Thursday, November 06, 2003


Microsoft Plays a Waiting Game  

An anonymous source at Microsoft confided in me that Microsoft may just be playing a waiting game. As we all know, Microsoft tried to acquire the masters of search technology Google. And, for once, failed. I've come across any number of people who are almighty pleased about that, preferring a more diverse computing world, where Microsoft is NOT the only game in town.

But that might be more of a struggle than we thought, if Microsoft gets its way. Another thing we are fairly certain of is that sometime around the first of next year, Google will go public with a much-anticipated IPO. And standing in the wings with a BIG bag of cash is good old Microsoft. The 'hint' that came my way was that if Microsoft couldn't buy Google outright, they may try to but it piece by piece. They could wait until the IPO and buy up every share of stock that comes out the door.

Other possible scenarios floated included a business partnership or merger. One thing is certain- Microsoft has no intention of actually developing their own search technology unless they fail to get a piece (or ALL) of Google. The attitude was more of 'if someone has made a real success of a technology, then it makes sense to go for that instead of wasting big gobs of time and money trying to do better'. They may have failed on their first attempt to buy Google, but their current push to reinvent the wheel has more of the flavor of 'insurance' or possible preparations to extend Google's already impressive abilities.

We'll see how this plays out. One thing is for certain: Microsoft has the deepest pockets in the PC universe and if they want something bad enough, they generally get it.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003


Novell to acquire SuSE Linux | CNET News.com  

Novell to acquire SuSE Linux | CNET News.com: "Novell to acquire SuSE Linux
Last modified: November 4, 2003, 5:30 AM PST
By Stephen Shankland
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

Longtime Microsoft foe Novell has signed an agreement to acquire SuSE Linux for $210 million in cash, while IBM, the most powerful backer of the Linux OS, will make a $50 million investment in Novell.
The moves, announced Tuesday, could boost the fortunes of SuSE, the No. 2 seller of Linux, increase the competitive pressure on No. 1 Red Hat, and provide a new direction for Novell's rivalry with Microsoft.

What's new:
Novell agrees to buy SuSE Linux for $210 million in cash, and IBM plans a $50 million investment in Novell.
Bottom line:
The deals promise to dramatically alter the Linux landscape, boosting the fortunes of No. 2 SuSE, increasing the competitive pressure on No. 1 Red Hat and providing a new direction for Novell's rivalry with Microsoft.
For more info:
Track the players The SuSE deal is the second Linux acquisition for the Provo, Utah-based company, which bought desktop Linux software specialist Ximian in August. "

Well, if Novell's history of acquisitions is any indication at all, you can confidantly expect SuSE to be broke and spun off by Novell inside of a year or so. It's too bad. I regarded SuSE as our one hope to have a consumer-targeted Linux company.

Sunday, November 02, 2003


Microsoft gives developers an early look at next Windows  

Microsoft gives developers an early look at next Windows: "Tuesday, October 28, 2003
Microsoft gives developers an early look at next Windows

LOS ANGELES -- Microsoft Corp. lifted the curtain on the next generation of Windows yesterday, unveiling an updated look and new features to take advantage of advances in computer hardware."

Well, if there are scattered natives in the Amazon rain forest who haven't heard about Longhorn, that is certainly not the fault of Microsoft or the thousands of journalists who have spouted acres of prose over the 'Big Reveal' this last Monday. Rumors are that the leak will go worldwide in November, as Microsoft may well offer copies of the now-famous Build 4051 to the general public for a small fee (usually media+S&H). It's said to be a rock-solid build, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind-

1- The much-anticipated Aero 3D graphical interface is NOT part of the package.

2- How many systems will be able to meet the minimum hardware requirements to run it is still an open question, since I haven't seen ANY hard and fast list published. Perhaps that will happen when the alpha build goes public.

All of this, of course, is meant to keep public interest alive since it was admitted that the RTM version won't go gold for another 3 years. If even half of the marvelous things we've been told are ttrue, it will be worth the wait. The main item that people want is a secure, stable OS that allows them to keep strangers out and spam to a minimum. Of course a lot of that is under the care of actual apps running on the OS, but the OS can make things a lot easier by presenting real secure access to the desktop and the ability to keep prying eyes out of private info. Computer savvy people will read that as- really secure system logon, a better array of admin and user accounts, and the ability to limit file access without having to author tons of group policies in an arcane interface.

News: AOL closes a Windows service  

News: AOL closes a Windows service: "AOL closes a Windows service

By Robert Lemos
CNET News.com
October 24, 2003, 2:43 PM PT

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America Online's gated Internet community may just have gotten a bit more secure.
On Friday, the company said it had turned off Microsoft's flawed Windows Messenger service--a data exchange mechanism for networked computers that shouldn't be confused with the software giant's instant-messaging application--for nearly 15 million of its users over the last two weeks. "

The excitement here is not about turning off the (generally useless) Network Messenger service. No, the issue here is that AOL made the registry changes to their customers' systems without so much as a 'may I?". That's right in line with the mentality at AOL, but it sure makes me glad that I'm NOT a customer of theirs! I suppose there's some weasel-worded legal voodoo in the EULA or Terms of Service that allows them to do it, but if for some reason it isn't crystal clear, I'd be standing in line to sue their butts off.

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