Patches Galore, Even Visual Studio Gets One

As we mentioned Monday, Patch Tuesday is this week. If you haven't started plugging the latest holes, you're a day late, so get to steppin'. There is a flaw in Visual Studio 2005 that lets hackers take over your machines, but it takes a lot of effort to build the exploit. In any event, it might be wise to fix this hole anyway, as the attacks can be severe.

IE 5 and 6 got patched, so all you pioneers that have IE 7 (or Firefox) needn't worry. Get full details here.

Vista Riches
A small percentage of users will move to Vista in the first year, but that small group will still account for some $70 billion in overall revenue, according to IDC. One chunk is the 35 million copies sold that will be sold in 2007, but most of the dough comes from new hardware, applications, migrations and, of course, support!

The Same, Old Proprietary Saw
When Microsoft announced plans to offer developers free licenses to use the Office UI for their apps, I was skeptical. First, I thought back to reporting I did a decade or so ago at InfoWorld, where Microsoft announced pretty much the same thing.

Then, I wondered how competitors would feel. Turns out it doesn't matter how they feel since -- at least, according to one ISV -- competitors aren't invited. Gen-9 was all set to support the UI for its data management tool. But after learning that rivals can't use the interface, the company ditched its plans because it "might" overlap with some Microsoft tools.

And a partner today is a rival tomorrow. So what happens when Microsoft decides to get into your market? Do you have to give the interface back?

Driving Under the Influence of E-Mail
A Seattle man caused an accident involving three other cars and a city bus -- all because he was busy with his BlackBerry. There was no word on whether the driver was a Microsoft employee, or if the mail was work-related or just a note to his mistress.

With its tiny keys, there’s no way I could crank out a message and look at the road at the same time -- even if it was to my mistress!

The Web Puts a Bite on Crime
When the 'Net first started, criminals from around the world used it to communicate, conspire and, sometimes, commit the crimes themselves.

Now the cops are fighting back, identifying criminals and gathering evidence from Web postings. Most times, the criminals are too dumb for their own good -- posing with weapons or stolen goods, or making detailed threats. The lesson here: Be careful of what you or your kids post. It may come back to bite you!

Windows To Crash Linux Laptop Party?
Microsoft can barely contain its irritation with MIT's $100 Linux laptops for the Third World -- after all, why buy a $100 Linux box when you can buy a $1,000 Vista machine?

Now MS is offering to put Windows on these machines so the poor and downtrodden can decide if they want to spend their time troubleshooting Linux command lines or trying to get spyware off of Windows. Maybe Steve Jobs should enter this fray.

IM Looking for Help
Do you use any IM security tools, a private IM network or have set end user policies for IM? Have you been hit by an IM virus or had users abuse the systems?

If so, I want to talk to you! E-mail me at dbarney@redmondmag.com and give me the skinny.

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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