I have been watching the semi-annual 500 fastest super computer list for a while, and each time I look to see how many computers on the list are based on Microsoft Windows. This latest list (released this month) still doesn't show much Windows love. Out of 500 super computers, there are 6 based on Windows. And two of those are partially based on Linux, so really only 4 of the 500 are purely Windows. That is really sad. But why is this happening?
So I have a Motorola Q9c smart phone with Windows Mobile on it. I don't particularly care for the phone, but since my work pays for it, I don't complain much. One of the features that is usually pretty helpful is predictive text in it's mobile version of Outlook. When I am typing, it pops up lists of words that generally have something that fits what I was trying to say. However, sometimes the words suggested are very strange.
For fun, I thought I'd let Windows Mobile write a sentence for me (sort of), and see how it came out. I started the first word, and on occasion I had to type one letter to start the next word, but other than that the entire sentence came from the suggested words and phrases. It came out pretty strange. Here it is:
"I think this early good feedback i'll show snow in and throwing rooms a snowmobile crash crashes into long lost memories."
Microsoft Research is building a new web browser called Gazelle that attempts to be an OS in the browser. They are exploring all of the security/stability issues that would surround using the web browser as an operating system. I know the AIR comparison isn't exact (the big difference is that Gazelle is a web browser, whereas Gears
/AIR are browser plugins), but to me reading over their design goals and challenges, it sounds a LOT like what Google Gears and Adobe AIR are trying to accomplish.
This is not my idea, but John C. Dvorak's. Microsoft is making a full frontal attack on Adobe with SilverLight. Dvorak's suggestion is that Adobe should port the full creative suite to Linux, and once that's done make a fully optimized, custom version of Linux for Adobe designers/developers. How would this hurt SilverLight? It wouldn't directly, but it could potentially take money out of Microsoft's coffers (by taking away Windows market share).
So I just read an article at cnet that gives more evidence that Microsoft doesn't really care about end users. Apparently, Microsoft deliberatly wanted to annoy their users with User Account Control (UAC), according David Cross, the Microsoft manager that was in charge of UAC during Vista's development. "The reason we put UAC into the (Vista) platform was to annoy users--I'm serious," said Cross.
I have watched the emergence of Microsoft Silverlight with mixed feelings. On one hand, I am not a Microsoft fan, so I typically like to see other companies succeed in markets where Microsoft is a player. Therefore, I like the fact that Flash is the dominant player in the RIA market that Microsoft is attempting to enter. On the other hand, I like competition, and since Adobe enjoys a virtual monopoly with Flash, I'm kind of glad to see Microsoft throwing their weight behind a potential competitor to Flash. Up to today, though, I have always been a bystander in this game as I have never done anything with Silverlight, not even install the plugin.
This is BIG news, in my opinion. For those of you that haven't followed the controversy surrounding the upcoming IE 8, here's some background. In December, Microsoft announced that IE 8 had passed the Acid 2 test. This means that IE 8 will be as standards compliant as the other browsers. However, in January Microsoft popped our bubbles when they announced that IE 8 will NOT render sites in standards mode by default.
It's been 2 years and 9 months since the Web Standards Project issued the Acid2 challenge, and Microsoft just announced that Internet Explorer 8 correctly renders the Acid2 test. I think this is AWESOME news. Once IE8 is released and replaces IE 6/7 as the dominant browser on the 'Net (assuming that happens, of course), we web developers can FINALLY develop a standards compliant site, and it should run on IE, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. Yay!! :-)