Showing posts from July, 2004

Telirati Newsletter #46

Every now and then I would reach pretty far in my newletters, and this is a case in point: I analyize David Cutler's influence on Microsoft. Ambitious, but perhaps also useful in that the influence of people like Cutler is one reason why Windows seems to move so slowly to respond to the threat of Linux. He shaped Microsft, and his influence, and the momentum of what he set in motion, is still strong.

Telirati Newsletter #46: Cutler on the Couch

One thing that makes Microsoft great is that titanic personalities can still mold large parts of the company in their image. David Cutler, the father of NT, is one such titan, and his worldview is about to start shaping your desktop computing experience. What a strange world it will be. In a recent interview Cutler gave in a Microsoft newsletter distributed to the Windows 2000 beta test community, he made some telling remarks. The interview itself was a puff piece, and the writer was in awe of her subject. But Cutler reveals more than he or…

Telirati Newsletter #45

Overall, I find it eerie to reread what I woute five years ago. For an industry that supposedly moves at lightning speed, the predictions presented below are remarkable mainly for the fact that their outcomes are still unfolding.

Still, it is possible to tell that most of these predictions have come true. Moreover, it is also possible to say quite clearly that Microosft has failed to use the previous five years to take actions that would have been effective in minimizing the competitive threat from Linux and other open source software.

One can also see that the importance assigned to these threats has held up: Price hasn't dislodged Windows from the desktop, where Windows pricing is low enough to fail to deter any customers. It is the other attactions of open source software that matter more.

Telirati Newsletter #45: Categorizing the Linux Threat (Opportunity)

How much of a threat is Linux to Microsoft? What are the main opportunities for Linux? In answering these questions, it is b…

Telirati Newsletter #44

Five years ago I wrote this newsletter, and I came not to praise speech recognition, but to bury it. In the subsequent five years, speech recognition lives on as a novelty in mobile phone handsets and cards. One of my colleagues recently demonstrated his new Honda's abilities. "Take me to the nearest whorehouse!" he exclaimed. And, dutifully, the navigation system displayed nearby hospitals, in anticipation, no doubt of him catching some STD.

My prediction here is that speech technology providers would continue to bark up the wrong tree, and they have maintained that course with stubborn steadfastness. Interdisciplinary approaches are still left uninvestigated, and products are only slightly less of a laughingstock than they used to be.

Telirati Newsletter #44: The Shock of Recognition

Speech recognition is a curious beast: Sometimes it appears to have been tamed. It jumps through hoops on the trade show stage and once again we are drawn to believe. Perennially, Bill Gates …

Telirati Newsletter #43:

In this newsletter I take a shot at the server craze of the time. Over the years, server software has remained a very active area of the software industry, but Linux and other free and open source software has cooled the gold rush mentality.

Recently, tools like distcc have brought distributed omcpilation to Linux, confirming my prediction that software development would be one of the first targets for workgroup clustering.

But the real importance of this is in striking a blow against the TV-izing of the Internet. The less distinction between a user's node and a server, the better. An interesting example of the virtualization of server software in use today is Skype's distributed directory. A contining trend in this direction is all part of the return of the Internet to its network-of-servers roots, and it is a Very Good Thing.

Telirati Newsletter #43: Servers, Re-centralization, and the Promise of the Personal Computer

A wave of servers is sweeping over the face of computing. If …