We know Apple is poised to release a TV integrated with some mutation of iOS mid-way thru next year. Judging by the existing “Apple TV” product (which is sort of a stripped down iMac that you connect to your existing TV), they have a solid technical base to work from. Since people are hungry for convergence devices these days, Apple is really positioned nicely to provide the ultimate all-in-one device that assembles all media content in one place. If they can integrate casual gaming into such a device (iOS already handles this), then we can throw out all the other technology sitting in the living room and consume content and entertainment through this device.
Apple, more than any other company, can produce hardware than can live up to this dream. The existing Apple TV, though reliant on the painful & awful iTunes software to get content, is a fairly pleasant product to use. I hate iTunes, so it has no place in my home system, but I appreciate a good user experience when I get slapped with one.
However, it is an appliance sort of device. Any of these media devices must turn on in and be usable within 10 seconds to be usable on a daily basis. Nobody wants to “boot up” the TV and wait two or three minutes. If Apple integrates that experience into the television, it ought to be outstanding. Google has no answer for this. They have a TV type of product based on Android, but it is absolutely awful to use. Getting media over to it requires a degree in technology. Apple is really good about making very technical tasks both simple and pleasant.
But the TV is sacred ground for us Americans. We don’t mind attaching some clunky little device to it, but are we willing to pay an Apple premium for an incredible media experience in the living room? I think Apple has enough money and know-how to throw at this first-world problem that we should see an incredible solution next year.
We all wish we would have recognized the iPhone’s dominance before it hit the market, here’s a second chance.
Directly on the coattails of my previous post, I am ready to call out another common failure point for entrepreneurs. Major mistake #2 is approaching your web developer / partners / bank / focus group with baseless (or undetermined) pricing.
As a web developer with loads of startup experience, it is my job to give entrepreneurs direction with their web presence, but I am still amazed at how many people ask me “how much should I charge? or should it be free?” at the beginning of the project. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy the process of helping people derive a dollar value for their service based on their expenses. It’s actually quite fun and gives me unparalleled insight into how their biz will operate both logically and financially. I rarely build two web apps that operate in a similar manner or industry and, so, I hardly ever have “all the answers” at the point when I initially engage with a client. Therefore, that process is necessary.
But the part of this process that is silly is why am I the one that is instigating it? When entrepreneurs are deciding whether their idea is financially viable, the core part of the exercise should be computing operating expenses (especially marketing — which everyone neglects — e.g. “I’ll send out emails to all my friends” … ugh). Weigh cost of operations against startup capital to see how long you can last in the negative. Now you know if you need a primary revenue stream (advertising, for example) and whether you can afford to offer a free service. Generally, after about 15 minutes of work, entrepreneurs see that they cannot support a free model. And even better, it’s pretty clear how much needs to be pulled in each month. Divide that by the number of users you are going to have. Now divide that by 10 because that is the REAL number of users you are going to have.
I don’t expect enterpreneurs to come to me saying, “We need to bill $3.14 every three weeks”. I expect lots of gray area. However, sharp entrepreneurs should really be asking me the questions that allow them to refine their costs. Like, how much is hosting? How many servers do I need and what will they cost and can that be amortized over X months? These questions indicate to me that the entrepreneur has determined that his model is at least somewhat financially viable.
Worse than this, however, is the client who tells me that pricing should be $9.99 per month “because it sounds good”. I’ve heard it way more than two or three times. To this day, I still can’t prevent my jaw from dropping when a prospect says this. Next time, I should probably tell them that their project will cost a flat $69,500 … and when they ask why … wait for it … oh, hell, you complete the joke yourself.
Anyway, fon’t be a tool; run through this process and be hugely conservative when it comes to the number of advertisers, users, and revenue streams you’ll have.
I’m starting a new series of blog posts cataloging enormous or classic blunders that I’ve witnessed firsthand. These are the mistakes that entrepreneurs made in their ventures that unequivocally caused a project to fail. But this isn’t me just sitting on the sidelines calling fouls. These really happened.
Now I know I am going to catch flack for the in-your-face title, so I’ll give a brief explanation. If you are an entrepreneur and you can’t check your ego and absolutely inhale all of the data that is out there (mostly bad, some good), then you don’t belong in this game. That MBA from Wharton isn’t going to get your site launched, real life lessons will. Every biz-related datapoint that you run across needs to be weighed and you need to make a case as to why it doesn’t apply to you. Don’t put up a wall and claim that you are immune from idiocy and failure. Wholeheartedly accept that failure is your project’s most likely end point and move forward keeping that very real prospect on your short-list of outcomes.
That said, if you can’t make the case against a datapoint, then you indeed have that problem. Don’t fight it. However, that isn’t what makes you so foolish, sir. It’s your inability to accept and adapt your strategy. Once again, check the ego.
Many years ago, a friend pointed out that I had no backup for my lead programmer in my development workflow. I railed against that concept of single point of failure, claiming it was not a valid concern so why should I invest time in training senior coders to be architects. Care to guess what happened? I lost my lead, nobody could take her place, the client lost faith and walked a short time later. Single points of failure nearly caused the doors to close back in 2005. The lesson: I was a fool with an ego.
Alright, so now that we have a level playing field, mistake #1 is trying to launch a project without a recurring revenue stream. Google will not buy you. Google buys about 10 to 15 companies in a really big year. I launch about 30 sites a year and I am one small developer. Seriously, you have no chance if this is your strategy. You have to have some incredible, patented tech to even catch their eye at all, much less get purchased. Profitable operations is one sign that a technology is solid (when the crowd opens their wallets, that heralds mainstream acceptance). That last sentence there, THAT is your datapoint.
Apple pulled their automated online storage solution, iCloud, out of beta today. It allows users to effortlessly gain safe storage for all their files. Like Dropbox, iCloud seamlessly backs up and restores your important pictures, video, documents, email, and music. It apparently is being reported as some sort of replacement for iTunes. Let’s chalk that flawed idea up to the godawful media hype around anything Apple. More likely, iCloud will be the behind the scenes method by which users store all iTunes content (similar to Amazon’s Cloud Drive), but it won’t outright replace iTunes. Hell, at this point, iTunes is a really horrible yet popular gold standard for media management. People have convinced themselves to enjoy the torturous exercise in bloatware that iTunes has become. Like Acrobat, really.
Anyway, there is one seemingly innocuous feature that blew me away. If you have existing mp3 files, you can upload those to iCloud under the auspice of backing up your files. In order to prevent users from driving iCloud’s server and bandwidth resources into the ground, iCloud performs some sort of comparison — perhaps bit matching or ID3 tag parsing — to see if that song already exists in iCloud’s database of music files (which is really just the iTunes catalog). If it matches something in there, the file is not uploaded. Instead, a DRM-free 256 kbps AAC original is copied from iCloud’s servers and added to your iCloud folder.
The end result is that if you have 20 gigs of low bitrate dodgy, crackle-prone pirated music, iCloud is going to replace that with high quality retail files. And it is all going to be automated and free. Yikes! Apple better rethink this, otherwise the RIAA is going to be circling it’s greed-based wagon train around Steve Jobs’ skinny butt and extracting a pound of flesh that the Turtlenecked Scarecrow can’t spare.
Yesterday at the Google I/O Conference, the big boys announced that they were giving the finger to the RIAA and building a music download service in the cloud. This is pretty enormous because nobody other than a giant like all-seeing giant like Google has the legal muscle (and tech acumen) to go against the record labels. Google also gets the big picture on these things. They are looking at the music industry in 20 years when published music is extremely cheap or free, instantly available, and tailored to your preferences. Some of this works now, but it is not effortless. Say what you want about iTunes and Genius, but it is neither an effortless nor a pleasant process (for a non-techie, especially) to get the music you like on all your devices. The difference with Google is that they aren’t going to charge for the music … they are starting with user uploads. However, they are capping your uploads at 20,000 songs. This is like 60 gigs. Free.
The beauty of this is that Google doesn’t charge for any aspect of it. They are going to pull the bottom out of the RIAA’s argument that music download services contribute to piracy (and they do, but only because a CD is $14 … if CDs were under $5, and downloaded tracks were 20 cents, nobody would bother with piracy … duh). The RIAA can’t sue Google for much if Google gives it all away and therefore doesn’t generate revenue. I’m sure the RIAA will desperately cling to some argument along the lines of “this service promotes illegal activity”, but seriously, who will buy this? The RIAA is a dinosaur and Google is the meteor in that shall cause the dinosaur’s extinction (bad metaphor, I know, but this is stream of consciousness stuff).
An unintended casualty of this battle will probably be Amazon’s fledgling mp3 service. It’s really solid, but it limits you to 5 Gigs of music. This seemed completely adequate a few weeks ago when that service launched (with RIAA approval), but now it seems a paltry size. Amazon has loads of storage — hard drives are cheap, after all — with their cloud-based S3 storage system. So expect them to up that size, but I still feel that they’ve picked the path of pandering to the RIAA. Perhaps they lack the funds to fight such a massive war. Even Apple is toeing the party line, but iTunes is a little dystopic microcosm of Apple hysteria anyway. Don’t look for innovation from the Cupertino crowd. Their slavelike fanbase doesn’t care. They’ll buy the next little shiny product from them no matter what. Apple makes their money and stays in their sheltered closed-source phony world. Amazon may just walk away rather than take on the entertainment giants. After all, in the lawsuit against Google, the RIAA need only add a line that says something like “and Amazon was a jerk, too” and they’re on the line for billions.
If you are the early adopter type, then check out Google’s new adventure by requesting an invite here. If you have an Android, go download Google Music Beta from the market now . Currently, you only get the ability to play music but I bet in a few weeks, you’ll be able to upload your music collection.
There’s been quite a bit of buzz around HTML5 and what it means for founders, project architects, and web developers. Relevance of HTML5 has be fueled by (1) rapid browser adoption of the as-yet-to-be-finalized standard and (2) the huge implications of media delivery through the video, audio, and object tags. HTML5 is a good thing, no matter how you slice it.
The revolutionary impact that HTML5 will make will be at the mobile browser level, especially for content delivery. This goes way beyond having your YouTube videos and movie trailers load and render way faster. No, this is a new application delivery system that moves us a little closer toward using the web as the OS. It definitely moves apps off the device and into the cloud.
If you need industry reinforcement of this trend, look no further than Disney’s recent acquisition of Rocket Pack for the usual 20 million. Rocket Pack is an platform for building and delivering games that is rendered through HTML5. In fact, in that small arena, they are the massive industry leader. It’s a real bleeding edge acquisition for a behemoth like Disney, but it’s a big picture move. [The tech "behind" the tech, so to speak.]
All of a sudden you can play standard def graphic games (comparable to a Wii) directly in your phone’s browser without Flash! Realtime and networked, no less. Despite my reliance on sunblock to setp outdoors, I’m no gamer, but, on the tech level … wow. So for all you biz people that are concerned with applications, there’s an under-exploited (for now) technology in HTML5 called Web Storage. This will essentially allow instant data manipulation, similar to working with a local database, but over the web. This is achieved by dynamically caching large chunks of data using a really huge cookie.
This caching serves the double purpose of speeding up your data interactions AND allowing you to use data-intensive apps across spotty mobile networks. Imagine having a local copy of your entire Salesforce CRM sitting on your phone. Oh, it’ll be encrypted, of course. Now when you are at a client’s site just before a meeting searching for an old proposal, it’ll take a few seconds to view, rather than a couple of minutes. This tech will greatly accelerate sort, indexing, and searching data on low power devices. I really like the possibilities and I’ll expound more in the future.
Here’s a quickie …
Today, Nielsen released stats for the the mobile phone market. From November of 2010 to January of 2011, Android represents 29% of market share with Apple and Blackberry each at 27% . However, without time constraint, total market share for Android compared to all smartphones is at 19%. That’s fairly rapid adoption.
Blatant opionion: I don’t think any iPhone users are jumping ship to go to Android. Former Blackberry users and first-time smartphone buyers are snapping up Androids (probably due to cheap price … and the fact that you aren’t forced into a draconian contract with AT&T’s sub-par service). Windows Mobile will always have its little sliver of the market.
Blatant opinion 2: If you’re considering building an iPhone app, you need to consider an Android version as well.
It was a scary leap to hop the Android bandwagon with a minimum of research. I am, however, happy to report that I’ve successfully made the big transition from Blackberry to Android. Fear not, my friends! Previously, like many business-ish people, I thought Dockers and a Blackberry made the man. In fact, both suck. Dockers make me look fat(ter) and Blackberries make the web look like crap and really make the whole experience of using a phone about as exciting as using a toaster. Function without any sort of flashiness is just so … Dockers. I don’t understand why a business phone (i.e. compatible with [s]Exchange and Outlook) must mean an un-fun phone. Android and iPhone are both great platforms and are both fully capable of being enterprise-worthy. Naturally, you have to do a little tweaking. I’ll list the steps to make Android a business beast in a future post.
For now, if you are considering an Android for your phone and you think it won’t handle your calendar and meeting invites, you can happily reverse that line of thought.
- VPN works
- Remote Desktop works
- Every app you can imagine
- Remote wipe and monitoring
- Flash and Adobe Air support
- Exchange and Outlook synchronization
Also, Google seems to releases major updates to the Android OS roughly twice as often as Apple. I’m getting exceptional data and voice service through T-Mobile. Incidentally, I have an HTC G2 from T-Mobile. See below:
About 6 months ago, we launched a very interesting project. Now that it has been in production for awhile and been slammed with traffic, I feel obligated to let the world know about a particularly BADASS piece of technology that is out there — and not just the part that we built!
Ever wanted to track your conversions from an offline marketing campaign? We were contracted to develop a system for making thousands of simultaneous inbound and outbound calls which are routed to end users’ phone lines, based on business rules. Users pick a custom 800 number from a pool. Then they use that number in their print ads or on their billboard. When the line picks up, it can run callers through a verbal survey and records their answers, routing them to certain reps based on those answers. Or the users can create custom menu systems (for example, press 5 for a Korean-speaking salesperson).
How to handle the load? After a ton of research, we eliminated Asterisk as a viable solution because it lacks cost-effective scalability. Asterisk can handle hundreds of simultaneous calls per server and, it functions as a fully-functional PBX. Impressive, but we needed something more. And it was then that we came across the open source telephony platform, FreeSWITCH. FreeSWITCH was originally developed from the Asterisk codebase by a splinter team that wanted to see exactly how much performance they could squeeze out. By rewriting the stack from scratch, they managed to get about TEN TIMES the performance. Yes, FreeSWITCH handles thousands of calls at one time.
At this point, we contracted with a SIP trunking service (their service is awesome, but their support super-sucks, so I won’t mention any names) to provide VOIP service. We built in the ability to detect busy signals and answering machines. And then, after a tremendous amount of testing, the beast was born. The system is currently in place and tremendously reliable. In fact, in about 6 months of production use, the server has only crashed once.
If you would have asked me 5 years ago if such a system could be built, I would have probably looked confused and babbled semi-coherently about insane 7-figure budgets and 12-month development cycles. But having helped get this amazing system in place, I am a pleased to say that custom telephony solutions can be had for not much more than your typical social networking site. We truly achieve great things by standing on the shoulders of giants.
Next up … voice recognition. Oh yeah!
EDIT (03-22-10): I wasn’t sure if this client was keen on having me post up details of the technology that their app runs on, so I left their name out of the post. However, I just got permission to link to their app. I know this sound like advertising, but it isn’t at all … I’m just very proud of what we’ve accomplished. Call Tracking It’s free to give it a test.
We’re migrating and so is the rest of the development world.
So I bite my own tongue by saying this, but it’s true …
“jQuery is killing flash!”
For example, a year ago topLingo handled ALL requests for eye candy such as homepage animations solely in Flash. But now, we’re about 80% converted to jQuery.
Why the transition?
Besides the obvious reason that we’re a “B2B” development firm who focuses less on eye candy and more on usability i.e. a group who would decline the opportunity to redevelop BritnaySpears.com, jQuery pros versus Flash are as follows:
Small size. Lightweight means fast web page loading times.
Free. Hundreds of previously produced animations, transitions, are easily accessible.
Easier to learn. Have you seen someone’s face when they launch Flash software for the first time? Eek!
Dull elements look better. Visually enhances non-exciting web elements. Boring forms are now slightly more exciting.
CMS synergy. In the example of a homepage flash animation, for the content manager to make updates it’s highly likely they’d have to produce a Flash .SWF file themselves or pay someone to do so. It’s much simpler to code the CMS for jQuery modifications where the content manager can simply change a line of text or upload an image … and BAM! The homepage animation changes! (Sidenote, and to be fair, this can also be done in flash but does take more development time/cost).
SEO, SEO, SEO. Text is text in a jQuery animation and the engines love it!
I may have figured out how Lala works their licensing mystery. When synching your music collection, the service somehow matches mp3 tags like artist, album, and song title. I think song length may also have something to do with it. If it finds an “approximate” match AND the song is licensed for Lala’s use, the song gets dropped into your online music collection. I bet this is somewhere in the FAQ on their web site, but I never read that nonsense … do you?
Why did I only find this out 6 months after I started using Lala? Very good question … glad I asked it. It takes forever to upload songs, so I only uploaded the first 20 gigs of my music collection. I never processed the whole collection because I have 500+ gigs of music. Because of how I originally converted all my CDs, my music collection is organized in an odd manner. It’s very complex, but let’s just say I uploaded the most mainstream music first. All my music matched and so I blissfully used Lala for 6 months. Now that I am so enamored of Lala, I’ve decided to upload the rest. Much of this current music that I am uploading is eclectic and indie. So it’s not really matching. See, I may be uploading a live or demo or rare version, and Lala mismatches it with the production studio version of the tune! If it doesn’t match, Lala omits it from the album entirely. This isn’t so bad, except you don’t know until you go to play an album and the last track isn’t there or track 5 is not what you’d expect or way too loud compared to the rest of the album. I’m obsessive about music and my spidey sense tingles when something is out of whack. However, I breathe deeply. count to 10, and then move on. Oh … the other issue is that on CDs with unnamed hidden tracks, I’ve edited out the silence and re-saved the track under a new name. Green Day’s “Dookie” has that with the “All By Myself” song. Lala doesn’t recognize this sort of thing. Bummer.
So consequently, my Lala collection is incomplete and mismatched. Probably 10% of my Lala collection is askew. I have an enormous quantity of weird music, however. So although my OCD has been tweaked a bit, I am willing to overlook the slight problems in favor of the enormous convenience. For the great majority of the population for whom Meatloaf’s “Bat Out Of Hell 2″ (you know “I’d do anything for love, but I won’t do that!” … you have it on your iPod and you LOVE it) is the weirdest thing in their iTunes, this won’t matter. All the Kanye West, Christina Aguilera, and Black Eyed Peas that you need is covered with Lala’s library. Enjoy it!
There’s a great music website called Lala which I have been using for about 6 months now. It allows you to upload your music collection and listen to it anywhere that you have a computer (or iPhone) and an internet connection. You can set up playlists and share them. And, of course, you can sort your music collection any way you want. [ Example: Show me just the Heavy Metal albums ... yay!] The web application is absolutely phenomenal. It’s drag & drop and very, very visual — a model of “complex simplicity”. It’s more or less a web-based iTunes before iTunes tried to do everything. I’ve stopped liking iTunes because it’s doing too much — Genius, video, and now Facebook integration … why oh why? Call me a curmudgeon, but I kinda tolerated it about 2 or 3 years ago when all it did was organize and play music. It did that well. Lala reminds me of the happy, friendly iTunes of 2006.
I’m not going to sit here and describe every aspect of Lala because honestly you should be using it right now. I have not a single complaint after 6 months of daily use. Normally I am very critical, but this just kicks ass. Seriously, stop reading this crappy blog post and just sign up at http://www.lala.com. Download the tiny desktop application. Pick three or four albums to upload. Although the upload process is automated, it takes a long time to upload all your albums (I have 180 gigs of music!!). So at first, limit yourself to those few albums. It took about a day to upload 9 gigs / 1800 songs, but it did all that nonsense in the background. Anyway, if you like it, then endure the lengthy upload for the rest of your music.
One of the coolest features that I cannot get over is that I can be listening to some ridiculously long playlist here at work. Then I turn off my computer at work, go home, boot up the home system (workaholics, unite!), and pick up the playlist right where I left off. It’s awesome. I giggle to myself every time I get to do that.
The big mystery that lingers over this whole utopian system is how Lala gets around licensing. Will the RIAA axe fall as heavily as it did with Pandora? — By the way, Pandora, awesome bounce-back. Y’all have a godlike CEO over there. – Apparently, Lala gets around licensing issues by comparing your music files with albums that they already have legally in their library. Then Lala uploads only the music that they don’t have. Yeah, I know, if you do the math, it doesn’t really add up. Shhhhh!
I’ve been using this FREE tool, DropBox, for about a year now (since they were in beta). I use it on a daily basis and, at this point, could not live without it. Whenever anything gets to that stage, I cannot help myself, I get a little excited about it, so bear with me.
DropBox is a web service for synching up files across one or more machines. At it’s simplest, it’s a web-based service for backing up files. There’s been tons of these services over the years (X-Drive, AllMyData, Mozy, and Box.net come to mind). But DropBox takes this to a whole new level by adding a program that runs on your desktop, PC or Mac. This creates a folder on your computer that is automatically synchronized with your web folder that is hosted by DropBox. The service even allows you to roll back to previous versions of your documents. Everything can be done from the web interface or, amazingly, right from the program that is running on your desktop. How many web services have that level of desktop accessibility? Only a handful.
Ok, cool, now you’ve got a backed-up versions of important files that you can access through the web from any computer. But if you add the desktop app to another PC, then you’ve got AUTOMATED synching going on 24/7. Next, you can set up a shared folder with any other DropBox user. You drop files into it and they show up in the user’s folder on their desktop. The other user even gets a popup alert after the synch completes. No more fooling around with FTP just to get somebody a file that is too big for email attachments. It’s also nice for dropping 500 megs of files into before I leave work, having them synch during the commute home, then having them all ready when I arrive home. Now I don’t have to shuffle through my man-purse for the USB memory stick, wait 10 min to copy files, work on files at home that night, and then forget the USB stick at home the next day .. ugh! I just work directly off of the files in my local DropBox folder all the time. Every PC I work has a copy.
DropBox has a couple of extremely minor issues. I have limited experience with the Mac client, but from the 10 minutes that I played with it, it does not seem as polished. However, with the rate at which DropBox is improving their features, I’m sure this will be addressed in short order. Also, I’ve experimented with running my huge Outlook PST file from DropBox to get automated Outlook backups. No dice. But that is really pushing the envelope and nobody provides a good system for that yet.
DropBox keeps their site and application VERY simple. Like crazy, google-level simple. That makes it easy for the rushed, imaptient crowd and the oft-ignored low-tech crowd like my parents (who absolutely love it). In fact, for a second, I just want to elaborate on my parents’ experience with DropBox. My mom uses it to synch files between her laptop at work and her laptop in the house. My dad, the single-finger typist, used to have a terrible time getting photos to me. He used to Kodak’s fairly complex photo-sharing service … a good service, but lacking in ease of use for non-tech-savvy peeps. Now we have a shared folder into which he can throw his photos and I get a little popup when they arrive OR even get updated. Smooth.
All this for free! It’s 3 gigs free, with paid options for up to 100 gigs … beautiful. I’ve been using the free version without issue.
Use this link to signup and you’ll get an extra 250 megs of space for free.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Arthur C. Clarke, “Profiles of The Future”, 1961
Google announced their vaporware operating system Chrome OS. We do know that most of the apps and resource-intensive computing will be offloaded to the cloud. Beyond that small scrap of data, nobody knows anything and, more importantly, nobody has seen anything. Yet the pundits are already signing the death certificates of both Microsoft Windows (standard target) and the iPhone (mmm … yeah). These are the same experts (New York Times, jkontherun, TechCrunch, GigaOM, etc.) that keep telling us that Facebook is going to level Google. So the timeline that I’m getting is:
- Facebook becomes the search engine of choice, forcing Google to make money elsewhere
- Google becomes the operating system manufacturer for netbooks and smartphones
- Somehow Google then makes the jump to becoming the OS of choice for all computers (can’t wait to edit HD video in the cloud)
- Microsoft’s market share approaches zero and, in a desperate bid to make the payroll, they become an ebay power seller auctioning off vintage CDs of Windows 95, MS Works, and Microsoft BOB
- Bonus: Chrome OS somehow knocks off the whole closed-architecture iPhone OS platform and everybody buys those wildly unsuccessful Android phones
- Google is back on top and all things are again right in the tech food chain
The Windows death knell has been ringing for about 15 years now. Some Windows-killer is announced every six months. And what happens? Nothing. Big, bloated, unsexy Windows persists. About 18 months ago, the same characters from above let us know that Vista would to send Microsoft to the soup kitchen. Creative thinking had placed Windows itself as the ultimate Windows-killer. Hara-kiri. Didn’t happen.
I’m quite excited to see Chrome OS and play with it a bit. However, it’s unlikely to alter the tech landscape very much. Either way, this is solid marketing by Google’s PR department. It even got my lazy butt blogging about it.
Robust and Effecient Development Framework From Microsoft.
Over the last few years, web developers have migrated away from building simple web sites with an FAQ and a site map to constructing sophisticated web-based applications that have more in common with software programs like Outlook and Excel than they do with the less interactive brochure-style sites of 2001 and 2002. Remember the old days of calling up the Mountain Dew-swilling “webmaster” (usually between the hours of 3 pm and 11 pm) to add a few text lines to the “Front Page”? Just as the face of web development has grown into the modern Web 2.0 style, so have the tools and technologies evolved for the better.
“.NET” (pronounced “dot net”) is Microsoft’s all-encompassing term to describe both the development and runtime environments for this new breed of applications. The .NET moniker even extends to cover Microsoft’s associated server and database technologies.
Applications are programmed in Visual Studio .NET using one of the following languages, listed in (debatable) order of popularity; C# (pronounced “C sharp”), VB.NET, and J#.These applications are deployed within the .NET Framework which runs on servers and even on desktop computers. If you are using Internet Explorer 7, then you are likely viewing this document within the .NET 2.0 Framework. This Framework is invisible to the average user. And that is a very good thing.
Visual Studio .NET has become the de facto standard for unified web development, with one-stop construction, testing, and deployment of web apps. At it’s core, Visual Studio .NET automates much of the process of database architecture and backend coding and thereby greatly accelerates the time to launch industrial strength applications. Processes that used to take months now take weeks or even days due to an infinite number of shortcuts that break up the development process into modular building blocks of code.
Over a 2-year period, topLingo’s senior developers built a massively complicated project entirely in .NET for a financial institution.
Five years ago, this same project would have required two to three times as many developers and a dedicated testing team. Or to put it another way, without .NET, this same project would have taken two to three times as long to build with the same resources.
Microsoft’s .NET environment represents the sort of mature and efficient technology that dominates the backbone of web.
90% of all Fortune 100 companies use .NET
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