Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Microsoft's battles

Microsoft is fighting lot of battles - that is one problem of being big.

OS : Windows vs OS X, Linux, Solaris, and now Google Chrome OS

Email : Hotmail/Live vs GMail, YMail

Search : Bing vs Google,Yahoo..

Database : MS Sql Server vs Oracle,MySQL,PostgreSql..

IM : MSN Messenger vs GTalk, Yahoo Messenger,IRC,Pidgin

Programming platform : .NET vs Java..

Languages : C#,VB.NET,ASP.NET vs Java, Ruby,Python,PHP,Perl..

Mobile OS : Windows Mobile vs Android, OS X, Symbian..

Media player : Zune vs iPod, Creative, Sony..

Office Suite : Microsoft Office vs OpenOffice, Google Apps

Browser : Internet Explorer vs Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera

Gaming Platform : XBox vs Nintendo, Sony and now iPhone

Vector graphics for web : Silverlight vs Flash, Flex

My head is spinning. If you notice the ones on the right of VS - for instance Opera - that is their entire life - the reason for their existence. They are focusing all their energies and souls into their products -yet Microsoft is able to match them and give a good fight.

Even though I am a MS baiter, I have to admit - Microsoft is good.

The above list is not complete. What other battles you think Microsoft is fighting?

Get inspired by the Spartans : "300" Movie Review

300_movie

Have you seen the movie - 300? It is the story of 300 Spartans who defy all logic and fight against wave after wave of attacks by a much bigger Persian army. Technically it is a well made movie and is a good entertainer - but as an entrepreneur you can draw lot of inspiration from this movie.

The Spartans were severely outnumbered - but they believed in their abilities, their training, the trust they had with one another - sounds familiar? :)

As an entreprenur you will have to fight lot of battles - thought not as gory as Spartans.

Fight against a well established player :

Like the Spartans, when Apple started they had to fight IBM. When Pepsi started it had to fight Coke. You can find so many stories where a small company challenged the giant in the industry. If you are one of those entrepreneurs fighting a bigger player - keep going. If you believe in your abilties, in your team - even if it is small - you can win the battle eventually.

Fight against established norms :

Spartans did not believe that they had to match the enemy one to one in number. If they had stuck to the established military principle - they would have lost the battle even before it began. But they defied the established norm and held the Persian army at bay.

When twitter started, there was criticism. Why will anyone want to limit their thoughts to 140 characters when there are blogs? - and look what is happening today.

In NewZealand, Tendulkar was sent to open the innings, and instead of protecting the wicket and seeing through the initial overs,  he took advantage of the open boundaries and accelerated the score. Purists criticised him for rash play - but he changed Cricket forever.

Bend the rules to your advantage :

Spartans bent the rule by making Persians enter a smaller area to fight - so inspite of the Persian army having a larger force  they were forced to send only a few at a time to fight with the Spartans - which the Spartans decimated.

This is what all management books say - find out what is your core competency, your strength  - and try to  focus on that -  try and dictate how the battle has to be fought.

Take a couple of hours off - and you and your team watch this movie together - it will be quite an inspiration.

Some interesting quotes from the movie :

"Immortals... we put their name to the test. "

"We did what we were trained to do, what we were bred to do, what we were born to do! "

"Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty... For tonight, we dine in hell! "

"The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many, and before this battle was over, even a God-king can bleed."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Staples Print Center's gift to me - Khatra.exe

Last weekend I went to Staples Print Center in Marathahalli - Printo has closed shop and moved out. And when I got home I plugged the USB drive into Vista and AVG Anti Virus did not complain - but I saw a program called Khatra.exe asking for Admin privileges to run.

Then I rebooted into Ubuntu and was horrified to see the files that were there. There were folders and lots of exes. Now I am upset with 2 entities here.

1. Staples Print Center

Printo always scans the flash drives ( even if it used to take time ) and not once they loaded viruses on to my USB drive. Wish Staples learns from their competitor and educates their employees to follow proper process ( I am sure Staples will have it in their employee handbook ).

2. Vista

I did not give administrative privileges to Khatra.exe, still it managed to copy itself in the registry in some 10 places, got itself added to startup , and had the guts to ask again for administrative privileges when I rebooted.

I am shocked that inspite of all the zombie Windows XPs on the net, Microsoft has not learnt a thing - it is still a MG road platform - anyone can come, sit, pitch their tent and start doing business.

I am seriously considering investing in Codeweaver or trying out Virtual Box for Ubuntu - Office is one thing that forces me to reboot to Windows. It has wasted a few hours of my time - imagine the billions of hours people will be losing all over the world because of poor security measures in the OS.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Some random photos

Photos shot on my Nokia 6630


with his Avva in Reliance Footprint while his Ma shops !

this is equivalent of commenting out the failing test because the entire build was failing ! forgot where I took this one.


in Lal Bagh or Cubbon park - one of them.

after Prithvi's birthday party.


Achu, this is for you !



on the terrace - should be the world for this little ant !


He is a Royal Challengers fan, but was just being nice.


Next in human evolution - use mouth for carrying stuff, so hands are free to tweet and blog.