Low-End Laptops with High-End Security

Windows XP still makes Swiss cheese look like the Great Wall of China, and Vista's security is very much untested. So it seems that the $100 Linux laptop (I think there have been more articles written about this puppy than units shipped) could upstage Microsoft desktop OSes by offering a deeper level of security than anything Redmond offers -- say, along the lines of a Mac.

This is the beauty of building a system from the ground up. And that means Microsoft should be able to do the same thing with Vista. Only time (as in months) will tell. Are you a beta tester? Have your tests revealed anything about Vista security? Clue us in by commenting below or e-mailing me at dbarney@redmondmag.com

Patch Tuesday Already?
While the MIT $100 laptop has yet to ship enough units to have its own Patch Tuesday, the monthly Microsoft tradition is going strong. Today, the company released 10 fixes for Windows, Office and the .NET Framework.

Still, you have to hand it to Microsoft for being so honest and willing to take its lumps each and every month.

How About Mountain View Magazine?
Redmond magazine is called Redmond because Microsoft is based in Redmond. But more and more of this newsletter's coverage has been focusing on Google, as the Mountain View-based company continues to push Redmond's -- er, Microsoft's -- buttons. Should we launch a whole new magazine or just keep on covering the news here? Read on to see why I ask.

Google Buys YouTube: Now, Can It Fix It?
Every time I see a YouTube link, say on a motorcycle site, I find something cool. So why is it that when I go directly to the site, I am overwhelmed with lameness? Add to that poor organization and search, and it's no wonder I reckoned YouTube was worth about $1.65, as opposed to the $1.65 billion Google just agreed to pay for the video site.

By the way, here's my kids' YouTube contribution. Can you count how many vehicles I own?

Writely Only Slightly Wrongly
Google's Web-based word processor is out and the news is good, great, not so good -- and a big dose of unsure. The price (free) sure is right, and the interface and file saving conventions are slick. But it is still utterly dependent upon the Web.

I gave it a whirl and found it simple to use and, with my cable modem, fairly snappy (I'm sure my old DSL connection would have given it fits). You can store your files remotely, though I'm not sure what the quotas are or how much I'd trust my critical files to a server I've never seen before. You can also save them locally, like as a Word file in My Documents.

I'd love to see an option to save the same file both places at the same time. Then again, I'd love for Word to offer the same feature, to save in My Documents and a thumb drive or backup disk with one click. Office 2007 anyone?

Cool Code Search
Here is a very cool idea: Google has a new service that searches for bits of public domain code. Need a little widget and don't have the time or skill to build it? Just download and go! I have a couple of questions: Is this code tested for bugs, security holes or malware? And can malware itself find its way into the system?

By the way, we're launching Redmond Developer News, a new magazine for corporate software development managers. Get your subscription here. And if you're a developer or development manager, what would you like to see in such a magazine? 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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