Hospital Implements High-Tech Emergency Response System
InformationWeek Daily - Thursday, June 26, 2008
Bill Gates Revealed: A Few Things You Didn't Know
I've had occasion to chat with Bill Gates a number of times over the years, and there's often a point when something unexpected happens. He's been brutally honest, occasionally evasive, and surreptitiously a nice guy. As Gates gets ready to ride off into the software sunset, here are a few anecdotes that stand out.
Bill Gates is retiring five years earlier than planned. It's an obscure fact, but true. Back in August of 2003, in a luncheon speech at the Detroit Economic Club, Gates said he had "a little more than 10 years" left in his software "career." The math is simple -- that would be 2013. A mere three years after that speech, however, Gates surprised the business world with his announcement of a 2008 retirement, five years earlier than indicated. New York Times reporter John Markoff caught this discrepancy. It was the first question out of Markoff's mouth at Gates' retirement news conference, but Gates said he didn't recall his earlier statement, and the subject was dropped. See my blog,"Bill Gates Waves Goodbye Earlier Than Planned," for all the details.
Bill Gates and Scott McNealy weren't really archenemies. In January of 1996, I was on Sun's campus for a day of interviews. This was at the height of the Sun v. Microsoft wars, and speculation was that Sun was negotiating to acquire Apple. McNealy, however, was relaxed and eating frozen yogurt during our interview. His first son, Maverick, had been born a few months earlier, and McNealy excitedly went to a corner of his office to show me something. It was a hand-written note from Bill Gates congratulating him the new arrival.
Bill Gates dodged only one question. In 2003, IT departments were spending hours patching buggy Windows PCs. One CIO I know crunched the numbers and said he was going to bill Microsoft for the work put in by his staff. So I asked Gates whether other business customers were making their own demands for reimbursement. "Is this something you're talking to business customers about -- somehow taking some of the financial responsibility for the work they're having to do?" After a very long pause, Gates answered: "We're very focused on doing our best to avoid these problems. That's our focus." It's the only time he completely sidestepped a question during one of our interviews.
Read the rest of my blog post to find out about the calculator in Bill Gates' head, why he rated his own software so low, and when he turned into a two-fisted drinker. And tell me your own Bill Gates anecdote in the comments section.
Best Bluetooth Headsets -- Updated
On July 1, California and Washington join other states in outlawing talking on the phone while driving -- unless you use a hands-free solution. Bluetooth headsets are transforming themselves from a geeky convenience to a safety necessity so we've updated this popular slideshow.
Virtualization At The Desktop?
Examine how more than 250 companies plan to adopt server virtualization technology in this recent InformationWeek Research report, Server Virtualization.
The BI Explosion
Examine the business intelligence strategies of 500 companies, including deployment drivers and challenges, spending plans, and vendor selection, in this recent InformationWeek Research report.
Escaping From Locked-In Clouds
The first real controversy at the Structure08 cloud computing conference erupted during a panel called "Working the Cloud: NetGen Infrastructure for New Enterpreneurs." Not surprisingly, it involved Google.
Getting Started With: Drupal
The popular, powerful Drupal may seem a bit intimidating for the uninitiated, but for those looking to start out, here are some recommended resources to start learning the ropes.
Firefox 3 Video Tour: The Awesome AwesomeBar
We're kicking off a series of videos showing off the top features of Firefox 3. This time, we're taking a peek at the AwesomeBar, an updated version of the good old browser location bar, designed to make it easier for you to return to your favorite Web pages again and again. The Awesome Bar is controversial -- many people love it (including me). But others hate it, and for those people, we've got tips for how to disable the AwesomeBar.
With EcoSearch, It IS Easy Being Green
Here's an inconvenient truth: being green can be a pain in the neck. So when I heard of a new search tool that helps the environment without inflicting the least bit of discomfort upon users, I checked it out at once.
3 Ways That Storage Virtualization Can Save You Money
Storage virtualization is often billed as what I call a "Time To" product, meaning that it reduces the time it takes IT to respond to demands on the business. Virtualization shortens the amount of time that it takes to respond to a provisioning request, allowing for more rapid deployment of storage assets. IT departments also should consider storage virtualization if they need to flatten or shrink their budget.
The Ethical Case For Open Device Drivers
The recent announcement by Linux kernel developers that open source hardware drivers are the way to go got me thinking. You can make a business case for open source device drivers (you'll sell more hardware) or you can make an ethical case (it's the right thing to do). I believe in both, but for me the second view takes precedence over the first.
McCain's Lack Of Computer Skills Not Campaign Obstacle
Sen. John McCain's computer aptitude, or lack thereof, became a hot topic of discussion at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York City this week. The forum tackled technology's role in politics and policy. So, when news surfaced that McCain doesn't know how to use a computer, both technophiles and politicos in attendance were intrigued. Some were also involved.
Virgin Mobile USA In Talks To Buy Troubled Helio
Speculation about Helio's future has been all over the place the last month or so, with reports surfacing that it was a potential acquisition target. Turns out that speculation wasn't far off. Sources indicate that Virgin Mobile USA, another troubled MVNO, may be buying out SK Telecom's stake in Helio. Can pairing two troubled MVNOs make for one stronger one?
Battery Life Issues Delaying Launch Of BlackBerry Bold
Last month Research In Motion announced the new Bold smartphone with much fanfare. The device was supposed to be available on AT&T's network starting in July. It looks like that ain't gonna happen. AT&T has yet to certify the device, which is suffering from battery life problems, as well as overheating. Um, oops.
Forrester Consulting: Unified Communications Delivers Global Benefits This Forrester Consulting study shows how Unified Communications (UC) makes it simpler to contact others over any device in any location, enhancing business agility, cutting costs, and boosting employee productivity. Forrester finds that UC is already delivering major savings for organizations around the world in retail banking, manufacturing and education. Download the full report for free.
Software as a Service Research Report No longer a niche software delivery model, software as a service (SaaS) can help small and midsize companies get access to enteprise-class software functionality without having to commit enterprise-level capital resources. Download the full report for free.
The Internet & the Developing World The evolution of the Internet has been full of surprises - surprises that have sometimes resulted in radical changes in the commercial landscape, such as the arrival of Amazon, eBay, Google, YouTube, and Skype. Could one of the next big surprises turn out to be linked to developing countries? Read the full report for free from InternetEvolution.com
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Building A Mobile Business MindsetAmong 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.