Posts Tagged 'Microsoft'


So, jetzt zum Jahresabschluss die gesammelten Links der letzten paar Wochen. Sorry, aber wegen zu vielen Reisen vor den Feiertagen und PC-Abstinenz über Weihnachten etwas verzögert:

Nicht ganz neu, aber passend zur aktuellen Eskalation im Nahen Osten: Evolutionary Psychology, Memes and the Origin of War

The present article proposes an evolutionary psychology based model of social prediction, particularly for wars and related social disruption such as riots and suicide bombers.

Frankfurt Story – Danke Robert, gut davon zu lesen, bin ja schliesslich in Frankfurt am Main geboren…

Wo ist das Geld geblieben? – Eine Spurensuche bei der Zeit

The benefits of a monthly recurring revenue model in tough economic times –  Jason Fried von 37signals. So wahr.

Palamida: In a Time of Less, Do More with Open Source: Top 25 Open Source Projects That Will Help Trim Development Budgets (via)

70 Tools Freelancers Rely on Most – auch was für euch dabei?

Und dazu Web Worker Daily: 6 Free, Open Source Resources for Web Workers

Die Jungs und Mädels von EDS sollten´s eigentlich wissen, zumindestens aber eine Meinung haben: How Will Cloud Computing Affect the Information Technology Outsourcing Marketplace? (via)

Endlich mal erklärt 😉 : But What Exactly “Is” Cloud Computing? (via)

Stefan verweist auf ein Paper zum Tema XML Performance. Lesen!

Das Wall Street Journal: Outsourcing: Not Immune to the Downturn, But Holding Up – gibt ja sicherlich noch eine Menge, die Outsourcing primär als Mittel zur Kostensenkung sehen. Der “Do my mess for less”-Ansatz geht aber schnell in die Hose, aber manch lernen eben nur durch Schmerz.

A B2B Recession Survival Kit: Three Not-so-painful Tips for Thriving in a Miserable Economy:

  • Survival Strategy #1: Cut the waste.
  • Survival Strategy #2: Harvest the “best practices” of other companies.
  • Survival Strategy #3: Ask customers what they want.

GMail Blog: SMS messaging for chat – wahrscheinlich (?) bis jetzt nur in USA

Stephen Fry reist mit leichtem Gepäck 🙂 : Gee, One Bold Storm coming up….

Ein paar Takeaways von Nick Carr:

Elliotte Rusty Harold: You cannot trust the cloud (via)

Traditional payware like Oracle, Perforce, and Microsoft Office had lockin issues, but at least you controlled the software. Vendors couldn’t (usually) shut you down just because they decided your app no longer fit their business model. Cloud vendors can, and you have little to no recourse when they do.

Boring meetings? Get a canary…

Royal Pingdom: Google Apps SLA loophole allows for major downtime without consequences (via)

Coding Horror: Hardware is Cheap, Programmers are Expensive

Not quite what I had in mind. Oder wie es sich anfühlt, bei Flickr gefeuert zu werden.

Lehman-Chef Richard Fuld: Der Mann, der die Welt in die Knie zwang (via)

The 10 Coolest Open Source Products Of 2008 – inclusive (via Cem)

InformationWeek mit dem CTO of the Year: Werner Vogels von Amazon. (via Dave). Gratulation!

Drei Posts von Garr:

10 design rules to keep in mind
(1) Communicate — don’t decorate.
(2) Speak with a visual voice.
(3) Use two typeface families maximum. OK, maybe three.
(4) Pick colors on purpose.
(5) If you can do it with less, then do it.
(6) Negative space is magical — create it, don’t just fill it up!
(7) Treat the type as image, as though it’s just as important.
(8) Be universal; remember that it’s not about you.
(9) Be decisive. Do it on purpose — or don’t do it at all.
(10) Symmetry is the ultimate evil.

Robert Scoble polarisiert ja recht häufig, trotzdem (oder gerade deshalb) zwei Posts von ihm:

Alex Payne von Twitter:  How I Use TextMate

Dare kommentiert einen Artikel von Jeff Atwood: The Myth of the Open Source Business Model Sein Ergebnis:

There are basically three business models for companies that make money from Open Source software, they are

  1. Selling support, consulting and related services for the “free” software (aka the professional open source business model ) – RedHat
  2. Dual license the code and then sell traditional software licenses to enterprise customers who are scared of the GPL – MySQL AB
  3. Build a proprietary Web application powered by Open Source software – Google

As you scan this list, it should be clear that none of these business models actually involves making money directly from selling only the software. This is problematic for developers of shrinkwrapped, consumer software such as games because none of the aforementioned business models actually works well for them.

For developers of shrinkwrapped software, Open Source only turns piracy from a problem into a benefit if you’re willing to forego building consumer software and you have software that is either too complicated to use without handholding OR you can scare a large percentage of your customers into buying traditional software licenses by using the GPL instead of the BSDL.

Peter Thomas in der FAZ über Tilt-Shift-Objektive: Wie scharf ist das denn. Dazu den hervorragenden Post von Benedikt Hotze über Architekturfotografie mit Kleinbildkamera und Shiftobjektiv

Brent Simmons über Browser CPU usage:

The thing is, web developers should test their pages for CPU usage the same as app developers do. And anytime a page is idle, CPU usage should be at 0%. Same as with any other app.

eWeek: IBM Virtual Desktop Bundles Lotus, Ubuntu Linux to Freeze Out Microsoft (via)

Phil Fersht: Emerging from the rubble of 2008: BPO has a breakthrough year

Charles Miller: My 2008 end-of-year tech stock tips. (via)

A comment thread on a blog post I can no longer find a link to saw a rosy future for Microsoft because they spend nine times as much on research and development as Apple. There’s the problem. Microsoft pour R&D money into multi-touch interfaces and come up with a table that is relegated to tech demos and gimmicky election coverage. Apple put R&D money into multi-touch and produce the frickin’ iPhone.

Of course, Windows 7 will fix everything. We’ve never heard that before.

So, das solls mal gewesen sein. Bleibt nur die Frage, welches Netbook kleine 10″-Laptop ich mir zum rumspielen gönnen soll. Muss ist eine große Platte (160+GB), Aufrüstbarkeit auf 2GB RAM und eine gewisse Robustheit. Los, wer kann was empfehlen?

Microsoft Generation 4 Datacenter Vision

If you are interested in trends with respect to datacenters (and not only in the pieces we see from time to time from Google), then watch this nice video to get a first idea of Microsofts visions here.

Even more interesting (thanks Peter) is Generation 4 – A deeper look by Michael Manos, General Manager for Global Foundation Services, basicly the entity responsible for the strategy, implementation eand operations of Microsoft’s Global Datacenter Infrastructure.

Thursday evening linkdump

Eine Woche mit ziemlich Aktivität geht so langsam zu Ende. Und ich räume mal wieder die angesammelten Tabs in Firefox ab:

  • Wenn man zuviel Zeit hat…. – Matt Westcott hat in Javascript einen Sinclair ZX Spectrum programmiert, komplett mit Spielen von damals
  • Garr Reynolds über Seth Godins Buch “Tribes“. Wir gehören ja alle zu einem (oder mehreren Stämmen). Kommt auf die Wunschliste.
  • Ich lese gerade den “Black Swan” von Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Faszinierend. Hier zwei Artikel aus der FAZ:
  • GTD. Auch so´n Hype. Und ein Tool, das einem dabei helfen soll: GTD-free. Mal bei Gelegenheit antesten.
  • Und ein Schwung Posts von Nick Carr. Irgendwie ist sein Blog ein must-read, auch wenn man nicht immer seiner Meinung sein kann oder muss:
  • ein Testbericht über die Nikon D700. Wenn das Teil nicht so verdammt teuer wäre (und ich mehr/besser fotografieren könnte)
  • finde so langsam richtig gut. Auch da bin ich der authsider
  • Vinnie findet “Enterprise SLAs are so yesterday” und sagt “while outsourcers have some very demanding clients with 24x7x365 uptime SLAs, the majority of their contracts have plenty of evening and weekend downtime hours where their SLAs do not even apply. It is ironic that many outsourcers brag about “enterprise grade SLAs” and actually look down on Google and other SaaS availability as consumerish and amateurish.” Tja, 99,9% Verfügbarkeit oder mehr hört sich ja gut an, aber nur wenn das ganze Jahr gemeint ist und wir nicht jede Woche eine Nacht für planned maintenance abziehen müssen.

    Im Post ein Link zu einem Post von Daniel Druker: SaaS Service Level Agreement 2.0
    Gute Merkpunkte, wenn man SLAs für SaaS vereinbaren will oder muss:

    • Establish a system availability SLA, based on average monthly availability, with bonuses for overachieving and increasingly steep penalties for downtime beyond the agreed level.
    • Establish a system response time SLA, based on average monthly response time, with penalties for slow system performance.
    • Establish an error resolution time SLA, with different windows for different severity levels (system down vs. workaround) and again with penalties for not being responsive.
    • Establish a fail over window for disaster recovery SLA in the case of a catastrophic failure of the vendor’s infrastructure.
    • Ensure that you can get your data back if you ever decide to leave, and that the vendor will assist you in migrating away, for an appropriate professional services fee.
  • Der Economist mit einem netten Bericht, wie Porsche kürzlich die Hedgefonds und andere Leerverkäufer abgezogen hat. Wendelin Wiedeking und Holger Härter sind die besten Zocker im ganzen Land.
  • Das US-Justizministerium hats auch gemerkt: DOJ Taps Google as New Microsoft – “The Department’s investigation revealed that Internet search advertising and Internet search syndication are each relevant antitrust markets and that Google is by far the largest provider of such services, with shares of more than 70 percent in both markets.”
  • Jürgen Dollase in der FAZ über Olivier Roellinger, einen französischen Spitzenkoch, der seine Michelin-Sterne zurückgibt: “Abschied von den Sternen“. Respekt.
  • Google beginnt auch mit cost-cutting. Zumindestens in New York.
  • Zoho Status. Das ist Transparenz, die man sich von IT-Dienstleistern – egal ob für Services in der Cloud oder klassiche Hosting-Services wünscht. (via)
  • Killer Consultant Florian Hollender mit einem Post über besseres packen für den Business-Trip und einem Verweis auf einen klasse Podcast bei Manager Tools zum Thema. Anhören!
  • Vinnie nochmal, hier mit einem Rant über SAP, gescheiterte Projekte und den Ausstieg aus dem Hostinggeschäft: “Those who ignore history…“. Ja, ist eine Menge wahres dran…
  • Robert mit einem Verweis auf “Das Schweigen der Quandts“. Jaja, ich bin zu spät, aber er hat doch den Link auf Google Video drin, zum spätergucken.

So, das isses. Alle Tabs abgeräumt. Schönen Abend noch.

PDC2008, Azure and Cloud Computing openness

Nick points to a post from Dion Almaer who has participated on PDC and is working for Google (on Google Code and Google Gears):

Windows Azure looks great. The “on premise” feature looks particularly intriguing. If they can bridge the data center and the cloud, they have something quite compelling. Enterprises are struggling with the cloud in part. What do you put up there? How do you secure it? How do you tie back? Microsoft is going after that problem.

We can’t fight Microsoft with “don’t choose them, remember what they did to you before?” Fear is lame. Instead, this is a wake up call to Adobe, Google, Yahoo!, Amazon, IBM, Sun, [insert other developer / platform players] to get kicking.

We can’t just be Open, we have to be better!

But openness has no real value in itself, at least not yet. Nick phrases nicely what I was excited about when I had seen the Ballmer keynote from the event in London end of September:

But in this early stage of the cloud’s development, openness means little to the buyer (or user). The buyers, particularly those in big companies, are nervous about the cloud even as they are becoming increasingly eager to reap the benefits the cloud can provide. What they care about right now is security, reliability, features, compatibility with their existing systems and applications, ease of adoption, stability of the vendor, and other practical concerns. In the long run, they may come to regret their lack of stress on openness, but in the here-and-now it’s just not a major consideration. They want stuff that works and won’t blow up in their faces.

Look at my previous post on GE running a multi-layered strategy: they are still deploying classical on-premise applications, run their own internal cloud and also embrace SaaS like Zoho or Avaro.

Scoble reminds us to “Never underestimate Microsoft’s ability to turn a corner“. It is not important if you are early or late to a party, how long you stay is what matters in the end. And Microsoft has proven that more than one time. Cem comments:

MS was most of the time “follower” and won the game. remember i.e. server sw netware vs windows nt. why? huge war chest and absolute determination. Never underestimate MS. Right.

And Dare gives a first impression on Windows Azure from a developers perspective.

Cloud week

(El Alamein 1942: British Matilda tanks move forward at Tobruk)

This is an interesting week. And the battle for the cloud has increased its intensity.

We had Microsoft reveal its Cloud Stratey on the PDC with Azure. We also had the debate between Tim O´Reilly and Nick Carr, which I touched briefly upon.

Today I find further interesting pieces (via). Tim Bray discusses “The Shape of the Cloud“, and is reminded of Altavista (the dominating search-engine that was before Google, ya know?). But he mentions very important topics which he believes are true:

Monopolies Don’t Require Lock-in

Low Barriers to Entry Win

Economies of Scale

CIOs Aren’t Stupid

and the analogy to Altavista:

Amazon Web Services smells like Altavista to me; a huge step in a good direction. But there are some very good Big Ideas waiting out there to launch, probably incubating right now in a garage or grad school.

Such an idea doesn’t have to come from a big company. And it doesn’t have to be proprietary to grow fast and dominate the landscape. It has to have no aroma of lock-in, it has to be obviously better, and most of all, more than anything else, it has to be really, really easy to get started with.

And he is absolutely right.

Eric Larson adds another important point:

The essence is that we haven’t quite found the sweet spot for deploying apps to the cloud.

I would imagine there will be two progressions that will allow deployment on the cloud become mainstream. The first is languages will create a simple way to wrap up an application with all its libraries, much like a desktop application. The second is that cloud service providers will change from supporting a language or virtual machine to supporting a process. The idea is that if I can take my web app, zip it up and throw it on their server with a simple bash script they can monitor and scale by adding more processes, then it seems feasible we might see could computing environments that are essentially like the current wealth of shared hosting services.

Being able to start small is going to be the killer feature of the next generation cloud platforms. We are not there yet, but folks seem to be quickly narrowing in on hitting that sweet spot.

Fully agreed.

Update: I had it open in another tab, but forgot to include here. Microsoft has yesterday on PDC also showed their offering for Office functionality on the web that is supposed to compete against Google Apps, Zoho and alike. Nick comments:

The battle is joined. The outcome will be determined not only by whether Microsoft will be able to maintain its dominance of the Office market but also by whether it can maintain the outsized revenues and profits it has long enjoyed in that market.

Interesting times, really.

Update 2:

Vinnie asks “Wrong Side or Wrong Cloud?” and links to Bob Warfield who summarizes the debate between Nick Carr and Tim O´Reilly: Cloud Computing Network Effects, Or Why Tim O’Reilly and Nick Carr Are Both Wrong. It started with a post from Hugh McLeod: “the cloud’s best-kept secret“. He blieves that cloud computing will lead to a huge monopoly. Time will tell.

Finally, Nick adds a typology of network strategies. Interesting reads, all of them.

Autumn clouds

Well, it´s just little more than three weeks go that I posted about the Steve Ballmer keynote in London where he did not hide that we are going to see Microsoft enter the cloud as well, beyond AWS also providing Windows servers on their platform.

Today, on the Professional Developers Conference 2008, Microsoft unveils Azure, their services platform that is going to compete with Google´s App Engine or Amazon Web Services.

Microsoft describes Azure this way:

Windows® Azure is a cloud services operating system that serves as the development, service hosting and service management environment for the Azure Services Platform. Windows Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage internet or cloud applications. Windows Azure supports a consistent development experience through its integration with Visual Studio. In the early stages of CTP, .NET managed applications built using Visual Studio will be supported. Windows Azure is an open platform that will support both Microsoft and non-Microsoft languages and environments. Windows Azure welcomes third party tools and languages such as Eclipse, Ruby, PHP, and Python.

I guess it will be quite some interesting times ahead, given Microsoft´s financial strength and ability to execute. Curious though, how open the Azure platform will be.

Nick Carr, in early commentary:

Azure will compete with other cloud platforms, such as Amazon Web Services, Google App Engine, and’s, and, given Microsoft’s enormous scale and influence in the software industry, its launch marks a milestone in the history of utility computing. The cloud is now firmly in the mainstream.

Cannot agree more.