Episode 397

Beer, Boeing, the Microsoft-Yahoo deal and finally, a Latin American news roundup.

Links Mentioned: Frank Rich … the state of play in Honduras … the 777 wing stress test… the 787 troublesFARC and Venezuela … Beer choices


One thought on “Episode 397”

  1. My esteemed Bruno and the Prof. I typically just listen to the podcast (great show btw, much better than most talking heads on cable anyday, seriously), but listening to episode 397 I couldn’t resist and had to post. You guys help inform me on complex topics like healthcare reform, economics, monetary policy, inflation, etc, but in this episode I found a topic where I think you guys went off the reservation a bit. I’m talking about software development in general and Microsoft software development in particular. In the second segment the Prof mentions (paraphrasing here) first that compared to an airplane like the Boeing 787, designing a piece of software to be fault-tolerant or enabled to change is “easy”. This is a gross-oversimplification. The modern version of Microsoft Windows is comparable in complexity to the US Space Shuttle, so if its easy to change the Space Shuttle, it’s easy to change “software” as complex as that. Reducing it to subroutines is kinda silly.
    However, the comment that took the cake was the question you guys later asked (again, paraphrasing) that in what market has Microsoft ever introduced a successful product where it wasn’t already the dominant player?…. WHAT? Can’t believe that the smartest podcast in Seattle would ask such a thing. I have two examples: Windows and Office. They were not the dominant products in their markets when they were introduced. Microsoft gained market share the hard way, by earning it and capitalizing on some awful mistakes by competitors like Lotus, WordPerfect, Apple and Netscape. C’mon guys, don’t get on the Microsoft hate wagon so easily. What Microsoft later proceeded to do with that market share is well documented by the Justice Department and pretty undefendable, but they didn’t start off being the evil empire.
    Now that I’m on my rant, you are correct that Microsoft was willing to “gut” Windows in order to please PC makers, it’s what made it a success! The hardware race is over and Microsoft won, even Apple and all the open-source OS’ came over and are taking advantage of the standardization Microsoft provided on the inexpensive PC (too many examples here to provide, but you can look it up).

    Anyways, just wanted to set the record straight there. Hope this helps!

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