IE7 Present and Ready for Download, Sir!

IE7 is here! For IE users, this is a no-brainer. If it's not far more secure than IE6, I'll eat my hat -- my chocolate-frosted, ice cream cake hat. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be chomping on this puppy, as Microsoft has had years to spruce up IE's protections. De-emphasizing ActiveX is certainly one giant leap for mankind.

SA Customers Get Free Tools
Remember when Microsoft bought application virtualization vendor Softricity? Sure you do. If you're a Software Assurance customer, you'll be getting this virtualization software free as of January. Softricity's SoftGrid is pretty cool. By streaming the apps, software can be deployed more flexibly. Better than that, the software isn't physically installed and doesn't mess with the registry, reducing conflicts. If you don't have SA, SoftGrid will cost you $10 per PC per year.

Find out if SA is right for you by reading my hard-hitting free special report.

Vista Push Relies on ROI
Corporate customers aren't exactly sitting on pins and needles waiting for Vista. IT is a bit more wait-and-see -- as in, wait for the bigger bugs to be worked out, security holes plugged and a service pack tested and shipped! Microsoft isn't so patient. Redmond is telling IT that the sooner it upgrades, the sooner it'll save money -- reduced admin costs and even savings on electricity -- as Vista PCs manage power the same way today's laptops do.

Office Gains Supply Chain Ties
One way to keep Office out of the features wars with free open source tools is for Microsoft to push the suite as a development environment and as a front-end to enterprise applications such as ERP. This week, Microsoft made its pitch for Office to front-end supply chain back-ends.

Microsoft has a small share of the supply chain software market today, but I predict it will be a major player in years to come.

Firefox 2
The fine folks from Mozilla Corp. stopped by last week to show off Firefox 2. We made them all gourmet coffee, cleared off the conference table and had a little sit-down. Just so they knew where we stood, I mentioned the three to four articles we wrote telling IT to move to Firefox and disable IE until its security improves (we haven't taken a stand on IE7, but if it's secure and great, we'll start writing articles about how to move to IE7 and disable Firefox!).

Firefox 2, due this month, has spell-checking, anti-phishing and the ability to restore sessions.

But the coolest part was when I told them my idea for a file system that would organize your searches and let you share them with others (I gave this idea free of charge to Google; however, soon after receiving my suggestion, it announced it had no plans to ever build a browser).

So imagine my surprise when the VP of engineering said that is exactly what will make Firefox 3, about a year away, so great. The browser will tag search results, index and organize your history, and have other cool features that are hopefully close to the specs I wrote for The Barney Browser.

Firefox Cranks Up the Share
The Mozilla folks tossed around some pretty wild market share numbers for their browser (in the upper teens, as I recall) but I knew better. In my mind, I kept saying it was a point or two over 10! Days later, research from Net Applications had me patting myself on the back (this habit is so bad, my rotator cuff is permanently shot!). It turns out Firefox's share worldwide is 12.46 percent. Another research house, OneStat, pegs Firefox at 11.49 percent. Wonder if the two shops compared notes?

Firefox Gains While Apache Retreats
Port80 Software claims that Microsoft's IIS 6 outshines Apache in market share 54 percent to 23.3 percent in corporate environments, and that IIS share is growing dramatically. I don't doubt this research, but I will point out that Port80 is a Microsoft partner!

Doug's Mailbag: Business, Politics Not Always Strange Bedfellows
Maybe the idea of putting Bill Gates in the White House isn't so revolutionary, after all. Here's one reader's story about another businessman who turned to politics -- and ended up with a mixed bag.

I have just one thing to add to the Bill Gates brouhaha: It's been done.

In Arizona, a real estate developer named Fyfe Symington ran for governor on the platform that a businessman could run the state better than the politicians. He won.

When he got arrested and stepped down a few years later, the irony was that even his detractors thought he ran the state fairly well. He was busted for the way he ran his businesses a few years before.
-Douglas

Are you on the Bill Gates presidential bandwagon? Let me know what you think. Comment below or e-mail me directly 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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