Vista Slip-Sliding Away?
A few weeks ago Gartner made the startling prediction that Vista would probably
be late. Not exactly a stunner for a product that has been delayed since before
Paris Hilton was famous (those were the good old days!). But since Gartner,
aka Captain Obvious, had broached the subject, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took
the next step, with an official
that maybe, just maybe, Vista, umm, could ship, err, based on
beta feedback, and it could be, perhaps, that Vista, uhh, might be released
at a date, ahem, other than that previously specified. Have I made myself clear?
Ballmer's backpedaling put Microsoft PR into full spin control mode: They all
say it is still on target for January. Ballmer also jumped
back on the January bandwagon at his next speech, blaming the misinterpretation
on an "unusual question."
Stupid Hackers Redux
MySpace has been in the news nearly every day, usually with lurid stories about
how the Web site is somehow connected with murders, kidnappings and molestations
(yesterday there was news that a college girl may have been stalked and strangled
because of her MySpace profile). But what about MySpace as victim? Two dufus
teenagers from New York with modest computing hacking skills (roughly equivalent
to Napoleon Dynamite's, I'd guess) tried
to blackmail the site with the threat that they could teach the world how
to hack MySpace. These two nitwits actually flew to California to collect their
big score, but were greeted with cuffs instead of cash.
If you're having deja vu, it's because MySpace successfully used the exact
same tactic with another
teenage blackmailer a year ago.
Web 2.0 Brouhaha
O'Reilly, the feisty, opinionated book publisher, has a reputation for standing
up for causes, like Open Source, computing freedom and the future of the Internet.
That's why it was a bit of a shock to learn the company had trademarked the
term Web 2.0 and will sue to protect it. In O'Reilly's defense, the first time
I ever read a clear definition
of Web 2.0 was from it.
Critics weren't as kind. A posting on an O'Reilly
blog prompted 42 pages of angry responses, the most vile of which were deleted.
Kudos to the company for keeping almost all of the lambasting up on the blog.
While I'm a bit queasy over a trademark for such a well-used term, O'Reilly
might have an ulterior motive -- to keep Microsoft from co-opting the name.
Company founder Tim O'Reilly is currently vacationing, but it seems he's poised
to respond upon his return.
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Google and Dell, Big Whoop?
When the news broke that Dell
planned to bundle a few bits of Google software in its PCs, the way some
reacted you would have thought Microsoft was on the brink of collapse. The mainstream
media sees this as a knife driven right into Redmond's left ventricle. Never
mind that Google is reportedly paying Dell some $1 billion for the privilege
of giving Dell its software (I'd love to learn how to negotiate like Dell!).
So what is Dell bundling? An alternative browser (here's my
idea), an Office-style suite, a new, better OS? No. What has everyone salivating
is (drumroll…) the Google toolbar! Are we so desperate for some Microsoft
competition that we seriously think this is important?
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.