July 29, 2010

Another package manager for Windows.

How hard would it be for a third-party to build an app-store on Windows that effectively wrapped it? That placed itself and its brand between the customer and Microsoft?
Disney buying into social gaming.

July 27, 2010

Pandas and Lobsters : Why Google Cannot Build Social Applications...

Compare what I wrote here.
Facebook + Amazon : Social Shopping
Interesting, ZDNet has an article about Debian / Ubuntu package management.

There are some interesting comments about why this wouldn't work in the Windows ecosystem. They're good arguments, but I think Apple just proved that a closely vetted app-store *does* work.

So, sure, an official M$ app-store wouldn't be the only place you could get Windows apps. Maybe Microsoft would only certify a handful of them given that there's an implied approval. Maybe M$ would have to be able to see the source-code and compile it themselves as part of their approval process. Nevertheless I think the app-store model would be incredibly valuable to Microsoft.

July 26, 2010

Question : Why the hell don't Microsoft have an app-store?

I don't mean why they haven't built an entirely new distribution network for some projected new Windows mobile phone operating system. I mean, why didn't Windows 7 Desktop launch with a complete "give us your credit card number and we automatically install, manage, upgrade everything for you automatically" sort of thing?

I had managed applications from a central repository of packages on my Debian system in 2001. I have it seamlessly on Ubuntu (and have had for a good while). When Apple came along and showed the world that owning an app-store was a great business to be in, all the other mobile providers rushed in and started building their own.

What M$ could have done, is set a few engineers building something similar, for integration with Windows 7. I don't mean a website, I mean something more like win-get (or Debian's apt-get).

I'm installing software on my wife's new Windows 7 laptop today, and I'm amazed, now I come to think about it, that there's no "buy apps" option under the Windows Start button, right next to the list of already installed applications. Why is there no search-box built into Windows to let me find Microsoft-approved 3rd party applications to buy?

Think what a feature this could have been for Windows 7. How it would have driven corporates to upgrade (too expensive to pay our own IT people to install software, better to pay for the new Windows and let Microsoft sort it out.) How it would have energized the MicroISVs and lone developers to continue to invest their energy in Windows (rather than start dabbling on Android and iOS). How it would have given M$ a cut of all the software sold in the Windows eco-system.

The more I think about it, the more this seems like it would have been a good idea, and the more the absence of an app-store in Windows 7 seems like an extraordinary oversight. Was one planned but not finished in time? Was Microsoft too scared of potential legal implications to do with competition? Did they just slip up?
Some great insider anecdotes on Google's 20% time.
Gamasutra on Google's investment in Zynga, possible games platform.

WTF? Why are Google doing this? Smells very wrong (ie. defensive / me-too-ism) to me. And not at all core. (How is this organizing all the world's information?)

But let's see if they have an angle.

Update : I guess Farmville et. al. as a social gaming network that's folded into Google TV might make sense.

July 23, 2010

Stowe Boyd quickly summarizes the Flipboard debate.

Someone *ought* to be getting ready to buy this.

July 21, 2010

July 09, 2010

This is important. iPads getting into the Enterprise.

iPads are an ideal vehicle for "corporate dashboards". Expect to see every senior(ish) manager want to control their own little empire from one.

It will be very problematic for Microsoft if the iPad becomes the aspirational machine for executives. Here's why : Excel. If M$ don't get Excel onto the iPad, soon, then the iPad will pull people away from Excel. (Rather than Excel keeping people on Windows.)

Suddenly, as well as those dynamic dashboards, executive summaries, quick to-do lists and project plans will all be migrating to whatever catches the imagination of iPad users.

And if M$ lose Excel, then the whole Office edifice starts to collapse.
Very good Douglas Rushkoff talk.

July 02, 2010

Cringely :

Remember when Ballmer talked through his hat a few years ago about how Microsoft was headed to a model of Windows based primarily on ad revenue? There’s no way in Hell that business model can be sustained for Windows or the PC (or for Macs, either). But make the platform cost $199 and be replaced every 24 months, build-in mobile subscription revenue, MobileMe subscription revenue, content revenue, app revenue and ad revenue, with none of those involving much effort or expense on Apple’s part at all and the future becomes clear.
Worth a listen.