Wow, Is It Really Free .. From MS?

Check this out, you can get Visual Studio 2005 Express free, if you download it before Nov 7th 2006. However, from the comments below the story, it seems that some parts are free forever, and some are not.

Sounds like a good time to have a look at what they’re (MS) doing. But then again, with the wealth of Open Source stuff around, and with our own bright (heh heh) ideas, they’d have to be giving me a pretty awesome product that delivered a LOT of stuff that I couldn’t do somehow else for me to change to it.

Then again, who am I compared with the legions that do use MS stuff. I’m me, we’re Dev Dawn, and that’s that.

Single-Minded System

There’s some cool news on Slashdot this morning (my morning). I’m not sure why exactly it’s cool, but it’s new, and a different direction.

Microsoft is creating Singularity, and new OS. Dark Side Programming has an article on it, and comes up with this:

Strong concept, I would like to see it in action to form a better opinion. It appears to me that performance could suffer, but perhaps the goal of a dependable operating system is more important to Microsoft.

I’m not sure of exactly everything this will entail … but it’s a good move from Microsoft. They are starting to generate movement. Momentum, which they have been lacking for a while. So for them, it’s good. For us? Not sure. I’d say in five years I’ll still be coding away on some kind of windows platform. Probably the new XPP (it’s got one more P … like an extra plus … it must be better).

The Battle Lines Are Being Drawn

So. Saw this article today, and was excited about the future. Looks like MS is taking up the baton of New&Cool and is trying not to miss the boat. Specifically the AllThingsGoogle boat I think.

It should be fun to see what happens in the next year. Whether MS will come good. I guess there’s a bit of potential. Imagine if they ran Office Online or something. Then truly, we would find out about trust. Would I trust MS to put all my documents online, stored on their servers. Probably not in a million years … but then, maybe with a slick advertising campaign and some nice … not a chance.

However, it is conceivable that they won’t go for the little guy, but instead, market towards businesses. If they were to provide a stand-alone solution, now there’s something that might actually go forward. Imagine being able to set up Office on your network, if it were a web-based app, and have it run as a webservice from inside your network. That is better. Much more trust, because much less trust is needed in the outside. The info is stored on your own servers, but you are using their product.

And this is a different direction to Google. They are getting information. But MS don’t have to get information. The better way would be to undermine Google by offering services that seem like they aren’t taking your information. Instead, they’re giving you web services/desktop-like services at a reasonable price (maybe free), and using the advertising thing. Also, they’re not storing your info, and that could be used very wisely in a marketing campaign. It’s like the desktop, only web.

So that’s my 2.1 cents on the situation. I’d like to see them provide their products as web services, with local data storage, and use other methods of money raising. Of which they could create a new one or two.

I guess though, I’m just thinking, that they could also take the route of offering much cheaper rates if using their services and storing on their servers, as opposed to storing on your own servers. This is a typical strategy, and I’d like to see them take a different approach. Flip it round. Make it more viable to setup your own servers, rather than using theirs. This would go a long way in changing the general perception of MS. In fact, to quote a famous add with some shampoo, it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

It’s like the Desktop, only Web.

I like that. It’s got a ring to it, in my sleep-deprived brain at least.

‘Nuff said for now.