Yahoo for IM

I love and hate IM. I love quick little tactical conversations and decisions that can be made while you’re pretending to pay attention to someone else. It was also a way for me to talk to my kids, until they figured out how to block my messages. But I hate how some rely upon IM instead of the phone, and how hard it is to end a conversation. How many conversations end, 'Thanks, you’re welcome, see ya, yeah, see you too!'?

Another thing I hate is how these relatively simple apps don’t work together because stubborn vendors refuse to cooperate.

But now Yahoo! and Microsoft, perhaps sharing a common hatred of Google, have set aside their minor differences and decided to interoperate. Here, here! Now let’s just get AOL on the bandwagon.

Have you had any luck with multi-vendor IM clients like Trillium? Let me know at dbarney@redmondmag.com

Small Business Licensing
Microsoft has plenty of licensing options for large enterprises, and savvy negotiators can knock prices down considerably (we can even show you how here). But small businesses often end up paying top dollar, which many can ill afford. The result is aging software that never gets updated, reliance on pirated apps and a sudden interest in open source.

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Fighting all these battles, Microsoft is pushing a couple new bundles for Windows Server and Office that are aimed at getting small companies to join the lucrative (for Redmond) Software Assurance bandwagon. For a little over $900 for each user, you can get an upgrade to XP, plus Office and a CAL for Windows SBS 2003. This sounds steep until you factor in Software Assurance, which offers free upgrades and a whole bunch of training and support bennies. Run the numbers and it might not be so bad if you use all your benefits.

SP3 on the Slow Road
You want a little more juice for your Windows PCs and laptops? You have two choices: wait for Vista, or wait even longer for XP SP3. Microsoft is so consumed with building Vista (I guess that’s what happens when you toss out all the old code and have to start fresh), that it won’t wrap up the next XP service pack until 2007, most likely. And you know Microsoft is going to press for upgrades to Vista rather than moves to SP3.

A Fix for a Fix
Microsoft last week released a hot fix for problems with XP SP2. The problem effects a small portion of users and involves serial bus protocol 2 devices, such as IEEE 1394 tools (these are those handy devices that connect PCs to cameras, video gear and other cool stuff) which can stop working or not be recognized by the device manager.

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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