Microsoft Loses Out Again
- By Peter Varhol
magazine's just-released annual list of the 20
, Microsoft comes in at a respectable (but ultimately
losing) No. 16.
It's a losing position because the most respected company is Microsoft's frequent
adversary, Apple, whose iPhone, iPod and Mac computers (plus OS X) give it a
lineup that's both highly profitable and way cool. Microsoft has the profitable
part down, but few have ever accused Redmond of coolness.
To add insult to injury, holding position No. 4 is Microsoft's second adversary,
Google, a company Fortune claims is widely seen as the protector of the
Is this a fair shake to Microsoft? Or is it overly generous? Sound off to me
Microsoft Cuts Retail Price for
wrote in yesterday's Redmond Report, Microsoft has said it will be cutting
prices for the Windows Vista operating system -- although that announcement
may have been overshadowed by the Windows
Server launch last week.
Most of these price cuts will take effect once Vista SP1 ships, although some
may be applied earlier. In developed countries, Microsoft is mostly cutting
prices for retail upgrade versions of Vista Home Premium and Ultimate. These
cuts appear to be quite minor. In developing countries, however, the price cuts
can effectively lower the price of some Vista editions by as much as 50 percent.
Is this a competitive action against continued use of XP, or even against desktop
Linux in countries where the retail price of Vista represents a large sum of
money? Or does Microsoft have something else in mind? Send your thoughts to
Google Launches SharePoint Competitor
In yet another shot fired across the bow of Microsoft, Google has announced
the availability of a Web-based environment that seemingly goes head-to-head
This tool lets anyone easily set up and update a customized Web site featuring
a wide array of material -- including pictures, calendars and videos -- for
group use. Unlike SharePoint, which is a (fairly) expensive product, this Google
tool is free and hosted on the Google Web site, so no site administration beyond
content is required.
Would you use Google rather than Microsoft for your content portal? Let me
know at email@example.com.
Wikileaks Back Online
Last month, Wikileaks, a Web site that lets people anonymously post documents
and other evidence that demonstrate wrongdoing by an institution or government,
was ordered shut
down by a federal District Court judge at the request of a Swiss bank that
found documents on the site implicating it in a money laundering scheme.
The Julius Baer Bank brought its complaint to a judge, who issued an injunction
ordering Dynadot, the domain-name registrar, to turn off the DNS pointers to
the Wikileaks Web site. This, however, accomplished the exact opposite of the
desired effect: Within hours, these documents were copied to hundreds of different
Web locations, and the story became known around the world. Of course, the original
Web site itself is still accessible through its IP address, if not its name.
Fortunately, at the end of last week, the judge had
second thoughts and dropped the ineffective and possibly indefensible injunction.
As of yesterday, Wikileaks was back online, as were the bank documents in question.
Our courts may lack a fundamental understanding of the Internet, but at least
they have the ability to change their minds. What's your takeaway from this
tale? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug on VSLive!: Programming Not
Just for Programmers Anymore
Today, we're wrapping up with a note from Doug Barney on our upcoming VSLive!
Microsoft has a new set of development tools that I believe is moving programming
beyond the code monkeys and propeller heads (to my mind, these are both compliments)
to a full range of IT hotshots.
Silverlight makes writing the Web easier than crafting a college senior thesis.
Meanwhile, Visual Studio 2008 supports the creation of stable, secure, full-function
corporate and commercial apps.
Whether you're a programming guru, or just looking to dip you toes, we have
the event for you -- VSLive!
On March 30-April 3, join us at VSLive! at the Moscone
Center in San Francisco. If you can't make that, we'll be in
Orlando on May 12-16. Bring the family! --Doug
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