Oh, It’s Patching Time Again

Yesterday Microsoft patched three newly discovered flaws. Two of the flaws are critical, and as with most critical flaws, allows hackers to commandeer unpatched systems. Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 with recent service packs still need to be patched.

My question is: Will Vista and IE7 be more secure than the Swiss cheese that is XP and IE6? Let me know at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Microsoft used the patch announcement to get users to sign up for Microsoft Update, through which security tools are installed automatically.

Microsoft AntiSpyware and Its Sneaky New Name
For once, Microsoft has come up with a cool, meaningful product name, as its new anti-spyware product will no longer be known as Microsoft AntiSpyware but as Windows Defender. But not all is well in Defender land, as new Redmond columnist Mary Jo Foley (of Microsoft-Watch.com) reports. It seems that Microsoft officials contacted a 22-year-old Australian, told him he was violating their trademark, and the young man quickly caved in -- giving up the name free of charge. Apparently, Adam Lyttle, creator of the original Windows Defender, didn’t realize that Microsoft was going to use the name for itself.

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Borland Snags a Redmond-ite
Years ago Microsoft stole away every good Borland executive it could find, including Brad Silverberg, who went on to launch Windows 95 (among other things) and is now a venture capitalist (who invested in Linux/Windows interoperability vendor Centeris. More than a decade later, Borland is fighting back, having hired Tod Nielsen as its CEO. Nielsen, mostly known as the man who launched Access, has been kicking around at startups and BEA in recent years.

There is a huge irony here. You long-timers might remember how Access was in a race against Paradox for Windows as to which would ship first. Quality-conscious Borland waited until its DBMS was fully debugged. Meanwhile Microsoft shipped a bug-laden product, and sold it at the then rock-bottom price of $99. Virtually the entire DBMS community went for Access, and actually started to use it when the first upgrade (which should have been the first commercial release) came out. It was game over for Paradox. Not sure if that little anecdote made it into Nielsen’s first company speech.

Oracle Loses a Redmond-ite
Hope this isn’t an omen for Nielsen, but Oracle hired and lost (fired or resigned, you decide) a major Microsoft exec, all in the space of four months. Greg Maffei joined the DBMS giant as CFO, only to leave after reports of infighting and conflict. As with all these deals, the truth of whether Maffei was fired or left on his own accord is thoroughly obscured by the boilerplate “left to pursue other opportunities” corporate explanation.

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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