IE7 Install still takes 45mins + reboot

snail I had to get a fresh OS install last month.  I finally bothered to upgrade IE6 to IE7.  I thought it would be a 5 minute process.

Instead, my machine was locked up for over 45 minutes.  It started out simple enough, and the actual work portion of the installation only took a few seconds.   Then I had to reboot (why?).  When the machine came back up it was stuck “applying personal settings” for about 30 minutes.  After it reached the login screen, I entered my credentials, and then again it resumed “applying personal settings” for another 10 minutes before I could use the machine again.

I don’t understand how Firefox, Opera, and Chrome can all create installers that take less than 1 minute, and Microsoft can’t.  It’s just broken.

Note:  The IE8 beta requires 2 reboots.

Short Sighted E-commerce Taxes

taxes Amazon lost one battle in New York this week and may be required to collect taxes on goods sold in that state despite the fact that Amazon is not physically present in New York.

We all know where this is going, right?  As soon as a country outside the US is willing to host companies at significantly lower-than-US tax rates (eh –Dubai!), US companies will move out of the country.  At that point, not only will we not collect state taxes for goods sold, we won’t collect federal taxes either.  In the retail space, where shipping is significant, Amazon probably can’t afford to take up shop in Dubai.  But if Mexico significantly changed it’s tax code, Amazon in Mexico might work better for everyone.

We need to learn that we can’t legislate everything.  Gambling has already moved off shore because of overly restrictive US gaming laws.  On-line gambling is still booming, of course, but the US just doesn’t get to partake in the profits.

Outside of retailing, US taxes effect other companies as well.  Halliburton Corp relocated to Dubai last year.  Dubai currently has no corporate business taxes, the US has 35%.  If I were running Exxon (the single largest US revenue source) I’d be considering a Dubai move.  Could you move your headquarters to save more than $10B per year?

The great thing about the internet and the commoditization of international communications is that companies can chose to move like never before.  Current US federal and state policy to tax everything will cause the smart businesses to move.

Doerr, Obama, Genius

doerr Back in 2007, Kleiner Perkins’ John Doerr changed focus from largely software tech companies to “Green Tech”.  Being “green” was hip then just like it is now.  But, with gasoline prices topping $140/barrel last year and with ever increasing awareness of global warming, being green is cooler than ever.

But who would have guessed that the economy would help turn John Doerr into a genius once again?  With the economy in a huge recession, the government is opening up its coffers.  To mitigate negative sentiments about spending gobs of money, Obama has made it clear that he’s going to not just spend money on infrastructure, but specifically he’s going to spend money on green infrastructure!   Of course this makes total sense.  Everyone loves being green and the economy needs a boost from the government. 

I was skeptical when Doerr and company announced their Greentech fund.  But now I am impressed.  This industry is about to get an unprecedented boost as Obama pours billions of dollars into the industries that Doerr started created two years ago.  What foresight!

One thing to remember, however, is that Obama’s public declaration that he wants to invest in Green tech is not a coincidence.  Doerr has Obama’s ear and is actively marketing Green technologies to the Obama administration.  He recommended Bill Joy as a candidate for an Obama CTO (coincidentally, Joy is a partner at KPCB).   And of course he recommends that Obama invest in clean energy sources.   I bet that every one of Doerr’s companies is writing to the Obama administration in hopes of landing a few extra government dollars.  (Not that there is anything wrong with that)