XP Anti-Virus Complaint Cured

Some of you who downloaded XP SP3 got a little surprise: corrupted registries. The problem is that security software such as Norton anti-virus wants to use the same registry entries that the service pack is trying to delete.

The result? Wireless connections that no longer connect and random restarts. (I thought this was just a feature built into all desktop versions of Windows.)

Microsoft has a fix now, and you can get all the details right here.

Bye-Bye, Bill
Unless you were living in a bio-dome or were in a Nick Hogan-induced coma, you must have heard that Bill Gates retired last week.

I've been fortunate enough to cover Microsoft for the last 20-plus years, and have never been disappointed with the company's drive, personality, toughness or brainpower. This culture came directly from chairman Bill.

Some employees even took to looking like Bill, acting like Bill and talking like Bill. Bill even invented his own vocabulary: "Golden" was good, "random" meant your thinking was scattered or stupid, and "bandwidth" was your ability to concentrate and deal with something.

In the early days, a reporter could talk to Bill quite easily. A new version of Word? Bill was the guy to interview. On the other hand, one time while NeXT Computer was making an announcement, I told the company I wouldn't do the story unless I could talk to Steve Jobs. Even after I explained that Gates regularly did these interviews, it was still no dice. (No story, either, Steve-O!)

Tomorrow I'll talk about Microsoft without Gates. Have you ever met Bill? Send your story to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Microsoft More Open
Microsoft has been on an openness kick of late for two reasons. One is of a legal nature; Microsoft's toughest legal foe is the European Union, which has been suing and fining the company for years. The U.S. government, though far less active under the Bush administration, is another thorn. And, lastly, Microsoft competitors have been suing over antitrust.

The other reason is the reality that open source exists and IT likes it.

Regardless of the reason, Microsoft is taking openness seriously. It struck a deal with Sun, whose former CEO, Scott McNealy, has more bad words for Redmond than an HBO late-night series. While the Sun deal has been a bit of a dud, the one that has bore real fruit is the Novell arrangement, where the companies offer mutual tech support and now have significant interoperability.

Microsoft is extending this activity to the rest of the open source world through its Interoperability Principles. The latest news is that Microsoft has formally released documentation for key protocols used in the latest versions of Exchange, SharePoint and Office. If you're a real glutton for this kind of stuff, there are now 50,000 pages worth of protocol specs. Now there's some fun summer reading.

Do you use Novell and Microsoft? Is the relationship as fruitful as I make it out to be? Set me straight at 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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