1816 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010
Its not merely Australia...
When you go to the Microsoft online store you can buy software packages. A version of Visual Studio 2012 Professional here in Holland costs E 615,-. In the US however people pay merely $499,- for a copy.
Its not Australia; its merely the way these companies work.
"It is as big a leap over 2008 R2 as 2008 R2 was over 2003."
Opinions differ of course, but still using 2k3 and 2k8 myself I completely disagree with this. Because 2012 is basically nothing more but a continuance of already existing technology. Just take a look at the official featurelist yourself.
The main difference though is that it uses different jargon; where 2k8 provides Hyper-V 2k12 provides "cloud capabilities". But with everything else, see the official website yourself, you'll notice that its merely extending on the possibilities which 2k8 already has.
Server 2008 introduced PowerShell as well as the server core component for desktop-less installations. THAT was a major change, you're not seriously insinuating that the inclusion of that dinkey toy interface on 2k12 is as revolutionary as PowerShell ?
"Let's take MS Office. An enterprise switches to LibreOffice. Then it doesn't need outlook anymore. So it ditches Office. Then Sharepoint doesn't make sense anymore. So it ditches sharepoint (hell there are far better alternatives that DON'T SUCK DONKEYS BALLS."
Well, in Munich they actually tried this. And although the mayor claimed to have saved E 4 million the project was eventually deemed unsuccessful since the costs turned out to be a whole lot more than planned.
This project got in jeopardy around 2003 and only last year did the mayor proclaim his success. But that still means it has been an ongoing effort for over 9 years already. And in contrast to popular belief this project basically involved a switch to Open Source software on the Office front.
And speaking of which... your ignorance is showing once again; SharePoint does a whole lot more than merely serving Office based solutions.
"You don't have to buy it. It is available freely and called Linux where reboots are rarely required."
Unless of course a new kernel update is being installed. Which seems to happen more and more often as of late on my CentOS 5 & 6 servers.
Word 2013 can also give me a headache by merely looking at an Office presentation on Youtube. I think I'll sit this one out.
The point of Office 2013?
Simple; making sure that the resellers won't have to send back as many unsold boxes or licenses of course. Heck, I quickly grabbed a copy of 2010 Professional for the license just to be sure (should it remain unused my company can always sell it later).
But Office 2013? Not for me, I've become quite an Office 2010 fan and simply see no compelling reason what so ever to upgrade.
In my opinion MS shouldn't be focussing on trying to make the desktop look more like the cloud, they should work the other way around instead!
"SharePoint, on the other hand, continues to look like a strategic product, both for internal deployment and in the form of Office 365."
Amen to that. However; don't forget about the freely available and usable SharePoint Foundation 2010. And in case you're wondering about the differences (apart from the price) between the versions then check out this comparison chart.
(both are links to SharePoint related & Microsoft hosted website).
"We're nice people as well as business people."
Business people, especially those representing multi-billion companies, are only interested in one simple, single goal: revenue.
They're not nice; they're nice as long as you're wallet isn't empty or as long as they still have other means to make some money by (ab)using you.
Reminds me of that Google Market forum where hundreds of developers complained about not getting their monthly payment and Google not responding to any e-mails. To which this nice company responded by locking down the entire thread and telling everyone that they should write an e-mail.
Companies, by definition, want your money or your efforts to earn money.
We'd better send another sattelite...
So it can photograph the area in high-res from above just before it nukes it from orbit. After all; we all know it's the only way to be sure.
This could be the beginning of the end...
Now, I know I'm not the average (Windows) user because my approach is both private & business use alike. But even so; one of the reasons I ended up on Windows (after having used Linux on the desktop for years (personal use)) was because of the faster upgrade cycle which Ubuntu & Debian had. And although Ubuntu provided their LTS versions which would give you 3 years of continuous updates, the update which followed often turned into a disaster (meaning: you'd end up doing a clean re-install anyway).
Most of all for my business I don't want change to happen every year (or every 3 months or sooner). I want my programs to do what I require of them and when a new version comes out then sure; I'll evaluate to see if it suits my needs and if I like it.
I could live with such a scenario if Microsoft wouldn't have the reputation of both being quite the maintainer (13 years of XP is IMO impressive) but also quite the changer and ruiner (developers don't need colour in icons, that's only distracting; they need several vague forms looking almost the same).
This could be quite dangerous; its the same crap you get on the PS3. When an update arrives which changes quite a bit then sure; you don't /have/ to put up with it. But if you don't you'll automatically lose the option to take the PS3 online and play games with other people. Worse: you also won't be able to go online to use your PS3 like a chatter box (videochat with the PSEye, quite amazing) because the same limitations apply. You simply can't go online, period.
So you'll just have to go along with them because you don't have much of choice.
I don't really look forward to this same model being applied to Windows where you'd also have to pay for it.
"This subscription/yearly update stuff is crap. That's not what consumers want."
That depends on how you apply it. I'd be very happy to start a subscription with Microsoft if that would mean I can continue to use supported versions of Windows 7 & Office 2010 (on my desktop of course) well after their EOL at 2018.
I agree with your comment on Outlook (I use this on a daily basis, go figure) however there's more than that. Its not merely Outlook; its the interoperability between all the Office components which is the big issue IMO. That stuff (VBA) is so extensive that it can be mind boggling (IMO).
I do tech support on a Windows server for a small company. Within certain business hours people can ring me with questions, e-mail is obviously no problem, I do regular maintenance on the server and to top it off the director of said company gets a weekly report from me where I tell him how many phonecalls were received, how many e-mail inquiries were received and a summary on the maintenance on said server. This doesn't effect costs, but the director likes to be kept in the loop (its a small company, but bigger than mine is).
You don't really think I'm typing all of this ? ;-)
I click my Word template, which then checks the current date, contacts Outlook and starts checking the (dedicated) inbox for that company to see how many e-mails there are between that day and seven days back. Phonecalls are monitored by me through Business Contact Manager (free yet invaluable Outlook 2010 extension) and the same applies.
So all that's left to do for me is fill in what I've been doing on the server.
THAT is IMO one of the key assets of MS Office. With a few lines of VBA code you can make it do whatever you want, and it can save you hours and hours of work.
Take a program like OpenSSL on Debian. Pretty high end in my opinion because it's basically the de-facto tool for SSL certificate maintenance and administration on a Linux environment (also runs fine on Windows btw).
And some day a or some Debian package maintainer(s) got it into his head that he knew better than the OpenSSL author and applied changes to the program to make it more, I dunno, Debian like? Only problem was that this patching of his inserted a major exploitable security flaw on each and every key made by this release of OpenSSL. To make matters worse: Debian knows a lot of forks, including an at that time highly popular distribution called Ubuntu.
Well; as a result all keys between January 2006 and May 2008 were affected.
That's 2 years of misery on a program which is heavily used, and not only that; also specifically used for security purposes.
You were saying ?
"How do you (generally) speaking get updates on Linux systems?"
People downvoting you for asking questions, doh.
Others have already explained some of the technical aspects; you get them either through the software repositories of the OS (distribution) itself or you start patching manually (whenever you installed something manually).
But here's another very important aspect: generally speaking you're basically installing a new version, not an update perse. It wouldn't be the first time where a program had some specific changes in the way it worked or behaved. Sometimes for the good, but also sometimes for the worst.
The main problem is basically that a lot of people maintain a lot of products and they all apply their own policies. Sure; to some end the same applies to Windows; you have your core OS and several programs you use on top of it. But the core environment will remain the same while still getting updates, and that's what I personally like.
Microsoft should change their policies a little bit IMO...
"More than eight million Windows-powered computers have been attacked by Bamital over the last two years, according to security researchers at Microsoft and Symantec."
What is the first thing someone who uses an illegal (unlicensed) version of Windows will do? Turn off the automatic updates because there's (usually) nothing coming in and when it does (and the illegal copy is identified) an update will quite likely render the box unusable. Thus; turn it off.
Now, I can understand that Microsoft wants to target piracy, after all, it's basically going after extra money like any company would try to do. However; the downside to all of that is that a lot of PC's out there will remain unpatched and thus form potential targets for people trying to abuse those boxes. And with abuse I'm of course talking about (more) real abuse; the likes which hinders quite a lot of people.
To that end I think Microsoft should consider pushing out security updates no matter what kind of OS is getting them, then perhaps try to get the "baddies" by luring them into downloading "free" software which then ends up only usable on a genuine copy of Windows.
Of course there are also plenty of downsides to that scenario as well, sure, but IMO the whole issue of unlicensed Window copies where the owner stops updating his PC is a huge problem on its own. In fact; its the kind of problem which basically causes raids like this to happen.
So why not try and take this somewhat higher in the food chain ?
That was a tad obvious, no ?
"“The days of being sent on training courses is gone,” he told the user groups. “The burden is now on you to get the skills and knowledge you need. It is assumed you will learn as you go."
Talk about open doors. I mean this has been an issue forever already which is also heavily depending on the company you work for and/or are involved with. The reason I consider this an open door is simple; most of the more skilled people I either know or have met have mostly gained their experience on their own. Sure; sometimes a training course can give you a good foundation to work on, but to really get into the subject you'll want to dive in on your own.
Hmm, could this be the reason why schools in the old days used to give us these tasks to do called "homework" ?
"Is it a tablet? Is it an Ultrabook?"
No, it's Superflop!
"What I found with IIS and Apache running on a fairly dated home PC was that they were both pretty poor to respond. I admit a lot of this was from connecting via my homoe network. but it was taking a few seconds to load each webpage. and these were pretty basic."
Which raises the question how you used them? Did you install them and used them "as is" or did you tune the critters? Because speaking from personal experience I can say that both server can easily run on older hardware (depending on the version) where obviously Apache tends to be lighter by default because it doesn't have appserver functionality embedded.
I've been running both on a 2k3 server, 2Gh AMD Athlon with 1Gb memory and it pretty much works as expected. No noticeable issues wrt. response time (IF you tune them).
Open source would be dangerous
Because then you'd risk that everyone could find out about the exposed exhaust pipe.
"Our networking people basically told him to go up to the roof deck, and jump off (for being that fucking stupid).
WTF are the schools teaching these ID10Ts?????"
How best to deal with people who tell you that you don't know sh!t, you know; anger management, social training, gymnastics and when time permits they also try to include a bit of PFY study. Priorities, priorities...
"Erm, isn't that what they had been doing for the last 10 years with Mono?"
Well spotted. I wrote that with .NET in mind but the same applies to Mono as well. Although basically Mono seems to mainly focus itself on C#, afaik there aren't any other compilers available as of yet.
Even so; if Canonical really wants to follow the Microsoft example as they claim then Mono would have made a lot more sense to me. Not too sure how good of a choice that would be though.
It's critical that everyone understands this decision as a plan to elevate the language, bindings, tools, and documentation to a level of quality we have not yet achieved.
Looks a lot more rational than it's being made out to be.
Quite the contrary IMO. Because what he's saying there is that choosing a specific programming language will allow them to "elevate the language, bindings, tools and documentation". How on earth would the choice for a programming language effect your documentation for example ?
That makes absolutely 0 sense to me.
Also; a language alone doesn't bring in better tools; that's the programmers job. So if they feel their current batch of programmers isn't up to making tools of their desired quality (IMO that is what he's saying there) then how would changing the language effect this?
So I don't quite agree with you; all I'm reading is a lot of talk without any meaning.
Another doo-doo ?
Lets look at some of the highlights of what a Windows Store App is all about (as can be read on the MSDN page here):
- They run in a single window that fills the entire screen by default.
- They automatically work with a variety of input sources, including touch, pen, mouse, and keyboard.
- They install easily and uninstall cleanly.
- Instead of static icons, they use live tiles that can display notifications.
I wouldn't quite compare that to the default programs which you normally get on a desktop-like environment such as Gnome (or KDE). These programs are meant to be light weight (sort of) because they run in a closed and locked down environment (the void we once knew as Metro).
Another thing which the "Gnome Guys" seem to completely ignore is while Microsoft may have been comfortable with this; hundreds if not thousands of Window-based programmers weren't so enthusiast about the idea (in all fairness; that was also fuelled by the rumours that MS would drop .NET).
If you want to use Microsoft as an example; then why not use their .NET framework model as well? You know: a common runtime combined with a specific language specification and then stack several languages on top of that so that the programmers can choose what they like best while still complying to whatever standards you want to use, no matter what language they prefer ?
Its just a cert; wise up!
People really should get over their fascination (or is it ignorance?) when it comes to certificates. A "real" certificate means absolutely nothing more than that it'll be easier to recognize by other parties. Yet that won't make it any safer or more insecure.
In fact; I can come up with scenario's where you might actually benefit a whole lot more from picking up & setting up OpenSSL yourself and then simply using your own SSL hierarchy. And yes; OpenSSL can easily run on Windows as well (and does a fine job too!).
Sure; it may take you some RTFM before you setup a whole CA structure, but I speak from personal experience when I say that OpenSSL can cope. It supports Root (CA), EmailCerts, AuthCerts, CodeSigning and ServerCerts with ease. An sometimes such a setup may even be much more beneficial too. You can be pretty sure that 'bad guys' won't really care much about your little 'CA enterprise', thus minimizing risks.
But most of all you'll get the exact same results, but IMO better: On a very select amount of PC's (which is entirely to your discretion) you can deploy (test?) code where it'll run without warnings or such. And if you're working with computer illiterates it could even help prevent them grabbing your code to try it out somewhere else; because that's bound to generate errors, errors which may very well intimidate those people.
And if you plan this right you'll even know that you can simply setup a structure which will only be valid during the course of the project. The moment $date passes all certs can simply be rendered useless; and all without having to do anything special but some proper planning.
No, BPC's certificate was signed by DigiCert so that it became valid (recognizable) by the rest of the world.
But whatever you sign with a CodeSign certificate will bear your name (CN), not that of the CA.
Interesting development, however...
"that allows browser-to-browser chat without the need for plugins but with permission required to activate cameras and microphones."
Maybe I'm a bit too cynical here, but I can't help wonder how long it'll take before this development gets teens and other computer illiterates into problems because 3rd parties were spying on them without their knowledge or permission ?
The reason for my cynicism should be obvious: quite some people already had to get used to Messenger(-like) programs which didn't fully close down after you clicked the X button. So imagine their approach to a common browser...
I think the damage has already been done
First the most obvious part; reputation. Back in the Sun days Java had a reputation of being secure, you could also see some "proof" of this due to several banks and financial institutions building their solutions based on Java SE and EE. Deserved or not is something I can't tell, it does strike me as odd that some current exploits also manage to target SE5 and the likes (which, in all honesty, was EOL'd before the Oracle invasion) but the fanboy in me (I'll be honest here) can't help wonder; most of those SE5 exploits target the latest 5u22 update. Is that still a pristine Sun release or has Oracle added some of their "cosmetic only" changes into it ?
I'd check this for myself weren't it for the fact that you can't download these versions any longer without an Oracle account. Needless to say; I don't have one, even demanded that they'd remove it (I did used to have a Sun / SunSolve account).
Now that reputation took a blow, which shouldn't be underestimated IMO. For many people in my surroundings Java used to be somewhat of a "vague environment" which "obviously was robust". Those opinions will clearly have shifted with Java exploits hitting global media.
But the second part could be much more dire: competition.
When taking a look at some of the competitors in the field you'll quickly notice that in some cases competitors provide solutions which can do the same by using far less code. Less code by definition also means quicker results, whether for good or worse. But which could very well make it suddenly much more appealing to jump ships.
Sure; this development has been going on for quite some time now, people even used to criticize Sun because they were very reluctant with adding specific new developments to the Java core engines.
But back then Java wasn't openly criticized in the media for being insecure and something people should be careful with. Would you tell your customers that "Our website was build on Java, robust as it can get!" in these days ? Not sure, but I don't think it'll have the positive effects you may have hoped for.
Most likely not. Which is why I ended my response with the warning that all things aside we should never forget that in the end Microsoft is still a company. And hopefully we all know what those want first...
Some care adviced, but even so...
I have to concur that Microsoft as a company seems to be very friendly towards smaller companies, private developers and well; the public in general.
To be honest I only discovered their CodePlex website only last week and I was quite surprised. Especially since they allow you to put anything you want up there, you're not limited to Microsoft products alone. I quote: "projects can use any technology (e.g. any operating system or programming language).". Or what about the license, surely you need a Microsoft approved license here, right? Yes, and no... The accepted licenses are limited, as you can see here but still include the Apache License, GPL, LGPL, BSD, MIT and even Microsoft Public Licenses. And if you have something that isn't listed you can always contact them.
What also strikes me as solid are their licensing terms. All sites of this sort have many licensing terms to protect their own interests. Its a common. SourceForge: "All information, data, text, software, music, sound, photographs, graphics, video, messages, or any other materials whatsoever (collectively, “Content”), whether publicly posted or privately transmitted, is the sole responsibility of the person from whom such Content originated. This means that the user, and not Dice, is entirely responsible for all Content that he or she uploads, posts, emails or otherwise transmits via the Sites.".
But please picture my surprise to find this amongst the Codeplex licenses: "Microsoft does not claim ownership of the materials you provide to Microsoft (including feedback and suggestions regarding Codeplex or other Microsoft material posted on the site) or post, upload, input or submit to any Services or its associated services for review by the general public, or by the members of any public or private community, (each a "Submission" and collectively "Submissions")." (see here for the full document.
Most of these websites solely focus on relaying responsibility and making sure they can't be hold liable for actions taken by their users. Very few of them are so open and clear about who eventually owns the contents. Make no mistake here; in some situations this could be a big deal...
Of course there's more... We have the freely available Visual Studio products, their Express versions. I've been playing with the 2010 variants myself and although I'm no professional developer it surprises me how deep you could go. I made several PowerShell extensions by merely using C# Express 2010. You don't get as much "hand holding" (examples and such) as with the full version, but you can get things done.
Because I don't quite represent a big company I have to work with rather limited resources. As an example; my company "sits" on Server 2k3, due to hardware and cost restrictions. Even so; 2k3 performs perfectly for what I need it to do.
And what I then grew to respect and enjoy is that Microsoft still keeps full documentation for Server 2003 available. Most companies throw all the old stuff away because who needs them? People should stop whining and simply cough up and get with the program; only their latest stuff is supported. Not here.
Well, finally.. All good things aside I think the most important thing here is not to get carried away all of a sudden. Always remember that Microsoft is in the end still a company, and a company by definition wants your money over anything else. Also keep in mind where Microsoft currently stands on the global market. I'm pretty sure they're doing quite fine, but they still need all the happy customers they can get, because in some parts interest is fading, if not drastically declining.
Most of all they need to wise up here and there IMO, but that's a different story alltogether.
IMO the biggest mistake which Microsoft is making is to deprecate older software bundles, even if they're still being maintained. Now, this isn't something new; people have been saying this for over the years now. When Vista came out people wanted to buy into XP until that ran out; Windows 7 had a somewhat different approach but you also see this happening on other platforms.
Visual Studio 2012 for example. Now, so far it pretty much works for me (evaluating the Professional version) but only after I made some serious changes to the layout. I've seen (in forums) plenty of people who would be very happy if they could still buy VS2010 somewhere.
I think that's the kind of strategy Microsoft should be considering here. Don't call it "giving in", nah, they should think of this as a soft of exit strategy. If sales of Server 2012 aren't going as well as planned, maybe you can fill in the gaps by selling Server 2010 as well. If Windows 8 doesn't sell; keep Windows 7 around as well.
Something tells me that if you sell Server 2010 with a little discount (because its no longer maintained, only supported) you're likely to attract new customers. Don't underestimate the amount of people who buy this stuff second hand due to price concerns and lack of availability.
As a Java freak I can only say...
HA HAaaa HA HAAAA!!!!
No, I don't like Oracle as a company at all, what gave that away ?
Alas; back to the regular schedule.
When reading my comment again (nice to be addressed) I do think I should check on the length of my posts. I have to admit that I sometimes allow myself to get carried away a bit ;-)
Even so, not much to discuss here IMO; all has been said already, I do wish to stress out that I don't dislike PowerShell in any way, quite the opposite in fact. IMO PowerShell is one of the best admin tools Microsoft has come up with in the past few years. My main gripe sits with 3.0 (WinRM).
But I finally came to my senses and realized that it came with an update, an optional one at that. So; after uninstalling KB2506143 from Windows 7 all is right with my PowerShell again and I can finally get some decent work done once more.
When I check my 3 Windows boxes (Win7 & 2 Win2k3 servers) for errors in the eventlog I merely use:
gel -ComputerName win7,magi,macron -LogName system -EntryType Error -Newest 10
(that's -com<tab>, -lo<tab>, -en<tab> and -new<tab>)
And the best thing about PowerShell aliases; they are aliases in every way.
SO using help (get-help, man, whatever) on that 'gel' alias will also get you the full help for the command it symbolizes. In this case Get-EventLog.
...on my box that is. If you want the same: "New-Alias -Name gel -Value Get-EventLog".
"notepad $profile" and put it in there ;-)
"Why does 94% of the Top 500 most powerful super computers in the world (meaning 220 plus countries) - see www.top500.org info - run Linux and/or UNIX?".
Most likely because these platforms provide those companies with the source code to the OS itself thus allowing them to tweak the OS any way they deem required so that it'll be capable to run as efficient as possible on those supercomputers.
Who knows; maybe to get virtualization more optimized so that it can run several Windows VPS's.
However, I think you're comparing apples and oranges. Because in general the goals for Windows Server lie on a completely different level. Sure, raw computing power counts too, but here there's more. When looking at the TechNet page of 2k8 (because its homepage has been replaced with 2012) you'll see traces of this: "With these operating systems you can develop, deliver, and manage rich user experiences and applications, provide a highly secure network infrastructure, and increase technological efficiency and value within your organization.".
There's more than raw computing power alone; management, efficiency, networking...
Now, whether they do or don't do a good job on those terrains is a bit irrelevant here; point is that Windows Server targets a lot more besides computing power. Most of all it doesn't provide features which allow a company to completely re-define the OS. You can tune and tweak it, sure, but all within the confines of the OS environment itself.
All of those are elements which you won't find addressed in top 500 lists such as these. So basically it doesn't really tell us anything about how great or bad an OS is. IMO it simply tells us that Linux and Unix variants allow for much more indepth tweaking.
Which I doubt anyone would deny.
What goes around comes around...
Now, obviously I tend to agree with comments above that the statement from NYT sure sounds naive to say the least.
However.. Its also fair to note that these days you don't get "virus scanners" anymore; no, you get whole "Internet protection suites", just check the product page of Symantec's Antivirus 2013: "Harness global power – only Norton™ can bring you the ultra-fast Network Defense Layer to block a multitude of threats before they can even touch your PC.
Or what to think about: "Protection from the future, available today – our exclusive reputation and behavior antivirus technology are so advanced that they can stop online threats that bad guys haven't even created yet.".
If you boast like that and something does go wrong, you're bound to tick someone off who's not going to sit quiet and simply blames himself.
Which IE10 would it be?
Don't forget; there are 2 versions on Win8. The one running on the desktop and the (sandboxed) version in TIFKAM.
Oh dear; could the delay have been caused because they're actually trying to port the whole TIFKAM crap over to Win7 (with optional bonus: the start menu removal kit (SMRK)) ?!
"Now that .Net is has been deprecated by MS, does that mean VSTA also becomes redundant?"
Deprecated according to who ?
The latest version of Visual Studio, 2012, has recently been introduced as the de-facto platform to use for Windows 8 development. When installing it first makes sure that you have the latest .NET framework (4.5 at the time of writing) and then proceeds, providing full access to both C#.NET, VB.NET as well as ASP.NET.
Microsoft even provides .NET framework targeting packs specifically for Visual Studio 2012, you can get an overview of those here (link to MSDN site).
I don't think people have forgotten, I think that we simply started to realize that its not only Microsoft who's been doing this.
Well, tight already mentioned VSTAS and from a personal experience I can also say that you can get quite a bit done with VB.NET (used VS VB.NET 2010 Express for that), although now that I'm evaluating VS 2012 myself I have to admit that there are plenty of advantages to be found there.
But speaking of VBA...
If you want to do crypto or I/O you can, depending on what stuff you have installed. Because Microsoft has provided access to that stuff from within VBA. If you're in the VB editor you can setup references for your project. And that will add functionality to that project.
For example; if you create a reference to the "Groove security context type" library then you'll get quite a bit of encryption support to work with. If you create a reference to, say, the Outlook library then you can suddenly access Outlook right from within Word.
I/O is obviously a bit too broad but depending on what you need chances are high that you'll find a library in that list which you can use. Perhaps the "Microsoft Internet controls" can do what you want..
"I like Excel, the only issue I have is with people using it as a feckin' database instead of using an actual DB."
Well, I don't fully agree there because if a program provides a certain functionality then why shouldn't people use it?
But even so, I don't think you should blame the users over this but Microsoft instead. After all; for many years now a standard Office package consisted of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. SO what do you suggest Office users should use for a database instead?
I can't really think of any usable and logical alternatives to be honest.
And as I said, my personal opinion on this matter is "if it works...".
Re-inventing the wheel again ?
One of the reasons their version 4 product immediately appealed to me was because of the "Expression Web SuperPreview" program. It sounds grand, but in a way it also is IMVHO; because this program allows you to use the browser engine of several available browsers and render the page you're making using that engine.
Better yet: it can render a page using multiple engines and show the preview side by side, even indicating where the pages differ wrt. the placement of several components.
By default it obviously supports several Explorer engines (MSIE 6 up to 9, even the compatibility view in 8 is supported), but it can also utilize the Mozilla engine (not sure about modern Firefox browsers, I stopped using FF around version 4, so version 3.6 is all I can mention as example) and it even utilizes Safari for Windows if you want to.
There is also an online service to provide support for more browsers, though I never bothered to test that.
Now, the reason I'm going "reinventing the wheel" is because Expression Web has recently been EOL'd. You can now download it for free (which includes this preview program) and the reason Microsoft gave is that it has focussed its attention on Visual Studio 2012 which should basically supersede Expression Web 4 and provide all its functionality.
Obvious question: If Visual Studio "supersedes" Expression Web then why do we need a separate tool for this when this functionality is basically part of Expression Web ?
There are many features in Expression Web which you won't find in VS 2012, that's for sure. For starters; I've become very fond of my "site manager" where I can basically point Expression Web to several websites after which it can make sure my local contents is synchronized with the remote site (either using FTP, FTPS or other means).
SO, I get the feeling that Microsoft is at its best here: they had a very decent tool, threw it away and are now re-inventing what they already had.
Worse yet: they also seem to have no clue, what so ever, what's living amongst their own employee's. Which I think is really bad; running a business also means that you have at least >some< touch into what the employee's are up to.
I come to that conclusion because those idiots (my impression) learned about this stuff later. Not because one of David's co-workers thought it was offensive, not funny or totally misplaced (otherwise I'd assume they would have taken it up with management).
Management is simply totally clueless and are now playing their "political correct" part.
"Next: Activities of bears in woods."
And we all know they're going to check out Yellowstone park first to see if the takeoff is real :-)
Losing credibility ?
Can't speak for other firms and environments of course but it seems to me as if Java, as platform, is losing quite a bit of credibility with nonsense like this. Apart from being mentioned in mainstream media as having security issues (which in the days of Sun would have been described as a nightmare scenario since Sun really took great pride in keeping Java safe), the way things are being rolled out also leaves me with question marks.
Its good practice not to jump onto the latest bandwagon but sit it out for a while. Its also the main reason why my company still utilizes Java SE 6 and are looking into Java 7. But if you look at recent history then it seems only to have gone downhill when 7 got out.
Because not too long after its release date we started hearing stories about major flaws. And in the beginning those flaws only involved SE 7, like this one.
So I'm pretty sure that will make a lot of people wonder how feasible it really is to upgrade to 7. For a first major "Oracle release" I for one am not quite impressed with 7 so far. It has a good feature set, sure, but has also build up quite the legacy. Some people are tied into Java so to speak, so they'll just have to "go with the flow". But I can't help wonder how many people will eventually start looking for alternatives. That might even boost C# acceptance.
Makes me wonder...
Where Sony is located, iirc they weren't mentioned.
Considering the PSN outage not too long ago I can only guess :-)
"This strategy by MS will fail. There isn't room for two Apple's on this planet, and MS do not have the strategy to out-compete Apple."
I hope you do realize that Dell provides more than merely consumer PC's? From personal experience I can say that their servers and business customer support are pretty good.
Why not start with decent password policies?
Now, I think its good to have some attention for the risk of intrusions and the likes. However, it would sound more impressive if these agencies actually used some sane password policies to begin with.
Generalizing here, I know, but every once in a while you read stories where "hackers" gained access to such devices by merely guessing (!) the password. Because it is the street the device is in, or because no one bothered to change the factory defaults, or because all devices which fall under the supervision of a single police station all use the name of said station as password (a scenario which was discovered in Holland some time ago), etc.
Having some attention for security is a good thing, but I'd say start at the beginning.
Well, we're now mixing up the topic (business use vs. private use) but yeah, I see where you're getting at.
Although I don't fully agree with you on this part, I do agree that the free variants (Libre- / Open Office) could easily cope in this scenario as well, featurewise that is.
But using the open source variants doesn't have to be less expensive perse. Because although the purchase price is 0 with the open source variants the maintenance costs are not. And if a school is already using a full Microsoft environment then obtaining and implementing updates for the Office environment would take no extra effort than performing maintenance for the underlying OS.
With the open source variants otoh school admins would have to improvise a little to keep that software up to date with the rest. For example; the update release cycle won't follow the Microsoft cycle perse, and sometimes issues are dire enough that an upgrade is required ASAP.
Obviously your milage may vary. I can think of plenty of situations where these arguments won't apply, but stating that open Libre / Open Office will always be less expensive in usage than MS Office, esp. for businesses, is IMO not true. There's more to be reckoned with than purchase price alone
"And with that attitude professionally you'll soon never have to send anyone a document again!"
You're right there, but for completely different reasons than you may realize. I think the OP makes a perfect argument, and lets not forget that we're talking about home usage here, NOT business use.
But about that sending... A few months ago a friend of mine setup a list of stuff (todo list) for me and a couple of other people. Basically the idea to 'share' some sort of knowledge base. Needless to say; in daily (work) life he's using MS Office but at home its all LibreOffice for him.
He didn't sent us any format at all; he sent us the URL of a text document which he put online using the Google tools. I clicked, and could view and edit. Even though I don't have a Google account (nor have any desire to get one).
To some extend you can always accomplish the same using SkyDrive (though I'm not 100% sure about that anymore considering the major changes MS made in this field recently).
My point: with the OP's attitude he doesn't even HAVE to send documents around. IMVHO.
This is one of those situations where MS Office isn't the best choice IMO. In fact; although it may sound very cost effective at first you'll effectively end up paying (much) more in the longer run while you actually get a lot less functionality, esp. in comparison to other solutions.
Because if you keep that subscription for 2 years you're already paying much more than a single copy of the desktop version. And although the license of that desktop version doesn't allow multiple installations one could ask him- herself how many times it would happen when everyone will be working with Office at exactly the same time? Quite possibly the license could be shared.
But most of all; in comparison to the online variants of MS Office I think its safe to say that both LibreOffice as well as OpenOffice can featurewise blow it out of the water so to speak. For no additional costs at all.
I'd say people are actually better off with the open source variants in this scenario. Because if, for whatever reason, you do run into a situation where some of the more advantaged features could come in handy then you're pretty much screwed with Office 365. Its quite a decent product, but by far comparable to a desktop version featurewise. The open source variants otoh. do provide all you might need as a home users, even more, and for a lot less money too.
With plans like these I don't see Microsoft coming out on top. Too expensive while providing too little features.
Gimme GPS instead ;-)
Because with GPS I'll be able to locate my remote no matter where it has gone to ;-)
For Google's sake...
I hope the North Korean government doesn't hold a patent on "mapping North Korea".
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