Given its general lag behind the iPod, it makes sense that the Zune would be late in coming to the Gilded Age as well. But if exclusivity is what this limited edition is going for, it will certainly accomplish that--as long as 10 people are willing to buy one.
That's how many of them will be sold in 8GB and 80GB versions, according to MobileWhack, in a partnership between Microsoft and Seattle boutique Goods. No price was given but, if it's more than a few bucks over the usual tag, it'll be too much as far as … Read more
Today Microsoft announced that the Vista kill-switch will be removed in the upcoming Vista service pack.
Instead of just fixing the problem with the software, that is, the fact that it incorrectly identifies legit copies of Vista, Microsoft has decided to remove the feature entirely. Is this an admission that they need more software QA or have they realized that this type of anti-piracy doesn't work so well?The tool can "lock" Vista from further use if it believes it is an unauthorised copy. But many users have complained that the system is not working because legally … Read more
For many of the security researchers who trek to Microsoft's twice-yearly Blue Hat conference, one of the big highlights doesn't happen until after the event itself ends. The Limo Races--a scavenger hunt through Seattle that teams Microsoft security folks with outside researchers--have become a Blue Hat tradition.
Blue Hat itself, and the Limo Races, are part of a broad effort by Microsoft to forge closer relationships with the security community. The role of those relationships in Microsoft's security strategy is the topic of Day 2 of my special report: "Securing Microsoft: A long road." Monday, … Read more
I think the world of Eben Moglen, and loved this statement by him from an interview given to Computerworld:...Microsoft still maintains strongly the view that its business model, which depends upon concealing source code from users, is a viable and important and necessary model....But Microsoft, too, has now fundamentally recognized that there is not another generation left in the proprietary software idea and [it is] trying to move to a world in which it can leverage the remaining value of its monopoly in a world of mixed free and unfree code.
Microsoft has an opportunity to change, and … Read more
I really like Larry Dignan's posts on ZDNet, and his post Tuesday on the natural state of software markets (duopoly) is probably accurate, though I wish it weren't so. Customers lose in many ways when industries consolidate. Having said that, it's also nice to not have to contemplate a blizzard of choices when you just want to know whether to wear brown shoes or black shoes on a given day.
Regardless of whether it's good or not, Larry identifies a slew of software (and hardware) markets that have been "duopolized." From among many:Enterprise software: SAP and Oracle. Sure, HP and IBM are rapidly beefing up their software units. But once that dance of music chairs ends, a midlevel software company can take comfort (or not) in the belief that it'll be a subsidiary of Oracle someday.
Maybe. Or could there be an open-source pretender to this duopoly throne? And where is Microsoft in Larry's two-seated enterprise throne?… Read more
Microsoft said Monday that it has expanded its testing of Windows XP Service Pack 3, to include subscribers of its MSDN and TechNet programs. Last month, Microsoft made available a test version of XP Service Pack 3 to a group of about 15,000 testers.
The update is significant in that it is the largest change in some time to Microsoft's most-used operating system. However, the XP update is largely a collection of previously issued bug fixes and security updates.
A public beta is scheduled for some later date, with a goal of having it released in final form … Read more
Sigh. I tried to give Microsoft the benefit of a doubt with its report on Internet Explorer vs. Firefox security report. But as Firefox's security expert notes, Microsoft's miscount doesn't even start from the right baseline (and is then compounded by Microsoft quoting its own misinformation):
One of the goals of the bug counting report is to demonstrate that Microsoft fixed fewer bugs for IE than Mozilla did for Firefox. Unfortunately for Microsoft (and for anyone trying to use this report as analysis of useful metrics) [Microsoft's Jeff Jones] does not count all the security issues. If he were able to count them all, Microsoft could get credit for all the bugs they fixed. He counts only the public issues, because that is all Microsoft will tell us about. Microsoft is worried that if it ever says it has fixed X security issues, the world will focus on that it had X vulnerabilities in the first place, not that they are now fixed and no longer a risk for users. So the set of issues that are available for public comparison is limited to the set of vulnerabilities that are reported externally AND fixed in security updates.… Read more
It's the fight you've been waiting for, folks. In one corner, we have the rightfully smug Apple iPod Classic. In the other corner we have the dark horse, the ugly duckling turned swan, the Microsoft Zune 80. After five bruising rounds of unflinching criticism from our three judges, which MP3 player will triumph as the new king of high-capacity music gadget goodness? Read on, to find out.
REDMOND, Wash.--Tired of having to fight for a free conference room, Microsoft's security chief, Mike Nash, decided in early 2005 that the company needed a dedicated "war room" where his team could handle emergency responses.
And while he was at it, why not have two? That way, the folks working on fixing a security crisis could have a little breathing room from those drafting the public and customer communications around the issue.
"They were tired of the communications people hearing of things that were half-baked," Nash said.
The Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) was … Read more