Archive for February, 2007

The Office Rocker's Crash and Burn

Poor old Darren Strange, who is the Microsoft UK Product Manager for Office 2007, has recounted the ‘crash & burn’ he had at the recent Technet Nottingham event I was at. Microsoft then go and double the pain because they always insist on feedback and obviously people gave it! He’s right about the lack of humour of the audience. Is this what happens when you work in the Enterprise environment? Maybe all those sleepless nights of battling with AD and Group Policy just suck the life out of you. Maybe they need to chill out and play with a few SBS boxes and relax in a warm glowy feeling of life being so easy and care free! It’s typical the East Midlands had to be the most lifeless audience of the tour so far! Brave of Darren to recount his horror story! These things happen!

The UK National Open Source Centre (NOC) Launches

Just what we need another Quango or talking shop to promote the use of Open Source. One of the founding members is OpenAdvantage based in Birmingham and with whom I’ve had some dealings with, so I’m not surprised to see these guys involved. So, the idea is if we get all these interested organisations together and talk about how good Open Source is and people will start to use it! Wrong, what’s needed is to look at making some of these applications in to “Products” and better integrated to allow people to work more easily and effectively. People have panned Microsoft and Novell about their partnership but that’s a far better approach than this. This organisation has no commercial viability and will rely on sponsorship and donations. The OSDL (Open Source Development Lab) has had to cut down on its activities and get rid of people as its handouts have decreased.

P.S. I’ve worked with many Open Source applications in a commercial environment such as NetBeans, Eclipse, Apache/Tomcat, Asterisk, Ant, CVS, Bugzilla, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server v9, Open-XChange Server and a whole range of Linux Desktop distributions.

It's about the People

This was something Robbie Upcroft said to me at the TVP Small Business Symposium Event. He was recommending a book to me which looked at different successful organisations and tried to see what set them apart from everyone else. From what Robbie said, the conclusion was that it was the People onboard who made the most difference. This is something that Microsoft is keen on according to Robbie and from what I’ve seen they are achieving this. That’s what I’ve been doing, building relationships and talking to people and trying to get them onboard somehow. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to work with some really good people. It’s not all about technical know how, you have to have people you like on a personal basis, people you trust. I’ve kept in touch with many of my former colleagues and we’re starting to form the basis of a formidable team. Hopefully more of this later. Thanks Robbie!

UK Government Policy on Software Patents

I saw this interesting link on the Leicester Linux User Group mailing list and gives an overview of the UK Government’s policy on software patents on the Number 10 website. Maybe they are realising that granting software patents doesn’t foster innovation. I’m all for copyright, that’s important, and licenses like the Open Source GPL protect copyright.

iQubed awarded contract by IBM Managed Services

iQubed has been given a project to provide servers and storage solution, including set up and configuration, on the behalf of IBM Managed Services in Peru, who have a customer setting up a branch office in London. This opportunity came through IBM’s Integrated Partner Team and were looking for a local partner to work with. IBM Managed Services only works with IBM’s Enterprise Customers, so this is a great achievement by iQubed and shows that small partners can be flexible, responsive and competitively priced. IBM won this project based on the proposal submitted by iQubed.

I'm with Tim Long on this one!


When Tim and I started discussing the importance of the “Blue Badge”, we weren’t bringing the SBSC Programme down but on the contrary we wanted to shout about it! Why? …because we’re proud of it and what we’ve achieved through it. It’s the typical British way, to be slightly apologetic that you’re a Microsoft Small Business Specialist, to leave it until the very last minute to tell your customer that you have this achievement if at all. It seems okay to shout about it in the community and to try and recruit more potential partners but sshhh!!! …don’t tell your customer about it! Your customer isn’t going to care if you’ve actually demonstrated your competency are they? Only Microsoft cares about that for its Partner Programme! Whilst we’re at it why don’t we hide all evidence of any IT skills that we might have. I can say that customers want to see passion and that includes a passion in your own business and what it has achieved and if we don’t care about the “Blue Badge” then customers certainly won’t! So, Tim I’m with you all the way mate, one hundred percent and thanks for standing up and being counted because it is one of the hardest things to do!

Robert Scoble on Microsoft and Web 2.0 Innovation

According to Robert Scoble Microsoft is just not delivering the cool new Web 2.0 applications or acquiring them! Below is one his statements in his Blog post

Name a single Microsoft Internet product/service that made you say “wow” in the past three years. I can’t name one and I’ve been looking.

One thing I would say about this is whether it is Microsoft Strategy to deliver the next innovative Web 2.0 application or whether it is an enabler to other people? One thing is probably true is that these new products will be built using the new ‘cool’ Microsoft technologies. The Blog post is worth a read as well as the comments as it gives an interesting view from someone who knew Microsoft pretty well and was respected for what he did there.

That strange woman in the bed next to you, is it Vista?

You see some strange stuff on the web and whilst we know Vista was going to inspire the usual Linux vs Microsoft debates, I didn’t think it would inspire someone to compare it to a waking up to a strange woman in bed next you – in a good way I hasten to add! I saw this on Slashdot (where else, of course!) but if you go to the original article it’s quite funny and the comments from the Slashdoters…well, all I can is if you’re easily offended then don’t read!

The Freethcartwright Blog

The Leicester Mercury were reporting today that a local Law Firm, Freethcartwright, was third in a worldwide poll for it’s Blog which focuses on IP and IT issues. Nice to see an SME taking blogging seriously. Good content focused on things like IT Law, so well worth a look.

Windows Mobile 6 and why I'm sad

You’ve probably seen all the postings regarding the release of Windows Mobile 6.0 but this has made me sad because I want to know whether I’ll be able to upgrade my Orange SPV C600 to it and how soon? These vendors, they tease you and make you want it and then you can’t get your hands on one of them! My Smartphone with Mobile 5.0 and direct push email is an amazing business tool. Although saying that many users see a downside to mobile devices accessing email which is highlighted by this article at ComputerWeekly. The question asked by the article is that do these devices liberate or chain you to your work? The fact that I’m writing this at 00.21 answers the question!

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