Windows XP SP3 in 2007?
Windows XP is setting a new standard for the longest waits between
service packs for a Microsoft desktop OS.
The first service pack got hung up in the U.S. antitrust ruling
negotiations, with Microsoft finally inserting some tools for removing
Windows components in the service pack. The second service pack
morphed into practically a re-release of the operating system with
a security overhaul.
Now, Mary Jo Foley, who writes a column for our sister publication,
Redmond magazine, is reporting on her Microsoft
Watch Web site that Microsoft posted a preliminary date of the
second half of 2007 for Windows XP SP3. That would be about three
years after SP2.
Not only is Microsoft staying quiet, but the company appears to
have taken down the page on its Lifecycle site and replaced it with
an outdated version that pre-dates even the release of SP2 (Full
disclosure: I never saw the version Mary Jo referred to).
Both the "preliminary" hedge and the way Microsoft appears
to have pulled the page indicate the software giant isn't standing
solidly behind a late 2007 date for the service pack. But I have
to say, given the effect of the all-hands-on-deck effort for SP2
on the Windows Vista schedule, maybe holding off on the service
pack until after Vista ships isn't a bad idea. What do you think?
Let me know at email@example.com
and I'll share your thoughts in a future Redmond Partner Update.
WMF Backdoor Flap
Did the recent WMF vulnerability reveal a backdoor that Microsoft
put into the Windows operating system?
Just to recap, the WMF vulnerability is the one that was so critical,
and so public, that Microsoft had to release a special security
patch this month ahead of its usual Patch Tuesday schedule.
Security researcher Steve Gibson alleged on his Web
site last week that Microsoft may have intentionally put the
flaw into Windows. "It doesn't have the feeling of another
Microsoft 'coding error.' It has the feeling of something that Microsoft
deliberately designed into Windows. Given the nature of what it
is, this would make it a remote code execution 'backdoor.' We will
likely never know if this was the case, but the forensic evidence
appears to be quite compelling."
Microsoft took the charge seriously enough that Microsoft Security
Response Center executive Stephen Toulouse took the time to challenge
the allegations in a blog
Interesting stuff all around.
Migrating from Lotus
Having spent the last few years wooing e-mail users from IBM Lotus
Notes/Domino to Microsoft Exchange and Outlook, Microsoft is campaigning
for the users who rely on Domino groupware applications.
Microsoft is rolling out new and updated tools to help customers
migrate their Lotus Notes and Domino applications to Microsoft's
collaboration platform based on Office and its SharePoint technologies,
Stuart Johnston reports.
Partners are playing a big role in the latest effort. Microsoft
cites worldwide migration solution providers Casahl Technology Inc.,
Quest Software Inc. and SourceCode Corp., and service providers
Avanade, Fujitsu Consulting, Infosys Technologies Ltd. and Tata
Here's the thing: According to U.K.-based e-mail researcher and
analyst David Ferris, Microsoft Exchange has about four times as
many users as Lotus Notes/Domino. It seems to me this IBM Lotus
to Microsoft migration theme has been done to death, and it's hard
to believe there's a huge groundswell of demand to move from Lotus
to Microsoft. What are you seeing in the market? Let me know at
column was originally published in our weekly
Redmond Partner Update newsletter. To subscribe,
Microsoft Makes Play for Ad Searches
With Google in its sights, Microsoft put out a beta of its adCenter
search engine marketing system. The service is set to formally launch
in June. Microsoft's adCenter is a direct competitor to pay-per-click
advertising systems from Google (AdWords) and Yahoo! (Overture).
Market researchers say 11 percent of all shopping and classified
site visits in December came through Google, 4 percent through Yahoo!
and less than 1 percent through MSN Search.
Michael Desmond reports
that it will take a sustained effort from Microsoft to catch up
to its competitors.
Can Microsoft really succeed in throwing off a consumer giant with
a big lead? The company's track record is not great. For years,
MSN tried to take on AOL for total subscribers and lost. So far,
the Microsoft Xbox hasn't dislodged Sony. And Microsoft's music
efforts are far behind the Apple iPod.
How Internet Explorer 7 Will Clear Your Tracks
One of the features Microsoft has been talking up for Internet Explorer
7.0 is the ability for users to more easily flush all aspects of
their browsing history. A recent
post on Microsoft's IEBlog has the details of how it will work,
and what will be removed. A welcome caveat for corporate types is
that administrators will have the ability to disable this feature.
Posted by Scott Bekker on January 18, 2006 at 11:53 AM