AOL vs. OneCare

While Windows Genuine Advantage checks to make sure your Windows is bought and paid for, AOL's new tool wants to sell you software. The upcoming Active Security Monitor checks to make sure you have enough security, and if you don't it'll sell you the pieces that are missing. The tool rifles through your machine looking for proper anti-virus and firewall software, and actually digs deep at some pretty low-level settings. In the weeks to come, AOL will start beta testing its answer to OneCare, Microsoft's subscription-based security service.

Office, the Next Dev Platform?
We have XP, Vista, Windows Server, IE and Windows Live. Now Redmond wants you to develop apps for good old Office. Office Line of Business Interoperability (LOBi, maybe the worst acronym in the last decade!) is designed to help developers that tie into Office, which in turn tie into back-end apps.

Let's Rename Before It Ships
By the time a Microsoft product makes it to market, it has usually gone through a few names: the first code name, the new code name, maybe a proposed commercial name, and finally the real commercial name. Then, a few years after it ships, it gets renamed again. WinFX (not to be confused with WinFS, the file system that was yanked), the programming model underlying Vista, is now, drum roll...NET Framework 3.0! Now, doesn't that just roll off the tongue?

Here's how Microsoft explains the change.

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CrackBerry Addicts, Help Is on the Way
Are your fingers and thumbs calloused and twisted from hours punching those tiny BlackBerry keys? Do you message from the toilet (better than using a cell phone)? Well Bucko, fly to Chicago, check into the Sheraton, and the manager will confiscate your little blue e-mail machine and not return it until check out. As long as he doesn't steal my key to the minibar!

Bricklin Is Back
Google's new spreadsheet has me more underwhelmed than high school cafeteria shepherd's pie. But a new, open source, collaborative spreadsheet from the father of VisiCalc, Dan Bricklin (well, Bob Frankston was co-author), is pretty darn exciting. Bricklin is one of the coolest, nicest, smartest people in the world of software (Ray Ozzie got his start working for Dan), and this product, which is free and shareable, fits his personality to a tee. Look for wikiCalc at a Web site near you.

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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