Take the Vista Apps Test

One of the things that makes Microsoft OSes so long to build, so big and sometimes so unstable is the need for backwards compatibility. But despite all these sacrifices, not all is perfect in compatibility land, and apps still often need to be tweaked to run -- especially custom corporate apps. Knowing that Vista is near ("near" for Microsoft means within a year or so), Redmond recently released the Standard User Analyzer 1.0, which tests to see if your old app runs with Vista's new and highly restricted user privilege system. Don't forget, it's often the custom apps that have the most problems.

Sun Must Learn to Rise Again
Sun Microsystems is a phenomenal company: Rather than clone what others do (which is what standard PC and server vendors largely do), Sun is constantly inventing new things, things that would be wildly popular were it not for Microsoft's desktop dominance and a competitive fragmented server market that is leaning strongly towards two camps: Windows Server and Linux.

Given those unfortunate circumstances, Sun has restructured, cut costs enough to make a Wal-Mart executive blush, and recently kicked Scott McNealy upstairs to the chairmanship, which for many outfits is a ceremonial position.

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Where others see weakness and gloom, I see possibilities. Sun must look deep into itself and decide what it wants to be, and reinvent itself with that singular focus. We almost lost Apple years ago, and look at it now. And old-timers Digital Equipment Corp. and Wang both transitioned into consulting-driven businesses, survived and got bought. Even Data General lives on as a storage business within EMC. Come on Sun, show us what you've got!

Google Disses Barney
In this month's Redmond magazine, I boldly advised Google to build its own browser and craft a file system to archive, share and organize searches.

Google plans to do the opposite and has no intention of building a browser, said Google meister Eric Schmidt. Still, there is nothing stopping Google from building a better way to archive searches -- or maybe Microsoft will get there first. Can't say I didn't warn ya!

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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