Can Microsoft Convince You To Switch?
Everyone likes a good horse race--even when the race is fixed. That's about how I see the supposed race between Internet Explorer and Firefox. Ever since IE was included with Microsoft's operating system, its dominance has pretty much been a done deal. But that doesn't mean the front-runner should sit back and rest on its laurels. And up until now, that's what Microsoft has been doing.
Surf's Up At Work
Just when you thought it wasn't safe to surf the Web at work, now it may be. Earlier this week, a New York judge made an advisory ruling that since time spent on the Internet is much like reading a newspaper or making a personal phone call, employees should only be reprimanded--not fired--for failing to stay off the Internet.
Microsoft, Hyperion Partner In BI
Microsoft and Hyperion Solutions say they plan to integrate their business intelligence products in order to provide customers with a broader offering of complementary software.
Schwartz Must Usher In Software Age At Sun
Call it founder's disease. Call it what you want. But Scott McNealy hindered Sun from becoming a successful software company. Now Jonathan Schwartz has got his work cut out for him.
Google Experiments On Humans
Over at the Google blog, Ambar Pansari, a Google product manager, and Marissa Mayer, VP of search products and user experience, admit that Google is experimenting on its users.
The two confess, "From time to time, we run live experiments on Google--tests visible to a relatively few people--to discover better ways to search. We do this because there's no good substitute for understanding how
Imagine the conspiracy theorists having a field day with this one: eBay is separately talking to Yahoo and Microsoft to see if one of them might be a valuable collaborator against a common threat: Google.
In Search Of Innovation
For years, we've seen far too little in the way of innovative enterprise applications or major hardware and networking advances. Arguably, more innovation is taking place in the consumer space, although much of that is incremental rather than revolutionary. There's more evidence this week that innovation in the IT industry is now being driven from the search engine outward, both for consumer and business applications.
Handicapping The Open-Source Shakeout
The long-predicted consolidation of the open-source software market is finally starting to happen. But which path will the market take--disappearance of the pure-play open-source vendors, or a winnowing to a few strong ones?
Those were the two scenarios proffered by Kim Polese, CEO of SpikeSource Inc., when I spoke with her in late February. SpikeSource sells testing and tech support for open-source packages of business software such as JBoss, MySQL, and SugarCRM. If any of those companies get
The Cost Of Click Fraud
Click fraud is a serious problem complicated by the fact that click fraud data is in short supply. The Click Fraud Index aims to change that.
The good news is that the incidence of click fraud appears to be lower than the disturbingly high figure of 20% to 40% that has been suggested.
The bad news is that at 14%, that's still a lot of bad clicks.
Geronimo May Prove A JBoss Competitor
It's not an accident that JBoss Inc. has built up a head of steam, culminating in a $350 million offer from Red Hat. And it will be no accident that other promising application server projects follow in its path.
An Engineer Blows The Whistle On AT&T
I never believed that the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuit against AT&T, alleging that the company helped the National Security Agency coduct illegal spy operations, had much of a future.
Consider the EFF's central claim in the case -- that AT&T and NSA collaborated to spy upon tens of millions of American citizens, including both domestic and overseas phone calls. EFF isn't just looking for the proverbial smoking gun; it needs to find a smoking howitzer to prove such a dramatic, and p
Some are getting all hysterical over Red Hat's entry into the middleware market, like it's going to change the IT landscape as we know it. But I don't think so.
Save Lives: Debug Code
We're so used to looking at programming these days as a throwaway, low-cost skill. We discourage students from pursuing it, we outsource the basic tasks, and we routinely struggle with balky applications. Regardless of how smart any of this might be, we know we can live with all that.
But the tendency to ignore commonsense requests to thoroughly debug code? Very bad idea. In fact, it can be downright dangerous, according to panelists and attendees speaking at several sessions on topics such as
Microsoft's Crawl From The Bottom In Search
Microsoft may be lagging in the search market, but give its engineers credit for moving faster to catch up.
The software company posted a new search engine for academic journals to the Web Tuesday night, and while it's yet another example of Microsoft trailing Google in online software (digital maps and desktop searches also come to mind), Microsoft is showing what looks like a new willingness to take some chances and loosen up its release schedules.
Feature: The Eighth Annual Editors' Choice Awards
Join us for our annual take on 'The Dozen' most influential vendors driving the intelligent enterprise. Plus, we also laud 48 'Companies to Watch' in categories including business intelligence and enterprise applications.
Processes Get Smart
The key to designing smarter processes is measuring and analyzing process results to spot improvements. Bring processes to the next level by blending business activity monitoring and BI with BPM. Such combined approaches are paying off at Great Clips, TransUnion and DHL.
Business Process Management: Never Rest
Many organizations have learned that BPM can compress cycle times, reduce cost and improve responsiveness, yet only about one-third of "process-oriented" companies go beyond the basics of the initial project. If you keep moving by monitoring and continuously improving core processes, you're sure to double your performance improvements.
Truckin' And 'Pot'
If you're in IT, and if you're a member of the team working on your company's Web site and you think it's boring, chances are good others will, too. Don't be afraid to suggest things (particularly to the marketing types--they're generally open to ideas). Take a lesson from some other corporate folks who are pushing the edge a bit. It just might work. It might also get you some positive attention from the business types, and that's always a good thing.
Apple Offers Windows On Macs
Apple's new Intel Macs can now officially run Windows. The computer company today introduced a public beta of Boot Camp, software that lets licensed users of Microsoft Windows XP install Windows on their Intel-based Macs. The result is a computer that can boot Mac OS X or Windows.
The Internet community has been feverishly trying to create just such a chimera since Apple announced its Intel-based Macs in January. One site,
Don't Put That In Your Mouth, You Don't Know Where It's Been
One of the major objections to open source is that nobody's responsible for the code. Enterprise users need to be sure that the software they're deploying is secure. The way they do that for proprietary code is to bind the authors with contracts, requiring the authors to guarantee that the code has been reviewed for security. But you can't do that with open source because anyone can contribute to open source, and, ultimately, there's no single party that can be held responsible for the software'
Enterprise Software Wakes Up From Nap Time, Wants Juice And A Cookie
It's very satisfying to hear an observation that's both completely new and--once you hear it--blindingly obvious. Jason Maynard, a software analyst for Credit Suisse, did that for me at the InformationWeek Spring Conference this week when he observed that there's been almost no innovation in enterprise software for the past five years or so.
With the exception of the RIM BlackBerry, the enterprise sof
How To Implement SOA And Get Fired
Let's say you hate your job and want to get yourself canned so you can get yourself some of that sweet unemployment insurance. Experts on a panel on service-oriented architecture at the InformationWeek Spring Conference Tuesday offered some handy tips to ease you on the road to unemployment.
SAS Institute: It Used To Be Technology That Rocked
When the 30th SAS Institute user group convened in San Francisco on March 26, I hadn't attended a SUGI (SAS User Group International) gathering for over a decade. So let's say the high production values of its opening session--the big-time, high-fidelity sound system, slick video effects, and theatrically staged customer awards--were a shock.
The Hardest-Working Man In The Software Industry
Al J. Monserrat is the hardest-working man in the software industry.
Monserrat is vice president and general manager for North America for Citrix Systems. During a brief lunch presentation at the InformationWeek Spring Conference at Amelia Island, Fla., on Monday, Monserrat described how his company's products helped him keep working during Hurricane Wilma. While the wind and rain bore down on his Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home, Monserrat kept working.
Virtual Confusion In The Data Center?
It's virtually impossible to talk about the state of current and future data centers without virtualization being the first word heard from IT professionals, analysts, and the media. But the degree to which virtualization is actually being deployed by businesses today is widely debated, and it's increasingly difficult to project which virtualization software company will emerge as the dominate force over the next few years.