It's been a bit of secret how much Microsoft has been pushing SQL Server 2005
and 2008 as a business intelligence (BI) platform. But Microsoft doesn't want
it to be such a secret anymore, and has a range of new
features to increase the IQ of BI
in the next rev of SQL Server. Topping
the list? New reporting and analysis services aimed not just at BI gurus, but
rank-and-file managers and information workers.
Like any important initiative in Redmond, it may take a while, but eventually
Microsoft usually gains a leadership position. Who knows? It may even happen
some day for the Zune!
New Lease on XP Life
It might not be a reversal of XP's death sentence, but if reports are to be
believed, XP did at least get a six-month
reprieve and won't be yanked from OEM hands until July 2009.
Some say this is a bunch of hooey, but whether or not Microsoft has formally
made the decision, I have to believe the company will offer XP as long as humanly
possible. After all, people want it, Microsoft gets paid for it and the monopoly
remains intact. Where's the downside? There isn't one.
Tell me where I'm wrong (yeah, I stole that line from Bill-O) at email@example.com.
Real Security Needed for Virtualization
This isn't the first time this newsletter has warned about the need for better
virtualization security. The whole issue is that virtualization is a relatively
new form of computing (and yes, I do know IBM mainframes were virtualized in
1968), and many security tools haven't kept up. Add to that the fact that a
single virtualized server can act as dozens of machines. Compromise that server
and you can compromise the whole shooting match.
A new survey by security vendor nCircle Inc. shows just
how nervous IT is. About half of those polled don't trust security in virtual
environments. Meanwhile, Shavlik surveyed VMworld attendees, and while 80 percent
of these folks are very concerned about the issue, only about a third have taken
concrete steps to secure virtual servers.
Scareware Scams and Pop-Up Perils
Last week, I wrote
about scareware, those pesky pop-ups that claim your PC is infected. Click
the pop-up and you're either buying security or performance software you don't
need and doesn't even work, or your machine is now infected and ready to cash
I've been getting plenty of horror stories -- you can check out a few of them
Mailbag section -- but the topic also prompted me to write a feature story...and
that's where you can help. Drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
and tell me how you or one of your company's machines was compromised by scareware.
I'm also very interested in how to prevent the pop-ups and repair the damage
they do. You could well be quoted in a future issue of Redmond magazine.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.