Back to school season is upon us, which means that it's time to gear up. If your gear plans call for a new Mac, we're offering a discount of up to 30% on Office 2008. Go forth and shop!
Book title: Subject to Change: Creating Great Products & Services for an Uncertain World: Adaptive Path on Design
Authors: Peter Merholz, Brandon Schauer, David Verba, Todd Wilkens
I was disappointed when I got my pre-order of this book. At a scant 160 pages, I was skeptical that it could offer very much insight.
On reading it, I was proven correct. Much of the book was nothing more than an extended advertisement for Adaptive Path. Case studies were too short to learn much from. The only case study really discussed in depth was of Target's new prescription bottles, which have been discussed more in depth and more usefully in too many other books.
The book's eight chapters are full of short sections; many of them read as though they are blog entries. They're strung together with little regard for content or context. The seventh chapter, a flawed discussion of agile development, is completely worthless. The book could have been so much better if the authors had taken the time and effort to better consider their arguments and write a more cohesive work.
If you can look past the book's many shortcomings, there are some interesting nuggets in there. Sadly, the useful bits comprise less than 10% of the book.
Amazon's page about this book
Peter Merholz's blog
Brendon Schauer's blog
Todd Wilkens' blog (currently on hiatus, but archives available)
I hate to do this, but ...
Chelsey L - When you used the "contact me" link on this blog, you didn't include a valid email address. I tried to guess at the correct one, but have come up empty-handed. Please email me with your correct email address.
(I suppose it goes without saying that I'll delete this post once I get the correct email address for Chelsey.)
Today was a bad day to spend eight-plus hours in the air. As I was leaving my East Coast hotel room at 6am, I saw that Software Update had popped up to let me know that iTunes 7.7 was available. I didn't have the time to download it then. By the time that I had gotten to the airport and cleared security, my Twitter list and email had absolutely exploded with people talking about the iPhone 2.0 firmware and the apps available and how cool everything was and that I was the biggest loser in the world for not having it yet (okay, the latter wasn't expressly stated, but it was implied). I sat in IAD, and later SAN, helplessly watching all of the coolness go by. By the time that I got home, Twitter had calmed down -- presumably everyone was off playing Super Monkey Ball.
The geek pain of being so many hours behind the curve is immeasurable.
I got the following question from Aaron:
Why isn't all mac software from the MacBU? Do you talk to MS devs who are working on mac software but aren't in the macBU?
Silverlight and Expression Media (neé iView Pro) are two Mac apps that don't come from MacBU. Microsoft is expanding its product offerings to meet the needs of users across multiple platforms. The development of additional technologies on the Mac is a sign of Microsoft's commitment to the platform.
So why isn't all Mac development in MacBU? It's about aligning interests. MacBU is a pretty big team (we're currently at more than 200 people, and we're in the middle of a growth spurt right now) that's focused on delivering productivity apps. Bringing them into MacBU at this time would shift our focus away from that goal. It would also take those teams away from those who they need to collaborate with the most. Silverlight and Expression are still small teams (at least, when you compare them to the huge structure that comes in the Windows Office organisation), so they're able to do a great job of juggling the needs of both Windows users and Mac users while sitting together.
This doesn't mean that we don't work together. Internally, we help each other out. There is a lot of cross-pollination going on — there are several MacBU alums who have moved on to other roles in other Mac teams at Microsoft. There are other teams who are interested in knowing about the needs of Mac users as well, such as when the Office Live team adding support for Mac browsers. We share our expertise with those other groups so that they can take advantage of the years of Mac development experience that we've built up here.
It's nice not to be the only Mac developer at Microsoft. It's pretty cool to see what other teams are up to.
Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac 2 is now out of beta and available as a free download today. I wrote a post to Mac Mojo with all the details. Go forth and download all the latest goodies. We've revved all of our apps within the past week, so you might want to spend some quality bandwidth time making sure that you've got the latest and greatest of all of the MacBU apps.
I alluded to another release last week, and no-one seemed to notice. Le sigh.