Stories by Galen Gruman

  • Deathmatch rematch: BlackBerry versus iPhone 3.0

    The new iPhone 3.0 OS is now old news, but does its enhancements overcome any advantages that the BlackBerry has over the iPhone? In May, I pitted the BlackBerry Bold in a head-to-head competition against the iPhone 3G, which handily beat RIM's business standard in most areas. After all, the iPhone 3.0 OS enhances the e-mail, calendar, and search functions that many BlackBerry users focus on and that IT loves about the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).

  • A year after Windows XP's death, users keep it alive

    A year ago today, Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows XP, no longer selling new copies in most venues. The June 30 kill date for XP followed a six-month outcry from users about Windows Vista, with demands that Microsoft keep XP available alongside Vista for the many users who were frustrated by ease-of-use, compatibility, and retraining issues.

  • Where the iPhone is driving Mac OS X

    When Apple unveiled the iPhone 3.0 OS and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard at WWDC recently, I was struck that one of the most significant additions to Snow Leopard came from the iPhone 2.0 OS: support for ActiveSync and native Microsoft Exchange.

  • iPhone vs. BlackBerry: Readers strike back

    In comparing the RIM BlackBerry Bold to the Apple iPhone 3G, after a month-long test of each, I declared that it was time to bury the Blackberry, as it was mediocre in its signature mail functions and pathetic in next-gen mobile capabilities such as Web browsing and applications. I got many heated replies, such as this one from reader Mortys11 (a comments handle, as with the other names cited): "Who is this guy? He must be on the Apple payroll because any tech writer with half a brain would never claim that the BlackBerry is an inferior e-mail device." (Sorry, I do not work, and have never worked, for Apple. I do use a Mac, but until Vista I had used Windows XP.) Smalpre says, "I would have to declare the writer of this article a completely incompetent nontechnical person that obviously has never had a 'real job' in IT."

  • What business can expect from Mac OS X Snow Leopard

    It's the OS that won't go away, despite many enterprises' avowed distaste and Apple's own public disinclination to support enterprise usage. And yet, the newest Mac OS -- Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, due to be released later this summer -- has two major changes aimed directly at business users and the IT staff that supports them.

  • Meet America's first CIO

    In a surprise announcement, President Obama has named the first federal CIO of the US: Vivek Kundra, CTO of the District of Columbia. (He has yet to name the position he did promise he would create: the first national CTO.) So who is Kundra, and what might his appointment mean for the federal government's direction for and spending on technology?

  • The top tech resolutions for 2009

    New Year's is a great occasion for taking pause to reassess priorities, needs, and wants. As we enter what looks to be a trying 2009, such a pause is even more critical. IT resources will be limited and business pressures higher. But that doesn't mean you withdraw or go into reactive mode. In tough times, being clear on your priorities is even more important, as everything you do is more critical. So InfoWorld asked its CTO Council member and its cadre of expert contributors for their top New Year's resolutions to give the tech industry a list that we hope will help you make the most of your 2009 priorities.

  • iPhone OS 2.2 update doesn't fix key business flaws

    The iPhone 3G and its iPhone 2 OS propelled Apple's leading-edge mobile device into serious contention as a business smartphone. And the iPhone 3G is one of the best -- if not the best -- mobile 2.0 device out there for overall use. But Apple missed when it came to business functionality, leaving a space that the RIM BlackBerry Storm, Palm Treo Pro, and Google Android-based T-Mobile G1 are all trying to fill.

  • If Windows is a dead end, what's next?

    The writing is on the wall. Despite a major push to sell the much-maligned Windows Vista, customers aren't buying. Nearly two years after Vista's release, Windows XP remains the standard desktop OS in business, and Microsoft has extended its availability three times (currently to August 2009) due to customer demand. Microsoft itself forecasts just 2 percent growth in Vista sales in early 2009, after lackluster sales in 2008. And that's after forcing customers to buy Vista to get XP "downgrades."

  • Why iPhone 2.0 won't yet rule the enterprise roost

    Most of the world, it seemed, drank the Steve Jobs Kool-Aid about the new iPhone being a BlackBerry killer when the Apple CEO first announced the device earlier this year. But after nearly two weeks with the new iPhone 2.0 software on my iPod Touch, I can tell you that Apple has not yet delivered on that promise.

  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard: Apple's secret business weapon?

    Judging from initial accounts, the next version of the Mac OS X, named Snow Leopard, will be aimed squarely at business and enterprise users, signaling a formal push by Apple to take Windows head on outside the consumer and education markets. "Apple is taking the Mac OS one step closer to the enterprise," says Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Jupiter Research.

  • Microsoft's future No. 3: The 'streaming' scenario

    For investors, the 2011-2015 era was pure hell when it came to Microsoft. Windows 7 and Office 2010 followed Windows Vista and Office 2007 as duds, gaining minimal adoption, mainly as preinstalled software on new computers. For several years, Microsoft had been working in its server group on desktop and application streaming technologies meant to help datacenters better manage far-flung users. By 2011, it became clear that Microsoft should provide its OS and core apps over the cloud to everyone, not just give that capability to enterprise datacenters, as application streams.

  • Microsoft's future No. 2: The 'slow decline' scenario

    Bill Gates retired from Microsoft a decade ago, yet his ghost still loomed large, in the form of a persistent effort to continually extend the reach of Microsoft into every nook and cranny possible. And that ghost inhabited a company increasingly focused inward on its own view of what users should want and do. Like Windows Vista and Windows 7 before it, Windows UT (Unlimited Technology) captured a smaller share of upgrades than its predecessor. Ditto with Office UT. Even though Microsoft paid attention to hardware resource requirements in UT and didn't wield the new software as a way to force users to buy new hardware as its last several versions had done, feature fatigue had set in. For most people, Office 2000 and Windows XP did the job they needed, and learning a new UI every few years was simply not in the cards for a user base that had long thought of technology not as a shiny toy to play with but instead as a tool that needed to get the job done and stay out of the way.

  • Microsoft's future No. 1: The 'Borvell' scenario

    Microsoft's a dinosaur that didn't know its dead yet. The cloud computing meteor was speeding its way, and when pervasive computing in the cloud became a reality in about 2015, Microsoft was all but dead. Why? Because the Windows and Office revenues collapsed as users finally stop buying upgrades they don't need, and cloud offerings via the browser took their place. Poof! Gone was 80 percent of Microsoft's profits. And gone was the money to invest in technologies that took multiple versions to get right -- if they ever got it right -- such as the Xbox, Zune, Microsoft Dynamics, and MSN.