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Google a "Wake-Up Call" For Microsoft 173

wooha points out coverage of a talk Microsoft's chief software architect, Ray Ozzie, gave at a Goldman Sachs conference in Las Vegas. Ozzie said that watching Google rake in advertising revenue was a wake-up call within Microsoft. He said Microsoft plans to do more than simply follow Google's lead by creating Web-based versions of desktop programs or duplicating its search and advertising model. (Despite Microsoft's massive investment in promoting and improving Web-based search, the company still has less than 10% of search engine market share, compared to Google's ~50% and growing.) Ozzie, who has only made a few appearances since his promotion last June to replace Bill Gates as CSA, told analysts and investors that he has been laying the groundwork for programmers across the company to build Internet-based software.

Another Microsoft Exec Steps Down 315

Arcanimus writes "On Tuesday, the corporate vice president of Windows Live and MSN marketing, Martin Taylor, announced that he is leaving Microsoft. Just three months ago, Taylor was appointed to his new position to manage the marketing of Windows Live. In his 13 years with the company, Taylor even worked directly with CEO Steve Ballmer."

Microsoft, Massachusetts, and IT 233

Andy Updegrove writes "A big story in Massachusetts last week was the announcement by Microsoft that it would give $30 million in software to Bay State high schools and universities. Less noticed was the fact that an important economic stimulus bill adopted by the legislature lacked the amendment that sought to gut the power of the State CIO to set any new IT policies that might require compliance with certain standards (like ODF) or favor open source software. Should these two dots be connected, and if so, how? After all, why would Microsoft reward Massachusetts for taking no action to curtail an IT policy that favored ODF and rejected Microsoft's own XML format, especially after Microsoft has by all accounts lobbied so aggressively to bring about a change? As it happens, the fact is that the game isn't over yet: I've learned that the IT policy language hasn't been permanently defeated — its just been shifted out of sight to an 'outside section' of the current budget bill."

Smithsonian Removes EV1 Exhibit 420

johnMG writes to mention a Seattle PI article on the Smithsonian's move to remove the EV1 electric sedan from display. From the article: "The upcoming film 'Who Killed the Electric Car?' questions why General Motors created the battery-powered vehicles and then crushed the program a few years later. The film opens June 30th. GM happens to be one of the Smithsonian's biggest contributors. But museum and GM officials say that had nothing to do with the removal of the EV1 from display."

Another Sky Press Driving Neo-Patronage 92

avidreader writes "Another Sky Press is making a serious go of the neo-patronage / tip jar model — their tagline is 'Welcome to Another Sky Press. We want people to read our books even if they read them for free — though we'd love it if you bought a copy!' Not only are they putting the entire text of their releases online, but they're selling the dead tree versions at cost plus optional contribution. Their first release is garnering some great reviews - 'Intelligent fiction for the mentally unhinged.' According to their website, there are more projects in the works — everything from a short story anthology to a coloring book by artist Jesse Reno. They've also got interesting essays on why they're doing this and neo-patronage. They're even getting neo-patronage some mainstream attention — the Metro Times calls them '...more punk than the punks at Dischord Records.'"

World of Starcraft? Not So Much 278

The rumours have been swirling since last night, when MMOG discussion site F13 posted the surprising news that Blizzard plans to make MMOGs of Starcraft and Diablo. Turns out that while the possibility still exists, that's not exactly accurate. The CessPit has some of the slides from Vivendi's presentation, (courtesy of SirBruce). The last of these would seem to show the mere possibility (not confirmation) of expansion into the Massive and console markets for the company's intellectual properties. However, this is coupled with a flat denial by lead designer Rob Pardo: "Nothing in that rumor is true in regards to Blizzard. If I had to guess, there was some confusion between what Vivendi has planned for its game division versus what Blizzard has planned. While Blizzard is owned by Vivendi, their game division operates separately from Blizzard." So, while not out of the question, I find it unlikely we'll be hearing about World of Starcraft any time soon.

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