Amid all the fuss about whether Microsoft was banning open source phone apps from Windows Phone 7 (just the copyleft licences, but that's enough to...
500 words into the future
Unapologetically opinionated views on technology, in the office and out
Simon Bisson is a freelance technology journalist. He specialises in architecture and enterprise IT. He ran one of the UK's first national ISPs and moved to writing around the time of the collapse of the first dotcom boom. He still writes code.
Mary Branscombe is a freelance tech journalist. Mary has been a technology writer for nearly two decades, covering everything from early versions of Windows and Office to the first smartphones, the arrival of the web and most things inbetween.
It’s sometimes hard to remember that companies often have more than one string to their bow. Take Parallels for example.
Could Google take a leaf from Microsoft's book and rein in the handset manufacturers by taking closer control over Android - and closing the source?The Android operating system itself is open source, but the Google apps on Android aren't - and Google already places other conditions on Android OEMs.
The White House's Flickr stream has a picture of the now famous dinner where US President Obama met a sizable cross section of the Silicon Valley technology aristocracy. We've all heard of most of them, of Larry Ellison, of Carol Bartz, of Steve Jobs, of Mark Zuckerberg.
The desktop operating system as we know it isn't dead yet, but the writing's clearly on the wall. The rise of the tablet and of the cloud, both public and private, is changing the way IT departments think about desktop PCs and how they're managed and used.
There are plenty of ways the Microsoft Nokia tie up in phones could go wrong, from Nokia spoiling the frankly delightful Windows Phone metro interface with Symbian-style clunkiness (Nokia is allowed to customise the interface the way no OEM can), to a backlash by disappointed Symbian developers, to sheer delay (the NoDo update has allegedly been ready since late 2010 and carriers and operators may be the hold up - something Microsoft was specifically trying to avoid).
The furore over whether Bing should have surgically excised the clickstream from Google out of the results they get about what IE and Bing Bar...
The world has changed, and the clock has rolled back to IBM of the 1970s. Everyone wants to own their own stack, from software to hardware to services.
Experts are valuable. Anyone can have an opinion and you can find instructions for doing a great many things online (including brain surgery, I'm told) but while I'm a maker, a crafter and a DIY fan, I also believe that it's not just that experts can do it faster - they can often do it better.
I don't want to think about how many email messages I get a day, but in 2010 it was over 10,000 messages that I didn't delete on sight (or didn't get around to deleting during the year). I know that because while I've never declared email bankruptcy and deleted the lot (old messages are far too useful), I do like to start the new year with at least the feeling of clearing the decks.