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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web
Hollywood Takes New Tack Against Film Piracy (International
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
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.
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.
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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.