Bring on the competition

No good product is left uncopied!

Google
We met with Google. I guess they liked our idea. In the last week, Google’s Puffin project has received a lot of press. News of the project was apparently leaked to the press, so details are sketchy. But, it sounds like a neat idea. Here are some press thoughts. Don’t forget – Lookout did it first! :-)

Microsoft
And now, Microsoft is entering the arena too! Here is the latest press release today.

Does this spell trouble for Lookout? I don’t think so. I think it means good things are going to happen. We’ll all soon have a better email/search experience! We’ll go home earlier! We’ll be less addicted to email! (Ok – well, hopefully someone will benefit that way…)

Well, thats what I hope for, of course…. And I hope lookout fairs well too!

Managed Code Java/C#/etc

One problem we’ve worried about with Lookout is the fact that its dependent on Microsoft’s .NET 1.1. .NET is a framework for building managed applications, and its Microsoft’s answer to Java. Its fully featured, but comes with a 23MB download! So, while Lookout is nice and compact at 1MB, its dependent on this huge 23MB download!

Yesterday, I was pointed at another application which is a bit of a competitor to Lookout. Its a very nice tool, and I liked what they had done. But, its install file was 25MB in size. When I looked at what was in there, I found the complete Java runtime + java libraries. Its coincidental that this app with Java was almost exactly the same size as Lookout + .NET!

So, it gets you thinking about what tools to use for building your applications. Obviously, any 20MB+ download is something to be concerned about. But I sure am glad I chose .NET instead of Java. With .NET, I know that Microsoft will be bundling it into their distributions in the future. (In fact, its already bundled in their newest releases). But Java will likely never be bundled – despite the recent news that Sun & Microsoft are friends.

So, this was interesting to me because of Lookout’s size. I hadn’t really thought about the poor Java developers out there. Sorry guys!

Blogs as a technical resource

I love blogs. There are a lot of smart people out there writing really great stuff about technical topics – especially from people that have actually *used* the technology rather than just documentation people…. But, being that anyone can write a blog, and being that everyone has a slightly different standard for what is “publish worthy”, there is a fair amount of misinformation out there!

As I dive into more obtuse topics of MC++ and C# and Office/Outlook, there are fewer and fewer resources to draw on. As such, when there is misinformation out there it becomes all the more apparent! I’m seeing a lot of it lately.

I wish I had a good answer. I’ve written to a few authors – and they are generally very receptive to trying to cleanup mistakes. But, boy, be careful.

But I’m probably guilty of it too. Who knows how much misinformation exists in this blog!