Thank you to those of you who have been pinging me and asking if I am ok due to my latest hiatus from blogging. The answer is yes, I'm fine just that my prioritization of time is an ongoing challenge, and the blog is my most frequent "I'll get to that tomorrow" task. What starts out as a week turns into a month, and then two months before I know it.

There are so many topics to cover and so little time to do it. I am going to cull through the comments of the past few months and address what I can. Also, I have so many additional topics I'd like to cover...<sigh>

 A few quick notes based on what I've been thinking about for the past few months:

1) (ok, this one comes from today exclusively) It turns out spammers are far more effective at commenting on blogs than other bloggers. My comment queue was stuffed with an impressive array of offers.

2) The MS / Novell relationship continues to go well. Customers have been extremely positive to the deal and it has been gratifying to see that turn into deals (like the Wal-Mart announce recently). All of the speculation about the deal, the theories put forward by those who disagree with it - all of that continues to play out against the back-drop of the two companies taking continued, positive steps. Customers have been very clear that they want to have choice and flexibility in their computing environments. That is at the heart of this collaboration.

3) Interoperability as a concept continues to grow as a focal point for a range of issues that span business models, development strategies, standardization, intellectual property (asset creation, protection, and sharing/licensing).

3) Open XML / ODF is a proxy for many competitive pressures in the marketplace. This merits much discussion which I will attempt to step up and blog much more about.

4) I have been thinking much more about the role of IP and the protections for the various forms of IP. Clealry protection of the rights-holders' interests and the subsequent debate as to merits of that as an incentive for innovation has been the traditional discussion. My question is more along the lines of the role of IPRs in creating both incentives and opportunities for collaboration. 

5) As my role in MS continues to expand and I become aware of a greater tapestry of issues, it has fed my interest in the business implications of reform in the IP arena. IANAL, but it is clear to me that the business-minded community is going to need to keep up with the implications of the legal and geopolitical landscape of IP reform.

more to come.