Hiding new technology in plain sight

If I’m giving a private demo of an advanced technology or piece of software that Microsoft is cooking up, I often encounter the response, “Yeah, but we’ll probably never see this released, will we?”

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Microsoft becomes Microsoft!

Everyone in the blogosphere will light up today on the topic, so not much needs to be said, but I’m glad that at last I can break out the exclamation mark and call my company: Microsoft!

Regarding the purchase of Yahoo!, Dennis Kneale, CNBC’s Business News Media and Technology Editor, had the most vivid word-picture early this morning on the air: “The one guy in America who can’t eat breakfast this morning without feeling sick to his stomach is the Google CEO, Eric Schmidt,” referring to Google’s previous attempts to snag Yahoo!.

I’ve been one of the 400 million users who have a Yahoo! account, for years, with lots of personalized interests and preferences willingly shared in exchange for great user experience like the pioneering MyYahoo portal, which I still like and use, though I also have a tricked-out iGoogle site (eight tabs worth) and now a pretty robust Live Search, Online Live Workspace, and Live Spaces environment.  Imagine the experience and gutsy experimentation that’s coming to Microsoft(!), joining up again with former Yahoo himself Gary Flake (now head of Microsoft’s Live Labs)… it’s pretty exciting.

Keeping score will have to be a longterm effort, of course – start here.

Live may get (even more) personal

A welcome bit of news: Greg Linden, a very very smart pioneer in the personalization of information flow, has announced he is joining Microsoft, specifically Live Labs, the increasingly energetic dynamo at the heart of the company’s future online plans.  Gary Flake, who leads Live Labs, was one of the key people to convince me late last year to join Microsoft, and now Gary has convinced Linden to work on the Live team.  Linden was of course the founder of Findory.com, and before that was in on the early years of Amazon, writing its recommendation engine and leading the software team that developed Amazon’s personalization systems.  Excellent hire.

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