Microsoft Gets Its Storage On

It's funny how things work sometimes. You wake up in the morning thinking you're just going to be editing today's Redmond Report, then all the sudden you're writing it! Never fear: Doug will be back tomorrow. In the meantime, feel free to send any flames directly to me at bnagel@redmondmag.com.

Microsoft announced progress on its "universal distributed storage" vision today. Most notably, Microsoft Storage Server 2003 R2 is on track and will be released to OEMs by the end of the year, coming to consumers around March. So far, six storage OEMs have earned the company's new "Simple SAN for Windows Server" seal of approval, and Redmond will also be working with PolyServe to offer companies discounted storage consolidation consulting.

Ozzie Praises Apple
Everyone really does love Apple's iPod -- including Microsoft's new CTO, Ray Ozzie. Yesterday at a technical conference, he called the device a "perfect example" of a product that combines software, hardware and services to give consumers exactly what they want.

While Microsoft isn't one to jump into hardware on the computing side, it has branched out into consumer electronics before with the Xbox. Given the company's penchant for taking what it likes and making it its own -- as well as its seemingly unending quest to become a major player in all technology areas -- is an "XPod" really that far-fetched a possibility?

Microsoft Cozies Up with Yahoo! Again
Speaking of that unending quest, today Microsoft announced that it will compete head-to-head with rival Google in the world of online book search. When MSN Book Search launches next year, it will use content from the Open Content Alliance, which already counts Yahoo! as a sponsor. Microsoft will pay to have 150,000 books scanned for the project; Yahoo has pledged enough for 18,000.

Yahoo! and Microsoft announced earlier this month that they will work together on making their IM clients compatible. While romance may exactly be blooming, the two (former?) rivals do seem willing to at least hold hands when the need arises.

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BlackBerrys Closer to Being Squashed?
Today the Supreme Court declined to hear an emergency appeal from Research in Motion to stay a 2002 finding that the devices violate wireless e-mail patents held by NTT. The ruling allows the suit to continue for now, although the Court could still decide to hear the case on its own time. A settlement between the two parties is also a possibility.

It seems to be a rejection-filled week for Research in Motion: The BBC just announced it has instructed its staff to stop using their BlackBerrys due to a software flaw.

About the Author

Becky Nagel is the vice president of Web & Digital Strategy for 1105's Converge360 Group, where she oversees the front-end Web team and deals with all aspects of digital strategy. She also serves as executive editor of the group's media Web sites, and you'll even find her byline on PureAI.com, the group's newest site for enterprise developers working with AI. She recently gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web technology may impact publishers' bottom lines. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.

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