Pontifications on Microsoft and the Tech Industry


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September 2010 Entries

So Long Oslo, We Hardly Knew Ye

I returned just last night from a short trip to Redmond. While I was there, I learned some news that I wanted to share, but I wasn’t permitted to. But today the news was made public: Oslo, once destined to be a full fledged-wave of Microsoft technologies that would facilitate and promote model driven-development, is dead. The Oslo name summons Shakespearean images of King Hamlet slaying his Norwegian foe. But even without such literary context, the fall of Oslo is quite dramatic And it’s important ......

Why PowerPivot is a Microsoft Bright Spot

For those who haven’t come across it, PowerPivot is Microsoft’s Excel- and SharePoint-based self-service BI tool. Essentially, it allows power users to build their own SQL Server Analysis Services cubes, except that they don’t need to be familiar with cube concepts and they won’t even notice that SSAS is involved. The other exception from the Microsoft BI norm is that these cubes use a new columnar, in-memory storage engine, called VertiPaq, rather than Analysis Services’ traditional MOLAP (Multidimensional ......

Windows Live: Don’t Live and Let Die

Windows Live has had many lives. It started as a single page at www.live.com, where you could set up various widgets in a tiled configuration. The widgets mostly consumed RSS feeds and the idea was that you could have a home page where the content updated dynamically; i.e. where the content was “live.” I remember when the service was still in Beta and called Start.com; Robert Scoble, then a Microsoft employee, was hawking it pretty hard. It was kind of cool for its time, but it petered out, as did ......