Friday, September 30, 2005

BEA Buys M7 as SOA Market Simmers

BEA Buys M7 as SOA Market Simmers: "M7 fits into this because it offers an Eclipse-based development platform called NitroX that supports the development of Web applications based on open source and industry standard frameworks, including Struts, Hibernate, JavaServer Faces and JavaServer Pages.
BEA will merge its developer tools with M7's and provide these capabilities to the market as the BEA Workshop for Java IDE. BEA Workshop for Java will also provide a developer tooling base for all of BEA's product offerings, BEA said in a statement. "

Sony | Stringing along |

Sony | Stringing along | "The PlayStation 3 also faces stiff competition. It will be the most powerful games console on the market when it launches next spring. But Sony's reliance on raw power to attract buyers looks less sophisticated than the approaches being taken by its rivals. Microsoft is using several new ways to sell its rival Xbox 360 console, such as a co-marketing deal with Samsung; Nintendo, meanwhile, is using innovative controllers and simpler games to reach out to non-gamers, like elderly people who want to sharpen their mental faculties.
Sir Howard's timid reforms mean that he is, in effect, betting that either Blu-ray or the PlayStation 3 will ride to Sony's rescue next year. If these bets do not pay off, he will have to do something far bolder to address Sony's resistance to change. "

Meanwhile, from CNet this week: DVD dispute burns at PC makers
"Earlier this week, Microsoft and Intel announced that they were backing the HD-DVD format, saying its approach will spur easier home networking of movies and make it simpler to distribute hybrid discs containing both high-definition and traditional DVD movies. Dell and HP shot back Thursday, saying the world's largest software and processor makers were spreading "inaccurate" information. They also reiterated their backing for the rival Blu-ray format."

CRN | Breaking News | Firefox's Momentum Slows

CRN | Breaking News | Firefox's Momentum Slows: "'It looks like Firefox has hit the push-back point,' said Geoff Johnston, an analyst with WebSideStory. 'We always knew there was a finite number of early adopters out there and a finite number of Microsoft haters who would switch to something new, but we didn't know what that number was. It looks like we're approaching it.' "

JBoss vs IBM spat--an opening for Microsoft

JBoss vs IBM spat--an opening for Microsoft: "Well, Fleury isn't just mad. He's getting even. On Sept. 27, JBoss and Microsoft announced an alliance that's sure to get IBM's hackles up. The two will enhance interoperability between the JBoss Enterprise Middleware System, a suite built around the application server, and Microsoft's Windows server products. There will be more to come. 'This is a first step. It says the operating systems is not the enemy,' says Fleury. 'We're not a pain for Microsoft. We're a pain for IBM.'
The tie-up also shows how Microsoft is gradually recognizing the need to live in a world where open-source software is a fact of life. Don't expect Office to run on top of Linux any time soon. But Microsoft's plays in the open-source world are worth watching. As are fissures between open-source stalwarts like JBoss and IBM."

Yahoo accused of poaching speech engineers | CNET

Yahoo accused of poaching speech engineers | CNET "Menlo Park, Calif.-based Nuance alleges that the engineers were at least 75 percent done with a big project when Heck left to work for Santa Clara, Calif.-based Yahoo. Nuance planned to sell the technology to Yahoo and other Internet companies who want to offer voice-activated search and directory services to telephone users. "

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Tales from the Smart Client : The History of Sparkle: Year One

Tales from the Smart Client : The History of Sparkle: Year One: "The name of the product I work on is Microsoft Expression Code Named 'Interactive Designer/Sparkle'. This is not the final name.
For four years it has internally been known as Sparkle. So for a history of the product, I'll use that name.
I wasn't around for the start of Sparkle. The people who know the very origins of the product are either gone or very, very busy...but this is what have been able to reconstruct."

See the full post for Sparkle history.

New Skype for Windows gets off ground | CNET

New Skype for Windows gets off ground | CNET "Skype for Windows 1.4, first available in beta in August, lets callers forward incoming Skype calls to another Skype account for free. Users can also forward calls to up to three landline or mobile numbers for as little as 2 cents a minute, depending on the country, according to the company's chief marketing officer, Saul Klein. " - PHP Language Wins Supporters As Tool for Making Web Software - PHP Language Wins Supporters As Tool for Making Web Software: "Back when the Web was young, Marc Andreessen, then the wunderkind co-founder of Netscape Communications Inc., gave his backing to a new software programming language from Sun Microsystems Inc. That blessing launched the Java language as a counterweight to Microsoft Corp.'s technology dominance.
A decade later, Mr. Andreessen is endorsing another programming language called PHP as an alternative to Java for creating a new generation of Internet software.
Mr. Andreessen, now chairman of Opsware Inc., is backing up that opinion by joining the board of Zend Technologies Inc., a Cupertino, Calif., start-up that is seeking to build a business selling tools, updates and technical support for PHP, which is also available for free under an open-source license."

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Dell, a Mass Marketer, Seeks the Luster-Prone Customer - New York Times

Dell, a Mass Marketer, Seeks the Luster-Prone Customer - New York Times: "Dell, which has beaten its competition by slicing profit margins and turning low-price computers into a commodity, is now turning to the high end. It will announce today that it will begin selling a line of desktop and laptop computers it is marketing as luxury models.
While expensive laptops are nothing new, trying to sell them as a luxury product is. Dell said its new XPS brand would be sold at higher prices - and fatter margins - than its Dimension PC's and Inspiron laptops, starting at $2,700 for the laptop and $1,100 for entry-priced units of three desktop models. " - Apple Will Replace Damaged iPod Nano Screens - Apple Will Replace Damaged iPod Nano Screens: "Matthew Peterson, an independent consultant in the financial-services industry, said he was so upset by the damage to his iPod nano that he created a Web site,, later changing the name to to avoid trademark conflicts with Apple. Mr. Peterson said the screen cracked on his device after he sat down with it in the front pocket of his pants, as he had done many times with other iPods he owns without damage occurring."

Post-90s customer service fun: a disgruntled customer creates a Web site about product problems and the Wall Street Journal writes about it...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Microsoft, JBoss link server software | CNET

Microsoft, JBoss link server software | CNET "Two companies on opposite sides of the open-source philosophical divide, Microsoft and JBoss, have signed a partnership to make their server software work together better.
Microsoft and JBoss said Tuesday they'll work to make JBoss' Java application server software work well with Microsoft's Windows and higher-level software. Terms of the deal were not disclosed."

Interesting times...

How Palm Lost It -

How Palm Lost It - "Despite its defection to Windows, the folks at Palm say the company is still committed to the Palm OS and will continue to release new devices running both Windows and Palm software. But there's already considerable distance between Palm and its namesake OS. In 2003, Palm spun off its OS division into PalmSource, and earlier this month Japanese software company Access bought the company for $324 million in cash.
But Access' interest might not even have been the Palm OS. By acquiring PalmSource, the company gained Linux development resources for mobile devices in the U.S., France and China, including those from PalmSource's recent acquisition of China MobileSoft, a Linux software firm. It's possible the software firm could discontinue the OS, deciding instead to take the company's technology and engineers in new directions.
And even if the OS does survive, it'll likely be relegated even further into niche markets. 'It's likely that since PalmSource was just taken out, one place the Palm OS would go would be low-end phones and PDAs,' says Kalla.
Game over. Microsoft wins. "

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Palm, Microsoft forge peace with handheld

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Palm, Microsoft forge peace with handheld: "But Palm and Microsoft said yesterday the sale is only one reason why the device is coming out now. The two companies have been working together for much longer, even before Palm acquired Handspring, the original maker of the Treo.
The close relationship even led Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Palm to participate in the development of Microsoft's new Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system, which was released in May.
'We have lusted after some of the things they did well, and we've done some things well, too,' Gates said. 'It's wonderful to see that coming together.'" - Microsoft, Palm Unite to Fight BlackBerry - Microsoft, Palm Unite to Fight BlackBerry: "Does a pact between Microsoft Corp. and Palm Inc. mean bye-bye BlackBerry?
Microsoft's battle with search company Google Inc. grabs headlines, but the Redmond, Wash., software giant has quietly redoubled its efforts to compete with Research in Motion Ltd., the Canadian upstart that sparked a wireless revolution with its popular BlackBerry hand-held email device.
Microsoft and Palm yesterday penned a deal that will put the Windows Mobile software on Palm's Treo 700, the new combination cellphone and hand-held computer. The device, which will debut next year, will run on Verizon Wireless's highspeed mobile network."

Chris_Pratley's OneNote WebLog : OneNote 12 - Working as a team with shared notebooks

Chris_Pratley's OneNote WebLog : OneNote 12 - Working as a team with shared notebooks: "Recently I've had some mail from various OneNote users telling me that they are using OneNote for team work - shared sections and folders of notes which every member of the team can read and contribute to, and of course search. I've also been reading blogs like this one. I like this post because sbreck describes exactly the type of scenario we are targeting OneNote 12 at. Of course, he is trying to do it with OneNote 2003, so he has a few issues. It works, but it runs into limits. OneNote 12 has had significant work done to make it a breeze to work in small to medium groups effectively and quickly."

Detailed overview of sharing and offline capabilities planned for OneNote 12. I think Chris Pratley and Ray Ozzie still need to spend some time together, however, as Chris appears to have some incorrect assumptions about Groove.

Update/clarification: if Chris was referring exclusively to the way people routinely use OneNote in conjunction with Groove (with GFS), his summary is accurate. Groove is definitely not file-based at its core, however.

Monday, September 26, 2005

RED HERRING | Bronfman Fires Back at Apple

RED HERRING | Bronfman Fires Back at Apple "At an investors’ conference in New York, Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. said the price of downloaded songs should vary depending on the popularity of the songs and the artists. He called Apple’s across-the-board $0.99-per-song charge unfair.
“There’s no content that I know of that does not have variable pricing,” said Mr. Bronfman at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia investor conference. “Not all songs are created equal—not all time periods are created equal. We want, and will insist upon having, variable pricing.”"

Via Paul Thurrott

Microsoft Plans to Sell Search Ads of Its Own - New York Times

Microsoft Plans to Sell Search Ads of Its Own - New York Times: "The Microsoft Corporation will unveil today its own system for selling Web advertising as it struggles to compete with Google and Yahoo in the expanding Web search business. The system, to be used by MSN, is meant to improve on those of Microsoft's rivals by allowing marketers to aim ads on Web search pages to users based on their sex, age or location.
The move is part of Microsoft's broad response to the threat from Google, which is using its powerful advertising sales network to support an expanding range of free software products and Internet services. Last week, Microsoft announced a broad reorganization that placed MSN in the same group as its Windows operating system, indicating that it saw software delivered over the Internet - and possibly paid for through advertising - as central to its future. "

Recommended reading in this context: The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture - Yahoo Enlists Finance Writers For Native Content - Yahoo Enlists Finance Writers For Native Content: "Yahoo Inc. has hired a roster of popular authors to write financial columns for its Web site, marking one of the company's biggest moves into original content.
The Internet company today will begin publishing columns about personal finance and investing by an array of writers, including such well-known names in the business press as Ben Stein, Robert Kiyosaki and Stephen Covey. The Sunnyvale, Calif., company has signed nine new columnists to write for its Yahoo Finance site and plans to hire as many as 30."

Sunday, September 25, 2005

BW: Look Who's Powering Palm

BW: Look Who's Powering Palm: "As the only significant licensee of Palm OS, Palm was widely expected to buy back the software business -- and it tried. But major U.S. and European handset makers jumped into the bidding and drove the price sky-high. 'There was a point beyond which we didn't think it made sense,' Palm CEO Ed Colligan wrote in an e-mail to Palm employees that was obtained by BusinessWeek. After Palm withdrew, Japanese software maker Access, which supplies Web browser technology for the Treo, came up with the winning bid: $324 million in cash, an 83% premium over the market share price."

It's Not TV, It's Yahoo - New York Times

It's Not TV, It's Yahoo - New York Times: "All this Hollywood frenzy still skirts a question: Is Terry S. Semel, Yahoo's chief executive and the former co-head of Warner Brothers, trying to turn Yahoo into the interactive studio of the future?
The short answer is yes, but Mr. Semel's ambitions are far bigger and more complex than that. He wants Yahoo to be seen as more akin to Warner's parent, Time Warner, which mixes content like Warner and CNN with distribution, like its cable systems. Yahoo is both of those and a lot of software, too.
Mr. Semel describes a strategy built on four pillars: First, is search, of course, to fend off Google, which has become the fastest-growing Internet company. Next comes community, as he calls the vast growth of content contributed by everyday users and semiprofessionals like bloggers. Third, is the professionally created content that Mr. Braun oversees, made both by Yahoo and other traditional media providers. And last, is personalization technology to help users sort through vast choices to find what interests them."

Why Time Warner Has Fallen in Love With AOL, Again - New York Times

Why Time Warner Has Fallen in Love With AOL, Again - New York Times: "In the meantime, the company need not be too concerned that its current dial-up customers will abandon ship in accelerating numbers. At its membership core are the subscribers who chose the service because it made going online easy and insulated them from the unknown. These members have become comfortable where they are.
'At a certain point, the ones that are left are going to stay,' said Jonathan Gaw, an analyst at IDC, a market research firm based in Framingham, Mass. Current AOL members are sticking with their pokey dial-up service, paying AOL $23.95 a month, even in areas served by Verizon and SBC Communications where D.S.L. service - offering download speeds 7 to 25 times as fast - is now available for $14.95 a month."

Also see AOL Goes From Dog To Diamond in this week's BusinessWeek (subscription required). Somebody deserves a PR gold star...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Palm Will Team With Microsoft for the Next Version of the Treo Organizer - New York Times

Palm Will Team With Microsoft for the Next Version of the Treo Organizer - New York Times: "Microsoft has led a long, costly and often frustrating campaign to gain an opening in the hand-held software world. Indeed, only in its next-generation mobile software, expected by the end of this year, is it reported to reach the industrial strength standards demanded by the consumer electronics industry, according to a range of industry executives.
'At the end of the day, Ed Colligan made the call that he would be getting more value out of Windows Mobile than the Palm OS,' said Greg Galanos, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who is a board member of Danger Inc., a Palm competitor.
Indeed, a crucial factor in the alliance may have been Palm's ability to get a sweet deal from Microsoft, according to an industry insider with detailed knowledge of Microsoft's pricing arrangements. "

Palm Teams With Microsoft for Smart Phone: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

Palm Teams With Microsoft for Smart Phone: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance: "Palm Inc. is teaming up with Microsoft Corp. to launch a Windows-based version of the Treo smart phone, marking the first time the handheld computer pioneer will sell a device based on its former rival's software.
The three companies have scheduled a press conference for Monday. Spokesmen for Palm, Verizon Wireless and Microsoft declined to comment."

Vonage urged to consider sale, float: FT - Yahoo! News

Vonage urged to consider sale, float: FT - Yahoo! News: "Analysts have estimated that Vonage, which is based in New Jersey, is worth between $1 billion and $1.5 billion, the newspaper said.
Vonage provides discounted local and long-distance phone services to about 800,000 households, making it the largest U.S. Internet-based phone company."

Friday, September 23, 2005

PBS | I, Cringely . September 22, 2005 - Google Goes Las Vegas

PBS | I, Cringely . September 22, 2005 - Google Goes Las Vegas "Google is in the news everywhere lately. They are filching executives from Microsoft, and Microsoft is conveniently forgetting how Redmond did the same and worse to Borland. Google is scanning the world's books, and the world's authors aren't all pleased about that. But this column is about something both far more prosaic and important -- the very nature of Google AdWords, the search giant's paid placement advertising program that is, by far, its greatest source of revenue. But as you are about to read, AdWords is probably much more complex than we are led to believe by Google."

Read the post for some speculation about how AdWords works.

Good Morning Silicon Valley: Personally, I like "Brinternet." But if you really want to call it "SergeyCom," go ahead.

Good Morning Silicon Valley: Personally, I like "Brinternet." But if you really want to call it "SergeyCom," go ahead.: "Light Reading reports Google has been leasing hundreds of thousands of square feet of carrier hotel space, buying up dark fiber, and mulling the purchase of DWDM and Ethernet-based telecom equipment that could total in the hundreds of millions of dollars. 'My understanding is they want to do remote peering and transit bypass'"...

Verizon Introduces Fiber Optic TV Service - New York Times

Verizon Introduces Fiber Optic TV Service - New York Times: "Verizon Communications began taking orders yesterday for its new television service, which the company hopes will draw business away from cable and satellite providers.
As part of a national strategy, about 9,000 Verizon customers in Keller, Tex., 30 miles west of Dallas, will be the first to subscribe to the television service, called FiOS TV. The service includes more than 180 digital video and music channels, 20 high-definition channels and video-on-demand for $39.95 a month, carried over fiber optic cables that were installed to replace older copper lines" - Battling Google, Microsoft Changes How It Builds Software - Battling Google, Microsoft Changes How It Builds Software: "Jim Allchin, a senior Microsoft Corp. executive, walked into Bill Gates's office here one day in July last year to deliver a bombshell about the next generation of Microsoft Windows.
'It's not going to work,' Mr. Allchin says he told the Microsoft chairman. The new version, code-named Longhorn, was so complex its writers would never be able to make it run properly.
The news got even worse: Longhorn was irredeemable because Microsoft engineers were building it just as they had always built software. Throughout its history, Microsoft had let thousands of programmers each produce their own piece of computer code, then stitched it together into one sprawling program. Now, Mr. Allchin argued, the jig was up. Microsoft needed to start over."

(Goes on to explain how the Longhorn development/build effort was revised.)

Interesting story, but I suspect it's a bit more melodramatic than the historical reality.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The rest of the story re WWF

I received some feedback on my Vista article --

"Your article spoke of the Windows Workflow Foundation's abbreviation, saying ("which Microsoft prefers to abbreviate as WinWF to avoid an unfortunate namespace collision with the wrestling-related WWF)". In fact, the World Wrestling Federation Entertainment (WWF) changed its name to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as a result of losing a lawsuit to the World Wildlife Fund in 2001. The World Wildlife Fund trademarked "WWF" in 1961. The Fund had an agreement with the Federation in 1994 which allowed the Federation limited use of "WWF". However, the Fund argued in the 2001 lawsuit that the proliferation of the web and satellite television broadcasts made the use of "WWF" more widespread. WWE lost so big that the "WWF" logo must be pixilated or blurred even when it shows snippets of pre-2001 events.

I'm willing to wager that the Microsoft lawyers didn't want to tangle with the World Wildlife Fund over an already trademarked set of initials."

Treo owners file lawsuit against Palm | InfoWorld | News | 2005-09-21 | By Tom Krazit, IDG News Service

Treo owners file lawsuit against Palm | InfoWorld | News | 2005-09-21 | By Tom Krazit, IDG News Service: "Three owners of Palm's Treo 600 and 650 hybrid phone/personal digital assistants (PDAs) have filed a lawsuit claiming the devices are inherently defective and are seeking an injunction barring the sale of the popular devices. "

InformationWeek > Online Music > Dell Launches iPod Competitor > September 21, 2005

InformationWeek > Online Music > Dell Launches iPod Competitor > September 21, 2005: "
Dell Inc. on Wednesday said it was primarily using a word-of-mouth campaign in marketing the DJ Ditty, a digital music player competing with Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod Shuffle.
The Ditty, which is about the size of a stick of gum and is a half-inch thick, holds up to 220 songs and includes an FM tuner and a LCD screen. Apple has been criticized for not including the last two features in the Shuffle. "

Google builds an empire to rival Microsoft | CNET

Google builds an empire to rival Microsoft | CNET "For all of its wild success, about 99 percent of Google's revenue still comes from advertising, mostly from Internet keyword searches. Certainly, it has built on the core business, adding everything from the Gmail free Web-based e-mail service to Google Earth, a satellite mapping service. And it has plenty of cash to spend on new technology--nearly $7 billion in cash, $4 billion alone from a secondary stock offering on Sept. 14.
The big question, of course, is what exactly CEO Eric Schmidt & Co. plan to do with that war chest.
In his book, which is available in electronic PDF form only, Arnold concludes that Google has created a supercomputer ready to deliver a host of applications to anyone with a Web browser. "

$180 for a pdf/download-only book -- interesting times.

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Sony to cut 10,000 jobs, shrink costs by $1.8 billion

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Sony to cut 10,000 jobs, shrink costs by $1.8 billion: "Sony, known as a pioneer in electronics first with the transistor radio and then the Walkman portable music players, has seen some of its glory dimmed by Asian rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co. that are offering cheaper prices.
Over the past five years, Sony shares have lost two-thirds of their value, and are currently trading at about $36."

Ellison's ambitions for Oracle - New York Times

Ellison's ambitions for Oracle - New York Times: "Oracle is interested in markets like hosted services and believes its acquisition of Siebel will give it a leg up in the OnDemand CRM realm. Siebel's OnDemand business competes with, a company in which Ellison invests.
'We want to go after as much as we can,' Ellison said. 'I'm an investor in Salesforce, and I want to see my investment go to zero.'
Business intelligence players and middleware developer BEA Systems, however, are less attractive acquisition targets, Ellison said.
'At one time we highlighted BEA for a possible acquisition, but less so now,' Ellison said. 'We have passed them up...and they don't really want to be bought.' "

(In other words, BEA's likely acquisition price just went down...)

Time Warner Head Says AOL Is the Company's Future - New York Times

Time Warner Head Says AOL Is the Company's Future - New York Times: "Mr. Parsons said the company might increase investment in AOL and, at a minimum, would start reporting numbers for the AOL business that show the performance of its advertising-based business and its Internet access business. In the second quarter, ended June 30, AOL provided $2.1 billion of the company's $10.74 billion in revenue, and $550 million of $2.47 billion of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. "

In other words, the acquisition price just went up for Microsoft or Google...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Peace with honor | Steve Gillmor's InfoRouter |

Peace with honor | Steve Gillmor's InfoRouter | "The big problem for Bill and Ray is that the other team can call audibles at the line of scrimmage and run a 2-minute offense from kickoff. Ironically, that's why Ozzie's the right man in the right job. When IBM dumped his architecture to move to Websphere, Ray dumped Notes. Now IBM and Sun are hawking hairball replacements when chunks of XML are the real simple solution. Allchin won the war. Now Ray can win the peace."

Hey Steve -- fun essay, but FYI WebSphere didn't exist when Ray Ozzie left IBM during October, 1997, and, in case you haven't checked recently, the Notes architecture hasn't exactly been dumped -- indeed, it's resurgent within IBM's software portfolio. Meanwhile, WebSphere is the leading commercial J2EE platform. IBM is doing well, even if you think they're insufficiently zealous about XML.

BW: Jim Allchin's Memo to Colleagues

Jim Allchin's Memo to Colleagues: "BW: Today, we have the opportunity to not only reinvent the way software is developed but also to greatly improve the richness of the experience our customers have with our software. As someone who has spent most of his life working in computer science, I truly believe we are just at the beginning of the software revolution.
After Windows Vista is in the hands of customers, however, it will b the right time for me to shift my attention to other priorities. About 2 1/2 years ago a medical event in my life caused me to take a step back and evaluate all my priorities. I am fine now, but I made a decision then to retire at the end of 2006."

BW: Steve Ballmer's Memo to Staff

BW: Steve Ballmer's Memo to Staff: "Today, we are announcing the creation of three new business divisions -- Microsoft Platform Products & Services Division, which will be led by Kevin Johnson and Jim Allchin as co-Presidents; Microsoft Business Division to be led by Jeff Raikes as President; and, Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division, which will be led by Robbie Bach as President. Our goal in making these changes is to enable Microsoft to achieve greater agility in managing the incredible growth ahead and executing our software-based services strategy."

Ballmer's memo on the org changes.

Writers Sue Google, Accusing It of Copyright Violation - New York Times

Writers Sue Google, Accusing It of Copyright Violation - New York Times: "'We regret that this group has chosen litigation to try to stop a program that will make books and the information within them more discoverable to the world,' the statement said. 'Google Print directly benefits authors and publishers by increasing awareness of and sales of the books in the program. And, if they choose, authors and publishers can exclude books from the program if they don't want their material included. Copyrighted books are indexed to create an electronic card catalog and only small portions of the books are shown unless the content owner gives permission to show more.'"

Google begins limited test of Wi-Fi service - Yahoo! News

Google begins limited test of Wi-Fi service - Yahoo! News: "Google spokesman Nate Tyler said the current test is limited to two public sites near the company's Mountain View, California, headquarters -- a pizza parlor and a gym -- located in the heart of Silicon Valley.
'Google WiFi is a community outreach program to offer free wireless access in areas near our headquarters,' Tyler said.
'At this stage in development, we're focused on collecting feedback from users. We'll determine next steps as the product evolves,' he said."

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Microsoft Realigns for Next Wave of Innovation and Growth: CEO Ballmer appoints presidents of three core divisions; Allchin announces retirement plan.

Microsoft Realigns for Next Wave of Innovation and Growth: CEO Ballmer appoints presidents of three core divisions; Allchin announces retirement plan.: "In order to drive greater agility in the execution of its software and services strategy, Microsoft Corp. today announced a realignment of the company into three newly formed divisions, each of which will be led by its own president. The Microsoft Platform Products & Services Division will be led by Kevin Johnson and Jim Allchin as co-presidents; Jeff Raikes has been named president of the Microsoft Business Division; and Robbie Bach has been named as president of Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division. In addition, the company said Ray Ozzie will expand his role as chief technical officer by assuming responsibility for helping drive its software-based services strategy and execution across all three divisions.
The company also announced that Allchin plans to retire at the end of calendar year 2006 following the commercial availability of Windows Vista, the next-generation Microsoft Windows operating system.
The company also announced that Eric Rudder, senior vice president of Server and Tools, will be taking on a new role working directly for Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect. Rudder will focus on some of the company’s key advanced development efforts as well as overall technical strategy. Rudder will transition into his new role following the launch of Visual Studio® and SQL Server™ 2005 later this year."

Never a dull moment in Redmond...

The Inquirer: Anti-Skype software kills IM, P2P too

The Inquirer: Anti-Skype software kills IM, P2P too: "Verso Technologies ( announced the rollout of a 'carrier-grade applications filter' that can block so-called bandwidth drains such as Skype, P2P messaging, streaming media, and instant messaging. "

I'm glad there's healthy competition in the broadband service provider space these days -- that will hopefully prevent service providers from doing customer-hostile actions like this.

BW: Palm Taps Microsoft

BW: Palm Taps Microsoft: "The embrace of Microsoft is bound to cause howls of betrayal among the Palm faithful. But the time is ripe for Palm to move to Windows Mobile. The hardware inside Treos and Pocket PC phones is virtually identical. Windows Mobile is popular with corporations, especially those whose e-mail systems are built on Microsoft Exchange and Outlook. And the fact that programs can be written to run on both Treo-size devices and the smaller, cheaper Windows Mobile Smartphones, such as the Audiovox SMT 5600, appeals to both corporations and independent software developers.
Microsoft may be a company of predatory instincts, but its history of competition with Palm is typical of how it so often wins in the end. With the patience allowed by very deep pockets and the determination to keep trying, it can eventually penetrate any market it really wants. Palm held off the Redmond juggernaut for longer than most, but the time for change is rapidly drawing near. "

BW: Cisco Loses a Prized Geek

BW: Cisco Loses a Prized Geek: "The networking industry has few household names, even in homes whose residents understand terms like http, proxy server, and VPN. Tony Li is about as close as the industry comes to a celebrity geek. Li helped write the code in the early 1990s that made Cisco Systems (CSCO ) the Microsoft of networking, and then he helped Juniper Networks (JNPR ) become Cisco's top rival in the market for the world's fastest routers. "

Phillips: Oracle may support rival databases | CNET

Phillips: Oracle may support rival databases | CNET "Oracle may make a decision as early as March on whether to support multiple databases in its 'Project Fusion' release, which will combine acquired products with its own applications.
Charles Phillips, Oracle's co-president, said Monday that its Project Fusion council, a group set up to oversee the integration of products picked up from its purchases of PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems and others, is considering the question. "

To put it another way: Oracle plans to decide, over the next 6 - 9 months, whether or not it will alienate ~50 - 60% of its acquired PeopleSoft and Siebel customers...

Google plans own WiFi service: Web site - Yahoo! News

Google plans own WiFi service: Web site - Yahoo! News: "Online search leader Google is preparing to launch its own wireless Internet service, Google WiFi, according to several pages found on the company's Web site on Tuesday.
A WiFi service, which offers a high-speed connection to the Internet, would take Google even further from its Internet search roots and move it into the fiercely competitive world of Internet access providers and telecommunications companies."

Microsoft Office 12 Reinvents the Office Productivity Suite

Microsoft Office 12 Reinvents the Office Productivity Suite: "So Microsoft took the bold and unanticipated step of completely overhauling the Office user interface. What's astonishing, of course, is that no one saw it coming, not competitors, not analysts, and not users. Over the past few Office updates, Microsoft has made baby steps towards improving the Office interface, adding small features like task panes and smart tags that bubble up previously hidden functionality. But competitors such as and Sun Star Office were busy copying the last Office interface, Microsoft was busy hatching something new."

See the full post for more details. I agree with Paul Thurrott's assessment and look forward to exploring Office 12.

The Six Dumbest Ideas in Computer Security

The Six Dumbest Ideas in Computer Security: "Let me introduce you to the six dumbest ideas in computer security. What are they? They're the anti-good ideas. They're the braindamage that makes your $100,000 ASIC-based turbo-stateful packet-mulching firewall transparent to hackers. Where do anti-good ideas come from? They come from misguided attempts to do the impossible - which is another way of saying 'trying to ignore reality.'"

Via Dan Blum

Monday, September 19, 2005

FTPOnline - PDC 2005 - MS Advances in Collaboration, Content Management

FTPOnline - PDC 2005 - MS Advances in Collaboration, Content Management: "Several product and strategy updates presented last week at Microsoft PDC 2005 suggest Microsoft's collaboration-related capabilities will, between now and the second half of 2006, become much more credible and compelling. The rest of this article includes a high-level summary of collaboration-related updates at PDC 2005 along with a review of the Microsoft collaboration challenges I identified in my October 2003 article."

FYI my quick take on Microsoft collaboration-related product news

FTPOnline - PDC 2005 - Primary Reasons to Upgrade to Vista

FTPOnline - PDC 2005 - Primary Reasons to Upgrade to Vista: "I'll summarize the conceptually daunting amount of Windows Vista information Microsoft presented at PDC 2005. I'll address three key themes in this article: changes en route from Longhorn client to Windows Vista, aspects of Vista that are slated to be ported to 'down-level' releases of Windows (Windows XP and Windows Server 2003), and an overview of the reasons why individuals and organizations are likely to find Vista appealing even though many of its key features will also be available on earlier releases of Windows."

My quick post-PDC take on Windows Vista, FYI

Jon Udell: Bill Gates interview: the transcript

Jon Udell: Bill Gates interview: the transcript: "BG: From a technology point of view, what the Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere thing does -- I think it was called Jolt internally. It overlaps what Flash does a lot. Now, I don't think anybody makes money selling lightweight presentation capability onto phones and devices and stuff like that. We're making this thing free, we're making it pervasive. I don't think anybody's business model is you get a bunch of royalties for a little presentation runtime. So there'll certainly be lots of devices in the world that are going to have Flash and they're going to have this WPF/E -- which they say they're going to rename, but that's the best they could do for now -- there'll be lots of devices that have both of those, but they don't conflict with each other. It's not like a device maker say -- oh my god, do I pick Flash, do I pick WPF/E? You can have both of those things and they co-exist easily. They're not even that big. "

Chris_Pratley's OneNote WebLog : Unifying the analog and the digital with OneNote

Chris_Pratley's OneNote WebLog : Unifying the analog and the digital with OneNote: "One of the long term visions for OneNote is to bring together 'your information' and make it findable and reusable, regardless of format. When we look at the types of info we try to help people organize, it is obvious that a lot of it lives outside the digital realm: Business cards, handouts, receipts. People always have a collection of paper that accompanies their PC because it is hard to include that stuff in their digital storage. Beyond paper, there are other analog forms of information such as speeches (audio) and 'performances' (video). You hear and see things today, but all you have are your memories of that, or maybe a recording on tape or mini-recorder. As you know from the current release of OneNote, there's a lot of value in just being able to capture various kinds of information in one place: text, HTML, ink, photos, audio/video recordings. In OneNote '12', we're going to go even farther.
More or less, anything you put into OneNote 12 becomes searchable."

See the full post for, e.g., details on searching audio/video content.

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: RealNetworks streams tunes for Sprint

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: RealNetworks streams tunes for Sprint: "After the splashy launch of the Apple iTunes mobile phone earlier this month, Sprint is firing back with two music announcements, one of them being rolled out today by Seattle-based RealNetworks.
The two announcements up the ante in mobile music by getting closer to the ultimate goal ? downloading music directly to the phone over the cellular network.
The new Sprint services allow some subscribers to stream live music to the phone in a radio-type format without having to buy a new phone or have lots of storage."

A Company Looks to Wean Computers Off the Wires - New York Times

A Company Looks to Wean Computers Off the Wires - New York Times: "Conventional wired networks that link devices like personal computers to one another and to the Internet have always been the fastest and most reliable connections. And even as high-speed wireless networking, most often dependent on Wi-Fi standards, has become increasingly popular in recent years, electronics specialists agree that the convenience comes at the cost of slower transmission speeds and less reliability.
But Greg Raleigh, chief executive of Airgo Networks in Palo Alto, Calif., said his four-year-old company, which released two earlier generations of high-speed wireless technologies, had 'broken the wire speed barrier' with its latest chips and embedded software. Mr. Raleigh said that the first products using Airgo's new chips - notebook computers, wireless cards, routers and other peripherals - should be commercially available late in the fourth quarter of this year."

Yahoo boss Semel tunes in to online TV - Yahoo! News

Yahoo boss Semel tunes in to online TV - Yahoo! News: "Yahoo Chief Executive Terry Semel outlined his television strategy on Friday, saying that the Internet company wants to commission original content without aping existing TV networks.
Speaking to a group of top British TV executives who were not sure whether to regard Yahoo as friend or foe, Semel urged them to index their dormant archives and add them to Yahoo's video search service." - Can Oracle Leave IBM in Dust? - Can Oracle Leave IBM in Dust? "Oracle and IBM are fierce rivals in the market for heavy-duty business database software, and both lean on application vendors, like Siebel, to help drive sales. (In the software industry, applications -- programs that work with data -- are generally separate from databases, which store data.) The application vendors are critical to database-system providers since most customers first select a particular application -- say, Siebel's customer-relationship-management software -- then go shopping for a database system to put beneath it. IBM quit the application business more than a decade ago and steadfastly has refused to get back in.
But owning application makers has advantages: In 2000, IBM forged an alliance with retail-software vendor Retek Inc., predicting the partnership would generate a billion dollars in joint sales within three years. But earlier this year, Oracle bought Retek. It quickly formed a "Retail Global Business Unit" to sell "solutions" based on Retek's applications and, of course, its own database, potentially undermining IBM's alliance."

Saturday, September 17, 2005

MSN Web portal, dial-up for sale?

MSN Web portal, dial-up for sale? "Microsoft offered to sell its MSN Internet portal and dial-up subscriber business both to America Online and to Yahoo!, according to several people with knowledge of the talks. While Yahoo! considered and quickly rejected the proposal, Time Warner, the parent of America Online, expressed interest.
Microsoft and Time Warner have explored a variety of possible combinations of the MSN Internet portal with Time Warner's America Online, including a merger of the two units into a new company that would be jointly owned, according to several people involved in the talks." - IBM to Pay for Employees To Become Math Teachers - IBM to Pay for Employees To Become Math Teachers " International Business Machines Corp., worried the U.S. is losing its competitive edge, will financially back employees who want to leave the company to become math and science teachers.
The new program, being announced Friday in concert with city and state education officials, reflects technology-industry fears that U.S. students are falling behind peers from other countries such as India and China in the sciences."

Friday, September 16, 2005

Oracle and Siebel | The Godfather |

Oracle and Siebel | The Godfather | "With Siebel's disappearance, the major bout of consolidation in the corporate-software industry probably comes to an end. There is barely anybody left. In the obscure “infrastructure” layers of corporate data-centres, there is now an oligopoly of giants such as IBM, Oracle and Microsoft, with a few stragglers such as BEA Systems still hanging on. In the applications layers, Oracle, having digested PeopleSoft and Siebel, will be a sort of Airbus to SAP's Boeing. Mr Ellison and Mr Benioff are still at large and preening, while other members of the diaspora are gradually settling down. Things will be duller." | USB key speeds up Windows Vista | USB key speeds up Windows Vista: "Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista will allow users to add memory to the operating system through the use of USB memory keys, the company revealed at its Professional Developer Conference in Los Angeles.
The option is part of a technology called Superfetch designed to make the next version of Windows faster to use over time."

Pretty cool, and robust as well -- including encryption etc. | "Bill Gates goes to College" PDC Video | "Bill Gates goes to College" PDC Video This was shown at PDC, and it's pretty funny. Click the "Watch it" link. Note that it'll seem more than a bit weird if you haven't seen "Napoleon Dynamite".

Microsoft Said to Be in Talks on Forming Link to AOL - New York Times

Microsoft Said to Be in Talks on Forming Link to AOL - New York Times "The most elaborate proposal being discussed would involve combining America Online with the MSN Internet portal and dial-up Internet business, creating the world's largest Internet company. The venture's Web search would be provided by Microsoft. That combination would be a significant blow to Google, which provides the Web search on AOL's services. This year, 11 percent of Google revenue came from advertising it placed on AOL sites.
Indeed, much of Microsoft's motivation to do such a deal is to head off a threat it sees from Google. Microsoft's worry is not so much Google's Web search business.
Microsoft sees in Google the potential to offer a variety of Internet services, using Google's vast network of servers, making it less necessary for people to buy Microsoft software or even computers with the Microsoft Windows operating system. Moreover, Google could offer free desktop software as well, supported by its network of advertisers."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Time Warner, Microsoft in talks on AOL-NY Post - Yahoo! News

Time Warner, Microsoft in talks on AOL-NY Post - Yahoo! News: "Time Warner Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are in advanced talks over Microsoft buying a stake in Time Warner's America Online unit, the New York Post reported on Thursday.
Citing two unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the Post said the talks concern Microsoft acquiring an AOL stake and then combining it with Microsoft's Web unit MSN."

Hmm -- here's something Google could disrupt with their $7B...

Investors Rush to Buy Another $4.2 Billion in Google Stock - New York Times

Investors Rush to Buy Another $4.2 Billion in Google Stock - New York Times: "The secondary offering appeared to be as smooth as Google's initial offering was tumultuous. When it went public, the company chose an unusual computerized auction process that confused many potential investors.
Its prospectus was filled with unusual phrases, like the company's credo 'don't be evil.'
Its roadshow had so little information that some investors were offended. Ultimately, the offering was completed at $85 a share, raising $2 billion, much less than the company had initially hoped for.
The secondary offering, by contrast, was a traditional one in which sales representatives from brokerage firms took orders from investors largely by telephone. And its prospectus had less bravado and only the typical warnings and disclosures.
In the prospectus, the company said it would use the money for "general corporate purposes" and possibly acquisitions.
Google did show a slide that compared the $7 billion in cash it will have after the offering with the cash balances of its major rivals. Yahoo currently has about $4 billion in cash, and Microsoft has $49 billion."

"Personal Technology -- Verizon's Fios Service Moves U.S. Internet Beyond a Snail's Pace

"Personal Technology -- Verizon's Fios Service Moves U.S. Internet Beyond a Snail's Pace "I consider Fios a good service and a good bargain. If you are a heavy Internet user, and you can get it, I recommend you do so. That is especially true if you use the Internet over a wireless network, and stream a lot of videos, or download and upload lots of files. If you are a light user, just surfing the Web and doing email, a slower service will do fine."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - Google Launches New Tool To Let Users Search Blogs - Google Launches New Tool To Let Users Search Blogs "Google's blog search works in much the same way as Technorati, Feedster and others, but there are some differences. For Google, the default is to rank results by relevance rather than by the most recent entries. (Google also allows users to rank results by date.)
While Google was slow to enter blog search, the industry is still nascent enough that the search giant has the potential to attract users who have never heard of Technorati or Feedster. "It's going to be a real challenge for some of the small players to fight back," said Danny Sullivan, editor of"

Microsoft Redefines Workflow With Windows Workflow Foundation

Microsoft Redefines Workflow With Windows Workflow Foundation: Company expands Windows Vista and Office "12" developer capabilities, outlines new Office "12" content management capabilities. "Today at the Professional Developers Conference2005 (PDC05), Microsoft Corp. introduced Windows® Workflow Foundation, a workflow engine, programming model and set of tools for developers to rapidly build workflow-enabled applications. Windows Workflow Foundation is a set of activities that coordinate people and software. With it, Microsoft is redefining workflow by incorporating it into a mainstream development platform and supporting both human and system workflow across client and server scenarios. Workflow capabilities will be available to developers via WinFX™, the new programming model for Windows Vista™. Developers can workflow-enable applications using the familiar and popular Visual Studio® development tools. Microsoft also announced plans to use Windows Workflow Foundation to workflow-enable the next version of Microsoft® Office products, code-named Office “12,” BizTalk® Server and Microsoft Dynamics™."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Sneak Peek Limited Edition Pink Sahara i215 Tablet PC

Sneak Peek Limited Edition Pink Sahara i215 Tablet PC " is proud to present you with a seek peek of the the Limited Edition Pink Sahara i215 Tablet PC."

Saw one of these this morning (I'm at PDC 2005) -- great cause and very nice Tablet PC

Q&A: Microsoft Showcases New User Interface for Office 12 Core Applications

Q&A: Microsoft Showcases New User Interface for Office 12 Core Applications "The new UI – the most dramatic change to the way Office applications work since introduction of the toolbar in 1997 – will help users become more proficient with Office and produce better-looking documents faster."

Check out the screen shots -- very significant enhancements

Are the Latest Big Deals Really a Big Deal? - New York Times

Are the Latest Big Deals Really a Big Deal? - New York Times "While Wall Street has been abuzz about a recent run of high-profile mergers and acquisitions, many of them - including yesterday's $5.8 billion acquisition of Siebel by Oracle, eBay's $2.6 billion buyout of Skype and Wachovia's $3.4 billion acquisition of Westcorp - happen to be pretty humdrum.
While these deals are often dressed up as radical industry-changing events, they are hardly like the big transactions announced in the late 1990's and early 2000 that tried to revolutionize business models and redefine markets - among them, the merger of Citicorp and Travelers or Vivendi's merger with Seagram. Today's deals are basic add-ons - a homeowner adding a room to a house, not a gut renovation. On Wall Street, these deals are called bolt-ons."

Monday, September 12, 2005 - Oracle Agrees to Acquire Siebel - Oracle Agrees to Acquire Siebel: "The U.S. business-software giant Oracle Corp. said Monday that it has agreed to buy Siebel Systems for $5.85 billion in cash, in a deal that would mark the latest major acquisition of Larry Ellison's consolidation spree in the business-software sector.
Oracle said it is paying $10.66 per share, a 17% premium over Siebel's closing share price Friday of $9.13, which was already higher thanks to rumors of a possible deal. And it characterized the total purchase price as $3.61 billion when discounting Siebel's cash on hand of $2.24 billion.
"In a single step, Oracle becomes the number one CRM applications company in the world," Oracle Chief Executive Ellison said in the statement announcing the deal. "Siebel's 4,000 applications customers and 3.4 million CRM users strengthen our number one position in applications in North America and move us closer to the number one position in applications globally.""

Wow -- busy week so far...

Good Morning Silicon Valley: Actually, we plan to bronze him and put him in the lobby

Good Morning Silicon Valley: Actually, we plan to bronze him and put him in the lobby "I guess Google really is hoarding all the good talent (see "Resistance is futile..."). Last month the company acquired Android, a secretive start-up founded by a former Apple hardware designer, Andy Rubin, and hired Andy Hertzfeld, a pioneering software engineer and a key member of the original Apple Macintosh development team."

(Goes on with more on Cerf.)

EBay to buy Skype for $4.1 bln - source - Yahoo! News

EBay to buy Skype for $4.1 bln - source - Yahoo! News: "EBay Inc. has agreed to buy the fast-growing Internet start-up Skype in a move to add free voice calls to its online auctions and fuel growth, a source close to the situation said on Monday.
EBay plans to pay $1.3 billion in cash and $1.3 billion in stock for the Internet telephone company and to make a further payout of up to $1.5 billion by 2008 or 2009 if financial targets are met, giving the deal a total value of up to $4.1 billion, the source said.
Spokesmen for eBay and Skype declined to comment. The eBay investor relations site contains a notice of a conference call scheduled to be held at 8:00 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT) on Monday, but provided no details on the nature of the Webcast."

Sun Microsystems Returns to Its Roots to Determine a New Direction - New York Times

Sun Microsystems Returns to Its Roots to Determine a New Direction - New York Times: "Unlike Sun's current corporate server computers - which are based on its proprietary Sparc microprocessors and are principally designed to run Solaris, Sun's version of the Unix operating system - the new Galaxy machines will run Solaris, Windows and Linux interchangeably or even simultaneously.
The Galaxy computers are intended to take advantage of the popularity of Advanced Micro Devices' 64-bit Opteron microprocessors while adding features that conserve energy and make systems easier to use and maintain.
For Mr. Bechtolsheim, who invested $200,000 in Google at an early stage and who is a billionaire, what matters most is that the new systems are evidence that he is doing just what wants to be doing at age 49.
"I've wanted to build things since I was 6 years old," he said, still wearing Birkenstocks. "Writing checks and watching companies grow is not my cup of tea, if you know what I mean.""

Tiny iPod nano has makings of a big hit - The Boston Globe

Tiny iPod nano has makings of a big hit - The Boston Globe: "Even its name is tiny -- Apple decided to dispense with capital letters. And of course, the name hints at the up-and-coming science of the ultra-small.
Still, Apple may have been a tad too clever with the nomenclature. It seems that Creative Technology Ltd. of Singapore has been selling a music player called Nano since March. That's Nano, with a capital N. Perhaps that slight difference will matter to a trademark judge somewhere.
Apple's already in trouble with Creative, which last month won a US patent on a user interface technology similar to the one used by the iPod. Another feature of the iPod interface has also been patented -- by Microsoft Corp. Believe it or not, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs might end up owing royalties to Microsoft chairman Bill Gates.
We might have hoped for another Razr, the stunning little cellphone that dazzled the world last year. No such luck. Instead, the Rokr is a drab little lozenge of a camera phone, without a hint of iPod personality -- not even the magical scroll wheel. It's just a cellphone that plays music -- and only 100 songs at that. For this, Cingular hopes to charge $249 with a two-year cellular contract. You're better off spending the money on a nano."

Oracle's Chief in Agreement to Settle Insider Trading Lawsuit - New York Times

Oracle's Chief in Agreement to Settle Insider Trading Lawsuit - New York Times "Lawrence J. Ellison, chief executive of Oracle, has reached a tentative agreement under which he would pay $100 million to charity to resolve a lawsuit charging that he engaged in insider trading in 2001, a lawyer involved in the case said."

Sunday, September 11, 2005

[Cliff Reeves] Most of the time: Adesso Systems

[Cliff Reeves] Most of the time: Adesso Systems: "I've been impressed and intrigued by Adesso Systems' potential for maybe a couple of years now. They are so reminsiscent of the best of Lotus Notes ... but based on a relational data store and focused on the application model and infrastructure.
The team includes smart guys from Thinking Bytes and a number of Lotus Alumini, including CTO John Landry, VP Technology Phil Stanhope, Chief Designer Amando Neves, VP Product Management and Development Scott Durgin, and another great Product Manager from Notes and Sametime days, Vin Colella.
Well, I'm a fan, of course, but check Adesso out for yourself. If you'll be at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles next week, Phil Stanhope of Adesso will be demoing Adesso technology built on top of Avalon and WinFS."

Don Box: I Want Vista

don Box: I Want Vista "I've been spending a lot of time near Vista over the past two weeks.
The new shell is nice.
IE7 is nice.
Glass is nice.
Transactional/indexed file system: priceless.
[In response to comments:]
Vista includes (and always has included) a kernel-mode transaction manager and TX support in both NTFS and the registry. All of this is integrated with DTC and System.Transactions. And of course, it just works with the standard Win32 FS calls and with System.IO. JimJohn and I gave a talk on this stuff at the last PDC, but it didn't get much attention.
WinFS is a separate system that runs in a user-mode process and gives you an Object-Oriented storage system. WinFS is not shipping with vista."

IE7 could extinguish the re-ignited browser war

IE7 could extinguish the re-ignited browser war: "I'm going to look at why Firefox has lit a fire under Microsoft to get serious about Web browser development again, and why, based on my testing of the IE7 beta, I think that it's quite possible IE7 will take the starch out of the Web browser war."

Exclusive: Windows Vista Product Editions Revealed

Exclusive: Windows Vista Product Editions Revealed "There will be two general categories of Windows Vista editions, which map closely to the two that exist today for XP ("Home," which comprises Starter, Home, and Media Center Editions, Pro, which includes Professional, Professional x64, and Tablet PC Editions). In Windows Vista, the two categories are Home and Business. In the Home category, Microsoft will create four product editions: Windows Vista Starter Edition, Windows Vista Home Basic Edition, Windows Vista Home Premium Edition, and Windows Vista Ultimate Edition (previously known as "Uber" Edition). In the Business category, there will are three editions: Windows Vista Small Business Edition, Windows Vista Professional Edition, and Windows Vista Enterprise Edition. In all, there are 7 product editions planned for Windows Vista".

Provides details on all seven SKUs.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Mac community must wake up to security: ZDNet Australia: News: Security

Mac community must wake up to security: ZDNet Australia: News: Security: "The University of Otago's Borrie also believes that over the past three years, after so many high-profile embarrassments, Microsoft has finally delivered more secure products and created an impressive patching infrastructure, which he believes has left Apple 'a few years behind' the Redmond giant.
'I put apple a few years behind Microsoft in understanding how to manage security for the users. I put Microsoft a number of years behind the Unix community because the first systems that got hurt -- ten or fifteen years ago -- were Unix systems. Microsoft had to fix the security because it had such a bad reputation and to its credit, the company has really turned it around, ' said Borrie."

Netflix sees subscriptions soaring - Yahoo! News

Netflix sees subscriptions soaring - Yahoo! News: "Hastings said Netflix expects to reach 20 million subscribers by 2010 to 2012, and another executive said Netflix believed up to 30 percent of people with Internet connections and DVD players could subscribe to its service. Its goal is 4 million at the end of this year and 5 million by the end of 2006, ahead of its previously set target.
Hastings told Reuters the company felt comfortable forecasting dramatic profit increases because of changes in the competitive marketplace, including the shuttering of a growing number of Blockbuster Inc. video rental stores for the first time in 20 years."

I'm less than thrilled with Netflix recently -- their service, selection, and turn-around time are all fine, but the frequency of scratched/damaged DVDs is increasingly annoying.

Barron's Online - Memory Games

Barron's Online - Memory Games "The nano iPod has a memory capacity of 4 gigabytes (that is, 4 billion chunks of data), at the same $249 price point as its disk-drive predecessor. That essentially raises the bar for drive makers, because solid-state flash chips are necessarily smaller, lighter and less power-hungry than the mechanical hard drives. Flash is generally more sturdy, too.
None of flash's virtues would matter if its cost-per-gigabyte weren't falling fast. Flash prices have fallen more than 4% a month for 10 years, closing the gap on hard disk drives.
The hard drives that hold hundreds of gigabytes on a computer or personal video recorder now cost under a buck per gigabyte. The 1-inch micro hard drives sold for portable gadgets cost something under $14-per-gigabyte, according to Alan Niebel of the Monterey, Calif.-based market research firm Web-Feet Research. Niebel had estimated the recent current cost of NAND flash at something under $64-per-gigabyte....but the $249 list price of Apple's new 4-gigabyte iPod has the whole industry sucking in its breath."

Includes chart showing disk and flash price per gig over time.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Skype's Next Moves

Skype's Next Moves "With MSN (MSFT ), Yahoo, and Google redoubling their efforts in this market, are you worried the competition is getting tougher?
[Skype co-founder Janus Friis] I think many of these companies are great companies. Recently, several of them have announced improved versions of voice technology in some of their products. But we are way ahead of them. What they launch now is something that we had two years ago. And we continue to innovate and come out with new products, deals, and services all the time.
We have a very big lead. These companies focus on other things -- and may also have the communications function. We are 100% focused on providing great communications tools."

Xbox Live Offers New Levels, Features and Premium Retail Packs to Supercharge Online Gaming Experiences on Xbox 360

Xbox Live Offers New Levels, Features and Premium Retail Packs to Supercharge Online Gaming Experiences on Xbox 360: "The next generation of Xbox Live will be offered to gamers through two levels of service. Xbox Live Silver is a free level of the service offered to all who own an Xbox 360 system, a high-speed Internet connection, and a memory unit or a hard drive. The Xbox Live Gold membership delivers the full Xbox Live premium online experience annually for $49.99 (U.S.)/$59.99 (CDN),* which averages to a little more than $4 a month (U.S.).
Xbox Live continues to transform and unite Xbox® game communities worldwide, with a presence in 24 countries worldwide and a global community of more than 2 million members."

Goes on to list Gold features.

EBay Is Said to Be in Talks to Buy Internet Phone Company - New York Times

EBay Is Said to Be in Talks to Buy Internet Phone Company - New York Times "Shares of eBay fell 3.8 percent, or $1.53, to close at $38.93, as investors questioned whether eBay was abandoning its core business and worried that it might overpay for Skype. In addition to a price tag that may be higher than $2 billion, people close to the talks said eBay might also pay more than $1 billion in additional incentives to Skype management.
For a company that is just over two years old, Skype has already amassed a large global following - it says its telephony software has been downloaded 162 million times and it has 53 million registered users, with as many as three million using its service at any one time.
An acquisition of Skype would be eBay's biggest purchase since it bought the Internet Auction Company of South Korea in 2004 for $4.3 billion. EBay has been aggressively acquiring companies, many of them overseas, as it reaches beyond its core online auction business."

New Google 'Evangelist' to Spread Applications - New York Times

New Google 'Evangelist' to Spread Applications - New York Times ""I want to spend what years I have left working on the application side because that's where all the excitement is," he said.
Specifically, Dr. Cerf said, he is interested in speech-based interfaces and geographically indexed databases.
His hiring is the latest in a string a successful high-profile recruiting efforts on Google's part. Rob Pike, a high-level software engineer, was recruited from Bell Labs in November 2002. Louis Monier, who oversaw research and development at eBay, went to Google this summer. And Kai-Fu Lee, a former Microsoft vice president, joined Google in July, prompting Microsoft to file a lawsuit that is now in court." - Access to Pay $324.3 Million To Acquire PalmSource - Access to Pay $324.3 Million To Acquire PalmSource "PalmSource Inc. agreed to be acquired by Tokyo-based Access Co. for $324.3 million in cash, as the Japanese information-technology software developer seeks to expand its offerings for mobile devices.
Under the deal, PalmSource, the developer of the Palm OS operating system, will merge with the U.S. unit of Access.
PalmSource's Palm OS operating system powers more than 39 million mobile devices, including Palm hand-held computers and mobile phones. More than 45 companies world-wide, including Palm, Sony, Samsung, Kyocera and Lenovo, have licensed PalmSource software."

Weird timing, as Palm is rumored to be about to introduce its next-gen Treo using Windows Mobile...

Thursday, September 08, 2005 - Google Hires MCI Executive [Vinton Cerf] To Be Its Chief Evangelist - Google Hires MCI Executive [Vinton Cerf] To Be Its Chief Evangelist "Google Inc. said it hired Vinton Cerf, a senior vice president at MCI Inc. credited with key technical work related to the development of the Internet, adding to the Web search company's roster of established tech luminaries.
Google said that starting next month Mr. Cerf will be a vice president and chief Internet evangelist at the Mountain View, Calif., company. His job responsibilities, which Mr. Cerf said are still being defined, will include helping Google further develop its computer and network infrastructure and software applications that might run on it."

Sony to offer advanced Walkmans to tackle iPod -

Sony to offer advanced Walkmans to tackle iPod - "'Our previous models have been well accepted by customers in Japan and the United Kingdom. But we are not at all satisfied with where we are now,' said Koichiro Tsujino, co-President of Connect, a Sony unit which makes portable music players and offers online music distribution services.
'I understand a certain company made an announcement earlier today. We will accelerate our challenge with these new models,' he told a news conference."

Skype Opens Marketplace for Voice Services

Skype Opens Marketplace for Voice Services: "The Skype Voice Services Program developed in partnership with industry leaders like Tellme Networks enables any content provider, large or small, to become a part of Skype's new marketplace for either free or chargeable voice services. Content providers will join Skype's ecosystem of more than 400 Skype developers worldwide who are already offering hardware and software products to Skype's 53 million members. "

Apple Unveils a New IPod and a Phone Music Player - New York Times

Apple Unveils a New IPod and a Phone Music Player - New York Times: "He [Jobs] focused on the shift away from the small disk-drive storage device used in the iPod Mini to the solid-state flash memory at the heart of the nano. He said the custom chips and the miniaturized circuit board used in the nano had also been potential stumbling blocks.
'Entire factories were created to make this device,' he said. 'Overnight we have become the largest consumer of flash memory in the world.' The flash memory enables the device to be smaller and more durable. " - EBay May Buy Web Phone Firm In Strategy Shift - EBay May Buy Web Phone Firm In Strategy Shift "EBay Inc. is in talks to acquire Internet-telephony company Skype Technologies SA for $2 billion to $3 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that would represent a dramatic shift in strategy for the world's largest online auction site.
While other online leaders such as Yahoo Inc. and Google Inc. have pushed the boundaries of their offerings, eBay has stuck more directly to the business of acting as middleman between individual buyers and sellers. But the person familiar with the situation said that eBay is keen on adding services that make it easier for its customers to buy and sell goods online, as it did when it acquired the electronic-payment processing service PayPal in 2002."

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Apple's Rokr iTunes phone ready to roll | CNET

Apple's Rokr iTunes phone ready to roll | CNET "At an invitation-only event for journalists and others here, Jobs and Motorola CEO Ed Zander rolled out the Rokr (rhymes with 'soccer'). The introduction of the product had been expected since July 2004, when Motorola and Apple announced plans to collaborate on a music-capable phone.
The Rokr, which will be available starting this weekend, can hold about 100 songs. It has a color display for viewing album art and features built-in dual-stereo speakers, as well as stereo headphones that also serve as a mobile headset with microphones."

100 songs -- big deal/so what...

Apple - iPod nano

Apple - iPod nano: "Take everything you love about iPod and shrink it. Now shrink it again. With 2GB (500 songs) and 4GB (1,000 songs) models starting at $199, the pencil-thin iPod nano packs the entire iPod experience into an impossibly small design. So small, it will take your music places you never dreamed of."

Pretty cool...

Too Much ETL Signals Poor Data Management - Computerworld

Too Much ETL Signals Poor Data Management - Computerworld: "To put it bluntly, performing extensive extract, transform and load (ETL) processes is a symptom of poorly managed data and a fundamental lack of a cogently developed data strategy. When data is managed correctly as an enterprise asset, then ETL is significantly reduced and in many cases completely eradicated. "

Timely reality check.

A Tutor Half a World Away, but as Close as a Keyboard - New York Times

A Tutor Half a World Away, but as Close as a Keyboard - New York Times: "Ms. Salin is part of a new wave of outsourcing to India: the tutoring of American students. Twice a week for a month now, Ms. Salin, who grew up speaking the Indian language Malayalam at home, has been tutoring Daniela in English grammar, comprehension and writing.
Using a simulated whiteboard on their computers, connected by the Internet, and a copy of Daniela's textbook in front of her, she guides the teenager through the intricacies of nouns, adjectives and verbs. "

Thai military upset by Google satellite pictures - Yahoo! News

Thai military upset by Google satellite pictures - Yahoo! News: "Thailand, afraid that detailed satellite pictures available on the Internet threaten its national security, may ask Google Inc. to block images of important government buildings vulnerable to attack. "

Q&A: Microsoft's New "Centro" Infrastructure Solution

Q&A: Microsoft's New "Centro" Infrastructure Solution: ""Centro" is the code name for an integrated IT infrastructure solution that is built on top of the Windows Server “Longhorn” technologies. It will include a next-generation e-mail system, next-generation management experience, plus next-generation security technologies, brought together into a single solution specifically designed for the IT professional in midsize businesses.
Instead of having to manage, install and maintain each individual product or technology, we’re bringing the technologies together into a single solution. So it’s integrated, which makes it much easier to install and maintain, as well as creating a new management experience. Basically, things that take hours, if not days, today, we’re going to take down to being very simple and easy to use in this integrated solution. This will really help shift IT professionals from their reactive life today to being proactive in the future, giving them more time to focus on taking their IT forward and maximizing business value."

Microsoft Introduces Microsoft Dynamics Brand: Q&A: Microsoft Corporate VP Tami Reller discusses how the new brand is reflective of "Project Green."

Microsoft Introduces Microsoft Dynamics Brand: Q&A: Microsoft Corporate VP Tami Reller discusses how the new brand is reflective of "Project Green." "At its first ever Business Summit event for midsize companies, Microsoft is announcing Microsoft Dynamics™, the new brand of financial, customer relationship and supply-chain management solutions for small and midsize businesses, large organizations and divisions of global enterprises. The new brand will replace Microsoft Business Solutions going forward and represents Microsoft’s strategy to align its products with its research and development roadmap, formerly referred to as "Project Green," which centers on a people and process-centric design approach to deliver breakthrough innovation in two significant release waves."

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

TDAN - Hay - Modeling Baseball Cards

TDAN - Hay - Modeling Baseball Cards Interesting logical data modeling case study.

Tech Takes to the Skies - Yahoo! News

Tech Takes to the Skies - Yahoo! News: "Almost half the world's airlines plan to offer some form of in-flight communications for passengers by the end of 2007, with most favoring Internet access, e-mail and short messaging service, according to a new study.
Perhaps surprisingly, more than a third of airlines surveyed also said they expect to let passengers use mobile phones on planes by that time, according to the Airline IT Trends Survey, published annually by SITA, a provider of IT services to the air transport industry."

Time to invest in companies that make noise cancellation/active noise control headphones...

Paul Thurrott's Internet Nexus: Court Documents: Microsoft's Ballmer Vowed To 'Kill' Google In Obscenity-Laden, Chair-Throwing Rant

Paul Thurrott's Internet Nexus: Court Documents: Microsoft's Ballmer Vowed To 'Kill' Google In Obscenity-Laden, Chair-Throwing Rant "I just have one question. So what? Every single Microsoft shareholder should expect--no, demand--that their CEO act in this manner toward all competition, antitrust issues or not. Ballmer should want to kill Google, should do everything in his power to displace that company. If he doesn't feel this way, and as strongly, he's just not doing his job. Yes, he needs to behave legally. But corporations exist to make money, and to destroy the competition, not pussy foot around."

Software aims to catch plagiarism | CNET

Software aims to catch plagiarism | CNET "The LexisNexis data collection service has introduced CopyGuard, a program aimed at exposing plagiarists or spotting copyright infringement. According to John Barrie, chief executive of iParadigms, the company that developed the program with LexisNexis, CopyGuard can generate a report that calculates the percentage of material suspected of not being original, highlights that text and pinpoints its possible original source, all within seconds. "

Skype and Tom Online create Chinese joint venture - Yahoo! News

Skype and Tom Online create Chinese joint venture - Yahoo! News "The new business will develop and distribute a simplified Chinese version of Skype software, which allows users to make free Internet-based phone calls around the world using a broadband connection."

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Microsoft and Google Trade Accusations in Suit Over Executive - New York Times

Microsoft and Google Trade Accusations in Suit Over Executive - New York Times: "After learning that Mr. Lucovsky was taking a job at Google, Mr. Ballmer picked up his chair and hurled it across his office, according to the declaration. Mr. Ballmer then berated Google's chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt, Mr. Lucovsky recalled, saying he was going to 'bury that guy - I have done it before, and I will do it again.' He also said Mr. Ballmer vowed to 'kill Google.'
Before joining Google, Mr. Schmidt was a top executive at Sun Microsystems and at Novell, companies that also battled Microsoft.
In a statement on Friday, Mr. Ballmer described Mr. Lucovsky's recollection as a 'gross exaggeration.' "

Is Dell a Buy for Consumers or Investors? - New York Times

Is Dell a Buy for Consumers or Investors? - New York Times "Dell has been struggling as growth in computer buying has shifted from businesses to individuals, putting the emphasis back on the "personal" in personal computing. The company's ability to beat the field on cost depends on marketing its products online to customers who know what they want, like corporate information technology departments. Individual computer shoppers require a bit more hand-holding and are willing to pay for it.
"The retail PC market has done better recently, and H.P. has been much more aggressive in that area," said Rick Drake, manager of the ABN Amro Growth fund. "They do have the lowest price," he said of Dell, "but the buyer right now is one that tends to need more help. The way Dell is set up, mom and dad can't take their daughter to a store to buy a Dell computer.""

Friday, September 02, 2005 | Articles by Subject | The digital home | Articles by Subject | The digital home: "Technology firms are pushing a futuristic vision of home entertainment not because consumers are desperate for it but because they themselves are
There is a third possibility. This is that the wars continue, but consumers continue not to care. As John Barrett, research director at Parks Associates, says, “it seems that we've concocted a new variant of the ‘paperless' office.” This, you recall, was the consensus a decade or so ago among technophiles (but almost nobody else), that computer technology would save our forests by freeing us from having to read and write on paper. Today's variant, says Mr Barrett, is “no more tapes, CDs, DVDs, discs.” In other words, expect them to be around for a very long time to come."

Timely reality check from The Economist (but I think there will be ample demand as well as supply energy for new home entertainment opportunities).

PBS | I, Cringely . September 1, 2005 - NerdTV Is Next Week!

PBS | I, Cringely . September 1, 2005 - NerdTV Is Next Week! "Come back next Tuesday and this page will look different. That's when we're finally launching NerdTV after three years of fitful starts, mistakes, and hard work. Love it or hate it, I'm sure you'll let me know.
Under the hood, NerdTV has an ultra-cheap distribution network intended to create a supremely reliable service out of marginally reliable components. Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle, who knows a thing or two about scrounging cheap bandwidth, was impressed with NerdTV, which he described as "gaming" the hosting industry. Okay, I admit it.
Brewster, by the way, is the subject of NerdTV episode 004.
The first show is with Andy Hertzfeld, whom I chose very carefully because he is smart, thoughtful, idealistic, a good storyteller, and admits to occasionally breaking the law. Andy did the original system software for the Macintosh, but he is really more of an icon for the whole era of graphical computing and has become an eloquent spokesman for the concept of free software. When Andy -- who came of age and made his fortune in the commercial software business - explains why he sees Open Source as the "salvation" of not just the software industry but computing, itself, well it really begins to make sense."

Chris_Pratley's OneNote WebLog : Setting up your OneNote notebook

Chris_Pratley's OneNote WebLog : Setting up your OneNote notebook: "Another common topic related to this is the concept of 'piler' vs. 'filer'. These are two poles of note management. A 'piler' is someone who just puts everything they get into a big stack. They rely on memory of roughly how far down the stack something probably is when they go to find it. Finding things this way is not particularly efficient particularly as your stack gets big, but the upfront cost is nil which is appealing to many (including me). A 'filer' is someone who puts notes away by category until everything is in its proper place. Assigning categories to everything is a chore and hard to remember to do consistently, but it pays off when you need to find things since it is easier to pull them out of a filed set of notes. We actually did some research on this to see where the general population is on this topic. As with most things concerning personal organization, things are spread: about 15% pile, 15% file, and a whopping 70% pile first and file later when they get a chance.
We wondered if this behaviour would change if notes were electronic and things like searching were super-quick. Result: not really. Search is rarely used among our users. 85% of people put things where they would go look for them later so they don’t report any trouble finding them, and no need for search."

Metadata is your friend...

InformationWeek > Wullik.b Worm > Creative Ships Worm-Ridden Music Players > August 31, 2005

InformationWeek > Wullik.b Worm > Creative Ships Worm-Ridden Music Players > August 31, 2005: "Creative Technology acknowledged this week that it shipped about 4,000 of its Zen Neon portable music players with an extra no one wanted: a ready-to-roll Windows worm. "

Billion-Dollar Baby Dot-Coms? Uh-Oh, Not Again - New York Times

Billion-Dollar Baby Dot-Coms? Uh-Oh, Not Again - New York Times: "Even George Zachary, the partner at Charles River who did the Odeo deal, said, 'We're seeing a valuation creep like we saw five or six years ago.' Valuations are hardly at 2000 levels, but, Mr. Zachary said, 'we're seeing the same dynamic as then.'
So far such inflation has been limited to so-called quality deals - but as Paul S. Kedrosky, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, who studies venture capital, noted, 'You're seeing an inflation out there for deals people deem as quality, but what they see as quality is pretty whimsical.' "

Creative Accuses Apple of Violating Patent in iPod

Creative Accuses Apple of Violating Patent in iPod "Despite obvious examples of prior art, Apple attempted to patent the iPod user interface in October 2002. But Creative had applied for its MP3 player UI patent in January 2001, before Apple's iPod was even a rumor. Apple's patent request was denied.
Creative hasn't decided yet if it will sue Apple or attempt to collect license fees for Apple's use of Creative's patented design. The potential upside for Creative is huge: though sales of the company's MP3 player products are dwarfed by those of Apple (Creative has sold 6 million hard drive-based MP3 since 2000, while Apple sells that many each quarter), Creative could use this patent to take part financially in Apple's iPod success, which arguably was driven in large measure by the easy-to-use interface it allegedly copied from Creative."

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Mac mini offer quickly dropped | CNET

Mac mini offer quickly dropped | CNET "Apple has dropped a 30-day trial offer for its Mac mini after less than 12 hours.
The promotion--'Mac mini Test Drive'--offered a 30-day money-back guarantee, and was available only through Apple's online store. It was launched on Wednesday in the US, but by Thursday morning UK time Apple's site no longer showed the promotion."

Apple offers Mac Mini 'test drive' | CNET

Apple offers Mac Mini 'test drive' | CNET "The promotion signals that Apple may not be thrilled with the pace of Mac Mini sales after the initial excitement over its January launch wore off, technology analyst Roger Kay said. It also smacks of late-night TV advertising, he said. Kay, the president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, has heard anecdotally that Mini sales have slowed.
'I think the issue now is that growth may have stalled, and a campaign like this may be designed to reinvigorate it,' Kay said."

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: From darling to demon

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: From darling to demon: "The big question now is: Will Google refuse to talk to Onion reporters for a year?"

Download details: SyncToy v1.0

Download details: SyncToy v1.0: "SyncToy v1.0 is available as a free download on the Microsoft Download Center. The easy to use, customizable application helps you copy, move, rename, and delete files between folders and computers.
"SyncToy is a free PowerToy for Microsoft Windows XP that provides is an easy to use, highly customizable program that helps users to do the heavy lifting involved with the copying, moving, and synchronization of different directories. Most common operations can be performed with just a few clicks of the mouse, and additional customization is available without added complexity. SyncToy can manage multiple sets of folders at the same time; it can combine files from two folders in one case, and mimic renames and deletes in another. Unlike other applications, SyncToy actually keeps track of renames to files and will make sure those changes get carried over to the synchronized folder."


Microsoft pitches ESB alternative | InfoWorld | News | 2005-08-31 | By Paul Krill

Microsoft pitches ESB alternative | InfoWorld | News | 2005-08-31 | By Paul Krill: "'The recent buzz around ESB is rivaled only by the ambiguity by which the term is defined,' Microsoft states in the paper.
BizTalk Server 2004 enables decoupled integration with a range of systems, including MQSeries, SAP (Profile, Products, Articles) systems, and Web services, according to Microsoft. 'BizTalk Server provides for all the capabilities of traditional ESBs,' Microsoft said in its paper. Business activity monitoring and other related functions also are provided. "

Central Desktop Offers Wikis Without the Wiki

Central Desktop Offers Wikis Without the Wiki "Look around the Central Desktop Web site and you'll never see the "W" word. In this case, "W" stands for "wiki," and you won't find it anywhere, even though Central Desktop is built on a wiki engine and provides exactly the kind of easy collaboration features that wikis are known for.
That's because the team behind Central Desktop believes that "wiki" — while the buzzword of the moment for the technorati — is still a foreign concept for most people. The word makes wikis sound foreign and difficult to those who haven't tried them. Besides that, wiki markup language can be too difficult for non-techies. The idea behind Central Desktop is to improve on the wiki foundation and give people an online collaboration tool that simply works, no special training required."

Brian Jones: Office XML Formats : Article on Proposal for Massachusetts to move to OpenDocument

Brian Jones: Office XML Formats : Article on Proposal for Massachusetts to move to OpenDocument: An alternative from Microsoft:
"The Microsoft Office Open XML Formats will work for all those billions of Office documents that already exist today. We are going to provide bulk upgrade converters that allow you to easily convert from the binary formats into the XML formats. Everything that you could represent in the existing binary formats you will be able to represent in XML. This means all features and functionality that people have come to expect from their office products will be stored in XML. This was actually a huge undertaking. The Office applications are very large, and while most people only certain features, each person uses a different set, and in the end all features are used. Trying to lock out those documents and forcing people to lose data and functionality is not really a great idea."

[print version] Open-source projects intertwine for integration | CNET

[print version] Open-source projects intertwine for integration | CNET "Three open-source projects are teaming up to create an alternative to software-integration products from IBM and other heavyweights.
Those involved in talks told CNET that the partnership calls for close technical ties and code sharing among ServiceMix, Apache Synapse and Celtix, which is hosted at France-based consortium ObjectWeb.
The goal of the planned alliance, the sources said, is to create a more cohesive integration offering and attract software developers in the increasingly cluttered field of open source, where new projects seem to appear weekly. Wide adoption of open-source integration products--software that glues together business applications--could open up revenue opportunities for participants in the area of support. "

Personal Technology -- New Services Give You Reliable Ways to Keep All Your Files Updated

Personal Technology -- New Services Give You Reliable Ways to Keep All Your Files Updated "These file-synchronization services aren't free, and they do take a little effort to set up. But once they are up and running, the effect is like magic. Within minutes, or even seconds, after you have added or deleted or altered a file on one of your computers, the change is perfectly replicated on all your other machines.
There are three main contenders in this budding field. One, called Groove, available at, is owned by Microsoft. It's mainly designed for collaboration work in big corporations. Two others, BeInSync and FolderShare, are aimed directly at consumers and small businesses."

$60 to $100/year -- nice annuity business.