Tech-Ed Update

Greetings from Orlando! Once again, the IT hordes have descended upon central Florida for a week of technology classes, product announcements and industry gatherings (not the least of which is tonight's legendary Redmond party at the Groove nightclub).

While there's a lot of buzz from Microsoft during this Tech-Ed, there are many third-party vendors on the show floor making news. Here are some highlights:

  • TNT Software has shipped ELM Enterprise Manager 5.0. The new version features a beefed-up reporting engine called the ELM Editor; a database archive management system which keeps database files at a manageable and easily reportable size; and an Event File Collector that consolidates, compresses and stores event files.
  • American Power Conversion (APC) has a new way to keep up with the dynamic nature of server rooms. Its InfraStruXure Central helps server admins design, manage power usage and, most importantly, manage cooling systems.
  • Idera has announced new pricing for its SQLsafe tool: free. You can go to http://www.idera.com/FreeTools and download a free version of its SQL Server backup and recovery tool.
  • ScriptLogic has new updates across most of its product lines. Stay tuned for more details.

Keep on eye on Redmond Report for more updates from the Tech-Ed floor.

What new and forthcoming products are you most excited about? What sorts of tools and utilities do you see a need for? Let me know at llow@redmondmag.com.

IBM Settles Suit
There's news happening elsewhere in the tech world, as well. The Securities and Exchange Commission, which I'm sure is not on Bill Gates' Christmas card list, has been looking deep into Big Blue for a misleading stock compensation estimate dating back from April 2005. Allegedly, IBM under-reported stock option expenses to soften the blow of an expected earnings shortfall later that quarter.

IBM and the SEC recently settled the case without ruffling any feathers -- or checkbooks -- on either side. The SEC won't impose any fines, and IBM promised not to commit any disclosure violations. Big Blue did not, however, admit or deny any wrongdoing regarding the incident.

It's always interesting when big tech companies and the government get into it. Do you think the SEC does a good job of keeping companies in check? Do you think it should keep a closer eye? Disclose your opinion at llow@redmondmag.com.

Google Gets Ad Partner
Google will have a bit more help getting online ads onto its pages. Salesforce.com just formalized an agreement with the great Google in which Salesforce will release a specialized version of its service that will let its 32,000 customers run online ads through Google.

It's another step toward Google becoming a more imposing force in the world of online advertising, but it falls short of earlier expectations of the deal. There were hopes among the analyst community that the deal might include Google's e-mail, IM and Office-type apps to make a stronger stand against Microsoft.

Advertising -- it's everywhere. What do you think of the encroachment of online ads? What do you think about Google branching out with online versions of traditionally desktop apps? Let me know at llow@redmondmag.com.

Another Low-Cost Laptop
Intel has been getting inexpensive laptops into the hands of needy kids in developing countries for years, but the chip maker is putting some more muscle behind its efforts. It just announced its plans to work with motherboard maker Asustek to develop a notebook that could cost as little as $200.

This type of mass-production and mass distribution is what the One Laptop Per Child Foundation (OLPC) has always had in mind. The organization's goal is to deliver millions of these low-cost laptops by October.

Unlike other models produced for the OLPC, the Intel/Asustek unit will be a full-fledged notebook computer, although with a smaller screen than typical models.

How do these efforts to spread technology affect you? Do you think they'll help developing countries with more fundamental issues like hunger, disease and warfare? Let us hear it at llow@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.

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