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DoS Attack Feared

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Who Needs A Free Version Of Works?
2. Today's Top Story
    - DoS Attack Feared As Storm Worm Siege Escalates
3. Breaking News
    - Hackers Promise 'Nude Angelina Jolie' Pics To Plant Malware
    - Congress Pushes For More Tech Education, R&D Programs
    - Second Life Voice Set To Leave Beta
    - CEO Says Nortel Is In Talks On Potential Takeovers
    - Illegal Video-Game Devices Seized In Fed Raid
    - Apple iPhone Being Sized For Voice Interface
    - Samsung Beats Motorola For No. 2 Spot In Handset Shipments
    - Number Of Hackers Attacking Banks Jumps 81%
    - CA Sues Rocket Software For $200 Million
    - Sony Recalls Digital Cameras That Can Cut Customers
4. The Latest Personal Tech Blog Posts
    - Yes, Virginia, Google Is Building A Mobile Phone
    - Automakers Can Learn From Computer Industry's Mistakes
    - Are Printers Hazardous To Your Health?
    - A Service Pack For Vista? Yes And No
5. Job Listings From TechCareers
6. White Papers
    - Maximize Business Terms Through Enterprise Contract Management
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money." -- Benjamin Franklin


1. Editor's Note: Who Needs A Free Version Of Works?

One of the informal rules of computing, as recognized by most of my friends and colleagues (at least, those who know anything about the subject), is: Thou Shalt Avoid Microsoft Works. The suite, which is presumably directed toward consumers, hasn't been really useful for anything but the most elementary tasks for years now. It's a suite with training wheels.

There are so many alternatives these days that the only question should be how fast you can uninstall Works from your new system. If you need a commercial product but find the multiple versions of Microsoft Office too confusing, there are packages such as Corel WordPerfect Office. If you'd rather not pay anything for your software, there are quality open source apps like OpenOffice. If you don't mind working online, you can choose from individual apps such as Google's Docs & Spreadsheets or an online suite such as Zoho.

With all these interesting apps available, my assumption was that Microsoft would take the hint and allow Works to slowly fade away, to be dug up by curious 6-year-olds who wanted to check out what was on Grandpa's computer or by sociologists studying the phenomenon of dumbed-down software. But I was underestimating Microsoft's tendency to try to keep its properties in the public consciousness.

According to a recent news story, Microsoft is planning to offer a free, ad-supported version of Works in selected countries. So I'm trying to figure out why Microsoft's people would think that scads of eager users would want to download an already low-productivity app with advertising added.

Well, if consumers aren't looking for a less-expensive version of Works, I'll bet Microsoft's hardware partners are. According to the article, Works 8.5 costs about $50; while it probably costs manufacturers a lot less to load it onto their new PCs, it can still add up over several thousand systems. With the ability to load a fully free version of a Microsoft application, vendors can subtract a few dollars from their costs without affecting the perceived value of the product.

So when you get your spanking-new Vista-capable machine next year, odds are that it will include a spanking-new version of Works that includes a word processor, spreadsheet, calendar -- and advertising. Enjoy.

What do you think? Would you pick up a free version of Microsoft Works -- with advertising? Leave a comment at the InformationWeek Blog and let us know.

Barbara Krasnoff
bkrasnoff@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

DoS Attack Feared As Storm Worm Siege Escalates
The massive Storm worm attack has built a botnet of 1.7 million computers -- large enough to unleash a highly damaging denial-of-service attack, researchers fear.


3. Breaking News

Hackers Promise 'Nude Angelina Jolie' Pics To Plant Malware
Cyber tricksters are luring curious users to open a malicious attachment by promising nude photos of celebrity beauties. Instead of pictures, they get a Trojan downloader.

Congress Pushes For More Tech Education, R&D Programs
The bill authorizes funding of $43.3 billion from 2008 to 2010 for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics research and education programs at the federal level, including scholarship and grant programs.

Second Life Voice Set To Leave Beta
Users of the 3-D world on Thursday saw voice included in the default client software starting around 3 p.m. Pacific time.

CEO Says Nortel Is In Talks On Potential Takeovers
Nortel Networks has begun talks with potential takeover targets as North America's biggest maker of telephone equipment looks to expand its reach, its chief executive said Thursday.

Illegal Video-Game Devices Seized In Fed Raid
The illegal hardware, which was made overseas and imported into the United States, played counterfeit games on Sony's PlayStation 2, Microsoft's Xbox and Xbox 360, and Nintendo's Wii.

Apple iPhone Being Sized For Voice Interface
Apple's rationale for a voice-driven interface is easy to understand: Interfaces for portable devices demand attention, and they're not always easy to read.

Samsung Beats Motorola For No. 2 Spot In Handset Shipments
IDC noted that Samsung shipped 37.4 million units in the quarter for a market share of 13.7%, fueled in large part by its Ultra Special devices.

Number Of Hackers Attacking Banks Jumps 81%
Hackers no longer need to be technical wizards to set up an operation to steal people's banking information and then rob their accounts.

CA Sues Rocket Software For $200 Million
The systems management company says Rocket intentionally stole CA's intellectual property for use in software to manage IBM DB2 relational databases.

Sony Recalls Digital Cameras That Can Cut Customers
The bottom metal casing on some of Sony's Cyber-shot digital cameras could peel and warp, creating a sharp edge that could scratch or cut the user's hand.

All Our Latest News

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4. The Latest Personal Tech Blog Posts
http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/consumerpersonal_tech/index.html

Yes, Virginia, Google Is Building A Mobile Phone
This week The Wall Street Journal reported that Google is working on a cell phone but has declined to comment on the project. Looks like this dog will hunt.

Automakers Can Learn From Computer Industry's Mistakes
Automakers are trying to collaborate more on software standards, but it may not all be great news.

Are Printers Hazardous To Your Health?
OK, now you have another reason to stay away from the office: According to the Queensland University of Technology, laser printers can be hazardous to your health.

A Service Pack For Vista? Yes And No
Ars Technica reports that The World's Largest Software Company has released a "sneak peek" of several patches on its Windows Connect download service.


5. Job Listings From TechCareers

ISES, Inc. seeking SAP Plant Maintenance Business Analyst in Swiftwater, PA

Genworth Financial seeking IT Solutions Leader in Richmond, VA

[X+1] seeking Client Solutions Architect in New York, NY

ITT Corporation seeking IT Business Systems Mgr. in Fort Wayne, IN

McFadyen Consulting seeking eBusiness Project Manager in Vienna, VA

For more great jobs, career-related news, features and services, please visit CMP Media's TechCareers.


6. White Papers

Maximize Business Terms Through Enterprise Contract Management
Failure to manage contracts costs businesses billions of dollars every year. Companies can choose a "Big Bang" or phased approach when deploying ECM. This paper explains how businesses can derive value at every step of an ECM deployment.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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