Winternals Is Redmond-Bound

Winternals, one of the more remarkable Windows third parties, is being swallowed up by the Redmond software giant. This is great news for Winternals principals, like Mark Russinovich, company co-founder and a bit of a cult hero. Russinovich, along with business partner Bryce Cogswell, will become real leaders at Microsoft: Mark as a technical fellow (that's his official title, not just his general description) and Bryce as a software architect.

I'm happy for these guys, but it's clearly bad news for third parties in recovery, data protection and admin utilities who now have to go up against a $40 billion outfit.

There's a New Fox in Town
While IE7 gets all the headlines for being mired in a seemingly endless beta, the next Firefox has been quietly tested by thousands of fans. Ever since I forced my daughter to move to Firefox (I tried to do it on a VMware Player machine but couldn't get it to work), I haven't had to clean up major spyware infestations. Firefox 2 includes anti-phishing and can give a little update as to what is new with your favorite Web sites, so you decide if you want to open them or not.

Private Folder Yanked
Yesterday Barry, a faithful Redmond Report reader, asked me where to find the free folder tool from Microsoft -- the one that lets users create one password-protected folder that only they could get to. Redmond readers had a blast e-mailing me just what they would stuff in this private box, and we printed some of the cleaner responses.

But I have bad news for Barry: After many IT complaints, Microsoft yanked the tool. I'm sure there were more than a few CEOs who weren't too keen on employees hiding confidential, wasteful, prurient or even criminal items on their corporate PCs.

Dell Offers Rebate Relief
If you're like me, you absolutely despise those ridiculous rebate offers, the ones that are almost impossible to recover. I know if I buy a $1,200 laptop, with $300 in rebates, it's gonna cost me $1,200. If you don't have the right UPC code, or fill out the forms just the right way, kiss that $300 in free cash goodbye.

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Dell, getting squeezed by HP all of a sudden, will dramatically reduce the number of rebates and promotions that might lure a customer in but in most cases end up leaving them angry. That's the beauty of capitalism: Make a company suffer and it may just start to do the right thing.

Yahoo and Microsoft IM Will Eventually Work Together
Instant messaging must be really complicated. Last fall, Microsoft and Yahoo announced they'd make their IM clients work together. Ten months later it must be done, right? No, the companies are just now ready to "test" their interoperability. Since I don't know anyone that uses MSN Messenger, I guess I can live with the delay.

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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