Daily Archives: March 25, 2006

Can this week ever end?

I’m on my way up to San Francisco to meet Ernie the Attorney. I think I’ll have a good stiff drink. After this week… :-)

I see that someone in Acer is being quoted about Vista having “major problems.” Oh, I love this game. A marketer, down in Australia, working for one of our partners, gets to attack Microsoft through an unprofessional Web site that doesn’t try to do any fact checking or give two sides of the story. Well, enjoy your time at the top of Memeorandum.

Really, no matter what I, or anyone else says, there is no winning at this game. The Xbox team denies, on its blog, that Xbox programmers are moving over to Windows and confirms that Windows Vista is now feature complete so there won’t be any massive rewritting of Windows Vista code. The Windows team (and, yes, I’ve been calling around to friends on the team who’ll tell me the unpleasant truth) are totally denying that they will be rewriting any major pieces of code. They are in bug fix mode now, not in rewrite mode.

Even the evidence denies this story. At Mix06 last week we had Media Center PCs for people to use, running, gasp, Windows Vista. An entire keynote (damn cool demos too) ran on Windows Vista and it didn’t crash the entire time. That doesn’t sound like something that needs a 60% rewrite. Or something that isn’t on schedule to ship.

But, here’s a fun experiment. Why don’t you hang out with the guys who run Neowin? They religiously watch our binaries for changes (they often know about new features before I do, because they get leaks of the latest builds and look inside each DLL looking for new stuff). Ask them to track how much of our code changes between now and launch.

Loren Heiny says that maybe what the guy is talking about is actually past tense. That’s very possible. Windows Vista has new UI code, a rewritten audio stack, a rewritten networking stack, dramatically new code in Windows Media Center and the Tablet PC and speech recognition and browser pieces. So, over the entire five years that Vista has been worked on there is a good chunk of new code in there (and all the code has been recompiled with a new compiler, which adds more security features, among other things) but there is no way that 60% of Windows Vista is going to be rewritten between now and November. That’s just ridiculous on its face.

Yes, our Web site branding sucks

It’s not nice to tell our branding folks that their work sucks, but sorry, it’s so obvious now that I just can’t pretend to like it. Dare Obasanjo’s post demonstrates what’s wrong very well.

We need names that are:

1) Consistent.
2) Simple.
3) Easy to tell a friend (Try saying Windows Live Local five times really fast, for instance).
4) One word that’s less than eight characters (Google wins!)
5) A domain that we own. Spend the money if we don’t have it.

A bunch of stuff

Here's some quickfire blogging before I go to sleep.

Larry Osterman, a developer who's worked at Microsoft for 21.5 years, laughs at the report that Microsoft would rewrite 60% of Vista in two months: "Anyone who's ever worked on a project that involves more than a thousand or so lines of code understands how utterly laughable that is."

Yeah, Steve Rowe, I'm disappointed that blogs didn't jump on the headline faster and harder too. But, that just shows why corporations need blogs too (to make sure things stay factual out there and participate in the conversation, even when the conversation goes ugly).

Scott Byer, of Adobe, explains why Adobe can't release Intel versions of all its Macintosh applications right now (universal ones are coming soon, he says). Microsoft's Rick Schaut adds more to the conversation.

Yes, I too saw Charlie Owen's demo of a new RSS aggregator for Media Center at Mix06 and I too was enthralled with it like Giovanni Gallucci was.

I've been through many of the notes from Mix06. Here's my favorites. Randy Holloway. Dion Hinchcliffe. Alex Barnett. I love what Trapper Markelz said: Everywhere you went, you heard lots about RSS. Kelly Goto (awesome designer!) said Mix06 was "quite an event." Chris Adams. Mike Swanson reveals that we're gonna make Mix06's content available to everyone for free. The Ajaxian blog reports on Ajax stuff at Mix (Atlas) and says "the demos of WPF/E were very impressive." WPF/E lets you run Windows Presentation Foundation applications on both Windows and Macs. More to come on that soon. Oh, Harry Pierson reports that at Mix they were promising Linux and Firefox support too.

Tara Hunt is a pinko marketer. Marketing folks? You MUST read her blog for the past two weeks. Good stuff, along the lines of Cluetrain Manifesto (Doc Searls linked to her, thanks). Tara, you should do a book with Malcolm Gladwell.

Microsoft releases RSS in CRM? Yeah, cool. (That's on Satya Nadella's blog. He's corporate VP on the Dynamics team and they are announcing a bunch of stuff over the next week. He's also on Channel 9, along with a bunch of other Dynamics team members). I love the name of the "Freaky Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 Blog."

Google bullish on Atom, Microsoft bullish on RSS?

Richard MacManus noticed that a Google employee at Mix06 was “very bullish” on Atom while Microosft seemed to be bullish on RSS.

Congrats to Michael Lehman, who did that interview and did a TON of others at Mix06.

When Dave Winer says that RSS is going to embrace Microsoft, he’s right. So far we’re listening to what the community actually uses and haven’t gotten ahead of the community (which includes publishers like the BBC and the New York Times) and tried to tell the community which way to go. I think that’s a good thing.

That said, our RSS platform is reading in Atom too and we’ll support whatever the community adopts. Hey, has that Jeff Sandquist guy (aka my boss)¬†been fired yet for supporting Quicktime and PSP? No!

I love this company!

Update: Richard wrote even more on this topic over on his blog.

Steve says “I shoulda been there”; gives me a “reality check”

Steve Gillmor says that if we wanted a really interesting conversation that he should have been at the Bill Gates lunch. Hey, that’s really selling the skills of Albert Lai, Mike Arrington, and Lynda Weinman short. If Bill Gates was so bored by the conversation, why did he not eat his lunch? Seriously. He was so engaged with the conversation that he couldn’t even get started on the steak that was put in front of him.

But, I’m not gonna get into a fight with Steve or any of my friends. There will be more of these events, though, so don’t be suprised if Steve gets invited to something.

One thing: I gave free tickets to any Mashup Camp attendee. In fact, Steve, if you had asked for a ticket I would have gotten you in. We did NOT pay for travel and food and entertainment, though (one of the news reports said that, which I thought was funny, if I had a budget like what most people think I do I could really have a killer event).

Another thing: the BillG lunch thing was planned just a few days earlier. In fact Albert was invited the day before and I had to choose from attendees of the conference (since Steve wasn’t an attendee, I couldn’t get him in — not to mention that I had to pass up everyone else too, when you are only given a few spots you have to make some tough choices and deal with those). And, yes, I do need to talk other people into approving these choices. Mr. Safe is definitely in control, but then there are lots of factors that go into these kinds of choices.

“When Mike reports Bill was bored, or that Bill doesn’t get the preoccupation with thin Office plays like Gmail, it’s not me who loses the opportunity to resonate with the audience, it’s Bill. The users are in charge, not Microsoft.”

Steve, I get this. But by saying it the way you did you denigrated the guy who is on your own show. Why did you pick Mike to be on your own show? I figured he’d be a great one to bring your message to Bill and he was.

But, I get the reality check. Is it just me or does that mean I have to pick up the check for the next dinner? ;-)

Update: oh, and if you think this lunch was payback for “falling in line” consider that Mike Arrington was a lawyer on the Netscape account at Wilson Sonsini (famous law firm in Silicon Valley famous for kicking off the anti-trust action against Microsoft). Bill and Mike shared a laugh about that. Oh, and Lynda is the founder of the Flash Forward conferences (and an even bigger training company that mostly trains people on non-Microsoft technologies).

Update 2: Google’s Gmail never came up during the conversation that I remembered, but Hotmail did. Gates said it was one of his favorite acquisitions from the 1990s. The discussion was centered around all the hype that Writely was gonna make Microsoft Word obsolete. That’s ridiculous on the face of it (Writely doesn’t have close to as many features — making such a claim would be like saying Microsoft Notepad was going to make Word obsolete). But, either way, Gates’ love of Hotmail (which has 200 million unique users in the past 30 days) demonstrates that he understands thin clients very well and sure isn’t bored by them.