Airplane Reading - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
10/3/2005
10:29 AM
David  DeJean
David DeJean
Commentary
50%
50%

Airplane Reading

Hi, I'm back. Did you miss me? I took my first real vacation in a long time, went to Munich for Oktoberfest and on for a r-e-s-s-s-t-f-u-l-l-l week on the Aegean coast of Greece. It's interesting how different the perspective is from overseas. Other than my 16-year-old Greek nephew, who wanted to know about Vista and told me all about what he's doing with Bart PE, I didn't talk computers with anybody. Only my airplane reading did anything to satisfy my jones for PC news. But that was plenty.

Hi, I'm back. Did you miss me? I took my first real vacation in a long time, went to Munich for Oktoberfest and on for a r-e-s-s-s-t-f-u-l-l-l week on the Aegean coast of Greece. It's interesting how different the perspective is from overseas. Other than my 16-year-old Greek nephew, who wanted to know about Vista and told me all about what he's doing with Bart PE, I didn't talk computers with anybody. Only my airplane reading did anything to satisfy my jones for PC news. But that was plenty.Somewhere I saw that Jim Allchin was retiring from Microsoft. I wondered why. Allchin, after all, is one of the biggest development wigs in the company, the guy responsible for Vista. Somewhere over the Alps I got a clue from a Wall Street Journal Europe piece headlined "Microsoft Changes How It Builds Software."

It seems Allchin told Bill Gates in July of 2004 that Vista, then code-named Longhorn, wasn't going to work. It was just too complicated. The process of thousands of developers working on little pieces of code was apparently creating bugs faster than it was fixing them.

It apparently wasn't news Chairman Bill wanted to hear. The article, by Robert A. Guth, talked about the resulting changes in Microsoft's internal processes -- and gossiped some about Gates' push-back. So now that a de-featured Vista (stripped of the WinFS file system and its ambitious search interface) is apparently on track, Allchin resigns. Hmmm. Maybe, you're left thinking, Allchin pushed the boss a little too hard, or maybe he's feeling too beat up by the struggle to find much fun in the work any more? I know I'm not sure Vista is going to be any fun, so I can sympathize.

In the Milan airport I picked up a copy of The Economist, the veddy intelligent British business journal, and read with interest its take on eBay's buy of Skype and what VoIP portends for old-line telephone companies (bottom line: eBay overpaid, but the Baby Bells are lunchmeat). It also published a short profile titled "The Resurrection of Steve Jobs," that started with Jobs' cancer scare of a year ago, worked its way through the stats on iPod sales and Apple's dominance of the music-downloading business, and concludes that he is becoming -- gasp -- a kinder, gentler human being. But not to worry, Jobs still has enough junkyard dog in his genes to be ready for a fight with Microsoft over operating systems and maybe even a run for the California governorship. It could happen. Jobs has resurrected himself so often that "I'll be back" could be his campaign slogan, rather than Gov. Schwarzenegger's.

On my way home The International Herald Tribune raised my spirits with a story on how Walt Disney Studios pushed out a 3D version of its new cartoon feature, "Chicken Little," and the release is driving a switch to digital projection in movie theaters. I'm a big fan of 3D, and if you saw the 3D version of "Polar Express" in an Imax theater you probably are too. High-tech 3D computer animation, high-tech movie theaters, what could be better? Only real butter on your popcorn, maybe.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
News
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
Slideshows
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Slideshows
Flash Poll