Google's entrance into the browser wars is more of a reflection of the importance of the browser environment as we undergo a shift to the next generation of Internet application development frameworks. Rich Internet Applications are the future, and Google wants to stake a claim to it.
A Developer's View
At the intersection between technology and economic policy, John Carroll brings years of experience as a software developer to bear on the latest issues affecting the technology industry.
<p>John Carroll has programmed in a wide variety of computing domains, including servers, client PCs, mobile phones and even mainframes. His current specialties are C#, .NET, Java, WIN32/COM and C++, and he has applied those skills in everything from distributed web-based systems to embedded devices. In his spare time, he enjoys the world of digital video, and served as director of photography and editor on a feature-length film produced in Limerick, Ireland, as well as a low-budget production filmed in Los Angeles that used Panavision digital cameras (the same ones used by George Lucas in the later Star Wars episodes).</p> <p>John worked in Microsoft's Mediaroom division from May, 2005 to May, 2008. He is co-founder of <a href="http://www.forgetmenotafrica.com">ForgetMeNot Software</a>, a creator of unified messaging software targeted at telecommunications providers, where he currently works as Director of Technology.
Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, a fake news show that has acquired a huge following (a group among whom I include myself), is attending the Democratic National Convention in Denver this week. As a result, he had the chance to meet with members of the traditional press, a group of people who, according to the account of Dennis DiClaudio on Comedy Central's campaign-related web site, are huge fans.
"Eating your own dog food" is an odd software development-related term that describes the importance of ensuring that your own developers use the technology they are creating. When Microsoft has hewed closed to this principle, their products have achieved dominant market shares. Unfortunately, Microsoft is not applying this principle to .NET 3.0 technologies, and in particular, the Windows Presentation Framework (WPF).
Difficulties in getting NTSC versions of a British comedy series led to an investigation of region-specific incompatibilities in the HD world. Though the situation is considerably improved in HD, there are still region-specific pitfalls that one needs to avoid when buying hardware for the home.
Microsoft's biggest problem lies in its inability to maintain consistency across product categories, both from a user interface standpoint, and increasingly, from an API and technology standpoint. What Microsoft needs is more sharing within Microsoft combined with a more concerted effort from the center to impose discipline, from an API and user interface standpoint, across its product lines.
I've been investigating Apple Cocoa API as I plan to complement my Windows and UNIX development skills with skills in Mac development. That doesn't mean I am willing to accept weak attacks what I consider to be a superior development platform: .NET.
Bob Sutor of IBM thinks that Linux needs to make innovative user interfaces, pointing to Apple as proof that charting your own path is beneficial. Apple, however, has certain aspects of its business that simply do not apply to Linux, making it harder for the business-focused operating system to achieve much market traction with a trend-breaking user interface.
Germany is facing difficulties finding a workable business model for the mandatory DVB-H mobile video broadcasting standard. Perhaps the problem is that governments are trying to impose technology standards ahead of time -- a strategy that, from an economics standpoint, is questionable.
Microsoft occupies a middle ground between the vertically-integrated control of an Apple and the bazaar-like atmosphere of the open source world. Microsoft abandons that middle ground at their own peril.
About a week and a half ago, Mary Jo Foley wrote a piece where she argued that Microsoft was planning to get more "Apple-like" in the PC and phone space, based on various statements from Microsoft executives. I intended to write a response that following Monday, but work intervened, which is all for the better, as I needed time to think on the subject a bit more.
Managed runtimes and self-describing code has changed Microsoft's approach to source code protection. We have access to more Microsoft source code than ever before, and that is likely to remain the case so long as Microsoft emphasizes .NET as its platform of the future.
The quake in Los Angeles wasn't that big a deal, proof of which comes from the fact that, within an hour, I fired up my webcam and posted my thoughts, in video form, to CNN. Don't you just love the Internet?
Problems in the housing market in the United States provide some interesting lessons about government regulation in general, lessons that have equal applicability to the intersection between Information Technology and government.
It's good that Microsoft has begun to allow home users to create XBOX 360 games that they can sell through XBOX Live. Microsoft, however, could do so much more with their TV-attached creation if only they were willing to let third parties take it beyond traditional TV-oriented services.
Terry Childs sits in a San Francisco jail, accused of locking down the city government network and refusing to give up the passwords. Though it's not completely fair, past negative experience of overly controlling technical administrators colors my perception of him.