Microsoft will reveal hundreds of pieces of proprietary computer code from its monopoly Windows operating system in the next several weeks to comply with an antitrust settlement it signed with the U.S. Justice Department last year, the company said on Monday. Get the scoop at ZDNews.
"Microsoft Corp.'s new licensing programs take effect tomorrow, shifting the model for OS pricing but also for office productivity suites. Microsoft's Volume Licensing Program, delayed twice, kicks in on July 31. The most controversial feature of the plan, Software Assurance, is essentially Microsoft's subscription-based licensing plan for small- and medium-business owners. An enterprise version of Microsoft's software license already requires a yearly fee." Read the report at ExtremeTech, Yahoo!News, while News.com says that the majority of Microsoft's customers won't be signing up for a controversial licensing plan set to go into effect on Thursday, according to analysts' estimates.
"IBM and Linux combined represent a threat and inspiration as Microsoft Corp drives into enterprise computing, top company executives said yesterday. Computing giant IBM wages war against Microsoft in lucrative corporate accounts while Linux, the low-coast threat to Windows, wins supporters in fertile developer communities." Read the article at TheRegister.
"On the eve of Apple Computer's semi-annual MacWorld event, Microsoft has dropped a bombshell on the company: Work harder to accelerate Mac OS X sales, or Microsoft will exit the Mac market forever. This sentiment is one shared by many Mac developers, as Mac OS X has not sold well at all." Read the report at WinInfo and MacMinute's report of the original Wall Street Journal article.
"In Microsoft's first salvo, the company revealed details about the next version of its digital media technology, code-named Corona, including that it officially will be known as Windows Media 9 Series. Microsoft is expected to make other digital media and consumer announcements this week designed to steal thunder from Macworld, which starts Wednesday in New York. Last week, Microsoft said that later this year it will release a new line of 802.11b wireless networking products." Read the story at News.com.
"Sometimes you need to open your heart and let the love flow, even toward those you do not naturally like. Indeed, many religions claim this is a great way to achieve satori or sainthood or whatever state they consider to be the highest one a living being can achieve. So, what with wIndependence Day now being behind us, I think it is time for us to think kind thoughts about Microsoft and Microsoft employees. Their best times are behind them. They have nowhere to go but down. They have every right to be upset about this. And Linux users should be there to comfort them in their hour of need." Editorial from OSDN's editor in chief.
Handheld PCs and their computing cousins plan to take the stage in New York City. Microsoft and Fujitsu will be making the case for tablet PCs, while PC makers will spin visions of a wireless paradise. Read the report at C|Net News.com. In the meantime, all major mobile operators in Europe and the US will launch cell phones and other wireless devices in the coming year that use Microsoft software, sources say. Read this story at News.com.
U.S. software giant Microsof Monday took a swipe at rival mobile operating systems maker Symbian, saying familiarity with Windows will help it be the standard used in new high-performance wireless devices. "It's important (for developers and users) to have access to data they are already familiar with in the PC environment," Derek Brown, director of mobile devices group, told Reuters in an interview. Read the article at Reuters.
"Microsoft announced that version 3.0 of its Services for UNIX (SFU 3.0) package was released to manufacturing this week. SFU 3.0, one of the key products developed by Microsoft’s India Development Center teams in Hyderabad, India, and Redmond, Wash., is being offered to meet the growing demand of UNIX customers wanting to take advantage of Microsoft Windows 2000. SFU 3.0 is a breakthrough version that incorporates new tools for rapid migration to Windows 2000 as well as new features for tighter platform integration in mixed environments. SFU 3.0 enables customers to optimize their previous investments in UNIX infrastructure, applications and people, while capitalizing on the value of Windows 2000 as an enterprise platform." ENTNews has an explanatory article about this too.
OSNews reader David S. MacLachlan wrote in to tell us about an editorial at OSOpinion: "Seems that there's a bit more to the End User License Agreement that Microsoft has in force... if you purchase a computer that has Windows pre-installed, you're legally required to not install any other OS on it... even if the computer has been donated to you or sold to you as used." Update: As many readers have already stated, the claims do not seem to hold. There is a clause in the XP OEM license saying that the software is "attached" to the specific hardware, can only be used with that specific hardware, and must be transfered with that specific hardware, but that's a normal OEM clause.
"Microsoft has admitted its biggest worry over the roll out of its flagship .Net strategy is the potential backlash from angry customers once they realise today's web services are mainly hype. And according to Charles Fitzgerald, global director of strategy for the .Net platform at Microsoft, his firm is also much more worried about IBM's Websphere than the widely perceived battle between .Net and Java." Read the rest of the stoy at Yahoo! News.
"Microsoft shipped its Windows XP operating system just six months ago, but the software giant is already preparing for the next wave of computing. Microsoft has identified a handful of technology trends likely to reshape PCs and is working to define how Windows XP and its successors will take advantage of them, said Chris Jones, vice president of the Windows client team." Read the story at ZDNews. "Microsoft invites engineers to converge in Seattle for WinHEC to hear the latest ideas about DVD, audio, video and other consumer computing technology. Bill Gates' dream that people will build a PC first, then design a home to fit may be just around the block." Read the special feature at ZDNews.
"Whenever I visit Microsoft, I'm always reminded that the Microsoft of reality--at least the Microsoft I see when I talk to the people who actually design, build, and market the company's technologies and products--is very different from the Microsoft of myth. Before I calculate my Microsoft Report Card, based on my trip to Redmond earlier this week, I'd like to address some of those myths and explain how they vary from the reality I've seen firsthand." Read the rest of the article at ZDNews AnchorDesk.
"PC makers and several states allege that new Microsoft licensing agreements, arrived at under the proposed antitrust settlement between the software maker and the U.S. Justice Department, impose harsher terms on some manufacturers than agreements currently in place." The details make it sound more like this is a pricing structure change that lowers costs for low-volume OEMs, and raises them for high-volume OEMs. CNET has the story.
In December, Java was more popular than .Net for building Web services, according to a ZDNet UK poll, but weeks later the position had dramatically reversed; investigation revealed just what (dubious) lengths Microsoft will go to to promote its products and manipulate the public opinion.
"Microsoft will demonstrate on Monday a tablet-shaped device that will serve as a bridge between the TV, the PC and the company's .Net services, according to sources familiar with the plans. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates will show off the device, known as Mira, during his eHome presentation Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The device is effectively a cross between a Pocket PC-based handheld computer and a TV remote control. Mira will be a wireless handheld device and contain a sizeable screen. In conjunction with a TV or a PC, Mira will deliver Internet content, serve as a portable game player in conjunction with Microsoft's Xbox video game console, and allow consumers to shop online, see program listings and perform other tasks." The story is at C|Net-News and the funny thing is that the demonstration will take place the time that Steve Jobs will be delivering his highly expected keynote at MacWorld on Monday and will be uncovering the new Apple "secret weapon". Is Microsoft trying to minimize the potential surprise Apple is preparing? Is Apple's secret weapon also a tablet Mac? We will know for sure on Monday.
Less than two months ago an email from Microsoft's Brian Valentine was leaked and TheRegister published it, a second email comes to light today, again with the same outlined subject: Linux Vs Windows. Interesting read (if the email is actually original), and lots of disclaimers to the email recipients from Mr Valentine to not distribute the email (too late!).
"Linux is the long-term threat against our core business. Never forget that!" Microsoft Windows Division Veep Brian Valentine exclaims in a confidential memo to his Sales Brownshirts obtained by TheRegister. Microsoft was winning ground against Unix the last few years and they were converting companies to x86 (intead of expensive SPARCs etc), but many companies were just converting to x86 Unices (and especially, Linux) instead of Windows. And Microsoft does not seem too happy about that.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates demonstrated today technologies for transcribing spoken Chinese, making handheld computers aware of when they're being touched and moved, and adding emotion to computer slide shows. At an event recognizing the 10th anniversary of Microsoft Research, Gates indulged his fondness for technology, raising hopes for a world where computers will become more useful. At the event, among the things it was showed was a handheld computer that understands which way is up and where it's being touched, technology that lets it reorient the display according to how it's held or understand when a person is holding it like a cell phone to give dictation. The "Mulan" software project for reading Chinese writing out loud or transcribing speech into characters. With about 60,000 characters in Chinese, it's difficult to use keyboards. Automated bug detection that helped make Windows 2000 less crash-prone is being used in all other Microsoft product lines. Video compression technology that's less error-prone than the prevailing MPEG4 standard. Software that's designed not to sap people's emotion when creating narrated slide shows so sharing photos online is more like the storytelling that accompanies the viewing of traditional photo albums. Software that can reconstruct three-dimensional images from a few still photos.