Monthly Archives: March 2008

Annoyances (2): CTO is not CIO

Would someone please tell everyone who has apparently acquired my name and phone number from a marketing database service that I am not IONA’s CIO?

I drive the company’s technology strategy and our standards participation.

I do not buy servers, database management systems, operating systems (well, except for myself), phone systems, backup systems, SAP consulting, or broadband services. You can take me off your spam list.

My role is advisory -a classic software industry CTO position. (I do realize that a lot of CIOs are using the CTO title now, but that doesn’t mean we have to forget the classic definition, does it?)

I do not hire developers (especially not in India!) and I do not hire consultants or market research companies. I do not buy mailing lists, I do not need help optimizing my Web site, and I do not want to attend your executive event. You can stop calling.

I am very sorry about all of that, since I know what it’s like to cold call. But unfortunately, I can’t respond to any of your numerous voicemails and emails, because that would just make things worse. And I’m sorry but I can’t refer you to someone else, either.

Maybe you can get a refund from whoever sold you my name. If someone has included my name on a list of sales prospects, that is an error -perhaps it’s simply list padding.

I also wish I had a good way to let you know – unfortunately I also doubt very much that you’re reading my blog.

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Microsoft Interoperability and Open Source

At EclipseCon this week Microsoft announced cooperation with Eclipse, among other things supporting the SWT technologies on Vista’s presentation framework, effectively allowing Eclipse developers to generate GUIs for Vista.

Like many of their recent announcements concerning interoperability and open source, some observers are enthusiastic while others criticize the fact they didn’t go farther and suggest they never will. However to me this continues to be a glass-half-full situation, in which take Microsoft’s efforts in the context of their culture and history. These are big steps for them, and I think they represent a serious and significant change.

Last fall I attended an ISV event at Redmond, which we were invited to because of our interoperability solutions bewteen Microsoft, Java, and other environments. I couldn’t help but notice that Ray Ozzie’s name was mentioned several times by the presenters. That’s why I made the 2008 prediction for Sys-Con that I did about Microsoft and the enterprise. It seemed to me as if Ray Ozzie’s influence is starting to be felt. Burton Group analyst Peter O’Kelly was also quoted as saying so in the InfoWorld follow up article.

Does this mean that Microsoft is starting to become more serious about their interests in interoperability and open source? In the past I always got the impression that it was hampered by the fact that it would imply their recognizing the legitimacy of a platform other than Windows. Perhaps Ray Ozzie is able to bring a helpful external perspective. Perhaps reality is sinking in that the world of heterogeneous platforms is unlikely to change.

The main news for those of us offering interoperabilty solutions is that Microsoft is opening up some of its internal APIs and publishing their proprietary extensions to standards, which will make it easier to integrate with their products.

They are also allowing “reasonable licensing” terms on their patents – not sure how much benefit this is but they have also loosened up the terms and conditions under which other vendors can develop products that “infringe” on a Microsoft patent – i.e. they don’t have to get a license up front now, but instead only have to negotiate a “reasonable” fee when they ship.

The recent steps toward improved interoperability support and improved relationship with open source communities may strike some as insufficient or incomplete, but to me they represent a signficant change in tone and strategy for Microsoft.

Epitome of the Style

Yes, they are both about 60 years old, and many in the audience were, like me and my brother Tor and our friends Merrill and Brett, no longer the young rock ‘n’ roll fans we once were.

But this nonetheless had to be the epitome of classic rock, Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton together, playing everything from the blues, to soul music, Traffic, Hendrix, Blind Faith, Derek & the Dominoes, and various solo numbers from each other’s back catalogues. I have heard and seen many comments to the effect of this being the best concert ever… Certainly one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. The two masters are each great in their own right but clearly enjoyed playing together and just nailed tune after tune after tune…with a great rhythm section, no big band or backup singers this time. Like one of the reviewers said, this was a different Eric Clapton than with Cream in 2005. Much better – and it has to be Winwood, and the result of a collaboration rather than competition.

I know I am late, at least in blogosphere time, in posting this but better late than never. Same with putting the videos up on You Tube.

Actually quite a lot has been posted on You Tube from the three nights, and many comments as well. Here’s the most popular one that I posted:

Excerpt of Winwood & Clapton playing Hendrix tune “Little Wing” at MSG 2/28

This was definitely one of the highlights. “Voodoo Chile” and “Double Trouble” were two others – with Clapton absolutely nailing two of the best guitar solos of all time during the latter. The organ/guitar jam on the former was incredible, and made me wish there had been more organ solos. Winwood is so versatile though – such a great singer, piano player, and such a great guitar player, trading solos with Clapton on several songs, including “Cocaine” and “Dear Mr. Fantasy” (the encore last Thursday) and certainly holding his own. In fact not many guitar players are better than Winwood, Clapton being among a relatively small handful.

Our seats were great, about halfway up the risers toward the back of the MSG floor, on the right, with a clear view of the stage. One piece of bad luck – a very loud mouthed New Yorker and his friends sat directly in back of us. “OH MY GAWD!” “HE STILL HAS HIS SEVENTIES VOICE!” “HE IS JUST AS GOOD AS WHEN WE SAW HIM IN THE 70s MAYBE BETTER” “WOW IT’S ‘LITTLE WING’ ” etc. and on and on at the top of his lungs, as if he could onl enjoy the show by constantly talking over it. No doubt he will be bragging to all of his friends what a great show it was, despite the fact he didn’t really listen to it.

I can’t wait for the DVD. I hope they get all the songs on it, not like Crossroads where they cut out a bunch of stuff, and changed the order on some others (not that anyone who wasn’t there would notice, but still).

Afterwards we walked up to Times Square to an excellent Belgian beer bar to rehash the evening.

The weather was a bit cold and windy outside, but the memories are still warm.