Gates the Younger Not 'Net Addicted

Bill Gates may have the OS, the browser, Web services, games and a whole bunch of sites, but that doesn't mean his kids can spend all day in front of a screen. Gates and his wife strictly limit the amount of time the kids spend online.

Like any other average parent, Gates says the kids can do whatever they want -- once they're 18!

Do you limit your kids? If so, tell us how at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

The Dark Side
When journalists move to PR or marketing, it's called "going to the dark side." I'm not sure what you call it when an independent analyst becomes a Microsoft shill – hopefully, you can at least call it a pay raise.

Former analyst Michael Gartenberg -- by all accounts a good and smart guy -- is now a Redmond product evangelist (I've always been a bit offended by the evangelist title, not for its religious connotations, but because it just seems so darn arrogant).

As soon as the news broke, critics crawled out of the woodwork saying Gartenberg was hired to dispense disinformation.

I say it's a free country and if a smart guy wants to get paid for explaining Microsoft's virtues, then good for him. Tell me where I'm wrong at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Licensing Made Simple -- Right!
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand Microsoft licensing; you just have to be a Harvard MBA and an MIT Ph.D. in statistics!

Let me tell you, this stuff is complicated. I studied the subject for weeks with the help of gurus like Scott Braden, now a Redmondmag.com columnist. I then wrote two large articles dissecting licensing and discussing negotiation ("SA Exposed" and "Negotiating with Microsoft"), but I'm still confused in many ways.

Microsoft is trying to simplify licensing, not by actually simplifying the licensing, but by improving tools to help customers makes choices, including the Microsoft Product Licensing Advisor and the Forrester ROI tool.

Here's a bit of free advice for you: Take the Forrester ROI analyzer with a huge pile of salt. If you use it, or have a salesperson try to run you through it, make sure you build in negative assumptions along with all the positive ones.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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