VMM Is on Its Second Rev -- And It Hasn't Even Shipped Yet!

The second beta of Microsoft's Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) shipped a few days ago, and Microsoft says it is an utterly different product from beta 1.

VMM is a tool that helps track performance and manage virtual machines. And if Microsoft wants to keep pace with VMware, it better get products like VMM right.

In fact, I can't think of a company that has been so successful, despite being in Redmond's crosshairs. Well, maybe Google!

Does virtualization really represent a sea change, or is it just rehashed mainframe technology from the '70s? Let me know at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Not So Sure About WGA
I got a couple of reminders last week from Microsoft about how Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) works and why it's so important (at least to Microsoft).

The company is hoping I'll pass on this information about anti-piracy to customers and partners so we can all do our part in protecting Microsoft's revenue stream.

But in reading the description, I was left with a nagging doubt. I'm not an anti-piracy technology guru, so the need for WGA to regularly check the software after it was initially confirmed as legit is puzzling.

As a user, I must prove in the first month of using Vista that I paid for the copy. Thereafter, Microsoft pings my computer to make sure my copy is still legit -- as if I've stopped payment on the check, or something.

Is there a technical reason that my underdeveloped brain can't fathom? Let me know at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

MS Comes Clean on SaaS
There are a whole lot of big areas where Microsoft's strategy is unclear. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is one of them. Instead of showing leadership, Microsoft is allowing companies such as Salesforce.com to define what SaaS is and how it's done.

Microsoft finally went on the record, and while it didn't lay out a grand SaaS strategy, it did define its idea of how a SaaS app is architected.

In Microsoft's view, a SaaS app has three parts. The consumption side refers to those who use the software. There's an application architecture that is supported by the ISVs that write the software. And finally, the delivery piece is handled by the service providers who host the app.

Now, if Microsoft could just explain how it plans to address these three chunks, I'll be happy.

Doug's Mailbag: Keyed Up About BlackBerry's Keyboard
Last week, I asked for your help in mastering the cramped keyboard on my BlackBerry 7130. Looks like I'm not the only one having problems:

OMG. The keyboard is so annoying. I put up with it because I carried around one of those big, clunky, pocket PC phone editions for a long time, and I was just happy to have something that fit in my pocket. But next time, I'm definitely going with something that types easier.

I heard the next iteration of the software got smarter...but two letters per key? Don't think it'll ever be good enough.
-Anonymous

Got something to add? Let me know at dbarney@redmondmag.com, or leave a comment below.

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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