Windows Vista SP1 Ready, Waiting

Microsoft yesterday announced that Windows Vista Service Pack 1 has been completed and released to manufacturing. Here's the catch: The company will not make it available for at least another six weeks.

According to the Vista blog, the rollout of SP1 for current Vista users will be timed to coincide with the availability of Vista SP1 on new PCs and in stores, which is scheduled for around mid-March. It will be an optional download on Windows Update, so those using automatic updates won't see it until April.

This odd state of affairs is due to some driver incompatibility issues that are noted in a very general way in the Vista blog. It says that the Vista team would like to come up with a better user experience to handle this situation.

Does it makes sense to hold back on a completed service pack? Tell me your opinion at [email protected].

Dell Closes EqualLogic Acquisition, Announces New iSCSI Products
I was fortunate to be present during Dell's worldwide announcement of its completed acquisition of iSCSI vendor EqualLogic (whose office happens to be a stone's throw from my New Hampshire home) and the rollout of its new PS5000 Series iSCSI SAN storage devices.

My front-row seat brought me face to face with a video presentation by Michael Dell and a real-person panel discussion and demonstration by Dell Senior VP of Products Brad Anderson. In response to my question about acquiring EqualLogic while partnering with EMC on other storage solutions, Anderson noted that the growth of fiber channel storage is essentially flat, while iSCSI is continuing to grow like gangbusters.

There's certainly more flexibility with iSCSI, given its abstraction of virtual storage away from the physical device using Ethernet. Are you using SAN storage? What's your take on iSCSI? Let me know at [email protected].

ScriptLogic Releases Incident Management Solution
Systems management software vendor ScriptLogic today announced and made available Incident Management Solution, a product bundle that includes the previously released Desktop Authority Remote Management Gateway and ScriptLogic BridgeTrak, along with the new Desktop Authority Password Self-Service.

The Remote Management Gateway lets a desktop support analyst have secure, Web-based remote management and remote control of a user's desktop. And Desktop Authority Password Self-Service lets end users solve their own password problems, including password reset requests. The goal is to give IT professionals on the help desk a comprehensive way to address incidents while also reducing the volume of calls. This sounds like a great supplement to any help desk -- enable IT professionals to resolve desktop issues without leaving their desk, and enable self-service on tasks that are mundane and repetitive.

Are password resets a necessary evil, or do you take them more seriously? Let me know at [email protected].

Mailbag: Is There a Method to Microsoft's Yahoo Madness?
Doug reported yesterday on Microsoft's proposed $44 billion purchase of Yahoo, and wondered what Microsoft could possibly gain from the struggling company. Turns out most of you think the purchase would make perfect sense:

Doug, Doug, Doug. Let's see, why would Coke want to buy Pepsi, or McDonald's buy Burger King, or Microsoft buy Yahoo? No, it has nothing to do with technology. It has everything to do with customer base. Sure, Microsoft has a search product, but very few choose to use it. A lot of people still use Yahoo, but they are not about to change to the Microsoft version. Oops! I guess they will if Microsoft buys the product they are currently using.

What I don't know is how big the exodus might be for Yahoo customers who don't have a warm, fuzzy feeling toward MS. That could determine how good a move this is, really.

While I don't think Microsoft is going to get what it's looking for out of Yahoo, I think you missed the mark when you said, "I don't see anything in the Yahoo portfolio that Microsoft doesn't already have." Yahoo has one thing that Microsoft is sorely lacking right now: online market share. Yahoo may have been in decline in recent history, but its market share of online advertising and search is far above that of the foundering MSN and Windows Live. My bet is that Microsoft simply wants to get that many eyeballs looking at its Live Search and the rumored Office Live.

In this instance, Microsoft is probably moving too slowly, much as it did with Facebook. Not long after it purchased a stake in Facebook, survey results became available noting how social networking site usage in general declined through the course of 2007. Yahoo has clung to the old Internet portal model, which is also an out-dated concept as more content has become freely available and more people have become educated enough to go straight to the source for news, weather, shopping, etc.

Yahoo still has the eyes that Microsoft wants, but without some real innovation Yahoo will go the way of MSN in Microsoft's hands.

I'm afraid your premise was flawed. Who said that the deal should be based on technical innovation? From a purely business standpoint, the Yahoo audience IS worth that kind of cash.

Interesting feedback about Microsoft's aggressive effort to buy out Yahoo. It's not really about buying technology (legacy or not), since Microsoft already has or can build that easily. It's about market share and even though Yahoo is dwindling, it has a large market share in several niches. Combine that with Microsoft's smart strategies and you end up with Google feeling very threatened as the market leader. The only question would be whether Microsoft can really turn Yahoo around into a winner.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has been scratching their head over this one! When I heard this news originally, I asked my friends, what is Microsoft thinking? To pay so much money for a company that is failing against Google reminds me of the saying our parents used to say to us: "Two wrongs don't make a right!"

For a company that hasn't been able to make inroads against Google to buy another company that hasn't been able to compete against Google despite having a headstart makes no sense. Even combining Microsoft's existing search share and combining it with Yahoo's doesn't equal Google by itself. Yahoo is too well-known to just buy it and then fold it into Windows Live, and I don't think Microsoft's ego will allow Windows Live to fold into Yahoo, so you end up with both companies still out there as separate visual entities. The average person won't necessarily know the difference, and those who do may very well leave Yahoo because they don't like Microsoft!

Couldn't agree more with your article yesterday. Feels like 1+1=1.25 in the best-case scenario.

Join the fray! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to [email protected].

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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