Thanks, Steve

, ,

Last Sunday I came across an article in the September edition of Fortune magazine which my girlfriend brought along from Chicago. In the very end after all the business talk Stanley Bling, Fortune columnist, was given his space to say thank you to the man who in many way changed the lives of so many of us.

In the context of Steve Job’s sudden death, this article becomes even more touching.

But read for yourself. Don’t rush through it, but take your time:

We’ve all been lucky to live in a world where there was a person with such an imagination.

I want to take this opportunuity, before time and our common mortality rob me of the chance to do so, to thank you, Steve Jobs, for all that you have done for me. No, I never had the privilege of meeting you, or had a chance to get yelled at by you in a business meeting, or even watch your charisma transform an audience into acolytes. But I feel as if I know you well enough to express, as you ascend to your new role as chairman, the sadness I feel and my gratitude for so many of the good things that you have brought to my life. It’s not business. It’s personal.

I want to thank you for my graphical interface. There were computers, of course, before you made that first Mac. They could run only one program at a time. They had no graphics. You knew that was lame. You imagined the alternative — multiple programs, launched by clicks, running concurrently in a windowed field. Last night I watched a movie, printed photos, harvested e-mail, and bought a bunch of business socks, all at the same time. So thanks for my GUI.

I want to thank you for my mouse. Can you imagine a world without mouses? I can’t. Before you bred them for commercial use, a person needed a host of keyboard commands to get anything done, and a lot of programming code to produce words and numbers on paper. I read somewhere that you got the vision after you visited Xerox’s PARC. They showed you what they were up to, but they sort of didn’t know what they had. You ran with it. Because that’s the way you did everything. All in. Feet first.

I want to thank you for all Macs, great and small. I went to your Apple Store (AAPL) the other day and saw a tidy row of new machines, from the slender new Airs to the massive towers of power. I wanted every one. They’re pretty and shiny, unlike my big old black rubberized clunker the corporation gave me, and the last time I got a virus was just before I put my Windows PC into the closet. That was when I sent the phrase „I love you“ to 22,000 fellow employees and the CEO. „I love you too, Bing, but let’s not let anybody know,“ he e-mailed back.

I want to thank you for my Airport Extreme, the small white box through which I get my Internet. Before it, I used to have to plug in and configure this horrible router. It never worked. I often ended up screaming and crying and throwing hardware at the wall. This thing? You just plug it in and use it. Sometimes as I fall asleep I watch the little fellow, with its round eye glowing green in the darkness, a beacon of easy functionality.

Thanks for my iPod, which pretty much defined how I listen to music now. And for iTunes, which you made too easy not to understand. And for my iPad too, which despite all protestations is really nothing more than an Angry Birds machine. No, you can’t work on it. So what? Work isn’t everything.

And thanks for my new iPhone, which channels a million apps and does everything well except the phone part. A pompous Silicon Valley dude I know used to say, with a weary grin, „Every year is the year for mobile.“ Until you decided it was, Steve. And so I never have to generate a single unaided thought for the rest of my life. What a relief!

And oh, yeah. Thanks for Toy Story too. And Up. Really loved Up.

It’s been your world, Steve. And we’ve been lucky enough to run along behind you, picking up goodies as you dropped them in our path. It’s a little scary to think that one day you’ll go off to your famous mountaintop and not return with the next big thing. But at least we can all say we lived in a time when there was a person with such an imagination, and offer thanks in whatever digital or analog format we choose, wherever on earth we may be. We can do that now.

This article is from the September 26, 2011 issue of Fortune. You can access it online here

Rumor: Bing to Get Its Clutches on Twitter's Feed Before Google

, ,

BY Kit EatonWed Oct 21, 2009 at 7:22 AM

We’ve heard suggestions like it before, but apparently Microsoft is now very close to securing a connection to Twitter’s digital data stream to get live Tweet search powers into Bing. Google’s execs will surely be foaming at the mouth at the news.

Bing and TwitterBack in July we reported on an experimental connection between Bing and Twitter that gave Bing users access to a real-time search on certain „prominent“ Tweep’s Tweets, and it was only a few weeks ago that more rumors popped up of talks between Google, Microsoft, and Twitter for a full access plan.

All of that seems to have concluded with a deal between MS and Twitter that’s absolutely ready to pop, according to AllThingsD’s sources. MS executives and engineers have apparently been busy chatting and problem-solving with Twitter right up to yesterday–all of which could point to an announcement at the Web2.0 conference which starts today.

It’s big news for Bing–even if Google follows not too far behind, since it’ll be beating its arch-rival to the real time data prize, garnering much press coverage and excitement along the way. And it represents a significant step for Twitter too, placing it as a significant player on the real-time data stage with enough negotiating power to avoid an exclusivity deal with Google, Bing or anyone else. The rumors seem to be suggesting that Twitter’s ad-avoiding plans may also be about to change, with embedded Bing or Google ads on Twitter’s site being a part of the deal.

Twitter’s clearly very much on the surge right now, though even while Comcast’s CEO is noting it’s such a powerful tool it’s „changed the culture“ of Comcast (thanks to consumer complaint Tweets) Twitter’s own CEO Ev Williams is carefully restating that Twitter’s business model is still not revenue-centric. Speaking to BusinessInsider, Williams remarked that the team was spending „97% of our efforts trying to improve the product“ with a view of building-in long term value. Letting Microsoft tap into the flow of Tweets will clearly generate cash for Twitter, but it tallies somewhat with what Williams is saying–it doesn’t require too much effort or front-end adaptation on Twitter’s behalf, which won’t distract from the business of pushing Twitter’s powers onwards and upwards.

Posted using ShareThis