Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Simon Phipps (who works at Sun Microsystems) is showing off Sun's new 3D desktop.

Why am I pointing to this? After all, Simon and Sun is trying to put me out of business. Because I want to be an authority on the operating system industry and to become an authority you must point to ALL stuff, not just that that's friendly.

Heck, Sun's doing some cool work here and it should be paid attention to -- particularly by Longhorn evangelists.

One of the things I get asked is "where are the major consumer apps written with .NET?" Here's one that's very cool: Constant Time's Electronic Shoebox. It organzies and lets you edit your digital photos. President James Park tells me "I shudder to think how long it would have taken us to write it in C++."

I just got it (it costs $29) and I'll be testing it out and reporting on it soon.

Directions on Microsoft: Microsoft's Top 10 Challenges for 2004.

What do you think are our biggest challenges?

Had a nice evening. Went out with Robert Lantry (a talented developer I met back at Winnov). We were celebrating because he just got a job at Microsoft. We saw "the Last Samurai." Excellent movie, but definitely intense battle scenes and gore. If you're gonna see this one, though, see it on a big screen. It's one of those kinds of films that just won't translate well to a small screen.

Matt Goyer talks about interviewing at both Microsoft and Amazon. Congrats Matt on getting offered two jobs! I've heard from a few other people who went through both interviews and didn't get offered anything. The job market up here in the Pacific Northwest is still a pretty difficult one to manuever. Maryam interviewed again last week with Microsoft and hasn't gotten an offer. So, to get two offers is pretty good indeed. We had dinner with Matt the night of his interviews and we both could see why he'd get two offers. He's bright. Interesting. Nice to be around. Can't wait to have more dinners with him.

Good morning! Some good controversies happening in the Microsoft developer world today. I knew I'd stir up the hornets nest with my post on Longhorn blogs. Now a bunch of people are calling me an idiot cause I like single-click in the operating system. I just like consistency. I've seen new users struggle with the mouse and single-click is simply easier. But, people get really attached to doing things "the old way." I've seen this many times in my career. It's why evangelizing a new product is so hard. Your "new way" must be a clear advantage over the "old way." Anyway, the debate has gotten derailed over that one issue. This is exactly where user inconsistency comes from. Microsoft can't change the "old part" of Windows, but the "new part" (the Web browser, in this case) has the new behavior. This really confuses new users and makes computers more complex to use.

The other controversy going on right now is being stoked by Frans Bouma with his post "Microsoft, stop asking for free advice."

I totally disagree with Frans here. OK, let's go back to the time before I was a Microsoft employee. I was an MVP for five years. I use Microsoft's products 14 hours a day (sometimes more). I have a LOT of ideas about things I'd like to see Microsoft put into its products. In fact, the fact that Microsoft wasn't listening to users is EXACTLY why I was so damn frustrated all the time with Microsoft. (Hint: I still am, and I work here now -- I want my computer to work the way +I+ want it to).

I would have LOVED to have better communication with the product teams. And, yes, I would have given this advice for free. Why? Because it would mean having better products for me to use -- which is how I got paid back.

Heck, I've given Microsoft (and others) tons of bug reports -- all for free. Many of those bugs were fixed and society now has a better computer experience in return. It's my gift to society.

In fact, why is Open Source getting so many developers so excited? Because they can change stuff wily-nily without talking some company into doing it. Note: IBM and HP and Oracle are making billions of dollars off of open source -- why isn't Frans telling open source programmers to get paid for their "free work?"

In fact, I wish Microsoft would move closer to the open source model. Give developers more transparency into Microsoft (let everyone see how the sausage is being made). Give them more ability to see decisions that are being made today. Give them more ability to give their input on those decisions.

Frans looks at it and says "Microsoft should pay me" for giving more input. What do you think?

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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; 3:26:42 AM.