From our regular contributor, Fake Steve Gillmor
It has been over a month since my first column, and the parachutes are still floating at the Beijing Olympics. Juniper Networks sponsors the parachutes, falling over in 24 hours before the Microsoft cake eating competition. This is the new Microsoft, where Steve Ballmer and Ozzie Osbourne rock the company. It’s also the beginning of the end, my friend, the only end, a Parisian bathtub my friend.
Apple in a rare acknowledgment admits that iTunes is now a conduit for pirated versions of the Doors, and even the now famous bootleg Lost Paris Tapes takes center stage. OK, how does that work? a virtualization of 8 tracks my friend. Yes, 8 tracks in the cloud that is everyone’s favorite M Toast. Layer that developers can (must) write to. Yes, it’s the M word.
How do you encourage pirates to toe the line? Take a page from Wikipedia, shake it, don’t stir it, then Command V it into Google Knol while mandating spam control by adding an application layer via Google Adsense. The enterprise ships of today use battery life, not sails, but the sea shanty is still not protected by the RIAA. A complete fail of push notification copyright control.
Extrapolate a carrot-stick approach to pirates and the Microsoft situation is in pieces: social services with pirates offering free music, all with the M word that shall not yet speak its name, at least for another 200 words. Pirates sail by Silverlight across the Caribbean, Keira Knightley occasionally dropping in for a chat. But do they listen? are pirates enlightened fellows? There is no glass ceiling on a plundered privateer. Sucker bets Redmond fails on search for 10 pieces of gold.
Meanwhile, developers are shown the way to earn money by blending social graph and cross-platform rich-enough apps in third world countries where developers work for pennies. It’s the perfect 17th century strategy applied to the 21st, but shhhhh, don’t let anyone in on the secret. Webkit, Shedkit, Shanghai, skyhigh profits.
But where do you mine for the big M in the social graph? XMPP toast is related, but it’s not the same, a constant stream for the lucky few who still think Twitter is run competently, but blocked off to the sane rest. Viral iPhone apps, Evertone or something. Elephants. India. More cheap labor. Can they find the magic pudding?
Smirnoff is consumed at Microsoft, and they sing of times gone buy. A time before the magical M fairy, and what it all means. As they stumble, they split into smaller groups, uber Office and the German Third Reich. But it’s all for good, because Mesh toast gets a new head count in the Senior Leadership team, not drawn for the current failing cloud but from somewhere outsourced from the company or perhaps a profitable area in the lunchroom.