Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What are they saying?

Your customers may be talking about you .... are you listening?

There are plenty of reasons for getting into the social networking mix. The most compelling might be that it will give you the opportunity to tune into the conversation about you, your competitors and your customers.

TweetGrid (screenshot shown at right) is my favorite monitoring tool. It's free and easy to use. It won't give you reports or enable data capture, but it will keep you looped in on any chatter that mentions your company. Other tools are coming into the market that will integrate other networks, like FaceBook and LinkedIn, into a more complete picture of the web conversation that you're concerned about. Depending on your particular needs, you may find that such a tool would be a worthwhile investment.

If you're not tuned into what the market is saying about you, you are missing a massive opportunity. Call me now to talk about how we can help you enhance your online strategy and boost your brand.

Hints at Oracle's future

Now that Sun is part of the Oracle family, Oracle is working fast to capitalize on potential synergies. On Tuesday, both firms issued mirrored press releases inviting the public to attend a webinar that features Oracle's database platform running on Sun machines. This isn't all that new. What is new is that the machine takes advantage of Solid State Drives (SSD) that Sun has been working on for at least the past few years. SSD technology is faster than traditional disk-based storage, although it is significantly more costly.

What does this mean for enterprises? For small and mid-sized businesses, not much right now. In the next eighteen months, however, we should be seeing SSD technology start to make its way down the server and storage network food chain. And in three years or so, I'd expect to see it as an affordable and better alternative to conventional storage devices. At the same time, disk-based storage should begin to drop in price as SSD based devices encroach on their currently well-protected territory. This is good news for CIOs and CTOs in organizations that store large data sets. Examples include healthcare technology, video media, and social networking sites.

Keep a close eye on this. It should be kind of fun to see it all play out.

Credit where credit is due ...
Oracle event signals Sun hardware aspirations

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Critical Windows patches expected today

Last Friday, Microsoft published a Security Bulletin announcing that today's update will include five critical updates. While these updates are meant to deal with several Windows issues (none are targeted to Office applications or other Microsoft software), the just announced IIS vulnerability is not expected to be addressed in this update.

All of the major Windows operating systems are included in this update:

  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP
  • Windows 2000

It is somewhat unusual for a new O/S, such as Server 2008, to get a critical update so early in its lifecycle.

The update is expected to be released at approximately 1:00pm EDT. Also, Microsoft will host a webcast to address customer questions on these bulletins on September 9, 2009, at 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada). Register now for the September security bulletin webcast. After this date, this webcast is available on-demand. For more information, see Microsoft Security Bulletin Summaries and Webcasts.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Widespread Touchscreen is coming

A few weeks back, ComputerWorld published an analysis of what five top PC makers are planning for the touch-screen market. I found it to be eye-opening. Here are some highlights from the article:
  • Lenovo Group plans to release a touch-screen model soon after Windows 7 goes into production release.
  • Acer is planning three touch-screen models for Windows 7.
  • Micro-Star International (MSI) is planning a Windows 7-enable netbook.
  • Sony announced earlier in August that the Vaio will be available in touch-screen enabled models for Windows 7.
  • Asuste - which is already in the touch-screen game with several Linux models - is planning a Windows 7 version.
Notice a theme?

Of course, all of these manufacturers - which collectively represent 60% of the global PC market - are linking up with the release of Windows 7 to help push this market forward. My perspective is that this is a welcome development. Touch-screen technology has been pretty good for too many years for it to be so rare in the market. It will, of course, have an impact on consumer-facing application development. And it will open up a plethora of opportunities for creative solutions to pesky user-interface issues. Not the least is how technology can be used in mobile environments, such as delivery trucks, military vehicles, and even airplane cockpits. I also think about kiosk applications at health clubs, banks, hospitals, doctor's offices; the list goes on and on.

I'll be keeping a close eye on this over the next six months. It's going to be impossible to ignore the implications.

Here's the article from ComputerWorld:
The OS that launched 1,000 touch screens