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08.23.08

Eye on Microsoft: Feeling the Heat (and Not Just Because It’s Summer)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Security at 9:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Security

While the world is whispering about OpenSSH and Fedora, pay attention to Windows.

Microsoft admits posting flawed update

Microsoft Corp. rereleased one of its Aug. 11 security updates yesterday, explaining that it had posted an incomplete version to its own download center last week.

The admission was the third time in the past two months that Microsoft has had to reissue a security-related update.

This was a massive update addressing at least half a dozen “critical” flaws which probably enable full system compromise, even remotely. These statistics should not be surprising.

The security bubble of Windows Vista has already bursted, but there are greater troubles in sight.

If Microsoft really wanted to improve its reputation, they might try throwing that $300M at improving Vista and letting the market decides what it likes and doesn’t like. Instead, it makes a lame attempt to save its reputation through PR and ad campaigns and paper over a weak product.

New Vice President, When Did the Previous Leave?

It seems likely that a high-level departure at Microsoft went below the radar of the press. A new Vice President of Microsoft Services is being appointed, but when did the predecessor leave?

Callahan joins Microsoft from Lawson Software, where he served as executive vice president of Professional Services.

We have witnessed many silent departures recently, including that of Microsoft's chief in Singapore and in South Africa. It’s part of a trend.

Legal

Not a day goes by without some Microsoft confrontation.

InterSystems Corp. CEO Phillip Ragon has called One Memorial Drive home for the past 20 years.

But the longtime Cambridge resident and MIT graduate said the building’s landlord, the Blackstone Group, has a plan in the works to potentially brand the 17-story office tower as “the Microsoft building” by endorsing large Microsoft signs to be placed on three exterior sides and leasing out the top three floors to the out-of-town competitor.

“A big Microsoft sign across the top might imply that Cambridge is Microsoft,” said Ragon, whose sixth-floor conference room features an impeccable city view. “It really sets an image for the city.”

Vapourware Makes Another Comeback

For 4 consecutive months, Microsoft’s XBox360 was the worst-performing console (in terms of sales in its own back yard). How might Microsoft respond? The way it always does: vapourware.

Do you see the above? I declare that we call it the Vapor Wand. It is because it doesn’t exist. Journalists might insist that it does exist. But until it ships, it doesn’t exist. It is the Vapor Wand.

Over the past 7 years, XBox is estimated to have lost about $7 billion. A hugely-successful Microsoft may be a myth. Omnipotence can be an illusion, as Enron has already proven.

‘Pawns’ Under the Magnifying Glass

At the beginning of the year we wrote about the NHS, whose obsession with Microsoft cost it dearly. It cost the British taxpayers over 10 billion pounds and it’s said to be one of the biggest-ever information technology disasters. Here cometh an investigation from the BCS.

Shadow health secretary Stephen O’Brien MP has commissioned an independent report from the British Computer Society on what English health service IT should look like in five years’ time.

Beyond that patient-based records will form the basis of NHS informatics, no assumptions are being made, according the review’s chair Dr Glyn Hayes, past chair of the BCS Health Informatics Forum.

Yahoo! Saga Not Over Yet

It may seem quiet now, but the Yahoo/Microsoft marriage could return based on the observation made below.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Carl Icahn and the two Yahoo board members he selected are adding this occasion to some sort of list that they’ll present against Jerry Yang at a later date. And if Steve Ballmer – or someone representing any company with a fair amount of cash – wandered back to the bargaining table, an acquisition might be inevitable.

Never forget the mafia-like behaviour of Microsoft and the way it agitated Yahoo!

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2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    August 23, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Gravatar

    Calling it the worst performing console doesn’t quite do it justice. Look at the figures:
    http://www.itwire.com/content/view/20201/532/

    It’s a distant 6th place behind even PS2 with around 30% of the sales that PS2 has, about 16% of what PS3 is getting and about 5% of the Wii’s volume.

    It’s not intended to be a console, but a test bed for DRM on commodity hardware lined up for future updates and versions of MS products. It’s also been a fire hazard and the recall was more a PR exercise that prolonged the danger by misdirecting attention away from the cause of the fires. So anyone using it is not just hurting themselves, and not just those living near by, but anyone interested in keeping DRM where it belongs.

    Debian, Fedora 8, Gentoo, OpenSuSE, YellowDog and Ubuntu can be run on the PlayStation 3. Ports for the Wii are on their way. If you know where to order, you can even get PS3 *pre-loaded* with Linux.

  2. mpz said,

    August 24, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Gravatar

    At least miggy wont have far to go to visit MS ;-) (although I doubt it would have any engineering there).

    http://maps.google.com.au/maps?f=d&saddr=8+Cambridge+Ctr,+Cambridge,+MA+02142,+United+States+(Novell+Inc)&daddr=1+Memorial+Dr,+Cambridge,+MA+02142,+USA&hl=en&geocode=16302545953147879330,42.364448,-71.088612&mra=ls&dirflg=w&sll=42.362835,-71.084305&sspn=0.008007,0.015814&ie=UTF8&z=16

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