Tag Archives: Microsoft

Who will buy Adobe?

A lot of waffle today on the wires and especially on Twitter about Adobe acquiring Omniture. But I wonder who will acquire Adobe?

This is the Battle of the Cloud. And these are the 3 contenders:

1) Microsoft – ‘we own the software and the operating system’

2) Cisco – ‘we own the network and want that to be the operating system’

3) Google – ‘we own you online and you will be the operating system’

Adobe are small fry in this fray. Who will buy Adobe?

Microsoft Surface Launches in EMEA – whither the Intranet?

news out from CeBIT that Microsoft has launched Surface in Europe: Microsoft Surface gets EMEA launch

As a result of a previous posting on Twitter I was sent the video below by @joshblake I’ve also been chatting with Paolo Tosolini –@Tosolini who has been doing some great work with Microsoft on video casting and using Microsoft Surface as a comms tool – (please see previous post).

Moving on from yesterday where I conjectured about the intranet browser of the future, the video below maybe shows why technology may just yet leap frog over any such solution. When I watch Microsoft Surface in action I keep thinking, what will this do for internal comms and the intranet of the future?

How Microsoft Surface video to win deals

Using internal comms video to empower and inform a highly mobile and technically savvy workforce is one of the things I’ve spent a lot of career years on, so it was with keen eyes that I watched a Microsoft Surface video on how they’re doing it with cutting-edge surface table technology. The results look funky and efficient. I’d like to know more about how it all fits together. The questions that come to mind are:

How is the information is structured behind the creatives?

What the field sales guys reckon – nice or must have?

Tagging – I like tagging – what’s going on here? There looked like a means of synching up the info across multiple devices inc iPhones. This was the killler app I always wanted to provide our field sales guys with – don’t bombard but synch up so that the devices know when a message has gotton through. This looks like it delivers.

But delivery – is it push or pull, how do they find out about new content, how good is the engine behind it all?

It’s a good job that the presenter is on Twitter so I can now follow @tosolini and learn more…;-)

What is Seaport.exe?

ErrorI’m still getting a lot of traffic from people looking for Seaport.exe and how to remove it – Seaport.exe, a battle of the cloud. It’s not a virus, it’s an app from Microsoft for souping up search. If you want to disable it here’s how:

Update: How to stop seaport.exe

Here’s the basics on stopping seaport.exe

For Vista go to Start and Start Search and enter “services.msc”

For XP go to Start Run

run

and enter “services.msc”

services

Click OK. Next you’ll get this screen pop up:

services1

Scroll down do seaport.exe, right click and select Properties – a box like this will appear:

properties

Go to Startup Type and select Disabled.

This should stop it hogging up your machine working.

Windows Live Groups: Battle of the Cloud

Following on from my post about Seaport.exe, one of Microsoft’s Live Writer software developers Joe Cheng has been in touch. Joe’s Whatever blog covers Live Writer in development and action and looking at the screenshots and integration with Twitter maybe I should give it another go. Joe also left a link to a blog on Windows Live Groups: http://windowslivewire.spaces.live.com/blog/cns/ and the screenshots / descriptions look impressive too. Readwriteweb says this is all about integration of our digital lives and yup don’t we need it. I’m going to explore a bit more as this whole area looks very tasty. The Battle of the Cloud is shaping up nicely in the social media, UI as well as Search space.

Google's Net Necessities

A lot written  following from The Wall Street Journal’s article on Google and net neutrality: Google Wants Its Own Fast Track on the Web. John Battelle for example, recalls his interview with Vint Cerf, Google’s net-neutrality guru and compares this with the WSJ news.  Over at CNET Declan McCullagh ponders the significance and the PoV:

…if there’s a bit of confusion here, that’s to be expected. Much like pornography is in the eye of the beholder, so is Net neutrality.

Google had lobbied vigorously against any attempt to create a ‘2-tier system’. The idea is that those with money, Google for example, might pay for a fast-track for their data. This concept stirred up fierce controversy, the likes of which have not been seen since a similar idea was proposed for Oxford Street pedestrians.

Google’s legal-beagle Richard Witt has called the Journal’s article ‘confused’ and explains that Google don’t really understand how the net works. It’s all about caching and colocation says Witt. Sympathy and credulity for such sentiments are voiced by industry sage Om Malik who nevertheless expresses concern (and mixed metaphors) over the possible outcome of any such move:

…this move will be like swinging the tiger by the tail. The carriers will start with a fraction of the revenues, but over a period of time they can increase their cut, and Google would have no way to put the genie back in the bottle.

Malik closes by admitting that while Google has noble do-no-evil principles, ultimately it’s just like any other monopoly. I tend to agree somewhat, but I’d also note this monopoly needs to contend with one salient fact namely that what it may or may not be toying with, is actually a minor fact, when compared to the network itself. They’re not in theory at least if the WSJ is right, proposing to alter traffic itself, just to slip ISPs a back or fore hander to speed up their own traffic.

When a monopoly starts to even look like it’s thinking of rigging the tills augmenting revenue streams, then its competitors in the wider market tend to start to profess their own innocence and at times, politick disinterest. Take for example Microsoft who the WSJ notes:

…appealed to Congress to save network neutrality just two years ago, has changed its position completely. “Network neutrality is a policy avenue the company is no longer pursuing,” Microsoft said in a statement. The Redmond, Wash., software giant now favors legislation to allow network operators to offer different tiers of service to content companies.

Whichever way this transpires, all in all though it’s small beer. Why so? Well if Google go ahead then they commodify traffic, which is a salient trait of all market relations and to which the internet is no escapee. But this is tinkering with the traffic. And nothing like say altering the shape and traffic of the network itself. Wouldn’t that be like allowing cycle louts onto the pavement?…

Cloudy thinking & clever data

Souce: Dion Hinchcliffe

I find the following worthy of a scribble so I don’t forget,

Amazon’s use of APIs is making its network traffic rocket 

Microsoft has lost a top data center nerd to Amazon

Amazon has launched an elastic cloud

Amazon is building a giant new datacenter near a big dam

Google already has one

Microsoft’s Azure is a service living in their data centers and on the net

There’s no standard OS for clouds

The code needs to live somewhere and that where has laws

It’s all hype

The Q for me though is this – what happens to clouds if the network itself gets a bit smarter?

MySpaceID: Google 1, Microsoft 0

A great post from Rick Turoczy on readwriteweb on the ongoing format login scrap between Facebook and MySpace. Rick comes down firmly in favour of MySpace arguing that their way is more Open and favours interoperability. What’s more he says, MySpaceID:

fires a very real shot across Facebook’s bow. And continues to set the stage for the tag-team match between the more proprietary Facebook-Microsoft and the more open MySpace-Google. (source)
 

Over at cnet, Caroline McCarthy explains that MySpace are building on the open standards of ‘OpenSocial’ and ‘OpenID’ and says that MySpace are partnering with the giant European SP Vodafone and souped-up bespoke RSS factory Netvibes. I use both of these and like the service and reckon that this alliance might well be interesting.

Why so? Well Rick likens the MySpaceID move to the days of 1.0 when more adventurous ISPs opened the cracks in the walled gardens of AoL and Compuserve. This he says, led to the more open web we enjoy today. Thus the development from MySpace-Google also opens the way for a more open (and user-friendly) 2.0 web, which has to be a positive development. Add that to Vodafone’s reach and Netvibes’ personalised functional-funkiness and we’re also looking at some nicely synched up apps in future.

Update:

An intriguing quote from Charlene Li on the FT Tech Blog on this topic:

It’s not about one standard winning over the other, it’s not about Betamax versus VHS…At some point everything will connect, because the user will absolutely demand it.

We all will, but if one is closed and proprietary, hasn’t the battle been lost by then? As an alternative Richard Waters wonders if the primary sign-in app (i.e the winner) will define who/what we are online. And if Facebook is the winner, are we looking at 3.0 being a closed garden? I hope not…

Forrester: Instant Messaging and Virtual Worlds

A recent report from Forrester on Virtual Worlds asks  “Will Unified Communications Make Virtual Worlds Relevant To Business?” and provides a hedged answer of ‘Yes, But It Won’t Be Overnight‘. The backdrop to the report is a joint venture between IBM and Forterra Systems called Babel Bridge. Babel Bridge joins IBM’s unified communications in the form of their instant messager SameTime with Forterra’s 3D immersive world, OLIVE. Here’s how Forterra describe it:

The integrated solution from IBM and Forterra takes group collaboration productivity to a new level, incorporating not only voice, video, and media, but it adds the important element of a sense of presence and digital identity. (source)

Forrester examine this new solution by comparing it to the current status of 3D worlds and point to 3 key headaches for wider adoption:

  • There are few use cases that appeal to business.
  • The experience lacks key elements to make it immersive.
  • The technology is new and prone to failure.

They then argue that only with a ‘collision’ between the Virtual World and Unified Communications will these be overcome. 3DUC will offer:

  • A collaboration hub for the enterprise.
  • An environment for spontaneous collaboration.
  • A stable platform that conforms to IT department guidelines.
  • A “personal touch” to meetings between disparate groups.

For Forterra this delivers the holy grail of internal comms:

This integration builds stronger relationships, creates more engaging, memorable experiences, and enables faster problem solving and decision making, all while eliminating the need to travel.

Wow! But on whether it will do this though,  I’m not convinced. My reasons are this, why do it in 3D? I can see a fun element of the virtual world and creating a 3D workspace, but what is really gained here, what are the real and demonstrable business benefits beyond the novelty factor of pushing an avatar round a 3D world? The only area I’ve seen it work in well is virtual worlds surrounding conference and exhibitions where it achieves for the short while the event runs quite a satisfying level of customer engagement.

In a past life I watched a lot of European Union money ploughed into virtual world working environments (I even recall 3D tractor factories in the late 1990’s), but I could never see the point. It always struck me, and this was my actual experience too, that is was much harder work to traverse an avatar across a virtual than to click for a file or folder in good old 2D. And more to the point, all of Forrester’s points above can be achieved in ‘flat’ worlds such as Cisco WebEx Connect or Microsoft’s SharePoint. If one is having to do this everyday, then quick and easy, point and click, will always beat the extra work of moving an avatar about.

No doubt the technology will move forward, but while Forrester are excited by the possibility of full UC integration with 3D, they do urge caution and point out it’s not quite there yet. A key factor appears to be ‘immersion’, which makes me further wonder what full immersion might be like. Images of Total Recall come to mind and the P K Dick short story the film was taken from, We Can Remember it for you Wholesale. If it gets that immersive then one might ask, how will we know if we’re in the environment or not?

IBM's virtual desktop, minus Microsoft: will it float?

Following on from my musings yesterday on Forrester’s report on 2.0, it’s noteworthy that today sees a Wall Street Journal article that IBM have announced a whole new virtual desktop, which being  Linux+Notes, means no Microsoft products. Using a Microsoft free, Virtual Linux (et al) Desktop CNET notes, means cost savings of 50% – up to $800 per user. Their only qualm is that data will be stored centrally online, which strikes me as a bit of a red herring as I can’t see any serious corporate storing data without central back-ups.

What struck me here was the fact that this system means the Techs in central can also deploy collaboration software to their users. This package is a mix of Red Hat and Notes Domino and acording to IBM this brings a big plus:

Using Red Hat to host the Notes Domino platform provides the stability of Red Hat using a very strong collaboration suite that should meet any company’s needs. The suite can provide email, team rooms, document storage and very much more. Starting with version 8 it comes with Symphony, a free office suite built by IBM using the OpenOffice core code. 

Will it float? I think this depends on the richnness of the delivery. Central IT and Finance may see benefits in terms of cash and robustness, but can it deliver the sort of 2.0 experience that an increasingly social-media savvy employee base expects? Going on the last time I played with Domino, the answer would seem ‘No’, but that was one hell of a long time ago…