Pontifications on Microsoft and the Tech Industry

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May 2007 Entries

Sir MIX-a-lot

Microsoft has already sent out a save the date for next year’s MIX conference. This comes just days after they announced an indefinite postponement of PDC ‘07. Seems like the teams at Microsoft with the momentum are on the ASP.NET/Silverlight side of the shop. And the show with the mojo is the one that builds bridges…to designers and thus to customers of other companies’ products. It would be a bit glib to say “there’s a lesson in that,” so I’ll pretend not to say it ......

Sonos Opens Pandora's Box

Sonos, whose multi-room digital audio system I am about ito install in my home, is now compatible with Pandora. Pandora, the Music Genome Project’s trainable Internet radio service, which until now worked only from a browser-based Flash application and the Slim Device/Logitech Squeezebox and Transporter devices, can now be dialed up sans PC, in any room in your home. And unlike the Slim Device implementation, Sonos’ interface to the service allows you to rate songs and create new “stations.” I had ......

PDC 2007...Not.

Microsoft has just announced that it will be rescheduling this year’s PDC to an as yet undetermined date. Microsoft’s reasoning for this, essentially, is that between MIX, Tech*Ed Orlando and Barcelona, and (I suspect) its Business Intelligence Conference held two weeks ago, and a slew of recent and soon-to-come alpha and beta releases, developers have enough to chew on for a while. The folks in Redmond prefer to wait until we’re well into the next wave of technologies before launching a new PDC. ......

Destination: Nowhere

Steve Berkowitz, the Microsoft Senior Vice President of Online Services, made what I consider to be a stunning admission of defeat. Here’s the context: quoted in Mary Jo Foley’s blog, from his presentation at the JP Morgan technology conference, Berkowitz makes the distinction between “destination search” and “convenience search.” Destination search, effectively, is search conducted at a search site. Convenience search is performed in-place, through some context-sensitive search facility in an application ......

Tech Lively

Ever since I was a high scool student programming on a Commodore 64, I thought that the New York City Subway system could benefit greatly from technology. All the way back then I tried, in vain, to create an electronic version of the Subway map and dreamed of a more high-tech system. So imagine my surprise and geeky delight, when last Thursday morning I boarded a Queens-bound N train at Union Square that was made up of what, I have since learned, are called the R160 subway car. From the outside, ......

The Brust Boys

The Brust Boys

Andrew, Sean (born May 9th, 4:11am) and Miles


Web Advertising A Go-Go

Who did the best? Google with DoubleClick for $3.1 billion, Microsoft with aQuantive for $6 billion, or WPP with 24/7 Real Media for $649 million? I vote for WPP, and not just because they spent less. WPP knows advertising and WPP knows acquisitions. WPP’s holdings include Grey, Ogilvy & Mather, Young & Rubicam, and the former J. Walter Thompson Co. Now that’s a conglomerate. I think they can leverage their deal better than an online classified ads techie concern like Google or a software ......