Monday, December 29, 2003

Gizmodo : Smart Display is dead

Gizmodo : Smart Display is dead: "Last week Microsoft sent out letters to Samsung, LG, and other manufacturers informing them that Smart Display was dead and that they were abandoning development of the operating system."

Via Incremental Blogger Big Intrusions, Tiny Pictures and Patented Problems Big Intrusions, Tiny Pictures and Patented Problems: "This is the year the Internet officially stopped being fun. The festering problems of spam, spyware, viruses, worms and pop-ups boiled over, making the online experience merely annoying at best, financially and emotionally destructive at worst. "
When an obscure Utah software firm can claim that it owns part of the Linux operating system and demand royalty payments (without offering public proof!), when Microsoft must redesign its Web browser because a programmer got a patent for an obvious way to add multimedia to Web pages, and when manufacturers of things ranging from printer cartridges to garage-door openers get sued under the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, no developer or consumer can be safe. Is that the future we want to live in? "

Via Watching Microsoft Like a Hawk

The Telegraph - Calcutta : Business

The Telegraph - Calcutta : Business Microsoft is aggressively eyeing India as a destination for its gaming products.
“Gaming is the most popular usage category for the PC after e-mail and word processing. Many countries are already witnessing exponential growth patterns in the gaming space. It’s time India, which is in the initial stages of evolution, gets exposure to world class gaming products and devices,” Microsoft India manager, home and entertainment division Mohit Anand said."

Via Watching Microsoft like a Hawk

A new form of Microsoft "Age of Empires"?...

Saturday, December 27, 2003

The New York Review of Books: The Story of a Bubble

The New York Review of Books: The Story of a Bubble "The fabulous Nineties—with soaring stock market, falling unemployment, declining defense spending, budget surpluses, and bubbly optimism—are history. Moreover, as long as market participants remember how they lost $6 trillion on absurd and wildly overvalued speculations, a similar exuberance is unlikely to recur in the near future. More likely is an economy in which large federal budget deficits lead to cuts in existing civilian programs and doom critical priorities such as comprehensive health care. The long-term management of our economy has fallen prey to the short-term maximization of votes in which the planning cycle of the US administration extends no further than November 2004. For all these consequences, surely, the faults lie in misguided policies of the Bush administration and not in the stars."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: PowerPoint effect: Does it spark or numb creativity?

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: PowerPoint effect: Does it spark or numb creativity?: "'Software constraints are only confining if you use them for what they're intended to be used for,' Byrne said in a phone interview. 'PowerPoint may not be of any use for you in a presentation, but it may liberate you in another way, an artistic way. Who knows.'
The gulf between Byrne's and Tufte's outlooks troubles fans.
Jimmy Guterman, 41, a writer whose Boston-area office includes posters of Tufte and Byrne, said he feels like the child of divorce.
'Quite frankly, I have to side with Tufte on this one,' Guterman said. 'Byrne thinks it's funny that this tool exists, and he wants to play with it. Tufte is going for the jugular. But they both in different ways understand that PowerPoint is a broken tool.' "

Friday, December 26, 2003

Windows Server System Magazine - Automate More and Manage Better with Longhorn and Yukon

Windows Server System Magazine - Automate More and Manage Better with Longhorn and Yukon: "WinFS is Longhorn's cross between a file system and a low-level database. That description doesn't do it justice in the eyes of at least one expert. 'I should admit I'm biased because I'm a database person, but at a high level, from what I've seen so far, I think [WinFS] is the most significant new capability in Longhorn,' says Peter O'Kelly, a senior analyst with The Burton Group. 'Certainly there are other things that are exciting, but if you look at it and say to what extent does Indigo [a new programming framework] or Avalon [a programming interface] represent a big step from the services that are there today, I think the leap that WinFS makes is far more significant.'"

Thursday, December 25, 2003 Apple's Key Moments Apple's Key Moments: "Twenty years after it introduced the Macintosh, Apple Computer remains the underdog in a personal computer world dominated by Intel and Microsoft. Although it has long been celebrated for its innovation and ease-of-use, the Macintosh continues to be seen as inappropriate for business use. But just when the Mac seems doomed to failure, some catalyst comes along--desktop publishing, the iMac, OS X. Does the Mac have another 20 years in it? Probably not. But as long as Steve Jobs remains at the helm of Apple, it's a sure bet that the company's products will continue to shock, surprise and delight."

Good historical snapshot series/slideshow

Microsoft's festive advice: Don't plug our PCs into the Web

Microsoft's festive advice: Don't plug our PCs into the Web: "Its slogan is 'where do you want to go today?' But Microsoft asks that if you get a Windows computer for Christmas,don't take it to one particular place: the internet.
At least, the company says, not until you've been to the shops again to buy extra software, and protected the system from the deluge of viruses and worms that target the flaws in Microsoft's software as soon as you take it online."

via Dave Farber

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

InfoWorld: Rate of broadband growth slows in US: December 22, 2003: By : Networking

InfoWorld: Rate of broadband growth slows in US: December 22, 2003: By : Networking: "The FCC's latest data on the deployment of high-speed Internet connections, released Monday, found that the number of high-speed lines increased from 19.9 million to 23.5 million during the first six months of 2003. That 18 percent increase compared to a 23 percent increase during the last half of 2002. For the full year period ending June 30, 2003, high-speed lines increased by 45 percent. "

Tim Bray ongoing · Telephony R.I.P.?

Tim Bray ongoing · Telephony R.I.P.? " Restating for emphasis: whenever I’m anywhere in the world and have an Internet connection, I can have a free videophone call home, that goes on as long as I need to and nobody’s counting minutes or running up a phone bill. Let’s see; free telephone with video, or pay-for-it telephone with no picture. Costly and voice-only, or free with a picture. I think this is what an inflexion point smells like." - The Mossberg Solution: Honey, Please Pick Up The Dry Cleaning. Over. - The Mossberg Solution: Honey, Please Pick Up The Dry Cleaning. Over.: "The world is about to get a whole lot noisier.
If you find cellphone gabbers annoying -- the type who spill out their side of a phone call loudly enough for anyone within 15 feet to hear -- then get ready for widespread distribution of a type of phone that could be your worst nightmare: walkie-talkie phones. Instead of hearing just one person's side of the conversation, these phones let you hear both participants as they shout back and forth on built-in speaker phones at volumes that can't be ignored."

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Mills on Microsoft

Mills on Microsoft
Microsoft Watch: But do you think Microsoft is trying to do what IBM is, with its WebSphere model, with Integrated Innovation? Or not exactly?
Mills: Not exactly. Architecturally, they have a hard time with WebSphere. It's a foreign body. Not only do they not do it, they actually don't want to do it.
One of the first principles at Microsoft is the operating system is the control point....the OS is the session-control service. But WebSphere says I am going to take over supervisory control, user connection, session control, arbitration, back-end connection, database connection. The database actually is a passive entity in the WebSphere model. So they really don't like the WebSphere model. If they did, they would have let Jim Gray loose to go build a real MTS (Microsoft Transaction Server), instead of what they built.
We love the WebSphere model because we love IMS and CICS. This is the favorite IBM model because we love this layered architecture that, in the distributed world, gives us OS insulation. So we make it portable and get a lot of derivative benefit from the model in the distributed computing environment, beyond what we got out of it in the mainframe environment.
So, I don't really know where they are going there, exactly. I think they are struggling with some of this stuff architecturally. There are strong religious beliefs among the different technical leaders at Microsoft. They are not very nice to each other. I don't think Bill (Gates) understands WebSphere, transaction monitor manager, insulating layer. He doesn't connect with it mentally. And he's the only one who ever would direct the inmates to ever change their model. Because (Platform Group VP Jim) Allchin would never do it."

Sun Pulls Plug on Cobalt Server Line

Sun Pulls Plug on Cobalt Server Line: "In late 2000, Ed Zander (then president and chief operating officer of Sun Microsystems Inc. and now recently tapped as CEO and president of Motorola) said of Sun's Cobalt server line: 'We think the demand for these high-volume, turnkey devices will explode in the next couple of years. Cobalt is our bet for the future.'
That future lasted only three years. This week, the company announced that it will discontinue the last model in its Cobalt product line, the RaQ 550 server, on Feb. 19, 2004, following September end-of-life notices for the rest of the Cobalt line. "

Another $2B down the drain...

Microsoft Solicits Feedback From Linux Users

Microsoft Solicits Feedback From Linux Users: "From the 'strange but true' files: Newsforge is reporting that Microsoft is sending online surveys to Linux User Groups and general Linux users, requesting feedback on what Redmond should be focusing on, product-wise, over the next five years. The feedback request is signed by Program Manager Michael Surkan (who is, indeed, a real Microsoft employee, working on the Windows network infrastructure team). Always in search of the 'open' angle, Newsforge is advocating that respondents make their answers public, by posting them to the Web, as well as sending them to Microsoft."

Asking non-customers for feedback/input is a standard means of market research...

BarlowFriendz: Entering CasualSpace...

BarlowFriendz: Entering CasualSpace...: "This feels significant to me. Even over shorter distances, people rarely think of phone calls as being so casually cheap that one would simply leave the connection open for ambient telepresence and occasional conversation. To create shared spaces that span the planet, and to do so whenever you feel like it, and to leave them unpurposefully in place for hours, is not something people have done very often before.
The next step is to make those shared spaces larger, so that multiple people can inhabit the same auditory zone, entering and leaving it as though it were a coffee house. This will change the way people live.
Big deal, you think. You can do this with conference calls now. But you don't. Conference calls are expensive and unstable. The sound quality usually sucks if you're using a speaker phone. I think this is different. It certainly felt different to me. I had the same shiver of the New that I got years ago the first time I ever used telnet and realized that I could get a hard disks to spin in any number of computers thousands of miles away just by entering a few keystrokes.
Eventually, Joi had to leave to attend to other business his distant part of Meatspace. We collapsed our huge virtual room into nothing. "

Ballmer's Competitive Streak :: AO

Ballmer's Competitive Streak :: AO: "McNamee: Do you view Google as a competitor today?
Ballmer: Sure. Google is a competitor for us in an aspect of what we do. I think Google has done a great job at what they do. I think Google is going to have a long and healthy future in front them. And I think the Google guys are going to love it. Seriously. The most fun thing to do is to be in a competition where you innovate a little bit, somebody else innovates a little bit. Google's pushing the pace. They've done great things in search, they should be applauded. That doesn't mean there's not plenty of opportunity for Microsoft, for Yahoo."

Creator of Linux Defends Its Originality

Creator of Linux Defends Its Originality: "The files listed in SCO's letter are written in the C programming language. Citing two files, 'include/linux/ctype.h' and 'lib/ctype.h,' Mr. Torvalds said 'some trivial digging shows that those files are actually there in the original 0.01 distribution of Linux' in September 1991.
'I wrote them,' Mr. Torvalds noted, 'and looking at the original ones I'm a bit ashamed.'
He observed that some of the macros, or programming shortcuts, are 'so horribly ugly that I wouldn't admit to writing them if it wasn't because somebody else claimed to have done so ;)' - ending his comment with the e-mail symbol for winking and smiling." - Networking Web Sites Present New Arena for Job Searchers - Networking Web Sites Present New Arena for Job Searchers: "A growing number of Internet sites are weaving digital webs of people and enabling them to take the practice of personal networking to a new level that might be called hypernetworking. Sites such as,,, and are free and allow people to expand their networks exponentially in many cases. Some sites emphasize professional contacts, while others are more socially focused. Most sites, including LinkedIn, are open to all comers. In all cases, the sites present a tantalizing new arena for job seekers."

InfoWorld: XML for the rest of us: December 19, 2003: By Jon Udell: Standards and Protocols

InfoWorld: XML for the rest of us: December 19, 2003: By Jon Udell: Standards and Protocols "“The relational database is designed to serve up rows and columns,” said BEA’s Adam Bosworth in his keynote talk. “But our model of the world is documents. It’s, ‘Tell me everything I want to know about this person or this clinical trial.’ And those things are not flat, they’re complex. Now we have the way to get not only the hospital records and prescriptions but also the doctor’s write-ups.”

It would be helpful if people stopped suggesting DBMS and XML are either/or, or that there's something broken about the DBMS approach. Check out Modeling Business Objects With XML Schema for a great read on the complementary nature of the DBMS/XML relationship.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Barron's Online - Technology Trader: BEA: the Spice of Life?

Barron's Online - Technology Trader: BEA: the Spice of Life?: "'I can't imagine Microsoft and IBM splitting the whole market between themselves,' says Scott Dietzen, chief technical officer for BEA. Microsoft will always encourage programmers to build applications on top of its Windows platform. So BEA won't have to compete against Microsoft for sales into the growing population of systems that use Linux software, says Dietzen. Against IBM, Dietzen claims that BEA has the advantage of a simpler, easier-to-use product -- as well as the allegiance of consultants like Accenture, which compete with IBM's own consulting services unit. The computers used in enterprise data centers will always be heterogeneous, says BEA's Dietzen.
BEA's tech chief, Dietzen, talks of a future in which an app-server like BEA's plays a Windows-like role for networked applications. It's always nice to hope."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Dell scorns high-tech purity, taps technology of others

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Dell scorns high-tech purity, taps technology of others: "Michael Dell, who founded his Fortune 500 company out of his University of Texas dorm room in 1984, doesn't mince words when the topic of innovation comes up.
'If you invent something that no one wants to buy, I don't care,' he said.
Dell doesn't mind slapping his own brand on other people's products. In fact, roughly 60 percent of Dell's offerings are made by someone else, he said.
The company's printers, for instance, come from Lexmark. Dell's online-music store is a rebranded version of the Musicmatch service. And the Dell Axim handheld computer is manufactured by a Taiwanese company named Wistron.
'We didn't grow to be a $40 billion company in 19 years by trying to do everything ourselves,' said Dell's 38-year-old chairman and chief executive. 'I don't want to reinvent things I can get from someone else.' "

New Economy: Offshore Jobs in Technology: Opportunity or a Threat?

New Economy: Offshore Jobs in Technology: Opportunity or a Threat?: "So what is really happening? Is the offshore outsourcing of technology jobs a cataclysmic jolt or a natural evolution of the economy?
The short answer is that the trend is real, irreversible and another step in the globalization of the American economy. It does present a challenge to industry, government and individual workers. But the shifting of some technology jobs abroad fits into a well-worn historical pattern of economic change and adjustment in the United States."

Check out Lester Thurow's new book,
Fortune Favors the Bold : What We Must Do to Build a New and Lasting Global Prosperity
, for a timely and interesting review of related topics.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

.NET Brain Droppings: X# is Dead

.NET Brain Droppings: X# is Dead: "Fabrice quotes Ken Levy saying that the X# research project is dead:
There is no such language called X# at Microsoft. There was an exterimental language developed that was data-centric, but it is gone and no longer developed and our team VS Data is responsible for helping get the good things from that research project into VB, C#, and the .NET Framework classes. You or someone should feel free to post my comments here on that Wiki page so those who read it in the future know that there is no such project at Microsoft and that the focus is on enhancing the VB and C# langauges for data as well as the .NET Framework classes."

Saturday, December 20, 2003

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: McCaw pursuing pay-TV spectrum

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: McCaw pursuing pay-TV spectrum: "Craig McCaw, who became a billionaire by building the first nationwide U.S. wireless company and selling it to AT&T, is seeking licenses for wireless spectrum that has potential for high-speed Internet access.
McCaw disclosed in a regulatory filing that he formed a Kirkland company, Flux U.S., in October and acquired rights to a type of spectrum originally designated for broadcasting pay television.
'Given McCaw's knowledge of the industry and his track record, I would say he has done a lot of strategic thinking along the lines of some of the enhanced uses of this old-fashioned spectrum,' said Jay Ireland, a telecommunications attorney at the law firm Cole, Raywid & Braverman. "

Friday, December 19, 2003

Instant Messaging Planet: Pepper Computer wants to bring collaboration to the consumer.

Instant Messaging Planet: Pepper Computer wants to bring collaboration to the consumer "The Lexington, Mass.-based firm is posed to launch its flagship collaborative application. But there's also reason for forward-looking enterprises to take note of the product.
Pepper Computer's founders include Chief Executive Len Kawell and President Mary Ellen Heinen, who come to the realm of collaboration and document management with impressive pedigrees. Kawell, one of the early minds behind Lotus Notes, worked with Ray Ozzie on PLATO Group Notes at CERL and later joined him at Iris Associates, which developed Notes and was ultimately purchased by Lotus. Later, he and Heinen co-founded e-book player Glassbook, which was acquired by Adobe."

(Thanks to David Marshak for the pointer)

Tools I use part 2: Bradbury Software - FeedDemon

Tools I use part 2: Bradbury Software - FeedDemon The 1.0 version is complete and you can try it free for 30 days. If you like the look/feel of Outlook 2003 and need a great RSS client (which is a stand-alone app -- does not require Outlook 2003), you should explore FeedDemon.

Microsoft Statement on RealNetworks' Legal Action

Microsoft Statement on RealNetworks' Legal Action "Following RealNetworks Inc.'s legal action today, Microsoft Corp. issued the following statement:
"RealNetworks' legal action today is unfortunate and particularly surprising given the intense competition in the digital media marketplace.
The facts are clear. There is vibrant competition in this marketplace, and RealNetworks' own reported growth shows that it has thrived on Microsoft® Windows® and many other operating system platforms. Computer manufacturers are free to install and promote any media player on new PCs. Consumers are free to use any media player, and many consumers use several different media players.
It's hard to reconcile Real's own statements on its marketplace success with today's lawsuit. Real claims to be the No. 1 provider of digital media solutions, with massive distribution of its software and more than 1 million player downloads a week. Thus, this is a case where a leading firm is seeking to use the antitrust laws to protect and increase its marketplace share and to limit the competition it must face.
These issues are a rehash of the same issues that have already been the subject of extensive litigation and a tough but fair resolution of the government antitrust lawsuit. The government antitrust ruling imposes a range of significant restrictions on Microsoft's business and provides considerable new opportunities for companies like RealNetworks; we accept these new rules and we are committed to full compliance.
Media playback technologies have been included in Windows as far back as the early 1990s. Microsoft has competed on the merits in the digital media marketplace by creating superior technology that delivers better quality, an open platform for software developers and device manufacturers and benefits to consumers. Companies are bringing new media players and services to the marketplace every week. That is what is going to benefit consumers and move this marketplace forward, and not this kind of rear-view-mirror litigation."

An unusually stern rebuttle from Microsoft.

CRN : Breaking News : Sun's Schwartz Blasts Microsoft Decision To Cut Off Products With JVM

CRN : Breaking News : Sun's Schwartz Blasts Microsoft Decision To Cut Off Products With JVM ""It's a lesson in how a company with legendary market dominance can lose sight of customer priorities, and force an unnecessary transition onto a customer base already paralyzed with viruses and security breaches," Schwartz wrote. "Publicly, Microsoft says Sun forced its hand. Yet, they overlooked that this issue was part of a settlement it agreed to and Sun extended until September of next year.
He claims Microsoft is trying to force upgrades. In the same letter, however, Sun took the opportunity to pitch its own Java Desktop System Linux desktop to Microsoft customers using those products who may decide to migrate to newer Microsoft software - or alternatives."

CRN : Breaking News : Tibco Shares Up 10 Percent After Strong 4Q Results

CRN : Breaking News : Tibco Shares Up 10 Percent After Strong 4Q Results: "Tibco Software shares were up 10 percent in midday trading Thursday after the company posted a 55 percent increase in net income for its fourth fiscal quarter ended Nov. 30.
"The competitive landscape is very, very different than it was a year ago," Ranadive said. "If we are involved in a deal, we will win the deal. I can tell you in a competitive situation, I see [BEA Systems, WebMethods and other EAI competitors] less than 3 percent of the time. I see IBM all of the time."

Newsflash: RealNetworks Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Microsoft

Newsflash: RealNetworks Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Microsoft: "Jonathan Zuck, the president of the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT), a Microsoft-friendly trade group, says RealNetworks' is trying to hide its financial difficulties by attacking an easy target. 'I think RealNetworks is trying to hide their red ink by blaming their problems on Microsoft,' he told CNET. 'They learned from Sun and Netscape that if you have a tough quarterly report to put out, why not blame Microsoft?'"

RealNetworks Accuses Microsoft of Restricting Competition

RealNetworks Accuses Microsoft of Restricting Competition "RealNetworks filed a $1 billion antitrust lawsuit on Thursday accusing Microsoft of using its monopoly power to restrict competition and limit consumer choice in digital media markets.
Legal experts said that the lawsuit, which cites new evidence suggesting that Microsoft's business practices have remained unchanged after its landmark court battle with the federal government, indicated that its legal woes were not necessarily over despite the company's accommodation with the Bush administration and its settlement of several other lawsuits.
"We believe that our business would be substantially larger today if Microsoft were playing by the rules," said Rob Glaser, chief executive of RealNetworks, which is based in Seattle."

I trust the court will examine the "rules" RealNetworks has played by over the years, as part of this review.

Tools I use: Online Reference Software by GuruNet: Dictionary, Encyclopedia, & More

Tools I use: Online Reference Software by GuruNet: Dictionary, Encyclopedia, & More FYI I've been a very happy GuruNet (formerly Atomica) user for several years. I was reminded of how indispensable it is to me recently, when ZoneAlarm blocked GuruNet on my new laptop; I'm very glad to have it back -- GuruNet support was familiar with the ZA bug and provided a work-around.

GuruNet offers a free version as well as an enhanced version; check it out sometime. - Wal-Mart to Offer Songs At 88 Cents a Download - Wal-Mart to Offer Songs At 88 Cents a Download: "The discount retail giant is the latest company to launch an online music store, and the company is looking to leverage its considerable clout and undercut rivals' prices. Though the new site only supports computers running Microsoft Windows, Wal-Mart's 88-cent price tag still comes as a blow to competitors such as Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes service and Roxio Inc.'s revived Napster site, both of which offer songs for 99 cents each.
In October, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs told CNBC the company's iTunes site wasn't itself profitable, though it helped Apple's bottom line by driving sales of its iPod digital music player.
Wal-Mart's online music store is run by the Liquid Digital Media unit of Anderson Merchandisers, a privately owned company that is already the chain's music distributor and the country's largest magazine wholesaler.
Wal-Mart said it plans to gather customer feedback and make modifications to the site prior to an official rollout planned for 2004.
In January, Anderson acquired some of the assets of troubled digital media company Liquid Audio with the intention of moving into the online music distribution business."

Article includes a succinct summary table of Wal-Mart, Musicmatch, Napster 20.0, iTunes, and BuyMusic services. Oracle 10g - stands for grid at a tenth of the price Oracle 10g - stands for grid at a tenth of the price: "Larry Ellison, President of Oracle, said at a recent conference that a twin processor Lintel server for USD5000 is the only rational building block for enterprise computing. It is faster and nearly ten times cheaper than the equivalent power on a mainframe or UNIX server. This statement is at the heart of his drive for grid computing in the latest Oracle release 10g.
The only problem is that you have to put a lot of them together in a grid to give the power needed. They have to have the right OS, middleware and application software installed. Then they have to be configured and connected together. If the load changes significantly, either because of a long term growth in transaction volumes, or by a sudden on-demand surge, they have to be extended and reconfigured to cope. If there is a hardware failure changes have to be made to reallocate the load.
It really does appear that Oracle has done enough to make the grid built out of commodity servers a practical and economic reality. And as a by-product they have made the management of smaller systems easier as well.
This functionality is very good news for existing Oracle users but it also makes Oracle much more attractive for the rest of the IT world."

Summary of the recent Oracle AS 10g Analyst Days event from Bloor Research's Peter Abrahams

Comcast beefs up broadband services in face of competition / Business / Technology / Comcast beefs up broadband services in face of competition: "Comcast also launched a premium $58-a-month home broadband service that allows up to five computers in a home to share a 4-megabit broadband connection. The service uses a single cable modem box that offers both wireless and Ethernet cable connections for computers in the home and provides a security 'firewall' and a router to network together the home computers.
To get the 3-megabit service, all existing Comcast customers have to do is unplug the power cord from their cable modem, wait 60 seconds, and plug it back in, which activates the higher speed. Most of Comcast's 4.8 million customers nationally had been upgraded to the faster service prior to yesterday's moves in New England, and the company expects to complete the switch by the end of next month across all its franchises."

Thursday, December 18, 2003 | Green Pasture ahead for IBM doc management | Green Pasture ahead for IBM doc management: "IBM announced today that it has acquired Green Pasture Software Inc., a privately owned provider of document management software based in Corvallis, Ore.
The buy is IBM's third acquisition in less than two years in the enterprise content-management space. IBM purchased Tarian Software Inc.'s records management software in November 2002 and Aptrix's Web content-management software in July 2003.
The acquisition strengthens IBM's position in the $10 billion content-management market, which analysts say will be a huge focus for Big Blue next year. IBM has about 34% of the content-management market, according to Gartner Inc. IBM says it has about 9,000 companies using its enterprise content-management technology.
With products such as its DB2 Content Management system and Lotus Workplace Content Management, as well as a number of similar offerings to be introduced next year, IBM is poised to deliver the most comprehensive portfolio of content management capabilities, analysts say." - Can't Find a Book Excerpt? Google It - Can't Find a Book Excerpt? Google It: "Google Inc. quietly has begun testing a service that lets users search excerpts of books, a sign of its broader ambitions in the search market.
Google is steering users who read the book excerpts to Inc. and other online stores. Longer term, though, the service could represent an escalation of its growing rivalry with Amazon."

Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - High-Tech Pioneer Leaves Cisco To Return to Start-Up Life - High-Tech Pioneer Leaves Cisco To Return to Start-Up Life: "High-tech pioneer Andreas Bechtolsheim is leaving Cisco Systems Inc. after seven years to try start-up life again.
Mr. Bechtolsheim, a co-founder of Sun Microsystems Inc., resigned from Cisco, effective Tuesday. Cisco told employees of the move late Monday. Mr. Bechtolsheim, 48 years old, declined in an interview to say what he would do next, saying only, 'My entrepreneurial roots are taking hold and I have a sudden urge to pursue a new venture.'
In September, Mr. Bechtolsheim said he had funded a start-up, with Cisco's permission, called Kealia Inc. that is working on unspecified technology involving computer servers. Others familiar with the matter Kealia is working on computers that would help distribute movies and other digital content over networks. In the past 12 months, Mr. Bechtolsheim has registered six trademarks including forms of the words "stream" or "net." In September, Mr. Bechtolsheim said Cisco wasn't an investor in Kealia.
Monday, Mr. Bechtolsheim declined to say whether he would be working full time on Kealia. He also declined to say whether his new venture would include Bill Joy, another Sun co-founder who left Sun several months ago."

Microsoft confirms Windows shuffle | CNET

Microsoft confirms Windows shuffle | CNET "... a new Windows Core Operating System division will be headed by Brian Valentine, currently senior vice president of the Windows division. That unit will focus on the development of new Windows technologies, creating a larger separation between the development and product teams at Microsoft.
As part of the move, the Windows Server team will move into the server and tools unit under Eric Rudder. Bill Veghte, who had been the senior vice president in charge of that unit, is taking up a new role as head of North American sales, reporting to overall sales chief Kevin Johnson. Responsibility for the server operating system will fall to Bob Muglia, who will continue to oversee Microsoft's efforts in storage and management." / Business / Technology / EMC to buy Calif. software company / Business / Technology / EMC to buy Calif. software company: "Hopkinton data storage firm EMC Corp. will pay $635 million in cash to buy VMware Inc., a privately held firm in Palo Alto, Calif., whose 'virtualization' software allows the use of multiple operating systems on the same computer.
VMware is the third major software company EMC has purchased this year."

Monday, December 15, 2003

Tips For Ward At Microsoft

Tips For Ward At Microsoft Via Dave Winer -- Ward Cunningham, creator of the original wiki (and other influential software etc.) has gone to work for Microsoft; he set up a wiki for people to leave him advice about Microsoft.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Nick Bradbury: FeedDemon IS golden!

Nick Bradbury: FeedDemon IS golden!: "FeedDemon IS golden!
Yep, it's midnight, and I've locked the FeedDemon 1.0 code. Expect to see it for sale early next week!"

Sign me up -- FeedDemon is a great RSS Reader

Application Interoperability: Microsoft .NET and J2EE

Application Interoperability: Microsoft .NET and J2EE "Application Interoperability: Microsoft .NET and J2EE presents interoperability best practices, and illustrates these approaches with a functional sample application. It shows how to link Microsoft .NET and J2EE, using Web services, runtime bridges, and asynchronous techniques."

Free 340+ page (pdf) book on the topic, in Microsoft's Patterns & Practices series

Eclipse: A Platform Becomes an Open-Source Woodstock

Eclipse: A Platform Becomes an Open-Source Woodstock "Call it a platform. Call it a tool. Call it the hottest open-source software movement since Linux. All those descriptions currently surround Eclipse,(1) the language-agnostic code base that's billed as a "universal platform."
According to its creators—who are developing a very un-Microsoft-like knack for issuing bland pronouncements that downplay the growing industry buzz surrounding Eclipse—it's more precisely a metaplatform. That is, it's a building tool out of which developers can create IDEs (integrated development environments), or indeed anything else they might desire."

Timely overview

MSN Messenger Logs Over 110 Million Users Per Month

WinInfo Short Takes: Week of December 15: MSN Messenger Logs Over 110 Million Users Per Month: "...Microsoft recently announced that its free MSN Messenger Instant Messaging (IM) service logs over 110 million unique users every month, making it the most popular IM solution on the planet. Also, over 10 million unique users are using MSN Messenger 6.1's integrated Web cam feature each month to regularly perform video conferencing with friends and family around the world, with over 2.5 million Web cam sessions occurring each day."

Friday, December 12, 2003

Study: Windows 98 prevalent as end of support looms - Computerworld

Study: Windows 98 prevalent as end of support looms - Computerworld "Many North American businesses still have computers running on Windows 98, even though support for the operating system is set to end Jan. 16, according to a study released today.
AssetMetrix Inc., an Ottawa-based IT asset analysis tool vendor, collected data on more than 370,000 PCs from 670 businesses in the U.S. and Canada. It found that 80% of those companies have at least one PC running either Windows 95 or Windows 98. The older operating systems accounted for about 27% of operating systems found.
Microsoft will end support for Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition on Jan. 16, and the products will become "obsolete," according to the Microsoft Web site. Online self-help support will continue to be available until at least June 30, 2006, but Microsoft won't provide security fixes or other product updates.
Support for Windows 95 ended on Dec. 31, 2001, according to the Microsoft product life-cycle Web site.
As a result of the Windows 98 retirement, businesses that still use the operating system face "an ever-increasing risk of security breach for their entire network," according to the AssetMetrix study. The company advises businesses to retire all Windows 98 systems that are connected directly to the Internet."

John W. Sidgmore, Ex-Chief of WorldCom, Dies at 52

John W. Sidgmore, Ex-Chief of WorldCom, Dies at 52: "He created the backbone of the Internet,' said Frank Dzubeck, president of Communications Network Architects, a consulting firm in Washington. 'It was made up of islands until he put it together at UUNet to link the various service providers. It's unfortunate that he is going to be better remembered for the end of his career.'"

State of the Art: Conjuring a Superphone, With 3 Formulas to Choose

State of the Art: Conjuring a Superphone, With 3 Formulas to Choose: "...Then there's the little issue of mastering this phone. Microsoft's software is vaguely Windows-like, and the Palm OS is vaguely Mac-like. But Symbian's software is just strange. You need a secret decoder ring to identify its infuriatingly unlabeled icons and buttons.
For some, the very idea of a phone operating system is enough to inspire a queasy, frightening, we've-crossed-the-line sort of shiver. And to be sure, there will always be simple, inexpensive phones for mere mortals who just want to call home on the way home from work.
But for corporate types, gadget freaks and anyone whose self-image incorporates a strand or two of James Bond's DNA, the era of superphones has officially begun. And in this weird new world, competition in the operating-system arena can only be good news." Steve Jobs interview Steve Jobs interview: "Still, Apple's market share seems stuck at about 5% in the U.Ss and 3% worldwide.
So our market share is actually greater than BMW's -- greater than Mercedes -- in the car industry. And, yet, no one thinks BMW or Mercedes are going away, and no one thinks that they're at a tremendous disadvantage because that's their market share. Matter of fact, they're both highly desirable products and brands."


Thursday, December 11, 2003

Microsoft gets Windows XP update ready | CNET

Microsoft gets Windows XP update ready | CNET "The beta version of Windows XP Service Pack 2 is expected to be made available to testers soon via Microsoft's developer Web site. The final version is expected to be released in the first half of next year, Microsoft said.
Among the security improvements in Service Pack 2 are a beefed-up version of Windows Firewall, previously called Internet Connection Firewall, and software designed to block pop-up ads and prevent the unintended downloading and installation of software. The company also turned off the Windows Messenger service, which had been abused by some hackers. "

Microsoft Business Builder helps ISVs build their business.

Business Builder helps ISVs build their business.: "Microsoft Business Builder is a series of complimentary courses and fee-based consulting to help you understand business management as well as you understand software development.
Business Builder offers three on-line courses specifically designed for ISVs: Business Strategy, Financial Forecasts and Business Plans. The accompanying course workbook should be used with the courses to put your business plan into action."

Via Jesse Ezell Blog

SAP, Microsoft draw battle lines | CNET

SAP, Microsoft draw battle lines | CNET "They may also constitute a new battleground for Microsoft and companies it has long considered allies. When it entered the software niche known as enterprise resource planning (ERP) two years ago through a series of acquisitions, Microsoft made a pledge that it would steer clear of longtime partners SAP, PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems. The giant said that instead of selling its wares to the world's largest corporations as SAP and its traditional rivals do, it would target a largely untapped market: millions of small and medium-size businesses.
But with Microsoft expanding the scope of its applications and SAP looking to challenge Microsoft for small, high-volume contracts, the gloves are about to come off. "

At I.R.S., a Systems Update Gone Awry

At I.R.S., a Systems Update Gone Awry: "Most taxpayers are younger than the computer system that the I.R.S. relies on to maintain its master files on individuals and businesses - all the records of who they are, where they are, their income, taxes paid, and the amounts they still owe or are owed as refunds.
The I.R.S. says it can still process returns and send out refunds on time, but its dependence on the 1960's-era Assembler and Cobol computer languages makes it difficult to investigate and resolve taxpayers' problems. Finding a record using the existing system can take a week; the new system is supposed to do the job in seconds." - Personal Technology: Microsoft Introduces Two Smart Phones That Are a Little Slow - Personal Technology: Microsoft Introduces Two Smart Phones That Are a Little Slow: "I've been testing the first two U.S. phones to use this new Microsoft software: the Motorola MPx200, offered by AT&T Wireless, and the Samsung i600, offered by Verizon Wireless.
Neither phone is anywhere near as good as the Treo 600. Unlike the Treo, they lack keyboards for entering large amounts of text, so I can't recommend them for serious e-mail users.
They're really not even in the Treo's category. They're smart phones for people still interested primarily in making voice calls, but want a few extras. These extras include the ability to synchronize easily with PC-based calendars and address books, and to do light e-mail and a little Web browsing. The phones can also play music, and both accept expansion cards." - TVs That Surf the Net -- Without Using a PC - TVs That Surf the Net -- Without Using a PC: "... Sony, which also is aggressively developing smart gadgets, boasts its next generation of consumer-electronics devices will surpass PCs in speed and functionality. Sony is spending ¥200 billion ($1.86 billion) on the chip to power those devices, which it is creating in collaboration with Toshiba and International Business Machines Corp.
And Sony's latest home-electronics device, a cross between a video-game machine and a DVD recorder called the PSX, already can pull up and play movies stored on its hard drive faster than most PCs can. The PSX runs on a chip Sony and Toshiba developed for Sony's PlayStation 2.
'We're bringing the PC into the living room,' says Akira Shimazu, one of the developers of the PSX." Kubi creates an email collaboration environment Kubi creates an email collaboration environment: "Kubi is an interesting collaboration product that bridges the gap between the email client and the collaboration portal. Kubi provides the usual facilities of collaboration such as shared documents, shared discussion groups, tasks and calendars. The big difference is that instead of providing these in a separate workspace or portal, it builds these facilities on top of the familiar Outlook or Lotus Notes email client that we all know and love. The result is close integration with the familiar email interface and hopefully, rapid uptake of collaboration by users."

AT&T Joins Fray for Cheaper Calls Through the Web

AT&T Joins Fray for Cheaper Calls Through the Web: "The battle over the future of telephone service will break wide open today with an announcement from AT&T that it plans to offer unlimited long-distance and local calling using Internet technology at a lower cost than conventional phone service.
The move, disclosed by industry executives close to the company, comes after announcements this week from Time Warner Cable that it would provide phone service in many areas where it offers high-speed Internet connections and television access and from the BT Group of Britain that it would offer Internet-based telephone service to its customers."

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

IBM Gets Early Court Victory in SCO/Linux Case

IBM Gets Early Court Victory in SCO/Linux Case: "SCO revealed this week that a judge ruled in favor of IBM last Friday in SCO's trade secret violation lawsuit against the computing giant, a stunning legal victory for IBM. SCO sued IBM earlier this year for $1 billion, alleging that the Linux operating system IBM now supports contains software code stolen from UNIX, the rights to which SCO largely owns. SCO also revoked IBM's UNIX license. However, late last week, IBM found itself on the receiving end of a favorable court decision, resulting in an interesting reversal of fortunes. SCO had been pressuring the courts to force IBM to reveal its UNIX and Linux source code so SCO could prove that IBM was using stolen code. But the judge ruled that SCO would have to present its own UNIX source code first and identify which software code had been stolen.
But don't worry about SCO, as the company has another legal bomb to drop on IBM: The company said this week it would add a copyright infringement lawsuit to the previous charges. "[SCO] decided to notify the court they will be adding [copyright infringement] as part of the claims," an SCO spokesperson said Monday. "There will be a new filing on that coming out in the near future." SCO says it would have filed copyright infringement claims in its original lawsuit against IBM, but was thwarted when Novell claimed it still owned the UNIX copyright. However, legal documents unearthed in June proved that SCO owns the UNIX copyright, SCO says." - Microsoft Growth Is Flat, But Some See 'Value' Stock - Microsoft Growth Is Flat, But Some See 'Value' Stock: "Microsoft -- known affectionately as Mister Softie among Wall Street traders -- has done so poorly some people are starting to look at the company as, believe it or not, a value stock. Microsoft shares trade at a multiple of about 26 times earnings of the past 12 months. That is high compared with the historic P/E of the market, of course, but downright cheap compared with other tech stocks. The P/E on the Nasdaq 100 is a heady 64. Microsoft traded with a P/E of 76 in 1999, when it was viewed as the preeminent growth stock.
Microsoft now is cheaper than the overall market, which trades at a P/E ratio of 27, according to Birinyi Associates, a money-management firm. It is all attracting incipient interest from some savvy value investors. The company's dividend, while smallish at 16 cents a share, is another piece that attracts value investors hunting among tech stocks.
The best hope for the stock might be a new upgrade cycle, perhaps sparked in part by the very viruses hurting Microsoft's sales.
"As Microsoft and the antivirus companies drop their support for older versions of Windows, customers may have little choice but to upgrade to Windows XP to protect their systems," says one large hedge-fund manager who shifted out of Microsoft this year but might get back in. "Antivirus could be the Y2K of 2004," spurring sales and sending Microsoft shares higher." - Loaded With New Features, PCs Are Selling Like It's 1999 - Loaded With New Features, PCs Are Selling Like It's 1999: "For the first Christmas since sales started cooling in late 1999, home-PC sales may turn in a strong finish this year, spurred by buyers replacing older machines and the wider acceptance of home-PCs as entertainment-and-imaging devices rather than merely Internet cruisers.
After declining for three years running, PC sales this Christmas season could be up by as much as 19%, says market-watcher NPD Group.
Gains that began with back-to-school sales in August have continued through the fall and carried into recent weeks, retailers and analysts say. And buyers are favoring more-profitable notebook PCs and richer desktops, helping boost retailers' profits."

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Scott Durgin's Weblog: AOL Preps Live Video IM

Scott Durgin's Weblog: AOL Preps Live Video IM That might be useful for some people, but in the meantime AIM has started occasionally (and obnoxiously) displaying video clips when I start Windows and AIM, e.g., Time Warner movie promotions. Extremely annoying, and no way to disable it, as far I as I can see.

Eclipse Project Draft 3.0 Plan: Theme: Rich client platform

Eclipse Project Draft 3.0 Plan: "Eclipse was designed as a universal tool integration platform. However, many facets and components of Eclipse are not particularly specific to IDEs and make equal sense in non-IDE applications (e.g., window-based GUI, plug-ins, help system, update manager). Certain changes, like factoring out IDE-specific facilities, would allow the Eclipse Platform to be generalized into a rich client platform for building non-IDE applications."

This is a big part of your future, if you use Notes. Via Ed Brill

AppleInsider | Microsoft to announce new versions of Office, Virtual PC at Macworld

AppleInsider | Microsoft to announce new versions of Office, Virtual PC at Macworld: "If Apple Computer, Inc. plans to enter the office suite market with its own set of integrated business applications and rumored 'Document' word processor, they are going to have to wait until the latter half of 2004 to do so. The first half of the year will belong to Redmond-based friend and foe, Microsoft, which will officially renew its commitment to the Macintosh platform on January 6th with the introduction of new versions of Microsoft Office and Virtual PC for the Macintosh.
Microsoft Office 2004 for the Macintosh -- currently in development under the moniker 'Office 11 for Mac' -- is just one of four new Mac OS X native products under construction by Microsoft's Mac Business unit, sources close to the company said. The office suite will center around a new project management system, which will closely integrate its individual applications to provide a revolutionary means of organization. Users working on a joint project in both Word and PowerPoint will be able to link documents from the two applications through the Office project manager, which also extends to e-mail messages related to the project."


Microsoft Dynamic Systems Initiative Designed to Help IT Customers Manage their Data Centers

Microsoft Dynamic Systems Initiative Designed to Help IT Customers Manage their Data Centers PressPass: What lies ahead on the DSI roadmap?
Veghte: We are entering a very exciting time. ISVs can begin to deliver some of the Design for Operations benefits to their customers on the Windows platform today by developing what we call management packs for Microsoft Operations Manager. By writing a management pack, ISVs can encode the knowledge that they have about how their application behaves in a way that makes it much easier to manage. Going forward we are building some of that same capability into our Visual Studio development tools product line. Architects and developers will be able to develop operationally-aware applications, leveraging an underlying technology we call the System Definition Model (SDM).
SDM is a model that is used to create definitions of a set of related software and/or hardware resources working together to accomplish a common function. Using the SDM, businesses can create a live blueprint of an entire system. This blueprint can be created and manipulated with various software tools and is used to define system elements and capture data pertinent to development, deployment and operations – making it relevant across the entire IT life cycle.
Longer term, we are making investments not only in development tools, but across the board in support of the SDM. In the operating system, we will be able to automate how customers deploy distributed applications and their underlying resources based on the SDM description. SDM aware applications will be easier to deploy, monitor and update. The management tools that leverage the SDM infrastructure and SDM aware applications will be able to provide power new system level management capabilities in a highly automated way.
We really are taking a different approach with DSI. Instead of a band-aid solution that only goes a foot below the surface, we are addressing the inefficiencies and complexities inherent in today’s data centers by re-architecting from the ground up, while providing customers a way to also tie into and incorporate their existing investments. If the operationally aware platform does not extend that intelligence into the application layer – then you are only postponing future roadblocks." - Yahoo Offers Bundle of Services That Could Tweak Competitors - Yahoo Offers Bundle of Services That Could Tweak Competitors: "Yahoo Inc. said it will introduce a $5.95 package of services for computer users who already have Internet connections, a move that could set off a price war with rivals Microsoft Corp. and Time Warner Inc.'s America Online unit's competing services.
Yahoo's long-awaited service, called Yahoo Plus, is targeted at consumers who are moving from dial-up Internet access via phone lines to broadband, or high-speed, connections. Yahoo, which had announced its plans for the service package in February, said the bundle of services will include extra mail storage, as many as 10 personalized accounts for family members, and premium video content featuring news and entertainment."

Monday, December 08, 2003

LinuxPlanet - Reports - Linux-Based PageBuilder Takes on Microsoft's FrontPage - Using the Web to Build the Web

LinuxPlanet - Reports - Linux-Based PageBuilder Takes on Microsoft's FrontPage - Using the Web to Build the Web: "Linux open source developer SQLFusion says it's taking on Microsoft FrontPage with its first commercial product, a server-based software system aimed at quick, WYSIWYG creation of Web pages from Linux, Windows, and other desktops.
Through mid-December, SQLFusions's PAS PageBuilder will be available free of charge to beta testers. After PageBuilder leaves beta, SQLFusion will start to charge a $10 to $15 monthly subscription fee, said SQLFusion CEO Philippe Lewicki."


The Seattle Times: Inventing a new MSN: Broadband boom transforms Microsoft's key Internet product

The Seattle Times: Inventing a new MSN: Broadband boom transforms Microsoft's key Internet product: "A year ago, only 29 percent of U.S. homes had high-speed connections and 71 percent were using dial-up, according to data from Nielsen/NetRatings. Now, about 41 percent of homes are high-speed, and 59 percent dial in to the Internet.
MSN began losing subscribers from a peak of 9 million last October. The division knew that change was coming, and fast, and it had little choice but to adapt just as quickly. In a year's time the division has refined its business strategy to target high-speed customers, gone through an internal reorganization, made its first-ever profit and boosted its advertising sales." - Sony Trims PSX Functions To Meet Debut Deadline - Sony Trims PSX Functions To Meet Debut Deadline: "Sony Corp. Monday said it ran out of time for testing its new PSX product that fuses PlayStation 2 with an analog television tuner, DVD recorder and digital photo album -- and must scale back some of the promised features for the machine's debut next weekend.
The PSX version to be released Saturday will dub videos at only half the planned speed, and cannot play rewritable DVDs or recordable CDs, Sony said. It also won't process MP3 music files as had been promised by the Japanese electronics and entertainment giant in October."

Friday, December 05, 2003

Goodbye, Microsoft Millionaires :: AO

Goodbye, Microsoft Millionaires :: AO: "At times, you have been very unpopular in Silicon Valley. There are business people in the Valley who have decided that you are their target. What do you think engenders this antagonism?
Gates: When a company is as successful as Microsoft, I think it’s very legitimate for others to say, ‘Hey, let’s start companies to compete with them.’ And the line between lots of vigorous competition and more of a personal feeling against a particular individual can get blurred. It’s not clear where that line is drawn. Although, when Larry talks about his jet fighter bombing my family, he might have crossed over the line. And there might be other people who cross over the line.
Are you talking about Scott McNealy?
Gates: Maybe. In any case, you do get used to it. Do I care? Actually, in a funny way I do care. I think that jealousy has driven my competitors to more mistakes than any other factor I can name."

Sun Lowers Price of Windows Desktop Competitor

Sun Lowers Price of Windows Desktop Competitor: "Sun this week slashed the price of its just-released Linux-based Java Desktop and Enterprise System, hoping to make the new system a more compelling alternative to Windows for corporations. Individual Java Desktop System setups will cost just $25, Sun says, while the full Java Enterprise System, which adds portal services, instant messaging, email, and directory services, will be slashed to half price, or $50 per seat, through mid-2004. The Java Desktop System runs Linux, the Ximian Desktop, and Sun Star Office, a solution Sun says is ready to take on Windows." / Business / Pay to play / Business / Pay to play: "The magazine quoted an analyst for Aberdeen Group, a Boston market research firm, as saying BrassRing 'no longer stands out among the 150 small software makers in this speciality.' BrassRing, with $40 million in revenue considers itself a leader in software that tracks resumes, was not amused and called the Aberdeen analyst, Katherine Jones, to complain about her comments and about being left out of an industry survey she did over the summer.
'Well, it sounds like we have a market image problem to correct, and we may be able to help you with that,' Jones told BrassRing executive Austin Whitman, according to notes he made of the conversation. 'Is there a cost associated with that?' Whitman asked.
'Oh, there's a price tag to everything, isn't there?' the Aberdeen analyst replied. BrassRing says she offered to write an eight-page 'profile' of the company, provide it with 100 copies, put it on Aberdeen's website and provide information on who was downloading it, a source of business leads. The price: $25,000."

FYI Burton Group, my employer, does not do "white papers" or other dubious deals with vendors. Why some organisations find it hard to collaborate Why some organisations find it hard to collaborate: "If an organisation is to be successful in introducing collaboration and reaping its benefits across the organisation, the first step is to diagnose its cultural type and to create a change programme that addresses the barriers and motivations of its target users. The key factor that must be taken into account when implementing collaboration applications for information workers is that as much of their work depends on individual judgment. They have the discretion to enthusiastically adopt or quietly reject collaboration tools."

Thursday, December 04, 2003

e-Pro Magazine: Justifying the Cost of Notes

e-Pro Magazine: Justifying the Cost of Notes: "All too often decisions about purchasing or retaining Notes have been trumped by such pedestrian events as executives converting to a new software religion overnight or the Microsoft sales rep starting to date the chairman's daughter. But if you're not facing these travails or similar accidents of fate normally beyond the control of mere mortals, it is possible to justify Notes to its critics. Here, we explore what's necessary to prepare a TCO justification that works."

Thanks, Ed. Neat to see fellow Lotus alum Francois Koutchouk explain the TCO issues.

Sun's JDS Rivals Windows, Office

Sun's JDS Rivals Windows, Office: "It's debut week for Java Desktop System— a product in which Sun Microsystems Inc. has combined Linux, Mozilla, GNOME and StarOffice—creating a credible challenger to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows and Office on the corporate desktop."

New USO Program Uses Xbox Live Innovations to Connect Troops With Families And Friends Back Home

New USO Program Uses Xbox Live Innovations to Connect Troops With Families And Friends Back Home: "Today at a ceremony in downtown Manhattan, scores of military families will converge at the local U.S. Organizations (USO) Center to be among the first to connect with loved ones serving overseas by playing video games and talking with each other while they play. Changing the way troops reunite with their loved ones back home, U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) teamed up with the USO and Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox® video game system to launch an innovative and groundbreaking program, Operation: Live Connections."

Microsoft Eases Policy on Licensing Its Technology

Microsoft Eases Policy on Licensing Its Technology: "Microsoft announced yesterday that it would adopt a more liberal policy for licensing its intellectual property, opening the doors to its storehouse of patents and copyrights to outsiders.
The initiative is another step in Microsoft's effort to improve relations with other companies and to show regulators in the United States and Europe that it is a responsible company rather than a predatory monopolist."

So "responsible predatory monopolist" is an oxymoron?... - To Lure Subscribers Amid Price War, AOL Offers $299 PC - To Lure Subscribers Amid Price War, AOL Offers $299 PC: "n an effort to lure customers to its lagging online service, America Online is offering a computer and color printer for only $299 to customers who agree to subscribe to its basic Internet service for one year.
The unit of Time Warner Inc. is testing the promotion in a few key markets, including New York City, through the end of the month. But people throughout the country can take advantage of it through a Web site that AOL launched to promote the offer,"

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

InfoWorld: Lotus molds collaboration vision

InfoWorld: Lotus molds collaboration vision: "IBM's Lotus Software will shift its Workplace strategy into high gear next year with the addition of several tools and features that enable flexible collaboration via J2EE and Web services."

InfoWorld is a major IBM Lotus/Domino/Workplace fan this week...

InfoWorld: Lotus Notes and Domino 6.5 focus on users

InfoWorld: Lotus Notes and Domino 6.5 focus on users: "Client-focused? Yes, Notes 6.5 and Domino 6.5 certainly are that. But just because it's a point release — or a half-major, if you will — doesn't make this a pointless upgrade on either side of the network. The IT priesthood will drool over the improved server management features and enhanced change-management tools. The users will enjoy the improvements in mail views and the presence-aware features. Mobile and remote users will appreciate having the look and feel of the full client available to them over a browser. Notes and Domino remain a win-win proposition.


InfoWorld: Sun drops out of Eclipse negotiations

InfoWorld: Sun drops out of Eclipse negotiations: "Discussions aimed at merging Sun Microsystems Inc.'s NetBeans Java development framework with the IBM Corp.-backed Eclipse group have broken down, Sun said on Wednesday. The news ends months of speculation about whether Sun, the company that created Java, would join forces with IBM, one of Java's biggest supporters, and unify the two companies' efforts to create a standard open-source development environment for Java."

Guess they won't have to change the name after all...

Microsoft in .NET Overdrive

Microsoft in .NET Overdrive FYI my next Smart Solutions article. Summary: "With the release of several key products, and the unveiling of the next major steps for .NET at the October Professional Developers Conference (PDC 2003), 2003 was a watershed year for Microsoft. Although the flood of products and information flowing from Redmond can be daunting, Microsoft is still very much on track with the architectural vision it introduced with the launch of .NET more than three years ago at PDC 2000. This article is an overview of the recent developments and implications for enterprise developers."

I published the article using Macromedia Contribute and FlashPaper, so you'll need to have the Flash Player to read it.

Jeremy Allaire's Radio -- more on Xamalon

Jeremy Allaire's Radio -- more on Xamalon: "A former colleague/collaborator, Paul Colton, has just released a new product called Xamlon, which provides a simple XAML implementation on top of .NET 1.1 and the Windows Forms framework. For those not familiar with Paul, he founded LiveSoftware, and created JRun, the first commercial Java Servlet engine -- he and his team went on to invent what became JSP and JSP Tag Libraries (what they called Dynamic Taglets), and CF_Anywhere, a CFML processor on top of their Java Tag framework. Paul left Allaire after we acquired LiveSoftware, and has been playing around with a lot of ideas, but this one seems pretty cool!
XAML is the new XML-based user interface programming language that will be part of the Windows Longhorn release in 2006. Paul clearly liked XAML and thought that developers would be interested in developing with it (albeit much smaller/simpler in scale and richness) today. This will be an interesting project to track."

VMWare vs. Virtual PC-

VMWare vs. Virtual PC- "One place you'll find a difference between the two is with operating system support. When you first run Virtual PC, it warns you that it is only sipported on Windows 2000 Pro or Windows XP Pro (though it seems to be running fine on my Windows 2000 Advanced Server test box). VMware has no such limitation, with the host running on everything from Windows NT 4.0 to Windows Server 2003 (plus a version that runs on Linux). Virtual PC limits the supported operating systems inside of virtual machines to Windows (all flavors), DOS, and OS/2 (which, after all, was a Microsoft production). However, there's an "other" setting that lets you install pretty much anything you want, so it's not like there's an anti-Linux conspiracy here; it's just not something that Redmond cares to support. VMware's supported guest operating systems include everything Virtual PC lists except for OS/2, plus Linux, FreeBSD, and Netware 5 and 6. Again, there's an "other" setting you can use, though VMware appears to be slightly less forgiving of truly odd operating systems." - The Most Activated Windows Resource - The Most Activated Windows Resource: "The Visio Viewer 2003 allows anyone to view Visio drawings and diagrams (created with Visio 5, 2000, 2002, or 2003) inside their Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5.0 or later Web browser. Visio users can freely distribute Visio drawings and diagrams to team members, partners, customers, or others, even if the recipients do not have Visio installed on their computers. Internet Explorer also allows for printing, although this is limited to the portion of the drawing currently displayed."

The Search for the Perfect Gift Grows at Small Online Stores

The Search for the Perfect Gift Grows at Small Online Stores "Online shopping is expected to grow faster this holiday season than it has since the peak of the Internet frenzy in 2000, even as some analysts predict moderate growth in retail sales over all. And much of the growth is being driven by search engines like Google and other sites like Amazon and the online marketplace eBay, which are sending shoppers to tens of thousands of online stores, many of them small, independent operations." At last, Microsoft is seeing the bigger picture At last, Microsoft is seeing the bigger picture "We don't usually associate Microsoft with true enterprise computing. As long as the company's preferred approach to scalability is to add extra servers and compound management problems in the process, it is difficult to see how large scale businesses could operate successfully using only the Microsoft platform. However, there is some evidence that things will start to look different from 2004.

It is not that Microsoft is changing its point of view towards the use of server technology. In that respect, it is still difficult to see the concept of a 'Windows Enterprise' ever coming to fruition. What we can see is an evolving strategy of management and control that will make this environment much more manageable. Once the manageability argument has been faced and handled to the satisfaction of Microsoft customers, we may find that this major objection to Windows in the enterprise starts to fade."

Tuesday, December 02, 2003 Microsoft Blog: Microsoft Matrix transcript Microsoft Blog: Microsoft Matrix transcript "Gates: "At last. Welcome Steve-o. ... Have you ever had a dream that was so real, you weren't sure you were dreaming? Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is, but I can show you, and after this, there is no turning back. You take the big blue pill [shows him pill with IBM and Linux logos] and this story ends. You wake up in your bed, and armies of consultants are running around the IT world. You take the red pill [with Microsoft logo], you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how to ensure innovation frees the [inaudible]."

Xamlon - XAML Application Development for Today s .NET Platforms

Xamlon - XAML Application Development for Today s .NET Platforms: "Xamlon (pronounced 'Zamelon,' which rhymes with 'avalon'), is a XAML runtime library for the .NET Framework 1.1. Xamlon is not a 100% XAML compatible library, it was not designed to be, but rather uses the same syntax as XAML to provide the same power and capabilities as XAML but for building 'Windows.Forms'-based applications instead. Simply put:
'Xamlon is XAML for Windows.Forms'"

Slow uptake seen for Office 2003 | CNET

Slow uptake seen for Office 2003 | CNET "Only about 35 percent of large businesses plan to move up to the latest version of Microsoft's Office software next year, according to a new survey of chief information officers.
"You're looking at a much longer sales cycle with all the server functionality," he said. "This is not a department-level purchase decision anymore. You really need to get the CIO involved and design new processes...Even if they really like the product, I can easily imagine them taking six months to a year to build the back end and build the integration support they need."

Monday, December 01, 2003 - IBM Plans Reorganization Of $13.1B Software Ops - FT - IBM Plans Reorganization Of $13.1B Software Ops - FT: "International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) plans to reorganize its $13.1 billion software business, beginning in early January, the Financial Times reported Monday.
According to the report, IBM will split its software business into 12 industry segments - such as retail, manufacturing and financial services - in an effort to attract third-party software application companies and companies that seek to automate business processes.
The Financial Times's report, which cited Steve Mills, head of IBM's software business, said the company plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to boost its sales in advance of an upturn of corporate technology spending. The change is a reflection of a broader trend toward vertical marketing in the software industry, the paper noted.
IBM's direct sales and support staff of more than 13,000 people will be reorganized and will 'redirect the work of about 20,000 software engineers,' according to the Financial Times."

Patents: Idea for Online Networking Brings Two Entrepreneurs Together

Patents: Idea for Online Networking Brings Two Entrepreneurs Together: "The last few months have brought a flurry of new Web sites devoted to social networking - that is, helping people use friends of friends to do such things as find better dates or more lucrative jobs. Now, as some industry insiders rush to protect their intellectual property in this arena, others are murmuring about an impending patent war that they expect to bring an industry shakeout.
Friendster, one of the better-known social networking sites and, at nine months, one of the oldest, has been joined by sites like Tickle, Zero Degrees, Spoke and Ryze. Spoke, a networking site for salespeople, has boasted that it has 15 pending patent applications, although the applications have not yet been published, and the company has not disclosed details."