WASHINGTON'S LEADING BUSINESS MAGAZINE

Inside Microsoft's Kinect, and... Microbe?

Fun reading elsewhere on the web.

A couple of good stories on the radar today. Wired magazine has an in-depth feature on Microsoft's Kinect wireless-controllerless video game... uh... controller. The one where you jump around in front of the TV instead of sitting still and moving only your thumbs.

The story is worth a read, as is most any story in which the reporters get access to the actual people doing the work over in Redmond, rather than their group vice presidents and whatnot who get to take credit before jostling closer to the corner office. In this case, Alex Kipman, the Brazil-born project manager whose team developed Kinect (and naming it Project Natal after Kipman's hometown).

And speaking of the corner office, the New York Times' Bits blog reports on a recent meeting between Steve Ballmer and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen. The hint: Microsoft's going to try and buy Adobe, the maker of the Flash web animation software (with which Microsoft's own Silverlight is a competitor of sorts) as well as the Creative Suite graphic design product line (PhotoShop, Illustrator, Acrobat and so on). The goal: to compete with Apple in the mobile market. (Let's see: Windows Phone 7 is coming out, and has an uphill battle against iPhone's five-year head start. Apple famously won't let Flash on the iPhone, so... enemy of my enemy is my new BFF. What? Oh, there's also something about Google, as in "Google means never having to worry about another antitrust probe.")

The fiery posters over at Slashdot.org (no love lost between them and either company) have already taken to calling the prospective merged company Microbe. Cute. But it'll be anything but "micro" if it comes to pass. Nor will the price tag, which has been rumored to be in the neighborhood of $20 billion.

I wonder if this has anything to do with Ballmer's "legacy" issue.