HTC Tries to Stymie iPhone with Patent Suit

HTC is going the patent route to try to derail Apple's runaway train for all things "i. " The Taiwanese company is asking for an injunction on sales of iPhones, iPads and iPods based on an alleged patent infringement. Of course, it was Apple that sued HTC for patent infringement in the first place, so this is the rebel striking back against the empire. Good luck, HTC. You'll need it.

Posted by Lee Pender on May 13, 20102 comments

New Attack Gets by Pretty Much All Windows Security Software

Well, here's a piece of bad news. Researchers have found holes in pretty much every anti virus software program available for Windows, including the biggest-selling ones. That means that attackers can make a Maginot Line out of your firewall or anti virus program and go right around it to install malware on your machine. Great.

Posted by Lee Pender on May 12, 20102 comments

Read up on the Best of Office and SharePoint Reporting from RCP and Redmond

Boost your Office and SharePoint knowledge on launch day by going back through some of our better work regarding the two products. Here are a few suggestions. Back in March, Doug Barney wrote about users' impressions of the beta version of Office 2010. In April, Jeff Schwartz wrote about how partners just can't wait to get their hands on SharePoint 2010. And in May, Jeff wrote a piece on why Office will still kick bottom despite facing more competition than ever.

Posted by Lee Pender on May 12, 20100 comments

Patent Office Confirms i4i Patent

The company that managed to briefly shut down sales of Microsoft Word not long ago is inching ever closer to a $290 million windfall from Microsoft for patent infringement. The US Patent Office is almost assuredly going to say that the i4i patents that Microsoft apparently broke (according to a jury and an appeals court, anyway…) in Word were indeed valid patents. Redmond might end up being on the hook for this one after all.  

Posted by Lee Pender on May 12, 20101 comments

2010 Begins Today: Microsoft Releases Office and SharePoint

By the time you read this, the confetti will have fallen, the executives will have made their speeches and Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 will be available to enterprises. Check back with for updates throughout the day and during the rest of this week. Our man Jeff Schwartz is on the scene at the New York launch party.

Although SharePoint is likely to be the big moneymaker for partners, it's Office that's getting all the attention. And most of that attention is centered on Office Web Apps, the long-awaited, fully cloud-based, free version of Office that launched today with the flagship Office product.

Office 2010 is Microsoft's answer to Google Apps, and it's a pretty good answer, given its integration with the client version of Office. Google Docs integrates with…well, nothing, really. It's not supposed to integrate with anything; the whole point is for it to live in the cloud and not much of anywhere else. OK, so users can create and edit Microsoft Word documents inside Google Docs, but the transition from Google to Microsoft isn't always perfect -- as your editor, a user of both Docs and Office, knows first-hand.

We're guessing that Microsoft's pure integration between its client and online suites will be smoother than Google's bridge to Office is. Of course, that hasn't stopped Google from touting its own online software this week -- or from taking a few shots at Microsoft's new wares.

Hey, that's fair enough. Competition is healthy. And Google has managed to draw lots of hype for its cloud-based suite. But thus far, that's about all that Google has really produced -- hype. For all the press coverage (including a fair amount here) of Google stealing high-profile accounts away from Office, the Microsoft suite still absolutely owns its competitor in the enterprise market.

And the free, integrated, likely pretty useful Office Web Apps should only help hold or even increase Office's market share -- providing Web Apps works as advertised. Even if it doesn't, Google Docs really isn't that great, functionality-wise. Familiarity with this type of software breeds comfort rather than contempt. Microsoft has that going for it, too. The only real risk here, of course, is that companies and consumers will start using Office Web Apps for free and stop paying for the main Office products. We're not sure, though, that anybody's ready to put quite that much faith in the cloud yet.

The empire has struck back in the Office-suite game -- and it really hadn't suffered much damage to begin with. As we've said here before, never, ever, ever count Microsoft out in any market or category of technology. And definitely count Microsoft in as the present and very likely future leader of the productivity-suite race.

What impresses you most about Office 2010? SharePoint 2010? What disappoints you? Do you think that Google is a real threat to Microsoft Office? Share your thoughts at [email protected].  

Posted by Lee Pender on May 12, 20100 comments

Veghte Turns up at HP

One of the main architects of Windows 7's success left Microsoft in January. But he's back, and he's going to ply his trade for the software business of one of Microsoft's biggest and oldest partners. Bill Veghte, former head of Microsoft's Windows unit, will soon lead HP's enterprise software business. Good choice, we'd say, HP.

Posted by Lee Pender on May 06, 20100 comments

Windows 7 Is the Crown Prince of Operating Systems

So, where has RCPU been this week?  Not around, for a variety of reasons. But never mind that. We're back now, and so is Microsoft.

Well, OK, Microsoft has been back for a while -- back from the brink after the failure that was the Windows Vista operating system. This week, forlorn Vista packed up its belongings and headed out into the great beyond, the market-share abyss.

Windows 7 passed Vista in enterprise market share, more or less officially, and in doing so became the rightful successor to King Windows XP's business-OS throne (which the good king is not surrendering easily).

There's no surprise here, of course. But this small event does officially relegate Vista into the pantheon of technology flops; someday we'll all look back and laugh about it. Maybe we're laughing already. But give Microsoft credit: Neither its own rotten product nor a clever (if way overplayed) ad campaign from Apple nor the rebel forces of open source could keep Redmond down for long. Most of us are still PCs, and while Windows 7 might not have been our idea, it will eventually be our operating system.

We're still looking for feedback on Microsoft's greatest comebacks. Is Windows 7 overcoming the specter of Vista one of them? Answer at [email protected].

Posted by Lee Pender on May 06, 20102 comments

Credit Rating Service Says Distributors Look Stable

Rating service Fitch Ratings took a look at Ingram Micro, Tech Data and a couple of other distributors and thought that they looked…OK. Good news, not great -- but we'll take good.

Posted by Lee Pender on April 29, 20100 comments

HP Bails out Palm

There was a time when the Palm Pilot was very nearly a Xerox machine, a Kleenex, Google or maybe even the iPhone. It defined the category -- back when "PDA" still meant public display of affection to a lot of people, Palm Pilot meant handheld electronic organizer. The thing was the category.

Of course, that has all changed over the last couple of decades, and Palm hasn't been able to keep up with its smart phone competitors, particularly Apple. So, this week, a company that might be able to keep up with Apple snapped up Palm: HP.

It's a $1.2 billion deal, and it brings HP lots of patents from Palm, not to mention a couple of new lines of Palm phones. Of course, our thinking here is always the same -- if Palm was going under, what makes HP think that it can save Palm, or use its technology to seriously break into the smart phone game? In other words, how are two companies that are struggling in the smart phone business (HP actually has a phone called iPaq -- who knew?) going to combine to take down Apple, the vendor that's dominant in the market?

This sort of acquisition always seems a bit like the blind buying the blind. Still, HP is a company with lots of resources and, like Microsoft, when it really wants to get into something it will dive in with little hesitation and lots of cash. That's a strategy that's been known to work before in this industry. Will it work well enough to justify and outlay of $1.2 billion and a heck of a lot of integration costs? Only time will tell.

But we'd be remiss if we didn't tip our RCPU hat to Palm, that child of 3Com that was an innovator and trail blazer that finally petered out. We have a feeling that the Palm brand will survive (seriously, iPaq?), but it's hard to imagine that it'll ever regain the identification value it had in the 90s. HP probably doesn't care about that, though, as long as Palm brings some market share and some revenue.

What was your first handheld device? What's your take on HP's place in the smart phone market? Send your answers to [email protected].

Posted by Lee Pender on April 29, 20102 comments

Microsoft, HTC in Patent Link

Ugh, here come the patent lawyers again. Fire up the grill down in Tyler, Texas (patent lawsuit capital of the US), because Microsoft has entered into a patent agreement with HTC for Android phones that could set off a three-way East Texas showdown between Microsoft, Google and Apple.

Posted by Lee Pender on April 29, 20101 comments

Free Tool Checks Application Compatibility for Windows 7

Hey, do you think this might have been a good idea for Vista? Yeah? Well, a very wise Microsoft partner called ChangeBase has come up with a service that tests whether applications will run with Windows 7. Microsoft, pay attention -- people need stuff like this.

Posted by Lee Pender on April 28, 20101 comments