Redmond: Bigger and Badder Than Ever
Despite Google gains, Apple advances and open source success, the Redmond money
train just keeps a-rollin'. Last week, Microsoft announced it brought
in more than $10 billion
in the more recent quarter. While big, these numbers
still pale in comparison to HP's and IBM's. But Microsoft is all about profits
and, in this case, had pre-tax profits of nearly $4.5 billion -- margins any
self-respecting capitalist would be proud of. The big revenue guns were games,
Visual Studio and SQL Server 2005.
Free Anti-Spyware: Is That So Wrong?
Millions have tried the beta, and now they can download the real thing as Windows
Defender is done. Redmond's free anti-spyware program is now in version
1. Even better, the price hasn't changed: This little puppy is still free.
I am a friend of third parties, and if Defender was designed to undercut third-party
prices but still add a billion or two to the well-stuffed Microsoft coffers,
I'd be irritated. But a free tool to protect an OS we all depend on? Why, that's
Nobel Peace Prize-territory in my book.
IE Will Never Be Perfect
Last week, two
IE7 problems were reported. Microsoft disputes one and agrees with the other.
One hole could ease phishing attacks (anti-phishing is one of the big, new features
in the new Firefox). The other hole has nothing to do with IE7, but rather is
an Outlook vulnerability, Microsoft points out.
These reports represent a new era where we'll all be talking about the security
of Vista, IE7 and Office 2007. Let's all hope the issues are fewer and less
critical than they've been with the older tools.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.