Patching Time Again

Tomorrow should already be on your -- or one of your minions' -- schedule, so you won't forget to patch your Windows and client PCs. Luckily, this month is pretty light with a scant four patches.

Microsoft Word tops the list with a remote execution exploit just begging to be fixed. Publisher also gets a plug (write me at dbarney@redmondmag.com if you're one of the few that actually use this program). Lastly, the Jet Database Engine gets one of its flaws un-flawed.

How does your shop patch? Manually? A patch management tool? A combo? Any advice for would-be patchers? Write me at dbarney@redmondmag.com and I'll pass it along.

Dell Into Virtualization for Real
I just wrapped up a 2,500-word feature story about Dell's virtualization strategy for our new magazine Virtualization Review. I also spent weeks deciphering Sun, IBM and HP plans. These last three vendors have multiple hardware environments, their own management tools and, in two cases, homemade hypervisors. This was all as intricate as a Dennis Miller commentary (though far more interesting and less pretentious).

Dell was far different. What Dell does is sell standard servers that run standard third-party virtualization software. The strategy took all of two seconds to comprehend -- even for me. Dell has extended this to shipping servers with the embedded version of VMware, as well as the option to buy servers with Xen pre-installed. Dell also has a new Web site where you can easily buy virtual wares.

Dell may not have the broadest range of tools, but at least you won't get a headache trying to figure it all out.

Virtual Definitions
Virtualization can be a confusing area to understand. By its very definition, virtualization is an abstract endeavor. And with the ability to virtualize everything from PCs to servers to mainframes to storage to files and I/O, no wonder so many are perplexed.

Just the client alone is filled with many ways to virtualize. You can turn a PC into multiple PCs with PC virtualization. You can isolate an app from the registry through application virtualization. You can stream apps from a server to a PC through application streaming or desktop virtualization.

Tom Valovic, a longtime IDC analyst who just joined Virtualization Review, recently dissected the world of client virtualization in a recent blog posting. Now I think I almost understand it. This guy is going to be really good!

All the MS News You Can Use
Lately, I've been harping on about our new site RedmondReport.com, a portal for news about Microsoft. I've been bragging so much I figured I'd take a look this morning and see if it's as good as I said it was -- and it is!

My favorite story is one we picked up from Wired. It turns out that one of worst high-tech companies for the environment is that touchy-feely outfit from Cupertino with Al Gore on its board.

Yup. Good, old Apple evidently makes iPhones with toxic materials, doesn't even know how much CO2 it emits and has no real plan to reduce its greenhouse gases.

Maybe the next time Steve Jobs flies across the country on the Gulfstream V Apple bought him, he can think up a plan. By the way, Jobs' plane holds some 41,300 pounds of fuel and uses about 64 pounds per nautical mile. That's even worse than my '96 Cadillac.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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