Tag: microsoft_ireland

ASP.Net AJAX seminar in Cork

it@cork are running a half day seminar on ASP.Net AJAX on Friday March 23rd. ASP.NET AJAX is Microsoft’s free framework for creating Web 2.0 sites which are cross-browser compatible (cross-browser, yes, from Microsoft!).

Speakers include author Jeff Prosise, Yagiz Erkan from DeCare and Rob Burke from Microsoft Ireland.

Sign up for the event is on the it@cork website

[Disclaimer – I am on the steering committee of it@cork]

Do startups use Open Source?

I was very much of the impression that startups these days, because they want to keep spending to a minimum, would be more likely to use Open Source tools to develop their applications. The likes of MySQL instead of Microsoft SQL Server, for instance.

This view was re-inforced by an interview I did with Salim Ismail for the it@cork pre-conference podcast series where he said all his startups used open source software.

However, after a chat with Microsoft’s Rob Burke on his blog, now I’m not so sure!

In my comment, I said Microsoft’s SQL Server should support other platforms and in this way, startups would be more likely to use it (i.e. if they didn’t have to splash out for a Windows license). Rob’s answer surprised me though, he said:

Our group at Microsoft Ireland can, quite literally, not adequately keep up with the demand we get from local startups (and larger ISVs) who see the value of the platform for the data tier and want to find the best on-ramp. You may have noticed – we’re hiring two more evangelists! 🙂

So startups in Ireland are choosing Microsoft SQL Server in droves? Why? The latest version of MySQL has stored procedures, triggers and views. It is platform independent, has a very strong support community and runs some of the better known sites on the web like Craigs List, Del.icio.us, Digg, Flickr, and Wikipedia, to name but a few.

If you chose SQL Server, you are locked into the Windows platform and although there are free versions of SQL Server to start out with, a fully licenced version to run a web site will cost you tens of thousands of Euros/dollars.

Why would any startup choose SQL Server? What am I missing?

IT@Cork Web 2.0 conference talks podcast

I finally got around to putting up the talks from the IT@Cork Web 2.0 Conference!

Shel Israel led off the talks at the IT@Cork Web 2.0 conference with a great introduction to blogs and social media – drawing very much on his experience co-authoring a book on business blogging called Naked Conversations called Naked Conversations with Robert Scoble. Shel’s talk is here.

Salim Ismail was next up. Salim was a powerhouse of knowledge and ideas. His talk concentrated on uses for Web 2.0 technologies in the enterprise and if you ever want to see a room full of jaws drop simultaneously, go to hear Salim give a talk. He is an extremely accomplished communicator, deftly making the most complex of ideas readily accessible. Salim’s talk is here.

Third up was Fergus Burns who spoke knowledgeably on the topic close to everyone’s heart – starting a Web 2.0 business in Ireland! Fergus’ talk is here.

Walter Higgins was the fourth speaker up. Walter has a Web 2.0 application called pxn8. Pxn8 is an online photo editing application. Walter showed how pxn8 has been developed using free development environments. Walter’s talk is here.

Finally Rob Burke from Microsoft Ireland gave us a demo we are not likely to forget for a long time – he live developed a web 2.0 app using Atlas on a laptop running Office 12 beta and Vista beta! And it didn’t crash once. The demo Gods were really smiling on him that day! Rob’s demo is here and is followed by the question and answer session between the panel and the audience.

Microsoft Ireland's error prone Tablet PC competition!

According to Dave Northey, Microsoft Ireland are giving away a Tablet PC – all you have to do is answer a survey before June 30th to be in with a chance of winning.

The only catch is that when I tried to go to the survey page to answer the questions I received the following error:

Free Tablet from Microsoft Ireland (or not!)

Perhaps this is part of the competition – you have to figure out how to get past this error page to answer the survey! Or perhaps it is hosted on a Windows server (ouch!)!

UPDATE: Microsoft appear to have fixed the problem. I say appear because I logged into the page, answered the questions on the page and clicked the continue button, expecting to be brought to another page of questions. Instead I found myself on the Microsoft Ireland security page. There was no message telling me that my data had been received successfully, or that my session had timed out so now I’m in limbo. Do I try again and possibly get penalised for trying too many times or just hope it worked?

Dave et al, you need to work a bit on managing people’s expectations (i.e. page 1 of 1, and/or Finish/Submit instead of continue on the button) and provide feedback – data received, thank you (or similar).

Thanks Microsoft

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m not shy about taking potshots at Microsoft.

However, recently Microsoft impressed me mightily so it is only fair that I acknowledge that here.

Microsoft Ireland are the main sponsors of the upcoming IT@Cork Web 2.0 half day conference. When the whole controversy broke about O’Reilly’s issuing a Cease and Desist letter to IT@Cork for using the term Web 2.0 in the conference title I knew I would have to alert Microsoft.

It wasn’t a call I relished. I fully expected Clare Dillon, my contact in Microsoft, to pull Microsoft out of the event because of the controversy.

On the contrary, when I explained the situation to Clare, her first words were “How can we help?”. I was flabbergasted -so much so that I didn’t have an answer. I honestly didn’t expect that response.

Had I thought for a second, I would have asked her to double the sponsorship amount to cover our potential legal costs 😉

Ah well, live and learn. Thanks Clare, and thanks Microsoft.

Qumas sponsors second IT@Cork podcast series


Qumas today agreed to sponsor the second IT@Cork Member’s podcast series (the first series was sponsored by Microsoft Ireland).

This is great news for the IT@Cork podcasts – they have landed yet another blue chip sponsor and continue to publish interviews with Thought Leaders from the IT@Cork membership.

[Disclaimer – I run the podcasts for IT@Cork]


Rob, as a member of the Developer and Platform Group at Microsoft Ireland, you are supposed to be building a community – so how come I can’t leave a comment on your blog?

UPDATE – Rob has now turned off the need to register on his blog in order to comment – thanks Rob, I have now left a comment on your blog – woot!