Best Dead Companies

A few months ago I asked you, the Redmond Report reader, to name your favorite dead and defunct companies. Over a dozen of you wrote in. Favorite dead company by far? DEC. Coming in second was Commodore.

In my March editorial for Redmond magazine, I reported on these results, and quoted a few of you. Check it out here.

Posted by Doug Barney on March 15, 2010 at 11:53 AM1 comments


IT Budgets Increasing?

Chances are your budget over the last few years has been cut, slashed and cut again. If the money hasn't been restored, you might want to show your boss, CFO or CEO data from Ovum indicating that most shops are increasing budgets from 1 to 5 percent.

While not exactly whopping, it's a heckuva lot better than the carnage we've all gotten used to.

How did you weather the budget storm? Tips and horror stories equally welcome at dbarney@redmondmag.com. 

Posted by Doug Barney on March 15, 2010 at 11:53 AM0 comments


Bing vs. Bing Solved

Nearly every name known to man has already been taken and secured with a copyright. That's why new companies these days have so many kooky, meaningless names. They have no choice.

The same is true for Bing, which had apparently been taken before Microsoft rolled out their search engine. Turns out Terabyte Unlimited has something called BootIt Next Generation, a PC boot manager that goes by another name -- Bing.

Lawyers from either side got together and agreed that both sides can use the name. Problem solved.

Posted by Doug Barney on March 15, 2010 at 11:53 AM6 comments


Doug's Mailbag: Wake Up Windows 7, More

One reader shares his thoughts on a recent letter complaining about a Windows 7 quirk:

A couple of weeks ago you published a problem somebody had with Windows 7 not waking up cleanly and the person involved having to turn the computer off and resume Windows 7 from a reboot.

I have been having exactly the same problem along with intermittently coming back to the computer to find it had randomly rebooted itself. A few days ago I saw the dreaded BSOD and the memory dump screen.

I decided the Power Supply might be the root cause. After replacing it, I've had no repetition of the problems.
-Dave

Another reader comments on why it is that software can never truly be 100 percent flawless:

As long as software uses the von Neumann model where "code is data is code is" and there is no "hardware cop" to police the use of memory, the hardware/software combination will never be secure.  Secondly, as long as one depends on OOP (with its current incarnation of classes begetting child and parent classes) where the day-to-day programmer has no clue about the mechanics of the processor's native implementation of those OOP kludges, software will never be secure.   Thirdly, as long as the day-to-day programmer makes the assumption that "no reasonable user would ever do that" or "if the manual states packets are always n bytes, then EVERYONE will ALWAYS follow those rules -- DON'T need to check packet sizes," software will never be secure.  In other words as long as humans and/or semi-sentient beings program machines, software will never be secure.
-Stephen

The following reader agrees with Doug's assessment of why users are switching to Google Apps:

Back in the day it was cheaper for me to setup my own servers to host my domain than is was to pay for the hosting.  In December, I moved to Google Apps.  I still have to pay for the domain name, but I do not pay for the server hardware or software. I also get Web and e-mail free.  I've played with Google Docs. I don't need to share docs with many people, so I still use MS Office for my document heavy-lifting.
-Eric

Posted by Doug Barney on March 12, 2010 at 11:53 AM1 comments


Nimsoft Absorbed by CA

CA continues its decades-long buying spree with the $350 million purchase of Nimsoft. Usually I advocate that the buying company give the buyee as much independence as possible, as Quest has done with ScriptLogic (many of you probably don't even know Quest owns ScriptLogic).

Nimsoft is in the network monitoring market, in which CA already participates. Nimsoft's edge is that the company can now monitor clouds, and is also aimed at small and medium shops, whereas CA largely plays in the large enterprise space. All this puts greater pressure on Microsoft System Center, as well as a myriad of fine third-party vendors.

In the case of Nimsoft, it should be fully integrated, if only to get rid its wacky name!

What do you use for management or monitoring? What is the worst company name you've ever heard? Answers welcome at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on March 12, 2010 at 11:53 AM4 comments


IE 8 Is Great, Microsoft Says

The best browser at preventing malware is, drum roll, IE 8! Who says? A report paid for in part by Microsoft, that's who!

NSS Labs tested IE, Safari, Firefox, Chrome and Opera. IE 8 was best at preventing social engineering-based malware, largely by virtue of IE's SmartScreen that alerts users to potentially malicious Web sites.

I'm not going to dismiss these results just because Microsoft sponsored it. In fact, a bunch of infrastructure vendors also underwrote the research. And Microsoft did work mightily to make its browser more protected. In fact, Redmond Report readers like IE 8 a lot, at least according to this cover story you all helped write.

Is IE now more secure? You tell me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on March 12, 2010 at 11:53 AM2 comments


April a Busy Launch Month

Next month, Microsoft is expected to start rolling out a number of 2010 products -- at least, rolling them out to its manufacturing operations and partners. Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010 all seem primed and ready to go.

There will be about a month-long lag before IT pros like you can get their mitts on these puppies, as general availability is scheduled for May 12.

You've already told me everything you know about Office 2010 and it looks pretty good (unless you're one of the many who still dislike the ribbon). Now I'm getting curious about SharePoint 2010. Any of you folks beta testing this thing? If so, send your thoughts to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on March 10, 2010 at 11:53 AM0 comments


Bye-Bye, WEBS

If you're a midmarket company, a version of Windows Server built just for you is no more. Well, it still exists -- it's just that there will be no new versions of Windows Essential Business Server.

The server was aimed at shops with 75 to 300 end users and, like Small Business Server, was designed to be easy to set up and manage, and included most of the core apps a shop of that size should need.

For Microsoft, the move will save some money. And it was seeing -- or at least expecting -- flagging demand as midmarket shops look to the cloud for application services.

Will you miss WEBS? Do you use Small Business Server and, if so, what do you think? Answers to either question welcome at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on March 10, 2010 at 11:53 AM1 comments


IE 6 and 7: An Attack Waiting To Happen?

After releasing two "important patches" for Office and Windows, Microsoft issued a warning that IE 6 and 7 may be subject to remote code execution attacks. Security experts say that hackers have found this hole and that a "limited" number of attacks have been reported.  

All software has flaws. One of the reasons Microsoft's software seems to have so many holes is that Microsoft aggressively reports its problems.

Do you agree or still think that Microsoft is less secure that its competitors? Shoot your answers to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on March 10, 2010 at 11:53 AM1 comments


An Easy Patch Tuesday

Last month's Patch Tuesday was a bit of a bear. To make up for it, Microsoft is planning a light patch batch tomorrow. In fact, there are only two "important" patches prepped. Both patches address remote execution attacks, one aimed at Office and the other at Windows.

IT could use a breather around now!

Posted by Doug Barney on March 08, 2010 at 11:53 AM0 comments


Google Playing Microsoft Catch-Up?

In recent years Microsoft has bought companies and built new technologies to catch up with Google. Now Google is playing catch-up, buying DocVerse so it can have cloud apps that are more compatible with Office.

Google Apps are like mini versions of their Office counterparts. With DocVerse, you can apparently use Word, Excel, et. al and share work over the Web through the Google Apps infrastructure. Hmm...I guess the cloud isn't replacing Office after all.

What do you think of Google Apps? Share your experiences at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on March 08, 2010 at 11:53 AM0 comments


A Bright Cloudy Future

Microsoft loves to make well-publicized big bets, like when Bill Gates released his famous "The Internet Is Everything" memo.

Now Steve Ballmer says "The Cloud Is Nearly Everything" and believes his company has a head start. Most apps, such as SharePoint, Office and Exchange, can already run as hosted software. And he believes Azure is more robust and scalable than other cloud tools such as those from Amazon. The cloud leads to a number of possibilities, Ballmer believes. It can foster the creation of smarter devices that rely on cloud power, and offers the possibility of new software inventions and services.

But while the cloud might be nearly everything, it's not the only thing. Ballmer argues that good, old-fashioned hard drive-based software will be important for years to come.

How you tried Azure? What do you think? Shoot your responses through the ether to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on March 08, 2010 at 11:53 AM1 comments


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