Archive for January 2008

The next Windows client and the next Windows Live: a seamless experience is an opportunity for individuals, organisations, businesses   Leave a comment

A valuable ZDNet feature in their "All About Microsoft" column points to another chance for Microsoft to spot a need and an opportunity, and choose how to meet it. Here it is:


Microsoft memo: Windows 7 and Windows Live to be even more tightly joined at the hip by ZDNet‘s Mary Jo Foley — The "plus" in Microsoft’s Software+Services strategy is going to get a lot more oomph in the not-too-distant future — at least according to a planning memo for Windows Live Wave 3 that I had a chance to see recently.
Here is the full post.

So, what is it about this time?
 
This time, it’s about giving individuals, then businesses, the best possible services by providing the richest and more effective tools on the most current and valuable IT platform. This time, the IT platform is web 2.0 in some of its many names.
[What about the other times? Some of them were: the word processor; the spreadsheet; the office productivity suite; the web browser; the runtime enterprise computing environment (that’s .NET vs. Java)… and the compiler and the personal computer operating system before them, and the multimedia consumer platform and IP TV and others after them.]
 
What will Microsoft do this time to enter – influence – own the new platform?
 
I venture the following forecasts: 
  • in a year it will be fully apparent how much Microsoft has already bet the farm to build a version of the new platform that combines locally resident and run computing resources – on Windows – to web-based ones – either on Windows Live or on more "open" platforms.
    This is what Software+Services is most about, ever since the first demo of a desktop Vista application for a real estate agent years ago showed information about geographics, demography, real property management obtained through web services and combined with "local, own" information to help a realtor decide how to buy or sell.
    This is how Microsoft may preserve some of its positioning as consumer computing moves on to web 2.0.
  • At first, they will be the only major player to do so, with all others betting on web-only applications.
  • A key factor in giving Microsoft a chance for success is how Microsoft will allow its platform to be "open" to – mesh with – others. How effective will Microsoft’s solution be in each and all of the following?
    • leveraging resources and services made available on the web by other platforms
    • making resources and services from Windows Live available to consumers of other platforms
    • still managing to provide an incremental user experience advantage for users and developers of Windows clients and the Windows server and Windows Live platforms
  • This time, Microsoft will focus many more resources on "openness" in the sense above – at least compared with the "total alternative" of the .NET proposition vs. Java and the even more radical approaches of the browser and office suite wars.
    One key reason is lessons learned from Microsoft’s struggle in the media platform war, most notably around the two key question of "what is the physical form of the media platform?" and "what is the role of the Microsoft desktop client and home server in it?"
  • If Microsoft gets adequate focus on the "openness" of their S+S platform in the sense above, we will all get enough benefit from it that it will succeed, and consumer opinion will actually be quite positive about it.
  • Finally, a measure of Microsoft’s success will be how much other players will accept the whole turf (local devices, including Windows, plus the web, plus everybody’s own proprietary devices) as the competition field. That can be a welcome target and benchmark of competition-boosting interventions: helping competition thrieve to everybody’s benefit while stopping short of a full-scale war, so allowing many competitors – of different kinds, sizes and strategies – a level playing field.
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Posted January 26, 2008 by Gianluca Marcellino in Computer e Internet

Happy Birthday, Mac. Thanks so Much for the Freedom.   Leave a comment

Today must be Apple Macintosh’ 24th birthday. A milestone in the history of business and personal productivity, and an inspiring beacon for everybody who has been and will be designing ways to harness for pleasure and business alike the increasing computing power available to privileged citizens of developed countries.
 
Let’s look forward to the next wave, that will combine both technical and business advances to provide corresponding empowerment – yes, a dreary word that finds decent use in the world of those who lack power to do some of what they individually and communally want – to majorities of persons and peoples in the world.
 
Here is a great snapshot of how this may come about and where do we stand now – on The Economist.

Posted January 24, 2008 by Gianluca Marcellino in Computer e Internet

Building trust with speed – cementare la fiducia con la velocità   Leave a comment

I have spent few days working with new colleagues on thinking up and starting new things to do together. These colleagues were new to each other even more than they were to me.
 
The whole discussion has been on what to do and how to do it. And we think we have come to pretty good answers there.
 
One key question remains open as we begin to work: how to get to know and trust each other? It’s good, first of all, that we have been comfortable enough with each other and keen enough to complete our work to raise this question in the first place.
 
We know from experience we will need trust. Stating the obvious, we need it to find resources to work together, to overcome challenges, to appreciate the returns we do get and to find more that we can get as we go along.
The same experience tells us that our different, complex organisations find much easier and more effective to work on their own in their traditional ways than together in new ways.
 
If I think of similar experiences before, one factor eroding trust over time has been the readiness to allow ever more time to achieve results as they proved elusive. As the belief that results will be missed grows, and we agree to allow more time to get to them, we implicitly deny our own best judgement and its negative assessment of progress. This suggests very strongly that proceeding quickly and acknowledging when progress will stop will actually raise mutual trust and allow us to work better together, even as we acknowledge some results are lost.
 
So, let us keep speed of progress, acknowledge delays and stops and manage them adequately.
 
Let us see how this approach will help making the current experience more effective than previous ones.

Posted January 19, 2008 by Gianluca Marcellino in Organizzazioni

If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere… where? Dove?   Leave a comment

In Moscow, sure enough.
 
There are so many places where international business cooperation is an exciting challenge. Moscow appears to be very much so.
 
Today has been a promising day here.
 
This is Paveletsky Station the morning of the next day:

 what this picture most clearly shows is why do I take so few pictures in the first place.

Posted January 15, 2008 by Gianluca Marcellino in Viaggi

Well spotted on Wsj.com/opinion   Leave a comment

 

An insightful observer of the online publishing business has spotted this significant change: one of the most appreciated content providers in the western world shares their wares to show them.

Is this one more step towards free publishing as the next business model, or what?

Here’s Roberto’s quotation from WSJ to ponder.  

Wsj.com/opinion

 

Everyone knows that Joseph Schumpeter’s "creative destruction" is roiling the newspaper world, and today we’d like to announce something on the creative side. We’re rolling out a new destination for the Journal editorial page offering free access to all of our editorials and op-eds, video interviews and commentary. It’s as close as we’ll get to conceding there is such a thing as a free lunch.

Since 2000, we’ve operated in a dual world on the Web. The majority of our daily editorial offerings have remained behind a paid subscription wall at wsj.com/opinion, while our free site, OpinionJournal.com, offered select stories plus a few Web-only features. As of today, those two sites will merge and become a single free site for all Journal opinion, both in the U.S. and overseas editions, book reviews and leisure and arts.

Readers will be able to access the site either through wsj.com/opinion or OpinionJournal.com, and they will see the same page. OJ readers won’t have to change their bookmarks, and they’ll have access for the first time to every editorial, daily columnist and clips from our weekly TV show on Fox, the Journal Editorial Report. Meanwhile, those who come to the site via wsj.com/opinion will for the first time be able to see James Taranto’s irreverent Best of the Web Today column, John Fund’s dispatches from the campaign trail, among other features.

Posted January 13, 2008 by Gianluca Marcellino in Computer e Internet

Global and local – business abroad; Globale e locale – imprese all’estero   Leave a comment

After so many years’ globalisation – the current wave of it anyway – what can be new and what is established in opening up new organisations in new countries?
 
Any new enterprise needs to be as much new as it leverages earlier experiences. When you open a new enterprise in a different country from the one you come from, you need to be even more new than in your own.
 
I have been working mostly with global organisations: established in some countries, growing in many ways, one important way being expanding to other countries.
Most of this growth in new countries has been by moving business models across countries and adapting very little, some or very much.
Much of the adaptation looks like has been driven from local businesses, and the need to compete and cooperate with them.
 
As new ideas help do new business in new countries, how to balance innovation from local peculiarities with innovation from global practices that are new to the country where one starts?

Posted January 13, 2008 by Gianluca Marcellino in Organizzazioni

Best of the year: business season’s greetings – migliori auguri di lavoro dell’anno   1 comment

Since 2003, as Outlook has become my full personal and business contact manager, I have wrapped up my business year by sending to all my contacts a very short greetings message, and opened my new business year by updating all contacts based on the answers I get, including both acknowledgements and failed deliveries.
 
What business value does this have? That is, what value does it have over and above that of all yearly life-over-death celebration rituals: "yes, I made it to the end of this year, what about you?". Well, after a few years I now see at least three:
  1. refreshing information about people’s roles, and getting a chance to look for new email addresses just months after the old ones have been abandoned
  2. showing people I have kept in mind what we have done together. Next time our ways will cross, they may keep in mind I do remember, and act accordingly
  3. showing people I have been tracking address changes over time. As more and more of us change jobs and otherwise email addresses, more and more people appreciate this and actually thank me for this.

From this year, there actually is a new point: what is the year’s deepest and most enjoyable greeting I get?

  

Two views of Istanbul to highlight this contribution from Turkey.

This year, it’s really a Turkish colleague’s that I have appreciated most. As my understanding of Turkish is negligible, thanks to anybody who may help me understand any jokes that may be hidden. I hope they are as nice as the rest of it is, so I can keep them published.

Here it is; I wish to any reader and myself to enjoy such a pleasant greeting at the end of 2008. 


Kahkahalar, yeni  heyecanlar, bebekler, düğünler, eğlence ve tatlı süprizler  olsun…

Wishing shouts of laughter, enthusiasm, new borns, weddings, entertainments, festivity and nice surprises

 

Tatlılar olsun kazandibi, tarçınlı  kurabiyeler, elmalı kekler, şekerli kahveler.

Wishing nice sweets, pastries, cookies, quality coffees

 

Buluşmak için telefonlaşmalar  olsun..

Wishing phone calls to get together…

 

Buluşmalar olsun, kavuşmalar  olsun..

Wishing get together, come together with loved ones

 

Kayıplar, depremler, afetler, savaslar olmasın… 

Wishing no losses, earthquakes, natural disasters, wars…

 

Kırgınlıklar, anlaşmazlıklar, ayrılıklar, yalanlar  olmasın…

Wishing no disappointments, conflicts, separations, lies….

 

"biz" olsun; "ben"  olmasın….

Let it be “us” not “me”

 

En önemlisi sevgi  olsun…

Most importantly “love” being everywhere

 

…aşkolsun…

…-no translation-…

 

daha n’oolsun..

what you may expect more..

Posted January 9, 2008 by Gianluca Marcellino in Computer e Internet

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