Well, MS is reorganising its top brass, and it looks like Jim Allchin (Windows platform manager) gets to leave gracefully rather than being fired over Longhorn/Vistas (lack of) delivery. Perhaps this is an acknowledgement that the whole corporate structure, rather than Allchin in particular, is resposbile for the continued underachievement of that particular team. A MS employee has some interesting insights.
I think they drastically need to give themselves a shakedown like this. They’re seeing that the likes of Google and various open source projects are nipping quite seriously at their heels whilst their own product schedules drag and their final products underdeliver more often than not. I heard this week that SQL Server 2005 is getting features pulled to meet delivery too, the latest in the line of disappointments. I was actually pretty shocked SQL Server didn’t do mirroring already to be honest; I’ve been away from significant SQL Server use for a while, using Oracle which does spoil you somewhat with all its features, and had just assumed SQL Server had come a bit further than it has in the last few years. I hope this trend of disappointment doesn’t also apply to VC++ 2005, since I’m very likely to purchase that. I’ve played with the beta and it’s quite nice, but really the only reason I’m likely to buy it is to get away from the bugs in the VC++ 2002 compiler. I skipped VC++ 2003 since I dislike paying _again_ for something that’s exactly the same but with bugfixes - they should have fixed them for free for Gods sake! VC++ 2005 has a few new features I like so I can just about justify that. If Eclipse was as good for C++ as it is for Java, there would be no need to spend any money at all of course.
Also, Opera is attempting to make a comeback following Firefox’s success - they’ve finally dropped the ads from the free version of Opera. I used to use Opera a long while back and liked it, but eventually switched to Firefox’s because of the lack of ads (back when Firefox was Firebird). I’ve tried the new Opera and it’s nice and all, but I just find myself missing all my cool Firefox plugins. Opera has some too, but there’s nowhere near as rich a choice, because of the obvious difference in user bases. I’ll certainly keep an eye on it, but FF will remain my browser of choice for the moment.