New Vista Service Pack Edges Closer
Vista is still one of the great mysteries of software. Many like it and can't
for the life of them understand why it gets such a bad rap. Others hate it and
can't for the life of them understand why Microsoft built it in the first place.
For most Microsoft products, the first service pack stamps out the bugs and
makes it usable. The first Vista SP helped, but wasn't enough to change Vista's
bad reputation. Fortunately, SP2
is getting closer, as it's now in wide-scale beta.
Have any of you tried Vista SP2? If so, wadda ya think? Answers welcome at
The Great Desktop Virtualization
Desktop virtualization has been around for...I don't know. About at least 20
years. But there's a new debate over VDI, or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.
Citrix has long had server-based thin client computing, so VDI isn't the first
stab at this kind of processing. Instead, VDI adds an additional layer of virtualization
on top of the hardware so that each client has a more dedicated experience (virtual
gurus, feel free to correct or polish my definition by writing firstname.lastname@example.org).
Of course, others do have differing definitions. What does VDI actually mean?
The answer is murky and is discussed here.
VMware is getting deeper in the VDI game with the release of VMware
View 3, a suite of tools that creates images for users' virtual desktops,
allows users to work even when they're offline (a big shortcoming of thin clients),
and also includes virtual printing.
Some believe VDI isn't
ready for prime time. Here's
what Citrix thinks.
Microsoft Plows New Server Farm
How serious is Microsoft about the cloud? Besides building new cloud infrastructure
software and retooling all its apps for remote computing, Microsoft is pouring
huge bucks into its datacenters, to the tune of 10,000 new servers every
Microsoft has an interesting new approach to building datacenters with efficiencies
that remind me of state-of-the-art supplies like Wal-Mart has. Microsoft's approach
is all modular and snap-in, and the center is architected to deliver Just in
Time capacity (the same way a good supply chain delivers products Just in Time).
Are you starting to think more about clouds? If so, why? Send your thoughts
Mailbag: OneCare Good, IE 8 Bad
Even though Microsoft is planning to kill off OneCare next year, it's still
the product as a success. A couple of you happen to agree:
I've been very happy with OneCare, mainly for two reasons relating to
my 84-year-old dad's PC. First of all, OneCare wakes the PC in the middle
of the night to do an automated backup to an external hard drive. Dad isn't
aware of this and can't accidentally disable it, so it provides some protection
against his other often careless actions.
And, as part of my OneCare "circle," his system status gets
reported in the OneCare console on my home PC, alerting me to potential issues
as they occur. I haven't had much in the way of problems with OneCare, but
I'd speculate that the cost of providing free support was a big factor in
Microsoft's decision to stop offering it.
I do not know why Microsoft would want to eliminate a necessary product,
especially since it was one of the cheapest packages around. Honestly, in
my opinion, I believe that anti-virus software should be FREE. Protecting
computers from malware and viruses is a necessity and should be provided with
the OS, instead of from the greedy, pay-or-else companies like Symantec. This
is the very reason I use Grisoft AVG.
If companies want to charge for their firewall or parental control products,
fine, but basic protection from hackers should be at the forethought of everyone.
How can you prevent viruses and zombies if we cannot afford the product? Symantec,
McAfee and others are no better than the pirates in Somalia.
Earlier this week, one
reader wrote that the latest IE 8 beta has been a welcome change to IE 7.
But Rick begs to differ:
You have had one good comment for IE 8. Here's one not-so-good comment:
It stinks, especially on a corporate (government) LAN. Of course, that could
be because the government hasn't caught up with anything in years except Al
Anyway, I tried it at home on a Vista upgrade machine and it crashed
too many times. I will have to wait for the RTM version. Although it could
just be that once again, there are way too many features for the average Web
surfer and MS has dumbed it down to where the geek (like me) tries to "fix
it." C'est la vie.
Opinions? Criticisms? Let us have 'em! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.