Yahoo Says Ya-Noo!
Yahoo's board of directors this weekend formally
Microsoft's takeover offer. The board apparently wants either more
dough or to hook up with a different partner, such as Google (which would raise
antitrust concerns) or AOL.
I'm no stock market whiz (and have the losses to prove it!), but as I understand
it, the Microsoft bid was a huge premium over Yahoo's existing share price.
And Microsoft offers the ailing Yahoo resources, market share and commitment
-- things Yahoo needs.
On the flip side, I still don't think this deal is in Microsoft's best interest,
especially if it spends far more than the $44.5
billion it already has on the table.
Instead of trying to out-Google Google, imagine what could be done if all that
money were placed in the hands of a bunch of young, smart programmers and visionaries.
A Busy Patch Tuesday
month's Patch Tuesday had less action than a Kate Hudson romantic comedy.
Tomorrow's, though, will be a little
more intense, with a dozen fixes expected for everything from Visual Basic
to IE and Office. Microsoft's most-loved client OS, XP, gets some tweaks, as
does the New Coke of software, Vista.
A lot of the exploits concern that old bugaboo, the remote execution of code.
And seven are deemed critical.
I have to hand it to Microsoft. While other vendors quietly release fixes,
Microsoft sticks its neck out each and every month and boldly proclaims where
its faults lie. And that takes guts. Agree? Let me know by writing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Single Sign-On Nirvana
How many Web sites or services have you signed up for, only to forget your user
name or password? Here's the problem: You try to register, but the user name
you want is taken, so you add a bunch of random numbers to the end of your name
(say, dbarney8256). And even though nothing special is happening on the site,
the security gods who run it demand a complex password (say dBarn&y8256H20).
Got those committed to memory? I thought not. Use the Web long enough, and
you end up with dozens of these non-intuitive user names and unintelligible
Single sign-on is one answer, and within high-end corporate environments, single
sign-on often gets you access to wide range of corporate info. But it does nothing
to help you remember the sign-on to your (my) favorite motorcycle forums.
A bunch of companies that don't particularly like each other have
agreed to help. Google, IBM, Microsoft, VeriSign and Yahoo are all members
of the OpenID Foundation, which hopes to offer one user name and one password
that gets you onto all of your favorite registered sites. Just make sure you
keep that info very, very safe!
Microsoft had a decent approach to this. It was called Passport. Unfortunately,
not enough sites backed it and Passport is now largely used to access Microsoft-only
IBM Pushes System p, Sun Rolls Out
Datacenter in a Box
Do you remember the PowerPC processor? This little beauty drove everything from
late-model Amigas to Macs. After Apple ditched Power for Intel, it looked like
Power lost all its muscle.
But IBM is keeping the processor family very much alive, and uses it to drive
the world's fastest PCs to what IBM last year claimed was the world's fastest
While IBM pushes its x86 Blade and traditional server lines, the company's
most interesting family just might be the Power-powered System p. Mostly aimed
at the high-end, there are two new System p's: the 520 and 550 Express. Added
to that is a new virtualization technology, PowerVM, that lets the System p
run a wider variety of software, including Linux apps built for x86 systems.
Unfortunately, the System p still doesn't run Windows, even though years ago
NT ran just fine on the PowerPC.
Meanwhile, Sun is now shipping Sun MD. This data system is like a military
field hospital. You can drop Sun MD into a new location, and have processing,
storage, networking and pre-canned data processing all set to go. Not sure if
it comes in Army green.
Get all the details here.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.