Saturday, April 30, 2005 - Sun Executive Disputes Report of Buyout Plans - Sun Executive Disputes Report of Buyout Plans: "Business Week's Inside Wall Street column, citing a unnamed hedge-fund manager, said the company was considering an LBO with Silver Lake Partners, with a potential price of $5 to $5.50 a share. The report sent Sun's shares up 16% in morning trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. At 4 p.m. Friday, shares were up 18 cents, or 5.2%, to $3.62.
Mr. Schwartz suggested that the magazine had been manipulated by a source hoping to drive up the stock and earn some quick profits. He expressed satisfaction with Sun's current role as a public company.
'We are a little more interested in playing a more proactive role in the industry, and not participating in the theater of a hedge fund manager,' Mr. Schwartz said. He called the column an 'editorial lapse.'"

WinInfo Short Takes: Why Longhorn is a Train Wreck

WinInfo Short Takes: Why Longhorn is a Train Wreck: "However, it's clear now that Microsoft is not so much a single enormous entity as it is 100's of large, autonomous entities. And getting these groups to work in concert is almost impossible. Longhorn, by early 2004, was teetering under the weight of all the features it was supposed to support, and nearing collapse. So Microsoft went back to scratch, rebuilt a componentized version of Windows Server 2003 with SP1 to serve as the Longhorn foundation, and then started adding back Longhorn features.
If all doesn't go well, then we're looking at what amounts to a Windows XP Feature Pack. Compared to the original vision for Longhorn, that's a train wreck.
Why Longhorn is Going to Rock
On the flipside, it's important to understand that the public still hasn't seen a lot of the cool features that Microsoft will be including in Longhorn. These features will still make for a compelling release, though we may be wondering in late 2006 why it took over 5 years to deliver them. For example, the final Aero Glass user interface is far nicer than anything the company has shown off publicly yet, and will indeed be visually impressive. And there's a lot going on in the digital media space that I can't talk about yet. Beta 1 will have some of this stuff, but Beta 2 will be even more impressive. Alas, that release could drift into early 2006."

Gates envisions tech-savvy car that won't let itself crash

Gates envisions tech-savvy car that won't let itself crash: "Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates and the leader of Ford Motor Co. outlined a future yesterday in which software enables cars to fix themselves and never crash.
Gates and Ford Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Ford Jr. said having high-definition screens in vehicles, speech recognition, cameras, digital calendars and navigation equipment with directions and road conditions will set car companies apart from their competitors.
Eventually, Gates said, there could be a car that wouldn't let itself crash."

I'll happily let others beta test that idea...

The New York Times > Technology > Steve Jobs's Review of His Biography: Ban It

The New York Times > Technology > Steve Jobs's Review of His Biography: Ban It: "Whatever Mr. Young's opinion, industry insiders doubt that the book or Apple's retaliatory move will alter how Mr. Jobs is viewed in Silicon Valley.
'It is not possible, aside from things unimagined, to damage his reputation,' said Mitchell Kertzman, a partner at Hummer Winblad Venture Partners in San Francisco. 'Steve is on such a roll in both of his companies, he's earned the right to do whatever he wants.'"

Ah, well -- that explains it.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Google Typo Crashes Systems

Google Typo Crashes Systems: "Spyware authors and phishing fraudsters yanked an old scam out of the playbook Wednesday by directing malicious code at Internet users who may be prone to typing or spelling deficiencies, according to security researchers.
Finnish security firm F-Secure said they discovered an attack aimed at Web surfers attempting to land on Google's homepage, but who may have mistyped the Web address.
Internet users who punch in '' are treated to a host malicious code, as the computer gets slammed with a heap of the unwanted software that is automatically downloaded and installed. The malware includes: Trojan droppers, Trojan downloaders, backdoors, a proxy Trojan and a spying Trojan. A few adware-related files are also installed, the firm said. "

Report: McNealy Mulls Taking Sun Private

Report: McNealy Mulls Taking Sun Private: "Scott McNealy is considering a plan that would take his beloved Sun Microsystems (Quote, Chart) off the market at least for a while, according to a report published Thursday.
A hedge-fund manager with ties to McNealy and venture capital firm Silver Lake Partners told Business Week that Sun's CEO and co-founder is talking to investment managers about a leveraged buy-out (LBO). The financial transaction would mean Sun's management would repurchase all public shares and take the company off of the publicly traded markets.
The hedge-fund manager told reporters that Sun could take the time to sell off some of its assets, reinvest in its hardware, software and services business, and go public again.
Silver Lake has experience in LBOs, having done the same for storage and hard drive manufacturer Seagate Technology (Quote, Chart) and financial services software vendor SunGard Data Systems."

AIM Triton Beta Test

AIM Triton Beta Test"...04/25 - Welcome to the AIM® Triton Beta test.
This phase of the Beta test (Beta 1) is Windows XP only. We recommend that the software be installed on a machine with at least 256 MB of RAM.
The current build of the AIM Triton beta software is Version 0.1.12, and the main features of this release are:
A modernized appearance and enhanced usability
Address Book and Buddy List integration
Support for multi-party voice chat."

AOL Testing 'Triton' AIM Client

AOL Testing 'Triton' AIM Client: "BetaNews has learned that America Online has begun beta testing the next generation of its AOL Instant Messaging software called 'Triton,' which will replace the existing AIM client. Triton addresses user grievances while adding highly anticipated bells and whistles including tabbed messaging and chat logging.
As the first major overhaul to AIM since its inception, Triton introduces an entirely new, simplified user interface that adopts contemporary elements such as tabbed message windows to switch between different modes of communication. Users can also corral all chat sessions into a single, tabbed window dubbed 'IM Catcher.'"

I wonder where AOL outsourced this development project...

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft delivers no fireworks, fears

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft delivers no fireworks, fears: "Software for phones and mobile devices sold well, increasing 31 percent to $80 million.
Entertainment and home-product sales grew 12 percent, including a 13 percent rise in Xbox sales, and midsize business systems grew 3 percent.
Microsoft reported much lower earnings on interest and investments, since it reduced its cash holdings by $32.6 billion with a special dividend last year.
The coffers are refilling, however. Even after spending $2.4 billion buying back its stock during the quarter, Microsoft had $37.6 billion on hand March 31. "

Yahoo Debuts Personal Search Engine Amid Rivalry - Yahoo! News

Yahoo Debuts Personal Search Engine Amid Rivalry - Yahoo! News: "Yahoo said its My Web search service will enable registered users to create their own search archive by saving their favorite Web pages as well as their search results and search history.
Users also can share their favorite Web sites via e-mail, instant messenger or the company's new networking tool Yahoo 360, which is in limited testing.
With Yahoo's new service, users also can annotate Web pages and publish shared pages via RSS feeds, a tool for syndicating information to a wide audience."

The New York Times > Business > Business Special > Microsoft Earnings Meet Expectations Despite Modest Sales

The New York Times > Business > Business Special > Microsoft Earnings Meet Expectations Despite Modest Sales: "The fastest-growing large business for Microsoft is its server software that powers corporate networks, databases and e-mail message systems. The server software business grew 12 percent in the quarter, to $2.4 billion, making it the 11th consecutive quarter that the business has recorded double-digit growth. 'That is the engine that is moving the company now,' said Charles di Bona, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company.
Microsoft's Windows personal computer operating system business grew 2 percent, to $3 billion. Microsoft sells Windows on all but a fraction of new personal computers sold. Shipments of personal computers rose about 10 percent in the quarter. "

IBM Develops ThinkPad Tablet PC

IBM Develops ThinkPad Tablet PC: "IBM is readying a ThinkPad laptop that features a rotating screen designed to turn the machine into a tablet computer, according to documents from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
Photographs on the FCC Web site show an IBM ThinkPad X41 with a black case that is similar to other laptops in the company's ThinkPad line. But photos reveal that the screen of the computer can rotate 180 degrees, turning it into a tablet PC."

Thursday, April 28, 2005 - Microsoft's Profit Jumps But Sales Growth Is Weak - Microsoft's Profit Jumps But Sales Growth Is Weak: "Sales of Microsoft's two biggest products -- its Windows operating system and Office desktop suite -- showed little growth in the quarter, while revenue in its MSN Internet business declined 4.6%. Growth in the quarter was driven by sales of Microsoft's server software and Xbox videogame console.
Revenue in the client division, which includes Windows, edged up 1.8% to $2.99 billion, while revenue in the segment that includes Office rose 2.5% to $2.77 billion."

It's good to have a diversified portfolio...

The View From The Bow: The future of the ESB market

The View From The Bow: The future of the ESB market: "The ESB market includes Cape Clear, Fiorano, IONA, Polar Lake, SeeBeyond, Sonic, TIBCO, webMethods, and I'm sure a few others. In addition, superplatform players IBM, Microsoft, BEA, and Oracle are heading into this space. And Blue Titan, SOA Software, and Systinet all provide ESB-lite solutions. Definitely this market will experience some serious consolidation. More to the point, I expect that the ESB, WSM, and WSR markets will merge.
In the long run, maybe 4-5 players will survive. My bets are on Sonic, Systinet, TIBCO, and webMethods."

Anne Thomas Manes surveys the ESB market landscape.

Q&A: SAP's Dennis Moore on what to expect from Mendocino - Computerworld

Q&A: SAP's Dennis Moore on what to expect from Mendocino - Computerworld: "Aren't you concerned about losing your customer interface -- the mask users see on their computers -- by allowing them to access information and perform many functions through the Office interface?
We have a large number of SAP users. But that number is far smaller than the number of people using Office products. In many of our customers' offices, people use Outlook for e-mail and receive copies of reports generated from SAP data without knowing that. Now, with the new product, they'll see SAP in the 'smart pane,' which pops up when it has something important for them from SAP, and they'll see the SAP logo in other appropriate places. Office is becoming an extensible platform on which ISVs such as SAP -- which is the first major ISV to do this -- can build software to integrate processes.
And one last question for those users who are wondering about this new partnership between SAP and Microsoft: Will the two companies also remain competitors in the small and midsize business (SMB) market?
SAP and Microsoft will compete vigorously in the SMB market. This new joint product will work with our midmarket systems and those from Microsoft."

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > From Apple, a Tiger to Put in Your Mac

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > From Apple, a Tiger to Put in Your Mac: "But Mac OS X has recently become interesting even to people outside the Cult of Macintosh. The more Microsoft Windows is bogged down by viruses, spyware and disruptive security updates, the more miserable life becomes - and the more the long-suffering Windows majority begins to investigate virus-free, spyware-free alternatives like Mac OS X.
One nice thing about Windows, though, is that Microsoft sics a new version on its customers only once every few years. (Windows XP, for example, made its debut in 2001. The next version is scheduled for 2006.) Apple has asked its faithful followers to upgrade Mac OS X about every year, at $130 a pop (or free with a new Mac). What could Tiger offer that could justify yet another expenditure?
Apple's Tiger Web site lists over 200 new features. Not all of them are, ahem, likely to set off a mass exodus to the Macintosh. Will anyone upgrade to Tiger because, for example, 'you can easily find any glyph by typing its Unicode ID'?"

'Net-Illiterate' Parents Failing Children - Report - Yahoo! News

'Net-Illiterate' Parents Failing Children - Report - Yahoo! News: "Parents who are unable to help their children use the Internet properly could be stifling their education and reducing their job prospects, researchers said on Thursday.
A study by the London School of Economics (LSE) said many parents lacked the skills to guide their children's Internet use.
Nearly 20 percent of the parents said they did not know how to help their children use the Internet safely.
The report said a divide was growing not just between children with Internet access but also between those who know how to use it properly." - Will Apple See a Boost? - Will Apple See a Boost?: "The iPod's popularity has had a 'halo effect' on Apple's Mac business, which still represents the bulk of the company's sales. Apple sold more than a million Macs in its most recent quarter, or 43% more than in the same period the prior year. That growth rate was nearly quadruple that of the PC industry as a whole during the same time.
As a result, Apple has notched up minor gains in market share, rising to 2.3% of new PC sales world-wide during the first three months of this calendar year, from 2% the prior quarter, IDC estimates. But some longtime Apple watchers question how durable the trend is.
'We've seen this before,' says David Yoffie, a professor at Harvard Business School and a board member of Intel Corp., which makes the microprocessor chip found in most Microsoft-based PCs. 'Apple has some hot products, they outgrow the market for some time and those [periods] tend to be relatively short-lived.'
Apple faces the long-term problem that most corporate users -- outside of some design-oriented specialties -- have standardized on Windows PCs. In addition, its hardware, while attractive, has tended to be more expensive than Windows machines." - Personal Technology: Tiger Leaps Out in Front - Personal Technology: Tiger Leaps Out in Front: "Despite all the advances in personal computing, one problem has remained constant: It often is really hard to find a file months or years after it was created. To have any hope of doing so, users have to create a logical, structured system of folders, and take care to give consistent, descriptive names to their files. But few have the patience to do that.
Tomorrow, Apple Computer will introduce a new edition of the operating system for its Macintosh computers that finally solves the missing file problem, and introduces other features as well, including a new 'Dashboard' that instantly displays small, frequently used programs like a calculator, dictionary and stock tracker.
The new release, called Tiger, is the latest version of Apple's excellent Mac OS X operating system. Its key feature, called Spotlight, is the first universal, integrated search system ever offered as part of a mainstream consumer PC operating system. In seconds, Spotlight can peer inside e-mail, office documents of all kinds, photos, songs, address books, calendars, and all manner of other files to see which ones match a search term you type in."

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - Nokia Unveils New Cellphone That Doubles as Music Player - Nokia Unveils New Cellphone That Doubles as Music Player: "Nokia Corp., the world's largest cellphone maker, unveiled its first handset with a built-in hard drive, taking aim at the market for iPods and other standalone digital-music players.
Nokia, of Espoo, Finland, said the cellphone, which is earmarked to go on sale worldwide in the fourth quarter, will be able to store 3,000 songs and will have a built-in Wi-Fi radio and camera. Dubbed the Nokia N91, the device will have a retail price of about [($905.42)], before any subsidies by cellphone service providers, Nokia officials said."

Free Burton Group TeleBriefing: Optimizing Enterprise Communication and Collaboration: Blogs, Wikis, and Real-time Advances

Free Burton Group TeleBriefing: Optimizing Enterprise Communication and Collaboration: Blogs, Wikis, and Real-time Advances Sign up today for either 5/5/2005 or 5/6/2005. Description:
"Effective enterprise communication and collaboration are now fundamental competitive -- and often regulatory compliance -- requirements. Communication/collaboration optimization is increasingly challenging, however, amid rapidly-changing market dynamics. In this Application Platform Strategies TeleBriefing, Burton Group Senior Analyst Peter O'Kelly expands Burton Group's coverage of communication, collaboration, and content management trends, building on recent reports that address blogs, wikis, and real-time advances."

ACM Queue - A Call to Arms - Long anticipated, the arrival of radically restructured database architectures is now finally at hand.

ACM Queue - A Call to Arms - Long anticipated, the arrival of radically restructured database architectures is now finally at hand.: "We live in a time of extreme change, much of it precipitated by an avalanche of information that otherwise threatens to swallow us whole. Under the mounting onslaught, our traditional relational database constructs - always cumbersome at best - are now clearly at risk of collapsing altogether.
In fact, rarely do you find a DBMS anymore that doesn't make provisions for online analytic processing. Decision trees, Bayes nets, clustering, and time-series analysis have also become part of the standard package, with allowances for additional algorithms yet to come. Also, text, temporal, and spatial data access methods have been added - along with associated probabilistic logic, since a growing number of applications call for approximated results. Column stores, which store data column-wise rather than record-wise, have enjoyed a rebirth, mostly to accommodate sparse tables, as well as to optimize bandwidth.
Is it any wonder classic relational database architectures are slowly sagging to their knees?
But wait - there's more! A growing number of application developers believe XML and XQuery should be treated as our primary data structure and access pattern, respectively. At minimum, database systems will need to accommodate that perspective. Also, as external data increasingly arrives as streams to be compared with historical data, stream-processing operators are of necessity being added. Publish/subscribe systems contribute further to the challenge by inverting the traditional data/query ratios, requiring that incoming data be compared against millions of queries instead of queries being used to search through millions of records. Meanwhile, disk and memory capacities are growing growing significantly faster than corresponding capabilities for reducing latency and ensuring ample bandwidth. Accordingly, the modern database system increasingly depends on massive main memory and sequential disk access."

Another classic ACM Queue article -- the future of DBMS, by Jim Gray

Cisco Adds Sipura to Consumer VOIP Lineup

Cisco Adds Sipura to Consumer VOIP Lineup: "Cisco Systems has inked an agreement to acquire Sipura Technology, a voice-over-IP provider, to spark new development in its Linksys division.
Under the agreement, Cisco will pay approximately $68 million in cash and options for Sipura. The deal is expected to close in June 2005 after regulatory and shareholder approval.
Once the acquisition of Sipura's technology and expertise is integrated into Cisco, the company expects to speed toward creating new products within its Linksys division."

Tangent: I've had a significant shift in my audio interaction model lately; more than 50% of my discussions with Burton Group colleagues are now via Skype and nearly all other discussions, when I'm at my desk, are via Vonage. Skype still crashes occasionally but works well overall, and Vonage has been working very well for me lately.

Meanwhile, my new mobile phone is mostly a negative experience. I picked it up at zero cost thanks to rebates etc. but I'm still not sure it was worth it...

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Faster, smaller PCs touted at Microsoft conference

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Faster, smaller PCs touted at Microsoft conference: "Microsoft's first goal was to see a computer on every desk, in every home. Now the company is pushing for a PC on every person.
It's comical if you think of a PC as being a big, beige box with a video monitor on top.
But Microsoft expects the average PC to dramatically shrink in size and grow in performance over the next three years.
Yesterday, the company showed computer makers how to build a device that's smaller than a paperback book, runs all day on a single battery charge, is always connected to the Internet and costs $500 to $800.
So far, Microsoft only has designs and a nonworking prototype. Gates, in an interview Monday, joked about the current hardware, but said his team expects fully functioning machines to go on sale in a few years.
"Obviously, what I held up was a block of wood," he said of the prototype he showed during his keynote speech. "They said to me when they were briefing me, 'Hey, this is better than what anybody else has.' I said you mean nobody else can shave their block of wood smaller than we can? Just joking.""

The New York Times > Technology > Apple Chief Strikes Back Over Biography

The New York Times > Technology > Apple Chief Strikes Back Over Biography: " Apple Computer has retaliated against the publisher of an unauthorized biography about Steven P. Jobs, its chief executive, by removing dozens of other technology books sold by the publisher from Apple stores around the world.
Apple removed the books last week from all 104 of its stores after failing in a monthlong attempt to persuade John Wiley & Sons not to release 'iCon: Steve Jobs, the Greatest Second Act in the History of Business,' which is to go on sale within the next six weeks, the publisher said. "

This is the latest chapter in the long history of Steve Jobs trying to control media coverage. It's also self-destructive and futile, as is removing all books published by John Wiley & Sons from Apple stores.

The New York Times > Technology > Open Wallets for Open-Source Software

The New York Times > Technology > Open Wallets for Open-Source Software: "The first time Marc Fleury tried to raise money for his technology start-up company, in mid-2000, a venture capitalist told him that he didn't have merely a bad business plan but a terrible one. Not only was Mr. Fleury planning to compete against the likes of I.B.M., but his product was open-source software, which he would give away.
Four years later, he tried again. His business was still based on the free distribution of code, yet now there was a dogfight among venture capitalists competing to finance his company, called JBoss."

JBoss is The Disruptor...

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Microsoft aims Longhorn's 'Metro' at Adobe - Computerworld

Microsoft aims Longhorn's 'Metro' at Adobe - Computerworld: "The next version of Windows will include a new document format, code-named Metro, to print and share documents, Microsoft Corp. said yesterday. Metro appears to rival Adobe Systems Inc.'s PostScript and Portable Document Format (PDF) technologies. "

Fun competitive fodder, but of course the pundits would also be complaining if Microsoft didn't do something like this -- XML-based, licensed royalty-free, etc.

SAP - SAP and Macromedia Advance Usability of Enterprise Software

SAP - SAP and Macromedia Advance Usability of Enterprise Software: "The next release of SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer will include Flex technology and will be made available to all existing SAP NetWeaver customers. SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer with Flex technology gives programmers the ability to deliver applications that combine the interactivity and expressive power of desktop software with the reach of SAP's enterprise solutions -all in a "zero footprint" client application.
"We are working closely with SAP to give enterprise knowledge workers the tools they need to be more productive and provide a great, effective experience for end users with rich Internet applications," said Stephen Elop, CEO, Macromedia. "By capitalizing on Enterprise Services Architecture, which is enabled by SAP NetWeaver and supported by Macromedia Flex, customers and companies will have the ability to increase adoption and use of SAP solutions without additional training or cost."

Major milestone for Macromedia (er, Adobe) Flex; big partnering day for SAP... - Microsoft, SAP Plan a Joint Product - Microsoft, SAP Plan a Joint Product: "The new product, expected to be available this fall, will integrate Microsoft's Office suite of desktop applications, which includes the Excel spreadsheet and the Outlook e-mail and calendar program, with SAP's mySAP suite of 'enterprise-resource-planning' applications. The goal is to enable workers to use familiar desktop products from Microsoft to display and manipulate back-office systems from SAP for functions such as budget monitoring, expense management and inventory control.
Cooperation between the two companies accelerated last year, after talks that included a proposal from Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., to acquire Germany's SAP in what would have been a blockbuster deal to reshape the software industry. Reports of the talks surfaced during the antitrust trial over Oracle's purchase of PeopleSoft Inc. Mr. Agassi said there have been no subsequent merger talks. "We had a conversation. We listened. That was the end of the conversation," he said."

Monday, April 25, 2005

Q&A: Microsoft VP says customers disliked System Center vision - Computerworld

Q&A: Microsoft VP says customers disliked System Center vision - Computerworld: "What happened with the change in your System Center strategy?
[Kirill Tatarinov, vice president of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows and enterprise management division:] Today it's not one product, as we originally announced two years ago. It's a family name. Let's think about individual customer personas in enterprise IT. There are individual roles -- desktop administrator, server monitoring person, change-configuration person, help desk person, backup person. Most of the people are accustomed to individual products, and they like those products, and they invested in knowledge in those products. Those people want to continue to use those products. The last thing those people want is the vendor of their choice -- and in this case, the vendor is Microsoft and the products are SMS and MOM -- to come to them and say, 'Hallelujah. The world has changed. It's one big blob for everything.' They didn't like it, and that's what they told us. ... And we changed our approach to follow customer needs. "

C++ creator upbeat on its future | CNET

C++ creator upbeat on its future | CNET "Data from analyst firm Evans Data, which carries out regular developer surveys, appears to contradict Stroustrup's claim that C++ is growing. Evans Data has found that the percentage of developers using C++ has steadily declined over the last six years--from 76 percent in the spring 1998 to 46 percent in fall 2004. But it expects the rate of decline in C++ developers to be 'considerably slower' in the next few years. "

See this Alan Kay interview for reasons to avoid C++. Excerpt:
"AK You have to be a different kind of person to love C++. It is a really interesting example of how a well-meant idea went wrong, because [C++ creator] Bjarne Stroustrup was not trying to do what he has been criticized for. His idea was that first, it might be useful if you did to C what Simula did to Algol, which is basically act as a preprocessor for a different kind of architectural template for programming. It was basically for super-good programmers who are supposed to subclass everything, including the storage allocator, before they did anything serious. The result, of course, was that most programmers did not subclass much. So the people I know who like C++ and have done good things in C++ have been serious iron-men who have basically taken it for what it is, which is a kind of macroprocessor. I grew up with macro systems in the early ’60s, and you have to do a lot of work to make them work for you—otherwise, they kill you."

The New York Times > Technology > A Boldface Name Invites Others to Blog With Her

The New York Times > Technology > A Boldface Name Invites Others to Blog With Her: "Arianna Huffington, the columnist and onetime candidate for governor of California, is about to move blogging from the realm of the anonymous individual to the realm of the celebrity collective.
She has lined up more than 250 of what she calls 'the most creative minds' in the country to write a group blog that will range over topics from politics and entertainment to sports and religion. It is essentially a nonstop virtual talk show that will be part of a Web site that will also serve up breaking news around the clock. It is to be introduced May 9."

Also see BusinessWeek cover story section on blogging.

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Gates to offer up a peek at the future

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Gates to offer up a peek at the future: "The most far-out machine is a small tabletlike PC about as thick as 10 sheets of paper with a 6-inch screen and weighing 1 to 2 pounds. It supports a built-in camera and, like a cellphone, runs for a full day on a single battery charge. Microsoft expects computer makers will be producing similar systems a few years after Longhorn is released. "

I hope it's not a few years (+ 18 months) in the future... - With Its BlackBerry a Big Hit, RIM Is Squeezed by All Comers - With Its BlackBerry a Big Hit, RIM Is Squeezed by All Comers: "RIM commands a $12.4 billion market valuation. It has made tycoons of Co-Chief Executive Officers Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, who found success after years of sometimes quixotic effort.
Awakened by RIM's achievement, tech giants and hungry upstarts are responding with an arsenal of gear aimed at cracking the BlackBerry's stronghold. Consumer-electronics companies such as Nokia Corp., Motorola Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. are rolling out competing e-mail devices. Meanwhile, rivals are providing network software designed to intercept or block the revenue RIM generates from handling wireless e-mail traffic.
RIM now faces a classic technology-industry problem: Young companies that launch popular products aren't always the long-term winners. Netscape Corp.'s Web browser was superseded by a late alternative from Microsoft Corp. Google Inc.'s Internet-search service eclipsed early offerings by Yahoo Inc., and now Google itself faces intensifying counterattacks."

Includes company/product history lessons

The New York Times > Technology > At Microsoft, a Smart Guy Has His Hands Full With the Smart Phone Business

The New York Times > Technology > At Microsoft, a Smart Guy Has His Hands Full With the Smart Phone Business: "Microsoft's chief executive, Steven A. Ballmer, first discussed the job with Dr. Zhang while he was on a trip to China in 2003 and the two men were in the anteroom of the state guesthouse, waiting for a meeting with the Chinese prime minister, Wen Jiabao. 'This is really important to the company,' Mr. Ballmer said, as Dr. Zhang recalls it. Now the first results of Dr. Zhang's efforts are scheduled to be unveiled at a conference May 9-10 in Las Vegas at which Microsoft plans to introduce the next version of its Windows Mobile software, code-named Magneto, with new productivity and multimedia features."

Looks like I should have waited a few more months before buying my replacement phone...

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Motorola confirms MPx cull | The Register

Motorola confirms MPx cull | The Register: "Motorola has knocked its MPx Windows Mobile-based handset on the head, a company spokesman has confirmed.
Reports published last week that the company had cancelled orders with its Asian manufacturing partners suggested that the MPx wasn't long for this world, but there was the possibility that Motorola would produce the device itself.
However, a company spokesman last night told website PhoneScoop that the MPx was indeed effectively dead."

Oh joy -- I'm apparently the proud owner of a future collector's item phone. I have an MPx 220 that has been generally awful.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Lack of developers delays - Computerworld

Lack of developers delays - Computerworld: "Open-source productivity suite may be touted as a viable alternative to Microsoft Office, but there are claims its pace of development and adoption of new features is being stifled by a 'monolithic' code base and a developer community still largely controlled by Sun Microsystems Inc.
Project contributors speaking at the annual miniconference in Canberra this week raised numerous issues, including a lack of independent contributors. developer Ken Foskey said the biggest problem with the project is a lack of developers and a code base that is 'just too big'.
'It's 10 million lines of code and takes serious commitment just to compile the thing,' Foskey said. 'I'm interested in [having] more community developers [involved],' he said, adding they shouldn't 'just say 'I want to work on OpenOffice' but focus on a particular part of the project.'
Sun is still the largest contributor to the project with some 50 developers in Germany, followed by Novell with about 10 contributors, and only four active community developers.
Foskey recommends developers start with the Ximian distribution which is more 'opensource-ish' than the original code base.
'The code base ranges from good to code that is 20 years old,' he said. 'You don't have to be a rocket scientist to work on OpenOffice, but it bloody well helps.' "

Coming to a Computer Near You [Tim Bray in BW on Web services]

Coming to a Computer Near You [Tim Bray in BW on Web services]: "Politics aside, the suite of Web services technologies is growing awfully large and complex, it's far from finished, and people are wondering if it's going to end up working any better than CORBA and DCOM did. One important indicator will come when the big company projects turn into products: Microsoft's Indigo, Sun's Kitty Hawk, and whatever IBM is cooking up. They'll either be simpler, cheaper, and better than what we have now, and will change the world -- or not.
Meanwhile, those weeds are rustling. (AMZN ) is doing tens of millions of Web services transactions a day, without waiting for the 'official' products and protocols. (CRM ), eBay (EBAY ), and Google (GOOG ) are at work here, too. Far back in the bushes, some of the people who built the Web are advocating a radically simpler way of thinking about Web services, called REST (representational state transfer). It forms the basis of the new Yahoo! (YHOO ) Web-search service launched at the end of February.
Web services will happen. But they'll probably come at us from a surprising direction."

ACM Queue - UML Fever: Diagnosis and Recovery: Sidebars from Scott Ambler and Craig Larman

ACM Queue - UML Fever: Diagnosis and Recovery: Sidebars from Scott Ambler and Craig Larman: "My observation is that lean and effective organizations conduct upward of 90 percent of all modeling as sketches on paper or whiteboards, with only a few using sophisticated software-based modeling tools. The reality is that the value is typically in the modeling effort itself, not in the model. Why is it that so few software modeling books or academic papers seem to focus on sketching in terms of recommended best practices? Shouldn't we help developers to get better at what effective modelers actually do in practice, instead of trying to inflict the questionable visions of tool vendors and/or inane academic theories on them? "

Yes -- start with this book

ACM Queue - UML Fever: Diagnosis and Recovery - Acknowledgment is only the first step toward recovery from this potentially devastating affliction.

ACM Queue - UML Fever: Diagnosis and Recovery - Acknowledgment is only the first step toward recovery from this potentially devastating affliction.: "The Institute of Infectious Diseases has recently published research confirming that the many and varied strains of UML Fever[1] continue to spread worldwide, indiscriminately infecting software analysts, engineers, and managers alike. One of the fever's most serious side effects has been observed to be a significant increase in both the cost and duration of developing software products. This increase is largely attributable to a decrease in productivity resulting from fever-stricken individuals investing time and effort in activities that are of little or no value to producing deliverable products. For example, afflictees of Open Loop Fever continue to create UML (Unified Modeling Language) diagrams for unknown stakeholders. Victims of Comfort Zone Fever remain glued in the modeling space, postponing the development of software. And those suffering from Gnat's Eyebrow Fever continue creating models that glorify each and every Boolean value of prospective software implementations.
Research has shown that the failure to recognize or act upon UML Fever affliction is largely the result of factors such as denial, desperation, or a poor understanding of its symptoms. One of this article’s primary objectives is to help overcome this failure by describing the fever’s most commonly observed symptoms for the purpose of facilitating its diagnosis at both individual and organizational levels. Beyond promoting recovery in those actually stricken, this article is also focused on the codependents that perpetuate UML Fever in their organizations by ignoring its symptoms and failing to take corrective action. It is important to understand that individuals in leadership positions who allow UML Fever-related atrocities to occur on their watches are equally responsible for the fever’s devastating effects as those actually stricken."

Yahoo! News - Google Rolls Out Test of Personalized Search Tool

Yahoo! News - Google Rolls Out Test of Personalized Search Tool: "The new Google service, available starting Wednesday on Google Labs, tracks every search users have done when they are signed on to My Search History and it also lets them search all the pages they've found using's search engine.
Users will be able to review the full text of any Web page they clicked on from a Google search results page. They also have the option to disable the service or remove particular searches from their history.
All of the information will be stored on Google's servers -- something analysts said is all but certain to rankle privacy advocates -- which will allow users to view their search history regardless of where they are when they sign on." - Personal Technology: Microsoft Service Lets You Create A Nice Blog, But Limits Tweaking - Personal Technology: Microsoft Service Lets You Create A Nice Blog, But Limits Tweaking: "Microsoft has just launched its own blogging service, called MSN Spaces ( Because it's the newest of the giants' offerings to complete its test phase, I decided to try it out. Microsoft says it already has more than seven million blogs in Spaces, and is adding new ones at a rate of over 100,000 a day.
My verdict: MSN Spaces is very well done. It makes it easy to create a simple, attractive blog with text, links and photos, and to customize the blog in interesting ways."

Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life - Robert Scoble's Guardian Angel Leaving Microsoft

Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life - Robert Scoble's Guardian Angel Leaving Microsoft: "Lenn Pryor who until quite recently was the Director of Platform Evangelism at Microsoft has left the company for greener pastures. If you don't know of Lenn you should read the notes on Lenn Pryor from Robert Scoble's book blog. Lenn was the guy who came up with Channel 9 and was instrumental in Microsoft hiring Robert Scoble. Particularly interesting is the following description from Robert Scoble's book blog about Lenn's day job."

Interesting thread of posts -- definitely worth reading (via Dave Winer)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, Etc.: Adobe Buys Macromedia

Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, Etc.: Adobe Buys Macromedia: "I'll have more to say later, but this is little more than proof that the Microsoft-era antitrust standard is alive and disturbingly healthy. It goes like this:
There is no antitrust standard, and there will be no enforcement."

So... companies should put themselves at a structural disadvantage in order to protest antiquated laws that aren't consistently applied?

Macromedia and Adobe: Finally One

Macromedia and Adobe: Finally One: "Q: But I've been talking to several creative professionals this morning, and there's concern that if Macromedia gets subsumed into a bigger company it might lose its innovative edge.
Chizen: [The innovative edge is] why we bought Macromedia. We're not buying a distressed company. We're buying one with incredible assets, including customers, developers, and employees. The fact that Stephen [Elop] agreed to join us (he will be president of worldwide field operations for the combined company) and help with the customer-facing part of the organization -- along with a number of other key executives -- shows that. Betsy Nelson, Macromedia's CFO, is heading up the integration.
Keep in mind that Adobe is a company that has literally decided not to do that many acquisitions in the past because we understood integration is a risk. The reason we moved ahead and felt comfortable [this time] is our ability to do the integration. Granted, it's never easy. But it's something very doable. We have similar visions, similar business models, and similar strategies.

Q: Are you closing Macromedia's San Francisco office? Will Macromedia keep any of its brand identity?
Elop: In terms of buildings and so forth, the Macromedia campus continue to be a vibrant center of development. Overall, the corporate name will be Adobe. "

Microsoft buddies up for business IM | CNET

Microsoft buddies up for business IM | CNET "The company is working on software to allow devices that use Windows Mobile to connect to a corporate IM server running Microsoft's Live Communications Server 2005, Microsoft said on Monday.
In addition, rival Research In Motion plans to develop messaging software for devices that link to servers using software from both RIM and Microsoft. Other partners are building Microsoft-compatible instant-messaging clients that will run on mobile gadgets using the Palm or the Symbian operating system."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: WRQ, Attachmate software companies merging

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: WRQ, Attachmate software companies merging: "WRQ, founded in 1981, and Attachmate, founded in 1982, both produce 'host access' software that helps companies manage and access information stored on large computers such as mainframes and older 'legacy' systems.
'So the dinosaurs are mating,' joked Mark Anderson, a Friday Harbor technology commentator. He said WRQ and Attachmate 'provided some adult supervision' in the Seattle software industry over the past two decades."

Monday, April 18, 2005 - Associated Press Plans To Impose Online Licensing Fees - Associated Press Plans To Impose Online Licensing Fees: "The Associated Press (AP.XX) will begin charging newspapers and broadcasters to post its stories, photos and other content online, a pricing shift that reflects the growing power of the Internet to lure audiences and advertisers from more established media.
Tom Curley, AP president and CEO, announced the change Monday at the annual meeting of the 156-year-old news cooperative.
Most of the 15,000 news outlets that buy AP's news, sports, business and entertainment coverage have been allowed to 're-purpose' the same material online at no extra cost since 1995. At that time, graphical Web browsers were just beginning to transform the Internet from an esoteric computer network to a mass medium."

Macromedia to merge with Adobe | The Register

Macromedia to merge with Adobe | The Register: "Chizen said the merger will mean cost savings as the two companies' workforces are streamlined, but he stressed the motivation behind the merger was to expand and grow their business by integrating their respective product lines.
How that will pan out remains to be seen. It's not hard to imagine Macromedia's alternative to Adobe Illustrator, FreeHand, being phased out, for example. But Macromedia's ownership of Flash, the de facto web animation standard, when combined with Adobe's PDF e-document format, and the authoring tools that go with both media, will position the merged company as a powerhouse for graphics and publishing, both physical and electronic, going forward."

The Old IT Is Dead. Long Live the New

The Old IT Is Dead. Long Live the New: ": What are the most important changes going on?
A: The most obvious event is the 64-bit transition in Intel (INTC ) chips. It isn't just 64 bits -- it's actually big-computer capabilities suddenly finding their way into commodity microprocessors. This is million-dollar-machine sort of stuff now in chips for a couple hundred dollars. The computer architects that used to build the big machines are now employed at Intel and AMD (AMD ).
This is happening in a very short period of time. It's combined with everybody writing much more capable operating systems and tools. So truly remarkable, never-before-affordable, high-end computer architectures are now heading to desktops. Everything we talked about in the '70s, '80s, and '90s -- putting together clusters of PCs to replace big machines -- is finally happening. And then there's open source and Web services. "

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Forty years of Moore's Law

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Forty years of Moore's Law: "To put it another way, in 1971 Intel was able to put 2,300 transistors on its first microprocessor. Later this year, the Santa Clara, Calif., chip giant will unveil a processor crammed with 1.7 billion transistors.
'If the automobile industry moved this fast, your car would move at a million miles per hour and it would get 50,000 miles per gallon,' said Moore, 76, in a recent press conference.
But Moore's prediction turned out to be much more than a codification of the exponential speed of technological progress.
'It became an almost religious faith in human ingenuity and a belief in the future,' said Carver Mead, the former professor at the California Institute of Technology who coined the term 'Moore's Law.' 'It spoiled everyone into thinking that this would go on forever.' "

The New York Times > Technology > It's Moore's Law, but Another Had the Idea First

The New York Times > Technology > It's Moore's Law, but Another Had the Idea First: "Named Moore's Law several years later by the physicist Carver Mead, that simple observation has proven to be the bulwark of the world's most remarkable industry.
Yet Mr. Moore was not the only one - or even the first - to observe the so-called scaling effect that has led to the exponential acceleration of computing power that is now expected to continue at least for the next decade.
Before Mr. Moore's magazine article precisely plotted the increase in the number of transistors on a chip, beginning with 1, the computer scientist Douglas C. Engelbart had made a similar observation at the very dawn of the integrated-circuit era. Mr. Moore had heard Mr. Engelbart lecture on the subject, possibly in 1960.
Mr. Engelbart would later be hailed as the inventor of the computer mouse as well as the leading developer of many technologies that underlie both the personal computer industry and the Internet."

Industry Leaders Embrace Windows Media Video 9 (VC-1) and Windows Platform to Reinvent Broadcast Distribution and Media Creation

Industry Leaders Embrace Windows Media Video 9 (VC-1) and Windows Platform to Reinvent Broadcast Distribution and Media Creation: "Today at the National Association of Broadcasters convention, NAB2005, Microsoft Corp. announced that leading professional broadcasters and solution providers are now using Windows XP and Windows Media Video 9 (Microsoft's implementation of VC-1, the proposed Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) standard) to power new levels of efficiency in broadcast production and distribution. CBS NEWSPATH, the world's largest satellite newsgathering operation and a technology leader in its field, is deploying a news contribution and distribution system developed by Generation Technologies Corp. using Windows Media Video 9 (VC-1) for the rapid, cost-effective and high-quality delivery of CBS content to and from its nationwide affiliates.
Also at NAB2005, Microsoft is demonstrating a new 64-bit version of Windows, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, a powerful platform with faster performance, increased control and enhanced reliability, ideal for media creation. Producers of leading content creation tools, such as Cakewalk and NewTek Inc., have announced plans to deliver 64-bit implementations, and Microsoft will demonstrate the forthcoming 64-bit version of Windows Media Encoder." - Adobe Systems Buys Macromedia In Stock Deal - Adobe Systems Buys Macromedia In Stock Deal: "Adobe Systems Inc. announced the acquisition of Macromedia Inc. for $3.4 billion in stock in a deal that will bring together the software of two companies with broad resources to distribute documents, video and other media to personal computers, cellphones and hand-held devices.
The transaction, part of the long-expected consolidation in the software industry, also could set the stage for an anticipated showdown with Microsoft Corp., of Redmond, Wash."

I've seen this one coming for years, but I didn't think it would take so long.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Techno Files: An Update on Stuff That's Cool (Like Google's Photo Maps)

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Techno Files: An Update on Stuff That's Cool (Like Google's Photo Maps): "This is a 'where are they now?' report on some products and innovations previously described in this space.
Let's start with Skype. This is the system that allows anyone with a computer and a broadband connection to call mobile or land-line telephones almost anywhere on earth for pennies per minute. When two people are at computers running Skype, they can talk to each other (using a headset or microphone) as long as they want, with sound quality far better than that of telephones, absolutely free. Skype conference calls can include up to five participants - I have used this feature to talk simultaneously, from Washington, with people in England, New Zealand and California, at no cost to any of us. Working out the time zones was the real challenge.
As with Google, once you get used to Skype, it's hard to imagine doing without.
Also as with Google, Skype's problems mainly arise from its rapidly growing worldwide reach. For Google, the problem has been how much to tailor its results to varying political sensibilities: its versions in Germany and France, for instance, screen out many neo-Nazi sites. Skype has had to cope with the abundance of fraudulent credit cards. For the time being, it declines most credit cards and prefers payment via PayPal."

I've been using Skype a lot lately. I've run into some serious problems when communicating with people using different versions of the Skype software (as in I've needed to power-cycle my Linksys a few times...) but for the most part it has worked exceptionally well for me -- better voice quality than my Vonage line in most cases.

So Long to Clunky Web E-Mail

So Long to Clunky Web E-Mail: "The new Earthlink Web mail program, available to subscribers in June, takes a more dramatic step up. For example, the limitations of traditional Web programs often cause them to spawn multiple windows on your screen. With Earthlink mail, however, that doesn't happen.
The application, which bears a strong resemblance to Microsoft Outlook Express, lets you handle most tasks within a single, multipane window. All your mail appears in one easy-to-scroll-through list, rather than pages of 25 or so messages each. You can read the text of a selected message below the in-box list. You can also move messages by dragging them to folders, and resize the panes and columns by simply moving the dividers between them.
It will take a while for these richer Web apps to spread widely, especially in business. Enterprises have invested heavily in older Web-based programs and, with technology budgets tight, they will tend to leave alone things that work, even when they leave room for improvement.
Fortunately, companies such as Laszlo Systems (which designed the Earthlink mail program) and JackBe provide tools for the rapid conversion of traditional Web programs to rich Internet applications. "

Retail Notebook: Amazon buys e-book software

Retail Notebook: Amazon buys e-book software: " Inc. has purchased the privately held Parisian software company, an e-bookseller specializing in software that allows customers to download and read books on their computers and hand-held devices.
Rashtchy said music and movies are likely the next steps for Amazon's move into electronic distribution. "Amazon isn't there yet, but they do sell a lot of CDs and DVDs. Music is no different from books -- it has become a download application.""

Phone-y downloads rack up $9,000 bill

Phone-y downloads rack up $9,000 bill: "Seattle businessman Don Etsekson has his life wired. A simple cable allows him to synchronize computers at home, at the office and in his pocket every day like clockwork.
But an onslaught of illegal spam and unrequested downloads to his new 'smart phone' racked up a $9,000 bill -- for being wireless.
He ended up figuring out the problem on his own. His new cell phone, an Audiovox SMT5600, had been preprogrammed to remotely download his e-mail every 15 minutes without his authorization. No one, not even the phone, told him it would."

Saturday, April 16, 2005 Global PC Shipments Up 10 Percent in First Quarter Global PC Shipments Up 10 Percent in First Quarter: "The worldwide personal computer market grew more than 10 percent in the first quarter, fueled by strong growth in Europe and healthy shipments of notebook PCs, market research firms said on Friday.
Global PC shipments rose 10.9 percent to 46.1 million in the quarter, about 1 percent above forecast, IDC said. Rival Gartner said shipments rose 10.3 percent to 50.4 million. "

On the second page of the article: "Despite disappointing results for most vendors in the U.S. market, Gartner said Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) moved into the fifth position in the U.S. market, ahead of Toshiba. Gartner reported that Apple's U.S. PC shipments rose 45.1 percent in the first quarter.
IDC pegged Apple's PC shipment growth at more than 43 percent, citing the ability of Apple to leverage the success of its iPod digital music player, the iTunes online music store, and the recently introduced Mac mini."

Microsoft Finally Begins Discussing Longhorn Features

Microsoft Finally Begins Discussing Longhorn Features: "Though Microsoft plans to finalize Longhorn by May 2006, I've heard that the company might delay the release until late 2006 to coincide with the release of Office 12. 'We're still on track for shipping by holiday 2006, so we'll be done before then,' he said this week. For Microsoft, the holiday season starts in September, so presumably Longhorn would be widely available by August or September 2006. We'll see."

Includes a summary of key Longhorn features.

Yahoo! News - Skype Adds New Services for Internet Phoning

Yahoo! News - Skype Adds New Services for Internet Phoning: "Skype, the fast-growing Internet telephony company, launched on Friday a voice mail and phone access service in eight countries including the United States, stepping up competitive pressure on incumbent operators.
Skype, whose software allows people to make free phone calls over the Internet, said users could now get up to three phone numbers which will allow them to be reached by phone from any ordinary handset, fixed or mobile.
Skype, which launched its Internet software only 20 months ago and never advertised it once, counts 34 million registered users - a little more than the population of Canada. "

The New York Times > Technology > Market Place: Racing Its Rivals, I.B.M. Risks Tripping Itself Up

The New York Times > Technology > Market Place: Racing Its Rivals, I.B.M. Risks Tripping Itself Up: "The logic is to move up the economic ladder to more complex and more profitable tiers of the services industry, thus staying ahead of rivals offering less expensive services - Indian outsourcing companies like Infosys, for example, and Dell, which is expanding rapidly in technology services.
The risk, however, is that competition in its traditional technology services will erode I.B.M.'s business faster than the company can replace it with more lucrative work."

Friday, April 15, 2005

Yeah, I broke my blog...

I'm having a bad Blogger day. I attempted to tweak my blog template to remove the Convoq code, as Convoq terminated my trial account; I ended up accidentally reverting to an ancient template instead, and somehow appear to have lost a post or two from earlier today. Now Blogger is routinely losing my connection before it can complete the republishing step.

Music moguls trumped by Steve Jobs? | CNET

Music moguls trumped by Steve Jobs? | CNET "When Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs walked into the suites of top record label executives in 2002, iTunes software in hand, he was welcomed as a trailblazer to a digital music future.
Now, nearly two years after Apple's iTunes launch, record executives have become worried that they have inadvertently ceded too much power over their industry to this charismatic computer executive.
Frustrated at what they see as Jobs' intransigence on song pricing and other issues, some record executives are now turning their hopes toward other partners, particularly mobile phone carriers eager to get into the business of selling music. They see this new focus as a way to broaden the digital music business, and lessen Apple's dominance over their market in the process. "

Hey, it's not as if Apple is making a profit on the music...

Sabeer Bhatia rolls out InstaColl :

Sabeer Bhatia rolls out InstaColl : "Hotmail co-founder Sabeer Bhatia on Wednesday came out with an online collaboration solution - the first of its kind in the world - that expedites sharing documents and information across multiple users and locations.
Designed and developed in India for the global market in the enterprise segment, the new software product InstaColl is a powerful tool.
'InstaColl seamlessly converts mainstream productivity application such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint into real-time, interactive collaborative platforms, which allow users to work on a shared document over the Internet from different places at the same time,' Bhatia told reporters in Bangalore on the occasion of the launch.
The start-up company - InstaColl - has tied up with IBM, Intel and Sun Microsystems to bundle the new application in their servers. The facility will be extended to desktops subsequently."

Microsoft's Raikes 'blogs' own dog food consumption, but sans RSS | Between the Lines |

Microsoft's Raikes 'blogs' own dog food consumption, but sans RSS | Between the Lines | "I was stunned to receive the notification from a Microsoft spokesperson regarding 'a new Office Online column from Jeff Raikes on real-time collaboration,' only to learn that there was no way for me to subscribe to Raikes' musings via RSS. Instead, I guess I'll have to remember to check Microsoft's site on a regular basis for anything new, or wait for the next e-mail. How inefficient!"

The column/post is a good recap of recent Microsoft real-time collaboration activity, and I don't think it's an inappropriate channel; it'd be great if Raikes did have a blog, or if perhaps his bio/speech page supported XML syndication, but I don't think the article is hypocritical.

Paresh Suthar's Radio Weblog

Paresh Suthar's Radio Weblog: "We've had many developers over the past few years embrace Groove as a robust platform to build collaboration applications on. Almost all of them love the built-in firewall traversal, always on security, self synchronizing data models, etc.... and would like to leverage this 'plumbing' for building their purposed solution(s). Here are a few points that should be read multiple times, and perhaps out loud just to make sure that they sink in before begin writing a Groove application"

Zen and the art of Grooving, from Paresh Suthar

Data Thieves Strike Polo Ralph Lauren (

Data Thieves Strike Polo Ralph Lauren ( "Data apparently stolen from the popular clothing retailer Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. is forcing banks and credit card issuers to notify thousands of consumers that their credit-card information may have been exposed.
HSBC North America, a division of London-based HSBC Holdings PLC, has begun notifying holders of the HSBC-issued, General Motors-branded MasterCard that criminals may have obtained access to their credit card information and that the cards should be replaced.
He said that about 180,000 GM-branded card holders are affected." | Face value: The alchemist of paper | Face value: The alchemist of paper: "Bruce Chizen, the boss of Adobe Systems, wants to end bureaucracy as we know it
IT'S exciting; we get to change society once again, says Bruce Chizen, boss of Adobe Systems, the firm behind the popular PDF (or portable-document-format) files that are widely downloaded and e-mailed around nowadays. This is not, he adds, about making offices paperless, as some people ludicrously, in retrospect were predicting a decade ago. Instead, it is about bridging the separation between paper and electronic files in order to make all documents, in whatever form, intelligent, thereby blasting apart the way that paper-pushers in government and corporate bureaucracies work today.
Microsoft, Mr Chizen says, is scary because “PDF caught them by surprise”. As the business enters a new phase, Microsoft may see an opportune moment to trample into it. Mr Chizen, who in 1987 made the financially costly choice to leave a senior position at Microsoft to join a subsidiary of Apple, just as Microsoft began to clobber Apple (and others), knows what that usually leads to. Software platforms, he says, are crucial because of their network effects. Microsoft succeeded by making Windows a platform; Adobe can succeed by turning Reader into a platform, and building Acrobat and other applications on top. And workflows matter because that is where bureaucracies today get stuck, and where intelligent documents will make a difference. “This can easily become a $5 billion-a-year company,” says Mr Chizen. (Adobe is now barely a $2 billion-a-year company.) Failing that, it can at least, once again, change society."

CRN | Breaking News | Microsoft's Jim Allchin On Longhorn

CRN | Breaking News | Microsoft's Jim Allchin On Longhorn: "CRN: How will you try to integrate laptops and desktops with SmartPhones?
ALLCHIN: We'll have a sync manager in Longhorn to simplify that sync process for phones and other machines. It's [not ActiveSync 4] but a new version of synchronization, a brand new system being done for Longhorn and will have a whole set of wireless support so it can run more seamlessly between work and home and understands the environment.
...CRN: [Regarding the demo of Longhorn's Visual Office search and visualize feature.] Is it based on WinFS? MSN Search?
ALLCHIN: No. It's much more about indexing. It's a much richer view capability built into Longhorn. Visualize and organize goes back to Cairo [an old Windows NT project]. The indexing technology that's in XP and in Windows 2000 is a follow-on of Cairo technology. We have continued working on that technology and it's used by MSN search but it's been in the operating system for awhile. [With Longhorn] it is dramatically improved."

Read the full interview; Barb Darrow asked some great questions.

An early peek at Longhorn | CNET

An early peek at Longhorn | CNET "But while the OS bears plenty of similarities to Tiger, Allchin stressed that Microsoft has broken new ground in Longhorn. For example, document icons are no longer a hint of the type of file, but rather a small picture of the file itself. The icon for a Word document, for example, is a tiny iteration of the first page of the file. Folders, too, show glimpses of what's inside. Such images can be rather small, but they offer a visual cue that aids in the searching process, Allchin said.
Allchin said that Longhorn also goes further than Tiger when it comes to what one can do with search results, saying it offers new ways to organize and view the information. While the look of the OS hasn't been finalized, the translucent windows and other graphics tricks are expected to find their way into the finished software. "

Google Help : Search Features: Search By Number

Google Help : Search Features: Search By Number: "Parcel tracking IDs, patents and other specialized numbers can be entered into Google's search box for quick access to information about them. For example, typing a FedEx tracking number will return the latest information on your package. Other special search by number types include : [see post for list]"

I appreciate short-cuts like this and, e.g., the ability to enter an airport code in Google Maps.

The New York Times > Business > Business Special > Sun Microsystems Misses Mark on Forecasts but Narrows Loss

The New York Times > Business > Business Special > Sun Microsystems Misses Mark on Forecasts but Narrows Loss: "The smaller loss was the result of $54 million in income from a year-old settlement with Microsoft, as well as tax and other benefits. Excluding those items, the company lost $61 million or 2 cents a share, compared with a loss of $260 million and 8 cents.
'Break-even is a huge move forward from the loss we experienced a year ago,' the chief executive, Scott G. McNealy, said."

The New York Times > Technology > Pogues Posts: The Future of Television?

The New York Times > Technology > Pogues Posts: The Future of Television? : "At, you can watch a longish but intriguing Flash animation that describes the company's vision of a near future in which you don't get TV from antennas, cable or satellite?you get it from the Internet. 'There will be as many video channels as there are Web sites,' the narrator says at one point, because everyone will be able to create video quickly and cheaply. (Heaven knows, we're already at that point.)
It's an intriguing vision, and pretty hard to argue with. Let's just hope that the future does not include the insufferable, four-chord background music loop that Brightcove allows to repeat 173 times without a break behind the narration. "

Yahoo! News - Comcast Sued for Disclosing Customer Information

Yahoo! News - Comcast Sued for Disclosing Customer Information: "Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq:CMCSA - news), the top U.S. cable television network operator, is being sued by a Seattle-area woman for disclosing her name and contact information, court records showed on Thursday.
In a lawsuit filed in King County, Washington, Dawnell Leadbetter said that she was contacted by a debt collection agency in January and told to pay a $4,500 for downloading copyright-protected music or face a lawsuit for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The RIAA has filed thousands of lawsuits since September and settled several hundred for about $3,000 each."

Meanwhile, "Comcast Internet clients having problems (I don't mean to imply a correlation)

The New York Times > Business > Business Special > I.B.M. Report on Earnings Sends Shares Sharply Down

The New York Times > Business > Business Special > I.B.M. Report on Earnings Sends Shares Sharply Down: "The miss was pretty widespread across I.B.M. itself,' said Richard Petersen, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities, which rates I.B.M. stock as 'outperform' or a 'buy.' He noted that the breadth of I.B.M.'s struggles suggests the problem is not specific to the company. 'For them to miss by that amount suggests it's more than just I.B.M.'
Despite indications in past months of a technology sector recovery, industry executives have noted that corporations were cautious about increasing spending to upgrade systems. " - Loose Wire: A Way to Find Everything - Loose Wire: A Way to Find Everything: "These two factors are what prompted William Chee of Singapore to set up his own search engine, TurboScout ( Mr. Chee was frustrated that, knowing Google didn't find everything, he had to type the same search string (a fancy term for the words you are looking for) into lots of different search engines. So he put together a Web page that was smart enough to let him type the words just once, but which would then run off to all the search engines he liked. The results would then appear as normal, but below that a frame would link to the results from each of the other search engines. Simple and very effective. When his friends started raving about it, Mr. Chee decided earlier this year to launch his tool as a public service.
Impressive Options
What he did isn't that unique. Others have aggregated search results from other engines before, but Mr. Chee has managed a couple of things that make TurboScout a real boon. First, the interface is very simple and loads quickly. Second, he's grouped together the best search engines he could find -- 90 of them -- into seven categories, from the Web to audio and video. This saves the user time hunting down the most suitable search engine, or group of search engines. Third, he's prepared a small slice of computer code -- called an extension -- that users of the Firefox browser can add so they can access TurboScout straight from their search box (the little window in the top right corner of the Firefox browser)."

Thursday, April 14, 2005

CRN | Breaking News | AOL Welcomes Four IM Players To Its Network

CRN | Breaking News | AOL Welcomes Four IM Players To Its Network: "America Online is opening the on-ramp to millions of its instant messaging (IM) users via a new alliance with four enterprise IM (EIM) suppliers.
Starting in a few months, business users with Antepo, Jabber Inc., Omnipod or Parlano IM will be able to link to 14 million business America Online Instant Messaging (AIM) or ICQ users as well as tens of millions of consumer users beyond that, the companies said. (AOL estimates it has more than 100 million ICQ/AIM users worldwide.) "

Tufts warns 106,000 alumni, donors of security breach - Computerworld

Tufts warns 106,000 alumni, donors of security breach - Computerworld: "Alumni of Tufts University in Boston have been notified that personal information stored on a server used by the university for fund raising could have been exposed to intruders.
The university detected a possible security breach in an alumni and donor database after noticing abnormal activity on the server in October and December. The server was managed by a third-party vendor, according to a statement on Tufts' Web site. The incident is almost identical to a breach in March on a fund-raising system used by Boston College and follows reports of other information theft incidents in recent months at California State University, Chico, and the University of California, Berkeley. "

Google Video (Beta) - Video Upload Program

Google Video (Beta) - Video Upload Program: "You've made a great video. Now who will watch it?
Whether you produce hundreds of titles a year or just a few, you can give your videos the recognition and visibility they deserve by promoting them on Google - for free. Signing up for the Google Video Upload Program will connect your work with users who are most likely to want to view them." - Yahoo 'Hybrid' Now Dominates News Web Sites - Yahoo 'Hybrid' Now Dominates News Web Sites: "In a contest between man and machine, traditional news Web sites are facing competition from online challengers that employ computers as editors -- Google Inc. being the prime example.
But challenging them all is the news site of Yahoo Inc., a hybrid that pairs human oversight with automation and serves up news from multiple sources. In six of the past 14 months, Yahoo's news site has drawn more unique visitors than any rival, displacing longtime news leader, according to research firm Nielsen/NetRatings.
Yahoo's news strategy dates back to the mid-1990s, when it cut deals with the likes of Reuters PLC to display headlines alongside its human-compiled directory of the Web. Yahoo created its "full coverage" service, where editors bring together stories from multiple sources on the same topic, following the August 1995 death of Jerry Garcia, leader of the band the Grateful Dead. Frustrated that he couldn't find a single place with multiple news stories, Yahoo co-founder David Filo initiated the editor-selected coverage.
Yahoo won't say how many editors it has today, but the small news operation across the street from Yahoo's Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters currently has room for roughly 15 to 20 editorial staffers. Mr. Budde says their ranks have been growing with the redesign and plans for more packaging of stories.
The editors monitor stories arriving from news organizations, choose headlines for Yahoo's home page, and pull together links to stories on big topics. On election night in November, Yahoo editors made their own calls as to which presidential candidate had won each state before coloring in the electoral map on their site.
Yahoo credits traffic from other parts of its site with pushing it into the No. 1 online-news slot. New York research firm Hitwise Inc. estimates that more than 85% of Yahoo news visitors arrive there from another part of Yahoo -- an advantage over most of its traditional media rivals." - Apple Scores With Cheaper Lines - Apple Scores With Cheaper Lines: "Apple's iPod business continued to boom, despite a growing number of competitors offering digital music players. Apple sold 5.3 million iPods in the quarter, generating revenue of $1.01 billion, or 31% of the company's total. That was more than six times as many iPods as Apple sold in the same quarter a year earlier and nearly four times the iPod revenue it generated.
Apple's core Mac business, meanwhile, showed brisk growth, with the number of Macs sold increasing 43% to 1.07 million units from 749,000 units a year ago. The value of Mac sales rose to $1.49 billion from $1.16 billion a year earlier. That's especially strong unit growth when compared with about 10% growth in the overall PC business, according to Rob Cihra, an analyst at Fulcrum Global Partners."

Apple's 10th life seems to be going well so far...

Windows Security Updates Summary for April 2005

Windows Security Updates Summary for April 2005: "The security updates for April 2005 include several high-priority updates for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Internet Explorer, a component of Windows. If you have any of the software listed on this page installed on your computer, you should install the related update."

I was annoyed to discover, this morning, that the latest Windows update auto-installed and auto-rebooted my PCs last night. Good thing I still instinctively/routinely ctrl-S...

Minneapolis envisions citywide Wi-Fi

Minneapolis envisions citywide Wi-Fi: "Minneapolis is about to become an unwired city, creating a universal wireless Internet access network available to every citizen, visitor, business and municipal facility within city limits.
On Wednesday, the city will unveil a request for a proposal for a privately owned, $15 million to $20 million citywide wireless and fiber-optic network. It is likely to use the Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) technology that has created several hundred Internet access 'hot spots' for laptop computer users in metro coffee shops, bookstores, airports and hotels.
A contract for the wireless and fiber network should be signed later this year, with initial service likely to begin 12 months later and citywide service six to 12 months after that, Minneapolis officials said.
The citywide wireless network is necessary to improve government communications by linking every city building, police car and housing inspector to the city's databases, city officials say.
But the network also would be available to every individual and business in the city.
Consumers would be able to buy broadband access of 1 million to 3 million bits per second for $18 to $24 a month -- a bit slower than wired cable modem service but about half the price. The network also is expected to create an economic incentive for businesses to locate in Minneapolis."

I'd be more impressed if the plan were to make it freely available.

Expedia founder sold on real estate idea

Expedia founder sold on real estate idea: "Expedia founder Richard Barton, who transformed the way people buy airline tickets, hotel rooms and rental cars, now has his eye on a new trillion-dollar industry: residential real estate.
The 37-year-old technology executive yesterday confirmed that his new Seattle startup company, tentatively known as Zillow, is developing a consumer real estate service that is designed to take some of the pain out of buying and selling a home. "

Disintermediation revisited... Net Makes Recording Calls A Snap Net Makes Recording Calls A Snap: "Recording phone calls is generally an activity associated with criminal and embarrassing behavior. From Richard Nixon to Linda Tripp, the people doing the recording are usually going out of their way to protect themselves or implicate somebody else.
But now the increasingly widespread adoption of voice-over-IP technology (or Internet phone calling) could make the recording and archiving of phone calls much easier and more common. Since Internet-based phone calls already consist of packets of data, they're potentially much easier to copy and archive than traditional calls. Convenient recording of phone conversations could prove a boon for businesses that need to keep track of every bit of information. But it also poses significant moral questions and threatens to undermine personal privacy. "

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Yahoo! chief! scientist! joins! Microsoft! | The Register

Yahoo! chief! scientist! joins! Microsoft! | The Register: "Microsoft has hired Yahoo's head of research and chief scientist Gary Flake to work on its MSN portal and desktop search. Flake joined Yahoo! when it acquired Overture in 2003. He wasn't there long, joining the previous year from NEC research, and most of Overture's key patents were filed before his arrival.
However, as Overture's 'chief science officer, he oversaw the growth of the company's pioneering text classified ad business that was responsible for Overture's, and later Yahoo!'s phenomenal growth.
According to Microsoft search program manager Oshoma Momoh, Flake is the first "Distinguished Engineer" to be recruited from outside the company, which makes you wonder why Chuck Thacker, Dave Cutler, Gordon Bell or Jim Gray - all most distinguished engineers - did not to deserve a similar title. Maybe the soubriquet isn't awarded to DEC veterans. Or maybe they don't need the title inflation."

The New York Times > Technology > Apple to Start Selling New Macintosh Operating System

The New York Times > Technology > Apple to Start Selling New Macintosh Operating System: "Steven P. Jobs, the company's chief executive, has at earlier events given brief demonstrations of some of the new features. On Tuesday, the company described the software's new capabilities, including a file search feature called Spotlight; four-way videoconferencing and 10-way audio conferences; and a system called Dashboard that will display on the screen small functions like calculators, currency converters and airline flight schedule trackers.
"This has created even more distance between us and Microsoft," said Philip W. Schiller, Apple's senior vice president for worldwide product marketing. "We're becoming a tiny dim red light in their headlights."
David Caulton, group product manager in for Microsoft's Windows client division, said "Apple is obviously doing interesting stuff within a closed solution." By contrast, Microsoft, he said, prefers "to take on the problem of platform solutions with a lot of different partners."
Both Apple and Microsoft have focused on adding file retrieval and graphics technologies to their operating systems. Analysts have said that this is partly a response to the growth of Internet search, which has transformed the way computer users hunt for information.
Apple's new Spotlight retrieval feature automatically indexes information without regard to whether the information is in a word-processing document, spreadsheet, digital image or any other file type. Microsoft has a similar feature available with its MSN service and has said it plans to integrate it into Longhorn."

Paying $129 for a minor OS revision -- how quaint... / Business / Technology / Concerns over ID theft mount / Business / Technology / Concerns over ID theft mount: "Identity theft concerns mounted yesterday as LexisNexis said a security breach at one of its subsidiaries may have been 10 times more severe than an earlier estimate, and GM MasterCard rushed to replace the credit cards of customers affected by a breach at an unidentified national retailer.
Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly issued a statement saying he is investigating the LexisNexis breach and called for more regulation of data-mining companies.
''The majority of people are probably not even aware that these companies exist, yet they are collecting personal and financial information -- everything from your Social Security number to where you shop -- without you knowing it," he said."

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Online Extra: Mills: Microsoft Is Just "Saber-Rattling"

Online Extra: Mills: Microsoft Is Just "Saber-Rattling": "Q: So what they're subbing out then isn't so much Windows but rather Office.

A [Mills]: Exactly. This is not a Windows vs. Linux discussion. It's really two different models, two different approaches to delivering collaboration function to business.
One approach, I think people are very familiar with. It's the classic heavy, expensive Microsoft desktop environment, with the prospects of having to convert to the latest versions to maintain support. That roadmap is a fairly familiar one to business buyers, and they've been on it for years -- frankly, with mixed reaction to the benefit of it. Costly. Expensive. Lots of fees paid to Microsoft. Heavy patch management. Virus control.
And we're offering the alternative. We're saying, 'Wait a minute. There's another way.' The model of the other way begins with recognizing that the browser/portal-based approaches have already yielded reduced costs. And that approach can be extended and enriched and made very functional and capable for different classes of work where a pure portal-based approach really isn't appropriate for the type of work because there's more complex collaboration to be done.
We're going to give you all the richness of collaboration that you saw from IBM historically with Notes, translated to the next generation of technology. That's a very powerful message."

Online Extra: Gates: "IBM Isn't Doing That Much"

Online Extra: Gates: "IBM Isn't Doing That Much": "Q: Earlier, you were somewhat dismissive about IBM's ability in this business. Do you think IBM will not be a significant competitor in the collaboration software market for you guys?

A [Gates]: I think IBM's success in the productivity software business will stay the same that it has been. Do you know anybody using DisplayWrite, OfficeVision, or 1-2-3? What they have is they have a bunch of individual products that they put under an umbrella. WebSphere is an umbrella name. Workspace is an umbrella name.
They are IBM. So you always have to take them seriously, just like we took OfficeVision seriously and their acquisition of Lotus seriously. The only thing really left from Lotus at this point is the Notes piece. And you can look at what has happened with the share of that. They're not even defending what they've had very well at this point. But it just sort of shows in the area of productivity, Microsoft has to push the frontiers on our own. That's the business model that we live in. All we get to sell is our innovation. We don't get to sell the existing strength that we have. It's just the new breakthrough stuff. And hence, you need brilliant people like Ray and his team to drive that forward, full speed. "

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Plugged in to Microsoft's biggest rival

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Plugged in to Microsoft's biggest rival: "The first step was to ask customers what they saw in Linux. Taylor said the company talked to 6,000 customers around the world. The company also created the Linux lab to run the software and compare it to Windows.
Taylor recruited former IBM Linux advocate Bill Hilf to run the lab. Hilf keeps Microsoft abreast of the competition by running a stack of machines with about 30 different versions of Linux. He runs tests on the systems himself, uses them to explain the software to Microsoft colleagues.
Hilf is among 18 members of Taylor's team who work just across the street from Ballmer's building, in a row of unassuming offices decorated with the occasional Linux penguin logo. Taylor also hires a rotating mix of Linux experts for different projects, using an employment agency to recruit people.
Hilf said the lab helps Microsoft better understand its customers, many of whom run Linux alongside Windows. He also said the company isn't being sneaky -- he makes no secret of his identity when he buys the software and calls Linux vendors for help."


Sunday, April 10, 2005

Chris_Pratley's OneNote WebLog : OneNote for Audio and Video Notes

Chris_Pratley's OneNote WebLog : OneNote for Audio and Video Notes: "As you may know, OneNote can record both Audio and Video if you have the correct hardware (you need SP1 to be able to record video). What many people are not aware of though is that in addition to plain recording, if you also type or write notes while you record the recording is linked to what you put on the page. So in a way your notes are like a table of contents for the audio or video. You can later click on an icon that appears next to each line of what you wrote and cause the audio or video to jump to the moment in the recording when you were taking those particular notes.
You might be concerned that a long recording will use up too much disk space. You might be surprised to know that a 60min audio recording will take up only about 5MB on your disk. A 60min video recording is only 60MB. This means on a typical machine that has just 10GB of free hard disk space (mine has 50GB), you could record for 8hrs/day for every working day of the year. Even with video and 15GB free you could record 1hr every working day for a year. These days we lose track of just how much storage there is on our hard disks, and how good compression of media has become."

Another outstanding post from Chris Pratley, including OneNote customer case studies.

The New York Times > Books > Sunday Book Review > Goodbye to Privacy

The New York Times > Books > Sunday Book Review > Goodbye to Privacy: "Robert O'Harrow Jr.'s ''No Place to Hide'' might just do for privacy protection what Rachel Carson's ''Silent Spring'' did for environmental protection nearly a half-century ago. The author, a reporter for The Washington Post, does not write in anger. Sputtering outrage, which characterizes the writing of many of us in the anti-snooping minority, is not O'Harrow's style. His is the work of a careful, thorough, enterprising reporter, possibly the only one assigned to the privacy beat by a major American newspaper. He has interviewed many of the major, and largely unknown, players in the world of surveillance and dossier assembly, and provides extensive source notes in the back of his book. He not only reports their professions of patriotism and plausible arguments about the necessity of screening to security, but explains the profitability to modern business of ''consumer relationship management.''
''No Place to Hide'' -- its title taken from George W. Bush's post-9/11 warning to terrorists -- is all the more damning because of its fair-mindedness. O'Harrow notes that many consumers find it convenient to be in a marketing dossier that knows their personal preferences, habits, income, professional and sexual activity, entertainment and travel interests and foibles. These intimately profiled people are untroubled by the device placed in the car they rent that records their speed and location, the keystroke logger that reads the characters they type, the plastic hotel key that transmits the frequency and time of entries and exits or the hidden camera that takes their picture at a Super Bowl or tourist attraction. They fill out cards revealing personal data to get a warranty, unaware that the warranties are already provided by law. ''Even as people fret about corporate intrusiveness,'' O'Harrow writes about a searching survey of subscribers taken by Conde Nast Publications, ''they often willingly, even eagerly, part with intimate details about their lives.''"

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Digital Domain: Will the Next Version of Windows Be Worth the Wait?

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Digital Domain: Will the Next Version of Windows Be Worth the Wait?: "Windows XP, introduced in 2001, could not match Windows 95's remarkable debut. We can hope that XP's successor, which has the code name 'Longhorn' and is scheduled for release next year, will appear quietly, bringing us closer to the day when users need know no more about a PC's operating system than they do of the embedded software in a cellphone.
Longhorn's gestation has already extended much longer than originally planned. Rumors of its existence surfaced in 2001, when the system was said to have been chosen as a quick 'intermediate' update of XP. Time passed, and the news media were permitted a sneak preview. But completion of even this, the interim release, came no closer. Determined to get it out the door by 2006, Microsoft decided in 2004 to remove a new file system for organizing data on the hard drive, what the company had earlier promoted as the heart of the new system. If and when this feature ever appears, it is unlikely to enhance anyone's marriage.
Regretful that it had announced an important feature that it subsequently had to remove, the company decided to remain quiet about other aspects for as long as possible. Microsoft has given software developers beta versions of two new components, for graphics and Web services, but these will be available for Windows XP customers, too. The company has yet to say what exactly will be a Longhorn-only improvement."

Timely snapshot. Predictably ends with allusions of Google as the next great anti-Microsoft.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Ed Brill [commentary on] BusinessWeek: Combat Over Collaboration

Ed Brill [commentary on] BusinessWeek: Combat Over Collaboration: "BusinessWeek: Combat Over Collaboration
Cliff Reeves on 4/8/2005 11:07:28 AM [...] 4/9/2005 5:21:27 AM"

Who needs reality TV when we have blogs with comment threads? Consider gems such as "[Cliff:] I'm a Notes fan, so no argument about its appeal. Also, no debate aboiut IBM's willingness to support Notes and Domino for many years, just as they did OS/2."

Adding my $.02 to the mix:
1. The Forbes article was awful "journalism" -- distorted, subjective, etc.
2. The BusinessWeek article was better reporting but still a bit on the "It's only a matter of time until Microsoft owns everything" theme.
3. I spend a lot of time talking with senior IT execs at enterprises that use both IBM and Microsoft communication/collaboration products, and I know for certain that the market dynamics are far more complex than either Forbes or BW suggested.
4. In any case, it's great to see renewed focus and debate on communication/collaboration topics...

Friday, April 08, 2005

Microsoft Completes Acquisition of Collaboration Software Provider Groove Networks

Microsoft Completes Acquisition of Collaboration Software Provider Groove Networks: "Microsoft today completed its acquisition of Groove Networks, the Beverly, Mass.-based provider of collaboration software for ad-hoc workgroups, and will add Groove's products to the lineup of Microsoft Office System products, servers and services.
The acquisition makes the Groove product and team part of Microsoft's Information Worker Business; the team will continue to be based out of its Massachusetts offices. It also brings Groove founder Ray Ozzie and other top executives into the Microsoft ranks."

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Wired News: Bloggers Pitch Fits Over Glitches

Wired News: Bloggers Pitch Fits Over Glitches: "What's up with Blogger, the institution that is eponymous with the media phenomenon it helped spawn?
Lately, it seems like almost every time you tune into your favorite Blogger-hosted blog to catch up on the latest gossip, meme, political diatribe or cybersnark, you find that the site is frozen in time. Or, there are multiple posts with identical content. Since Blogger, which is owned and operated by that sleek geek machine, Google, is a lot like a public utility, when it goes down, so do the lights on a large swatch of the blogosphere.
The result: a lot of irate netizens. "