XP Service Pack Serviced by Ex-Microsoftie

XP SP3 has wreaked a fair bit of havoc on a small number of machines. Apparently, some HP (and some other AMD) machines can't stop rebooting when SP3 is installed.

Looks like an ex-Microsoft employee still has a soft spot for end users and just released a fix that can be installed before the service pack, eliminating the incessant boots. Our hats should all be tipped in Jesper Johansson's direction.

Vista Security P&#!!-ing Contest
Feel free to file this under the "Duh!" category. Security company PC Tools spent last week arguing that Vista isn't all that secure and that third-party tools are needed for safe computing.

Of course, there are some systems where you can more or less get away with no add-on virus/malware protection. Of the four Macs I've bought and paid for (then promptly gave away to my children), none have ever had security software. Linux is the same.

But Microsoft has never said that Vista fits in that category. For gosh sakes, isn't Redmond trying to sell us all Forefront or OneCare?

Microsoft responded to PC Tool's attacks by claiming the Vista security really isn't as bad as PC Tools made out. Like in any good p&#!!-ing contest, PC Tools immediately shot back, claiming that Vista security really is as bad as PC Tools made out.

Children, children, let's try to behave, shall we?

The Coolest USB Drive Ever
USB drives are clearly cool, and clearly getting cheap. My dad wears one around his neck with all his important files. He knows the files are safe and, as long as he can commandeer a PC, he can use them.

MokaFive is taking that concept one step further: Put your files, yours apps and your OS on one honking thumb drive. This way, your full environment is always with you.

If this catches on, MokaFive execs see a day when inexpensive PCs are nearly everywhere -- your hotel room, lobbies, wherever. All you do is plug in the drive and that plain, old, vanilla PC turns into your own personal computing servant.

All Wet Aberdeen Misses Virtualization Boat Completely
Research house Aberdeen Group just released its list of the "Top 100 Most Influential Technology Vendors for 2008."

I scrolled through the list, nodding my head as I read that Microsoft was No. 1 and IBM, Cisco and HP all made the top 10. I was surprised, though, that Oracle was No. 2, two full places ahead of IBM. Huh? And Google not in the top 10? Hey, I think Google is overrated, but come on!

After reading all 100 names, something wasn't right. There was no VMware. So I read the list again. Still couldn't find it. I went through it two more times. Still, it was nowhere to be found. Servigistics (they do service management) is on the list, but not VMware?

Maybe I'll send the folks at Aberdeen a big box of napkins to wipe all the egg off their faces.

Record Reader Feedback!
We may have a record here. On Thursday, I wrote about XP heading to the Third World on artificially restricted PCs as Microsoft pushes the industrial/developed world aggressively toward Vista.

Within hours, my inbox was flooded. Well over 30 responses poured in. Below are as many letters as we could squeeze into one newsletter -- check out tomorrow's for the rest.

Meanwhile, XP is now officially part of the One Laptop Per Child program, right alongside Linux.

Mailbag: Microsoft Keeping a Tight Rein on XP, More
Last week, Doug wrote about Microsoft's attempt to limit the capabilities on low-end computers that will run XP past its official retirement. Does this leave developing countries with third-rate technology? Here are some of your thoughts:

I think the problem of the computers being third-rate depends on how locked-down the systems are. If they can be upgraded by the user (memory and processor), then it will be a good way for anybody to get a cheap PC and XP and upgrade the hardware.
-Jim

The low-end XP computer would probably provide a more "enhanced user experience" than one of our pokey top-of-the-line Vista machines.
-Jeff

Speaking of Vista, readers took the announcement of XP's impending retirement as a change to air their complaints about the new OS:

Microsoft still has to deal with organizations like mine that will NOT move to Vista without a guarantee of more manageability. We have recently bought licenses for XP and intend to install it on any new PCs that are purchased. I work for a school district; maybe Ballmer can explain to the tax payers in this district why we should spend perhaps millions to re-invent our very large network to accommodate his OS.
-Alan

Let's face it. MS and the HW vendors want us to move and spend more money. Vista does not provide any value except for MS shareholders, thus the big push back saying don't move to Vista. Why should we, except to spend money for whatever reason. I've read hundreds of articles and fought with Vista for 12 months, and I can't find a single positive note.

This is a good PR position for MS (warm and fuzzy), but the fundamental problem still exists. The MAMS created a mess with Vista and there really is no going back for MS as it has spent too much money and time building an Edsel (remember Ford's big new car?). Except Ford was smart enough to move on.

-Rick

Microsoft is falling apart at the seams. All the signs are there. I think it needs to reevaluate a large number of things, and plan to gracefully level out as a still-profitable company before it really screw things up. The Vista thing reminds me of the "Coke Classic" thing, and I hope that Microsoft comes to its senses soon.
-Tom

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

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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