Hype-Master Rains on Cloud Parade

Larry Ellison is the king of hype, and gosh if I don't respect him for it. This time, instead of promoting the network computer or bashing Microsoft, Ellison is taking a few shots at the concept of cloud computing.

Larry's beef? That clouds refer to almost anything going on in computing today -- Web services, SaaS and massive datacenters from the likes of Amazon. VMware is even talking about turning our datacenters into mini-clouds. If you check out the link, there's a great discussion about the future of clouds and what this all means.

Are clouds over-hyped and what do clouds mean to you? Answers, please, at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

.NET on the Rise
Yesterday, I brought you news about Visual Studio 2010, and also argued that Microsoft treats developers particularly well. There are a few complaints that some tools are overpriced and don't support enough non-Microsoft technologies, but overall the programmers I talk to are pretty happy.

That may be the reason .NET is on the rise, taking a few chunks out of Java's market share. According to a new report by Evans Data, 60 percent of developers will invest more in .NET. Developers are a finicky lot, so Microsoft is either doing something very right or the Java camp is doing something very wrong.

Where do you stand -- behind Java or Microsoft? Tell me what you think at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Private Browsing Not 100 Percent Private
All the major browsers have private browsing modes (it's coming in the next rev of IE) where your history, caches and other traces of where you've been aren't left behind. And these feature work fine for kids hiding their Web habits from parents, and husbands keeping their unseemly searches from their wives (and I guess vice versa).

But private browsing isn't a perfect defense against hackers or tech-savvy parents and spouses. Spyware and other techniques can still track your every move, steal your password and rob you blind.

The answer, I guess, is to treat your private browser as if it's open, making sure your security software is up-to-date and working right.

Mailbag: Thoughts on Google and Apple, More
Readers on both sides of the Google fence share their thoughts on Chrome and the upcoming Google phone:

Browser is awesome; I've been using it all day. The installer sucks. It is a user-based install, which forcedly dumps itself in the current user's Application Data folder. I like to run as a limited user so this does not work well for me. Whether I tried installing as admin, or using 'Run As' while logged in as my limited user, it forcedly and secretly places the installation in the administrator's Application Data folder, which I cannot access or execute files from while logged in as my limited user. What I had to do to get it working the way I(kind of) wanted was temporarily give my limited user admin rights, install it, then de-admin myself. Why not give me the choice to install for THIS USER or ALL USERS like most programs or, for heaven's sake, at least let me choose which folder I want to install the software in!

Other than that, though, it seems like a really great product, simple and easy to understand.

-Tim

Though this may place me squarely within a minority among technology specialists, I'm not impressed with Google to the degree so commonly expressed these days. Not that Google isn't a powerhouse, because it is, but I don't agree with those that want to see it as a company predestined to rule the world and/or seemingly content to give it a free ride because they simply see it as the anti-Microsoft. I see Google as intent upon and involved in much for which there would be an unending public outrage if coming from Microsoft. Such is the way of the world, unfortunately.

I welcome the entry of Chrome into the marketplace, however, primarily because it's raising expectations concerning increased JavaScript performance, something from which everyone will benefit. On the other hand, I have no faith, nor any interest in, suggestions of Chrome as an emerging application platform. I see such expectations as entirely unrealistic in today's world, a throwback to failed attempts by others to achieve the same in years past, and again, something which would be the focus of intense ridicule and consternation if suggested by Microsoft rather than Google.
-John

No, I'm not excited about the Google phone. I just want a nice, high-quality cell phone that doesn't do anything but be a cell phone. That's getting harder and harder to find, if it's even still possible.

Anyway, I think Google or Apple can stamp their names on any piece of junk technology and the Google and Apple fanatics will automatically go gaga over it, even before they know anything about it.
-Brad

I am like a little, giddy schoolboy when it comes to the Android platform. I am a IT technician and I rely on my phone very much when I need to get online at any given moment. I have kept track of the Anroid platform since its first press release. I, like so many others, where hoping that Sprint would be the first carrier to provide the Android platform (it wasn't). But when it does offer it, I am for sure going to be there to trade my phone in.
-Anonymous

Count Jordan among those who think that Apple simply costs too much:

Apple overpriced? In many respects, it is. To the average consumer, its prices are ridiculous.

I work as a desktop admin for a school system of around 25,000 machines, half Apple, half PC. Apple does cut us some pretty good deals on the cost of the machines from its side, but the downside is our Apple support tickets are two-fold that of the PC tickets. The man hours lost in supporting them does not equal out to being worth the intial cost of the item. No, this isn't me saying we have a Dell 755 running against an eMac. We have models from all years but the old Dell GX110s chug along just fine, when the eMacs lose a hard disk or logic board daily. We have new 755s that you can swap an HD or other part on within seconds compared to the two- to three-hour service time for a new iMac. Apple costs too much in the forefront for the consumer, and costs too much to support for the enterprise.
-Jordan

And James responds to another reader who questioned the findings of a study that said most botnets come from the U.S.:

Maybe "Anonymous" should go back to school, perhaps to the grade where they discuss "more" versus "less." Apparently, he doesn't understand that 20.7 million is more than 7.7 million. It has nothing to do with "normalizing the number of users." If you want to try and spin things so that the facts get all distorted, that's when you start throwing out the terms "normalize the numbers" or "the percentage of the whatever." But the basic fact is that 20.7 million is more than 7.7 million, so the article was true. Maybe this person could go work for the McCain campaign since they don't seem to let facts get in the way of their statements.
-James

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

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