Sunday, July 31, 2005

Technology News Article | Reuters.com: Game biz eyeing record year

Technology News Article | Reuters.com: Game biz eyeing record year: "The gaming sector saw overall sales hit more than $4.1 billion for the January-June period compared with $3.4 billion in first-half 2004, driven by the fast-expanding portable gaming market and software sales gains, NPD said Thursday.
...
PC game software sales decreased 10.5% to $405.4 million in the first half, NPD said.
Console hardware sales fell 6% to about $594 million, while console software revenue edged up 3%, and console accessories gained 6%.
Portable game hardware, software and accessories saw dollar sales jump 181%, 74% and 81%, respectively, NPD said."

BusinessWeek: Revenge of the Nerds -- Again

BusinessWeek: Revenge of the Nerds -- Again: "In the second quarter alone, Google snapped up about 230 engineers. Recent additions include software superstars Louis Monier, director of eBay (EBAY ) advanced technology research, and Kai-Fu Lee, a top-flight researcher at Microsoft -- which prompted the software giant to sue Google and Lee to keep him from going to work there right away.
Yahoo, meanwhile, has recently hired dozens of top engineers, including Larry Tesler, former vice-president for shopping experience at Amazon.com (AMZN ) And the company is expected to announce on July 28 that its new head of research is Prabhakar Raghavan, former chief technology officer at search-software outfit Verity (VRTY ) and an authority on algorithms."

www.cyclingnews.com news and analysis: 2005 Tour de France Final Exam with Elden Nelson

www.cyclingnews.com news and analysis: 2005 Tour de France Final Exam with Elden Nelson: "With the Tour de France over for another year, it's time for Elden Nelson, aka The Fat Cyclist, to present the final exam. It's time to put down your TV remotes and close your notebooks as Elden asks the burning questions - and just remember: You know less than you think!"

Great fun. Congrats to Elden on his new gig with Cycling News!

Bob Congdon: Changes

Bob Congdon: Changes: "I've accepted a job with Microsoft. We're moving to Seattle. I'd love to say more but it's too difficult to go into detail here. This was a tough decision. Believe me, we're still getting used to the idea. It's a huge change for my family. We've lived in Boston for a long time and have a lot of friends here. Overall we're pretty excited but we're also sad to be leaving."

Wow -- Microsoft is going to need a bigger room for the Lotus/Iris alumni club meetings in Redmond; the list is getting pretty long...

the nonist: a nonist public service pamphlet [blog depression]

the nonist: a nonist public service pamphlet [blog depression]: "there is a growing epidemic in the cyberworld. a scourge which causes more suffering with each passing day. as blogging has exploded and, under the stewardship of the veterans, the form has matured more and more bloggers are finding themselves disillusioned, dissatisfied, taking long breaks, and in many cases simply closing up shop. this debilitating scourge ebbs and flows but there is hardly a blogger among us who has not felt its dark touch. we're speaking, of course, about blog depression. "

Very nicely done -- check out the full post. Via Jason Lewis.

The New York Review of Books: The World Is Round

The New York Review of Books: The World Is Round: "As it has done in the past, globalization is throwing up dilemmas that have no satisfactory solution. That does not mean they cannot be more or less intelligently managed, but what is needed is the opposite of the utopian imagination. In a curious twist, the utopian mind has migrated from left to right, and from the academy to the airport bookshop. In the nineteenth century it was political activists and radical social theorists such as Marx who held out the promise that new technology was creating a new world. Today some business gurus have a similar message. There are many books announcing a global economic transformation and suggesting that governments can be reengineered to adapt to it in much the same way as corporations. The World Is Flat is an outstanding example of this genre."

Thoughtful and timely essay/review.

Why Bill Gates Wants 3,000 New Patents - New York Times

Why Bill Gates Wants 3,000 New Patents - New York Times: "It must feel like a bit of a stretch to come up with 60 fresh, nonobvious patentable ideas week in, week out. Perhaps that is why this summer's crop includes titles like 'System and Method for Creating a Note Related to a Phone Call' and 'Adding and Removing White Space From a Document.'
I have not seen the software in use. But if I were in a position to make a ruling, and even if I accepted the originality claim on its face, I would process these swiftly: Rejected.
Microsoft's other pending applications - 3,368 at last count - should receive the same treatment. And while tidying up, let's also toss out the 3,955 patents that Microsoft has already been issued."

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Line56.com: ERP Seats Unused

Line56.com: ERP Seats Unused: "Forty-six percent of enterprise resource planning (ERP) seats are empty, according to a survey of 271 companies recently conducted by AMR Research.
This is an artifact of the Y2K ERP buying spree that saw vendors offer discounts on high-volume seat purchases. However, in the wake of the recession of 2001, '[some] companies actually downsized to the point where they had more ERP licenses than employees,' notes analyst Jim Shepherd of AMR Research. "

Technology - Remembering Netscape: The Birth of the Web - FORTUNE - Page

Technology - Remembering Netscape: The Birth of the Web - FORTUNE - Page: "For the tenth anniversary of its IPO, FORTUNE recruited dozens of players to tell, in their own words, the story of the startup brought us into the Internet era. The first of two-part story."

Part 2 is here.

PBS | I, Cringely . July 28, 2005 - Skyped

PBS | I, Cringely . July 28, 2005 - Skyped "The Likely Sale of Skype Will Be Another Kick in the Head to Old-Line Phone Companies Worldwide
By Robert X. Cringely
In high tech, the theory goes, advantage lies with the pioneers -- the first company to introduce a product in a new category. And that's true except when it is not, which is typically when the pioneers were too early, too expensive, or too difficult to use. In those cases, a second model generally holds, and in that one, the dominant company is a later entrant who simply does the task far better than it had been done before. For Internet searching, Google is a perfect example of this latter effect, entering the market years after Alta Vista and Excite. And the Google of VoIP looks like it might be Skype, which was almost sold last week to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. for $3 billion."

I hadn't heard about the News Corp. scenario; interesting analysis, as always.

NASA - 10th Planet Discovered

NASA - 10th Planet Discovered: "Astronomers have found a new planet in the outer reaches of the solar system.
"It's definitely bigger than Pluto." So says Dr. Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology who announced today the discovery of a new planet in the outer solar system.
The planet, which hasn't been officially named yet, was found by Brown and colleagues using the Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory near San Diego. It is currently about 97 times farther from the sun than Earth, or 97 Astronomical Units (AU). For comparison, Pluto is 40 AU from the sun."

Friday, July 29, 2005

WSJ.com - Apple, H-P Unwind iPod Deal

WSJ.com - Apple, H-P Unwind iPod Deal: "The deal between the two companies, which compete against each other in the PC market, was originally viewed as a major step for both companies, but the breakdown of the partnership isn't likely to be a big loss for either side. H-P on average accounted for only about 5% of iPod sales, which totaled about 6.2 million of the devices, worth more than $1.1 billion in revenue, for Apple last quarter. H-P plans to continue distributing copies of Apple's iTunes music software on H-P computers.
Similarly, people familiar with the matter say H-P never profited heavily from selling the iPod and that Apple had more control over the financial terms of the deal. The two companies haven't disclosed terms of the partnership.
One key provision of the Apple-HP deal will remain in place: according to people familiar with the terms of the agreement, H-P cannot sell a competitive digital music player from another company or begin development its own player until August of next year."

Challenges ahead for collaborative convergence

Challenges ahead for collaborative convergence: "The worlds of VoIP, instant messaging (IM) and collaboration applications are colliding, but a 2005 Burton Group Catalyst Conference speaker said the future of communication convergence may still be up to the stars. "

Timely reality check from my colleague Irwin Lazar (read the full article).

Reading Between the Lines of Used Book Sales - New York Times

Reading Between the Lines of Used Book Sales - New York Times: "While Amazon is best known for selling new products, an estimated 23 percent of its sales are from used goods, many of them secondhand books. Used bookstores have been around for centuries, but the Internet has allowed such markets to become larger and more efficient. And that has upset a number of publishers and authors. "

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: The slow death of traditional software

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: The slow death of traditional software: "Chris Koch reports on a new study that reveals just how disillusioned CIOs have become with the traditional model of buying and maintaining business software. The research house IDC surveyed 250 IT execs and found, according to Koch, "that they are so frustrated with software licensing that deep discounts on the software - as much as 100 percent! - don’t lift their moods. They are convinced that the software companies will rip them off somehow. That somehow is usually via maintenance or subscription fees." The survey reveals, moreover, that "companies believe they use just 16 percent of the software they buy. The rest is just there to pump up the vendors’ fees." The study backs up earlier research by AMR that found software buyers are "furious" about vendors' maintenance and upgrade practices."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: CEO scolds Microsoft's skeptics

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: CEO scolds Microsoft's skeptics: "'The CEO is much more confident about growth prospects for the 'anchor' businesses than are outsiders,' Richard Royce of JPMorgan wrote in the event's online message board after Ballmer's speech. 'What specific drivers of growth (units, price, services, new products, etc) are outsiders missing? Help us bridge this large perception gap.'"

MSFT Financial Analyst Meeting: Fireside Chat

MSFT Financial Analyst Meeting: Fireside Chat Transcript of Bill Gates/Ray Ozzie session.

Beginning Of The End Of E-Mail - Forbes.com

Beginning Of The End Of E-Mail - Forbes.com: "According to a study by the Pew Internet and American Life project, barely 5% of American teens aged 12 to 17 prefer e-mail over instant messaging as their digital communications method of choice. Teens view e-mail as a way to talk to 'old people' or institutions like companies. Kids, it seems, prefer the immediacy and mobility of instant messaging and text messaging to e-mail, which they might some day refer to as snail mail, the same way most people over 30 refer to the U.S. Postal Service. "

Sony Reports a Loss and a Bleaker Profit Outlook - New York Times

Sony Reports a Loss and a Bleaker Profit Outlook - New York Times: " Sony, the struggling electronics giant, reported a second straight quarterly loss as sales of its television sets plunged, and slashed its profit outlook 88 percent for the financial year in a sign of its deepening troubles.
In the three months through June, Sony reported a net loss of 7.3 billion yen ($68 million), from a 23.3 billion yen ($216 million) profit last year. Its sales of TV sets tumbled 20.5 percent in the quarter, the biggest reason for a 3.3 percent drop in overall sales to 1.56 trillion yen ($14.4 billion).
The company also cut its annual profit forecast to 10 billion yen ($92.6 million) from 80 billion yen, citing declining profit margins and poor sales in its TV business."

Microsoft Makes Its Case That It Is a Growth Stock - New York Times

Microsoft Makes Its Case That It Is a Growth Stock - New York Times: "At Microsoft's annual briefing for analysts at its headquarters here, Mr. Ballmer sketched a portrait of the company's endeavors centered on 'anchor businesses' - like its Windows operating systems for PC's and servers and its Office productivity software - that will continue to grow 'robustly' through the end of the decade. He also pointed to growth potential in newer areas like Microsoft's video game business and software for mobile phones, interactive television and Web searching.
'We're not the kind of company that will get out here and make weird projections,' he said in a morning talk that led off a series of management presentations on the company's businesses. 'But I do know that the opportunity we have for growth is phenomenal.'
Microsoft's top executives have become increasingly frustrated over the last five years as the company's stock first declined and then remained flat while some of its competitors' shares have soared."

WSJ.com - Microsoft Wins Small Battle In Google Suit

WSJ.com - Microsoft Wins Small Battle In Google Suit: "In his order, Judge Steven Gonzalez specified that Dr. Lee is temporarily restrained from working on projects at Google in areas including 'computer search technologies' and the Chinese market for them. He said that Microsoft had established 'a well-grounded fear of invasion' of its rights should Dr. Lee work on such projects.
Google said in a statement that it didn't believe the restraining order was necessary. But it said it was 'gratified that the judge recognized that all Google and Dr. Lee have to do is avoid having Dr. Lee do anything competitive with what he did at Microsoft,' which Google said was its intention. Microsoft said in a statement that it was pleased with the ruling."

Rather significant change in Google's tone about the issue.

WSJ.com - Microsoft Plans To Step Up Pace Of Acquisitions

WSJ.com - Microsoft Plans To Step Up Pace Of Acquisitions: "The Redmond, Wash., software maker expects to acquire companies in the price range of $300 million to $500 million and may buy some in the $1 billion to $2 billion range, Mr. Ballmer said.
'We have dialed up the pace of acquisitions,' he said, explaining that he didn't think Microsoft would do a 'big blockbuster' acquisition but that the company isn't 'close minded' about it.
Executives didn't give details of what types of companies Microsoft may buy, but any investments would likely be in technologies that fill out existing Microsoft product lines and strategies. Microsoft yesterday touted the continuing integration of Groove Networks, a maker of collaboration software acquired this year to supplement the Redmond, Wash., company's Office software line."

Thursday, July 28, 2005

WSJ.com - UPDATE:Microsoft Exec: Vista Development Ahead Of Schedule

WSJ.com - UPDATE:Microsoft Exec: Vista Development Ahead Of Schedule: "Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) said development of Vista, the next generation of Windows, is ahead of schedule, Will Poole, senior vice president for Windows, said Thursday.
Poole, speaking at the company's annual financial analyst meeting, didn't specify in what way the development is ahead of schedule."

Ah, so "second half 2006" != 2006/12/32...

Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting 2005: Fireside Chat with Bill Gates and Ray Ozzie

Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting 2005: Fireside Chat with Bill Gates and Ray Ozzie: Good stuff...

Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: Windows Vista Beta 1 Review (Part 3)

Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: Windows Vista Beta 1 Review (Part 3): "Windows Vista Beta 1 is about what I expected to see in April, when Microsoft released build 5048 at WinHEC 2005. On that note, it's not a horrible disappointment like build 5048. However, because it lacks the end user niceties we'll see in the PDC 2005 build, in Beta 2, and in the final product, it's not something that will excite average users. From what I can tell, Beta 1 is primarily designed so that IT administrators and developers can check out custom application compatibility issues. And that's just fine. For the rest of us, seeing how the virtual folders will sort out is somewhat interesting, and I'm eager to use this organizational system full time, as I'm anal retentive about creating specific document folder structures right now anyway. Beta 1 is all about possibility and promises, and that's OK. My only real disappointment is that it took so long to get to this point: I first saw many of these features almost two years ago and now I want more."

First detailed review I've seen; starts here

BBC NEWS | Technology | Teens spurn e-mail for messaging

BBC NEWS | Technology | Teens spurn e-mail for messaging: "Nearly nine out of 10 teenagers say they use the net, up from 74 percent in 2000, according to the Pew study.
While e-mail is seen as a tool for communicating with adults, instant messaging was proving the most popular way to chat with friends.
Three-quarters 75% of online teenagers in the US have used IM, the survey found, with personalised features proving popular. "

[print version] Getting real about wikimania | CNET News.com

[print version] Getting real about wikimania | CNET News.com: "Is it easier to run a company on a limited investment than it was, say, when you started Excite?
Kraus: Oh yeah. It took $3 million to get Excite from concept to release, it took $100,000 to get JotSpot from concept to release.
Why is that?
Kraus: Three reasons. When we started Excite, we had to buy expensive Sun servers and disk arrays and all sorts of stuff. Hardware costs nothing these days. Second, you don't pay for compilers, app servers, Web servers--any of that anymore. You use Linux, you use Tomcat, you use Apache--I mean, the infrastructure software is free, essentially. And the third reason is that start-ups have access to offshore labor in a way that they didn't have in the early 1990s. IBM had access to offshore labor in the early 1990s but Excite as a start-up didn't."

Yahoo Is Wooing I.B.M. Technical Talent - New York Times

Yahoo Is Wooing I.B.M. Technical Talent - New York Times: "Yahoo plans to announce Thursday that it is recruiting scientists who pioneered an advanced search-engine technology at I.B.M.'s Silicon Valley research laboratory.
Beginning in the mid-1990's, the researchers at I.B.M. spent several years developing an Internet search engine, called Clever, employing a series of algorithms to improve the quality of the retrieval results. While that project has concluded, the I.B.M. researchers have continued other work in the field."

Kind of weird to see this sort of stuff in the mainstream news; sign of the times...

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft suit wasn't personal, ex-VP says he was told

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft suit wasn't personal, ex-VP says he was told: "In an interview after the hearing, Microsoft lawyer Tom Burt said the company has no interest in intimidating employees. 'There are some employees who consider other job options,' he said. 'All we want is that when they do, that they recognize they've got a contractual commitment to Microsoft that they have to live up to.'"

Lots of drama in this context, but the bottom line above is the real issue.

Personal Technology -- New Microsoft Program Offers Homework Tools But It's Clumsy to Use

Personal Technology -- New Microsoft Program Offers Homework Tools But It's Clumsy to Use: "I have been testing this new product over the past week, reliving the sheer joy of solving algebra problems, crafting book reports and trying to string together two sentences in French.
My conclusion is that, especially for students who struggle or who need help getting started on assignments, Microsoft Student can provide some aid. Still, it is confusing and clumsy to use and disappointing in some respects. It is really a thin veneer thrown over several existing Microsoft products, rather than an integrated program designed from the ground up."

Elderly Americans lose millions to Internet scams - Yahoo! News

Elderly Americans lose millions to Internet scams - Yahoo! News: "Scams involving Internet auctions, as well as identity theft, lotteries, prizes and sweepstakes, top the list of fraud complaints by older Americans, who lost $152 million to con artists last year, U.S. officials told a Senate panel on Wednesday.
Internet-based scams are growing and now account for about 41 percent of fraud complaints the Federal Trade Commission receives from people over 50, Lois Greisman of the FTC's consumer protection division told the Senate Committee on Aging."

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Vonage to Offer Home Networking Gear

Vonage to Offer Home Networking Gear: "Voice over IP (define) leader Vonage plans to offer a new Motorola gateway that makes home networking more easy. It combines broadband telephony and home networking functions in one device.
Motorola's VT2442, which is powered by Texas Instruments (Quote, Chart) TNETV1060 chipset, has two lines of telephone service supporting call waiting, call forwarding and caller ID.
Additionally, it has four Ethernet (define) ports for computers or gaming consoles plus a firewall. The device was unveiled in March and is interoperable with networks that use the session initiation protocol (define) standard. "

I.B.M. Introduces New Line of Mainframe Computers - New York Times

I.B.M. Introduces New Line of Mainframe Computers - New York Times: "I.B.M. introduced a new line of mainframe computer today that is not only twice as powerful as its predecessor but also intended to make it easier for corporations to encrypt vast amounts of customer information and to bundle the workloads of many smaller computers onto an I.B.M. mainframe.
The new line, called the z9, is the result of a three-year, $1.2 billion development effort involving 5,000 I.B.M. engineers. Maintaining the health of the mainframe business, which accounts for a small percentage of the company's revenues these days, is still important to I.B.M. Sales of the big machines, which typically cost several million dollars, pulls in a lot of other business for I.B.M., including sales of software, services, financing and other hardware, like storage systems, analysts say."

Sun Earnings Beat Forecasts, but Sales Continue to Slip - New York Times

Sun Earnings Beat Forecasts, but Sales Continue to Slip - New York Times: "Sun Microsystems reported earnings on Tuesday that outpaced Wall Street expectations for the quarter. But the company's revenue continued to fall, indicating that the computer maker has yet to achieve a turnaround.
One of the highest fliers of the dot-com boom, Sun's revenue has collapsed in the last five years and it has been hunting for a path to growth while waiting for a rebound in demand among its biggest corporate customers.
...
Moreover, several analysts said that Sun appeared to have made some progress toward ending its financial slide. "There is no question that Sun has been losing mind share at a fairly dramatic rate," said Richard Chu, a financial analyst at SG Cowen Securities. "I found this to be an encouraging quarter.""

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft to release Windows version

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft to release Windows version: "A 'beta' test version of the company's new operating system, formerly known by the code name Longhorn, is being released to software developers for testing this morning. That's a few days earlier than a deadline Microsoft gave when it released the product name last week."

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Yahoo snags widget tool Konfabulator | InfoWorld | News | 2005-07-25 | By Cathleen Moore

Yahoo snags widget tool Konfabulator | InfoWorld | News | 2005-07-25 | By Cathleen Moore: "Yahoo on Monday announced it has acquired Pixoria, a maker of mini applications, or widgets, that be customized to provide information such as Wi-Fi signal strength, stock prices, and traffic conditions.
Pixoria's product, called Konfabulator, is a JavaScript run-time engine for Windows and Mac OS X that lets developers access online content without opening a Web browser. "

FTPOnline.com: VS05 to get ‘Domain Specific Language’

FTPOnline.com: VS05 to get ‘Domain Specific Language’: "Look for Microsoft to release a 'domain specific language' to be used with Visual Studio 2005 to create maps of business processes.
Microsoft Motion is a project that evolved from the early Microsoft Modules effort to model how generic businesses work. Modules created a massive graphic of hundreds of fundamental functions, such as 'pay employees' or 'track inventory'. The result was a 5 ft. by 5 ft plot of 600 generic business 'modules which Microsoft used to plan its acquisitions of financial applications companies, from Axapta to Great Plains. "

PC Pro: News: Motorola aims to topple Blackberry

PC Pro: News: Motorola aims to topple Blackberry: "The world's second biggest mobile phone manufacturer Motorola is taking a tilt at the Blackberry market with a new mobile phone plus keyboard. Running on Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5.0 for Smartphone software, Motorola claims that the product is the thinnest and lightest keyboard plus phone combo around. "

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: New "key" mandatory in Windows for updates

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: New "key" mandatory in Windows for updates: "The system works by identifying unique characteristics of a system and implanting a software key that can be read by Microsoft when updates are requested. The only way to remove the key is to reformat the hard drive, said David Lazar, director of Genuine Windows.
The key won't be used to identify individual users, only individual systems, he said."

Monday, July 25, 2005

Watch Me Do This and That Online - New York Times

Watch Me Do This and That Online - New York Times: "After blogging came photo blogging and then, suddenly last year, video blogging. Video bloggers, also known as vloggers, are people who regularly post videos on the Internet, creating primitive shows for anyone who cares to watch. Some vlogs are cooking shows, some are minidocumentaries, some are mock news programs and some are almost art films. "

Entropy is on the rise...

Friday, July 22, 2005

Media Alert: Microsoft Unveils Official Name for “Longhorn” and Sets Date for First Beta Targeted at Developers and IT Professionals

Media Alert: Microsoft Unveils Official Name for “Longhorn” and Sets Date for First Beta Targeted at Developers and IT Professionals: "Today Microsoft Corp. announced the official name of its next-generation Windows® client operating system, formerly code-named “Longhorn.” Video of the name announcement can be seen via the link below."

Sign of the times -- Microsoft probably spent more on the Windows Longhorn naming process and intro video than all other OS vendors are (together) spending on annual marketing/advertising.

"Vista" -- the always-handy answers.com (click the link to see a page that doesn't have format-munging...) says:

"vis·ta (v?s't?)
n.

A distant view or prospect, especially one seen through an opening, as between rows of buildings or trees.
An avenue or other passage affording such a view.
An awareness of a range of time, events, or subjects; a broad mental view: “the deep and sweeping vistas these pioneering critics opened up” (Arthur C. Danto).
[Italian, from feminine past participle of vedere, to see, from Latin vid?re.]
vis'taed (-t?d) adj."

Or maybe it has something to do with "hasta la vista"?...

Sony to Release Web Browser for PSP - Yahoo! News

Sony to Release Web Browser for PSP - Yahoo! News: "Sony officials Thursday said the company will release a software upgrade that will let the PlayStation Portable video game system surf the Web without a cumbersome software trick.
...
The PSP comes with a built-in antenna for wireless Internet access, but the only way to use it for surfing the Web has been to modify a limited browsing feature in the racing game 'Wipeout Pure.'"

BBC NEWS | Technology | Xbox Live doubles its community

BBC NEWS | Technology | Xbox Live doubles its community: "
Xbox Live should get a further boost with Microsoft's Xbox 360
Xbox Live, Microsoft's online gaming community, has doubled in a year, adding the equivalent to a new player every 30 seconds, said Microsoft.
Two million play and chat with others via the online community, launched in 2003, and more than 20m items, such as weapons and maps, have been downloaded. "

Via Paul Thurrott

Microsoft to Announce Longhorn Name: Windows Vista

Microsoft to Announce Longhorn Name: Windows Vista: "Microsoft will announce on Friday morning that Longhorn will be officially named as Windows Vista. I first published information about this new name on my Internet Nexus blog. Activewin corroborated the story, noting that a Windows executive had mistakenly referred to the name during 'a sales conference in Atlanta.' Steven Bink (of Bink.nu) and some folks from Neowin.net also discovered that Microsoft had acquired the windowsvista.us domain name."

Great news if this is a leading indicator of a trend of dropping the practice of using the release year as part of product names...

WSJ.com - Google Sues Microsoft Over Executive's Hiring

WSJ.com - Google Sues Microsoft Over Executive's Hiring: "Their non-compete clause is incredibly over-broad,' said Nicole Wong, a Google associate general counsel. 'What they're doing is intimidation pure and simple.' Microsoft Tuesday had filed suit against Google and Dr. Lee, an expert in search technology and one of the architects of Microsoft's China strategy, in King County Superior Court, in Seattle.
Microsoft spokeswoman Stacy Drake said Google's suit in California was a 'poorly disguised effort to evade Washington law and renege on the agreement Dr. Lee made to Microsoft.' She added, 'Microsoft is confident in our case and that Google's legal maneuvers will ultimately be rejected by the court.' "

Thursday, July 21, 2005

CRN | Breaking News | HP Halts Four Research Projects [and Alan Kay exits]

CRN | Breaking News | HP Halts Four Research Projects [and Alan Kay exits]: "Discontinued research projects include Kay's Advanced Software Research team, which was looking into a new operating system for the Internet. Kay, who is leaving HP, is best known for his work in graphical user interfaces while working at Xerox's research lab in the 1970s. He also pioneered modern programming languages. "

Good Morning Silicon Valley: We beat Lenovo! Awesome! ... Who's Lenovo?

Good Morning Silicon Valley: We beat Lenovo! Awesome! ... Who's Lenovo?: "Today, Apple is the No. 4 seller of personal computers [with 4.5% market share] in the States, thanks in large part to healthy sales of the Mac mini and the iPod. 'The Mac mini as well as the visibility and appeal of Apple's music business, including the iPod line, has clearly benefited the company's PC business,' IDC explained in its report, 'and the company appears well positioned for education and consumer sales going into the second half of the year.' "

CRN | Breaking News | Business Objects Acquisition Sets Up Cognos Face-Off

CRN | Breaking News | Business Objects Acquisition Sets Up Cognos Face-Off: "Business Objects filled in a gaping hole in its portfolio Wednesday, announcing it will pay $100 million in cash to buy SRC Software, developer of financial planning and corporate performance management software.
The move now pits the company squarely against Cognos and Hyperion, giving it similar functions for modeling and monitoring financial performance. Offering such corporate performance management (CPM) capabilities gives Business Objects an important foothold in the corporate finance office. "

Sun shines on Interwoven software | CNET News.com

Sun shines on Interwoven software | CNET News.com: "Sun Microsystems inked a deal Tuesday to resell content management software made by Interwoven, the companies said Wednesday. The partnership covers Interwoven's whole Java-based product portfolio, including the latest version of its Content Provisioning system."

U.S. Will Offer Doctors Free Electronic Records System - New York Times

U.S. Will Offer Doctors Free Electronic Records System - New York Times: "Now, however, Medicare, which says the lack of electronic records is one of the biggest impediments to improving health care, has decided to step in. In an unprecedented move, it said it planned to announce that it would give doctors - free of charge - software to computerize their medical practices. An office with five doctors could save more than $100,000 by choosing the Medicare software rather than buying software from a private company, officials say.
The program begins next month, and the software is a version of a well-proven electronic health record system, called Vista, that has been used for two decades by hospitals, doctors and clinics with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Medicare will also provide a list of companies that have been trained to install and maintain the system."

Microsoft Launches OneCare Beta

Microsoft Launches OneCare Beta: "This week, Microsoft began sending out beta invites for its upcoming Windows OneCare Live product, an MSN service that will provide Windows XP users with managed antivirus, antispyware, a two-way firewall, data backup and restore capabilities, and other services. According to Microsoft representatives I spoke with last week, Windows OneCare is an extension of Windows that breaks beyond the boundaries of today's PC security products.
...
The initial OneCare beta is private but Microsoft intends to open up the product to a wide public beta in Q3 2005. The current beta is only about 70 percent functionally complete, I was told, whereas the public beta should be over 90 percent complete when it begins. Microsoft hopes to ship Windows OneCare Live in the first half of 2006. The service will be provided through the company's MSN division."

Q&A: Microsoft Announces Plans to Acquire FrontBridge Technologies, Inc., a Leading Provider of Secure Managed Messaging Services

Q&A: Microsoft Announces Plans to Acquire FrontBridge Technologies, Inc., a Leading Provider of Secure Managed Messaging Services "PressPass: How does the acquisition of FrontBridge relate to the recent acquisition of Sybari technologies?
Thompson: The acquisitions of both Sybari and FrontBridge demonstrate Microsoft’s commitment to bringing greater security to a customers’ e-mail environment, and also ensuring customers have a choice in terms of how these solutions are delivered. With the acquisitions of Sybari and FrontBridge, customers now have a choice of either an on premise or hosted anti-virus or anti-spam solution based on their preference. Depending on their situation, customers tend to prefer one solution over another. For example, customers that already have AV/AS technical expertise, and wish to maintain those skills in-house, can choose to run Sybari’s Antigen and Advanced Spam Manager products on premise. Other customers may choose to outsource this expertise to a third party to reduce overall costs, and will likely opt for FrontBridge managed services. Therefore, we would leave it to customers to decide which solution they feel is most optimal to protect them from malicious software, based on their business requirements.
In addition to the hosted AV/AS service, FrontBridge also offers hosted services in the areas of compliance and disaster recovery. Message Archive intercepts customers' electronic communications, archives and indexes them for immediate monitoring, and provides search and retrieval capabilities. Active Message Continuity and Disaster Recovery provides a back-up messaging system that can be called into action at anytime in the event of an emergency, helping to assure your company will never lose an e-mail, even if your corporate network and e-mail servers are unavailable."

WSJ.com - Microsoft to Pay Undisclosed Sum for FrontBridge

WSJ.com - Microsoft to Pay Undisclosed Sum for FrontBridge: "For Microsoft, the deal marks another step in its recent effort to beef up its ability to deal with software woes at large companies. Among other things, the company has been working on 'managed services,' which are software-based offerings such as email, instant messaging and security checks, that Microsoft would run on behalf of customers.
Microsoft executives see such services as one of the best ways for the company to compete with International Business Machines Corp. for business customers. The FrontBridge deal also puts Microsoft in closer competition with Symantec, Cupertino, Calif., the leading maker of antivirus software. FrontBridge's services also can be used for archiving electronic messages for regulatory-compliance purposes."

Personal Technology -- Info Appliance Offers Nice Touches, but It's Costly, Has Limitations

Personal Technology -- Info Appliance Offers Nice Touches, but It's Costly, Has Limitations: "Unlike some earlier info appliances, the Pepper Pad is able to take advantage of modern technologies developed for the PC. It offers built-in Wi-Fi wireless networking for getting on the Internet at broadband speeds, and Bluetooth short-range wireless networking for hooking up peripherals. It has a slot for the popular SD memory cards used in digital cameras, so you can transfer photos easily. And it has a USB port meant for use with the new little USB thumb drives, so you can easily import photos, music and videos.
Inside is a 20-gigabyte hard drive, the Linux operating system and a Web browser based on the open-source Mozilla code that also underlies the popular Firefox browser."

Walt Mossberg reviews (Notes co-creator) Len Kawell's latest product.

BlogBridge: Home

BlogBridge: Home I've been exploring Pito Salas' BlogBridge lately and am very impressed. Check it out -- it's free, open sourced, multi-platform (Windows, Mac, and Linux) rich client, and works with a free service that synchronizes not only channel subscriptions (guides, in BlogBridge vernacular) but also unread counts. Download and explore the weekly build version (currently 1.10); it's a bit flaky in a couple contexts but is much more feature-rich than the 1.0 release.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

WSJ.com - James Doohan, 'Scotty' In Star Trek Series, Dies

WSJ.com - James Doohan, 'Scotty' In Star Trek Series, Dies: "James Doohan, the burly chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise in the original 'Star Trek' TV series and movies who responded to the command 'Beam me up, Scotty,' died Wednesday. He was 85."

Inside Digital Media: communication/collabortion/content presentation/interview

Inside Digital Media: communication/collabortion/content presentation/interview This is a market overview/interview recorded yesterday with Phil Leigh -- I presented my perspective on communication/collaboration/content market trends etc. You'll need to download the WebEx player to view it. Thanks to Phil Leigh for the opportunity.

(The link is to the main Inside Digital Media page; look for the July 20, 2005 link to directly launch into WebEx).

Phil's summary of the interview:
"Summary: If you are interested to learn how future workers are likely to collaborate on projects with their PCs over networks, this interview is for you.

Although this is a lengthy interview, the content and material covered is fascinating. Our guest is a Senior Analyst with The Burton Group who specializes in Communications and Collaboration. He has been in the business for 20 years. Earlier he worked for Lotus (on Lotus Notes) and with Ray Ozzie’s Groove Networks.

Essentially our guest today believes that Communications and Collaboration will become merely feature extensions of data-base management systems. Instead of assembling a “best of breed” package of collaborative tools, in the future IT managers will seek data-base management systems that provide a full suite of collaborative features.

Basically, the PC is evolving. Instead of being primarily a document creation device it is also becoming a universal communications and collaboration appliance. Moreover, cell phones are mutating into small form factor PCs.

Our guest believes that one manifestation of this trend is the emergence, and eventually dominance, of virtual telephony. To older guys, like me, Skype appears to be a software client that I can use in place of a telephone. But to younger people it is merely another computer application. To them it is a natural extension of e-mail and Instant Messaging. In the years ahead, youngsters today who are growing up with IM and Skype will consider it odd that people once used a separate device to make a telephone call. Consider the following scenario:

You are sitting at a Starbucks with WiFi access. Next, you get a phone call via Skype at your laptop. That is merely the first step in an escalating collaboration session. Joe from your office has called. He wants to share some documents with you. You and Joe launch a WebEx session and share the documents. During the conversation, Joe discusses a product from company XYZ that you don’t understand. He uses WebEx to “take” you to XYZ’s website. Together the two of you study the product literature and perhaps view some animation at XYZ that explains how their product is used.

In the preceding example, the Skype virtual telephone call is merely the first step in a full collaborative session. The conventional telephone is a dumb terminal with no evolutionary future. Some day we will all kind of wonder why we used it when virtual phone calls were so easily accessible.

Subject: Today’s guest on Inside Digital Media is Peter O’Kelly who is a Senior Analyst with The Burton Group. Peter specializes in market research in the field of Communications and Collaboration.

Length: This Slide Show presentation is covered in about 70 minutes."

Reuters: Cellphone sales seen at over 1 bln a year by 2009

Reuters: Cellphone sales seen at over 1 bln a year by 2009: "Mobile phone sales will exceed one billion handsets a year by 2009 as they become the most common consumer electronics device with 2.6 billion people using one by then, according to a survey published on Wednesday.
Around 1.04 billion cell phones will be sold in 2009, up from an upwardly revised estimate of 779 million this year and 674 million handsets in 2004, research group Gartner said.
...
The price differences will be huge, with basic handsets for emerging markets selling for $20 apiece, while smartphones with computer-like functions retailing for hundreds of dollars.
Smartphones, currently a luxury segment, will make up just over one fifth of all phone sales by 2008."

IBM Snaps Up E-Forms Player PureEdge

IBM Snaps Up E-Forms Player PureEdge: "IBM is determined to buckle down in terms of getting XForms, instead of Adobe, accepted as a standard within industries affected by compliance and government mandate, Governor said --thus the PureEdge acquisition.
'For all the facts IBM is talking about standards, I can see a big fight between IBM, Adobe and Microsoft shaping up for dominance of this market,' he said. "

Yes, and with PureEdge and its XForms-based products, only one of the competitors can claim deep standards support.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

WSJ.com - Microsoft Sues to Keep Aide From Google

WSJ.com - Microsoft Sues to Keep Aide From Google: "Microsoft Corp., hoping to block one of its own from joining a main rival, yesterday filed suit against Google Inc. and a former Microsoft vice president, Kai-Fu Lee, an expert in search technology and one of the architects of its China strategy.
The suit, filed in King County Superior Court, in Seattle, is the latest sign of how seriously Microsoft views its rivalry with the Mountain View, Calif., search-engine company. Google announced yesterday that it had hired Dr. Lee and named him president of its China operations, putting him in charge of establishing a research-and-development center there. Microsoft says Google and Dr. Lee violated his employment contract with Microsoft, where he has worked for seven years, five of them as a vice president."

IBM shuffles management deck | CNET News.com

IBM shuffles management deck | CNET News.com: "Janet Perna, a 31-year IBM veteran, has retired as the general manager of its information management software division.
She will be replaced by Ambuj Goyal, who had been the general manager of IBM's Lotus division. A replacement for Goyal has not yet been named."

Wow -- thats' a huge shift; see the rest of the story for other changes

I.B.M. Sees Strength in Software and Services in 2nd Quarter - New York Times

I.B.M. Sees Strength in Software and Services in 2nd Quarter - New York Times: "Software sales rose to $3.8 billion, up 10 percent from the previous year (7 percent without currency gains). Its WebSphere products, which use Internet technology to manage and link together all kinds of software in data centers, rose 18 percent.
I.B.M. performed well despite a soft quarter for its mainframe computers, whose sales fell 24 percent. Many customers, particularly in the banking and brokerage industry, held off buying mainframes, analysts said, because I.B.M. is expected to announce next week a new line of its zSeries mainframes for delivery later this year."

World PC Shipments Up 16% in Quarter - New York Times

World PC Shipments Up 16% in Quarter - New York Times: "Growth in the United States bounced back from a first quarter that was hampered by slow public sector spending and a difficult comparison with a year ago, IDC said. Consumer demand and the public sector also showed gains.
Over all, worldwide shipments of PC's rose to 46.6 million, from 39.9 million, in the second quarter a year ago, IDC said."

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Gates stresses need for qualified help

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Gates stresses need for qualified help: "Microsoft can't find enough people to hire, which is limiting the pace of its development, Chairman Bill Gates said yesterday.
'It really is gating the speed at which we do things,' he said, speaking to about 400 faculty researchers from colleges and universities at the company's annual Research Faculty Summit in Redmond."

Monday, July 18, 2005

At the Podcast Party, More Guests Arrive - New York Times

At the Podcast Party, More Guests Arrive - New York Times: "On June 29, Apple released a new version of its popular iTunes software that allows users to download podcasts, which are audio files that can be automatically loaded onto computers and devices like iPods.
In the two days after the software's release, Apple said users signed up for more than a million podcast subscriptions (the company would not release the exact number), a figure far greater than the total number of podcast users in 2004, as estimated by the Diffusion Group, a research firm."

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft's plans don't worry IBM

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft's plans don't worry IBM: "I think probably for many of you who compete in larger enterprises the No. 1 competitor for us and for you is IBM,' Ballmer said, according to a Microsoft transcript of the event. 'Sometimes it's Oracle but really it's IBM, IBM, IBM, IBM, IBM.'
But the head of IBM's software division isn't too concerned.
Steve Mills, a senior vice president who runs what is in effect the world's second-largest software business after Microsoft, said he's still waiting for the threat to materialize.
In a recent interview, Mills also discussed the upcoming version of Windows code-named Longhorn, Linux, customers and the state of the software industry."

Friday, July 15, 2005

Good Morning Silicon Valley: OS/2 in persistent vegetative state; IBM to remove feeding tube

Good Morning Silicon Valley: OS/2 in persistent vegetative state; IBM to remove feeding tube: "IBM's OS/2 operating system died years ago and now the company is finally getting around to burying its remains. In an announcement broadcast today, IBM said it will stop selling the long-struggling 32-bit multitasking operating system in December and stop supporting it a year later."

BEA's Dietzen lands at groupware startup | InfoWorld

BEA's Dietzen lands at groupware startup | InfoWorld: "Nearly a year after quitting his job as chief technology officer at BEA Systems, Scott Dietzen has resurfaced. He is now serving as president and chief technology officer of little-known San Mateo, California, start-up Liquid Systems, a venture-funded software company that is focused on enterprise messaging and collaboration, according to sources familiar with the company's plans.
The company has developed client and server-side software designed to replace enterprise collaboration products such as Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange, the sources said."

ARNnet | IBM, Microsoft develop Web services security protocol

ARNnet | IBM, Microsoft develop Web services security protocol: "IBM and Microsoft are set to turn over to a standards body a key set of Web services security specifications they have been developing for establishing trust and exchanging data between partners.
In September, the pair will submit WS-Trust, WS-SecureConversation and WS-SecurityPolicy to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), which will create a technical committee to develop the specifications into a standard. The two made the official announcement Thursday at the annual Burton Group Catalyst conference. "

Thursday, July 14, 2005

ACM: Ubiquity - Kleinrock on Nomadic Computing

ACM: Ubiquity - Kleinrock on Nomadic Computing: "KLEINROCK: Yes, J.C.R. Licklider. He was a most dynamic fellow. His MIT influence and connection is important. He had access to many people. He was a visionary as a psychologist and as someone interested in human-computer interaction. He was brilliant. He was one of the real heroes at the time, and he was the first director of the IPTO office within ARPA. The people who followed him as heads of IPTO were also magnificent. Ivan Sutherland came after him. Ivan was a classmate of mine at MIT, by the way. And after him came Bob Taylor, followed by Larry Roberts. Larry was also a classmate of mine. In fact, Ivan, Larry and I took our thesis defense at the same time because our doctoral committees had overlapping people. Claude Shannon was on each of our committees, for example. We had to demonstrate some of our work on a Lincoln Laboratory computer. All these distinguished faculty and the three of us students went out to Lincoln Lab and we showed them our wares. It was a wonderful and very exciting time. ARPA was a terrific engine of innovation, led by people who were themselves excellent researchers with ideas, with vision and with also the wisdom not to provide overbearing management and guidance, but rather to let the scientists they were supporting run with their own ideas without a lot of site visits, without a lot of oversight management, without a lot of reports. 'Here's a goal. Here's some money. Here's a vision. Let's make it happen.'"

Read the full article for insights on nomadic computing trends.

A.M.D.'s Profit Exceeds Predictions of Analysts - New York Times

A.M.D.'s Profit Exceeds Predictions of Analysts - New York Times: "A.M.D.'s second-quarter sales, while flat compared with a year earlier, increased 3 percent over the first quarter of this year. Gross margins increased to 39 percent, from 34 percent, largely because of stronger sales of microprocessors, as the average selling price rose 6 percent during the second quarter. Microprocessor chip sales, which account for three-fifths of the company's total, increased 38 percent from the second quarter of 2004, to $767 million."

I guess we'll find out next week, when Microsoft releases its quarterly results, if Apple's growth is in line with industry averages.

IPod Sales Give Apple 75% Jump in Revenue - New York Times

IPod Sales Give Apple 75% Jump in Revenue - New York Times: "The company's obvious enthusiasm for the quarter was tempered during a conference call with analysts by what Mr. Oppenheimer referred to as a 'prudent' forecast of flat to slightly declining revenue for its fourth quarter.
'We are being prudent in our first quarter after our Intel transition and expect to learn more during the quarter,' he said.
The cautious forecast caused a number of financial analysts to question whether the company had experienced a decline in sales during the quarter after announcing in June that it planned to switch from I.B.M. to Intel for its processors."

WSJ.com - Apple's Products Continue to Pay Off

WSJ.com - Apple's Products Continue to Pay Off: "The results suggest that Apple has reversed a decade-long slide in its share of global PC sales. Apple sold 35% more Macs in the quarter than it did a year earlier. That's about three times the growth rate of the global PC industry, according to Apple and analysts.
...
In the case of the iPod, Apple has also begun selling through the ultimate channel to mainstream consumers for the first time in the company's recent history: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Yesterday, Apple executives said last quarter it expanded a limited pilot test of iPod shuffle sales through the Bentonville, Ark., retailer to 95% of Wal-Mart stores in the U.S. Other iPod models are now in about a quarter of U.S. stores, and Apple is considering expanding iPod sales to Wal-Mart's overseas stores."

IBM's Cloudscape Versus MySQL

IBM's Cloudscape Versus MySQL "With its small footprint and the fact that it's easily deployed and embedded in Java applications, the Cloudscape/Derby RDBMS is the no-brainer choice for Java developers—especially if you're on a limited budget but require the transactional capabilities of a real database.
So Cloudscape/Derby is a natural for Java developers—but it is also good for building and deploying C, Perl, or PHP applications, so the non-Java developer should also consider Cloudscape/Derby as an alternative to MySQL. The client access to Cloudscape uses the same underlying client libraries and database access protocol that is used to access DB2 UDB servers on various platforms, by the way, so if you're in a DB2 shop, you've got that added advantage.
Given that Derby is now offered as part of the Apache Software Foundation, the time may come to consider open source database alternatives to MySQL."

Column from PC Magazine: The Wikification of Knowledge

Column from PC Magazine: The Wikification of Knowledge: "None of these mechanisms could actually work without someone breaking the rules and moderating the processes. This is called editing, and you just cannot avoid it. "

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Keeper of Expired Web Pages Is Sued Because Archive Was Used in Another Suit - New York Times

Keeper of Expired Web Pages Is Sued Because Archive Was Used in Another Suit - New York Times: "In preparing the case, representatives of Earley Follmer used the Wayback Machine to turn up old Web pages - some dating to 1999 - originally posted by the plaintiff, Healthcare Advocates of Philadelphia.
Last week Healthcare Advocates sued both the Harding Earley firm and the Internet Archive, saying the access to its old Web pages, stored in the Internet Archive's database, was unauthorized and illegal.
...
The suit contends, however, that representatives of Harding Earley should not have been able to view the old Healthcare Advocates Web pages - even though they now reside on the archive's servers - because the company, shortly after filing its suit against Health Advocate, had placed a text file on its own servers designed to tell the Wayback Machine to block public access to the historical versions of the site."

Colin Powell Joins Venture Capital Firm - New York Times

Colin Powell Joins Venture Capital Firm - New York Times: "On Wednesday, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, perhaps Silicon Valley's most famous venture firm, will announce that former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is joining the firm as a part-time partner. Mr. Powell acknowledged in an interview Tuesday that he has had any number of tempting job offers since leaving the State Department in January, but that the chance to work as a venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins seemed too enticing to turn down."

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Hands-Free Cellphone Devices Don't Aid Road Safety, Study Concludes - New York Times

Hands-Free Cellphone Devices Don't Aid Road Safety, Study Concludes - New York Times: "A study of Australian drivers found that those using cellphones were four times as likely to be involved in a serious crash regardless of whether they used hands-free devices like earpieces or speaker phones that have been perceived as making talking while driving safer.
The study, which is to appear in The British Medical Journal today, is the first of its kind to use actual crash data and cellphone records to show a link between talking on the phone and being seriously injured in an accident.
It is also the first to conclude definitively outside of a laboratory setting that holding a phone to the ear or talking through a hands-free device pose the same risks."

Computerworld Singapore - Microsoft aims to poach IBM Lotus partners

Computerworld Singapore - Microsoft aims to poach IBM Lotus partners: "Furthermore, another partner said that Microsoft is creating a misconception by claiming there is a significant hurdle to cross when migrating from Notes/Domino to Workplace.
'There is no transition required,' said Andrew Pollack, founder and president of Northern Collaborative Technologies, in Cumberland, Maine. 'The Workplace Rich Client includes full support for existing and future Lotus Notes content and applications. It's not a port. The complete product code is still there.'"

Infoconomy - News and Gossip

Infoconomy - News and Gossip: "On Saturday, Microsoft's corporate VP of enterprise products Simon Witts announced that Microsoft is ready to pay a 'bounty' to any partner who captures an IBM Notes account, and Ballmer later reinforced this message."

Monday, July 11, 2005

CRN | Breaking News| Ballmers To Partners: Don't Wait For Longhorn

CRN | Breaking News| Ballmers To Partners: Don't Wait For Longhorn: "Earlier at the show, MBS COO Orlando Ayala put his own interpretation on coopetition.
'We have relationships with Oracle and SAP. But I'm the guy who has to drive against them and Papa --this boy is not confused. I'm going to win against these guys in the midmarket every single time.' "

Borland CEO Dale Fuller steps down - Computerworld

Borland CEO Dale Fuller steps down - Computerworld "“Ironically, he brought it back to profitability,” Driver said. “[But] it has been a slow slide down since then.”
That slide, according to Driver, is in large part a result of the success of open-source development tools from the Eclipse Foundation. “[Borland’s] Java IDE [integrated development environment] was at one point the best-selling one on the planet,” Driver said. “Eclipse has a had a tremendous impact on them. How do you make money on tools when more and more you are competing against free? They waited too long to address Eclipse.” "

Microsoft looks to partners for Office push - Computerworld

Microsoft looks to partners for Office push - Computerworld "Chris Capossela, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Information Worker Product Management Group, acknowledged that many customers aren't upgrading their Office suites because they believe their older versions are enough to compete in the current business environment.
To dispel that notion and drive upgrades of Office 2003, Microsoft plans to quadruple the number of partners selling and building software on top of Office. "We’re on a mission to show people that the workplace has changed and the old tools aren’t really good enough," Capossela said. "We’re really focused on trying to expand the partner ecosystem." "

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Tech world hits 10

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Tech world hits 10: "In 1995, it was still OK to use the phrase 'information superhighway.' Netscape's initial public offering fueled the beginnings of the Internet bubble. The U.S. Department of Justice was casting a wary eye on Windows 95. And Amazon.com sold its first book."

Interesting summary of 1995 events

Exclusive: First Longhorn Beta Invites Go Out [Updated!]

Exclusive: First Longhorn Beta Invites Go Out [Updated!]: "On Friday afternoon, Microsoft began sending out invitations for private beta test for Longhorn, the next major version of Windows. The Longhorn beta includes both the client and server versions of the product, according to the invite, as well as related development tools for those programmers who elect to participate. Additionally, testers can optionally beta test Internet Explorer (IE) 7 for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003."

Microsoft's Ballmer tells lurvely partners to stick it to IBM [printer-friendly] | The Register

Microsoft's Ballmer tells lurvely partners to stick it to IBM [printer-friendly] | The Register: "Steve Ballmer has lambasted IBM, Linux and SAP while exhorting thousands of partners to bet their next 10 years on Windows and Microsoft services.
A pumped-up and sweating Ballmer informed Microsoft's Worldwide partner conference on Sunday morning that IBM is a spent competitive challenge that is pushing sub-par software, while he worked the crowd's concerns over IP and patents by talking of so-called 'rumors' that Linux violates more than 200 patents."

Looks like the gloves are off...

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Look out IBM, here comes Microsoft's OzFest | The Register

Look out IBM, here comes Microsoft's OzFest | The Register: "Microsoft is gunning for IBM's Lotus Notes users in an effort to quadruple the size of its ISV partner community around the Office desktop productivity suite.
The company will launch a sales and marketing campaign in September that encourages 100m Notes customers to build their future collaborative software applications and services on Office and SharePoint Portal Server."

Friday, July 08, 2005

WSJ.com - High-Speed Internet Use Climbs 34%

WSJ.com - High-Speed Internet Use Climbs 34%: "High-speed Internet use by U.S. businesses and households rose 34% in 2004 to 37.9 million lines, the Federal Communications Commission said Thursday.
High-speed Internet use rose 17% in the second half of the year following a 15% rise in the first six months of 2004.
Digital subscriber line, or DSL, service increased 45% last year to 13.8 million lines, with a first-half increase of 20% followed by a 21% increase in the second half of the year.
Cable-modem use, meanwhile, climbed 30% during 2004 to 21.4 million lines."

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Bob Congdon: Lotus / IBM Anniversary

Bob Congdon: Lotus / IBM Anniversary: "I realized today that an anniversary had passed last month without notice. Ten years and one month ago (June 6, 1995) IBM made a cash tender offer to purchase Lotus Development Corp. at a price of $60 per common share -- the day before Lotus stock was trading at $32 per share. A week later the offer was upped to $64 per share. The total value of the transaction was about $3.5 billion."

Go Founder Finally Gets Evidence He Needs to Sue Microsoft

Go Founder Finally Gets Evidence He Needs to Sue Microsoft: "'I've made it clear that we view an Intel investment in Go as an anti-Microsoft move,' then Microsoft CEO Bill Gates wrote in a message to then Intel CEO Andy Grove. 'I am asking you not to make any investment in Go.' Kaplan describes Microsoft's efforts to undermine Go as 'a corporate mugging' and they certainly appear to be similar to tactics Microsoft used to keep Netscape and Sun Java off of PCs almost a decade later.
Kaplan learned about the evidence involving Go last year when he was subpoenaed in the Minnesota case. In April, he secured the rights to Go Computer--and thus the right to sue on Go's behalf--from AT&T spin-off Lucent Technologies. It should be an interesting case, assuming it ever goes to court. My guess is that Microsoft will settle with Kaplan, as it has so many times in the past."

Personal Technology -- Google Earth Thrills With Photos, Stunts, But How Practical Is It?

Personal Technology -- Google Earth Thrills With Photos, Stunts, But How Practical Is It?: "A big limitation of Google Earth and other similar programs is that they show only rooftops, which tell you little, not the fronts and sides of buildings. Google Earth tries to compensate by adding featureless 3D-drawn images of buildings in some big cities, but the effect isn't great.
Microsoft plans to leap ahead on this issue. Its Virtual Earth product will include real photos of the fronts and sides of buildings, taken using planes equipped with multiple cameras that capture a 45-degree view. Google says it is working on the same thing, but it has announced no release date.
You may not use Google Earth every day, but it's worth fooling around with just because it's cool."

PTC to acquire Arbortext in $190m cash deal - The Boston Globe - Boston.com - Technology - Business

PTC to acquire Arbortext in $190m cash deal - The Boston Globe - Boston.com - Technology - Business: "PTC, a Needham maker of software that helps companies design products like cars and jumbo jets, yesterday said it had agreed to pay $190 million in cash to buy Arbortext Inc., a company that publishes manuals and other information about many of the same products."

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

WSJ.com - Bush Names Former Sen. Thompson To Guide Supreme Court Nominee

WSJ.com - Bush Names Former Sen. Thompson To Guide Supreme Court Nominee: "President Bush has named former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson to help shepherd his yet-to-be named Supreme Court nominee through the Senate.
Mr. Thompson, an actor on the NBC television series 'Law & Order,' agreed to accept the post in a telephone conversation with the president on Monday, said White House spokesman Scott McClellan Wednesday."

Wow -- "Law & Order"; he must be an expert in topics such as Supreme Court nomination and confirmation processes...

AOL Music: LIVE 8 City by City -- Watch London, Philadelphia and Toronto Concert Videos

AOL Music: LIVE 8 City by City -- Watch London, Philadelphia and Toronto Concert Videos Cool -- watch Pink Floyd and other Live 8 video on demand.

Microsoft Developers Turn To Linux - Forbes.com

Microsoft Developers Turn To Linux - Forbes.com: "Developers using Microsoft's popular Visual Studio .Net software-engineering suite were today offered a plug-in that allows them to code Web applications for Linux.
Referred to as Grasshopper, the freely available Visual MainWin for J2EE Developer Edition is designed to link Visual Studio development to Linux and J2EE server deployments.
Grasshopper was designed by Mainsoft and is claimed to be the first Visual Studio-based IDE for Linux. "

Apple Executive Calls Family of Teenager Killed for IPod - New York Times

Apple Executive Calls Family of Teenager Killed for IPod - New York Times: "As Errol Rose made preparations on Monday to bury his 15-year-old son, Christopher, who was killed last week in Brooklyn during a fight over an iPod, he received a telephone call from a stranger. The man spoke in tones that the grieving father said had momentarily quieted his anguish.
The stranger, Mr. Rose soon learned, was Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple Computer, the company that makes the iPod. "

The Mossberg Solution -- Podcasting Is Still Not Quite Ready For the Masses

The Mossberg Solution -- Podcasting Is Still Not Quite Ready For the Masses: "The good news is that, with its iTunes move, Apple has made receiving podcasts as simple as downloading music. The bad news is that neither Apple nor anyone else has made it nearly as simple to create a podcast and get it online as it is to create and post a text and photo blog. Until that happens, podcasting won't be truly mainstream."

Timely reality check

Bad keystroke leads to $251M stock buy - Computerworld

Bad keystroke leads to $251M stock buy - Computerworld: "A Taiwan stock trader mistakenly bought $251 million worth of shares with a misstroke of her computer keyboard, meaning her company is looking at a paper loss of more than $12 million and she is looking for a new job.
The trader with Fubon Securities miskeyed in a small order from Merrill Lynch & Co. on Monday, creating confusion when many small firms inexplicably surged past the 7% trading limit. "

LinuxWorld | Open source vs. Windows: security debate rages

LinuxWorld | Open source vs. Windows: security debate rages: "In its report, 'Securing Open Source Infrastructure,' Burton Group dispels any notion that open source software is inherently more secure simply because more people can look at it.
'Experience shows this simply isn't true,' the research firm states, calling it 'the myth of more eyes,' citing case after case where no one spotted critical flaws in open source code.
Burton Group also points out the potential for developers placing back doors in open source code, and that when it comes time for the open source community to fix the inevitable vulnerabilities, businesses using it might come to rely on the 'whim of individuals rather than organizations they are more accustomed to dealing with,' Burton Group notes. The firm adds that dealing with traditional vendors isn't necessarily any better. "

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

SearchDomino webcast 2005/07/26: IBM's Enterprise Collaboration Strategy: Something Old, Something New, Some Things Acquired, and Deeply Blue

SearchDomino webcast 2005/07/26: IBM's Enterprise Collaboration Strategy: Something Old, Something New, Some Things Acquired, and Deeply Blue: "When:
July 26, 2005, 12:00 EDT (16:00 GMT)
Speaker:
Peter O'Kelly - Senior Analyst, Burton Group
Summary:
Enterprise collaboration, historically dominated by IBM Notes/Domino, is shifting to new DBMS-based alternatives. IBM's entry is this area is IBM Lotus Workplace, a family of collaborative products that can be used in combination, or separately, to provide a unified collaborative workplace environment. Workplace also encompasses the traditional Lotus products including Notes, Domino, Sametime and QuickPlace.
This unified collaborative environment encompasses messaging applications such as e-mail and IM, calendaring and scheduling, and activities such as awareness, e-learning, team spaces, Web conferencing, and document and Web content management. In IBM's vision for contextual communication and collaboration, users will no longer have to toggle between different communication/collaboration applications, store data in disparate locations, or painstakingly piece together information for a collaborative project.
What does all this mean to you? This is your chance to ask questions of a leading analyst specializing in this area to find out."

CRN | Breaking News | Microsoft 'CRM Next' Becomes CRM 3.0

CRN | Breaking News | Microsoft 'CRM Next' Becomes CRM 3.0: "But, perhaps most important to partners, with this release, Microsoft will offer a Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) that will enable partners who want to host CRM for their customers to do so on a subscription basis. The idea is to let partners compete effectively with Salesforce.com on price in hosted situations and also continue to offer on-premises CRM. Pricing is not set yet, but Wilson said VARs will be able to offer pricing that is very competitive with Salesforce.com Professional, which costs about $125 per user per month. Microsoft had hoped to get this piece of the puzzle done last year, but held off to sort out SPLA issues and because newer CRM was architected to better support the hosted model, sources said at the time."

Perceptions: New Home, Back To Work

Perceptions: New Home, Back To Work: "Effective today, I've joined Burton Group as a Principal Analyst in their Application Platform Strategies (APS) group. I'm excited and looking forward to working within an organization that has long been known for its customer advocacy, solution focus and depth of technical knowledge. "

Mike Gotta has joined Burton Group -- I'm psyched to have the opportunity to collaborate with him.

Marketers See Opportunity as a Web Tool Gains Users - New York Times

Marketers See Opportunity as a Web Tool Gains Users - New York Times: "THE fledgling R.S.S. business is starting to attract some attention from those catering to Internet advertisers.
Google, Pheedo, Feedster and Yahoo Search Marketing are all peddling advertising options for R.S.S., an increasingly popular way of having a personal computer automatically retrieve information from the Internet."

IT-Director.com: Project Gizmo Challenges Skype

IT-Director.com: Project Gizmo Challenges Skype: "At the forefront of much individual usage has been the solution supplied by Skype. So successful has Skype been that the company name has already started to transform into a verb -- 'To Skype'. However, Skype's current pre-eminent position is now facing a serious challenge with the launch of Project Gizmo.
...
The major difference between the two, lies in the fact that Project Gizmo has been built using an open source philosophy around the emerging SIP standards. In addition to being based on the SIP open standard, Gizmo has publicly stated that it is committed to interconnecting its IP telephony system with those operated by other organisations. Gizmo already has links to several other VOIP networks including certain Asterix based systems."

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Mall That Would Save America - New York Times

The Mall That Would Save America - New York Times: "What Congel has in mind is an outsize and extremely unusual mega-mall. Destiny U.S.A., the retail-and-entertainment complex he is building in upstate New York, aspires to be not only the biggest man-made structure on the planet but also the most environmentally friendly. Equal parts Disney World, Las Vegas, Bell Laboratories and Mall of America -- with a splash of Walden Pond -- the ''retail city'' will include the usual shops and restaurants as well as an extensive research facility for testing advanced technologies and a 200-acre recreational biosphere complete with springlike temperatures and an artificial river for kayaking.
...
Some locals, however, question Congel's promises of economic benefits to the region, arguing that Destiny may be an elaborate charade. ''He is legally bound to build only a fraction of the square footage of his plan,'' says John DeFrancisco, a state senator and a leading critic of the mall. ''Congel could reap extraordinary tax benefits without actually meeting his goals. There is no guarantee that won't happen.'' And while many environmentalists embrace Congel's grand ideas, others are skeptical. ''How do you reconcile the glaring paradox of an ostensibly fossil-fuel-free development that requires tremendous amounts of fossil fuels to transport visitors to the site?'' asks Ashok Gupta, an energy economist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Moreover, there is something eerily postmodern, even postenvironmental, about the whole of Congel's project: the mega-mall is located on the fringes of the Adirondacks, but visitors will experience only virtual meadows, faux ponds, a river replica and a five-story imitation of a mountain peak."

I suspect this will make the careers of legions of lawyers, before all is said and done.

Microsoft tycoon Gates appears at London Live 8 to back Africa plan - Yahoo! News

Microsoft tycoon Gates appears at London Live 8 to back Africa plan - Yahoo! News: "US software billionaire Bill Gates made a surprise appearance at the London leg of the Live 8 concerts, throwing his full support behind a campaign for rich nations to end poverty in Africa.
Introduced to a crowd of some 200,000 by Live 8 mastermind Bob Geldof, the Microsoft founder won huge cheers when he rallied behind work by British Prime Minister Tony Blair on debt, aid and trade in the impoverished continent.
'I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act,' said a soberly-dressed Gates, looking somewhat out of place on a stage kitted out with instruments and lighting for some of the world's greatest artists such as Madonna and U2."

The Battle for Eardrums Begins With Podcasts - New York Times

The Battle for Eardrums Begins With Podcasts - New York Times: "'Podcast' is an ill-chosen portmanteau that manages to be a double misnomer. A podcast does not originate from an iPod. And it is not a broadcast sent out at a particular time for all who happen to receive it.
It is nothing other than an audio or video file that can be created by anyone - add a microphone to your computer, and you're well on your way. The file begins its public life when you place it on a Web site, available for anyone to download to a computer and, from there, to transfer to a portable player, which may or may not be an iPod. It's encoded in such a way that the receiving computer can pick it up in successive installments automatically, whenever they are posted to the Web site. Subscribing is the term used for the automatic downloads, and it's apt.
The delivery mechanism for a podcast subscription is rather slick. There's no need to go to the trouble of browsing the Web site again for fresh material: the new stuff moves without so much as a beep from the original server to your computer. Then it moves automatically to your attached portable player, keeping the content perpetually refreshed. Welcome to the post-Web era."

I'm still not understanding the thrill of podcasting -- so I can time-shift next-gen radio and easily cache stuff on my portable music player. Great that some people who have interesting ideas to share and would otherwise have not easily found a communication channel can now reach bigger audiences. Nice that XML syndication makes it practical for me to find potentially useful recordings. But is it really a big deal in the grand scheme of things? I suppose I may be more enthusiastic about it in the future, when it'll be even simpler to optimize for time/attention/entertainment value.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Friday, July 01, 2005

WSJ.com - Microsoft to Pay $775 Million To Settle IBM Antitrust Claim

WSJ.com - Microsoft to Pay $775 Million To Settle IBM Antitrust Claim: "Microsoft Corp. agreed to pay $775 million and provide software to International Business Machines Corp. to settle a long-running antitrust dispute between the giants.
The companies said the settlement resolves claims arising from the federal government's antitrust case against Microsoft in the mid-1990s, where IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., was identified as having been impacted by certain Microsoft practices.
Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., will pay IBM $775 million and extend $75 million in credit towards deployment of Microsoft software at Big Blue.
...
Microsoft and IBM said their settlement resolves all antitrust claims, including claims related to the IBM OS/2 operating system and SmartSuite products, with the exception of claims for harm to IBM's server hardware and server software businesses."

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Why is Oracle really buying TimesTen? | The Register

Why is Oracle really buying TimesTen? | The Register: "Do you begin to see a pattern here? It certainly looks as if the acquisition of TimesTen is actually about preventing Progress from making inroads into Oracle accounts. Progress is miniscule compared to Oracle so it would be difficult to conclude that Oracle was running scared of Progress per se but this strengthens the argument that I have written about before: that Oracle is increasingly under attack and, moreover, is increasingly seen as vulnerable by other suppliers. If that is the case then one part of a defensive strategy would be to shore up the battlements – the purchase of TimesTen seem sto fit within that picture."

Interesting speculation.

Bush administration annexes control of the Internet | The Register

Bush administration annexes control of the Internet | The Register: "An extraordinary statement by the US government has sent shockwaves around the Internet world and thrown the future of the network into doubt.
In a worrying U-turn, the US Department of Commerce (DoC) has made it clear it intends to retain control of the Internet's root servers indefinitely. It was due to relinquish that control in September 2006, when its contract with overseeing body ICANN ended."

Bink.nu | Microsoft confirms plans for virtualization hypervisor

Bink.nu | Microsoft confirms plans for virtualization hypervisor: "Microsoft's corporate vice president of server and tools marketing and solutions, Andy Lees, told ComputerWire that the company is working with Intel and AMD on their respective VT and Pacifica processor-based virtualization technologies.
'Virtualization today is used very much for develop and test, and much less in production,' said Lees. 'Having a hypervisor semi-hardware layered virtualization is the important step forward. Ultimately we will build a hypervisor working with Intel and AMD and do it at the operating system level.'"

InformationWeek > MSN Search > Orbimage To Provide Microsoft With Satellite Images Of Earth > June 30, 2005

InformationWeek > MSN Search > Orbimage To Provide Microsoft With Satellite Images Of Earth > June 30, 2005: "Orbimage Inc. has agreed to provide satellite pictures of Earth for Microsoft Corp.'s upcoming MSN Virtual Earth service, which would eventually have access to photos that could show manhole covers in Manhattan, an Orbimage spokesman said Thursday.
Virtual Earth, which is scheduled to launch this summer, would compete with Google Inc.'s Google Earth service, launched in beta Tuesday. Both companies plan to integrate satellite images of places in their local-search services. "

CRN | Breaking News | Corel Chairman Plans To Get Acquisitive

CRN | Breaking News | Corel Chairman Plans To Get Acquisitive: "MEHTA: About two years ago, Corel was a public company, and it was focused on over a dozen different lines of business. We decided to take the company private and refocus the company entirely around WordPerfect, Draw and our other channel-centric products. We got out of the business of being anything that was not channel-centric. And over the course of the last two years, we spent all our energy revitalizing Corel as a brand that represents the most credible alternative to Microsoft and Adobe."

Ah, so Corel is now in the low-margin, high-volume virtual shelfware business.

CRN | Breaking News | Oracle Beats Street Estimates

CRN | Breaking News | Oracle Beats Street Estimates: "Oracle has bolstered top management for this effort, recently hiring Microsoft veteran Greg Maffei as CFO and as yet another co-president. That move raised eyebrows. 'Having three co-presidents is idiotic [but] Greg brings a lot of competence and experience in a big, fast-growing software company. Given that Oracle must integrate PeopleSoft and ReTek quickly and switch a lot of internal processes to use the PeopleSoft development and support models, Larry needs someone who can look at things from a fresh point of view and tell the story to the street in a convincing way,' said one large integration partner.
Oracle also brought aboard Tod Nielsen, a former BEA and Microsoft executive, to help lead its middleware charge and Eileen McPartland, a former Siebel Systems and Accenture executive, to head North America consulting. "

BBC NEWS | Technology | Microsoft woos world's scientists

BBC NEWS | Technology | Microsoft woos world's scientists: "
Supercomputers have been used to re-create how the Universe evolved
Microsoft's British research arm is looking into what kind of software scientists will require in the future.
The company has brought together 40 leading scientists to a meeting in Venice to discuss their needs. "

Scott McNealy Faces Forward | Bayosphere

Scott McNealy Faces Forward | Bayosphere: "I am a dinosaur. Scott McNealy told me so.
Really: I’m one of those people who still thinks it’s a good idea to carry my data around with me. Well, not all of it, but most of what I need for my work, and quite a lot of my leisure data as well, namely music in my MP3 collection.
Mr McNealy, the co-founder and longtime chief executive at Sun Microsystems, thinks my notions are quaint. My data should be as available, wherever I happen to be at the moment, as electricity."

Gee, I guess I won't need Groove, Notes, or iFolder anymore, in McNealy's vision of the future.

Platformonomics - Mind the Bathwater

Platformonomics - Mind the Bathwater: "The unanimous Supreme Court ruling on Grokster bodes mighty poorly for companies whose primary purpose is to facilitate music piracy through peer-to-peer file sharing. My out-on-a-limb investment advice: this might not be the best place for your retirement nest egg. Getting paid to propagate spyware while encouraging people to pirate music never was a great business model and the legal risk now probably outweighs any upside.
...
I do however hope that peer-to-peer doesn’t get relegated to the dustbin of history along with Grokster and its cohorts. Peer-to-peer has gotten a bad name by association but there is much more to peer-to-peer than just pirated media. It is important as an application topology. Nodes on the Internet can talk directly with one another and don’t have to be mediated by a server or other central control point. The Internet can be a pipe as opposed to a destination. Applications like Groove and Skype show the positive side of peer-to-peer. As developers continue to refine firewall and NAT traversal which is the biggest challenge with peer-to-peer applications today, you’ll see more and more of these direct connections. "

Eclipse Tracker: Oracle Brings Business Process and Service Orchestration Standard to Eclipse Developer Community

Eclipse Tracker: Oracle Brings Business Process and Service Orchestration Standard to Eclipse Developer Community: "Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL - News) today announced it is proposing to lead a tooling project for the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) standard within the Eclipse Foundation open-source community. The proposed project underscores Oracle's continued commitment to making tools support for key standards-based technologies, such as BPEL, freely available to all developers."

Microsoft Considers Licensing Xbox Software

Microsoft Considers Licensing Xbox Software: "According to a Microsoft spokesperson, if Microsoft does license its Xbox system, the terms will be similar to those that the company now offers PC makers for Windows. Beyond that, everything is speculation. Many people suspect that Microsoft would like to see the software power set-top boxes that incorporate such things as DVD, digital video, digital music playback, and perhaps even rival video game systems."

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Antitrust suit filed against Microsoft

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Antitrust suit filed against Microsoft: "Go was acquired by AT&T in 1994 and shut down that same year, the complaint says. Kaplan's lawsuit says Microsoft's plan to drive Go out of business was revealed last year in documents that were part of a separate antitrust case against Microsoft in Minnesota.
'These claims date back nearly 20 years. They were baseless then and they are baseless now,' said Stacy Drake, a Microsoft spokeswoman. 'Handwriting recognition had severe limitations in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and no company that attempted pen computers was successful.'"