Matthew Carlson - How do we know that Microsoft isn't doing anything evil with the information custo

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Matthew Carlson, program manager on the Alerts team, talks about the privacy policies that are in place on MSN to protect customer's data. "Is Microsoft big brother?" Alerts let enterprise customers like United Airlines build new services that'll "alert" you when something important is happening (like your flight status can be flashed on screen if there's a delay).

Also we ask him "what's the biggest misperception that he sees people having about Microsoft?" Matthew has worked at Microsoft for about two years and runs the Alerts team.

By the way, Matthew told us that Alerts are done in .NET and coded in C#. Just in case you were wondering.

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      Sk4rlath
      Personally, I think Alerts are great. Would have been cooler if Hailstorm panned out, but that's beside the point. Two things to say here: one, will there ever be a way for a small-time developer to create alerts (maybe free or low-price), and what should I do to prepare for the new Longhorn alert system?
    • User profile image
      vanlandw

      another interesting video.  I've been asked the same question from many average to below average users about what microsoft does with the information they gather.  most people thing microsoft has all this information and is just going to do something just huge and damaging some day.  i wish i could get them to watch this vid and maybe clean up some of the misconseptions,.

    • User profile image
      The Channel 9 Team
      Yes, they are looking at ways to bring Alerts to smaller guys. I have a prototype over at http://scoble.weblogs.com -- I should send out more alerts.
    • User profile image
      lars

      I think the organization of Microsoft is something I would like to know more about.

      Many people view Microsoft as one well organized giant monolith. And that monolith is scary. The fact that people view Microsoft that way should in one way be very flattering - Anyone who's been involved in software development knows the difficulties in organizing people.
      But the more I hear from people that actually work at Microsoft the more it sounds like the Silicon valley - just that all the companies are Microsoft. In a way that puts Microsoft on the same planet as the rest of us. Not this large scary machine from outer space that will run you over like a lawnmower.

      But, well, I don't work at Microsoft so what do I know. But someone wiser than me said something like...

      Fear leads to Anger,
      Anger leads to Hate,
      Hate leads to Linux. (Just joking =)

      Cheers.

      /Lars.

    • User profile image
      alerted
      two places to start for alerts...
      you can download the sdk and start playing right away at:
      http://www.microsoft.com/alerts

      or if you want to use a hosted solution (no dev work for most scenarios so you can be sending alerts in 5 min) try:
      www.messagecast.net

      \matthew
    • User profile image
      sbc
      Is it possible to send alerts to non-Microsoft systems?
    • User profile image
      Sk4rlath
      I googled around for it, but I couldn't see what you're talking about.  Do you have a more direct link?

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