Former MS Guru a Real Space Shot

Last time I checked, Charles Simonyi was dating Martha Stewart (don't know if he paid any conjugal visits to the federal female prison in Alderson or went five months without his honey). Simonyi is also widely acknowledged as a development guru and helped drive the first revs of Excel and Word (in my opinion, the first ones were the best!).

Charles has been enjoying his millions and billions (find out how much here). But earthly pleasures apparently aren't enough. Simonyi wants to experience the joys of outer space and is training in Moscow. Unlike Lance Bass, I have a feeling Charles will see it through.

Has Simonyi Secured His Word?
The version of Word that Charles Simonyi helped build wasn't the petri dish that today's rev is. There are a lot more hackers nowadays, and Word also has a larger surface area that viruses and hackers can attack. In the most recent case, a zero-day exploit is going after Word 2000 (which is better than Word 2003, but not as good as Word 97 -- see the pattern?). An out-of-cycle patch may or may not be forthcoming.

Should Redmond Search for Yahoo?
The Financial Times thinks Redmond should bite the bullet, buy Yahoo and instantly get closer to Google in search-market share. This is one heckuva knee-jerk reaction, although if I had Microsoft's billions, I'd be sorely tempted.

But this might also be shortsighted. Microsoft already has what Yahoo has (of course, Microsoft built its search engine and tools long after Yahoo), and neither company is the dominant brand.

If you had Redmond's riches, what would you buy (besides yachts)? Tell us at [email protected] or post below.

I'd put a link to the story here, but Financial Times requires registration to read much of its content -- one more reason to love!

Yahoo Pushes Free Conference Calls
I like free: free donuts, free cheese at the supermarket and free enterprise (don't care much for "Free Willy," though).

Businesses love free, too, which is why Linux, Web e-mail and free virtualization software are all so popular. That attitude gives Yahoo's new free conference call tool a great shot at success. Aimed, it seems, at consumers (don't let that stop you), the service supports up to 500 callers on the same conference. Yow!

At Least It Wasn't Google...
Long-time Redmond exec Brian Valentine (is that a cool name, or what?) has left to join Amazon. A major Windows player, Valentine's role was a bit uncertain after all the Vista troubles and a recent reorg. I wonder if the Amazon-bound Valentine will have to pay full price for the latest Danielle Steele masterpiece.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.


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