Microsoft Rebuffed by Supreme Court

Microsoft's legal eagles went to the top to try and quash Novell's litigious advances, but fell short. Earlier this week, the Supreme Court reportedly refused Microsoft's appeal to halt an antitrust suit filed by Novell several years ago.

The suit, originally filed by Novell in 2004, claimed Microsoft "deliberately targeted" Novell's WordPerfect and Quattro Pro applications to preserve and improve market share for its competing Office apps. According to this recent Supreme Court ruling, Novell can indeed proceed with its suit under the current federal antitrust statutes.

While this clears the way for Novell to pursue its suit and the multiple billions it's seeking in damages, it's in no way a guarantee of success. Novell will have its work cut out for it to prove Microsoft's malicious intent and actions with regard to WordPerfect and Quattro Pro. Sure, Office crushed those applications, but was it due to the machinations of an evil empire, superior marketing dollars or just a matter of the best coming out on top? I'd put my money on No. 2. Stay tuned to this developing drama.

I never played around much with Quattro Pro, but I was a fan of WordPerfect. What do you think about this legal tiff between Novell and Microsoft? Were you a WordPerfect or Quattro Pro user? Any other dearly departed applications you wish would make a comeback? Send me a note (preferably written in WordPerfect) and let me know at [email protected].

Paper, Plastic or ID Theft?
New England supermarket chain Hannaford Bros. left the gates open to nearly 4.2 million credit and debit card numbers, which has already led to approximately 1,800 documented cases of fraud. Another deeply disturbing tale of a computer security breach and theft of personal information and fraud -- even more so because I used to swipe my debit card there on a regular basis.

This lapse in security lasted from December through early this month, and cut across more than 270 Hannaford-owned and -managed stores throughout Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts and Florida.

In a prepared statement, Hannaford chief executive Ronald C. Hodge said the data was "illegally accessed from our computer systems during transmission of card authorization." The purloined data was only credit and debit card numbers, without the associated names or addresses.

Immediately prior to Hannaford disclosing the data breach, the Massachusetts Bankers Association released a statement claiming that a major retailer had suffered a breach, and MasterCard and Visa issued a warning to nearly 70 banks in Massachusetts. Hannaford is now urging all of its customers to keep a close eye on their card statements and report any suspicious activity.

Sadly, if someone gets their hands on my card number, it's really not going to do them that much good. Still, I'll be watching my account like a hawk. Do you have any stolen-data tales of terror? How do you safeguard sensitive data with which you're charged? Carefully transmit any information to me at [email protected].

Microsoft and Intel Fund Research
Microsoft and Intel are teaming up to form the Department of Really Cool Stuff. OK, it's not really called that, but the two tech giants are pooling their resources to help fund advanced software development research for multi-core processors.

The research activities will be based at the Parallel Computing Lab at UC Berkeley. The lab just opened its doors (which I'm thinking must be side-by-side?) in January.

The white coats at Berkeley research have long maintained that new programming models were going to have to evolve to match the hardware evolution going on at the processor level. Already, the chips are outpacing the bits.

Intel will soon roll out a six-core processor, which is currently codenamed "Dunnington." Then, possibly as soon as later this year, it will unveil its eight-core processor with the funky codename of "Nehalem." AMD is strong with its quad-core processors, but is keeping quiet about future multiples.

Microsoft's and Intel's bucks and Berkeley's brains ought to be a good combo for coming up with a brilliant plan. I'll certainly be keeping an eye on the results. Have you or your organization ventured into multi-core computing? What sort of applications do you find it impacts the most? Shoot me a note at [email protected] and let me know.

Yahoo Expects Revenue To Soar
Clearly, it must know something we don't. As if to validate its refusal of Microsoft's colossal takeover offer, Yahoo anticipates its cash flow will nearly double over the next few years. In a prepared financial statement released yesterday, Yahoo forecast generating $8.8 billion in revenue after costs in 2010.

Yahoo-ers are saying this financial forecast should provide some support for its position of defiance. Still, that's a big jump. For this year, Yahoo is still expecting revenue of up to $5.95 billion. Analysts were a bit more skeptical, coming in with forecasts of $5.65 billion.

Think Yahoo can make that plan? How might that affect the company's price tag? Has any of this changed your browsing or searching habits? Let me know at [email protected].

About the Author

Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.


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