Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Windows Server System Magazine - Microsoft's Platform Strategies for 2004-2005

Windows Server System Magazine - Microsoft's Platform Strategies for 2004-2005: "This is the third Trends & Analysis column in a series focused on the past, present, and future of Microsoft's platform strategies. The first column, 'Understanding Microsoft's Platform Strategies,' established a framework for evaluating Microsoft's product line in terms of platforms, tools, applications, and services. The second, 'Microsoft's Platform Strategies Today,' described how .NET has matured during the last two years. This one focuses on .NET Framework 2.0, Visual Studio 2005, and SQL Server 2005, three of the most important development projects Microsoft has ever undertaken."

(3-page article; annoyingly the "printer friendly" version seems to be busticated at the moment)

XAML Today

XAML Today: "When Longhorn is released, developers and organizations will face a challenge: do we build for Longhorn and sacrifice backward compatibility; do we build for pre-Longhorn versions of Windows and sacrifice the benefits of Avalon/XAML; or do we develop two versions in parallel, with the difficulties and costs that entails? This dilemma can be expected to persist for years, as Longhorn slowly approaches majority adoption.
There is a better way. By beginning to use XAML now, and by choosing a XAML engine that will evolve with Microsoft?9s spec while remaining stable and dependable, developers gain a host of benefits:
XAML applications built today will port to Longhorn.
Applications built in XAML today benefit immediately from the portability, manageability and security offered by Longhorn?9s two-tier programming model.
XAML experience gained today will be in demand and valuable as Longhorn adoption grows.
Applications written for Longhorn after its release will work with pre-Longhorn versions of Windows. "

(Xamlon's value proposition)

"BW Online | July 5, 2004 | A Sweet Deal In Suite Software

BW Online | July 5, 2004 | A Sweet Deal In Suite Software "Simdesk Technologies Inc. is a strange little operation, even for an Internet company. Its chief executive, Louis A. Waters, is not a techie but the retired head of onetime sanitation giant Browning-Ferris Industries Inc. And while it's little known, the 100-person Houston firm has a gargantuan ego. Having won a few deals over Microsoft Corp. (MSFT ), executives are convinced the Redmond (Wash.) giant is obsessed with squishing them before they get too powerful. Among other fears, SimDesk founder Ray C. Davis believes Microsoft may have tapped his cell phone and worries that it has planted a spy in his staff. "I think they'll go to any limits to squelch us," says Davis.
But here's the strangest part: Microsoft should be a tad nervous. That's because SimDesk may be closing in on one of tech's Holy Grails: anytime, anywhere computing on the cheap.
For years, Microsoft, IBM (IBM ), and others have painted visions of a future in which people could easily tap into their programs and information from whichever computer they happen to be using. But SimDesk is the first company to provide that promise in an ultra-affordable way. Individuals can log on to the SimDesk Web site, use basic programs, including word processing, e-mail, and spreadsheet packages, and store their stuff on the company's computers -- all for just a few dollars per person per year. There's no need to spend $399 to buy Microsoft's Office suite of applications.
What's more, SimDesk isn't for everyone. While its applications are compatible with Microsoft's ubiquitous Word and Excel, they lack some of the bells and whistles -- including so-called pivot-tables used by spreadsheet mavens to crunch data. More important, people who are used to instant response from PC software may have to wait seconds as even the simplest commands travel to SimDesk's servers in Houston and back."

Know many people who pay $399 for Office these days? I don't. I also don't know many people who want a browser/GUI 3270 suite of productivity tools.

Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog

Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog $.07 (my standard bet) says this blog pulls a Rudder (i.e., is updated infrequently) - Sun Urges IBM to Contribute To Open-Source Community - Sun Urges IBM to Contribute To Open-Source Community "Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems Inc.'s chairman and chief executive officer, challenged International Business Machines Corp. to contribute intellectual property to the open-source community of software developers.
Mr. McNealy's remarks, at Sun's annual JavaOne conference, were a pointed retort to an open letter from IBM to Sun earlier this year, which urged Sun to make its popular Java programming language available on an open-source basis. In a portion of a keynote speech that he labeled with the question "where is the outrage?" Mr. McNealy suggested that IBM should be making contributions from its own vast pool of patents and other intellectual property before it publicly criticizes Sun not rushing to do so.
In a press conference following his speech, Mr. McNealy said IBM should now take some similar steps, since the giant computer maker has more patents "than any other company on the planet." He said he believes that IBM "has Java envy," and "would love to wrest stewardship of Java away" from Sun. One reason is that Sun's success with Java helps Sun woo computer customers, he said.
IBM wasn't the only company slammed by Mr. McNealy, who is known for his barbed wit. He also challenged Red Hat and Microsoft Corp. to get involved in the community process for managing Java. In the case of Microsoft, which is now something of a partner to Sun by virtue of a legal settlement between the companies earlier this year, Mr. McNealy also was critical of the software giant for not doing more to stop computer viruses.
"They are Microsoft viruses, that's what they are," Mr. McNealy said."

Good to see the progress continuining in the Sun/Microsoft relationship...

Silicon Valley - Dan Gillmor's eJournal - Apple's Next Operating System

Silicon Valley - Dan Gillmor's eJournal - Apple's Next Operating System "Apple has never been shy about adopting other people's good ideas, and there's already some controversy over a feature called "Dashboard," which collects a bunch of small software programs people use frequently -- such as calendar, address book, calculator or weather forecasts -- and brings them to the forefront for a quick display at a keystroke. Dashboard looks a lot like a currently available shareware application called Konfabulator," which does pretty much the same thing."

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

ACM: Ubiquity - Does It Matter?

ACM: Ubiquity - Does IT Matter? "Does IT matter? One might as well ask, "Do people matter?" Business today can't exist without either resource, but spending more on either of them cannot guarantee success unless it contributes to a rational strategy. IT itself is no answer to anything except IT sales. Apply IT innovatively, creatively, and appropriately to a sound organizational purpose, though, and stand back. It's the application that makes the difference; not merely the technology. So in the end Carr and I agree: IT is indispensable, a necessary but not sufficient ingredient of advantage. In my book that amounts to, "IT Does Matter," but no one would buy that book."

The New York Times > Technology > Apple Putting More Focus on Simplifying Searching

The New York Times > Technology > Apple Putting More Focus on Simplifying Searching "The race between Tiger and Longhorn was something of a theme at the conference, which has long attracted a crowd of Macintosh aficionados. One billboard-size sign greeting developers read, "Redmond, we have a problem"; Microsoft's headquarters are in Redmond, Wash.
Another sign read, "Get your copiers ready," referring to Apple's longstanding claim that many of Windows' best innovations were copied from the Macintosh.
"They're copying our concepts," Mr. Jobs said. "I'd kind of like to get credit sometime," he added. In the late 1980's, Apple sued Microsoft, accusing it of copying the Macintosh operating system."

Microsoft Debuts Express Product Lines for Visual Studio and SQL Server

Microsoft Debuts Express Product Lines for Visual Studio and SQL Server "SQL Server Express Edition
SQL Server Express Edition helps developers build reliable data-driven applications by providing a freely redistributable, easy-to-use and robust database. It includes the rich functionality included in the SQL Server 2005 database engine, such as stored procedures, views, triggers, cursors, Common Language Runtime (CLR) support and Extensible Markup Language (XML) support. Building on the success of the Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE), SQL Server Express Edition will be available for download at no cost to users. In addition, SQL Server Express Edition provides an embedded database that enables independent software vendors (ISVs) to embed a lightweight, cost-effective database into applications.
With Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition, Microsoft delivers an easy-to-use tool for Web application development. Building on developers' success with Visual Studio .NET 2003, ASP.NET Web Matrix and ASP.NET as a Web application platform, Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition is a highly productive tool that helps students and enthusiasts build dynamic Web applications, such as personal Web sites, blogging sites and more. Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition provides a dedicated Web tool that is built from the ground up to meet the specific needs of Web developers and includes innovations across the design surface, project system, platform and code editor, including IntelliSense® and debugging tools. Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition also includes a built-in development Web server and publishing tools that when used with SQL Server Express Edition enable users to quickly build and deploy dynamic Web applications to online hosting providers.
Each of the Express products are scheduled to be available for download by the end of the week."

Check out the Microsoft FAQ for details -- the imminent releases are beta. SQL Server Express replaces MSDE, but it'll also probably be very useful for competing with MySQL and other open source DBMSs.

The New York Times > Technology > Microsoft to Offer Streamlined Products Aimed at Programmers

The New York Times > Technology > Microsoft to Offer Streamlined Products Aimed at Programmers "Microsoft is making a bid today to win over new developers with a stripped-down line of products including a free database and inexpensive developer tools. The new offerings - called "Express" versions of more feature-packed Microsoft products - are intended for the 18 million people worldwide who write useful programs, but do not make their living as software developers.
The ranks of nonprofessional developers, Microsoft estimates, are growing at about 8 percent to 15 percent a year, which is four or five times the growth rate of professional developers. "More people are finding that some computer science skills are important in business and other fields," observed John Montgomery, a director of product development in Microsoft's developer division.
"Those are 18 million nonprofessional developers and we want as many of them as we can writing Windows applications, and to convert some of them to professional developers," Mr. Montgomery said." - Amazon Countersues, Seeking To End Toys 'R' Us Partnership - Amazon Countersues, Seeking To End Toys 'R' Us Partnership: " Inc.'s fraying relationship with Toys 'R' Us Inc. took a turn for the worse Friday when Amazon filed a countersuit against the toy retailer, asking a judge to allow termination of its contract with Toys 'R' Us and award it in excess of $750 million.
In unusually harsh language directed at a once-close partner, Amazon's complaint, filed in New Jersey Superior Court in Passaic County, refers to Toys 'R' Us's 'chronic failure' to live up to obligations under the two companies' contract. " / Business / Technology / Accidental contractor: Groove Networks unexpectedly lands major customer: US government / Business / Technology / Accidental contractor: Groove Networks unexpectedly lands major customer: US government "When he founded Groove Networks in 1997, technologist Ray Ozzie envisioned a target market for its collaboration software: businesses eager to communicate with their partners and suppliers. ''In the founding documents, I don't think there was a single mention of the government," Ozzie admitted.
Today, government represents roughly 40 percent of Groove's sales. Groove software is being deployed by the Pentagon and civilian agencies rebuilding Iraq, and by Department of Homeland Security officials coordinating security for the Democratic and Republican conventions. Defense and security sales are likely to climb in coming years, as collaboration between agencies increases. And with private-sector customers still holding back on technology spending, government sales could represent a growing share of Groove's business mix."

Monday, June 28, 2004

InfoWorld: Sun returns to old haunts

InfoWorld: Sun returns to old haunts "If boasts and promises were the same as execution, Sun would win every game. Maybe Solaris on Opteron will be Sun’s straight and true road south of Sparc. Or maybe Sun will just make a lot of noise about that pairing in July and go back to waffling among Linux and Solaris and Xeon and 32-bit Sparc so that no one — customers or software partners — can make sense of it. It will take an engineer to solve this one, and not just any engineer. Mr. Fowler, I hope your cape is back from the cleaners." - Is Apple Losing Its Sheen? - Is Apple Losing Its Sheen? "Even as overall PC shipments grew 12% in 2003, Apple's computer shipments were flat for the year, according to research firm Fulcrum Global Partners. At the end of March, Apple dropped out of research firm IDC's top 10 list of world-wide computer makers for the first time ever. Apple's share of the global computer market has eroded across the home, business and government markets over the past year, dropping to 1.7% overall at the end of March, down from 1.8% in early 2003, says Gartner (though its share is up in the education market). And in the company's last fiscal quarter, Apple's computer sales were sequentially flat or down across all models, particularly for its flagship iMac desktops.
The trend lines are worrisome because, despite the success of the iPod, computers are still Apple's core business. The music players account for just 14% of overall Apple revenue while Macintosh computers make up most of the rest. What's more, the Macintosh is slightly more profitable for Apple than the iPod. Macintosh gross margins are 23%, according to Wall Street analysts. Gross margins for the iPod stand at 22% and are predicted to decline because of creeping competition in the music player market."

Microsoft eases up reins on Windows CE coding

Microsoft eases up reins on Windows CE coding "Microsoft Corp. plans to let makers of custom devices modify the underlying code for a specialized version of the Windows operating system and distribute products running on altered versions of the program -- without sharing the results of their work with the Redmond company.
The decision, to be announced today, is highly unusual for a company that is known for carefully protecting what amount to the blueprints for some of its biggest products. Under existing programs, even the company's trusted partners are allowed only to view the Windows source code, but not to make changes for any commercial purposes."

Friday, June 25, 2004

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Bill Gates could join the ranks of bloggers

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Bill Gates could join the ranks of bloggers "Bill's blog won't be all business, either. He's expected to share personal details such as tidbits from recent vacations, according to tech pundit Mary Jo Foley's Microsoft Watch newsletter. Citing unnamed sources, she reported yesterday that Gates is about to start blogging "real soon now."
Blogs were first produced by techies in the late 1990s using special software that makes it easy to produce and update the personal Web pages.
Now 44 percent of U.S. Internet users contributed content to the Web, and 2 percent maintain their own blogs, according to a February study by the Pew Internet & American Life research project. With about 128 million adult Internet users in the country, that would mean there are more than 2.5 million blogs.
The challenge, especially for busy executives, is keeping blogs up to date.
Eric Rudder, a senior vice president at Microsoft, started a blog in May 2003 but let it lapse for months at a time. Co-workers jokingly suggested they would use his name as a verb, meaning letting one's blog go dormant."

The article also notes, despite its somewhat nasty initial tone ("Bill Gates has a reputation for coming late to the party, then making a big splash when he arrives"), that Bill Gates already publishes many of his speeches and articles.

Gates took a look at PeopleSoft

Gates took a look at PeopleSoft "Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates considered making a minority investment in PeopleSoft Inc. to help the company remain independent and fight a hostile takeover bid from Oracle Corp.
In an e-mail dated June 7, 2003, the day after Oracle announced its offer, Gates wrote to Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer that the bid for PeopleSoft "made me wonder if we should approach them and suggest a minority investment to bolster their independence in return for a modest platform commitment."

Microsoft open to open source

Microsoft open to open source "Microsoft Corp. says it is looking to turn over more of its programs to open-source software developers, playing a greater role in a process that the Redmond company has criticized strongly at times in the past.
Money-makers like the company's Windows operating system and Office productivity suite aren't on the table -- or anywhere near it.
But the company has so far released two software-development tools to the open-source community, and it wants to continue the practice, a Microsoft platform manager told an industry group this week.
"Is that a threat to our business? Well, as much as we didn't get that sale or make that customer happy, yes," he answered. "Is it a threat to our overall business? No. There's lots of customers out there and I would hope that we're making all of them happy so they keep coming back."

InfoWorld: Update: AOL to buy for $435 million

InfoWorld: Update: AOL to buy for $435 million: "America Online Inc. (AOL) has agreed to buy online marketing startup Inc. for $435 million in cash, it said Thursday, in a move aimed at shoring up its ad business among mounting competition from Internet rivals."

Personally, I would have postponed this press release a few days, following the theft of 92 million customer ids for spam purposes...

InfoWorld: Beehive gains Eclipse support

InfoWorld: Beehive gains Eclipse support: "BEA Systems Inc.'s Project Beehive will get a boost next Monday when the company announces at JavaOne that the Eclipse organization is working on a 'top level' project that will support the product, according to sources.
Project Beehive, announced last month, was heralded by the company as the industry's first open source foundation for building service-oriented architectures and enterprise-class Java based applications. It is based on BEA's WebLogic Workshop application framework."

Gmail invitations

Gmail invitations The nice folks at Google gave me a bunch more Gmail invitations; let me know if you want one -- pbokelly @

Thursday, June 24, 2004

InformationWeek > High-Performance Computing > Microsoft To Develop 'High Performance' Windows > June 23, 2004

InformationWeek > High-Performance Computing > Microsoft To Develop 'High Performance' Windows > June 23, 2004 "The software, due in the second half of 2005, represents a different approach to high-end computing than the company's currently available DataCenter edition of Windows. DataCenter is designed for use on symmetric multiprocessing servers, where a single version of Windows can run on up to 64 processors. Microsoft's in-development High-Performance Computing platform will split the workload across many smaller machines, each of which has its own imprint of Windows.
Microsoft plans to aim Windows Server 2003, HPC edition, at companies in life sciences, engineering, finance, and other industries where highly scalable systems built with relatively low-cost hardware are being applied to demanding applications. "Parallel-computing clusters are increasingly being seen in the enterprise," Microsoft product manager Dennis Oldroyd says. "It's been the domain of academia and research. Now, with low-cost standardized hardware, it's becoming less of a niche play."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Comdex event canceled for '04

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Comdex event canceled for '04: "Among the diehards was Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, who has delivered a keynote speech every year since 1983. His father even came to help with the slide projector at the first show.
Gates' annual opening-night speech became a highlight of the show, and a chance for him to share his vision for the industry. "

The New York Times > Business > Microsoft Tells Court It Won't Be a Rival to Oracle

The New York Times > Business > Microsoft Tells Court It Won't Be a Rival to Oracle "While Microsoft is not a litigant in the antitrust trial, the company's strategy in business software looms large in the government's case.
"It is not true we intend to move into the space," Mr. Burgum testified. "Enterprise software is about few customers, very high prices and long negotiations. Microsoft's strength is low prices, high volume, packaged software."
Mr. Burgum, who runs the Microsoft Business Solutions division, said Microsoft determined it would take "years and years and years" for the company to create products and train a sales force focused on the enterprise market. "That would be a formidable task that would take more money than Microsoft would be willing to commit," he said.
Mr. Burgum added that his division, which was formed by Microsoft's acquisition of Great Plains Software in 2001 and Navision in 2002, was still losing money.
In the cross-examination of Mr. Burgum, Dan Wall, Oracle's lead lawyer, pointed to internal Microsoft documents in which company executives described their intent to sell Microsoft programs like Axapta to large corporations.
"They absolutely have designs on the large corporations," Mr. Wall said in an interview, referring to Microsoft's software strategy. Calling Mr. Burgum's direct testimony an "exercise in semantics," Mr. Wall said it was critical to look at Microsoft's intent to supply a "full solution stack," from the operating system to enterprise applications."

MSN Announces Comprehensive Worldwide Upgrade to MSN Hotmail

MSN Announces Comprehensive Worldwide Upgrade to MSN Hotmail: "MSN? Hotmail?, the world's most popular free Web-based e-mail service, will undergo a major upgrade, delivering customers world-class e-mail protection as well as enhanced storage to satisfy all their needs. Starting in early July, MSN will roll out free e-mail anti-virus protection to all the 170 million MSN Hotmail customers worldwide, making MSN Hotmail the only free global e-mail service to both scan and clean incoming and outgoing e-mail for viruses and worms before they can enter a customer's inbox. MSN also announced it will bring increased storage - 250MB inboxes - to free MSN Hotmail customers in multiple markets and will introduce MSN Hotmail Plus, an upgraded premium Web service to help customers get the most out of MSN Hotmail.
The upgraded premium Web service called MSN Hotmail Plus is designed for customers who want to get more out of their MSN Hotmail account. MSN Hotmail Plus will be priced at $19.95* per year in the United States and will provide customers with virtually infinite storage - 2 GB of online storage and the ability to send 20MB attachments, as well as additional offline storage limited only by the size of their computer hard drive. MSN Hotmail Plus subscribers will receive additional benefits, including a more streamlined Web e-mail experience with no graphical advertisements and no account expiration." - Personal Technology - Personal Technology: "Personally, I plan to stick with Microsoft Office. Despite my distaste for Microsoft's monopoly, it does the job and is reasonably priced for consumers. But, if you're looking for an alternative, try WordPerfect."

Walt trashes Evermore Integrated Office, doesn't think StarOffice/OpenOffice rates a revised review, and thinks WordPerfect Office, at ~$90 (student/teacher license) for home users, is reasonable. Of course, you can also get the Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition for list price of $149 ($125.99 at Amazon at the moment). - Microsoft Says Flirting With SAP Was Partly To Battle IBM - Microsoft Says Flirting With SAP Was Partly To Battle IBM: "Gates also ruminated about an SAP acquisition in a June 7, 2003 e-mail to Ballmer.
'Another thought that came to mind is that it's time we bought SAP,' he wrote. 'Given our view of the need to strengthen our platform and our willingness to use value to do it, it seems interesting.'
But in the same e-mail, Gates also hedged his bets.
'Thinking about this PeopleSoft bid by Oracle made me wonder if we should approach them and suggest a minority investment to bolster their independence in return for a modest platform commitment,' he wrote."

Mission accomplished -- in part thanks to Oracle -- apparently without the minority investment. - Microsoft Plans 'Starter' Version Of Windows for Asian Markets - Microsoft Plans 'Starter' Version Of Windows for Asian Markets: "Microsoft Corp. plans to offer a version of its Windows operating system geared toward beginning computer users in Thailand and Malaysia starting this September.
The offering, dubbed Windows XP Starter Edition, will be part of government-sponsored programs aimed at providing more affordable personal computers in those countries.
The system won't have all the functions of Windows XP offered in the U.S., but it will have new features tailored to first-time users, Microsoft spokeswoman Heidi Reys said.
She said the starter edition will have many of the typical Windows features, such as Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player, but the company wouldn't provide details of what the system will lack." / Business / Technology / soars 56% in debut, to $1.7b in value / Business / Technology / soars 56% in debut, to $1.7b in value "The online software pioneer's shares rose $6.20 from their initial public offering price to close at $17.20. The performance, which left with a $1.7 billion market value, outstripped the average first-day gain of 13 percent posted by companies that have gone public so far this year, according to Renaissance Capital, a Greenwich, Conn., research firm.
The biggest difference between and yesteryear's Internet companies shows up on the income statement. Unlike early dot-com firms, makes money, earning $3.5 million on revenue of $96 million in its last fiscal year, ended in January. The company posted a profit of $437,000 on revenue of $35 million during the first quarter of the current year."

Oh, so that explains why now has a market cap greater than, e.g., Macromedia and Sybase. The bubble is back -- oh joy... / Business / Technology / US case vs. Oracle boosted [by Microsoft] / Business / Technology / US case vs. Oracle boosted [by Microsoft] "During his testimony, Burgum told US District Judge Vaughn Walker, who is presiding over the case, that ''there's a gap" in the functionality of its business applications software that renders it unsuitable for the computing needs of large corporations.
''It would take years and years and years" for Microsoft to match the capabilities of software made by SAP, Oracle, and PeopleSoft.
Burgum said Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft doesn't have plans to beef up its software to handle the needs of large corporations."

That's a bit perplexing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Hotmail to offer 250MB of free storage | CNET

Hotmail to offer 250MB of free storage | CNET "Microsoft said Wednesday that it will boost storage limits in its Hotmail Web e-mail service, a move intended to counter similar steps taken by rivals Google and Yahoo.
The upgrade will increase Hotmail's free e-mail storage limits from 2 megabytes to 250MB and its paid e-mail service, which costs $19.95 a year, from 10MB to 2 gigabytes. The changes will begin in early July." - Salesforce Shares Climb In Public Trading Debut - Salesforce Shares Climb In Public Trading Debut: " Inc. shares rose sharply in their trading debut Wednesday, marking a triumph for the software company that weathered a series of setbacks and securities-law gaffes en route to the initial public offering.
After opening at the $11 offering price, shares of, a customer-relations software company based in San Francisco, surged $6.20, or 56%, to close at $17.20 on the New York Stock Exchange.
The initial public offering of 10 million shares, led by Morgan Stanley, priced above estimates of $9 to $10 a share. That range was raised earlier this week from previous estimates of $7.50 to $8.50. The strong demand for the shares came despite some high-profile mistakes along the way to the public markets, including an earnings restatement and mandated delay in marketing the IPO because of comments made by the company's chief executive." - AOL Employee Is Accused Of Selling Names to Spammer - AOL Employee Is Accused Of Selling Names to Spammer: "An America Online software engineer was charged Wednesday with harvesting a list of 92 million customer screen names that was eventually used to send spam.
Mr. Smathers, working at AOL offices in Dulles, Va., stole the list of screen names and sold it to another man, Sean Dunaway, of Las Vegas, who repeatedly sold the list to spammers, federal prosecutors said in a criminal complaint."

Organizer cancels Comdex 2004 | CNET

Organizer cancels Comdex 2004 | CNET "Computer trade show Comdex, once the biggest event on the tech calendar, has been canceled this year, a victim of the growing interest in shows emphasizing consumer electronics and specialist IT gear. "

I suspect not many people are upset about this...

Don Box's Spoutlet: More on Taligent

Don Box's Spoutlet: More on Taligent: "Also interesting was my chance conversation with Chris Lovett, dev lead and architect of the XML editor in Whidbey. He happened to mention that he was at Taligent, and had numerous insights into why the project ended the way it did. "

Don Box's Spoutlet: Logan on the API War

Don Box's Spoutlet: Logan on the API War "Indigo (one of the three "pillars of Longhorn") does in fact install on XP and Windows Server 2003. The experience on all three platforms should be comparable.
Also, for those who can still stand to look at COM, Indigo should be quite usable using COM APIs (e.g., CoCreateInstance, CoGetObject, CoSetSecurityBlanket), so for a lot your COM skills will still apply.
I know its fun to paint MSFT as clueless dolts who don't care about developer or customer investments, but the reality isn't quite that black and white."

Digital Media Europe: News - Lucent and Microsoft TV to collaborate in digital TV services provision

Digital Media Europe: News - Lucent and Microsoft TV to collaborate in digital TV services provision "Microsoft and Lucent Technologies have signed a memorandum of understanding to integrate the Microsoft TV Internet Protocol television (IPTV) software platform with Lucent solutions to enable telecommunications providers to add digital TV services to their existing broadband product offerings."

SBC plans billions on high-speed fiber | CNET

SBC plans billions on high-speed fiber | CNET "Hoping to better compete against cable and cell phone service providers, SBC Communications has begun a five-year, multibillion construction project to deploy high-speed fiber into much more of its network.
The $4 billion to $6 billion project will enable SBC to sell broadband that's more than five times faster than the service the company currently offers, SBC Chairman Ed Whitacre said here Tuesday during a keynote address at the telephone trade show Supercomm 2004. Over that higher-speed connection, SBC now has tentative plans to sell television programming using Microsoft's Internet-based TV technology, which it will begin testing later this year, along with less expensive Net phone dialing."

The New York Times > Science > Cones, Curves, Shells, Towers: He Made Paper Jump to Life

The New York Times > Science > Cones, Curves, Shells, Towers: He Made Paper Jump to Life "On the mantel of a quiet suburban home here stands a curious object resembling a small set of organ pipes nestled into a neat, white case. At first glance it does not seem possible that such a complex, curving form could have been folded from a single sheet of paper, and yet it was.
The construction is one of an astonishing collection of paper objects folded by Dr. David Huffman, a former professor of computer science at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a pioneer in computational origami, an emerging field with an improbable name but surprisingly practical applications.
Dr. Huffman's folding was a private activity. Professionally he worked in the field of coding and information theory. As a student at M.I.T. in the 1950's, he discovered a minimal way of encoding information known as Huffman Codes, which are now used to help compress MP3 music files and JPEG images. Dr. Peter Newman of the Computer Science Laboratory at the Stanford Research Institute said that in everything Dr. Huffman did, he was obsessed with elegance and simplicity. "He had an ability to visualize problems and to see things that nobody had seen before," Dr. Newman said."

See full article for a couple amazing photos.

The New York Times > Technology > Salesforce Raises $110 Million After Delay

The New York Times > Technology > Salesforce Raises $110 Million After Delay " Inc., a maker of Internet-based sales software, raised $110 million in an initial public offering yesterday.
The company, based in San Francisco, sold 10 million shares at $11 each. It had initially planned to sell the shares at $7.50 to $8.50 each, according to regulatory filings." / Business / Technology / WiFi set for landing / Business / Technology / WiFi set for landing: "After more than a month of testing, Logan officials are launching a new two-tier WiFi service that will give travelers free access to flight schedules, airport information, and news headlines at
Unlimited access to the Internet will cost $7.95 a day; no hourly rate is offered.
The $2 million-plus telecommunications network that's powering the new WiFi access in terminals B, C, and D -- the international terminal, E, began offering WiFi in February -- will also support secure private wireless access for airlines, officials at the Boston airport, and State Police. They can use the network for everything from gaining access to law-enforcement databases to processing baggage."

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Downtown Boston.NET begins July 1st 5pm with CLR Internals

Downtown Boston.NET begins July 1st 5pm with CLR Internals Great speaker/topic and free pizza as well...

The New York Times > Business > Google Edits Its Prospectus to Highlight Risk of Loss

The New York Times > Business > Google Edits Its Prospectus to Highlight Risk of Loss "Google revised the document it will give prospective investors yesterday, to state even more pointedly that the unusual auction process for its initial stock sale could cause its shares to fall after the offering.
"If your objective is to make a short-term profit by selling the shares you purchase in the offering shortly after trading begins, you should not submit a bid in the auction," the revised prospectus stated."

Microsoft still a collaboration lightweight -

Microsoft still a collaboration lightweight - "Despite appearances, Microsoft has been a player in the collaboration marketplace for years thanks to its email clients and server platforms. But of late, it's been trying to make inroads into the wider collaboration space with new technologies designed to push messaging, conferencing and portals into the mainstream.
It would be too easy to suggest that this is another Microsoft exercise in customer lock-in as it diversifies to avoid stagnation in its traditional markets. After all, it seems pretty clear that enterprises that already own Microsoft infrastructure would want to consider wider collaborative options. Still, it seems the company has some way to go to convince even this captive market of its neophyte talents."

CRN | Microsoft Has New Take On Virtualization

CRN | Microsoft Has New Take On Virtualization "Microsoft promises to ease server application migration and simplify test environments with the forthcoming release of Virtual Server 2005, an application that virtualizes the Windows 2003 Server operating system. Virtual Server 2005 allows administrators to concurrently run multiple operating systems or multiple instances of Windows 2003 Server.
While server virtualization is nothing new, Microsoft's approach is different from competitors such as VMware. Virtual Server 2005 creates its virtual machines on top of Windows 2003 Server, compared with products that perform virtualization at the hardware level.
Both styles of virtualization have advantages and disadvantages. Hardware-level virtualization provides an operating system-agnostic approach, but often lacks tight integration with host operating systems. On the other hand, Microsoft's approach requires Windows 2003 Server, but Virtual Server 2005 can leverage the management and performance tools included in Windows 2003 Server, making virtualization almost transparent."

Monday, June 21, 2004 - AOL Withdraws From Part Of Instant-Messaging Market - AOL Withdraws From Part Of Instant-Messaging Market "In a move to lessen its involvement in the corporate instant message software business, America Online Inc. is expected to announce today that it will transfer about 150 customers of a corporate instant-messaging software product to IMlogic Inc., a closely held Waltham, Mass. provider of instant-message security and compliance software.
The AOL product, AIM Enterprise Gateway, which allows companies to manage their employees' use of AOL Instant Messenger, will be discontinued. The customers transferred in the deal will use IMlogic's IM Manager product, which also manages traffic on Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Messenger and Yahoo Inc.'s Yahoo Messenger."

Dan Bricklin: Multics reunion and honoring Prof. Corbato

Dan Bricklin: Multics reunion and honoring Prof. Corbato: "Yesterday I attended the Multics Reunion at MIT. It consisted of a symposium during the day and a dinner in the evening honoring the head of the project, Prof. Fernando J. Corbato (known to all as Corby). Multics was a major OS project started in 1965, which influenced many operating systems since, most notably Unix. I worked on it from January 1970 until September 1973. It is where I met Bob Frankston.
Why was Multics so secure? Several reasons, including: Buffer overflows are the single most common source of security vulnerabilities today, but Multics didn't have them. Why: The system was written in PL/I, not C, which handles oversize strings well. The hardware was used (unlike today's x86's) to keep execute bits off on data and to make address overflows fault or wrap back into data and not code or other data. Stacks grew in a positive direction, not negative like today, making it hard to overwrite subroutine return information (the common exploit today). Also, security was a primary goal of Multics, built in from the first -- it was not an option."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft gets digital pep talk

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft gets digital pep talk: "Should Microsoft dump its digital-rights management system?
Cory Doctorow, a London-based writer and outreach coordinator for the Electronic Freedom Foundation, gave a talk last week at Microsoft's research division proposing just that.
DRM systems, designed to prevent unauthorized use of music and other files, don't work and are bad for society, Doctorow said, according to a transcript of the speech he posted online. Microsoft's customers don't want their music locked on to computers, only to disappear when the hard drive crashes, he said.
Microsoft has stood up for its customers and for progress in the past, and it should do it again by making a music player that plays songs in any format, he said.
'This is a company that looks the world's roughest, toughest antitrust regulators in the eye and laughs,' he said. 'Compared to antitrust people, copyright lawmakers are pantywaists. You can take them with your arm behind your back.' "

The New York Times > Technology > Advertising: The Internet Ad You Are About to See Has Already Read Your E-Mail

The New York Times > Technology > Advertising: The Internet Ad You Are About to See Has Already Read Your E-Mail "But the service turns out to have some interesting self-imposed constraints. Google has created what is the electronic equivalent of a television network's standards and practices department to determine which e-mail messages are suitable for ads and which are not.
Google will not display ads on e-mail messages with words related to sex, guns, drugs and other topics it considers off limits. "We want the ads to be family friendly," said Susan Wojcicki, Google's director of product management. "There are some topics for ads we have decided that are not appropriate to be shown on e-mail."

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Don Box's Spoutlet: The Taligent Effect

Don Box's Spoutlet: The Taligent Effect "The Taligent effect is what happens when a group of people put adherence to a software trend first and lose sight of the value of shipping software that people will actually use.
Taligent was Apple's (and later IBM's) attempt to rewrite an existing product using the trends of the day. The product was an operating system (first called "Pink" when it was at Apple). The technology trend was objects, but because the project hung around so long without shipping, the trend at the end of the project was frameworks.
What was the net artifact of Taligent? Three beautifullyproducedbooks from Addison Wesley. That's it. No DLLs or EXEs that I can see.
Given the amount of excitement over SOA, I'm confident that there are several projects that are repeating the exercise as you read this.
As always, the book will likely be better than the movie."

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Joe Beda's Defending the rich client

Joe Beda's Defending the rich client "The real question is: What are we to do? Without arguing about the fine points, we are stuck with a choice. We can either continue adding doodad on top of doodad to Win32 (and maintain backward compat from an API and binary perspective) or we can try and make a fresh start with WinFX and set ourselves up for the future. Look at the timelines: Windows 1.0 with the start of Win16 came out in 1985. Windows 95, with the mainstream advent of Win32 came out in 1995. It is now 2004.
Now is the time for Microsoft to either watch the Windows rich client sail in to the sunset or to do its best to reinvigorate it. The only way to make this happen is to go "all-in" and think big. We want to empower developers by making a much richer, network connected and modern API for programming on windows. WinFX is all about taking what we've learned over the last 20 years and creating a solid platform for the next 20 years. We will provide the right API, backward compat for old applications and a great bridge between the two for developers. If we really want developers to write code that only runs on windows, we have to provide features and enticements that they can't get anywhere else. While I don't think that it is too late, I do think that we have our work cut out for us."

Longhorn team member response to Joel and Jon, via Scoble (BTW it was VisiCalc and not 1-2-3 at PDC 2003)

Nokia cash boosts Mozilla | CNET

Nokia cash boosts Mozilla | CNET "Nokia has funded a cell phone browser project at the Mozilla Foundation, breathing new life into the open-source effort once written off as Microsoft roadkill.
Sources familiar with the deal this week confirmed that Nokia paid Mozilla to produce a cell phone browser based on the foundation's open-source code base. The resulting project, called "."Minimo," has produced a workable prototype, or "pre-alpha milestone

Friday, June 18, 2004 Don't Make me Eat the Elephant Again [Jun. 15, 2004] Don't Make me Eat the Elephant Again [Jun. 15, 2004] "When I got an early glimpse of the EJB3 directions from the ServerSide conference and from the Colorado Software Symposium, I was tremendously excited. I've since tempered my enthusiasm, but it's been difficult to put those intangible reservations into words. In this article, I attempt to put some of my initial misgivings into solid, logical arguments."

Nick Bradbury: How Microsoft Lost the API War

Nick Bradbury: How Microsoft Lost the API War: "Joel Spolsky's recent essay on Microsoft's API shift is a slam dunk. It's a long article (as blog posts go), but it's a must-read for developers.
Funny enough, I seriously considered moving my development to .NET by writing FeedDemon 1.0 in C#. The C# language itself is very nice, and .NET certainly makes some things a lot easier than Win32. But several existing RSS readers received poor reviews due to their .NET-related memory usage, and requiring the 20MB .NET runtime is suicide for most downloadable shareware apps. So, in the end I stuck with Delphi, which I'd used to create both TopStyle and HomeSite. Delphi creates standalone (ie: no runtime) Win32 executables, which for the moment makes it a better choice for shareware."

ENT News | News: Windows to Hit 60 Percent of Server Unit Shipments by 2008

ENT News | News: Windows to Hit 60 Percent of Server Unit Shipments by 2008: "In terms of unit shipments, IDC expects Windows to dominate, capturing 60 percent of all server unit shipments in 2008. Linux-based servers will represent 29 percent of all server unit shipments by that time, the research firm projects.
The overall server system revenue pie for 2004 is expected to be $53 billion, 5 percent higher than the 2003 market. By 2008, IDC expects the market to grow to $60.8 billion.
While the IDC numbers have Windows and Linux shipments together accounting for nearly 90 percent of the market, the big profit margins will remain with Unix and other proprietary platforms."

Transition plan for hosted sites

Transition plan for hosted sites "A personal note of thanks to the members of the Weblogs.Com community whose sites were in limbo for this last week. I'm sorry the ride has been so rough.
A community that was fading slowly, seems to, in some ways, be coming back to life. It's a loop back to the beginning of weblogs. Some of the old comraderie is back, and it's something to behold.
Thanks for all the kind email expressing concern for me personally. What an inspiration!"

Dave Winer resurrects content...

Yahoo scraps enterprise IM | CNET

Yahoo scraps enterprise IM | CNET "Yahoo confirmed on Thursday that it is no longer selling a version of its popular instant-messaging service for corporations, ending the Web portal's attempt to sell IM as a software package.
The dropping of Yahoo Messenger Enterprise Edition marks the end of the Web portal's now-defunct enterprise software division. The unit was created in 2000 to sell customized Web portals and video conferencing services for internal use in corporations. But in October 2003, Yahoo scrapped the division and melded its businesses with their consumer counterparts."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Upgraded Intel chips enhance graphics and sound

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Upgraded Intel chips enhance graphics and sound "Intel, whose integrated circuits run more than 80 percent of the world's PCs, is releasing chips such as Grantsdale to enhance the semiconductors that work with its main processor. Sharper graphics, lower power use and wireless Internet connections are more important to consumers and businesses than clock speed, the rate that electrical pulses move on a chip, investors said.
Intel's Siu demonstrated computers that will show multiple high-definition video pictures on 60-inch wide screens and play movie-theater-quality audio on multiple speakers without the addition of "hundreds of dollars of cards."

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Bloggers Up in Arms Over Closure of

Bloggers Up in Arms Over Closure of "Blogging pioneer Dave Winer has shut down the Weblogs of about 3,000 users on, one of the first blogging sites.
"This is not a company here, this is a person," Winer said in the message. "To expect company-type service, well, that's just not going to happen." He said an imminent move and ongoing heart problems played a part in his decision to all but abandon the site. "There are other things on my mind, believe it or not," he wrote in a Wednesday post on Scripting News, one of the Internet's longest-running blogs."

Sleepycat Software Unveils Java Database Edition

Sleepycat Software Unveils Java Database Edition: "Running in step with the growing popularity of Java among the developer community, Sleepycat Software Inc. on Wednesday announced the availability of Berkeley DB Java Edition, a Java version of its flagship open-source database.
Berkeley DB Java Edition incorporates an open-source dual-license business model and has been built to allow the non-relational database to take advantage of Java's portability, deeply integrated threading, and ease of application development benefits, said officials of the Lincoln, Mass., company. "

InfoWorld: Oracle buying BPM vendor Collaxa, sources say

InfoWorld: Oracle buying BPM vendor Collaxa, sources say: "Oracle Corp. is acquiring software startup Collaxa Inc. in a move to strengthen its application server by adding technology that will make it easier for companies to automate business processes, sources familiar with the plan said.
Most of the large middleware vendors, including IBM Corp. and BEA Systems Inc., have been adding business process management, or BPM, capabilities to their application servers. Several pure-play vendors, including Action Technologies Inc. and Intalio Inc., are also in the market.
Oracle hopes to bolster its Application Server 10g software by adding technology from Collaxa to the product, industry sources said. Based in Oracle's home town of Redwood Shores, California, privately-held Collaxa was founded in 2000 by employees from the former Netscape Communications Corp. and NetDynamics Inc., among others."

Microsoft Business Solutions Showcases ERP Strategy and Road Map

Microsoft Business Solutions Showcases ERP Strategy and Road Map: "Microsoft Business Solutions works closely with its value-added reseller partners and independent software vendor partners to ensure that each of the ERP products provides core financial management functionality and beyond to customers; each solution also offers unique features and functionality to meet the specific needs of different organizations based on size, industry, business processes and, in some cases, the geographies in which they conduct business.
Microsoft Axapta supports advanced manufacturing and supply chain management in addition to core financial management for the upper midmarket segment and for divisions of large organizations or multinationals.
Microsoft Great Plains offers midmarket segment businesses cross-industry financial management, with rich out-of-the-box functionality and a broad set of add-on solutions.
Microsoft Navision is also known for cross-industry financial management for the lower midmarket to midmarket segments, as well as for the ease with which it can be customized to accommodate the unique business processes of the local market in which it is implemented.
Microsoft Solomon provides financial management with particular strength in the areas of project management and accounting and distribution; the solution targets organizations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. "

Microsoft stock buyback may be in works

Microsoft stock buyback may be in works "Microsoft Corp. may be poised to repurchase billions of dollars worth of its stock to reduce its huge cash balance and improve its share price, a Goldman Sachs analyst says.
Rick Sherlund, who has followed the Redmond software company since it first sold shares to the public 18 years ago, wrote in a report published Monday that he expects the company to announce "a large share repurchase program and possibly a special distribution of cash, as well, to address the current cash position."
Microsoft has more than $56 billion in cash. Sherlund noted that it also has $15 billion in what he described as "strategic investments." Under one scenario, Sherlund wrote, the company could borrow an additional $30 billion and buy back as much as $100 billion of its stock. Microsoft is currently debt-free."

ENT News | News: Microsoft Lays Out ERP Roadmap

ENT News | News: Microsoft Lays Out ERP Roadmap "A week after the controversial disclosure that Microsoft had been in merger talks with ERP giant SAP, Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled the roadmap for its own fledgling bundle of four ERP products.
Rather than detailing features coming in each of the products as new versions are rolled out over the next year, Microsoft chose to discuss five broad goals the company will build into each. "These five product development themes transcend our individual product lines and focus on providing customers with holistic solutions to their business problems," Satya Nadella, corporate vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions, said in a statement.
Microsoft's five ERP themes are improving total cost of ownership, building adaptive processes, empowering users, connecting businesses and bringing insight."

Joel on Software - How Microsoft Lost the API War

Joel on Software - How Microsoft Lost the API War "Here's a theory you hear a lot these days: "Microsoft is finished. As soon as Linux makes some inroads on the desktop and web applications replace desktop applications, the mighty empire will topple."
Although there is some truth to the fact that Linux is a huge threat to Microsoft, predictions of the Redmond company's demise are, to say the least, premature. Microsoft has an incredible amount of cash money in the bank and is still incredibly profitable. It has a long way to fall. It could do everything wrong for a decade before it started to be in remote danger, and you never know... they could reinvent themselves as a shaved-ice company at the last minute. So don't be so quick to write them off. In the early 90s everyone thought IBM was completely over: mainframes were history! Back then, Robert X. Cringely predicted that the era of the mainframe would end on January 1, 2000 when all the applications written in COBOL would seize up, and rather than fix those applications, for which, allegedly, the source code had long since been lost, everybody would rewrite those applications for client-server platforms.
Well, guess what. Mainframes are still with us, nothing happened on January 1, 2000, and IBM reinvented itself as a big ol' technology consulting company that also happens to make cheap plastic telephones. So extrapolating from a few data points to the theory that Microsoft is finished is really quite a severe exaggeration.
However, there is a less understood phenomenon which is going largely unnoticed: Microsoft's crown strategic jewel, the Windows API, is lost. The cornerstone of Microsoft's monopoly power and incredibly profitable Windows and Office franchises, which account for virtually all of Microsoft's income and covers up a huge array of unprofitable or marginally profitable product lines, the Windows API is no longer of much interest to developers. The goose that lays the golden eggs is not quite dead, but it does have a terminal disease, one that nobody noticed yet."

Interesting essay, although I don't agree with all of it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

O'Reilly Network: Quiet roll-out of Gmail? [Jun. 16, 2004]

O'Reilly Network: Quiet roll-out of Gmail? [Jun. 16, 2004]: "Earlier today I got three more invitations to hand out to Gmail (after three last week too), and tonight I got another five."

Me too -- let me know if you want an invitation -- pbokelly @ gmail dot com

How do you use OneNote?

How do you use OneNote? "Although we have several different ways to collect information about how OneNote is used, I am always interested to hear how people use it. And this forum provides an opportunity for a dialog that our other data collection systems don’t really provide. So, let's hear it. How do you use OneNote? How is your notebook organized? What do you do with it? Would you prefer a different type of organization, or even a different concept for OneNote besides a tabbed notebook?
As a starter, I'll go first. I use OneNote for the following activities:

It'd be great if more product planners used blogs for this kind of interaction.

The New York Times > Technology > Market Place: Oracle, Locked in Acquisition Struggle, Reports Good Quarter

The New York Times > Technology > Market Place: Oracle, Locked in Acquisition Struggle, Reports Good Quarter "During the quarter, the company improved its cash position, a move Mr. Henley said would help it make acquisitions, regardless of the outcome of its offer to buy PeopleSoft.
"We're growing our cash to get prepared for other large-scale acquisitions," he said, adding that Oracle was considering other multibillion-dollar acquisitions, though he declined to elaborate." - Oracle Profit Rises As Margin Grows - Oracle Profit Rises As Margin Grows: "The end of Oracle's fiscal year is traditionally its strongest season as sales representatives scurry to hit targets and secure bonuses. New software-license revenue increased nearly 11% to $1.31 billion from $1.19 billion last year. But strong sales of database systems, where the company is a market leader, masked a weaker performance for its line of business-applications software, such as financial- and human-resource-management systems, where Oracle is No. 3 behind SAP AG and PeopleSoft Inc. New sales of database systems were up 15%, or 11% when the effect of currency conversions are included. New license sales for applications fell by 6%, or 9% in constant currency."

ENT News | News: Virtual Server 2005 Split Into 2 Editions

ENT News | News: Virtual Server 2005 Split Into 2 Editions "Microsoft Virtual Server 2005, which hit the release candidate stage on Monday, will come in two editions when it ships.
When the product ships, the editions will be Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Standard Edition and Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Enterprise Edition. The Standard Edition will support up to four processors and the Enterprise Edition will support up to 32 processors. Other features will be the same across the two editions."

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Anders Hejlsberg - Tour through computing industry history at the Microsoft Museum

Anders Hejlsberg - Tour through computing industry history at the Microsoft Museum: "Anders Hejlsberg is a distinguished engineer here. At least that's his official title. But that doesn't do justice to the role he's played in the industry (first at Borland, where he ran the team that developed Turbo Pascal and later Delphi, or here at Microsoft, where he and his team developed C#).
But, don't take our word for it -- listen in as he takes you (and interviewer Charles Torre) on a tour of part of Microsoft's Museum and the part he played in computer industry history."

Jupiter Research Analyst Weblogs: Microsoft Expression painting the way to Longhorn?

Jupiter Research Analyst Weblogs: Microsoft Expression painting the way to Longhorn?: "I missed this when it happened but it looks like Microsoft acquired Expression from Creature House. What is Expression? Probably the most innovative natural media vector based drawing tool ever created. It lived for a while over at MetaCreations before they went out of business and I hadn't heard about this product in a while. The cool thing is that Microsoft is offering the full version for free. Download it here. Makes you wonder why they bought the company if they're giving it away. Perhaps it has something to do with that vector based, scalable graphics model that is built into Longhorn? Perhaps it's a good way to gain some expertise in that area? Perhaps both :) I can't wait to try this on a Tablet PC (like the Toshiba with a high res screen). Be interesting to see if it supports pressure sensitivity, if so, this is a killer Tablet app that MSFT should bundle with every system (as long as they're giving it away)"

The New York Times > Technology > Yahoo Expands E-Mail Storage, in Nod to Google

The New York Times > Technology > Yahoo Expands E-Mail Storage, in Nod to Google "Starting today, Yahoo will offer users of its free e-mail service 100 megabytes of storage. That is one-tenth of what Google offers but is still far more than the four megabytes Yahoo previously offered. It will also introduce a premium e-mail service, called Yahoo Mail Plus, with two gigabytes of storage for $19.99 a year."

Monday, June 14, 2004

Oracle Blends IM, Collaboration

Oracle Blends IM, Collaboration "OCS (Oracle Collaboration Suite) 3.0, due in the fourth quarter, adds an instant messaging capability to complement the suite's e-mail, voice mail, calendar, Web conferencing and file management features, said officials in Redwood Shores, Calif. Version 3.0 will include support for collaborative work spaces that can be launched from within other messaging and collaboration applications, officials said."

The New York Times > Technology > Selling 'Nemo' Online, Trying to Repel Pirates

The New York Times > Technology > Selling 'Nemo' Online, Trying to Repel Pirates: "RealNetworks and the Starz Encore Group will introduce an online service today that will let high-speed Internet users download and watch many of the movies shown on the Starz cable channel. The move is another early attempt by Hollywood to build a business out of downloadable movies and head off the sort of piracy that has hurt the music industry.
The new service, called Starz Ticket on Real Movies, will cost $12.95 a month, and subscribers will be able to download and watch 100 or more movies each month, using Real's media player software."

The New York Times > Technology > Pioneer Who Kept the Web Free Honored With a Technology Prize

The New York Times > Technology > Pioneer Who Kept the Web Free Honored With a Technology Prize: "If Tim Berners-Lee had decided to patent his idea in 1989, the Internet would be a different place.
Instead, the World Wide Web became free to anyone who could make use of it. Many of the entrepreneurs and scientists who did use it became rich, among them Jeffrey P. Bezos (, Jerry Yang ( Yahoo), Pierre Omidyar ( eBay) and Marc Andreessen (Netscape).
But not Mr. Berners-Lee, a British scientist working at a Geneva research laboratory at the time. That is why some people think it is fitting - or about time - that on Tuesday, Mr. Berners-Lee will finally be recognized, with the award of the world's largest technology prize, the Millennium Technology Prize from the Finnish Technology Award Foundation. The prize, valued at 1 million euros ($1.2 million) is supported by the Finnish government and private contributors."

Saturday, June 12, 2004 Famed HP Labs Fellow Kay to Receive Kyoto Prize Famed HP Labs Fellow Kay to Receive Kyoto Prize: "Renowned computer scientist and Silicon Valley legend Alan Kay will be awarded one of technology's highest honors, the Kyoto Prize, Hewlett-Packard Co., where Kay works as a researcher, said on Thursday.
It is Kay's third major scientific award this year, Palo Alto, California-based HP said in a statement.
Earlier this month, Kay received the Association of Computing Machinery's 2003 Turing Award for leading the team that invented Smalltalk and for fundamental contributions to personal computing. The Turing award carries a $100,000 cash award.
In February, Kay and three former colleagues from Xerox PARC -- Butler Lampson, Robert Taylor and Charles Thacker -- shared the National Academy of Engineering's 2004 Charles Stark Draper Price for the development of a networked personal computer. The $500,000 award recognizes engineers whose accomplishments have significantly benefited society."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Some say Oracle's chances improving in antitrust trial

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Some say Oracle's chances improving in antitrust trial: "It's still early, but some investors already are betting that Oracle will prevail in an antitrust trial contesting its $7.7 billion bid for rival business-software maker PeopleSoft.
'More people are starting to think that maybe Oracle has a good case after all,' said JMP Securities analyst Patrick Walravens, who has been monitoring the testimony since the San Francisco federal-court trial began earlier this week. '(Oracle) certainly seems to have a better chance of winning than most people thought a week ago.'"

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > Electronic Arts to Stop Advertising for Online Casinos on Its Web Site

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > Electronic Arts to Stop Advertising for Online Casinos on Its Web Site: "Electronic Arts, the video game giant, said Friday that it had decided to stop running advertisements for Internet casinos on its Web site, delivering another blow to the online gambling industry."

Yeah, only productive/wholesome gaming for EA...

Friday, June 11, 2004

Technology News Article |

Technology News Article | " Microsoft Corp. and IBM both plan to move into the market to supply software to run key business functions, a government witness in the antitrust trial against Oracle said in a San Francisco federal court on Thursday. "

Hardly surprising that MS would aim high on apps, but I'll be surprised if IBM pulls a major reversal and makes another run at the apps biz.

Michael Helfrich's Weblog: The G8 Sherpas

Michael Helfrich's Weblog: The G8 Sherpas: "Groove was selected as one of the IT innovations that would be used by the delegations and their research staffs. Each leader (i.e., President Bush) has a policy advisor, who is referred to as a 'sherpa'. The sherpa is given a Motion Computing tablet loaded with Microsoft OneNote and Groove. During the negotiation sessions, the sherpa can use the ink chat to securely connect with their research support staff who are in a room some 3000 feet away. Groove was selected because of the secure, encrypted communications between peers, as well as because of the ink chat support. Clicky keyboards have made too much noise at the table in years past, and runners with handwritten notes is low tech."

Skype to Expand VOIP Service

Skype to Expand VOIP Service: "Skype Technologies SA, makers of the free peer-to-peer VOIP application, plans to offer a paid service by the end of the year that will allow users to make calls to conventional telephones in addition to other computers, and will eventually offer a plan that will allow traditional phones to call Skype users, according to the company's co-founder. "

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Microsoft, SAP: Web services deal followed failed merger bid-

Microsoft, SAP: Web services deal followed failed merger bid- "Broken discussions on a Microsoft-SAP merger, confirmed this week, did not prevent the two companies from trying to knit together .NET and NetWeaver.
Before an anticipated disclosure by the DoJ forced Microsoft and SAP to come clean on their now aborted merger talks, the two companies announced “a significant expansion of their long-standing relationship.” Putting aside whatever ups and downs accompanied their merger negotiations late last year, Microsoft and SAP shared a 10-year plan for cooperation with SAP customers at Sapphire ’04 in New Orleans last month.
SAP’s long-standing Unix bias may be shifting. The Sapphire announcement noted: “More than 40,000 SAP installations run on Microsoft Windows -- more than all other platforms combined. Almost two-thirds of all new SAP installations are deployed on Microsoft Windows.”

Oracle should add this to the list of opportunity costs associated with its PeopleSoft acquisition attempt...

Welcome to LoganWiFi [Boston Logan Airport now wireless]

Welcome to "A1The Logan Wi-Fi system is available in nearly all public areas of Terminals B, C, D & E.
A2To connect to the Logan Wi-Fi network, first insert or activate your Wi-Fi network card in your computer, then turn on your computer, then open a web browser and you should see the welcome page. If you do not see the welcome page, try connecting to If you still do not see the welcome page, you may have to configure your SSID.
A3Internet connectivity for a 24-hour period is available for $7.95.
A4You will be prompted to pay by credit card when you attempt to connect to the Internet through your web browser."

Via Dave Winer

Wired News: Gmail Invitation Prices Crash

Wired News: Gmail Invitation Prices Crash: "The bottom has fallen out of the market for Gmail invitations.
On Monday morning, invitations to join the testing of Google's Gmail Web e-mail service were still fetching as much as $100 on eBay closed auctions. By Wednesday afternoon, sellers were lucky to crack the $20 mark.
Increased supply is the likely cause. Until now, Google has been relatively stingy with new invitations. But the company seems to have opened the floodgates. Several Gmail users reported that they had received six invitations over the past two days. "

I found 3 more "invite a friend" accounts in my Gmail this morning (already spoken for...) - AOL Teams Up With WebEx, Lightbridge on AIM Conferences - AOL Teams Up With WebEx, Lightbridge on AIM Conferences: "America Online Inc. is enlisting Web meeting provider WebEx Communications Inc. and voice conference firm Lightbridge Inc. to establish its instant-messaging service as a business tool.
AOL plans to announce AIM Business Services, which gives workplace users of AOL Instant Messenger the ability to launch conference calls and Web meetings from their buddy lists. The new paid tools, which show up as icons on buddy lists once a user signs up for them at the AIM site, include AIM Voice Conferencing by Lightbridge and AIM Web Meeting by WebEx.
The initiator pays for the services and prices run on a per-participant, per-minute basis. Prices for Lightbridge voice conferencing on AIM, where the price per minute is also based on the volume of minutes purchased, start at a package of 120 minutes, or "call units," for $20. Prices for WebEx online meetings on AIM run 33 cents a minute and call-back and call-in teleconferencing, WebEx's voice offerings, run 20 cents and five cents a minute respectively."

IT morale drops to all-time low - News - ZDNet

IT morale drops to all-time low - News - ZDNet: "Seventy-two percent of the 650 organizations contacted by the research company said the continuing lack of job growth in the industry is dampening the spirits of IT staff. More than half of the companies said they lost staff this year.
The survey showed that skills in some areas, such as database management systems and Web infrastructure, are still hot this year, as companies continue to build internal IT infrastructure and feel the need for better management of the huge volumes of data they're accumulating. Also in demand are software development skills, in areas such as Oracle and Java application management and networking."

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

)CRN | Study: Microsoft Dominates In Web Services Space

CRN | Study: Microsoft Dominates In Web Services Space: "Microsoft dominates in the emerging Web services market, a trend that is only likely to continue as .NET commands as ever-greater share of developer mind space, according to the spring 2004 Web Services Development Survey by Evans Data.
Confusion abounds in the area of standards, the survey found. Beyond the very basic Web services standards such as XML, XML Schema, and SOAP, most developers were unfamiliar with other standards, including WSDL and UDDI, two standards at the core of Web services. Only 50 percent of respondents had heard of WSDL, for example, and since WSDL is arguably the most important Web services standard, 'this is an unwelcome result,' concluded the authors of the report. Developers were evenly divided on whether standards confusion could hurt their Web services efforts."

(Thanks, Jim)

BW Online | June 9, 2004 | Apple Hits a High Note with Express

BW Online | June 9, 2004 | Apple Hits a High Note with Express: "Chalk up another great product design from the leader in the field, Apple (AAPL ). On June 7, it took the wraps off the AirPort Express, a pint-size Wi-Fi high-speed data router customized to stream music from a computer to a stereo. The size of a small cassette recorder, the AirPort Express primarily targets music lovers who have long sought a way to play the songs stored on their PC elsewhere in the home. Naturally, they'll have to run Apple's own iTunes software to access the coolest music networking features on the Express. "

The New York Times > Technology > New Service by TiVo Will Build Bridges From Internet to the TV

The New York Times > Technology > New Service by TiVo Will Build Bridges From Internet to the TV: "TiVo, the maker of a popular digital video recorder, plans to announce a new set of Internet-based services today that will further blur the line between programming delivered over traditional cable and satellite channels and content from the Internet. It is just one of a growing group of large and small companies that are looking at high-speed Internet to deliver video content to the living room.
The new TiVo technology, which will become a standard feature in its video recorders, will allow users to download movies and music from the Internet to the hard drive on their video recorder. Although the current TiVo service allows users to watch broadcast, cable or satellite programs at any time, the new technology will make it possible for them to mix content from the Internet with those programs. " - IBM's Computer-Server Business Puts the Squeeze on Rivals - IBM's Computer-Server Business Puts the Squeeze on Rivals: "IBM's server surge hasn't gained much notice, in part because it has been overshadowed by a slowdown in the company's giant services business, which accounts for about half of its total revenue. But it has put the squeeze on competitors. Servers -- essentially any computer bigger than a desktop model -- coordinate computer networks, crunch data, dish out Web pages, retrieve customer records and perform other tasks.
After regaining the top spot in servers in 2002, IBM captured 32% of the world-wide market last year, widening its lead over Hewlett-Packard Co., at 27%, and a sinking Sun Microsystems Corp., with 12%, according to International Data Corp., a market-research firm in Framingham, Mass. Dell Inc., the only other major company that is growing in server-market share, stood at 9%.
Although IBM has had success selling Wintel boxes of its own, its most powerful, higher-priced models use IBM-made chips and a variety of other operating-system software. Some are smaller, modernized versions of its giant mainframes of yore, once the engine of IBM's profitability. Indeed, IBM says the key to its gains was its decision to continue designing and manufacturing a proprietary line of microprocessors, the miniature brains of computing, instead of standardizing on Intel chips as many competitors have done. IBM also has been selling more servers that run on the free Linux operating software, the bane of Microsoft."

Tuesday, June 08, 2004 | 06/08/2004 | Q: What do you get when you merge Microsoft and SAP? A: Microsoft. | 06/08/2004 | Q: What do you get when you merge Microsoft and SAP? A: Microsoft.: "Microsoft's steadfast denial of its interest in the upper tiers of the enterprise software market has always been comically implausible. So to hear that the company once held discussions about a potential merger with Germany's SAP really comes as no surprise. What is surprising, though, is that the talks ended as recently as a few months ago, right about the time Microsoft told the Justice Department it had no plans during the next two years to move into said market. And they began a day after Oracle announced its hostile bid for PeopleSoft in June 2003. "

Monday, June 07, 2004

Microsoft, SAP mulled merger | CNET

Microsoft, SAP mulled merger | CNET "SAP said that Microsoft approached the company late last year to discuss the idea of a merger. 'A few months ago, Microsoft ended these discussions due to the complexity of the potential transaction and subsequent integration. There are no intentions to resume these talks,' according to a statement issued by Microsoft. "

(Thanks, Barry)

BEA's Bosworth Brews Alchemy

BEA's Bosworth Brews Alchemy: "At Borland Software Corp., Microsoft Corp., his startup Crossgain and now as chief architect at BEA Systems Inc., Adam Bosworth has shepherded more than his share of XML and Internet standards. Now, with his WebLogic Workshop framework released as the open-source Beehive project, Bosworth is setting his sights on extending the browser via the Alchemy intelligent caching framework and conversation with the server. In an exclusive chat with eWEEK Senior Writer Darryl K. Taft and Contributing Editor Steve Gillmor at BEA's eWorld developer conference, Bosworth explored Alchemy's role in BEA's move to the next generation of service-oriented architecture and its implications in the development of new information routers. "

CRN | Microsoft, The New IBM

CRN | Microsoft, The New IBM: "Something interesting happened on the road to and from software dominance. Microsoft, which always delighted in displacing the old farts of technology, has become an old fart itself.
Yes, ladies and gents, meet Microsoft: the new IBM. What once seemed a hungry, always-working-the-angles product powerhouse now seems increasingly set in its ways and downright stodgy."

(p.s. limited/delayed posts this week -- at a conference with limited Internet access...)

Saturday, June 05, 2004

As E-Mail Hassles Pile Up, RSS Is the Elephant in the Room

As E-Mail Hassles Pile Up, RSS Is the Elephant in the Room "This real-time services fabric is that deadliest of competitors to e-mail: It shifts attention slowly and surely away from a producer-consumer economy to a publisher-subscriber ecology. Publishers use transparency to establish credibility, then trade that authority for a reliable connection with their customers.
In this new context, the customer—not the company—controls the conversation. Or to paraphrase Anthony Lye, RSS is the property of individuals, not companies. That's why we fell in love with e-mail in the first place."

Yahoo! News - Porn More Popular Than Search

Yahoo! News - Porn More Popular Than Search: "Online porn sites garnered more than three times the visitors of the major search engines combined during the last week in May, a research firm announced Thursday.
According to Hitwise, a Melbourne, Australia-based Web-tracking firm, visits to the top three search sites--Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search--accounted for just 5.5 percent of all Internet site visits during the week ending May 29.
Porn sites, lumped by Hitwise into a category appropriately dubbed "Adult," received 18.8 percent of all Web visits in the same period.
When all search and directory sites--including those such as AskJeeves and combined, the porn-versus-search skew doesn't look so bad: overall, search engines and directories accounted for 13.8 percent of the total Net visits during the week."

(Full article)

InformationWeek > Databases > Database Sales On Slow Growth Track > June 4, 2004

InformationWeek > Databases > Database Sales On Slow Growth Track > June 4, 2004 "The relational database market grew 7.6% last year to $13.6 billion, the report says. But most of that growth, calculated in U.S. dollars, was because of currency-exchange-rate changes in Europe. The real growth rate was closer to 2% in constant currency, the report says. IDC projects the database market will reach $20 billion by 2008.
Oracle, which reported 8.6% database revenue growth to $5.4 billion in 2003, is the market leader, with a 39.8% market share. IBM, which recorded 5.5% revenue growth to $4.3 billion, came in second in market share, with 31.3%. Microsoft recorded a hefty 14.7% revenue growth, albeit slower than in 2002, to capture the third spot, with a 12.1% market share.
Gartner's database market numbers, issued last month, gave IBM the top market position. Gartner calculated the size of the 2003 database market at $7.1 billion, with 5.1% growth--although the market-research firm also attributed most of that growth to currency-exchange-rate changes. Market numbers from the two firms differ because, among other reasons, Gartner only counts software license revenue, while IDC adds maintenance revenue to the mix."

That's actually a bit kind; the Gartner results were radically different, asserting that Microsoft SQL Server was essentially flat-lining, that IBM had a 35.7% overall share compared to Oracle's 32.6%, etc. As with any analysis domain, it's critically important to read the fine print. Also, with Wintel and Lintel the only DBMS platforms showing significant growth at this point, Microsoft's (100% Windows) DBMS market share is more impressive than the IDC and Gartner numbers suggest.

The Seattle Times: Someone's watching you: Spyware likely hitching ride on your computer

The Seattle Times: Someone's watching you: Spyware likely hitching ride on your computer: "Computer viruses are rampant and spam is epidemic. But the fastest-growing Internet malady is spyware, and chances are your computer is infected.
Spyware is software that secretly forwards information about your online activities to a company or person without your knowledge or permission. In most cases, it is used to display advertising and is relatively benign.
As spyware programs accumulate, however, they can bog down your machine and its Internet connection. The most virulent forms can steal personal information.
Some experts say that up to 90 percent of computers online contain spyware. The situation is bad enough that Congress is considering a law banning such software practices. Internet service providers such as EarthLink have begun offering subscribers free spyware scans and removals.
In the first three months of EarthLink's offer, scans of more than 1 million hard drives found an average 28 spyware installations per PC. "

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Digital Domain: What's Google's Secret Weapon? An Army of Ph.D.'s

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Digital Domain: What's Google's Secret Weapon? An Army of Ph.D.'s: "Mostly, Google has concentrated on recruiting those with a background in what you would expect: computer science. Founded by two near-Ph.D.'s who have purposely placed Ph.D.'s throughout the company, Google encourages all employees to act as researchers, by spending 20 percent of their time on new projects of their own choosing.
As we take our seats in the Coliseum to watch the latest challenger go up against mighty Microsoft, handicappers will see that Google has two advantages, one of which it has disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission: washing machines are provided at the company for employee use. The other, it has not: with a Ph.D.-centered culture, Google's co-founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, have assembled the industry's most unorthodox portfolio of human capital since Microsoft began intense recruiting of computer science majors at top undergraduate schools in the 1980's.
Microsoft has 56,000 employees, but its research group, with 700, is separate. Google has 1,900 employees, and no separate research group, so all 1,900, effectively, are charged to 'boldly go where no one has gone before' (its words). You have to like Google's chances."

Friday, June 04, 2004

Java to follow Solaris' example - ZDNet UK News

Java to follow Solaris' example - ZDNet UK News: "A day after confirming plans for an open-source flavour of its Solaris server operating system, a technology specialist from Sun Microsystems says the company will do the same for Java.
Speaking to ZDNet UK sister site ZDNET Australia, Sun's Java technology evangelist Raghavan Srinivas said an open-source version of Java 'will happen,' although the timeline and licensing details remain sketchy at this point.
'We haven't worked out how to open source Java, but at some point it will happen,' he said.
'It might be today, tomorrow or two years down the road,' Srinivas added. "

(Or, it might be never...) - Microsoft's New Plan to License Patents Has Linux Fans Worried - Microsoft's New Plan to License Patents Has Linux Fans Worried "Microsoft Corp., rarely the aggressor in legal affairs, has adopted a new approach to the use of its patents. Some fans of Linux and other open-source software are starting to worry that they could end up as targets.
Microsoft now holds about 4,500 patents, covering its inventions in fields such as how computers store files and how text is displayed on a screen. In December, Microsoft announced a new policy to begin licensing its patents, citing requests from customers, regulators and others, though it is unclear how many of the patents cover techniques already in use by other companies.
The Redmond, Wash., software giant says it has more than 100 patent-licensing discussions under way. It's offering royalty-bearing licenses both to partners and competitors -- even to sellers of open-source products that have emerged as the company's biggest threat.
Marshall Phelps, former chief of International Business Machines Corp.'s intellectual-property unit, joined Microsoft a year ago to start a similar operation. While he was at IBM, that company saw a marked increase in patent-licensing revenue."

Thursday, June 03, 2004 - Microsoft Realigns Execs In Small Business Division - Microsoft Realigns Execs In Small Business Division: "Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) said Thursday it is making several changes to the executive ranks of its Business Solutions division, which sells software to small- and mid-sized businesses.
Doug Burgum, senior vice president for the 2,000-person division, will now report directly to Chief Executive Steve Ballmer. He previously reported to Jeff Raikes, a senior vice president who runs the division that sells the Office suite.
Burgum joined Microsoft when it acquired his company, Great Plains Software, three years ago to get into the market for back-office software for small companies.
Microsoft also named Orlando Ayala, a senior sales executive, to the newly created position of chief operating officer for Business Solutions. He will report to Burgum and be responsible for sales, marketing and operations at Business Solutions."

Oracle is right -- Microsoft is very serious about the apps business...

McCaw Places New Bet On Faster, Cheaper Access (

McCaw Places New Bet On Faster, Cheaper Access ( ""We're entrepreneurs, and we see things that we think ought to be done," McCaw said in an interview. He has been trying to figure out how to get communications into people's homes through wireless networks since he started a working group called Project Angel in the mid-1990s, he said.
He readily acknowledges some of his forays into the satellite and local phone business have been expensive failures, and says that "time will tell" if his new vision will prove successful. McCaw said he has spent the last couple of years developing a technology and strategy, knowing he will face tough competition. "You need to be fairly well organized when taking on an incumbent," said McCaw. "It's really about moats, and they put a lot of snakes and piranhas in there," he said.
So far, upstarts have not had an easy time taking on the dominant cable and cellular companies. "For the past 15 to 20 years we've been seeing people trying to attack that [wireless Internet] business and not succeeding," he said. "As we're walking over the bodies of our brethren, we're asking, 'How can we avoid this?' " The answer, he concluded, is this: "Above all, it has to be simple, cheap and high-quality." - Three Minutes: Godfathers of the Spreadsheet - Three Minutes: Godfathers of the Spreadsheet: "Twenty-five years ago, personal computers got serious. The occasion: The introduction of VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet and the original 'killer app.'
VisiCalc enjoyed a relatively brief time in the sun. The program made its debut in 1979 and saw its sales peak in 1982. It was sold to Lotus Development only three years later, brought down by 1-2-3 and squabbles between creator Software Arts and marketer VisiCorp.
But VisiCalc changed the world by bringing the Apple II into offices worldwide.
In May, the Software History Center in Boston reunited veterans of the PC's first decade to reminisce and exchange war stories. The luminaries included the three principals behind VisiCalc: Dan Bricklin, who conceived the idea; Bob Frankston, who programmed VisiCalc; and Dan Fylstra, whose VisiCorp brought the product to a surprised world. Here are edited versions of interviews with all three."

Vonage slashes price of Net telephony kit | CNET

Vonage slashes price of Net telephony kit | CNET "Feeling pressure as competition stiffens, Net phone service provider Vonage has lowered the price by $70 of a starter kit available at retail stores.
The kit, which includes a Motorola phone adapter, is now $30 at Circuit City, Fry's and RadioShack after a $50 mail-in rebate, Vonage said Wednesday. The starter kit, which consists of an adapter and two months of free Vonage service, used to cost $100 at the same stores."

Symantec CEO hits out at Microsoft... and Linux -

Symantec CEO hits out at Microsoft... and Linux - "Symantec CEO John Thompson has hit out at "the myth" that Microsoft's operating system is inherently less secure than the open-source alternatives, which he likened to a "dead-end alley". However, he still had few kind words for the software giant.
Thompson believes the reason Microsoft is so often seen as culpable for virus outbreaks and security flaws is simply because it is the biggest target – though he admitted that if "things get too homogenised, it is not a good thing" – especially where security is concerned.
Thompson likened virus writers to graffiti artists – and the operating systems targeted as their 'canvas'.
"If somebody writes graffiti they're not going to write it on a wall at the end of a dead-end alley. They're going to write it on a train that travels right through the city centre."

Microsoft Issues Public WMP10 Beta [UPDATED]

Microsoft Issues Public WMP10 Beta [UPDATED]: "Microsoft issued a public beta release of Windows Media Player (WMP) 10 (code-named Crescent), a major upgrade of its digital-media front end. Now enhanced with a sleeker, easier-to-use UI, WMP 10 appears to address most of the complaints I've had about this product while adding exciting new features related to subscription music services, online stores, and portable devices.
'The Crescent wave is about a broader strategy of 'media everywhere'', David Caulton, lead product manager for Windows Media, told me in a recent briefing. 'When you acquire content, you should be able to push it from the PC to wherever you want, including portable devices. But there were Digital Rights Management [DRM] limitations around subscription content, and you can currently access subscribed content only when you're connected to the Internet with a PC. We're pushing the subscription model to devices, so now you can fill a Portable Media Center (or other portable device) for [a small fee each] month instead of buying the content.' Caulton pointed out that, by comparison, filling a 20GB Apple iPod with songs from the Apple iTunes Music Store would cost thousands of dollars."

(See article for more details on new features)

The New York Times > Technology > Oracle Croons a New Tune About an Old Rival

The New York Times > Technology > Oracle Croons a New Tune About an Old Rival "In business, competitors are routinely cast as enemies to be fought and ridiculed. And over the years Oracle, led by its shoot-from-the-lip chief executive, Lawrence J. Ellison, has directed vast quantities of combative energy and invective at Microsoft - a software maker led by a man even richer than Mr. Ellison, Bill Gates.
But when Oracle squares off against the Justice Department over its proposed hostile takeover of PeopleSoft in Federal District Court in San Francisco next Monday, it will portray Microsoft as a guardian of competition and a welcome new entrant in the $25-billion-a-year global market for the back-office software that companies use to manage finances, human resources, procurement, sales and customer relations.
For Oracle, the new attitude toward Microsoft is not a change of heart but a matter of self-interest. The Justice Department is suing to block Oracle's $7.7 billion bid for PeopleSoft because it argues that the merger would be anticompetitive by reducing the number of major rivals in the business software market to two from three, thus driving up prices. PeopleSoft has rejected Oracle's offer several times; Oracle made its first offer in June 2003."