IE7 Edges Closer to Prime Time

IE7 for XP is now in Beta 2 (isn't it nice they aren't calling it a CTP or some other nonsense?), and should be out this year. The real proof will be six months after its release when the patches start flooding in. Have you been toying with IE7? Will it be more or less secure than today's hunk of Swiss cheese known as IE6? Write me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Exchange 12 Gets a Real Name
News flash: Exchange 12 will not be Exchange 12 after all. Seeing as Microsoft hopes to deliver this puppy next year, they have come up with the clever idea of calling it Exchange 2007. My concern is with the conflict over overall strategy where Ray Ozzie is pushing Web services, including large-scale outsourced messaging, while the rest of Redmond is building larger and larger server- and PC-based apps. Which is it, guys? And which do you prefer? Tell us at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Free E-mail Wars Move On-Campus
Microsoft and Google are in a heated battle to rule the free Web e-mail space. So far it's individual users they've been after. Now they are going after frat boys and sorority girls. If they can get 'em relatively young, perhaps they can keep 'em for life (it almost worked for Jerry Lee Lewis). Both companies are offering select colleges the deal of a lifetime -- they'll outsource all their e-mail for free. Next time a Microsoft rep or VAR pitches you an expensive messaging upgrade, show them this article!

Everyone Should Program -- for Windows
Microsoft's biggest stake in the development world is Visual Studio. Now there's a free little brother, Visual Studio Express, which Microsoft hopes will lure amateurs, hobbyists, power users and maybe even a few young geeks (got to keep 'em away from Java) to the Microsoft fold. There are versions for C, Basic and Web programmers.

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Time to Install SQL Server 2005?
Smart IT pros always wait for Microsoft's first service pack, which means it is now safe to use SQL Server 2005. SP1 is ready and willing for download. Besides the obligatory bug fixes, SP1 offers data mirroring and a free low-end edition akin to Visual Studio Express to mess around with.

Finally, a Dirty CEO Comes Clean
Sanjay Kumar, former head of Computer Associates (which now calls itself CA), spared us all a months-long trial and pleaded guilty to fraud by misstating financials to prop up earnings. Hey Sanjay, can you call Skillings and Lay and tell 'em how good it feels to get that kind of stuff off your chest!

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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