Firefox 3.0 to renew assault on Microsoft… I can understand the need to speak well of a new product that’s being hyped. But I can’t understand why the hype itself. Essentially if you read this article it’s saying that Firefox 3.0 – coming out later this year – will be a clone of IE 7.0. Where this is debatable I’m sure, the features they list are essentially no different than those released with IE 7.0. Which is a bit of a bad press thing for Firefox. I’m pretty sure they’ve got more up their sleeve than a pretty new interface, phishing protection and other features much ballyhooed with IE 7, and it’s unfair to them the reporters didn’t bother to dig deeper when they wrote this story.
Gartner predicts hasta la Vista for future Microsoft OS’s … there’s an age old hat truism in consulting and analysis, never make predictions – make informed projections. After reading their analysis I can understand why they might feel that there’s no juice left in the turnip of the desktop. But then, I can also make the same claim that with better software the need for groups like Gartner is moot, they are a redundancy and their accuracy is questionable. The fad – the FOTM for now, is Web 2.0 will remove the need for a desktop. I’ve been hearing this since before there was a Web 1.0 and it’s getting old. All things in this industry have their places – there will always be at some level a need for a desktop. Having worked somewhere that believed thin clients and a roaming profile was the wave of the future – let me tell you, the future isn’t ready for primetime just yet. What I do see – is that the role of the desktop is about to change dramatically and we’ll see it re-imagined and perhaps re-invented and re-invigorated in ways currently not imagined by analysts.
This analysis completely fails to take into account certain technologies out there that are being applied in small labs and corporate test R&D groups that will blur the OS in new and very exciting ways allowing it far more capabilities than we’ve seen so far. If anything – it will be Web 2.0 dependant on the direction of these technologies, not their other way around.
IBM, schools pursue open-source research… there is no such thing as a free lunch. But IBM has discovered all new ways to get someone else to foot the bill for R&D that they can then modify, patent and claim as their own. And don’t kid yourself – that’s exactly what this kind of collaboration is about. Probably the two key components in R&D are passionate sharp forward thinking minds (that Universities are just full of) and laborious code monkey and design monkey workers (that Universities are just full of). I know it’s not in vogue to slam the OpenSource movement, but I still perceive this movement as essentially free slave labor for major corporations and the only winners in it – are those corporations. The arguments been made that without OpenSource all innovation would flop over dead apparently – like it was on life support before this concept came about. The arguments also been made that without OpenSource huge numbers of people would be without jobs as it’s the only way to compete with cheapening labor overseas. Both of these arguments seem to be made, by groups with seriously vested interests in the OpenSource movement.
Well – that’s my 10 cents for this week…