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July 31, 2007

Microsoft Works 9 to be free, ad-supported

Posted by David Hunter at 10:15 PM ET.

Last week, Mary Jo Foley interviewed Satya Nadella, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Search & Advertising Platform Group, who revealed that Microsoft Works 9 would be free and ad-supported. This was apparently a shock to the rest of Microsoft since Microsoft Works 9 is currently offered on their web site for $39.95 or less (although it isn’t in stock at the retail partners listed), the demo shows no ads, and the Microsoft PR crew is saying “no comment.”

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Filed under Advertising, Executives, General Business, Microsoft, Microsoft Works, Office, Satya Nadella

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July 30, 2007

Microsoft tests Vista maintenance packs

Posted by David Hunter at 7:48 PM ET.

Yesterday, news leaked that Microsoft has released two new beta maintenance packs for Windows Vista to Windows Server 2008 beta testers. They are named the “Vista Performance and Reliability Pack” and the “Vista Compatibility and Reliability Pack” and provide fixes for many of the significant non-security problems early Vista users have encountered. Speculation has it that they will be released on the next regular Patch Tuesday which is August 14.

The natural question is why isn’t this Vista Service Pack 1 and speculation abounds there too, but since at least the promised search fixes for Google apparently aren’t included, the simple answer is that Microsoft has more work to do before SP1 is ready. In the meantime, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be shipping Vista bug fixes. As for the odd venue of a Windows Server 2008 beta program, it sounds like merely an expedient way to find some beta testers since the Vista testing program has ended.



Filed under Beta and CTP, Microsoft, OS - Client, Patch Tuesday, Security, Windows Vista

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July 27, 2007

Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting 2007 Wrap-up

Posted by David Hunter at 1:36 PM ET.

In my posts yesterday on the Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting 2007, I focused on the concrete announcements and eschewed the high level pronouncements because frankly I was hard pressed to be sufficiently acerbic without appearing unduly negative. I don’t know that I have really resolved the quandary, but here are some thoughts on Microsoft’s new business initiatives as promulgated at FAM 2007 by Steve Ballmer, Ray Ozzie, Robbie Bach and Kevin Johnson.

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Filed under Conferences, Executives, FAM2007, Financial, General Business, Investor Relations, Kevin Johnson, Microsoft, Ray Ozzie, Robbie Bach, Steve Ballmer

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July 26, 2007

Office Communications Server 2007 released to manufacturing

Posted by David Hunter at 11:00 PM ET.

Jeff Raikes, the head of Microsoft’s Business Division, got to deliver some good news at today’s Financial Analyst Meeting:

During his address at Microsoft’s Financial Analyst Meeting (FAM), Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division, announced that Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communicator are code complete and will release to manufacturing (RTM) tomorrow. With this milestone and launch around the corner this fall, the Unified Communications Group is one step closer to fulfilling the UC promise and helping customers streamline business communications, increase productivity and lower costs.

This means that those that want OCS 2007 can get it, while the gala launch event awaits some alignment of the marketing planets this fall. Not unexpectedly, localized versions are still being worked on, however.

It’s a little more than a year since Microsoft’s Business Division (i.e. Office) unveiled their Unified Communications product road map and now the major products are starting to roll out. The real trick is going to be to convince potential business communications customers to wade into the morass of current technologies, systems, and vendors and replace them with a unified solution from Microsoft.



Filed under Conferences, FAM2007, Microsoft, Office, Office Communications Server

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