Microsoft and Google, and the Unending Circle of Copying
Google and Microsoft are clearly mutually obsessed -- why else would they so
flagrantly copy each other’s initiatives. Free e-mail, mapping, productivity
software suites, indexing of books, and now classified ads. First Google, probably
upset that Craigslist has so many eyeballs, announced Google Base, a system
to support broad-based classified ads (and more). Google Base, because it can
index so much grassroots content, may turn out to be pretty amazing. Without
a hint of embarrassment, Microsoft weeks later disclosed
to do the exact same thing. In classic Redmond style, the new service
will be integrated with other Microsoft tools such as IM and mapping.
As an avid “Apprentice” avoider, I can only report third-hand what
happened recently on The Donald’s show. It seems that Donald wannabes
lined up to market
Live Meeting. My guess? These Apprentice clowns wouldn’t last a day
in the real world of Microsoft.
How Open is Open?
Microsoft has long controlled the market through files formats -- if you want
to be in business, you have to read and write Office formats. So, it was a big
deal last week when the company agreed to submit its upcoming Office formats
to a standards body and allow others to use them.
all are so easily impressed. The Swiss-based Ecma is viewed by many as a
lightweight standards body that allows vendors to maintain control of patents
and exert royalties. Not much of an open standard, is it?
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How Many Vistas?
Just when Windows aficionados were getting used to monthly Vista betas (I know,
Microsoft calls them Community Technology Previews, or CTP), Microsoft up and
schedule -- to no schedule! Now, new betas, I mean CTPs, will come out when
there is something dramatic to show, either in terms of features or quality.
Just in time for the holidays is a new CTP with a host of goodies.
Just to keep us all confused, there is a Vista Beta 1, and the CTPs are like
point releases of the first beta.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.