Thursday, March 20, 2008

End of College Life

I woke up as usual today morning 8 30 and hurried of to college. But today was the last day of college. Strangely there were no tinkling sensations of missing anything that morning. Rather I was more worried about, whether one of my project mates had finished typing the abstract paper work I had given him (As my intuition suggested, he had typed something, but rather did a shabby job of it) to show it to my guide that day. After checking his work in the hostel, I went back to class, only to find that photo taking frenzy started with everybody taking photos. I was rather feeling severely frustrated in the morning, because I had missed out on yesterday night’s meeting of all guys in hostel. Well, to be frank I did a get a call, from one of my friends at around 11 pm in the night. By that time both my parents had gone to sleep, I had dwelled into my project working on a module. I was like why the hell???? I didn’t get the info about the meeting earlier, but I didn’t go since it was pretty late at night, when I did get the info. My frustration reached its peak, when people whom I saw started narrating how they chatted off the whole night narrating their ek choti se love stories. Everybody was talking about it, but not to be part of it was getting to me. And the increased photo shooting frenzy in the class didn’t help. So I decided to go out to chill a bit and come back in. I went out for half an hour to gather myself up, after all this is the last day, there ain’t going to be anybody to be mad at from tomorrow. When I did come back in, I was straight way pushed into photo shooting session. No qualms about the photo’s though or the person whom took the photo with, I did refuse to do that in Goa tour, when I was asked, but I did it now, better late than never. We had our FA coming down to our class, to advise us (that would be pretty much the last piece of advice we are going to get from her, but I have to admit her advises are always thought provoking for me). Even our FA seemed a bit moved since it was the last working day, but I was not feeling anything. Then we had our juniors giving us this contact book, a compilation of all our class mate’s addresses. I think it was very nice of them to do that. One thing which I m rather happy about with myself, is that probably we have given lot more technical inputs and guidance to our juniors, then what our seniors had done for us. I seriously wish that they end up with a better placement record than us in final year. That contact book thing probably cheered up my mood.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Microsoft, Yahoo and Google

All the three companies above have in their own way revolutionized the world of computers. There are more similarities between these software giants than what meets the eye.

Microsoft with its windows series of products has dominated worlds PC market for nearly two decades now. Virtually a whopping 95% of worlds PCs run on Microsoft OS. As you must have heard in the spider man movies, with great power comes great responsibility. But often power is misused. There are many instances of Microsoft bullying in world of software. Microsoft introduced its flagship product MS Office for its windows OS in 1989. At that time the dominant office suite included WordPerfect (Novell) and Lotus 123(IBM). As you might have guessed after introduction of MS Office both the applications were gone from the PC market in a few years. How did Microsoft achieve this within a short period??? Later anti trust litigations against Microsoft accused MS using what one calls as “UNDOCUMENTED API CALLS” in its Office products. While Novell and IBM where made to work with APIs provided by Microsoft to develop their office applications. MS was accused of hiding those system call interfaces which would perform the task faster and efficiently than documented API calls given to Novell and IBM thus giving unfair advantage to its products then its rivals. Another instance of dirty business tactics happened when internet revolution was burgeoning. As you might all know Netscape navigator was a very successful browser used during the mid 1990s. As usual Microsoft never likes people running non Microsoft products on Microsoft OS. It decided to ship its own browser the Internet Explorer (IE) along with its windows’98. IE was there right on the users desktop as users default browser, MS made IE free. No marks for guessing what happened in a few years time. Netscape went along the way WordPerfect and Lotus 123 did, into the software ruins. Instead of using giving the users the choice it just thrusted IE in the hands of users (IE did win the browser war cause it was as good as Netscape, So most users didn’t feel the need to switch over). The majority of criticism of MS has been for its business tactics, often described with the motto "EMBRACE, EXTEND AND EXTINGUISH". Microsoft initially embraces a competing standard or product, then extends it to produce their own incompatible version of the software or standard, which in time extinguishes competition that does not or cannot use Microsoft's new version. These and other tactics have led to various companies and governments filing lawsuits against Microsoft. In fact in 2002 Microsoft lost a lawsuit against it (for abusing its monopoly in PC OS to make users use its own product), the judge ordered the Microsoft to be split into two separate companies (People will remember what happened to BELL Corp in telecom sector when it had monopoly of the phone market, it was split into 7 companies to encourage competition). But the shrewd businessman Gates was, a handsome donation to George W Bush’s election Campaign ensured, MS escaped with appeal by just paying a huge compensation to Sun Microsystems and other Companies. Gates ensured his goose which laid the Golden Egg remained intact, the split was averted.