Microsoft killing the browser: scary movie...

Sometimes I fear that Microsoft stopping the development of IE 6 is a lot worse than we think...

It looks more and more like they have a master plan beyond terminating the free browser program... (we don't care, we have open source browsers, right?)... Actually, it looks like they plan to terminate the browser concept itself.

With their .NET client technology, they actually intend to promote applications that directly and transparently connect to web-services. You don't "see" the internet any more. What you see, is the funky XP GUI interface of a native Windows application!

Once most online services will work only with their dedicated Windows client (yeah the providers don't care, that's 95% of their market anyway), what's the use of a free open source browser going to be? Oh yeah... it will let you browse the old, poorly maintained, "compatible" w-e-b-site (which already only works well in IE! :/)

Wow! Waking up... I just had a terrible nightmare! Luckily something like this could never happen... right?   right?

2015 update: something like this is actually happening with phone apps... Ironic? ... or did someone take a page out of Microsoft's early century book?

Focus on the First Derivative

In his latest post about Career Calculus, Eric Sink explains how you should constantly monitor your personal learning curve by focusing on the first derivative instead of the curve itself.

Very interesting post. Wise advice.

I actually believe this is not only applicable to career calculus, but there are a lot of things in life which value you should only evaluate by its first derivative over time!

The idea behind open source

Karl Fogel has it pretty much clear in Chapter 1 of his book: "Open Source Development with CVS - 2ND EDITION":

Imagine a science-fiction device that allows any sort of food or physical object to be infinitely duplicated. If somebody then tried to sell you a tire for your car, why in the world would you buy it? You could just throw your friend’s tire into the duplicator! However, you might want to pay somebody to design a new tire for you or perhaps to install the tire on your car. Or to help you when some other part of your car breaks, you might want to buy a warranty for future support. Or maybe just hire a personal mechanic.

Similarly, in a world where all software is in the public domain and infinitely reproducible, programmers and software companies are able to make a good living not by restricting the flow of software, but by providing a service. Users pay the programmers and companies to design and write new public domain software, as well as install, maintain, customize, troubleshoot, and teach others about it. A programmer or company sells labor, not products — much like a mechanic, plumber, or electrician.

When the browser wars began...

Eric Sink has this very interesting piece about how he witnessed the beggining of the browser wars, working at Spyglass (the company that licensed the original IE rendering engine to Miscrosoft).

About Spyglass:

"We considered ourselves to be the arms dealer for the browser wars."


IT independant innovation... dead?

Two quotes from PHPeverywhere:

"Perhaps the problem is that the computer industry is maturing, so all the cool corners where you could do your own thing in peace are disappearing slowly..."

-John Lim: "Gamma Radiation from Microsoft turns open source advocates into Sulks"

"[We] are caught between a rock and a cheap place, where your software cannot get enough market share in a world dominated by Microsoft (and other BigCos), and at the same time your niche is being commoditized by free software.

The only way to make money in the IT industry nowadays unless you have colossal market share (which you use to eat up niches such as anti-virus software) or are creative enough to compete in the PC-gaming industry, is by combining your products with services. And make sure your services is the main component, otherwise you risk going out of business when your product is commoditized. The whole industry is moving this way, from minnows like my company to giants like IBM (which is the furthest in this transition, buying up Rational and PWC). Sun is learning it the hard way."

-John Lim: Tim O'Reilly: "The Open Source Paradigm Shift"

And make sure you don't miss Eric Kidd's "The Missing Future". Excellent!