November 27, 2008

Over on SmartDisorganized I've been tracking and playing with spreadsheets, particularly the online variety. I'm becoming increasingly impressed by the potential of online spreadsheets as containers for mashups and widgets. In particular EditGrid which comes with embeddable queries to Amazon and Ebay "out of the box" seems to be pointing in a very interesting direction.

Whereas the online equivalents of Word or PowerPoint are more or less dead-ends, as I've said before spreadsheets (in particular Excel) are grossly underexploited powertools, not to mention the repositories of most of the world's semi-structured data.

I've also said that Excel is so good that this is all Microsoft's market to lose if they screw up the transition to a new kind of spreadsheet : the spreadsheet as front-end / dashboard to all the enterprise's information streams. A flexible mashup builder which can be configured by a reasonably smart / well trained user or the IT department or an integrator.

We are a hairsbreadth away from the socialized spreadsheet fulfilling this destiny. But I'm waiting to see who's going to give it to us. Will Microsoft succeed in reinventing Excel? Will Google pump up the capabilities of their spreadsheet to compete? Will an outsider with a technically superior web-native sheet (like EditGrid) manage to sneak in-front of both?

November 25, 2008

November 21, 2008

What will kill Microsoft.

Craig Mundie:
If you want to focus narrowly on saying, as perhaps we should, "We're just a software company and we intend to make a business out of software" -- then I think his statements are true. It's obviously a little bit more complicated than that. But, at a conceptual level, the idea that software is not an intellectual property asset is something that we do not agree with. We spend billions of dollars a year to make [software]. Most of the established countries in the world accord it intellectual property status and we work hard to develop patents and uniqueness.

Apart from that, he makes some good points.

November 17, 2008

Dare Obasanjo on walled gardens and the social network os

It's the usual stuff ... (same as I was discussing with Umair some time ago)

Of course, Facebook and its ecosystem failed to find the value that I presumed that private networks could provide. And now looks to be in trouble. Does this mean I was wrong?

I don't know ... no one is doing what I thought they'd do ... but I still can't shake off the feeling that it's possible.

We'll see ...