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Getting Ready To Eat My Words About 2007 Office And Windows Vista

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Getting Ready To Eat My Words About 2007 Office And Windows Vista
2. Today's Top Story
    - Apple Dealt Setback In Suit Against Online Journalists
3. Breaking News
    - Symantec Says Its Own AV Product Has Zero-Day Vulnerability
    - Microsoft Adds 'Ultimate' Office To Lineup
    - Brief: Winamp 5.22 Update Crushes Bugs
    - Sacred Heart Latest University To Lose Identities
    - New IBM Program To Woo Appalachian Students Into Tech Jobs
    - Windows 2000 Bug Already Patched, Microsoft Says
    - Sprint Nextel Sues IBM Over Outsourcing Deal Gone Bad
    - Google Cuts Deal To Put Its Desktop Software On Dell PCs
    - Physicists Posit Theoretical Blueprint For Harry Potter-Like 'Invisibility Cloak'
    - Researchers Demo New Robot-Human Interface
    - Hummingbird Assailed For Accepting $465 Million Offer
    - Brief: Cambodian PM Bans 3G Phones In Anti-Porn Drive
4. Grab Bag
    - Humor: In Praise Of Car Rentals (Wired News)
    - 12 Tips For Avoiding A Mac Disaster (MacWorld)
    - TorrentSpy Suit Accuses MPAA Of Hacking (CIO)
5. In Depth
    - VA Secretary Comes Under Fire At House And Senate Data Theft Hearings
    - VA Worker Took Data Home For Years Before Colossal Data Loss
    - Citywide Wi-Fi Moves Forward In New Orleans, Philly
    - Feds End Excise Tax On Long Distance Calls
    - High-Tech Groups Laud Senate Immigration Bill
6. Voice Of Authority
    - VoIP Difficulties Don't Seem To Improve
7. White Papers
    - Telework: A Critical Component Of Continuity Of Operations Planning
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis." -- Jack Handey


1. Editor's Note: Getting Ready To Eat My Words About 2007 Office And Windows Vista

I'm not prepared to eat my words just yet. But I'm setting the table in case I have to chow down.

A couple of months ago, I predicted Microsoft would have big trouble getting users to upgrade to Vista and the next version of Office.

Well, Microsoft dropped Beta 2 of 2007, and it's looking pretty tasty. It may be a big hit after all.

The most intriguing—and controversial—feature of Office is the new user interface. Microsoft has dispensed with drop-down menus, a standard of user interfaces for more than 20 years. Instead, 2007 Office uses a tabbed bar across the top of the screen, which Microsoft calls a "Ribbon." Take a look here. It'll look familiar to anybody who's ever bought anything from Amazon.com.

In the past, I've thought that the Ribbon was the worst part of 2007 Office. Even if it's better, I argued, it's still different, and that means users have to be retrained, running up big expenses for IT departments.

Our reviews editor, Barbara Krasnoff, shared my skepticism, but she seems to be on her way to becoming a Ribbon convert:

There has been a lot of skepticism about the usefulness—and, indeed, the necessity—of the Ribbon, and I have to admit that I was among the doubters. Why change something that works for many people? Because, according to Microsoft, the current interface has become bloated with too many menus.

Jenson Harris, the lead program manager for the Microsoft Office user experience team, explained that the current system of toolbars has meant an exponential increase from two toolbars in Word 1.0 to 31 in Word 2003. "Conventional punditry was that people only use 5 percent of Office and that everything we need was in older versions," he said in a recent press event. "However, we found that real people said that people simply can't figure out how to use what features there are in there." He described the new interface as providing "one home for functionality."

You can appreciate better organization for controls if you've ever spent long minutes hunting through Office menus and toolbars, looking for some obscure command you only use every few months.

So the Ribbon could be a hit after all.

The software also adds Groove and SharePoint integration to make it easier to collaborate and communicate with colleagues from within the application suite.

I also predicated big trouble for Microsoft in getting users to adopt Vista. It still looks like Microsoft will have troubles there, but our reviewer Preston Gralla gives the latest Vista beta high marks, commending its security and search features and noting that it eliminates annoying nag screens that plagued earlier versions.

So will I be chowing down on my own writing? What do you think? Leave a message on the InformationWeek Weblog and let us know.

Or just hang around and see for yourself. I've got the Pepto-Bismol ready.

Mitch Wagner
mwagner@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Apple Dealt Setback In Suit Against Online Journalists
The appellate court decision reverses a lower court that refused to extend to the online publications the same protections granted California journalists.


3. Breaking News

Symantec Says Its Own AV Product Has Zero-Day Vulnerability
The security vendor says its enterprise anti-virus product line has an unpatched, "zero-day" vulnerability that can be used by attackers to hijack systems.

Microsoft Adds 'Ultimate' Office To Lineup
The new version will sell for $679 in retail channels and include all the applications scheduled to ship within Office Enterprise 2007, the top-end corporation version to be available only to volume license customers.

Brief: Winamp 5.22 Update Crushes Bugs
According to version 5.22's release notes posted to the Nullsoft site, the update fixes 26 flaws in the music player.

Sacred Heart Latest University To Lose Identities
The school was hit by hackers, and one local TV station reported that 135,000 notification letters had been sent to current students, prospective students, alumni, and staff members.

New IBM Program To Woo Appalachian Students Into Tech Jobs
The program is designed to help students in the poorest region of America train for tech jobs, while helping the U.S. fill its shortage of workers with high-level tech skills.

Windows 2000 Bug Already Patched, Microsoft Says
The vulnerability being warned about by Symantec is fixed by MS05-011, a security update released almost 16 months ago, Microsoft says.

Sprint Nextel Sues IBM Over Outsourcing Deal Gone Bad
Outsourcing may be one of the hottest trends in technology, but Sprint Nextel is so unhappy about one outsourcing contract that the company is suing.

Google Cuts Deal To Put Its Desktop Software On Dell PCs
Dell PCs will come with Google Desktop and Google Toolbar preinstalled and Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 set to use a Google home page. The two companies will share Internet ad revenue.

Physicists Posit Theoretical Blueprint For Harry Potter-Like 'Invisibility Cloak'
Three physicists say they have developed a possible means for making physical objects appear as though they've disappeared when covered. The key is an exotic artificial composite called "metamaterials."

Researchers Demo New Robot-Human Interface
A new interface allows near real-time operation of a robot without invasive incisions into the head and brain. The breakthrough, demonstrated this week in Tokyo, opens up possibilities for new interactions between machines and people.

Hummingbird Assailed For Accepting $465 Million Offer
The company should have put itself on the block in search of a better offer, say critics.

Brief: Cambodian PM Bans 3G Phones In Anti-Porn Drive
Prime Minister Hun Sen acted after receiving a complaint from his wife and her friends about receiving pornography. "We can wait 10 more years until we have managed to improve morality in society," he said.

All Our Latest News

Watch The News Show

In the current episode:

Cynthia Ramsaran With 'The Big Apple'
Apple launches its new flagship store, open 24/7, 365 days a year, in New York City.

Peter Gorenstein With 'After Midnight'
Peter stops by the new Apple store after midnight to take a look around.


----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----
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-----------------------------------------


4. Grab Bag

Humor: In Praise Of Car Rentals (Wired News)
Columnist Lore Sjoberg writes: "Rental cars these days also have buttons all over the steering wheel, which makes me very happy. This is because like all rational, mature adults, I want to be Speed Racer. All I need is a child and his chimp in the trunk and I'm ready to rock."

12 Tips For Avoiding A Mac Disaster (MacWorld)
MacWorld offers 12 ways to protect your data and avoid common pitfalls.

TorrentSpy Suit Accuses MPAA Of Hacking (CIO)
In a tale of intrigue that's perhaps fitting for the parties involved, the Motion Picture Association of America has denied that it paid a hacker to steal information from TorrentSpy, a popular BitTorrent file-sharing site, as alleged in a lawsuit filed by the file-searching company in California.


------- Now Hiring ----------------------
Technical Focus, Inc. seeking Database Administrator in Irving, TX

Eaton Coporation seeking Embedded Software System Architect in Milwakee, WI

Acentron Technologies seeking Data Center Manager in Columbia, SC

PairPoint Group seeking Application Architect in San Francisco, CA

JWT seeking Information Technology Analyst in New York, NY

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

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


5. In Depth

VA Secretary Comes Under Fire At House And Senate Data Theft Hearings
The data breach will cost taxpayers $100 million to notify veterans that their information might be compromised and to offer credit protection services.

VA Worker Took Data Home For Years Before Colossal Data Loss
The agency admitted it doesn't know if that practice had been approved by the employee's superiors.

Citywide Wi-Fi Moves Forward In New Orleans, Philly
Philadelphia's mayor signed the documents needed to start that city's 135-square-mile network, while the New Orleans City Council approved its own deployment.

Feds End Excise Tax On Long Distance Calls
Not only is the tax gone, but individual taxpayers will also get a refund as part of the 2006 tax forms due next year. The tax adds about 3% to phone bills.

High-Tech Groups Laud Senate Immigration Bill
The key provision sought by technology companies was an expanded high-tech visa program, and they got it. The Senate bill proposes raising the cap on H-1B visas for highly educated temporary workers to 115,000 per fiscal year, a huge jump from the current 65,000.


6. Voice Of Authority

VoIP Difficulties Don't Seem To Improve
Eric Hall says: Back in October 1998, I co-wrote a cover story for Network Computing on VoIP in the enterprise, introducing the technology to our readers and describing some of the deployment challenges that admins should watch for. What's interesting is that every time I've gone back and reread that article, I've expected to find it completely outdated, with most of the early problems resolved and newer challenges in place. But instead I keep finding that most of those old problems still exist in one form or another, even though we're now closing in on that article's 10-year birthday.


7. White Papers

Telework: A Critical Component Of Continuity Of Operations Planning
The following guide provides a basic layout of a continuity of operations plan and details why it makes good business sense for organizations to prepare such contingency plans in order to deal with those scenarios that often disable operations.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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