Microsoft may be starting a $100 million ad campaign to try and sell its Live Search. This seems to be a good move on Microsoft’s part the question though is how are these ads going to work? They claim that they are going to “reimage” Live Search and focus on how Live returns better results as opposed to more (what Google used to always talk about). I think this is a great move for Microsoft. I actually think that Live Search is a awesome search engine and I actually use it a bunch. I find that it actually returns better results then Google in many cases. At the same time recently it seems like Google has gotten more and more inaccurate in the past few years. Yahoo! and Live Search both seem to actually be better then Google these days and I hope a ad campaign by Microsoft for its Live Search will help change the way people think about their search engine as most just assume that Google is the best and do not realize that at other engines they might be able to get even better results.
This “Open Cloud Manifesto” is another play by IBM to make standards. This time though IBM has the backing of the “open source” community or do they? Between last Thursday and Friday Google dropped from the list of those supporting the Open Cloud Manifesto. What does this mean? Well it means that this has become the Linux/Unix companies trying to band together… well sort of . It has Novell, IBM, Sun, and Red Hat to name the more well known companies. But what does it really mean when its missing Salesforce, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Oracle? I think it means we are just seeing IBM attempt to control the web in ways that it cannot. If this was meant to be an actually open manifesto would not be an announcement of the FINAL form of it but would mark the start of the drafting process in which any company could work on making a really open document. So congrats IBM you have another one of your “open” partnerships with a bunch of companies but since your the biggest behind it what makes this any different then if Google or Microsoft had a bunch of their partners sign onto an agreement? Yeah, I know that these companies are not IBM’s partners but many of these companies share a very common ideology in openness that unfortunately seems to have gotten clouded by the prospects of an open cloud so much that they accidentally made a Closed Cloud Manifesto.
In a very Googly way Google has started to push more for cloud computing to pick up more. Google is asking lawmakers to change with this and work to help it out. The only problem I really have with this is that cloud computing still doesn’t work! Google you proved it yourself with the almost regular downtime now on Gmail (happens at least once month right?) and with enterprise level use this will not be at all adequate. Of course Microsoft is looking at this a bit better talking about allowing companies to host their own cloud applications for internal use now that would be more acceptable since then companies would have more control over their data and their uptime! This is the major problem with cloud computing! Who owns that data Google itself also had a rather nasty mess up with Google docs allowing other people access to a peoples accounts. Lets stick to uptime though for this article as its the main downfall of cloud computing since if your cannot access your app in the cloud its not to useful now is it. I am sorry Google I think your a good company but uptime is something users shouldn’t have to deal with in this day and age I mean when was last time the main Google site went down for hours? Now I don’t want people to look at this the wrong way. I do not hate Google as I use Google still rather often. The thing is that they need to show us that what they are saying is true if they want us to believe it! If cloud computing is so great it really needs to be more reliable.
So yesterday I read about this site and today finally got around to blogging about it. Chrome experiments was Google’s attempt to rain on Microsoft’s parade. So Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 today which is a huge step forward for Microsoft when it comes to being standards compliant (they actually comply to a lot of them now). So what does Google do? Well it releases a site to showcase what can be done with some of the more advanced standards. This includes some stuff that only things like WebKit can really do so far. Why would Google do this? Well it’s an attempt at saying “Sure you got a new version but look what your missing” and at the same time some of them have warnings that they will be slow if you don’t use Chrome. This is really the problem with browsers these days. Most people don’t have sites like those on Chrome Experiments and so most browsers never have to handle this intense of a site so why show of using it? This is just another way to show off like benchmarks. Though I must admit some of these are cool looking.
Once again Mozilla is talking like its relations with Google is really getting strained. This is not surprising with Google having released Chrome. Of course how long will they continue with this strained relation until Google just drops Mozilla. From the sounds of it Mozilla would not left without support as it sounds they have another search company wanting to make a deal that isn’t Microsoft… What does this mean? All I can think of is Ask or Yahoo! neither of which is big these days though I would love to see Yahoo! make a deal since it has a good search engine. Ask is of course crap these days I have actually done searches for sites knowing what I am looking for (title wise) and end up with the site never showing up in the results. At the same time I don’t get why Mozilla cannot make a deal with Microsoft’s Live search since it really isn’t as bad as people try and claim it is. Overall Mozilla will have to move on and stop supporting the Google monopoly and hopefully having 20% of the worlds browsers pointing to a different search by default will help out whoever gets the new deal with Mozilla in the next few years.
Google and Opera are now complaining that the ability to turn off IE8 in Windows 7 is not going far enough. Opera wants a window every time to install to pop up offering a choice and Google wants one … always? WTF Google? I think Google just plain wants to kill off Microsoft Window. At the same time looking at Opera what I see is a company that cannot convince any OEMs to bundle their browser so what do they do? Complain and try and get it forced into the OS. With these to requests I think that Opera will completely lose its lawsuit as it is clearly going to far. If they keep pursuing this Opera will start getting some bad PR and Google should too but tech people who find Google safe still hold Google in a holier then thou spot still. Hopefully Opera rethinks this a bit and just pulls out its lawsuit before it gets embarrassed by losing in court to a company they cannot even beat in the marketplace.
Well it has started again. More rumors and talk of Microsoft and Yahoo! making a deal around search. Hopefully the new CEO at Yahoo! will help this actually work out this time. Personally I have been using Yahoo! Search and Live Search more often these days as they seem to actually just as good if not better results then Google. I don’t think I need to go into what this deal means as it has been talked about for ages. I will just say I hope it happens as I want to see someone finally challenge Google since it has a monopoly on search.
Since yesterday’s Android article I have been thinking about Linux a bit more and what it needs to do in order to gain more ground in the Operating Systems space. The major problems still existing are mostly in three areas. These are packaging, polish/ease of use and poor distribution.
First, not just Linux but the whole Open Source movement needs to solve the packaging problem. This is the largest problem for Open Source and it has been the biggest problem that it has faced for at least 5 years now and it has been pointed out time and time again. Well I am going to reiterate the problem since it is not getting solved but actually getting worse. Now we have Google’s Android which isn’t a proper Linux stack (just what we need more splintering) but also it doesn’t use proper Java (1). But how does this have to do with packaging right? Well think about it. With a different Java and Linux stack that means that Android has ANOTHER packaging style! Just what we need another package format. RPM, Deb, ebuild and pkgsrc are not enough we need another (btw that is only the most common ones). Of course recently the Open Source community has come together to work on PackageKit which is supposed to make all of these package types be handled from one application. Great idea but not what we need (biggest problem is ONLY Fedora uses PackageKit). We need to stick to one package style and most companies see RPM as the one package type with deb being rather common as well. If it was just these two we could probably live but it seems every year a new comes up with a new packaging style for their distribution meaning they will get completely ignored package wise. What does this really mean though? Well Android should not called Linux in any way and I hope it doesn’t go onto netbooks because it will not be able to use any currently programmed programs from what I have seen so far on the net. How does that help people being so limited? Sure its fast but if you cannot do anything useful with all that speed what is the point? Overall Android will hurt Linux’s image do to its choices in packaging.
Second, Linux needs more ease of use and polish. This is one area I see progress in with Ubuntu attempting to make a more polished distribution. The only problem is they are doing things that could backfire for them like PackageKit could backfire for Fedora. They are creating a way to make notifications look nicer. Unfortunately instead of working with other distributions to do this Ubuntu made a system and then gives it to the upstream saying “here adopt this its better” of course upstream will probably not all accept it (if any do) and it will end up becoming a series of Ubuntu only patches (more division). This is the problem! The Open Source community needs to come together to work on adding this polish not doing it individually. This is the big problem with the Open Source community it fails to work together many times at some very important aspects. Of course we could also look at the other problems related to polish where things like the X server are slow and need to be fixed in order to be faster though X related problems are being worked out in the correct way with DRI2 being added. I just hope that the distributions will in the near future learn that they need to begin working together to make a polished distributions cause last i checked the standard Gnome icons look kinda old these days and every distribution does icons completely different the only thing consistent is KDEs icons.
Third, poor distribution. Now this does not mean that distributions themselves are bad. Here I am talking about the way that Linux is introduced to new users. Yes, word of mouth has gotten Linux around and gotten a very faithful user base but it does not get mainstream desktop acceptance. If the Linux community wants to grow bigger (which I really don’t think is that important) then the community needs to find a way to prevent crap from being released. Now from this I mean things like the chopped down versions of Linux on many netbooks the best example is on the Acer Aspire One. While it looks like Linpus Linux is good enough that is just the problem. Dell I think is the only company really doing Linux on the netbook right by utilizing a strong distribution (Ubuntu) in order to provide the best user experience (and most applications) possible. But instead of a good distribution people get stuck with limited versions like Xandros (not too bad and would be fine if external repos were always enabled) and Linpus (horrible since you cannot easily modify the applications without knowing what you are doing). Overall I hope future netbooks will come with better versions of Linux based off modern Linux distributions (Linpus is based on a out of date version of Fedora) and hopefully will have a more full application experience.
Overall Linux has been moving a bit in the right direction but things like Android have an opportunity to weaken what Linux has done perception wise. Of course the perception war can only be won with hard work and lots of team work between many different communities. This is something the Open Source has both been good and bad at in the past hopefully they can come together to create a great desktop experience and win this perception war though since I would hate to see Linux get weaker.
Simple answer is “yes” according to Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt but at the same time will anyone care is the real question. Personally I do not get where Android is going. It seems ok for a cellphone but netbooks are more powerful then a cellphone. Windows based netbooks are soon going to be able to play HD videos with the new Nvidia ion platform and last I checked Android uses the framebuffer to render the desktop instead of a normal Xserver. Is it going to be different for Netbooks? Well I am sure Google would convert it over and I am sure they will try and market it but the real question is do people want Android? So far we have seen that people do not want Linux as Windows has become the dominant Operating System of netbooks since Linux didn’t sell and had high return rates (Goto a Wal-Mart you wont find a Linux netbook there) so why would the vendors try Android? It wont look like Windows and from what I have seen of Android its more like using a series of gadgets then it is using a Linux desktop will full fledged applications. Hopefully I am wrong and Android had more power to it then a cellphone operating system since people want more power from their netbooks not less.