Stephen Wildstrom over at Businessweek has news for Microsoft Vista hangers-on: it's not worth the wait.Expectations for Vista SP1 may be unreasonably high because Windows XP had such a successful overhaul in a 2003 upgrade called XP Service Pack 2. In contrast, Vista SP1 is mostly a bundle of bug fixes and performance upgrades, many of which had been released previously. There's a lot of improvement under the hood in the form of better stability, security, and compatibility, but very little of it is in a form users will notice.… Read more
I was working on this when I read this CNET News.com post. Apparently, Bill Gates believes that a strong technology sector will help keep America's economy healthy. I couldn't agree more. But I have a somewhat different take on the role tech has played in the U.S. economy.
Over the past few decades, the U.S. technology industry has had a number of "the sky is falling" moments, and every time we've managed to work through it and come out stronger than before.
For example, when I entered the job market in 1980, … Read more
The World Economic Forum opened today with a call for more collaborative innovation. Tim O'Reilly talks about software above the layer of a single device, but the attendees in Davos are being asked to consider innovation above the layer of a single developer/person/group.
Imagine that."'The Power of Collaborative Innovation' is the answer to all the big global challenges we are facing," said Co-Chair Tony Blair, [former] Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1997-2007).
The sessions have titles like "Business: Competing While Collaborating." I would assume the conference organizers have something more in … Read more
Red Hat just announced the results of its JBoss Innovation Awards. As one of the judges, I can attest to the impressive quality of the submissions and the innovation they represent. Most importantly, the awards demonstrate one of the most interesting things that open source enables: customer innovation, as opposed to mere vendor innovation.
The Awards consisted of eight categories, ranging from business process automation (BPA) and service?oriented architecture (SOA) implementation to user experience and ecosystem. Entries were judged based on the solution's creativity and innovation, measurable return on investment (ROI), identifiable improvements to the business, improvement of processes and ability to overcome technology challenges.
Here's just one winner that demonstrates the power that open source gives back to customers:… Read more
Is Apple's PR wearing thin?
Sure, there was the MacBook Air and the buzz around "thinnovation." But wasn't that--pun intended--too "thin" for a big media splash, especially compared with past years? Now that MacWorld is over, pundits are reviewing Apple's PR efforts, and when the expectations are so high (and a company is so good at it), it is not too surprising that some are disappointed with what they've seen this year. Frank Shaw, a PR professional at Waggener Edstrom, Microsoft's lead PR agency, is one of them, and you have … Read more
The topic of sustainable or green design is of increasing urgency to companies involved in product development. Last year, it reached a tipping point in public interest and concern over global climate change, fueled by massive media interest.
Companies that fail to address it risk legislative punishment, as well as negative brand and sales consequences. But green also provides a huge market opportunity: recent surveys have indicated that key customer segments are willing to pay more for greener products.
...or just a workaholic?
In a poignant post, Seth Godin explains the difference:
"A workaholic lives on fear. It's fear that drives him to show up all the time. The best defense, apparently, is a good attendance record.
A new class of jobs (and workers) is creating a different sort of worker, though. This is the person who works out of passion and curiosity, not fear.
The passionate worker doesn't show up because she's afraid of getting in trouble, she shows up because it's a hobby that pays. The passionate worker is busy blogging on … Read more
Europe loves the VW Beetle, the Renault Twingo, and the Smart. The U.S. has the Mini and will finally get the Smart, too. And recently India proudly presented the spiritual successor to all of these--the $2,500 Tata Nano, a "people's car" that is widely gushed about, not only for its surprisingly slick design but also for its innovations.
In recent years, ecoconcerns, design savvy, and an (urban) willingness to quest for practicality have fostered the trend toward specialized cars that are as small as the niches they serve. While the idea of a small car … Read more
CES is all about what's cool right now, up to the latest nanosecond. One of the Sandbox Summit panelists summed up the pace of development when she said that her wired kids thought that the Amazon Kindle was old news.
I have to say that one of the CES displays that impressed me the most was from a classic American company that had to be one of the oldest manufacturers at the show: Kodak. Think about the transition they've had to pull off, from film to digital photography, upending their previous innovations and business. A few years ago the outlook for the company's future was incredibly pessimistic.
Kodak had a massive booth at CES and after all was said and done, I realized that they had presented some of the best home-office photo printers, digital photo frames, and scrapbooking software that I'd seen at the show. (Keep in mind that seeing everything at CES is like trying to eat at every restaurant in Manhattan in two days; no one person can possibly scour more than a fraction of the total offerings.) Hewlett-Packard demonstrated a wide variety of equipment that would definitely do a good job, but Kodak seemed to have developed the whole package deal, understanding their target audience as photographers and memory makers rather than just people who print photos.… Read more