YahooSoft Back?

Will the soap opera that is Yahoo-Microsoft never end? The hostile takeover attempt by Microsoft went on for months. Then, as Yahoo expressed interest, Microsoft summarily called off the hunt and has repeatedly said it has no interest in the search company.

A report emerged over the holiday break that Microsoft was offering $20 billion for the search business. A day later, a "source" claimed it was all poppycock.

Twenty billion dollars is far less than the $45 billion Microsoft offered for all of Yahoo, but I still think the money is better spent inventing the future instead of just buying market share.

Why You Must Patch
Microsoft tries to do the right thing. When there's a problem with its software, Redmond releases a patch and sends the world all the details. So it's difficult to fault the company for the ongoing attacks on a vulnerability that Microsoft publicly disclosed to millions.

Microsoft even released a patch and, later, released a better one to resolve this dilemma. Many didn't install this patch and, knowing that there are unpatched systems, hacker scum have been on the attack (nothing like having all the keys to the house, then bragging about breaking in!).

Microsoft, I believe to its great credit, is warning that those that neglected the patch may suffer an attack. This RPC flaw lets intruders execute code that can take over your network. The bottom line, according to experts millions of times smarter than me, is to patch. If you do, you're pretty much impervious to this particular attack.

Black Friday for Mac Prices
Black Friday is a nasty name for a good thing: It's the day after Thanksgiving when millions of American shoppers hit the malls in search of smokin' bargains.

Apple had been making noises about some sweet Black Friday dealios, so I checked it out. The best bargain I found was $100 off its lowest-end laptop -- making it still a hair under a grand.

As this bad economy continues, I believe Apple will have to lower its premium prices. Kinda tough to shell out all that money for a Mac when you can't fill your fridge with groceries.

Meanwhile, "The Simpsons" has soured on Apple, and in the last episode spent six full minutes making fun of the company. Since I gave up watching "The Simpsons" 10 years ago, I unfortunately missed this episode.

Mailbag: Vista Capable (But Not Really), IE 8 Thoughts
Fred thinks the whole "Vista Capable" sticker debacle is a matter of deception by omission:

So the sticker on the machine reads "Vista Capable." That tells me the machine can run Vista. Doesn't say how well, though. And it doesn't tell me Vista can run on the machine, either, without perhaps limping badly. This is no different from the prior "Designed for Microsoft Windows XP" stickers, such as the one HP affixed to my 256MB RAM Pavilion that really needed a RAM upgrade to 1GB to run XP without constant HD swapping.

Typical modern-day, misleading advertising. It's the truth, yes, but not the WHOLE truth. But I'd put the lion's share of the blame on the OEM, not on MS. After all, MS didn't FORCE the OEM to affix that sticker.
-Fred

And Paul responds to Floyd's letter last week, which suggested that it wasn't "average" users who were confused by the stickers, but users that should've known better:

Floyd makes good points but forgets that these were computers bought before Vista had been released. So the moms and pops that bought these had not been told by the seller or the sticker that there would be different versions. In hindsight, it is easy to see but remember this was before Vista's release.
-Paul

IE 8's release candidate is scheduled for early 2009, but Liza's been testing out the beta for a while now. So far, so good:

I've been running the IE 8 beta 2 for a month or two now, and I like it a lot better than IE 7. Microsoft finally added my favorite Firefox feature: the ability to reopen an accidentally closed tab. Firefox still does it better, IMHO (that and many other things -- NoScript add-on, anyone?), but IE 8 is a step in the right direction.
-Liza

Share your thoughts with us! 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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