NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Looking to innovate

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Looking to innovate

Amber found a brochure I had for Kauai, Hawaii. "What is this, Cringe? Are you planning to surprise me with a trip there?" I just hope she doesn't discover that single plane ticket I bought.

Gates reveals awful truth

At an impromptu meeting over lunch at Microsoft's Financial Analysts Day in July, Bill Gates said companies are not "super" innovative and don't produce reliable products. No earth-shattering revelations there, but in illustrating his point he asked, "Do you really need the next version of Office? I don't think so." Gates acknowledged that users need a compelling reason to upgrade to the next Office, my spy said. The only thing that sells software these days is the innovation factor, Gates claimed. "The Tablet is going to be the most viral thing ever," Gates added. Of course, Microsoft has been touting the Tablet PC for quite some time.

JavaScript pressure

But Microsoft could nevertheless be called a great innovator, at least when compared to the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA). In terms of extending existing scripting languages to support XML there appears to be both good and bad news from ECMA, my spy said. The good news is BEA recently showed ECMA how to better extend scripting languages to work directly with XML. The bad news is most people wouldn't recognise the group today, which seems hell-bent on replacing JavaScript (now called ECMAscript) with a derivative that looks a lot like a C# scripting language.

A lack of chivalry

Big Blue is cracking the whip against employee tailgaters, but not the variety typically associated with college football games. Workers are being reminded about a no tailgating policy, which means they are forbidden from sliding their ID badge through the security system, then holding the door for someone who doesn't slide their badge. "We have been instructed chivalry is dead concerning this matter," my spy said.

Speaking of the demise of chivalry, common courtesy may be going with it at the newly merged HP. Despite current geopolitical situations, HP is relying on parts of its support located in India. In so doing, HP bailed out on a relationship with The Answer Group (TAG), with which Compaq had a long-standing relationship. Adding salt to the wound, though, HP's support folks in India were telling customers and resellers about the TAG termination before HP even told TAG.

I booked our tickets for Kauai," Amber said. I guess I'm trapped now. No more tranquil escape for me.

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