Windows 2000 Support on Life Support
It’s no mystery that Microsoft wants us all to run its latest and (sometimes)
greatest applications and operating systems. The carrot is new features and
hopefully better security and stability. The stick is to downgrade support for
older versions, which the company is now doing for Windows 2000, both client
and server. Now, instead of mainstream support, users will shift to extended
. Implicit here is that the older software—and thus you—are
not mainstream, and the company is extending you help until you come to your
senses and upgrade.
Keeping SP1 at Bay
While Microsoft does want us on the latest and (sometimes) greatest, it realizes
that IT can't flip a switch and upgrade. In the case of Windows 2003 SP1, there
are testing and patching issues that must be dealt with. To answer these concerns,
Microsoft has a new
tool that lets Automatic Update download security fixes but blocks SP1 until
Yahoo!: Paid Content for Free?
Like any red-blooded American, I love free stuff—especially if it’s
useful. So when I heard that Yahoo! had a new
service where I could search for paid subscription-based content, well I
Yahoo!-ed for more info, clicked the link, and was ready for free Web nirvana.
Forrester was one of the few offering search, so I went for it—free Forrester
research! And I don't even have to call the press relations department!
But a query on "Microsoft Licensing" brought me the bad news—I
wasn't registered and couldn't view the reports. Now Yahoo! never said I'd get
paid stuff for free—it was just me being over-optimistic. But jeepers,
I can gain the same exact disappointment through a regular search, which will
also give me free results I can actually use.
Blasting Microsoft P2P
In another staggering example of innovation (Not!), Microsoft Research has been
building a peer-to-peer (P2P for the acronym-minded) system, code-named Avalanche.
The author of P2P rival BitTorrent, Bram Cohen,
lashed out at Microsoft in a recent blog. (Blogs are now news fodder, eh?
Well, at least it beats the non-ending parade of 'Tom Cruise Is Nuts' stories.)
Cohen claims the Microsoft work is garbage, and if it ever does work, will work
There’s a bigger issue here. Why do P2P in the first place? Don't we
have enough vulnerabilities already? Of course, if Microsoft's P2P allows exploits,
which it will, the company will build a service pack to disable the P2P it built
in the first place!
If you’re going to build a P2P system, can you please pull out all the
stops and make it secure?
Communicator Goes Web
Microsoft Communicator users soon won't need a rich client, and instead will
be able to do their real-time
communicating with a browser. If OWA is any indication, Firefox might not
be so fully supported.
Microsoft Now Officially Hates Viruses—At Least On
Microsoft put its money where its viruses are, and this week sealed
the deal to buy anti-virus vendor Sybari. Not surprisingly, Linux and Unix
versions of the products were immediately axed. Poking fun at that move would
be too easy, but feel free to snicker quietly.
Pet Peeve of the Week
I do a lot of searching, and when I read something on the Web, the old-fashioned
man buried deep within wants hard copy. So I print. Here's the problem (which
you probably know all too well): Half the time the only thing that prints is
an ad—the actual copy somehow can't find its way to my toner. More often
the page prints, but a word or two is chopped from the right-hand margin, so
you use your imagination to fill in the blanks.
Come on guys: Don't make us search for your printer-friendly links to get something
legible. And if you have a printer-friendly link, let the default actually print
the darn thing instead of the pop-up ad. Bad form guys.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.