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office as a 'platform'

With the introduction of InfoPath in the upcoming Office 2003, Microsoft has started to leverage the idea that Office can be a "platform" beyond Windows, something that is relatively well covered in this News.com article. The problem of complexity is a big one, however. Office is already a huge beast, not easy to work with, and extremely insecure as an environment. On the other hand, I've got to admit that it's quite powerful.

It's been known for a while that it's Office, rather than Windows, that delivers the biggest portion of Microsoft's huge profits. The importance of Windows, however, is not proportional to its profits, since it's the lever Microsoft uses to keep dominance in other areas. It seems that they are finally starting to use Office in the same way (overtly, rather than covertly as in the past), particularly as a platform for business applications. But precisely because they are trying to establish it as a platform they are in a sense competing with Windows itself. Difficult to know if they will have any success at all. Not that Office needs success as a "platform" to maintain dominance, that's pretty much guaranteed with Office's 90%+ market share.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on March 8, 2003 at 12:35 AM

a bit of levity

Count on The Onion to put some humor to any situation. Bush offers taxpayers another $300 if we go to war:

Under the Bush plan, single taxpayers would be eligible for a $300 rebate, married filers $600, and heads of household $500. Attached to the proposal is a rider, penned by Bush himself, stating, "Plus, we also will invade Iraq right away, everyone promises."

Pending passage of the bill, titled Economic Growth And Tax Relief Reconciliation Act Of 2003 And We Bomb Iraq (H.R. 1936), some 91.3 million checks could be mailed as early as March 31.

"The plan is almost identical to the tax rebate offered in 2001," Bush said. "With the minor exception, of course, of the provision that Americans react favorably to the deployment of 210,000 troops to the Persian Gulf."

"Which reminds me, have you seen these new iPods?" added Bush, pulling an Apple-brand MP3 player from his pocket and holding it up to the crowd. "It costs $299 for one of these little buggers, but it holds a thousand songs. They're amazing."

Hilarious.

And speaking of hilarity. Here is a New York Times review of a new Bruce Willis picture that I hadn't heard about, Tears of the Sun:

Unfortunately, the movie's real setting is a sentimental fantasy world, and its story is a spectacularly incoherent exercise in geopolitical wish fulfillment. Bruce Willis, with the weary, haunted stoicism that has been his trademark since he gave up the smirky frat-boy bonhomie that made him a star, plays A. K. Waters, a Navy Seals lieutenant dispatched into the jungle to evacuate Lena Kendricks (Monica Bellucci), an American doctor who tends the wounded at a remote and vulnerable mission. In no uncertain terms, the doctor, whose khaki blouse appears to be missing its top three buttons, informs her would-be rescuer that she will not leave the refugees behind. She slaps the lieutenant and spits in his face, which helps to spark a crisis of conscience. He tells the rescue helicopter to turn around and, in direct violation of orders, to take the youngest and frailest Nigerians to safety.

[...]

The audience's tears are more likely to result from boredom, irritation at Hans Zimmer's wretched fake-world-music score and inadvertent amusement at the thunderously earnest dialogue and Ms. Bellucci's awkward line readings. (She has now made movies in three languages; whether she can act in any of them is an open question.) One of Waters's men (Eamonn Walker), who is African-American, declares, "These are my people, too," and urges his commander to persevere on their new mission. When the mission is almost over, a grateful African woman says: "We will never forget you. God will never forget you."

Hollywood never fails to reach new depths of unrealistic sappiness. Oh well. At least reading the review was fun.

Later: A couple of days later, actually... I found this Salon review of the same movie, also very good, and a bit more serious than the one from the New York Times. The movie was directed by Anthony Fuqua! I thought he did a great job with Training Day, but this new movie looks like a bomb (no pun intended). As I said at the end of the previous paragraph: Oh well.

Categories: geopolitics
Posted by diego on March 8, 2003 at 12:19 AM

on tabbed browsing

Dave Hyatt, the developer of Tabbed Browsing on Mozilla, Phoenix and Chimera, talks about his views on tabbed browsing, different usability issues that affect them, and other related things. Very cool.

Categories: soft.dev
Posted by diego on March 8, 2003 at 12:05 AM

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