Pontifications on Microsoft and the Tech Industry

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December 2009 Entries

BI (Up) in the Cloud

In the new film “Up in the Air,” George Clooney’s character, Ryan Bingham, poses a question relevant to the premise of BI as a cloud computing offering. Bingham is a career transition specialist -- i.e. someone who fires people as an outsourced service – and he insists that his services must be delivered on-premise (if you will), despite his firm’s new initiative to start doing so via Web conference technology. That initiative is being pushed by his colleague, Natalie Keener (played by Anna Kendrick), ......

Are Pricing Models Where the Cloud Will be Won?

I may be a Microsoft aficionado, but the competition is still important, especially when it’s especially worthy. That’s why I subscribe to Amazon Web Services’ newsletter. A new issue arrived in my inbox recently and revealed AWS’ latest innovation: Amazon EC2 instances priced by bid. Specifically, according to AWS’ Web posting on the so-called EC2 Spot Instances option: “Spot Instances allow customers to bid on unused Amazon EC2 capacity and run those instances for as long as their bid exceeds the ......

Redmond Vendor Management Matters

There’s been a lot of press in the last 24 hours concerning MSN China’s apparent (and now acknowledged) theft of code and copying of design from Taiwan’s Plurk microblogging service for the beta of its own Juku service. Turns out the work was outsourced to an external vendor which, in turn, was the source of the plagiarism. Microsoft, in a public statement, said “in the wake of this incident, Microsoft and our MSN China joint venture will be taking a look at our practices around applications code ......

MSpiNoff?

This week, TimeWarner, completed the spinoff of the online service that was at one point the initial part of its corporate name…AOL. TimeWarner believes that the online portal is not core to its business, and that its non market-leadership would be best cured by independent management. Should Microsoft do a similar spinoff of MSN? Is “the butterfly” doing well under Redmond’s PC software-oriented management? Despite an impending re-design, and a respectable market share in the US and global markets, ......

Microsoft Media Devices and the Aesthetic of “All Together Now.”

Microsoft makes an excellent digital music player (the Zune HD), a well-crafted networked storage and backup solution (Windows Home Server), a strong DVR/digital entertainment hub (Windows Media Center) and perhaps the industry leading gaming console (Xbox 360) which itself has a growing number of digital media capabilities. But can they all get along? That was my question almost a year ago, when I returned from the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show, which was riddled with a variety of incompatible, ......