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Microsoft Hit By U.S. DOT Ban On Windows Vista, Explorer 7, and Office 2007

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Got Time?
2. Today's Top Story
    - Microsoft Hit By U.S. DOT Ban On Windows Vista, Explorer 7, and Office 2007
Related Stories:
    - Free Software Foundation Urges Computer Makers To Replace Vista With Free OS
    - Xcerion's Internet Cloud Forms Over Google And Microsoft
3. Breaking News
    - Homeland Security Issues Specs And Guidelines For Controversial Real ID
    - Attacking USB Devices ... Hackers Go Old School
    - Sony Agrees To Pay $150.3 Million In PlayStation Patent Suit
    - March Madness Major Threat To Network Security
    - 'Embarrassed' Gun Suspect Sues Microsoft After FBI Finds Sex Videos On His PC
    - Before Attacking Symantec, Virus Writer Also Voiced Grudge Against SANS
    - Google Gets BBC Content for YouTube
    - Microsoft's Unified Communications Fuels Growth In PBX Sales
    - Startup Lightfleet Claims To Increase Computing Speed In Servers
    - Business Objects, Cognos CEOs Speak Out On Hyperion Acquisition
    - U.K. Outsources Visa Processing To U.S., Indian Firms
4. The Latest Digital Life Blog Posts
    - Just How Far Does BlackBerry Addiction Go?
    - The Importance Of Presence: Taming The Wild And Woolly IM
    - Three Intriguing Web 2.0 Companies: Jellyfish, Ning, And Dandelife
5. White Papers
    - Help Desk Warning Signs: Is It Time To Consider Outsourcing?
6. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
7. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quotes Of The Day: Time

"Time is that quality of nature which keeps events from happening all at once. Lately it doesn't seem to be working." — Anonymous

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so." — Douglas Adams

"People find life entirely too time-consuming." — Stanislaw J. Lec


1. Editor's Note: Got Time?

That whole time-change thing that has everyone rolling their eyes — you know — early daylight saving? OK, it's not Y2K. (What could be?) And as I noted in a recent column (which goes into this issue in greater detail), no one is talking disasters of biblical proportions. But there is a little more to this than the momentary irritation of missed appointments and calendars being off an hour. Think of all the time-sensitive systems out there today: medical, manufacturing, financial, travel schedules, logistic scheduling and tracking, security systems (and doors and vaults) that open and close based on preprogrammed times. Anything that requires a precise time stamp for legal or audit trail reasons. Think of Sarbanes-Oxley (Forrester Research says it will definitely be impacted). State governmentsare certainly worried. Think maybe you should take another look at the systems that support your company's business and reconfigure the impact?

Because ohhhh yeah, there is definite fallout here if you don't get your applications and systems switched over to the new daylight-saving date on time.

But there's more to it than that. Judging from the users I've been hearing from, it's just a time-sucking, cost-building pain in the butt to deal with. Look at PG&E's predicament. It simply decided this was too expensive a change to make (and who knows, maybe it doesn't have the manpower or time at this point to do it anyhow). Why is this? Well, for one, too many vendors have wasted the head start they got to deal with this issue (the bill mandating the change was signed in the summer of 2005) and have gone right down to the wire in releasing their patches, which in some cases have to take into account various platforms, access modes, etc. It makes one wonder how well tested they are, and it certainly doesn't leave IT much time to do its own testing. One issue here is that many vendors thought they could leave the fix to the operating system brethren and realized late in the game that they were wrong, says Ray Wang, a Forrester analyst who has co-written a report on this issue. And if they're late, where does that leave users?

A lot of these patches are NOT going to work with older versions of software. As Mike Dimyan of Time Warner pointed out recently, there aren't that many companies that can say they're running the latest version of all their applications. And at this point, he noted, even if vendors gave away the latest updates, most companies couldn't possibly get them installed in time.

So if you've got a mixed environment, you may find some daylight-saving patches causing other problems even as they solve part of your time issues. Dimyan has already run into this problem. And what about those older versions? What's the fix for them? In some cases, it's going to be "ugly," says Dimyan. And then there's the software that will have to be manually updated, like your custom applications. And you do have customized apps, right?

So, while this problem is certainly solvable, it won't happen without some scrambling, a lot of manpower, a lot of testing and cross testing, and a chunk of money and time. You may have plenty of the rest, but the one thing you don't have much left of right now is time.

Have you run into problematic patches, cross-compatibility issues, or no patch support for the versions of software you're running? Has your vendor either waited so long to issue a patch or posted such confusing information on its site that it's affected your efforts to update your systems? Tell us about it, and any solutions you've worked out, in the comment field for the blog entry for this note.

Patricia Keefe
pkeefe@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


Today's Top Story

Microsoft Hit By U.S. DOT Ban On Windows Vista, Explorer 7, and Office 2007
Tens of thousands of federal workers are prohibited from upgrading to the latest versions, according to memos seen by InformationWeek.

Related Stories:

Free Software Foundation Urges Computer Makers To Replace Windows Vista With Free OS
The FSF in January sent five proposals to Sun Microsystems, HP, and Dell that would aid in the spread of free operating systems.

Xcerion's Internet Cloud Forms Over Google And Microsoft
The company plans to offer an XML-based Internet operating system and development platform that replicates the desktop computing experience from inside a Web browser and adds the benefits of cloud-based computing.


3. Breaking News

Homeland Security Issues Specs And Guidelines For Controversial Real ID
The draft guidelines do not specify the use of RFID cards as a minimum standard, but states can choose to use them in addition to the bar code.

Attacking USB Devices ... Hackers Go Old School
A handful of viruses are harkening back to the days of infected floppy disks by attacking USB devices.

Sony Agrees To Pay $150.3 Million In PlayStation Patent Suit
At issue is software that causes the PlayStation controller to vibrate in sync with the video game action.

March Madness Major Threat To Network Security
IT managers are being warned to prepare for users to be secretly watching streaming video, monitoring scores in real time, and even placing online bets — all at their desks.

'Embarrassed' Gun Suspect Sues Microsoft After FBI Finds Sex Videos On His PC
Despite efforts to keep the data private, FBI lab agents were able to access the files by making a mirror image of the hard drive.

Before Attacking Symantec, Virus Writer Also Voiced Grudge Against SANS
The author of the Rinbot worm left a message in his code telling off researchers at the SANS Institute and threatening a denial-of-service attack.

Google Gets BBC Content For YouTube
The BBC hopes exposure on YouTube will encourage online video viewers to avail themselves of its proposed iPlayer service, which lets viewers see BBC shows on their computers for seven days after airing.

Microsoft's Unified Communications Fuels Growth In PBX Sales
Growth in sales of IP PBXs to small and midsize businesses should reach 33% on a cumulative basis for the next five years, says research firm AMI-Partners.

Startup Lightfleet Claims To Increase Computing Speed In Servers
The company said it hopes to license its laser-based technology to other companies, including storage vendors.

Business Objects, Cognos CEOs Speak Out On Hyperion Acquisition
Oracle's purchase of Hyperion leaves just two big BI vendors, Business Objects and Cognos. Will they be acquired? Here's what their CEOs have to say.

U.K. Outsources Visa Processing To U.S., Indian Firms
The two contracts are expected to improve processing of foreign visa applications to the tune of more than $500 million.

All Our Latest News

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

New Video Programming: Three Takes On SOA
Who wouldn't be interested in a technology that allows your company to become more agile, to service customers better, to increase agility? That's the promise of a service-oriented architecture, and plenty of innovative companies are reaping the benefits. So why are some CIOs resistant? Join InformationWeek executive editor Stephanie Stahl in a discussion with the experts on the benefits, myths, and challenges surrounding SOA. Find out why James McGovern, chief security architect at The Hartford, thinks SOA is part of the IT organization's fiduciary duty; why Bruce Richardson, chief research officer at AMR Research, thinks CIOs are ready to strangle their ERP vendors; and why InformationWeek editor-in-chief Rob Preston urges business-technology executives to stop hiding in their silos.

Salary Survey: Your Chance To Weigh In!
Are you paid fairly? Is your career on track? The editors of InformationWeek invite you to participate in our 10th annual National IT Salary Survey. It's fast. It's convenient. It's confidential.

Server Virtualization
Many companies are virtualizing servers in their data centers, but will virtualization expand out to the desktop? Examine how more than 250 companies plan to adopt server virtualization technology in this recent InformationWeek Research report, Server Virtualization. Use this report to evaluate the benefits and management implications of moving to a virtual server structure.

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


4. The Latest Digital Life Blog Posts

http://www.informationweek.com/blog/digitallife/

Just How Far Does BlackBerry Addiction Go?
A Forbes magazine editor attempted to give up his BlackBerry for one week. He didn't last 48 hours. A spate of articles has called the wireless e-mail device as addictive as hard drugs, going so far as to blame it for wrecked marriages and worse. When I switched jobs last summer I was without a BlackBerry for a month. I can tell you it was a tough 30 days.

The Importance Of Presence: Taming The Wild And Woolly IM
"Presence" is one of the hottest ideas in software these days. Being able to see who's online and how they're connected is a necessary piece of functionality for enterprise networks as "real-time collaboration" (what we used to call "instant messaging" before it went corporate) has become the way to be productive. And for big companies, providing presence has been a security and compliance headache.

Three Intriguing Web 2.0 Companies: Jellyfish, Ning, And Dandelife
I've come to the conclusion that it's fundamentally impossible to predict which Web 2.0 ideas will take over the Internet. That lifts an incredible burden from my shoulders — I used to think it was my job to predict those things. Now I know it's not my job — and, moreover, it's an impossible task. So I can just sit back and marvel at the creativity that goes into coming up with various business models.


5. White Papers

Help Desk Warning Signs: Is It Time To Consider Outsourcing?
There are many warning signs that indicate your organization might not be operating at its best. Even a help desk that receives minimal user complaints and experiences low call volumes can project signals that scream, "Danger ahead!" Learn the signs that signify when it might be time to consider an outsourced support solution.


6. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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