Back in the very early part of the 1990’s, the tech world villain of choice was IBM, and the underdog was Microsoft. As the 1990’s progressed, IBM began to move into the background and Microsoft took over the role as tech villain.
Windows 3.0 was the version that really started making waves in a big way. It was buggy and unreliable, but it offered a glimpse of the potential personal computers presented. Windows 3.0 made it possible to pick from a wide variety of standardized computer hardware parts and put them together and have a working personal computer that could do rudimentary multitasking. Windows succeeded because it worked on an open hardware platform. That same open platform forever cemented The Windows’ Curse.
In 2010 the new tech villain is Google. Smartphones are the new computers of choice. Google Android is the new Windows 3.0 morphing into 3.1, 3.11, and Windows 95.
My fear is that Google Android is doomed to repeat the muddled path of Windows.
Here is why.
My HTC Evo was recently updated to Android 2.2 “Froyo.” All well and good. However, the Android apps I have installed are constantly being updated. Fine – I can see how that would happen. However, I’m noticing that some of them no longer work. Incompatibilities are creeping in. The latest victim of Android upgrade fail is the latest Android version of the Foursquare app, which causes my phone to spontaneously reboot a few seconds after I open the app.
The Windows Curse is in very real danger of becoming The Android Curse.
The open platform is both a blessing and a blight. Open platforms are great so long as they are small. Once they become the majority market leader, their very openness makes them vulnerable to of errors of confusion as well as a giant security target.
It’s probably time for some company to start producing antivirus and antispyware software for Android phones. And it may also be time for some of us to start fleeing for the higher ground of walled garden dictatorships.
“Firefox is now the gold standard for what an open, secure, and standards-compliant browser should be.”
So says Bob Sutor, vice president of Open Source and Linux at IBM. The new default browser for half a million IBM employees worldwide is now Firefox. All newly deployed computers at IBM offices will be set with Firefox as its default browser, and IBM has gone so far as to recommend that home and business customers it deals with use Firefox as well. They are also encouraging vendors who may be supplying to IBM to be sure their products are Firefox-friendly.
As a Firefox zealot myself (I’m not just a lover of Firefox, I preach its gospel as well), I am happy to see this. I’ve been using Firefox since almost the beginning, on every Windows or Apple-based machine I have any control over. I have successfully dissuaded the parents, siblings, children, and spouses of same to leave the Internet Explorer foolishness behind and use Firefox exclusively. The only time I use Internet Explorer at all is when I’m using our backwards and stodgy business systems at my job, and we are still on IE 7 with no plans to move forward anytime soon. (We were on IE 6 until about four months ago because newer versions are not compatible with our business systems.)
IBM is a huge player, and to make such a public statement says something about both Microsoft, and Firefox. I am glad to see it, and hope more companies, especially big ones, will make the same move.
So the latest SCO filings quietly stated that the man most linked to the long running SCO litigations, Darl McBride, was no longer with the company. His role as CEO and president had been eliminated. One might have thought that this was an indication that the other people in charge at SCO were cooling to the whole thing. In case you are not aware, SCO is currently in bankruptcy in what is arguably a direct result of the litigious course they have followed.
This is not the case with McBride himself though. He is still pushing for SCO to aggresively continue to try for a big payday from IBM. He is using his shareholdings, and the backing of some other shareholders, with the objective of “…putting together an alternative plan … that will ultimately get SCO its day in court.” What this actually means is anyones guess at this stage, but McBride has a long history of grandios pronouncements.
It is hard to believe that this is still going on, or that McBride still actually believes that there is any chance that SCO is going to prevail in any way, or even that SCO has any shred of moral high ground in this case. Having followed this case closely over the years there must be some severe self blinding going on here. If there was any secret information that needed to come out, the time for it to come out passed 2-3 years ago.
As always, Groklaw has all the best dirt.
The Globus Consortium, founded by Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, and Sun Microsystems, announced today plans to design and market commercial grid-computing software applications. The consortium will promote technical standards to make grid computing a viable option for businesses. With a quarter million dollar investment from each company, the organization is sufficiently funded to begin operations. Other contributing participants include Nortel Networks, Univa Corp., and private individuals.
Continue reading Grid Computing Comes Mainstream
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and International Business Machines (IBM) announced, today, their joint development of an innovative high-speed computer chip that will boost transistor speed by 24 percent, improving the performance and reducing the power consumption of chips used in many products.
Continue reading AMD and IBM Create Innovative High-Speed Computer Chip