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3/23/2007
05:10 PM
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ET TU, SCOBLE?
In his Scobleizer blog late last week, former Microsoft executive Robert Scoble excoriated his former employer for, in his words, sucking. That's right: "Microsoft's Internet execution sucks (on whole). Its search sucks. Its advertising sucks." Them's fightin' words. Is Scoble on the mark, or is he taking cheap shots at Windows Live? --Alice LaPlante

Scoble is dead on the money. Live is kludgy, slow as molasses, and hard to navigate. Ballmer is chanting the typical Redmond mantra: "We are the leader; everyone else sucks." Problem is, Microsoft isn't the leader in the Web space. --Cyndy

Going by your short quotes, Scoble seems like a disgruntled former employee. But then I read his blog entry, and I think he pays enough respect to Microsoft and just shares his opinion: Don't talk the talk unless you walk the walk. Microsoft is doing too much talking lately, and Ballmer needs to show Google some respect. It's earned it. --Billy J

What would InformationWeek do if it could no longer publish material bashing Microsoft? It would be down to two articles a week. If the products are as bad as is frequently reported, we'll see a shift in market share, which already is happening. If companies aren't conducting a thorough analysis before choosing products/vendors, then shame on them. Change the focus to finding the good features in software, especially those that aren't mainstream, and spend less time telling us why Microsoft is so horrible. We can figure that out on our own. --Buckygrad

We tried to use a Google Spreadsheet for a simple shared solution recently. Ten minutes, mostly spent waiting, convinced me that client, not service, apps will continue to provide the capability we need for the foreseeable future. Check back this time next year to see if Adobe still considers Vista irrelevant to its desktop app portfolio.

Let the blowhards blow. We use Google search and Microsoft Office. Thankfully, the consumer doesn't have to pick sides and declare loyalties to find solutions that work. --JohnWRS

Cheap shots? Hardly. These statements from Ballmer and Scoble shouldn't be tolerated by our industry. The First Amendment gives us the freedom of speech, but it's only for responsible people to use. The authors of our Constitution intended the right to be used responsibly. "Give me liberty or give me death." This is an example of freedom of speech.

I have the right to say what I want as long as I am willing to die for it or suffer the consequences of my statement. I challenge Ballmer and Scoble to use their positions responsibly and stop embarrassing our industry. --Steve@Indy

DATA SAFETY: WHEN WILL COMPANIES LEARN?
The idea that there are companies that still think it's OK to stick a CD with highly confidential information into an envelope and drop it off at their nearest UPS office (or hand it to the UPS guy), even after all the examples of lost and stolen data that we've seen over the past couple of years, has got to make you wonder: What are they thinking? --Barbara Krasnoff

Confidential data walking away from offices and getting into the wrong hands is a problem that won't go away easily. Recently here in Toronto, a physician at our key children's hospital took his laptop home, and it was stolen from his car. On his laptop were downloaded personal patient records. He was doing clinical research. The data wasn't encrypted.

It's just too easy for private information in electronic format to get hijacked by a thief with interest only in fencing what is stolen. Many hospitals are using PDAs to help physicians manage patient follow-up. You can imagine how easily a private patient record can fall into the hands of the wrong people in no time with a proliferation of sensitive applications running on these devices. --Len Rosen

Unless well-defined laws drawn up by intelligent, computer-literate lawmakers or lawyers are set in stone with real penalties, the only protection you have is to protect yourself and avoid the worst offenders. But good luck; the president's push for electronic health records is a push for a free-for-all data giveaway. --Glenn

I'm tired of the many companies and agencies losing data and then saying, "Oops, it won't happen again." We need to move from a reactive to a proactive stance in data security enforcement. Data security is part of the cost of doing business.

The "freedom to compete" issue shouldn't be allowed to overrule the right to privacy, nor ignore what can be extreme hardship to those who have their data stolen or who have had to go through the preventative process of checking, double-checking, etc., because an agency (in my case the VA) thought it lost data.

Start making companies pay for not taking reasonable (as defined by law) safeguards. If companies know there has been a breach but don't report it, the fines get automatically quadrupled. In other words, punish them for being stupid and hammer them for being stupid and malicious. Normally, I'd let the marketplace do this, but the marketplace doesn't care enough. Come on, corporate America, step up and take the lead. --MarkSBScoble speaks out on Microsoft

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