There has been a lot of buzz around the Microsoft Productivity Future Vision video since it was unveiled by Stephen Elop, President of Microsoft Business Division. Many people have been asking for more information about the scenarios shown in the video, the underlying technologies, and how the video relates to Microsoft’s overall vision and ongoing product development roadmap.
In response to many of these questions, and in an effort to encourage more dialogue around the emerging technology explored in the video, we have created two additional videos. Each is designed to give you a deeper view into the story behind the Productivity Future Vision video and how Microsoft is working toward delivering these kinds of productivity scenarios in the years ahead.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Duffbert's Random Musings :: OK... so perhaps Project Match didn't even appeal to expatriates, either...
Maybe IBM could also patent its strategy for obfuscating layoff details. See the full post for more context-setting.
In The Industry Standard, there's an article about how IBM is trying to patent a "method and system for strategic global resource sourcing." Gotta love that phrase. But what I found interesting was this snippet further down in the article:
Project Match, an IBM offshoring initiative the Standard reported on last month, offers U.S. employees the chance to stay with IBM by relocating to another country, to work in an IBM regional division at local wage rates. IBM has roughly 400,000 employees in 170 countries. As of early February, fewer than ten employees had shown interest in the program.
Sign of the times
Stressed out by the economy? The U.S. government is offering an online emotional rescue kit.
The "Getting Through Tough Economic Times" guide at http://www.samhsa.gov/economy/ is meant to help people identify any serious health concerns related to financial worries, develop coping skills and find help, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said on Tuesday.
More fun with Twitter
Things have gotten a little confusing for fans. Thanks to the democratizing powers of the Web and the rapid rise in popularity of Twitter, the very famous and the only slightly famous are finding themselves with virtual doppelgangers.
Already, a Web site has been launched to try and resolve such important questions of online celebrity identity. The U.K.-based Valebrity.com seeks to verify that the famous folks you're following online really are who they say they are.
Read the full article for more details
On April 1, a computer worm called Conficker, which has already infected millions of machines worldwide, is expected to do something bad, though no one knows exactly what. Some experts fear that an army of infected machines could be ordered to launch a coordinated attack or send out a barrage of spam. But a tool released today could help lessen the impact by allowing big companies and institutions to quickly weed out infected machines by scanning entire networks for signs of infection.
More Encarta details
A spokesman for Microsoft declined to comment on whether Wikipedia contributed to Microsoft's decision to shut down Encarta. The spokesman said the move was "one piece of a broader strategy to continue to evolve our product offerings to address the next wave of people's search and research needs."
Jay Walsh, a spokesman for the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation that coordinates Wikipedia, said he took no joy in seeing Encarta die and hopes that Microsoft releases its reference materials to other sites on the Internet that can keep them available. "We're not in a business where we're trying to put anyone out of business," Mr. Walsh said.
The venerable Encyclopaedia Britannica is preparing for the most radical overhaul in its 241-year history, and it's recruiting its readers to do much of the work.
It's a bid by Britannica to remain relevant at a time when the world's most popular encyclopedia, the eight-year-old website Wikipedia, is written entirely by amateur experts. The new version of Britannica Online, set to debut this summer, will emulate the Wikipedia concept by letting subscribers make changes to any article, ranging from minor edits to near-total rewrites.
Monday, March 30, 2009
More than 6 million people mini-blog about their lives on Twitter, including a surprising number of celebrities. Sean (Diddy) Combs recently Twittered about a tantric sex session, a 48-hour juice fast and taking a bubble bath with an Oscar statue. John Cleese has written about his pet chickens, while MC Hammer has mused on the economy ("We just fed the nation 15 [years] of evil soup. Now we're throwing up"). Other celebrities, including Shaquille O'Neal, post actual information about where they are and what they're doing. And they encourage fans to meet them.
The latest: A $25,000 bill from the league for two messages, totaling 49 words, that he posted via Twitter on Friday night. Both tweets complained about the officiating in that night’s Mavericks-Denver Nuggets game.
Cuban’s response? This tweet, posted Sunday afternoon: “just found out got fined25k by nba.) nice.” And then, upon further reflection, he penned this beauty:
Duffbert's Random Musings :: Book Review - Essential SharePoint 2007 by Scott Jamison, Mauro Cardarelli, Susan Handley
An interesting review from a longstanding member of the Notes/Domino community
I'm switching from developing applications in the Notes/Domino platform to doing the same in SharePoint. But where Notes/Domino is somewhat self-contained, SharePoint has a ton of moving parts (Office, WSS, MOSS, SQL Server, etc.) As such I was having a hard time trying to figure out how to group everything in my mind. Essential SharePoint 2007 turned out to be the perfect way to start my journey.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
A very extensive Facebook snapshot
By any measure, Facebook’s growth is a great accomplishment. The crew of Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s 24-year-old co-founder and chief executive, is signing up nearly a million new members a day, and now more than 70 percent of the service’s members live overseas, in countries like Italy, the Czech Republic and Indonesia. Facebook’s ranks in those countries swelled last year after the company offered its site in their languages.
All of this mojo puts Facebook on a par with other groundbreaking — and wildly popular — Internet services like free e-mail, Google, the online calling network Skype and e-commerce sites like eBay. But Facebook promises to change how we communicate even more fundamentally, in part by digitally mapping and linking peripatetic people across space and time, allowing them to publicly share myriad and often very personal elements of their lives.
A vast electronic spying operation has infiltrated computers and has stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world, including those of the Dalai Lama, Canadian researchers have concluded.
The malware is remarkable both for its sweep — in computer jargon, it has not been merely “phishing” for random consumers’ information, but “whaling” for particular important targets — and for its Big Brother-style capacities. It can, for example, turn on the camera and audio-recording functions of an infected computer, enabling monitors to see and hear what goes on in a room. The investigators say they do not know if this facet has been employed.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Another Google snapshot; see the full post for more details
Google Docs is a 2.5-year-old beta product, which should tip customers off to the fact that it’s all one big experiment still. It is one development model to continue to stumble along, make the same mistakes that companies like Lotus and Microsoft spent years learning, and to use its customers as guinea pigs. If the price point (free) is worth it, then customers of Google Docs can have little recourse when something goes terribly wrong. Customers need to consider all cloud services as carefully as they would consider in-house solutions. Checking out the technical facts as well as their risk tolerance before “buying” is likely to mitigate buyer’s remorse. Don’t count on users to be cautious once you bless the service. Users will not be concerned about how a system is implemented to ensure that the information they post is secure. If the tool makes their work easier you can be assured it will be used heavily. Therefore, it’s up to the people who understand IT to make sure that the cloud services that the company uses are satisfactorily implemented and is secure.
A timely reality check
A couple of weeks ago, my colleague Matt Richtel — a handsome devil if ever there was one — spoke truth to power. He said the thing that no one was saying, yet needed to be said. Here it is in a nutshell:
For all its abilities and powers, the iPhone is a tremendous pocket computer, but a lousy phone.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out
The unusual public spat points to a deeper struggle under way between some of the world’s biggest technology concerns as they try to position themselves for what is expected to be the next big thing in the tech world.
The skirmish “is about personalities, and anxieties about perceptions of leadership” between some of the tech industry’s biggest rivals, said Frank Gillett, an analyst at Forrester Research.
See the full article for more details
I’m struck by reports that Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon.com, spent last week working in one of the company’s warehouses in Lexington, Ken., according to The Lexington Herald-Leader:
Local Amazon employees say Bezos is working in the warehouse with the company’s hourly employees to see what they do and hear their comments about their work.
Signs of the times…
With a nation in recession and households cutting back on nights out at the movies, and even canceling cable services, Netflix has thrived, with a growing number of subscribers looking for cheap escapist relief. The company announced in February that it had surpassed 10 million subscribers. The slim red envelopes are everywhere these days, each packed with a single DVD, pumping like platelets through the nation’s mail system.
But for many couples, the queue — the computer list of which films will arrive next in the mail, after those at home are returned — is as important as everything else that spouses and other varieties of significant others share, from pet names to closet space to the bathroom. For some, this is fine. For others, the queue is the new toilet seat that somebody left up.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Mac vs. PC: Did Microsoft ad star 'Lauren' make the right choice? - TechFlash: Seattle's Technology News Source
An excellent TechFlash reality check – see the full post for more details. Note that you could also throw in a copy of Office 2007 Home and Student Edition and still be paying less than 30% of the Apple price.
Does Microsoft have a point? Or is this comparison fair?
A GAPE reality check from Burton Group Research Director Guy Greese; see his full post for context-setting
This is yet another example of how Google--fundamentally--does not understand selling to the enterprise. First, during the entire two plus years of availability of Google Apps Premier Edition (GAPE), it looks like it never had a code walkthrough to ponder the possibility of this behavior. (Given Google's branding pitch of hiring only really really smart people, I find this hard to believe.) Or, if it did, it decided it wasn't a risk worth fixing. Second, rather than issuing a quick "Thank you, we're working on it" to Ade for doing their work for them, they ignored the issue until it started turning into a PR fiasco.
When I wrote my first 55-page report on GAPE back in August 2007, I was not kind to Google, saying GAPE was not ready for primetime in large enterprises. Although I didn't say so in the report, frankly, I was figuring Google would fix the issues over time (e.g., embedded e-mail distribution lists, administration by role) and by now it would have a competitive package. Now I'm inclined to think that's never going to happen.
An interesting Google reality check; see the full post for examples
Google is one of several angel investors with a stake in Pixazza, a startup making technology that is supposed to allow publishers of e-commerce Websites and other sites to display information about the contents of an image.
But if you set aside DoubleClick and Postini, which were hardly startups when Google picked them up to respectively dominate ad serving and shore up its e-mail offering, do the startups that Google buys just disappear?
Tangent: see this post for one that lived – Tonic Systems, acquired in 2007, and reintroduced this week as the Google Docs Insert Drawing feature
I kid you not: I had no non-disclosure/other vendor-supplied info in this context; it’s simply a pragmatic permutation, following Sun’s implosion – and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it come to fruition, if, as looks likely, increasing IBM scrutiny makes an IBM/Sun deal infeasible
Oracle and Hewlett-Packard are believed to have made a joint offer for Sun Microsystems in a deal totaling more than $2bn.
Under the deal, database giant Oracle would have taken Sun's software portfolio for $2bn, leaving HP with Sun's vast Solaris, Sparc, and x86 server products, manufacturing and distribution, and user base.
A potential deal between the three is understood to have been blocked by IBM, in the middle of talks to buy the whole of Sun for a reported $6.5bn.
See the full article for more details
Check the full article for the video and more details
"I would have to double my budget, which isn't feasible," Lauren, driving her Volkswagen, tells the camera reality-TV style. "I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person."
It's one of the more aggressive digs Microsoft has made at Apple in a commercial. The implication is Apple's more expensive products won't fly with ordinary people in this economy.
Hint: if RHAT revenues are up due to growing use of Linux in data centers, its products are not free (as the headline asserts)…
The economic downturn is punishing the technology industry as much as many other sectors, but it is already proving a boon for companies distributing and servicing free open-source software.
Red Hat, the top commercial company devoted to the free operating system Linux, this week said revenue for the quarter ended February 28 had jumped 18 per cent to $166m.
More Twitter-herding… (I suppose the small businesses can’t afford ghost Twitterers, however)
Small businesses are making more use of Twitter than larger companies, research has found.
Even large technology companies, which are typically early adopters of new technology, remain wary of Twitter, the social networking site, which allows users to post short messages.
A stark “sexting” reality check
Losing children could be imprisoned or made pariahs for life. Mark Rasch, a former cybercrime prosecutor for the Justice Department, and now an information security and privacy consultant, says that a 16-year-old with a standard story -– she took a bunch of pictures of herself and sent them to a boy electronically in the hopes of seducing him -– could get life in federal prison under current sentencing guidelines. If she does manage to get out, she may have to register as a sex offender.
Read the full article – you’re not as connected to Britney Spears or Guy Kawasaki as you thought…
In its short history, Twitter — a microblogging tool that uses 140 characters in bursts of text — has become an important marketing tool for celebrities, politicians and businesses, promising a level of intimacy never before approached online, as well as giving the public the ability to speak directly to people and institutions once comfortably on a pedestal.
But someone has to do all that writing, even if each entry is barely a sentence long. In many cases, celebrities and their handlers have turned to outside writers — ghost Twitterers, if you will — who keep fans updated on the latest twists and turns, often in the star’s own voice.
Because Twitter is seen as an intimate link between celebrities and their fans, many performers are not willing to divulge the help they use to put their thoughts into cyberspace.
See the full article for more details
Google's fortunes are tied to ad spending that's dwindling as both marketers and consumers squirrel away more cash. Although Google's revenue has continued to rise during the 15-month-old recession, some analysts say they believe the company may finally be suffering its first quarter-to-quarter decline since it went public in 2004.
It's a guessing game because Google steadfastly refuses to offer financial guidance. But Google's recent actions have left little doubt that management is bracing for a possible downturn.
Once renowned for its free-spending ways, Google already has curtailed some employee perquisites, dumped outside contractors, and closed services that aren't paying off.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
A timely Cringely reality check – read the full post
Let’s start by looking back to the dot-com era, which also happened to be the era of the day trader. Remember them? A successful day trader in the late 1990s could gain a following over Internet chat then use that following to make money by becoming an alpha trader. He’d say “I’m selling this” or “I’m buying that” and copycat day traders would do the same. If enough of them acted they could influence the price down or up and – since the leader was leading – he could almost always liquidate his position with a profit. The quickest of his acolytes would make profits, too. Those who didn’t profit weren’t seen as exposing the inherent flaws of this system, they were just viewed as too slow.
To a certain extent, the heirs of day trading have taken the lessons of that earlier era and applied them with devastating effect in the Twitter Age.
A timely snapshot from Burton Group’s Larry Cannell; see the full post for more details
Last week at the MIX ‘09 conference Microsoft announced the beta release of its Web Platform Installer 2.0. This is a framework and utility for downloading, installing, and maintaining web applications built for the Microsoft Web Platform. What I found interesting is the open source applications which can be installed by the tool and are available in the Web App Gallery. These include popular PHP-based open source applications like Drupal, Gallery, and Wordpress. This isn’t the first time Microsoft has offered downloads like this but it is probably slickest and more convenient packaging they’ve done so far.
I suspect this article may imply a stronger correlation than the final report will suggest – i.e., yes, it is useful to study social networking etc. tools, and perhaps it is time to be more flexible in terms of history topic/depth requirements, but it’s not clear if there’s a direct zero-sum game equation. Certain to be controversial, in any case…
Primary school pupils should learn how to blog and use internet sites like Twitter and Wikipedia and spend less time studying history, it is claimed.
A review of the primary school curriculum in England will be published in a final report next month.
But the Guardian newspaper says draft copies it has seen shows pupils will no longer have to study the Victorian period or the Second World War.
Speaking of commercialization and deteriorating signal-to-noise ratios…
The company is preparing to offer commercial accounts in which corporations and other types of businesses pay a fee to receive an enhanced version of Twitter, a free service that allows people to send short, 140-character text messages to their network of friends.
"We think there will be opportunities to provide services to commercial entities that help them get even more value out of Twitter. If these services are valuable to companies, we think they may want to pay for them," Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, said in an e-mail sent to Reuters.
Very wise, especially considering the ongoing deterioration and commercialization in the Fourth Estate (by that I mean traditional press/journalism)
Call it Round Two of the news conference, with a big Internet twist.
President Barack Obama took questions from the White House press corps on Tuesday in a prime-time, East Room session that represented the most formal and time-honored of president-and-reporter interactions. On Thursday, he is taking to that same room for another public grilling — this time by regular folks armed with questions submitted via the Internet and in person, as part of a political strategy to engage Americans directly.
Microsoft criticizes secret drafting of cloud-computing manifesto - TechFlash: Seattle's Technology News Source
Looks like it’s political business-as-usual in the cloud…
An official with Microsoft's Windows Azure is speaking out against what he describes as a secret effort to create a "Cloud Manifesto" -- laying out principles for making the major cloud-computing services work smoothly together.
"Very recently we were privately shown a copy of the document, warned that it was a secret, and told that it must be signed 'as is,' without modifications or additional input," writes Microsoft's Steven Martin in a blog post tonight. "It appears to us that one company, or just a few companies, would prefer to control the evolution of cloud computing, as opposed to reaching a consensus across key stakeholders (including cloud users) through an 'open' process."
Martin adds, "An open Manifesto emerging from a closed process is at least mildly ironic."
Room for improvement…
Two articles, to be published on Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, point to the formidable obstacles to achieving the policy goal of not only installing electronic health records, but also using them to improve care and curb costs.
One article reports that only 9 percent of the nation’s hospitals have electronic health records, based on a survey of nearly 3,000 hospitals. The study, financed by the federal government and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is the most definitive measure to date of the use of computerized patient records by hospitals. The government-backed study found a far lower level of use than some earlier, less rigorous surveys.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Check the comment from Carbonite CEO Dave Friend on my original post for more details
I would like to make sure that your readers understand two points with regard to Carbonite’s lawsuit against Promise Technologies:
1) This event happened over a year ago. We do not say this to minimize the matter. But we do want to point out that this has not happened in a long time and is not an ongoing problem.
2) The total number of Carbonite customers who were unable to retrieve their data was 54, not 7,500.
(See the original post for the rest of his comment)
Hmm… (see the full article for more context-setting)
Both the Firefox and Safari vulnerabilities that he proved were exploited on a Mac OS X system. The German hacker said the latest versions of both Firefox and IE take full advantage of features built in to Windows Vista that make it far more difficult to reliably exploit than on the current version of OS X. Those features, including "data execution prevention" (DEP) and "address space layout randomization," (ASLR) don't appear to be properly implemented between OS X and versions of Safari and Firefox built for that operating system, Nils said.
"It's quite easy to write an exploit for Firefox on OS X compared to Firefox on Vista," he said.
"It's getting pretty hard to do a lot of this stuff on Windows Vista and Windows 7," Nils said. "Especially when a lot of people who stayed with [Windows XP] switch to Windows 7 because they didn't want Vista, the bad guys may start to figure out they can more easily exploit these bugs more reliably on a Mac."
See the full post for more on this classic Dave Kellogg Oracle reality check
It's all happened so quickly.
- I've become my parents,
- SQL has become Cobol,
- and Oracle has become CA
Things were different back in 1985, when I, fresh from Berkeley, VAX/VMS documentation in hand, rode the 51 bus to Alameda where my first real employer, Ingres, was based.
You see, back then, Oracle wasn't the establishment. Oracle was the rebel, a $50M-ish hyper-aggressive competitor trying to steal the relational database market out from underneath its lethargic inventor, IBM.
Read the rest of the post…
(p.s. imho Java has become COBOL, and SQL remains essential – and complementary to rather than competitive with XQuery)
Read the full article for more details
Social networking sites like Facebook could be monitored by the UK government under proposals to make them keep details of users' contacts.
The Home Office said it was needed to tackle crime gangs and terrorists who might use the sites, but said it would not keep the content of conversations.
It is part of a plan to store details of all phone calls, e-mails and websites visited on a central database.
See the full article for more details
Eight percent of international call traffic in 2008 used Internet calling company Skype, an increase of 41 percent on a year earlier, according to data from communications research firm TeleGeography released on Tuesday.
"Only five years after its launch Skype has emerged as the largest provider of cross-border voice communications in the world," TeleGeography analyst Stephan Beckert said. Skype is owned by eBay.
An interesting Google good-will-o-meter snapshot; read the full post for more details
This is a guest post from Fixer Dave, a Google user who's disappointed about the latest developments in the Google land.
Well, it was great; I'm not so sure anymore. Google has always been special to me, a "don't be evil" enterprise. They have wowed me, over and over again, with the cool free stuff they just keep pumping out. I mean, how can you not trust a company that gives you access to an amazing tool like Google Earth, for free? Google is, well, Google. You'd never equate them to the likes of RIAA, or Microsoft. But, a couple of things have come along to set me back, make me wonder about what's going on, and make me think again about this whole "don't be evil" thing.
Sign of the times – some people apparently believe Google is now a reactive monopolist, and Microsoft an aspiring innovator
Google pre-empted Microsoft’s plans for a significant relaunch of its internet search service as it revealed on Tuesday changes to its own search results pages that echo some of the moves planned by its arch-rival.
The latest refinements by Google show how difficult it will be for Microsoft to create any significant differentiation for its search service, which still lags well behind Google and Yahoo five years after it was first launched, according to analysts.
In a direct echo of Microsoft’s plans, Google said it would give greater prominence to the “related links” section on its search results pages.
Interesting times – so Blockbuster becomes a TiVo retailer
With its lingering debt problems resolved for now, Blockbuster is pinning some of its hopes on a digital future.
The struggling video rental chain will announce a partnership with TiVo on Wednesday to deliver Blockbuster’s digital movie library over the Internet directly to the televisions of people with TiVo digital video recorders.
More on Google’s quest for meaning
Google took a step toward cracking that nut Tuesday, releasing an upgrade to its technology that better understands associations and concepts related to search. The feature is based on technology called Orion that was developed by Ori Allon while he was a Ph.D. student in Australia. Google acquired it in 2006.
Mr. Allon, who now works at Google, said in an interview that the technology–which seeks to understand the context around a query–is a key part of Google’s effort to provide more useful and trustworthy results beyond matching keywords with Web pages. Eventually, Google wants to be able to provide trustworthy answers to questions like “What is good pain medication after eye surgery,” he said.
I still think it’d make more sense for HP and Oracle to jointly acquire and split up Sun
"Larger vendors, such as Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) and Oracle Corp. (ORCL), will be shopping around because the cloud and the technologies which support the cloud are what is going to enable them to plan for the future," said Theresa Lanowitz, founder of Voke Research. Lanowitz said open-source support firm Red Hat Inc. (RHT) and open-source server maker Novell Inc. (NOVL) could be acquisition targets.
Already Red Hat shares have begun to move like a potential takeover target.
On Monday, shares of the Raleigh, N.C.-based company soared more than 10% as speculation mounted Redwood City, Calif.-based Oracle might be interested in buying the company, which offers support services for the Linux open-source computer language. Linux has seen rapid growth in corporate computing and Oracle in 2006 issued its own version of Linux, saying it would undercut Red Hat's pricing, in a bid to win more of this market.
"It would make sense for Oracle to own Red Hat ultimately," Katherine Egbert, an analyst at Jefferies & Co., said in a research note. Egbert added that the timing might not be right yet for a deal.
It’ll be interesting to see how well this works and scales
Google searches now make associations based on the meaning of words, and post on the bottom of search results pages key phrases related to the query. If someone searches for "principles of physics," for example, related phrases ranging from "special relativity" to "big bang" will be listed for people interested in those terms.
Lengthier snippets will be returned to provide better context when users type out longer or more complex search terms. The query "spice market review shrimp starter dessert," for instance, will yield three or four lines of text from restaurant reviews under the search results headline, rather than just a line or two of text for most shorter queries.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Welcome to Collaborative Strategy Guild
Where insights are transformed into actions at the intersection of collaboration, information management, security, and business strategy.
The Guild is essentially a vehicle for several collaboration, information management, and security domain experts to swarm on topics and customer opportunities.
My involvement in the Guild will be somewhat constrained by my Microsoft role, but I plan to contribute content to the Guild blog and look forward to the discussion therein.
A timely reality check from Volker Weber, tangentially related to the previous (Office Live Workspace) post
"Getting people hooked on using Office in a collaborative mode at home is super-important to getting them to use it that way at work," he said. "If you lose the consumer, you lose the enterprise."
IBM has lost this fight long ago, with Notes and with Smartsuite, against Outlook and Office. I am not too optimistic that they can win it with Symphony but they certainly should keep trying. I think that Google is making inroads with GMail but not so much with Docs & Spreadsheets.
Travel-challenged? Our workspace travel template to the rescue - Workspace Team Blog - Office Live Workspace Community
See the full post for details. This reminds me of the early “nifty fifty” days for Notes, during the early 1990s, except Office Live Workspace is freely available and Web-centric, etc…
When I travel for business or for pleasure, one of my biggest worries is arriving at my destination without something I really need. And I know I’m not alone. That’s why I think the workspace travel template we’ve put together is such a great idea. It has checklists and itinerary logs and more – all designed to de-stress travel planning.
In case you aren’t familiar with our workspace templates, they are basically themed workspaces that we’ve pre-populated with documents and tools. The travel workspace template comes with the following items:
I wouldn’t count on the game companies being willing to participate
It's too early to tell how much danger, of course, but a start-up called OnLive announced a brand-new game distribution system Monday night that, if it works as planned, could change the games game forever.
OnLive, which was started by WebTV founder Steve Perlman and former Eidos CEO Mike McGarvey, is aiming to launch a system--seven years in the works--that will digitally distribute first-run, AAA games from publishers like Electronic Arts, Take-Two, Ubisoft, Atari, and others, all at the same time as those titles are released into retail channels. The system is designed to allow players to stream on-demand games at the highest quality onto any Intel-based Mac or PC running XP or Vista, regardless of how powerful the computer.
Another opportunity to over-share…
Netflix Inc. said it has linked with the social-networking website Facebook, allowing subscribers of the largest US mail-order movie service to share their film ratings with Facebook friends.
Ratings of one to five stars will show on a user's Facebook profile if a Netflix member has enabled the Facebook Connect function, Netflix said in a statement. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Meanwhile, a financial snapshot: at the moment, Netflix’s market cap is ~$2.55B, while Blockbuster’s is ~$141M.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Candidate for biggest PR nightmare of the year: the SaaS back-up company that lost data for 7,500 of its customers – see the full article for details
Here’s a tough question: how do you balance the value of a problematic lawsuit against a vendor against the potential damage to your company’s reputation? Executives from Carbonite Inc. may be pondering that calculus this morning amid disclosures that the fast-growing online backup company lost data belonging to 7,500 customers.
IBM views media relations as a form of advertising. If they’ve got some breakthrough in the labs, or some new product they’re hoping to hype, they’ll hand-pick a publication or two and tee up a story. They tell you what the story is; they set the agenda; they tell you which people at IBM you’re going to interview, and when; and every IBMer who gets interviewed has been scripted and rehearsed to death before you sit down with them. Nobody strays off message. Every interview is tape-recorded by IBM PR flacks. Those flacks write up a summary of every interview. That info gets used to prepare the subjects for the next interviews. If you’ve ever wondered why almost every story about IBM feels canned and pre-fabricated, that’s because it is.
More on the Skype news; see the full post for details
The details on how this service will work are still fuzzy — Skype, continuing its habit of playing favorite in the press, hasn’t really bothered to get in touch with those who are likely to ask tough questions. The Journal story talks a lot of about the market and competition, without getting into the specifics, except that it will be targeted at small and medium-sized businesses.
How this new effort is supposed to work? A speech by Digium Founder and CTO Mark Spencer, the creator of Asterisk, at the recently concluded eComm conference, gives us a glimpse of what might this new effort might be. Mark announced that Skype was now going to work with Asterisk.
Sign of the times...
To the usual trappings that help many homeless people endure life on the streets -- woolen blankets, shopping carts or cardboard box shelters -- add the humble cellphone.
Today, it's not unusual for the homeless to whip out Nokia 6085 GoPhones (with optional Bluetooth and USB connectivity), stop at a public computer to check e-mail or urge friends to read their blogs.
Don Dodge on The Next Big Thing: Facebook trumps Twitter and positions for Word Of Mouth advertising
Another perspective on the recent Facebook changes; see the full post for details
The recent Facebook design changes are more subtle than the Beacon experiment. But, you can easily connect the dots and see where this might go. If they implement this carefully it could be the biggest innovation to web advertising in 10 years, or perhaps ever. Facebook also duplicated most of what Twitter does now, and they are in a much better position to monetize the service. Facebook has 180 million users while Twitter has less than 10 million.
What appears to be a subtle Facebook design change is really a brilliant strategic move that trumps competitors like Twitter, and sets the stage for an advertising machine that could be much larger than Google. Strategy is a chess game. There are still many more moves to be made. But, this opening gambit by Facebook could turn out to be brilliant.
Another timely reality check – see the full article
Transparency is an important question for social Web sites as they plot ways to grow and make money. How much of their copious amounts of user information should they make available to advertisers who want to reach certain types of customers? Already, for example, Facebook and News Corp.'s MySpace let advertisers target users by characteristics like gender, location or interests. The challenge will be how to please advertisers without creeping users out.
Of course, you can't please everybody all the time. Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, thinks social media sites are in a trial and error phase, hoping to figure out what their various stakeholders will tolerate.
"Right now, it's much more of a free for all," he said, "because the rules aren't clear."
More community feedback adventures for Facebook
More than a million people have now voted against changes to the social networking site Facebook.
The new look site puts more focus on status updates and has been likened to one of its rivals Twitter.
Users have voted overwhelmingly against the new format in an online poll on the site with 94% disliking the changes.
An example of the sort of unwelcome scrutiny IBM will face as it moves forward with its Sun strategy; see the full article for more details
I.B.M. has dominated the mainframe computer business since the category was created four decades ago. And it still gets about one-quarter of its $100 billion in annual revenue from sales, software, services and financing related to the machines.
So when an upstart, Platform Solutions in Sunnyvale, Calif., developed software that turned standard servers into systems that mimicked I.B.M.’s expensive mainframes, Big Blue fought back. After legal action failed to fend off the pipsqueak, I.B.M. resorted to a bear hug: it bought Platform in July for $150 million. And then it promptly terminated the innovative product.
So now Twitter instead of XML syndication (i.e., Atom and/or RSS)?…
Business Week is syncing the comments on its social-networking site to Twitter, making it among the first major media companies to harness the popularity of the microblogging service.
Business Exchange is the community site Business Week launched in September that lets users build professional profiles. On Monday, Business Exchange will give users the option to send comments directly to a Twitter feed. The tweets, as Twitter posts are known, include a link back to the Business Exchange page.
A Skype snapshot
Now the company is hoping to appeal more directly to small and medium-sized businesses, which may be particularly receptive to lowering their phone bills during the recession. "Businesses want more than what we have been able to offer so far," said Stefan Oberg, the general manager of Skype for business.
Its new product is called Skype for SIP. The acronym stands for Session Initiation Protocol, a technology used by many business phone networks. Skype plans to begin a test with a limited number of companies Monday, with the service available commercially later this year.
Sign of the times – see the full article for details
In what is considered a professional sports first, Milwaukee Bucks forward Charlie Villanueva posted a message on Twitter during halftime of his game against the Celtics:
In da locker room, snuck to post with my twitt. We're playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Another sensible snapshot from The Economist
The idea that you can give things away online, and hope that advertising revenue will somehow materialise later on, undoubtedly appeals to users, who enjoy free services as a result. There is business logic to it, too. The nature of the internet means that the barrier to entry for new companies is very low—indeed, thanks to technological improvements, it is even lower in the Web 2.0 era than it was in the dotcom era. The internet also allows companies to exploit network effects to attract and retain users very quickly and cheaply. So it is not surprising that rival search engines, social networks or video-sharing sites give their services away in order to attract users, and put the difficult question of how to make money to one side. If you worry too much about a revenue model early on, you risk being left behind.
Ultimately, though, every business needs revenues—and advertising, it transpires, is not going to provide enough. Free content and services were a beguiling idea. But the lesson of two internet bubbles is that somebody somewhere is going to have to pick up the tab for lunch.
Sign of the times…
Later that week, men started showing up at Goddard's door in Reston, ready for an evening of random sex. "I'm here from Craigslist," they'd say. "You've been set up," Goddard would tell them. By that time, she'd figured out what was happening: Someone was posting offers in her name on online message boards, with her home address.
Goddard called Fairfax police, who tried stepping up patrols, even posting an officer inside Goddard's apartment. Still, the men kept coming. Both Goddard, 65, and the police say they had a good idea who was behind this cruel attack, but despite months of effort, nothing has been done.
Potential differentiation for the Financial Times
The Financial Times Group is entering the field of semantic search with an online product aimed at bringing the business community more accurate information.
Newssift, which launched in beta version on Thursday, is the first project backed by an innovation fund of Pearson, the parent company of the FT news organisation.
It aims to differ from traditional search engines, which rely on the correct keywords being entered to return findings, by offering more relevant searches based on meaning and context.
Another permutation to ponder; see the full article
While many are questioning the wisdom and validity of the purported IBM acquisition, the bigger question to ask is this: "Why isn't Cisco buying Sun?"
Cisco has made its intentions clear through its unified computing announcement that it wants in on the server market. And it's no secret that Cisco's road map will likely take it into storage next, and that would mean an expensive acquisition of either EMC or NetApp. So why not just bite down now and get deep into both servers and storage, as well as few other things, by picking up Sun?
Read the full article for a stark Palm reality check. My bet: Palm, best-case, gets acquired by a PC vendor seeking to accelerate its entry into mobile devices.
COMEBACK stories are irresistibly appealing, in business as well as in sports. But recovering from some strategic mistakes is awfully hard. A case in point is Palm’s failure to anticipate the threat that Apple posed to its core business.
Nearly two years since Apple introduced the iPhone, Palm has yet to release the Pre, the successor to its aging Treo. Much is riding on the Pre, which the company says will available before July 1: sales of Palm’s older smartphones have collapsed.
An insightful MySpace book review by Michael Fitzgerald
As author and Wall Street Journal reporter and editor Julia Angwin tells us, MySpace rose because "the time was ripe for a new kind of Internet giant to emerge - one where human creativity was at the center of the experience, not technology." In fact MySpace succeeds despite its technology, and almost despite itself. Much of its early life, as detailed in the book, is filled with what, in a polite newspaper, can only be called twerpery.
Friday, March 20, 2009
An interesting small world twist/excerpt:
One person said IBM also is likely to be examining closely Sun's 2004 agreement with Microsoft Corp., which settled a Sun lawsuit. Under that 10-year pact Microsoft paid Sun $700 million to resolve antitrust issues and $900 million to resolve patent issues. The companies also agreed on royalty payments to use each other's technology with Microsoft paying $350 million at that time. Sun agreed to make payments on the basis of technology used later.
See the full article for more details
More outstanding journalism from The Economist; see the full article for details
IT WAS the day Sun Microsystems was supposed to rise again. On March 18th the Silicon Valley computer-maker had planned to unveil a new online service to allow start-ups to manage with much less hardware, by buying computing capacity from a “cloud”, rather like electricity from the grid. But the event was overshadowed by the news, hours earlier, that IBM was in talks to buy Sun for at least $6.5 billion in cash, which would translate into a near-100% premium over the firm’s depressed share price in recent weeks.
More on Cisco/Pure Digital
Cisco adores anything that pumps large volumes of data over the Internet, spiking demand for its routers and switches. And the company sees video, through things like TelePresence and online meetings, as one of the biggest creators of Internet traffic.
Exactly what Cisco can do to increase interest in these types of products that Sony or Pure Digital can’t do remains to be seen. Cisco has crept closer and closer to the consumer through set-top boxes, home routers and even digital stereos, but I don’t think people take it that seriously as a consumer electronics player just yet.
See the full article for more details
But Pure is by no means the only major acquisition Cisco has made in the consumer market. In fact, the company so far has pretty much built this part of its business through acquisitions. In 2003, it got its start in the competitive CE market with the $500 million acquisition of the home-networking equipment maker Linksys. Then in 2005, it bought Scientific Atlanta, a quasi-consumer electronics company, for $7 billion. Scientific Atlanta makes set-top boxes that Cisco sells to subscription TV providers.
Since then the company has made a few, smaller consumer electronics purchases. In 2005, it spent $61 million in cash for a small Danish company called Kiss Technologies. Cisco never ended up selling Kiss' online video-on-demand boxes, but it has integrated the technology into some of its new products.
Palm struggles with a combination of the economic downturn, intense competition, and the Osborne effect
Sales in the period ended Feb. 28 fell 71 percent, to $90.6 million, from $312 million.
Palm has reported losses in the last seven quarters. The company, which introduced the pioneering Pilot device more than a decade ago, said on March 3 that sales declined because of dwindling orders for its older models.
Real Dan Lyons Web Site » Blog Archive Schwartz: We’ve got those bastards at IBM right where we want them «
Former Fake Steve Jobs on the IBM/Sun scenario – see the full post for more and a classic picture
Yes, the ultimate conquest is about to take place, as Sun launches a daring reverse takeover of IBM and completes its journey to rule the industry. This anyway is how I expect MLP might position the deal. Sure, IBM will try to describe it as buying up a weaker rival for a few billion dollars. But internally, the Kool-Aid drinkers at Sun will know better — what’s really happening is that IBM is finally waving the white flag of surrender, and Sun is just letting them save face.
A $590M bet, in the Pure Digital acquisition, and a much bigger series of bets, in terms of shifts in Cisco’s overall co-opetition stance this week.
With the addition of Pure Digital, Cisco now has several consumer products that target the living room: home networking systems it acquired from Linksys; cable boxes it got from Scientific-Atlanta; a wireless audio system that Cisco developed internally; and now Pure Digital’s Flip camcorder and related video software. Cisco has also said that it hopes to extend its high-end video conferencing technology into the home.
It isn’t a big leap to see Cisco developing a home-media hub that cobbles these pieces together—some sort of device that allows people to upload and watch videos and listen to music throughout their homes. In fact, it looks like a next logical step.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I can imagine the anti-trust review scene, with IBM explaining that both it and Sun have been losing server market share for years (especially when the System z and System i series are excluded from the analysis), and needing to be unshackled in order to respond to Cisco’s UCS etc…
Analysts said any deal would face intense antitrust scrutiny. The two companies account for two-thirds of the $25.5bn global market for high-end servers. “People have been speculating about this one for years,” one dealmaker said. “IBM can take out an enormous amount of costs and there are also great synergies in terms of technology.”
Microsoft Announces Availability of Internet Explorer 8: New browser focuses on top customer needs, including security, ease of use and performance.
Check the full press release for highlights; there’s also a Walt Mossberg IE8 review in today’s WSJ. With IE8 available today, it’ll be interesting to see detailed comparisons of the latest releases of the leading browsers on feature/function, security, performance, and other dimensions.
Today Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of Windows Internet Explorer 8, the new Web browser that offers the best solution for how people use the Web today. It can be downloaded in 25 languages at http://www.microsoft.com/ie8 starting at noon EDT on March 19. Internet Explorer 8 is easier to use, faster and offers leading-edge security features in direct response to people’s increasing concerns about online safety. A new study commissioned by Microsoft and the National Cyber Security Alliance and conducted by Harris Interactive Inc. shows that 91 percent of adults in the U.S. are concerned about online threats in the current economic climate, and 78 percent are more likely to choose a Web browser with built-in security than they were two years ago.
See the full press release for more details on ROE from RIA and related Microsoft updates
Organizations that create more intuitive, more engaging experiences on the Web are able to reduce costs and increase sales. Their visitors find the information they want faster, their customers make fewer calls to support help desks, and the number of impulse purchases made by customers generated grows dramatically. The integrated and interoperable offerings from Microsoft, composed of software and services for desktop, datacenters and the cloud, help organizations deliver richer, more compelling experiences that they require both in and out of the browser, and give them enhanced “return on experience” that the current economic climate demands.
Microsoft Web Technologies Unveiled at MIX09 Help Businesses Deliver Return on Experience: Microsoft announces Silverlight 3 Beta, new features in Expression Blend and continued progress in the cloud with updates to the Azure Services Platform.
Somehow I doubt being generous to competitors – e.g., acquiring Sun and giving up control of Java – is part of the plan
If it acquired Sun, I.B.M. “would unify those warring groups and make for a stronger front against Microsoft,” said Michael A. Cusumano, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management.
Both I.B.M. and Sun boast sizable communities of third-party software developers who write programs using their technology. An estimated one million programmers use Sun’s technology, while I.B.M.’s vast software business claims eight million.
More on Sony + Google for ebooks. I’m wondering if there’s anything that would prevent Amazon from offering the same out-of-copyright content – i.e., if this deal is a leading indicator of something bigger or just an excuse to have a joint press release
Since 2004, Google has scanned about seven million books from major university and research library collections. For now, however, Google can make full digital copies available only of books whose copyrights have expired.
The books available to Reader owners were written before 1923 and include classics like “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” by Mark Twain, and “The Awakening,” by Kate Chopin, as well as harder-to-find titles like “The Letters of Jane Austen.”
This will likely expand the controversy surrounding Google’s digital books initiative
In a strike against Amazon's Kindle electronic book reader, Sony and Google plan to launch a partnership Thursday that will give users of the Sony Reader device access to more than half-a-million public domain books from Google's ambitious book digitization project. The books will be offered to Sony Reader users free via the online Sony eBook store. The companies wouldn't reveal financial terms of the deal.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
JAVA is up ~66% at the moment – clearly some investors think Sun will soon set in acquisition. I doubt this deal will close without a battle, especially considering that the winner will control Java, which is strategic to IBM and other key vendors – especially Oracle.
Sun Microsystems Inc. surged as much as 66 percent in early trading after the Wall Street Journal said International Business Machines Corp. may buy the computer-server maker for at least $6.5 billion.
The acquisition of Sun, which would be the biggest in IBM’s history, would help the company widen its lead over Hewlett- Packard Co. in the $53.1 billion market for servers, which run networks and Web sites. IBM Chief Executive Officer Sam Palmisano said last week that he plans to “go on offense” amid the economic slump, acquiring and investing in research.
An insightful snapshot from Burton Group Research Director Drue Reeves; see the full post for details on his perspective
Cisco's Unified Computing System announcement yesterday -- which was one of the worst kept secrets in the industry -- was a move Cisco probably had to make. Why? Several reasons. Let's take a look at some of them.
His final paragraph:
In the end, UCS was a move Cisco had to make to ward off competition AND increase shareholder value. Cisco has a strong brand, enterprise credibility, the technical chops and finances to pull it off. Is UCS a business risk? Sure. But the greater risk for Cisco is to do nothing.
An interesting Windows Mobile app, which I ran across via this blog post
WikiPock for Windows Mobile is the ultimate software putting all the information you need at your fingertips. Want to look up for an acronym while you're walking down the street? Want to pull up last year's academy awards results while you're out with friends? WikiPock lets you acquire and share knowledge anywhere you are, even without internet connection. The world's biggest encyclopedia is in your Windows Mobile phone!
See the product page for more details. And how do they accomplish this magic (the part about not needing an Internet connection, or even a wireless data plan)? They simply cache a huge chunk of “the wiki encyclopedia” (perhaps a lawyer told them they can’t say “Wikipedia” in all contexts, but it’s explicit on the FAQ page; the vendor also donates 10% of its net revenue to the Wikimedia Foundation) on a microSD card on your phone. For best performance, they recommend an 8GB card.
An interesting sign of the price/performance/etc. times: the app, preloaded on an 8GB card (i.e., delivered on a new 8 GB card), starts at around $25.
Must have been quite a meeting…
"The history of AOL has always been recognizing that there is a possibility even when everybody else was saying there wasn't," Case said. "Most people think AOL's best days are behind it," he said, "[but] the assets of this company are still phenomenal."
Leonsis, who is now better known as the owner of the Washington Capitals, kept things timely by making a comparison to St. Patrick.
St. Patrick was a missionary who had been sentenced to death three times and avoided it each time. Today's AOL, he said, needs to be like that lucky fellow and observe its own "trinity" of products, customers and people.
But here is where Apple drew the line: if you offer a free application, you can’t interrupt users asking them to upgrade to a paid version. (Or if you do, Apple won’t process the transaction through its new system.)
That is a slap in the face of developers who want to profit from the “freemium” business model that lures paying customers by offering a free version first. It no doubt is leaving a fair bit of money on the table. But implicit is an insight about how developers would likely use such a feature to make applications that are more annoying than useful.
That seems to violate the company’s apparent philosophy that customers should be willing to pay a premium price for things that are aesthetically pleasing.
Later in the article:
Apple, it seems, does believe in competition and capitalism, but only the decorous sort.
The expected release of Internet Explorer 8 is likely to be the biggest headline out of Microsoft's Mix conference this week, though the company is likely to spend at least as much time talking about Silverlight 3, the next version of its would-be rival to Adobe's Flash.
I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner -- see the full article for details. What I believe will happen next: if IBM believes it has a green light for the acquisition, and puts a formal offer on the table, Oracle (perhaps in partnership with HP) will ultimately win a bidding war for Sun. Either way, it’s the end of Sun as we’ve known it.
International Business Machines Corp. is in talks to buy Sun Microsystems Inc., people familiar with the matter said, a combination that would bolster IBM's heft on the Internet, in software and in finance and telecommunications markets.
The two companies have a common interest in that both make computer systems for corporate customers that aren't reliant on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows software, and their product lines are less dependant than rivals' on Intel Corp.'s microprocessor technologies. The two companies are also strong supporters of open-source Linux and Java software.
Last week, a juror in a big federal drug trial in Florida admitted to the judge that he had been doing research on the case on the Internet, directly violating the judge's instructions and centuries of legal rules. But when the judge questioned the rest of the jury, he got an even bigger shock.
Eight other jurors had been doing the same thing. The federal judge, William J. Zloch, had no choice but to declare a mistrial, wasting eight weeks of work by federal prosecutors and defense lawyers.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
This brief Computerworld article is a stark reality check, on the 20th anniversary of the World Wide Web’s creation; see the full article for more details, with Sir Tim Berners-Lee commenting on the mixed blessing nature of the Web (e.g., finding information about curing diseases … or making bombs)
Tim Berners-Lee, who is known as the founder of the World Wide Web, has revealed that he was the victim of online fraud after purchasing a gift online.
Berners-Lee, who is credited with developing the idea of the World Wide Web 20 years ago, told the Telegraph: "The worst thing that has happened to me was when I tried to buy a Christmas present from a company that looked like a bona fide company on the Internet and then actually they were a completely fake company. I think I am yet to get the money back, but it wasn't a lot."
A snapshot from EMC’s Global Marketing CTO:
It's amazing what can be done with a clear vision, a clean sheet of paper and a serious R+D budget, no?
Cisco doesn't have the decades-long legacy of historical server architectures and traditional operating systems holding it back.
Think about it.
No HP-UX and Itanium (Itanic?) base to feverishly defend.
No Solaris/SPARC business to position.
And please don't get me started about IBM's plethora of different architectures.
Cisco had the freedom and the insight to design for what will be -- and not what was.
Cisco also had the freedom to invest in what really mattered -- an entirely modern computing architecture -- and to partner freely with the rest of the industry for the technologies and competencies to complete the customer offering.
Something the traditional server guys just weren't able to do.
On a practical note, it'll take a while for all the UCS components to mature and prove themselves. It'll also take a while for data center architects to fully appreciate what Cisco has done here.
See the full post for more details.
My $.02 for now:
While I sense it’d take some investigative reporting to understand some details, e.g., on when Cisco will lead with EMC/VMware virtualization versus Microsoft virtualization, it’s clear Cisco’s entry into the server market is likely to be very bad news for some already-struggling competitors, e.g., Sun.
I have a hunch we’ll be reading a lot about expanding competition between Cisco/EMC/Microsoft and HP/Oracle over the next few months. While the HP/Oracle partnership seems to have largely fallen off the press/blogosphere radar since Oracle Open World 2008 (last September), I suspect it’s still going to become a data center game-changer.
Apparently price elasticity still matters – see the full post for more details
U.S. retail sales of Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) Mac computers fell 16 percent in February on a unit basis, even as low-cost netbooks helped Windows-based PCs sales rise 22 percent, research group NPD said on Monday.
Unit sales of Macbook laptops dropped 7 percent, while Windows laptops jumped 36 percent. Without netbooks, Windows laptops rose 16 percent, NPD said.
Check out the list (from OneNote co-creator and Office Labs lead Chris Pratley) and replies for some handy OneNote tips
tried to do ten but couldn't stop myself.
15. Send to OneNote printer driver. Print anything to OneNote from any app. PDF, Word, web pages, AutoCAD, whatever! (currently not on 64-bit Windows - bummer)
14. Email these notes button (Ctrl-Shift-E). Click the button in the toolbar, choose recipients, and my notes are distributed without any retyping or hassle. Even sends ink. (you need Outlook 2007 for this to work best)
(See the rest of the list)
Microsoft Partners With Cisco on New Unified Computing System: Companies bring world-class datacenter solutions to enterprise customers.
See the full press release for more details and a Bill Laing video
Today, Microsoft Corp. announced its support of Cisco’s Unified Computing System entrance into the server datacenter market as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Through this agreement, Cisco will pre-package, resell and support Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V technology and Microsoft SQL Server 2008. In addition, Microsoft is working closely with Cisco to integrate System Center into this new solution.
Over the past five years Microsoft has built a strong alliance with Cisco, and Unified Computing System is a natural point of evolution for the relationship. These two companies that provide best-of-breed solutions are uniting network, compute and virtualization resources into one system.