Archives: June 2005

Microsoft aims to fight LAMP platform with new Visual Studio tools

Microsoft are going to launch new Visual Studio 2005 which will include a new set of tools called Visual Studio Express, with the intent to bring tools and technologies to compete directly in the small webserver space and complete with the open source LAMP technology stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and Perl/PHP).

Problem is though, Microsoft still don’t get it. I don’t need to or want to buy their tool set which will lock me into a Micorosft IIS server and cost me x hundreds of dollars, running on an unreliable server platform (Windows) which again is going to cost be x hundreds of dollars (in the case of Windows Server), for the privilege of running a server open to numerous security exploitations and which needs to be rebooted every few days just to stay running. I already have a rich, wide choice of interoperable technologies, used and supported heavily by the user community, which I can run on any one of a number of Linux flavors, or even Windows should I so be inclined.

Micorosft have already missed the boat. I don’t believe they are going to catch up in the LAMP arena, they have already lost. Apache is still seeing an increasing number of servers out in the wild, whereas the number of IIS installations is still declining, as it has been the past few years. According to the Netcraft server surveys, Apache installations are now over 70% of the installed servers on the internet, whereas IIS is a dwindling 20%.

The only way Microsoft would be able to catch up would be if they played the same tactic as they did when they launched Internet Explorer against the then dominant browser, Netscape. Although back in the day you could download Netscape, although not many people did over a 14.4/28.8 modem, it was also available for sale in PC stores off the shelf. What did Microsoft do to gain market share? Give away IE for free.

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Mac OS X for x86 – developer version already on the internet

Only a week after Apple’s announcement that they are moving from IBM PowerPC to Intel processors, a developer kit version has already found it’s way onto P2P networks on the internet.

Apple did say in their announcement that they have been working on a dual codeline for OS X (PowerPC and Intel) for some time, but I think this (illegal?) copy of x86 OS X was probably released a little earlier than they planned for.

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IBM still confident on PowerPC future

Since Apple announced that they will no longer be building new Macs based on IBM’s PowerPC chip, IBM have responded and are confident that the PowerPC’s future is still strong.

IBM do not seem concerned to lose Apple as one of their major users, and seem less interested with the personal computer market place, especially since they already sold off their own PC manufacturing business earlier this year to China based Lenovo. Instead, IBM sees the growth markets to be servers, mobile devices and game consoles.

Early next year we should see the release of Sony’s Playstation 3 which will be based on a multiple core PowerPC derivitive, the Cell, co-developed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba.

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Prevayler – file based persistence engine

Prevayler has caught my interest for a while now as I have been working with Hibernate now for about a year and a half.

Prevayler is a memory resident, file based persistence engine. The objects are kept in memory, and are persisted o disk for permanent storage.

OnJava have an article on their site on using Prevayler. Is it suitable for enterprise systems? No probably not, but looks interesting for small systems or for prototyping simple systems.

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Apple depart from IBM PowerPC chips and move towards Intel

Apple have annouced they are moving away from using IBM’s PowerPC processors, and will begin supporting Intel CPUs, as early as 2006.

This is a major harware shift for Apple, but the reasons being stated are that IBM is not keeping up with Apple’s demand for low-power, faster PowerPC processors, especially for the PowerBook notebooks (there still is not a G5 based PowerBook).

Mac OS X has reportedly been developed with two codelines, one PowerPC based and the other, until now unannounced, for Intel based CPUs.

The switch may bring down the price of Macs across the board, but they won’t be able to boast the performance advantage, GHz vs GHz, as they have done in comparison with PowerPC vs Intel chips in the past.

This move also puts an end to any speculation that the IBM/Sony/Toshiba jointly developed PowerPC based ‘Cell’ processor (for the Playstation 3), with multiple processing cores, will ever make it to the Mac.

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