Monday, April 30, 2007

Disconnected Strategy?

Went to a seminar today on the future of the software industry as the switch towards software as a service (SaaS) gains pace. Interesting in places but nothing earth shattering. I also feel compelled to note that the industry speakers (Ray Lane, Timothy Chou) were more grounded and their material more coherent than anything the academics had to say.

Anyway, it was held on the Microsoft Campus in Mountain View and Craig Mundie, one of those anointed by Bill to take over technical leadership of the company in '08 when Gates hangs up his company hat, delivered a lunch-time keynote about multicore computing and how to put all those extra processing cycles to work. Turns out Vista is employing what he termed "predictive computing" and using those extra cycles to, for example, load-up what applications you are most likely to be using next. Hmm. That's all well-and-good I suppose but I'd be more excited if they'd just make Windows boot in less than three minutes and get that whole suspend/restore thing to the point where it can actually become a usable feature.

Despite all that technical wizardry and crystal ball gazing, I was amazed to find out that there was no working public Wi-Fi access available, a fact that ultimately drove me out of the Microsoft facility to the nearest Starbuck's in order to catch up with work during the day.

Words fail me. (Actually, what I mean is "words fail me, except for the ones above".) The one company in the Valley - apart from Google, naturally - where you'd expect to be able to get connected via a public access point, and it's broken??

Microsoft's future, written on a grain of rice.

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