Microsoft PDC postponed due to lack of content

Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference, which was to take place in October, has been postponed.

The stated reason is that the conference, which is meant to be focused on futures, would have been too late for the current round of developer releases:

By this fall, however, upcoming platform technologies including Windows Server 2008, SQL Server codenamed “Katmai,”

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Microsoft: .doc and .xls are dangerous

A common phenomenon in the tech world is when vendors trash their own past products in an effort to convince you of the value of shiny new ones.

Here is an example. Microsoft’s security advisory 937696 and the related KB 935865 tells us of the dangers posed by Office binary formats including .doc, .xls and .ppt:

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Sorry Ryan, this can’t be done

I enjoy Ryan Stewart’s Universal Desktop blog on Rich Internet Applications. It’s changing though. Stewart now works for Adobe, though he says:

I’m joining Adobe as a Rich Internet Application Evangelist on the Platform Team. One of the things I get a lot of feedback on is that everyone appreciates me being “neutral” and covering

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Why Rich Internet Applications Matter

Anne Zelenka is sceptical about RIAs:

The idea is that we need more rich interactivity from our browser apps than they give us. But is this just developer fantasy, or does it represent a real end user need?

It’s a great question. I believe it’s fair to say that the all the interest in RIA,

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Google bans essay ads

The BBC reports that Google will ban essay adverts. I knew this was a problem but hadn’t appreciated how severe it is:

Banning the ads strikes me as sensible, but won’t students simply perform a search instead? Google could also block the searches, but that’s censorship and has difficulties of its own.


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Adobe CS3 won’t install

Users are complaining that Adobe Creative Suite 3 simply won’t install. I’m one of them, running 32-bit Vista Professional. Pop the DVD in, click Install CS3 Web Premium, setup starts running, then silently closes. No error message, no install either.

Of course I have tried a few things. I’m not the only one struggling: the

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Visual Programming is back: PopFly, Pipes, Scratch

The first true visual programming environment I used was IBM’s VisualAge Smalltalk. I liked it and thought it was a shame when IBM reverted to pure code-based development with Eclipse. Admittedly, complex applications got fairly confusing, with lines everywhere.

Now it seems visual programming is back. The other day Scratch hit the news, a cool

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Microsoft has "no plans to litigate"

According to Bill Hilf, general manager of platform strategy, Microsoft is not planning to litigate against open source after all. In an interview for Infoworld he says:

Our strategy from everyone in the company — from [Steve] Ballmer to Brad Smith to me and everyone in between — has always been to license and not

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Eclipse, WebSphere winners in latest Java survey

BZ Research has released its latest survey of Java tools. Let’s start with the caveats: The survey is based only on subscribers to SD Times. Out of 19,623 subscribers invited to take part, only 758 (3.9%) completed the questionnaire.

I’m not surprised: I get bombarded with requests to take part in surveys, and rarely do

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A bad experience with Windows Live

The main problem I have with Windows Live is lack of confidence that it will actually work as advertised. There is a rational explanation for this kind of hunch. It is formed from previous experiences, and once formed, it hard to shake off.

Here’s what happened today. I wanted to contact a Microsoft blogger who hosts

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