In This Issue: 1. Editor's Note: Do You Want To Be Part Of Microsoft's Revolution? 2. Today's Top Story - Microsoft, Intel Debut Pay-As-You-Go PC For Emerging Markets Related Story: - Intel To Power Low-Cost PCs In India 3. Breaking News - Exploit Of Windows 2000 Zero-Day To Hit In June - Analysis: Microsoft Previews Heavy-Duty Web Development Tools - NY Teen Pair Charged In MySpace Extortion Plot - Yahoo, eBay Announce Multiyear Partnership - Study Finds Users Happier With Their Cell Phones - Vista Guidebook Back Online - Sony Plays 'Name That Tune' On Cell Phones - Cell Phones Become Car Navigation Systems - Nokia Derides Qualcomm Patent Suit - Windows Vista Collaboration: A Big Step Forward, But Still An Island 4. Grab Bag - Better Sound In Small Packages (New York Times - Reg. Required) - The Rise Of Crowdsourcing (Wired) - Apple's New Store Is Pure Glass (BusinessWeek) 5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech - Windows Vista Beta 2: Great Search, Improved Security, Hardware Snags - Palm Treo 700p: A PDA For Work And Play - Review: Casio EX-Z850 Camera - Online Baseball Tournament Launches - Review: Linksys Wireless-N Equipment Isn't Quite There Yet - Review: mobiBLU B153 Music Player 6. Voice Of Authority - XM Satellite Woes Offer Opening For HD Radio 7. White Papers - Error-Free Web Services: Developing A Secure Service-Oriented Architecture 8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek 9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
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1. Editor's Note: Do You Want To Be Part Of Microsoft's Revolution?
There's been a lot of hoopla about the simultaneous announcements of Microsoft Vista Beta 2, 2007 Microsoft Office Beta 2, and Longhorn Vista Server Beta 2. In fact, there's been so much coverage from all the various online and print media that I've been tempted to find myself a beta blocker. (Sorry—a little health care humor there.)
Actually, I shouldn't be the one to complain. I'm part of the problem, having written a review of Office and having helped edit Preston Gralla's take on the new features in Vista. But after some thought, I've decided the reason this new beta is such a big deal isn't just because it has a snazzy (or scuzzy, depending on your point of view) new interface and a bunch of new features. It's because 99% of people who work on computers use either office suites or one or more components of office suites, and so any new development in word processors, spreadsheets, personal information managers, and so on could affect them.
For example, if your boss decides it's better to switch, how much time will employees spend adjusting to the new software? How many of your current templates will have to be rewritten? How much training will have to be done? How many of your company's clients will suddenly find themselves with late orders because the changeover didn't go well? How many times will you send a document in Microsoft's new Open XML format only to discover your recipient can't read it? (Don't laugh—I managed to do just that when I sent this newsletter to its editors.) In other words, how much change will you have to cope with?
This is a problem that a lot of IT people are going to have to deal with in the coming months as companies decide where to go with their equipment and their budgets. Most companies, I suspect, are going to play it safe—or, at least, careful—and wait until switching to a new operating system or even to a new office suite.
Some may decide to jump ship entirely. There are now a lot more choices out in the marketplace for companies that don't want to play in Microsoft's backyard, not the least of which is Linux and its associated applications. End users also have more choices as basic applications become available as either freeware (as in OpenOffice) or online (as in Google Calendar). In fact, last week we offered one PC user's take on moving away from Microsoft. Check out David Haskin's story, "Kicking The Microsoft Habit."
But there are those companies that will immediately grab at Microsoft's shiny new toy. I can't totally blame them. I can understand the temptation to become part of technology's front lines and to be the first to experience the advantages that the new operating system and applications can bring. But I've got a bit of advice for the IT staffers who work for those companies and who will have to implement all these innovative, bleeding-edge changes: Have a lot of band-aids handy.
What do you think? Is your company planning to move to Vista and/or 2007 Office ASAP, or is it going to wait awhile? Or are you turning to another operating system entirely? Let us know your situation at my blog post.
Vista Guidebook Back Online A 300-page product guide can be downloaded in either Word format or the original XML Paper Specification format, which Microsoft touts as a replacement for Adobe's popular PDF.
Nokia Derides Qualcomm Patent Suit Nokia hasn't seen any official legal documents regarding the suit, the company says, and adds that it holds 223 patents related to the technology in question, namely cellular data over GSM networks.
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A Week's Worth Of Dailies—All In One Place Have you missed an issue or two of the InformationWeek Daily? Or want to check out some recent quotes of the day? Check out our Daily newsletter archive page and get caught up quickly. -----------------------------------------
The Rise Of Crowdsourcing (Wired) According to Wired writer Jeff Howe, outsourcing is no longer the problem—crowdsourcing is. When you can scan the Web for amateur photos at $1 a snap, why would you pay a professional top dollar? And how will that pro now pay the rent?
Review: Casio EX-Z850 Camera The new 8.1-megapixel $399 Casio Exilim camera isn't perfect, but it takes great shots and has plenty of cool features.
Online Baseball Tournament Launches Netamin aims to create a virtual sports league and community through its contest, which will let sports fans and gamers play a virtual version of baseball in real time on any PC with a broadband connection.
Review: mobiBLU B153 Music Player This all-purpose music player isn't for everyone. But if you crave monster battery life, or are frustrated by iTunes, or want extras like good voice recording and FM radio in your player, you'll love the B153. If you want simplicity and elegance, look elsewhere.
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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 7, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program!