QuoteSupported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86); Windows Server 2003, Standard x64 Edition; Windows Vista Business; Windows Vista Business 64-bit edition; Windows Vista Enterprise; Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit edition; Windows Vista Ultimate; Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit edition; Windows XP Professional Edition ; Windows XP Professional x64 Edition ; Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
An x64-based or an x86-based computer with a 400 MHz or faster (1 GHz recommended) processor with L2 cache
QuotePeople can download the software, available under the open-source BSD license, for free from SourceForge on Friday. Microsoft intends to make the software available from its own Web site as well, the company said. The same group of Microsoft partners will now start work on code to translate file formats between Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet and PowerPoint presentation software and the corresponding ODF files, said Jean Paoli, the general manager of interoperability and XML architecture at Microsoft.
QuoteBecause, as I learned shortly before the doors opened at 10, there was more to the late-night event at CompUSA than Windows Vista. The store had offered up a smattering of impressive deals on tech gear and peripherals--including Bluetooth headsets, webcams, printers and monitors--designed to complement to the Vista launch. But it couldn't possibly have helped Microsoft's PR efforts, as it was quite clear that the majority of the people waiting in line were eager to capitalize on the slashed prices and had no real interest in Vista or Office 2007. There were Microsoft-hued balloons on the ceiling, and prominent displays for the new products out of Redmond, Wash., but most of the customers at the store at 10 p.m. were completely blind to the decor as they dove for the specially priced gadgets. (Microsoft's Zune music player, by the way, was not among the specially priced items.)
QuoteAfter five years in development and endless feedback from Allchin and thousands of other testers, Vista is ready for the masses. It will hit store shelves on Tuesday. One day later, Allchin, as promised, will retire after 16 years with the software maker. It's not yet clear how Allchin's latest product will affect his legacy. While early reviews of the operating system have been lukewarm, Allchin said he is confident that time will show Vista to be a significant improvement over previous versions of Windows.
QuoteWith the launch of Vista Starter Edition, Microsoft is expanding its initiative to make its products accessible to lower-income families in developing countries. It will be available in 70 different languages, and also will feature an option that allows use of the operating system in different languages--if, for example, a parent wants to use the computer in his or her native language but the household's children want to use it in English. The stripped-down Vista will also be able to run on a wider variety of processors than its XP predecessor, from Intel's Celerons and older Pentiums to Advanced Micro Devices' Duron. While a 300-megahertz processor is recommended, the operating system can run on speeds as low as 233MHz.
QuoteWith the partnership, Microsoft is seeking to make Novell its preferred Linux provider and to have both companies' products work well together. Microsoft offers coupons for Suse Enterprise Linux support services as well as legal indemnification for customers who use both Microsoft and Novell's Linux, which is open-source. Wal-Mart, a global retailing giant with $315 billion in annual revenue, is already a Microsoft customer, and Stewart said the multiyear relationship has been "outstanding." She said the intellectual property protections in the Novell deal give Wal-Mart more confidence in using Linux more broadly.
QuoteDubbed "Genuine Fact Files," the campaign is now launching in the U.S. It went online last month in Italy, France, the U.K., Indonesia, Brazil, Australia and the United Arab Emirates. Microsoft plans to draw attention to it through banner ads on its Web sites and promotional material that it will hand out through partners. By using comics, the company aims to make the message more accessible to a broader audience. They are black and white, in a style similar to newspaper comics.
QuoteMicrosoft irrevocably promises not to assert any Microsoft Necessary Claims against you for making, using, selling, offering for sale, importing or distributing any implementation to the extent it conforms to a Covered Specification ("Covered Implementation"), subject to the following. This is a personal promise directly from Microsoft to you, and you acknowledge as a condition of benefiting from it that no Microsoft rights are received from suppliers, distributors, or otherwise in connection with this promise. If you file, maintain or voluntarily participate in a patent infringement lawsuit against a Microsoft implementation of such Covered Specification, then this personal promise does not apply with respect to any Covered Implementation of the same Covered Specification made or used by you. To clarify,"Microsoft Necessary Claims" are those claims of Microsoft-owned or Microsoft-controlled patents that are necessary to implement only the required portions of the Covered Specification that are described in detail and not merely referenced in such Specification. "Covered Specifications" are listed below.
QuoteMalicious hackers typically embed scripts on Web sites and then use social engineering techniques to trick unsuspecting visitors into downloading Trojans, bots, spyware programs and other harmful forms of malware. With BrowserShield, Wang argues, many such attacks could be blocked. BrowserShield can be used as a framework that rewrites HTML pages to deny any attempt at executing harmful code on browsers. "We basically intercept the Web page, inject our logic and transform the page that is eventually rendered on the browser," Wang said. "We're inserting our layer of code at run-time to make the Web page safe for the end user."
QuoteWhat's really new here? Not much. Microsoft has been accused--not just in Europe--of bludgeoning its way to the top of the software universe by using proprietary code and savvy marketing tie-ins to head off not just other operating systems but also add-on software products that could compete with Microsoft's own versions. Its allegedly anticompetitive bundling of Internet Explorer into Windows, for example, was a major focus of the EC's antitrust complaint and, indeed, Microsoft dutifully complied with Europe's unbundling order. The result is the marketing of a Euro-special version of Windows, sans browser, that no one in the world actually wants to purchase. Why should they? While it certainly helps Microsoft to have IE as a built-in default browser pre-installed on personal computers--on the theory that lazy users won't look any further for their browser needs--nothing stops those users from installing another browser if they wish. The inclusion of Internet Explorer is a cost benefit for consumers.
QuoteU.S. District Judge Leonard Davis upped a jury's award against Microsoft by $25 million, plus nearly $2 million in legal costs. He cited several instances of misconduct and "ample circumstantial evidence" that Microsoft viewed the patent-holder, closely held z4 Technologies, as "a small and irrelevant company that was not worthy of Microsoft's time and attention, even if Microsoft was potentially infringing its patents." The case centers on patents held by z4 founder and President David Colvin for "product activation" technology, designed to limit software piracy. z4 alleged Microsoft Office products infringed on its patents beginning in 2000; the alleged Windows operating system infringement began in 2001. z4 sued in September 2004 and won a jury verdict of $115 million from Microsoft and $18 million from another defendant, Autodesk, the computer-aided design software maker. The judge added $322,000 in z4 legal costs to Autodesk's penalty.
QuoteThe details of the new tech are as follows: XNA Game Studio Express will be available for free to anyone with a Windows XP-based PC, and will provide them with what's described as "Microsoft's next-generation platform for game development." In addition, by joining a "creators club" for an annual subscription fee of $99, users will be able to build, test and share their games on Xbox 360, as well as access a wealth of materials to help speed the game development progress.
QuoteErickson also said that as Apple completed its transition to Intel-based Macs, the Mac BU had made progress in gradually moving to the new platform and in providing Mac customers with solutions to meet their needs. Tens of millions of lines of Office code have been transitioned to Xcode on the road to a Universal version of Office for Mac, while free, downloadable converters will also be provided to allow users of current versions of Office for Mac to read the new Microsoft Office Open XML formats following the availability of Office for Windows, he said.
QuoteIE 7 will be delivered in the fourth quarter as a "high priority" update via Automatic Updates in Windows XP, Gary Schare, Microsoft's director of IE product management, said in an interview Tuesday. Automatic Updates is a Windows feature typically used for security updates, but Microsoft has also used it to push its antipiracy tool WGA Notifications. "The justification, of course, is the significant security enhancements in IE 7," Schare said. Microsoft recommends that all Windows users install the new browser when it ships, he added.
QuoteMicrosoft could get a competitive advantage if it can be the first big-name company to offer a wireless device. An open question, though, is whether Apple is planning any sort of wireless iPod this year. While adding wireless abilities could give the Zune a leg up on Apple, it also presents technological challenges. Rivals already struggle to compete with the simplicity of the iPod, analysts say.
QuoteThroughout the commission's opaque process, it has never been able to identify quantifiable consumer harm. On the contrary, evidence provided to regulators and the court, as well as anecdotal market data, strongly suggests that both the markets for Media Player and server technologies actually thrive. Much to the commission's chagrin, consumers and competitors have reaped tremendous benefits wholly independent of the commission's policing authority. That complex, technological markets can flourish without European Commission intervention causes the regulatory body immense consternation. Thankfully, it has had little or no role to play in the design of IT products to meet consumer demand.
QuoteOn Wednesday, the EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said she had "no alternative" other than to impose new fines. "I sincerely regret that the company has not put an end to its illegal conduct," Kroes told a news conference on Wednesday. "The European Commission cannot allow such illegal conduct to continue indefinitely." "No company is above the law, each and every company, large or small, operating in the European Union must obey EU law, including competition law, for the benefit of all companies and consumers," Kroes added.
QuoteThe incentive is part of a new "Microsoft Security Software Advisor Program" that the software giant plans to announce Tuesday at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Boston. Microsoft has a similar program for resellers of its software for managing customer relationship, Microsoft Dynamics CRM. "Our goal is to build the industry's leading security partner ecosystem and to ensure that our customers have the best experience with out Forefront security products," said Steve Brown, the director of product management in the security, access and solutions division at Microsoft. "This is a fairly unique program that we're offering."
QuoteBrussels had warned Microsoft in December that it would face fines of 2m euros a day if the firm failed to meet the commission's demands.Under the 2004 ruling, Microsoft was told to provide rival firms with more information about its software, in order to enable them to write programs that could run more smoothly on Microsoft's widely-used Windows operating system.
QuoteAlthough Microsoft Office document formats are the most widely used, OpenDocument has emerged as an alternative with significant vendor backing and with high-profile government customers in Massachusetts and Belgium. OpenDocument is an XML-based format developed under the standards group OASIS, or the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards. The decision to manage the project is something of a reversal for Microsoft. Until now, it said that it would not natively support OpenDocument in Office, citing lack of demand. Instead, it would rely instead on third parties for format translators.
QuoteThe vote is (unofficially, and off the record) in. Regulators from the European Union's 25 member countries have, according to reports, unanimously found Microsoft guilty of non-compliance with the commission's landmark 2004 anti-trust ruling. The way is now clear for Microsoft to start paying a $2.51m a day fine backdated to December 15 for failing to meet the terms of the commission's ruling.
QuoteAs far as motivation goes, Microsoft sees its entry into the security fray as a "very broad opportunity" for itself and for its customers, Brown said. "The primary reason we're doing this is that there is clearly a customer need for this approach," he said. Companies such as McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro and Computer Associates have long demonstrated that there is money to be made in protecting Windows systems. For Microsoft, it is simpler to create security add-ons than to build security into its products, an approach that would also make it harder for the company to make extra money.
QuoteThe Seattle-based company on Tuesday previewed a set of new software tools that aims to give developers a simpler way to design robots and to create and test programs that operate a wide range of machines -- from toys to floor sweepers to those used in factory production lines. "We believe this is a key part of the future of computing," said Microsoft Robotics Group general manager Tandy Trower, who called robots the next evolution of the personal computer.
QuoteThe less (as in "not") noticed event relates to the passage of an important economic stimulus bill that for months had been stalled while Beacon Hill legislators debated a universal health coverage bill with a higher priority. The passage of the bill, of course, was widely reported. What wasn't noted (except by IBM's Bob Sutor at his blog and few, if any, others) is the fact that a certain amendment that had been added to the Senate version of the same bill last fall did not survive the final reconciliation of the Senate and House versions of the legislation. That amendment, if approved, would have dramatically curtailed the power of the State CIO to set IT standards policies (or any other IT or CT policy, for that matter). You can read all about that saga in this and a number of later entries in the OpenDocument blog entry folder.
QuoteThe idea is to draw more of Microsoft's technical minds into the process of planning for the future. "It will be a SharePoint wiki thing internally so people can say where they disagree or we're missing something," Gates said. It's part of Microsoft's effort to make the company less dependent on any particular individuals, including Gates.
QuoteH.264 hardware decoding, HDCP support, multi-monitor support, HD audio and automatic detection of a connected HD audio device, Serial ATA 2.5 support, 50MB NV cache on a hybrid hard drive with at least 8MB/sec write and 16MB/sec read in mobile devices, support of USB flash drive booting, Windows Vista green button on the computer remote, and a Green driver quality rating.