Just a little over a year ago Microsoft merged its Exchange server and Real-Time Collaboration (RTC) groups to form the Unified Communications Group (UCG) under corporate vice president Anoop Gupta and put it in the Business Division (mostly Office), led by division president Jeff Raikes. The UCG is responsible for Microsoft’s well hyped Unified Communications push announced last June. Today, however, Mary Jo Foley reports that Gupta is out and Raikes has personally taken over UCG leadership.
The ostensible reason for the change is that Gupta felt is was time to move on to a new role. His new job is corporate vice president of technology policy and strategy under Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie.
Today, Bill Gates and Craig Mundie keynoted the RSA Conference 2007 and announced a variety of security related Microsoft initiatives. Perhaps the biggest news was announced in detail on the blog of Microsoft’s Kim Cameron where Microsoft pledged interoperability between its CardSpace identity technolgy and the emerging open standard, OpenID:
JanRain, Microsoft, Sxip, and VeriSign will collaborate on interoperability between OpenID and Windows CardSpace™ to make the Internet safer and easier to use. Specifically (excerpted – ed.):
- Microsoft recognizes the growth of the OpenID community and believes OpenID plays a significant role in the Internet identity infrastructure. Kim Cameron, Chief Architect of Identity at Microsoft, will work with the OpenID community on authentication and anti-phishing.
- JanRain, Sxip, and VeriSign recognize that Information Cards provide significant anti-phishing, privacy, and convenience benefits to users. Information Cards, based on the open WS-Trust standard, are available though Windows CardSpace™.
- JanRain, Sxip and VeriSign plan to add Information Card support to future identity solutions.
- Microsoft plans to support OpenID in future Identity server products
- The four companies have agreed to work together on a “Using Information Cards with OpenID” profile that will make it possible for other developers and service providers to take advantage of these technology advancements.
The OpenID connection wasn’t surprising given Microsoft’s past failed attempt to go it alone in the identity business with Passport.
• Microsoft announced Identity Lifecycle Manager (ILM) 2007. Available to customers in May, ILM 2007 is a new solution that builds on Microsoft’s metadirectory and user provisioning capabilities by adding support for managing strong credentials such as certificates and smart cards. ILM provides an integrated and comprehensive solution for managing the entire life cycle of a user identity. Microsoft also unveiled a comprehensive strategy and road map for identity life-cycle management, including planned availability of ILM “2,” the next version of ILM, in late 2008.
• Microsoft launched the public beta of the new Forefront Server Security Management Console, a centralized, Web-based management solution for onsite or remote administration of Microsoft messaging and collaboration security solutions.
• Microsoft announced that it has enabled support for Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates in Internet Explorer 7, which is the first browser to fully support EV SSL Certificates. When a user visits a site with a valid EV Certificate, Internet Explorer 7 will alert the user to the available identity information by turning the background of the address bar green and displaying identity information. Twelve certificate authorities, including VeriSign Inc., Cybertrust and Entrust, are already issuing EV SSL Certificates.
• Microsoft has added four new data providers to the Microsoft Phishing Filter service: the Australian Computer Emergency Response Team (AusCERT), BrandProtect, MySpace.com and Netcraft Ltd., whose own broad set of Internet Explorer and Firefox toolbar anti-phishing data sources will be included as data feeds into the service. These new providers join Microsoft’s current anti-phishing data providers, which include Cyveillance, Digital Resolve, Internet Identity, MarkMonitor Inc., and RSA Security, the security division of EMC Corp.
(Via Slashdot) .NET Developer’s Journal reports Microsoft Snags Don Ferguson, Former IBM Chief Architect – “Father of WebSphere”:
Don Ferguson, who guided IBM’s strategy and architecture for SOA and Web services, and co-authored many of the initial Web service specifications, has been hired by Microsoft. He is now Microsoft Technical Fellow in Platforms and Strategy, in the Office of the CTO.
According to the Microsoft bio, Ferguson will be focusing “on both the evolutionary and revolutionary role of information technology in business.”
” Understanding the trends, architecting and piloting the implications for existing and new products and evangelizing Microsoft’s vision are the key aspects of Don’s job,” the bio gushes.
At IBM, he was an IBM Fellow and Chief Architect for IBM’s Software Group, providing overall technical leadership for WebSphere, Tivoli, DB2, Rational and Lotus products.
Ferguson also was chairman of IBM’s Software Group Architecture Board.
Barnett suggests that the “Office of the CTO” is Ray Ozzie’s team, but while Ozzie and Craig Mundie were co-CTOs at one point, they are currently Chief Software Architect and Chief Research and Strategy Officer respectively. The only Microsoft CTO that comes to mind is David Vaskevitch who is Senior Vice President, Chief Technical Officer, Business Platform. Undoubtedly elucidation will follow.
As promised back in September when Windows CE 6.0 was released to manufacturing (RTM), yesterday was the day for the formal launch event:
Craig Mundie, Microsoft Corp. chief research and strategy officer, announced the availability of Windows Embedded CE 6.0, the latest version of the company’s industry-leading software toolkit used to build real-time operating systems for devices such as Internet protocol (IP) set-top-boxes, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), wireless projectors, and a variety of industrial automation, consumer electronics and medical devices.
In conjunction with the 10-year anniversary of Windows Embedded, 100 percent of the Windows Embedded CE 6.0 kernel is now available through the Microsoft® Shared Source program, an overall increase of 56 percent from previous versions of Windows Embedded CE. The Shared Source program provides full source-code access for modification and redistribution by device-makers (subject to the terms of a license agreement), who are under no obligation to share their final designs with Microsoft or others. Although the Windows operating system is a general-purpose computing platform designed for creating a consistent experience, Windows Embedded CE 6.0 is a tool kit device-makers use for building customized operating system images for a variety of non-desktop devices. By providing access to certain parts of the Windows Embedded CE source code, such as the file system, device drivers and other core components, embedded developers are able to choose the code they need, compile it, and build their own, unique operating systems, quickly bringing their devices to market.
Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition is also shipping as part of Windows Embedded CE 6.0. This marks another first for Microsoft; Platform Builder, an embedded-specific integrated development environment, will now be included as a powerful plug-in for Visual Studio 2005 Professional. This brings the entire development chain together in one, easy-to-use tool, from device to applications, shrinking time to market for device development.
Hit the link for the enhancements in CE 6.0 and as implied above, the importance of Windows CE is less for itself than as a base for device specific customizations from 3rd parties and Microsoft itself like the upcoming Windows Mobile Crossbow.
As for the complete sharing of source code with 3rd parties, that seems to have been a surprise for everyone including parts of Microsoft:
The 100% sharing campaign may actually come as a surprise to Microsoft’s own support staff, which this morning released instructions regarding how to tell whether a portion of CE 6.0 is shared or not. With today’s news, which BetaNews confirmed, there is no “not.”
However, not all of Embedded CE’s source code will be licensed for free. A significant portion of it will be free to those who have already purchased and licensed Embedded CE “in the box.” The remainder of the code will be licensed under Microsoft’s existing “Premium Shared Source Program” terms, specifically to “qualified OEMs and partners.”
As the spokesperson told us today, although the fees have not yet been disclosed, Microsoft will consider this program a legitimate source of revenue.
The fact that at least those who can afford it can see everything that Microsoft put into Windows Embedded CE 6.0, will be of interest to those who responded to the news of its impending release last May with questions about its relative interoperability, especially in the face of rising competition from Linux and embedded UNIX. Operating systems based on industry standards, some have argued, are more prone to being shared under open-source licenses, which lends greatly to their inherent interoperability.
In this space (or more correctly, collection of spaces) Microsoft has to compete with other proprietary operating systems as well as open source and in the scramble for share, Microsoft has to do what it takes to attract device vendors:
However, Hardy Poppinga, product manager for Microsoft’s mobile and embedded division in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, told ZDNet UK that the new “shared source” initiative was in itself the division’s “most significant announcement for years”.
According to Poppinga, Microsoft is opening up the code in response to the wishes of its partners, but he conceded that a “more competitive market” had also necessitated the move.
That’s certainly a refreshing difference from other markets.