Playtex may offer 18-hour support, but Microsoft goes six further -- for a
full 24 hours! For shops that need to be up 24x7, Microsoft has a new support
This high-end enterprise support offering has tech folks standing by all day
and all night to solve your most vexing Microsoft problems. More interesting
is the proactive part, where Microsoft looks for problems before they actually
bite you in the hiney. This may cost a pretty penny, but could save a lot of
headaches and downtime.
Do you trust Microsoft to solve your support issues? Yes and no answers more
than welcome at email@example.com.
Virtual Firewalls for Virtual Servers
Virtual servers are proliferating, but the security for them isn't always keeping
pace. Check Point hopes to catch up with its new VPN-1
Virtual Edition, a firewall specifically built for virtual environments.
There's a good chance you already have virtual servers. There's just as good
a chance you already have a Check Point firewall or two laying around your shop.
With the new firewall, you can protect virtual machines as if they were physically
Right now, Virtual Edition only secures VMware systems. But if I were a betting
man, I'd lay down some serious change on it embracing Hyper-V in the near future.
How do you secure virtual servers? Tactics welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teach Your Hackers Well
I don't usually read Newsweek, but it had an interesting
profile of George Ledin, a Sonoma State University professor who teaches
his students to write viruses and keystroker recorders, and cause all sorts
of digital mischief.
Of course, many people are appalled, likening Ledin's teachings to a subversive
training camp. (Digression: I hate the term "terrorist" because it
gives these punks too much power; by calling them terrorists we imply that they've
already succeeded in creating fear.)
I believe the only way to fight hacking is to know hacking. Is it wrong to
teach hacking techniques? Send your thoughts to email@example.com.
Mailbag: A Winning Windows 7
Doug asked readers yesterday
what Microsoft should do to make Windows 7 your OS of choice. Here are some
of your suggestions:
If Microsoft really wanted to do it right, all it has to do is make Windows
7 look and feel just like XP. Just make it better behind the interface. Have
it use the same third-party drivers, only use them better. If nothing else,
Microsoft should do as it did when it changed the Control Panel -- that is,
give us a one-click option to revert back to an interface which we are familiar
and comfortable with. Rather than obsolescing hardware, it should be able
to create more efficient coding to do more with less. After all, we've not
really added any major capabilities that we couldn't do with Windows NT and
that first Pentium CPU. We can just do everything faster.
When a brand-new PC with a brand-new OS is slower than my seven-year-old
one, then there is a major problem somewhere. I for one am not likely to trust
my livelihood to a company that doesn't understand that very simple point.
I hate to say it, because I know it won't happen, but above all else
Microsoft needs to KEEP IT SIMPLE!
I believe that in order to make Windows 7 shine, Microsoft must do the
following: One, optimize the OS to make it as stable and fast as possible.
Two, make sure that the UI isn't a performance killer. Three, replace the
command prompt with Powershell. Four, drop User Account Control and replace
it with a confirmation prompt for elevated permissions for installation. Five,
remove the need for Internet Explorer to be installed on the machine at all.
Six, provide recovery options that don't require floppy disks be used for
disaster recovery. Seven, provide real multi-user capability, like what's
found in Windows Server 2003, where multiple users can make use of a single
machine at the same time. And eight, provide two versions only: Home Edition
and Business Edition.
Build it on BSD like Apple did with OSX.
Windows 7 looks like window (excuse the pun) dressing on Vista. Are we
actually going to get a new file system?
A nice thing that I am very surprised has not been done in any of the
Windows OSes yet would be the ability to move the position of your open windows
on the Task Bar, instead of just grouping similar ones beside each other.
It may be too late, but I'd like to see Windows 7 be secure from the outset,
small enough to fit on a single CD, and faster.
Check out tomorrow's edition for more reader letters. And to share your own
thoughts, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org,
or fill out the form below.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.