Comment on Windows Weekly 116: Microsoft hasn't always been doing that

TWiT Windows WeeklyOn Windows Weekly 116Paul Thurrott talked about Microsoft Office 2010 for the web and the plan to make it run on Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc. which is a great strategy for Microsoft and he said that Microsoft always did that: putting business first, with no agenda. I think that’s not true: Look at Microsoft Passport.

If I understand correctly, Microsoft Passport only worked on Internet Explorer (or worked very bad on other browsers). They had the agenda of pushing Internet Explorer and Microsoft Passport failed (thank god! OpenID is much better!). And I think that’s big news. Microsoft seems to be changing: ASP.NET MVC is released as open source among other things, they contribute free software to the Linux kernel, and now Office Web.

They even dared do something I would’ve never expected them to do: sell Office Web Server. I think that’s the way to go. Businesses want control, businesses want to have the information safely secured in their own basement, not on the cloud, not on every employee’s laptops, on the basement, and they want the easiness of only one machine with the software, constantly patched, upgraded and secure, and everybody just firing up a web browser.

Of course they are doing it because it’s in their own interest, as Google made Chrome because it’s in their own interest. Microsoft is a business, not a charity, it’s driven by their own interest (like any other company). I think the point is that Microsoft dropping their agenda makes them much more dangerous, maybe they’ll manage not to turn into the next IBM. For me it’s very hard not to have an agenda, I have to learn to do that.

Oh, another thing on Windows Weekly 116. I like the world Paul describes. Very Star Trekish in the sense that we won’t be carrying around laptops or netbooks, we’ll just use any terminal. I’ve been thinking about the pictures problem: what do you do with your digital camera. Paul’s solution is simple and although not practical today, it will mostly like be practical: the camera will have wifi or cellular network and will upload everything automatically to Picasa web or that f-site (they denied my username, I’m not mentioning them, I still have an agenda).

Currently it’s too much data, but I believe it is very likely we’ll reach a point where quality is good enough for us and network speeds will continue to increase. I think that happened with movies. Both network speed and video quality (and size) increase over time, but today it’s much more plausible to download a movie than 10 years ago. We already surpassed the tipping point for music.

The future looks bright!

Reviewed by Daniel Magliola. Thank you!

Comment on TWiT 204: Taste Like Dirt. Lending Kindle books

On This Week in Tech 2004: Taste Like Dirt, Dwight Silverman proposed an interesting idea: to be able to lend books in the Kindle. The book would become unavailable on your Kindle and available on the other person’s Kindle, and after two weeks the book comes back automatically. I don’t think that feature would ever be implemented because it’s not on the publicist best interest.

It would be very simple to have a web app of people lending each other books across the world in a very organized and systematic way. The reason is that there’s no danger for the lender, the book will come back automatically. It’s not the same as lending a real dead tree paper book.

The solution is simple: don’t make it automatic for books to come back. Have the borrower have to press a button to return it. And if the borrower never does then you lose the book. Then you would only lend them to people you trust (not in a p2p-network way) or when you don’t care about losing the book.

What about book swapping? I don’t see a way to implement book swapping without allowing a systematic peer to peer network to exist. That leads me to the issue of DRM, which I’m not going to talk about now.

Reviewed by Daniel Magliola. Thank you!