Microsoft Joins Apache, Why?

Late last week, Microsoft joined the Apache Software Foundation and pledged a hundred grand so that Apache supporters can write more Apache code.

Seeing as how Microsoft sales reps have probably pushed IIS on you a million times, you're probably asking, "Why?" Me, too.

The answer isn't that Microsoft is putting its weight behind the open source Web server and bailing on IIS. From what I can tell, this has nothing to do with IIS. On a high level, Microsoft wants to appear friendly to the open source community. Gaining trust and cooperation can go a long way toward building interoperability.

Do you see Microsoft making positive moves to get closer to the open source world? Yeas or nays welcome at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Is Your Job Recession-Proof?
Career company Jobfox just released a bit of good news for those of you in IT: Your jobs are relatively safe. In fact, you may want to ask for a raise. According to JobFox, IT and software development are among the 20 professions the company considers recession-proof.

Now, pushing aside the fact that we're not technically in a recession -- it just feels like one -- this is good news indeed. (And here's a little hint from the editor in chief of Redmond magazine: Our upcoming salary survey has some more good news!)

Here's the rundown: Software development and design positions are the second-most recession-proof career. Systems and network administration is No. 6, business analysis related to software implementations is No. 8, database administration is No. 14, and being a tech exec is sweet 16.

But the Squeeze Is Still On
While your job may be safe, your working budget may not be. The Computer Economics group argues that some in IT may soon have less to spend (now you don't have to buy all those new Vista PCs!).

The group says that IT budgets overall were set to rise some 4 percent, but due to a tough economy, a lot of this money will never get spent.

It also claims that IT last year spent $7,397 for each user, but will only spend $6,667 per person this year. If IT is spending that much for each of us, where's my new dual-core laptop?

What are your budgets, salaries and hiring situations like? Let us know at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Mailbag: Cheap Macs Not So Good, Facebook at Work, More
Doug opined recently about the lack of a good $500 Mac laptop in the market. Bill doesn't miss it so much:

I think they tried licensing out the OS about 10 years ago. Didn't seem to work out all that well for Apple, seeing as how their bread and butter was computers back then. Granted, the company and its product line had other problems at the time, so perhaps there would be better results if they ever tried it again. I suppose if their OS got as big as Vista, er, I mean, Windows, it would be worth it to them. Otherwise, in a short time, there would be no more Apple.

As time marches on, computers will become a smaller part of their product mix. If the iPhone and whatever follows in its footsteps continues to advance, a less expensive device running OS X could well happen. Until then, a $500 Mac laptop strikes me as something one would not call "good," either in performance, durability or effects on Apple's bottom line and by extension, OS X.
-Bill

One reader shares his experience with online social networking in the corporate scene:

From what I've seen from the perspective of both legal and potential employers, these types of social networking pages (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) are very accommodating. In the legal world, our local district attorney's office uses these site for the same purpose as youths: They shows a deeper insight into the psyche. Likewise, my wife has used these sites to "weed out" prospective employees for her business by ensuring she steers clear of hiring the local "Nick Hogan" or otherwise distrustful and unsavory character. You can save a few bucks on the drug screen if their recent blog entries regal tales of how they paint the town red.

Perhaps Mark Twain did not know of the imaginable possibilities of the Internet, but his words still speak volumes: "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
-Henry

Chris adds his praise for Steve Jobs, whose health came into question recently:

I agree with you about Steve. I read an article in Wired magazine about Jobs and Apple, and while it wasn't totally complimentary, it definitely showed that he is an enigma and is doing a great job.
-Chris

And another Chris responds to a recent letter advising heckled iPhone fans to take the high road:

In my opinion, if the question was insulting, the content of the question just might be hitting a little too close to home. The man in line's response to the question ("Have you ever seen a women naked?") showed that he was very uncomfortable and almost hurt by the question. If it's not true, why would anyone be so offended? He might as well have said, "Stop picking on me, you big meanie." If you want to stop the stereotype, fight fire with fire and earn respect.

Pretending like you're above someone and then making you own condescending comment behind their back ("let them continue to bang wood blocks together") is no different than the smug or belittling comments you complain about. You're in denial if you don't understand the reality of many of the stereotypes regarding technology/computer nerds. There are plenty of technology nerds (I consider myself one) who can hold their own, have a sense of humor, and can respond to a snarky question with a snarky answer. It's all in good fun. Wait, are you the guy in line?
-Chris

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to 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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