The Billy Show

Last night, I stayed up late to watch Bill Gates on "The Daily Show." While Gates was more relaxed and funny than I've ever seen him (impending retirement can do that), I was hoping for some wildness from host Jon Stewart which never materialized.

And contrary to rumors (spread by my 13-year-old son David), the guy that plays the PC on those Mac commercials never showed. Maybe Gates was also expecting the goofy PC guy, 'cuz Bill bolted uncomfortably as soon as the interview ended, leaving Stewart more perplexed than usual. Check it out for yourself here.

And here's a behind-the-scenes take.

Word Meets Zero-Day Exploit Number Four
Microsoft has had a heckuva time keeping Word secure from zero-day exploits. In fact, this week news of another vulnerability means there are now four holes that need to be plugged. So far, the attacks have been limited in scope, but I'm still jonesin' for some patches here.

St. Bernard Comes to SMB Rescue
St. Bernard Software, which made its name with patch management and other forms of security, is now offering hosted solutions aimed at small and medium-size businesses.

LivePrism includes filtering services for IM, the Web and e-mail. The a la carte offerings, which start at $4 a month per user, also include e-mail hosting and data archiving.

Symantec Snaps Up Altiris
I am an unabashed fan of Windows third parties. These companies plug holes in Microsoft tools, make it easier to use and manage, and add features Redmond either hasn't thought of or hasn't been able to build.

I have mixed feelings about the news that Altiris is being acquired by Symantec. Sometimes, when a smaller company is swallowed by a larger one, a certain spark is lost. And the circle of Windows third parties certainly shrinks by one.

But I understand that entrepreneurs usually build companies so they can go public (fat chance these days) or get sold. So congrats, Altiris!

The Altiris deal ain't exactly small potatoes. Symantec is expected to pay some $830 million.

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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