Keeping up to date on the New Brunswick Innovation Forum

I was just (re)visiting the site for the New Brunswick Innovation Forum coming November 2-3, 2011 in Fredericton, NB.

This looks like a very worthwhile event, and I hope to attend.

To that end, I thought I would sign up for updates (using the link on the event’s site). This where it became sadly amusing. The only channel for getting updates is via an email subscription, using a very “last millennium” looking form. It seems very ironic that an event entirely focused on technology, innovation, and the digital economy, does not use any social networking channels to promote itself?

Note that I am not criticizing the event, or those who spend (I am sure) a great deal of time organizing it and putting it on. I am just pointing out a little bit of irony!


Free Upgrade to Windows 7!

I really have to laugh at the anti-Microsoft crowd, Mac fans, and open source crowd who argue that MS should argue that everyone who has Windows Vista should be given a free upgrade to Windows 7. They argue that because Vista was supposedly crap that they should be given the next version free.

Leaving aside the fact that most of the people who have complained so loudly about Vista are either uninformed users, journalists and others who make their living bashing anything MS (or the people who read them), or get all of thier information from Mac commercials, there is simply no argument for being given the next version free.

Say you went out and bought a car. A couple of years later, the manufacturer relases a new version of your car. How would your dealer react if you went in and asked for a free upgrade to the newer version of the car? Think you would have much luck with that?

How about your laptop – think you should get free upgrades to that every couple of years? How about your TV? Or cell phone? Or anything else in your life?

Unfortunately, no one sees software the same way that they see more tangible, physical items like cars and computers, even though the software frequently costs significantly more in R&D that the hardware does.

So go ahead – ask MS for a free upgrade. Just make sure you do the same to your car dealer, computer dealer, and be prepared to have all of your customers expect the same from you!

Words you STILL cannot say on television

I am watch a show on PBS – George Carlin being “honoured” at the Kennedy Center with the Mark Twain Prize. As I am watching this, they are showing a number of old clips, including the infamous “Seven words you can never say on television”.

Am I the only person who sees a great deal of irony in the fact that they can broadcast a show honouring a man like George Carlin, and bleep-out all of the “bad” words?

Does Vista Suck if it is Not Vista?

Interesting post over on Ars Technica – Microsoft does a blind test with Windows XP users, telling them that they are testing a new OS. It is really just Vista. And the overwhelming majority are impressed.

As I have said frequently before – Vista’s problems are (for the most part) not technical – they are marketing and perception. It reminds me of a term from (I think) Tom Peters in Thriving on Chaos – “relative percieved product quality”. It is not the true qualty that drives consumers, it is all about perception.

Interesting post – Conspiracy Theorists and free software

Here is an interesting post on the prevalence (or at least existence) of conspiracy-theory-types within the free software movement (actually, they exist within any community). However, this article points out something which I have said before, which is that these people, and other zealots in the open source world, do far more damage to the credibility of open source as a whole than any opponents of open source ever could.

Eventually, the pitch “we are better because we are not Microsoft” is just not enough, and in fact, begins to hurt the movement.

More absolutely moronic Anti-Microsoft rhetoric

Soviet Microsoft: How Resistance to Free Markets and Open Ideas Will the Unravel the Software Superpower. « VistaSucks.WordPress.Com

This is a very amusing analogy, since it was the “free market economy” which created Microsoft’s success, and continues to sustain them. They are not being propped up artificially through government subsidies or bailouts, as so many companies in other industries seem to be. They are not trying to force governments or the courts to force their competitors to give up proprietary information or abandon markets to make it easier to compete.

In reality, it is the open source community, the “capitalism is evil” crowd, and those lobbying to take Microsoft down legislatively or litigiously who more resemble socialists/communists – “all intellectual property belongs to everyone”, “the government should intervene to level the playing field”, and other such crap.

The reality is, if you truly believe in the world of “free markets and open ideas”, the you believe that better ideas, smarter people, and better business models will ultimately prevail. This is the world in which Microsoft has played successfully for 20+ years. It is this model by which others can ultimately defeat Microsoft. It is Microsoft’s competition which seems unable to live within this model.