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Review: A Comprehensive Look At Microsoft Office 2007

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: TiVo And Universal Advance Copyright Conflicts
2. Today's Top Story
    - Review: A Comprehensive Look At Microsoft Office 2007
    - Windows Vista Ultimate, 1 Week Before Release: Report Card
    - Microsoft Denies 'Kill Switch' In Office 2007
    - Microsoft Still Working On Vista
3. Breaking News
    - Under The Hood: Inside The Nintendo Wii
    - Yahoo, Newspapers Partner In Online Job Ads; Other Deals Expected To Follow
    - Alcatel And Lucent To Officially Merge Nov. 30
    - Robot, Heal Thyself
    - US Airways, Delta Merger Could Cost IBM Millions In Lost Outsourcing Revenue
    - IBM Worker Says He Was Fired For Chat Room Addiction
    - Two Years In, RFID's Not The Cure
    - Yahoo Internal Memo Urges Major Shake-Up, Job Cuts
    - New Congress Likely To Support Net Neutrality
4. Grab Bag
    - The Race To Create A 'Smart' Google (CNN.com)
    - PortableApps Suite 1.0, Firefox Portable 2.0, And More! (PortableApps.com)
    - Netscape: The Calacanis Effect (Valleywag)
5. In Depth
    - Former VP Of Technology Charged With Hacking Corporate Network
    - Worm Knocks 'Second Life' Offline
    - Hackers Use Virtual Machine Detection To Foil Researchers
    - Check Point Offers To Acquire Protect Data For $588 Million
    - IBM Unveils ID Management Software For Small Businesses
6. Voice Of Authority
    - Down To Business: Can The Worthless Regs
7. White Papers
    - Three Steps To Getting A Grip On Development Costs
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote Of The Day:
"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." — Oscar Wilde


1. Editor's Note: TiVo And Universal Advance Copyright Conflicts

There's been a lot of action recently in ongoing copyright conflicts over distributing music, movies, and TV shows online. But the two most interesting developments have to do with TiVo introducing a feature that amounts to hanging a "Sue Me" sign on its back and, separately, Universal finding an innovative, and possibly groundbreaking, legal strategy in its copyright lawsuit against MySpace.

Item No. 1: Let's start with TiVo, because I have two of them in my living room. TiVo last week announced an upgrade to its TiVo Desktop software for Windows XP PCs to allow users to transform QuickTime, WMV, and MP4 videos for viewing on their TiVos.

"There is an explosion in video on the Web that is not intended to be rights-protected," Tom Rogers, president and CEO of TiVo, said in a statement (emphasis added by me), "and now the consumer can decide which of that video he or she would like to view on the TV set."

That's all to the well and good, but there's also an explosion of video on the Web that was intended to be rights-protected—bootleg copies of movies and TV shows on peer-to-peer networks like BitTorrent. Most of the people now using those networks are watching the bootleg video on their PCs. Unless I'm missing something, the new TiVo Desktop software—priced at a modest $24.95—will make it oh-so-easy for those users to transfer that downloaded video to their TiVos and watch it from the comfort of their living rooms. That'll make bootlegging video much more popular, and make TiVo a big target for a copyright-violation lawsuit.

For more on TiVo's possible copyright problems, and how Universal is setting new copyright precedent, visit the InformationWeek Weblog.

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


2. Today's Top Story

Review: A Comprehensive Look At Microsoft Office 2007
With Microsoft Office 2007 finalized and almost ready to ship, what does Microsoft have in store for Office users? We take a close look at the new features, new versions, and new apps.

Windows Vista Ultimate, 1 Week Before Release: Report Card
Windows Vista will be officially unveiled at Microsoft's big New York City rollout on Nov. 30, with retail sales beginning in late January. Here's a final prerelease assessment of the operating system, with a companion image gallery.

Microsoft Denies 'Kill Switch' In Office 2007
As with previous versions of the productivity bundle, Office 2007 does include an activation scheme that requires users to authenticate the product key either online or by telephone, a company executive says.

Microsoft Still Working On Vista
Windows co-president Jim Allchin says Microsoft will keep crafting new device drivers and release them to customers through an automatic update service.


3. Breaking News

Under The Hood: Inside The Nintendo Wii
Only days after tearing down Sony's PlayStation 3, Semiconductor Insights went inside the Nintendo Wii, with its three-axis-motion signal-processing technology and 90-nanometer IBM Broadway processor.

Yahoo, Newspapers Partner In Online Job Ads; Other Deals Expected To Follow
The agreement holds lots of potential for both sides. Besides job listings, Yahoo and the newspaper chains also will distribute news and other content to each other's sites and share revenue from advertising wrapped around the material.

Alcatel And Lucent To Officially Merge Nov. 30
The merger was approved by President Bush and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, and the House Armed Services Committee reviewed its national security implications.

Robot, Heal Thyself
Scientists have developed a robot that is not only self-aware and "curious," but it can take action to overcome handicaps or impediments in its environment.

US Airways, Delta Merger Could Cost IBM Millions In Lost Outsourcing Revenue
The proposed merger between US Airways and Delta Air Lines could result in the termination of a major IT outsourcing deal that Delta recently signed with IBM.

IBM Worker Says He Was Fired For Chat Room Addiction
In the lawsuit, the former employee admits that he spent time in chat rooms during work hours, but claims his behavior is the result of an addiction and that IBM should have offered him counseling instead of firing him.

Two Years In, RFID's Not The Cure
Despite hopes that it was the best track-and-trace technology available to help prevent drug counterfeiting, one distributor says processes must improve so accuracy in reading RFID tags reaches close to 99%. Another says the technology may not be suitable for some biological drugs.

Yahoo Internal Memo Urges Major Shake-Up, Job Cuts
Yahoo needs a dramatic organizational shake-up and cuts in its workforce of up to 20%, according to an internal memo written last month by senior VP Brad Garlinghouse.

New Congress Likely To Support Net Neutrality
Congressional Democrats are backing net neutrality legislation.

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4. Grab Bag

The Race To Create A 'Smart' Google (CNN.com)
Everything you buy online says a little bit about you. And if all those bits get put into one big trove of data about you and your tastes? Marketer's heaven.

PortableApps Suite 1.0, Firefox Portable 2.0, And More! (PortableApps.com)
PortableApps.com is proud to announce the first release of the new PortableApps Suite. This package of portable software includes popular programs like Firefox, OpenOffice.org, and Thunderbird, along with an integrated menu and easy-to-use backup utility. The suite can be installed on any portable device (USB flash drive, iPod, portable hard drive, etc.) and used on any Windows (and many Linux) PC.

Netscape: The Calacanis Effect (Valleywag)
Jason Calacanis said last week that he was leaving AOL because Jonathan Miller, AOL's ousted CEO, was one of the only business mentors he'd ever had. Loyal, touching, but maybe also rather opportunistic. Valleywag has obtained the internal traffic stats for Netscape.com, the unit that AOL gave Calacanis to run. The numbers are brutal: In the middle of June, before Calacanis overhauled Netscape's front page, the property commanded over 130 million page views per week. Within two months, traffic had declined nearly 70%.


5. In Depth

Former VP Of Technology Charged With Hacking Corporate Network
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, an IT pro allegedly hacked into his former employer's network, read confidential e-mail about upcoming layoffs, and then alerted employees that they might be let go.

Worm Knocks 'Second Life' Offline
The worm planted spinning gold rings that replicated whenever a player interacted with them; the sheer number of rings put an unusually heavy burden on the company's servers.

Hackers Use Virtual Machine Detection To Foil Researchers
The tactic is designed to thwart researchers who use virtualization software, notably that made by VMware, to quickly and safely test the impact of malicious code.

Check Point Offers To Acquire Protect Data For $588 Million
The acquisition would enhance Check Point's effort to move into the mobile data security arena.

IBM Unveils ID Management Software For Small Businesses
The company unveiled a scaled-down version of its federated security software that's designed to let authorized users securely access the e-commerce systems used by their vendors and suppliers with a single-sign-on name and password.


6. Voice Of Authority

Down To Business: Can The Worthless Regs
Some are way too broad. Others have outlived their usefulness. We should be as rigorous in evaluating and retiring IT regulations as we are (or should be) with our IT systems.


7. White Papers

Three Steps To Getting A Grip On Development Costs: Process Automation, Code Quality, And Developer Performance Metrics Are The Key To Driving Down Development Costs
The Standish Group estimates that 30% of software projects are canceled, almost 50% are over budget, and 60% fail because of coding errors, bugs, and failure to meet deadlines. Development managers may think they don't have an impact on profitability, but they directly impact the risks of system outages, application failures, and exploding project schedules.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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