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Business

Microsoft's campaign to take over the world is bringing it into conflict with a few people. I have already amply talked about Microsoft's battles with the Java camp (which are still just in the warm-up stages). That battle brings the software titan into conflict with IBM, Sun, BEA, Oracle, and host of others. Battles in the database arena redouble that conflict with IBM, Oracle,and others....
on Dec 10, 2003
Is the cold war between Sun and IBM over Java heating up? I often rant about the epic battle that is brewing between Java and .NET. But there is another battle, not necessarily less significant, that has long been brewing within the Java camp. It is a battle between Sun and IBM over the control of Java. Although the two have long been fierce competitors in the area of systems, the struggle...
on Dec 8, 2003
Microsoft is leading a charge back to the desktop. Will the world follow? Microsoft is placing its bets that fat clients represent the future of software, not browser-based thin clients. In fact, they are phasing out development of a stand-alone Web browser. Longhorn will have HTML viewing/browsing capability built right into the OS, and there will no longer be an Internet Explorer. I’m...
on Nov 11, 2003
I just published an article on CNet News.com titled The new IT confusion which attempt to disentangle grid and utility computing concepts in less than 700 words.
on Oct 31, 2003
What do we mean by open standards anyhow? My last entry evoked a certain amount of name-calling in the arena of open standards. Today I'd like to explore just what "Open Standards" might mean. This will seem very simplistic to many of you, but I hope it’s helpful to sort things out in a simplistic way. I’d like to start with some definitions: Open - Open for third parties to support and...
on Oct 21, 2003
Can 'standards' and 'standardization' be two unrelated concepts? There was an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Cloud Over Sun Microsystems: Plummeting Computer Prices, which dissects Sun’s current financial and strategic challenges. One of the interesting claims in the article is that "Scott McNealy, Sun's chief executive for the past 19 years, long resisted the standardization...
on Oct 17, 2003
I recently wrote a paper for The SAP Developer Network on user interface technology in the enterprise. I'd like to pull out one small section of that paper for further discussion here: There are three main factors that affect the ROI of any UI technology: ease of use of the application, ease of deployment and on-going maintenance, and ease of initial development. Based on the total cost...
on Oct 14, 2003
Is Microsoft ready to move onto the 'extinguish' phase with the Web browser? Microsoft is renowned for its "embrace, extend, extingish" strategy which involves enthusiastically embracing and championing a new standard, as a way to become the market leader in that standard, then extending that standard with proprietary technology that lets Microsoft lock in customers and lock out the...
on Oct 9, 2003
One valuable capability of open standards is to let customers decouple application decisions from infrastructure choices. I recently spoke at a technology conference as a part of a panel, and one question from the audience was about which open standards were most important. My response was that there are many important open standards, but that one crucial capability that customers are looking...
on Sep 30, 2003
Industry gurus claiming that technology no longer matters to Corporate America may be drawing the wrong conclusion from the wrong evidence. Just wanted to let everyone know that I wrote an article titled Building software that matters that was published on ZDNet today.
on Sep 17, 2003
If the IT industry wants to be more like other, mature manufacturing industries, then large vendors need to be willing and able to integrate and resell software components as easily as they do hardware parts. We’re exhibiting at Oracle World in San Francisco this week. Yesterday, I watched Scott McNealy give a keynote address. It was as entertaining as always. One of the points he made, which...
on Sep 10, 2003
What do you think about when you write Java? I recently came across this blog entry, Java vs. .Net developers, in which the blogger, Steve Noel says: "Mickeys [developers who use Microsoft technology] in general are very happy with the latest new tools thrown at them from Redmond, and very generalized also look slightly happier. Java developers on the other hand have a slightly more weary...
on Sep 3, 2003
Could Microsoft co-opt Linux? I have read a number of articles and blog entries speculating about whether or not .NET will catch hold on Linux and on what it would mean if it did. Much of the speculation centers around whether Microsoft will put out its own version of .NET for Linux, but there is also a lot of discussion of Mono, Ximian’s version of .NET on Linux, which has been released...
on Sep 2, 2003
Java takes a language-specific approach to solving problems, .NET takes a platform-specific one One of the striking differences between Java and .NET is that Java is, fundamentally, a programming language and .NET is not. .NET is a framework that supports many languages. There has been a lot of identification of C# with .NET, but C# does not equal .NET, and you don’t need to use C# in order...
on Aug 22, 2003
Standards, and corresponding monopolies, can occur naturally Believe it or not, there are times when I feel some empathy for Microsoft. After all, I myself was once a small-time monopolist. My first company, Astrogamma, had a product called FENICS that provided foreign exchange (FX) options pricing and risk management functions for traders. FX options are a particular kind of financial...
on Aug 21, 2003
Single points of failure can be entire systems. Prevention may lie in "fencing in". For those of you on the West Coast, I can assure you that it was pretty dark here in New York last Thursday evening. A little after 4pm, suddenly all our lights, air-conditioners, phones, etc., in our office shut down. The UPS alarms started ringing, letting us know we were operating on battery power. We...
on Aug 19, 2003
Software vendors are in a better position than enterprises to have the full-time user champions that Extreme Programming requires In his post, Fundamental Problem with Extreme Programming, Greg Vaughn argues that getting the level of business person involvement in software projects that XP demands is not realistic in practice. I have to agree with Greg's pessimistic view on how hard it is to...
on Aug 13, 2003
Microsoft makes money from Windows desktops, not from browsers In response to the the latest installment of my Java vs. .Net series, a number of you responded with a focus on ASP.NET. ASP.NET is Microsoft's way of delivering browser-based DHTML applications. Yes, ASP.NET is an important part of .NET, but I actually do not think that Microsoft is interested in promoting browser-based DHTML...
on Aug 12, 2003
Two articles recently got me thinking about the fact that paradigm shifts can be born out of convenience or necessity. In his post, Another paradigm change is taking place right now..., Michael Nascimento Santos talks about the paradigm shift from Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) to Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP) that he sees unfolding. AOP has very interesting features that may well...
on Aug 8, 2003
What is Microsoft trying to do? Microsoft is the uncontested champion of the desktop. In the business world, they own essentially the entire client-side market. This is a huge advantage for them. But it is also a limitation. In order to fuel its growth, Microsoft must find new, less-tapped-out markets to go after. The server room is one such market. Microsoft is already strong there, but...
on Aug 6, 2003