Microsoft, leadership, curiosity
Seattle Times: Microsoft's Magic.
"Even if we're not successful, the world will be better off."
Reflect on that Ballmer quote, and savor it. A fundamental change. Over the years much of my criticism stemmed from their bringing a self-induced, mythological and trance-like struggle to survive to the clean friendly space of the Web.
I think Microsoft should take that quote and run it full page in the NY Times and the WSJ. It could replace "Where do you want to go today?" To me, this is a statement of leadership, a first in the history of Microsoft, and long overdue.
(And very close to the Ask Not statement, the tagline for Scripting News. Would Sun make a similar statement? IBM? AOL? Yahoo? RIAA? USPTO?)
Also thanks to Paul Andrews for the quotes. I really like working with him. I had a quote that was pulled from the final rev of this piece, it's worth repeating here.
For developers, the Internet is "a different universe" than Windows, noted Dave Winer, a leading Silicon Valley software developer who acknowledged "butting heads" with Apple over the years while finding Microsoft "generally a great partner."
It's true. For all the whining I do about Microsoft, they continue to listen and converse and challenge my assertions. There's the greatness in the company, and even if it sputters and is a creaky old thing, at its core Microsoft still is curious.
Yes, I pay for music
Today I had $400 burning in my pocket, so I bought a RCA Lyra portable MP3 player.
What a bitch to install. It hates Windows 2000. It's totally dependent on Real Jukebox which is the most awful piece of software ever written.
The design is so simple, you copy files onto a Compact Flash card, pop it out of the laptop, and pop it into the player. If only it were so simple to actually do.
Anyway, four hours later I'm listening to music, and the sound is fantastic.
Jakob checks in
Jakob Nielsen on Microsoft's announcements. "The strategy is to stall for time in the law suit and milk the OS as much as possible while preparing for the day of divestiture."
What is SOAP? (continued)
Jim Whitehead, chair of the IETF WebDAV group, sent an email saying that my statement of definition for SOAP was flawed because it didn't connect with XML. I agreed, and asked him to post his thoughts on the SOAP weblog.
It's totally open for discussion. Now is a good time to think about this. A 25-word or less statement that captures what SOAP is would help the idea propogate.
BTW, Jim's proposed definition is pure poetry. It's so cool that people can get mystical about this stuff. I like it that way.
Later, I posted a revised version. What do you think?
Tomorrow, unless Murphy objects, we will ship Frontier 6.2.
A bunch of firsts. This version will boot as EditThisPage-in-a-Box. A top level site where your users can create their own sites. Highly configurable, so you can force conformity in look-and-feel, or let your users run wild, or anywhere inbetween. For a very low price you can launch hundreds or thousands of internal or external websites with point and click simplicity.
All sites come with free syndication features, and XML-RPC interfaces so you can hook them into your legacy apps and databases. Static rendering is built-in and easily configurable, so it's conceivable that a single NT box could be used, in conjunction with a static server, to be the editing system for as many as 100,000 sites. The ISP opportunities are pretty obvious.
And Frontier 6.2 is Europe-friendly, even if your users don't speak English, or prefer to work in their native tongue (as long as it's French, German, Italian or Dutch).
(Reminder to self, let's get the Spanish localization done, then we'll be Latin America-friendly.)
Aside from bug fixes and the Linux version, 6.2 is the end of the Frontier 6 thread. The next major release, 7.0, will be Dot-Net-Ready, if that's a term, and ready to serve any and all SOAP-based distributed computing visions. (6.2 will include the latest SOAP for Frontier, but it's not wired into all the existing XML-RPC interfaces yet, it's too new.)
And with 6.2, we're going to launch our "Trial Window" program. You'll be able to download and install a fully functional copy of 6.2 onto your server and use it for 60 days at no charge. You'll get a serial number, nightly updates, and you'll be in the registration database. After 30 days you'll get an email reminder that there's 30 days remaining in your trial window, and at 60 days a notice telling you that sadly, it's time to uninstall the software, or pay for it.
We want lots of people to experience the new power and ease of use of the Two-Way-Web, and we know of no better way to do that than Frontier 6.2.
Many Mac users will be happy to know that we're working on a "carbonized" version of Frontier 6.2.
What does this mean? When the project is complete, Frontier will run as a native application on Mac OS X.
We didn't want to say anything about this until we were reasonably sure it could be done.
Of course the next question people will ask is when, and to that, I don't know.
Like all other projects we want it to be done now.
The Music Wars
NY Times: "Conventional wisdom says the music industry is under siege, threatened by free music peddlers like Napster. But if things are so bad, why are record companies selling so many records?"
Reuters: Major Music Labels Sue MP3Board.
The music industry is run by idiots. Napster is a huge gift for them too. Instead of trying to shut it down (and shutting down their users) they should join us in looking for the new business model created by the Internet. I don't want to begrudge them their money, but get out of the way. They were dragging their asses, and the music is so damned compelling.
Isn't it interesting that Microsoft left Yahoo off their list of competitors for Dot-Net?
Today's song is in German!
What is http://www.wfactor.com/?
Wouldn't editthispage.netscape.com be cool?
I added a new person to the AskNot graphic. For five points, who's the newbie?
Love on the Beach
On Saturday evening we had a service for my friend Jeru who died on May 24. It was a beautiful evening, on Stinson Beach, just north of San Francisco. So many people came. We sang and talked and laughed, yes, there was sadness too. But also, a big space opened, and you can see the new growth happening already. It's a big user-friendly universe, Jeru helped me see that and what a precious gift that is. Thanks!
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