Several new Microsoft advanced technologies

Fact: As reported in TechCrunch and other sites today, “Microsoft’s Live Labs has just released Thumbtack, a web clipping service that allows users to compile links, media, and text snippets into online storage bins for future reference. Users can also share their Thumbtack collections with their peers, allowing them to collaborate by adding new clips and notations… The service works fine on IE7 and Firefox, and isn’t OS dependent. Each of these clippings can be sorted into folders called ‘Collections’, which can be published to the web via RSS, embedded in blogs, opened to friends for collaboration, or kept private for safe keeping.”  [There’s also a good Ars Technica review of Thumbtack here.]

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Comparing Apple and Microsoft as Platforms for Developers

I missed October’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles this year because of a couple of other conferences and meetings in other cities. But of course I was happy to see the coverage in the technology press and blogs, so much of it positive about our announcement on Windows Azure and the Azure Services Platform.

Then I read Joe Wilcox over on his “Apple Watch” blog at eWeek, on “What Apple Needs to Know about Azure, Windows 7.” It’s striking in its conclusions, particularly coming from a longtime Apple watcher:

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Lucky 7, as in Windows 7

When there’s neat stuff nearing release, it’s both professionally fulfilling but also no fun being a Microsoft employee, because you’re (rightly) constrained from blogging about some of the cool technology being cooked up in MSR or in advanced development labs among the product groups.

It means that I wind up passing along links to open stories in the media written by outsiders who wind up getting an early story (mostly) right, through good solid reporting and insightful addition skills, i.e. 2+2=4.

I faced that several months ago when Live Mesh was in the batter’s circle, before its public announcement; I wrote what I could because I was so impressed with the technology and approach, as were the reviews after its unveiling.  Before, I wrote this post among others; and after the announcement I wrote this one

Same scenario now, with “Windows 7.”  You don’t have long to wait (October 27) for the public announcement, but if you’re curious about some of the technical approaches, there are several generally reliable bloggers already writing about “technical details” of the multi-touch, parallel-processing, and cloud-services S+S integration points in the new release. A couple of good quick examples are Mary Jo Foley, “Windows 7 to Get Parallel Processing Tweaks” (she’s not as snarky as usual) and TechRadar’s “Seven Things You Need to Know about Windows 7“).

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EU says, Costs of Open Source Outweigh the Benefits?

FACT: According to a Reuters story today, “The European Commission, a thorn in Microsoft’s side for its antitrust campaigns against the software giant, is falling short in its own internal attempt to promote more competition in the technology sector. The European Union executive has so far not followed its own policy that it purchase office software and operating systems with open standards as well as Microsoft products.”

(c) European CommunityIn the money quote, according to the Reuters story, the EU’s director of IT solutions “said in an interview arranged by a spokeswoman for Commissioner Siim Kallas, who oversees procurement, that studies showed the costs of moving to open source outweighed the benefits.” 

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