Pontifications on Microsoft and the Tech Industry

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May 2010 Entries

Letter to Ballmer: Making Better Consumer Devices

Last year, I wrote Steve Ballmer an email, and he was kind enough to write me back. The email contained a scan of a column I wrote praising Microsoft’s BI strategy. His reply contained three simple words: “Super nice thanks.” Well, now I’d like to write to Steve again, in an open letter format, and this time the love may be a bit tougher. But I’m still super earnest. The past two days have been eventful ones for Microsoft: The company announced the departure of company veterans Robbie Bach and J ......

Does HTML 5 Make “Rich vs. Reach” a False Choice?

The competition between the Web and proprietary rich platforms, including Windows, Mac OS, iPhone/iPad, Adobe’s Flash/AIR and Microsoft’s Silverlight, is not new. But with the emergence of HTML 5 and imminent support for it in the next release of the major Web browsers, the battle is heating up. And with the announcements made Wednesday at Google's I/O conference, it's getting kicked up yet another notch. The impact of this platform battle on companies in the media and advertising world, and the ......

Don’t Forget! In-Memory Databases are Hot

If you’re left scratching your head over SAP’s intention to acquire Sybase for almost $6 billion, you’re not alone. Despite Sybase’s 1990s reign as the supreme database standard in certain sectors (including Wall Street), the company’s flagship product has certainly fallen from grace. Why would SAP pay a greater than 50% premium over Sybase’s closing price on the day of the announcement just to acquire a relational database which is firmly stuck in maintenance mode? Well there’s more to Sybase than ......

A Visual Studio Release Grows in Brooklyn

Yesterday, Microsoft held its flagship launch event for Office 2010 in Manhattan. Today, the Redmond software company is holding a local launch event for Visual Studio (VS) 2010, in Brooklyn. How come information workers get the 212 treatment and developers are relegated to 718? Well, here’s the thing: the Brooklyn Marriott is actually a great place for an event, but you need some intimate knowledge of New York City to know that. NBC’s Studio 8H, where the Office launch was held yesterday (and from ......

Responsible BI for Excel, Even for Older Versions

On Wednesday, I will have the honor of co-presenting, for both The Data Warehouse Institute (TDWI) and the New York Technology Council. on the subject of Excel and BI. My co-presenter will be none other than Bill Baker, who was a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer and, essentially, the father of BI at that company. Details on the events are here and here. We'll be talking about PowerPivot, of course, but that's not all. Probably even more important than any one product, will be our discussion of whether ......

In the Mobile and Tablet World, How Much is Too Much?

The week of April 26th was a huge one in the world of mobile and tablet devices, There were so many individual developments, announcements and solidifications of strategy, it’s almost impossible to believe they occurred in the same month, let alone the same week. Things started with Apple and Gizmodo having a Law and Order moment over the latter’s procurement of what appears to be the former’s 4th gen iPhone prototype. We found out on the 26th that Gizmodo blogger Jason Chen’s apartment was raided ......