In This Issue: 1. Editor's Note: Not Such A Scenic Vista For Microsoft 2. Today's Top Story - 20 Questions About Windows Vista 3. Breaking News - Palm Releases Updated Treo 700p - Open-Source Software: Who Gives And Who Takes? - Google Almost Sounded Humble At Its Press Day Event - In-Flight Internet Could Renew Debate Over Phones On Planes - Mozilla Unveils New Firefox 2.0 Alpha - Word 2007 Adds Blog Posting Tool - Motorola To Release Mobile Java Framework Into Public Domain - Social Networking Site Targets Professionals - Brief: Skype Delivers Free Landline/Mobile Calls - CA Says CFO To Leave, Shares Fall - Sun Merges Server Groups, Names New Storage Head - Qwest To Acquire OnFiber 4. Grab Bag - Scan This Book! (The New York Times) - Movielink And CinemaNow: Hardly Worth The Effort (The Washington Post) - Could High-Def Choke Internet? (Wired News) 5. In Depth - Judges And Prosecutors Throw The Book At Hackers - More E-Mail Problems, More Fines For Morgan Stanley - Libraries Fight Limits On Providing Net Access - Supreme Court Vacates eBay Patent Dispute Ruling - Justice Clears Microsoft Of Vista Complaint - LAPD Chief Blogs For Better Relations - Creative Sues Apple For Patent Infringement 6. Voice Of Authority - IT Confidential: Is Technology Evil, Or Just Naughty? 7. White Papers - The One Essential Guide To Disaster Recovery And Business Resiliency 8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek 9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day: "You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." -- Walt Disney
1. Editor's Note: Not Such A Scenic Vista For Microsoft
Today's top story, "20 Questions About Windows Vista," only reinforces my gut feeling that we won't see any rush to upgrade to Vista. The software just doesn't offer any compelling reason for the vast majority of business users and consumers to run out and upgrade immediately.
Best-case scenario for Microsoft: When Vista comes out, there's a tiny bump in demand as the gotta-have-it early adopters rush to get the latest thing, just because it's the latest thing. After that, demand for Windows proceeds as before, with people installing the new operating system as a natural progression when they deploy new PCs. Multimedia features in particular should be attractive to users--that's become apparent in the last six months, as sites like YouTube and Google Video have made everybody into a TV producer.
In that scenario, Vista is a placeholder. It doesn't help Microsoft become more profitable, but it keeps Microsoft from losing profitability and market share.
Worst-case scenario? Consumers and business look at the big hardware requirements for Vista and the need to learn a new user interface, and, for the first time in decades, users are actively repelled by a Microsoft operating system upgrade. They decide to stick with Windows XP as long as they can, or they defect to the Mac or Linux.
Early adopters will look at the Aero Glass interface, clap their little hands together with delight, and say, "Oooh! New toy! Shiny!" It's got transparent and animated windows and a 3D task switcher. It's got a Sidebar with Gadgets, small applets that can automatically grab and display information. IE7 is an improvement over the current version of Internet Explorer.
A new network center makes it easier for home users to manage and secure their networks.
The operating system has improved multimedia support.
Improved security includes an improved firewall, Windows Defender anti-spyware software built in, anti-phishing tools, and drive encryption.
Reasons to wait:
The new user interface: Yeah, I know, I listed that as a reason to upgrade. But for many users, it's a reason to wait, simply because it requires them to learn something new in order to be able to do the same things they've always done.
Corporate IT managers will find the new user interface especially problematic, as many users will require training classes to get up and running on Vista.
For more reasons to hold off on upgrading to Vista, read my post on the InformationWeek Weblog. While you're there, leave a comment and let us know what you think: Will there be a lot of demand for Windows Vista? Are you in a rush to upgrade?
20 Questions About Windows Vista What hardware do I need to support Vista? Is it really safer than XP? How much of the interface was copied from Mac OS X? We've got the answers to all your burning Vista questions, gathered in one convenient package.
3. Breaking News
Palm Releases Updated Treo 700p Although it runs the same Palm OS as previous versions, the PDA sports upgrades in the browser, offers new E-mail features, and can work with the 3G 1xEV-DO networks of Sprint and Verizon Wireless.
Social Networking Site Targets Professionals Members can create networks and share information just like at other sites, but CollectiveX also offers password-protected networks targeting organized groups ranging from large associations to small book clubs and social groups.
John Soat With 'Microsoft Minute' Microsoft and the Justice Department reach agreement on monopoly issues, the Justice Department rejects Google's complaint against IE7, and IE loses a little market share to Firefox.
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Libraries Fight Limits On Providing Net Access A new bill in Congress would remove federal funding from schools and libraries that allow children unsupervised access to sites that could reveal objectionable material. A professional group says this is redundant because another law already bans libraries from allowing children to view harmful content.
Supreme Court Vacates eBay Patent Dispute Ruling The high court set aside the copyright-related injunction against eBay and sent the matter back to a lower court. One legal expert says the ruling doesn't constitute a major departure from existing law.
Justice Clears Microsoft Of Vista Complaint Federal investigators have closed the case on a complaint filed earlier this year about Vista's "first boot" process, saying Microsoft allows OEMs to customize the operating system and to promote third-party middleware.
The One Essential Guide To Disaster Recovery And Business Resiliency This white paper provides an understanding of IT and business continuity from concepts to calculations for the business impact of downtime and selection of the right software solution. Readers will be able to match specific uptime objectives with the easiest and most cost-effective IT strategy.
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.