Mac App Store, Windows Store, and the decline of the open platform

Valve Software’s Gabe Newell caused a stir recently when he said at the Casual Connect event in Seattle that Microsoft’s Window 8 is bad news gfor game vendors:

I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think we’ll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market.

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BBC web site has a Metro look

The BBC redesigned its web site last year borrowing elements of Microsoft’s Metro design language, as seen in Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Office 2013. Note the tiles, the typography, the horizontal scrolling, the way elements stand out against a pale background.

The BBC site is the 5th most popular in the UK and

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Interview: Salesforce.com exec Parker Harris on the technology behind the platform

A couple of months ago, I attended Cloudforce in London, where I spoke to Salesforce.com co-founder Parker Harris, Executive Vice President, Technology.

The Salesforce.com platform is interesting for all sorts of reasons. The company has been a powerful advocate of cloud computing from before its adoption by other industry giants, and its service is

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Access Web App: at last a simple web database app builder from Microsoft

One thing hardly mentioned in the press materials for Office 2013, and therefore mostly ignored in the immediate publicity, is Microsoft Access 2013. It is included though, and its most interesting new feature is a thing called an Access Web app.

To make one of these, you click the big “Custom web app” button

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Office 365 for developers: Getting started with Microsoft Napa

One key aspect of Microsoft’s forthcoming Office 2013 is its support for a new app model. The idea is that rather than building local add-ins for desktop Office, you will build web applications that live in one of four places:

In SharePoint Within an Excel document Within a Task pane in Excel or Word Adjacent

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Adobe Brackets: a different type of HTML and JavaScript code editor. Interview with Adobe’s Adam Lehman.

On Adobe’s Tools and Services page there is an intriguing remark about the company’s plans for a code editor. “We think there’s a need for a different type of code editor – we’re working on something and will have more to share soon.”

That something is Brackets, a code editor written in HTML and

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Offline web mail in new Office 365 and Exchange 2013 Outlook Web Access

Microsoft has posted details of the forthcoming Exchange 2013, and one of the features that intrigues me is the ability to use the browser-based email client, Outlook Web Access (OWA), offline.

Since offline use is one of the primary issues with web applications, this is a key feature. It would be particularly interesting if it

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Recovering documents from SharePoint 2010

I mentioned the other day that an update broke my SharePoint installation. The timing was bad as I was just about to leave the office for a few days, so as it turned out I did not get to focus on this properly until last weekend. This virtual server is backed up nightly. I restored

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Intranet and Mail hassles with Windows 8

Microsoft has made changes to networking in Windows 8, mainly I presume for security reasons, but there are odd side-effects, at least in the Release Preview version.

One is that if you browse to a site on your intranet in the Metro-style browser, you are likely to get a connection failure. This is what I

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WHATWG to accelerate work on HTML5 “Living Standard”, diverge further from W3C HTML5

Google’s Ian Hickson, who is the editor of HTML5 at the WHATWG group, has announced an “Update on the relationship between the WHATWG HTML living standard and the W3C HTML5 specification” in a message that seems to express frustration at the slow pace of the W3C standards body.

There have long been two versions of

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