But first, a rant about silver bullets. CEOs love them. Shareholders love them. Politicians love them. It’s too bad they are hardly ever real. The world has a way of keeping itself in balance by using opposing forces and feedback loops (you know, like our government used to). Sure, we find disruptive advancements in technology, math, and even anthropology, but even these usually have some sort of cost or downside. While you keep trying to make alchemy work, we’ll just keep on finding significant, but incremental, improvements, and we’ll see who wins.
Slashdot brings us this article on Microsoft trying to invent the search engine. Again. Because what hotter name could you possibly think of for a search engine than “Bing”? Note that it’s Bing as in cherries, not Bling as in jewelry.
I did reply to the post with a Faulty Financial Comparison warning for comparing Microsoft’s net loss to Google’s gross profits
A later article on FastCompany filled in some more details. The big new functionality in Bing is that you don’t just tell it keywords to match linguistically with, you tell it the kind of thing you’re looking for (a business, a person, a service, a book,…) and it uses its “Decision Engine” to return pages on that kind of thing. I hope it’s either very good or very bad. Because if it’s sorta OK, it will get in the way of true Semantic Web work that can solve these problems right.
“Microsoft is advertising for a new director of open source strategy, but this one has a specific purpose: fight the Linux desktop. ‘The Windows Competitive Strategy team is looking for a strong team member to lead Microsoft’s global desktop competitive strategy as it relates to open source competitors.’ For a variety of reasons, this move is almost certainly targeted at Ubuntu Linux’s desktop success.
Anything that worries Microsoft is alright by me. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not totally anti-Microsoft products. I believe in “the right tool for the right job”. But I also feel Microsoft as a company has done some pretty illegal and immoral things, and that they need to be kept in check. They need to be reminded there are viable alternatives to their products, so they can’t just do whatever they want. I also believe that if you’re going to use single-source, single-platform technologies, there should be some advantage to doing so that makes limiting your deployment environment worthwhile.