Articles tagged in microsoft

  1. Thoughts on Microsoft, after Tech.Ed 2008

    After Tech.Ed 2008 (I think) I have some new thoughts on Microsoft. It is in fact a different company than many Internet users and mass media have perceived. It is a lot more than just Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, Live/MSN, and Xbox 360. It is really about developers, developers, developers.

    For those who have read my previous 3 days of quick reports on Tech.Ed, I think I might need to explain who I am and why I attended Tech.Ed 2008. I use Windows on the desktop (ahem... it's a work computer!) but I was trained in a university which taught programming on *nix system (UNSW). I had my very first professional gig as C/C++ programmer on SCO OpenServer. I've used Linux for 13 years and Vim has been my text editor of choice over the last 10 years. Coding for a *nix/Linux system is just so much more natural to me.

    But then a start up that I was part of (and still is) got bought out by another ISV around a few years ago, and these guys use pretty much Microsoft stack all the way through. So my team (Linux loving, mostly UNSW grads) started living a "double life" at work -- almost all developers worked on Linux, but we have to build and deploy our software on Win2k3 boxes. And now they've just sent me to a convention focusing on the technology that I've been trying very hard to avoid...

    Okay. Back to Microsoft.

    It's a company that everyone likes to bash. Obviously when I say "everyone", I am talking about those who read Slashdot or those who read TechCrunch (note -- two very different crowd). To them, all the open source projects and new web start ups are pronouncing the defeat of Microsoft. MSFT is in trouble because Windows Vista does not sell. They are in trouble because Firefox/OpenOffice.org/Google Chrome are taking up more shares in the market. Google Docs is so much better than Office 2007 (yeah right). Zune is crap. Jerry Seinfeld + Bill Gates is worse. Etc.

    But one of the most important messages I received in the Tech.Ed this year was -- Microsoft is much more than just a software company. While it has also quickly transformed itself into a service company (like Google and Yahoo) and an infrastructure company (like Amazon WS), it is also a well established solution company (think IBM, Accenture, etc). They implement end to end solutions for enterprises with multi-million dollar budget. For those who triumph over the fact that he uses Linux, Firefox and OO.o instead of Microsoft equivalent -- just think about how much tax you have paid to the government, who spent big chunk of the budget on IT projects, many were designed by Microsoft certified architects using Microsoft development tools, deployed on the Microsoft operating systems...

    And the scary thing is -- how many other solution companies can provide the entire stack -- from operating system, virtualisation, database, web/messaging servers, development tools, deployment tools, programming languages, web browsers, RIA runtime and the whole lot? Sun, maybe, although most won't consider their own database system of "enterprise grade". Not to mention Sun seriously needs a health check. In Anna Liu's presentation on Wednesday where she showed a slide of a big application stack -- there's a Microsoft product for almost everything. For Microsoft certified professional developers, they probably won't think twice in choosing the right component, because MSFT have already done all the thinking + implementation for them. Talking about vendor lock in...

    With so much invested in development stack and infrastructure, developers and architects who have sold their soul to Microsoft platform, are actually one of MSFT's biggest assets. And with 3,000+ attendance at Tech.Ed 2008, this community is definitely not small size. These are the developers who are part of multi-million dollar projects in government, education, banks, etc. It's more than just Microsoft defending themselves from non-Microsoft products. These developers too have been advocating for their SQL Server, for their IIS and for their VisualStudio -- not just because of their loyalty but the entire Microsoft development stack is what brings food on the table for them. Obviously they will stick up for their favourite company in Redmond!

    And the Two-Point-Oh people can continue with their yada yada yada. Big corporates are usually immune to them -- at least here in Australia.

    Or maybe it is just Australia, which I found is very Microsoft'ised in comparison with many Asia and Europe countries, where some government will explicitly go the open source route to reduce vendor lock in.

    Anyway. Sorry about my disturbing brain dump. The rule of the game is more than the mind share of Internet and office suite users, but the mind share of software developers. Not just those in the start ups but also numerous developers/architects in big corps who might rarely raise their opinion on blogs but are solely responsible in picking the tools for their next million dollar project.

    Fortunately (or unfortunately) for Microsoft, having software products for the entire stack just make mind-share grabbing quite a bit easier.

  2. I Survived! - Tech.Ed 2008 Day 3

    I am tired. It's almost 12am (and by the time I finish this post, I am pretty sure it will be over 12am). I had a long day at Tech.Ed today and I went straight to the regular Friday night Bible Study afterwards. However as I have blogged about …
  3. Ends in High Note - Tech.Ed 2008 Day 2

    2nd day at Tech.Ed and it was actually not bad -- I guess I am well on my way of getting brain washed. Got out of the house at around 8am this morning, and saw Cherry on the bus on the way to the city. She thought I was …
  4. Enemy Territory - Tech.Ed 2008 Day 1

    "Enemy Territory" -- because I went to a conference promoting Microsoft products and were surrounded by Microsoft-worshipping geeks today, from 8:30am to 6:45pm. Not the greatest experience, and I was totally overwhelmed at how many "stormtroppers" who actually attended Tech.Ed. It did not end up as bad as …
  5. Danny Sullivan on Microsoft Buying Yahoo

    DailySearchCast: Microsoft Wants to Buy Yahoo! Some of the best commentary from Danny Sullivan the Godfather of "search" on the whole Microsoft offering $45b to buy Yahoo event.
  6. Windows Home Server for Your Significant Other

    Gizmodo: Microsoft's Children's Book on Windows Home Server. Don't expect to find that on Anna and Elsie's bookshelf though! Basically the story is: Servers bores the adults working in the boring office. Although many servers live in data centres... But the Windows Home Server is fun! Hopefully more fun …
  7. Microsoft vs. Apple on Anti-Aliasing

    I was wondering why the font rendering on Safari for Windows looks so different. Actually I've used a Mac for the last 4 years, but seeing Apple's anti-aliasing rendering engine working on Windows does feel a little bit strange. Joel Spolsky outlined the differences between two camps: Apple generally believes …
  8. Christian, Linux and Microsoft

    Dan Warne of APC talked about Ubuntu Christian Edition in a sort-of mocking way. I actually took a look at this Ubuntu Christian Edition (UBE) thingy, and it is nothing more than one bash script (convert_me) that installs both GnomeSword + a few modules (an open-source Bible study software) and DansGuardian …
  9. Microsoft Invites Firefox Developers to Redmond

    Ars Technica: Microsoft's open source software lab is inviting Firefox and Thunderbird developers for a tour of their research centre, in hope to assist them to make Firefox running smoothly on Windows Vista. The question is, will they get out alive? Kidding aside, Firefox has been running smoothly on Windows …
  10. Internet Explorer 7 beta impressions

    I have been using Internet Explorer 7 beta 2 for the last few days just to check out whether the web application we've developed still work on Redmond's latest offering. Here's my impressions. Feel free to comment. Interface looks sleek. Nice shades. No more menu bar (unless you want to …
  11. Microsoft released WMF patch

    Microsoft has finally released security patch to a vulnerability in reading Windows Meta File (WMF). Hurry up! Run, download and apply this patch (if you haven't got yourself infected). Unless you are running Mac or Linux of course :)
  12. Visual Studio Express -- free for one year

    Via digg.com, Visual Studio Express is now free download for one year from MSDN website, and from the FAQ, you can apparently use it commericially and for production sites. And with its "free for one year" deal, it just means that Microsoft might start charging those downloads after Nov …
  13. Microsoft and its Live Software

    Windows Live "beta" -- absolutely the most talked about topic on Internet over the last two days. Heavy "Ajax" that has been all over the web these days which I have started to hate. Doesn't work on Firefox yet, and it constantly crashed my Internet Explorer. Still, sounds like Microsoft has …
  14. Microsoft and OpenDocument

    Microsoft might support OpenDocument if there is enough customer demand. OpenDocument is an OASIS standard, submitted to ISO, and is the standard file format for the up-coming OpenOffice.org 2. Way to go, Microsoft, and please show us how you will embrace the standard! However, if native PDF support in …
  15. Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar

    I always enjoyed using Chris Pederick's Web Developer Extension when working with web pages on Firefox, and I have always hoped for something similar on Internet Explorer, as in this inperfect world, web developers do need to bow down to some of those inferior but more popular browsers out there …
  16. Sun and Microsoft... Together?

    Here is one disgusting picture: Scott McNealy (SUN) and Steve Ballmer (MSFT) Shake hands Here is the press on how Sun and Microsoft has been working together over the last year. Both of them look very happy and were smiling towards each other. I must be very out-of-date with the …
  17. MSN's RSS Aggregator

    Via WebMasterWorld. MSN is testing out its beta RSS aggregation service Start.com. Currently only works in Internet Exploder. Dynamic HTML using XMLHttpRequest everywhere - adding/removing feeds, reading news items, etc - none of them require page refresh. Sounds like a stiff competition with Bloglines.
  18. Blogging on MSN Spaces

    Via Slashdot, that Microsoft has launched the beta version of its own blog hosting service - MSN Spaces. I quickly went and sign up a site (Microsoft Passport login required), and here it is: Scott's Space on MSN After about 5 minutes of playing around, here's some unsorted quick comments in …