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3/8/2006
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Who's Got More Business Sense: An Ex-Stripper Or Bill Gates?

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Who's Got More Business Sense: An Ex-Stripper Or Bill Gates?
2. Today's Top Story
    - All Eyes On Cingular As AT&T, BellSouth Merge
3. Breaking News
    - Microsoft's IE7 Ignores Windows Setting
    - No Back Door In Vista, Microsoft Promises
    - Microsoft Opens AdCenter Briefly For U.S. Advertisers
    - Amazon Under Fire On Books As Google Debate Rages
    - Microsoft Backtracks On Timetable To Beat Google
    - Help For Job Losers
    - Cisco And Microsoft, How's The Network Access Cooperation Going?
    - Down To Business: Oh, CA--Don't Let Change Dull Your Edge
    - About Face
    - Oracle Security Under Scrutiny
    - Microsoft Asks U.S. Courts To Intervene In EU Case
    - Cisco Overhauls Its IP Communications Architecture
4. Grab Bag
    - AOL Opens AIM Platform To Developers (BetaNews)
    - Rockstar Decides To Play It Safe (The Inquirer)
    - What Jobs Didn't Say (Wired)
5. In Depth: Hardware
    - HP Unveils New Notebooks, Long-Life Battery
    - AMD Introduces Opteron Dual-Core Processor
    - Intel CTO Tips 'Tera-Scale' Computing
    - Intel To Deliver 'Satisfaction Per Watt'
6. Voice Of Authority
    - BlackBerry Case: Not Good Sign For Patent Challengers
7. White Papers
    - Improving Web Application Performance To Lower Costs And Increase ROI
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress." -- John Adams, in the movie "1776"


1. Editor's Note: Who's Got More Business Sense: An Ex-Stripper Or Bill Gates?

Reading over today's editor's note, by InformationWeek Editor in Chief Rob Preston, I found myself thinking of a certain ex-stripper from Texas and wondering who's got more business sense--the stripper or Bill Gates?

But first, here's Rob. -- Mitch Wagner

Microsoft's Losing European Battle

Microsoft is escalating its 2-year-old war with Europe's trustbusters, charging in a 16-page complaint that the European Commission schemed with the software giant's rivals in trying to discredit Microsoft's compliance with the EC's 2004 antitrust decision. Later, Microsoft asked the U.S. courts to intervene in the European lawsuit.

Microsoft's defiance should come as no surprise. Ever since CEO Steve Ballmer returned from Brussels empty-handed two years ago--"We had hoped to settle this thing," he snapped--Microsoft has claimed the moral and legal high ground.

Here's a cheap piece of legal advice: The high ground is a lonely and potentially expensive piece of real estate, so change your tactics.

Recall that Microsoft took the same in-your-face tack with the U.S. Justice Department and the judge who oversaw the U.S. antitrust trial. The initial U.S. ruling, if it had been implemented, would have been disastrous for Microsoft. Only after Gates, Ballmer & Co. stopped grandstanding and started feigning some respect for the process were they able to mitigate the decision to one that has allowed the company to operate undaunted.

Whether Microsoft has a legitimate beef with how the European case is being handled really doesn't matter (unfortunately). In the United States, class-action lawyers regularly shop their frivolous suits to the judges and counties they know will be the most sympathetic. For high-tech litigators (Sun, Novell, etc.) that can't punish Microsoft in the marketplace or U.S. court system, the judicial woodshed of choice is now Brussels, which is all too happy to paddle the European tech industry's single biggest competitor.

The EC has all the power. It's time for Microsoft to realize that.

Rob Preston
rpreston@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com

And now we get to that ex-stripper, Anna Nicole Smith. She met and married an 89-year-old oil billionaire who was a frequent patron at one of the clubs where she danced. Smith appeared at the U.S. Supreme Court last week, defending her inheritance.

In most of her public appearances, Smith is the very epitome of the "bimbo," but this time she wore a black dress and wrap that covered her from shoulders to legs. She was clearly making an effort to show respect for the court--demonstrating that she knows something important about business. It's something that everybody who's ever tried to argue a parking ticket knows, but Gates and Microsoft apparently don't know.

What do you think? Should Microsoft continue its current path against the European Union, or should it back off? Visit the InformationWeek Weblog and let us know.

Mitch Wagner


2. Today's Top Story

All Eyes On Cingular As AT&T, BellSouth Merge
AT&T's acquisition of BellSouth will enable the new company to move ahead more aggressively with its Cingular Wireless unit, already the largest cell phone service provider in the country.


3. Breaking News

Microsoft's IE7 Ignores Windows Setting
You'll be seeing Microsoft's ClearType font-rendering technology in Internet Explorer 7, even if you deliberately turned it off in Windows. It's a feature that users didn't know they needed, Microsoft says.

No Back Door In Vista, Microsoft Promises
The BBC says Windows Vista sports a secret back door for use by stealthy government agents. Not surprisingly, Microsoft comes out swinging to squash the rumor.

Microsoft Opens AdCenter Briefly For U.S. Advertisers
Microsoft invites advertisers to enroll in the U.S. pilot of AdCenter, an automated system for advertising on MSN Search.

Amazon Under Fire On Books As Google Debate Rages
Some publishers see Amazon as a bigger threat than Google, and one major bookseller is actually considering severing ties with the E-commerce giant.

Microsoft Backtracks On Timetable To Beat Google
After a top exec in Europe weighs in with a bold prediction, Microsoft tries to bring the rhetoric down a notch. The software giant will compete against the online search engine, but it isn't making any precise predictions.

Help For Job Losers
Legislation would give people hurt by offshore outsourcing longer unemployment benefits, access to training, and other assistance.

Cisco And Microsoft, How's The Network Access Cooperation Going?
More than a year after the vendors revealed with fanfare that they were working together to get their respective network access control technologies to interoperate, customers haven't gotten much.

Down To Business: Oh, CA--Don't Let Change Dull Your Edge
Rob Preston remembers the old CA. He didn't always appreciate the company's tactics, but he misses the feisty street fighter--blunt, in your face, viewed the world in black and white. While today's big software companies are country-club polished, the old CA rumbled about with its shirttail hanging out.

About Face
CA is alive with new people, products, and practices, but old habits--and impressions--die hard.

Oracle Security Under Scrutiny
As the number of vulnerabilities in its products grows, Oracle is on the defensive.

Microsoft Asks U.S. Courts To Intervene In EU Case
Microsoft has accused the EU of impartiality and of colluding with its competitors. It's asking the court to force these parties to turn over documents in the case.

Cisco Overhauls Its IP Communications Architecture
On Monday, Cisco Systems unveiled a comprehensive new framework around its IP communications solutions that seeks to create a streamlined way of delivering telephony technology and services.

All our latest news

Watch The News Show

In the current episode:

John Soat With 'Good Luck And Good News'
RIM settles BlackBerry patent case, Intel downgrades revenue forecast, and airline passengers refuse to hang up their cell phones.

Chris Murphy With 'Addicted To Digital Video'
Interview with Sonic Foundry CEO: The company believes its online video platform is a useful business tool for companies.

Paul Kapustka With 'The Return Of Ma Bell?'
A family reunion is in the works as AT&T readies to buy BellSouth for $67 billion.


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

AOL Opens AIM Platform To Developers (BetaNews)
AOL on Monday became the first major IM network to open up its platform to third parties with the release of a software development kit and the launch of an Open AIM initiative.

Rockstar Decides To Play It Safe (The Inquirer)
Maker-of-controversial-games Rockstar has decided that its next release will be a bit tamer than its previous offerings. Instead of clubbing or shooting passers-by to death, gamers will be invited to a nice game of table tennis instead.

What Jobs Didn't Say (Wired)
Last week's Apple media event was more notable for what was left out of the product announcements than for what was included.


5. In Depth: Hardware

HP Unveils New Notebooks, Long-Life Battery
Hewlett-Packard on Monday took the wraps off two new notebook lines and a mobile PC battery that it said can push system battery life beyond 14 hours.

AMD Introduces Opteron Dual-Core Processor
Advanced Micro Devices has introduced three variants of its dual-core Opteron processor to the market.

Intel CTO Tips 'Tera-Scale' Computing
Intel has disclosed details about its internal "tera-scale" research program that promises to usher in the next wave of computing.

Intel To Deliver 'Satisfaction Per Watt'
Intel unveiled a new strategy to tackle an ongoing problem in the industry: power consumption.


6. Voice Of Authority

BlackBerry Case: Not Good Sign For Patent Challengers
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion's decision to settle with NTP for $615 million in an infringement case involving wireless E-mail patents is good news for the likes of Tom Woolston, Dick Snyder, and Neil Balthaser. All three hold patents on IT that others contend they don't deserve.


7. White Papers

Improving Web Application Performance To Lower Costs And Increase ROI
This paper outlines the challenges of comprehensively monitoring, managing, and improving end-to-end Web application performance and the benefits of and best practices for doing so.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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