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Microsoft's Lost Decade 603

theodp writes "Newsweek's Daniel Lyons (that's Fake Steve to you) explains why Steve Ballmer is no Bill Gates, arguing that what most hurt Microsoft was BillG's decision to step down as CEO in January 2000: 'Gates was a software geek. He understood technology. Ballmer is a business guy.' And the problem with putting non-techies in charge of tech companies, concludes Lyons, is that they have blind spots. So while Microsoft's revenues nearly tripled from $23B to $58B on Ballmer's watch, says Lyons, the company became bureaucratic and lumbering, slowing down while the rest of the world — including Google, Apple and Amazon — sped up."

Silverlight 2.0 Released 164

rfernand79 writes "Via Scott Guthrie's Blog for Microsoft, we find out that Silverlight 2.0 has been released. The blog post notes some interesting statistics, including the magnitude of video streamed during the Olympics and the Democratic National Convention (both using Silverlight). 'Hello Worlds' and educational links are included in the post."
Operating Systems

Microsoft Considers "Instant On" Windows 440

Barence writes "In what might be a glimpse of things to come in Windows 7, Microsoft is asking customers whether they would be interested in a new 'Instant-on' version of Windows. 'We would like your feedback on a new concept,' the Microsoft survey states. 'The Instant On experience is different from "Full Windows" because it limits what activities you can do and what applications you can have access to.' Sounds interesting but hardly new: Asus and Dell have produced laptops that provide swift access to apps and data using Linux subsystems."

Microsoft Woos Developers Under the Silverlight 300

CWmike writes to tell us that with the impending release of their Silverlight 2.0 product, Microsoft is poised to enact the next phase of their plan, wooing developers and designers directly. Microsoft is funding a French open-source project designed to allow programmers to utilize the Eclipse framework to build Silverlight apps. "Microsoft is also releasing for free a set of programming templates called the Silverlight Control Pack under its Microsoft Permissive License, as well as the technical specification for Silverlight's Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) vocabulary via Microsoft's Open Specification Promise. The latter, said Goldfarb, should make it easier for would-be Silverlight developers."

OOXML Vote Tracker and Calculation Guide 66

Andy Updegrove writes "The vote on Microsoft's OOXML closes today. The final result will not be announced (or leak) before sometime early next week. Meanwhile the votes of individual countries continue to come in, currently with more reported switching in favor of OOXML than against it. For the benefit of those who want to keep track of how the vote is tending until it's official, I'm posting the running tally of which votes have switched, what the net change has been, now many votes have come to light, and how many remain to be announced. It's likely that it will not be possible to know the final result until all votes are in, due to the complex double test for approval, and the complication that the final number of abstentions — and whether they move from 'yes' or 'no' votes — can decrease the total number of votes that need to switch to 'yes' in order for OOXML to be approved. For that reason, I also include the algorithm for arriving at a final result."

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.