Beta Bonanza: Vista, Office and Longhorn, All Tweaked

At the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC -- Microsoft even has acronyms for its events!), Redmond released millions upon millions of lines of beta code, including new betas of Vista, Longhorn and Office 2007. This is all just the first phase, as next month's Tech-Ed will put even more meat on these beta bones.

Are you testing any of these beauties? If so, shoot me some mail at dbarney@redmondmag.com. We're putting together some major coverage. According to an MSNBC columnist (MS owns part of MSNBC), Vista Beta 2 is no picnic. This columnist had a heckuva time even loading the beast.

Here's Microsoft's upbeat view.

Freedom of the Press? Not!
Last week I expressed an opinion that perhaps, just perhaps, the government shouldn't invade the privacy of reporters to intimidate those who leak information to the press. As expected, those who hate the press tore into me like bears into salmon: the press is a bunch of irresponsible, left-wing, dirtbag dufuses who only mean our government harm; somehow the more freedoms reporters have, the less freedom we all have as Americans. I guess some folks still don't forgive the press for Richard Nixon's resignation (who, by the way, did some rather amazing things as president despite his many flaws). If you want some good reading, click this link and scroll down to the comments!

Redmond Working Conditions Boosted...
Some high-tech companies expect employees to work insane hours in exchange for free soda and the occasional massage. But when times get tough, even these perks come under fire, which is what happened to Microsoft two years ago. Now that Microsoft has to compete for the best and brightest, it is giving back some of the perks it slashed in 2004. Of course the biggest perk may be impossible to restore -- stock options that turned pimply faced code monkeys into millionaires.

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...But Temp Workers Pay the Price
Reports that Microsoft's temp workers were forced to take a week off without pay, when juxtaposed with the new fulltime perks, implied that Microsoft was somehow not fair. Let's face it, it is to some degree a privilege to work for Microsoft, and temp work is temp work. And last time I checked, Microsoft is a business (with a stock price more stagnant than Ben Affleck's career).

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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