Office 2007 Development: How Much a Square Foot?

If you ever picked up a book on programming, they all start with a blank slate upon which you write your Basic, C++, Cobol (old school, baby) or Java code. Next came components, where you could grab bits of function, stitch 'em together and add new stuff on top.

But what if we could start with a full suite of applications that already have massive (some say way too much) functionality? You'd be a programming god. That is what Microsoft is pushing with Office 2007, which is finally, actually and imperatively a full-fledged development platform. (If that seemed wordy, I get paid by the syllable, so all this in parentheses will pay for this week's milk!)

Kathleen Richards of our sister publication Application Development Trends spoke to John Rymer, one of the top analysts in the Redmond space, who presented an awfully compelling case for Office development.

Windows Small Business Server Update Hits Snag; Microsoft Aims to Fix
It's clear to me that, despite all its failures, Microsoft is committed to shipping secure software (though it will be a long while before I fully trust its desktop OSes -- I spend far too much time cleaning, repairing and worrying).

I do have faith in Redmond's server tools. For instance, OEMs just got what it thought was gold code for SBS R2, whereupon Microsoft found a few last-minute glitches. The company is taking back the code it shipped and sending out a final fix.

MySpace, a Haven for Losers, Perverts and Now Malware
Not everyone on MySpace is a total lameoid, but it does have its share of creeps, criminals and posers. Today it's the stomping ground for a new class of worms, or so says security firm F-Secure. The key is Cross Site Scripting, which hackers use to build worms that attack MySpace friends lists. Adware is also making its way onto the popular site.

The answer? For IT, it may be wise to block MySpace. For users, PCs should be patched. And developers need to think about security when building Web apps.

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Altiris Gears Up for Application Virtualization Fight
Application virtualization is a small but important space. One of the pioneers, Softricity, was joined in the fight by Altiris, which has its own virtualization plan. Put simply, application virtualization provides a bit of a sandbox between the program and the OS. This way, the registry is hopefully left untouched, and the app can be run where it makes most sense -- on a server, a PC, through streaming or a combination.

Once Microsoft bought Softricity, it left loyal third party Altiris in a tough spot. But like VMware before it, Altiris decided to fight back. Altiris has opened its APIs and wants developers to tap into its tool.

By the way, an Altiris study shows that almost half of all IT pros plan to use PC virtualization. My only question is whether current licensing supports such aggressive use. What do you think of today's virtualization licensing? Spill your guts at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

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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