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The New Shareholders In High-Tech Business

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: The New Shareholders In High-Tech Business
2. Today's Top Story: Vista
    - Microsoft To Release Six Versions Of Windows Vista
    - Partners: Backlash Likely From Vista Enterprise-Licensing Plan
3. Breaking News
    - Analyst Dings Security Vendors For Exploiting Apple Flaws
    - No Quick Deal Seen In RIM Case
    - Adware Firm Admits Error, Apologizes
    - Password-Stealing Trojan Mass-Mailed
    - AskJeeves Fires Its Butler, Speeds Up Web Search
    - Search Engines Fight Copyright-Infringement Suits
    - IBM Targets University Crowd With Mobile App
    - Revenue Growth And Profitability Elude Sun
    - CA To Reduce Sales Staff Dedicated To Named Accounts
    - Now Past $2 Billion, Juniper Looks To '06
    - Google Makes National Archives Films Available Online
    - DreamWorks Moves To SOA
4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web
    - Increasing Web Attacks Disrupt Commerce
    - Getting To Done: Communication--A Guide To E-Mail Triage
    - Some Tech Stocks Have Prevailed, Not Just Survived
5. In Depth: RFID Update
    - Survey: Skill Shortage Slowing RFID Adoption
    - Analysis: RFID Privacy Debate Leaves Questions Unanswered
    - HP Readying For Second-Gen RFID
    - AIM Global Promotes Alternative To RFID For Data Capture
    - Policy Group: Privacy Laws Lag Far Behind Data-Harvest Tools
    - Cell Phone Could Crack RFID Tags, Says Cryptographer
6. Voice Of Authority
    - A Club Apple Wants Out Of
7. White Papers
    - Facility Life-Cycle Management For Process Industries
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day: Travel

"The saying 'Getting there is half the fun' became obsolete with the advent of commercial airlines." -- Henry J. Tillman

"I feel about airplanes the way I feel about diets. It seems to me they are wonderful things for other people to go on." -- Jean Kerr


1. Editor's Note: The New Shareholders In High-Tech Business

It used to be pretty much that what happened in high tech stayed in high tech. Companies did or didn't develop products, enter markets, or craft strategies based on pretty straightforward, standard business criteria.

Was the technology doable? Did it work? Was there a viable market? And at what price point, and via what channel? Was there value for shareholders? Could reviewers be appeased? Would the press show up? Only geeks got whipped up over the details.

It's not that simple anymore. Increasingly, technology companies are finding their business plans coming under the harsh glare of a much broader spotlight. It's not just the techies, the IT departments, and the shareholders scrutinizing their every move. Now it's lobbying groups, Congress, international watchdogs, and ordinary consumers weighing in at every turn. These are the new shareholders, if you will. Everyone has something to say and some issue to flog, and they're getting harder to ignore. (Read my blog entry here for specific examples of what I mean.)

It's no longer just about the technology, or the business for that matter. Technology has done such a good job of servicing or involving itself in every facet of our lives that it has opened the door to a whole new realm of issues and a whole new class of "shareholders." It seems that today you can expect to see global protests, online petitions, congressional hearings, threats of legislation, etc., etc. Misguided or not, it's going to get interesting.

High-tech companies will keep innovating, of course, but this turn of events means they're going to have to think through the ramifications of their services a lot more deeply than they ever did before, and security is going to have to become a driver in the development process.

A good example is RFID. Just when it seemed the tagging technology might be picking up some momentum, supporters watching the news these last two weeks probably found much cause for dismay.

As noted in today's In Depth package, red flags are being waved everywhere: We don't have enough skilled people to deploy RFID, cheaper chips are short-changing security, privacy issues aren't being addressed, and cell phones may pose a threat to RFID chips.

It's enough to give even the most ardent proponent of RFID pause. But that pause may be just what the market needs. There are issues that need to be addressed, and some solutions and compromises will undoubtedly have to be worked out in order to smooth the way for RFID to go firmly forward. The good thing here is that discussions are starting to take place. Technology has long since slipped its business-only bonds, but it's only now catching up to the dialogue it needs if it wants to play to a broader audience. The new shareholders are out there, and they're ready to talk. Is high tech ready to listen?

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


2. Today's Top Story

Microsoft To Release Six Versions Of Windows Vista
Vista will arrive in editions for business customers and home users, as well as a special low-priced "starter" edition for sale in India and other developing countries.

Partners: Backlash Likely From Vista Enterprise-Licensing Plan
Windows Vista Enterprise will be available only to those who sign up for Software Assurance, Microsoft's software-maintenance program. Some question the wisdom of this approach.


3. Breaking News

Analyst Dings Security Vendors For Exploiting Apple Flaws
Rob Enderle is convinced that security companies see Apple as their next big revenue opportunity.

No Quick Deal Seen In RIM Case (Reuters)
Analysts said on Monday they believed Judge Spencer had made it clear that he would rather see the case settled than be forced to issue a decision. But hopes for a speedy settlement between NTP and RIM appeared unlikely.

Adware Firm Admits Error, Apologizes
180solutions, the controversial adware marketer, admitted last week that it had found a pair of sites adding its Zango software to PCs without users' consent.

Password-Stealing Trojan Mass-Mailed
The worm targets PayPal users, and anyone who opens it risks having their PC kidnapped.

AskJeeves Fires Its Butler, Speeds Up Web Search
The new Ask.com features a toolbox that helps users refine more types of searches with the first click of their mouse for maps, images, dictionaries, weather, or documents stored on their computers.

Search Engines Fight Copyright-Infringement Suits
Rather than sue just the file-sharing sites where illegal copies of movies are distributed, the Motion Picture Association of America is now targeting the search engines used to find the content.

IBM Targets University Crowd With Mobile App
Students talk into the device to receive a response, rather than type in the information and wait for text. Applications range from tracking buses to finding out if campus laundry machines are free.

Revenue Growth And Profitability Elude Sun
CEO McNealy points to improving margins and software sales to startups as hopeful signs of a turnaround.

CA To Reduce Sales Staff Dedicated To Named Accounts
The accounts to be cut are customers that buy less than $1.3 million in CA products annually, according to a CA senior VP.

Now Past $2 Billion, Juniper Looks To '06
The emergence of services in 2006 is expected to be as influential to Juniper's business as it is to other companies, executives said at the networking firm's annual analyst day fest.

Google Makes National Archives Films Available Online
The pilot program features 103 films, including a sampling of documentaries produced by NASA on the history of the space-flight program.

DreamWorks Moves To SOA
A move to the Linux operating system and open-source applications more than a year ago played a key role in DreamWorks' transition to a service-oriented architecture.

All Our Latest News

Watch The News Show

In the current episode:

John Soat With 'BlackBerrys Held Hostage'

Eric Chabrow With 'More Patents, More Problems'

Ivan Schneider with "Apple and The It Guy"


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

Servicing Linux
Learn how more than 300 business-technology professionals are planning to use Linux in their IT infrastructure in this recent InformationWeek research report, Linux: The Impact Of Service And Support. Use this report to benchmark your company's initiatives for Linux.

Shopping Networking Products?
InformationWeek Research's Analyzing The Networking Vendors provides customer evaluations from more than 600 network equipment users, including Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, 3Com, and Nortel. Use this report to evaluate current and future network equipment providers and to benchmark your organization's networking plans for 2006.

Do You Access Our Content From A BlackBerry Or Treo?
Many of our readers do, and we want to ensure that you get the best experience in using our content. So we've created a PDA-friendly version of our news content, with similarly streamlined content pages, that should make the PDA experience a good one. Check out our latest enhancement.

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


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

Increasing Web Attacks Disrupt Commerce (USA Today)
Web-site attacks are increasing in frequency and ferocity, hammering DVD sales and disrupting online payment services. These DDOS attacks bombard sites with so much data that legitimate traffic can't get through.

Getting To Done: Communication--A Guide To E-Mail Triage (Lifehacker)
Ever wonder what causes that sinking feeling of dread just before you open your E-mail client? Is it the hundreds of new messages that will mock you in all their need-a-response-ASAP, unread glory?

Some Tech Stocks Have Prevailed, Not Just Survived (USA Today)
Anyone focusing too hard on the Dow Jones industrials and Standard & Poor's 500 flirting with their best levels in nearly five years will miss the remarkable below-the-radar comeback of certain tech stocks.


5. In Depth: RFID Update

Survey: Skill Shortage Slowing RFID Adoption
Study released Monday shows that 75% of business professionals think there's an insufficient skilled workforce to design and deploy RFID strategies.

Analysis: RFID Privacy Debate Leaves Questions Unanswered
A debate at a trade show last week addressed concerns around the lack of communication by government agencies, among other privacy issues about radio-frequency identification technology.

HP Readying For Second-Gen RFID
Hewlett-Packard uses RFID to identify and track pallets and boxes of various products shipped to some retail distribution centers, and will first switch its inkjet printer lines over to the new tags.

AIM Global Promotes Alternative To RFID For Data Capture
The conference promotes technology to embed a unique identification number or image onto a metallic surface that's read by a scanner, as an alternative to RFID.

Policy Group: Privacy Laws Lag Far Behind Data Harvest Tools
The Center for Democracy and Technology called for more stringent regulations Wednesday, citing government attempts to retrieve millions of cell phone records, its use of cell phones to track suspects, and other privacy issues.

Cell Phone Could Crack RFID Tags, Says Cryptographer
Market pressure to get the tags down to 5 cents each has forced designers to eliminate security features, a shortcoming that needs to be addressed in next-generation products, the researcher says.


6. Voice Of Authority

A Club Apple Wants Out Of
Windows users most likely yawned at last week's warning about Apple's Safari Web browser, which contains a critical vulnerability that exposes Mac users to attacks using malicious Zip files with virus-laden payloads. Subsequent reports of an exploit that makes it possible to take advantage of this latest Mac OS X flaw surely elicited no sympathy from long-suffering Internet Explorer devotees. Larry Greenemeier explains why.


7. White Papers

Facility Life-Cycle Management For Process Industries--Leveraging Data To Improve Time-To-Market, Reduce Risks, and Deliver Economic Benefits To Owners
This white paper discusses the issues of facility life-cycle information management and its automation in general business terms. Skire has the knowledge, experience, and desire to partner with your organization for both product and process design, and has created and integrated the tools necessary for their automation.


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