As I go around the company I look at whether or not we're aiming at markets that have any potential at growth.
For instance, today I interviewed Tetsuo Seto. He's the guy who heads the team doing non-English languages for the Tablet PC.
We talked a bit about the Chinese and Japanese markets. Are these big markets? Well, with 1.2 billion people in China alone, you bet! And very few own computers. So, huge emerging market. Although don't get too excited. Tetsuo admitted that only about 10 percent of the market can afford computers there. Still, that's 120 million people.
These are not keyboard-centric cultures, either. Here's why: Tetsuo showed me the Japanese language. 10,000 characters.
Whoa, try using a keyboard for that!
He showed why the Tablet PC is seeing strong sales in the Japanese market: its handwriting recognition rocks for character-based languages. Tetsuo demonstrated using the new Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005's (still hate that name, by the way) handwriting recoginition. He wrote in English, French, Chinese, and Japanese characters -- all in the same line. Damn, I wish I could do that!
Anyway, we did the interview in English and in Japanese. That should be interesting to put up on Channel9. Sometimes we forget that Microsoft serves a world-wide audience, so it'll be interesting to see if that pulls in people to Channel9 that wouldn't otherwise post there because of its English-centricity.
Before that interview, I got over to the Windows Media Center team. Holy %%%% are they doing some cool stuff. Can't wait to show you why I think it's cool.
Is Media Center an emerging market? Heck yes. Over the next 10 years huge numbers of people will buy new large TV screens for the home. I've been watching my friends (even those outside of Microsoft). When they buy a big screen they also buy a PVR to go along with it (or they had recently purchased one). Almost every single one has done that (and I'm not the only one noticing that trend).
You put 2+2 together. Both are huge markets. Both are in the early stages of being built.
I see growth ahead. What do you see?
Thanks to Phil Ringalda for sending me the RSS explorer link.
Ed Foster, in InfoWorld's gripe line: No joke for Visio customer
Ed, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get your reader taken care of. I'm very sorry that that happened.
OK you XML-icon-hating-RSS-feed-subscribing geeks here's your solution: RSS Explorer. It auto discovers feeds on pages and gives you an option to subscribe to them.
Michael Howard just announced a threat modeling tool is now up for you to download.
"The Threat Modeling Tool allows users to create threat model documents for applications. It organizes relevant data points, such as entry points, assets, trust levels, data flow diagrams, threats, threat trees, and vulnerabilities into an easy-to-use tree-based view. The tool saves the document as XML, and will export to HTML and MHT using the included XSLTs, or a custom transform supplied by the user."
Interesting insight into Microsoft's art program in Seattle's PI today.
Dave Walker gives me a bunch of reasons why he doesn't want to use an XML icon.
That's cool. Instead, give me a link or tell me that I can autodiscover a feed or something.
Richard MacManus: "My value system would be something like this instead: am I producing sufficient quality ideas and memes to please my small but focused group of readers?"
The Gillmor Gang's latest audio show was just published on IT Conversations. Lots of Microsoft talk, since Mary Jo Foley was on the panel and they were reacting to Bill Gates' talk to the CEOs (the show was recorded on Friday).
As we interviewing people for Channel9 we talk about non Microsoft-oriented stuff as well. Here's a discussion we had with Jim Newkirk (author of Nunit) and Ward Cunningham (inventor of the Wiki) about extreme programming.
Benjamin Mitchell covers the key messages from Steve Ballmer's keynote today.
Andrew Grumet gives me what I'm looking for: a bunch of XML icons.
A Penny For... weblog talks about how PR types should communicate with webloggers.
You ever notice that secrets are a lot more interesting before you know what they are? For instance, Chad Dickerson talked about InfoWorld's internal blogs.
I had visions of them writing smack about all of us bloggers. Something like "look at what that idiot Scoble is saying." But, no, they are boring old blogs just like what we do internally at Microsoft. Sigh.