Sometimes Steve Ballmer Just Takes Your Breath Away
In a USA Today interview Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is asked if he wishes consumers would get as passionate about Microsoft as they do when Apple comes out with something new. "It's sort of a funny question," he answers. "Would I trade 96% of the market for 4% of the market? I want to have products that appeal to everybody." Steve, I've got one word for you: iPod.
Transparency Defined: A Look Inside VMware's IPO
VMware's IPO-related filings include a discussion of the competitive threat posed by Microsoft in the virtualization space, a breakout of VMware license revenue versus professional services revenue (guess which is growing more rapidly?), the hiring of a CFO from Amazon, and a decision by many customers to run all of their new apps on VMware software. While the SEC-mandated documents are a tad dry in places, they also provide an unpreceden
Google To Launch iGoogle
At a brunch for journalists (where I am typing this), Google today rolled out new personalization applications and features that are scheduled to go live first thing Tuesday morning.
First, the Google Personalized Home Page, previously known as IG because those two characters are at the end of the Personalized Home Page URL (www.google.com/ig), has formally become iGoogle. If you thought Froogle was a poor product name, be thankful Google rejected Yougle, Fusion, and Mockingbird for the rename
The Maybe Merry Month Of May
This first day of the month of May, popularly known as May Day, can mean different things to different people. For many, it heralds the beginning of spring, when you can finally stop running to weather.com to see if there's yet another late snowstorm coming and can start googling phrases like "weed killer" and "swimsuit sales." For others, especially if they live in some other country, or have certain political views, it means a
Intel Hopes The UMPC Will Kill The Smartphone
The PC industry seems confused about the future of mobile computing. Notebooks are a mature device category but other new form factors haven't fared so well. Smartphones represent a strong growing market, but this sector is controlled by the wireless industry, i.e. carriers and handset makers, not traditional PC companies. PC companies have yet to really win in the smartphone arena -- though the iPhone promises to change that. Regardless, Intel is trying to push a new mobile form factor that it
Mobile And Wireless Prominent In IBM's Top Five Technology Innovations
Wireless and mobility figure prominently in IBM's "Next Five in Five," a list of the top five technologies that will impact people's lives in the next five years. The results of this study come from IBM's interal research labs and think tank, as well as input from 150,000 people in 104 countries. So what are the top five technologies to look out for?
Has An Inappropriate Ringtone Ever Embarrassed You?
Raise your hand if you have a specialized ringtone set on your phone. Now raise your hand if you haven't bothered to switch your mobile phone's ringer from the default ringer it came with out of the box. Lastly, raise your hand if you keep your phone on vibrate or silent most of the time. According to the
Ballmer Takes Another Swipe At Google Apps And The iPhone
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer just can't resist taking shots at the iPhone. Who can blame him, the iPhone has the potential to redefine the entire handset business -- as well as position OS X as a competitor in the mobile OS market.
Carnival Of Mobilists #70
Break out the balloons and clown shoes, it's carnival time. The Carnival of Mobilists #70 is live at Mobile Opportunity. This edition's topics include RIM's BlackBerry service outage, the future of MVNOs, how to make feature phones better, dumb convergence solutions, and a new wireless carrier in Spain. Check it out.
Data Integration Comes in Three Flavors
Those shopping for data integration solutions will find that they come in three flavors: Stand-alone tools from niche players like MetaMatrix, Group 1, Pervasive and Tableau… Focused Solutions from vendors like Business Objects, Cognos, Informatica, Initiate and SAS… and One-Stop Shops such as IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. Here's what each flavor has to offer.
Enterprise Platform... Now On Demand
As I began to discuss in my last post, we're now seeing SaaS companies move into the platform space, selling beyond enterprise applications into databases, application development, integration, and even operating systems, all on demand. Case in point is the Platform Edition release by Salesforce.com last week.
What's The Best Service For A First-Time Blogger?
My colleague John Foley asked for some advice on starting a personal blog. He wanted to know which software or service to use. I had two recommendations: The TypePad service if he wants to have a blog that's open to anyone, or the Vox service if he wants to control access to the blog.
Video Illustrates The Sorry State Of The Customer Service Industry Today
A company called Vocal Laboratories provides video commentary on a six-minute customer service call to Hewlett-Packard. HP treats its customer rudely, like cattle. They waste the customer's time. They make the customer sit through six minutes of silence, hold music, and pointless questions. Then they abruptly hang up on the poor guy without providing any help at all. But the most shocking thing of all is that HP is not unusual in this behavior. It's a typical call by any customer to any compan
Dear Microsoft: Enough With The Interactive TV
Thank you for your concern about the lack of interactivity in my television. I realize that your researchers have only my best interests at heart, but please tell them that interactivity isn't necessary. TV is passive entertainment and I'm fine with that. If I want to interact, I'll do so using the computer in my home office, or maybe, if I'm feeling decadent, from my laptop while watching TV.
It Depends On What The Meaning Of 'IT' Is
My colleague Michael Singer recently posted a compelling item about the work and words of Nick Carr, who burst into prominence four years ago with a Harvard Business Review article called "IT Doesn't Matter" and shortly thereafter a book with the softer title, Does IT Matter? And now Carr is about to release a followup book. I wish Nick much success with his book sales because he's a rema
Down To Business: Show Some Courage
We're becoming too conservative and controlling. Regardless of the reasons, it's high time we started chipping away at our hidebound cultures.
In Search Of Credibility On The Web
At a recent get-together of IT community people on Microsoft's campus, the meeting started with an attempt to define Web 2.0, a term some associated with nothing more than marketing fluff. Talk turned from the medium to the message--to the content being generated by wikis, blogs, feeds, and social nets--then to a question about the people generating it all.
Businesses Should Ditch Mobile E-mail And Use SMS Instead
That's what Alan Moore, CEO of SMLXL, recommends. His reasoning isn't all that outlandish, either. Turns out, most users of expensive mobile e-mail systems rarely type out messages that are longer than the 160-character limit with SMS. Why are enterprises paying for all that fancy technology if simple
Ubuntu Linux Vs. Windows Vista: What Do You Think?
Popular myth -- those tidbits of received wisdom that epitomize the phrase, "Of course it's true, everyone says so!" -- is as evident in the technology community as it is in any other society. The only difference is that this particular community isn't divided by geographical location, but by language -- namely, the language that their favorite computer speaks.
Using Second Life As A Business-To-Business Tool
I just got off the phone with Cisco -- we ended up talking for a couple of hours about how Cisco is using Second Life for business-to-business communications. Turns out that quite a few Second Life users are network engineers. These are Cisco's customers, and Cisco is aggressively using Second Life to communicate with them.
FCC Fiddles, Broadband Opportunity Burns
"The most important step we can take to provide affordable broadband to all Americans is to facilitate the deployment of a third pipe into the home,'' FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said yesterday in announcing that the Commission would put off, once again, finalizing the structure of the 700MHz spectrum auction scheduled for later this year. "The upcoming auction represents the single most important opportunity f
The Museum of Modern Betas? Del.icio.us!
So this friend of mine wants to tell me about his new company, new product. But he's suave, he doesn't just email me, "Hey, Mr. Ur-So-Kool Press Bigshot, write me up." Instead he invites to me to connect to him on LinkedIn. Very subtle. He knows I'll backtrack his email address. I do. I find his company Web site. Product's still in the oven. Hmmm. But I also find it's listed on the
Thoughts on Content Management as a Service
Are Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) options viable for enterprise content management? I hear that question with increasing frequency, and it's a difficult one to answer. There are plenty of vendor options out there - from pure plays like Spring CM, to hybrids like Xythos and Treno. But just because there are plenty of options doesn't means it's a particularly good idea.
Safari Vs. Firefox On The Mac: Firefox Wins
I'm done with my fast-and-dirty evaluation of the Safari as a potential replacement for Firefox on the Mac, and I'm sticking with Firefox. Here's why I stuck with Firefox, and what I still miss about Safari.
The Two Most Useful Search Tricks I Know
I use these all day and every day. One of these tricks allows you to do a search quickly in Firefox. The other trick allows you to narrow searches down to a particular site.
FON Dials It Up With Software-Only Hotspot For Mac, Linux
FON, the Spanish share-your-Internet-connection company, is moving fast this week. On Monday it announced a deal with Time Warner Cable that will officially let broadband customers do what some of them have already been doing unofficially -- set up FON routers that redistribute their Internet service via Wi-Fi. Today, FON announced software for Intel Macs and Linux boxes that does the same thing, no router required.
Is It An 'Interview' If It's Via E-Mail?
In working on my story on Wall Street's efforts to reduce data latency, I had several e-mail exchanges with a spokesperson for BATS, a very nice but not overly responsive fellow. After the story came out, he chided me for not checking the facts with him. I pointed out that in the week the story was being edited, I made several attempts to reach him by phone and by e-mail, unsuccessfully. I am reminded of this