Sunday, June 7, 2009

Strong reception for Google Wave

Industry experts have given a broadly positive reaction to Google Wave.

Still in development, Google Wave is a browser-based tool that mixes e-mail, with Instant Messaging and real-time online collaboration elements.Harry McCracken, of, wrote: "It's one of the most ambitious services that Google or anyone else has cooked up".

Google Wave is currently only open to developers interested in building applications for the tool. Google Wave co-creator Lars Rasmussen wrote on the official Google blog: "A wave is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.

"In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly.

"It's concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave." The technology has been described as e-mail for the 21st Century, a rival to Twitter and to Microsoft's collaboration software, Sharepoint.

Jordan Golson, writer for, said Google had a poor track record of making a business out of any of its products, other than search. "Maybe it will work. Maybe Wave will take over the world. But, with the notable exceptions of Gmail and search ads, Google has a poor track record with product launches.

It is really, really good at vanity exercises, though." MG Sieglar, a reporter for Techcrunch, said the tool "drips with ambition".He wrote: "Wave offers a very sleek and easy way to navigate and participate in communication on the web that makes both e-mail and instant messaging look stale."

The announcement of Wave, together with the development of tools like Twitter and Friend Feed, point to the genesis of the real-time web, in which communication, search, collaboration, and the bridge between offline and online blurs into a contemporaneous mix.

Ben Parr, from, who tested a preview of Google Wave, said: "Our initial impression of Google Wave is a very positive one. "It's already got certain aspects, like navigation, absolutely right. With some great third-party apps and greater customization, Google Wave could actually match its hype."

Source : BBC

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Oracle agreed to buy Sun Microsystems for about $7.4 billion in cash, swooping in after the server maker's talks to be acquired by IBM failed.

Oracle will pay $9.50 a share, 42 percent more than Sun's closing price Friday. Oracle plans to make Sun a profitable part of its business and said the purchase will add $1.5 billion to operating earnings, excluding some items, in the first year.

The takeover moves Oracle, the world's second-largest software maker, into the market for server and storage computers, pitting the company against IBM and Hewlett-Packard. Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison also gains Sun's Java programming language and Solaris operating system, which work with its top-selling database program.

"They're really going to zero in on just the most strategic part of Sun's hardware business," said Heather Bellini, an analyst at UBS AG in New York, with a "buy" rating for Oracle's shares. "They'll end up making the company much better-run."

Excluding Sun's cash and debt, the deal is valued at $5.6 billion, Oracle said in a statement. Sun had about $2.6 billion in cash and marketable securities, and about $700 million in long-term debt at the end of 2008. Oracle has about $11.3 billion in cash and marketable securities.

Sun, based in Santa Clara, Calif., rose $2.46, or 37 percent, to close at $9.15. Oracle, based in Redwood City, Calif., dropped 24 cents, to $18.82.

Sun's Java technology lets developers write programs that work across operating systems and on a variety of devices. The software has been installed on 800 million desktop computers and also powers 2.1 billion mobile devices.

Sun's Solaris competes with Linux and Microsoft's Windows software. While Sun offers versions of Solaris and its MySQL database program free to developers, the company makes money by selling service, support and software updates. Sun boosted software sales by 21 percent in the quarter through Dec. 28 and said in January that it projects revenue from those products to reach more than $600 million a year.

Oracle had sales of $22.6 billion in the latest fiscal year.

Oracle President Safra Catz said the company plans to operate Sun at "substantially higher margins." She declined to provide specifics.

Source: The Washington Post

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Protect Your PC from Conficker

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IBM Reportedly will Buy Sun for $7 Billion

I.B.M. appears on the verge of acquiring Sun Microsystems, a longtime rival in the computer server and software markets, for nearly $7 billion.

The two companies have been negotiating for weeks, ironing out terms of an agreement that would turn I.B.M. into the dominant supplier of high-profit Unix servers and related technology.

I.B.M. is offering $9.50 a share, down from a bid of $10 a share, said people familiar with the discussions who were not authorized to speak publicly. The new agreement would restrict I.B.M.’s ability to walk away from the deal, these people said.

Even at $9.50 a share, the deal would value Sun, based in Santa Clara, Calif., at close to $7 billion. It is close to a 100 percent premium based on Sun’s value before rumors of an acquisition spread last month.

Representatives of I.B.M. and Sun declined to comment. People familiar with the negotiations say a final agreement could be announced Friday, although it is more likely to be made public next week. I.B.M.’s board has already approved the deal, they said.

I.B.M., based in Armonk, N.Y., has spent weeks poring over Sun’s patents and licensing agreements. Some 100 lawyers have been working in a hotel in Silicon Valley on intellectual property matters.

Although in a slump of nearly a decade, Sun is one of the largest sellers of server computers and is known for systems based on its Sparc chips. It has a vast software portfolio, including the Solaris operating system , the open-source MySQL database and the Java programming language.

“Sun has obviously been a lost child for many years, but they have some great assets,” said Rebecca Runkle, director of technology research at Research Edge, an equities analysis business. She said that Sun and I.B.M.’s cultures would mesh in their commitment to large research and development projects.

Sun’s software assets would fit into I.B.M.’s long-term strategy of chasing higher-profit software and services sales. It could also give I.B.M. more strength in competing against Oracle, which has sold its database software on top of Sun systems for years.

I.B.M.’s acquisition of Sun would disrupt that long partnership with Oracle. I.B.M. could also undercut Oracle by more actively promoting the free MySQL software, which has become the most popular database software with Internet companies.

Hardware inherited from Sun could present antitrust concerns. I.B.M. faces an antitrust complaint from T3 Technologies over its dominance in the mainframe market. By buying Sun, I.B.M. would gain close to total control over robotic tape storage devices used to file data on mainframes.

Sun has a sales and technology partnership with Fujitsu for the sale of Unix servers. If I.B.M. buys Sun, Fujitsu and Hewlett-Packard will be the combined company’s only major competitors in the Unix market, a possible concern for regulators here and in Europe. Sun faces a patent infringement lawsuit from the storage maker NetApp and has countersued. NetApp has a sales pact with I.B.M.

Silicon Valley executives, including Paul S. Otellini, chief of Intel, have said that Sun has spent months seeking a suitor.

Shares of I.B.M. rose more than 3 percent on Thursday, to $100.82, and Sun’s shares rose more than 2 percent, to $8.21.

Source : The New York Times

Friday, March 27, 2009

IDEs will Change Soon

IDEs (integrated development environments) have stayed basically the same over the years and now it is time for them to evolve to accommodate concepts like cloud computing, dignitaries from Microsoft and IBM said during a Silicon Valley technical conference on Thursday.

Speaking at the EclipseCon 2009 event in Santa Clara, Calif., Microsoft's Tim Wagner, development manager for Visual Studio, and IBM's Kevin McGuire, senior software developer for user interfaces and Eclipse, reflected on where IDEs have been and where they are going. Microsoft Visual Studio, first released in June 1998, and the rival Eclipse open source IDE, which debuted in November 2001, are the most prominent IDEs in use these days.

"It's amazing how much stuff we have today [that] was in Eclipse 1.0," such as code completion, McGuire said. Concurring about the lack of change, Wagner added, "You kind of go back eight, nine years, and it looks pretty much the same. All has changed around us, so much of this has stayed the same."

The two officials cited industry changes, such as the jump in CPU power, systems running multiple CPUs, use of multiple monitors, and cloud computing. IDEs must adapt to industry changes, the officials argued.

An IDE in the browser makes sense, they said. This is particularly the case with software being made by teams. For instance, developers use the Bugzilla bug tracker, which is online, and source code is stored on server in a repository.

Microsoft, with its planned Visual Studio 2010 IDE, will add support for use of multiple monitors, Wagner acknowledged. The speakers showed a slide in which a monitor on the left maintained a debugging session while files were on the right monitor.

In the cloud computing space, McGuire cited the Mozilla Bespin project, providing an online code editor, and the virtual computer, offering a desktop editor in the cloud, as advancements. Developers can expect cloud IDE capabilities from Eclipse. "I think that's a natural evolution, and I think that the Bespin technology is leading the way," McGuire said.

Microsoft has sights set on a version of Visual Studio in the cloud at some point. "It's still very much a prototype effort," Wagner said.

At one point during the presentation, a slide appeared noting that in 2001, Windows XP was the Microsoft OS to have at the moment. Then the slide humorously adds, "OK, that's still true," reflecting on difficulties Microsoft has had in gaining market acceptance of the successor Windows Vista OS.

"Let's not go there," Wagner remarked after the slide appeared.

Source: InfoWorld

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Social sites eclipse e-mail use

Social network sites such as Facebook and MySpace are now more popular than personal e-mail, finds a report.

The Nielsen survey of users' habits found that 67% of all those going online were spending time at social network and blogging sites.

Interest in the category is growing four times faster than the other top four sectors, said the report.

In the UK one in every six minutes of the average web user is spent at a social site, it found.

"Social networking has become a fundamental part of the global online experience," said John Burbank, chief executive of Nielsen Online in a statement.

"Social networking will continue to alter not just the global online landscape, but the consumer experience at large," he said.


1) Search - 85.9%
2) Portals/communities - 85.2%
3) PC software - 73.4%
4) Member Communities - 66.8%
5) E-mail - 65.1%

Nielsen measures interest in categories by the percentage of the web audience that regularly visit such sites. The latest statistics suggest that 65.1% of web users use web e-mail but 66.8% are turning up at social network sites.

This means, said Nielsen, that about one in every 11 minutes a web user is online is spent at one of the sites Nielsen counts in its "Member Communities" category which includes both blogs and social network sites.

Of these sites, Facebook has highest average time per user, found Nielsen.

The researchers also found that social networking sites are managing to reach a very broad swathe of web users. The fastest growing segment of users turning up and using social sites over the last year was among 35-49 year olds.

In particular, the report noted, almost a quarter of Facebook's users were known to be over 50 years old.

More and more people want to get at their favourite social network site and update via mobile, found Nielsen. In the UK the numbers of Britons looking at a social site via their phone was up 249%.

Source : BBC News

Friday, January 23, 2009

Microsoft to cut up to 5,000 jobs

Microsoft has said it will cut up to 5,000 jobs over the next 18 months, including 1,400 immediately.

The firm also reported a net profit of $4.17bn (£3bn) for the three months to 31 December, down 11% on last year and less than analysts' expectations.

Microsoft added it was "no longer able" to give a profit and revenue outlook for the fiscal year amid current volatile market conditions.

Shares in Microsoft fell 7.9%, dragging Wall Street lower.

Cost cuts

"While we're not immune to the effects of the economy, I am confident in the strength of our product portfolio and soundness of our approach," said Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.

Richard Williams, an analyst at Cross Research, said: "Microsoft has never had a layoff like this in my knowledge, and it's sending a signal that the times are definitely changing."

Microsoft said the announced job cuts would take place in research and development, marketing, sales, finance, legal, human resources and information technology.

It added it would also be making other cost-cutting measures, including a reduction in spending on travel.

"These initiatives will reduce the company's annual operating expense run rate by approximately $1.5bn and reduce fiscal year 2009 capital expenditures by $700m," Microsoft said.

Source : BBC

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Silverlight to Stream Obama's Inauguration

Microsoft's Silverlight technology has been chosen to stream U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony live on the Presidential Inaugural Committee's Web site, Microsoft said Friday.

Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden are due to be sworn in and deliver inauguration speeches next Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Both events will be streamed live on the PIC site using Silverlight, a cross-browser technology for delivering live and on-demand video over the Web.

The PIC will also stream video of an event with Obama and Biden in Baltimore on Saturday as part of their "Whistle Stop Tour," which will take them from Philadelphia to Washington for the inaugural ceremony and celebrations.

Obama was elected on Nov. 4 as the first African-American U.S. president, giving Tuesday's inauguration particular historical significance.

IStreamPlanet, an online content-delivery company in Las Vegas, Nevada, is working with Microsoft to stream the event, Microsoft said.

The inaugural event is the latest high-profile use of Silverlight, which was first released in April 2007 as a rival to Adobe Flash. The technology comprises a tool for developing and designing Internet applications and a media player for delivering content.

It wasn't until the release of Silverlight 2 in October, however, that the technology became a viable alternative to Flash for building rich Internet applications (RIAs), developers said.

"Silverlight 1.0 was a glorified media player," said Ben Dewey, a senior software developer for IT consulting firm twentysix New York, who has worked with Silverlight. "The release of Silverlight 2 is when it really took off."

While Silverlight 2 was in beta in August, the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee used it to stream proceedings from the convention, including Obama's acceptance speech to more than 80,000 people at an outdoor stadium in Denver.

Microsoft also teamed up with U.S. television network NBC that month to deliver thousands of hours of both live and on-demand coverage from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Silverlight has had its bumps in the road, however. The first high-profile user, Major League Baseball Advanced Media's site, dropped the technology in November and signed a two-year deal to use Adobe Flash for streaming live baseball games.

Source : PCWorld