IE Wins Friends and Influences People

OK, maybe that's not what Dale Carnegie had in mind when he penned that "influential" book. Nevertheless, Internet Explorer was just named the most influential technology product of the last 25 years.

IE's latest accolade comes from a survey conducted by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). IE took the top spot with 66 percent of the survey respondents voting it into first place.

Microsoft fared quite well in the survey, scooping up four of the top five spots. Microsoft Word placed second in the poll, followed by Microsoft Windows 95. It will be interesting to see how long the older, stable versions of Microsoft's operating systems dominate this survey and how long it will take for Vista to crack the top five.

There was a tie for fourth place, which was also where the only non-Microsoft product in the top five landed. Microsoft Excel and Apple's iPod split the fourth position.

Some of the other top influential products were the BlackBerry, Adobe Photoshop (anything that has become a verb -- as in, "Just Photoshop it in" -- has got to earn a spot on the influential list), McAfee VirusScan, Netscape Navigator and the venerable Palm Pilot, which first came out in 1996. Speaking of product names that become verbs, I'm sure the next time CompTIA conducts this type of survey, Google will find itself on the list.

What do you think are the most influential high-tech products of the last 25 years? Did your favorite make the list? Do you agree with the survey results? Let me know at llow@redmondmag.com.

FCC Slowly Moving To Open Wireless
The FCC moved one step closer toward creating an open wireless network by deciding to auction off currently unused segments of the broadcast spectrum, according to a ruling issued late yesterday. Goggle had to be happy with that ruling, as it has been pushing from its end for more competition in that arena.

This would eventually mean that customers could use whichever device they choose to access a signal, regardless of which provider owned that portion of the spectrum. Google has been actively petitioning the FCC to develop such an open national wireless network, which would also open service access and device sales to greater competition.

The segment of the wireless spectrum in question is the 700MHz band. The FCC is opening this to new wireless services and digital television transmission expected to be fully in place by early 2009.

The auction will start no later that Jan. 28, 2008, as mandated by federal law. Google has indicated that it would be willing to bid at least $4.6 billion for ownership of the unclaimed spectrum.

How do you feel about the current wireless access landscape? Too much of a monopoly? Would open access solve these problems and foster healthy competition? Wire me a note at llow@redmondmag.com.

Top 10 Trojan Threats
BitDefender Labs today posted its top 10 list of e-mail threats for the first half of 2007. This is far less funny than David Letterman's nightly top 10 rant.

Mass mailers and trojans dominated the list. The Peed trojan was the top threat to date in 2007. Variants of this nasty bugger account for about 30 percent of all detected threats.

Overall, trojans have proven to be the most popular type of malware to date this year. A generic, behavior-based trojan signature (different pieces of malware that behave like trojans) came in second on the top 10 list. Another notable threat was the Win32.Sality.M virus, the only true virus to make the list.

Here's BitDefender's top 10 malware list for the first half of 2007:

  1. Trojan.Peed.Gen (27.19%)
  2. BehavesLike:Trojan.Downloader (21.40%)
  3. Win32.Netsky.P@mm (5.62%)
  4. Trojan.Peed.A (2.37%)
  5. Win32.NetSky.D@mm (1.87%)
  6. Win32.Nyxem.E@mm (1.86%)
  7. Win32.Sality.M (1.85%)
  8. GenPack:Trojan.Downloader.Tibs.I (1.33%)
  9. Trojan.Peed.P (1.30%)
  10. Win32.Netsky.AA@mm (1.22%)

Those percentages indicate the prevalence of particular malware in overall detections made by BitDefender Labs.

What viruses, trojans and other nasty nuggets have been coming through your organization's mail servers? What keeps you on the lookout? Send me a clean, healthy message at llow@redmondmag.com.

Sun Still Shining
Things are looking good at Sun. Server business is good -- so good that the Cupertino, Calif.-based Sun Microsystems reported a $329 million profit for its fourth quarter, up from a $301 million loss during the same period the year before.

This is long-awaited good news for Sun, which has had to cut jobs, cut expenses and post losses for five quarters before getting into a turnaround mode, posting a profit for three consecutive quarters. Sun's revenues for the year were $13.87 billion.

Sun execs are still looking at other ways to cut costs to keep the streak going and the glow on Wall Street Sun worshippers. They're expected to give more details on their plans at the annual analyst meeting in September. They'll likely forecast growth for the entire next fiscal year, but at a conservative rate.

This year, Sun has made several product announcements, including working with processors from Intel and the beleaguered AMD. It's just about ready to show off its Niagara 2 eight-way processor, which ought to help keep the clouds at bay.

How seriously is your organization looking at other platforms? Considering Sun? Open source? How mixed or homogenous is your environment and why? Shine on, you crazy diamond, and let me know at llow@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.

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