Pontifications on Microsoft and the Tech Industry

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March 2010 Entries

Why I’m Getting an iPad

I have never purchased an Apple product in my life. That’s a “true fact.” And, for that matter, the last Apple product I really wanted was an Apple IIe, back in the 1980s. I couldn’t afford it though (I was in high school), so I got a Commodore 64 instead…it had the same microprocessor, after all. If the iPhone were on Verizon, I probably would have picked one up in December, when I got my Droid. And if the iPod Touch worked with my Napster subscription (which of course it does not, but my Sonos ......

Windows Desktop Virtualization Gets Easier

This past Thursday, Microsoft announced that Windows (7) Virtual PC (WVPC) and its XP Mode feature would no longer require hardware assisted virtualization (HAV). That means any PC running Windows 7 Pro, or higher, can now run this software. And that’s a great thing because, as I noted in a post almost five month ago, determining whether a given PC you might be planning to buy actually offers HAV can be extremely difficult. That meant even dedicated, sophisticated PC users, with a budget for new ......

#MIX Day 2 Keynote: Put the Phone Down and Listen

MIX day 1’s keynote was all about Windows Phone 7 (WP7). MIX day 2’s was a reminder that Microsoft has much more going on than a new mobile platform. Steven Sinofsky, Scott Guthrie, Doug Purdy and others showed us lots of other good things coming from Microsoft, mostly in the developer stack, that we certainly shouldn’t overlook. These included the forthcoming IE9, its new JavaScript compiling engine and support for HTML 5 that takes full advantage of the local PC resources, including the Graphics ......

MIXing it Up a Bit

Another March, another MIX. For the fifth year running now, Microsoft has chosen to put on a conference aimed less at software development, per se, and more at the products, experiences and designs that software development can generate. In all four prior MIX events, the focus of the show, its keynotes and breakout sessions has been on Web products. On day 1 of MIX 2010 that focus shifted to Windows Phone 7 Series (WP7). What little we had seen of WP7 had been shown to us in a keynote presentation, ......

Code Bubbles: Disruption comes to the IDE

If you’re like me, you might see the open source Eclipse IDE as a copy or, more generously, a port of the Microsoft’s Visual Studio for the non-.NET world. It’s not that Microsoft invented the IDE (I would credit Borland with that), but they really took the idea and ran with it for the first version of Visual Studio .NET in 2002. The question is whether someone outside of Microsoft could take the modern IDE yet another major step forward in both principle and productivity. I think that has actually ......

Is Microsoft’s Cloud Bet Placed on the Ground?

Today at the Unversity of Washington, Steve Ballmer gave a speech on Microsoft’s cloud strategy. Significantly, Azure was only briefly mentioned and was not shown. Instead, Ballmer spoke about what he called the five “dimensions” of the cloud, and used that as the basis for an almost philosophical discussion. Ballmer opined on how the cloud should be distinguished from the Internet.as well as what the cloud will and should enable. Ballmer worked hard to portray the cloud not as a challenger to Windows ......