Some reactions from the Web:
Ed Bott: Andrew Orlowski is a hack. "Don't hold your breath waiting for a correction, Robert."
Jeremy Mazner has a lot more details on his own blog.
Yannick Laclau: "...this is a great conversation."
Adam Herscher: "Really? Here's what my version looks like."
Later Andrew Orlowski, over on the Register, updated his article with this:
Update: We've received multiple corroborations of the problem. For others, everything is fine. Google Toolbar seems to bear the brunt. The most recent version of Yahoo!'s toolbar works, but older versions don't.
One gaffe: we reported that no other search engines are available. This isn't true. Microsoft rearranged the deckchairs so that alternatives including Google and Yahoo! can be made the default. Doh!
Irony corner: One user who saw their toolbar vanish in IE7 was none other than Microsoft PR punchbag Robert Scoble. But he later denied having seen any problems, in a fascinating comment thread you can peruse here.
Later in the evening, Scoble told us via email that he'd handed the problem over to the PR professionals. We must hope they have ample supplies of duct tape at the ready, to prevent the talkative blogger from causing even more damage. (That's his speciality).
My response? I never saw the problem that Andrew said I had. I don't have any problems with either Yahoo or Google's toolbars on my machines. Your mileage may vary. I have no idea what Andrew's talking about. As to "causing more damage?" Well, that's funny!
There's a report, on the Register, that IE 7 doesn't work with the Google or Yahoo toolbars. I just talked with Dean Hachamovitch, the guy who runs the IE team, and he says that they tested with the Google and Yahoo toolbar and it was running on their machines (he just sent me screen captures of his personal machine running IE 7 with both the Google and Yahoo toolbar installed) and they in no way are trying to block the Google toolbar from working. He says that he commits to everyone to getting the toolbar to work and if there's something that isn't working the IE team wants to know about it so they can fix it.
This link, on Molly Holzschlag's blog (she's on the Web Standards Project) seems appropriate at this time: That's why it's called beta.
Dean also tells me that we have engineers working with Google to make sure that Google's stuff will work fine in IE 7 and Windows Vista.
It's interesting that many bloggers (both pro and amateur) have been giving me crud the past week or two for "being fast to publish" and "not calling sources to check on my reporting" but that the Register, a professional journalism outlet (they get paid for journalism, I do not) apparently didn't call our development teams to check into this report and get their side of the story. I wonder if Andrew Orlowski will link to my blog and correct his story because his report is HUGELY damaging here.
Update: Jeremy Mazner, technical evangelist for Windows Vista and IE, and Dean Hachamovitch are here giving me more details.
"Compatibility with all existing browser extensions is a top goal for Windows Vista and Internet Explorer," Dean Hachamovitch says. He says that there are some issues with the older Yahoo toolbars. The latest versions work just fine. "Absolutely positively we want everything to work," Hachamovitch says.
Another factual failure on the Register's part: The search drop down includes partners other than MSN Search. Google and Yahoo and others are included there.
Update 2: Jeremy is showing me his IE 7 running with the Google toolbar loaded. In fact, his machine is showing that Google is the default search engine selected, not MSN Search, and the toolbar is working.
Here's some more:
1) About the toolbars: Google Toolbar is working on Jeremy's machine on IE 7 beta 1. Yahoo's version 5.6 had an issue but the current version (6.1.1) is working fine. We're using the latest Google Toolbar, version 184.108.40.206
2) Regarding search: To see providers, click the magnifying glass at the top right of the browser to dropdown the menu. On Jeremy's machine, where he has the Google toolbar and Google had set the default, it kept Google as the default.
Joe Wilcox is doing excellent blogging of the Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting over on Microsoft Monitor.
Mary Hodder continues her blog search service comparison with her second installment on keyword searches. It's interesting. Pubsub, in my experience, does the best keyword searches, but is very hard to link to because they don't have a Web interface (it's all RSS baby!) and because they start reporting searches from the minute you build a keyword search and don't keep historical data (Mary points that out too).
Great job Mary.
I know there are a few other engines. Clusty. IceRocket. It'd be interesting for someone to pick up where Mary left off and compare those too.
The Accordion Guy (Joey deVilla) made me smile: "I think that "Vista" could be short for "Vaunted Imminent Scoble-Touted Application"."
Josh Ledgard shares that MSDN Forums has RSS and OPML.
I just had to link to Raymond Chen. I love his blog. It's a bit technical at times, but he explains why things are the way they are in Windows. I know he's popular with a lot of people, too, cause when he linked to me a few days ago he went right to the top of my referer log.
Overall the Microsoft blogs are posting more frequently (I can't even keep up) and there's usually more than a few interesting posts over there. Great resource. I remember the days when I got hired, a little more than two years ago, and there were only about 80 MSFT bloggers. Now there are somewhere around 2,000 (it's hard to tell cause there's a lot of employees who don't publish on the "official blogs" -- like me).
Seriously, though, the things that students from around the world build for this contest are simply amazing.
Edgar Sanchez, reports on it too (he does .NET in South America).
Any other good blogs on this? Leave them in my comments.
Scott Isaacs pumps up my ego. But, he's wrong. Getting on an A-list blogger might have been good enough two years ago to generate some buzz. I'm watching a tool that lets me watch what the tech blogs link to, though (it looks a lot like Memeorandum and it is in a prototype stage, should be public in a couple of months).
My conclusion? You gotta get 10 bloggers to talk about you now to get noticed. In a year it might be 20 or even 50.
That's what teams who want a decent-sized PR pop should be shooting for. If you get 20 bloggers to talk about you (particularly if a good percentage of them hate you and wouldn't link to you just cause they are your friends) you have a good chance of going viral.
One of the masters at evangelism is Dave Winer. He "tends a field" of people who'll talk about his products and new features. Here Jon Udell talks about Dave's new OPML outliner. Now, when you get Jon to write about you in InfoWorld you've really arrived! But notice what came first? More than 10 bloggers. Technorati is reporting that 20 blogs are linking to the download site and Bloglines is reporting 79 links (although I see a few duplicates in there).
That doesn't guarantee success, but it means he has a shot. It should be the new bar for teams/companies trying to get a new product or feature noticed.
Start.com/3, by the way, has 166 links on Bloglines. Looks like they are doing fine!
If you're an entrepreneur in the software field, how do you get your product noticed?