Microsoft’s low-octane swan song was nothing if not symbolic of more than a decade littered with errors, missed opportunities, and the devolution of one of the industry’s innovators into a “me too” purveyor of other companies’ consumer products. ... How did this jaw-dropping role reversal happen? How could a company that stands among the most cash-rich in the world, the onetime icon of cool that broke IBM’s iron grip on the computer industry, have stumbled so badly in a race it was winning? [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen
on Jul 26, 2012 -
Then, coming on six o'clock, Mr. Myhrvold, the former Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft and an inventor with hundreds of patents to his name, came in, wearing chef's whites, and ushered us into dinner. Boy, people eat early around here, I thought. Little did I know I would be eating non-stop for the next three hours. (previously: 1,2) [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Jun 28, 2011 -
We expect even more rapid innovation in the web media platform in the coming year and are focusing our investments in those technologies that are developed and licensed based on open web principles. To that end, we are changing Chrome’s HTML5 <video> support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.
- Google's Chrome is will be joining Firefox in no longer licensing the MPEG-LA H.264 video codec
favoured by Apple and Microsoft for use in the HTML5 <video> tag (previously
). Not everyone is seeing this as a good thing
posted by Artw
on Jan 13, 2011 -
The <video tag>
, as defined by the HTML5 spec, is an element "used for playing videos or movies". Which codec
those videos or movies are in is currently undefined, with the two contenders being the free open source Ogg Theora
and the proprietary H.264
. With the unveiling of Internet Explorer 9
both Microsoft and Apple are supporting H.264 in their browsers, and comparisons
of the standards seem to bear out H.264 as the better of the two. However Mozilla have taken a stance against incorporating H264 into Firefox on the grounds that it is patented and has to be licensed
. Arguments are now being made for
Mozilla sticking to its ideals. John Gruber
of Daring Fireball points out that Firefox already supports proprietary formats such as GIF. Um, perhaps not the best example
posted by Artw
on Mar 21, 2010 -
presents an extraordinary look at "one of the most ambitious search-and-rescue missions in history
," after one of Microsoft's researchers, Jim Gray
, and his boat, the Tenacious
, went missing
in the Pacific Ocean outside San Francisco in January 2007. Cartography meets law meets 2.0
technology. "First the Coast Guard scoured 132,000 square miles of ocean. Then a team of scientists and Silicon Valley power players turned the eyes of the global network onto the Pacific." Eventually, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, the US Navy, NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium jumped in – "as did astronomers from leading universities." To this day, Jim Gray has never been found
, and his disappearance cannot be explained
. Read Wired
posted by BLDGBLOG
on Jul 22, 2007 -
Norway's Ministry for Modernisation has declared for Open Source formats.
Speaking at eNorge, the Norwegian Minister for Modernisation, Morten Andreas Meyer, has said that "proprietary formats will no longer be acceptable in communication between citizens and government". Although he did not mention Microsoft by name, he did say that this was the last time he would be streaming his speech using the current (WMP-based) technology.
The Ministry for Modernisation may sound quaint, but it was founded in 2004 with a broad remit
, and 200 employees, not a small number in a nation of less than 5 million souls. Although Norway's spending on IT may not be great compared to the US or China, as one of the wealthiest and most technologically developed nations on Earth (not to mention the emphasis on long-distance communications robustness created by a large country with terrible weather) it sets a precedent about what a tech-savvy first-world nation might do with Open Source, not because it cannot afford proprietary formats but because it does not want them. Microsoft, meanwhile, might be wondering why it bothered to translate Office into Sami. Will this be the first domino, or can it be written off as the actions of an oil-rich rogue state that will soon be brought back into the global consensus?
posted by tannhauser
on Jun 28, 2005 -
The John Markoff of the New York Times [registration required]
reports that Google plans to roll-out a text and file search tool code-named Puffin
for finding information stored on PCs. The move is seen as a defensive one; Microsoft plans to include PC searching in its new operating system, scheduled to be released in 2006 (at the earliest).
posted by tranquileye
on May 19, 2004 -
Virus replication is a feature!
"If you are using a Macintosh e-mail program that is not from Microsoft, we recommend checking with that particular company. But most likely other e-mail programs like Eudora are not designed to enable virus replication." The original URL is 404. I wonder if Microsoft will be exerting their copyrights to force archive.org to remove this.
posted by tbc
on Oct 7, 2003 -
What software version numbers really mean.
Not sure who started the latest trend of dropping version numbers from software. We could always blame Microsoft with Windows ME
. But Macromedia is at fault too with the whole MX
thing. And MX doesn't even stand for anything. Now Adobe is getting into the mix. There will be no Photoshop 8 or Illustrator 11. Just CS
. So is this a good thing? Version numbers may not be exciting but it sure did make it easy to keep track of the latest upgrade.
posted by jeremias
on Sep 29, 2003 -
Microsoft to discontinue development of IE for the Mac...
Surprisingly this apparently isn't being done because of the low market share for Macintosh, but rather as a side effect of the increasing integration (whether real or alleged) between IE and the Operating System, which on the Mac is closed, so MS can cease development as support for their claims of mandatory integration between browser & OS. I await the next step, mandatory integration between email & OS? IM? Media tools? Net access?
posted by jonson
on Jun 13, 2003 -
Did you install it yet?
You may want to think twice. That new software update for Windows Media Player isn't just a security update, if you read the End User License Agreement carefully, it states:
"In order to protect the integrity of content and software protected by digital rights management 'Secure Content', Microsoft may provide security related updates to the OS Components that will be automatically downloaded onto your computer."
Does anyone know anything more about this? How about recommendations for a suitable replacement for WMP?
posted by Hackworth
on Jul 1, 2002 -
Microsoft announced a month long moratorium on new coding in order to fix bugs.
Purcell,their privacy chief is quoted
as saying Gates "is really annoyed by the incredible pain we put everyone through in computing" . Microsoft's bug problems and security vulnerabilities have lately been getting out of hand. There has also been rumours last month that Gates wants the entire company reoriented towards ..well providing bug free products. Do you think that serious changes are underway in Microsoft? What does it really take for an sofware development enterprise the size of Microsoft to have to provide secure, reasonably bug free products? (via GMSV
posted by justlooking
on Feb 6, 2002 -
In the midst of being indignant over the death of the BeOS, Scot Hacker talks about Microsoft's OEM license with hardware vendors
. Although Microsoft claims the terms of the agreement are a "trade secret," preventing it from making appearnce in the DOJ circus, apparently it prevents OEMs from installing any
non-Microsoft OS along side a Microsoft OS... If true, the "browser integration" thing's just a minor annoyance - this
would be monopolistic and anti-competitive... via rc3.org
posted by m.polo
on Aug 31, 2001 -
Slate's Mickey Kaus
and the Washington Post
ask the question: For all the claims of illegal monopolies and unfair advantage, is the tech industry counting on Microsoft and Windows XP's Oct. 25 release to save its bacon?
posted by rcade
on Jul 30, 2001 -
Win XP's Product Activation as a breeze to hack.
Provided that RC1 still ships as is and you keep your RAM locked at a fixed number of sticks, it's simply a matter of keeping a backup of a DBL file. For all the ballyhoo, it's amazing that something this obvious slipped under the cracks. With WPA this sloppy, is this the only half-hearted facet of Windows XP?
posted by ed
on Jul 17, 2001 -
According to this system requirements page,
all of Microsoft's fancy-shmancy new cordless-intelli-wheely-eye-mouse products need 30 MB of available hard disk space! For installing a mouse driver? Is this just code bloat, or another nefarious scheme to infiltrate our personal data? Cleverly disguised mouse drivers that secretly send password files and system configurations to Redmond. On the up side, the Mac version of the software only requires 15 MB of disk space.
posted by grant
on Dec 13, 1999 -
Oh my god. With this new site
, Microsoft just crossed an invisible line of decency. Who are they kidding? Would you believe any pro-Microsoft commentary on the site came from a site visitor and not an internal MS employee? They've just lost what little credibility they had left.
posted by mathowie
on Nov 9, 1999 -