Editor's Note: 25 Years of Windows

Windows turns 25 this year, and we'll be celebrating the operating system's big birthday in Redmond and RCP, online and in print. We'd like to get your memories of the first Windows launch, stories about the early days of the OS or even thought on where Windows is going. Send your thoughts to [email protected] As always, we won't publish anything in the magazines without notifying you first.

Thanks,
Lee

Posted by Lee Pender on August 25, 2010 at 11:56 AM0 comments


Microsoft Office Still Rules

It's really pretty amazing that despite the presence of plenty of cheap (or free) alternatives, expensive and bloated Microsoft Office still rules the desktop -- but it does. There's a lot to be said for familiarity, we suppose.

Posted by Lee Pender on August 23, 2010 at 11:56 AM1 comments


Microsoft Releases Azure Security Resources

This actually happened last week, but in case you hadn't heard about it...

Posted by Lee Pender on August 23, 2010 at 11:56 AM0 comments


HP Tablet Coming in 2011

Actually, there are two tablets coming: one running WebOS, and a likely more expensive (and enterprise-focused) version running Windows 7.

Posted by Lee Pender on August 23, 2010 at 11:56 AM0 comments


HP, Dell Shoot for 3Par

Oh, if only Tiger Woods could have delayed the public outing of his indiscretions, we'd be able to make quite a few golf-related jokes here. But with Tiger as stale as a July 4 cake (you have one every year, don't you?), we'll just have to settle for writing about some company called 3Par without making any silly golf references.

After all, we don't know much about golf here at RCPU. We didn't know much about 3Par, either, until today, when news broke that HP and Dell were in a billion-dollar battle to buy the company. Apparently, HP has won the war with a $1.6 billion bid, meaning somebody at 3Par headquarters is swilling champagne right about now.

So, $1.6 billion for a company that does...what, exactly? Well, 3Par makes network-management and storage-virtualization applications, which apparently can play a pretty big role in optimizing cloud-computing environments, particularly cloud storage.

OK, well, that makes sense. Anything that makes cloud computing easier and more cost effective is going to have value for companies like Dell and HP. But this acquisition also makes us wonder: Who else is out there doing this kind of stuff, flying under the radar and waiting for a big-name suitor to come along and finance a few rounds of golf (there it is) for some innovative entrepreneur?

We want to hear from you. Which companies are quietly building themselves up to become the next big players in cloud computing, or the next big buyout targets? Obscure names only please to [email protected]m.

Posted by Lee Pender on August 23, 2010 at 11:56 AM0 comments


Go Google Yourself

Do you like what you see? (Oh, and don't pretend that you don't Google, or at least Bing, yourself. We all do. It's only natural.)

Why on earth are we talking about this? Well, it's late August, and there's not much else to talk about. But, beyond that, The Wall Street Journal published an interview this week with Google CEO Eric Schmidt that had some interesting stuff in it.

Notably, Schmidt seems to think that those darn kids today will be entirely different people tomorrow -- or, at least, people with entirely different names. Quoth the journal:

"Mr. Schmidt is surely right, though, that the questions go far beyond Google. 'I don't believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time,' he says. He predicts, apparently seriously, that every young person one day will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends' social media sites."

Interesting. Sow your wild (online) oats as a kid and then run away from it all as an adult. What a concept; most of us have had to live with the real-world consequences (or rewards) of the behavior of our youth. The thought that today's kids will be able to have a stupidity-filled virtual youth that they can just jettison when they're in their 20s or 30s is pretty darn intriguing.

And what if those of us who are past childhood (at least in terms of age) are still doing stupid things online now? Is there a statute of limitations on this name-change thing? How many changes do we get? Thoughts to ponder...thoughts to ponder. Eric Schmidt, philosopher. Who knew?

Oh, and by the way, in the worst transition ever, here's a story about Google possibly releasing a Chrome OS tablet the day after Thanksgiving. Just so you know.

Have you ever done anything that made you want to change your name? And what would you choose for a new name? Rattle stuff off at [email protected]

Posted by Lee Pender on August 19, 2010 at 11:56 AM1 comments


Intel Snaps Up McAfee

Here's a quick back-to-school pop quiz. Choose the best answer.

Intel is: 
a) a chip maker
b) a software company
c) a security company
d) all of the above

As of this week, the best answer is d). Intel is buying McAfee for $7.68 billion. That's right; the 'tel in the famous Wintel partnership now has a massive security presence.

The chip maker has been more than a chip maker for a while now, boasting a growing software lineup. But the move into security breaks new ground for Intel. And it suggests that security might be moving to a new home as well: to hardware, in the chip layer, rather than just at the operating-system or application level.

More than that, though, Intel -- if it can succeed in swallowing a pretty big bite in McAfee -- now has a new revenue source that could help boost its flagging financials. It turns out that Intel's core product (so to speak) is a bit commoditized these days, and margins on chip sales aren't what they used to be.

So, Intel is diversifying, expanding and, in buying McAfee, leaving Symantec as the last true monster of the security game. And by doing all of this now, Intel is also giving us at RCPU something to write about in late August. (To figure out what we mean by that, check out the next newsletter entry, which we wrote Wednesday night...) For that, Intel, we thank you.

What's your take on Intel and McAfee? What does it mean for the future of security software? Send it to [email protected]

Posted by Lee Pender on August 19, 2010 at 11:56 AM2 comments


Password Crackers Thrive on GPUs

Here's a pretty interesting story that (once again) pounds home a theme: Come up with long, complex passwords. Of course, our password for everything is "RCPU." Just kidding. Or are we...?

Posted by Lee Pender on August 19, 2010 at 11:56 AM0 comments


Microsoft Releases Small Business Server Preview

This is that 'Aurora' thing you've been hearing so much about. Or if you haven't, check this out.

Posted by Lee Pender on August 19, 2010 at 11:56 AM0 comments


HP Makes Boring News with Fortify Acquisition

So, this morning, when your editor saw an e-mail from his colleague, Jeff Schwartz, with "HP" in the subject line, he naturally thought, "Yes! Another Mark Hurd story! Thank you, HP, for this gift that keeps on giving."

Alas, Jeff's story was "only" about HP buying a company called Fortify, a security-software company that... Oh, never mind. Our heart's not in it. Just when news in the dog days of summer was starting to dry up like the Red Sox' playoff chances, Hurd came along like a cool rain on yet another 90-plus-degree day.

But this darn 24-7 news cycle is pretty unforgiving (Do you still remember who Steve Slater is?), so HP is back to making dull corporate news now. Whoopee. At some point, though, the tech giant will have to name another CEO. (Where have you gone, Carly Fiorina? Oh, to the U.S. Senate, maybe? That's weird.) Anyway, Jeff did a nice job with the Fortify thing, so give it a read while we at RCPU scour the Web for Perez Hilton-like stories about tech CEOs.

Posted by Lee Pender on August 18, 2010 at 11:56 AM0 comments


Microsoft Releases 'Vail' Preview

It's hard to think of a ski resort in the middle of summer, but Microsoft has nevertheless chosen to release a preview of Windows Home Server, code-named 'Vail' to test participants.

Posted by Lee Pender on August 18, 2010 at 11:56 AM0 comments


Wired Says the Web Is Dead

This isn't exactly right in RCPU's wheelhouse (whatever that is), but Wired magazine's assertion that the Web is dead -- having given way to apps -- still makes for pretty interesting reading. Plus, there's a cool chart. Will we look back on the browser someday with faint nostalgia? Do we already?

Posted by Lee Pender on August 18, 2010 at 11:56 AM0 comments