Tuesday, July 28

Microsoft does something unoriginal

Blatantly stolen from TUAW.


“Microsoft's announcement that the company will open stores near the locations of existing Apple retail outlets came as no surprise to many people. After all, why not try to get a little overflow traffic from Apple Stores and sell a few Zunes in the process? Perhaps they'll have charming and pleasant retail employees like Lauren or Sheila from the "laptop hunter" ads...


TechFlash is reporting that the company has hired George Blankenship, former Apple real estate chief, to consult on securing prime locations for the Microsoft stores. Blankenship moved to Apple from The Gap, and he joins former Wal-Mart executive David Porter, who is now Microsoft's corporate VP of retail stores.


By consulting for Microsoft rather than being a direct hire, Blankenship can skirt many of the issues brought on by the NCA (non-competitive agreement) that all Apple executives sign. The demographic information that Blankenship might use to pinpoint Microsoft store locations is available publicly, and the techniques used by Apple to successfully open retail locations have been widely discussed since the first Apple Store opened in 2001.


While the locations, products carried, and general look and feel of the Microsoft retail outlets are still under wraps, the first stores are expected to open prior to the October 22nd launch date for Windows 7.”



Commentary:


Okay, Microsoft, seriously? Can you honestly think of absolutely nothing original in your strategy? Ever? You hire Apple’s guy to set up your stores. Oh, and from the slides that have been leaked your stores are going to be exactly laid out just like an Apple Store, in fact, you use pictures from an Apple Store for reference on how you are going to do it. Genius Bar = Guru Bar? Come on!!


Seriously? I am highly disappointed in you, and so will everyone that comes in your store. Especially if you put them close to Apple Stores. The public is not that stupid. You can try and trick them into thinking that you invented the GUI, or Spotlight, or this that and the other thing that you copied from Apple, but let me tell you what. When a consumer is standing in a Mall, and the Mall has an Apple store and a Windows store near each other, and they look exactly the same, they are going to know you are a bunch of cheap rip off douchebags.


Please, just do SOMETHING original? You know, like push Office 2010 to the web! You know, like no one has ever done that before!

Microsoft does something unoriginal

Blatantly stolen from TUAW.


“Microsoft's announcement that the company will open stores near the locations of existing Apple retail outlets came as no surprise to many people. After all, why not try to get a little overflow traffic from Apple Stores and sell a few Zunes in the process? Perhaps they'll have charming and pleasant retail employees like Lauren or Sheila from the "laptop hunter" ads...


TechFlash is reporting that the company has hired George Blankenship, former Apple real estate chief, to consult on securing prime locations for the Microsoft stores. Blankenship moved to Apple from The Gap, and he joins former Wal-Mart executive David Porter, who is now Microsoft's corporate VP of retail stores.


By consulting for Microsoft rather than being a direct hire, Blankenship can skirt many of the issues brought on by the NCA (non-competitive agreement) that all Apple executives sign. The demographic information that Blankenship might use to pinpoint Microsoft store locations is available publicly, and the techniques used by Apple to successfully open retail locations have been widely discussed since the first Apple Store opened in 2001.


While the locations, products carried, and general look and feel of the Microsoft retail outlets are still under wraps, the first stores are expected to open prior to the October 22nd launch date for Windows 7.”



Commentary:


Okay, Microsoft, seriously? Can you honestly think of absolutely nothing original in your strategy? Ever? You hire Apple’s guy to set up your stores. Oh, and from the slides that have been leaked your stores are going to be exactly laid out just like an Apple Store, in fact, you use pictures from an Apple Store for reference on how you are going to do it. Genius Bar = Guru Bar? Come on!!


Seriously? I am highly disappointed in you, and so will everyone that comes in your store. Especially if you put them close to Apple Stores. The public is not that stupid. You can try and trick them into thinking that you invented the GUI, or Spotlight, or this that and the other thing that you copied from Apple, but let me tell you what. When a consumer is standing in a Mall, and the Mall has an Apple store and a Windows store near each other, and they look exactly the same, they are going to know you are a bunch of cheap rip off douchebags.


Please, just do SOMETHING original? You know, like push Office 2010 to the web! You know, like no one has ever done that before!

Sunday, July 12

Freedom and Understanding

(From an email list, someone wanted to know how to block services like MobileMe on the network. Normally I’d offer the advice on how to do it, but this time the first question I asked was “Do you local users have Admin to their own boxes?” To which the answer was “Yes.” -- I edited it to make more sense as a blog post. This is a post intended to provoke discussion, obviously my suggestions and things won’t work everywhere and in all scenarios and an all networks. Keep an open mind.)


We are in a new world, a mass world full of mobility. Take the iPhone. This is a computer, a computer I carry in my pocket, but none the less a computer. I could feasibly get away with leaving my laptop at home the majority of the time with the amount of things that I can get done on my phone. Laptops sales have increased significantly in the past few years, people are buying less and less desktop computers. Laptop speeds have caught up with desktop speeds, and things are much more convenient now.


Blackberries were that way, but the iPhone really sealed the deal. Of course now we have a plethora of devices coming out claiming to be “iPhone killers”. The Palm Pre, the things from LG, the Blackberry Storm, but there is still nothing that can touch the iPhone. You put an OS this powerful in a box this mobile, and viola, you have a mobile computing platform. And the solution to a lot of life's little problems. Why doesn’t Apple make a netbook? Wake up, they already have.


I absolutely could not get away with not being able to have MobileMe (or Google, whatever you use) sync my contacts, calendars, bookmarks, etc from the desktop up to the cloud and back down to my phone. I could not function if I didn't have realtime push for all of that kind of stuff. How would I know about that meeting that I just got invited to five minutes ago? Cause you know, no one is going to actually pick up a phone and call you about it (sarcasm).


What are the users doing that they need these sync services? Is what they are doing enhancing productivity or making their life easier? Probably. Is it a security risk? Can it be mitigated without destroying it?


I don't see a reason why not. The time has come for us a security professionals to stop nuking that which we don't understand/want to deal with, and start understanding why things are being used, how they are being used, and does it help? Instead of destroying everything, let’s figure out services and techniques that will provide our users the level of, well, not only training, but the level of convenience that is useful to them.


There are all these great companies out there starting great businesses to solve companies and life's problems, and attitudes like "we need to stop them" -- for no good reason -- just don't fly anymore. It just doesn't make sense in this day and age. Heck the Army even allows people to go to Facebook and Twitter now. Yes, they can click on bad things and people will download bad things and put them on their machines, but you know what, they are going to do it anyway, they will find a way around your control. Instead of inhibiting them, enable your users. I am not saying let them do what they want, or unblock everything. I am saying, let’s find solutions to their problems, instead of saying “no” all the time.


Yes there are security risks, but there are security risks in everything, right?


How can we make our users lives easier, more productive, and efficient without sacrificing security?


Make sure IT operates and conforms to the company policies, and you will have a much happier and much more productive workforce.

Freedom and Understanding

(From an email list, someone wanted to know how to block services like MobileMe on the network. Normally I’d offer the advice on how to do it, but this time the first question I asked was “Do you local users have Admin to their own boxes?” To which the answer was “Yes.” -- I edited it to make more sense as a blog post. This is a post intended to provoke discussion, obviously my suggestions and things won’t work everywhere and in all scenarios and an all networks. Keep an open mind.)


We are in a new world, a mass world full of mobility. Take the iPhone. This is a computer, a computer I carry in my pocket, but none the less a computer. I could feasibly get away with leaving my laptop at home the majority of the time with the amount of things that I can get done on my phone. Laptops sales have increased significantly in the past few years, people are buying less and less desktop computers. Laptop speeds have caught up with desktop speeds, and things are much more convenient now.


Blackberries were that way, but the iPhone really sealed the deal. Of course now we have a plethora of devices coming out claiming to be “iPhone killers”. The Palm Pre, the things from LG, the Blackberry Storm, but there is still nothing that can touch the iPhone. You put an OS this powerful in a box this mobile, and viola, you have a mobile computing platform. And the solution to a lot of life's little problems. Why doesn’t Apple make a netbook? Wake up, they already have.


I absolutely could not get away with not being able to have MobileMe (or Google, whatever you use) sync my contacts, calendars, bookmarks, etc from the desktop up to the cloud and back down to my phone. I could not function if I didn't have realtime push for all of that kind of stuff. How would I know about that meeting that I just got invited to five minutes ago? Cause you know, no one is going to actually pick up a phone and call you about it (sarcasm).


What are the users doing that they need these sync services? Is what they are doing enhancing productivity or making their life easier? Probably. Is it a security risk? Can it be mitigated without destroying it?


I don't see a reason why not. The time has come for us a security professionals to stop nuking that which we don't understand/want to deal with, and start understanding why things are being used, how they are being used, and does it help? Instead of destroying everything, let’s figure out services and techniques that will provide our users the level of, well, not only training, but the level of convenience that is useful to them.


There are all these great companies out there starting great businesses to solve companies and life's problems, and attitudes like "we need to stop them" -- for no good reason -- just don't fly anymore. It just doesn't make sense in this day and age. Heck the Army even allows people to go to Facebook and Twitter now. Yes, they can click on bad things and people will download bad things and put them on their machines, but you know what, they are going to do it anyway, they will find a way around your control. Instead of inhibiting them, enable your users. I am not saying let them do what they want, or unblock everything. I am saying, let’s find solutions to their problems, instead of saying “no” all the time.


Yes there are security risks, but there are security risks in everything, right?


How can we make our users lives easier, more productive, and efficient without sacrificing security?


Make sure IT operates and conforms to the company policies, and you will have a much happier and much more productive workforce.

Wednesday, July 8

Google Chrome OS is a threat to whom?

Let me be clear, I like the idea of Google Chrome OS. Fast, “thin client”, cloud based, etc.


But I’ve read a lot today about Google Chrome OS is going to be dropping a “bomb” on Microsoft, and they should be scared.


The only way that Microsoft should be scared is if Google Chrome gets on ALL the netbooks, which is a huge market, and totally ousts Windows from the platform... which they won’t.


Microsoft has had their OS in development for 20+ years? OSX, which is Unix based, has had the underlying pinnings of their OS around for what? 30 years+? OSX, who was NextStep before, has at least been around since... 1989? So it’s 20 years old?


It’s not that I don’t hope that Google Chrome OS does well, I like the concept of the thin based OS, as I said, but I just get frustrated at the “media” who use headlines like “bomb on Microsoft”.


Come on, really? I know why they do it, I know its for headlines and sensationalism, but let’s put a dose of reality into these headlines please?

Google Chrome OS is a threat to whom?

Let me be clear, I like the idea of Google Chrome OS. Fast, “thin client”, cloud based, etc.


But I’ve read a lot today about Google Chrome OS is going to be dropping a “bomb” on Microsoft, and they should be scared.


The only way that Microsoft should be scared is if Google Chrome gets on ALL the netbooks, which is a huge market, and totally ousts Windows from the platform... which they won’t.


Microsoft has had their OS in development for 20+ years? OSX, which is Unix based, has had the underlying pinnings of their OS around for what? 30 years+? OSX, who was NextStep before, has at least been around since... 1989? So it’s 20 years old?


It’s not that I don’t hope that Google Chrome OS does well, I like the concept of the thin based OS, as I said, but I just get frustrated at the “media” who use headlines like “bomb on Microsoft”.


Come on, really? I know why they do it, I know its for headlines and sensationalism, but let’s put a dose of reality into these headlines please?