An Order of Vista with a Side of Security

Vista for consumers will ship at the end of this month, and not coincidently a new rev of Microsoft’s OneCare anti-virus software will be ready at precisely the same time. For customers, having more security options -- especially ones that tie tightly into Vista -- is a good thing.

But I still don’t know how I feel about how Microsoft got into this market. First, it built an OS that needed anti-virus, then watched as Symantec and others made hundreds of millions fixing Windows’ problems. Now that Redmond knows precisely how it’s done, the company is going full-throttle. Is this fair to all the anti-virus pioneers? Our latest cover story takes a tough but fair look at this important issue.

When Will Cisco and Microsoft Collide?
Cisco owns the networking space as completely as Microsoft owns the desktop. Microsoft gained its control by relentlessly writing code and competing with a fierceness that would make George Steinbrenner proud.

Cisco has built its share of great products, but much of its growth is from an unrivaled string of acquisitions (it is a master at integrating companies).

But eventually the desktop and network worlds will collide and Microsoft and Cisco will really be put to the test.

Last week Cisco edged closer to Microsoft territory with the $830 million purchase of IronPort, a maker of anti-virus and anti-spam tools.

On the flip side, Microsoft violated Cisco territory through its unified communications strategy, where Microsoft partnered with Nortel, rather than Cisco. So far, the gloves are on, but I can see this turning bare-knuckle real fast!

Beware Adobe PDFs
I don’t know anyone that doesn’t use PDFs nearly every day -- I couldn’t live without them. Hackers have taken notice and recently attacked a flaw in the PDF format -- crafting worms, ways to steal cookies and methods to take over remote machines. The fix for IE is to upgrade, while Firefox users are advised to turn off Acrobat support.

Doug's Mailbag: Windows at the Wheel
Which crashes more: Windows or Nascar's Bodine brothers? If Microsoft's plan to put Windows in Ford cars goes through, we'll find out soon enough. Here's one reader's take:

Never thought I'd see a Nascar drop-in from a tech newsletter. But it's good to see ol' Geoff and (have to admit I needed Google on the last two) Todd, not to mention Brett. As a motorcyclist, I'm a bit scared to see more distracting techonology in "cages," as we like to call them, but I realize it's all part of the game. Plus, it is Windows so there's a good chance it will be on the fritz. Hope your holidays weren't too frightful, and have a great '07.
-John

What do you think? Let me know by commenting below or dropping a line 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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