Thursday, 21 October 2004

Ballmer: We need a $100 PC | Tech News on ZDNet

So the answer to software piracy is cheaper hardware..! So even software business issues are a hardware problem! Presumably the logic is that cheap, crappy hardware can't run the expensive software.
What about free software, Mr Ballmer? Wouldn't that reduce software piracy?

Microsoft advised to learn to love Linux - ZDNet UK News

A good way for a mgt guru to get headlines, but does it really have any merit? I'd agree that the basic premise is sound: Linux does appear on devices, and drag apps off onto the Internet or the open-source market. Is it a threat to Microsoft? Sure, quite a refreshing one for the market, and even for Microsoft, I expect. Killing them? Hardly. Not even close, I'd argue. The key variables for predicting tech future are the standards: how mature they are, and who owns them. MS Office is still the de facto office standard, and MS are contemplating moving it onto the Internet as a rented service. So they can and do change their business models.

Open standards merely provide MS with a choice: to adhere to them completely, or to 'extend' the standards, ensuring that they can read such standards, but that compatibility is merely a non-default choice for the customer. Simple example: MS Office for Mac 2004 cannot read MS Powerpoint 2003 for Windows XP files. The message there is "unless you use our OS, you get token compatibility".

The only love I can see MS extending to Linux is a token: thanks for providing some competition and hopefully keeping the monopolies commissions off our back.

Friday, 15 October 2004

Think Secret - EXCLUSIVE: 60GB iPod to pack photo-viewing features

Thank god I didn't upgrade my iPod last week. Nice to see Apple are taking the sensible approach, and not even trying to make it play video on the screen (like I want to watch my favourite films on a postage stamp sized screen, with battery life shorter than the film!), but instead opting for just pictures and a video-out socket.

Wednesday, 13 October 2004

Wired News: Now, for Your PC: Mac OS X
Now this is an interesting dilemma for Apple: do we sue and supress (and risk alienating our advocates), or do we applaud and promote in the hope that: "A lot of people can try out OS X and see how beautiful the environment is... It makes it easier to spend money on the hardware if they see how beautiful it is."
I couldn't agree more, but how this will go down with Microsoft is a good question, as is the question of support for the multifarious PC hardware configurations.

Tuesday, 12 October 2004

Slashdot | Microsoft Can't DRM Docs Fast Enough

Another case of M$ shifting the goalposts... Is belligerently ensuring that anything produced by them requires their technology:-

a). anti-competitive behaviour

b). viral ?

The correct answer drawn randomly will receive a copy of Windows XP...

Sunday, 3 October 2004

Slashdot | Kodak Wins $1 Billion Java Lawsuit

Litigation in the USA! Where the fight to compete is so strong that if you can't win legitimately, you can always try to win legally.