Jerks Post IE Hack Attack Code

Semi-talented hacker losers have posted code that lets other semi-talented hacker losers exploit an unpatched IE hole. Fortunately, the code hasn’t yet been used to take over our machines. Doesn’t it seem like no one is really fighting back, but that the industry is simply content to build (and sell) more and more defenses? Tell me what you think at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Supercomputer Superstar
Redmond back page columnist Mary Jo Foley is reporting that Microsoft just snagged Cray co-founder Burton Smith to boost its clustering and high-end computing efforts. Redmond is no stranger to hardware geniuses. It hired Digital Equipment Corp. wizard Gordon Bell (Ken Olsen probably wouldn’t be caught dead working for Bill), and former Microsoft guru Nathan Myrvold reportedly collects old Crays.

Some say that Redmond is losing its brightest lights to the likes of Google, but it’s still staffed with long-time brainy execs like Ballmer and Raikes (don’t forget that Gates guy), and attracting its fair share of high-tech brainiacs.

Friends of MOM
The management software space is crowded with hundreds of products and almost as many categories. Microsoft’s MOM may not be up there in network management with the Tivolis, Unicenters and OpenViews, but it has carved out a substantial slice of the Windows market. Like every other market Microsoft has steadily encroached upon, its steady success puts pressure on third parties. In the Windows market, the answer is for third parties to out-feature Microsoft, specialize or add value to core Microsoft management tools. All three are potential routes to survival.

Taking the third approach, a host of cagey companies, including Quest and Citrix, announced software that works closely with MOM 2005 and lets MOM manage non-Windows machines, virtualization, better handle thin clients, and streamline development of new MOM features.

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Office Formats Open?
Microsoft Office became a monopoly in a lot of ways. The apps were some of the first to exploit Windows, the introduction of suite pricing lowered cost dramatically (until market share was gained, then costs rose back up -- just never back to the original per-app fees), and people began to depend on .DOC and .XLS file formats to share documents.

OpenOffice, SunOffice and now the State of Massachusetts are trying to break the back of Microsoft’s file format dominance. And so is Microsoft -- perhaps. You see, Office 12 file formats are all .XML. Skeptics believe it will be .XML plus enough proprietary extensions to maintain lock-in.

Microsoft continues to press these formats towards the public domain, and recently asked a European standards organization, Ecma, to approve them as standards.

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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