Joe Wilcox, in a long missive to us at Microsoft, wants us to get off the beta train.
That's a tough one. When you're a platform company you want to get as many eyes on the code as possible before it ships. Microsoft has always had pretty easy-to-get-onto betas. Before I joined Microsoft I beta tested dozens of Microsoft products (and Adobe and Apple ones too, among others).
The only time I remember any compensation is on the Adobe Acrobat beta where I reported more bugs than anyone else on the beta. I got a $1400 laser printer for that.
I disagree about Longhorn too. Yes, it's a PR disaster if you look at it from that angle. But, by releasing our early code to developers we got a lot of feedback that we were heading down the wrong path.
I had many many developers tell me "you kidding?" when I told them that Avalon and WinFS would only be on Longhorn and wouldn't run on Windows XP.
Today, Avalon's developer preview (translation: really early code that only the most risk adverse developers should run) is in public on both Windows XP and Server 2003.
Yes, it makes our public messaging messy. But, in the end, it makes our products better.
That said, Joe makes a lot of very valid posts.
How about you, would you like to see more betas or fewer?
Mike Torres and I were speaking to a bunch of employees today about blogging. I told him that MSN Spaces should jump on board. Tonight they have too.
In other news, Mike announces that MSN now has an RSS aggregator built into My MSN.
Great stuff, Mike, thanks!
ZeD interviews Salam Pax (the guy who got famous for writing from Baghdad, Iraq) in video. Neat interview. I like how he ends by telling people to get multiple sources and don't believe any one source for their news.
There was a report today on heise online that said that Microsoft would release its own Tablet PC.
I immediately emailed a bunch of people inside Microsoft to check on this report. It is abjectly NOT TRUE. That's straight from Peter Loforte, general manager on the Tablet PC team. Robert Williams, the guy who deals with all the OEMs, also told me it's abjectly not true.
It is NOT true that we want to build our own Tablet PC, Peter told me.
We're trying to figure out how this report got written -- we're getting denials from everyone, so it sounds like a misquoting or a misunderstanding but one that's worthy of calling out in public and correcting. We're hoping that Heise will correct this, please.
By the way, I just used the "nofollow" attribute to link to this report. See how this can be used editorially? Now I can link to things and be happy that they won't show up high on search result pages. This one is simply bad journalism and wasn't checked out with either the PR teams here, nor the Tablet PC team.
Google: Preventing comment spam.
Now here's the rest of the story.
Paul Haahr of Google wrote me at 12:18 a.m.
I was asleep. When I woke up this morning I answered him back. Also on the email were a few people I knew over at MSN. By noon Ken Moss at MSN had written back and said "we're in."
Tonight you can read the rest over on MSN's Search Blog.
Sounds like they also contacted Jeremy over at Yahoo. Yahoo reports on its search blog that it also will add the nofollow attribute.
And, yes, Dave Winer is smiling. Yes, Dave, today those of us who write on the Web won. The customers won. It's a great birthday present. Can I turn 40 again?
Why did we win? Because now we can link to things without raising their search engine whuffie.
What do I mean? Well, last year a carpet store in Redmond ripped off a lot of people. The store is now out of business, but back when it was happening I wanted to link to the store but couldn't.
Because one link from my blog would have automatically put the store at the top of the search page on Google for "Redmond carpet store." Why is that? Because of my Page Rank. Several thousand sites link to me so Google's algorithm considers anything I link to as "highly relevant." I've seen this many many times.
So, now I could link to that store so you all would be able to visit it, but I could add "nofollow" so that Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines wouldn't consider my link in their ranking system.
This will change how I write. And it will encourage more people to link to their competitors.
Think about it. If you hate me, why should you add to my Google juice just by linking to me?
It means that the link now can have editorial comment itself. Oh, and it takes away a lot of the incentive for people to spam in comments because they won't receive any Google whuffie either.
Thanks Google (and MSN and Yahoo).
Oh, and, did anyone notice how Google got its competitors to do something without needing to get a standards committee involved? All within hours?
Hmm, why doesn't everything in the industry work like this?
Mary Jo: Too much of a good (Windows) thing?
Lots of people are talking about Longhorn. I'm staying away from Longhorn until there's beta bits to hand to everyone. Why? I've learned the hard way. Talk is cheap. Doing is divine.
The Register is reporting that Intel is about to announce a new processor family "Sonoma."
I'll watch for interesting news and post tonight.
I'm 40 years old today. Thanks to everyone for the email!
Collaborate Marketing: "What's amazing is that Hugh's acidic style and Scoble's measured responses are starting to make me feel for MS. For the first time ever."
The more I walk around this company with my camcorder, the more I like it. I can't wait to put up the video that I got yesterday inside Microsoft Research.
I met a researcher who is working on a cure for HIV. What does that have to do with software? You'll see.
I also met a researcher who is working on some amazing stuff around the information overload problem.
Now THAT'S a "big idea" I can totally grok.
Google today will announce a new tag attribute today. I won't spill it ahead of announcement.
This is a big deal for people who write on the Web.
I hear the announcement will come later today on the Google Search blog.
I assume this is the thing that Dave Winer was saying was going to make us all smile. He's right. It did make me smile. I've been wanting this for a long time.
Yes, I've already sent email to the MSN Search team to encourage them to support this change too. It's all around a good thing for the Web.