Consolidation of stacks

Interesting discussion between Bradley Horowitz and Tim O’Reilly re Google+.  Tim O’Reilly makes interesting point about an apparent consolidation in the industry along certain stacks e.g. Apple, Google and Microsoft.  He quotes his own preference for using an Android phone because it integrates more effectively with the google calendar.  This has been my own experience also – though as an external consultant do find myself needing to work across more than one stack – depending on client preferences.


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(Microsoft) Shoe on the other foot (Google)

Federal Trade Commissions investigates Google

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
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Interesting to read about major investigation of Google in US.  have they had it all their won way on advertising?  Have they failed to be ‘holier than thou’?  Very much feels like the old days of Microsoft being chased arising from their then dominant position.  Will be interesting to see whther this gives rise to any significant findings or actions.

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Thoughts on Web Summit 6

Go maith gan bheith go hiontach.

Web Summit 6 was weak but had its brighter moments – courtesy of Emi Gal, Tariq Krim and Marcus Segal.

Map of the baronies of County Dublin in Irelan...
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I attended today’s 6th Web Summit at the RDS in Dublin.  Paddy Cograve continued his run of sell out conferences – this time with almost 1,000 attendees, on a Friday afternoon in Dublin.  I have now attended 3 of Paddy’s 6 web summits.

I think today was the weakest yet.

Sam Barnett was a weak kick off act – did not provide much insight until he explained how he avoided paying rent in his startup (his landlord was a criminal).  Eamon Leonard offered a fairly laboured comparison between rockbands and startup companies (not sure how Paddy found this so interesting). However Eamon’s delivery style and sense of humour kept people amused. Strange that Jennifer O’Connell should pitch and then announce she is moving on (hardly the greatest pitch for any business).  Emi Gal (Brainient) was exellent – speaking of personalisation and relevance in video).

The coffee break appeared to be sans coffee – a bit Irish for the price people paid.

Tariq Krim (Jolicloud) and Marcus Segal (Zynga) were excellent.  Microsoft and Techcrunch presenters were not particularly inspiring.

And on the networking front – yes probably had the opportunity to catch up with 6 or 7 people and make one or two new contacts.  The pre and post gatherings offered ample opportunity to meet with various people.

So – will I attend future web summits?  I’m left a little cold after today’s – but to be fair there were a couple of thought provoking presentations and the general atmosphere was decidedly upbeat in comparison to much of what we see in Dublin these days.





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Browser software to help manage privacy

browser software to support ‘opt outs’ re advertising

Good to see Mozilla and Google following Microsoft in looking to assist us in managing our online privacy more effectively.

Looks like Firefox and Chrome should include functionality to assist in maintaining your ‘opt-out- option in dealing with online advertisers.  Good summary in this recent article from the Wall Street Journal.

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More Google debate – this time re fairness of search

Fairness of Google results questioned by a Microsoft sub

EU January 2007 Search European Union for more...
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So now it seems the EU will investigate the fairness of Google search results. And the complainant is a subsidiary of Microsoft.

This is not the first time that the EU has involved itself with dominant players – ask Microsoft themselves.

The stakes are high.  Google has entered the language – ‘to google’ something being the action of searching for relevant information re something using the Google site.  Any suggestion that Google, enjoying its dominant position in the search marketplace, would use its own search engine to provide results in a biased way (thereby impacting its competitors negatively), would not sit well with the EU.  It is important for the public and the EU that this is cleared up in a satisfactory manner for everyone.

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Microsoft and the semantic web

Microsoft and Creative Commons announced last week the release of the Ontology Add-in for Microsoft Office Word 2007 that will enable authors to easily add scientific hyperlinks as semantic annotations, drawn from ontologies, to their documents and research papers.

Good positive Microsoft press on web services

Would recommend trying out the mesh (

Very positive review of 5 recent offerings from Microsoft.

I have used all 5 and found them effective and easy to use.

Would recommend trying out the mesh (  Useful for those of us who work across many PC’s, share files with others and have found holding the data in the cloud makes sense.

To Open Source or not to Open Source

Dennis Byron's excellent post, 'Why Companies "Turn to Open Source Software"', rings many bells with me.  Sometimes as implementation consultants (primarily using Microsoft business solutions), in our case, we are tempted to question whether we'd be better off implementing open source code with clients – potentially more to spend with us,  as theconsultants, if no software licensing costs.  However DB's comments in relation to the relatively small proportion of total project cost which is represented by software are very much to the point.  When you look at costs of Process Analysis, Process Redesign, Requirements Definition, Vendor Selection (Application and Implementation services), Design, Build, Test, Train, Deploy, Change management – really the cost of the software is not the big issue.

There may be times when selecting Open Source is the correct decision, for an organisation – be it the best specific business solution, the preference of an organisation, whatever.  But to see this decision as the panacea in terms of significant cost savings, I would have serious reservations in many cases.

Frustrated with Microsoft Search

As someone who has tried Microsoft's live search – what is the point?  Are they looking to provide a product to match google?  Or have they given up?  Danny Sullivan certainly does not pull any punches in his comments (tough love for Microsoft Search).

Using up your online ‘cred’

I think Microsoft have done a nice job in their upgrades/ fixes to Live.  However I think they face major challenges in trying to establish significant presence as a 'social network' partner.  My own experience to date has been that having an established presence with Linkedin, Facebook and Plaxo – people do not want to hear from me suggesting they subscribe to another presence.  Presumably, like me, they are inundated with invitations to subscribe to sites.