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Problems Pile Up For Upcoming Vista, Office Upgrades

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Problems Pile Up For Upcoming Vista, Office Upgrades
2. Today's Top Story
    - Laptop Loaded With HP Employee Data Stolen From Fidelity
3. Breaking News
    - Vista Delays And Multiple Versions: Cut Through The Confusion
    - Vista Setback Timeline
    - It's Official: Microsoft's Sinofsky Does Windows
    - Analysis: An Upside To The Vista Delay?
    - Dell To Buy Alienware In Gaming Computer Expansion
    - Dell's Alienware Acquisition Start Of AMD Relationship: Analyst
    - Second Bug In A Week Smacks At IE
    - Four New RealPlayer Bugs Squashed
    - Spitzer Alleges Firm Fraudulently Sold Personal Data From Millions
    - The H-1B Visa Race Starts Soon; Will Congress Raise The Cap?
    - Apple Battles French Effort To Open iTunes
    - PayPal To Offer Paying By Text Message
    - Online Help-Wanted Ads Fell 8% In February: Report
    - Microsoft Strengthens Industry Focus
    - 'Skype Killer' Products To Do Battle In Marketplace
    - Microsoft To Relaunch MSN Spaces Under Windows Live
4. Grab Bag
    - Hollywood Takes New Tack Against Film Piracy (International Herald Tribune)
    - Let Computers Screen Air Baggage (Wired News)
    - Macheads, Just Say No To Windows (BusinessWeek)
5. In Depth
    - Review: Gcast Podcasting Service
    - The Tale Of The Tube
    - Faxes: The Achilles' Heel In Your Compliance Armor
    - Review: DataTraveler Elite--Privacy Edition
    - Siemens Is Ringing: Dare You Answer?
6. Voice Of Authority
    - Vista Delay: Subtle Warnings Were There
7. White Papers
    - Train To Ingrain: Technology To Permanently Improve Leader Performance And Business Results
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one." -- Elbert Hubbard


1. Editor's Note: Problems Pile Up For Upcoming Vista, Office Upgrades

Problems continue to pile up for Microsoft as it tries to push out the latest versions of its major products, Windows and Office.

Microsoft said earlier this week that it won't ship Windows Vista in time for the winter holiday season.

Meanwhile, Office has its own problems. For years, users have complained that Office is too bloated, and now Microsoft is reacting to those complaints by piling on new features that will likely be appealing to only a subset of users.

Of the two packages, Vista faces the most problems. Vista has been delayed many times. The current delay may not seem like much of a big deal (what's a couple of months for software that'll have a lifespan of several years?), but it means Microsoft and its partners will miss pulling in revenues for Vista during the lucrative holiday season.

And that's not the only problem. My colleague, Scot Finnie, pointed out some problems with the Vista delays that I hadn't anticipated. For one thing, "Businesses, which are unlikely to buy the operating system in big numbers before 2008, get Vista this November, while consumers who tend to buy new PCs at holiday time won't see it until January 2007," he notes.

Also, there are six different versions of Vista planned, and that's kind of confusing. Microsoft still hasn't given details on the features of each version of Windows, but retailers and IT managers need that information well in advance of shipment to make business plans.

Similarly, Microsoft still hasn't put out official word on the hardware configuration required to run Vista, making it harder for IT managers, consumers, and retailers to certify systems as Vista-ready.

The situation with regard to Office is less grim. Bill Gates himself is touting Office 2007. He sat down for an interview with InformationWeek recently and described Office 2007's new features.

Office 2007 does indeed have a lot that will make it compelling for business users. It's strongly focused on collaboration, with a server-based version of Excel and beefed-up SharePoint.

To read more about Microsoft's problems with Vista and Office, visit the InformationWeek Weblog. You can leave a comment there letting us know what you think about the future prospects for Vista and Office.

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


2. Today's Top Story

Laptop Loaded With HP Employee Data Stolen From Fidelity
The loss of sensitive personal data could affect as many as 196,000 Hewlett-Packard employees and Fidelity clients.


3. Breaking News

Vista Delays And Multiple Versions: Cut Through The Confusion
Scot Finnie installed four of Vista's six versions and tells you what's in them, what hardware you need to run them, and what to think about Microsoft bumping consumer Vista to 2007.

Vista Setback Timeline
The recently announced delay of Windows Vista to January 2007 is the latest in a series of setbacks. Here's a look back at some of Vista's stumbles and scrapes.

It's Official: Microsoft's Sinofsky Does Windows
Steve Sinofsky is officially taking on Windows development as part of a major reshuffling of Microsoft's Platform & Services Division.

Analysis: An Upside To The Vista Delay?
Microsoft's decision to delay Vista's release until January may have the beneficial effect of producing a more secure, stable product.

Dell To Buy Alienware In Gaming Computer Expansion
The purchase, part of Dell's push into the lucrative computer gaming market, could help the No. 1 PC maker boost profits.

Dell's Alienware Acquisition Start Of AMD Relationship: Analyst
The deal gives Dell access to a highly skilled design team that's familiar with AMD chips.

Second Bug In A Week Smacks At IE
By exploiting the zero-day bug, hackers could either get Internet Explorer to run malicious code remotely, or crash the browser. Microsoft has promised a fix.

Four New RealPlayer Bugs Squashed
RealNetworks on Wednesday disclosed four critical bugs in a large number of its media products, then rolled out new, patched versions for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Spitzer Alleges Firm Fraudulently Sold Personal Data From Millions
New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is suing a company for allegedly selling the personal information of millions of consumers, despite "explicit" promises to the contrary.

The H-1B Visa Race Starts Soon; Will Congress Raise The Cap?
The feds will begin accepting petitions for H-1B workers on April 1st. But the visas will run out fast because current laws allow only 65,000 H-1Bs to be issued each year.

Apple Battles French Effort To Open iTunes
The company will likely just leave the French market if a bill to open iTunes is signed into law, one analyst says.

PayPal To Offer Paying By Text Message
The move by PayPal, an eBay unit, marks a big step in bridging E-commerce and the physical world of brick-and-mortar stores by giving consumers a pay-as-you-go option via phones, analysts say.

Online Help-Wanted Ads Fell 8% In February: Report
The Conference Board said its measure of online job ad volume slipped to 1.99 million last month from 2.16 million in January.

Microsoft Strengthens Industry Focus
A new online directory lets customers search through over 5,000 third-party products by industry, geography, or Microsoft product.

'Skype Killer' Products To Do Battle In Marketplace
There's a new breed of so-called "Skype-killer" products filtering into the marketplace. They aim to help overworked IT shops get a grip on the popular P2P application.

Microsoft To Relaunch MSN Spaces Under Windows Live
The company said it would unveil the new version in the summer and also posted a help-wanted ad. Microsoft is looking for developers in Ajax and DHTML.

All Our Latest News

Watch The News Show

In the current episode:

John Soat With 'Small World'
The government starts accepting H1-B visa applications April 1st, phishing E-mail virus targets baking information, Apple says au revoir to France, and China ramps up solar power.

Aaron Ricadela With 'Microsoft Takes On Web 2.0'
Learn how Microsoft customers are exploiting the Web.

KC Jones With 'I Am Craig'
An interview with Craigslist.org founder Craig Newmark poses the question, does he think he's putting newspapers out of business?


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

NEW WEB SITE!--TECHSEARCH.COM
Search more than 60 CMP technology sites, read blogs, and find the best tech content from across the World Wide Web--all in one place.

Podcast Central
Get the best technology audio and video delivered at our new Podcast Central page, including The News Show, the InformationWeek Daily News Podcast, Dr. Dobbs' .NET Casts, and more.

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


4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web

Hollywood Takes New Tack Against Film Piracy (International Herald Tribune)
Hollywood studios, seeking a way to foil piracy and looking toward life beyond the DVD, are turning Europe into a proving ground for new methods of digital movie distribution. Within several weeks, new services from Universal Pictures and Warner Brothers will offer Internet movie downloads at the same time that major blockbusters enter retail stores in DVD form, marking the first time studios will make "virtual" movies available so quickly.

Let Computers Screen Air Baggage (Wired News)
It's no surprise airport screeners let knives, guns, and bomb components slip through--humans just aren't well-suited for the job. That's why better technology is needed at the metal detectors. Commentary by Bruce Schneier.

Macheads, Just Say No To Windows (BusinessWeek)
Tech journalist Arik Hesseldahl says running Windows on Mac Intel hardware means users can now run an inferior operating system on a more expensive machine--getting the worst of the Windows and Mac worlds.


5. In Depth

Review: Gcast Podcasting Service
Want to be a radio star? Gcast offers beginners the chance to try out basic podcasting for free.

The Tale Of The Tube
Today's Internet is no match for television. Major improvements in technology are needed for the Web to provide programming that matches the quality received today over cable or satellite, not to mention the high-definition TV expected in the near future.

Faxes: The Achilles' Heel In Your Compliance Armor
Despite the many intricate and hardened systems that are put in place to secure electronic documents and verify the accuracy of their contents, there's a gaping vulnerability in almost every system: the fax machine.

Review: DataTraveler Elite--Privacy Edition
Kingston's latest USB flash drive offers security-conscious travelers a way to keep sensitive data away from prying eyes.

Siemens Is Ringing: Dare You Answer?
Siemens' new P2P VoIP system will be easy to deploy. Businesses should wonder whether it will be just as easy to hack.


6. Voice Of Authority

Vista Delay: Subtle Warnings Were There
John Foley says: Many people were surprised when Microsoft revealed yesterday that its much anticipated Windows Vista operating system would be delayed until January, missing the critical end-of-year shopping season. Surprised Microsoft had given no indication that Vista might miss its deadline? You wouldn't be if you listened very closely.


7. White Papers

Train To Ingrain: Technology To Permanently Improve Leader Performance And Business Results
Based on how skills are formed in the brain, TRAIN-TO-INGRAIN is a five-phase, reinforcement-intensive systems approach to leadership development that permanently changes behavior. Managers play a key role in the Learning Triangle (trainer, learner, and the learners' direct manager) to achieve human performance improvement.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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