I logged into my Windows Live email account yesterday only to find all my email deleted. Not even a single solitary spam message left. I should be livid. Should be tearing what little hair I have left out of my head.
Instead I am simply moderately furious!
Why? Well this is not the first time Microsoft decided to delete all the email from my (then Hotmail) account. So I learned after losing valuable email the first time, not to trust any important email to Microsoft.
What makes it more annoying is that if Microsoft allowed POP access to Live Mail accounts, the way Gmail does, you would be logged in every time you fire up your email client app and you would have a local backup of your mail. But Microsoft won’t do that. Why? Because that might be useful?
After the first time I lost all my email, I didn’t trust Live Mail with any important email so this time I didn’t lose anything valuable. I kept the account because a few old domains are pointed at the email address.
Now, however, I will simply not use Live Mail for anything. I will switch the domains to point at a reliable email service.
Microsoft have a huge image problem. They are perceived as deeply uncool. Vista hasn’t helped this at all. But Windows Live is the public face of Microsoft. When Windows Live does things like ensures people can’t download their email, and then deletes it without warning, it is no wonder that Microsoft is considered yesterday’s company.
OpenOffice, the free opensource office suite, released OpenOffice 3.0 Beta yesterday. This latest release now runs on Mac OS X without requiring X11 to be running as well. And there are versions for Windows and Linux obviously.
There are a host of new features like ODF Support, Office 2007/8 import/export and support for up to 1024 columns on the spreadsheet app to name but a few.
With the killer combination of Google Docs (Google’s great hosted office app), OpenOffice and OOo2GD (an app to synch between OpenOffice and Google Docs), the justification for spending any amount of money on Office software has just disappeared!
There is also a large number of extensions available for OpenOffice. Everything from template packs, through to report builders and Wiki writers!
Download it, try it out. If you are worried that it will be a big change in UI from Microsoft Office – wait until you see the Office 2007 UI!!! And did I mention OpenOffice is free?
This year’s Startup 2.0, a European competition for Web 2.0 startups, was launched the other day.
Submissions are accepted for blogs, wikis, social networks or any other website which makes a high use of Web 2.0 components, such as tags, RSS, collaboration or Ajax. Companies and people from any European country willing to present their projects just have to submit them.
Entries are judged not only the quality of the website but also the business model and the creativity of their video presentation. Internet users and a jury will select 10 projects to be presented in Barcelona on May 21st, where they will compete for online advertising and infrastructure prizes for their project. Last year’s winners won 5 days advertising on the front page of TechCrunch.com as far as I recall amongst other prizes.
The contest is organized by Alianzo and La Caixa bank as a non-profit initiative, supported by Microsoft and Sun Microsystems and sponsored by 22@Barcelona.
I am one of the 10 jury members who will be judging the entries along with MartÃn Varsavsky, Loic Le Meur, Daniel Waterhouse, Ouriel Ohayon, Nicole Simon, Bernardo HernÃ¡ndez, Luca Conti and Yaron Orenstein.
If you want your startup to be entered for this competition, register on the site before April 30th.
Simon from Attentio pinged me yesterday to let me know about their latest offering, Trendpedia. In Simon’s own words Trendpedia:
is in essence a European Blog search with a lovely trend function.
We have some more cool stuff to come, will keep you in the loop.
In the example above I looked for mentions of my name along with the terms Apple, Microsoft and Energy. I was surprised by the high showing of Microsoft vs. Apple and interested to note the upward trend of the term Energy since I started my LowerFootprint.com blog.
I can see lots of ways this can be improved (can anyone say widget?) but for a simple first off offering, I like what it does. Well done guys.
Via Clare Dillon the Virtual Earth blog and Martha Rotter on Twitter I spotted that Microsoft’s Live Maps now includes images of Cork, Galway, Carlow, Limerick, Navan & Wexford – cool!
The Bird’s Eye button becomes active when you are over an area that Microsoft has detailed aerial imagery of.
The image below is of Cork City Hall. You can rotate and zoom to see it from other angles and sizes! Way cool.
According to Clare’s blog post, Dublin will be up soon as well.
There was a big bruhaha on the intertubes over the weekend when Apple ran its software update on Windows and offered the Safari 3.1 browser download as the default selected option.
Now I am not for a second condoning this kind of behaviour. I believe opt-in is the only way to do optional updates, especially when you are adding applications to a users machine.
However, I had to laugh when I saw Ed Bott get all up on his high horse about this. Ed is a Microsoft guy so it was all the more hilarious that he try to grab the moral highground here. In his post he said:
I think Apple is dead wrong in the way itâ€™s gone about using its iPod monopoly to expand its share in another market. Ironically, an excellent model for how this update program should work already exists. Itâ€™s called Windows Update, and it embodies all the principles that Apple should follow… The right way to do it involves these four principles
* Opt-in is the only way. The update process should be completely opt-in. The option to deliver software should never be preselected for the user.
* Offer full disclosure. The software company has a responsibility to fully disclose what its software does, and the customer should make the opt-in decision only after being given complete details about how the update process works.
* Offer updates only. Updates should be just that. They should apply only to software that the customer has already chosen to install.
* Donâ€™t mix updates. Updates that are not critical should be delivered through a separate mechanism.
They are good principles, I have no argument with them however Ed offers these principles up as if Microsoft lived by them! Ed, you are dreaming. Microsoft are just as guilty of breaching these principles as Apple. I don’t use Microsoft software much but the last time I tried to update Windows Live Writer my default search engine was changed to Live Search, and I had to opt out or I would have had Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Live OneCare installed on my laptop.
Pot kettle black Ed.
Vista is buggy. That much is obvious to anyone who runs it but it has been improving in stability as the patches are rolled out. However it runs extremely slowly too and this became startlingly obvious to me in the last few weeks as I have been testing browsers on different platforms.
It turns out I can run Internet Explorer 8 faster on my older Mac than I can on my newer Vista machine (both 2ghz Intel core duo with 2gb ram)!
However, when I installed Internet Explorer 8 on my Vista laptop, IE8 completed the test in 19,906.4ms.
Vista is more than twice as slow as XP running in Parallels on my Mac.
Vista is a huge embarrassment for Microsoft. They spent a fortune developing it and you speak to any Microsoft employee now and if the topic turns to Vista they get visibly uncomfortable. To the extent that Microsoft are now starting to talk up Windows 7 with Bill Gates calling it a big step forward. It needs to be.