Ex-Microsoft Employee – Microsoft Today ‘A Lot Like IBM Was In 1985’

After Mike Dodge was laid off from Microsoft last month after 5 years working for the software giant, he was immediately scooped up by Google. In a recent interview he shared some of his thoughts concerning Microsoft and Google and the differences between the two companies. The one comment he made does seem to sum up where Microsoft may be heading, since his opinion of Microsoft is that they look a lot like IBM was in 1985.

But this one sentence seems to express how many feel about Microsoft today:

Microsoft is still a powerful company – $60 billion in revenue and very profitable – but I think after 20 years they are losing the innovation edge. The most innovative companies today are Google, Apple and Facebook. Very few companies can dominate an industry for more than 20 years. It is just the natural competitive cycle. Another factor – Bill Gates leaving the company. The transition was smooth, but not having Bill there every day has far-reaching implications.

I personally believe that Bill Gates leaving did have a far-reaching implications, not only inside Microsoft, but also outside of the firm. Mr. Ballmer does not seem to convey confidence in the company. There was also this statement:

Microsoft is a vast company with products in just about every market. It is tough to compete and be the leader in every market. Even in desktop operating systems, where Microsoft has dominated for years, Vista has been a disappointment. So, you can never rest, never stop innovating. Windows 7 looks like a pretty solid product.

Vista will leave a mark on the company for many years to come. Rushing the operating system to market hurt the credibility of Microsoft and even though Windows 7 is an improvement, some still sting from the problems Vista caused and how it took almost a year to fix issues with the OS.

So what do you think?

Comments welcome.


Windows 7 Was ‘Inspired By Mac’? No, No Says Microsoft!

Yesterday, November 11, 2009, many of the news services were reporting on an interview with Microsoft partner group manager, Simon Aldous. The article, which has been quoted around the Internet, is titled ‘Microsoft’s New Vision.’ Microsoft claims that the statement is being misquoted by the Apple fanboy sites that seem to be enjoying themselves at the expense of Microsoft. In the interview it is stated that:

Is Windows 7 really a much more agile operating system, in terms of the specific uses it can be moulded to?

The interesting thing is, it’s basically the next version of Vista. Vista was a totally redesigned operating system from XP. We’ve improved upon Vista in that way. We’ve stripped out a lot of the code, we’ve made a lot of it much more efficient, it sits on a smaller footprint, it operates far more quickly, it’s far more agile and effective in terms of the calls it makes. I saw an article recently that described it as ‘Vista on steroids’, and in some ways you can absolutely relate to that.

One of the things that people say an awful lot about the Apple Mac is that the OS is fantastic, that it’s very graphical and easy to use. What we’ve tried to do with Windows 7 – whether it’s traditional format or in a touch format – is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics. We’ve significantly improved the graphical user interface, but it’s built on that very stable core Vista technology, which is far more stable than the current Mac platform, for instance.

According to one site it alleges that Microsoft actually copied the look of Mac. Microsoft has responded with its own blog article, which states that:

An inaccurate quote has been floating around the Internet today about the design origins of Windows 7 and whether its look and feel was “borrowed” from Mac OS X.  Unfortunately this came from a Microsoft employee who was not involved in any aspect of designing Windows 7. I hate to say this about one of our own, but his comments were inaccurate and uninformed.

Not being a Mac user I haven’t a clue how much Windows 7 looks like OS X or not. Maybe our readers can enlighten us as to the statements being made that Microsoft stole the look of a Mac or not.

Comments as always are welcome.

Original PCR interview source

Microsoft Blog site source from Brandon LeBlanc

Twitter Makes UI Changes You Will Enjoy

Twitter is not resting on their laurels nor their popularity and have make changes to their UI which appear to have taken some pages from Apple. The new look provides the following new features according to the Twitter Blog:

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Following and Followers Page Improvements

When you click on the Following and Followers links from your Twitter home page, you’ll notice that we’ve upgraded the design of these pages and added features. Instead of a basic list, there are now actions you can perform that provide a better overall experience. For example, you can turn on SMS, unfollow, mention, block, direct message, and more. Tip: You can also view the accounts that someone else is following and follow them yourself.

If you Tweet see what you think of the new changes and share your thoughts.

Comments welcome.

Twitter Blog

Image from TechCrunch

Take A Look At Linux.com – It Has A New Look

If you haven’t dropped by Linux.com recently you will be in for a surprise. The site has a new look and is loaded with hot Linux information. Besides news, community and a distribution center, they also host a learning center. The new look is sure to attract more visitors to the site now that the site have been made easier to navigate.

The folks at Linux.com describe their site as:

For the community, by the community, Linux.com strives to be the central source for informed, reasonable, and intelligent Linux information, software, documentation and answers across the server, desktop/netbook, mobile, and embedded areas.

The “By Community” phrase in this description is very genuine: we want Linux.com users to feel as if they can contribute to the site from day one. This means more than just commenting on articles and other content (though we welcome that, too)–it means making connections with others, suggesting new content, helping us bring in or link to existing content, and joining the community as a Linux.com blogger.

To get started, click Login to use or Register to get your Linux.com account. You will land on your Profile page in the Community section. From the Profile page, you can start your participation.

So whether you are a novice, intermediate or advanced Linux user, there is something for everyone at Linux.com. Join in and participate in the Linux community.

Comments welcome.

Linux.com site is here.

Google Adds New Themes To Gmail

In an effort to spice up your Gmail in box, Google will be offering a selection of new themes over the next few days. The option for a new theme will show up in your Gmail account under the setting tab. Google describes their new offering as:

Gmail fans have been building unofficial extensions to spice up their inboxes for a while, but up til now themes haven’t been an integral part of Gmail. We wanted to go beyond simple color customization, so out of the 30 odd themes we’re launching today, there’s a shiny theme with chrome styling, another one that turns your inbox into a retro notepad, nature themes that change scenery over time, weather driven themes that can rain on your mailbox, and fun characters to keep you in good company. There’s even an old school ascii theme (Terminal) which was the result of a bet between two engineers — it’s not exactly practical, but it’s great for testing out your geek cred. We’ve also done a minor facelift to Gmail’s default look to make it crisper and cleaner — you might notice a few colors and pixels shifted around here and there.

So take advantage of the new themes to dress up your account. Be patient. It may take a few days before your account offers the themes options.

Comments welcome.


Norton 2009 Beta – First Look

About a week ago or so, I download Norton’s 2009 Beta software for a look see. The download file is about 48.9 MB in size. The process to install the beta requires a valid email address, since a product ID number is sent to activate the software. The installation of the software is very quick. I was up and running in less than 5 minutes including updates. The initial update was some 20MB in size, which I would venture a guess was to fine tune the software and correct known bugs that may have been reported during the beta testing.

Once I had the software installed, I did a quick scan to see if any critters were on my system, and it came back clean. The GUI look is clean and straight forward. Everything including all protections in place are easy to read and understand. It seems that Symantec has in fact cut out much of the junk that has cluttered previous versions. I found everything was working properly and jumped on the Internet. I noted no slow slow downs and readily accessed the Internet without incident.

So for the next few weeks I am going to put Norton through its paces and see what transpired. I want to see if the newest version of Norton is better at staying out of the way and not sucking down system resources. Thus far I have noticed a substantial increase in performance compared to previous versions that slow down a system and generated consumer complaints.

I’ll be reporting back with my findings in a few weeks.

Thus far the 2009 version looks promising. :-)

Comments welcome.

PS The test system I loaded the beta on is using Windows XP with SP3.

Get Rid Of The OLD Windows XP Look – Quickly!

Let’s face it. After 5 years of looking at Windows XP it gets tiring seeing the same old screen day after day. Well WindowsBlinds has a quick and easy solution to this problem and can dress up that old look for you.

I was just over at the WindowsBlind site and noted that had a Vista look-a-like available. They are calling it Vista Plus and it looks very, very close to Vista itself. Not exact, but close.

WindowsBlinds have two methods in which the user can select. The Free stuff or a $19.95 or higher subscriptions, for their deluxe features. The high end stuff is for those who REALLY want to have total control of their systems and allows the user to configure everything.

Taking a tour of the site is a adventure in itself. There are no less than 503, yes 503, pages of stuff! If you can’t find something of your liking on this site, than I don’t believe it has been made yet.

Check the system requirements to confirm your PC can use WindowsBlinds:

“System Requirements:

  • Windows XP/2003 and Windows Vista (when available).
    Windows 2000, ME, 98 users can use WindowBlinds Classic (v4.6).
  • 1GHz or faster processor recommended
  • 60MB free drive space
  • 256MB RAM
  • Note: A 16MB DirectX 8 or later compatible video card with appropriate driver support is required for per-pixel alpha-blended skins. Some integrated graphics solutions and lower-end cards from before 2004 may not be able to use per-pixel skins.”

WindowsBlinds can be located here.
[tags]windows, look, change, free, software, [/tags]

The Future of Search

What are you looking for today? Hopefully, you’ll be able to find it – even though we’re all “forced” to use search engines that just don’t know what we’re thinking when we’re asking them for information. I’ve been learning a lot in my Googlefasting this week – so much, that I’m now extending the Google bypas for an additional seven days (if I can make it that long). Even though it seems we’re living in an enlightened Internet world, we’re not. The Internet is a weird combination between local and virtual space – with the browser being a gateway to that greater galaxy. To think that the Web is great on its own is overestimating its importance. How else might you explain the sudden surge of Firefox users on the Windows platform in recent years? The browser, on its own, doesn’t do much; only with proper connectivity can the infobahn be unleashed upon the desktop. Then, the Internet (itself) is only as powerful as the applications written upon it. If you can conceive it, you can (likely) achieve it – and just when you think it’s all been done, that’s when someone comes along and changes you’re entire life. That’s Google.
Continue reading “The Future of Search”