Mark me as confused on this one. Microsoft has just posted a sample application
to show how
Software as a Service (SaaS) works
. The Microsoft Web site explains that
"Software as a Service is a new delivery model where companies pay not
for owning the software itself but for using it."
I agree with this whole sentence, except for the word "new." Service
providers have been offering Microsoft software as a service for years, lots
of years. And so, to some extent, has Microsoft itself! I'm glad Microsoft is
serious about this model, and is throwing new technology and infrastructure
in this direction, but the concept is far from "new."
Now Open Source Is the Proprietary One?
Microsoft could have used OpenDoc, the file format for OpenOffice and other
apps, as the file format for Office 2007, but that just wouldn't be right. Microsoft
wants it own file formats for market control, and so that the file formats can
handle anything Microsoft apps need them to.
And so it is that we have OpenOffice XML, a Microsoft format that others can
use, along with an open source translator that can convert Microsoft files into
I guess that makes Microsoft open -- open
enough to criticize OpenDoc backer IBM for being closed!
In an open letter, Redmond accuses Armonk of trying to hold back Open XML in
favor of OpenDoc. Can't all monopolies just get along?
Are You Losing Money on IE7?
Ian Campbell is to ROI what Roger Ebert is to movies: He knows his stuff and
usually gets it right. Campbell, founder of Nucleus Research (I worked there
for a short stint), also likes to ruffle a few feathers. His latest salvo --
to Microsoft's latest browser will cost you money.
Campbell's logic goes this way: IE7 isn't worth using, and once you find that
out, it can take hours of your precious time to get it off and put IE6 back
Have you had this experience? Let me know at email@example.com.
Ubuntu Better than Vista?
OK, OK. I write about my kids a lot (they keep track so I have to mention them
all equally). Here's another item courtesy of a young Barney, this one from
13-year-old David (for equality's sake, I need to point out that he has an older
sister, Lauren, and a younger brother, Nick).
Dave, a Mac and Linux bigot, found
a little story about a kid whose dad wanted him to get and install Vista.
Instead the kid installed Ubuntu, and the dad has been raving about it ever
Doug's Mailbag: Now You See It...
This reader's computer was unexpectedly returned to its original default state
week's Patch Tuesday (talk about a ghost in the machine!). If any of you
have experienced something similar, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I don't know if it was the patches, but yesterday morning when my wife
turned on our home computer, it was wiped out. She phoned me and asked what
to do, but since I was unaware of what had happened, I could do nothing until
I got home.
When I got home I was amazed. Most of our added desktop shortcut icons
were gone. The system (Windows XP) had been restored to its defaults, not
the "classic" look we had been using. Many of the programs acted
as though they were running for the first time. My AT&T Yahoo browser
was no longer the default browser; that was set to IE7. It was as though Microsoft
had completely redone my computer and I was starting over. Even the icon for
my 2006 tax program had been removed.
Fortunately, as I explored, I was able to find the installed software,
but my personal "look and feel" -- all that I was used to -- had
been removed and I was back to out-of-the-box Windows XP. I may be unusual,
because my wife and I have been using personal computers since before they
were called that, but I am outraged that Microsoft would take such liberties
with my computer. It made me wish for the pre-Internet days, when security
was assured because there was no external connection. The only thing we had
to fear then was getting bad software on a disk someone gave us. As long as
we stuck to quality commercial software, we were pretty safe. Now, I am not
even safe from Microsoft.
I know most of what I am talking about is my user profile, which I know
was one of the things that were wiped out. Maybe it was an accident, but for
a home system with only two users, it's upsetting to get an error message
to contact your network administrator.
Think you can help this reader out? Comment below or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.