Letters to Redmond

Readers Respond April 2005

Doug Barney's Redmond Report Weekly e-newsletter causes quite a stir, plus: readers question how we select the products included in each month's Redmond Roundup.

Macintosh Mania
"If I had 5 percent desktop market share, I'd treat every dealer like a king, but then again, I am not nearly as brilliant as Steve Jobs." [From the Feb. 23, 2005, Redmond Report Weekly newsletter.]

Is Apple up to 5 percent now? Last I looked it was less than 2 percent. In my not so humble opinion, Jobs really is a sharp guy and Apple has a lot of great products, the iPod being just one. However, he (and many Mac zealots who I know) is also very arrogant. At what point does that arrogance cancel out the "cool" factor of Apple products? Who knows, but not yet, apparently.

Apple iPodApple, it seems, has genuinely continued to screw itself—time and time again. The first time was due to all of its proprietary needs … now it's business dealings and strategies.

Jobs is a very smart man—when it comes to the design, building and marketing of computers—but not with his business sense. He continues to prove this time and time again. Is it all him? I truly doubt it—but when it comes to Microsoft fallout is it all Bill Gates' fault? He sure gets all of the blame—so why not give Stevie his fair share?!
Upstate New York

Mea Culpa, I was overly generous in guestimating Apple market share. Part of me thinks it's amazing the Mac has survived after so many platforms perished (Next Computer anyone) and part of me thinks the Mac share could be so much more if Apple stuck with its clone strategy, and did more to differentiate its OS.
—Doug Barney

Encryption 101
Great article [February 2005 Security Advisor, "Top 3 Encryption Myths"]. I'm sharing it with my networking classes at Greenville Technical College. We just covered network security and encryption in our textbook, now Roberta provides another look on this important topic.
—Beau Sanders
Greenville, S.C.

Bad to the Bone
[In reference to the February 2005 Ten column, "Bad Product Names"], in the industrial automation world, one of the leading products in the 1990s was offered by a company called Wonderware.

Rockwell, parent company of Allen Bradley, set up its software arm as Rockwell Software and abbreviated it Rocksoft. Rocksoft was introduced at a large trade show and (probably) as the doors opened the company realized what a naming mistake it had made. The aisles rang with the jolly refrain: "Drop your Wonderware and get your Rocksoft!"
—Ken Olsson
El Monte, Calif.

Excel Box ShotWhat About Excel?
I'm new to Redmond magazine. Thanks for the invitation.

I've been asked several times by clients if there's a place where one can post or send suggestions for Microsoft applications that's listened to? Example: Excel. It must be time for it to be targeted for updating, and the previous updates have all ignored a couple of very annoying issues that instructors run into in the classroom.
—Carol K. Ball
New Jersey

Readers, any suggestions?

Sorting Spam Solutions
I was surprised MIMEsweeper from Clearswift was not among your spam solutions ["Stop Spam Now," Redmond Roundup, March 2005]. We've been using it for several years and it just keeps getting better.
Jupiter, Fla.

The next time you do an anti-spam Roundup, give Spam Bully a try. We've been using it at work for a year.

It's bayesian-based and has a terrific accuracy rate.

Apologies as always to those whose favorite product was not included. Inclusion or
exclusion should not be read as meaning "good" or "bad"; worthy or unworthy. The key to any product selection is to know in advance what you want (as explained under "Identify Your Objective") and then assess the universe of possible solutions against that. It's a big universe out there.

—David W. Tschanz


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