Microsoft Snags Online Advertiser

Perhaps still smarting from being outbid by Google for DoubleClick, Microsoft recently announced its acquisition of online advertising firm aQuantive, paying a sweet $6 billion in cash.

This comes on the heels of similar purchases by other companies, including Google and Yahoo, which acquired the rest of Right Media last month.

This trend is driven at least in part by greater sophistication in online advertising, with highly targeted and, in some cases, personalized ads based on search criteria, browsing history or known information about the user.

Whatever business reasons led to this spate of acquisitions, clearly we know what this means for Web users: We are going to see a lot more advertising. Still, advertising keeps a lot of Web content freely available. Are you willing to continue to accept advertising in exchange for free content? Let me know at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

Strangeloop Networks Accelerates ASP.NET Applications
Applications are never ready when you need them, and tuning and performance testing during development take up time that might be better put to use with more features or other applications. Wouldn't it be nice if you could largely skip that step and make performance improvements in production while the application is running?

Strangeloop Networks, a Vancouver, British Columbia startup, this week announced a hardware box that uses heuristics of ASP.NET execution in order to perform such an acceleration. The company claims improvements up to 10 times faster and 10 times more users. Many of the heuristics involve caching strategies, saving a trip to the database or being able to return a cached page rather than recreating that page at the application server.

If the Strangeloop Networks technology strategy plays out in broad practice, it could mean faster applications and a quicker turnaround for business requirements. But developers I’ve spoken to question whether a hardware solution in production can make up for little or no performance tuning and load testing during development. What do you think? Contact me at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

Advance Information on Patches
In response to many requests for more information on its patch plans, Microsoft’s Security Resource Center has said that its advance notification bulletins will contain more information starting next month.

The advance notification notice usually comes on the Thursday prior to Patch Tuesday. With the June 7 advance notification, Microsoft will provide information on maximum severity, vulnerability impact, detection and affected products. In the past, Microsoft typically just described the severity and the affected product, leaving IT administrators to wonder for a few days if they should be worried about vulnerabilities prior to the patches' availability.

The format of the security notices themselves is also going to change. Microsoft posted an example of the new format here.

About the Author

Peter Varhol is the executive editor, reviews of Redmond magazine and has more than 20 years of experience as a software developer, software product manager and technology writer. He has graduate degrees in computer science and mathematics, and has taught both subjects at the university level.

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