Stay with me on this… I’m going somewhere with it… wait for it…
The French Open fortnight draws to a close this week. The end of the tournament features the best matches as the top players don’t meet until the Semis or Finals. But this year, the first two men’s Quarterfinals matches each took 5 sets to determine the winner.
Each match included a current tennis “heavy weight” (Federer and Djokovic). Each match also included a top player that has the potential to become a heavy weight in their own right. These were exciting matches, filled with drama induced by multiple momentum shifts. In the end, the both upstarts were crushed by the heavy weights. We’ll have Federer v Djokovic in the French semis for a 2nd year in a row. It won’t matter who wins because Nadal will crush the winner. No one defeats Nadal on red clay.
Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic represent tennis’s “Big 3″. It takes a monumental effort to topple one of these gentlemen in a tennis match… especially in a Grand Slam tournament. But these gentlemen are growing older and there is a new generation of men challenging them for the top spots. A few years ago, there is no way Federer would need 5 sets to win a quarter final match. But now, he is old (in tennis years). He is not as nimble and must rely on guile to supplement what he lacks in athleticism.
In our software development world, we have our own “Big 3″: Microsoft, Apple, and Google. Microsoft and Apple are grandpas (in tech years). Google is a single adult without kids. These three dominate our industry and are quite accustomed to winning. But they are old. Their business units are not as nimble as they once were. Instead of creating great new software from scratch, they focus on maintaining the current cash cows while trying to kill the cash cows of the other two. In addition, there are young upstarts (like Facebook) that threaten their success.
It’s fun to watch and is filled with drama.
MSFT is competing in two big events at the moment with the impending releases of Windows 8 and Office 15. They have much at stake. The competition is young, nimble, and ambitious. The spectators (aka the press) can’t wait to write MSFT’s obituary. The criticism is harsh.
MSFT must rely on their guile to survive. They have done it before. Can they do it again?
We’ll find out soon enough. I’m betting they can and that it will be an ugly battle. It will be a battle fought by Microsoft’s young breed of talent.
Office news & editorials!
- Is Office for the iPad more than a mirage? :: The last week has seen everyone reporting on the same rumor that MSFT will release Office for iPad on 11/10. Will they or won’t they? I think they will. But, I’m betting on 11/11 because it looks cooler than 11/10. There are bigger issues to resolve than the rumored release date however.
- Microsoft Office for the iPad: What we know :: Ummm… not much.
- Microsoft to deliver Office 15 for Windows devices first, iPad later :: This article claims we will have an Office 15 beta by 7/16. That’s great news but I was hoping it would arrive sooner. I’ll take it… beggars can’t be choosers, etc. Oh, and the article claims Office will release in October with versions for other platforms arriving in Spring 2013 or later. The reason? To give Windows 8 competitive advantage. Read the next item and you will find out how important competitive advantage (or any advantage) will be for Windows 8.
- Dvorak: Windows 8 an unmitigated disaster; unusable and annoying; it makes your teeth itch:: Every time I read this headline I giggle. It’s so curmudgeonly great! The world famous Dvorak wrote an article that is quoted heavily. It has his usual biting sarcasm and cutting wit… making it a must for the newswire. I have used Windows 8 for a few months now and I remain befuddled by it. I want to like it but I think it is going to be difficult for businesses to adopt it.
- Office 15 with PDF support :: PDF support in Word? We are talking about Word having the capability to open and read PDF files. I want to know more about it.
Office tips, tricks & tools
- Publisher 2010 Ribbon Interface :: I think Publisher is an underrated member of the Office application suite. InDesign is the touted tool for professional designers and it is quite nice. You can create some fancy schmancy brochures, document designs, posters, and more. You can use Publisher too. Which is nice if you already have Office Professional Plus on your desktop. This article explains Publisher’s implementation of the Ribbon.
- Excel Blog – Our eight best Excel tutorials on charts :: Eight tutorials from the Excel team that, if followed, are sure to improve your charting skills. I enjoyed the one covering Sparklines.
- 30 geeky artworks created using Microsoft Excel :: Excel can do darn nearly anything. This is proof.
- I need to build a SharePoint 2010 Intranet – where do I start? :: This article is for anyone that has no idea what SharePoint is but finds themselves in-charge of implementing it.
Office developer items of note
- Extending the LINQ to SharePoint context to allow additional fields and properties in your queries :: Read this and learn to use the CKS Dev tools to modify LINQ to SharePoint entities. This is great stuff.
- Code Reviews that might actually work :: Ask 100 developers how they run a code review and you will hear 50 different answers. That’s because the other 50 will copy one of the answers from the first 50. If you don’t know what a code review is or if you do know but have never seen them work well, this article has some good ideas for your consideration.
- Setting object cache accounts in SharePoint 2010 :: This is a PowerShell script and it looks to be a useful one at that… especially if you are using Windows claim authentication for your SharePoint site collections.
- SharePoint development with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 :: This is a session from Tech Ed 2011. It will introduce you to the tools Visual Studio 2010 provides you for developing with SharePoint. Skip the first 2-3 minutes as it is normal conference intro stuff. The first demo begins around the 10 minute mark.