Vista Help on the Way

Usually IT waits until a new product gets its first service pack before adopting. In the case of Vista, many are waiting for SP2, SP3 or maybe Windows 7. We'll soon know, though, if SP2 is compelling or repelling as preview code is being sent out to a select group of users.

There are a bunch of new features in the pack, such as better Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and search. But the key, or course, is in the fundamentals -- compatibility, performance and reliability. I'm still on XP, but if Redmond Report readers like what they see in Vista SP2, I'll go for it.

How is Vista SP1 and what do expect in SP2? Cheers and jeers both readily listened to at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Patch Now or Pay Later
Earlier this week, we told you about an out-of-cycle patch for Remote Procedure Call flaws in Windows Server 2000, 2003 and XP.

If that didn't make you nervous enough to start patching, maybe this will: Microsoft is now warning that the code to exploit these flaws is written and as available to hackers as Jolt, pimple cream and Craigslist personals where hackers find most of their dates. The time to plug this hole is now.

Google Has Security Flaws, Too!
Google is now officially in the operating system game with Android, the open source OS currently used in its new phone. And being in the OS market means one thing: security problems.

Researchers now say that Android has a security flaw, but won't say what it is 'til it's fixed. If only security researchers were as kind to Microsoft!

Mailbag: Cloud-y Thoughts
Windows Azure made big waves when Microsoft officially unveiled it in PDC this week. But a few of you have some misgivings about the OS in the cloud:

I'd like a few more details, such as what you have to agree to in order to use this. Since Microsoft owns the computers and the equipment in which the data and created applications will reside, who controls this now and in the future? How would you go about getting your "property" should something change in the future? How much will this cost now and in the future? What is to prevent the Big M from taking what you create as its own?

Security worries me any time you do not control the equipment in which the applications and data resides. The idea of being able to access this from any location sounds great -- but so could someone else. Hackers would have a field day with this. I could be totally wrong about Azure, but I won't be taking that chance. There is too much to lose, in my opinion.
-Les

I agree with your statement: "I like to have ownership of the files I create, and don't want somebody controlling my access. And I would never want them taken away."

Also, you city dwellers don't realize this, but there are still vast areas of this country with NO Internet access (unless you count dial-up, which, with today's large data transfer requirements, is quite useless). A major problem with cloud computing is that you must have Internet to use it. Even in the city, I've found Comcast to be somewhat unreliable. No Internet, no application. Very frustrating.
-Mike

Check in with us next week for more reader letters! In the meantime, share your own thoughts by leaving a comment below or sending 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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