Scoble is a big .NET idiot

Hey, if you’re gonna screw up, don’t make a little teeny mistake that you can sweep under the carpet and pretend you didn’t make. No, go out and prove yourself an idiot in a big way!!!

That’s what I did today when I wrote about .NET’s moves to share source with developers.

The reason I made the mistake? I saw all these headlines saying that .NET was being open sourced. It fit into the story I wanted to hear. After all Java is open sourced. Flex is open sourced (although someone just pointed out that Adobe isn’t yet accepting submissions).

But I didn’t really do my homework before posting this morning.

Truth is .NET isn’t being open sourced. Microsoft is not taking source code submissions from the developer community. No sirree.

Also, I didn’t really grok the impact on Microsoft developers. Over and over I’ve been getting hate mail today (and hate comments).

So, to correct my mistakes here’s a few things:

1. .NET is NOT being open sourced. It’s being shared sourced. So developers can see the code but can’t change it like they could on true open source projects.
2. For developers on Microsoft’s toolset this is a huge deal because it’ll help them figure out what’s going on inside .NET much better than before.
3. This isn’t the first time that .NET source was opened up, either. Developers, in my comments, have been making that point all day long.

Anyway, since I’m a .NET idiot you might want to check out what other experts are saying about these moves over on TechMeme.

I’ve also been posting the smarter .net posts over on my link blog.

Verizon claims it has "iPhone killer"

Reuters reports on a new iPhone killer (Verizon’s claim, not mine) that’s coming soon from Verizon. Sounds great. Can’t wait to try it. I doubt people will wait in line, but who knows?

Ahh, maybe this is why Steve Jobs lowered the price to $399 for the iPhone. Now that seems like an even more brilliant move.

Some things I’d like to see here:

1. What maps are on the system. I use Google Maps all the time on my iPhone and I notice that even Patrick and Maryam are using it a lot too.
2. What stock quotes are on the system. I use Yahoo’s stock prices several times a day on my iPhone.
3. What’s the experience like? It’s one thing to put a touch screen on a device. It’s a whole nother thing to make it a thrilling experience. Even my ex-wife (the one who hates technology so much she moved out of Silicon Valley to get away from the geeks) loves her iPhone. Will the Verizon devices get the same kind of evangelical fervor going? We’ll see.

A Challenge to the Zune Advocates

OK, I’m taking quite a bit of heat from the Zune advocates in my comments — lots of them think I’m an idiot for bagging on Microsoft. So, here’s a challenge.

I’ll give you one hour of airtime on to make the case for the Zune. You gotta come to my house in Half Moon Bay, CA to do the filming. I’ll treat it just the same as I do any other demos out there. You just bring your devices and explain to the world why these are so cool and why I need to buy one. I’ll even have Patrick bring all his iPods and iPhones so you can have those to compare with, if you’d like.

Call me if you’re interested and have access to one of the new Zunes. If you’re a Microsoft employee or a PR representative even better. I always leave my cell phone on my blog, by the way. It’s over there on the right side of my blog, but my number is 425-205-1921 (local call from Microsoft headquarters! Heh!)

Microsoft: releasing source after everyone else?

Another defensive move on part of Microsoft? Protect the tools business!

So, Sun Microsystems open sourced Java.
Adobe open sourced Flex.

Now Microsoft is releasing the source of .NET. UPDATE: Krish points out that this isn’t open sourcing .NET, just releasing the source. That’s even lamer cause the other two have actually open sourced and are accepting submissions from the community.

Cool, but when you’re last to do something does it really matter anymore? This is a good move, though, and will help many of Microsoft’s developer community stay on Microsoft’s tools.

Is Microsoft in Zune to win?

When I interviewed Steve Ballmer a few years back he said Microsoft is in the game to win.

But when you’re inside Microsoft the employees use different language. Many projects there are simply defensive ones. To keep a competitor from getting more inroads into one of its businesses. iPod, for instance, isn’t threatening to Microsoft directly, but they started the Zune project up when they noticed that a decent percentage of people, after buying an iPod, would switch their computers from Windows to Macs. THAT threatens Microsoft’s core business.

The problem is that whenever you do something just to defend another business you don’t do it from a position of love. Or a position of strength.

Now, look at the new Zunes and the reaction they are getting from journalists and bloggers.

I’m totally uninspired. Yawn.

Where’s the 16:9 wide screen? Where’s the super-dooper-podcasting features (and why weren’t these announced last week at the Podcasting Expo? Talk about a blown opportunity)?

Michael Gartenberg says that the features are actually pretty good but the marketing/messaging sucks. Again, this is a defensive product. It’s not a visionary one like the Tablet PC that Gates came up with on his own. The execs probably told the Zune team “stop the bleeding” or something metaphorically equivilent and the fact that they did a good job is surprising to Gates.

On the other hand, Apple HAS pissed off many of its most rabid evangelists lately. This Gizmodo post is one artifact of that. Apple’s treatment of developers and early adopters has opened up a marketing hole that Microsoft COULD take advantage of.

But only if Microsoft is in this game to win. It’s not. So we get uninspired product. Uninspired messaging. Uninspired launch dates.

Yawn. Wake me up when Macworld is here in January.

How to piss off Mike Arrington…

If you know Mike, founder of TechCrunch, you know that old-school media pisses him off so Henry Blodget today found a great way to piss off Mike. Say that CNET is gonna buy him. Personally I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mike buying CNET in a few years. I don’t think Henry’s really serious, it’s just retribution for a post that Mike made about Henry where he asked for a muzzle for Henry.

Anyway I’m on Mike’s side in this little back and forth. I think this talk is just as crazy as Google at $2,000. That said it’s a crazy world we live in and getting crazier by the minute!

Matt Roe cracks me up (Photowalk of USS Hornet now up)

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A few weeks back we toured the USS Hornet, a famous aircraft carrier that’s docked over in Alameda near San Francisco. Rocky put together a neat little video of the photowalk. But even if you don’t get much out of our photowalks you should check out the first minute or two. Matt Roe has the best answer to my usual “who are you?” question that I’ve heard so far.

Next Photowalking? With Trevor Carpenter on October 9th at the Marin Headlands (above the Golden Gate Bridge on the North side).

Now that I have basically the same equipment that Thomas Hawk has I’m even more in awe of his abilities to see things. Check out his photos on Zooomr (he just uploaded a bunch from yesterday’s Stanford photowalk — see how much better his images are than mine? Damn!) He just plain comes away with not only better images but MORE of them in a certain period of time.

That said, I’m really happy a lot more people are coming along on our Photowalks lately because you get to see the different approaches that people take to the same subject and you get to see images you missed that would be good to go back for later.

One thing that’s cool about the Photowalks is you get to see something you might not be able to visit and you also get to learn a little bit about history (the Hornet picked up the Apollo crew and was the site of the first steps that they took after visiting the moon). Thomas also shows us a few tricks including how to make a “poor man’s macro” and talks about his new Drobo drive system.


Oh, and Matt Roe? He cut school to go on one of our Photowalks. After seeing his images on Flickr (his newer ones are on Zooomr) I can understand why. That kid has a lot of talent.

UPDATED: Thomas Hawk posted more about this Photowalk on his blog this morning.