I'm forever fascinated with the gamesmanship that goes on between Google, Apple, and Microsoft.
You expect them to undercut each other at every turn, to do whatever it
takes to get the upper hand in the marketplace--even to copy one
another. What you certainly don't expect them to do is
cooperate (maybe ever). Yet I came across a couple examples this week
of these companies seemingly helping one another out.
The EE Times reports this week that Dell has come out with hybrid laptop that runs both Windows and Linux. The Linux OS provides a quick boot for checking email and other "light"
computing duties while the Windows side allows "heavier duty" computing
like running Microsoft Office applications.
Microsoft is readying a new cloud service called My Phone that enables users of Windows Mobile 6 or later to sync contacts, calendar appointments, photos, and other information with the My Phone web site. According to an Engadget report on Friday, Microsoft will officially launch the service at the Mobile World Congress February 16-19 in Barcelona. At first blush, the service resembles Apple's MobileMe in many respects, but there are some key differences.
I came up with an idea this week: What if Microsoft made Windows open source? Before you accuse of me of link baiting, I believe this idea has merit for several reasons. It will reduce the cost of development, put the power of the community behind supporting what's become an endless and expensive project and let Microsoft concentrate on enterprise solutions and cloud initiatives.
Last week Apple and Microsoft released their fourth quarter MP3 player sales figures, which Apple chooses to call its first quarter for some odd reason, and the numbers were a startling contrast. On one hand you had Microsoft with a 54 percent drop off in sales from the fourth quarter last year. On the other, you had Apple, selling a record number of iPods (again).
Lots of strong opinions about Microsoft out there. There are people who stand behind it staunchly. In their eyes Microsoft can do no wrong and critics like me are simply buffoons who don't get it. Then there are people who hate Microsoft for everything it stands for. In their minds no matter what Microsoft offers, it's going to be bad.
It's 2009 and I'm sure the powers that be at Microsoft are hoping it's going to be a good one without any tears, but even as the old year closed, the news kept getting worse for the software giant.
Just yesterday the web surged with news that 30 GB Zunes were freezing up, apparently the victim of a Y2K-type clock bug where the Zunes rebooted and froze as of January 1, 2009 Pacific Time. And this morning, Ars Technica reports that rumors are flying about a massive layoff on January 15 involving 17 percent of the worldwide work force. Not exactly the stuff that dreams are made of.