What Goes Around: Teledesic 2.0

teledesic2Bill Joy used to say, “not all smart people work at Sun” (he was right). Max Levchin is making a killing in Web 2.0 by resuscitating Web 1.0 projects that were too ambitious for 1999 but — thanks primarily to Moore’s Law — are just right for 2009.  Sometimes all it takes is a change of scene or season for something that was a failure the last time to be a big success today. And that’s why I’m predicting the eventual return of Teledesic or something just like it — some new form of Internet in the sky.

This is the first of probably three columns about what will be in coming months the huge story […]

By |October 29th, 2009|2009|235 Comments

Why Windows 7 Costs so Much

win7downsideI’ve had a couple days now with Windows 7 and it is certainly an improvement over both Vista and XP, requiring slightly less resources than either (significantly less than Vista), booting faster, and offering superior usability.  Yeah, but why does it cost so much?  I know why.

For a stark contrast, compare Windows 7 with OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, its would-be competitor.  I won’t get into the argument over which OS sees the other as competition, maybe they both do. In the marketplace, however, the upgrade version of Snow Leopard costs $49.95 $29.95 ($99.95 $49.95 for a five-machine family pack) while there are twenty different versions of Windows 7 to choose from […]

By |October 26th, 2009|2009|435 Comments

Silence isn't Golden

RF243089Judging from the 70+ reader comments, many from present or former IBM employees, my last column about the arrest of IBM Sr. VP Bob Moffat on insider trading charges hit a nerve.  In a few hours I’ll be posting another column on a completely different topic, but I can’t let this one go without making one more observation.  It has been almost a week since Moffat was arrested and in that time, as far as I can tell, IBM has made no comment on the case to the press or even to its own employees.

Why no comment?  I’ve been wondering that aloud for the last day or two, asking my friends and almost […]

No Joy in Mudville

moffatI have no idea whether IBM senior vice-president Bob Moffat is guilty of insider trading or not, though that’s what he was arrested for yesterday.  What I do know is that Moffat’s job since 2005 has been as the architect of IBM’s project called LEAN, which is intended to adjust Big Blue’s global labor force to maximize profitability. I’ve written quite a bit about LEAN, much to the consternation of IBM, characterizing it in large part as a way to replace expensive older American workers with younger and cheaper workers in India and Argentina while cleverly dodging U.S. age discrimination and possibly other civil rights laws.  Whatever the legality of LEAN […]

Apple and the Future of Publishing — Part Two

e-ink-color-readerLast time I wrote about the business and technical context into which Apple would be bringing its long-rumored tablet computer, which many of us now believe will also be some form of e-reader. That column stimulated a lot of lively comments, thanks, but now I have to put up or shut up, giving my thoughts on both the still-secret Apple device and the possible content strategy behind it.

I think we’re all fairly sure at this point that Apple will shortly release such a device and that it will be nominally based on the iPhone or iPod Touch.  This is key because of the App Store and iPod ecosystems it will leverage.  Anything that runs on […]