Microsoft proves it’s still got it (finally!)

September 15th, 2010 § 1

Well if you are a techie like me and you have read this title and seen the date, you without a doubt realize this post is about IE9 and the official release from Microsoft. As explained in an earlier post I am a Microsoft partner and therefore have had a chance to see the enhancements in Internet Explorer 9 develop over the past weeks. I can tell you without a doubt many people I know (customers and family of mine specifically) had begun to give up hope in the idea that Microsoft could still build first-class user friendly software for the masses. Today, I believe they have proven that not only are they capable of it, but when they listen, Microsoft can truly be one of the best at delivering exactly what the people want. Internet Explorer 9 is to windows 7 what google chrome and firefox have been to OS X in the recent past. As a partner and supporter of Microsoft I obviously have a vested interest in seeing Microsoft succeed, but as a computer nut and avid techie the only interest I have for myself is seeing that I can work as effectively and efficiently as possible. Which is exactly why I had become a google chrome user some time ago. Today that may have all changed for me. With the development of IE9 I believe Microsoft has obviously taken the best ideas from the companies it shares the browser market with and merged them all into what they now believe is the best browser available. Which is why my proposition for a new IE logo would look something like this:

I’d like to start this paragraph by sharing one of my favorite quotes from Steve Jobs, a quote in which he says “Good artist copy, Great artist steal.” I am firm in the belief that Microsoft has made no bones about “stealing” the best features from the two browsers it shares the market with and blending them to create IE9. Suffice it to say unless one of those two makes a big play in their next release. There will simply be no need to switch for users who have not already. and as an avid Chrome user and development lover of Mozilla’s plugins and tools I think IE9 has a chance at being the best all-in-one browser put out to date and I will certainly give it a chance to become my choice again.

Have you seen IE9 yet? Will you give IE a shot? Are you downloading the BETA or waiting for a stable release?

Personally, I’m a tinkerer and I love BETA’s. I think they are a great chance to get exactly what YOU want in a product by simply offering constructive criticism and feedback. My suggestion to anyone whether it be a developer, home user, business user or even the casual user. Download the BETA, make suggesstions and make sure we can all get what we want in a browser. Even if you’re not a regular user of IE there is no doubt you will see the benefits of your suggesstions in releases of their competitors surely to come. Microsoft is not the only company capable of creating good software (some would argue they aren’t even in the realm of the best), and there is not another market leader who is above the theft of a good idea. So rest assured the best thing computer users can do is give feedback early and give feedback often. It’s the only way to build what is best for everyone.

You may have noticed I have completely left Safari out of this discussion (Sorry Steve) but there is good reason for that. Simply put, its just not even in the same league with the three heavy hitters, at least in my own experience, it is buggy, not developer friendly and simply put, just not a good user experience. I did not want to insult any of the three major browser companies by including a far less capable product with the likes of their own.

In conclusion I would like to congratulate Microsoft on a job well done and a step in the direction it has needed to go since the release of Windows Vista, which is back towards the people who got them here, developers, technical people and those who need usability and simplicity. When you appeal to all, everyone wins.

Welcome back to the game boys, We have missed you!

Why I bought a Mac … And why I’ll always be a Windows guy too!

September 10th, 2010 § 3

I know, I know, the title of this article is a bit confusing (and by a bit I mean a lot). But what I am talking about is my recent decision to buy a Mac. As a business owner and (gasp) Microsoft Partner and re-seller for the past several years, it was no doubt a big decision for me to buy a Mac. But as a developer and self proclaimed “tech junkie” for me it was just as hard of a decision to hold off as long as I did. No it was not a clever marketing campaign by Apple (but it is clever).

But lets be clear (After all, I believe in full disclosure) it was not a newfound dislike for Microsoft either. I just felt that with the popularity of Mac’s with people of my generation and owning an IT company locally I owe it to myself and my customers to stay on top of technology. Because although I love developing, the truth is I get very little time to dedicate to it because I stay so busy at work or working on other projects. This new interest started several months back when I was living in New Orleans, a city in which I basically knew no one. A friend had a Mac and I had lots of spare time. Though I was not originally overly impressed or amazed with its ease of use or functionality like so many former windows users are I did enjoy the change in scenery (or in this case User interface). But more importantly I enjoyed the developing environment of textmate and the enjoyment of writing apps for my beloved iPhone. From that day forward I knew it was only a matter of time before I would inevitably come over to the Dark side (or into the light depending on who you are asking i suppose). Of course there are other options as well.

The three major players are to always be considered:

So I did what every good developer should do. I spent more time considering my options. And in doing so I did some pretty fun things (well, fun if you’re a nerd like me) I built an Ununtu Server on the latest release 10.04 Lucid Lynx. I configured about 3 separate Windows 7 PC’s (What? I already told you I was a Microsoft Partner), and obviously that comes with perks (like free or nearly free software for demo purposes) and lastly, I bought a Mac! Specifically a 21.5″ LED Backlit iMac with 4GB of Ram a 500GB Hard drive and a 3.06 GHZ Dual-Core processor. And now I am sure you’re all asking … So What’s the verdict? And unfortunately that is where the vague title starts to make some sense.

In short, i LOVE the new mac, and I have grown so accustomed to my pc setup (and all the annoying and seemingly unnecessary tasks needed to keep it up and running) that although I would definitely call myself a Mac convert, I will still use a pc for some time to come. Visit 0rgb for all the RGB products I use for my PC. Probably at the very least until I no longer have an IT company (in which i support mainly PC’s) to run, and I manage to get to do what I really love on a full time basis (developing). So until one of my crazy startup ideas takes off (see the Wired Like Me page and I no longer have to deal with the hustle and bustle of daily life i will most certainly be a Multi-system user. However as a side note I did recently apply to be a Mac reseller to give my customers a chance to look at something different, so with Mr. Jobs’ approval I may be converting even more users very soon, and who knows maybe I’ll even get that break I have been looking for and call myself a true Mac user even sooner than I think.

I am out for now but please leave comments and tell your friends to check out my blog!

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