Don't Even Think About Stealing Vista

In recent years, Microsoft has gotten tougher and tougher on pirates. It has chased them into China, had them arrested in the U.S. and made sure they couldn't get free goodies through Windows update.

With Vista, it's all getting kicked up a notch. If you can't prove you own it, Vista will slowly lose features until it quits altogether. Sounds like my last Dell Latitude -- though with that machine, XP was paid for.

IM Under Fire
I have mixed feeling about instant messaging. It's handy for making quick decisions or getting quick updates. But you still have to type (great for doctors treating carpal tunnel) and too often it replaces picking up the phone or walking down the hall. One thing I'm not ambivalent about is the threat of viruses and attacks, which are happening in increasing numbers to IM networks, according to Akonix Systems. The company says there were 64 documented attacks last month alone.

IT should have either a standard and protected IM environment, or consider blocking the download of IM clients until it has a handle on the situation. How does your shop handle IM? Comment below or let me know at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

IT as Bad with Passwords as End Users!
IT loves to make fun of pea-brained users who never change their passwords, make up passwords that are so simple Paris Hilton could figure them out, and then write the password on a Post-it note.

It turns out that IT itself is no better. Its own super-high-end, highly privileged passwords are rarely, and sometimes never, changed -- or so says Cyber-Ark Software. At least these aren't generally written on Post-it notes!

Consulting Scam Comes to an End
I've always been suspicious of computer consulting. My fear is the consultant spends a month solving a problem for one customer, and then spends just as much time and charges just as much money to solve the exact same problem for the next client.

IBM is breaking this chain by turning solutions its consultant operations has come up with into products. This way, the customer can get references and support, and know exactly what it will cost. Pretty good move.

Do You Use Visual Studio 2005 Team System?

When Microsoft released Visual Studio 2005 Team System, it was the first time the Redmond giant had attempted to deliver a complete development lifecycle suite. While Visual Studio itself has been enthusiastically accepted in the market, we want to know how the Team System functionality -- test, modeling, collaborative version control -- stacks up.

If you've deployed Visual Studio Team System and have made use of its lifecycle management tools, we want to publish your opinions. Does Team System compare favorably to competing tools and components already on the market? What issues have you struggled with and what features have you gladly leveraged?

This is your chance to speak up and be heard! Let us know what has worked or failed with Visual Studio 2005 Team System. Your opinions could appear in a future issue of Redmond Developer News magazine. Contact me now and let me know 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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