Mega Patch Tuesday

Last month, you could've slept through Patch Tuesday, there was so little action. But now that you're all rested, you can handle tomorrow's Patch Tuesday with its eight remedies, six of them critical.

Once again, remote code execution (RCE) is the theme of the day, as all patches address this stubborn bugaboo. If you have Windows XP, Vista, Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 or 2008, get your spackle ready -- cuz it's time to patch!

IBM Not Done with Microsoft Yet
IBM once owned the PC business. It, along with Philip "Don" Estridge, created the IBM PC and in the process made DOS the dominant OS. It tried to maintain dominance with OS/2, but Microsoft lost interest (as it lost control) and went with Windows instead. The rest is antitrust history.

IBM would like nothing better than to reassert itself on the desk. Its answer? A set of open source productivity apps all delivered through virtual Linux servers. IBM has made headway with a similar approach in Europe and many internal Big Blue users are on open source clients.

Are you ready for a fully open desktop environment? Answers should be sent in an open and honest manner to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

But Microsoft Says Commercial Software Cheaper
Last week, we discussed whether open source can support one of the tenets of capitalism: profit. One guru, Stuart Cohen, argued that the only way to make money on open source is to sell support -- but the software is so darn good, it doesn't need much support.

Meanwhile, IBM is arguing that its new open source desktop is just the ticket for this bad economy. Imagine my surprise when Microsoft publicized that one of its customers claims open source is the one that chews up precious support dollars. That's why Speedy Hire (the U.K. equivalent of Rent-a-Center), dumped open source and paid for Office, SQL Server and Dynamics AX instead. The company claims the move will save about a million-and-half dollars over the next half-decade.

The rationale is pretty compelling. Open source may be cheap, but the little things -- different UI elements and incompatibilities -- are what rack up so many help desk dollars. Make sense? If so (or if not), please reply to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Mailbag: All Eyes on Windows 7
As the beta for Windows 7 approaches, one reader looks forward to trying it out, while another wonders about its multi-core support:

I'm hoping Windows 7 will be better than Vista and will work with much less RAM. I'm hoping to be able to get a copy of the beta version of Windows 7 to run on one of my test machines I have at the house.

I'm a contractor working for the Navy and U.S. Marine Corps building systems to send to troops around the world. We have access to an MSDN subscription and I've already gotten calls about getting the beta version of Win 7 when it comes out to test for possible deployment later on. Time will tell.
-Bob

With all the talk lately about Windows 7, the one piece I don't recall seeing anything about is (better) support for multiple CPU cores. Do you have any information about this? My understanding is that even Vista, developed during the launch of multi-core CPUs, didn't have great support (outside of the server, anyway). Any information about how Windows 7 fares?
-Dave

What do you think? 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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