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From Our Blog

Microsoft's Distant Vista

Great blog, great article, and great comments.

I normally feel significantly outnumbered when I predict doom and gloom for Microsoft, but I guess actual events are starting to speak more loudly than any long-tail predictions ever have. It looks like the mindshare shift in regard for Microsoft products is turning into a tsunami of disappointment. The timing is certainly right for bold moves (far bolder than anything Apple has done so far) from the alterna-tive operating systems and applications vendors. --Mac Beach

Let's see now. The "future direction" for Microsoft is to rely more on Internet apps and Internet storage for data. It seems almost every day we hear about critical data compromised or lost, yet you expect me to depend on the Internet for storing my data and providing my apps? Something is seriously wrong with this picture.

IBM had it right in the 1970s when it had corporate mainframes and minicomputers installed in secured computer rooms under control of the owning companies. Unfortunately, it was greedy and priced this option way too high.

Centralized computing is the direction that corporations should be heading. If Microsoft really "got it," then this would become its emphasis and direction for growth. Microsoft (and corporate IT) needs to revisit some history for ideas on how to get out of the mess that computing is in today. --BB

There's Nothing Anti-Capitalist About Linux

Just to be clear, Linux is backed to the hilt by well-known "anti-capitalist" companies such as Oracle, IBM, and in fact just about every U.S. software maker of note except Microsoft.

There's nothing "anti-capitalist" about the genuine consumer choice that results from writing software (which may or may not happen to be free) based around truly open standards. Also worth noting is that the United States used to be rather hot on breaking up monopolies. But these days monopolies have wised up; they simply get media shills to sway public opinion and scare the politicians from acting. --Jez

Katrina's IT Legacy

There has to be a mind shift away from government dependence. People need to be prepared to cope without government help for three to five days. Can you survive three to five days with the food and water you have in your home, without outside help? Neighbors can cooperate and store some extra fuel, others store some generators, etc., but we need to learn to do it without government help. --Karl

Being in the R&D communications business with clients like NASA, I humbly offer a suggestion from the social sciences. The U.S. home front during World War II was well-mobilized and effective. We should look closely at lessons from how neighborhoods were organized at that time.

Neighbors who work together are by nature the fastest responders and know who and what needs special attention. Get the resources to well-organized groups of neighbors whose "captains" are well-linked to their adjacent neighborhood teams. The benefits from this would accrue to more than natural disaster preparedness. Let's get real and down-to-earth, and use neighborhood leaders--we all have them. Let them request IT-related tools they think would be applicable. --Richard Mains

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