Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Monday, February 17, 2003

A couple of days ago I pointed to Andrew King's new book on website optimization. Here's the official site for the book. I sure wish more HTML'ers would read this book before posting stuff on the Web. This is a must read for anyone who's using Microsoft FrontPage, too, just so you realize just how bad that tool is making you look (and how to fix its many sins).

Brian Jepson's talking about the difference between Microsoft and Apple's marketing. He says that Apple doesn't let people see its technology before it ships. Well, I've had some sneaks behind the scenes (not official ones, though). Apple has some cool stuff coming this year to be sure -- including some desktop machines that are outperforming current Intel stuff. I sure hope Apple can compete with the vision I saw at Microsoft this week. If they do, we all win. Let's meet again in 2005 and see how it all worked out, OK?

Brian also says "so, Microsoft's talking about three new Windows platforms, and not one has shipped yet. That's confusing."

Josh Lucas says that Microsoft still hasn't, and probably won't "blow away the world." Well, excuse me, if getting 90% market share isn't "blowing away the world" I shudder to think of what happens when Microsoft DOES "blow us all away." Speaking of which, I just said that Microsoft blew ME away with its future product plans. Your experience may vary. ;-)

Update: why do I know way more than 1000 Tablets have been sold? Well, all you need to do is call a few of the biggest retailers on the Web (I'll even give you a head start: Amazon, CDW, PCConnection) and ask them how many they've sold. Or, call one of the distributors in the industry (TechData and Ingram Micro) and ask them. Or, just hang around Microsoft and see what percentage of Microsoft's 55,000 employees have Tablets (hint: more than one out of every 55 employees in Redmond already has a Tablet). It takes an hour of homework to realize that way more than 1000 Tablets have been sold. In fact, more than 10 times that amount has been sold. I'm wondering where that IDC analyst got his number?

My boss's boss, Larry Miller, is at Demo (Larry runs the Mobile Solutions group at NEC Solutions (America), Inc. ). He just wrote to say he met Buzz Bruggeman, who promptly pitched him. Don't worry Larry. I've know Buzz for years now and he still pitches me too (even though I've been sold on his ActiveWords product for years too).

IDC Analyst Darian Bird is full of excrement. He says that only 1000 Tablets have been sold since November of last year. I've been doing a bit of research on the market and can tell you the real number is MUCH higher than that. When I see numbers that are so easily proveable as false, it makes me wonder whether the entire analyst community isn't doing crack. Will someone in that community please get Darian the correct info?

Want to keep up on Microsoft? Visit the "Watching Microsoft Like a Hawk" aggregator. I do.

Ahh, just when I thought UserLand wasn't innovating, they announce a major new feature for Radio UserLand users: "How to backup and restore your Radio weblog." This is much needed, thanks guys!

Dan Gillmor, of the San Jose Mercury News, is hanging out at the Demo conference and reporting on the cool stuff that he's seeing.

Steve Ivy: "Steve Jobs may have his Reality Distortion Field, but Microsoft always does one better...For once I'd like to see Apple giving developers the Full Tour of Apple's labs."

Steve also says that if Jobs had given the Newton a tenth of the attention he gave the iMac, no one would be talking about the TabletPC right now. I've heard this from several Mac enthusiasts (former Apple CEO John Sculley said as much in a video that Bill Gates played in front of Comdex). They all miss the point. By putting ink into a real OS and not just a Palm device, Microsoft has brought us something dramatically new. Apple never had that vision with the Newton.

Damn, I sure hope Haloscan gets their comment system working again soon. I miss my comments.

Matt Williams asks if Jing Jings is close to the Peninsula Creamery. Why, yes it is! Right down the street. Too bad we'll miss Matt, but the rest of you are invited to come tonight. 6 p.m. at Jing Jing Chinese Gourmet in Palo Alto.

Matt Williams takes me to task for comparing Sharepoint to a weblogging tool. Matt, you missed my point. I know Sharepoint does everything but cure cancer, but I can't get my IT department to implement it cause it requires setting up another server and it costs big bucks (although I hear rumors that a version will come with Windows Server 2003). Here's how things get bubbled up: I try them out. I talk other people into trying them out. Sooner or later enough people are using them that IT can't ignore us any longer. Sharepoint requires a top-down sell. That's far harder.

The comment system I'm using (Haloscan) is still not working. Oh well.

Buzz, CEO of ActiveWords, goes on stage at the Demo Conference today. I wish I was there. I wonder, which company on this list of Demo demonstrators will change the world? I hope someone weblogs the event. I know Dan Gillmor is gonna be there. I wonder who else will?

In a good sign for Microsoft's webloggers (er, webloggers that work at Microsoft) Beth Goza tells me that her management was and is supportive of her weblog and that she'll probably start it back up again. Beth was also recently promoted to one of the key leads for the MVP group. (Beth's weblog was parodied over at the Register, and subsequently disappeared -- she says she was being stalked and she didn't have the time to deal with it). Glad to help clear that up.

OK, you might have noticed I've started writing a lot more about Microsoft. That's only natural since I've spent four days there in the past week. But, part of it is my challenge to the community. Microsoft has shown me stuff that just blew me away (and, since I was a Macintosh user starting in 1988 and live in Silicon Valley, it takes a bit to blow me away). I've recently visited Apple. I have friends who work at Oracle, Sun, Cisco, and other companies. Thanks to working at NEC I get to see a lot of the coolest stuff too, but so far I haven't seen anything that comes close to the vision for personal computing that Microsoft has. Anyone care to show me something cool that the Open Source world is doing? Lindows? Doesn't come close to what I've seen. If you're an Apple fan, don't bother unless you wanna show me something that isn't public yet. Copying PowerPoint isn't gonna get close to what I saw last week.

San Francisco Area Weblogger Dinner Tonight: 6 p.m. at Jing Jings in Palo Alto. A few interesting people will be there. Will you?

Sam Gentile's kid had a rough week. I'm glad to hear everything is going well and look forward to Sam posting more in the future.

Aaron Swartz has an awesome Google weblog, which became even more important with the latest announcement.

While I was at Microsoft, I learned a lot about IPv6. Seems that if we all want to have IP addresses, we need to move the Internet to the new IPv6 standard. Otherwise we'll all need to live behind NATs and DHCP'd dynamic IP addresses. That kind of world isn't even close to as fun as if we all had static IP addresses of our own. The only way we'll get there is if everyone starts the process of upgrading to IPv6-compliant equipment. Here's Microsoft's guide for hardware manfacturers. Thanks to Wesley Felter for that link.

These folks are Microsoft gurus: Microsoft Regional Directors' list.

OK, all this talk about multiple monitors makes me hungry. I have a solution: I carried two laptops, a Tablet, and a PocketPC to the MVP summit last week. One laptop could be viewed in direct sunlight. One is my main work machine. I'm learning the Tablet. The PocketPC is needed to look up my stuff when instant on is needed (ever try and wait to boot up your machine at an airline checkin counter?)

Here's something I've gotta try: RSS feeds from Outlook. Most of my life is in Outlook. I'd love to build an RSS feed that my boss can aggregate from Outlook. Thanks to Scott Hanselman for this.

John Bristowe says that Microsoft's WSE rocks (Web Services Enhancements for Microsoft .NET).

My take on the weblogging space now that Google has bought Pyra (congratulations Evan!)

1) Apple would be smart to buy Radio UserLand, but probably won't because Apple seems to only like technology that's developed internally. Meanwhile Apple's software team is focused on copying Microsoft PowerPoint. Yawn.

2) Microsoft probably won't buy either Moveable Type or UserLand because of the same reason (and because Microsoft is moving everything to .NET and neither of those products were developed on top of .NET).

3) AOL is clueless. Anything new?

4) Yahoo? The wildcard in the space.

5) Smaller players like Earthlink, etc. Who cares? Well, they might help keep the lights on for some of the weblogger vendors.

6) Media companies like Knight Ridder? Give me a break, they don't want their readers publishing. No control and no way to make any money.

Erik Noble notices that folks are moving off of Radio UserLand. I'm watching that too. I'll try to get an official answer to the future of Radio. Clearly UserLand doesn't have many resources, though. It's hard to innovate when you don't know how you're gonna pay your rent.

Last week I asked Steve Ballmer if he'd be weblogging soon. He said he was thinking about it, but that some of Microsoft's executives were starting weblogs. Scott Gutherie's weblog was an example he used. Alright! (Scott runs the Web.NET team (formerly the ASP.NET team)).

By the way, I got that link from Sean "Early" Campbell and Scott "Adopter" Swigart's weblog, which tracks emerging Microsoft technologies. Interesting stuff.

Shawn Van Ness is doing development for the Tablet. Cool. A whole lot of people will join you soon. Everyone I met on the Windows team had Tablets. Tablets are one of Bill Gates favorite products right now. I'm completely sold on Tablets. After you use ink for a week, it's hard to go back to a standard old laptop.

While I was at Microsoft, Ingo Rammer started a .NET Remoting Newsletter. More than 600 people signed up in the first day, which is a tribute to Ingo's technical and marketing skill. If you haven't figured out, yet, .NET is getting more and more important (and you haven't seen nothing yet). Ingo's newsletter will be a must-read for any .NET-centric developer.

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Robert Scoble works at Microsoft. Everything here, though, is his personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here.

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© Copyright 2004 Robert Scoble Last updated: 1/3/2004; 2:05:59 AM.