More Assurances from SA
Next month Microsoft will announce a ton (well, six to be exact) of new benefits
. The name of the game with SA is to calculate whether
the benefits plus the free upgrades are worth the steep yearly fees. By adding
more benefits, SA might make sense for more customers, but your math will show
whether it’s right for your shop.
new benefits focus on hot fixes, training, problem resolution and broader
distribution of Virtual PC technology. We can all thank Redmond News Editor
Scott Bekker for breaking this puppy.
Zotob Makes the Rounds
Depending on who you talk to, the Zotob worm is either a minor annoyance or
a serious security threat. Microsoft shrugs off Zotob as low-impact, only going
after Windows 2000. In Microsoft’s mind, the solution is to upgrade to
Windows XP (which never gets hit with viruses -- not!).
This low-impact worm kept
CNN from running video for hours, leaving us to stare at Wolf Blitzer’s
beard instead of footage from the Gaza Strip and Iraq. Now, that’s a painful
Exchange SP2 Nearing
Service Pack 2 for Exchange is present
and reporting for testing, sir! The messaging update promises more spam
protection and better mobile access to e-mail. And you’ll be able to have
mailboxes as large as 75GB. I’ve always said that once you have 50 gigs
of mail stored, it’s time to start cleaning.
Federate Those Directories
Recently we gave a small taste of what Microsoft plans in the way of federated
directories. Now Redmond Contributor Stuart Johnston digs deep and lays out
exactly what Microsoft is doing and how it affects IT. Get all the details here.
The Apple marketing machine and the cult of Steve Jobs has made the iBook as
desirable as Jessica Simpson to a 12-year-old boy, and at $50 a pop, used Mac
laptops are wanted enough to trample over. In Richmond, Va., a near
riot broke out over the sale of 1,000 cheap iBooks. Baby carriages were
busted up and the weaker got banged and bruised. Wonder what would happen if
1,000 Dell Inspirons were put on sale? I think one elderly security guard could
easily handle the commotion.
Here’s a new twist on cemeteries -- video
tombstones that run on solar power. This is a cool idea, as family and even
random visitors can see what the person was actually like. But in this very
newsletter three weeks ago I laid out a deeper vision:
“You might think this strange, but I've long believed it would be
great to replace a nondescript tombstone with an in-depth record of one's
life. Imagine a gravestone with a digital memory which you could query for
videos, photos, writing and maybe a 3-D image of the deceased (when they were
alive, of course). A cemetery becomes one huge reality show, and our memories
But I have no problem starting with simple, old-fashioned video. If they stole
my idea, I’ll happily accept 10 percent royalties.
Xbox Goes Upscale
Okay, I’m a little confused, somewhat irritated and happy at the same
time. What makes me this way? The Xbox 360, set to ship by Christmas, and its
low, low price
of $299.99 (let’s call it $300 and spot Redmond the extra penny, they
need the cash).
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I was shocked by the price. I can get a brand new PlayStation for 50 bucks
and a new Dell desktop for three bills. Paying as much for a game console as
for a full desktop feels strange, especially as the console has no storage --
the hard drive is an extra hundred smackers.
The exciting part is the sheer power of the new game systems -- akin to a 10-year-old
supercomputer. It would cost big bucks to give a PC the same graphics. That’s
where I get frustrated. Why can’t our PCs have the same resolution, color
palette and frame rate? And more to the point, why can’t our PCs be as
easy to use and reliable?
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.