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12/28/2006
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Wikipedia Founder Plans Search Engine

In This Issue: : Wikipedia Founder Plans Search Engine
1. Editor's Note: Has Microsoft Ordered A Hit On Windows 2000?
2. Today's Top Story
    - Wikipedia Founder Plans Search Engine
3. Breaking News
    - Microsoft Plans NYC Vista Launch On Jan. 29
    - Last-Ditch Effort Under Way To Keep In-Flight Boeing Connexion Service Flying
    - Microsoft Defends RSS Patent Applications
    - SEC Freezes Russian Stock Hacker's Assets
    - Report: Robots Will Get Same Rights As Humans
    - Level 3's Acquisition Of Savvis Will Boost Microsoft's Web Infrastructure
    - VMware Takes Mac Virtual Machine To Beta
    - Seymour Papert, Injured In Vietnam, Now In Intensive Care In Massachusetts
    - U.S. Presidential Candidate Seeks Patience, Feedback As He Learns To Vlog
    - Innovation, Design Freshen 'Made In Taiwan' Tech Label
    - China Complains About Technical Trade Barriers
4. In Depth: Fun & Games
    - Microsoft Zune Fails To Reach Top Seller Lists On Amazon.com
    - Online To Outpace Overall Holiday Sales Growth Fourfold
    - Microsoft Extends Warranty On Xbox 360
    - Apple Quietly Fixes iPod Shuffle No-Play Problem
    - Planned Home PC Purchases Surge, Apple Closes On HP
5. Voice Of Authority
    - What Does 2007 Promise?
6. White Papers
    - Production Virtualization: Managing The Transformation
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quotes of the day:
"A good conscience is a continual Christmas." -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Quote of the day:
"Next to a circus there ain't nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit." -- Kin Hubbard (1868-1930)


1. Editor's Note: Has Microsoft Ordered A Hit On Windows 2000?

Brian Livingston's article, Microsoft Turns Up The Heat On Windows 2000 Users, is right: Microsoft has obviously put out a hit on its own best operating system ever, Windows 2000. Livingston's article cites some of Microsoft's most blatant moves to push Win2K into history—moves Microsoft has taken against the best interests of its own customers. But he forgets to mention the most egregious of all (or maybe he's just too polite): There is no version of Internet Explorer 7 for Windows 2000.

The bugs and design flaws in Internet Explorer hung a "Welcome, Bad Guys" sign on every PC that ran it. A new, more secure version of the PC world's most widely used, least secure browser was absolutely required, and IE7 seems to be a step in the right direction. It should be available not just for Windows XP, but for every PC running any version of Windows—and there are still plenty out there running Windows 95 and 98, let alone Windows 2000.

Microsoft is hiding behind its own rules for supporting its products, which create an artificial "life cycle." Windows 2000 is currently in "extended support," which means, according to Microsoft, that it is not eligible for new design features, but only for critical security patches. IE is not a critical security issue, according to Microsoft—despite the number of viruses and Trojans and malware exploits that continue to use it as a launching pad.

The problem with that is that by refusing to provide a safer version of IE for its older operating systems, Microsoft gives the appearance of very cynically using the weaknesses of its own products, like IE, to sell more of its own products, like Windows Vista. There's no doubt that Microsoft is convinced it needs to get everybody off Windows 2000 and onto Vista. But, as Livingston notes, Windows 2000 users aren't convinced. It's a major financial dilemma for Microsoft, and I've written about it before (see The Internet Explorer 7 Glass Is Definitely Half Empty).

The question is, does Microsoft need to make the computing community it built on Windows less safe in order to ensure its upgrade revenue streams? By putting out a hit on Windows 2000, Microsoft doesn't put just new revenue opportunities into the crosshairs. It leaves many of its customers, even some of its best large corporate customers, at risk of becoming collateral damage.

David DeJean
ddejean@dejean.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Wikipedia Founder Plans Search Engine
The search engine, code-named Wikiasari, would combine open source technology and human intervention to deliver more relevant results than the algorithm-based systems used today.


3. Breaking News

Microsoft Plans NYC Vista Launch On Jan. 29
Microsoft has repeatedly pegged Tuesday, Jan. 30, as the date when the long-anticipated Vista operating system and Office 2007 suite update will be available to consumers.

Last-Ditch Effort Under Way To Keep In-Flight Boeing Connexion Service Flying
The service began to be phased out last summer when Boeing said it wouldn't continue to finance it. The service has been free since October, but its status after Sunday, Dec. 31, is uncertain.

Microsoft Defends RSS Patent Applications
A company official denied, as some bloggers asserted, that Microsoft was claiming to have invented RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication.

SEC Freezes Russian Stock Hacker's Assets
A New York federal court last week agreed with the SEC's request to freeze accounts held by the hacker Gashichev and his Estonian company. The court also ordered him to return funds withdrawn from the United States.

Report: Robots Will Get Same Rights As Humans
As robots continue to become more sophisticated, they'll also get the same responsibilities, too, like paying taxes and military service.

UPDATE: Level 3's Acquisition Of Savvis Will Boost Microsoft's Web Infrastructure
While Savvis' content-delivery network unit serves some 100 customers, Microsoft is thought to be the largest customer and the one with the best potential for growth.

VMware Takes Mac Virtual Machine To Beta
When it goes final, VMware's Fusion will run multiple instances of non-Apple operating systems—including Windows, Linux, Netware, and Solaris—on an Intel-based Macintosh simultaneously with the Mac's own operating system.

Seymour Papert, Injured In Vietnam, Now In Intensive Care In Massachusetts
The MIT professor, struck by a motorbike in Vietnam earlier this month, was airlifted from Hanoi on Dec. 18.

U.S. Presidential Candidate Vilsack Seeks Patience, Feedback As He Learns To Vlog
Vilsack, who is posting video blogs on YouTube and MySpace, admits he's not the most adept Net-head ever.

Innovation, Design Freshen 'Made In Taiwan' Tech Label
Taiwan's computer makers are morphing from simple contract manufacturers into designers and innovators as they fight for survival in a competitive sector.

China Complains About Technical Trade Barriers
China, so often at the receiving end of trade complaints, said on Monday that "technical barriers" cost its companies $69 billion last year, with the textile industry bearing the brunt.

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4. In Depth: Fun & Games

Microsoft Zune Fails To Reach Top Seller Lists On Amazon.com
Various models of Apple's iPod, on the other hand, were among the top sellers.

Online To Outpace Overall Holiday Sales Growth Fourfold
Latest online figures from comScore Networks show that online sales are expected to increase 25% to $24.6 billion.

Microsoft Extends Warranty On Xbox 360
The software maker said it was making the change to make the standard Xbox warranty consistent throughout the world.

Apple Quietly Fixes iPod Shuffle No-Play Problem
The new utility corrects a flaw that prevented recent iTunes purchases from playing on first-generation iPod shuffles.

Planned Home PC Purchases Surge, Apple Closes On HP
Although Dell (at 43%) and Hewlett-Packard (13%) were voted the top two brands among likely buyers in December, Apple's 12% was the highest since IBD began tracking it in mid-2003.


5. Voice Of Authority

What Does 2007 Promise?
Earlier this week, futurist and technology guru Mark Anderson hosted his annual SNS New York dinner, a high-level gathering of VCs, investment bankers, journalists, technology entrepreneurs, and others, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.


6. White Papers

Production Virtualization: Managing The Transformation
Many organizations are embracing virtualization technologies and are actively moving toward large-scale implementations. However, although initiatives on small sets of servers are almost universally being met with success, following this with large-scale corporate adoption is proving to be difficult.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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