Archive for November, 2007

Google no match for Microsoft?

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

The ongoing antitrust saga that Microsoft continues to battle with has taken an interesting turn. While those in the Industry are constantly taking shots at the software giant for their inability to evolve at the speed of companies like Google, state antitrust regulators have suggested that emerging technologies like Ajax and companies like Mozilla and Google are not threats to Microsoft in the Operating System and browser markets. Another company that was taken down a peg was Apple - In spite of the advantages of arguably superior products and missteps by Microsoft, Apple has been unable to raise its share of the worldwide installed base of PCs, hovering near 3%.

WTF?! While there is some truth to these statements, anyone who follows the Industry would likely disagree. Apple, Mozilla, and Google have all been gaining ground on Microsoft, and I would be so bold as to suggest that these companies are gaining speed while Microsoft continues to flounder. Microsoft may be its own worst enemy, with release of Vista being suggested as one of the worst products in history, but I’d never suggest that the companies named pose no threat to Microsoft.

Raincity Studios Acquires Bryght

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

The title almost speaks for itself, doesn’t it? In the last few months, I’ve felt a certain disconnect from the events and happenings of the local Tech Industry, and perhaps not having heard anything about this is a sign that I truly am out of touch - or it means that this was a fairly well kept secret and such things aren’t meant to be found out as rumours or in blogs. I’m sure the move will bode well for both companies. From the PRWEB Release:

Web design and development firm Raincity Studios has agreed to acquire long-time partner Bryght in a deal announced November 20, 2007.

The expanded company will continue to create custom web applications and community websites as well as offering hosting and infrastructure support and services to clients around the world. Robert Scales, Raincity Studios’ Founder and CEO says, “Adding the Bryght team’s deep technology expertise in open source and new media is a key step in growing our vision of an open and international company.”

Congratulations and good luck to everyone involved!

Internet Brownouts?

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Internet usage across the world has been increasing rapidly. More and more people are visiting iTunes, watching YouTube video clips, and connecting with long lost neighbours and Elementary school friends on Facebook. The frustrations that users experienced in the late 90’s and early in 2000 that helped with the Tech Bust are no longer an issue; infrastructure and technology has been improved and people are no longer forced to struggle through choppy streaming video and slow loading pages - or are they?

I’m a little skeptical about an article I read recently suggesting that users will start to experience Internet brownouts by 2010. There are points that probably can’t be argued: more people with a thirst for rich media is increasing the need for investment in infrastructure to the tune of at least $100 billion worldwide, but it doesn’t really tell the whole story. Towards the end of the article:

One thing the study does not take into account, however, is the emergence of new technologies that improves the efficiency of existing infrastructure or new methods of broadband access such as wireless.

With more and more people moving to handheld devices, the demands on less-traditional infrastructure is more likely to take the brunt of these increasing demands, and users will be more patient with these new technologies, especially early adopters.

Facebook not so dominant

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Last month there were reports about Facebook’s numbers decreasing in September. I didn’t put too much on one month’s decrease, attributing it to the return to school by the typical Facebook user, but there is more buzz this month with Facebook’s numbers seemingly flattening. The traffic did increase from September to October, but October’s numbers are down from August. MySpace, on the other hand, reached an all time high with their traffic in October with 71.9 million unique visitors. I still wouldn’t put too much into these stats alone, but if this trend continues, it might be significant.

MySpace has a very different niche market than Facebook: music vs. college. College users are going to slowly increase their use of Facebook, but they still have to worry about school and homework and midterms et al. The music-based MySpace crowd will experience a similar dip in use, but the market is more diverse and will find it easier to rebound. The battle is anything but over, and the wait is on for November’s numbers, but in my opinion, we need to look at this around February to get be able to extrapolate relevant results.

For more on the topic, see Mashable and GigaOm.

Three Steps to Improving Vista: focus, Focus, FOCUS

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

I’m obviously not the only user who has been disappointed with the latest OS release from Microsoft. While Mac users have been graced with the recent release of Leopard, PC users have been left to suffer with Vista. I hate to harp on it, because I think there were good intentions and attempts to improve on XP, but the results have left me frustrated! An article on PC Mag talks about The Vista Death Watch, and offers three steps to improvement. I have to agree with the suggestions, but not that it’s one or the other (or the other).

1. It can give up on the stupid variations and lower the price on the one good Vista, Vista Ultimate. I’d say $99 would be a price everyone can live with.

2. Microsoft can scuttle the entire product. Why not? Work on a whole new OS starting today with one team and work on SP3 for XP with another team to keep users on Windows.

3. Roll out Vista 2.0. Figure out some way to add some nifty features, perhaps stolen from the next version of the Mac OS. Bring in some outside designers if you have to. Oh, and lower the price on this one, too.

Writer John C. Dvorak hits on an interesting point: Microsoft is too obsessed with Google and is ignoring their core business. Google’s core business is search and search advertising, something they never lose focus of. They have a stranglehold on it. Microsoft’s core business is software. They have a stranglehold on it. Although they didn’t stumble with Office 2007, they have with Vista, and it’s time they got back to focussing on their core business.