Shiny, Happy Chrome Site

Reader Nate sent me an e-mail last week about his online review of Chrome. The review was so well-done and so well-written, I thought I'd give good, old Nate a plug.

What Nate did is similar to what I'm doing with an upcoming Reader Review -- getting the skinny on Chrome. In Nate's case, we see one very well-informed opinion backed by his benchmarks. In my story, over a dozen Redmond Report readers will help form an overall evaluation of Chrome.

Here's what Nate liked: the sparse interface, speed and private browsing (what are you trying to hide, Nate?). On his not-so-good list? No advances in bookmarking and a processor-intensive architecture.

Clicking Off Clickjacking
I had never heard of clickjacking before, but judging by the name, I knew it had to be bad.

Apparently, clickjacking is where a hacker gets a user to click a link. Unlike phishing, where the hacker tries to get you to go to a site you think is legit (just this morning, Bank of America asked me to reset my site key -- or at least it looked like Bank of America), clickjackers get you to click on something you barely notice. Once you do, they can lead you to a site of their own choosing or making.

The bad news? Pretty much all browsers are vulnerable, as is Flash.

Visual Studio 2010 Announced in 2008
The next major rev of Visual Studio is due out in a couple of years, so what does Microsoft do? Name it "Visual Studio 2010," that's what!

That wasn't the only news. Microsoft also talked up some 2010 features, especially Team System items like helping those with different roles -- such as architects and coders -- work better together.

One move that may dismay some is that Visual Studio 2010 won't support SQL Server 2005. That may not be a huge deal as it takes a while for developers to move new IDE releases.

I've covered Microsoft development tools off and on (more off than on) for over 20 years and noticed that Microsoft always pays close attention to developers. If programmers want something, chances are they're going to get it.

Have you worked with Microsoft on the development side and, if so, how did they treat you? Opinions welcome at [email protected].

Mailbag: Is Apple Overpriced?, More
Apple overpriced? A few readers think that's an issue worth some debate:

I do not own an Apple. However, my impression has always been that Apple chooses quality and reliable components, which causes the higher prices. Are they overpriced? Is a BMW overpriced? They are certainly HIGHER priced...but OVERpriced? Only if they do not deliver value. If a computer crashes less and lasts longer, but is priced higher, there could be value there, even for an enterprise. How much is your time worth to troubleshoot goofy crashes, root out spyware and viruses, and/or re-image the machine?

Again, this is just my impression, not based on any facts, as I do not own an Apple. But sometimes I am envious of those that do (especially when I am staring at a Blue Screen of Death).

You seem to be forgetting that Apple is a hardware company that writes software so it can sell its hardware. Microsoft is a software company that designs some hardware so it can sell its software (Lord knows, it has yet to make a dime off the hardware). So I say: Microsoft's software is overpriced because it's from a single source. And as the King of Windows, Office and Xbox games, Microsoft rules with an iron fist. Microsoft should be more like Apple and open source its OS like Darwin is.

As for the Mac beings overpriced, that's comparing Apples to, well, PCs. Apple computers are for those who value quality over price and are willing to pay for it. Top-shelf products always cost more.

Jobs sells a premium product to an exclusive and remarkably loyal customer base (how many iPods do you own?). Sure, his computers are overpriced. So are his music players. So what? His customers keep coming back. Why? Because Jobs is selling sex -- as surely as if he ran Victoria's Secret! In truth, the iMac is no more expensive than a comparably equipped Dell -- but Dell also sells entry-level hardware that can do everything the average user needs for it to do. For most people, an iMac is simply overkill.

Apple is in a Catch-22. It cannot offer hardware at entry-level price points because it doesn't sell enough hardware to be able to absorb the extremely small profit margins at those price points. Nor can it get its production levels up high enough to tolerate the narrow margins without first lowering its prices dramatically. If Apple were to change itself into a software house, allowing users to put Mac OS X on everyone's Intel box, it would get their license numbers up but destroy its hardware business. If you think this would be a good idea, look what happened to NeXT computers, Jobs' other venture. Jobs decided a long time ago to leave the mass market to his geeky counterpart at Microsoft -- and take as much of the premium market for himself as he could -- almost entirely through brilliant marketing.

Speaking of marketing, Coleen thinks the new Microsoft ads are an improvement...but the Mojave ads are another story:

I do like the new "I'm a PC" ads better than what had come before. Quirky wasn't working, and by the end of one evening of watching (admittedly) a lot of television, I was quickly sick of the strange Seinfeld ad.

The "Mojave" ads are seriously getting on my nerves, though. The biggest part of Vista's problems has to do with its lack of compatibility with existing drivers. In my admittedly anecdotal experience, even drivers that are designed for Vista can cause devices like printers to lose some of the functionality they once had. Granted, that's the manufacturer's fault, but it's been so rampant that Vista has gotten an ugly reputation. Putting people in a room with computers that Microsoft has chosen and pre-installed with Vista is not a realistic way to judge the product.

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to [email protected].

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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