Vista Further Off on the Horizon?

Recent rumors pegged Vista's release for this October, but a Microsoft blogger seems to think it will happen in November. I've followed product delays for two decades, including the Mother of all delays: Cairo, which never came out. So it wouldn't surprise me to see Vista slip into next year -- there's too much riding on it for it to be a flakey, insecure product (but who said that never stopped them before?). But there's equal pressure to give retailers and OEMs something new and cool to sell this holiday season. A Vista Christmas would be huge!

Patch Tuesday -- Office Style
Almost every patch I've seen in the last year was to stop the remote execution of code in IE. Yesterday's Patch Tuesday (actually, it was a pretty slow month with only two bulletins) focused on remote code execution in Office. If this Office trend continues, perhaps there'll be an uptick in OpenOffice downloads -- just like how IE flaws impelled users to switch to Firefox.

There's also a flaw affecting XP and Windows Server 2003 that could let a hacker gain elevated privileges, which means they can wreak the same kind of havoc as an admin -- an evil or moronic admin, that is.

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Microsoft Goes for the Biz, the Small Biz
Often it's hard to get large, well-heeled enterprises to shell out hard-earned dollars for the latest Microsoft wares: If the old Exchange is working just fine, why pay for the new one? Now consider small businesses, many struggling week to week, with an IT staff that's often an unreliable nephew who took a computer course before dropping out of high school. How do you get these shops to move to the latest and greatest? Microsoft's answer -- besides killing off support for older products -- is pricing, packaging and financing ("What's it going to take to get you into this Windows Server today?").

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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