Larry Ellison, the swashbuckling buccaneer and yachtsman of the consolidating enterprise software industry, left it to his chief lieutenant and deal maker Charles Phillips to kick off Oracle Open World at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. One of high-tech Oracle/BMW racing yachts--Ellison's preferred sailing vessel--spanned the floor at the Moscone North entrance to the keynotes.
Between the Lines
Larry Dignan and other IT industry experts, blogging at the intersection of business and technology, deliver daily news and analysis on vital enterprise trends.
Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic.
Rachel King is a staff writer for ZDNet based in San Francisco.
For Microsoft, SOA is a means to Windows everywhere, and not an ends unto itself.
My former colleague Jim Rapoza, lab director at eWeek, has joined the chorus of those who are tarring and feathering the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for making Internet Explorer a requirement in order for natural disaster victims (eg: Katrina vicitims) to apply online for assistance. Writes Rapoza: I looked at the online application on the FEMA Web site, and it is a very simple form—applicants are presented with standard fields asking for basic identifying information.
Nicholas Carr, the Harvard Business School professor who posited that IT doesn't matter in his book Does IT Matter?, has, in his most recent blog, sided with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in its decision to phase out office applications from Microsoft and other providers in favor of those based on open standards, including the recently approved OpenDocument standard.
A busy week that was. At the Professional Developers Conference, Microsoft rolled out enough material to keep us busy for the week and more.
Worth reading: BusinessWeek has a good package on what ails Microsoft--innovation stagnation, slow product development, sagging morale, too much bureaucracy and slower growth (but record profits). Included in the package in an in-depth interview with CEO Steve Ballmer, who of course disputes the notion that Microsoft is struggling.
At the Disruptions 2005 technology conference put on by Deloitte in San Francisco today, world renowned chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov gave a brief speech and then simultaneously played against about 20 of the executives attending the conference. I talked to Udi Manber, CEO of Amazon’s A9 search engine, who proudly told me he lasted 23 moves with Kasparov, who was ranked number one in the world from 1984 until his retirement earlier this year.
Just build the best business and data-viewer browser software now, give it away, and outsource the hardware to Apple.
It wasn't until last week that a recent News.com story about how Yahoo Instant Messenger (YIM) users were getting more than they bargained for started to ring true for me.
I checked in with Marc Benioff to get his response to Siebel exec Bruce Cleveland's note, which took issue with some of salesforce.com's claims about the Siebel/Oracle mating and said that Benioff was "running scared.