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back to article Schmidt: Microsoft will never be as cool as the Gang of Four

Tablet-friendly Windows 8 won't allow Microsoft into Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google's cosy clique, said Google’s executive chairman. Quoted in a rather thin Wall Street Journal Q&A, Eric Schmidt maintained his belief that Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook comprise a consumer-pleasing web-conquering “gang of four”. And …

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Mushroom

Rage on

"Gang of Four" in computing uniquely refers to Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson and John Vlissides, or their wonderful book. Using it any other way is just wrong, which I suppose is what I've come to expect from Herr Schmidt.

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Devil

Re: Rage on

Typical geek nonsense. :)

First and foremost it's not about 'computing' whatsoever, it's about the technology industry. Secondly it's more specifically about its business world and "Gang of Four" typically - should I say "uniquely"? - refers to Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook.

It's a common knowledge (except if you are an old, dorky geek who refuses to join the real world and can only brag about his old hacking of that X.25 terminal, not to mention that using these kind of collective naming ('group') is very common (see Big Four in professional tax-cheating, errr, I mean auditing business etc.) :P

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Re: Rage on

To be fair to the original poster, I have heard the term big four used a lot when talking about companies but in tech circles or at least dev circles Gang of Four refers to a specific group of individuals and more commonly a specific book.

I guess the corporate GOF would rather appear more like wise gurus than the corporate pirates that they really are.

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WTF?

Re: Rage on

But it did say that the gang of four mentioned were cool.

So I thought that could only mean the stuttering guitars and bonkers Trotskyist invective of 1978 Leeds-based band Gang of Four - chief influences of REM and Nirvana.

OK i thought it might be something to do with Chinese political history, OK, but then I hear that its a reference to some dad-dancing poncy overbloated corporate entities.

Cool - In a way that brands simply fucking aren't.

Rage off.

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Headmaster

Re: Rage on

Those who don't learn from history, and all that: he might be referring to the Chinese leadership who ruled during the Cultural Revolution (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gang_of_Four).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "who refuses to join the real world"

Which of course is the world as viewed and defined by you.

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Happy

Re: Rage on

" Those who don't learn from history, and all that: he might be referring to the Chinese leadership who ruled during the Cultural Revolution (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gang_of_Four). '

....and those of us who remember the classic Not the Nine O'Clock News parody of aforementioned GoF!

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Re: Rage on

I thought they were a group of superheroes, you know, the one with the rubber guy and the other one that looked like a friendly turd in swimming trunks.

Oh no, hang on, that was the fantastic four.....

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Re: Rage on

Add another who thought this was about Design Patterns or possibly the Chinese Communist Party, but given that even Eric Schmidt's sublime postmodernism would struggle to call the Chinese GoF "cool", I figured it was about development frameworks.

Looking at the list, it's a pretty arbitrary collection, and Apple is odd-man-out, as they make the client terminals, not the web applications. And if it's about web-scale services, then where are Citrix, Akamai, VMWare or hosting companies like Rackspace?

Schmidt's comment on Windows Phone ("haven't used it") reminded me of the story from Nokia's collapse, where the newly-appointed Stephen Elop asked the company's phone engineers how many of them had an iPhone. Only one or two hands. And yet, this was the product they were trying to compete with...

I'm not saying that Windows Phone is going to succed the same way -- far from it. But if your company's future success depends on mobile platforms, and you make a mobile platform, it's dangerously arrogant to ignore competing platforms, no matter how weak or insignificant you think they might be (Nokia and SonyEricsson both considered iPhone to be an overpriced featurephone, and no threat...).

"Dangerously arrogant", and "Eric Schmidt"... that's getting to be a cliché.

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Anonymous Coward

Something to hide?

"Schmidt also repeated his view that a only people with something to hide would worry about losing their privacy online."

Go on then Schmidt, release your complete internet trail to us minions to pore over, in fact why not throw in your whole family's for good measure...

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Re: Something to hide?

Go on then Schmidt, release your company's internal accounts so you can be taxed fairly.

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Big Brother

Oxy...

taxed fairly?

A bit like military intelligence?

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Black Helicopters

Re: Something to hide?

And what's wrong with having something to hide?

You don't have to be doing illegal things to what your privacy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Something to hide?

Schmidt, Zuckerberg, et al. like to pat themselves on the back for being WYSIWYG. The more appropriate term for their ilk is WYSIATI.

What You See Is All There Is

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Something to hide?

WYSITE?

What you see is tax evasion? Just musing..

Oh, and as for having nothing to hide, where is the shareholder notification that they have been hit with a notice from TWENTYSEVEN separate EU countries concurrently to correct their privacy policy? Just curious..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Something to hide?

In particular, I'd like to hide my privates.

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Holmes

Re: Something to hide?

He didn't say that he didn't have something to hide.

Phil.

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I don't care about "cool";

what matters to me is "does it work well?".

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Headmaster

Grammar

"the Redmond giant is still a personae non gratae."

Should be "persona non grata" Singular.

Your Latin is in the plural and the sentence would then be "the Redmond giants are still personae non gratae."

As there is fortunately only one Microsoft this is incorrect.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Grammar

Technically, yes. You're right - I double-checked the spelling and for some reason used the plural. It's been fixed.

C.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Grammar

Technically correct is the best kind of correct. Ask an Engineer.

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h3
Bronze badge

Re: Grammar

Technically correct is the only kind of correct.

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Re: Grammar

> Technically correct is the only kind of correct.

But implies deception.

"Do you have any homework to do?"

No (I left it in my bag in the bedroom).

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Meh

Schmidt

does come over as a bit of a dick.

I especially think that he's taken the wrong tack with his statements about privacy - google should be doing all they can to reassure us that they will take special care of our data if they want us to be their ongoing users so they can still exploit us in the future.

Anyway, what is this windows 8 thing - some new iphone app?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Schmidt

Schmidt comes over as a bit of a dick

There, fixed that for you. It has a very simple cause: he is using the technique of reinforcement to make us believe something that is blatant bullshit. You have a legal right to privacy that Schmidt cannot invade without breaking the law. Which he is doing, all over Europe, every day, and he is fully aware of that.

That's why he needs to spin like Murdoch - he knows most regulators in Europe are on to him and it is going to *SERIOUSLY* hurt when they start taking action. He has already been warned by the EU Article 29 working group that things need to change, so the clock is ticking.

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WTF?

Odd "Gang of Four" there.

A shiny toy maker, a bullshit aggregator, a department store cum data centre and an advertising giant.

I'm sure there's room for a bunch of fuckwit monkey dancers in that eclectic mix.

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WTF?

Re: Odd "Gang of Four" there.

Yep. And IBM & MS are out of the scalable computer business apparently? Funny...hadn't gotten the news.

Just one more arse running a "tech" company.

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Re: Odd "Gang of Four" there.

I suppose one could argue that he is referring to a cultural revolution of sorts. Still it is indeed odd when you consider what happened to the original sìrén bāng shortly after Mao's death. Schmidt had better hope that Jobs wasn't this gang's Mao.

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FAIL

OS aside . . .

. . . the Microsoft Surface concept is exactly the sort of thing I would like to see--something with a thin tablet form factor and detachable keyboard (and mouse, ideally) which runs an OS that will run the same apps as my desktop (which the Surface RT won't, I realize, but the Surface Pro will). To my mind, that's less "confused" and more "functional."

Now, whether Microsoft's implementation of this concept is any good is something I have yet to investigate, but the fact that both Eric and Tim are willing to write it off without even trying it is a sign of a blind spot that Microsoft may be able to exploit.

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Re: OS aside . . .

It is confused because the software design doesn't match up the hardware design.

RT doesn't run "normal" windows software, but is portable, Pro runs the software but isn't very portable.

It isn't that its bad, but it isn't a stand-alone product and is unlikely to sell in the way IOS & Android devices do.

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Platforms that scale

"We had never in our industry seen four network platforms that scale."

What is a "network platform" and what does it mean to say that "it scales"? Can anyone provide definitions for both that make it clear why the chosen four meet the criteria and no-one else does?

Otherwise I'm tempted to say that there is but a single platform here (the internet) and four applications sitting on top of it which "scale" only in the sense that their functions are embarrassingly parallel and can therefore be scaled by throwing dollars at server farms.

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Re: Platforms that scale

" "We had never in our industry seen four network platforms that scale."

What is a "network platform" and what does it mean to say that "it scales"? Can anyone provide definitions for both that make it clear why the chosen four meet the criteria and no-one else does?"

I would assume he meant "four network platforms OF that scale." - that's how I read it anyway.

Not that I don't fully agree with the rest of your sentiment.

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Re: Platforms that scale

Thumbs up for "embarrassingly parallel ". Things that have any shared state are no so 'cool', obviously. You just can't add cheap hardware and bluntly scale 'em.

At some point the the shared state transfer exceeds the interconnection bandwidth or the latency kicks in... The entire cloud nonsense is a truly annoying fad.

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Anonymous Coward

Doesn't Microsoft own shares in Facebook anyway?

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I might be wrong but I think Microsoft needs to rename things asap. This is how I think public perception stands at the moment:

Internet Explorer 10 = 10th incarnation of an old browser

Windows 8 = 8th incarnation of an old operating system

Windows Phone = Phone that runs an old operating system

Microsoft Surface = Tablet made by an old software company that made excel (sounds fun!)

I am not even sure anyone can remember (myself included) which IE is the latest. "Oh there's a 10 now? Im not sure which one I am using, 7?")

Why not throw the old names away and come up with new ones? To give the impression hat we've now left the age of Windows and have entered the age of a new Microsoft operating system for example.

Also when entering new modern recreational consumer markets (phones, tablets) perhaps avoid using words (Windows, Microsoft) that could be perceived as being associated with old technology and office/work applications? I thought Microsoft had figured all this out when they launched the XBox instead of the Microsoft Game Console. I thought they were being clever by de-emphasizing the Microsoft association.

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Anonymous Coward

@NomNomNom

Careful what you wish for. Microsoft are really bad at thinking up names,

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Anonymous Coward

As far as I can see it..

.. the choice is between Atlantis or Titanic.

Both sank without a trace, and both are subject to a lot of myth. It's just that Microsoft starts with the myth before the sinking, but given that technical people put the root of a tree at the top I think that's acceptable.

Actually, I think it must be Atlantis. Ballmer has trashed the deck chairs, so Titanic is out..

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Anonymous Coward

But...

I don't want cool, I want something which works with what I already have, is fairly tough, not too expensive, will be supported after the first six months and is expandable.

I'm not saying that I'll get that, but it's what I want and pretty much discounts all the current offerings in one way or another.

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Re: But...

"don't want cool, I want something which works with what I already have, is fairly tough, not too expensive, will be supported after the first six months and is expandable."

So what you're saying is you want a new horse when everyone else is buying these new-fangled auto-mo-biles.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But...

No, he's saying he would prefer to stick with a well engineered German petrol car, instead of buying a trendy electric car.

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Re: But... petrol cars

German diesels ain't bad either.

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Anonymous Coward

I am sorry, but why is Facebook on that list?

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Schmidt and it?

"However, Schmidt said it was “extremely curious” that Apple was suing Google's Android partners rather than Google itself."

Did Schmidt lose his status as a man and is now genderless?

I too find it funny that Apple is suing Samsung and not Google itself and files a court motion to have Jelly Bean banned along with its lawsuit against Samsung. Even a five year old knows that there is a difference! And why oh WHY is Apple not suing others like Asus and HP and Lenovo for ripping off their designs?

A while ago I forgot what being a sane customer was like and stepped into a Future Shop to look around. And at first glance, I thought that several machines were MacBooks with the way they were designed! On closer inspection, I THEN saw the Lenovo name and the HP name and such. How come we don't hear about these people being hauled before a judge with Apple crying and saying, "They copied our innovative designs???"

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Silver badge

Re: Schmidt and it?

Try reading that as, ' .. Schmidt said that it was ....'. It might help. You may have been interpreting the words as '..Schmidt it said ...' (The word 'that' is often omitted, leaving the reader/listener to rely on inference.)

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Suing HP

And why oh WHY is Apple not suing others like Asus and HP and Lenovo for ripping off their designs?

Not sure how HP is copying Apple (are their ultrabooks Air lookalikes or something?) but the mere idea of suing HP at all is just hard to wrap my head around, considering how their board is doing a far better job of destroying the company than even the most slam dunk lawsuit ever could. Suing HP is like shooting a terminal cancer patient in the leg. There's a chance it could hasten their demise, but they'd probably not even notice versus the pain they're already enduring.

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Anonymous Coward

When has Google been cool? their success in mobile is due to being free or very cheap with little restrictions and ease of pirating apps.

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FAIL

I think you'll find that the "crap iOS map app that replaced Google's superior software on Apple devices..." was infact Apple replacing Apple software. All that was googles was the data. I guess that this presentation isn't a polarising, salacious or melodramatic though.

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Anonymous Coward

They see themselves as countries

Is that an ego-size thing, or an attempt to start paying their taxes ...to themselves?

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