Category Archives: microsoft

Safari on Windows: Why is it important

If you haven’t heard yet, Apple (Jobs) just announced that Safari will be available to Windows users. This is important for 2 main reasons.

First of all, web developers will be able to test their applications in Safari now, which means they can assure a consistent design across browsers. People won’t have to have a mac to test how their sites look in one.

Second reason is related to the first one. Safari is the browser for the iPhone, which means that Steve Jobs has opened a way for developers to reach it. Not only Apple developers, but any web developer, and they can test their applications in Windows or Mac, they won’t need to buy an iPhone for development purposes.

There are a few “bad” things to take in consideration. Since Safari is now available in any platform, it will get the atttention of hackers, malware, spyware, etc. It is a start point for Mac holes to be exploited. This is also re-ignite the old “IE is unsafe just because it has more users” discussion. Let’s not forget Safari is in the iPhone too, why can’t it be a target? A omnipresent web browser sounds like a nice juice pray for hackers.

Now, on a user level, I don’t think Safari will become a leader, I don’t think it will take a lot of market share from IE o FF. I think it will remain a browser to enable developers to access several platforms, unless you are a mac fanboy trapped in a windows shell.

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Filed under apple, Browsers, development, microsoft, safari

Microsoft Surface

Ok, this is after me recovering from the shock of watching Microsoft Surface. It is totally impressive, but I think most people will be judging it from the wrong point of view (wow it looks so nice).

It isn’t just a neat product, I personally think it is the next paradigm shift. Computers, GUI, Post PC devices (is it?) and Surface. This “natural form factor” that keeps you from realizing you are dealing with a computer just blows me away (as Steve Jobs would say) . I definately think is something my grandpa could’ve used.

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Flash, YouTube, Apple TV and Silverlight.

This is a “6 degrees” kind of thing, but it’s actually 4. I don’t know if anyone thinks this way of relating things is ok, but here’s what I think.

With Microsoft releasing Silverlight preview, and it being dubbed the “Flash Killer”, there are a lot of questions arising about wether Microsoft can pull this one off or not. It obviously depends on the client adoption for the technology. Flash is currently installed in [put your favorite estimate here, it is still a lot] PCs. Silverlight has to beat that. But there are so many sites working with Flash already, and a huge developer base too.

I think Microsoft has a good chance to take Flash’s place, first because they have a history fo building a developer base. Some might disagree but they have done it before with .Net.

Another reason is that Microsoft is a lot more mature as a software development company than Adobe is. In my personal opinion their development tools are far more efficient.

But now there’s another twist to take in consideration, and that’s why I think this is sort of a “4 degrees to the demise of Flash” thing (ok, might be a little exagerated but still). YouTube is encoding it’s videos for the AppleTV in H.264 instead of FLV. Which means a change like that could be done in favor of Silverlight too, or a Silverlight version of YouTube. It doesn’t seem so hard to me that they can switch to Silverlight completely with some *minor* (compared to what I thought before) changes. Maybe YouTube won’t (I don’t really think Google would support Microsoft like that) but other non Google sites could.

Now you also have to take in consideration the fact that Flash comes with XP or SP2 and that Microsoft can install Silverlight in millions if PCs with just a simple update via Windows Update. Shazam!

Like I said, Microsoft has a very good chance. I want to hear counterpoints!

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Filed under flash, microsoft, silverlight, tv, youtube

Microsoft doesn’t care about IE6 anymore?

Today I was looking to learn something new, so I thought I should take a look at Microsoft’s new “Flash Killer” Silverlight. This post isn’t really about Silverlight, but about the Silverlight website.

This is how it looks to me in IE6: SilverLight WebSite (image).

This really bothers me (to say the least). Just a few days ago I was struggling with IE6 bugs to hav ea site displayed properly, not to mention the IE6 poor PNG transparency handling. And now I see this, Microsoft, the author of this – lacking a better word – hell, decided that it is ok to have IE6 users have their site displayed this bad. First they say “to hell with standards” and now they say “to hell with IE6″…

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Smart Monday: Modifiying CSS

Today I read a post in Pearsonified about how to modify your wordpress CSS stylesheet. I would like to talk about it with a  much wider approach, based on my experience with Sharepoint Portal Server 2003.

Sometimes, as a web developer you have to work with CSS stylesheets handed by some other web developer, or the guy that was previously in your seat doing what you are doing now. Sometimes they have done an amazing job, sometimes you just thank god you never met the poor devolved b*st*rd.

This is how the post I mentioned above says you should work, which is also how I’ve been working with Sharepoint: Don’t modify the current stylesheet, add a new one with the modified styles. If you can’t add a new reference (say you don’t have access to modify html code) add the new styles at the bottom of the current stylesheet with a HUGE comment indicating that it is your modification.

What I do is: Find what you want to chnge in the HTML code. Look into it and find out what styles are applied to it. Find the style in the stylesheet and copy it. Paste it along with all the modifications and start messing with it.

The reasons:

  1. Say you need to keep track of these changes, having all of them in one place is the best way to do so.
  2. If you make a change and all of the sudden everything goes upside down, you can always just remove the last change, or remove all your changes with one press of *delete*.
  3. If there is no “template” for the pages then you will *only* have to add the references to each page to make them all look the same.

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Filed under CSS, development, microsoft, sharepoint

Robert Scoble on Microsoft vs. Adobe

Today I read a post on Scobleizer about Microsoft vs Adobe . I agree and disagree.

He points out two important things. The first one is that Microsoft is facing a lot of competition when it comes to development tools, languages and all. That is true. I like Microsoft, but I can see them loosing a lot of mindshare.

The second thing he points out is that Adobe is the one gaining terrain from Microsoft. That is also true, but I think here is where he misses one point. I have always thought (and found that my developer peers agree) that Microsoft has a maturity level that Adobe (or Macromedia when it was) hasn’t reached yet. I think Microsoft has a better understanding of the developers, has better IDEs and it is easier for a newcomer to get started with VB than Actionscript I’m sure. And while Adobe might be more innovative and have more momentum, you cannot ignore the years Microsoft has developing and perfectioning Visual Studio and their Framework.

I remember when I tried Flex how HARD it was to find solutions on the internet. I gave up on it. With Microsoft you can trust the “I’m feeling lucky today” button when it comes to solution. And the VS2005 IDE is YEARS ahead any IDE Adobe has (Dreamweaver included).

This might (will – I think) change with time. What I would’ve loved seen is Microsoft embracing Flash instead of competing with it (just like Borland did with their .Net Edition od Delphi), using VB instead of ActionScript would’ve been great for both sides.

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Filed under adobe, development, microsoft