Software Assurance Gets New Stuff

We gave you a heads up nearly a month ago when Redmond broke the story that Software Assurance was gaining new features. Well, last week it got ‘em. There are now 18 benefits in all, and the new stuff includes more training, more support and a new OS called Eiger that will let old PCs (old enough to have trouble with XP) get the security benefits of XP Service Pack 2. Because Microsoft assumes a low-power system, the apps themselves run on a server, making Eiger more like a terminal services client than a real desktop OS.

There will also be a high-end version of Vista for SA customers (it probably won’t ship in time to fit your SA terms) and a new virtual PC tool.

Despite a modicum of flash, deciding on SA takes the same rigorous mathematical approach it always needed -- examining the payback from each benefit, seeing if all that justifies the cost, and then making sure you use anything you shell out hard-earned corporate dollars for.

Redmond Snags Alacris, Gains Certificate Savvy
Microsoft bought itself some smart card and certificate authority gusto with this week’s buy of Alacris. Alacris focuses on the management of certificates and smart cards, making it easier to deploy cards -- and keep ‘em working.

Security Gets Worse, What a Surprise
According to Symantec, those that threaten our security are becoming more evil every day. The company's latest Internet Security Threat Report shows that Windows viruses are up by almost half and that more and more hackers are doing it for the money, not just for jollies.

And here’s a good one: Mozilla browsers such as Firefox have more holes than IE -- it’s just that fewer folks are trying to break in, Symantec claims.

You have to register, but the report may be worth a look. Get it here.

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BusinessWeek Worries About Microsoft
I was checking out Microsoft-Watch.com yesterday and Editor Mary Jo Foley pointed to a terrific read from BusinessWeek about Microsoft losing key employees and those who stay are suffering from bad morale. Part of the problem is sheer size. With some 60,000 workers, it’s hard to get things done and often hard to have an impact.

There are also charges of too much bureaucracy, and that integration with Windows and Office is more important than building great products.

Longhorn Details Dribble Out
Microsoft Windows Server exec Bob Muglia granted Microsoft public relations an exclusive interview about Longhorn which promised to reveal new details. This is classic Microsoft: release a few new facts to keep a product that is still years away in the public eye, and we, the press, fall for it every time.

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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