Commentary
Content posted in December 2004
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Microsoft Shows Its IBMness
Commentary  |  12/31/2004  | 
Firefox could rekindle genuine competition in the desktop software market--if enterprise IT organizations are willing to do their part.
Top Five BI Trends
Commentary  |  12/30/2004  | 
The waning year saw major business intelligence trends on the user side that testify to the dynamism of BI as a technology. Here's a summary.
Letters To The Editor
Commentary  |  12/30/2004  | 
Remember Memory Sticks? They're Suddenly Low Cost Media
Commentary  |  12/30/2004  | 
While no one was looking, Sony leaked the news that it would release tomorrow a black 1 GB Memory Stick PRO card for about $150.
Secret CIO: Business Savvy Is Key To IT Success
Commentary  |  12/30/2004  | 
We need to stop seeking the impossible dream of business alignment.
Wal-Mart's Linux Gambit
Commentary  |  12/30/2004  | 
I'm no friend of Wal-Mart. During my college years back in North Carolina and Georgia, I watched as Sam Walton's "big box" retail outlets spread across the countryside like a bad rash, leaving one bombed-out small-town business district after another in their wake.
The Toughest CIO Job In The World
Commentary  |  12/29/2004  | 
Imagine being the CIO of a newly created company with 180,000 employees and an annual budget topping $40 billion, including $226 million earmarked for enterprise technology investments. Task One: combine 22 diverse companies of size into a single enterprise with a unified architecture. Task Two: Help create imaginative use of technology to thwart terrorism.
Taking Stock: Looking Ahead And Looking Back
Commentary  |  12/28/2004  | 
My resolution: Spend more time with friends and family this year.
Satellite Killed The Radio Star
Commentary  |  12/28/2004  | 
It's a no-brainer that satellite is the future of radio -- or at least will have comparable penetration to cable TV.
Digital Music: Will Microsoft Eat Apple's Lunch Again?
Commentary  |  12/24/2004  | 
There's a fight brewing between Microsoft and Apple over the future of digital music that reminds me of the long-ago battle between Macintosh and Windows. Apple got its clock cleaned then and it looks hellbent on making the same mistake now.
New Sony Camcorder Burns Directly To DVD
Commentary  |  12/23/2004  | 
Sony posted a press release in Europe today that mentions a hot new digital video camera that burns directly to DVD-R, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW.
Personal Tech Today
Commentary  |  12/23/2004  | 
Ready for CES in Las Vegas Jan. 6? It's THE annual religious festival for diehard gadget freaks. Whether you go or don't go, the event is sure to bring the coming year's coolest electronic toys out of the wordwork.
SmartAdvice: ThinkPad Quality Should Continue Under Lenovo
Commentary  |  12/21/2004  | 
Lenovo bought the IBM brand, so it should maintain features, The Advisory Council says. Also, RFID and Internet-based collaboration will help soft-goods companies develop nimble supply chains.
IBM: Boon Or Bane For Linux?
Commentary  |  12/21/2004  | 
With IBM's recent sale of its PC division, things are about to get really interesting--but will the outcome ultimately be good or bad for Linux?
'Tis The Season (Gadget Season, That Is!)
Commentary  |  12/21/2004  | 
TechWeb Editor Stuart Glascock apparently isn't too old to have a long, last-minute list of electronic toys that he wants Santa to deliver.
Letters To The Editor
Commentary  |  12/17/2004  | 
The Big Picture: Lessons From Business Masters
Commentary  |  12/17/2004  | 
Do you know what to do and when to do it? Do you listen and hear?
Careers: Merger Casts Cloud Over Future For PeopleSoft Specialists
Commentary  |  12/17/2004  | 
A megaconsolidation like Oracle-PeopleSoft forces PeopleSoft specialists to look a few years ahead and assess their careers.
Taking Stock: The Perfect Present, Or Coal And Sticks?
Commentary  |  12/17/2004  | 
Investing in technology can be tricky, so be careful what you buy.
Business Technology: Readers' Ideas Take A Bite Out Of Spam
Commentary  |  12/17/2004  | 
You say your network's in a jam
Because of that accursed spam??
Have no fear, help's on the way,
You, our readers, have saved the day!
We asked for ideas, you sent them en masse,
So read 'em all and then go kick a**!!
China Doesn't Need Chairman Bill
Commentary  |  12/17/2004  | 
Could Microsoft be on the verge of 'losing' China as a major market? Could China's open-source developers play an important role in this turn of events, leaving Microsoft with no room to grow in the world's largest country?
RFID Helps Enterprises Increase Return On Assets Through Tracking
Commentary  |  12/17/2004  | 
Beginning next year, more and more enterprises will look to RFID to get the most mileage and value out of assets that can't easily be tracked with bar codes. Over time, their efforts will yield operating-cost reductions and process improvements.
The Winner
Commentary  |  12/17/2004  | 
Langa Letter: Year-End PC Tasks
Commentary  |  12/16/2004  | 
A little simple maintenance now can help prevent many headaches next year, Fred Langa says.
Back To The Browser Wars
Commentary  |  12/16/2004  | 
The move from Internet Explorer to Firefox is more like a mass exodus among tech-savvy users. Will a real competitive threat breathe some life back into Internet Explorer?
SmartAdvice: Consider Purchasing Real-Time Collaboration Applications Through An ASP
Commentary  |  12/15/2004  | 
Do enough initial planning to confirm that the model works with your business strategy and IT environment, The Advisory Council says. Also, eliminate unproductive behaviors to increase IT cost savings.
The Privacy Lawyer: Combat Cyberwarfare
Commentary  |  12/15/2004  | 
To stop attacks against your company, have in place a plan before you're a victim.
Top-Down Metrics
Commentary  |  12/15/2004  | 
Performance metrics fall into a nebulous area of business intelligence that is neither technology- nor business-centered, but requires input from both IT and business people to come off successfully.
The GPL: Saving Software From Itself
Commentary  |  12/14/2004  | 
The GPL says that as someone who runs a program, you're free to change and redistribute its source code--provided that you also offer the same rights to everyone who receives a copy.
Firefox Paws At IE
Commentary  |  12/14/2004  | 
Firefox should be a no-brainer for widespread corporate deployment, but so far, that's not the case.
E-mail's Presidential Payoff
Commentary  |  12/13/2004  | 
If you thought technology played a crucial role in last month's presidential election, that was only the beginning. Politicians have built a permanent onramp between the campaign trail and the information superhighway and will plan future campaigns mindful of what worked (or didn't work) in 2004. The future of campaigning isn't about how much technology a candidate has access to but how he uses that technology to outsmart his opponents.
Letters To The Editor
Commentary  |  12/10/2004  | 
Smart Advice: Real-Time Analysis Lets Companies React Fast
Commentary  |  12/10/2004  | 
Monitoring business activity gives timely picture of happenings.
Taking Stock: IBM PC-Unit Deal: It's All In The Numbers
Commentary  |  12/10/2004  | 
Deal emphasizes IBM's growing services and software orientation.
Business Technology: Mixed Messages Conceal IT's Strength
Commentary  |  12/10/2004  | 
Companies must retool their thinking to avoid falling into a mind-set that can be self-fulfilling, cautions Bob Evans. Think IT as enabler, not IT as cost center.
A Question Of Style
Commentary  |  12/10/2004  | 
Open-source software development is, for many of the people involved, a matter of style. Whether or not that's a gross generalization, it reflects a popular image of the open-source community: freewheeling, individualistic, and either irrepressibly creative or hopelessly chaotic, depending on one's point of view.
What's The Most Important Camera Phone Feature? Owning One!
Commentary  |  12/9/2004  | 
More pixels or better lenses? Who cares? The important thing is that you actually own and use a camera phone.
SmartAdvice: Do Up-Front Analysis To Make Sure The Linux Desktop Suits Your Work Environment
Commentary  |  12/9/2004  | 
Before migrating desktops to Linux, consider integration headaches and whether initial licensing savings will be offset by reduced vendor support, The Advisory Council says. Also, plan for change management so the words 'scope creep' don't strike fear into your heart during new projects.
Choosing The Right Personal Firewall
Commentary  |  12/9/2004  | 
There's no excuse for an unprotected PC these days thanks to the slew of firewall products. Here are some good choices to consider.
Say "Uncle"
Commentary  |  12/9/2004  | 
The government is increasingly enlisting businesses to help fight terrorism, drug counterfeiting, and fraud. This means getting airlines, drug companies, financial service providers, defense department contractors, and telecommunication companies to invest in technology, the right technology. My December 13 feature entitled "Uncle Sam's Guiding Hand" addresses this issue in depth, but here's a preview of some key issues.
The Best Free Stuff For Microsoft Office Users
Commentary  |  12/8/2004  | 
There are a lot of free resources available for Office users. This week, we feature a few small but useful items that are out there for the taking.
Enter Oracle
Commentary  |  12/8/2004  | 
BI technology buyers will have more product options to consider next year than they've had this year, even as there's been consolidation among the traditional vendors.
Just Because You're Paranoid, Doesn't Mean They're Not Out To Get You
Commentary  |  12/7/2004  | 
Hackers, crackers, viruses, malicious worms, phishing attacks, online scams, spam, and spyware -- feeling like you're under siege? If not, you should. The problem is bad. Very bad. And it's going to get worse. Much worse.
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