Multiple Vistas on Horizon?

Last week we told you how Microsoft once again blew away its anticipated revenue and earnings—as usual. Today we put a little more meat on Redmond’s financial and product development bones with details from the recent financial analyst meeting.

One of Microsoft’s tricks is to have multiple versions of the same core product, such as XP, XP Pro and Media Center. Company CEO Steve Ballmer suggested the same would hold true for Windows Vista, the lame new name for the Longhorn client.

Microsoft may also be looking to “server-ify” Office, a tactic that would include new ways of licensing the de facto standard productivity suite.

Anti-Piracy Tactic Overcome
There’s nothing a hacker hates more than paying for software, so it didn’t take long for Microsoft’s Genuine Advantage 1.0 (a euphemism for its new anti-piracy program) to be cracked. In this case, a simple JavaScript command runs rings around the Microsoft authentication allowing hackers to do what? Why, download Microsoft AntiSpyware, of course! Besides paying for software, there’s nothing a hacker hates more than being hacked!

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Speech Now, or Forever Hold Your Server
Speech recognition is still not as mainstream as I’d like it to be (think of all the carpal tunnel surgeries we could avoid), but you can’t blame for Microsoft for not trying. Office has it built in (if you use it, let me know if it’s any good at dbarney@redmondmag.com), and Redmond also has a speech server aimed at call centers which is apparently picking up steam. Microsoft today issued a press release boasting of some 60 companies in an array of verticals that rely on the speech product.

Microsoft now plans to bring speech deeper into the enterprise and attack unified messaging, a concept that we’ve been promised would bear fruit for what, a decade or two?

BizTalk Gets Busy
Microsoft is trying to make it easier for BizTalk users to get connected—by buying and reselling an array of connectors from iWay software. The connectors work with Oracle, PeopleSoft, Seibel and others.

If you want the latest and greatest, download the BizTalk 2006 beta.

More details here.

Google Temporarily Restrained
Microsoft won the first battle in the war over an employee who defected to Google and thus, in Microsoft’s eyes, violated a non-disclosure agreement. There’s now a temporary restraining order controlling what Kai-Fu Lee can do for Google.

Why is Microsoft worried about Google? Because its search engine is far better. If you Google "Kai-Fu Lee," you’ll get 96,900 results. At MSN, it’s a paltry 45,881—less than half. To Microsoft’s credit, the second result is a rather nasty little nugget where Kai-Fu reportedly warned that Ballmer and Gates would “attack” the Google hire. How did Kai-Fu know? Because Gates told him personally, a Google court filing claimed.

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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