Tuesday, November 30, 2004

InformationWeek > Software Tools > Hotels Get Microsoft's Attention > November 29, 2004

InformationWeek > Software Tools > Hotels Get Microsoft's Attention > November 29, 2004: "MGM Mirage considered switching to an open-source architecture with Linux servers at the core, but Bonner decided against it, as that would have meant adding programmers with Linux expertise and retraining his existing staff. After lobbying Microsoft--along with other hospitality CIOs--to pay more attention to the industry, Bonner saw the commitment he was looking for and decided to make Microsoft technologies the centerpiece of his next-generation IT environment. 'Microsoft is standing up and saying, 'Hey guys, we think we have a platform or architecture that will allow you to be a better company,'' he says. 'Having a strong vendor supporting that is really important.'
Microsoft's support has helped MGM Mirage, CIO Bonner says.
Microsoft got that message loud and clear from multiple hotel CIOs, says Matt Muta, director and industry manager for Microsoft's retail and hospitality group. After hearing from hotel CIOs that the division paid it little attention, Microsoft created an architectural strategy and rounded up partners committed to building apps for the hospitality industry based on the .Net application-development platform. Now it's taking an equally important step to ensure that it's clear about the industry's needs. 'I'm in the process of solidifying an advisory board so we can remain in lockstep with the industry,' Muta says."

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WSJ.com - Carly Fiorina's Rough Ride

WSJ.com - Carly Fiorina's Rough Ride: "WSJ: Since you became H-P's CEO the stock has fallen by more than half. Why?
Ms. Fiorina: There's no question that when we are inconsistent, that hurts us. But I think it's much more than that. When I came in to H-P in the latter half of 1999, this was a company that had missed nine quarters of earnings in a row in the middle of the biggest tech boom in history. We were growing at 2% to 3%. Even our vaunted imaging-and-printing group was earning less than half of what it is today. People forget that.
Then we announced the Compaq merger [in late 2001], which was absolutely the right move, but it was very unexpected. Most people didn't think we could pull [the deal] off, and most people didn't think we could execute it. All that uncertainty weighs on the stock. Now we're in a period where we've integrated the company, and over the course of the last two and a half years, have produced $2 billion more in revenue than analysts estimated. But it hasn't been consistent performance quarter over quarter. So now we have to execute."

Yahoo! News - Sybase Partners with IBM to Sell Database Software

Yahoo! News - Sybase Partners with IBM to Sell Database Software: "Sybase Inc. said on Tuesday that it will partner with hardware vendor IBM to market its Linux database software, potentially dealing a blow to Sun Microsystems, another long-standing partner.
The partnership is unusual in the sense that IBM already has a popular database software product called DB2 that competes against Sybase's own Adaptive Server Enterprise software.
The new agreement helps extend IBM's reach in the financial services industry, a traditional area of strength for Sybase."

Technology Review: Tech Test-MSN TV

Technology Review: Tech Test-MSN TV: "During the dot-com boom, people who didn't want to miss out on the Web and e-mail craze but didn't want to buy a real computer could get WebTV, which delivered the Internet through the warm, friendly glow of their TV sets.
Now that personal computers are cheaper and considerably easier to use, WebTV's original allure -- even for newbies -- has faded. But Microsoft Corp., which bought WebTV in 1997 for $425 million and rebranded it MSN TV, hasn't given up.
The software giant recently released MSN TV 2, a $199 device that now supports high-speed, always-on Internet connections, home networking and messaging on a TV -- while still functioning as a basic TV-based Web and e-mail terminal.
Advanced users who for years collectively looked down their noses at WebTV will be surprised at how capable MSN TV 2 is and how well it works in home networks."

Monday, November 29, 2004

Mass High Tech

Mass High Tech: "Tech entrepreneur Jeffrey Beir has joined Boston-based North Bridge Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm, as a general partner.
Most recently Beir served as executive vice president of products at Documentum, a division of EMC, where he was responsible for the planning, engineering and delivery of the company's enterprise content management, collaboration and compliance solutions.
Beir founded and served as CEO of eRoom Technology, a collaboration technology company that was acquired by Documentum Inc. in 2002 for more than $200 million, making it the year's largest private software transaction. Documentum was purchased by EMC in October 2003 for $1.7 billion."

Pito's Blog: Why Improv didn't succeed

Pito's Blog: Why Improv didn't succeed: "I am not sure it applies, but one could argue a parallel here with Improv. In particular this would lead you to the conclusion that the key strategy mistake was to try to market Improv to the existing spreadsheet market. Instead, if the product were marketed to a segment where the more structured model was a 'feature' not a 'bug' would have given Lotus the time to learn and improve and refine the model to a point where it would have satisfied the larger market as well."

Interesting perspectives from Improv's creator. I think Improv could have become a market-altering query/analysis tool, if its DBMS interface had been simpler and more powerful.

Peter Yared's Musings: Application Servers 2004: A Big Muffin in a Donut World

Peter Yared's Musings: Application Servers 2004: A Big Muffin in a Donut World "So perhaps the next generation Application Server is to have NO Application Server in the middle of everything. This is the “donut”, peer-to-peer architecture where there is nothing in the middle, versus the “muffin” architecture, where the Application Server sits in the middle of everything. Anything can talk to anything, and each node has its own mini application server built in so that it can talk to the rest of the world. The interoperability standard is web services, and each of these mini application servers can be written in anything - J2EE, .NET, LAMP, anything that can speak SOAP/HTTP.
Of course for the donut architecture to become fully realized, web services need to become transactional and offer guaranteed delivery."

(Thanks to ChrisH)

Try scratching this DVD | CNET News.com

Try scratching this DVD | CNET News.com: "Researchers at electronics giant TDK have developed a tough new coating that promises to make scratched DVDs a thing of the past and that will help usher in an emerging data storage format with 10 times the capacity of the current DVD standard.
In a test conducted by CNET News.com, a DVD treated with TDK's coating survived a determined attack with a screwdriver and a Sharpie permanent marker with no effect on playability--a remarkable feat considering how easily standard DVDs can be damaged, for example, by children.
One big market for TDK could be DVD rental services. Scratches are so frequent on DVDs that they last about 12 to 13 rentals on average, said Bill Fischer, vice president of corporate development at San Francisco-based DVD Station, a start-up that sets up DVD rental kiosks for retailers such as those in Sony's Metreon center.
While Netflix executives and many parents might consider scratch-proof DVDs a godsend, TDK for now is positioning its technology for the arrival of Blu-ray.
"There's an outcry for extra protection in the DVD market where scratches on rented DVDs is a fairly common occurrence," Youmans said. "But the bigger opportunity may be Blu-ray Discs...We're poised for that market." "

Sigh -- I've had growing problems with Netflix recently -- dirty or cracked DVDs...

The New York Times > Technology > Chip Developed With PlayStation in Mind

The New York Times > Technology > Chip Developed With PlayStation in Mind: "Sony's next PlayStation is more than a year away, but there is plenty of appetite for clues to its enhancements.
Today, the Sony Corporation and its entertainment arm as well as I.B.M. and Toshiba will reveal some of the first details of the Cell chip, jointly developed by the three companies, that will form the basis of the next generation of PlayStation game consoles.
The chip, which is still being designed, has been one of the most guarded secrets in the entertainment, semiconductor and computing industries since the companies started work on it in 2001.
Industry analysts expect the new PlayStation to be released in late 2005 or early 2006. The advanced chip will include multiple processors versatile enough to provide richer video images, multiplayer gaming and the addition of still pictures, audio and other media, the companies and analysts said."

The New York Times > Technology > Signs of a Glut and Lower Prices on Thin TV's

The New York Times > Technology > Signs of a Glut and Lower Prices on Thin TV's: "While hanging a television on the living- room wall may have captured the imagination of American consumers, it has yet to empty many pocketbooks.
That may soon change as a glut of liquid crystal display flat-panel televisions, called L.C.D.'s, enter the market, a result of a boom in new factories. According to several manufacturers and analysts, the prices for L.C.D. flat-panel TV's will drop in the new year, falling by as much as 30 percent by the end of 2005. The prices of plasma flat-panel TV's are also expected to fall significantly."

WSJ.com - IBM, Sony, Toshiba Unveil Chip For Home-Entertainment Sector

WSJ.com - IBM, Sony, Toshiba Unveil Chip For Home-Entertainment Sector: "International Business Machines Corp. is unveiling a chip that is expected to give microprocessor king Intel Corp. strong competition in the living rooms of the future.
IBM has been working with Japanese electronics giants Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. for four years on a chip design, code-named 'Cell.'
IBM said a version of the workstation mounted in a rack with multiple Cell processors will be able to perform 16 trillion mathematical operations a second. That speed would theoretically make it faster than all but a dozen of the world's supercomputers, although much of its power is dedicated to graphics processing rather than to general-purpose computing. Cell also is designed to handle video streams from cable and satellite systems, decompressing encoded information and expanding it for display on big, high-definition, plasma screens.
Jim Kahle, an IBM scientist who is director of technology at the center in Austin, Texas, established by IBM, Sony and Toshiba to work on Cell, said the Cell chip will be based on the same so-called Power architecture used in IBM's high-speed business servers, but the chip also will have "synergistic processor cores" to perform the high-speed computation needed for graphics and sound manipulation."

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Jeff Sandquist - Microsoft Evangelist - I've turned off my Tivo

Jeff Sandquist - Microsoft Evangelist - I've turned off my Tivo: "I've turned off my Tivo, I no longer need it.
Its been a great product that I've evangelized to friends, family and co-workers. I no longer need it though as I've replaced it with a new PVR that Comcast just brought onto the market.
Thanks Tivo for teaching me about how a PVR will change your life and give me control over my TV. I look forward to a future of possibilities with Media Center and Media Foundation!"

Via Scobleizer

Windows Forms and Avalon [what to use when, by John Montgomery]

Windows Forms and Avalon [what to use when, by John Montgomery]: "A lot of people have written on Windows Forms and Avalon, from Michael Harsh and Joe Stegman on the Windows Forms team to the PDC docs, to Ian Griffiths. Based on all this, I realized that it's clear that, even though we at Microsoft think we're clear about when to use each, we haven't made it clear to customers. So I took the opportunity to write something up and have it reviewed by the Avalon and Windows Forms teams. What I found most interesting about this process was how hard it was to get to a simple, memorable set of guidelines (see the bulleted list below). The interactions of the software and requirements of each development project mean that there are choices to make. In any event, I'd love feedback if you have any."

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

InfoWorld: IBM introduces Workplace Resource Center: November 23, 2004: By Ed Scannell : APPLICATION_DEVELOPMENT : APPLICATIONS : WEB_SERVICES

InfoWorld: IBM introduces Workplace Resource Center: November 23, 2004: By Ed Scannell : APPLICATION_DEVELOPMENT : APPLICATIONS : WEB_SERVICES: "The new Workplace Resource Center, which is hosted on IBM's developerWorks site, offers programmers a detailed and integrated overview of the technologies and products that constitute IBM's Workplace initiative, including links to business and technical articles, whitepapers, code downloads, and a number of other resources.
The new Workplace Resource Center is accessible at http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/workplace.

Must be Workplace Wednesday...

IBM's Solid Stake on the Desktop

IBM's Solid Stake on the Desktop: "Its Workplace package is catching on with clients, and more software makers are signing on. Still, it's no Windows smasher
IBM launched a bold foray into desktop computing last spring, when it took on Microsoft's desktop monopolies -- Windows and Office -- with its own Workplace product. Now it looks like Big Blue's package of collaboration, communications, productivity, and desktop management software has struck a chord.
On Nov. 23, IBM (IBM ) announced that 125 independent software makers have adapted their products to work with Workplace, and so far this year, corporations have bought pieces of the software for approximately 1.4 million employees. 'We see a groundswell,' says Steve Mills, the executive vice-president in charge of IBM's $14.5 billion software group. 'We're seeing a strong level of customer interest around Workplace and a strong level of commitment from other technology vendors who are aligning with it.' "

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: $100 for bite of Apple? Stock ripe to double, analyst says

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: $100 for bite of Apple? Stock ripe to double, analyst says: "Apple Computer shares surged to a four-year high yesterday after a Piper Jaffray analyst said the stock may almost double to $100 within a year, citing a survey that shows the iPod digital music player is boosting sales of other Apple products.
In a Piper Jaffray survey of 200 U.S. iPod users, 13 percent who formerly used other brands of personal computers said they had already purchased a Macintosh or planned to within a year, Minneapolis-based analyst Gene Munster wrote in a note to clients yesterday."

The new bubble stock...

The New York Times > Technology > Software Firm to Name New Chief Executive

The New York Times > Technology > Software Firm to Name New Chief Executive: "Computer Associates International is expected to announce today that its new chief executive will be John Swainson, an I.B.M. executive with strong technical and sales credentials but who is untested in leading a business the size of Computer Associates, which has 15,000 employees.
"In Computer Associates, nobody is going to snow him technically," said Frank Dzubeck, president of Communications Network Architects, a technology analysis firm in Washington. "Swainson is also very good with customers, and he will have to shore up relations with customers. There is a lot of dissatisfaction among corporate customers with Computer Associates."
Though his background is as a technologist, Mr. Swainson took naturally to courting customers, former colleagues say. A wine expert, he particularly enjoyed hosting wine tastings for customers, they recalled.
Yet Mr. Swainson must also prove himself as a chief executive. "You couldn't pick anyone more knowledgeable about software and software development," said John Patrick, a former I.B.M. executive who is president of Attitude L.L.C., a consulting firm. "The challenge will be on the business side.""

Monday, November 22, 2004

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Google rivals in abundance at office debut

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Google rivals in abundance at office debut "Google opened its new Kirkland office to visitors Thursday, and most of the 200 attendees were Microsoft and Amazon.com employees — or so it seemed.
As Microsoftie blogger Robert Scoble wrote afterward on his site, "Microsoft and Amazon threw a party at Google's new Kirkland offices tonight.'"

The New York Times > Technology > Playing Games in Your 20's? Nintendo Is Onto You

The New York Times > Technology > Playing Games in Your 20's? Nintendo Is Onto You: "Now Nintendo - and Sony - are also looking at an older audience. Yesterday, the $149 Nintendo DS went on sale, a portable device that is initially being marketed to older game players, those in their late teens and early 20's. With two monitors, touchscreen control, a Palm-style stylus and wireless connectivity that allows for head-to-head game play, the DS is trying to capture more sophisticated game players who otherwise would be playing consoles like the Xbox and Sony's PlayStation 2. Nintendo even plays off the new features with advertisements in magazines like Maxim featuring the tagline 'Touching is Good.'"

The New York Times > Technology > Free or Paid? AOL Will Let Its Two Halves Duke It Out

The New York Times > Technology > Free or Paid? AOL Will Let Its Two Halves Duke It Out: "Because it is hard to generate enthusiasm for new subscription services, Mr. Leonsis and his boss, Jonathan F. Miller, AOL's chairman, have sharply reversed the strategy they laid out two years ago for AOL, a unit of Time Warner. Instead of focusing on getting and retaining paying customers, AOL now wants to tap into the booming market for online advertising by attracting viewers to free Web sites."

WSJ.com - Google's Backers, Executives Cash In

WSJ.com - Google's Backers, Executives Cash In: "Shares of Web-search titan Google Inc. have nearly doubled since its August initial public offering of stock. And now Google's biggest backers are seriously cashing in.
Venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which invested less than $15 million in Google in 1999, this past Tuesday handed out 5.4 million Google shares -- valued at $932 million at Tuesday's close -- to investors in one of its funds, according to people familiar with the matter.
Then, on Friday, Google's co-founders and chief executive disclosed plans to sell a total of 16.6 million shares, valued at $2.8 billion, over the next 18 months. On Thursday, two vice presidents reported selling a combined 55,000 shares, for roughly $9.5 million."

Boston.com / Business / Technology / Firefox helping to make Web better for all

Boston.com / Business / Technology / Firefox helping to make Web better for all: "
In the past two weeks, Internet users have downloaded over 4.5 million copies of Firefox, the excellent browser available for free from the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation. Yes, there are hundreds of millions of IE users, but Firefox is gaining fast, and IE is losing market share for the first time in years. The switch to Firefox will happen even faster as more people realize the full power of this browser, much of it provided by computer hobbyists who are scrambling to create a cornucopia of useful add-ons.
They're called extensions, handy programs that fit seamlessly inside Firefox and augment its original functions. There are dozens of them, ready to do for you just about anything IE will do and a bunch of stuff you never even thought about before.
What's the latest weather? There's WeatherFox, an extension that will pop up the most recent forecast in a corner of your browser. Do you enjoy music while you surf? Check out FoxyTunes, which adds a toolbar with controls for your favorite music player. How fast is your Internet connection? Bandwidth Tester will tell you at the touch of a button."

Sunday, November 21, 2004

CRN | News | Codd's Relational Database Work To Proceed With Delta

CRN | News | Codd's Relational Database Work To Proceed With Delta: "The pioneering work Dr. Edgar F. Codd did in relational database systems will continue in a future product that promises to bring application development power to business professionals.
Last week, Codd's widow, Sharon, said she is working on a new relational enterprise management system that will translate business knowledge described by business professionals into working applications.
Codd is forming an as-yet-unnamed company to develop the so-called Delta product. The idea is to enable business analysts to build applications by describing the processes they need performed to a system, which in turn will code the process."

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Digital Domain: When Long Hours at a Video Game Stop Being Fun

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Digital Domain: When Long Hours at a Video Game Stop Being Fun: "Charles Dickens himself would shudder, I should think, were he to see the way young adults are put to work in one semimodern corner of our economy. Gas lamps are long gone, and the air is free of soot. But you can't look at a place like Electronic Arts, the world's largest developer of entertainment software, and not think back to the early industrial age when a youthful work force was kept fully occupied during all waking hours to enrich a few elders."

Windows Server System Magazine - SQL Server 2005 amid DBMS Market Dynamics

Windows Server System Magazine - SQL Server 2005 amid DBMS Market Dynamics: "Last month's Trends & Analysis column provided an overview of database management system (DBMS) trends and the reasons why DBMSs have a resurgent and expanding role in the broader application platform landscape. This month's column assesses Microsoft's SQL Server 2005 product line, in terms of both how Microsoft is addressing DBMS trends and how Microsoft is poised to compete with IBM, Oracle, and open source DBMS initiatives.
SQL Server 2005 is a major Microsoft milestone in many respects. To establish context for understanding its significance within the Windows Server System and the rest of Microsoft's product line, I'll start with a brief historical recap of SQL Server's evolution. An overview of some of the most important new features in SQL Server 2005 follows next, and the column concludes with a competitive landscape assessment and market projections."

FYI my latest Windows Server System Magazine column.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Microsoft Previews Avalon for Developers

Microsoft Previews Avalon for Developers: "Microsoft on Friday released a new preview of the presentation subsystem of its upcoming Longhorn version of Windows.
The Redmond, Wash., software giant released a CTP (community technology preview) of Avalon, the presentation subsystem of Longhorn, to gauge developer opinion on the technology's applicability on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, said John Montgomery, director of marketing in Microsoft's developer division. The company released the technology to the MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network), Montgomery said."

WSJ.com - Oracle Receives Mandate From PeopleSoft Shareholders

WSJ.com - Oracle Receives Mandate From PeopleSoft Shareholders: "Oracle Corp. won the backing of 60.8% of PeopleSoft Inc. shares Friday in a crucial tender vote that could decide whether PeopleSoft remains an independent company.
The substantial margin of victory suggests that PeopleSoft's shareholders are solidly behind the Oracle merger, though some have urged the database maker to raise its $24-a-share price.
In a press release, Oracle called on PeopleSoft's board to meet and close a deal over the weekend. The company had set Friday as the deadline for its tender offer, vowing to walk away from the transaction if investors did not turn over a majority of outstanding shares.
'The owners of PeopleSoft have spoken and have overwhelmingly chosen to sell to Oracle at $24 per share,' said Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison in a prepared statement. The company extended its tender offer to Dec. 31."

Barron's Online - SAP's Moment

Barron's Online - SAP's Moment: "SAP, with annual sales of nearly $10 billion, now accounts for a stunning 54% of the worldwide revenues of the top five players in business software -- and that figure looks headed to 70%. SAP has been grabbing market share hand over fist for the past year as two of its key rivals, Oracle and PeopleSoft, prolong their bitter takeover battle. And in dramatic defiance of critics, the company has positioned itself to thrive in a new era of Web-based computing, where corporate workers can exchange data across departmental, physical and geographical barriers."

... (from the second page of the article:)

"While SAP and Microsoft haven't gotten married, they appear to have moved in together, says analyst Bill Whyman of the Washington-based research firm Precursor Group. The two -- which long have collaborated in addition to competing -- have tightened their business ties and increased their technical and product integrations, Whyman says. More than 60% of new SAP installations are on Microsoft's Windows operating system, and SAP supports certain Microsoft programming tools for developing next-generation applications. That adds up to some of the benefits of a merger without the disruption."

Friday, November 19, 2004

Reuters.com: IBM Says It Swamps Rivals in Key UNIX Computer Test

Reuters.com: IBM Says It Swamps Rivals in Key UNIX Computer Test: "International Business Machines Corp. executives told a meeting of industry analysts in Austin, Texas, that IBM's Unix eServer 595 computer running on IBM's own Power 5 line of computer chips has set a new database-processing record that surpasses by nearly three times the previous performance record set by HP for its heavy-duty Superdome computers.
The Armonk, New York-based company said that in industry-recognized tests that corporate decision-makers use to choose their computers for running databases, operations and research, IBM has demonstrated what could stretch into a multiyear lead in price and performance in the Unix market."

Congrats to the DB2 team -- very impressive. Wishful thinking from the second part of the article:

"HP acknowledged IBM's current success, but said the fight was not over.
'Just as HP has broken performance records on the HP Superdome, and will again, IBM has made a significant achievement with this benchmark," HP spokesman Kathy Sowards said. "We are in a two-horse race in the server business.'"

CRN | Breaking News | Wozniak Gives Apple High Marks For Technology Leadership

CRN | Breaking News | Wozniak Gives Apple High Marks For Technology Leadership: "Wozniak, who developed the Apple II, said he still stays in touch with Jobs, but doesn't advise Apple on new products or initiatives. 'I may someday,' said Wozniak. 'I love Apple. I love what [Jobs] is doing.'
Wozniak praised Jobs for using innovative technology to reinvigorate Apple. Initially, Wozniak said, he was not greatly impressed with Apple's products when Jobs returned to the company. 'They are actually striking back to our original ideals of Apple, which a lot of it came from Steve's head anyway,' said Wozniak."

Neowin.net - Where unprofessional journalism looks better - AOL Developing File-Backup Service

Neowin.net - Where unprofessional journalism looks better - AOL Developing File-Backup Service: "America Online is developing a new service that will let its members back up files from their PCs onto AOL data centers, so members can recover files either deleted accidentally or lost due to a hard-drive failure, an AOL executive says."

Seems reasonable. I use a combination of Lotus Notes, Novell iFolder, and Groove to sync files across multiple PCs (and as hard disk failure insurance).

WSJ.com - PeopleSoft Letter To Staff: Oracle May Get 50% Of Tender

WSJ.com - PeopleSoft Letter To Staff: Oracle May Get 50% Of Tender: "The letter went on to say that even with a majority of shares, Oracle still may not be able to buy the company in the $24-a-share, $9.2 billion deal it is asking investors to back. Oracle cannot purchase the tendered shares unless PeopleSoft's board removes the company's poison pill, the letter stated."

Boston.com / Business / Oracle advances in PeopleSoft takeover fight

Boston.com / Business / Oracle advances in PeopleSoft takeover fight: "Oracle Corp. moved closer to victory in its $8.8 billion hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft Inc.
California Public Employees' Retirement System, the largest US pension fund and owner of 1.5 million PeopleSoft shares, said it tendered in favor of keeping the offer alive. PeopleSoft executives wrote to employees telling them not to be surprised if Oracle wins the majority of votes.
'We think they'll get it,' Tom Burnett, the president of Merger Insight, an affiliate of brokerage Wall Street Access, said of the share tender. 'That's more important than anything else.'"

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Yahoo! News - Bill Gates is most "spammed" person in the world: Microsoft CEO

Yahoo! News - Bill Gates is most "spammed" person in the world: Microsoft CEO: "Internet junkies, take heart: Microsoft chairman Bill Gates receives four million e-mails daily, most of them spam, and is probably the most 'spammed' person in the world.
But unlike ordinary users, the software mogul has an entire department to filter unsolicited e-mails and only a few of them actually get through to his inbox, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said here Thursday."

TiVo loses its MoJo | The Register

TiVo loses its MoJo | The Register: "Time shifting DVR pioneer TiVo will soon display pop-up ads when users attempt to skip commercials, the LA Times reports today. TiVo owners will still be able to fast forward, but will be forced to watch a billboard style ad on screen.
It's the latest in a series of compromises that threaten to leave the highly-regarded company offering little more than a generic set-top box UI.
Did TiVo ever stand a chance? Time shifting functionality, like many conventional computer innovations, turns out to be a feature of an existing product rather than a horizontal industry in itself (PodCasters, please note), and time shifting is now being built into newer TV sets. Nor were cable providers ever really likely to give control of something as strategic as the UI - and TiVo's is warmly regarded as the best - to a third party."

And then there's the PC/TV convergence theme -- e.g., from this week's US News & World Report:
"One of the main attractions was the system's ability to record television programs Tivo-style to a hard drive using a guide downloaded from the Internet. This service is free--unlike that from Tivo and cable operators, who charge a monthly fee. And unlike those other systems, the entertainment PC can burn your favorite shows to a DVD."

WordPerfect Killed Itself

WordPerfect Killed Itself: "Pete Peterson, who was running WordPerfect, spoke broadly against the then-new Windows OS and threatened not to develop for it. And when WordPerfect did bring out a Windows product it was a half-baked, late effort. WP also failed to build out a good suite of products to compete head-to-head with Microsoft Office.
Sure, Microsoft played hardball with WordPerfect, but the real reason WordPerfect crashed was its own missteps. Microsoft just built a better product. The only possible case Novell has is that Microsoft kept key programming information away from competitors, giving itself a competitive advantage. But so much time has passed that this will be difficult to prove and still doesn't change the basic equation.
By not giving Windows its whole-hearted support, WordPerfect planted the seeds of its failure. More recently, WordPerfect has become a quality Windows product, but the damage was done long ago."

Anyone still have a copy of WordPerfect for OS/2 handy?...

Firefox fortune hunters | CNET News.com

Firefox fortune hunters | CNET News.com: "Just because Firefox is free and open source doesn't mean developers aren't cashing in on the popularity of the Mozilla Foundation's new browser.
On the contrary, new businesses are cropping up to provide organizations ranging from museums to software companies to the U.S. Department of Defense with Mozilla-based applications--for a fee."

Netscape aims beyond Firefox | CNET News.com

Netscape aims beyond Firefox | CNET News.com: "Netscape on Wednesday confirmed an earlier report that it planned to release a new browser based on the Mozilla code. The America Online unit this week issued an invitation for people to sign up to test a limited prototype of the update, to be released Nov. 30.
'We are excited that, on Nov. 30, we will unveil many new features that will empower your Internet experience,' reads a note on the Netscape portal signed by the Netscape browser team. 'While other browsers have seen little improvement over recent years--except frequent patches for security leaks--we have consistently added new features to save you time and to make the most out of your time online. As a part of our next evolutionary step, we have developed this new browser prototype, which could change the way the world masters the Web.'"

This will be an interesting case study -- I don't see how Netscape can get/stay ahead of Firefox at this point. Nostalgia aside, what is the Netscape value-add?

I'm still amazed by how much of a lead Netscape threw away. I remember meetings with people from Netscape in 1996, when I was working in IBM's business development group. The IE team wanted to do business with IBM, and they were respectful and responsive. The Netscape team was arrogant and unresponsive, dismissing feature requirements that would have made Netscape more competitive with IE, e.g., inside Lotus Notes. It took the better part of a decade for Netscape to address those 1996 requirements -- I guess "Internet time" stood still for Netscape...

The New York Times > Technology > Google Plans New Service for Scientists and Scholars

The New York Times > Technology > Google Plans New Service for Scientists and Scholars: "Google Inc. plans to announce on Thursday that it is adding a new search service aimed at scientists and academic researchers.
Google Scholar, which was scheduled to go online Wednesday evening at scholar.google.com, is a result of the company's collaboration with a number of scientific and academic publishers and is intended as a first stop for researchers looking for scholarly literature like peer-reviewed papers, books, abstracts and technical reports.
The new Google service, which includes a listing of scientific citations as well as ways to find materials at libraries that are not online, will not initially include the text advertisements that are shown on standard pages for Google search results.
However, company executives say it is likely that advertisements will eventually accompany search results on Google Scholar. One academic publishing executive, John Sack, director of HighWire Press at Stanford University, said that such advertising could be quite profitable.
"The commercial reason for doing this is that you can target areas with high-quality, high-payback ads," Mr. Sack said. "An advertisement that goes next to an article on cloning techniques is probably going to be for services that are pretty expensive.""

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

WSJ.com - Microsoft Wins Tender For Russia Govt IT System

WSJ.com - Microsoft Wins Tender For Russia Govt IT System: "Microsoft Corp. said Wednesday it won a tender to develop a core information technology system for the Russian government.
The program is aimed at creating a united electronic system for Russian ministries and agencies, with a single database and the ability to exchange documents electronically."

No Linux for you, comrade...

WSJ.com - Kmart, Sears to Merge In $11 Billion Deal

WSJ.com - Kmart, Sears to Merge In $11 Billion Deal: "Kmart Holding Corp. and Sears, Roebuck & Co. agreed to merge in an $11 billion transaction.
In a press release Wednesday, the companies said the deal will create the third-largest U.S. retailer with $55 billion in annual revenue, 2,350 full-line and off-mall stores, and 1,100 specialty retail stores.
The new entity, to be called Sears Holdings Corp., will be headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Kmart will continue to have a significant presence in Troy, Mich."

Fascinating turn-around story -- see this BusinessWeek story ("The Next Warren Buffett?") about Eddie Lampert, the person who led the resurrection of K-Mart. Lampert gained control of K-Mart in bankruptcy court for less than $1B.

Smart Client Developer Center Home: Smart Client Definition

Smart Client Developer Center Home: Smart Client Definition: "Smart client (n) Definition: Smart clients are easily deployed and managed client applications that provide an adaptive, responsive and rich interactive experience by leveraging local resources and intelligently connecting to distributed data sources."

Microsoft attempts to distinguish among rich, smart, and Web clients, at its new Smart Client Developer Center site (via The Scobleizer)

Microsoft Goes to Pieces - Computerworld

Microsoft Goes to Pieces - Computerworld: "Having survived efforts to break up its Windows monopoly, Microsoft is now leading the charge to break up the very operating system it defended. With the release of Longhorn in 2007, the company has said it will offer 'role-based' versions of Windows in which only the code needed to perform a given function will be included in a particular build of the operating system. It seems that the monolithic, one-size-fits-all approach to Windows may finally be reaching the end of the road.
Microsoft's approach also represents a calculated response to Linux. The open-source operating system has done well in focused server roles, in part because IT professionals can disassemble the kernel and recombine the pieces required to create a purpose-built version of Linux. In so doing, it gives administrators a lot more flexibility than Windows allows today."

The New York Times > Technology > SBC in Deal With Microsoft to Provide TV on High-Speed Lines

The New York Times > Technology > SBC in Deal With Microsoft to Provide TV on High-Speed Lines: "SBC Communications, as part of its effort to compete head-on with the cable industry for television subscribers, plans to announce today that it will pay $400 million to Microsoft for software used to deliver TV programming over high-speed data lines.
It would be a crucial move into unproven territory for SBC, which like the other regional telephone giants wants to grow by expanding beyond phone and Internet services and into entertainment. To do that, SBC expects to spend more than $4 billion over the next three years on its fiber optic network to offer faster Internet connections able to carry digital video programming.
The deal is also a milestone for Microsoft. The company has spent roughly $20 billion in the last decade trying to break into the television business, but has little to show for that investment, industry analysts said. The 10-year agreement with SBC is Microsoft's first commercial contract to help deliver programming to millions of homes."

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Microsoft offers goodies to lure Novell customers | Tech News on ZDNet

Microsoft offers goodies to lure Novell customers | Tech News on ZDNet: "Microsoft announced on Tuesday a program that will pay some transition costs for companies that want to move from Novell's NetWare operating system onto servers running Windows.
The software titan said it will offer up to $600 per server in professional-services credit to companies that agree to make the switch, up to a maximum of $15,000. In order to get the subsidy for third-party services, NetWare users have to switch to Windows and buy at least 50 client-access licenses per server.
Microsoft sees the uncertainty surrounding NetWare's future as an opportunity to win more customers over to Windows Server 2003. Some Novell customers are concerned that the company's focus on Linux could result in the abandonment of NetWare."

Novell versus Microsoft in the news on a regular basis -- just like old times...

Tech Site Reveals MSN Desktop Search Plans

Tech Site Reveals MSN Desktop Search Plans: "Technology news site Neowin.net revealed MSN's desktop search plans this weekend, reporting that Microsoft is using technology acquired from its purchase of Lookout Software earlier this year. Dubbed the MSN Toolbar Suite, the beta software provides an MSN Toolbar for Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), Microsoft Office Outlook, and Windows Explorer, and a new tool called the MSN Deskbar, which appears to sit in the Windows taskbar.
'Perhaps the most important thing in the Toolbar Suite package is the installation of the separate MSN Desktop Search,' Neowin.net's Tom Warren noted in a post on the site. 'The results gained from simply searching for files are amazing. Searching is speedy, and you can even search for the author of certain files. The same technology is applied to the Outlook search. The MSN Toolbar integrates directly into Outlook, allowing you to replace the standard search tool. Search results for Outlook are impressive, too. Clicking directly on an email [message] that you've searched for launches the [message] within seconds.'"

WSJ.com - Microsoft Boots Online Players Suspected of Modifying Xboxes

WSJ.com - Microsoft Boots Online Players Suspected of Modifying Xboxes: "In the days before Microsoft Corp. released the hotly anticipated Halo 2 videogame for the Xbox game console, some gamers noticed a sudden increase in the number of people being kicked off the company's online game service.
That was no coincidence. With Halo 2 expected to entice a new batch of users to the Xbox Live online gaming community, Microsoft says it got tougher with people suspected of making unauthorized modifications to their Xboxes.
Gamers who modify Xboxes usually do so either to be able to cheat on games or use pirated copies, although some also have made changes so they can use the Xbox for other functions, from running Linux to playing music.
Cameron Ferroni, general manager of the Xbox software platform, says Microsoft is not interested in suing individual users. But the company does want to banish scofflaws from its online service, Xbox Live."

Monday, November 15, 2004

Ask TheServerSide: Which .NET ORM is best?

Ask TheServerSide: Which .NET ORM is best?: "Object Relational Mapping has been a hot topic here on TSS as well as in the industry in general. There are a number of ORM tools on the market, each promising this feature or that. Some are open source projects while others are large scale commercial products. So which tool is best and why?
Here's a list of .NET based ORMs taken from Yves Reynhout's blog."

~30 in the list...

Trust, contracts and UDDI - Loosely Coupled weblog, Nov 12th 2004 10:12am

Trust, contracts and UDDI - Loosely Coupled weblog, Nov 12th 2004 10:12am: "UDDI, now at version 3.0, can't do any of this trust stuff and has stopped attempting to be a blueprint for a universal services registry. It is now targeted for internal use by enterprises that have large numbers of services and want to track them. But its future is not yet assured. There are other ways of maintaining services registries, and they may turn out to work better than UDDI. They may also happen to work better with whatever trust mechanisms evolve, but that's still an area where most innovation has yet to happen and therefore no one can know what's going to work. Maybe sometime way in the future, once everyone understands how to manage trust in relation to web services, it will finally become possible to automatically discover and consume services on the public Internet safely. But that's not what web services or SOA are trying to do today, and anybody who still believes that is out of touch with the market as it exists today."

Via Adam Bosworth, who notes "Software standard organizations are typically inventing standards rather than ratifying and cleaning them up. This is like a bunch of food critics writing a cook book without ever actually trying out the recipes they invent. They have domain expertise, but lots of things aren't thought through, are over designed, or just plain are too hard."

The New York Times > Technology > In the Battle of the Browsers '04, Firefox Aims at Microsoft

The New York Times > Technology > In the Battle of the Browsers '04, Firefox Aims at Microsoft: "The Firefox development is being led, said Mr. Eich, 43, by a 'new generation of hackers,' like Ben Goodger, a 24-year-old native of New Zealand. Mr. Goodger, the lead engineer on Firefox, is one of the Mozilla Foundation's full-time staff of 12 people, working from informal offices in Mountain View, Calif.
Mr. Goodger headed a team of more than 80 mostly volunteer programmers. His motivation, he said, was mainly the engineer's satisfaction of crafting tight, coherent code that others can build on and that is easy for ordinary people to use."

The New York Times > Technology > Sun to Introduce Newest Version of Solaris Today

The New York Times > Technology > Sun to Introduce Newest Version of Solaris Today: "Sun currently has about a million Solaris users around the world, according to an estimate by the International Data Corporation, a market research firm. 'They're looking for ubiquity,' said Jean S. Bozman, a computer industry analyst at I.D.C.
"From a pricing perspective, Solaris will be less expensive in any category than our Linux competitors," said John P. Loiacono, Sun's executive vice president for software. Service and support for Solaris 10 will cost between $120 and $360 a year for each licensed machine.
Sun also offers a corporate software package for a fee of $100 per employee per year. Its version of Linux and Open Office, called Java Desktop, costs $50 a user annually.
Sun recently said it would offer, at the cost of $1 per processor hour, a wholesale utility computing service to be marketed to corporate computer users and software service providers like Salesforce.com."

Boston.com / Business / Technology / Sun Microsystems' new software to be free

Boston.com / Business / Technology / Sun Microsystems' new software to be free: "After investing roughly $500 million and spending years of development time on its next-generation operating system, Sun Microsystems Inc. today will reveal an aggressive price for the software: It's free.
''Hewlett-Packard sells a printer at a low price and makes a lot of money on printer cartridges. Gillette gives you the razor and makes a lot of money on the blades," said Scott McNealy, Sun's chief executive. ''There are different ways to drive market penetration."
Last month, Sun announced its second consecutive quarter of revenue growth, though profits remain elusive. McNealy said he believes the company he cofounded in 1982 has already turned the corner, though the financials have yet to show it. ''There's always a lag with companies our size," he said. ''And that's assuming we're not making dumb mistakes right now that I don't know about.""

Boston.com / Business / Technology / Google finds its way onto cellphones

Boston.com / Business / Technology / Google finds its way onto cellphones: "Google has come to cellphones -- the cheap ones, not just the fancy color-screen models with Web access.
Over the last month, the popular search engine company has quietly turned on a new service that lets people use most newer cellphone models to get snippets of information by sending short text messages to a special five-digit number, 46645, which spells GOOGL on a phone keypad.
People looking for a list of pizza or Chinese restaurants in Back Bay, for example, just have to send the message 'pizza 02116' or 'Chinese 02116.' Within 10 seconds or so, Google shoots back one or more text messages listing restaurants with addresses and phone numbers from its Google Local page. Related services from Google let users get a phone number by sending a message containing the desired person's first and last names and city, area code, or ZIP code; they can also use Google's Froogle shopping site to get a price quote by sending a text message with 'price' followed by the item's name or Universal Product Code number."

MercuryNews.com | 11/14/2004 | Once again, Microsoft buys its way out of trouble

MercuryNews.com | 11/14/2004 | Once again, Microsoft buys its way out of trouble: "So Microsoft is on a ``peace offensive.'' That's the spin we heard last week after the monopolist announced its latest mega-bucks settlement with a company it had whacked with its patented arsenal of unsavory and often illegal tactics.
What does all this mean? Simple. When governments fail to enforce the rules of capitalism, monopoly profits can buy one's way out of almost any kind of trouble."

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Q&A: New Corporate Vice President on the State of Microsoft's Corporate Development Group

Q&A: New Corporate Vice President on the State of Microsoft's Corporate Development Group: "Over the past decade, Microsoft has successfully closed more than 100 acquisitions, and a significant number of strategic investments. These transactions have helped create important new Microsoft businesses, inject top talent into the company and accelerate Microsoft's time to market with innovative technologies. From Halo (Bungie Software) to PowerPoint (Forethought), acquisitions have had a real impact for Microsoft and its customers."

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Gates vs. Jobs: The Rematch

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Gates vs. Jobs: The Rematch: "The iPod, Mr. Jobs boasted at the event, has become the 'Walkman of the 21st century.' It dominates its market in a way that no Apple product has done in a generation, raising the possibility that the company is becoming more than just a purveyor of computers with high design and low market share. If Apple continues to ride the wave of digital consumer electronics products, it may become the Sony of the 21st century.
For that to happen, however, Mr. Jobs must do what he failed to do last time: prevail over his old nemesis, Bill Gates, who sees entertainment as Microsoft's next great frontier. Microsoft is working hard to make sure that the iPod is less like the Walkman and more like the Betamax, Sony's videocassette format that was defeated in the marketplace by VHS.
So it is easy to imagine, a few years from now, that an elegant, hip Apple digital television product will be battling for the home entertainment market against a much larger army of rivals using various forms of Microsoft software. "It's a classic one," Mr. Gates said. "Apple has always been a hardware company. I think Apple will do things the Apple way, and Microsoft will do things the Microsoft way. I'd say the long-term factors all favor our approach."

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > What Wal-Mart Knows About Customers' Habits

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > What Wal-Mart Knows About Customers' Habits: "Plenty of retailers collect data about their stores and their shoppers, and many use the information to try to improve sales. Target Stores, for example, introduced a branded Visa card in 2001 and has used it, along with an arsenal of gadgetry, to gather data ever since. But Wal-Mart amasses more data about the products it sells and its shoppers' buying habits than anyone else, so much so that some privacy advocates worry about potential for abuse.
With 3,600 stores in the United States and roughly 100 million customers walking through the doors each week, Wal-Mart has access to information about a broad slice of America - from individual Social Security and driver's license numbers to geographic proclivities for Mallomars, or lipsticks, or jugs of antifreeze. The data are gathered item by item at the checkout aisle, then recorded, mapped and updated by store, by state, by region.
By its own count, Wal-Mart has 460 terabytes of data stored on Teradata mainframes, made by NCR, at its Bentonville headquarters. To put that in perspective, the Internet has less than half as much data, according to experts."

Microsoft Sharpens Up Its Elbows

Microsoft Sharpens Up Its Elbows: "For a decade, the software giant has tried mightily to wedge its way into the digital-TV market, failing at every turn. Remember WebTV? Or UltimateTV? All told, Microsoft has spent more than $10 billion since 1994 on TV projects and cable investments.
This time, though, the company is convinced it can make inroads. Take Microsoft's set-top box technology, which Comcast will initially offer to 1.1 million Seattle area homes. Analysts say it approaches the elegance of TiVo's pioneering digital video recorder (DVR), giving it an advantage over the slapdash TiVo wannabes currently on the market from cable providers. The service offers an electronic programming guide that lets users find shows up to two weeks in advance. Users who opt for the digital recorder can copy shows to a 120-gigabyte hard drive, large enough to store 90 hours of programming. 'Finally, this is the real deal, and we can take Microsoft's role seriously in set-top-box software,' says senior analyst Greg Ireland of researcher IDC."

Saturday, November 13, 2004

WinInfo Short Takes: Week of November 15: Microsoft Reportedly to Release Three Xbox Next Devices

WinInfo Short Takes: Week of November 15: Microsoft Reportedly to Release Three Xbox Next Devices: "According to a report in 'The Inquirer,' a questionable Web technology tabloid, Microsoft will ship three versions of its next Xbox video game system, which is currently (and logically) code-named Xbox Next. The British online publication, which inexplicably refers to Microsoft as 'the Vole' (no, I don't get it, either), says that Xbox Next will ship in three versions: Xbox Next, a basic console with no hard disk; Xbox Next HD, which will include a hard disk; and Xbox Next PC, which will be a fully functional PC with Media Center and Xbox gaming capabilities. The first two models will ship in 2005, the site says, and the Xbox Next PC will ship in 2006, possibly alongside Longhorn. Is the report true? I have no idea, but it sounds cool at the very least. Microsoft is expected to announce its plans for Xbox Next at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2005, so we'll know soon."

Microsoft Statement on Novell’s WordPerfect Legal Action

Microsoft Statement on Novell’s WordPerfect Legal Action "Prior to Novell’s purchase of WordPerfect in 1994, WordPerfect had already begun to decline. Indeed, Novell’s stock dropped 15 percent the day after it announced the acquisition. WordPerfect deliberately chose not to develop a version for early versions of Windows® in the hope that depriving Windows of a key application would limit the success of Windows. This and other missteps led to a decline in WordPerfect popularity that resulted in Novell selling it for approximately one-eighth of what was paid for it only 20 months earlier.
There are other fundamental flaws in Novell’s complaint. Given that Novell hasn’t owned WordPerfect for eight years, their claims should be barred by the legal doctrine called the Statute of Limitations.
It is also surprising that Novell seeks to use the Court’s findings in the Department of Justice case against Microsoft. That case had nothing to do with WordPerfect or any other office productivity software, and focused almost exclusively on other markets and technologies. In fact, Novell was barely mentioned during the U.S. antitrust trial. Moreover, the U.S. antitrust laws do not support Novell’s claims that a company is required to share its inventions and trade secrets with its competitors."

PBS | I, Cringely . Archived Column

PBS | I, Cringely . Archived Column: "There are three key components to this contract. First, the NHS gets a lot more for its money, paying about $500 million less to Microsoft than the previous contract and getting more than 50 percent more licenses at that. Second, Microsoft has committed to spend $75 million of its own money to build for the NHS a custom healthcare interface that will bring uniformity and greater usability to all desktop and handheld applications. Third, the contract is subject to review three times over its nine-year term, and the work may be expanded or contracted as part of those reviews.
So Microsoft really has about a $575 million bet that they can make themselves indispensable to the NHS, eventually push out whatever big integrator wins and screws-up the overall contract (if one is ever awarded), and then can replicate this success through healthcare industries around the globe. It's a $575 million investment in what they hope will become a $50 to 100 billion business."

I disagree with the speculation about the need for WinFS in this context, but otherwise it's another timely set of insights.

HP Joins with JBoss on Server Support

HP Joins with JBoss on Server Support: "'This is a big deal for JBoss,' said Richard Monson-Haefel, a senior analyst with The Burton Group, of Midvale, Utah. 'HP is definitely a top player in the server market, and this gives JBoss a lot of credibility as a product.'
That credibility is further enhanced, Monson-Haefel said, by HP's announcement last week that it would extend its OpenView management tool to monitor JBoss application servers. 'That puts [JBoss] closer to offerings from IBM and Oracle [Corp.] in terms of manageability features,' he said.
Monson-Haefel added that the benefits for HP are clear as well. 'It doesn't make sense for vendors to invest in building software, but it does make sense for then to invest in support.'"

Boston.com / Business / Technology / It's round two for Novell v. Microsoft

Boston.com / Business / Technology / It's round two for Novell v. Microsoft: "Novell had acquired WordPerfect for $855 million in 1994, planning to use it as the core of an office software suite that would challenge Microsoft Office. But Novell's strategy failed, and by 1996 the company sold WordPerfect to the Canadian software company Corel for $186 million.
Microsoft issued a statement challenging the merits of Novell's lawsuit. 'Through this lawsuit, Novell seeks to blame Microsoft for its own mismanagement and poor business decisions,' Microsoft said. 'The record is clear that bad decisions and business mistakes are the reasons WordPerfect fell out of favor with consumers. It's also unfortunate, and surprising, that Novell has just now chosen to litigate over a business it owned for a very short time and that it sold more than eight years ago.'"

Friday, November 12, 2004

Microsoft grabs lead in handheld market | CNET News.com

Microsoft grabs lead in handheld market | CNET News.com: "Microsoft has a firm grip on the handheld software market, winning the lead in shipments for the first time, a new report from Gartner shows.
Shipments of handhelds that use Microsoft's Windows CE operating system rose by about 33 percent to about 1.4 million in the third quarter, compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, shipments of handhelds that use the Palm operating system shrank by 26 percent to 851,000. Research In Motion showed huge growth, with shipments jumping more than 356 percent to 565,000 to round out the top three, the research company said.
The shipment figures gave Windows CE a 48 percent market share worldwide, up from 41 percent a year ago. PalmSource's Palm OS held 30 percent, down from 47 percent a year ago."

Microsoft skips Itanium with new Windows | Tech News on ZDNet

Microsoft skips Itanium with new Windows | Tech News on ZDNet: "Microsoft will come out with a special version of Windows next year for clusters, but it won't run on Intel's most powerful server chip, at least for now.
The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant said this week that Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition will not run on servers built around the Itanium 2 chip from Intel. Instead, the software--a version of the company's flagship operating system for clusters containing up to 128 processors--will run on 32-bit/64-bit server chips from Advanced Micro Devices and Intel.
The decision not to support Itanium 2 is the latest slap in the face for the chip family that 10 years ago threatened to take over the world. Last month, Hewlett-Packard terminated its line of Itanium 2 workstations."

ENT News | News: VMware Cuts Prices

ENT News | News: VMware Cuts Prices "The company has reduced the price of its GSX Server running on Windows or Linux hosts to $1,400 for a two-CPU license or $2,800 for an unlimited CPU license. Previously, GSX Server cost $5,000 for a four-CPU installation and $10,000 for eight CPUs, says Michael Mullany, VMware’s vice president of marketing. A configuration for two processors or fewer previously cost $3,025, according to the company’s Web site.
While VMware is enjoying fast growth, it also doesn’t hurt that Microsoft just began shipping its Virtual Server 2005 product last month for $499 for the Standard Edition (up to four CPUs) and $999 for the Enterprise Edition (up to 32 processors)."

Also see an EMC/VMWare versus Microsoft review in this week's InfoWorld.

Google Blog: Google's index nearly doubles

Google Blog: Google's index nearly doubles: "You probably never notice the large number that appears in tiny type at the bottom of the Google home page, but I do. It's a measure of how many pages we have in our index and gives an indication of how broadly we search to find the information you're looking for. Today that number nearly doubled to more than 8 billion pages. That made me smile.
The documents in Google's index are in dozens of file types from HTML to PDF, including PowerPoint, Flash, PostScript and JavaScript. Together these pages represent a good chunk of the world's information, but hardly all of it. That's why we keep building more advanced systems for crawling the web and creating more sophisticated indices to sort what we find. So 8 billion pages is a milestone worth noting, but it's not the end of the road. The real test is how well we do in finding what you want from within those pages. We'll keep improving that too."

Hewlett-Packard takes another stab at software | CNET News.com

Hewlett-Packard takes another stab at software | CNET News.com: "Hewlett-Packard is returning to a software market where it suffered one of its worst defeats. But this time, the company has open-source software as its ally.
The company is expected to announce on Friday that it has expanded its relationship with open-source software company JBoss to provide support for corporate customers that run JBoss' software on HP hardware. JBoss' application server software is used to build and run Java business applications."

Perhaps Sun, the only vendor to have destroyed larger app server investments than HP, should consider doing the same...

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft to double size of India facilities

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft to double size of India facilities: "Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer is breaking ground next week on a project that would double the size of its new facilities in Hyderabad, India, a move that could heighten concerns about U.S. corporations' increasing use of technology workers overseas.
The company insists that most of its work will continue to be done in Redmond, but it appears to be accelerating expansion plans in India.
At the same time, it recently laid off technical workers in Redmond and slowed its rate of job creation in the U.S.
Microsoft has also suspended work on a second local campus, in Issaquah, and last month it gave up more than half the land it had reserved for that project."

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Yahoo! News - Gmail Users Soon Able to Check E-Mail Via Outlook

Yahoo! News - Gmail Users Soon Able to Check E-Mail Via Outlook: "Web search leader Google Inc. said on Wednesday it will soon make it possible for users of its free Gmail service to check their e-mail via Microsoft Outlook or on certain handheld devices such as mobile phones.
Using POP access, Gmail users would also be able to view their messages offline.
Google said it already provides free automatic forwarding, which enables users to send incoming messages to the e-mail of their choice."We have no plans to charge for either feature," the company said."

WSJ.com - Guarding Cyberspace From Worms, Viruses, Bugs

WSJ.com - Guarding Cyberspace From Worms, Viruses, Bugs: "WSJ: Why do Apple Computer Inc.'s Macintoshes seem impervious to virus creators?
Mr. Thompson: Why bother? It's 2% of the market. Talk about a target-rich environment: with Microsoft there are on average 48 new vulnerabilities every week. Why do I need to putz around with Mac? Linux -- faster-growing, maybe more interesting than Mac. IPod -- maybe interesting. Cellphones -- maybe interesting. Mac? That's old stuff.
WSJ: Some of the most effective spyware-protection software is free. Is that a threat to your business?
Mr. Thompson: An organization that derives no revenue from a product and therefore has no visible means of support, how are they going to support you as the threat environment changes? It may very well be that the technology they have today is very effective today. The question is, how effective will it be tomorrow? We spend 4% to 15% of revenues on R&D. We'll generate $2.4 billion in revenue this year. We've got a visible means of support for customers as opposed to things that are free that you don't know where the support's going to come from.
WSJ: You have a good business plugging the holes in Microsoft's software. What happens to your business if Microsoft cleans up its act?
Mr. Thompson: People don't just throw away and discard the old infrastructure technologies that they have deployed. Heck, there's Windows 3.1 [a program released in 1992] in the world today. And so even if Longhorn [the next version of Windows] hits the marketplace in 2006 or 2007 and it is the greatest thing and most secure operating system in the world, we'll still have a healthy business for a long, long time to come."

WSJ.com - Microsoft, Late to Search Party, Seeks to Capture Google's Turf

WSJ.com - Microsoft, Late to Search Party, Seeks to Capture Google's Turf: "MSN knew it would be hard to match the power of Google's search algorithms, which had been refined over years and could return reams of results. So MSN focused on what it thought were its own strengths.
By integrating Encarta and MSN Music, MSN was able to tap into services that it owns and that Google -- being a pure search engine -- doesn't have. Over time, such services can be used to collect data about a customer that Microsoft can use to improve search results for him. Yahoo has said it will follow a similar path.
The approach ran into criticism from specialists Microsoft invited to its offices in October for input on their impressions of the service. Some of the visitors, including academics and Web 'bloggers,' who run their own news and commentary Web sites, complained that Microsoft is blurring the lines between a neutral Web-search service and one that promotes its own products. MSN didn't change its strategy, but one executive says it is now more mindful of how it offers MSN-related content.
The Near Me search feature, meanwhile, taps into what Microsoft sees as its core skill -- basic computer science -- since it involves marking the geographic location of hundreds of thousands of Web pages. By typing in 'dry cleaner near me,' the service would list dry cleaners located close to the searcher. Microsoft argues that services that use phone-directory data as a basis for their location-based searches offer more limited results.
One yet-to-appear feature that Mr. Gates has been pushing for is an Internet search that can include results from subscription Web sites. If a consumer subscribes to an online magazine, for example, a search of the open Web could pull up articles from that magazine.
It's a common refrain from Microsoft that it takes a long-term approach in every new business it enters, from videogames to hand-held-phone software (both of which are unprofitable). MSN was long one of those money-losing businesses. But it finally made its first full-year profit in the year ended June 30, thanks to strong growth in online advertising. 'Overall we view what we're doing here as a marathon and not a sprint,' says Mr. Naam, the MSN group program manager."

WSJ.com - PeopleSoft Rejects $9.2 Billion Bid From Oracle Corp.

WSJ.com - PeopleSoft Rejects $9.2 Billion Bid From Oracle Corp.: "PeopleSoft executives, meanwhile, vowed to continue to resist Oracle even if a majority of holders tender their shares. Unless Oracle persuades a Delaware judge to lift PeopleSoft's 'poison pill' takeover defense, the two sides are likely to mount a proxy fight at the company's annual meeting next year that would settle the battle.
'We recognize a tender offer for what it is: a nonbinding straw poll,' said Kevin Parker, PeopleSoft's chief financial officer. Any such poll could lead to a proxy fight, 'which we certainly see in our future.'
The shareholders' will remains unclear. Clark Chang, an analyst for Fulcrum Global Partners, noted that the stock price hasn't fallen sharply, suggesting that holders feel a deal may get done."

WSJ.com - Personal Technology

WSJ.com - Personal Technology: "Microsoft, the giant software maker, has a split personality. In product categories where it has already crushed the competition, like Web browsers and word processors, it acts like a classic monopoly, rarely introducing real innovation. But in categories where it is challenging a technology leader, the Seattle superpower can act like a scrappy, innovative contender.
Today, Microsoft is due to unveil its long-awaited new Web search service, and the product bears all the hallmarks of the feisty, upstart side of the company. I've been testing this new version of the company's MSN search service, and, while it isn't yet as good as Google, the search leader Microsoft is targeting, it shows all the signs of becoming a very serious challenger.
The best thing about the new MSN Search is a set of features absent from Google. Especially nice is the ability to get actual answers -- not just Web links -- when you enter fact-based queries. Microsoft draws these answers from its Encarta encyclopedia, including lots of material that was formerly provided only to paid subscribers.
For instance, I typed "birth of Lincoln" into MSN, and was given his birth date on top of the usual long list of Web results. The same query typed into Google yielded no direct information, and the first few Google results pertained to birth control and maternity services in Lincoln, Neb.
I also got quick answers from MSN to questions like "population of Copenhagen," "what is an arthropod?" and "GDP of Bulgaria."
MSN also includes -- buried in a feature called "search builder" -- a set of slider controls that allow you to adjust a number of search parameters, such as how exact or approximate a search should be.
Searching for music is also much better in MSN. I typed in "Rolling Stones" and was able to click on, and hear, previews of several Stones songs right from the search result. I was also able to go directly to a page in the MSN music store where I could buy the songs."

Wow -- a Microsoft offering Walt Mossberg actually likes!

MSN Search takes on Google and Yahoo!

MSN Search takes on Google and Yahoo!: "The MSN Search preview offers a new glimpse of the strategy the company will use to try to win loyal users from Google, Yahoo! and other established competitors. Features in the preview include ways to adjust results by such measures as popularity and timeliness by moving sliding gauges on a secondary page. The technology also lets users fine-tune the results by limiting them to a local region.
In addition, the service is designed to provide answers to questions posed in natural language. For example, asking 'What is the tallest mountain in the world?' results in a special line above the ordinary search results saying that the answer is Mount Everest.
The goal is 'to help customers find what they want faster,' said Justin Osmer, an MSN product manager. 'This is really just a starting point for us, and we know we've got still a ways to go, but this is a significant milestone for us to get back in the game,' he said."

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Skype ready for both telephone worlds | CNET News.com

Skype ready for both telephone worlds | CNET News.com: "An adapter made by Siemens to extend Internet access to cordless phones is now loaded with Skype Internet telephone software, allowing the same phone to make calls using the Internet or the traditional phone network.
The odd coupling of Internet and traditional telephony in a single phone is hard to find now, but could become more common in years to come if, as expected, more calls flow over the unregulated Internet rather than heavily taxed traditional phone networks.
In another major development, Skype on Tuesday also made public a specific method for programmers writing applications to involve Skype software in some way. "We are keen to watch the world's innovative developer community integrate the Skype application," Zennstrom said in a statement."

The New York Times > Arts > Critic's Notebook: Mudslinging Weasels Into Online History

The New York Times > Arts > Critic's Notebook: Mudslinging Weasels Into Online History: "Collaborative history is a wild ride, as the recent presidential election demonstrated. In October readers were editing and re-editing the entries for President Bush and Senator John Kerry at breakneck speed. And some of it wasn't exactly editing. If you clicked on a picture of Bush in his National Guard uniform to get an enlarged version, you would see a picture of Hitler.
By the end of October, a Wikipedia administrator from New Orleans decided to put both candidates' entries under protection until after the election: no one could edit a page on either candidate without the changes' being vetted on a discussion page. Thus Senator Kerry and President Bush took their places next to the other untouchables in the Wikipedia: Ariel Sharon, Osama bin Laden, Rush Limbaugh and Salvador Allende."

The New York Times > Technology > At Last, a Microsoft Search Tool

The New York Times > Technology > At Last, a Microsoft Search Tool: "Currently Google, the largest search engine, indexes about 4 billion Web pages, 880 million images and 845 million Usenet messages. The service is used by almost 82 million people each month, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.
Microsoft has been pursuing a Web portal strategy with its MSN service with little success. And, like Yahoo, Microsoft has been attempting to muscle in on Google's strong revenue growth.
Google more than doubled its revenue and profit in its first quarter after its initial public offering, underscoring how rapidly the market for online advertising has been swelling.
'I think Microsoft is a couple of years from doing anything serious, but it's a reminder that the big bad evil beast is out there,' said John Tinker, an analyst who covers Google for ThinkEquity Partners, a small investment bank in San Francisco."

Microsoft Extends Intellectual Property Protection to Millions of End Users

Microsoft Extends Intellectual Property Protection to Millions of End Users: "Microsoft Corp. today announced expansion of its end-user intellectual property (IP) protection policy to cover customers using a wide range of current and earlier versions of its software, such as the Windows Server System (TM) (including Microsoft SQL Server (TM) and Exchange Server), Microsoft Office System and the Windows client software. This change expands the company's already strong commitment to volume licensing customers by extending the same level of protection to other end users.
This protection, referred to as intellectual property indemnification, helps shield end users from exposure to legal costs and damage claims related to patent or other intellectual property disputes. It covers the four major forms of intellectual property disputes commonly associated with software: patent, copyright, trade secret and trademark. Microsoft has steadily expanded its IP protection based on customer feedback and a desire to ensure that customers have the peace of mind they deserve when selecting Microsoft software. In 2003 Microsoft lifted a monetary cap for volume licensees. Today, Microsoft extends its IP protection for covered claims from volume licensees to all end users of the company's software."

WSJ.com - Microsoft to Launch Challenge to Google, Yahoo

WSJ.com - Microsoft to Launch Challenge to Google, Yahoo: "Microsoft Corp. tomorrow will start its long-awaited Internet search service, adding fresh competition to Google Inc.
After 18 months of development, the Redmond, Wash., software maker will open a preview version of the search service, according to people familiar with the plan. The company is trying to grab a bigger piece of the lucrative business, now led by Google, of combining Internet search and advertising."

Lotus updates Workplace apps and Notes roadmap

Lotus updates Workplace apps and Notes roadmap: "IBM Lotus has announced a slate of new and updated Workplace software offerings that advance the company's network-centric collaboration strategy, and also revealed how the Notes and Workplace clients will merge in the not-too-distant future.
During a press conference Tuesday at Lotus headquarters, Lotus general manager Ambuj Goyal and other executives previewed several product updates, most notably IBM WebSphere Portal version 5.1, Workplace Services Express version 2.0 and an expansion of its Lotus Web Conferencing Service."

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Q&A: Comcast, Microsoft Execs Discuss First Commercial Deployment of Microsoft TV Foundation

Q&A: Comcast, Microsoft Execs Discuss First Commercial Deployment of Microsoft TV Foundation: "Comcast customers who sign up for the DVR service will receive a new digital cable set-top box. Customers who already lease a digital cable set-top box capable of delivering HDTV will pay an additional US$4.95 per month for the new DVR service, while all other customers will pay an additional $9.95 per month. Microsoft TV Foundation Edition will be made available to all Comcast Digital Cable customers. The software will be automatically downloaded to the set-top boxes over Comcast's digital network in phases over the next few months. Comcast's digital cable customers will wake up one morning to a new digital cable experience that improves their ability to find and manage the programming and on-demand content they're looking for."

WSJ.com - Nokia Quits Industry Group

WSJ.com - Nokia Quits Industry Group: "Nokia Corp. has resigned from the Computer & Communications Industry Association, citing objections to the antitrust settlement the trade group has reached with Microsoft Corp.
Laurie Armstrong, a Nokia spokeswoman, said the Finnish cellphone maker decided to resign several weeks ago. 'We were really uncomfortable with the settlement, both from a substance and a process perspective,' she said."

WSJ.com - Microsoft Moves Into Cable Set-Top Boxes

WSJ.com - Microsoft Moves Into Cable Set-Top Boxes: "Beginning next week, about 500,000 Washington state residents will get the first look at the latest advance in television produced by one of the most powerful combinations in entertainment and software -- cable giant Comcast Corp. and Microsoft Corp.
Microsoft, which has been trying for years to dominate home entertainment in the same way it does home computing, is hoping that the much of the rest of the country won't be too far behind.
In a big step toward that goal, the two companies announced yesterday that Comcast will launch Microsoft's new 'Foundation' software for digital cable set-top boxes in its Washington state cable system. It is the first major commercial launch of the product in the U.S. after years of false starts and hundreds of millions of dollars in investments by Microsoft in its effort to break into that business"

Monday, November 08, 2004

Crossing Boundaries - Computerworld: Groove's Ray Ozzie says his mission is to make computers more effective communication tools

Crossing Boundaries - Computerworld: Groove's Ray Ozzie says his mission is to make computers more effective communication tools "Notes was significant because of the changing nature of the organization as defined at the time by Michael Hammer and others re-engineering the corporation. When we started Groove in '97, it was largely based on a viewpoint that the nature of business was changing not just the organization, but that business itself was restructuring from big, vertically oriented corporations. It was becoming more of a mesh of companies interacting with one another. This was based on my experience of what people were trying to use Notes for and were having a hard time doing, in terms of deploying Notes across organizational boundaries.
So Groove was based on the fundamentally changing nature of business. Essentially, what we've learned in the past few years of people using Groove is that it's not just the nature of business that's changing; it's the nature of work itself that's changing. You're working with multiple companies, and you're working with people in a geographically distributed manner. You're working at home and in the workplace. The trend of decentralization that Notes started within the corporation is moving between corporations, and now it's touching individuals."

Novell and Microsoft Reach Settlement on Antitrust Claims

Novell and Microsoft Reach Settlement on Antitrust Claims: "Microsoft Corporation today announced that it has reached an agreement with Novell, Inc. to resolve all antitrust claims as of today relating to Novell's NetWare product and all of the other products and businesses which it currently owns. The agreement results from a private mediation between the two companies.
As part of this agreement, Novell will release its antitrust claims under U.S. and all other national and state laws concerning these products. Novell will also withdraw from participation in the European Commission's case with Microsoft and will no longer participate as an intervener on behalf of the European Commission in Microsoft's appeal of the Commission's March 24 ruling. Microsoft will pay Novell $536 million under the agreement, and Microsoft will also release its compulsory counterclaims to those antitrust claims regarding NetWare. The agreement does not obligate Microsoft to license or otherwise share any of its technology or intellectual property rights with Novell, nor does it include any admission of wrongdoing by Microsoft.
While the parties were able to resolve all antitrust claims related to Novell's current businesses, including NetWare, they have not been able to reach agreement concerning Novell's antitrust claims related to its ownership of WordPerfect between June 1994 and March 1996. Novell retains the right to pursue those claims. In addition, both parties retain the right to pursue past or future patent claims."

This is a very significant milestone for many reasons and a context I'll be tracking closely.

CRN | Breaking News | Microsoft Hopes To Clear Way For Dividend

CRN | Breaking News | Microsoft Hopes To Clear Way For Dividend: "For Microsoft shareholders, the holidays will likely come early this year in the form of a one-time $3 dividend that's part of the company's plan to return some of its $64.4 billion cash horde back to shareholders.
But Microsoft won't hand out the cash unless shareholders allow the company to alter its stock compensation plans, so employees who hold stock options and stock awards aren't hurt by the dividend payout. Shareholders are being asked to approve the proposals at Tuesday's annual meeting."

Corante > Get Real > Comfort Zones: More Road Warrior's 'Truth About Tablet PC'

Corante > Get Real > Comfort Zones: More Road Warrior's 'Truth About Tablet PC': "In a nutshell the Tablet PC can be used in a comfort zone that is more like that of a PDA, which makes it not only suitable for pretty private and comfortable use in crowded circumstances like those you encounter on an airplane, but also for taking notes at meetings (just save your notes as digital ink -- don't worry about trying to recognize the handwriting in real time, as it's not worth it). The range of zones also helps me understand why I hate hands-free cell-phones in public places: it converts a phone from very-private 'shoulder reach' to much more public 'arm's reach', or worse, 'sit back = room reach', which is extremely weird and even disconcerting!"

Pito's Blog: [OOPSLA] Where Wikis come from

Pito's Blog: [OOPSLA] Where Wikis come from: "I was lucky enough to meet and spend some time with Ward Cunningham at OOPSLA this year. I also heard him present in a big hall. If you are a Wiki fan then you know that Ward is the one who invented the concept.
What seems to be a little less well known is how the idea evolved, where it came from. I am sure it's written up somewhere. but I thought I'd write down my own idiosynchratic understanding of the story."

Read the entire post -- great summary.

Novell rejoins desktop fight, with Linux as ally | CNET News.com

Novell rejoins desktop fight, with Linux as ally | CNET News.com: "The company is expected to announce on Monday that Novell Linux Desktop 9 will be available Thursday. The release represents the combination of a number of desktop-related products that Novell gained through its acquisition of SuSE Linux and Ximian in 2003.
Novell will charge $50 per person for an 'entitlement' to use the software, a deal that includes one year of updates and bug fixes. The company will charge $18 per desktop per year for its ZenWorks desktop management software, which can manage both Linux and Windows PCs. Support services, which cover both Novell's open-source and proprietary software, are paid on top of the software acquisition cost."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Tableau takes a fresh look at databases

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Tableau takes a fresh look at databases: "What it does: Developed a way for database users to interpret information visually by using drag-and-drop features.
Roots: The company was developed by its chief technology officer, Pat Hanrahan, a Stanford University professor of computer science and electrical engineering, perhaps best known for developing Pixar technology.
Going to market: The intellectual property was spun out of Stanford in January 2003. Tableau has exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize the technology."

The New York Times > Technology > Microsoft Seeks Video Game Winner With Halo 2

The New York Times > Technology > Microsoft Seeks Video Game Winner With Halo 2: "And just as a splashy Hollywood premiere attracts attention for a film, a video game's first-week sales can be critical to winning shelf space and retailer support. More than 1.5 million people preordered a $50 copy of Halo 2; if all of them pick it up the first few days, the game's opening gross will be $75 million, almost $5 million more than the animated film 'The Incredibles' did this weekend."

WSJ.com - Showdown of the Giants

WSJ.com - Showdown of the Giants: "Can the nation's largest phone carriers morph into state-of-the-art cable-TV providers? Several are eager to prove that they can.
Verizon Communications Inc. and SBC Communications Inc. are planning to offer video programming in several markets in hopes of blurring the traditional borders between the telecom and cable industries.
Call it connection envy. With the nation's cable companies determined to offer Internet calling to millions, the phone companies are responding by jumping into the TV business. Both Verizon and SBC have launched risky, multibillion-dollar efforts to roll out high-capacity fiber lines that can deliver Internet service, voice and video through a single connection."

I welcome price and quality-of-service competition.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: It's time for the big Microsoft payout

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: It's time for the big Microsoft payout "During the coming season to give thanks, Microsoft is giving investors the biggest thank-you in the history of corporate America — up to $76 billion to sweeten the value of its stock.
If shareholders approve the plan at their annual meeting Tuesday in Bellevue, the gratitude will commence with a $3 per share special dividend in December that will cost the company $32 billion. The payout — equal to about 10 percent of the stock's Friday closing price — pales next to the stock's spectacular growth in the 1990s. But it finally gives shareholders some of the cash Microsoft accumulated while turning hefty profits year after year, even as the shares have stumbled since the early 2000 technology downturn."

Saturday, November 06, 2004

PCWorld.com - Home Office: Get More Work Out of Your Day

PCWorld.com - Home Office: Get More Work Out of Your Day: "The first time I saw Groove Networks' collaboration program was in 2001 at a user-group meeting--and believe me, I was underwhelmed. The tool was kludgy, awkward to use, and crash-prone. Fortunately, it has since become the Groove Virtual Office, a mature, robust, and indispensable workgroup product that far exceeds expectations. Download the trial version.
Groove now has all the sharing tools I need, including file swapping, instant messaging, e-mail, and shared calendars. But what seals the deal for me is the program's ability to let two or more people work on a Word document at the same time. Sure, I can duplicate these functions with individual products, but Groove gives me all of them in one secure package (it's closed to outsiders automatically). And then there's Groove's discussions feature, its forms tool for customizing documents, its project and meeting management, and its outlining tool.
Another thing in Groove's favor is ease of use: A bunch of us were up and running with the tool in minutes. And after just a day using Groove, I was having a simultaneous IM and voice chat with a buddy in Japan. The program worked like a charm right out of the chute, as we flung photos, documents, and files back and forth. Take it from me, Groove rocks."

Includes a link to get invited into a Groove workspace (the link doesn't work in Firefox, however, at least on my PC...)

Political Wire: Last Word on Bush's Bulge

Political Wire: Last Word on Bush's Bulge "Call off the conspiracy freaks. Now it can be told: That mysterious bulge on President Bush’s back during the first presidential debate was not an electronic device feeding him answers, but a strap holding his bulletproof vest in place."
Sources in the Secret Service told The Hill that Bush "was wearing a bulletproof vest, as he does most of the time when appearing in public. The president’s handlers did not want to admit as much during the campaign, for fear of disclosing information related to his personal security while he was on the campaign trail."

Via new media musings

WSJ.com - Internet Boom Is Under Way, Says Morgan Stanley's Meeker

WSJ.com - Internet Boom Is Under Way, Says Morgan Stanley's Meeker: "Mary Meeker is as jazzed about the Internet as ever.
The Morgan Stanley analyst, well known for her bullish and influential calls on Internet stocks during the late '90s craze, said the predicted boom is under way.
'The enthusiasm was well placed, it just got ahead of itself in many respects,' Ms. Meeker said, speaking at the Interactive Local Media 2004 conference in Jersey City, N.J., Friday. 'As we have said for a long time, from a wealth-creation standpoint, we believe we lived through a boomlet, followed by a bust, followed by a boom.'
As evidence, Ms. Meeker pointed to the combined market value of eBay Inc., Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., Yahoo Japan Corp. and Amazon.com Inc., which was $231 billion as of Wednesday.
While Microsoft could become a competitive threat to established Internet players, Ms. Meeker argued its success isn't assured. Unless its search technology is clearly superior to those of Google and Yahoo, it will be hard for it to take share. "Microsoft has to show their ability to compete, and they haven't quite done that," she said. "This is a more competitive market for Microsoft to play in than they've had in a long time.""

If I understand correctly, this could be summarized as:
1. Mistakes were made... but you should have read the fine print, if you lost money; we were clear about the risks.
2. Real value was created anyway (sure, $231B is a bit less than the $Ts lost when the bubble burst; see point 1 above).
3. Microsoft is going to have to do some serious shopping to remain competitive; they should check out our company investment portfolio.

So we put a spammer in jail for 9 years but let the financial analysts flush their portfolios, exploit the market attention deficit disorder, and resume pontificating and pocket-picking.

WSJ.com - Xbox Game 'Halo 2' Fetches $265 On eBay

WSJ.com - Xbox Game 'Halo 2' Fetches $265 On eBay: "Advance copies of the aliens-versus-space marines video game 'Halo 2' have already fetched as much as $265 on Internet auction site eBay, days before the official launch.
The $50 Xbox game, Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) flagship title, doesn't officially go on sale until Tuesday.
But in one eBay auction, an in-hand copy of the $55 special edition 'Halo 2,' which includes special packaging and a bonus DVD, sold Thursday for $265.
In a statement, Microsoft would only say it has been 'working really hard to keep the 'Halo 2' plot twists a secret so everyone can have an equal opportunity to enjoy them. That will happen when the game officially goes on sale at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, November 9.'"