Say Goodbye to My Little Friend -- the Beta
Lately every piece of unreleased Microsoft software I’ve talked about
has a different label, and none of them have been the terms that have worked
for decades, like alpha, beta, and finished product (that’s what you get
after it’s released to manufacturing when it actually gets manufactured).
Today’s prevailing term is Community
Technology Preview (CTP)
and we’ll be seeing a lot of these for Vista.
I’m not sure what the difference between a CTP and a beta is except that
it allows Microsoft to invent another acronym! Not content with that, Microsoft
is now talking about what happens after the CTP, which is a Customer
Preview Program (CPP)
. How about a STAN, or Stop the Acronyms Now!
IE7 Beta/Preview Is Out
Internet Explorer 7, a standalone browser, is inching its way closer to market
with its second
beta release. That’s right, Microsoft is calling it a beta but in
the same breath calls it a preview. Maybe Microsoft is as confused about what
to call beta software as we are. This beta, er, preview is aimed at those that
have Web sites. A broader consumer-focused beta will follow.
Windows Server 2003 R2 Here
For this item we needn’t worry about Microsoft’s kooky names for
betas. That’s because Release 2 of Windows Server 2003 has now
shipped. R2 has a host of new Active Directory Services, such as federated
directories, making it easier to share identity data with partners.
$5 Million Worth of Spam
Christopher Smith is a spammer’s spammer. Over the years he’s sent
literally billions of messages (you probably got hundreds from him) pitching
everything from Viagra to college degrees (not sure which is better for your
overall happiness). Well, AOL went after him and won
a judgment for over $5 million. There’s a fat chance of seeing any
of that dough -- Smith is in the clink for breaking federal drug laws.
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More Computer Criminals Caught
Apparent weirdo William
Genovese, Jr. is off to the hoosegow for a year or two for selling NT 4.0
and Windows 2000 source code on the Internet. The not-overly-bright 29-year-old
sold the code for $40. Genovese isn’t new to the court system: He has
been charged with computer crimes and is a registered sex offender.
In the early to mid-‘90s Microsoft talked about Exchange as a Lotus Notes-killing
collaboration monster. Shortly after shipping, it was pretty much e-mail, and
all the collaboration talk revolved around new business units. Now Microsoft
is going back to its original Exchange collaboration mantra by merging
the Exchange Server group and the Real-Time Collaboration group. The new Unified
Communications Groups (yup, we have to memorize another acronym, UCG) is an
attempt to rationalize the dozen or so approaches to collaboration Microsoft
has been pushing in recent years.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.