Archive for the ‘How Did We Ever Live Without This Stuff’ Category

This gives cimedy defensive driving a whole new twist

May 31, 2010

read the whole sordid thang

God and Mac at ACU?

October 7, 2008

At ACU, students navigate college life via iPhone – iPod/iPhone – Macworld UK. explains how the IT department at Abilene Christian University has developed web applications for use on the iPhone to benefit the students and the faculty in the education process.  What they’ve done is neat, but it appears that they’ve only scratched the surface so far.

Apple as Military Vendor?

September 1, 2008

Hadn’t heard about this before, but the application makes perfect sense.  The iPod is utterly ubiquitous for the soldiers and is well known for simplicity of operation.  Now if Steve Jobs doesn’t throw a hissy fit, this could turn into something really interesting.

Goodbye Chairman Bill (sung to Candle in the Wind)

July 1, 2008

Matt Asay made an excellent point about Gates departure from Microsoft. It’s largely irrelevant because Gates could no longer ensure that one of the crown jewels was protected. The unmitigated disaster that is Vista proves this to be true. If Gates could still control MS, then he wouldn’t be leaving the company with Windows in such sad shape. Do you really think he would have retired after releasing ME if there were no XP to follow?

MS has three or four profitable product lines. Windows, Office, the Macintosh Business Unit, and backend technologies (tools and servers). Of those, the two that everybody recognizes are Windows and Office. MS has been reduced to publicizing the OEM sales of Vista as proof of its popularity; which is to say proof of its unpopularity.

Most users have been satisfied with Office since version 2000 if not 97. The most significant innovation of Office 2007, the ribbon, has met with mixed reviews at best. I have read several comparisons of the Mac version of Office vs. the Windows version that argued in favor of the Mac implementation because it does not feature the ribbon interface.

MS is in a very many ways the victim of their own success right now. They can’t really fix Windows because doing so would break compatibility for a lot of applications. They don’t have the freedom to make serious online innovations that might endanger their Office franchise, largely because of pressure from Wall street. There are certainly worse problems to have than how to deal with too much success for too long, but there can be no denial that there are problems of long standing that are becoming much harder to ignore.

No one who has led a company for that long wants to leave on a low note, but there are no highs to be had at Microsoft in the near future. This pathetic play for Yahoo reminds me of two things that are related. The first is the classic example of dinosaurs mating. The second is IBM’s acquisition of Lotus. IBM wanted Lotus for Notes which was a very popular collaboration platform at the time. IBM was able to consummate the deal, but it was the epitome of a pyrrhic victory. By the time they had incorporated Notes into their product strategy, Windows NT and Exchange server had won.

MS is trying to buy market share for the second time in this arena. It won’t work any better this time and will only serve as a distraction from any genuine innovation that could be developed from within. Gates is very smart and very shrewd. Don’t think for a minute that he doesn’t care about his legacy in business. He wouldn’t leave under these circumstances if he thought staying around for three more years would make a difference and let him leave on top. He might be willing to stage a white knight comeback in the future to save the company, but I don’t think he wants to be anywhere near this turkey for the next few years.

EDIT: Should have linked to Cringely as well.

Coming Soon to an iPhone Near You

March 3, 2008

Encyclopedia Britannica is moving rapidly into the 1990’s.