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Free Advice To Gates, Ballmer On Vista

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Free Advice To Gates, Ballmer On Vista
2. Today's Top Story
    - Ballmer Hints That Vista Might Slip Its Deadline--Again
    Related Stories:
    - Gates Says Next Windows, Office Will Show The PC's 'In No Way Standing Still'
    - Microsoft's 'Centro' Midmarket Server Nears Beta
3. Breaking News
    - Data Security Could Be Potent November Election Issue
    - Review: 2007 Microsoft Office Beta 2 Is Up And Running
    - HP's Livermore: Acquisitions On Road Map
    - Hundreds Collared In Global Net Scams
    - Motorola Plans Major 'Mobile WiMax' Deployment
    - Symantec Suit Against Microsoft Symbolizes Security Shift
    - CSC Reports Big Gains In Sales To Feds, DoD
    - Intel's Investment Arm Bumping Up Its Profile
    - Nokia Opens Browser Code To Developers
    - SAP Turns Up Heat On Retail
    - IBM To Ship Tivoli Change And Configuration Management Software
    - Review: Casio EX-Z850 Camera
4. Grab Bag
    - Schools Crack Down On Inappropriate Blogs (Chicago Sun-Times)
    - Apple, Nike Exercise iPods To Track Workouts (USA Today)
    - Web's Inventor Fears Two-Tier Plan (The Herald)
5. In Depth: Online Advances
    - Search Service Warns Of Risky Google, MSN Sites
    - Gannett Takes USA Today To The BlackBerry
    - Microsoft Adds Traffic Reports To Online Maps
    - Salesforce.com Moves Microsoft Excel To The Web
6. Voice Of Authority
    - The Hunt For Terrorists
7. White Papers
    - The Remote Access Imperative In Disaster Recovery
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice and then going away and doing the exact opposite." -- G.K. Chesterton


1. Editor's Note: Free Advice To Gates, Ballmer On Vista
Bill Gates maintains that the PC isn't standing still, as evidenced by the 250 million PCs that are expected to be sold this year. To underscore his point, Microsoft staffers gave advanced technology demonstrations with Vista during Gates' keynote at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference.

The hardware platform may not be standing still, but Vista, the next release of Windows that will control the functions of the PC for years to come, doesn't appear to be moving ahead too swiftly. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hinted fairly strongly that more delays are in the offing. Ballmer said Microsoft will take feedback from the just-released Vista Beta 2 and decide "in the next few weeks" whether to stick to the current January delivery timetable or push it back. He also noted that since Vista's already missing the fourth quarter and holiday sales season, it would be smart to wait until the next "machine cycle" to release it en masse. "What we are discussing ... with hardware partners is when they would really like it—early January, late January, February," Ballmer told a French wire service. "We are on track for shipping early in the year."

Business and individual users have come to expect these sorts of delays and coy answers about shipment dates from Microsoft. But given the delays that have already taken place, and the confusion that generally surrounds such major releases, it'd be better for customers if Microsoft just came clean on any additional delays, so customers looking to be on the leading edge of deployment can lock down their Vista plans. The most accurate possible delivery date—rather than posturing, hypotheticals, and optimistic claims about its importance—is the best thing Microsoft could give customers right now.

Early indications about the latest Vista beta, meanwhile, are mixed. Preston Gralla, our Vista reviewer, notes in his blog that the newest beta includes a nice yet incomplete collaboration tool called Windows Meeting Space. His gripe: As a collaboration tool, it should play nicely with other collaboration-oriented systems, including Skype and instant messaging programs, since they're becoming so prevalent in business and personal interactions. "Windows Meeting Space would be far more powerful if people could use Skype to talk to one another via VoIP from within the meeting, for example. Or if the tool could use Skype presence features to set up meetings," he notes.

Microsoft's response: That kind of integration isn't happening today, and may never happen. Read Gralla's full commentary here. Also, by week's end, we'll have a more complete analysis by Gralla taking a hard look at enhancements featured in Beta 2. His preliminary analysis finds that Beta 2 makes the User Access Control feature far less intrusive and more usable under a normal user account. He's upbeat about Vista's advanced search, noting it's fast, available everywhere, and context sensitive, so it's a big time saver. Conversely, he finds the Vista firewall somewhat confounding. Stay tuned for this deep-dive review coming by Friday, just in time for you to sink your teeth into it over the long holiday weekend.

Tom Smith
tsmith@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Ballmer Hints That Vista Might Slip Its Deadline—Again
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the company isn't really committed to a widespread January rollout for consumers, as other company executives said two months ago.

Related Stories:
Gates Says Next Windows, Office Will Show The PC's 'In No Way Standing Still'
The new versions will change a lot about how the PC operates, from how it boots up to how data, photos, and music are accessed.

Microsoft's 'Centro' Midmarket Server Nears Beta
Much like Microsoft's popular Small Business Server, Centro will offer customers an integrated suite of servers unified by a common management console, including the Longhorn server, Exchange 2007, and ISA 2004.


3. Breaking News

Data Security Could Be Potent November Election Issue
Fewer than a fifth of adults surveyed believe that existing laws can protect them from fraud, identity theft, and other crimes on the Internet, and more than two-thirds want Congress to pass strong data-protection legislation.

Review: 2007 Microsoft Office Beta 2 Is Up And Running
Beta 2 of Microsoft's upcoming Office suite is out. It's bigger and better, but still a bit strange.

HP's Livermore: Acquisitions On Road Map
Hewlett-Packard will look to mergers and acquisitions, as well as its own research, to beef up software, especially for the enterprise, says Ann Livermore, executive VP of HP's Technology Solutions Group.

Hundreds Collared In Global Net Scams
Police arrested more than 560 people in the past 15 months in "Operation Global Con," charging them with bilking nearly 3 million people out of more than $1 billion in schemes including bogus investments, fake lotteries and sweepstakes, and phony credit cards.

Motorola Plans Major 'Mobile WiMax' Deployment
The company is planning to implement 802.16e, also known as mobile WiMax technology, at 193 sites by the end of September and 600 by the end of June 2007.

Symantec Suit Against Microsoft Symbolizes Security Shift
Several years of negotiations over Microsoft's right to use Symantec's Volume Manager software boiled over last week when Symantec filed a lawsuit that threatens to keep Microsoft from further developing and distributing Vista and Longhorn.

CSC Reports Big Gains In Sales To Feds, DoD
Sales to the federal government and the Defense Department increased by double digits, but fourth-quarter net income plunged 52% year over year to $199.4 million.

Intel's Investment Arm Bumping Up Its Profile
Intel Capital said it has embarked on a bolder, more proactive strategy and intends to help its portfolio companies with larger investment stakes and more active collaboration.

Nokia Opens Browser Code To Developers
Nokia is looking to reduce fragmentation for mobile browser application developers.

SAP Turns Up Heat On Retail
SAP this year will add new features for perishable foods, fresh-item management, and in-store services, such as bakery and deli.

IBM To Ship Tivoli Change And Configuration Management Software
The software, due to ship June 30, includes tools to detect potential problems, such as component failure, and automatically remediate them, as well as tools for automating software updates and patching, and storage management.

Review: Casio EX-Z850 Camera
This new 8.1-megapixel $399 Casio Exilim camera isn't perfect, but it takes great shots and has plenty of cool features.

All Our Latest News

Watch The News Show

In the current episode:

John Soat with "Another Microsoft Minute"
Microsoft hosts its annual Windows Hardware Engineering Conference and releases new test versions of Vista and Office.

Eric Chabrow with "Outsourcer's Entry Strategy"
Indian outsourcer Wipro looks to get into business and marketing consulting.


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


4. Grab Bag: School Blogging Crackdown

Schools Crack Down On Inappropriate Blogs (Chicago Sun-Times)
Illegal or inappropriate blogging or social behavior over the Internet is now a violation of District 128's student code of conduct at Libertville and Vernon Hills high schools and can lead to denial of extracurricular student privileges.

Apple, Nike Exercise iPods To Track Workouts (USA Today)
Apple and Nike have unveiled an iPod gizmo to put more rhythm in your run: the Nike+iPod Sports Kit, the first product coming out of a new partnership between the companies.

Web's Inventor Fears Two-Tier Plan (The Herald)
The British scientist who invented the World Wide Web expressed fears it could become a two-tier service. Sir Tim Berners-Lee said attempts by telecom companies in the United States to try to charge for different levels of online access were not "part of the Internet" model he envisaged.


------- Now Hiring ----------------------
S.E.C. seeking Assistant Director of Enterprise Systems in D.C.

S.E.C. seeking Branch Chief of Network Engineering in D.C.

Ajilon seeking hands-on Project Manager in San Francisco

HSBC seeking Distributed Systems Analyst in Salinas, CA

American Broadcasting Company seeking Satellite Distribution Svc. Mgr. in NYC

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


5. In Depth: Online Advances

Search Service Warns Of Risky Google, MSN Sites
Dubbed "Scandoo," the service lets users search using either Google's or MSN's engine. As results are displayed, Scandoo posts color-coded icons to note safe, questionable, and hazardous sites before they're clicked.

Gannett Takes USA Today To The BlackBerry
People can request top news stories, sports scores, weather forecasts, movie times, and other information, which will then automatically open on a Web page in the BlackBerry.

Microsoft Adds Traffic Reports To Online Maps
The company also added features to help users create lists of favorite locations within a map and share them over e-mail or post them on a blog site.

Salesforce.com Moves Microsoft Excel To The Web
JotSpot Tracker is an online, collaborative spreadsheet that can import Microsoft Excel files. Though it lacks the depth of Microsoft's software, it offers basic spreadsheet functionality and unique mash-up and sharing features.


6. Voice Of Authority: The Hunt For Terrorists

Terrorist Connections: Find Them Yourself
From J. Nicholas Hoover: There's little doubt in my mind the NSA is actively mining huge stores of data and performing social network analysis to produce complex maps of terrorist networks in the hunt for al-Qaida, and if it does it right, it could see some success. It's not like social network analysis of al-Qaida hasn't been done before, even by yours truly (though I admit I don't think I've ever caught a terrorist).


7. White Papers: Disaster Recovery

The Remote Access Imperative In Disaster Recovery
As organizations prepare a disaster recovery plan, it's important to include remote access as a fundamental part of the disaster recovery infrastructure. This document explores best practices for disaster recovery and the role of SSL VPNs in that process.


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