Microsoft source code release not an accident

Interesting article on GMSV.

Typically, the only way to get a good look at Microsoft’s source code was via leak or the company’s “Shared Source” program. No longer. On Monday, Microsoft released some of its code (the Windows Installer Xml (WiX) toolset ) under an open-source license, and posted it on SourceForge. Rob Mensching, the Microsoft employee behind the unprecedented code release, commented on it in a post to his Web log. “After four and a half years of part-time development, the WiX design (and most of the code) matured to a point where I was comfortable trying to release it externally,” Mensching explained. “So, last October I started looking for a means to release not only the tools but the source code as well. I thought GotDotNet was the place. However, at that time, none of the existing Shared Source licenses were flexible enough to accept contributions from the community. Then, in February, I was introduced to Stephen Walli who was also working to improve Microsoft’s relationship with the Open Source community. Fortunately, Stephen was much farther along than I and had the step-by-step plan how to release an Open Source project from Microsoft using an approved OSS license. Today, via WiX on SourceForge, you get to see the results of many people’s efforts to improve Microsoft from the inside out. I’m not exactly sure what is going to happen next but I’m sure there are quite a few people who are interested to see where this leads. Personally, all I hope is that if you find the WiX toolset useful then you’ll join the community and help us improve the toolset.”

This is broken

This Is Broken, run by Mark Hurst, in my opinion has an excellent way to popularise the customer experience on the web. Not only is it “lmao“ funny, but it also tells you which products and companies to avoid! Kudos to Mark!

Does one need to "promote" offshoring?

Mercury News is running a story on how India’s second-largest software company, Infosys Technologies, announced Thursday that it is expanding operations in Fremont with a new management-consulting subsidiary to advise technology companies on shipping software-development work offshore. My question is, do they need to promote offshoring? Isn’t there enough action on the offshoring front?

Microsoft clipping Longhorn

Waaah… so Microsoft is clipping Longhorn and pushing out the release. There have also been rumours of pushing WinFS to Blackcomb (which would be the server version of Longhorn). Also. some rumours of a new version XP which would have a newer version of Media Player with a built-in online shopping piece akin to iTunes. When Longhorn does ship (as of now in 2006), it would be the biggest gap in Microsoft’s history between OS releases – almost half a decade, that in the IT world is an era.

U.S. Outsources Obesity To India

Supersizing Rampant in Bangalore

The United States is rapidly outsourcing obesity to India and hopes to shed as many as three trillion pounds of unsightly cellulite annually, President George W. Bush announced today.

In a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Milwaukee, the President said that since most of the millions of jobs outsourced since he was elected President were extremely sedentary, “Those jobs are now making the people of India fat instead of us.”

“In the long run, the weight loss more than makes up for the job loss,” the President added.

In India, where U.S. companies have outsourced customer service jobs at a blistering pace in the last three years, workers confirmed that they have never been fatter in their lives.

“Before I got this job, I used to get out of my chair occasionally, but those days are long gone,” said Sisirkana Bhatia, 27, who works at a Verizon call center in Bangalore. “The minute I’m off work I head on over to the Olive Garden for their all-you-can-eat bread sticks.”

A co-worker, Palak Mehndi, 25, agreed: “Next to ‘how can I help you,’ the words that I’m saying the most often these days are ‘Supersize me!’”

Indeed, Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam recently said in a nationally televised address that India was “in the throes of a Supersizing epidemic, adding that “the time has come for the Indian people to decide whether or not they want to look like Dick Cheney.”

Elsewhere, in a new poll released today, both President Bush and Senator John Kerry were defeated by the University of Connecticut.

IBM to buy India's third largest backoffice company

I think it is time to move back to India now. đŸ™‚

Here is an excerpt “…IBM, the world’s largest IT company, on Wednesday said it would acquire the country’s third largest BPO outfit, Daksh eServices, to add skills in strategic areas. Though IBM did not reveal the deal size, industry sources put the deal at Rs 700 crore (around $150 million), which is almost two-and-a-half times Daksh’s revenues for 2003-04.”

You can get the story here.

WinFX Reference

WinFX is the next generation of the API Library that is going to be part of Longhorn and would be replacing Win32 as we know it today. There is an excellent reference that covers Whidbey, Longhorn and Yukon for it that can be found here.

 

Windows is not the most important OS

Wow, now that is big – especially from me :). But I agree with Bill Hill on this one.

BTW, this from slashdot, Microsoft quietly launched Channel 9, a blog/discussion forum aimed at improving communication with outside developers, on Tuesday. Named for the audio channel that many airlines use to let passengers listen in on crew conversations during flight, Channel 9’s creators state the following in a welcoming message: ‘Five of us in Redmond are crazy enough to think we just might learn something from getting to know each other…Join in, and have a look inside our cockpit and help us fly the plane.

The Blackout

For those of us who were lucky enough to be stuck in the Blackout of 2003, the Power System Outage task force has released their report with the causes and the resolutions.

If you did not know about the Blackout, here is an excerpt from the report “ … on August 14, 2003, large portions of the Midwest and Northeast United States and Ontario, Canada, experienced an electric power blackout. The outage affected an area with an estimated 50 million people and 61,800 megawatts (MW) of electric load in the states of Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and the Canadian province of Ontario. The blackout began a few minutes after 4:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time and power was not restored for 4 days in some parts of the United States. Parts of Ontario suffered rolling blackouts for more than a week before full power was restored. Estimates of total costs in the United States range between $4 billion and $10 billion (U.S. dollars). In Canada, gross domestic product was down 0.7% in August, there was a net loss of 18.9 million work hours, and manufacturing shipments in Ontario were down $2.3 billion (Canadian dollars)…”

My question is, how the heck do they calculate those numbers?

For the curious lot, I was stuck at JFK Airport for the whole night – sleeping on a chair – or trying to. I had just left work to catch a flight back home to San Francisco. I was on a project in the NY office of the company I work for and was shuttling between good old San Francisco and New York on a weekly basis.

What is in a Name?

Many people have come to me asking what the heck does the Blog name mean? I have the same as my handle on MSN Messenger also and I get the same question there. For the non-techy folks, it is quite interesting that the first thing that comes to their mind is that there is a virus. Hmm, have we rooted this fear so deeply in them now? If so then probably we have failed, but thats another story. Anyways, if you read carefully my handle reads IUnkown [Deprecated]. For those of you who were lucky enough to program against COM, you would know that IUnkown is the main interface that all COM objects had to inherit – it’s the equivalent to object in Java or .NET; or as I like to say, “Mother of COM” :). With the release of .NET though, COM in general is deprecated now, with minimal new development on COM (or that is what common sense would dictate), hence IUnkown [Deprecated].

Feeling competitive heat, rivals decided to chill

Ah, good to see that those “sun” guys are finally coming to their senses, and evolving from the dark side. May the force be with them! Now, which is the next company that Microsoft should save? Maybe the one run by this unintellectual (gotta be PC you see) called Larry Ellison. đŸ˜‰

Wipro hit $60m with back taxes

Though I have never worked for (or at) a “big” Indian software company this is interesting as more and more Indian companies are taking a shelter under various US tax schemes. I am no tax expert and am not sure the legality of this, but this could be a huge “profit” for the Indian companies if it is upheld in court. Does invite the question, do they pass this onto the average joe working their butts off?

India's Shining Brains

I did not know this, but the dean of Kellogg School of business is of Indian origin. I think it’s pretty cool. Check out the story here.

The Singhsons

A good friend, pointed me to the “The Singhsons” found here who are right out hilarious! I just fell out of my chair laughing. There is sound so be careful if you are listening to this at work.

The first person I could think of while seeing this is my dear friend Karan – and I think that is a compliment. *grin* You can read Karan’s blog here.

Gibberish

A bunch of my friends asked me, what is all the “gibberish” on the test posts that I had submitted to ensure that everything works. I was quite surprised to hear these – especially these are friends who are into custom development on various platforms and technologies. The thought that they have never seen this “gibberish” was quite astounding.

So, the “gibberish”, is basically Lorem Ipsum which is sample or dummy text originally of the printing and typesetting industry, but now is used by the Information Architects in all product companies (that I know of). I did not know this, but Lorem Ipsum is from the 1500’s and is not just random text (or gibberish if you prefer that). On the contrary, it has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old.

Why do you use it? Generally, a reader gets distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at a pafe layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using placeholder’s, making it look like readable English.

You can get more information at this excellent site here.

If you go back and read the “gibberish” again a bit carefully you will notice it always starts with Lorem Ipsum.

"Windows XP Box"

These guys show you how to fit a fully functional PC based on a VIA M10000 EPIA board . They went onto fit it into a Red Hat box and then using a sensor told the boot-loader which OS to run based on which box it is in. Now thats cool! Also check out the other neat projects they have done.

Strike that out…

For those who know me, know I am a big Microsoft fan and am one of their big unofficial evangelists. But there is a very interesting article uncovering some embarassing and amusing PR at MS here.

Blog up and running!

Ok, now is this cool or what! Since I got the blog up and running with some minor changes I can actually get to do some blogging.