Who Really Runs Microsoft?

Gates is the man we all think of when someone mentions the name Microsoft, but in five years we might think of Ray Ozzie. Every five years or so, when the press starts to think (usually incorrectly) that Microsoft is in trouble, Bill Gates writes a memo which is “leaked” to the press (probably by Microsoft itself) setting a whole new direction.

The latest has Microsoft realizing just how important software as services is. But Gate’s memo was short and, I’d have to say, vague. It really repeated things Microsoft has been harping on for years. The real meat was in a memo from Ray Ozzie, which came out to seven single-spaced pages! In it Ozzie quite honestly acknowledges that many, such as Google, have outmaneuvered Microsoft on the Web -- and that Microsoft desperately needs to catch up.

This is all true, in part. There is more that they can do on the Web, and I for one would love the Web to serve as a central point that holds an environment I built. This way, wherever I go, my favorites and files and songs and kid’s photos and e-mail will seamlessly follow. But what I don’t want is a world where everything I do requires the Web and a broadband connection, and where all my software is surrounded by ads that pay Microsoft programmers’ salaries. I’d rather see Web services extend the functionality already held in my hard drive.

How far should we all take this Web services software game? Let me know at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Video on the ‘Net Takes Another Stride
It’s 2005, and nearly every IT pro I know has broadband access, both at work and at home. So why is it that so few Web sites have truly compelling video? Microsoft and the Associated Press (AP) took a baby step towards a world with more Web video by agreeing to work together to more easily deliver AP video to some 3,500 news sites.

I’m glad about this, as anything that brings us more Web video moves the whole Web forward, and helps make broadband more justifiable and thus more popular -- which drives availability and brings in new competitors.

Here’s my question: Would you like to see video on Redmondmag.com, and if so, what kind of video? Keep your answers clean and mail ‘em to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

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Windows Hero Strikes a Blow at Sony
Well-known Windows guru Mark Russinovich recently made a discovery that put the efforts to copy protect music and video content so far back on its heels you can see the gum. Mark, one of the founders of Redmond magazine friend Winternals, was playing around with his rootkit discovery tool when he came across a nasty breed of digital rights management (DRM) software that a Sony audio CD had deposited on his system. The Sony DRM included rootkit code (which lets software hide itself and its registry keys from diagnostic and security software). Already, a Trojan horse is out there that piggybacks on Sony’s rootkit, using the DRM code to hide itself as well.

Thanks to Sony's DRM methods, millions of its customers have a new security threat to worry about. Sony has released a patch, but it’s far from perfect.

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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