Microsoft Office Free? Really??

Microsoft Office LogoYou have heard that Google partnered with Sun Microsystems to further develop and promote free office desktop applications, so called OpenOffice to compete against Microsoft’s Office applications (which cost anywhere from $100-$500).

But now Microsoft shot back by announcing that it will release its Microsoft Office Suite applications for free. The free version of Office will display small ads within the program. This move reminds me of Microsoft-Netscape browser wars and Opera’s move to release latest version of Opera browser for free without ads.

Though these rivalries will make desktop applications and browsers more available to all consumers, but at the end it will still hurt the consumers in many ways.

For example, if we look at the browser wars in 1990s, the web design community faced so many difficulties because Microsoft and Netscape browsers interpreted HTML tages differently which produced inconsistent designs of web pages on each browser. Web designers started to create browser hacks and develop multiple versions of their site which was a lot of headache and redundant work that resulted in inaccessible and incompatible web sites. This also left lot of site visitors with bad user experience because they had no clue why a site looked weird in their Netscape Communicator 1.0; and in some instances, web sites only allowed certain browsers to view page contents and, other browser users had to exit or convert (download the “other” browser).

The Web Standards Project LogoThanks to Web Standards Project and Mr. Zeldman, these problems were brought to browser makers’ attention and in the beginning of 2001 most of the browsers started to interpet HTML and CSS similiarly (almost). This effort helped to develop set standards that will be used by browser makers when they develop a browser, and web designers will be able to use these standards to make one version of their site that will be displayed the same way in all browsers.

The current desktop application rivalry might produce similar effects that could leave consumers with so many different types of office documents that are incompatible with each other. History will repeat itself once more…and we will be there to watch this craziness unfold in front of our screens.

The battle for the conquest of our desktops continues….

Web Design World San Francisco 2006

If you are a web designer or if you are responsible for your organization’s web site and need to take your skills to the next level, I recommend attending the Web Design World San Francisco 2006 conference and workshops which will be held at Moscone West convention center in San Francisco, from January 30 – February 1, 2006.

I have attended several of these conferences in the past. Honestly, they are one of the best conferences for web design proffesionals. I guarantee, you will not be able to doze off during a session, because these speakers bring you the good stuff that is relevant in all areas of your job (as a web designer, site manager, webmaster, or whatever your title is).

These conferences are really well organized and bring you some new insights from industry leaders on different aspects of web design and usability. The conference keynote speaker Jeffrey Zeldman and other well known speakers will be attending the event.

It is also a great event to network with other colleagues in the web industry. So what are you waiting for?

Made in U.S.A

What does Made in U.S.A mean today to a consumer?

Levi’s, Ford, Cadillac, Caterpillar, and Nike are few of the American brands that are known overseas…but do they stand for quality as they used to? What do consumers think of these brands today?

Today there are less and less products being made in the U.S. Most of the production of goods have been sent to China or to some developing country in Asia or Latin America. From cars to sneakers, all are made in ‘China’ or ‘Mexico’ or elsewhere.

There is a great article in NY Times on what Made in U.S.A means to consumers around the world today.

How can U.S. stay competitive while shifting production overseas? The answer is Innovation.

What the hell is Web 2.0?

Web 2.0….hmmm… is it a browser? a program? an operating system?

Web 2.0 is the next generation of Internet tools and a way of using the web to connect, integrate, store, filter, run and share information on the web. In Web 2.0 the web tools will work smoothly and will converge with our desktop programs and have real-time results just like running a software program on your computer.

For a better understanding of what Web 2.0 might be, head over to Adaptive Path, Dan Saffer’s article “The Web 2.0 Experience Continuum” offers good insight into what it is and where the Web is going in the next ten years.

Random Stuff

There are so many great resources out there and here is listing of the few latest ones:

Philadelphia is the Next Great City

According to National Geographic, Philadelphia (aka Philly) is the next great city in the U.S.

Philadelphia Museum of Art and Skyline { Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC }

This is a wonderful news for the city, which has seen dramatic boom in its cultural and economic sectors in the last two decades. Philly is home to hundreds of museums, nationally ranked restaurants, historic landmarks, largest city park in the world, top universities and research institutes. The country literally began right here.

Find out why Philly is the next great city

PHI is?

What #$*! is Φ?

Φ is a greek capital letter phi.

PHI=Golden Mean

PHI=1.61803399

PHI can be found in the proportions of the human body, animals, plants, DNA, the solar system, art and architecture, music, population growth, the stock market, the Bible and in theology.

Also, in these words…Philadelphia, Soaphia, Philosophy.