AOL and Microsoft: Buying the Enemy?

Wall Street is buzzing with rumors that Microsoft is looking to buy a piece of AOL, a company with which Redmond has long been at odds. For over a decade Microsoft has coveted AOL’s position and built MSN with every expectation that it would dethrone Steve Case’s baby -- it didn’t. I don’t know what Microsoft is offering, but I’m sure it’s not $24 a month.

Patchless Tuesday
You might be wondering why this author didn’t sound the patch alarm this Tuesday, the traditional day that Microsoft tries to fix its most recent problems. Things have either been going well or Microsoft is slacking off ‘cuz there are no patches this month -- and at least so far, emergencies are always treated promptly.

Redmond did plan a patch but decided that the code wasn’t ready for prime time. I’m not sure what hole Microsoft was planning to plug, but that’s good -- the creeps hopefully don’t know either.

There is an update to Microsoft’s malware removal tool, which is never a bad thing.

W2K Rollup Re-Rolled
If you’re running Windows 2000 Server, you might want to download the awkwardly named Update Rollup 1 for Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, Version 2. This mass of patches, fixes and updates takes care of a few more issues, including Windows Update glitches and disk problems. Expect another batch of code to fix problems the updates have created with third-party apps, including Citrix.

Google Wins This Round, They Say
Starting immediately, former Microsoft standout Kai-Fu Lee can do productive work for Google. As you might recall, Microsoft used non-disclosure grounds and sued to keep Lee from working for hated and feared rival Google. A Washington state judge said Lee can begin recruiting for Google. (Wonder if he’ll place a headhunter call to Bill?) Other activities that the judge says may violate the NDA are still restricted.

Here’s how Microsoft sees it.

Gates Charity in Mild, Very Mild, Trouble
The health chief for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is in a spot of conflict of interest bother and just resigned that prestigious post. Apparently, Dr. Richard D. Klausner has a conflict over a $40 million Harvard University contract.

Hopefully, this is a slight distraction and should not take away from the amazing work of the foundation. You don’t have to love Bill Gates, but you should be grateful that he is doing so much good work.

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Sun’s Windows Future
Can Sun emulate Dell’s server success? It hopes its new low-cost family of Galaxy servers will do just that. Despite rock-bottom prices, Galaxy runs Windows, Linux and Unix. It will be interesting to see if Sun can reinvent itself as a mainstream Windows server player -- without killing the unique technologies that make it interesting.

There’s a New Shell in Town
Monad, the CLI/scripting tool for Vista and other operating systems, is now in its second beta. Leading-edge admins and scripting mavens might want to take a peek at the future of scripting. Monad will support Vista sometime after the new client OS ships.

Download this baby right here.

Paying for Paris
Remember when Paris Hilton’s T-Mobile Sidekick got hacked and all of her famous friends’ phone numbers were revealed? Some took it as a big joke, perhaps even the hacker himself. The 17-year-old Boston teen who was reportedly responsible isn’t laughing now -- he’s been sentenced to nearly a year in juvvie.

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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