March 26, 2006

Vista, Office, OSX yawns

11 April 2006 The other week, the techies were chewing the fat about Microsoft's latest announcement regarding delays for Vista, the successor to Windows XP and latest version of the Microsoft Office suite. Then a re-org was announced a few days later and everyone had a great time tut-tutting about MS and inevitably had fanatics on other platforms growling or subtly purring.

Then last week, Apple showed how you could run Windows on the latest generation Macs. And of course the place went ape about that!

I'm surprised how many folks are still obsessed with the Computing Vendor wars of the eighties and nineties. Microsoft became the dominant player then and it's been difficult to see how anyone could beat them back. Until recently, at least.

The reality is that I don't care about wether my computer is running Wndows XP, Linux or OSX, much less Vista. And I only rarely use anything in the office Suite, other than OneNote. The real action is what happens in the browser. I'm looking forward to Internet Explorer 7 not because of the new features it might offer, but because it will show the rest of the world (which still takes notice of Microsoft) that the real action is IN the browser and with syndication feeds. Not which Vendor's platform the browser is ON.

Posted by Marius at 06:02 AM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2006

Insulating the lucky country

17 January 2006 I recently did some work for a importing/distribution business near the Blue Mountains, where I live. The business specialises in Industrial Insulation. Talking to its MD, Mike Flavell, it is clear that Australian business doesn't yet have the same commitment to reducing energy consumption as their counterparts in Europe. And while we generally have a mild climate in Australia, there are lots of reasons today to take a serious look energy consumption and what each of us can do to reduce our energy "addiction".

Posted by Marius at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2005

Seven hundred thousand calendars

5 Aug 2005 If you use Google to search for the words "online calendar", you'll get 725,000 results. Online calendars are something people need or think they need. And even more interestingly, something software developers like to build!

The trouble is that interoperability between calendars is a mess. Even though a standard (RFC2445, or iCal) was created back in 1998, interoperability between competing internet calendar software is a mess. I haven't been a great user of calendars such as the one in Outlook, but for a recent project, I was called upon to make recommendations for an online calendar. It was for use in a calendar listing like this tax calendar. Accountants amongst my acquaintances will probably copy the entries and pencil the dates on their paper calendars. But now that we're starting to use vCards to import contact details into systems, why not have a solid standard for importing and updating calendar entries as well? When you find an event description on a web page, it should be as simple as a click a link to import that event into a diary and another link to subscribe permanently to events on that calendar.

The Web changed the way our customers perceive technology. They simply expect things to work. Things need to get easier. More widely accepted, simple standards, less vendor lock-in. Today, there is no widely accepted solution for what I described above. Next week, we'll look at what's available today and how we might apply it.

Posted by Marius at 05:20 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack