Vista is going to have a huge impact on us IT people over the next few years. I haven’t played with Vista enough to know if it is good or bad. I’m not passing judgement (yet).
My observation is that for Vista to be adopted the following hurdles need to be crossed.
- That Enterprises and Home Users refresh their hardware
- That Enterprises will take the training hit for the new user experience
- That there are compelling features that Enterprises will use that provide a return on the massive investment required for items 1 & 2 above.
I just don’t see it.
For example …the consensus of our team was that Vista really needs 2GB of RAM to get the intended experience. I priced a Sony laptop today. I would have to throw out the 512 memory stick that comes with the device and pay another $NZ800 for 2GB. The industry and consumers are just not ready for it .
What business benefit does this new platform provide? Well what do most Enterprise and home people do? Email, Web, Word. It is hard to build a business case around those. So if I was a CIO would I upgrade?
No. In fact, No way.
CIO’s can’t blindly accept the ‘you have to upgrade to the new version’ mantra anymore. The ROI no longer stacks up. This is new. We’ve never had this before.
How has this happened? Could it be as simple that the strategists inside Microsoft were so insular they didn’t look over the walls and check the first two assumptions above? By designing a new platform like Vista they have created a huge continuity gap and opened the door for alternatives.
Further, as the software has got more complex, there are some disturbing examples of lack of coordination. Outlook and OneNote do not have the new Office look and feel. How could that have been allowed to happen? Did they not have enough time?
Where does that leave us? Well the impact must be things like …
- We’re going to see a massive spread in technology between developers on the edge and real Enterprise customers.
- Microsoft partners are going to re-evaluate their strategies of how they work with Microsoft. Do they create leading edge applications that use the new features to pull through the platform, OR, create products that leverage existing platform investments. i.e. extend the life of Enterprise XP. Partners that bet wrong will go out of business.
- Vista forces a tough upgrade and relearn decision for Enterprise and home users. Microsoft are letting go of your hand and giving you a choice. This levels the playing field for alternatives like Apple.
- Investments in WinForms based applications look risky. What do you target? Web delivery of platform independent applications look compelling.
- Bits of Vista technology will be pulled back to XP potentially leading to DLL and Rollout hell. What is a standard build?
Vista and the chasms it creates will change the established rules of our industry. This is big as we pick our strategies and investment areas for the next 5 years.
Good or bad the Vista phenomena creates gaps and therefore opportunities for the quick movers. There is risk for established players if they don’t modify their strategies.
Never a better time to be in software.Trying a new Reader
Trying it: GreatNews RSS Reader
Compared to RSSBandit, seems fast though not as pretty. Some great features though which are moving the RSS Reader feature set along.Unlimited Potential
I’m speaking at the Unlimited Potential event on Thursday night.
I have mixed feelings about presenting to an audience that I no longer qualify for. Apparently I’m no longer a young IT professional. Seems a bit ‘Logans Run’ to me.
Email if you have anything particular you want me to cover. Come along and please say hi.Dave via Andy
From me: Wow.Flash disk
… the PCs are completely silent, far more robust, have an instant-on for viewing multimedia content, reads 300 percent faster (53MB/s) and writes 150 percent quicker (28MB/s) and boots up to 50% faster on the SSD than on computers with traditional hard disk drives.
This is a key milestone for all day, super thin, instant on computing. We’ve been waiting for this for ages. Hopefully these become mainstream in the next 6 months. 2 years out we’ll look back with amusement on laptops that have a hard disk for primary storage and having to wait a couple of minutes for boot up.
Comment: Peter noted: Koreaâ€™s leap to technological leadership is no accident and Governments of the world should take note of the benefits of providing the most up-to-date telecommunications technologies to its population.
Topical no?Patent minefield
That sounds random. So what about Method of Business patents? Can a business model implemented in software be protected? Cue years and years of legal energy into this issue.We’re hiring!
Here’s your big opportunity to do something global and product based.
Our Quest Wellington Development Lab is expanding and we’re looking for a number of key staff at senior and intermediate levels. Quest has dev labs all over the world so you’ll become part of a global community and actually be building a world class product that is selling in many countries.
Senior .Net Developers (2), Intermediate Developers (2), Testers (2), and a Business Analyst.
Send your CV to Duncan. email@example.com.
We’ve got great offices, big views and free fizzie. If you’ve been following Nic and Phil you’ll know that we’re doing some cool things and the opportunity that working in product development for a global software player provides.
What are you waiting for?Spell checker for I.E.
Jay sent me this link to add a spell checker to your I.E tool bar. Looks ideal.Lack of podcasting support in Windows Media Player 11
As I feared there is no native podcasting support in WMP11.
That is unexplainably dumb, and well summarised here …Microsoft’s lack of action will slow Podcasting Growth.
Update: Nathan sent me a link to a workaround for Podcasting. I think MS are getting the message loud and clear …Another Big NZ Software deal
31-year-old Wellingtonian Claudia Batten has sold her software company to Microsoft. For up to US$400 million (NZ$643 million).
I heard a program on National Radio about how our productivity rates are low. They were scratching their heads about what industries could improve our productivity.
Hasn’t the software industry proven it this year already? I just read that the total value of our wine exports in 2005 was 360m. TradeMe and Massive alone have generated over a 1B of inwards cash already in just 2006.
So isn’t the relatively low capital software industry the perfect investment for New Zealand to jump on. 100m invested in our capital starved software companies WOULD turn things around. You could put 1m into 100 bets. Best 100 business plans win. Free cash to seed software entrepreneurs to build a business and they pay it back on a Trade Sale.
And/or, Government Departments get 1m worth of product at list. That spins the procurement issue around. First few Government Departments to buy get their software free. This rewards the Departments that want to take a small risk and support the local industry. The best investment is revenue as that provides a customer reference as well.
I think we’re onto something here!URL Rewriting
I like URL rewriting for web applications that you might want to ‘deep link’ too. Without URL Rewriting you may need to send a link like …
Flickr is a good example of URL Rewriting.
My Photo’s are: http://www.flickr.com/photos/roddrury
Calling a photo, positioned in a set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/roddrury/146470560/in/set-72057594134893380/ (ok not perfect, but you see what I mean).Telecon
As well as the amusement value, this is interesting in seeing how subversive, inexpensive and widespread a viral PR campaign can be.
Telecom spoof: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shHcomOrxAgHome
Took this shot somewhere over Northern Canada …Paris
Flew in last night for a quick 24 hours in Paris. Haven’t made it downtown yet but I can see a famous landmark across the rooftops.
Half of Arsenal was on the plane last night, heading to the UEFA final. I passed Stade de France on the way in. We have a customer function there but I was too late a ring in. Just missed out.
CdG Airport was a bit different. There are Pods connected to the central core by curvy escalators. Then when you’re in the main doughnut there are escalators that seem to randomly go between levels through the center void. Very cool.
Doing meetings with when you are the only native English speaker is interesting. My French extends to ‘pain au chocolat’ and that’s about it. They seemed to enjoy the pitch though seemed to be smirking through it. I think the accent intrigues them but they may just think I’m a twit. If we get an order then I guess I did OK.
Was last in Paris in 1999. Back on the Eurostar later so head to the central city this afternoon.
Update: Got closerWindows Media Player 11 wish
The beta of Windows Media Player 11 is getting good reviews.
I haven’t downloaded yet but for MS to win me they have to rid Windows PC’s of iTunes. I don’t have anything against iTunes but I don’t want two music players on my machine. So what I think MS has to deliver on is.
- Seamless iPod interface. The iPod has won my pocket. I’m not going to use a Mobile Windows Media device. Tried it. Hated it.
- Out of the box Podcast download features.
- MP3 ripping built in.
If they do that, I’d have no reason to use iTunes.Back in Windsor
After less than 24 hours in Amsterdam I’m back in the UK. I’m staying next to the Queen. This is her house.
If I need to borrow some milk I may have to pop over.
It struck me that for the next 12 hours, of all her her subjects, I probably live the furtherest away from her yet now I’m probably the closest. You’d think that would be worth a scone. Liz, if you’re reading this please feel free to stroll across the driveway.
We have a great team in the Amsterdam office and it was good to see them again. There are some globally significant companies based in the Netherlands so the day in Amsterdam was well spent.A day in Spain
We had a spare day before flying up to Amsterdam tonight so Joe and I grabbed a rental car and headed South to be tourists.
Gibraltar is actually part of Great Britain. It was cloudy but the rock was still impressive. We drove up to the top. The St Thomas cave was just stunning. We also walked through the Siege Tunnels looking over Gibraltar and the water.
Driving through the narrow one way streets was a blast. Gibraltar was fairly bleak though very interesting.
After the continuous construction of the Costa del Sol, Tarifa was a welcome relief. The buildings were more traditional, with the backdrop of the amazing ocean. Definitely felt like a surf town and I’d love to come back here in the summer and do some sailing. Really liked it.
There were a couple of guys speed sailing, but the season here hasn’t really kicked off yet.
On a tip from Joe’s wife we then headed back up to Marbella and inland to Ronda. We have a new Mercedes E280CD. (200 Euro for the day.) Those Diesels get up and go and we were back in Marbella in around 35 minutes. We picked up another work buddy Dave and started heading up the hill and into the fog.
Ronda was just breathtaking. A real Spanish city, at high altitude. It seems to be perched on the top of a dramatic hill, with a bridge connecting the two sides. Considering how far we’d driven and how high we were it was surprisingly big and full of cafes. After the sunburned English beer drinkers of the Costa del Sol this felt like the real Spain. We were just stunned by the town. One of the most fantastic places I’ve been too.
After a quick look at the bull ring we headed to the airport.
A very cool day.So you’ve got a good idea
I get a lot of people pitching ideas for me to make an an introduction or get some advice or even give them some money. All of them ask for the same thing. Lets have a coffee of a formal presentation. Oh and can you sign this NDA.
Flip it around, put yourself in my shoes, what am I thinking? What is anyone you’re going to approach thinking?
- What is the idea? Am I interested in the space? Can I add value? Can I ‘fast fail’ it?
- Where are you at? Is this just a concept? Have you built something? Do you have a team? Revenue?
- Who’s involved? Do I know them?
- What do you need?
You want to talk to me, but you want me to sign a contract first about something I know nothing about. Great way to start a relationship.
Investors in the industry get a lot of approaches. If they took an hour each time they’d have no time.
So if you want to talk to someone about your idea this is what you should do:
- Flick them an email with a brief overview so the person has some context. Ask if they’re interested or think they can add value.
- If they think they can help, they’ll probably ask for more information. You should have an Executive Summary ready. If you haven’t taken the time to write down what your doing then you’re not ready to talk.
- People you approach for advice are not going to sign an NDA. In this industry reputation is king so the person is hardly likely to run away with your idea, nor would be likely to have the time too.
Our industry is maturing quickly. People want to help out, but we’ve all got to lift our game.Your plane is running Windows
Not what you want to see when you’re bouncing over the Pacific…
Doing my thing …
Joe shot and stitched the following at European Executive Briefing, Marbella, Spain.