On Friday, another journalist and I chatted about the geek speak from Microsoft’s financial analyst conference, the previous day. He remarked how during their speeches, Microsoft executives “spoke a different language”—that the way they spoke was really tough to follow. But during hallway breaks and over lunch they spoke more like “normal” people.
The toy is dead.
This weekend, I started then stopped booting Google from my computing life. I like Google products and services, but worry about the company’s potential abuse of power.
On Thursday, on my work blog, I wrote about “The Google Problem” Google’s increasing search and online advertising dominance greatly disturbs. Situation might be less worrisome if Google wasn’t so damn secretive. The company controls large trolls of information, while keeping its own disclosure to a minimum.
Just in time for CTIA, Silicon.com reports that the US Census bureau will buy 500,000 HTC smartphones running Windows Mobile 5.0. I was ready to send out the champagne to Microsoft’s embedded device folks until I read the deal is for the 2010 census.
My Windows Media Center PC pulled a nice April Fool’s Joke: All shows scheduled to record today disappeared, and I couldn’t restore scheduled recordings. So, my daughter missed her favorite Fox and WB kids shows. […]
My week went to hell, no thanks to Microsoft. The Windows Vista delay, then Microsoft platform group reorganization, then Office 2007 delay made for one nutty week. Reporters, clients, everyone have called looking for comment, explanation or speculation. One reporter told me she smashed her cell phone in frustration.
I am just so upset, I won’t much blog tonight. I had just finished a long post on last night’s “24” and decided to put in a photo. When I uploaded the image, I got a warning on the Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview toolbar about blocked content. The browser had blocked the image from loading. OK. No big deal. I clicked the option to allow the content, which instead cleared the browser window and my post.
Upset? Upset? There are no words. This is the second time in less than a week where I lost a long blog post to Microsoft beta software—Friday on my work blog and now on my personal blog.
I just whiled away part of the evening as the voyeur, looking in on the blogs over at MSN Spaces. By default, each Space includes a sidebar module containing recently “Updated Spaces”. I navigated from blog to blog, seeing what I would find. I’m a studier of people, so the look inside people’s lives is fascinating.
I observed a few things.
Late this afternoon, my daughter yelled to me from another room, “Dad, dad. I figured out what Microsoft means. You’ve got to come see this. Micro. Soft”.
We had just returned from Black Friday shopping, an exercise taken for purely academic purposes. My daughter wanted to see all the Black Friday sales and shoppers, more for the thrill of it. Typically, it’s a banned shopping day in our household. I mean, what nutcase gets up to shop at 5 a.m.? Lots of people that I know. One friend hit the Wal-Mart in Fredericksburg, Va., and she still didn’t get the item she wanted. Another friend started shopping at 5 a.m., but online, spending $350 at CompUSA on rebate items. Geez. Get a life.
Seeing as I covered Microsoft’s antitrust trial for about five years, when I worked as a reporter, new developments interest me. According to a Computerworld story, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly cracked the whip across Microsoft’s back.
Biggest problem: Compliance with a portion of the antitrust settlement for disclosing communications protocols, which have been a contentious issue since Microsoft agreed to disclose them; and it seems to me the company really doesn’t really want to comply with this portion of the settlement. I should point out that inclusion of the protocol licensing in the settlement wooed as many as half the 18 state litigants to join the Justice Department’s agreement.
These days, Google seems to be interested in just about everything—portals, search, VoIP, instant messaging, email, photos, blogging, maps, topography, Wi-Fi and NASA, just for starters. Google’s eclectic interests must aggravate Microsoft’s competitive analysis folks. Every week, someone asks me what any part of all this stuff has to do with search. After all, Google is a search company.
I disagree. Google no longer is just a search company, if it ever really was. Search is really a means to an end, and that end is the access to information. Looked at from this perspective, access to information, all of Google’s recent announcements make sense. And combined they foreshadow where the company is going and why Microsoft really should worry about Google.
In 1984, Apple’s Macintosh introduced the world to the graphical user interface, eventually changing how people interact with computers. The GUI may not have been Apple’s idea—great credit there goes to the folks at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center—but the company did deliver the first meaningful, commercial product.