Archive for February, 2006

Microsoft Project Origami – holy cow!

February 26, 2006 Comments off

Origami revealed!:

OK, thanks to Ray for this brilliant lead.

Much like everyone else, I’ve been wondering what Microsoft’s Origami Project is. The speculation runs rampant but it appears that you might not have to wait a few weeks to find out what Origami truly is. Marketing firm DigitalKitchen must have the ad campaign on this one because if you hit their site and enter, click Work and then BrandTheatre, guess what you’ll find. Not just pics of the device, but a Flash-based video showing the various uses. I won’t add to the speculation fire that’s burning and tell you what I saw. Instead, I’ll let you spend a few minutes viewing the revealing show so you can form your own conclusions. I will say this: as a new WMCE user, a TabletPC and WindowsMobile user for several years, I’m hoping what I saw in the video becomes available very soon. I’ll still be getting a new WM 5.0 phone that you can pick for me (so don’t forget to vote), but Origami is next on my list! There’s another pic after the jump.

EDIT:  This is hot, folks…I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft request DigitalKitchen to pull the site quickly so as not to spoil the launch.  Check it out while you can.  If this is for real, then it will go a long way to realizing Gate’s dream of a truely useable tablet device.

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Things to remember when playing with a cat

February 19, 2006 Comments off

100_0265Our little black cat Isis loves to be thrown across the room.  Seriously.  Alicea figured this out one night when she was in the kitchen trying to prepare dinner.  Isis kept weaving around Alicea’s legs and wouldn’t leave her alone.  Finally Alicea picked up Isis and gently tossed her out of the kitchen.

As soon as the cat landed, however, she ran back to Alicea and started “the weave” all over again.  Woosh … she flew again.  It became a viscious cycle.  These days Isis gets thrown through the air (over our peninsula and into the dining room) a couple nights a week.  Alicea’s always the one to do it though.

Until last night.  I was working in the kitchen and Isis wouldn’t leave me alone.  So I picked her up and tossed her towards the dining room….

Note to self: don’t put back spin on the cat

She’s fine (even came back for more) but it was a rough landing.  I think I’ll leave the cat-tossing to Alciea.

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Great movie quote

February 19, 2006 Comments off

“…and the guy who’s running for President thinks ‘Moby Dick’ is a venereal desiease.”
NoneNone– Christopher Walken as Secretary Cleary in Wedding Crashers

Wow, that’s a good one!

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Misleading blog entries piss me off

February 16, 2006 Comments off

BlackBerry Cool » Users lukewarm on Microsoft push e-mail

Okay so here we have a highly respected user community blog, BlackBerry Cool, commenting on Microsoft’s recent slate of announcements regarding support for real-time push email.  Quite relevent to BBCool’s scope of discussion.  What tick’s me off is that the post is an agregeious example of marketing spin.  They give a brief overview of the situation, and then interview a couple CIO who have ~500 BlackBerry devices out in the field.  And here’s the kicker quote for the article…

“We can’t justify a total change in architecture just for remote mail,” he said.

For someone like me who skims through hundreds of RSS items every morning, that quote sticks out … and fortunately it made me re-read the article.  Turns out there’s a damn good reason for that quote…

Emcor Group, a construction and building services company in Norwalk, Connecticut, has about 500 RIM users and deploys Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino server to 9,000 users, so Direct Push from Microsoft holds no interest, said Emcor CIO Joe Puglisi.

Great.  So we’re comparing apples and oranges – and the conclusion of the article (as reflected in the title) is essentially that while apples are nice, for people who make orange juice they really won’t work.

At least it’s better than BBHub’s constant updates on RIM’s stock price (how is that news– or blog-worthy on a daily basis?).  Or their blog posts about what someone said in a user support forum.

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Bill Gates: Comedian

February 15, 2006 Comments off

“Well, thank you and good morning. Happy Valentine’s Day. (Laughter.) I’m really glad to be here at RSA. My other invitation was to go quail hunting with Dick Cheney. (Laughter, applause.) I’m feeling very safe right now.” | Bill Gates Keynote at RSA 2006 “Microsoft’s Security Vision and Strategy”

When BillG comes off as the funny guy, you know it’s going to be a good speach.  🙂

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The power of product team blogs

February 15, 2006 Comments off

Windows Mobile Team Blog : Where did 240 come from?

This is the power of blogging … I was really upset when I learned the Treo 700w had a less-stellar screen resolution (240×240) than the older generation Palm-based Treo 650.  Now it all makes sense and I completely agree with, and understand Microsoft (and by proxy Palm’s) decision.  And I won’t feel bad about using a Treo 700w if/when I get my hands on one; because quite honestly, I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of using a dumb-downed screen.  I was thinking of waiting until something came out in the Windows Mobile world with 320×320.

I’m still waiting for Verizon to release the “push pack” for the device before I get a demo from our corporate rep, but that is now the last hurdle for me.  Thanks Mike Calligaro!

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MS isn’t Apple (good)

February 13, 2006 Comments off

Behind the Times?:

Podcasting is hot. Everyone is into it. I wonder how long it will be until Microsoft comes up with tools to let PC users join in. Microsoft is trying to shed it’s slow-as-molasses big company image with advertising campaigns. It’s not working. Now Apple has introduced Photocasting, and where is Microsoft on that? Vodcasts, podcasts, and photocasts are now swirling around the globe and Microsoft doesn’t seem to notice. I don’t understand how they can still be in the game if they don’t pay attention to trends.

[Via The Unofficial Microsoft Weblog]

Okay, so even I don’t know WTF “photocasting” is.  Is this author referring to something like Flickr, or Smugmug (the service Alicea and I use)?  That’s what I’m gonig to assume this guy is talking about.

In which case … SO WHAT?  Does Microsoft have to play in every space that Apple does just to be vindicated?  Who says?  Where’s the business value in competing with a specialized online community portal that’s already doing a great job?  MS (traditionally – you can debate with MSN) isn’t about community, it’s about tools.  Besides, I’d rather see MS leverage existing portals/communities rather than build them.  Why do you think Google and Yahoo have been gobbling up Blogger, Flickr, etc.?

“Don’t pay attention to the trends?”  I’d say MS made the best play ever in acquiring, nurturing, and growing a service/community: Hotmail.

Here are some numbers: over 200 million Hotmail users versus perhaps 1 million users.  [Note: MS makes Hotmail usage numbers available on their press page, where as Apple pretty much hides that kind of info].  Here’s an interesting excerpt from the article where I finally found the numbers:

“The other .Mac components … work nicely together, but don’t offer a rich online experience compared to what Yahoo is doing with social media and tagging or companies like 37signals are doing with Web applications.  Of course, software not somehow tied into the Macintosh platform isn’t of great interest to Apple.”

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Microsoft doesn’t like Washington Sate?

February 10, 2006 1 comment

Yes, I used that headline to get eyeballs.  🙂  So I decided to check my hotmail account this afternoon and saw that I got a response from the Windows Live Mail Beta team.  Unfortunately I didn’t get accepted (yet), but the reason they give is really weird.  “Windows Live Mail beta isn’t available where [I] live.”

I mean, I know I live in the Cascade foothills about 25 miles east of Seattle, but does that really mean that I live in a location not supported by a global email platform?  Does Snoqualmie, WA have some sort of localized language for Hotmail that I’m not aware of?  Heh – and all these years I’ve been using US English!  🙂


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