XP for Low-End PCs and Low-End PCs Only!

Microsoft has plans to retire XP in favor of Vista in the relatively near future, but it will ship XP for years to come on low-cost PCs aimed at developing countries.

Apparently, though, Microsoft wants to make sure these PCs don't cut into Vista PC sales. It's requiring OEMs to make these XP machines with no more than a gig of RAM, an 80GB hard drive or less, and a processor that pokes along at 1GHz or less.

I can understand this rationale, but it means that when it comes to PCs, the Third World will also be third-rate -- and that's not too fair. Agree? Disagree? Shoot me your thoughts at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Raikes Retires To Do Good
I've always liked Microsoft executive Jeff Raikes. Back in the '80s and early '90s, it was nothing to have dinner, lunch or just a simple sit-down with everyone from Gates to Ballmer to Raikes. You get to know a person over a plate or two of Thai food, and Raikes impressed me as being a straight-shooting, overall nice guy, and a man who could make Mensa members feel stupid.

This year, Raikes announced that he's leaving Microsoft. But he ain't going very far: Raikes will be the new CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This is a perfect move. The Gates Foundation doesn't just write a bunch of checks; it carefully researches how the money could do the most good. It takes a smart man to spend Bill's money, and Raikes is just the guy for the job.

Redmond Profits from Cupertino Wares
Microsoft just can't seem to lose. If Vista doesn't catch on, sell XP instead. If the Mac market picks up, make money on Office!

Microsoft says Office 2008 for the Mac is its best-selling Mac suite ever. No wonder Microsoft remains committed to this product line.

In fact, Microsoft has given Office for the Mac some serious tweaks, in the form of better integration with Exchange (Redmond magazine artists and managing editors will be happy with this!) and improved overall printing. Microsoft also promises to bring back Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), the souped-up macro language.

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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