Microsoft and Monopoly: This Time, Google/Yahoo Is the Culprit

Alanis Morrissette made the word "ironic" famous in her song "Isn't It Ironic?" Well, Microsoft may be the black fly in Google and Yahoo's chardonnay as Redmond is trying to get the U.S. Congress to put the kibosh on the Google/Yahoo ad deal. According to Microsoft, the deal would create a monopoly in Web ads, as the duo would control some 90 percent of the market.

Here's the ironic(al) part. Microsoft has been trying to buy Yahoo and ultimately wants to corner that same market. And what kind of share does Microsoft have in desktop operating systems, productivity suites and browsers? Isn't that ironic, don't you think?

What do you think? Shoot your thoughts, ironic or not, to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

New Citrix Tool Promises Virtual Interoperability
Citrix this week announced "Project Kensho" (which is a Zen term referring to one's initial enlightenment), a set of tools that should make your choice of hypervisor, as Dr. Evil might say, "inconsequential."

Kensho tools take advantage of Open Virtual Format (OVF), a standard that lets IT and application makers build virtual machines that run independent of the hypervisor. This way, a VM could be easily moved from VMware to Xen to Hyper-V.

Here's how Simon Crosby, Citrix CTO, described Kensho in a recent blog:

"Kensho will allow application vendors and IT users to produce virtual appliances once as 'golden application templates,' independent of the virtualization platform used to deploy them -- and is a clear demonstration of how Citrix will add value to Hyper-V."

Another advantage of Kensho? It will eventually let Microsoft System Center VMM manage other hypervisors such as XenServer. Microsoft has got to love that.

With this kind of interop, does the hypervisor even matter? What do you think, and what is your favorite virtual tool? Answers welcome at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Microsoft and the Cloud: The Desmond Perspective
Michael Desmond is Editor in Chief of Redmond Developer News, our magazine for corporate development managers (we also own Visual Studio Magazine).

Last week, Mr. Desmond tackled an issue we've been talking about here: whether Microsoft can move from a maker of packaged software to a services company. And like this here Redmond Report, the real insight came from readers.

In Desmond's case, several developers made a strong case for why Microsoft will have trouble adapting to cloud computing. They had me convinced -- until a reader who goes by "smehaffie" argued that Microsoft can sit back and watch this whole area evolve while it quietly crafts a killer cloud solution.

Desmond isn't buying smehaffie's argument, but I might be!

Mailbag: Uh-Oh-XML, Stability vs. Speed, More
On the topic of Microsoft's OOXML file format, Angus has an interesting question:

How is OOXML a standard when even Microsoft's own Office suite does not yet fully support it?
-Angus

In the wake of the WSUS glitch that Microsoft eventually fixed, Doug asked readers whether they value a patch's stability more than its speed. Most of you went with the former:

Stability, of course. Does it matter if a hacker brings down your server or a Microsoft patch does it for them? If the data isn't available, it's useless.
-LouAnne

With patches, as with medical interventions, the primary guidance lies in the injunction: "First, do no harm."
-Fred

I will take stability over speed.
-Mark

The stability is more important. Their newest version of Explorer has now locked me and others from accessing a file we need to do our job. I am the administrator for the file but don't have access to the file.

They sent a fix to the problem a year ago, but it still hasn't fixed the problem. To access any file I need, I have go to Explorer to retrieve any of the my documents. If I try "save as" or change the drive in the program, all the files I have in that program freeze and I lose data. Which also means I can't repair my Access database as it means I have be able to select a drive.
-Ruth

Here are some of your responses to our recent question about what you'd like to see in the pages of Redmond magazine:

Since my world is centered around Dynamics GP, I would like to see more about the Dynamics product line and Great Plains in particular and the blending of that world with the Microsoft stack.
-Ronald

I find the most useful types of articles are overviews of new Microsoft products, where an article of two to 10 pages describes a new product, explains what hardware and software is required, walks you through a basic installation, and mentions common configuration mistakes.

The second most useful article to me are those describing methods of automating common network management tasks, whether this be through scripting or a Microsoft or third-party management product. Finally, I would really like to see a series of articles on how to secure various Microsoft products -- how to secure an IIS installation, how to secure a SQL installation, etc. I realise space is limited, so I'm just talking about a two-page article with bullet points and an overview, rather than an in-depth "War and Peace"-type article."
-Mark

Finally, Brad minces some of our words:

In your newsletter you state: "Say what you will about the folks in Redmond, I've never seen them all erratic and unpredictable. In fact, every time I've seen the company act erratic, it was part of a greater plan."

OK, you've never seen Microsoft be erratic and unpredictable, but every time it was part of a greater plan? If you've never seen them be erratic, there is no "every time"!
-Brad

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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