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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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.
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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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.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.