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I was able to confirm, via a few customers who use Omniture, that this 25% claim is accurate. This puts them still well-behind Flash, which is often promoted as the 'most installed software in the world'. It consistently has penetration north of 95%. Still, I'm impressed with what Microsoft's been able to do with Silverlight downloads but it really has to get in the range of Flash (say 80%+) for the mainstream to give it a serious look. Silverlight penetration remains a serious concern for consumer-facing properties.
In the end, I'm impressed with what both Microsoft and Adobe are doing. With this degree of competition, the enterprise (the people who pay to have these apps created) will win because the platform (Flash or Silverlight) is getting better faster through competition. Consumer will also win, because they'll get more and better applications and experiences. Stay tuned - I think this one is just getting going.
For previous posts on this topic see - Microsoft's Silverlight vs Adobe's Flash - Which is better?.
Steve started the "Books" tag with the short review of Break all the Rules. So, I thought I'd continue the theme. It's long been one of my favorite interview questions - "So, what have you read lately?". It's very telling, I find. One time, I was interviewing a guy for a intermediate .Net developer role. He was not that engaged until I asked him this question at which point he positively exploded about his interest in German literature; I think he was working on a Masters in the area. That completely changed the interview in such a positive way...
Anyway, one of my younger kids brought home "At Vimy Ridge: Canada's Greatest World War I Victory" from school. It was a good chance to brush up on my Canadian WWI history. It's written for younger readers :), so I was able to get through it in one night.
Some interesting facts (more detail here):
Now I didn't get through the whole book with my child, but I was asked the most troubling question "What do you get when you win a war?" (zeesh!), and more pragmatically "What's longer, a battle or a war?".
This is a proud part of Canadian history - I'm glad my child's library trip in primary school gave me occasion to be reminded.
In any event, I follow Segal's blog "Doing the Voodo VCs do in Canada". He's got some amazing insight into the market and he sees a lot of proposals. Rick is part of the group that is managing the BlackBerry Partners Fund, which isn't a surprise because Jim Balsillie is on the board for JLA, so he must be seeing some pretty cool mobile stuff. If you want to get into the mind of a VC (something that you should only do after consulting with your doctor), then you should really check out Segal's blog.
Some recent posts that I thought were really insightful or just plain funny:
Anyway, check out Segal here - funny, insightful and frequent.
A long long time ago (OK, it was February 2006) I wrote about Web 2.0 in a post called Thoughts on Ajax/Atlas - 9: My $0.02 on Web 2.0. What was fascinating to me -- and lots of others -- about Web 2.0 was the interesting ways that people were driving value out of their data. I spoke with a lot of customers in 2006 about Web 2.0; I emphasized that it was really important to figure out how and what unique data their proposed application would capture. I reminded them that the genius of Amazon wasn't just a great online retail experience (something other eventually copied), but how they mined their data to provide a differentiated experience (the Amazon ratings and recommendations still can't be beat to this day). And Google wasn't just a great search algorithm (which it was and still is) but it was also about how they mined their search data.
Even with that though, I was totally blown away by GoogleFlu. Basically, they've taken their search data and used it to monitor the progression of the flu through the United States. You can read about how it works here including a great animated graph that shows how their monitoring is about 2 weeks ahead of the Center for Disease Control (CDC). It's really amazing that there's such a strong correlation between people search for 'flu' on the web, and the actual rates of flu infection in the community [note, the algorithm to make the correlation is likely much more sophisticated].
Wow! Now that's Web 2.0. And it's a little bit scary... :) What else are they watching????
By the way, this little tidbit was brought to me by TED (see TED - One of my favorite sites out there). Google.org is headed by Larry Brilliant who was a 2006 TED Prize winner...