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Microsoft News Tracker

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February 1, 2007

Vista and Office 2007 Postlaunch Odds and Ends – Day 2

Posted by David Hunter at 2:38 PM ET.

Microsoft today released Windows Mobile Device Center 6 for Windows Vista. It was one of the missing pieces noted yesterday and allows portable devices to synch with Vista PCs. reports that the Microsoft Home Use Program is broken for Vista and Office 2007. That’s the program where employees of Microsoft volume license customers get free Microsoft software for home use.

George Ou figures out a security exploit of Vista’s voice recognition feature that can actually be explained to the average person. More here.

Jim Allchin seems to be enjoying his retirement.

Bill Gates is on a European promotional tour for Vista and stopped by Bucharest to open a technical support center. As part of the festivities, the Romainian President told him that software piracy worked out great for his country.

Chris Pirillo says Microsoft: Give me a Million Dollars to market Windows Vista for you. He figures he can do it better and cheaper than the expensive and lackluster efforts so far. I don’t doubt it.

Mary Jo Foley says to forget the Vienna codename because Microsoft is internally calling the next client Windows OS ”Windows 7″ and the next Office will be “Office 14.” How incredibly boring! For those who have never had the joy of dealing with OSVERSIONINFOEX, Windows does have internal version numbers and 7 is up next. I’m sure there is something similar for Office, but I’ve never had the pleasure.

Filed under Bill Gates, Executives, General Business, Jim Allchin, Legal, Licensing, Marketing, Microsoft, OS - Client, Office, Office 2007, Office 2010, Piracy, Security, Windows 7, Windows Vista

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January 31, 2007

Vista and Office 2007 Postlaunch Odds and Ends

Posted by David Hunter at 4:47 PM ET.


As anticipated, Jim Allchin retires from Microsoft as Vista ships. More here.

No surprise: Microsoft targets Vista sales in line with PC growth. The only question is whether Microsoft will be able to increase the per PC revenue.

Windows Live Messenger 8.1 for Vista has been released as has Windows PowerShell 1.0 for Windows Vista, but where is the final version of Windows Mobile Device Center for Windows Vista? (Yes, there is a beta so the mobile gadget users aren’t completely abandoned by nonsupport of ActiveSynch).

Microsoft Delivers First Windows Vista Ultimate “Extras.”

Vista Casts A Pall On PC Gaming due to restrictive security and parental controls according to an online game network developer. Microsoft denies.

Vista ‘Family Discount’ Bites Back with invalid installation keys. No date for a fix.

According to the EULA, you shouldn’t be running any Home editions of Vista in a virtual machine. I haven’t seen the results of any testing, but you may not have any choice since running in a VM is detectable.

Microsoft accused over software’s landfill impact. It’s a Green thing. 

Office 2007

The (Few) Ways Vista Makes Office 2007 Work Better.

Microsoft exec insists companies won’t need ‘big sophisticated training plan’ to roll out Office 2007.

Update: Also apparently AWOL is SQL Server 2005 SP2 which provides Vista support for SQL Server Express, the successor to MSDE which is unsupported on Vista and the desktop database for a number of applications including some from Microsoft.

Filed under Executives, Financial, General Business, Jim Allchin, Licensing, Marketing, Microsoft, OS - Client, Office, Office 2007, PC Games, PowerShell, Public Relations, SQL Server, Servers, Technologies, Virtualization, Windows Live, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Vista

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December 11, 2006

Nothing like an antitrust trial for dirty laundry

Posted by David Hunter at 5:27 PM ET.

From the ongoing Iowa Microsoft antitrust trialAllchin 2004 email: I’d buy a Mac if I didn’t work for MS:

Conlin completed her opening statement at 12:50. Co-counsel Hagstrom began his part of the Plaintiffs’ opening statement. Hagstrom first began with a quote from Nathan Myrhvold, “There is a huge value to a monopoly, and we have the position and skills that it makes sense for us to shoot for it.” Hagstrom continued, “’Huge value to a monopoly’, think about what that means.” Hagstrom reviewed the specific ways Plaintiffs believe that Microsoft harmed Iowans. He emphasized that “competition is good, monopoly is bad.” A good example:

Exhibit 7264. Almost three years ago, on January 7, 2004, Jim Allchin, the senior executive at Microsoft, sent an E-mail to Microsoft’s top two executives, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, and the subject was losing our way.

Mr. Allchin says, I’m not sure how the company lost sight of what matters to our customers, both business and home, the most, but in my view we lost our way. I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems our customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that does not translate into great products. He goes on to say, I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft.”

We’ve heard about similar opinions from Allchin before, but the Mac part is a nice rhetorical touch.

Update: Jim Allchin says it was a great rhetorical device and Vista is much better now, thanks. A commenter adds a comedic touch with:

It’s OK, Jim. Be honest about what you think: the Mac brotherhood is ready to accept you with pride. Show your true colours: you know your true heart is with an iMac. In a fruity colour.

Filed under Antitrust, Bill Gates, Executives, General Business, Governmental Relations, Jim Allchin, Legal, Microsoft, Steve Ballmer

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November 9, 2006

Famous last words from Allchin, Gates

Posted by David Hunter at 6:15 PM ET.

Allchin Suggests Vista Won’t Need Antivirus

During a telephone conference with reporters yesterday, outgoing Microsoft co-president Jim Allchin, while touting the new security features of Windows Vista, which was released to manufacturing yesterday, told a reporter that the system’s new lockdown features are so capable and thorough that he was comfortable with his own seven-year-old son using Vista without antivirus software installed.

Hard news for the Windows Live OneCare and Windows Live Safety Scanner folks, I guess, but we’ll see how gentle time is in treating this hubris.

Then there’s Bill Gates touring Europe and whistling past the EU:

Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates said Thursday the company’s upcoming Windows Vista operating system has survived antitrust complaints by rivals who aimed to “castrate” it.

“Competitors tried to get regulators to castrate the product,” said Gates, adding they had largely failed. “I wouldn’t say antitrust played any dramatic role.”

The melodrama isn’t over until Neelie Kroes sings.

Update Nov. 12: Jim Allchin clarifies.

Filed under Antitrust, Bill Gates, Executives, General Business, Governmental Relations, Jim Allchin, Legal, Microsoft, OS - Client, Windows Live, Windows Vista

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