Everybody loves links, so here are my links of the week. As usual, newer links are on top.
Me: A must-bookmark page if you want a concise yet comprehensive checklist of things you will need to build up the infrastructure for a modern web site. Does your web framework handle all this?
Cringely: Setting out to rebuild Microsoft for the next 30 years it is tempting simply to throw away the parts of the company that don’t make money, which is to say almost everything except Windows, Office, and MAYBE the xBox.
[...] The problem, though, is that the folks in Redmond don’t know how to build an online business, which is a big reason why they wanted to buy Yahoo.
[...] The only answer to optimizing the online operations of both companies, then, would be for YAHOO TO BUY MSN.
Some Blog Commenter: Outside of MSN and Zune, its hard to find a Microsoft product which loses money…
Cringely: But do those divisions raise Microsoft’s gross margins or lower them? I believe they generally lower them, which means they are effectively drags on the company compared to Windows and Office, which do the heavy lifting.
Me: Just curious, but by a similar line of reasoning then, shouldn’t Google drop all of its products that don’t make as much profit as AdSense and AdWords do for them?
And if we use the “DNA” argument – if Microsoft doesn’t have the DNA to build a successful online business and thus the whole shebang needs to be discarded, does Google have the DNA to build a successful business to make inroads into the enterprise space (which it is trying to do)? Should Google give up and discard that too?
Meet Kylie. At just 4 ½, Kylie doesn’t have that much experience with a PC. She’s a rookie. Yet she transferred her photos from her camera, color-corrected them, then e-mailed a snapshot of her pet fish, Dorothy, to her family. All using Windows Live Photo Gallery. It makes fixing and sharing photos easy at any age. Why not try it for yourself?
Me: Simply amazing. Windows 7 runs well even on a 512MB older machine.
Me: Here is the latest MarketScope report from Gartner surveying the RIA landscape. Microsoft, Adobe, and Yahoo are all amongst vendors who ranked positively in the report.
Money Quote: From a strategic standpoint, I marvel at Google’s game plan. From a personal standpoint, however, I don’t like it a bit. My biggest problem with GDrive is that it would come from Google.
Me: Functionally, it ain’t at the level of Twhirl or TweetDeck yet. However, this is by far the slickest looking Twitter client I have ever laid my eyes on. And since it is written in .NET and WPF, it also consumes a lot less memory than the two aforementioned Adobe AIR apps.
Me: Sites like these always cracks me up. Reminds me of so much of the classic Lotus Notes Sucks site (inactive since 2006).
Money Quote: This could open up the door for Silverlight developers to integrate VoIP in their applications. What’s interesting is the ability to use Silverlight’s competing application, Flash, to get around issues in the Silverlight platform. Basically, a competing platform is being used to strengthen an existing platform.
Me: Part 1 of my Dare Obasanjo special this week. Dare pens a thoughtful piece on whether we should trust cloud services or not. I commented about this on Daryl’s blog before, but here is my opinion:
To me it’s very simple. It is all about a trade-off between risk and convenience.
Here is a hypothetical: if Google flat out came out today and said that every month, 1 out of every 10000 free Gmail accounts will be deleted just for the heck of it, would you accept that risk (0.01%) and continue enjoying the rich experience and convenience that Gmail provides? Personally, I still would.
Essentially, whenever you use a cloud service, you need to make trade-offs like these all the time.
The best you can do to protect yourself is make sure that you have backups of all your valuable content offline or at least in multiple online locations. For example, all my online presentations, videos, and photos are stored in my NAS at home and backed up on my desktop PC. All my contacts in Gmail are backed up on my iPhone. My entire blog database is backed up in my Gmail, and so forth.
The only way one can truly get peace of mind using a cloud service is if one pays for it, and in return receives a SLA from the cloud service vendor. This way, at least if things screw up, you are entitled to some form of compensation.
Me: Part 2 of my Dare Obasanjo special this week. All I have to say is that anyone who has tried Live Mesh and Windows Live before will know this is super exciting news. It just makes too much sense to merge Microsoft’s online synchronization and collaboration strategy together all under the same umbrella.
Me: Part 3 of my Dare Obasanjo special this week.
Money Quote: The problem with “Big Ideas” is that sometimes people get obsessed with how game changing or disruptive their product is instead of focusing on making it the best at what it does.
Me: I’ve been using the brilliantly simple Posterous service more and more in recent days. Prediction – in five years time we will have more tumblelogs than traditional blogs on the Internet.
Me: The love for Windows 7 just seems to be never ending. Sarah has compiled a list of recent reviews and articles, including one from Walt Mossberg, a key influencer from the Wall Street Journal.
Money Quote: Barack Obama won the presidency in a landslide victory by converting everyday people into engaged and empowered volunteers, donors and advocates through social networks, e-mail advocacy, text messaging and online video. By combining social media and micro-targeting in the manner that it did, the campaign revealed force multipliers that are already being adopted as part of a new communications model.
I may leave out certain links from my feed if I feel the stories have already been covered ad nauseam this week.