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Poll: Parents Prefer A Trekkie To A Date Met Online

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Microsoft's Sound And Fury
2. Today's Top Story
    - Reporter's Notebook: The Road To Demo 07
    - Demo '07: Zink Debuts Inkless Photo Printing
3. Breaking News
    - Poll: Parents Prefer A Trekkie To A Date Met Online
    - Super Bowl Prompts Retailers To Cut HDTV Prices
    - Sony BMG Agrees To Reimburse Consumers For CD-Protection Snafu
    - Real ID Act Gets 'No' Vote In Maine
    - Apple Starts Selling 802.11n Software For $2
    - Sony Unveils 70-Inch LCD TV
    - Apple Splashes Color On The iPod Shuffle
    - Teen Charged In Stabbing Blogged About Weapon
    - Boston Power To Unveil Fast-Recharge Battery
    - Sony 3Q Profit Down On PS3, Outlook Raised
    - State Charges Dropped Against Investigator In HP Spy Case
    - Live From Davos World Economic Forum
    - The Right Technology At The Right Time And Price
    - SFG Seeks Speed With AdminServer
4. In Depth
    - Microsoft Updates Vista Before Rollout
    - Linux Community Takes On Vista With Free Driver Development Service
    - Microsoft Needs To Go Nimble After Vista
    - Vista Security Breaks Casual Games
    - Microsoft Debuts Vista In Global Marketing Blitz
5. Voice Of Authority
    - Jim Gray, Noted Database Researcher, Missing At Sea
6. White Papers
    - Simplicity And Performance Enable Storage Networking
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"It all started when my dog began getting free rollover minutes." -- Jay London


1. Editor's Note: Microsoft's Sound And Fury

You would think that, for the launch of its much-anticipated Vista operating system, Microsoft could transcend the hype that companies seem to think is the best way to introduce products. But Microsoft's vaunted Vista launch was a lot of noise, a lot of lights, and a lot of sound and fury, signifying ... well, you know the quote.

When I received my invitation, I was curious about what an event titled "The 'Wow' Starts Now" might be like. Here's what happened: After braving a half-hour or so of a New York City winter waiting on line to be checked off the attendees' list (OK, New York City cold isn't Minnesota cold, but it can be pretty uncomfortable), I found myself in a pretty typical Microsoft product introduction party. Well-dressed waiters (probably out-of-work actors) walked around with trays of finger food; amply-stocked bars offered a variety of fancy drinks; music was provided by a rather good band called Angels and Airwaves; and if you explored a bit, you even found stations where you could play with the new product.

Of course, at the heart of the event was the product introduction itself. Accompanied by music, video displays, and a great deal of carefully choreographed lighting effects, the very theatrical presentation was led by Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, who talked about how Microsoft Vista meant your computing would be Easier, Safer, More Entertaining, and Better Connected. A video showed us how Vista helped parents protect kids from computing at the wrong hours and the wrong sites; how it brought a mother and daughter together and got another couple's toddlers to start computing; how it made family member more productive, creative, and happier. Representatives of hardware companies such as Dell and Intel enthused about how great the new operating system was.

Finally, Microsoft introduced one of the families that beta tested the operating system to press the virtual button that "launched" Vista. It was a harmless ending to a relatively uninformative hour—the kids looked like they were having a good time, and I admired the fortitude of the youngest little girl; at that age, all the explosions of light and sound that followed would have had me clutching my mother's skirts in terror.

In the end, the introduction of the consumer version of Vista was all about lifestyle—the young, healthy, cheerful, secure, middle-class, stable, family-centric kind that reminded me vividly of some of the educational films of the 1950s. And perhaps this was the appropriate way to celebrate Vista: a new operating system that builds on its antecedents and adds a lot of razzle-dazzle, but whose real value is probably more to be found behind the scenes.

What do you think? Is a hypefest like Microsoft's Vista launch worthwhile? Leave a message at the InformationWeek Blog and let us know.

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


2. Today's Top Story

Reporter's Notebook: The Road To Demo 07
The theme this year seems to be sharing, as opposed to last year's, which was searching.

Related Stories:

Demo '07: Zink Debuts Inkless Photo Printing
Remember Polaroid's photos? Now there's printing paper based on the same technology.


3. Breaking News

Poll: Parents Prefer A Trekkie To A Date Met Online
The Zogby survey also found 35.6% of 18- to 24-year-olds queried consider someone posting a picture of them in a swimsuit an invasion of privacy.

Super Bowl Prompts Retailers To Cut HDTV Prices
Stores typically offer sales as the big game draws near, hoping to squeeze revenue out of a traditionally slow month following the holiday season. But this year the cuts are deeper than normal.

Sony BMG Agrees To Reimburse Consumers For CD-Protection Snafu
The reimbursement is part of a broader settlement proposal Sony BMG reached with the Federal Trade Commission.

Real ID Act Gets 'No' Vote In Maine
State Legislature demands a repeal of the 2005 law, citing identity theft vulnerabilities for citizens and an unfair financial burden on states.

Apple Starts Selling 802.11n Software For $2
The software activates the 802.11n wireless hardware in most Intel Core 2 Duo- and Xeon-based iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook, and MacBook Pro computers.

Sony Unveils 70-Inch LCD TV
The Bravia XBR LCD will cost $33,000 when it ships to stores next month and will provide resolution of 1,920 pixels by 1,080 pixels.

Apple Splashes Color On The iPod Shuffle
Now you can spend more time trying to match the color of your iPod to your outfit.

Teen Charged In Stabbing Blogged About Weapon
A Massachusetts high school student discussed his activities and dreams about emulating characters in Grand Theft Auto on his MySpace site months before the attack.

Boston Power To Unveil Fast-Recharge Battery
The lithium-ion battery is safer than earlier batteries and can recharge to 80% of capacity in 30 minutes, the company claims.

Sony 3Q Profit Down On PS3, Outlook Raised
The consumer electronics company posted a 14.9% fall in quarterly operating profit Tuesday after massive losses at its game unit outpaced robust sales of flat TVs.

State Charges Dropped Against Investigator In HP Spy Case
The judge granted the motion to dismiss all state charges—identity theft, conspiracy, fraud, and illegal use of computer data—against Bryan Wagner.

Live From Davos World Economic Forum
Ahok Vemuri, senior VP and head of banking and capital markets for Infosys Technologies, is attending his first World Economic Forum. He's blogging about his experiences and the role of technology in the financial markets throughout his stay in Davos.

The Right Technology At The Right Time And Price
When Greg Carmichael left the manufacturing sector to join Fifth Third Bancorp as CIO in 2003, he not only had to learn an entirely new set of acronyms, he also had to quickly transition to an environment with high transaction volume that requires the utmost in security and recoverability.

SFG Seeks Speed With AdminServer
Having implemented its first block of business on its new AdminServer policy admin system, Securian Financial Group is reporting successful first steps on the road to greater speed to market.

All Our Latest News


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

SMBs: Register Today For The Small Biz Resource Newsletter
Every Tuesday and Thursday we give you the lowdown on the small-business climate—tools, tips, dollars, and sense—and the latest on the products and services you need to run your small business or home office more efficiently. Dig in to business tips, technology tricks, and money-saving pointers from small-office and home-office experts. And stay current with developments that could affect the way you do business, with news from around CMP and across the Web—peppered, on occasion, with our personal observations.

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4. In Depth

Microsoft Updates Vista Before Rollout
The download includes fixes for installing the operating system on PCs with more than 3 Gbytes of memory, troubles connecting with a VPN, and performance issues in IE 7.

Linux Community Takes On Vista With Free Driver Development Service
Under the plan, a manufacturer of, say, video cards could submit specs to the Linux kernel community, and its members will create a driver for the device that the manufacturer can ship with the product or users can download.

Microsoft Needs To Go Nimble After Vista
One Gartner analyst argues that Web-based applications, and by extension, Web properties like Google, are the future.

Vista Security Breaks Casual Games
Vista is incompatible with scores of so-called "casual games" available for download, including some on Microsoft's own MSN portal, says a former a Microsoft developer.

Microsoft Debuts Vista In Global Marketing Blitz
The marketing blitz included commercials featuring LeBron James and TV appearances by Bill Gates.


5. Voice Of Authority

Jim Gray, Noted Database Researcher, Missing At Sea
Charles Babcock says: Jim Gray, 63, the noted database researcher, veteran of stints at IBM, Tandem Computers, and most recently Microsoft, is missing at sea. He set out Sunday morning to do something that I have done twice, sail from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge across 27 miles of ocean to the Farallon Islands. He hasn't returned.


6. White Papers

Simplicity And Performance Enable Storage Networking
In this paper, we will examine how the trend of intelligence efficiency manifests itself to not only fulfill the access requirements needed of today's and tomorrow's infrastructure but to lower the total cost of ownership and increase return on investments for institutions.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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