Saturday, May 15, 2010

Will Facebook Be Tomorrow’s Google, and Google Tomorrow’s Microsoft? An absurd question?

The author, Bindu Reddy, is an eloquent writer but this article in TechCrunch (May 15, 2010) has all the makings of a very shallow and arbitrary analysis.

The author says, "Give Google a technology challenge—Build the largest search index (Google search), the biggest storage system (Gmail), the fastest browser (Chrome) or the niftiest javascript interface (Maps) and Google excels. Turn around and give it a product challenge—Build a community video site (Google video), a social network (Google Wave, Buzz and Orkut), an e-commerce platform (Google product search) and Google’s offerings are more mediocre than excellent."

How is Google search, Gmail, and Chrome NOT a product in the same way as the less successful ones like Google video, Google Wave, Buzz and Orkut? For the author, a successful product from Google is a technology challenge and not so succesful ones are product challenge. Pure inconsistency in argument.

Further the author says, "Unlike Facebook, which constantly makes drastic changes to it’s core product, even at the risk of annoying some of it’s users, Google’s strategy on core apps such as Search and Gmail is largely very data driven and incremental."

It should be realised that Google is a more mature and values driven company. Its cautious approach is deliberate. It is designed to maintain the trust of it users. It's a strategy that will have long term dividends for Google.

Finally, the headline, "Will Facebook Be Tomorrow’s Google, and Google Tomorrow’s Microsoft?" is absurd. Are these companies comparable? How could Google, the open source champion with a different set of values, could possibly become Microsoft, the epitome of proprietary software? Is revenue size the only consideration?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Will Internet Explorer 9 force upgrades from Windows XP?

If you have a genuine version of Windows XP on your computer, will you purchase and upgrade to Windows 7 just to get a new version of their upcoming Internet Explorer?

There are reports that Microsoft will not release the next version of their Internet browser for Windows XP. Internet Explorer 9, which is expected to support the new standard - HTML5, is likely to be released only for Windows 7.

In my view, if Microsoft decides not to support Windows XP, it may mean loss of browser market share for Microsoft. It's an opportunity for other browser vendors, they can latch on to XP customers with their upgraded browsers. Chrome is my favourite for its speed and simplicity.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Does Huawei's equipment have embedded spyware?

There is some apprehension by the Indian government that equipments from the Chinese Telecom equipment maker, Huwei, may be pre-installed with spyware which could be used for accessing information and controlling the equipment remotely.

Chinese have been known to use non-state actors for hacking into R&D resources of other countries and companies. The only sure way of finding out about the equipment from Huawei is to ask for the complete design reference of the equipment and investigate them, or force the company to sell its equipments through a licensing model, in which case, the license for the technology involved in the equipment have to be transferred to local companies in India.

The third option of reverse engineering would be very difficult because of the complex technology involved in the heart of digital equipments - the IC chips.

Whichever way possible, it is important to be sure about the equipments, especially because they come from a state which seems to have an (unofficial) policy of web based attacks on other countries.

Update: 16-05-10

However, is the government's move to ban Chinese telecom equipments the right solution? Such a move would obviously have repercussions on diplomatic ties between the two countries. Also, the government has not provided any proof to suggest that Chinese telecom equipments indeed have malware embedded in them. 

Even if the government bans future supply of equipment from Chinese manufacturers, what about the equipment that is already installed by the telecom operators?  Is the government going to ban use of existing equipments and get them uninstalled? Who will bear the loss because of this ban? Government must have the evidence before banning Chinese equipment manufacturers. 

On a different note, the Windows OS has been proven to be an easily hackable software that can be controlled remotely through spyware/malware. In fact, the vulnerabilities of the Windows OS and its Internet Explorer browser has done much harm to the Indian government and other governments and companies of the world. So, will the government ban Windows from the Indian market? Perhaps, in an uncanny way, isn't the government  barking up the wrong tree?   

Clearly, in the absence of any evidence, the government is being alarmist and unfair to the Chinese telecom equipment manufacturers. It should negotiate with the companies to be be certain that the equipments do not have any malware, at the same time, it should refrain from harsh measures like imposing blanket bans.  

Monday, May 3, 2010

Welcome Intel TV, Bye Bye dumb TV

Google to Show TV Software in May -

It seems Television sets are set to get smarter. It could soon be Welcome Intel TV, Bye Bye dumb TV.

The report suggests that Google, Intel, Sony, and Logitech are putting together their expertise to induce some intelligence in the Television sets.

Are you ready for it?