Oracle Booming

As if Larry Ellison, owner of America's largest yacht, didn't already have enough money, his company goes out and increases revenue by 27 percent and profits by 35 percent in its latest quarter.

It turns out the $20 billion Ellison shelled out to buy a bunch of high-end software companies was money well-spent.

What's really interesting is that Oracle is becoming less and less of a database company, and more and more an enterprise application vendor. But what really makes me happy is that Larry has finally stopped mouthing off about Bill Gates!

Open Source Feedback
The Slashdotters have struck again. The popular discussion site (what is it about the Internet that releases inhibitions faster than a double Grey Goose martini?) picked up our cover story about Microsoft's fledgling effort to work with the open source community.

We praised Redmond for its efforts to build quasi-open products and its more serious stab at interoperating with the open community.

As you might expect, zealots (God bless 'em) came out of the proverbial woodwork with comments.

I was plumb excited by the sheer volume of feedback, and even more pleased by the passion. One of my favorites was W. Anderson arguing that Redmond magazine editors are "inexperienced in professional journalism" and should "learn to report stories factually."

Hey, W. My folks have lost more hair than a grizzly's chest and are saving up for liposuction, dentures and hip replacements. They might not be experienced journalists but they sure are creaky!

Scroll to the bottom for the good stuff.

While the open source posts were a gas, they were not nearly as much fun as when Fark made fun of one of Redmond magazine's maiden issues.

An Hour After You Boot It, You Want To Boot It Again
It's rare that I find myself jealous of those in less-developed countries, but hearing what Dell is doing in China has me pleased and steamed simultaneously. I'm happy because Dell built a $230 desktop for China that runs XP and has a 40GB drive and a quarter-gig of RAM.

Then I got mad wondering why we can't all buy a brand-new, low-priced XP machine. Before sinking into total depression, I did some fact-checking (yeah, I do this occasionally) and found a $350 Dell Vista desktop with an 80GB drive and half-a-gig of RAM. If I were in the People's Republic, I might just order my machine from Austin!

Doug's Mailbag: Should Doug Keep it Down?, More
Was Robert Scoble out of line when he said Microsoft's Web strategy s*&^!cks? For that matter, is anyone else bothered by the word "s*&^!ck"? And -- most importantly -- do you want to see a kinder, gentler Doug Barney? Here are your answers to these burning questions:

It would be good to see you tone it down...considerably.
-Ken

Heaven forbid someone do something that makes the world a more civil place.
-Jim

A kinder, gentler Doug Barney? Yes, but not because I think your style is ultra-abrasive. It's just that when I deal with issues all day and go to read up on things that you so kindly bring to my attention by means of your articles and newsletters, I have probably been fighting battles all day and would appreciate a kinder voice in my corner of the world. All you guys are "my guys" who help me stay abreast in the tumultuous sea of change that is technology. And, yes, in my office and in my kitchen, the "s" word is a bad word that is to be avoided in my presence.

Regarding Scoble's blog entry, I am surprised by your commentary. He was really referring to Live Search and also the really poor marketing job the Live team is doing with their advertising. And truthfully, Microsoft has lost its way. Or did they ever really have a bead on the right path to begin with?
-Deanna

In regard to your question as to whether you should use less "bad" language: So-called "bad language" of any kind does not offend me. The only issue I see is when it replaces more detailed, thoughtful phrasing. That is, instead of "In short, this product s*$ks!" I would rather see "In conclusion, the lack of quality and value to the customer make this product unsuitable for anyone." It is less inflammatory and less likely to irk fanboy types (unless you're going for that reaction).
-Dean

Do I want to see a kinder, gentler Doug Barney? H*&^!ll no!
-Anonymous

Hell no! Don't change a thing, Doug. I enjoy reading you in the Redmond Report and in Redmond magazine. Keep telling it like it is.
-Jeff

Why, hell no. 8-year-olds don't read the Redmond Report, and I get plenty of pablum. For that matter, I don't mind Scoble; I just read the opinion qualified by the source. That is, I don't read Scoble a whole lot since he never did know much.

Keep on telling it just like you see it, please.
-Anonymous

Do not, DO NOT change a thing about your style. If you did, it would s*&k really bad. Really, really bad. So bad it would be worse than s*&k.
-Bruce

Do I want to see a kinder, gentler Doug Barney? NO. I look forward to someone who tells it like it is. The truth is not always pretty but you can hardly make an educated judgment when you are not told the whole story. I want you to be a mix of Jim Rome and Paul Harvey with maybe a little Andy Rooney thrown in. Tell us the cold, hard truth, give us the whole story, and throw in some humor if you can. We all have our own opinions, but the mind works best when it is like a parachute; it must be open.
-Les

I guess I can sum up the ponderance of your tone and style with a short equation: (Doug Barney)! = Barney
-John

No matter how you spell it -- it's still a swear word in my house.

Have started in this business way before M$ ever shipped a product. I've seen a lot of companies come and go that had far superior products than anybody else on the market -- but that's not the issue. Execution and perception are the keys to market success. That's why IT guys aren't allowed to run the ship. We would be too busy worrying about finding the best (whatever that means) product instead of the one that just gets the job done (the job of turning a profit). I'm always amazed by the M$ flamers. When's the last time they ran a billion-dollar company that defined the market the way that M$ has? What the flamers don't/won’t accept is that the guys and gals that run the business world don't care about the latest and greatest when it comes to this stuff. It just needs to be good enough, easy enough, fast enough and cheap enough -- not the Best, Easiest, Fastest and Cheapest (i.e., free).

After all (now I'm really showing my age), it wasn't that long ago that the talking heads were saying IBM was a dinosaur doomed for the scrap pile. Never mind the fact it probably had over 80 percent (I'm guessing here) of the Big Iron market that ran the business and government world. But a weird thing happened on the way to the scrap pile: IBM reinvented itself. M$ continues to reinvent itself (and the market in the process).

If Apple buys Google, Sony, Oracle, RedHat and insert-your-favorite-killer-app-company-here, and creates some kind of Super-Duper Computer Company, I suppose M$ would probably be concerned. Otherwise, it's just blah, blah, that somebody is using to increase readership (not you Doug -- I love you) or just a chance to spout off about something near and dear to their heart. As my daddy says, "Opinions and a*sh*les – everybody's got one."
-Kelly

Even John Backus, the recently deceased inventor of Fortran, inadvertently got drawn in to the discussion. One reader takes issue with our headline, "Fortran Father Passes":

On the subject of style, I have a serious aversion to the use of the word "passed" when referring to a person's death. It clearly implies that the person passed on to another place, life, whatever, and I am not a believer in any kind of afterlife. I suspect I am not the only one of your readers who feels that way.

Objectively, he died. Beyond that, you really can't say. So I believe you should stick with what you know and say it.

Oh, and I doubt I've ever seen "passed" used in a NY Times obit.
-Steve

And speaking of John Backus, Bruce gives us one more reason why he'll be missed:

As for Mr. Backus, his greatest claim to fame, in my opinion, was coming up with Backus-Naur Form. Compilers today wouldn't be anywhere near as good without him -- he will be missed.

Any truth to the rumor he was related to Jim Backus of Mr. Maggoo and Thurston Howell III fame? (I don't think he is.)
-Bruce

And now, for something completely different, Mike ran into some problems after installing the Windows 2003 SP2. Any suggestions from fellow readers?:

I just installed then rolled back W2K3 SP2; after the install, my 100MHz users complained they could not log on. What happed was that the 100MHz adapters' speed went from 50MB file copy in 30 seconds to 30 minutes.

I installed this on a new Dell 2900 server with SAS, RAID, 8MB of RAM and two Broadcom internal gig adapters.

I called Dell, and they did not know what to do but would investigate. Stuck in limbo...
-Mike

Got something to add? Comment below or drop me a line at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

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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