February, 2009

  • Steve Clayton

    Microsoft 2019


    [update 1: if you want the full 5m version go to Elop's speech and click on 15mins in]

    [update 2: Long also has this on his site

    Predicting the future of technology is notoriously hard – but it didn’t stop our Business Division from coming up with a montage of how technology could be playing an even greater part in our lives in 2019. It was shown today for the first time when Stephen Elop presented at the Wharton Business Technology Conference.

    You can also check out Stephen’s PowerPoint slides which are a welcome departure from the bullet point riddled slides you often see from Microsoft. Bravo Stephen.

    I love these types of videos – all very Minority Report. When I look at some of the technology on display at Microsoft Research’s TechFest this week it makes me feel that this stuff is much closer than many of us expect and it’s great to see Microsoft continuing to invest in this type of research to build the future of technology.

    Sure we’re behind in search and Apple has a lovely phone thing etc etc….but there are very few companies who are making these types of bets to build the future of technology in such a broad way.

    Personally, I think our challenge is to take these bets and turn them in to more and more stunning products more quickly in the way we have with something like Microsoft Surface…and then gather up the pixie dust that comes from that computing magic and sprinkle it on the Microsoft brand. Make people love Microsoft with technology that stuns them. It’s a long and tricky road but one that I personally believe is possible.

    Hmmm, we’re back to Blue Monster again aren’t we…. :)

  • Steve Clayton

    iPhone Console for EC2



    Hats off to Amazon as they continue to innovate on the AWS platform at a rate of knots. They also seem to be sporting phatter iPhones than the rest of us but they’re running the iPhone console for EC2 which may be the reason why.

    Hoping our Windows Azure boys are watching…oh and I’m gonna ask them why so quiet on their blog

    [update – the Windows Azure forum is pretty busy]

  • Steve Clayton

    Will Twitter Knock Google Off Its Perch?



    [image credit: Wired]

    I doubt it….but the meme is growing

    I first saw a blog post written last week when it was tweeted (of course) by pointing to Google's First Real Threat? Twitter. Today Silicon Alley Insider posted a similar but longer version entitled Google Next Victim Of Creative Destruction?

    Clearly Google is the big competitor of Microsoft in search and though we play in search Google has more to lose. However, this post isn’t about my desire to see Microsoft win or Google lose. It’s about the changing landscape of the Internet and search. I actually don’t think Google has that much to fear from Twitter…at least for some time.

    However, if I were TripAdvisor or any other recommendation site I would be hooking myself up to that Twitter API pretty damn fast. I’m heading to New York soon. The best hotel in NYC with best rates? I know where I’m going to look for my answer….and it’s not Google nor TripAdvisor. Ditto when I buy my next laptop, car, bike…the list goes on.

    Scoble has a long post on this but a big nugget is buried in his post.

    Twitter is a brilliant recommendation engine.

    Don’t believe me? Check out David Pogue’s experiment in the NY Times recently. This gets played out millions of times per day on Twitter. People ask a question and they get an almost instant response. Often from people the trust and often corroborated by many.

    Why is Twitter a brilliant recommendation engine? Two reasons

    1. People increasingly value speed & recentness – I want the response now. Not when the crawler gets there. We are entering the era of real-time search.
    2. People increasingly trust people – well I do and my friends do that’s for sure.

    On that second point, search is getting more social and Gerry Campbell captured it nicely in his post and matrix below

    Let me be clear here - I’m certainly not saying Google is going away overnight but changes are afoot. The web is moving and the early adopters are already all over Twitter both for news and for advice. When I open my PC here’s what happens

    • I run Twhirl on startup connecting me to the Twitterverse immediately to get my news fix. 
    • I run a search on my own name on search.twitter.com to see who replied, retweeted, sent me messages overnight or asked me a question
    • I run http://www.twitscoop.com/ to see what the news right now is via Twitter
    • ….then I open Outlook

    What I’m saying is Twitter is fast becoming my prime source of communication and news.

    A case in point this afternoon (literally as I write this). Tim Lovejoy (ex Sky Sports journalists) tweeted that Luiz Felipe Scolari had just been sacked by Chelsea FC. Knowing Tim is a joker I thought I’ll check with the BBC website…nothing on their site. 10 seconds later, at least 3 people corroborate Tim on Twitter. About 5 minutes later, the BBC had the news up. Ironically one of those tweets corroborating Tim was from a BBC journalist.

    Why does all of that matter? What did it prove?

    It proved that Twitter is very, very fast and even though I didn’t trust Tim, the community quickly verified his post and I trusted the community. Risky maybe but speed counts for a lot right now. As Gerry’s matrix shows, more considered content will come over time but with a delay but I need that stuff less and less.

    There are still huge challenges of course – the Twitter corpus is small and quite specific to early adopters right now and sites like Twitscoop really only show trends from the US and UK (I’d expect to see the Australian bush fires on there) but like I said earlier, things change fast.

    Twitter may well be the future of search. I’ve been telling anyone who will listen (not many admittedly) for a while that Twitter is the next big thing and whilst it’s yet to really break in to the mainstream yet, many of us can remember when our friends first started whispering the word Google to us and telling us how much better it was than Yahoo! – things change quickly around here. Sometimes right when you’re looking at them.

  • Steve Clayton

    Honeycomb and Windows Mobile



    A pretty nice looking UI from the Windows Mobile team – I know this has been circulating on the web for a while but I wanted to draw attention to the icons – in particular Getting Started and Calendar. They’re a departure from the typical icons we’d see from Microsoft where we borrow from the big daddy OS (Windows). Whilst some retain their familiarity such as IE, I like the fact that we’re finally letting our UX people do their job un-encumbered by the Windows style guide.

    What do you think? Like it?

  • Steve Clayton

    Messenger on Windows 7


    This has bugged me for a while on Windows 7 and though Tim posted the answer a while ago in his bumper list of Windows 7 tips, I missed it until the Liveside guys pointed me to it.

    Basically, Windows Live Messenger get a little freaked out by jump lists in Windows 7 so you end up with two Messenger icons. For me, the old icon in the system tray is better til they fix that and Tim found a simple way to make this happen.

    Windows Live Messenger appears by default on the taskbar. 
    ….close Windows Live Messenger, edit the shortcut properties and set the application to run in Windows Vista compatibility mode. Bingo!

    Nice :)

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