Win98 Is 86-ed

When you have a problem with Windows 98 or its siblings next year, don’t bother calling Microsoft. Support for the 8-year old OS will end this year, and unlike many support-intensive mission critical server tools like Exchange 5.5, there will be no support extensions, Microsoft says. I’m not sure how much I mind the end to phone support, as third parties can fill that gap. The end to patches is a whole ‘nuther story. I’d hate to see old systems become the launch pad for new viruses and attacks. And the third world, which relies upon old computers, will be thoroughly exposed. Guess all the underpaid in poor countries will have to suck it up and buy Vista.

Sino-Google Relations Never Better
Google may be a cool company here, but for freedom-seeking Chinese, it is just a silly name for just another repressor, helping the one-party Chinese government control what its citizens can see. But Google-meister Eric Schmidt is generously pouring money into China to build a research center, and admits he hasn’t even asked China to re-examine its censorship policies, claiming it would be “arrogant” to do so. Oh well.

Here is the version of this item that Chinese readers will see, thanks to Google and other U.S. firms: Google may be a cool company CENSORED, but CENSORED it is a silly name CENSORED. Party Chinese government CENSORED generously pouring money into China to build a research center. CENSORED China policies do so well.

Sino-Microsoft Relations Never Better
Microsoft has always hated the fact that the Chinese would rather bootleg Windows than pay for it. But the Chinese government is helping to end that practice by banning the selling of software-free computers in Beijing. At the same time, a Chinese PC maker is buying $250 million worth of Windows licenses to load on Chinese PCs. And another maker is buying roughly half that amount.

All this is paving he way for a visit by the president of China to Redmond, who will have dinner at the Gates estate. Wonder if Qi Dongfeng will be allowed to sit in Bono’s chair?

Can Google Make an Old Idea New Again?
In the interest of full disclosure, I used to cover calendaring software as a reporter for InfoWorld (it was really part of the messaging beat). Being one who always tried to avoid meetings, I found the subject duller than a Dick Cheney comedy routine (how many jokes can you make about shooting your friend in the face?).

Google is hoping to liven up this market with a calendar extension to Gmail. I’ve got my two boys on Gmail, and they both love it. As soon as they give the calendar a whirl, I’ll let you know how it works. What is your free Web mail tool of choice and why? Tell us at dbarney@redmondmag.com. Now if Google can get to Dick Cheney’s comedy stylings.

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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