all bits considered data to information to knowledge


It’s gotta Hurd!

Oracle's decision to drop Itanium support reverberated throughout the Oracle users community many of whom are running the software on Itanium servers.

One has to wonder whether this decision has something to do with Mr. Hurd's joining Oracle... after all Itanium was a sizable chunk of HP business, and especially for its HP-UX operating system.

Regardless of the rationale and/or true reasons,  IBM was only happy to offer consolation to about to be abandoned customers, while Microsoft sided with Oracle, having announced that  support for Itanium on Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will end on July 9, 2013.

SAP, having acquired Sybase (presumably for it's mobile technology) still has to figure out what to do with Sybase ASE database; so it also will continue to support Itanium, at least until dust settles.

Itanium is not going anywhere anytime soon, Intel had just reaffirmed its commitment to the processor. So , is Larry Ellison making a mistake, along with Microsoft, or they both know something that we don't?


Microsoft Application Architecture Guide, free!

As the saying goes, the best things in life are free! If you are engaged in designing applications that - at least partially - utilizes Microsoft technologies, this free book provides a treasure trove of information:

Microsoft Application Architecture Guide, 2nd Edition

  • Understand the underlying architecture and design principles and patterns for developing successful solutions on the Microsoft platform and the .NET Framework.
  • Identify appropriate strategies and design patterns that will help you design your solution's layers, components, and services.
  • Identify and address the key engineering decision points for your solution.
  • Identify and address the key quality attributes and crosscutting concerns for your solution.
  • Create a candidate baseline architecture for your solution.
  • Choose the right technologies for your solution.
  • Identify patterns & practices solution assets and further guidance that will help you to implement your solution

Losing browser wars

Microsoft is losing browser wars on younger generation. The main culprit – it is slow. It is annoyingly slow to start up (what is it doing these minutes while opening on my computer? Connecting to Microsoft to log my session? Initializing umpteen+ plugins and components?), it is slow to render graphics, it behaves erratically with downloads... Wikipedia supplies some stats on browser usage out there: IE @53%, Firefox @31% and Google Chrome @8%.  It was almost 90% of the market for the Microsoft's IE as recent as 2005...  A bit of anecdotal evidence : my 16 years old hates Internet Explorer for all the reasons listed above – and he grew up with IE using it exclusively up until last year (that’s 8+ years!) , ditching it for Chrome. “It does what I need, and it is sooo fast!”.

I believe that Microsoft became too preoccupied with today’s corporate suits losing the younger generation; after all, they are in business selling Office products. Of course, they are paying lip service with flops like Zune and occasional successes like XBox... but lacking Google's razor sharp focus. After all, Gioogle is doing exactly what Microsoft did back at the beginning of the 1990s, when facing uphill battle against entrenched UNIX boxes with Windows 3.11 and languages like Visual Basic 3.0. These were FUN!

Microsoft is not fun anymore, it is a serious business. And this is the problem it will face in the future when today’s kids graduate into corporate boardrooms.


Tunnel vision(s)

At the inaugural meeting of the New York Technology Council Thursday night, Google Vice President of Research Alfred Spector and Microsoft architect evangelist Bill Zack debated their views on how data will be stored and shared in the future.

Google leads shift to the "web as platform" paradigm, and Microsoft has a grip on desktop, and - to a significant degree - on the server market. Not surprisingly, they see the world through their respective rosy glasses: Google wants everything to be in the cloud ("network computing", anyone?), and Microsoft puts forward his "three screens" strategy blancing its cash cows - Windows + MS Office - with a bet on cloud computing, the new Azure platform. Google does not have the legacy ties, it was in the cloud business from day one, though recent developments such as Android and Chrome OS indicate that they might be bridging the gap in opposite direction...

If the only tool one has is a hammer suddenly every problem starts looking like a nail..


Flies catching: honey vs. alternatives

It appears that Adobe may surpass Microsoft as primary target of target for the hackers, at least according to predictions by McAfee Labs.

I never bought the idea that a sheer number of vulnerabilities discovered in Microsoft software is somehow a proof of the inferior quality of the products, rather it s a proof of its immense popularity and ubiquitous-ness, with a promise of a bigger payoff for a hacker in case of a successful attack... [ this is not to excuse Microsoft's arrogance (Vista, of the most recent examples) and sloppiness (Windows 9x, COM and other commercially successful though half-baked technologies) but only give a credit where it's due ]

It would be interesting to compare bugs-to-market share ratios for the most popular software. Mac, despite being a Unix derivative, has its fair share of bugs; so does Linux... these numbers are dwarfed by Windows-specific threats, of course. In my experience, the more user-oriented the software is the more vulnerable it becomes as businesses do not want to alienate/overwhelm their customers with annoying warnings and tedious configuration tasks...which are necessary for strong security. Catch 22, sort of...