April by the Numbers
- By Paul Desmond
Call it our numbers issue. In the April edition of Redmond
magazine, we’ve got three stories offering a total of 22 tidbits that
will alternately save you time, money, improve your network performance and/or
security, or maybe all of the above:
Another highlight of our April issue is our cover story, “SA
Exposed.” Editor in Chief Doug Barney has immersed himself in Software
Assurance these last few months. It all started with his story in the November
2004 issue of Redmond, “7
Steps to a Better Bargain,” on how to negotiate a better deal with
Microsoft. That story included a tidbit on how an SA contract for server software
costs you 25 percent of the full retail license cost each year for three years
(which is a bargain compared to the desktop version). “Doug,” I
said, “are you sure about that? That means you’re paying 75 percent
of the cost in three years.” “Yep, I’m sure,” he said.
“That’s outrageous. We should write a story on that,” I replied.
“OK,” he said. We didn’t see Doug again for several weeks,
as he was buried under a pile of SA-related documentation that he translated
into something easily comprehensible, to help you determine whether SA makes
sense for you.
Jim Allchin Questions Wanted
Jim Allchin, group vice president for Microsoft’s Platforms Group, has
agreed to conduct an interview for a Q&A to be published in Redmond
magazine. A member of Microsoft’s Senior Leadership Team, Allchin has
overall responsibility for Windows (including Windows Server), .NET and new
media technology. “His group’s mission is to build platforms software
that consumers and businesses will make an integral part of their day-to-day
activities,” according to his bio on Microsoft.com. Keeping in mind his
rather broad set of responsibilities, what questions do you have for Allchin?
We’ll collect the best ones and pass them on to him. Send responses to
Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org (please
put “Allchin” in the subject line) or go here.
More Longhorn Tidbits
With each passing week, more info comes out on features that may be included
in Longhorn. Following up on a story that appeared in the Wall Street Journal
on Monday, Scott Bekker reports
on identity software code-named “Info-cards” that will reportedly
be in test versions of the Longhorn client. The technology appears to be essentially
the opposite of Passport, in that identity info is stored on the client, rather
than on Microsoft-owned servers. Users can dole out personal information, such
as credit card numbers, as they see fit, like when conducting an online transaction.
The data is encrypted and it sounds like some form of Public Key Infrastructure
technology will be used to ensure everyone is on the up and up.
Get Your Indigo and Avalon Previews
Of course, it’s in Microsoft’s interest to drum up some interest
in Longhorn after it essentially removed the original “three pillars”
of the OS: WinFS, Indigo and Avalon, which will now all be available for Windows
XP. Over the weekend, Microsoft posted community
technology previews of Indigo and Avalon, making them free for all comers.
Windows vs. Linux: We Want Numbers
The Web is buzzing with reports on researchers who gave a presentation at the
RSA Conference presenting Windows in a favorable light versus Linux with respect
to security, but failed to disclose that Microsoft funded their study. It wasn’t
until the full report came out last week that the researchers came clean. (Although
their presentation was “almost a comedy routine” according to the
Post-Intelligencer, a fact that casts the whole thing in a somewhat different
to Redmond Report
was originally published in our weekly Redmond Report newsletter.
To subscribe, click here.
This gets to a story we’re working on for Redmond
mag on determining total cost of ownership (TCO) for Linux and Windows. As with
the security issue, both Microsoft and Linux proponents can cite no shortage
of studies that prove their OS offers better TCO—and it’s a pretty
good bet that whoever funded the study wins. We’re looking for users who
have cut through the muck and crunched the numbers themselves. If you fit that
description, please contact Keith Ward, our managing editor, at email@example.com
(please use the subject line "Linux"), or go here.
Champing at the 64-Bit
We’ve got a couple
of 64-bit hardware items this week. First, Intel on Tuesday launched “Truland,”
a 64-bit platform intended for four-way and larger servers. Dell, HP, IBM and
Unisys were quick to lend support for Truland, which—true to Intel form
introduces a number of new names: the Twincastle chipset and the Potomac and
Cranford chip families.
On our sister site ENTMag.com Scott Bekker
has written a special report called “Server
Hardware Trends,” which spells out the changes on tap from the 64-bit
x86 extensions. “In the Windows world, software is finally catching up
to hardware when it comes to 64-bit extensions to x86 systems,” Bekker
This Week's Complete Waste of Time
Got a blogger you’d like to tell what-for? Maybe an online merchant didn’t
deliver on time, leaving you in the lurch on your anniversary? Exact your (virtual)
revenge on their Web site with the fine tools at www.netdisaster.com.
Choose from a wealth of weapons: nukes, meteors or the simple fried egg. I found
satisfaction in crushing Demi Moore’s face with a dinosaur foot, then
dousing her with hot coffee -- just ‘cause she was there.
Paul Desmond, the founding editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine, is president of the IT publishing firm PDEdit in Southborough, Mass. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.