Friday, October 31, 2003 | XML Takes over the User Interface | XML Takes over the User Interface: "XForms has created a great deal of interest in industries that have a large number of forms, with a larger number of users, across different languages and platforms. The biggest interest has been in e-government, finance and internal applications such as HR. But in reality all sectors and types of companies have a requirement for simplified forms processing, and faster more productive development. Now that XForms is a standard we can see it rapidly impacting forms processing but also impacting application development."

I agree with the title but not the XForms-specific conclusions...

Microsoft Announces Official Name and New ODM Partners For Portable Media Center Devices Previously Known as "Media2Go"

Microsoft Announces Official Name and New ODM Partners For Portable Media Center Devices Previously Known as "Media2Go": "Portable Media Center devices, expected to be available in the second half of 2004, will enable consumers to watch and listen to their digital media content wherever and whenever they want. The software will provide support for the leading Windows Media® 9 Series audio and video formats, as well as MP3. The high quality and smaller size of Windows Media Audio and Video files mean that consumers will be able to store lots of high-quality content on their Portable Media Center devices. Consumers will be able to conveniently sync Windows XP-based digital media content to the device to listen to thousands of hours of music on the go, watch digitally recorded television shows, home movies or digital videos, and store and view digital photo albums.
Windows Mobile software for Portable Media Centers is built on Windows CE .NET, the robust, real-time operating system designed to power the next generation of smart mobile and small-footprint devices."

Microsoft and Google: Partners or Rivals?

Microsoft and Google: Partners or Rivals? "According to company executives and others briefed on the discussions, Microsoft - desperate to capture a slice of the popular and ad-generating search business - approached Google within the last two months to discuss options, including the possibility of a takeover.
While the overture appears to have gained little traction - Google indicated that it preferred the initial offering route, the executives said - it demonstrates the enormous importance that Google represents as both a competitive threat to Microsoft and as Silicon Valley's latest hope for a new financial boom." - Amazon's Text Search Feature Helps Boosts Sales of Some Books - Amazon's Text Search Feature Helps Boosts Sales of Some Books " Inc. said a new program that allows customers to search the contents of some books has boosted sales growth by 9% for titles in the program above other titles that can't be searched.
The news from the Seattle-based Internet retailer suggests that concerns among some book publishers that the search service might hurt sales haven't materialized. Amazon last Thursday introduced the service, called Search Inside the Book, which gave its customers a way to scour complete copies of 120,000 books from 190 publishers, a major advance over the searches customers were previously limited to, such as searches by title and author name."

Microsoft fires worker over weblog

Microsoft fires worker over weblog: "Michael Hanscom began keeping an online journal, commonly known as a weblog, several years ago. He started his job as a contract worker in Microsoft's print shop last year. Last week, he mixed the two.
This week, he's looking for a new job, after becoming an unwilling case study in the fine line walked by corporate employees who write about work in their personal weblogs."

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Apple patches Panther but not older OS | CNET

Apple patches Panther but not older OS | CNET "Apple Computer's latest version of its Mac OS X operating system, Panther, patches security flaws that affect previous versions of the operating system, leaving security experts wondering if users will have to pay the $129 upgrade fee to be secure."

This would of course be a scandalous headline if it were MS instead of Apple doing the upgrade extortion.

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: MSN division revamped to reflect its new focus

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: MSN division revamped to reflect its new focus "Details of the reorganization are still being sorted out, but the division will be organized in two groups focusing on communication services and information services."
"Microsoft also announced it hired Paul Ryan from Overture Services, the company that provides online search advertising for MSN. Ryan was Overture's chief technology officer; now he's "general manager of MSN monetization."

Cart 54, Where Are You? The Tracking System Knows

Cart 54, Where Are You? The Tracking System Knows "A typical indoor positioning system, or I.P.S., tracks people wearing badges or carrying devices that transmit wireless signals to receivers in ceilings or on walls. The receivers, connected to a local network, send the data to servers that calculate location and make the information available in various ways."
"Among the other developers of location technology is Wheels of Zeus, a company run by an Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, that is working on portable hot spots that can be moved around to track people, pets and things. That system, which is expected to become available in 2004, can cover a range of one to two miles using radio frequency technology, the company says. Symbol Technologies and Cuesol have begun testing "shopping buddies'' mounted in shopping cart handles at three Stop & Shop stores in the Boston area, and mobile phone locators like mapAmobile in Britain enable users to pinpoint the location of a cellphone."

Microsoft's New WinFS Gets the PDC Buzz

Microsoft's New WinFS Gets the PDC Buzz "Chatter about the new WinFS storage system in the next version of Windows ("Longhorn") is boosting the developer buzz-meter at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference."

It rated a bit lower on the substantive-detail-meter, but it's still a very compelling vision.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Web Group Backs Microsoft in Patent Suit

Web Group Backs Microsoft in Patent Suit "In a long letter yesterday, Tim Berners-Lee, the consortium director, who created the basic software standards for the Web, said the patent office should begin a review of the patent "to prevent substantial economic and technical damage to the operation of the World Wide Web."
In his letter to James E. Rogan, director of the patent office, Mr. Berners-Lee repeatedly emphasized the wider public interest in a review of the patent. If the claims in the patent are upheld and enforced, Mr. Berners-Lee warned, "the cycle of innovation on the Web would be substantially retarded." Later, he wrote that the patent, if unchallenged, represented "a substantial setback for global interoperability and the success of the open Web."

ENT News | News: IBM Aims "Stinger" at PDC Buzz

ENT News | News: IBM Aims "Stinger" at PDC Buzz "As Microsoft floated some of its first real details on "Longhorn," "Yukon" and "Whidbey," IBM moved to pop Microsoft's buzz balloon with a code-named project of its own called "Stinger."
In an announcement Monday timed to coincide with the start of Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, IBM unveiled a preview of enhancements to its IBM DB2 software -- database technologies and development tools aimed at Microsoft's upcoming Yukon version of SQL Server and upcoming Whidbey version of Visual Studio."

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Windows Server System Magazine- Tracking the Business Intelligence Market

Windows Server System Magazine- Tracking the Business Intelligence Market 'Learn how Microsoft's changes to its Business Intelligence (BI) platform have poised the company to dominate the BI market."

FYI article co-authored with Lynne Harvey Zawada

Windows Server System Magazine- The Future of Microsoft Collaboration

Windows Server System Magazine- The Future of Microsoft Collaboration: "If you've tracked Microsoft's collaboration technologies over the past several years, its strategy might seem less than complete or even inconsistent. Exchange 2000 included conferencing and instant messaging capabilities and seemed to set the server up as the collaboration tool. However, today, Exchange 2003 has returned to its roots as a messaging platform and new products are in development that provide expanding conferencing and IM services. That might leave you wondering how SharePoint fits into the picture. The strategy might appear to be in disarray, but a closer look will reveal a compelling plan emerging from the chaos."

FYI my perspective on Microsoft's collaboration strategy. Note: the Groove white paper referenced in the article will be posted in a week or two, and I'll post a reference here when it is; FTP posted the collaboration article earlier than I expected (it's in the Nov issue of "Windows Server System" -- formerly .NET Magazine).

Microsoft Details Next Wave of Software Innovation to Developers at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2003

Microsoft Details Next Wave of Software Innovation to Developers at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2003 "Gates discussed key catalysts in software development, pointing to a variety of trends driving the next wave, including Web services interoperability, proliferation of smart clients and software and hardware innovation. He highlighted key characteristics of the next wave: developers building connected systems using Web services that reflect the dynamic nature of the real world; software making oceans of digital information more meaningful and actionable; and new breakthrough user experiences, improving interactions between people, groups and organizations."

Interesting pattern in the press, not unlike the press after the Office/Exchange/Live Communication Server launch last week -- not a lot of detailed coverage in the mainstream business press. No doubt many reporters are still trying to understand what the Longhorn Visicalc demo was all about, and/or why MS executives were using Emacs and vi instead of VS.NET...

Two Companies at Odds Over the Internet's Future

Two Companies at Odds Over the Internet's Future "The Internet Act I was mainly about e-mail programs and downloading digital information to look at or listen to - Web pages, animations, video and music. Act II should bring all kinds of automated transactions among businesses and individuals. And those transactions will be able to include a hint of computer-aided intelligence."

Monday, October 27, 2003

Microsoft may preview 'next big breakthrough'

Microsoft may preview 'next big breakthrough' "During its Professional Developers Conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center this week, the Redmond company will give new information about its plans for Longhorn, including an early technical preview that software developers will be able to take home to get a sense for how the system will work.

Some of the general elements of Longhorn have been made public, including plans for 3-D-style graphics, unprecedented security and an advanced file system designed to make it easier to find all types of files on a computer's hard drive. PC-enthusiast Web sites have posted apparent Longhorn screen shots purported to have leaked from inside the company, providing glimpses of the way it might look.
But outsiders who have been following the operating system's development closely anticipate new levels of detail -- and possibly some major surprises -- at the Professional Developers Conference this week."

I'm at the PDC this week -- I was relatively lucky, as my flight was only 2.5 hours late, due to an unscheduled detour to Palm Springs because of the firestorms; I know of many others who had much longer detours.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Longhorn PDC Build 4051 Leaked - Where unprofessional journalism looks better - Updated: Longhorn PDC Build 4051 Leaked "The moment nearly every Windows enthusiast has been waiting for has all but nearly arrived. Windows Code-Named Longhorn 4051 has leaked onto the internet. As Paul Thurrott correctly confirmed late last evening. The select few who have been able to get hold of the build are currently working to install it. No doubt we'll see it half way round the internet within 12 hours or so."

As Silicon Valley Reboots, the Geeks Take Charge

As Silicon Valley Reboots, the Geeks Take Charge "But this is no bubble redux. Instead, Silicon Valley, the entrepreneurial hub of the nation's high-tech economy, is rebooting, just as a computer does after it crashes. And this time, the geeks are the ones with the upper hand.
The valley is populated with people of various talents, but its essence begins with the software and hardware engineers. They create technology tools that then find investors and users in the marketplace. It is, first and foremost, a high-tech tool shop."

Let's not forget the press/analyst/public relations people who often craft and tell the stories...

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Jesse Ezell Blog: Earnings Reports / Webcasts

Jesse Ezell Blog: Earnings Reports / Webcasts "Two approaches to solving the same webcast problem:
It is pretty clear that Macromedia's solution (via Breeze) provides a far superior experience to the Microsoft approach. This space is actually pretty active. If you think Breeze is cool, you should check out these guys, who just released a standalone version of their product (something Macromedia has yet to come out with)."

Ed Brill: Domino Applications and the Lotus Workplace technical strategy whitepaper

Domino Applications and the Lotus Workplace technical strategy whitepaper "This paper will provide developers, CTOs and other IT decision-makers with information on the tools and technologies used to support Lotus Workplace. This includes information about the application server platforms available for use with Lotus Workplace; a section on application platform considerations to assist with selecting the appropriate platform for your application; information on how to leverage your investment in Domino; and a brief overview of the future of rapid application development."

Good stuff, and very timely -- thanks, Ed

Inside the Workings of a Money Machine

Inside the Workings of a Money Machine "The trial of Frank P. Quattrone did not produce a verdict. But it did shed light on the flexible ethical world of initial public offerings in the late 1990's when huge profits were available to anyone able to get in on hot deals."

(I love the phrase "flexible ethical world"...)

Trash Your Desktop" Mitch Kapor’s new, more intuitive computer interface...

Trash Your Desktop" Mitch Kapor’s new, more intuitive computer interface... "Code-named Chandler, after the mystery writer (because, Kapor says, what they’re creating was something of a mystery even to them when the venture launched two years ago), the software promises to put all related e-mail messages, spreadsheets, appointment records, addresses, blog entries, word-processing documents, digital photos, and what-have-you in one place at one time: no more opening program after program looking for the items related to a specific topic. It takes the core functions of Microsoft Outlook, the Palm Desktop, and other personal information management programs and integrates them with the rest of your PC and the Internet. All the information you need to complete a given task or project is grouped on-screen, organized around the one function—e-mail—Kapor sees as the central conduit of our electronic lives.
Because Chandler presents information in its logical context—displaying all related items together—and not in the separate folders and application windows of the traditional desktop computer system, you can think of it as a new way into your computer. “It may be hubristic,” says Kapor, “but we’re trying to push the edge of the envelope in terms of innovation, and trying to pioneer a new type of interface”—one that he thinks is sorely needed. “Software is too difficult, too limiting, and pretty severely so, and it’s a raw deal. The average user really gets screwed.”

Friday, October 24, 2003

Wired News: The Great Library of Amazonia

Wired News: The Great Library of Amazonia "An ingenious attempt to illuminate the dark region of books is under way at Over the past spring and summer, the company created an unrivaled digital archive of more than 120,000 books. The goal is to quickly add most of Amazon's multimillion-title catalog. The entire collection, which went live Oct. 23, is searchable, and every page is viewable.
To build the archive, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has had to unravel a tangle of technological and copyright problems. His solution promises to remake the publishing business and give Amazon a powerful new weapon in its battle against online competitors such as Yahoo, Google, and eBay. But the most interesting thing about the archive is the way it resolves the paradox of the book, respecting its physical form while transcending its limits.
Amazon's Alexandrian scheme hinges on the insight that physical books can be turned into electronic databases and then – in the retail process – turned back into physical books. This is one of the boldest maneuvers yet in an intense commercial competition, but for all its cunning, this is a civilized, even civilizing war, one that builds libraries rather than burns them."

Jon's Radio: Apple's Knowledge Navigator revisited

Jon's Radio: Apple's Knowledge Navigator revisited "During my session at BloggerCon I referred to Apple's famous Knowledge Navigator concept video. I first saw that video in 1988. Today I tracked down a copy and watched it again. It stands the test of time rather well! Certain elements of that vision are now routine -- for example, Google found me the video and WiFi delivered it to a PowerBook which, when equipped with its iSight camera, bears a family resemblance to the Dynabook-like talking computer featured in the video. Other aspects are still far out of reach, especially the conversational interface based on deep understanding of natural language."

Knowledge Navigator is a great example of the power of a compelling vision (and excellent video production). And of course it anticipated the virus-free Mac OS of the future...

PC Demand Helps Microsoft Beat Earnings Estimates

PC Demand Helps Microsoft Beat Earnings Estimates "Growth may be sluggish in the corporate market for Microsoft's desktop products, but its data-serving software is growing nicely. Sales in its server and programming tools group grew 15 percent compared with a year ago, to $1.87 billion. Its Windows server software and Windows SQL database products are increasingly being used as an alternative to higher-priced Unix operating systems in corporate data centers. Though Microsoft is doing well in the server market, it also faces increasing competition there from Linux, an operating system distributed free.
In other product categories, Microsoft reported that revenue at its MSN Web sites and online service rose 15 percent, to $491 million, and that MSN division had an operating profit for the first time. Advertising on the Web sites is rising, but the number of subscribers to the dial-up MSN Internet access service declined 6 percent, to 8 million." - AOL Quietly Changes Users' Windows Settings To Fight Pop-Up Spam - AOL Quietly Changes Users' Windows Settings To Fight Pop-Up Spam: "America Online is quietly turning off subscribers' Windows messaging feature, in an attempt to protect them from a new form of spam.
AOL spokesman Andrew Weinstein said the feedback has been all positive, and he knows of no complaints to AOL call centers about side effects on other applications that may need that feature.
Nonetheless, AOL's action worries some security experts.
'They are trying to do the right thing ... but you sort of feel dirty after you hear it,' said Bruce Schneier, chief technology officer for Counterpane Internet Security Inc. 'It's a very dangerous precedent in competitors' services.'"

HP Overtakes Palm in western European PDA Market Battle

HP Overtakes Palm in western European PDA Market BattleHewlett Packard has taken the top spot in the western European PDA market from Palm, according to IDC research.
The sector -- including voice-only mobiles, traditional stand-alone PDAs and converged smartphones -- is booming, with more than 1.3 million units shipped during the third quarter of this year.
IDC's research found that Nokia retained its number one position in the mobile-device market, with 44 percent market share. But in the stand-alone PDA market, HP overtook Palm in western Europe.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

100 Percent Virus-Free Mac OS X Adds More Privacy And Security - Robin Good' Sharewood Tidings

100 Percent Virus-Free Mac OS X Adds More Privacy And Security - Robin Good' Sharewood Tidings: "If you hadn't realized it yet, a 100 percent virus free computing environment is not as far fetched and away in the future as most Windows users would think.
Mac OS X, due to its natively-secure architecture and limited popularity has been consistently able to keep itself untouched by the ocean of security issues, threats, virus and worms epidemic which have become instead Windows-users daily worry and preoccupation."

Okay, that's 3 for today (see NYT and WSJ on virus-free Macs below...). Somebody in Apple press/analyst relations deserves a gold star for the week.

Hugh's ramblings: SmartDocuments and InfoPath

Hugh's ramblings: SmartDocuments and InfoPath: "I've done a little SmartDocuments development, and don't find it easy to share his enthusiasm completely: the developer documentation is difficult to parse, and the experience wasn't a whole lot of fun. I do think the concept is powerful and important, and opens some fascinating possibilities - just a note of caution if you're thinking of diving in with both feet.
The potential of SmartDocuments is quite interesting, really. It appears to be part of a very broad 'reclaim the desktop' strategy, where integration traditionally seen as 'enterprise-scale' -- workflow, content management, legacy systems context -- becomes part of the Office experience, instead of stovepiped into separate desktop- or browser-based application interfaces. Which is a smart strategy, both in terms of an Office hegemony and enhanced user experience."

Thanks for the kind words, Hugh. I agree -- you have to be something of a patient investigative reporter to find all the details you'll need for the expanded smart tag SDK. XUL and XAML at 4 PM XUL and XAML at 4 PM "For those of you Mozilla folks who are interested in XUL, I suggest you pay close attention to what Microsoft is going to unveil next week at the PDC conference. The massive new Longhorn API will be revealed, including XAML, Microsoft's own markup language which is similar to XUL, but way more powerful. It's flattering to know that Microsoft is modelling the future of Windows UI development after a technology we all worked so hard to bring to life for Mozilla. We were truly ahead of our time.
Click here ( on Monday, October 27th and keep a napkin handy to wipe the drool off your face. And please, spare me complaints about how this is not a cross platform technology. Who cares, it's going to be so mind-blowing that it will make huge waves in the industry regardless."

Via Jason Tucker

Gartner Sees Tech Spending Accelerating Up to 2006

Gartner Sees Tech Spending Accelerating Up to 2006: "Technology spending is poised to return to solid growth in 2004 and beyond as companies shift from cost-cutting to focus on innovation that drives sales, a top computer consulting group said on Monday.
At its annual conference this week, Gartner Inc. is advising its base of 10,000 corporate and government clients to spend more in 2004 on wireless networks, Web services and technologies that help businesses grow, not just save costs.
'Gartner is telling you a big turn is coming,' Michael Fleisher, the consulting company's chairman and chief executive, said in a speech to some 6,000 corporate technology purchasing decision makers attending the Gartner Symposium conference in Orlando, Fla.
'2004 will be the year that companies make the turn from protecting profitability to driving growth,' Fleisher said. He said sweeping new technology changes will be at hand as spending accelerates modestly in 2005 and 2006.
'We believe that '06 will look as different when compared with '03 as '03 looks when compared with '99,' Fleisher said, referring to what he sees as a projected upturn and to the previous boom years."

Via Analyst Views

The Seattle Times: Pop-up ad pusher X10 files for bankruptcy

The Seattle Times: Pop-up ad pusher X10 files for bankruptcy: "The notorious Internet pop-up ads of scantily clad women being viewed from miniature wireless cameras might be gone forever.
X10 Wireless Technology, which sells the cameras mainly through the Internet, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Tuesday in U.S. District Court, seeking a voluntary reorganization. "

I guess they were too busy coming up with voyeur ads to develop a business plan.

Apple's Latest 0.1 Adds a Lot

Apple's Latest 0.1 Adds a Lot "The reputation of the personal computer has taken a horrible hit this year. Viruses have made headlines week after week. Spam now exceeds 50 percent of all e-mail. Hackers and academics have uncovered one Windows security hole after another, turning Microsoft into a frantic little Dutch boy at the dike without enough fingers. If the computer industry were a celebrity, it would hire an image consultant.
Correction: The Windows computer industry would hire one. Macintosh fans, on the other hand, have watched the tribulations of the much larger Windows population with mixed feelings - sympathy, relief, even amusement - because their operating system, Mac OS X, is so far 100 percent virus-free. And because Mac OS X comes with less of its plumbing exposed to the Internet than Windows, hackers are a far more distant worry.
But to argue these points is to join a religious war with no hope of resolution. Wherever you stand in the Macs vs. Windows debate, this much is certain: In Panther, Apple has taken an already sparkling, super-stable operating system and made it faster, better equipped and more secure."

I take issue with this and the WSJ article below, as both implicitly compare Apple's latest stuff with multiple versions of Windows, as opposed to comparing the latest Apple stuff with the latest Windows stuff, but as always it's fascinating to see how well Apple has managed its press choreography.

Macromedia - Press Room : Macromedia to Acquire eHelp

Macromedia - Press Room : Macromedia to Acquire eHelp "Macromedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: MACR) today announced it has entered a definitive merger agreement to acquire San Diego-based eHelp Corporation, the market leader in help authoring. eHelp’s flagship offerings include RoboHelp, the industry-standard help authoring tool, and RoboDemo, the leading Flash-based software demonstration product. By combining these solutions with the Macromedia authoring family and with business solutions such as Macromedia Breeze, developers will be able to seamlessly create and deliver the rich user assistance and tutorial content that are integral to great digital experiences. eHelp has a solid 12-year track record with good consistency in revenue growth and profit.
The transaction is valued at approximately $65 million."

The ISV consolidation continues, as does Macromedia's diversification...

Ed Brill: Deja vu positioning vis-a-vis the Notes client

Ed Brill: Deja vu positioning vis-a-vis the Notes client "I was looking at some of the recent googles that hit my blog, and one was a funny look in the rear-view mirror...
'IBM's Taligent, Inc. subsidiary next week will begin shipping client software that makes it easier for Lotus Notes and Domino users to collaborate on projects. Taligent's Places for Project Teams is a stand-alone client designed to provide Lotus Development Corp. Notes and Domino users with a virtual workspace for sharing discussion databases, documents and progress-tracking Charts. While providing a variety of ways to view Notes and Domino databases, the software allows team members to see who is working on a project at any time and communicate with them via E-mail or an instant message.'"

I remember visits from the Taligent team, when I was working at IBM/Lotus. They came in with a very compelling demo -- that ran only on AIX boxes and required 5250 terminals for configuration etc... In any case, the "people, places, and things" model in Taligent (which received at least one patent) was definitely a bit ahead of its time. - Personal Technology: If You're Getting Tired Of Fighting Viruses, Consider a New Mac - Personal Technology: If You're Getting Tired Of Fighting Viruses, Consider a New Mac "But for consumers and small businesses, there's a simple way out of this endless morass: Buy an Apple Macintosh computer. There are no viruses on the Macintosh's excellent two-year-old operating system, called OS X. And the Mac is a terrific computer -- as good as, or better than, Windows for the typical computing tasks important to mainstream users.
It isn't impossible to write a virus for the Mac. The system isn't impenetrable. Mac users should still use antivirus software. But any virus or security problem that does emerge on the Mac is likely to be much less serious than the Windows security crisis. "Mac OS X hasn't had any viruses since the OS was launched," says Bill Rosenkrantz, the head of Macintosh products at Symantec, the big antivirus firm. "It's more difficult to attack the Apple system than Windows."

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Articles on Office 2003 "smarter documents" and InfoPath

I'm not sure what the workflow process problem is at the Smart Solutions site, but I decided this would be a good time to share my perspectives on Office 2003 smart document-related features (smart tag technology, smart documents, and research pane) and InfoPath, so I've posted final pre-publication drafts of the articles at the links below. I will link to the final versions from my publications page when the final articles are posted.

Note that both links below are pdf files:
Smarter Documents
Projecting InfoPath

Q&A, Part 2: IBM's Steve Mills on security, thin clients - Computerworld

Q&A, Part 2: IBM's Steve Mills on security, thin clients - Computerworld "Is IBM doing anything at all to offer alternatives to the Windows desktop? Thin clients, yes -- we have a big portal initiative. We recommend to customers every day that they try to move the maximum number of users in their organization to a portal-based environment -- business workers, branch people, clerical people, plant-floor people. How many of your people need Office? The lowest number I've ever heard for thick client support is $5,000 per user per year -- $5,000 to $12,000 [per year in support cost], that's kind of the spectrum. The big cost savings is not in getting off Microsoft Office and going to StarOffice; the big cost savings is, Can I get to a thin client? The cost of the client is tied up in the labor, not in the cost of the client box or the software that runs on it."

Pumping Up the Volume: Apple extends its iTunes music jukebox and pay-per-song store to the vast Windows universe

Apple extends its iTunes music jukebox and pay-per-song store to the vast Windows universe "But Jobs contends that in the long run the competition will boil down to Apple and Microsoft. “Between the license fees and the credit-card charges, there’s no money in online music,” he says. For Apple, the payoff comes in selling the iPod players that work hand in hand with the store: more than a million have been sold, and in the last quarter, Apple moved 336,000 units. (Microsoft’s agenda is promoting its format for encoding music, Windows Media Player, which the Softies want to establish as the entertainment industry standard.)"

Apple: Newsweek/Jobs interview

Apple: Newsweek/Jobs interview "What’s happening in the lawsuit filed by the Beatles’ record label Apple against your company, charging that your music activities violate a truce between the two firms?
Jobs: It’s basically a trademark issue. There was an agreement written; they read it one way, we read it another way, and a judge will tell us who’s right. It’s not a big deal. It’s unfortunate because we love the Beatles. I’d do anything for those guys."

InfoWorld: Microsoft's integration could up customers' costs: October 21, 2003: By : Applications

InfoWorld: Microsoft's integration could up customers' costs: October 21, 2003: By : Applications "Office 2003's advances will come at what could be a steep cost: Jupiter Research analyst Joe Wilcox estimates that businesses using Office will see their Microsoft Corp. licensing costs rise 10 to 40 percent if they want to take full advantage of the software's new features."

The press/analyst reaction to the Office 2003 has been pretty ambivalent so far -- I suppose that's to be expected.

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft's signals mixed on potential acquisitions

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft's signals mixed on potential acquisitions " Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, speaking at a technology conference in Orlando, Fla., sponsored by Gartner, a research and consulting firm, said investors should "stand by for news" of acquisitions. He declined to elaborate. He also said the company would like to add to the 4,000 consultants it employs.
But Chairman Bill Gates downplayed the news later in an interview with Bloomberg News in New York, where he launched the marketing campaign for Microsoft's new Office programs.
"I don't think he meant to suggest there was something imminent," Gates said about Ballmer's comments. "Every year we do buy some additional software companies. There's nothing in the works that he was trying to hint at there."
Gates said the company is generally reluctant to make acquisitions because "it wouldn't make sense for us to go outside to get technology in particular markets because we have always used partners and always succeeded with partners."

Low-Cost Supercomputer Put Together From 1,100 PC's

Low-Cost Supercomputer Put Together From 1,100 PC's "The Virginia Tech supercomputer, put together from 1,100 Apple Macintosh computers, has been successfully tested in recent days, according to Jack Dongarra, a University of Tennessee computer scientist who maintains a listing of the world's 500 fastest machines.
The official results for the ranking will not be reported until next month at a supercomputer industry event. But the Apple-based supercomputer, which is powered by 2,200 I.B.M. microprocessors, was able to compute at 7.41 trillion operations a second, a speed surpassed by only three other ultra-fast computers."

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Internet Telephony Shoot-Out: Skype vs. SIPphone!

Internet Telephony Shoot-Out: Skype vs. SIPphone! "There are few organizations more loathed than the telephone company. Let's face it – none of us like forking over our hard-earned cash every month just to use the phone. Well, how much would it be worth to you to be able to call your friends and family for free by using the Internet?
Granted, this is already possible via rudimentary VoIP (Voice over IP) services, but they've been burdened by poor sound quality, dropped calls, and difficult interfaces. Now, two new entrants are poised – head-to-head – to dominate this burgeoning market. Interestingly enough, both come from developers with a successful track record in other arenas – including easy-to-use Linux, MP3s, and peer-to-peer networking.
The first, the new Skype service, has been created by the developers of the popular file-sharing system Kazaa. It uses Kazaa's peer-to-peer technology, along with your PC's sound card, to create an easy-to-use, IM-style VoIP application that's fast and sounds good. Because it's based on a proprietary protocol, however, it won't interoperate with other services.
The second service, the new SIPphone, comes from Michael Robertson, who founded and then gave us Lindows, the easy-to-use Linux OS variant, PC and software distribution system. Unlike Skype, the SIPphone is a stand-alone appliance – plug it into your broadband router and you're off. Because it's based on the emerging SIP protocol – which stands for Session Initiation Protocol - the SIPphone can interoperate with other SIP devices."

Via Slashdot

The Future Of Web Conferencing: Good Interviews David Fowler [Groove VP mktg] - Robin Good' Sharewood Tidings

The Future Of Web Conferencing: Good Interviews David Fowler [Groove VP mktg] - Robin Good' Sharewood Tidings: "Robin Good: And if you had to name its key strength you would say?
David Fowler: Secure replication of information to your desktop where you work without requiring a server infrastructure. Wherever I go, there I am."

Any mktg guy who quotes Buckaroo Bonzai is okay in my book.

Yankee Group - Daily Yankee Viewpoint - Macromedia Makes Web-Based Meetings and Presentations a Breeze

Yankee Group - Daily Yankee Viewpoint - Macromedia Makes Web-Based Meetings and Presentations a Breeze "Macromedia is positioning Breeze as an online presentation and Web-based meeting solution that can include rich media animation, streaming video, and interactivity. A key competitive advantage is that it creates live and on-demand presentations in Flash (presentations can also be converted to Flash), which can be viewed by 98 percent of all desktop users connected to the Internet. This contrasts with WebEx’s proprietary format, which is only viewable by users that have downloaded a 1MB plug-in (fewer than 5 percent of all Internet-connected computers)."

I've been in a few Breeze Live-facilitated meetings lately -- it's a very compelling alternative to WebEx, PlaceWare, and others. I take issue with the assertion that "The core technology and key personnel that support Breeze are from Macromedia’s acquisition of online presentation and training solution provider Presedia in January 2003", however; the Live part of Breeze Live is based on the Flash Communications Server, which was built entirely within Macromedia.

Via Analyst Views

Q&A: Exchange Server 2003 Enhances Online Communications Collaboration through Increased Integration

Q&A: Exchange Server 2003 Enhances Online Communications Collaboration through Increased Integration "Tuesday's coordinated launch of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and the new Microsoft Office System, on the heels of the earlier arrival of Microsoft Windows Server 2003, reflects a concerted effort by Microsoft to enhance its end-to-end messaging and collaboration offerings for information workers. By integrating Exchange Server 2003's delivery of server and client e-mail-based communications and personal information management (PIM) with both the Windows Server System and the Office System, Microsoft aims to reduce IT complexity and total cost of operation, while simultaneously helping information workers better connect with each other, with their information, and their business processes."

Doesn't seem to be much to substantiate the collaboration part of the press release title; I believe the collaboration parts of the story are handled via Windows SharePoint Services (for document workspaces) and Office Live Communications Server, not Exchange. - 'Office' No. 11 Is Key to Future Of Microsoft - 'Office' No. 11 Is Key to Future Of Microsoft ""The No. 1 competitive challenge for us is the satisfaction that people have in our installed base [of software] -- the fact that they feel that what they have is working," says Jeff Raikes, Microsoft group vice president and head of the Office product.
Year after year, the software maker pumped out new versions of its products, each with more features than the last. Year after year, customers loyally upgraded to the new versions. But with the slowdown in technology spending and a feeling among many customers that their current software works just fine, Microsoft must now bring its full weight to bear on keeping customers on the upgrade path."

Monday, October 20, 2003

IBM eyes digital documents with Adobe | CNET

IBM eyes digital documents with Adobe | CNET "Big Blue will integrate Adobe's Form Server, Form Designer and Reader products with its DB2 Content Manager and DB2 CommonStore products designed for businesses. This move is intended to help businesses automate their existing paper-based processes. Later on, Adobe software will be meshed with two more IBM lines: WebSphere and Tivoli."

A Game Player That Happens to Be a Phone

A Game Player That Happens to Be a Phone "The world is awash in cellphones that deliver only black-and-white video games that are as archaic looking as Pong.
Nokia is hoping to change that landscape with N-Gage, its new mobile phone that offers graphically rich, three-dimensional, full-color video games stored on cards. The handset, with its built-in wireless technology, allows two players to compete in the same room, while software built into each game allows players across the world from each other to compete by way of a special Web site. The unit is also an MP3 player, capable of storing songs downloaded from a PC onto a memory card, and an FM radio. Oh, and by the way, it can make phone calls."

Sunday, October 19, 2003

BW Online | October 27, 2003 | Q&A: (Bill Gates interview) Now, Software Won't Be Confined To The PC

BW Online | October 27, 2003 | Q&A: (Bill Gates interview) Now, Software Won't Be Confined To The PC Q&A: Now, Software Won't Be Confined To The PC
In advance of Microsoft Corp.'s introduction of its next version of Office, Seattle Bureau Chief Jay Greene sat down with Chairman William H. Gates III on Oct. 10 at the company's headquarters in Redmond, Wash. Here are excerpts.
Office historically has been about personal productivity. What is the focus now?
Almost everything is group-oriented. Everything has to do with the inefficiencies that exist with people working together.
This is the first release of Office where server and service products are integrated with the PC software. Is this the future of software?
We're evolving away from the packaged product you just go buy to what we refer to as software as a service. With this new vision, you're getting regular updates of new templates. Any problems that emerge are fixed before you run into them, [and] you get things that run on the Internet that help you share schedules with other people. There is significant value that comes through the servers that Office connects up to. You'll just see more and more of that in the years ahead.
What's the most important new innovation in Office?
I'd probably pick SharePoint [which lets workers easily set up internal Web sites for group projects]. SharePoint Web sites really change how people work. In the past, to share documents, you would send attachments around via e-mail and you wouldn't know who got different versions. Now you don't have to do anything except click and start a new SharePoint Web site and then notify people that you're putting information up there.
Is this the first Microsoft product for consumers that fulfills the company's .Net vision of delivering new capabilities to people though Web services?
This is a good step in that direction. People will be able to get information through reference services, quote services, map services, shipping-charge services, and the like. They'll start to think of software as not just being contained on the PC but being able to call out to Web services to get additional things. If you don't want to compute a FedEx charge, you just call on a service for help and give it some information and it goes out on the Internet, gets the numbers, and brings them back into the spreadsheet.
Will the expansion into new markets boost Office's growth?
With every version we ask ourselves: Did we innovate enough that we're really going to drive that excitement? This one will meet that bar very well. It will also meet that bar at a time when corporations feel they have too many software vendors, and they've let too much complexity come in, and they're scrutinizing all information-technology spending. Because of what we've done here with Office, I think the Office business will continue to be a great, profitable, high-volume business.

ZDNet UK - News - Jabber numbers overtake ICQ

ZDNet UK - News - Jabber numbers overtake ICQ: "Jabber, the leading proponent of an instant-messaging technology called Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP), said it has signed up more than 4 million licensed users, while its total user base has surpassed that of ICQ, the first widely-adopted IM platform."

Dan Bricklin on The Innovator's Solution

Dan Bricklin on The Innovator's Solution "Like many others, I have been recommending Clayton Christensen's The Innovator's Dilemma for many years. Clayton, along with Michael Raynor, has just come out with a follow-on book, The Innovator's Solution. I wholeheartedly recommend the new book to anybody dealing with innovation or corporate strategy. It looks like it will become a classic, eclipsing the previous book. Starting a new venture or a potentially disruptive product without understanding the concepts in this book is a much more risky endeavor." "'Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care' by John McWhorter" "'Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care' by John McWhorter" Okay, so it looks like a so-so review, but the title is like way cool...

WinInfo Short Takes: Week of October 20: Office 2003 Developer Tools Debut. But What About Access?

WinInfo Short Takes: Week of October 20: Office 2003 Developer Tools Debut. But What About Access? "In the early days of Office, "Office development" essentially referred to Microsoft Access and the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) environment, which let programmers access various Office application features. Today, Office 2003 is quite different: It includes Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Office System, a mouthful of an add-on product for the professional Visual Studio .NET environment that raises the bar both for developer sophistication and for the quality of the add-ins developers can now create for Office. Using Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Office System's advanced tools and programming language, developers can create applications that run in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word task panes. But am I the only person who noticed that Microsoft has completely abandoned Access users with this release? Shouldn't the suite's most programmable application have enjoyed some advances as well?"

I've been doing a bit of work in Access lately -- here's my perspective on Access. I'm looking forward to the PDC next week, in part to learn what Whidbey and VS Tools for Office will do in terms of displacing Access for database-centric apps.

The Revolution Is Coming, Eventually

The Revolution Is Coming, Eventually "Now, slowly but surely, portions of the telecom industry are recovering. Shares of the companies Mr. Gilder recommends in The Gilder Technology Report - a more diverse mix than it used to be - have outperformed the Nasdaq by a healthy margin for the past year, and his adherents are cheering up. And Mr. Gilder is gradually regaining the credibility that nearly vaporized before his eyes three years ago."

George Gilder's career resurrection continues, this time in the NYT -- interesting. Gilder's Microcosm: The Quantum Revolution In Economics And Technology is an amazing book -- a poignant biography of Carver Mead, his work, and his impact on computing; according to this NYT article, Gilder will next year publish another book about Mead's more recent, pioneering endeavors in digital photography. I have little use for Gilder's rants and writing on political topics, however.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Barry Talks! : The Next Wave

Barry Talks! : The Next Wave Insights on Zen and the art of pi-calculus from Barry Briggs.

Market Analysis: Microsoft is successfully penetrating the enterprise mindset.

Market Analysis: Microsoft is successfully penetrating the enterprise mindset. "A new survey has found that Microsoft is successfully penetrating the enterprise mindset.
A Datamonitor survey of 200 large European enterprises has revealed the extent to which Microsoft [MSFT] has already penetrated the enterprise mindset. Though many still disparage Microsoft's pedigree in this space, the traditional heavyweights really should be worried.
When asked which vendors they would consider for integration projects, a surprisingly high number of the end-users recently surveyed by Datamonitor included Microsoft among their top three. A weighted average of their responses put Microsoft in the lead, just above IBM [IBM]. The results really do highlight the efforts Microsoft has been making to enter, and compete effectively in, the enterprise market.
Microsoft has also made considerable inroads into other areas where the company would not necessarily be expected to be strong. The company's SharePoint Portal is more of a development environment than a traditional enterprise portal offering. But the survey once again indicated Microsoft's improving reputation in the enterprise sector.
In addition to a strong showing in integration and portals, Microsoft also features highly in the areas of mobility and web services. 34% of the enterprises surveyed say that their preferred mobile development environment is the .NET Compact Framework. This was the largest response and shows the extent to which Microsoft has been making progress in this sector.
Though the company's mobile unit continues to make a loss, in targeting the developers, Microsoft is establishing itself in the mobile space. This market is still nascent, though, and the eventual winners are far from decided.
Although the greatest proportion of respondents (39%) indicated that their strategic development environment for web-enabled application development and web services is J2EE, 26% still opted for Microsoft's .NET. In the case of .NET, one of the key reasons for its apparent success is undoubtedly the strength of the Microsoft development environment, Microsoft Visual Studio .NET. The company aggressively targeted the developer community in order to penetrate the enterprise segment, and it appears that this tactic has paid dividends.
In the past, Microsoft's efforts to penetrate the enterprise IT market have been less than successful. This appears to be changing rapidly, and the current leaders need to be increasingly vigilant to the threat that Microsoft presents."

(Full post, via Analyst Views)

With Flare, Apple Extends Its Reach Into Online Music

With Flare, Apple Extends Its Reach Into Online Music ""Apple has hit a home run," said Charles Wolf, a financial analyst at Needham & Company. "The one thing you need to win in this business is traffic, and they got AOL and pre-empted them from any other music site. The Pepsi deal is just frosting on the cake."
The promotional agreement with Pepsi calls for it to distribute special caps on its soft drinks in February and March as part of an Apple giveaway of 100 million songs.
The agreement was rich in paradox, leaving many Apple-watchers shaking their heads in amazement. They recalled that Mr. Jobs, in 1983, recruited John Sculley, then Pepsi's chief executive, by asking him, "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugar water?"

Classic Steve Jobs choreography and press management -- most articles and other references mention the rock star cameos etc. but ignore little details such as whether or not Apple will ever make a meaningful profit on iTunes.

Thursday, October 16, 2003 - Siebel Systems to Acquire UpShot - Siebel Systems to Acquire UpShot: "Siebel Systems Inc. agreed to buy closely held UpShot Corp., a prominent software service, in the company's second move to adapt to a major change in the market.
Under the deal, Siebel agreed to pay up to $70 million for UpShot, of Mountain View, Calif. The price includes $50 million in cash when the deal closes and up to $20 million in 2003 and 2004 if certain financial milestones are met."
Marc Benioff, chief executive officer of, asserted that the deal means Siebel is "killing" the UpShot product line, and reflects the fact that Siebel's CRM OnDemand "does not exist."

Tuesday, October 14, 2003 | Users' Lotus love fest marred only by WebSphere woes | Users' Lotus love fest marred only by WebSphere woes: "In an exclusive study, users sent a love letter to IBM Lotus that contained an ominous postscript: 'Don't render our beloved platform obsolete.'
The research, which was conducted this summer, captured users' strong allegiance to Notes and Domino as messaging, collaboration and development software, but it also uncovered anxiety about the technology's future -- specifically, its ability to survive in a WebSphere-dominated world.
Nearly 95% of the survey's 440 respondents said they feel positive about the platform, citing improved communication, business processes and knowledge management as the biggest benefits of running Notes and Domino."

E-forms standard finalized | CNET

E-forms standard finalized | CNET"The main standards body for the Web released the final specification Tuesday for XForms, a standard that will compete in the growing market for electronic forms.
XForms is an implementation of XML (Extensible Markup Language) designed for creating interactive forms that can automatically shuttle data to and from corporate computing resources such as databases and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has been working on XForms for several years to address limitations of forms based on HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), the main language of the Web. Tuesday's release of the "recommendation" for XForms 1.0 represents the final step in acceptance and publishing of the standard."

This is a fascinating case study in the standards world, as Adobe, Microsoft, and other major ISVs have been at best ambivalent about XForms; apparently customer demand rather than vendor enthusiasm will determine the fate of the initiative -- e.g., if the US federal government opted to require XForms support for its forms-processing software, that would change the story overnight.

Microsoft Partner Conference: Security First, Then the "Longhorn Wave"

Microsoft Partner Conference: Security First, Then the "Longhorn Wave" "At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2003 late last week in New Orleans, various Microsoft executives and representatives discussed the company's long- and short-term plans, focusing primarily on security. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer didn't mention Longhorn once during his keynote address, preferring to discuss more pertinent topics such as security, partnering, customers, and why the company doesn't promote specific features of its products but rather concentrates on a whole that's greater than its parts."

Monday, October 13, 2003

Microsoft Executive E-mail

Microsoft Executive E-mail "Our goal is ambitious – to improve personal, team and organizational productivity by addressing a broad array of business processes. We're both excited by the opportunity and pleased with the results to date. I won't try to describe all of the important new capabilities in the Office System, but I'd like to share my thoughts – and my enthusiasm -- for how these new products, services and solutions can once again surprise people by truly unleashing a new wave of productivity and creativity. Let me just mention a couple of innovations that illustrate their power and range."

The press/analyst activity continues to build for the 10/21 Office 2003 Office Live Communications Server 2003 Exchange Server 2003 launch... - The Humbler One (Jeff Raikes) - The Humbler One (Jeff Raikes) "To hear Chief Executive Steven Ballmer tell it, Microsoft is "Bill's company," a reference to his longtime partner, Microsoft founder and Chairman Bill Gates. In fact, for years Microsoft has seemed like Bill and Steve's company. That has always irked Jeffrey Raikes, the longtime Microsoft lieutenant who has risen to the de facto number three spot, running the Office applications business that has almost $10 billion in annual sales."


CRN : Breaking News : Update: WebMethods Makes Three Tech Buys : 9:54 AM EST Mon., Oct. 13, 2003

CRN : Breaking News : Update: WebMethods Makes Three Tech Buys : 9:54 AM EST Mon., Oct. 13, 2003 "WebMethods, Fairfax, Va., also said it was buying The Dante Group, a Boulder, Colo.-based maker of business activity monitoring (BAM) software. Dante's software product will be rechristened webMethods Optimize, the company said.
News of these deals comes just a day after webMethods said it bought portal technology and development talent from DataChannel. The portal will be renamed webMethods Portal and is expected to debut by year's end. Terms of this deal were not disclosed."

webMethods acquires The Mind Electric for $32M

webMethods acquires The Mind Electric for $32M "webMethods, Inc. (Nasdaq: WEBM), the industry's first Web services infrastructure company, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire The Mind Electric, Inc. (TME), a leading provider of software for service-oriented architectures. For the first time since the advent of Web services, the combination of webMethods and TME enables companies to deploy secure, scalable, and 100 percent standards-based Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA). The acquired technology provides webMethods with the industry's first, truly vendor neutral solution which non-invasively enhances any Web services implementation."

It's Official: No Longhorn Until 2006

It's Official: No Longhorn Until 2006: "At Microsoft's worldwide partner conference this week, Microsoft finally admitted that Longhorn won't see the light of day until 2006."
That means there will be no Visual Studio tools release for two years after "Whidbey" (which Microsoft is still insisting will be a late 2004 product). No Office 12 until 2006. And Longhorn Server — which was expected, until this week, in 2006 — is now, more likely than not a 2007 product (given that it was set to lag the client release by a year)."

Ellison hopes biography isn't boring | CNET

Ellison hopes biography isn't boring | CNET "Between plotting to make Oracle the world's most important software company and fighting to win back sailing's coveted America's Cup, software titan Larry Ellison has been busy scribbling footnotes to the most detailed account yet of his out-sized life.
In 'Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle,' the relentlessly competitive billionaire uses those footnotes to take his story directly to readers. He also responds and sometimes challenges the account of author Matthew Symonds--a twist in presentation that adds a real-time feel to the 500-page biography published this month."

Microsoft, in Middle Age, Hurries to Go Beyond the PC

Microsoft, in Middle Age, Hurries to Go Beyond the PC "Microsoft has been trying to create business from the convergence of computing communications and entertainment technologies since at least 1995, with mixed success. All of its $13.2 billion operating profit for the financial year that ended in June came from the three divisions that focus on its traditional strengths: PC operating systems, PC applications, and server operating systems and programming tools.
The home entertainment division, which includes the Xbox console, video games, PC games, consumer hardware and software and the television platform, generated a loss of $940 million on sales of $2.78 billion for the year. The company's mobile and embedded device division had a loss of $175 million on sales of $153 million.
A Microsoft executive seemed to support that view. "It is a marathon, not a sprint, and we are pretty good at marathons," said Peter Moore, vice president for worldwide retail sales and marketing at Microsoft's home and entertainment division." - Profiting From the Broadband Revolution - Profiting From the Broadband Revolution "fter years of hype and false starts, we can finally declare it: The Age of Broadband is here. It may have arrived with little of the fanfare first envisioned at the height of the tech investing bubble. But it has something more important than buzz. It has critical mass.
By the end of this year, about 22.5 million households in the U.S. will have high-speed Internet access, or 21% of all households nationwide, according to the Yankee Group, a Boston consulting firm; by 2008, about half of all residences are expected to have a broadband hookup. Meanwhile, at the end of this year, some 7.4 million businesses will have the speedy connections."

Part of a broadband special section in today's WSJ

Sunday, October 12, 2003 book review: "Tomorrow's People: How 21st-Century Technology is Changing the Way We Thinks and Feel" book review: "Tomorrow's People: How 21st-Century Technology is Changing the Way We Thinks and Feel" "...“Tomorrow's People” is set firmly in the dystopian tradition of Huxley and Orwell. Baroness Greenfield's purpose is to issue a warning: that the coming integration of IT and biotechnology will have such a profound effect on the way we think and live that “we are standing on the brink of a mind makeover more cataclysmic that anything in our history.”
Baroness Greenfield is acutely aware of the perils of futurology. Visions from the 1950s of a world in which robots performed the domestic chores, meals were taken as pills and we zoomed around in personal helicopters were touchingly wide of the mark. Critically, nobody from that era foresaw the rise and ubiquity of the computer. Thomas Watson, the legendary boss of IBM, once famously predicted that there might turn out to be a world market for just five computers.
In Baroness Greenfield's vision of the future there is no dividing line between the real and the virtual, and most of our experiences are shaped either by a souped-up version of the internet or by smart drugs. We will rarely have to leave our homes, which will become an extension of our minds and bodies. Entertainment will be on tap to match our moods, while our physical environment, from the view through our windows to the shape of our rooms and the furniture inside them, will have the protean ability to adapt itself to our desires and needs. There will be no cancer or baldness or obesity. Nano-machines inside our bodies will change our appearance at will. Our bodily functions will be monitored and any incipient malfunctions dealt with by clothes that both dispense drugs and have the happy knack of cleaning themselves.

To Whom May I Direct Your Free Call?

To Whom May I Direct Your Free Call? "On Aug. 29, their new company, called Skype, released a preliminary version of the program. Already, more than a million people have downloaded it, the company's Web site says.
It is "a real opportunity to do something that is disruptive in a very positive way," Mr. Zennstrom said. "We have a big ambition with Skype: it is to make it the global telephone company."
"he company does not earn any money right now, but is betting that consumers will eventually pay for premium services, like voice mail. This winter, Skype plans to introduce a feature that will enable users to call people on regular telephones - for a fee it says will be "substantially lower'' than current phone service. That means that Skype wouldn't just allow computer-savvy users to call one another; it would allow them to call anybody with regular phone service."
"Skype also faces a potential standoff with the F.B.I. Because traffic over Skype is strongly encrypted and distributed over wide-ranging sources, it could hamper authorities' ability to wiretap."

Friday, October 10, 2003

Partner Momentum Grows for Microsoft Office System With Innovative Solutions Featuring Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003

Partner Momentum Grows for Microsoft Office System With Innovative Solutions Featuring Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003 "CASAHL Technology Inc., a leading provider of migration and coexistence of collaboration application software, has developed a solution, Casahl ecKnowledge 8.1, to assist companies that want to migrate from Lotus Notes forms-based applications to InfoPath 2003, Windows SharePoint Services and Visual Studio® .NET."

Yahoo! News - Bubble Bursts for E-Books

Yahoo! News - Bubble Bursts for E-Books "'The limitless euphoria of the beginning belongs to the past, said Arnoud de Kemp, a leading electronic publisher with the science and business media firm Springer."

Neat line, but I think there are a few more chapters yet to be written in this story, despite the lamentable hype-to-reality noise level in earlier chapters.

The Register: Siebel OnDemand CRM: has Siebel shot itself in the foot?

The Register: Siebel OnDemand CRM: has Siebel shot itself in the foot? "There seems to be a rare consensus among analysts following Siebel's CRM OnDemand announcement that while it is a good product, it is most likely to be successful among those companies that already have a Siebel deployment in place - and some potential customers are likely to choose the new hosted version, rather than fork out for an all-singing-and-dancing on-premise version of a software that does more than they really need. This is especially so since Siebel has made its hosted version available backed up by analytics capabilities.
Siebel has really made this move because it was forced to compete with the newer players on the market to protect its market share. It needs now to work hard on bringing the usability of its in-house version of the software up to scratch if it to avoid shooting itself in the foot by cannibalising that sales channel."

OS Market Share: Microsoft Stomps the Competition

OS Market Share: Microsoft Stomps the Competition "Despite a rash of gushing news stories about the successes of Linux and Mac OS X on the server and client, respectively, Microsoft's Windows operating systems continue to dominate its OS rivals in both markets, and a recent report notes that usage of Windows is actually growing in both markets as well. Market researchers at IDC say that various versions of the Windows desktop and server OSes currently dominate their respective markets and will continue to do so for at least the next four years. IDC credits Microsoft's volume licensing programs for the company's ability to grow share during a time in which it is already the dominant player."

New Napster Music Service Powered by Windows Media 9 Series

New Napster Music Service Powered by Windows Media 9 Series"Microsoft Corp. today announced that the long-awaited Napster® 2.0 online music service, unveiled today, will be powered by Windows Media® 9 Series. Napster 2.0 takes full advantage of the leading digital media platform available today to deliver an entirely new and innovative experience to music fans."

Microsoft TV Announces Plans for Complete IP-Based Television Solution For Broadband Operators

Microsoft TV Announces Plans for Complete IP-Based Television Solution For Broadband Operators "Microsoft Corp.'s Microsoft TV Division today announced plans for the development of a new Internet Protocol television (IPTV) delivery solution designed to enable cable and telecommunications operators to more easily and efficiently offer improved and next-generation TV services over existing broadband networks. This new initiative will bring together state-of-the-art technologies from Microsoft and other industry leaders into an integrated, end-to-end solution that will support the full range of pay-TV services while scaling to millions of TV subscribers. In separate announcements made today, Bell Canada and Reliance Intercomm announced plans to jointly create and test new IPTV services with Microsoft TV, using the new Microsoft® TV IPTV solution. A prototype of the Microsoft TV IPTV solution will be demonstrated publicly for the first time starting this weekend at ITU Telecom World 2003 in Geneva, in the Microsoft booth in Hall 4, Stand 4100."

Thursday, October 09, 2003 | Cut up your mainframe apps and make them services | Cut up your mainframe apps and make them services: "A couple of statistics that reinforce the idea that the mainframe is here to stay: there are some 200,000,000,000 lines of Cobol code plus PLI, Fortran and Assembly currently running on mainframes, and 5 billion lines of new Cobol code are still being written each year. This code is not going away because rewriting an application is believed to be five times more expensive than reusing existing applications." - Neil Postman, 72: Academic was strong critic of television - Neil Postman, 72: Academic was strong critic of television "Neil Postman, a New York University professor and author who criticized the television industry for treating serious issues as entertainment, has died. He was 72."
Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business is a must-read, imho.
Postman's influence ran wide and deep; e.g., check out the 1992 Roger Waters CD Amused to Death for a Pink Floyd-style interpretation.

Via Due Diligence

Q&A: Bob Muglia on Microsoft's Dynamic Systems Initiative, autonomic computing - Computerworld

Q&A: Bob Muglia on Microsoft's Dynamic Systems Initiative, autonomic computing - Computerworld "What makes Microsoft's DSI better than autonomic products from other vendors?
The key distinction ... is that we are looking at what we can do to the developer tools to make it easy to build applications that later on can be managed through the operations part of the life cycle. When IBM talks about autonomic computing, they often talk about the resource-balancing nature of it, and that is something we are also focused on. However, I am less concerned about the use of computer resources in a data center and more concerned about the people cost of developing, deploying and operating applications. So by capturing management knowledge at the development stage of an application as we do, there's a lot to be done to lower the cost of operating these systems."

.NET Undocumented: All these frameworks

.NET Undocumented: All these frameworks "Here's my assessment: The traditional Win32 API is dying except for the Kernel, because it's a flat API, which severely limits the sophistication of applications that utilize it. WinForms and MFC will remain important because Avalon apps only run in Longhorn only and, being a 1.0 product, may require another rev to mature. MFC will continue to be enhanced and supported but it's not the company's direction, so it will be in perpetual maintenance mode. WinForms will continue to be enhanced and probably will have a much longer life span than MFC, because it is managed code, easier for company to enhance, and cross-language (More VB/C# users than C )."

Cover Pages: Releases Free, Open Source, Cross Platform Office Productivity Suite.

Cover Pages: Releases Free, Open Source, Cross Platform Office Productivity Suite. "The Version 1.1 suite comes complete with word-processor, spreadsheet, presentation and various other components and provides a revolutionary open, future-proof XML file format. The new release introduces many enhancements and new features including native one-click PDF (Adobe Acrobat) export, Macromedia Flash export for presentations and drawings, faster load-time, enhanced MS Office file compatibility, accessibility support, and a smoother look and feel. It supports vertical and bidirectional writing with complex text layout. It comes with a a macro recorder, software development kit, and an XML filter tool including filters for DocBook and XHTML."

Microsoft Visual Studio 'Whidbey' Details Emerge

Microsoft Visual Studio 'Whidbey' Details Emerge "The Whidbey release of VB brings back the ability to create database front ends by simply dropping a few controls onto a form and specifying the database to be used. As part of its .NET platform, Microsoft introduced a new database API called ADO.NET, and although ADO.NET had many benefits over its predecessor, such as better offline use, it introduced additional complexity—VB developers had to write code to connect user interface elements to a database. With the upcoming release of VB.NET, developers can build database front ends in the old way, but still take advantage of the architectural improvements of ADO.NET."

Via Analyst Views - Apple's E-Music Store Isn't the Next Beatles - Apple's E-Music Store Isn't the Next Beatles "The tune that investors are singing about Apple Computer Inc. may be a little too upbeat.
The Cupertino, Calif., personal-computer maker's launch of its iTunes Music Store in late April triggered a run-up in the company's stock. Apple's shares quickly skyrocketed from a 52-week low of around $13 to more than $20.
A repeat performance may now be in the works. Apple is expected to open the online music store to a wider audience next week, according to people familiar with the matter. While the iTunes store is currently available to just the 3% of computer users with Apple's Macintosh machines, the company is readying a version of the service for the 90%-plus who work with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows-based computers. That could add millions of new customers and revenue to Apple's mix, and boost its share price once again.
But some analysts and money managers contend that any stock rise sparked by the iTunes Music Store is based on a false notion: that the service could be a big moneymaker. While the iTunes store is regarded as an innovative service that might lure some consumers away from free, but legally risky services such as Kazaa and Morpheus, the profits from the Apple store are minuscule, they argue."

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Eolas files motion to enjoin IE | CNET

Eolas files motion to enjoin IE | CNET "Eolas Technologies on Monday filed a motion to permanently enjoin Microsoft's distribution of its Internet Explorer browser amid a flurry of court filings by both sides in the pivotal patent infringement case.
... the changes we rolled out for IE are modest and will not have significant impact on consumers or the Web community as a whole," Microsoft's Wallent said. "Based on that, the idea that we would pay more than $630 million to get rid of a single mouse click on a small fraction of Web pages is not something that we're entertaining."

Somehow I suspect these guys aren't going to get a lot of sympathy cards when their patent is thrown out.

The Register: How does Skype get through Firewalls and NAT Routers?

The Register: How does Skype get through Firewalls and NAT Routers? "Readers were concerned that the peer to peer networking guru had found a way to creep in the back door, managing to open a port from outside and wanting re-assurance that he hadn't. We asked him [Niklas Zennstrom, one of the key architects of both Kazaa and Skype] how does Skype manage to route the call to the appropriate PC without special configuration being done on the router, and a Skype software router in place on the LAN to process the incoming data and route it to the relevant PC?
His answer was, "Without being too technical, each Skype client is always connected to a SuperNode (any Skype client can become a SuperNode, the SuperNode is acting as a hub). SuperNodes are always on routable open IP addresses. When a call is set up the established TCP connection with the SuperNode is used to signal that a call is coming. Dependent on the firewall status of the client the data stream is set up either as UDP (if firewall allows) or in worse case as outgoing TCP which is almost always allowed. If both clients are only allowed to do outgoing TCP calls are routed through another peer."
In other words you get to know there is a call for you and you make the outgoing connection to a known supernode to meet the call. Neat.
Skype yesterday went past 1 million downloads from the half a million when we first wrote about it two weeks ago. From when we first began writing this story until it was finished, a further 2,000 downloads occurred. Faultline would have downloaded it, but we still use Windows 98, and can't get it yet."

Court's call: Hands off VoIP | CNET

Court's call: Hands off VoIP | CNET "In ruling from the bench late Tuesday, Minneapolis federal Judge Michael J. Davis permanently barred Minnesota from applying traditional telephone rules to Vonage, a pioneer in technology that lets consumers bypass the traditional phone network by making voice calls over a broadband connection. A written order explaining the court's rationale is expected by Friday, according to the Minneapolis court clerk's office.
Tuesday's ruling for now frees Vonage to sell its Internet phone service in Minnesota without obtaining a telephone operator's license or paying fees to support 911 services. More importantly, the order is the first to address the authority of a state to oversee so-called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, and could thus impact efforts by other states to regulate VoIP providers."

Locating computer files without futility and frustration - Lockergnome's RSS Resource

Locating computer files without futility and frustration - Lockergnome's RSS Resource "Wow! Yes you heard me correctly…wow! It has been awhile since I have seen anything this innovative and exciting. I have not been this impressed since I first discovered NewsGator for MS Outlook.
So what has me so blown away? An amazing program called Scopeware. No, this software has nothing to do with my oral hygiene. Scopeware is a program that is accomplishing what the new Windows version code named; “Longhorn” has been promising upon its release. To make file management less of a headache for the average user.
What is Scopeware exactly?
At the risk of over simplifying, it is a total file management solution. One program feature that it offers not only acts as an aggregator, it also takes RSS aggregation to the next level."

Scopeware in the blog headlines twice in a week; also see, e.g., post by Ray Ozzie (and Gelernter link therein)

Microsoft granted an IM patent | CNET

Microsoft granted an IM patent | CNET "Microsoft has won a patent for an instant messaging feature that notifies users when the person they are communicating with is typing a message.
The patent encompasses a feature that's not only on Microsoft's IM products but also on those of its rivals America Online and Yahoo. The patent was granted on Tuesday."

Microsoft and Siebel Systems Optimize Siebel Business Applications On Microsoft .NET

Microsoft and Siebel Systems Optimize Siebel Business Applications On Microsoft .NET "Siebel Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. today announced new deployment options for Universal Application Network (UAN) utilizing Microsoft BizTalk® Server 2004 as a runtime engine and tool set for customization. The companies also previewed new Microsoft® .NET-based Smart Client technology, providing deep integration with the Microsoft Office System and Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 within all hosted and nonhosted Siebel deployments. These offerings are expected to further the growth of the Microsoft Windows® platform -- one of the fastest-growing platforms for Siebel deployments -- within the Siebel installed base by providing customers with breakthrough application integration, user productivity and scalability."The integrated products announced today demonstrate how the Siebel and Microsoft solution enables customers to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy the best business solutions," said Mark Armenante, group vice president, Alliances, Siebel Systems. "Working together over the past year, Siebel and Microsoft have developed .NET-based solutions throughout our client, server and integration product stacks that will help enterprises react to business change and realize greater value from their technology investments."

Going deep .NET on one hand, and working closely with IBM on hosted and SMB-focused offerings; Siebel continues to morph in interesting ways...

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Amazon reaches out via Microsoft to computer desktop

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Amazon reaches out via Microsoft to computer desktop "The company is partnering with Microsoft to sell products directly from documents, spreadsheets and other Office programs — without opening up a Web site.
Instead, Amazon's entire catalog would be available for purchase directly through a window in Microsoft's Office 2003 Edition desktop programs, scheduled to launch Oct. 21.
It's not the first partnership between two of the biggest tech companies in the Seattle area, but it's certainly the most significant. Microsoft previously has made Amazon a premier merchant on its MSN Internet portal, and Amazon has used Microsoft's technology for its e-book store.
"The opportunity to be exposed to 400 million people who use Office is a tremendously exciting thing for any of our partners," said Dan Leach, lead product manager for the Office division.
The browser has served Amazon well, but it's a general-purpose tool, Barr said.
Microsoft's research pane is task-specific, he said, and is more convenient because users don't have to bounce back and forth between Office programs and a browser."

General Microsoft theme in this context:
Office: seamlessly integrated information worker environment
Browser: "reach Web" client

Sony Shows 'Crossover' Video-Game Machine

Sony Shows 'Crossover' Video-Game Machine " Sony Corp. offered a preview Tuesday of its next-generation PlayStation, a hybrid gaming machine with digital media hub features: a TV tuner, DVD and hard-drive recording and photo album and music player functions.
The PSX faces competition from souped-up ``home entertainment'' computers made by various manufacturers that are powered by Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP Media Center software, which includes similar functions.
Sony is banking on the popularity of the PlayStation2 -- which has sold 60 million worldwide, beating Nintendo Co.'s GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox -- to give itself an edge in the DVD recorder market over rivals in the electronics sector that don't have a game unit." - Microsoft Windows Still Dominates Systems Shipments - Microsoft Windows Still Dominates Systems Shipments " Microsoft Corp. continues to take a bigger share of the market for operating systems used on servers, despite a widely perceived threat from Linux software, according to a new research report from the market-research firm IDC.
The firm plans to report Wednesday that Microsoft's Windows accounted for 55% of new shipments of server operating systems in 2002, up from 50.5% in 2001. By contrast, paid versions of Linux accounted for 23.1% of new shipments, up from 22.4% over the same period. IDC predicts that both Windows and Linux will increase their shipment totals and market shares through 2007.
Linux is also available in free versions that don't show up in IDC's numbers. But Al Gillen, an IDC analyst, said that companies that use Linux are increasingly opting for paid versions that come with support and regular product fixes and updates. Two major suppliers of those paid versions, Red Hat Inc. and SuSE Linux AG, also should see big revenue jumps."

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Microsoft Is Keen On Green

Microsoft Is Keen On Green "Little-known project has hundreds of developers writing a new set of business apps from scratch."
"A large and growing percentage of Business Solutions' developers are quietly working on a suite of enterprise applications intended to integrate tightly with Microsoft's next-generation desktop and server software. Project Green is "very ambitious," says Paul Hamerman, a Giga Information Group analyst. "They've crafted a strategy to integrate the entire Microsoft stack, from back-end systems and operating systems to the Office applications."
"Business Solutions officials promise they'll continue enhancing the acquired suites for years to come. Already this year, the division has introduced upgrades to the Great Plains, Navision, and Solomon applications. In parallel, though, there's Project Green, an effort that involves about 40% of Business Solutions' 1,700 programmers, says Satya Nadella, the division's corporate VP of product development. By the middle of next year, Nadella says, two-thirds of Business Solutions' developers will be concentrated on new products, with about a third pumping new features into the existing apps."

Download details: Office 2003 Add-in: Web Parts and Components

Download details: Office 2003 Add-in: Web Parts and Components: "Microsoft Office Web Parts and Components is a collection of Web Parts, Web Part Page solutions, templates, and data retrieval services that work closely with Microsoft Office 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 2.0 from Microsoft. These added features are particularly useful for large enterprises who have deployed Microsoft Office throughout their organization and who want to take advantage of the enhanced functionality and efficiencies these Web Parts and components provide for their sites."

Via ActiveWin

What's New with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004

What's New with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004: "Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004, available pre-installed on Media Center PCs, delivers advanced computing, plus easy-to-use integrated digital entertainment"

Handy feature list

Macromedia - Active Content Developer Center

Macromedia - Active Content Developer Center "In the future version of Internet Explorer, currently due out early next year, the browser prompts visitors to confirm that they want to execute each active content item on a page. However, there are several straightforward ways to update your web pages so that the prompt no longer appears." Also see Microsoft overview of changes.

Monday, October 06, 2003 - With Software Jobs Migrating to India, Think Long Term - With Software Jobs Migrating to India, Think Long Term: "In 1992, computer guru Ed Yourdon warned that low-cost Indian workers were poised to steal U.S. high-tech jobs -- a decade before the mainstream media started reporting that fear.
'International competition will put American [computer] programmers out of work, just as Japanese competition put American automobile workers out of work in the 1970s,' he warned in his book, 'Decline & Fall of the American Programmer.' He included a sketch of the extinct dodo bird, labeled 'the American programmer, 1999.'
Exactly the opposite happened. With the advent of the Internet, and the soaring popularity of home computers, the number of U.S. programmers and other information-technology workers jumped 40% from 1992 to 1996. So Mr. Yourdon wrote a mea culpa.
In 'Rise & Resurrection of the American Programmer,' he said in 1996 that the U.S. culture of innovation promised a bright future for U.S. info-tech workers. Wrong again. Jobs increased for four years, but then slumped as the tech bubble burst. 'Global ramifications are very hard to predict,' he says now."

I think Yourdon is often right but ~10 years early...

Pictures from Bloggercon -- More Saturday Morning

Pictures from Bloggercon -- More Saturday Morning Semi-random: check out the middle picture on this page -- count the number of Apple laptops

Saturday, October 04, 2003

InfoWorld: Microsoft's Office 'system' attacks collaboration from all sides: October 03, 2003: By Jon Udell: Applications

InfoWorld: Microsoft's Office 'system' attacks collaboration from all sides: October 03, 2003: By Jon Udell: Applications "E-mail, the intranet, and IM have been on a collision course for some time now. I am delighted to see Microsoft not only embracing all three modes but also looking for ways to weave them together. Yet I can’t avoid a sense of déjà vu. In the 1990s, Netscape tried something similar, offering a suite of collaboration servers and a matching suite of clients. There were compelling benefits, but also a lot of moving parts. I feel the same way about Office, Exchange, SharePoint, and Live Communications Server. Users will find no single unifying theme akin to the Groove shared space. Administrators will have to install and manage three or four sets of clients and servers. The new capabilities are exciting, but it’ll take lots more integration to make Office-based collaboration a seamless and manageable experience."

(Quote from 2nd of 2-page article)

The New York Review of Books: Iraq: What Went Wrong by General Wesley K. Clark

The New York Review of Books: Iraq: What Went Wrong by General Wesley K. Clark "No one could believe at this point that bringing about such a democratic transformation would be easy, quick, or cheap. It is true that if a primary but unspoken purpose of the military campaign was to demonstrate the skills and courage of the American armed forces, then it was surely a success. Thirty years of dedicated effort have built a US military without peer in its ability to defeat enemy forces on the battlefield. But power creates its own adversaries, and those who are determined to contest American strength will seek methods that minimize the military advantages we have accumulated. Much greater work remains to be done if the United States is to achieve success in promoting our values, our security, and our prosperity. All else being equal, the region and the Iraqi people are better off with Saddam gone. But the US actions against old adversaries like Saddam have costs and consequences that may still leave us far short of our goal of winning the new war on terror. Indeed, the effects of the war may actually impair our efforts to achieve that larger goal."

'Quicksilver': The Original Information Age

'Quicksilver': The Original Information Age: "Stephenson clearly never intended ''Quicksilver'' to be one of those meticulously accurate historical novels that capture ways of thought of times gone by. Instead, it explores the philosophical concerns of today -- or at least, the philosophical concerns of Stephenson. At its best, the novel does this through thrillingly clever, suspenseful and amusing plot twists.
But the novel is so swollen and overloaded that these delightful Stephensonian offerings are hard to follow -- and even hard to identify. And ''Quicksilver'' suffers from a problem common in parts of trilogies: it feels unresolved. Will it turn out to be the first third of a carefully constructed meta-novel, or a messy chunk of a bigger mess? Is it complex, or merely random? Only the next couple of thousand pages will say for sure."

Microsoft: Put Away Your VBA: Says VS.NET better for extending Office 2003

SD Times: Microsoft: Put Away Your VBA: Says VS.NET better for extending Office 2003 " Why replace VBA? “Because you get the full power of Visual Studio .NET, the benefits of writing with the .NET Framework, and you can use all the classes for data, calling Web services and file manipulation,” claimed Robert Green, lead product manager for Visual Studio .NET.
Green cited drawbacks with VBA, including macros and other executable code that resided within a Word document or Excel spreadsheet. In the new paradigm, code is stored in a .NET assembly and linked into the document. “You could store that code on the network, and when the user opens the document the code automatically gets downloaded to their machine,” which simplifies deployment and maintenance, he said.
Separating the code from the content can help eliminate security risks, claimed Joe Andreshak, lead product manager for Office. “With VBA, someone outside the company could e-mail me a document and execute code right on my workstation. The only protection the company has is my decision whether or not to run that code. With a Visual Studio Tools interface, if I am outside the company and e-mail the document, it points to code on a server outside the company,” which will run code only when requested from a trusted server."

This makes sense for a lot of reasons, but it's going to be a major transition for developers who have specialized in Access and VBA in other Office apps.

OneName files for bankruptcy

OneName files for bankruptcy "Two years ago, executives at OneName Corp. boasted how its Extensible Name Service would transform the way people communicated, conducted e-commerce and connected to the Internet.
One executive said the open-source software company -- formerly known as Intermind Corp. -- would have 25 million users by this time.
But the Seattle start-up -- whose list of 87 investors includes billionaire Craig McCaw, InfoSpace Chief Executive Jim Voelker, winemaker Allen Shoup and Washington Mutual's Craig Tall -- filed for bankruptcy this week after burning through $27 million in cash."

Friday, October 03, 2003

Smart Mobs - Comparative Shopping with a Camera Phone

Smart Mobs - Comparative Shopping with a Camera Phone "According to their press release, NeoMedia have combined one winning technology: Amazon's Associate program (which lets business access the Amazon catalog database), and one failed technology: the CueCat (where bar codes in advertisements would lead people to websites) into one interesting m-commerce application.
The shopper works by using your (Nokia) cameraphone to take a picture of a book's ISBN number (by using the bar code). Then using a proprietary application, the picture is sent to NeoMedia, who will use the bar code to determine the ISBN number and send you Amazon's price for that book. No mention is made of whether you will be able to purchase the book from your handset."

CRN : Breaking News : Microsoft Linux Chief Urges Channel To Resist Short-Term High Of Linux Margins

CRN : Breaking News : Microsoft Linux Chief Urges Channel To Resist Short-Term High Of Linux Margins "Microsoft's chief Linux strategist, Martin Taylor, advised the company's partners not to be seduced by the higher-margin service opportunities offered by commercial Linux platforms because they won't last.
"It'll give you a short-term high, and part of the allure of the Linux world to partners is that short-term high, but we have better long-term economics," said Taylor, Microsoft's general manager of platform strategy. "Solution providers think they can cobble the thing together, but the economics of Windows will play out over time."