Vista Prices Ship Faster Than the Code

A snafu by Amazon and Microsoft Canada has revealed upcoming prices for Vista, something that Microsoft, for some reason, wasn't ready to talk about (if they want you to plan for Vista, you should at least know how much it'll cost!).

The top-end Vista is about $400 -- a scary price until you realize that this is for one unit and is not part of a new PC. (If anyone buys it at this price, give me a call -- I've got a car my grandmother only drove to church I'd like to sell.) Looking deeper, it appears that Vista pricing is more or less in line with XP pricing. It's time to break out your negotiating pencil and, as much as possible, get your upgrades as part of new PCs and laptops.

Get Your Vista Betas
Meanwhile, Vista is close to what Redmond calls Release Candidate status (code for a really good beta) and has 100,000 batches of the latest Vista build ready and waiting for download.

Instead of using a simple name, this bundle of code is called Pre-Release Candidate 1, or Pre-RC1. If the OS is as complicated as the names for the betas, I'm sticking with XP.

The Future of Big Ticket Software
If your shop uses enterprise-class applications, I have some good news and some bad news. According to a report from Forrester, the enterprise software is saturated (i.e., anyone who needs SAP already paid too much for SAP). Vendors have gotten away with murder, forcing hugely expensive maintenance contracts down IT's throats. But this will all change, at least to some extent. As growth slows, vendors will be forced to pare down their ridiculous prices.

On the downside, these entrenched vendors are reluctant to truly embrace new technologies like Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Software as a Service. Do you care about SOA and if so why? Let us know at

The only market that is wide open is medium-size businesses -- exactly what Redmond is attacking with its Dynamics line. Are you a Dynamics customer? If so, I want to talk to you. You know the address:

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Sun Hasn't Changed
After Scott McNealy got kicked upstairs, I figured Sun would start to act like a real grown-up company (not that I wanted that, mind you). But Sun is still the same juvenile outfit it's always been. Proving my point, the company just bought a huge painting (which is in the form of a cutout) of Dave Packard and William Hewlett, then covered the pair in Sun clothing. HP is miffed, but heck, it's their painting.

Pirates, Hackers and Thieves, Oh My!
I've got two tales of computer crime and, thankfully, both end in jail time. First up, a 21-year-old loser from California thought it would be cool to set off an attack that ultimately affected thousands upon thousands of computers. Unfortunately, it hit machines from the Department of Defense, an agency not exactly known for its sense of humor. I hope Chris Maxwell thinks jail is just as funny -- he could be there for three years.

In other news, a man from Florida got double the Chris Maxwell sentence, or six years, for reselling pirated software and using the cash to buy a Lamborghini and a bunch of airplanes. I'm not a fan of fraud on this scale, but I think what Maxwell did was a bit more serious.

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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