In This Issue: 1. Editor's Note: If Vista Leaves You Cold 2. Today's Top Story - Security Vendors Spot Second Excel Bug Related Stories: - Cisco Call Manager Flaw Could Invite Hackers - Spoofing Defense Dissed By Security Experts 3. Breaking News - Q&A: Can Microsoft Regain Its Edge In Software? - Most Microsoft Workers Search With Google - Blade Vendor War Looms On Horizon - IBM's 'Frozen Chip' Claims Speed Record - Yahoo Messenger Allows Users To Share Services - SCO To Unix Developers: We Want You Back - Dutch Court Rules Against Site Linking To Pirated Content - Opera Beats Mozilla, Microsoft To Release - Linux To Drive Innovation In Mobile Market - The Hartford: Lessons From 3 Years Of Work On SOA - IBM Puts Sales Contracts Online 4. Grab Bag - Police Got Phone Data From Brokers (Associated Press) - Teen, Mom Sue MySpace.com For $30 Million (The Statesman) - Web Users Open The Gates (Washington Post) - How Billions Of Bogus Pages Undermine Search Engines, Advertisers, And The Web (EmailBattles.com) 5. In Depth: Safety Of Personal Data - Google's Orkut Hit By Personal-Data-Stealing Worm - Tech Heavyweights Join Effort For Federal Privacy Law - The High Cost Of Data Loss - Porn-Surfing Oregon Worker Exposes 2,200 Taxpayer IDs - Sad State Of Data Security 6. Voice Of Authority - Brownie Troop Field Trip Into The Privacy Jungle 7. White Papers - Putting The Customer Back In Customer Service: Three Principles For Customer-Centric Support 8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek 9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote Of The Day: "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." — Thomas Edison
1. Editor's Note: If Vista Leaves You Cold
If you don't plan to jump on upgrading to Windows Vista right away, you've come to the right place. Our top story for this week is Fred Langa's terrific article showing you how to completely rebuild, repair, or refresh an existing XP installation without losing data—and without having to reinstall user software, reformat, or otherwise change or destroy your PC's setup.
If your XP PC is acting up, Fred shows you how you can reinstall XP while leaving your user accounts, names, and passwords intact—and in only a smidgen of the time a complete reinstall would take.
What does all this continued interest in XP mean? My guess is that it portends that businesses intend to stick to XP for a significant amount of time. A case in point: Earlier this month an InformationWeek-affiliate Web site, Small Business Pipeline, ran a poll asking small businesses if they intended to upgrade to Vista when it was finally released.
Overwhelmingly, respondents said they intended to wait. Only 16% said they would definitely be upgrading to Vista. A whopping 73% said they were going to stick with what they had until Vista is proven stable. (Eleven percent said they hadn't yet decided.)
These numbers apply to small businesses only, which obviously have different needs—and vastly more limited resources—than larger enterprises. Yet according to analysts, even the biggest companies will probably delay implementation. Some, like Gartner, which released a report in early May, even predict that the majority of them will wait as long as 12 to 18 months after Vista's release to upgrade from XP. Indeed, the Yankee Group recommends waiting to install Vista until 2008. The reason? Vista's management tools won't have fully matured until then, making implementation a rocky proposition.
And all evidence is that most PC buyers—businesses and consumers alike—won't be interested in installing Vista until they purchase new PCs. So until the current installed base of PCs is replaced, Vista adoption will be very sluggish. Microsoft itself says that with previous Windows operating systems, less than 10% switched to the new operating systems on existing machines.
What do you think? Is your organization planning to upgrade to Vista once it becomes available? Or do you plan to wait a significant amount of time—12 to 18 months—before making the switch? Or will you wait until you can purchase new, Vista-ready systems? Give us your feedback by going to my blog.
Spoofing Defense Dissed By Security Experts The defense in an ongoing computer sabotage trial is suggesting that a hacker used IP spoofing to impersonate his client and plant the malicious code that took down part of the UBS PaineWebber network four years ago. Security pros say that's nearly impossible to do.
Blade Vendor War Looms On Horizon Get ready for the blade wars. This small but fast-growing segment of the server market appears to be ready to pop as vendors release streamlined designs that are better positioned as rackmount replacements and, in some cases, offer pricing attractive enough to draw new customers to the model.
IBM's 'Frozen Chip' Claims Speed Record IBM and Georgia Tech claimed they have demonstrated the first silicon-based chip that can operate above 500 GHz by cryogenically "freezing" the circuit. By comparison, 500 GHz is more than 250 times faster than today's cell phones, which typically operate at approximately 2 GHz.
Opera Beats Mozilla, Microsoft To Release The final version of Opera 9 has shipped, offering users small Web-based "widget" applications, support for BitTorrent, a content blocker and security bar, and customized search.
John Soat With 'Order In The Court' Verizon files a lawsuit against Vonage, Microsoft loses its appeal of a patent lawsuit, American programmers cry foul, and more.
Eric Chabrow With 'The Wizard Of Oz' Ray Ozzie has an extremely loyal following that will likely benefit Microsoft in the future.
Cynthia Ramsaran With 'Sony Style' Sony has a new Notebook exchange program—return an old laptop and get money to purchase a new Sony product in return.
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4. Grab Bag
Police Got Phone Data From Brokers (Associated Press) A significant number of federal and local law enforcement agencies have ignored laws that are supposed to protect citizens' civil liberties and spent $30 million buying personal telephone records from private-sector data brokers.
The High Cost Of Data Loss Sensitive personal data has been misplaced, lost, printed on mailing labels, posted online, and just left around for anyone to see. The situation has become untenable. Here's the ugly truth about how it keeps happening, who's been affected, and what's being done about it.
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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.