Micosoft slashes Vista price

Where else could you get an operating system this good for the low price of $129?

Uhhh…

Microsoft drops Vista price to boost sales amid lawsuit – Tech

Under the new pricing scheme, Vista Home Premium, the most common version of the software, will drop from 159 dollars to 129 dollars for an upgrade-only version. The top-end Vista Ultimate edition will drop from 399 dollars to 319 dollars.

The discount is primarily aimed to accelerate sales of upgrades to users still running Windows XP or earlier versions of Windows

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Published in: on February 29, 2008 at 9:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Google Apps: not the next Sharepoint (please).

There is a very good article over at ReadWriteWeb.  While a lot of it is a familiar rehash of why Enterprise IT departments have a good reason to be circumspect about consumer technologies being adopted for enterprise use, it also summarizes Google’s strategy for marketing its Google Apps to the Enterprise pretty well … see the quote:

Google Sites the Next Sharepoint? Maybe Not….Why Google Apps Could Lose the Enterprise Market – ReadWriteWeb

Google is actually going about marketing to the enterprise market in a pretty ingenious way – they’re not. Instead, they’re bypassing the IT department (who would, in all honesty, probably laugh at the thought) and marketing their suite on the sly directly to the employees themselves: “Are the tools provided by your IT department too unwieldy to use? Is IT to slow to respond to your needs? Then forget IT and use Google Apps instead!” This is definitely a good plan for Google in the short term, but it’s not one that is going to be good for them in the long run…especially when IT catches on to what their users are doing.

It goes on to draw an interesting conclusion: that this is a marketing strategy so ingenious as to be evil:

There’s “power to the people,” (tech populism) and then there’s a total coup-d’etat. Google’s opting for the latter.

And this:

“No longer will IT departments be the enforcers of policy”.

The conclusion is that in the short term, this coup may succeed.  But in the long run, it will crumble as IT lowers the boom and enforces the use of  the sort of Enterprise software that requires its self-justifying intervention in a way that Enterprise 2.0 technologies do not.

The Scotsman disagrees.  That coming backlash is inevitable, but it is not the long term.  Over the long term … lets say 8 years ( about the length of the next administration in Washington … or a couple of graduating classes ) … there will be an ever-growing population of retirees at home struggling to get their Windows Vista Home Edition machines to run Sharepoint on their own.  They will not have the help of their benevolent IT overlords from their workdays.  They will not want to have their grand kids re-train them to use free-form consumer services. Have you noticed that about old folks?

By contrast, the Enterprise will be increasing reliant on fresh faces that can’t comprehend the notion that they are not allowed to access an office spreadsheet on their iPhone, and cut-and-paste into it from a spreadsheet they got from a friend on Facebook.  They will not accept re-training from their parents’ IT overlords.  Have you noticed that about kids today? 

These increasingly rare kids (whose smaller numbers will be paying the social security of their more numerous IT-staff-bereft elders at home) will be in demand, and have the luxury of working for a company innovative enough to let them use the tools which lets them be as efficient as possible. 

At some critical tipping point, HR will realize that hiring expensive IT staff to enforce an obsolete policy that drives away the most efficient employees is a terribly bad way to run a business.  Enterprise software companies have just that long to re-engineer their products to leverage the skills of the new workforce.

Google didn’t engineer this generation gap.  It didn’t plan the baby boom after WWII.  If anything it is guilty of being one of the first major players to recognize and prepare for the consequences.  That doesn’t make Google evil. Unless of course they actually do give us the next Sharepoint.

Published in: on February 29, 2008 at 3:48 pm  Comments (1)  

Free beta for IT assest discovery and network mapping Tool

Paglo – The Search Engine for IT

Universal Search means that we allow you to collect all of the information about your computers, networks, and users with the Paglo Crawler. The captured data is then securely sent to the Paglo Search Index and is ultimately presented through your Paglo Web Account. This is important because we are not limited to one type of information, say logs or documents. We also are unique with patent-pending technology that presents query results as both simple text and rich quantitative data.

Published in: on February 28, 2008 at 4:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Jet engines better than Fuel Cells.

Miniature jet engines could power cellphones – 20 October 2004 – New Scientist

The key advantage of microengines is that they pack in at least 10 times more energy per volume of fuel than conventional lithium batteries, take up less space and work more smoothly than much-touted fuel cells.

Published in: on February 28, 2008 at 3:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

A workable soultion to Copyright?

This is an interesting proposal to solve copyright problems.  Its seems innovative and workable, at least until you start to think about all the local, state, federal, and international bodies that might be called upon to protect copyrighted property from theft and therefore expect a piece of the revenue in return.  Still … very clever.

Copyright this – Los Angeles Times

A solution to determining which works are in the “Mickey Mouse” category of copyrights and which are in the more socially valuable “oral rehydration therapy” class of work is not feasible for a government bureaucracy. However, if all copyrights were taxed at a fixed (but significant) amount per year to maintain the copyright (all registered through the copyright office and searchable), there would be a significant carrying cost and most of the copyrighted material would revert to “public domain” and become available to “promote the progress of science and useful arts.” As intellectual property and copyrights become an even more significant part of our economy, and as copyright holders (not necessarily the creators) make claims of “stealing” as though it is real property, it should be taxed.

Published in: on February 27, 2008 at 10:01 pm  Comments (1)  

Better than Google Sky?

It certainly looked like Astronomy would be a pretty good application for Photosynth.  This World Wide Telescope, unlike Google Sky, apparently only runs on Windows … not under Mac OS X or Linux. 

Microsoft poised to unveil WorldWide Telescope? | Channel Register

Redmond has apparently tapped the might of the Hubble telescope “as well as 10 or so Earth bound telescopes” to compile its multiple terabit view of the heavens, which will be driven by the company’s Photosynth technology.

TechCrunch has heard WorldWide Telescope is “significantly better” than Google Sky, offering a user interface which is “seamless as you move around the sky and zoom in and out”.

Published in: on February 27, 2008 at 9:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

EMC to joust with Google and Microsoft?

So here is EMC, trying to bust into the enterprise with cloud computing by going after the youngsters in the consumer market.  A ploy that sounds familar.

EMC Acquisition Shows It Wants to be a Cloudmaster – Bits – Technology – New York Times Blog

Mr. Maritz said that EMC’s chief executive, Joseph Tucci, has a vision for cloud computing — and not just in corporations — that resonates with him and what Pi is up to, he said. “Joe believes that the cloud will exist outside the corporate environment, and that the architectures and styles of computing inside the corporation will increasingly be influenced by what is happening in the cloud outside the corporation,” Mr. Maritz explained.

Published in: on February 25, 2008 at 9:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Google progress in the Federal space

This interview at Federal Computer Week gives some hints as to how far Google has progressed at getting Google Apps certified for use in Government work.  A  must-read for anyone on Federal contracts who are trying hard to do the right thing and save the taxpayers a buck or two.

Google’s Dave Girouard on Google-ization

Government figures prominently in Google’s enterprise business plans. The company is bolstering its federal office and establishing relationships with major systems integrators in the market. But will government technology executives be willing or able to trust core parts of their operations to the Web giant?

Girouard:
The last issue, which is a very big one, is
data security and trust. They are related. Is data secure if it’s in
someone else’s data center? That’s in my mind the last frontier. The
technical issues are largely dispensed with.

Published in: on February 22, 2008 at 8:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Where Web 2.0, IT and HR meet

A study of how HR enacts, monitors and enforces employee web use policy.  Usually by relying on IT employees … if they are authorized to do anything at all.

Clearswift / News & Events

“The question that is sparked by these results is, ‘Should IT managers be developing policies and enforcing them, making decisions on what they see as a breach of employee Internet usage policy?’suggested Millard. “In cases where a breach is less obvious, can IT even recognize what HR would see as a violation? The survey results make it clear that the HR and IT need to be working closely to develop and enforce Internet usage policies, and IT need to educate the HR and the business as to the benefits and risks of new technologies. In 60 percent of the companies, both IT and HR develop the usage policies, yet only 19 percent of HR departments are involved in monitoring employee usage.”

Published in: on February 15, 2008 at 6:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sun picks up VirtualBox

Sun buys Innotek for open source PC virtualization – Computer Business Review

Sun said Innotek’s VirtualBox open source virtualization software will extend its xVM platform onto the desktop and strengthen its position in the virtualization market. It said that as part of the xVM platform, VirtualBox will have the support of Sun’s global development community, field resources, and partners.

Published in: on February 15, 2008 at 6:38 pm  Leave a Comment