Copy Protection Works

Most of us hate copy protection, not because we want to steal software, but because it too often gets in the way of legitimate use. But according to the Business Software Alliance, protection works. Since launching the Genuine Software initiative, sales of Windows are up and piracy is down, the organization believes.

Windows Genuine Advantage isn't copy protection in the old sense of the word -- through dongles and so forth. No, here Microsoft pings your computer, checks if it's legit and -- if it isn't -- disables some of its features 'til you buy the real thing.

Personally, I'd rather have a dongle.

What about you? Are there protection schemes you can live with? Let us know by writing me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Virtually Valid
Microsoft's new hypervisor, (formerly called Viridian, and now Hyper-V) is nearly a year away, but Redmond is already prepping support services, including a new program to certify that third-party tools work with Hyper-V.

The virtualization market is in its infancy (even though you old mainframers will tell me IBM big iron has had virtual machines for decades), so it's crucial to prove what works with what.

In fact, the real battle will be for ISVs. Major virtualization companies are building platforms, entire stacks of virtual technologies. Whoever can get the most third-party support may ultimately become the platform. While Microsoft is a genius at building third-party markets (and then tearing down the most profitable pieces), VMware has a clear headstart.

Send your virtualization war stories to me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

.NET and WebSphere Sitting in a Tree
IBM and Microsoft haven't truly gotten along since they split up over OS/2 versus Windows. Now, the battle continues as IBM pitches Linux and Power6-based servers against Dell and HP servers running Windows.

On the development side, IBM runs with Rational (which supports Eclipse) and WebSphere (which competes with Microsoft IIS).

But unlike in decades past, IBM is all about openness and standards. That may be one reason why IBM hooked up with Mainsoft to make sure that .NET and SharePoint work with the IBM WebSphere portal.

Windows Server 2008 Version Overkill?
One of my favorite newsletters/blogs is WServerNews written by Sunbelt exec Stu Sjouwerman. In his most recent issue, Stu tries to make sense of Windows Server 2008 versions and their pricing. You'll have to scroll down to page 4 to get his analysis, but it's well worth the trip.

Eventually, there will be eight different major editions of Windows Server 2008. Oh, and there's a standalone version of the Hyper-V hypervisor. Then, Stu looks at the 32- and 64-bit versions, and comes up with as many as 16 different versions!

If a guy that writes WServerNews can't make sense of this, we're all in trouble.

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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