Chris Pirillo's Lockergnome Newsletters seem to have secured a deal to get a free copy of Active Words. I use this for a variety of tasks, mostly to help answer emails since I often get the same questions over and over.
InternetNews: Small Businesses Embrace the Tablet PC. Cool!
On the other hand, Paul Thurrott reports that Acer is complaining about Tablet PC sales. Well, let's work together on the Best Buy problem that I covered about a week ago (Best Buy only carries the Toshiba, so how is the Acer (or any other Tablet) supposed to get sold?
I think the problem is that most people buy on screen size and quality and the truth is that Tablets look weak when compared to a 15-inch high resolution monitor. Most people don't consider that they'll want to end up reading on the couch, and there a large monitor isn't as nice as a Tablet. Hopefully the new Tablets that are just hitting the market will improve things a bit.
By the way, I've repeatedly asked for OEMs to give me their Tablet PCs for a couple of weeks so that I can write about them and show you what's cool. None of the OEMs have taken me up on that. I have 1000 to 5000 influential readers per day. Heck, I'd be happy to take them to a blog dinner. Last week Dave Winer had about 30 bloggers at dinner. Combined readership was, what, 40,000 per day or more?
The OEMs keep hoping Microsoft will dump some money their way so they can pay for huge ads. Where are the OEMs who will try a little guerilla marketing?
I sold hundreds, probably thousands, of NEC Tablets with a little guerilla marketing. And NEC wasn't supporting me in those efforts. Imagine if an OEM really wanted to get into the new world?
By the way, not only can I expose a new Tablet PC here, or to dozens of bloggers at one of the weblogger dinners I attend every month, but I can write about my experiences to THOUSANDS of Microsoft employees. I did just that on Acer's behalf (I sent around an email to some of the internal Tablet PC aliases) that pointed to WhatIsNew.com. Within 24 hours Lora (who runs that site) reported she got more than 1000 Microsoft visitors.
See, there are 55,000 ways for Microsoft to help you. If one doesn't work out, try another. Oh, here's another tip for OEM's: give away 20 of your product to various key Microsoft executives and employees (you gotta do the work to figure out who's the most influential for your product, though). That's what I did at Winnov. Within a few months of doing just that we had an order for more than 1,000 video capture cards. But, that strategy only works if you have a best-of-breed product.
Update: I made a mistake and thought Toshiba was shipping a larger Tablet. I fixed this entry.
Over at Microsoft Monitor I see Microsoft revealed a whole bunch of security data about Microsoft's internal networks today. 2500 to 3000 attempted intrusions per day. And other interesting data. Also, points to a free anti-virus promotion Microsoft has put together with Computer Associates. If you aren't yet running anti-virus software, this is a good way to get it.
I was just over at Microsoft-Watch and learned that Hotmail was recently upgraded. Yeah, I noticed. So far I like it. How about you?
Speaking of Mary Jo Folely (she's the one who writes Microsoft Watch). She has a for-pay newsletter and someone sent it to me. Seems she learned about a Microsoft blogging effort named "the Spoke." I hadn't even heard about this. Looks interesting! Anyone know anything about this? Please contact me.
Amy Gahran: How to convince bosses to let you weblog.
Eric Sink on MSDN: Finance for Geeks.
Silicon Valley Event: want to see Longhorn? Vic Gundotra (General Manager of Longhorn Evangelism) will be demonstrating Longhorn at the SD Forum Windows SIG on Wednesday night.
Be careful, though. Vic is the guy who got me excited about Longhorn. He might do the same to you too. I'm sure the Silicon Valley audience will be skeptical, though. As they should be. Anyone gonna blog it?
Joel Spolsky has another interesting insight into the world of software development with his post on "craftsmanship."
Chris Sells really turned on the blogging gas over the past few weeks. Over on his blog I learn there's a new Academic Longhorn blog. Cool. Then I see I've been ASSified. Then I read this really great adventure through creating UIs. And there's lots more too.
I've been thinking a lot lately about "what should be next for Microsoft's communities?" But, before I write up my thoughts, I thought I'd ask you all what we need to improve.
CNET News.com: Linux has a Tablet PC. Alright! This is a legitimization of the Tablet PC market -- nice to see that the Linux side of the fence realizes that some people want to compute while standing up, or by using a pen. Do your shopping carefully, though. Doesn't have a full handwriting application and ink isn't well integrated yet and this laptop is on the ultra-low-end of the price scale (no Intel processor, no wireless, etc).