Microsoft launches blog

Yet another sign that blogs have moved mainsteam. On Tuesday, Microsoft launched Channel 9, a blog designed to improve communication between inhouse engineers and external developers. Bill Hill's monologue on Homo Sapiens 1.0 is both entertaining and on target. But I'm not sure I'm ready for video blog entries. Not surprisingly, the site does not look the same on MSIE and Mozilla. And I'm not sure why I had to approve three Microsoft downloads for Windows Media Player to provide only sound for Mozilla -- but no downloads for MSIE and the video worked. Color me cynical, but the doctrine sounds suspicously like a knock-off of The Cluetrain Manifesto. Links: cNet (6 Apr)continue reading →

MP3s to get DRM?

According to cNet and MacCentral, a French firm - Thomson - has develop Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology for MP3s, perhaps the most ubiquitous form of music on the Net. Apple uses Fairplay technology; Microsoft has DRM built into its Windows Media Player software. Links: MacCentral (2 Mar); Baltimore Sun (from LA Times - 1 Mar); cNet (1 Mar); Apple's Fairplay (cNet), Microsoft DRM, Thomsoncontinue reading →

A different tune (update)

Trade press and mass media continue to report on Apple's (new) iTunes for Windows. PC World reports that Apple sold 1 million tunes in three days after the launch. Internetnews.com likened Apple's move to throwing down a "guantlet" to other music sites. "I think this will come down to Apple vs. MusicMatch unless Microsoft enters, which is expected, and changes the overall dynamic," industry analyst Rob Enderle told internetnews.com. Articles (analysts) also reference the competing technologies -- Microsoft's Windows Media Audio (WMA, a proprietary codec designed to compete with MPEG3) and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC, an industry standard). AAC is designed to give the highest audio quality in smallest file size/bit rate. And it's not new. Moreover, many experts insist that it is "the state of the art in audio compression technology." The "battle" between MP3 and AAC has been compared with VHS-BetaMax, where the best technology "lost" due to…continue reading →