Symantec Tweaks the Giant's Nose

Vendors are always afraid, or should be, of getting too close to Microsoft. One fear is that Redmond will look at your technology, perhaps even license it, and then steal it. This is what Stac Electronics, makers of Stacker hard drive compression, successfully sued Microsoft over, and now Symantec is doing the same. Symantec says that Microsoft ripped off features from Veritas' (now owned by Symantec) Volume Manager and is adding these items to Vista and other tools.

An AMD Breakthrough
After years of losing billions and simply cloning Intel chips, AMD has really broken out. Its processors are fast and cheap, it made Intel look like a fool in the 64-bit world, and every hardware maker worth its salt is using AMD for at least some systems. For some crazy reason, Dell held back, acting more loyal to Intel than Andy Grove and Gordon Moore put together. But it has seen the light and finally will use AMD for some high-end servers. Maybe the hipsters at Alienware (Dell is buying it) got to the fuddy duddies at Dell: Alienware's hottest gaming machines use AMD!

Can a Company with 60,000 Employees Be Nimble?
Critics have had a field day calling Microsoft too big and slow moving to keep up with the Internet (its stock is also small and slow moving, but that's another story). Larger and larger apps and OSes that never meet ship dates only add to that perception.

When Vista fell apart and had to be rebuilt from scratch, Redmond execs decided something needed to be done. It restructured and fundamentally (we hope) changed the way it creates software. New Windows chief and Jim Allchin replacement Kevin Johnson says that eight months into the new system, Microsoft is once again a lean, mean, code-writing machine. The biggest tech shift has come at the behest of CTO Ray Ozzie, who is pushing Microsoft to reinvent itself around Web services and Software as a Service (which I think are the exact same thing -- tell me where I'm wrong at dbarney@redmondmag.com.).

Anti-Spam Turned Spam Service Shut Down
Blue Security's anti-spam service sounded like a good idea at the time. Users submitted addresses to be put on an anti-spam list, just like the highly effective Do Not Call List that lets me eat dinner in peace (although I no longer get to torment telemarketers with fake Spanish accents and my Tourette's).

But after spammers cracked the Blue Security code, the company decided to shut it down.

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Microsoft Swallows a Whale -- Swims Deeper into Security Mart
Microsoft sent some minor shock waves through the security community with its plans to buy Whale Communications, which makes a range of Web-layer, VPN and SSL firewalls. While this could be a perfect complement to ISA Server, what about all those great companies that build firewall appliances based on ISA? How are they supposed to compete with Redmond itself?

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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