More Software Assurance Bennies?
Next month Microsoft plans
a series of Webcasts
to explain “The Next Generation of Software Assurance.”
SA, for the right customer that exploits each and every feature, is not the
worst deal in software -- a lot of major vendors have expensive maintenance
programs. But overall, it is still a ton of dough for software upgrades that
may or may not arrive, that you may or may not need and that may or may not
I’m not sure what Redmond will do, but last time around they added a
bunch of benefits that, if used properly, can actually make SA worth it. I’d
like to see more benefits, but more to the point, a guarantee that the upgrades
customers want ship during the duration of the contract.
Find out what your peers think of SA here.
PDC Is Coming
Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference is
set to start September 13 in Los Angeles, and if you are a software jock,
you want to be there, or at least track the proceedings online. And for Bill
Gates and Jim
Allchin groupies, help is on the way as both are taking the stage to keynote.
There will be details galore about new products, everything from Vista, to
SQL Server 2005, to Office 12 (still can’t figure out how they went from
Office 2003 to Office 12, guess that is just Microsoft’s unique logic).
Redaction Gains Traction
Our friend Mary Jo Foley over at Microsoft
Watch dug up this little nugget: There is an option
for Word 2003 that can ‘redact’ text. That’s where you black
out words you don’t want folks to see. (You probably saw plenty of examples
when you nabbed your government files through the Freedom of Information Act.
Or maybe that was just me!)
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Of course the easy joke is that Microsoft could have redacted the e-mails our
government used in its anti-trust case. It’s an obvious joke that I wish
I had thought of. Doh!
Young Tech Stars
Microsoft this week honored
young technologists from around the world with money, accolades and Imagine
Cup 2005 trophies. Taking top honors? A group of programmers from Russia that
created a way for musicians around the world to play together in real time over
We’ve Got Mail
A few of you responded to my question earlier this week about speech recognition
in Word -- now I’ll have to buy a mic and try it out myself. Here’s
what you had to say about how speech technology has progressed so far.
I was reading the Redmond newsletter when I saw you wanted to know if
the speech recognition in office is any good. I have a good friend that was
left a quadriplegic due to being shot in the head after walking in on a home
burglary. He uses the speech tool and other than some misspelled words when
the tool cannot tell if he means -- to, too, or two -- it works pretty well
-- Ron Jennings, Fresno, Calif.
And here’s one more:
I used speech recognition in word when trying to write a book and the
results were, ahem, not great.
One aspect of speech technology that was good was the computer reading
what you had written back to you. This generally uncovered grammar issues
like missing words far better than proof reading from paper, where you ended
up reading what you wanted to read rather than what was there.
On a similar topic, the handwriting interface to convert to text on XP
Tablets is very good for editing since SP2 of Windows where it got a major
revamp. Not sure it is worth using for adding lots of new text though.
-- Garry Robinson, editor of http://vb123.com
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.