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Can Microsoft Now Finish Growing Up?

In This Issue:

1. Editor's Note: Can Microsoft Now Finish Growing Up?
2. Today's Top Story
     - Unpatched Excel Flaw Surfaces, Attacks Made
Related Stories:
     - Microsoft Patch Causes Problems
     - McAfee Starts Beta Test Of Security Services
3. Breaking News
     - PC Pioneer Dan Bricklin Develops Open-Source Spreadsheet-Wiki Hybrid
     - Google Tests Web Buying System, Says Unlike PayPal
     - AOL Begins Enterprise IM Beta
     - Ozzie Speaks On Microsoft Transition
     - Yahoo's Chinese Search Engine Found To Be Biggest Censor
     - Microsoft Shuts Off Vista Torrent
     - How To Remotely Monitor Memory Usage
     - IBM's Enterprise Mash-Up Uses Web Services For New Apps
     - Analysis: Adobe Sending Mixed Messages About PDF Openness
     - Microsoft, Softbank Reinstated In NY Class Action
     - Six Cell Phone Companies To Collaborate On Mobile Linux
     - Analysis: Courts May Have To Decide Rules Of The Internet Road
4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web
     - Blog: Moving Around? (Footnoted)
     - Forget Steroids, Get Baseball Players A Video iPod (Techdirt)
     - Mining For Gold On MySpace (BusinessWeek Online)
5. In Depth: Identity Theft
     - E-Health Initiatives Could Lead To New Forms Of ID Theft
     - Porn-Surfing Oregon Worker Exposes 2,200 Taxpayer IDs
     - Data On U.S. Nuclear Agency Workers Hacked: Lawmaker
     - VA To Recall All Laptops After Data Breach
6. Voice Of Authority
     - Netscape Is Dead. Let Go Already.
7. White Papers
     - Adaptive Manufacturing: Enabling The Lean Six Sigma Enterprise
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote Of The Day:
"Why should I care about posterity? What's posterity ever done for me?" — Groucho Marx


1. Editor's Note: Can Microsoft Now Finish Growing Up?

With Bill Gates going off to do what sounds to me like the coolest job on the planet (except my own, of course), perhaps now the company can become the full enterprise partner it has long sought to be.

Sure, Microsoft has made great strides, especially with SQL Server powering some truly huge endeavors. In fact, SQL Server powered 43 of Winter Corp.'s list of 170 top databases last year, with every entry on the list managing a terabyte of data or more.

As impressive as this is, Microsoft running with the big guys has been almost despite itself. It's really just within the past five years that we've seen solid evidence of the company purposefully focusing on security, scalability, and, perhaps most importantly to large customers, playing nicely with non-Microsoft systems and vendors.

With Ray Ozzie taking the software development reins and given his past experience at Lotus and IBM, I'm thinking he might be able to help Microsoft not only understand, but really embed into its cultural DNA what large customers need, want, and expect in a technology vendor. Ozzie and his R&D partner at Microsoft, Craig Mundie, share some big-systems background as fellow alumni of famed, now-defunct minicomputer vendor Data General. They can put those lessons to good use at Microsoft.

Also, Ozzie hasn't had long enough to pick up too many Microsoft bad habits; he's been working for the company only since March 2005, when Microsoft acquired his Groove Networks.

Meantime, Bill Gates' legacy as a philanthropist might even outshine what he's done at Microsoft. Of course, there's the money, and billions put toward any given set of problems can make a noticeable dent if applied correctly. But it's not just about the money. Bill's tech background might help his foundation discern new ways of attacking old problems, and his business acumen could help create repeatable processes and metrics to track the success or failure of any given project.

Revenge of the geeks, indeed.

What do you think? What should Microsoft's direction be under its revamped management structure? To comment, or to read more, please check out my blog entry.

Johanna Ambrosio
Jambrosio@cmp.com


2. Today's Top Story

Unpatched Excel Flaw Surfaces, Attacks Made
The attack allows hackers to hijack PCs. One user was hit with a targeted attack via malicious Excel spreadsheets attached to e-mail messages, according to a posting on the Microsoft Security Response Center blog.

Related Stories:

Microsoft Patch Causes Problems
One of the 12 security updates Microsoft released this week leads to problems with dial-up networking.

McAfee Starts Beta Test Of Security Services
McAfee unveiled betas of two of the four consumer security subscription services it plans to launch this year. They now work only on XP, but the final versions will include support for other versions of Windows as well.


3. Breaking News

PC Pioneer Dan Bricklin Develops Open-Source Spreadsheet-Wiki Hybrid
WikiCalc allows users to collaborate on spreadsheets over the Internet using a browser. Bricklin wrote the first PC spreadsheet, VisiCalc.

Google Tests Web Buying System, Says Unlike PayPal
CEO Eric Schmidt said the system targets advertisers and not general consumers, but he didn't elaborate on how it differs from PayPal.

AOL Begins Enterprise IM Beta
AIM Pro includes one-click access to voice and video conferencing and desktop sharing services. The AIM service also features an ad-free interface and integration with Microsoft's Outlook.

Ozzie Speaks On Microsoft Transition
As chief software architect, Ray Ozzie will share the research and development mantle with Craig Mundie, a fellow Data General alum.

Yahoo's Chinese Search Engine Found To Be Biggest Censor
A press advocacy group says Internet companies can still access the Chinese market without betraying their ethical principles, but it claims Yahoo is a big offender in censorship.

Microsoft Shuts Off Vista Torrent
Windows enthusiasts Jake Ludington and Chris Pirillo said they set up VistaTorrent.com to help Microsoft get Beta 2 into users' hands, but Microsoft sees it differently.

How To Remotely Monitor Memory Usage
Adding extra RAM when your machine doesn't really need it is pointless. Here's how to tell when it's time.

IBM's Enterprise Mash-Up Uses Web Services For New Apps
Coming soon from Big Blue: on-the-spot applications, delivered in five minutes.

Analysis: Adobe Sending Mixed Messages About PDF Openness
Adobe says anyone is free to implement PDF in their applications, but the company is setting different rules for Microsoft.

Microsoft, Softbank Reinstated In NY Class Action
The two had been dismissed from the 2002 case about securities fraud and other allegations related to telecom provider Global Crossing, but they're now back in the hot seat.

Six Cell Phone Companies To Collaborate On Mobile Linux
Motorola, NTT Docomo, Samsung, and Vodafone are included in the alliance, which will develop standardized API specifications and architecture for mobile phones.

Analysis: Courts May Have To Decide Rules Of The Internet Road
The battle over who gets access to the Internet, and how, is playing out in Congress. Google, Amazon, eBay, and bloggers on all sides have weighed in. Here's what Lawrence G. Roberts, Craig Newmark, and others are saying.

All Our Latest News

Watch The News Show

In the current episode:

John Soat With 'Microsoft: Now What?'
Bill Gates says he'll give up his day-to-day responsibilities at Microsoft in two years to focus on philanthropy.

Larry Greenemeier With 'Inside Job'
A former UBS PaineWebber systems admin is on trial for detonating a logic bomb that crippled the company's network. Learn ways to prevent the same thing from happening at your company.

Cynthia Ramsaran With 'Exercise In Online Interaction'
Looking for an exercise buddy? Learn how to find one online.

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-----------------------------------------

4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web

Blog: Moving Around? (Footnoted)
McData seems to have a bit of a history of being pretty generous when it comes to reimbursing moving expenses. The company disclosed it spent $220,000 to cover one exec's moving expenses, and he's not the only one. Michelle Leder, the author of Footnoted, is a freelance business reporter who analyzes companies' SEC filings to find out what's going on behind the scenes.

Forget Steroids, Get Baseball Players A Video iPod (Techdirt)
With the ongoing debate about performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, there's another technology that not only is helping players, but is legal: the video iPod. The Colorado Rockies have started a program to load game video onto the players' video iPods so that players can analyze and make improvements as they go.

Mining For Gold On MySpace (BusinessWeek Online)
The mushrooming social site wants a search engine. Expect a fierce battle to land the job from the likes of Google, Yahoo, and MSN.


5. In Depth: Identity Theft

E-Health Initiatives Could Lead To New Forms Of ID Theft
ID thieves can use stolen identities to obtain drugs, treatment, and even surgery, leaving their victims not just in debt, but also with false records at hospitals, doctor offices, pharmacies, and insurance companies.

Porn-Surfing Oregon Worker Exposes 2,200 Taxpayer IDs
The identities—including Social Security numbers, names, and addresses—were transmitted to an unknown hacker by a keylogging Trojan embedded in a PC at the state agency where the employee was working.

Data On U.S. Nuclear Agency Workers Hacked: Lawmaker
The National Nuclear Safety Administration is the latest agency to reveal that sensitive private information about government workers was stolen. The incident happened in May, but Congressional leaders and others were just told about it last week, according to a member of the House of Representatives.

VA To Recall All Laptops After Data Breach
During the week of June 26, all laptops will be returned to the Veterans Administration for a security review. The agency will also change its VPN settings every 30 days, so every laptop has to come back to be reinspected.


6. Voice Of Authority

Netscape Is Dead. Let Go Already.
Remember in the '80s when actress Bette Davis was in her 70s and used to appear on talk shows in a miniskirt, tight blouse, and heavy makeup? The whole thing was ghastly, unsettling, and embarrassing, Mitch Wagner says. Watching AOL attempt to revive Netscape is like that.


7. White Papers

Adaptive Manufacturing: Enabling The Lean Six Sigma Enterprise
In today's manufacturing environment, companies must combine lean manufacturing with the principles of six sigma so that they can understand variability and manage exceptions. SAP solutions allow you to adapt to exceptions and build a lean enterprise that lays the foundation for value creation.


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