Vista Almost Ready
When Microsoft is wrong, I'm not shy about telling the world. When it's right,
I'm the first to pat 'em on the back. In the case of the new
over Vista Ready logos for PCs, I'm patting and complaining
all at once.
Here's the rub. Dell, HP, IBM et al have been selling millions of PCs with
Vista Ready logos. Consumers complain that many of these units can't handle
higher-end revs of Vista, especially the Aero interface.
Here's where I defend Redmond. Vista comes in many forms and the lower-end
versions do run on these machines. On the other hand, Aero is graphics-intensive,
and requires the kind of GPU processing that used to be the domain of top engineers,
scientists, videographers and pimply faced teenage gamers. And, to be legally
precise, the logos don't say "Vista Aero Ready."
On the other hand, Vista does not play nearly as nice with hardware as I'd
like. I've upgraded three or four older machines to XP, and in each case it
was surprisingly flawless. Vista is a lot more demanding, making it tough to
upgrade our current machines. And -- let's face it -- many of the units sold
by Best Buy and Circuit City may run Vista, but they move slower than
an Oscar acceptance speech.
Have you bought a Vista machine that wasn't up to snuff? Share your stories
by writing me at email@example.com.
Sleeping Ain't Always Safe
When I was a kid, I owned a wall hanging made by my grandfather that was inscribed
with an old English evening prayer -- including "If I should die before
I wake, I pray Thee, Lord, my Soul to take."
I treasured it, but it also scared the bejeepers out of me. I wanted to wake
Now, we have to worry about our computers either never waking up or waking
The Electronic Frontier Foundation claims that encrypted disks can be, er,
decrypted while the
computer sleeps. BitLocker from Microsoft was cracked by EFF and Princeton
University experts by finding passwords in RAM, which isn't flushed during sleep
Microsoft isn't the only vendor with this the problem; Apple has it, too!
Another Stupid Idea
I am not a fan of Microsoft buying Yahoo. Yahoo has nothing that Microsoft hasn't
already built or bought, and is, in fact, a legacy Internet company.
Now, a New York Times wonk has what he calls a better idea: Redmond
should buy SAP.
I'm not entirely sure this guy's neural connections are working properly. Look
up "legacy" in the IT dictionary and SAP is the first definition.
SAP does have great technology and, after a long process of installation, has
helped many companies operate more efficiently, rationalize supply chains and
tie in partners. But is it the future? No.
That said, I'm not sure if NYT author Randall Stross realizes that Microsoft
currently owns four separate ERP platforms: Great Plains, Axapta, Navision and
Solomon. Not only that, but Microsoft is currently re-architecting these ERP
tools so they'll be more modern than anything SAP has.
I'm actually pretty darn comfortable with Redmond's ERP plans, and believe
buying SAP would be a move backward.
Virtualization Growing Really
Ask entrepreneurs and IT pros what's hot, and you won't hear much about browsers,
fat client OSes and Cat 5 cable. You will hear a lot about virtualization.
In fact, the vast majority of IT pros have "a
strong interest in virtualization." Still, only a minority in IT are
currently doing virtualization.
Redmond readers are different. Many (if not most) of you are virtualizing,
according to our own research.
Fortunately, there's a brand-new resource that will tell you all you need to
is now up and running, and it comes with a new
newsletter with weekly analysis.
Let me know what you think of the site and what you need to know about virtualization
by writing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mailbag: More on Microsoft-Yahoo
Last Thursday, a reader wrote
in to say that if "Yahoo does not want to be absorbed by Microsoft,"
then Microsoft should back off. Another reader doesn't think it's that simple:
Yahoo's board may not want to be absorbed, but the real owners -- the
stockholders -- may want the profit that a sale would give them. The stockholders
invest to turn a profit, not to give the board a job for as long as they want
Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.