Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Real Reason for Palladium

It never ceases to amaze me that people think Microsoft is trying to take over the world with Palladium. Sure, being able to charge you 25 cents every time you make a copy of your own files would be great for our bottom line. But that's just additional marginal income to us.

The real reason is to prevent leaks of internal documents, memos, and motivational videos, like this one. A parody of The Boss was probably just not a good idea, but hey, it was a better idea than Vista itself. We've got a sales force to motivate.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Paid Shill Blows His Cover: Reinitilize Chadwick? [Cancel] [Allow]

If you were a friend of Chadwick Matlin, you may have noticed that his cell phone doesn't ring to voicemail any more, and he doesn't answer it, he's not at home, nobody's seen him at work. I'll explain in a bit, but you won't ever see him again, and if you do, he'll deny having ever met you.

What an embarrassing opening sentence. Dude, like you bury the stuff you're not totally sure about down below the third paragraph, where nobody sees it.

Rock the CashBack
"If there's one thing that the Microsoft-Yahoo off-again, on-again love affair has laid bare, it's how badly Microsoft blundered its mid-'90s search and advertising advantage."

If there's one thing that your recent column in Slate has laid bare, it's that you were either on some haze-inducing medication when you wrote that column, or you have no awareness of what Microsoft was doing in the '90s. Search and advertising advantage. Ha. How exactly did we manage that, when we basically denied the fact that the internet even existed until about 1996?

Sure, after that we pretended like we invented the thing, and lots of chumps in charge of Fortune 500 IT budgets believed us, but we never had a search and advertising advantage. That market really didn't exist except in theory until Google figured out a few things that made it work.

Sigh. Chadwick, I know this is covered in the training. This is entirely too obvious, even for us. Don't attempt to entirely fabricate or otherwise re-write history unless it's a team effort. Everybody has to say it at once, or it blows your cover.

Now we'll have to get you some plastic surgery and create a shiny new fake background for you, but we should be able to place you as a Microsoft shill at CNet or some place like that. You'll need a little re-education, though. We wouldn't want you to blunder like this again and blow your new cover identity.

Don't feel too bad, though, it was only a matter of time. We already fired the moron who came up with your fake identity and decided "Chadwick" was a name your mother could have picked.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bonobos, 81 percent, and the Crush on Obama Girl

Toward the end of Hillary! Stop the attacks! Love, Obama Girl, there is a brief shot, CNN virtual-discussion-panel-style with Obama on the left, and Obama Girl on the right wearing this t shirt which says "Bonobos". Surely this must be more than a product plug, or even a reference to Bonobos brand pants.

Perhaps she's referring intentionally to the chimpanzee species who employ a wide variety of sexual practices as conflict resolution techniques -- social lubricant, if you will. The daily lives of bonobos are fascinating because they are not entirely unlike people in some ways, including their many behaviors which undoubtedly shock and appall the religious right.

Amber Lee Ettinger, better known as "the 'I've got a crush on Obama' girl" must be aware of the connection. Bonobos are known for using sex, lots and lots of it, all manner of it, continually, to resolve social conflict.

Obama Girl's entire schtick is about that. Obama Girl is the personification of an idea, she's an actress supported by a creative team, so it might have been a group effort.

Her entire message is that Obama has a strong appeal to young women, to the point where she sings she has a crush on him, that lots and lots of people have a crush on him. Part of the driver behind the emotional response to Obama is undoubtedly due to his continually appearing to be "above the fray". Young women, in particular, but a certain segment of the population in general, tend to be alienated, if not outright repulsed, by politics, due to the stronger nature of their conflict-avoidance tendency, flight winning over fight.

Some people thrive on competition, conflict, and winning. The nature of the political process brings many, many more of those kinds of people into the political realm. In fact, it nearly excludes any other kind of person. Those people who thrive on competition and conflict win elections, because they are often willing to do whatever it takes.

Whatever it takes. Recently, that phrase has been been a regular part of the political banter about HIllary Clinton.

When "Uncle Duke," a fictional character in the Doonesbury cartoon, ran for president in the 2000 election, his campaign motto was "Whatever it Takes." Also more recently, Uncle Duke has been working for a K Street lobbying firm, attempting to reform the reputations of genocidal dictators, notably one from Berzerkistan.

There are a whole lot of people, in fact, perhaps something like 81%, in this country who are weary of the messes created by insider Washington politics. (81% in Poll Say Nation is Headed on Wrong Track) Hillary Clinton made the mistake of running as an insider.

Obama sensed the shifting mood of the country. And so did the Obama Girl.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

iMac's 10th birthday

Happy Birthday, iMac!

iMac Turns 10
"Users at the time complained of the lack of a floppy drive and the switch to using USB almost exclusively for peripherals -- a sharp break from Apple's reliance on SCSI and its in-house Apple Desktop Bus standard. The move was later regarded as forward-thinking and contributing to the iMac's ease of use."

Well, that's not exactly how it happened. Users didn't complain because they hadn't been using floppy drives. We at Microsoft paid the pundits in the industry to tell people that people were complaining. It was so effective that everyone thinks it really happened.

What really happened was the people started switching to the Mac, despite advice from the pundits. Pundits themselves started to take note of the systems, and couldn't deny the appeal of the radical departure from traditional PC design aesthetic, or rather, lack entirely thereof.

The rest of the quoted sentence is grammatically flawed, so the intent of its author is unclear. However, it would appear to imply that Apple Insider are suggesting that users complained about the switch from closed architecture proprietary connectors to open standards like USB. That's the first I ever heard of that. Like most of what they write, they just made that up.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Steve's Little Pony

Steve's Little Pony should stop giving interviews. It undoubtedly gives Sun investors the willies, every time. After confessing that he finally scraped together enough pennies to get an iPhone, Steve's Little Pony goes on to sound like an un-reformed dot-commer.

The Engadget Mobile Interview: Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun

Q: In terms of Java on mobile platforms, a couple years back you guys picked up SavaJe and shortly thereafter announced the JavaFX Mobile platform, but we really haven't heard anything about that since...

A: Well I invite you to attend the JavaOne conference where we will be unveiling exactly what that looks like now. Because we have obviously made a huge amount of progress. And look, we are going to be delivering an open source phone. That doesn't happen overnight, but when it does happen I think it will fundamentally change the economics of the marketplace and create new opportunities for developers.

Sell your JAVA stock short, if you think Steve's Little Pony honestly believes that an open source phone will "fundamentally change the economics of the marketplace" for phones, in a way that an open source desktop operating system has failed, after trying since about 1991, to fundamentally change the economics of the marketplace for desktop computers. Steve's Little Pony ought to know this lesson by heart. After all, Linux, even while failing over and over and over to make even a dent in the desktop market, managed to seriously disrupt the server market, Sun's core market, to the point where all the major players except Apple and Microsoft feel compelled to offer Linux alternatives to their own server operating systems.

Steve's Little Pony continues his answer.

"Right now we estimate we have about a 1.5 to 2 billion Java runtimes on phones out there so we are on the majority of all phones, certainly the huge majority of the new phones (Apple is probably the one exception). And that creates lots of opportunities for developers -- that's our core constituency and I think we can just continue to build innovations that they care about.

But what they ultimately care about, the one innovation that they all care about is volume. So the fact that they can run an app on a billion phones means that they have a billion times the market opportunity than if they just run on one that has four million devices. "

Just like web browsers, Java is on a billion and a half phones... in the pockets of people who don't even realize their phone has a browser and don't know what Java is. As is the case with web browsers on phones, Java performs poorly and the interface of the phone is so cumbersome that all of the top technology companies in the world have failed to turn two billion phones into a market at all.

See, Java is on a billion or so PCs in the world, too, give or take. How has that market played out for the third party ISV? Oh, that's right. There really aren't any third party ISV making desktop software in Java, on any desktop platform, because the user experience sucks. The only people building applications like that right now are producing custom applications for the enterprise. The users of those systems will tell you, almost universally, those applications suck. The users hate the applications, and all Sun gets out of it is a stain on the Java brand. IBM and their stable of $10.00 per hour programming sweat shops in India are getting all the revenue.

Apple's market with a base of what is now closer to 10 million phones, plus several million iPods Touch, might even be larger than the Java market on 2 Billion phones, in terms of potential revenue. By this time next year, we'll know the answer to that one.

Although I'm pretty keen on market share dominance, if you can't monetize that market share, it's just technological masturbation, like XBOX.

If you can't even deliver something that customers even realize they bought, then it's not even masturbation, it's just exposing your unit share in public, like Internet Explorer.

The curious part is that other players like IBM have managed to monetize Java to some degree, yet Sun has never really been able to do it, and for some reason doesn't seem much interested in emulating the success of the players who have done it, with Sun's own product.

Maybe Steve's Little Pony is afraid to score.