or WiFi, hot spots in New York City, created by converting surplus pay phones with wireless broadband Internet gear. Its DSL subscribers can use them for free with a special air card device plugged into their laptops or other wireless computer devices. Verizon expects to bring similar WiFi service to Boston and other US markets in coming months.
Industry analysts said Verizon's moves were likely to turbocharge the already booming growth in broadband home Internet connections, which increased by 6.4 million homes last year, to 17.4 million total, according to Leichtman Research Group, a Durham, N.H., consulting firm. That would step up pressure on conventional dial-up service providers, such as America Online, while building bigger markets for delivering music, video, and other entertainment and information over fast Internet hookups.
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
To that end, Xbox announced three new ways it is integrating entertainment and software on its Xbox Live service, which launched in November and has 500,000 subscribers.
One way, called Live Now, allows players to connect online through the Xbox — with no game in the machine — and talk to each other over a headset in conference-call fashion.
A second tool, called Live Web, lets people go online from any Web connection to check player rankings and see who else is playing online at the time.
The third feature, called Live Alerts, is what Allard called "real Dick Tracy stuff." It lets people send each other invitations to play games through Internet-enabled cellphones, handheld computers and other devices that use the free MSN Alert service.
The service is compatible with the new SPOT watches expected to be on the market later this year, Allard said. Those watches, based on Microsoft's .NET Web-services initiative, display constantly updated information from the Internet using the FM radio band."
Xbox Live Alerts. Gamers can receive invitations to play on their personal digital assistant (PDA), cell phone or PC with MSN® Messenger Service.
Xbox Live Web. Xbox Live stats and friends lists will be available to view through a new Xbox site that links to the service.
Xbox Live Aware Games. More games will allow users to be "logged on" while playing, even as a single player, so they can receive invitations and keep up with what their friends are doing.
Teams and Competition. New features on Xbox Live will make it easy for gamers to form teams with friends, and create and participate in structured competitions on the Web and in games.
Xbox Live Now. Gamers will have a place to meet and can use voice chat to determine where to begin their gaming experience. They can decide which game to play and how to team up, and chat after the game.
By this time next year more than 100 Xbox Live games are forecasted to be available, including the most-anticipated game in the industry, "Halo 2," as well as games such as "Counter-Strike," "Project Gotham Racing 2" and every sports game from Microsoft Game Studios."
100 Million Customers and Counting: MSN Messenger Extends Worldwide Lead Among Instant Messaging Providers
MSN will build on the success of the current version of MSN Messenger when it releases a major upgrade to the service this summer. New and enhanced features will include these:
Significant improvements to the user interface
New personalization features
Integrated game capabilities that allow users to play checkers, double solitaire and other Zone.com games live via MSN Messenger
Integrated video and voice features that offer live, face-to-face communications between customers of MSN Messenger. Previously available as an add-on service from Logitech, consumers can take advantage of integrated webcam functionality, which allows them to show live pictures to their online buddies. Audio voice features are also available, enabling consumers to talk to each other using their PC's microphone and speakers. For Windows® XP users, video conferencing, or synchronized video and audio, will be available with MSN Messenger version 6."
These digital radio recorders, which can be preset to record a program at a certain time, enable customers to record any radio program they want and have it converted into a digital format. They then can listen to the program or upload it onto a PC in a transferable file."
Monday, May 12, 2003
Friday, May 09, 2003
InfoWorld: Interview: Macromedia CEO discusses upcoming Royale tool: May 08, 2003: By John Blau: Applications
Microsoft declined to say yesterday whether it had contacted the FTC. The agency's assistant director for financial practices, Jessica Rich, said any follow-up investigation would be conducted privately, but she added, ''We routinely look into issues that may bear on compliance with our orders.''
Sanctions or fines could be calculated various ways under federal laws, but Rich confirmed that each Passport account that was vulnerable could constitute a separate violation.
''If we were to find that they didn't take reasonable safeguards to protect the information, that could be an order violation,'' Rich said."
Theoretically, that would set the maximum fine at $2.2 trillion -- although experts said any fine would be significantly lower. Sanctions imposed by the FTC will depend on technical details of the flaw and the adequacy Microsoft's response over the next few days to prevent any recurrence."
Thursday, May 08, 2003
To be precise, they'll fix the Windows XP/Smart Display kludge. You can already run concurrent users+apps on Windows XP, just not via Smart Display; the problem is in input/output device management, not multi-user multi-tasking.
I imagine this means we can also expect to see WinFS on Windows Server circa the Longhorn time frame.
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
Cute line, but I guess nobody told Dvorak that Longhorn is currently pre-beta code, and thus hardly appropriate for this type of analysis. That's entertainment...
Thanks for the great analysis Kevin!"
(This is my first two-level post via NewzCrawler -- Jeremy's posting of Kevin Webach's post...)
Based on Longhorn, the Athens PC comes out of standby within 2 seconds, and uses a USB flash card with security hardware and a thumbprint reader for user authentication. When you pick up the phone handset, software launches to show you Outlook contacts lists and Messenger changes your presence information to "on the phone." When you do make a call, Athens does a reverse lookup on the person you called, providing you with a list of the email and voicemail you've exchanged with that person, the documents you've collaborated on, and notes from previous meetings. "This functionality makes you more effective on the phone," Magendanz noted. Likewise, you can perform the electronic equivalent of closing your office door by marking your presence information as "do not disturb." In this setting, incoming calls will be routed to voicemall automatically, so that your workflow won't be interrupted. You can also answer voice messages via email with a voice-based reply. "With Athens, voice is a first-class citizen," Magendanz said."
Although no one doubts the need for better security, some have questioned whether Microsoft is best suited to be leading the charge, given its software monopoly and its history of skirting antitrust laws.
"They just don't understand," Gates said.
"That's like saying because we make a word processor, that reporters write what we want them to write or something. I can give you examples to prove that's not the case."
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Monday, May 05, 2003
Maybe Ed Yourdon was right after all, in his pessimistic Decline and Fall of the American Programmer (Prentice Hall, 1992), and was simply a decade ahead of his time.
The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Technology now being tested could integrate cellular and Wi-Fi networks
Ran this last week on several PCs, with surprising results -- highly recommended.
Sunday, May 04, 2003
Another timely and insightful Steve Lohr snapshot of the IT business.
Saturday, May 03, 2003
Sun rose 41 cents to $3.75 yesterday. About 131 million shares were traded, making Sun the most actively traded U.S. stock. Trading was more than two times the three-month average and the highest since July 19, when 223 million shares changed hands.
Investors are speculating that Dell, IBM or Hewlett-Packard may acquire Sun, said Giga Information Group analyst Rob Enderle."
Friday, May 02, 2003
But it could be so much better. At the risk of annoying my two remaining technical readers, I believe Open Source suffers from a kind of unspoken caste system, with a few projects getting lots of resources and most other projects getting very little. The result is what I think of as three classes of Open Source software -- professional, semi-pro, and amateur. I’m not saying this is bad, just that it is the case."
More thoughtful Cringely analysis
"I've recently gotten to know Steve Yost and his QuickTopic topic board/mail list program. Instead of being a message board - scaled to handle threaded discussions and full fledged bulletin board features, QuickTopic focuses just on one thread.
It's a wonderful system as every post to the topic board or mail list entry - gets mirrored. So if I go to the site - what I leave on the topic board gets sent to the mail list. And if I reply to a email message or post my own message, that gets put onto the Topic board. Totally seamlessly!
If only other commenting systems and message boards were this clean! A lot of people use QuickTopic as their comment system for their blog. That way the blogger can ne notified when someone leaves a comment behind.
No wonder Steve is one of the architects and implementors of ThreadsML!"
Neo's not a Luddite. He's an early adopter. Just like his fans."
Thursday, May 01, 2003
IBM Lotus software news: New WebSphere Portal capabilities: out-of-the-box portal collaboration (2003-4-26)
PlaceWare is a leader in real-time "carrier class," multimedia platform and application services for Web-based communication and collaboration, both inside and outside corporate firewalls. Enterprise customers prefer PlaceWare Web conferencing because of its scalable, reliable and security-enhanced browser-based architecture, which is based on technology developed and tested at Xerox PARC. The company offers unparalleled performance for all types of Web-based collaboration, from large-scale meetings with up to thousands of attendees to small collaborative meetings, presentations and e-learning sessions. Founded in 1996, PlaceWare has already attracted more than 3,300 leading organizations that see Web conferencing as a natural evolution in helping their businesses compete more effectively in the global marketplace. PlaceWare helps companies host thousands of simultaneous Web meetings, simply using Web browsers and telephones."
Done deal. Summary includes new team leadership roster.