Microsoft May Finally Hit the Bank
It looks like even the monstrous $44.6
Microsoft has put in for Yahoo might be a bit much for its cash
on hand. The well-heeled, cash-rich software giant is considering taking
on some debt
to settle part of the purchase price for Yahoo, which is structured
as half stock and half cash.
During its annual strategy meeting with financial analysts, Microsoft Chief
Financial Officer Chris Liddell said, "It's likely we're actually going
to borrow for the first time. [The cash payment will] be a mixture of the cash
we have on hand plus debt." Microsoft apparently has enough to settle the
deal, with a reported $21 billion cash reserve, but rightfully wouldn't feel
comfortable draining its entire reserves.
This would be historic -- the first time the software giant took on a degree
of debt. Speaking at the same analysts meeting earlier this week, Microsoft
top dog Steve Ballmer said he thought the offer for Yahoo was "generous."
He expects Yahoo's board and shareholders to agree to the buyout quickly, but
acknowledges it would take months to sort out the details.
Heck, I have to hit the bank and move money around every time I go grocery
shopping, much less plunking down nearly $45 billion to buy a company. What's
your take on Microsoft's proposed purchase of Yahoo? How do you think this will
affect its standing with Google? We've heard from every talking head and analyst
in the news. We want to hear from you. Let me hear your bid at [email protected].
Intel's Next-Gen Chip
Intel expects to double performance in server processors with its new
Tukwila processor -- the next generation of its 64-bit Itanium processor.
The leading chip maker announced its new processor at a conference in San Francisco
earlier this week.
The Tukwila processor is a quad-core design, runs at speeds up to 2GHz and
is built with Intel's integrated memory controller and QuickPath architecture.
It will also feature 30MB of on-die cache and dual-integrated memory controllers.
The Tukwila will support Unix, Linux and Windows Server operating systems, and
is expected to be delivered by the end of this year.
This ups the ante in the server processor wars. The Tukwila will be positioned
to drive servers running enterprise-grade, mission-critical applications, like
financial services, health care, insurance and government. The chip is designed
with advanced RAS features that promise improved reliability, availability and
Does your organization need this kind of horsepower? How do you ensure your
mission-critical apps are always running? What's your high-availability strategy?
My e-mail is always on, so let me know at [email protected].
New Botnet Sneaks In
The anti-virus, anti-spam and security researchers at BitDefender have scared
up a new spam botnet. And when I say scared up, I mean scared up. This new botnet
attracts potential victims with explicit videos of celebrity "hotties"
like Britney and Paris Hilton. Please, as if nausea weren't enough to keep you
away from those two.
Anyway, victims are lured to a site that naturally has a bunch of malware spun
up and ready to go. The botnet e-mails use legitimate-looking links like: http://www.google.com/pagead/iclk?sa=l&ai=trailhead&num=69803&adurl=http://******.com.
Notice that address is missing the "www" of a real Google search result
address, like http://www.******.com.
Once you've gone to the site and executed the file, the Trojan.Downloader.Exchange.A
executes more rootkit and spambot malware on your system. Then you're mercilessly
spammed with links to the Trojan downloader and the cycle continues. Nice, eh?
Check out BitDefender's defense portal for more
details on this nasty new spam botnet.
It's an ongoing battle, isn't it? How do you defend your systems against nastiness
like this? How frequently do you upgrade your filters and settings? Share your
war stories with me at [email protected].
Mailbag: Vista SP1 Un-Fashionably
Yesterday, Peter reported on Microsoft's decision to delay
Vista's first service pack for at least six weeks. Readers share their thoughts
on whether withholding SP1 makes sense:
It would have made more sense to hold back the entire "completed"
Vista's SP1 should be released immediately to those of us who have been
using Vista for a year, rather than staging the release to coincide with its
appearance on new computers. Can you imagine Apple doing this to their loyal
My opinion is this: There are problems with Vista that Microsoft knows
exist. Delaying this release is nothing more than a slap in the face of the
people that already have it installed and have problems that cannot be corrected.
This software has extreme shortcomings and I have chosen not to purchase any
additional computers with Vista installed.
It makes sense to keep this waiting. We enabled the download of the RC1
on our Vista Enterprise 64-bit (updated to the latest patch). The Windows
Update downloaded the RC at least five times from varying file sizes but never
completed. We disabled the same after waiting for a week.
I would consider deploying on a virtual machine before advising a customer
I can't believe how many folks are complaining about having to wait six
weeks. I won't deploy it for six months! I have never deployed a newly released
service pack because of the potential problems it can cause by deploying early.
Once I killed the TCP auto-tuning feature, my installations have been
performing fine. Of course, I have good hardware which I suspect is really
the main reason folks are not having any luck with Vista. They are running
or trying to run Vista on the same hardware they were running XP on with performing
RAM upgrades, etc.
Anyway, I don't see any reason for hurrying or even wanting to deploy
SP1 as soon as it is available. But, as usual, I don't have all the issues
that folks seem to have every time MS deploys a new OS.
And in the wake of Dell's
rollout of its new line of PS5000 Series iSCSI SAN storage devices, Russ
gives his 2 cents on iSCSI technology:
We're currently in the middle of a VMware I3 implementation that will
eventually use an iSCSI SAN from LeftHand Networks. The first phase of our
project was just going to use local ESX server storage as the SAN wasn't budgeted
for purchase until a later date. The problem we ran into was that we ran out
of local storage before we got everything virtualized.
I was able to take an older HP server, load it up with extra drives left
over from servers already virtualized and then install Openfiler NAS, an open
source iSCSI-capable storage platform. The entire system works like a champ
and didn't cost us anything but an hour or so to install the Openfiler and
configure it. If we had gone with a fiber channel solution, we'd still be
on hold waiting for the SAN.
Tell us what you think! Send an e-mail to [email protected]
or leave your comment below.
Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.