Microsoft: Bigger and Badder than Ever

There’s no shortage of critics contending that Microsoft is an overgrown, slow-moving, dull-witted colossus ready to be toppled by Linux, Google, Web services and Firefox. If that’s the case, it sure isn’t happening yet. Redmond just reported record sales and profits and is on pace to become a $45 billion company bringing in $12 billion-plus in profits. You can build a lot of service packs with that kind of cash!

Can Microsoft Live Labs Outfox Google?
Microsoft has a new research division called Live Labs that combines folks from MSN and Microsoft Research. The lab is designed to build Redmond’s next generation of Internet products in record time. Microsoft’s trio of chief technology officers -- Ozzie, Mundie and Vaskevitch -- will be on the board of directors.

The question now is can this new group -- really a loose confederation of exiting researchers and teams -- move fast enough and smart enough to regain Internet leadership? What do think? Let me know at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Acrobat Goes 3-D
Adobe has a new version of Acrobat for creative types, engineers and anyone else who needs to publish documents with three-dimensional elements. The new tool supports CAD images and lets publishers add some basic animation and textures.

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Nudging SA in the Right Direction
Software Assurance (SA) is expensive and ties customers to Microsoft for years to come. Every six to 12 months, Redmond adds a little luster to SA hoping a few more customers will hop on.

Now a Microsoft U.K. official has disclosed a few new features coming up in March, like more discounts for home-use software and free licenses for backup servers not in actual operation.

If you want to do the math and figure out if SA is right for you (sometimes it is, usually it ain’t), check out my special report here.

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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