Licensing Simplified -- Now Only Insanely Complex

Microsoft has taken its lumps for a licensing program that some believe is purposely complex. Taking those shots to heart, Microsoft recently simplified the program focusing particularly on Open Value, which is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. The new approach will help international companies, as it eliminates many country-by-country differences.

Anything to simplify licensing is a good thing, but much more can and should be done—this isn’t quantum physics! I’m not sure if Microsoft will ever address the biggest customer beef—that its licenses simply cost too much!

Let’s Get Ready To Patch!
Earlier this week Microsoft released three critical patches repairing Microsoft Word and the recently revealed JVIEW Profiler vulnerability. Redmond magazine News Editor Scott Bekker was nice enough to gather links to the bulletins, which your patching gurus should check out.

It Wasn’t Me
The discovery of lewd mini-games in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has stirred a hornets’ nest of controversy, and initial theories blamed the game’s programmers. But developer Rockstar Games has an alternate theory—that hackers broke in and embedded the racy new scenes. I’m pretty amazed that hackers could break into an internal system and add code to a game without the vendor ever knowing. Maybe the security team was too busy playing Xbox.

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Microsoft Directory Reaches Out
Microsoft is helping to make Active Directory a more robust system for linking companies to other companies. The notion is a federated directory, where a manufacturer, let’s say, could communicate with suppliers and partners almost as if they were internal employees because they’re fully recognized by the directory. Microsoft is doing its part with its new Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), and ISV partners, like Vintela, are showing support for the architecture.

Microsoft is also working on a new identity system dubbed InfoCard which is similar to single sign-on in that it creates a single identity to represent a mix of credentials.

The Mac, It Lives
Apple’s sales and profits are way up, and it’s not just the little iPod—Mac sales are up some 30 percent. The two are actually related. More iPod money means a healthier Apple and more consumer confidence. And the cool factor of the iPod doesn’t hurt Mac sales either. Is it any wonder that Microsoft wants a chunk, a large chunk, of the digital music player market?

Half a decade ago I predicted the utter death of the Mac—after all, OS/2, the Amiga, Next, and everything else under the sun had already died under the thumb of Windows. It was then I realized Steve Jobs is far smarter in his sleep than I’ll ever be.

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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