John Carroll

John Carroll has delivered his opinion on ZDNet since the last millennium. Since May 2008, he is no longer a Microsoft employee. He is currently working at a unified messaging-related startup.

Latest Posts

Citizen journalism and traditional news

I've been experimenting recently with CNN's site for "citizen journalism" (named iReport).  I created a few video posts of myself in response to requests for questions targeted at future visitors to Wolf Blitzer's "The Situation Room" (you can see my iReport site here - http://www.

July 21, 2008 by John Carroll

6 Comments

Microhoo, MicroAOL, and challenging Google

Microsoft interminable hunt to cobble together an ad platform with greater market share continues, reaching now into AOL territory. There is merit in the goal, though much risk in the path which leads to it.

July 17, 2008 by John Carroll

19 Comments

Why Flash and Silverlight will save the web

Flash and Silverlight are viewed in some circles as undermining a free and open Internet. The truth, however, is that both technologies are part of the process by which we map out a problem domain sufficiently, laying the groundwork for standardization committees of the future. Deviation from standards, in other words, is an essential component of standardization.

July 15, 2008 by John Carroll

35 Comments

When proprietary companies go open source

I've been burning the midnight oil yet again, working like a beaver on speed as I build my software castle on a server in Los Angeles (not that beavers build castles). It's going well, and we are on the verge of starting trials in the UK.

July 11, 2008 by John Carroll

13 Comments

Software's drive to become like television

Software business models are becoming more and more like that of television. That fact is the real driver behind Microsoft's desire to buy Yahoo, given the central importance software-oriented ad networks will have in the future.

July 8, 2008 by John Carroll

20 Comments

Whither Blu-ray?

Blu-ray hasn't been setting any sales records, in no small part due to its higher price. That, however, doesn't alter the fact that Sony absolutely had to win the format war, even if media downloads end up supplanting video disc formats.

July 3, 2008 by John Carroll

20 Comments

A world ruled by Apple

Tributes to Bill Gates littered the blogosphere on Friday for obvious reason, as it was Bill Gates' last day as a full-time employee at the company he co-founded. This, predictably, rubbed certain people the wrong way, as the success of Bill Gates represents to some the "failure" of their preferred path through software history.

June 30, 2008 by John Carroll

55 Comments

Thoughts on Bill Gates

When I think of Bill Gates, I can't help but think back to that famous photo taken of his team shortly before they moved up to Washington State from Albuquerque.  This rag-tag band somehow served as the base for a company that now employs 75,000+ people (including myself, until recently) and is the company that occupies so much of the thinking time of journalists and bloggers who write anything related to the market for software.

June 27, 2008 by John Carroll

24 Comments

America's blocked labor policies

A little known fact about the H-1B work visa program - the special visa used by most foreign technology workers who come to work in the United States - is that fashion models must compete for the same category of visa, a fact about which The Economist reminded me in its June 21st article "Beauty and the Geek." This was less of a problem when the visa program was more generous and the visa allotment didn't run out within hours of the start deadline.

June 25, 2008 by John Carroll

31 Comments

Why I still prefer Internet Explorer

I wrote a blog post last week where I discussed some of the good lessons from the success of Firefox. I truly believe Firefox is a great browser, and I am glad that competition has forced Microsoft to pull its IE developers out of suspended animation to update its ability to handle CSS properly.

June 24, 2008 by John Carroll

108 Comments