DoubleClick Away Your Privacy
Here's a cool twist: Microsoft is arguing that Google, with its impending
purchase of DoubleClick
, will have too much monopoly power. Not only that,
but Google may simply know too much about our private lives, the
boys from Redmond argue
Of course, Microsoft wanted this monopoly power and the ability to know too
much about our private lives, too, as it was also bidding for DoubleClick. Sour
Is Google too powerful and does it know too much? Answers welcome at [email protected].
Microsoft, locked in a pitched battle over virtualization with VMware, is seeing
some key products slip. Delayed products include Virtual Server 2005 and
a test version of Windows Server virtualization (dubbed "Viridian").
These delays are far from fatal. I expect the VMware/Microsoft virtualization
war to rage for years.
Which vendor do you prefer? Let us know at [email protected].
Microsoft Aims for Richer Web
Microsoft dialed into the National Association of Broadcasters convention in
Las Vegas and showed
off Silverlight, a new tool for building rich interactive Web apps and for
running TV-quality video in a browser.
The widespread perception is that Microsoft is way behind Google and other
competitors when it comes to Web apps and Software as a Service. But as one
of the founders of Redmond Developer News
magazine, which covers Microsoft's
development tools, I'm not so sure.
I'd argue that if you are trying to write these kinds of apps, no one has a
deeper portfolio of tools than Microsoft.
Doug's Mailbag: Tied Up Over Office's Ribbon Interface,
Is the iPhone Worth It?
The new ribbon interface: love it or hate it? Reader responses yielded a mixed
I completely love the new ribbon interface. I find it all much more intuitive.
For users coming from a background of the Office suite, the ribbon interface
is not bad -- it just takes a little getting used to. If you knew howto get
around before, it will be totally different this time. As in all revisions
of software, things get changed around a bit. But this is different: You totally
lose the menus and now have a more tab-style view, and it's categorized in
sections like formatting and layout. It's not hard to find some things; it
just makes you think a little. There were a few things that were really hard
to find. Settings, for example, were inside a menu from a button on a tab
that you wouldn't really expect. So at times, it can be awkward, and other
times very quick and easy.
I like it. For the new user, I think it quite possibly could be easy
to adapt to, and if they are learning the software from a class they are taking,
then that makes it all the better. I still say it's nice and has a very new
and unique feel to it.
Takes a while to get to know it, and some of the functionalities are
not intuitively obvious, but after using it for a month, I wouldn't want to
go back to the old style.
The interface would be nice, if I was able to find what I was looking
for. I am not sure why Microsoft needed to move/hide the locations of the
items, which were so readily available to us in Office 2003 and earlier.
Just give me back my menu -- at least, I can eventually find what I am
looking for. The ribbon is even worse on Excel than on Word. It may make sense
to a Mac user but not to us longtime Windows users.
I don't know what drives corporate types and the people they employ. The
new interface for Office is beyond me. Why, after all these years, has Microsoft
decided to change the familiar menu bar? I use Word, Excel and Access a lot.
I'm pretty good at what I do. 2007 changed all that. Now I go nuts trying
to find out where to go to get something done.
I was sobbing about this with a close friend and he said Microsoft does
it because it can. That was very profound and probably dead-on. It doesn't
matter what the consequences are for the end user; little Johnny or Joanie
gets to preen and shine.
I generally like Vista, but I resent the fact that I cannot get the look
and feel all the way back to Windows "classic." With the Office
products, you can't even get them somewhat back. Under the circumstances,
I don't think it would be unreasonable to shoot someone!
Absolutely hate the new ribbon interface. After over 10 years of experience
using Word, I am now having a hard time finding what I need in the ribbon.
Wish there was an option to switch to "classic" interface.
Hate it! I've already swapped back to Office 2003.
At $500 a pop, is the iPhone a must-have? Here's what a few of you had to say:
I will most likely get an iPhone because it's thinner and lighter than
my current cell phone, it's thinner and lighter than my current PDA, I don't
have a BlackBerry, and my birthday falls close to the iPhone launch date.
The iPhone demo showed a very easy-to-use cell phone. Being able to easily
place a phone call is a killer feature. And, as an IT pro, an easy-to-carry
mobile computing device (with browser and PDF reader to read documentation)
is plain great: No need to lug around a laptop. And as I travel to Europe
every so often, well, multi-band cell is just icing on the cake.
From the online demos, the iPhone looks wonderful. If you are one of
those unlucky souls who use a PDA, cell phone and portable music player, the
iPhone makes sense for that price, considering that purchasing all of those
items separately would cost more.
But most people who fit this category would want to use the iPhone for
corporate mail, and I don’t know many people who use a Yahoo mail account
for corporate use. Now, if you could configure it to use POP and SMTP to communicate
to your corporate mail server, it would be a better option than a BlackBerrry.
My concern is that some of our employees will purchase them to use for
their corporate mail and expect the IT staff to configure and support their
setup and use. It’s going to be a headache for IT.
While it's enough to give me pause, the $500 price tag isn't a deal-breaker
for me getting an iPhone. If it lives up to expectations and can provide a
reliable connected interface for both e-mail and voice, in addition to providing
a mobile platform for other apps, then it could be worth it.
Don't expect me to recommend the iPhone any time soon, however. After
consistently horrendous customer service and billing experiences with Cingular,
which I understand has an exclusive contract for the iPhone, I have no intention
of trying it personally or recommending it for my users. I would love to play
with the unit, but I'm not willing to support it for myself or my users until
I see a proven track record of improved service from Cingular. I am very disappointed
with Apple's decision to only provide the unit through a single provider,
regardless of which provider.
The iPhone sure makes for a great demo. Unfortunately, the lack of any
high-speed data support also makes this a non-starter for me. I can't imagine
living without my EVDO connection. I'm sure it'll be a big hit with the high
school students, though.
Let me know your 2 cents! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to [email protected].
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.