Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Friday, April 09, 2004

Sorry for not linking in the Tablet PC contest earlier.

11:57:04 PM    comment 

Kunal Das has released version .3 of his Outlook to Blog posting tool. It's working very well now and will even post Word files. He tells me that Sharepoint compatibility is coming next.

I told him he should charge $10 or $20 for this. I'm going to donate $20. This tool has already saved me hours and let me do a blog that no one else is able to do (it's my experimental aggregator blog). Everything on that blog is posted by dragging and dropping items to a "blog this" folder. For instance, up there now is an email that someone sent me. Instead of trying to copy and paste it I just dragged it over there.

Of course this tool is dangerous. I imagine a day when I accidentally drop something in there that I wasn't supposed to. I wonder how it'd treat DRM'd email? Hmmm, we should try that out! (Execs here often send around DRM'd email to keep employees from forwarding it to the press or our friends).

5:03:14 PM    comment 

Oh, the talks from the Social Computing Symposium that was held here recently are up (video, audio, and PowerPoints). These talks are mostly non-Microsoft people and many are very interesting. Here's some pictures too.

4:53:20 PM    comment 

Reminder: time is running out to enter your app to win $100,000 in the Tablet PC contest.

And, with that, I'm outta here for the weekend. See ya Sunday night.

4:44:28 PM    comment 

Mike Schinkel runs into anti-RSS ignorance on the part of a tech industry newsletter publisher.

Oh, I get this all the time, and not just with RSS either.

I need to name this so we can talk about it. It's the "evangelist gets PooPoo'd cause his technology isn't important enough yet" syndrome.

Here's what's going on. There are some people who won't pay attention to any technology until X% of people are using it. I remember when I was evangelizing the Macintosh back in the late 80s the Unix guys at San Jose State University would say "who would ever think of using a computer with a toy mouse and menus? How lame!"

I had friends who wouldn't use digital cameras until all their pro friends had switched. I know people who have been avoiding getting a Tivo because "not enough people have them yet."

As a Longhorn evangelist, I hear it all the time "wake me up when X% of the market is using Longhorn."

OK, so, now RSS only has, what, half a percent of the marketplace using it? So, this publisher sticks his head in the sand and says "I'll support it after everyone has already gone there."

Personally, I don't mind that behavior. It makes new opportunities for those of us who DO get the possibilities with new technology. Heck, if everyone had a clue there'd be no opportunities to move up in the world, would there? Imagine if Microsoft had done the Netscape browser before Netscape did it? Imagine if Xerox had productized everything here? Imagine if Ampex had figured out how to make its VCR a consumer product (the Japanese companies cloned the VCR).

So, Mike, why don't you unsubscribe from this guy's newsletter and let him know that you're unsubscribing until he gives his customers the format that they want to receive the emails in. Look at Lockergnome and how they treat their customers. Email? Yes. HTML? Yes. RSS? Yes.

4:41:35 PM    comment 

Becky Dias works right around the corner from me and I bumped into her and she started talking to me about her Connected Systems Track at TechED. Are you going to TechED? Are you a developer? Then check out her track and give her feedback.

If you're a registered TechED attendee, remember to fill out your survey.

4:31:13 PM    comment 

By the way, we're discussing the Business Week article over in "the echo chamber" on Channel9.

I'm also about to post up some more Joe Beda videos (will be posted in the Videos section). That'll give you all something to think about this weekend.

1:42:05 PM    comment 

Martin Spedding: Thanks Drew, it looks like I made the mistake of reading the Business Week article and assuming it was reporting news. It seems like another piece of FUD.

Like I said, the article only presents one piece of the story. The Longhorn story has 1000 pages. We're only on page 25 of the Longhorn story (of Chapter one).

Take this as one piece of data, but by the time we're done with the "road to Longhorn" book, this will be only one page out of 1000.

Some other things: will Longhorn be a freaking huge deal? Yes. Will it be the best OS? I'll let you answer that one -- see ya next year when we ship beta1. Will it be perfect? No. I guarantee there'll be another OS after the Longhorn wave is a memory.

Will my credibility be intact at the end of the story (cause I hyped up Longhorn as "amazing")? Yes.

1:33:39 PM    comment 

Here's Paul Thurrott talking about the improvements to the Tablet PC that are coming this year, for instance. Major improvements.

11:19:31 AM    comment 

BusinessWeek: How Microsoft is clipping Longhorn.

Ahh, lots of stuff here. And my IM is going crazy as people all over the world react to this news and ask me for more information. Everyone wants to know "is WinFS really getting cut?"

Answer: no and yes.

The past three months have been very tough on the Longhorn team. Why? Well, you have to look at the stages of developing a product. Right now we're in the "moving from a dream to a real product" stage. Dreams are always more fantastic than what you can possibly ship in the next 500 working days or so. Plus, at the PDC we showed our plans to you and you told us what's really important to do in Longhorn. In some cases that didn't match up to our assumptions. That, and execs, investors, and customers are telling us "ship ship ship ship." So, we focused for the past few months on "what will it take to ship in a reasonable amount of time?"

Whenever you design a software product (whether it's Radio UserLand, or Microsoft Windows) at some point you move from dreaming about what you'd like to do to actually working on implementing.

I've been watching WinFS, for instance. It is one of the most important features in Longhorn. But their ideas were too big to ship in the next 500 working days. So, they needed to cut back the dream a bit.

Now, why don't I just tell you how much it's getting cut back? Well, I'm still trying to figure it out. It's still a process that's in flux. I don't want to set expectations that might change later.

Actually, this is one reason we showed Longhorn off so early. The PDC attendees and others in the Longhorn newsgroups told us what's important to do. That feedback is being used in a big way to help the teams decide what goes in and what gets pushed off to a future release.

On Channel9 we'll take you inside the various Longhorn teams to get you a view into this process and ask the tough questions about what Longhorn will look like when it's done.

Anyway, the real story hasn't been written yet on Longhorn. It's a bumpy ride right now. Fasten your seatbelts as we go through this turbulent stage. I'm sure there'll be even more stories that'll come soon about things that are happening on Longhorn.

Oh, one other thing, Longhorn is a wave of products, not just one thing. I can't talk too much about that right now, but there are many different versions of Longhorn. Client. Server. Tablet. And maybe even more.

Actually, Joe Wilcox, of Microsoft Monitor, is right. Let's all focus on Windows XP Service Pack 2. That's something major that's going to ship this summer. Why is it important? Well, look at the latest virus problem to go around. If everyone had XPSP2 it wouldn't be a problem at all. We need help testing XPSP2, finding the bugs, fixing them, and informing users about what's good and bad in XPSP2. All the rest of this stuff is interesting drama, but won't affect any of our lives until next year at the earliest.

11:15:29 AM    comment 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
Are you with the press?
Last updated:
5/11/2005; 12:50:06 AM.

Robert Scoble works at Microsoft (title: technical evangelist). 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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