Tech-Ed Today

The annual Tech-Ed show takes place this week, and I'm jetting off to Los Angeles to take in all the action. With the economy in tough straits and fears over swine flu lingering, attendance is expected to be way down. That's just the reality of conferences these days.

I'm there to see third parties, the lifeblood of the Windows market. Want to know what third parties we'll be talking about? Check out our exclusive Tech-Ed preview, and tune in Wednesday and Friday for newsletter updates.

AMD Pushes Graphics Envelope
Much of what bogs down our processors is graphics, and a lot of this is just the operating system. AMD is taking aim at this issue by moving to build more processors with integrated graphics. In fact, the whole company is being reorganized around this new mission.

AMD is a feisty company, one I thought would have been put out of business by Intel long ago. With Windows 7 seeming snappier, and better and better processors in the offing, the future of performance is bright indeed.

Internet by the Mile
We're all used to cabs charging by the mile, and shrinks charging by the hour. But are you ready to pay for the Internet based on how much you use? Major providers, especially those selling overpriced cable TV services, hope you are.

The rationale from the cable/Internet companies is that a few users -- heavy file sharers, movie downloaders, and those with rich and popular Web sites -- use an inordinate amount of bandwidth, and therefore should pay more. There are a few problems with this line of reasoning: These new metered charges could apply to the majority, not the minority of users. And as the number of customers increase, the cost of serving each actually falls. Worse is that these companies are really just trying to keep you from dumping cable TV and watching shows over the 'Net.

I guess what really galls me are the price creeps we've already seen. I spend about $50 a month for home Internet mainly because DSL is so darn flaky. I spend the same amount during the summer at my vacation home, so for half the year I shell out $100 a month for Internet. Add to that the $20 a month for tethering so my BlackBerry can serve as a laptop connection, and we're talking serious dough. And I haven't even added in cable TV for the two homes, or all the cell phones my family uses.

All in all, my family gives service providers over $500 a month. I could lease a BMW for that! And now they want to hit me up for more? I don't think so. What about you -- do you want metered Internet? Do service providers provide a fair deal? Tell us what you think at

About the Author

Doug Barney is editorial director of Redmond Channel Partner.