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March 2, 2007

Microsoft Weekly Miscellany, March 2, 2007

Posted by David Hunter at 12:33 PM ET.

Some Microsoft news items from this week that did not find a post of their own.

An Open Letter to Microsoft: Re-Release Windows XP:

Dear Mr. Gates, Mr. Ballmer, and the many good folks at Microsoft Corp.,

It’s time to sober up on Windows Vista. This just isn’t working out, and your users are getting frustrated to the point where they’re souring on Windows altogether. In case you haven’t seen some of the more noteworthy blog posts on this topic, I refer you to Chris Pirillo, Scot’s Newsletter, or Spend Matters. Or check out the recent bug reports regarding product activation and security flaws. This is all stuff I managed to dredge up that was written yesterday.

Related complaints in When life sucks to be an IT manager. Yes, there are some compatibility problems with Vista, IE7, and Office 2007, but despite all the complaining, Vista is still going to be on over 95% of all PCs sold and IE7 and Office 2007 will remain the premier Web browser and office suite. The only question is how much of a PR black eye Microsoft receives.

Speaking of PR black eyes, head over to Ed Bott’s blog for the latest on Vista validation snafus. Meanwhile, Windows XP got a new “maybe pirate” category in the Windows Genuine Advantage pirate trapper.

Microsoft, others suffer as Google’s web search share grows. No matter whose numbers you prefer, Microsoft’s share is definitely down from a year ago although there’s a hint of a minor uptick in the last month.

Latest Zune stats: 10% of hard drive MP3 player market at North American big box retail according to NPD. Also Microsoft fix to keep Zune from skipping a beat coming in March.

Warner Buys Halo Soundtrack and Other Microsoft Game Music. Maybe it’ll be on iTunes?

Open source Exchange competitor Open-Xchange wins deal with giant web hoster 1&1 Internet.

California may adopt OpenDocument. Er, not quite. There’s enough wiggle room in the definition that Microsoft’s Open Office XML (OOXML) may get through.

Windows OneCare last in AV test and Windows Defender misses 47% of malware. Concerning the latter, Defender nonetheless tried to eat my Alexa toolbar this morning. Alexa may be many things but it’s not adware.

The Windows Live Product Search beta was updated to provide better performance.

Linux fans ask Steve Ballmer to Show Us the Code that Mr. Ballmer loves to suggest infringes on Microsoft intellectual property.

Microsoft, GM, Schwab, Halliburton Sued Over Network Security Technology.

Filed under Argo, Coopetition, Defender, Exchange, General Business, Genuine Advantage, Google, IE7, Internet Explorer, Licensing, Linux, Live Search, Microsoft, ODF, OOXML, OS - Client, Office, Office 2007, Open Source, Patent Lawsuits, Patents, Public Relations, Servers, Standards, Technologies, Windows Live, Windows Live OneCare, Windows Live Product Search, Windows Vista, Xbox, Zune

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January 27, 2007

Microsoft Weekly Miscellany, January 27, 2007

Posted by David Hunter at 11:40 AM ET.

Some Microsoft news items from this week that did not find posts of their own:

Ed Bott notes the first appearance of Vista OEM prices (for smaller OEMs) and Microsoft Answers ‘Vista OEM’ Questions. If you actually need to buy a retail copy of Vista, hopefully you’re savvy enough to not pay full price. Best line:

Going OEM means you don’t get the skimpy manual or other scraps of paper that comes with the regular retail version. But when (was) the last time a basic Microsoft manual told you anything you needed to know?

For a completely different demographic: Yes, there is a Windows Vista Starter Edition.

Microsoft released the software development kits (SDKs) for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, and the Microsoft Office Project 2007 platform.

Shocking news: Microsoft hurt by poor Live branding, analysts say.

Stop me if you have heard this one before: Symantec warns of new zero-day Word attack. This one too: Windows Defender Lets Spyware Slip onto Vista PCs.

Nintendo profits soar and the Wii now does the Internet – Wii news channel debuts early. Meanwhile, Sony’s PlayStation 3 to Debut in Europe, Mideast, Africa and Australia on March 23.

Two Major Linux Groups Merge to Fight Microsoft

The two main evangelizers of the Linux operating system, Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and the Free Standards Group (FSG), are merging to form the Linux Foundation.

LiMo arrives for mobile Linux:

The duopoly of Windows Mobile and Symbian is to face its biggest challenge yet, with six big names in mobile telephony backing the development of a new Linux-based software platform for mobile phones.

The founders of the LiMo Foundation are handset makers Motorola, NEC, Panasonic and Samsung, plus two big operators – NTT DoCoMo and Vodafone

Network Engines Selected By Microsoft to Support Existing Whale Communications Customers.

Filed under Alliances, Coopetition, Defender, General Business, Licensing, Linux, Marketing, Motorola, NTT, Network Engines, Nintendo, OS - Client, OS - Server, Office, Open Source, Project, Project Portfolio Server, Project Server, Samsung, Servers, SharePoint Server, Sony, Symbian, Technologies, Vodafone, Whale Communications, Windows Mobile, Windows SharePoint Services, Windows Vista, Xbox

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October 24, 2006

Windows Defender goes gold

Posted by David Hunter at 10:05 AM ET.

Brandon LeBlanc alerts us to a post on JCXP that reveals that Windows Defender, Microsoft’s spyware killer for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, has left beta and is now generally available. You can download a free copy here and users get 2 free support incidents. Since Defender is also effectively built into Vista, it looks like you can write off the non-free competition in the spyware detection and removal niche. Paging Neelie Kroes!

Update: Note that you have to install a Genuine Windows Validation Component in order to install Defender and also that the installation notes say Windows 2000 isn’t supported “as it will be out of mainstream support in October 2006.” Since all versions of Windows 2000 left mainstream support in June 2005, one wonders why it was ever included in recent betas.

Filed under Antitrust, Defender, General Business, Governmental Relations, Legal, Microsoft, OS - Client, OS - Server, Security, Spyware, Technologies, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Vista, Windows XP

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October 10, 2006

Windows Live OneCare betas for Vista, more betas and stealth Live launches

Posted by David Hunter at 5:23 PM ET.

Microsoft unveils OneCare beta for Vista:

Microsoft on Monday released a new beta for its Windows Live OneCare security service, marking the first time that the anti-virus software runs on Windows Vista.

Windows Live OneCare Beta 1.5, which can be downloaded and used free of charge, is available in 17 localized editions for countries that include the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K. Earlier editions were for U.S. customers only.

Other improvements and additions to 1.5, said a company spokesman, include tighter integration with Microsoft’s Windows Defender anti-spyware software, more back-up options (to USB-connected hardware and PCs on the local network), and support for Windows Vista RC1 (build 5500 or later, specifically).

Windows Live Contacts Control v0.2 Released:

We’ve released an updated version of our Contacts Control (formerly known as the Windows Live Contacts Gadget), with improved performance and functionality. Danny Thorpe explains what’s new in more detail on his blog, but I’ve summarized below. Additionally, we’ve updated the Contacts Map and Party Start sample apps to use the new version of the control.

Also refreshed was Windows Live Mail Desktop (now back to its old name after a brief digression as Windows Live Mail Center)  which got a new beta build 1083:

We have another Beta refresh build available for you to download today!  I am always excited to give the news that we’re releasing an update, but this one is especially exciting for me because I think you’re going to be incredibly pleased with some of the new features that have been added since the last build. 

Finally, there were apparently two more stealth Live product launches – Local and Safety Scanner come out of beta:

Just in from , although no official announcement as yet, but Live Local and Safety Scanner have dropped the beta tag and graduated to full blown Windows Live Services.  This brings the list of released products to 10, according to

I note that at one point it was Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner (among other names), but that the OneCare seems to have been dropped recently.

Filed under Beta and CTP, Defender, Live Search Maps, OS - Client, Technologies, Windows Live Contacts, Windows Live Mail Desktop, Windows Live OneCare, Windows Live Safety Scanner, Windows Vista

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