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Hi, Everyone,

Saturday before last I attended a Microsoft eXtreme event.
The trip report is at:
  http://unicoi.kennesaw.edu/~rconn/extreme/index.htm

You might want to read this over.  A few highlights:
  1. Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration.  Just like with
     Windows 2000, we see eBooks and the Pocket PC as being the
     result of collaborations on a large scale.  The latest
     Steven King novel is only available in eBook form
     (I failed to mention that).  When the Pocket PC is
     launched in two days there will "suddenly" be thousands
     of eBooks to be sold for it.  Not to mention several
     different hardware vendors.
  2. The Microsoft Reader is rising as a key component.  The
     community knew it was coming as early as 1998.  We can
     expect to see it appear as an ActiveX Control supplied
     with the MSDN subscription, so serious VB developers
     upgrade to this technology quickly.  How long will it
     take the Ada community to have an Ada-based component
     like this when we still don't have even an Acrobat PDF
     Reader component (which has been with the VB distribution
     for more than a year)?  Part of the reason I put a
     VB/Ada section under Special Reports on the new ASE CDROM
     is to show that we can join with this movement and
     exploit its technology while still basing our programs
     on Ada.
  3. Expansion into embedded applications (Windows NT Embedded
     and Windows 2000 Embedded).  There are a dozen
     Windows 2000 Operating Systems coming out in 2000 and 2001.
     Is Windows 2000 Real-Time far behind?
  4. Reliability is a key theme, backed by many, many independent
     testimonials.  Whether or not it really IS that reliable
     is not something that most managers will be able to
     determine through the hype.  From what I have seen, I
     believe it IS that reliable, but only time will tell.
     While we also believe that Ada leads to more reliable
     code, where are the testimonials that management will
     listen to?  Hand waving and pointing at code will not
     win them over.

One thing also interesting to note is the play on emotions.
Hearing all of these testimonials can make some wish to join
just based on them without really looking at it.  Back that
with the article in the New York Times Magazine this weekend
about the $21.8 BILLION that the William H. Gates Foundation
contributes to charity and humanitarian causes, and you end
up feeling that buying Microsoft is the *right* thing to do
as well as the business-sense thing to do.  Note that this
article appeared in the New York Times ... who do you think
will read it?

Something to think about.

Rick
==============
Richard Conn
Principal Investigator, Reuse Tapestry
http://xenadu.home.mindspring.com/