SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) Deprecated.

RIP Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG).

Deprecated equals don’t use it. The momentum in the web-world has slowed to grinding halt.

Whilst SVG is a W3C technology, not owned by Adobe, the original specification came from PGML.

Sad, there was much potential for SVG. All it would have taken was Adobe to make a standard programming model and builder application and SVG really could have taken off. SVG is an example of good technology becoming cannon fodder, lost in the charge to an enemy: rather than technology being used for good.

Today, we have two XML-based model for generating rich interfaces: MXML and XAML. One is in the operating system and a part of a download, the other requires a bolt-on application in the browser.

SVG pre-dated these technologies by some years. A standardised widget library; extension into 3D and co-operation by large companies could have advanced the world of rich, connected applications.

Standard file formats invite competitiveness in software applications. Consider open, standardised file formats like world-free trade. The most efficient and best survive. A darwinian selection for the best.

Better luck next time.

Google Inside your Business

Google and Intuit have announced a major partnership. Along with the Google Maps changes this week where an organisation can advertise at a location – the world of web applications and deeper connection between the desktop and information – is at hand.

It would be extremely unlikely in the near-term that a web-based accounting application for small businesses would fly – as financial information is the holy-of-holies for business. One can just imagine the privacy watchers having a field day arguing against sensitive numbers being scattered through the tubes.

In my mind, being more connected with this information aids the flow of business. The less paperwork in the world is a good thing. But my mind is a not a safe place for ideas such as this.

Back onto Intuit: recently, Australian retailers such as OfficeWorks and City Software have been advertising Quicken for AU$0.00 (after $99 cash back). Everyone in marketing knows that there is never a 100% redemption on these cash back offers; but still the numbers seemed “odd” to me – didn’t add up to being beneficial to Intuit at all. If the redemption rate drifted above 70% (that is, 70% of purchasers sent in their Intuit coupon, the each unit sold would cost more than they received in revenue in direct costs)

There are secondary revenue opportunities: post-sales support agreements and the ability to direct-mail market future upgrades to the users who have redeemed their cash-back.

With the Google announcement, it all falls into place: the revenue is either from support agreements you would purchase to help you determine whether something is an asset or a expense. The second revenue source is online, in-your-face, in context advertising.

Accountants and bookkeepers the world over are now going to see multiple advertisements whilst sending out the day’s invoices.

As the world of pure-in browser applications moves to richer client applications, the new revenue stream open to smaller developers is enticing.

Getting marketing people into the application as an advertising “platform” is the challenge. Interesting world.

Being the Forest, Forgetting the Trees

Microsoft is on the cusp of shipping a whole forest of new products. Vista, .Net 3.0, Office 2007 and * stuff than you can poke a branch/stick at. All of which presents Microsoft with some tall challenges. How does a single tree get noticed? How does the world find the saplings that are going to be the next Sequoiadendron giganteum? Does the forest work together as a cohesive eco-system?

Today, thanks to Microsoft Australia’s, Frank Arrigo, I attended the Blogger’s Brunch. Great of Microsoft to reach out to a section of the local technology blogging community. None of the attendees (except Angus Kidman and Nic) are famous in the blogosphere, but on the internets – noone knows you are an Australian.

Whilst having been a Microsoft customer since 1984 (Microsoft Basic 1.0 on a Macintosh 128K – and the box is in storage somewhere), I am a relative noob to “marketectural” Microsoft. The speak is strangely familiar to my ears.

The following are some random thoughts and un-expressed questions from this morning’s session:

  • To the Microsoft PR people. Sorry it paralleled Microsoft-Groove/Ray Ozzie history with Apple-NeXT/Steve Jobs. To Frank Arrigo. Sorry I stated that the * people are having fun being compatible with all the versions of Internet Explorer rather than implement Firefox support. Both of these were intended as jokes, not memes.
  • Today’s Australian Financial Review’s IT section has quotes from various large Australian financial organisations stating that they are taking a wait-and-see approach to Windows Vista. Some are only now installing Windows XP. These organisations state they will install Vista in 2-3 years. I find this quite interesting as it has taken them 4-5 years to install Windows XP. Personally, I am concerned if a large financial organisation is not running a recent, up to date, tested and secure OS on all their desktop computers. I’d love to know what features in upcoming products are direct feedback from Australian customers. This would show that the software development process is a two-way street.
  • Sharepoint should evolve into * server for the Enterprise. If Vista has all the hooks, and the connected/disconnected world and new applications are going to be mashed (lashed?) together with live stuff, this seems like a logical move. However, large organizations will be reluctant to put all their data into the world’s cloud for all to stumble upon. I am no expert on Sharepoint and all the positioning stuff, but it seems there might be a little “tension” (not a bad thing, mind you) between these two environments.* is garnering the mindshare as it is new-ish; many of the APIs and licensing models are to be determined. Come to think about it, these are probably the two reasons why they are still separate. Revenue and developer penetration.
  • After hearing about the IT professionals fawned over the coolness of Vista infrastructure deployment … I left the session (both mentally and physically) asking “what are Microsoft’s customers going to do with all these fine trees?”Customers doing meaningful stuff with Microsoft’s software so that they can impress their customers is where it is at. Marketing people might call it Unlocking the value of the platform.
  • Virtualization on the desktop has been one of my “things” for a while, so it’s interesting to hear that VirtualPC is to be included in the Enterprise version of Vista. Whilst listening to the intricacies of Vista vs XP deployment, my mind was racing thinking about the future of operating systems.So here goes: why is the Enterprise desktop so fat? Why not have a Singularity-based OS with .Net 3.0 Framework as the API. Win32 + other legacy apps could be virtualized to the desktop. As the world and work becomes more connected, the smart client at the edge of the network will have a different face.

In summary, I groked that Microsoft groks (sorry, Heinlein) the world as it exists today. Ensuring that no trees are felled in the rush to market is going to be an interesting challenge.