Guest post: Jean-Louis Gass?e explains how Microsoft's future business model will borrow from both Apple and Google to compete with the free world of software. The essay was originally posted on Monday Note.How do you compete with free? That's the question Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, is trying to answer every morning when he goes to work. On the server software side, Windows Server is doing well, especially with the Exchange e-mail server and the unheralded but very good collaboration server, SharePoint. These products have matured, they're relatively easy to set up and manage by … Read more
Guest post: Christopher Lochhead, the retired chief marketing officer at Scient and Mercury, offers some turnaround strategies (learned the hard way) for weathering the economic storm.
Economic downturns require extraordinary leadership. They require brutal honesty. They require action. If your market and company are truly in trouble, here are some turnaround strategies (learned the hard way) to weather the storm so you can live to fight another day.
1. There Is No Such Thing As One Bad Quarter
When your markets get weak and/or you really screw up, fixing it will take a lot longer than you think it … Read more
In the midst of the financial meltdown and a contentious upcoming election, you might think the U.S. government and taxpayers are just funding wars, bank bailouts, and bridges to nowhere or somewhere. But this is the same government that funded the Internet way back when and is also funding the next generation of technologies that will make the current Internet seem like a Model-T.
Over the last several years, the U.S. government--via DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) grants--has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in PAL, an acronym for "Personalized Assistant that Learns." Smarter software … Read more
According to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, the Internet is a "cesspool" where false information thrives. As reported by AdAge, Schmidt was addressing his remarks to magazine executives who were on a pilgrimage to the Googleplex.
The cesspool is one of the byproducts of the Internet. With no barriers to entry and nearly frictionless production and distribution, it's easy for false information, lies, doctored images, and other forms of deception to infiltrate the Internet. Web crawlers aren't particularly good at making judgments about the truthiness of digital matter, and the wisdom of the crowd can't keep … Read more
Reading The Wall Street Journal and watching CNBC lately can drive a person (namely me) to drink. Which is fun, but beyond answering the question, "Which scotch will I drink?" the seminal question is "How do we thrive in a downturn?"
Downturns are the best time to take market share. Most companies overreact. They get too conservative. They also forget that they are not the … Read more
The proverbial wheels are coming off. The financial crisis is spreading across the globe. The political mudslinging is getting into full gear as the U.S. presidential election nears its conclusion and inflation continues to rise. Basically, everything costs more, with the exception of gasoline spurred by slowing demand as consumers look for ways to stay afloat financially.
The well-heeled country of Iceland, with 320,000 residents (about half the population of Alaska in an island the size of Kentucky) is nearly underwater financially. Europe, not just the U.S., is in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime economic crisis.
Governments, … Read more
In this week's EIC Squared podcast, ZDNet's Larry Dignan and I talk about how the economic crisis will impact the tech sector. Both the House and Senate have passed the bailout package, but the legislation doesn't mean that tech or any other industry sector will reverse the downward spiral. Tech companies and financial analysts are rapidly cutting estimates to prepare for a potential nuclear winter in the global economy.
We also discuss Microsoft's forthcoming moves into cloud computing and the state of citizen journalism following the fake Steve Jobs heart attack story that showed up on … Read more
Finally, a technology executive willing to tell the truth about cloud computing. Speaking at Oracle OpenWorld, Larry Ellison said that the computer industry is more fashion-driven than women's fashion and cloud computing is simply the latest fashion. The Wall Street Journal quoted the Oracle CEO's remarks: "The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we've redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do. I can't think of anything that isn't cloud computing with all of these announcements. The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women's fashion. … Read more
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie on Thursday offered a long-term view of where Microsoft and the world of computing are heading over the next few decades. Speaking at the MIT Emerging Technology Conference here, Mundie envisioned a 3D virtual world populated by virtual presences, using a combination of client and cloud services.
He called this next generation "spatial computing" and listed numerous attributes: many-core processors; parallel programming; seamlessly connected and fully productive; context-aware and model-based; personalized, humanistic, and adaptive; 3D and immersive; and utilizing speech, vision and gestures.
Mundie gave a few examples … Read more
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates appeared on the NBC Nightly News Wednesday speaking with Tom Brokaw about the current economic crisis. Gates wasn't concerned about the state of the U.S. economy in the long run. Historical data would support his longer-term view, but that won't make the current disarray and uncertainty about the economy any less scary for investors riding the daily, nausea-inducing roller coaster.
Brokaw observed that Gates seemed to be cool, or not terribly worried, about the U.S. financial crisis. "The U.S. economy in the long run is going to do very, very … Read more