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Microsoft Rivals File Anti-Trust Complaint With EU

In Brussels, Belgium, several Microsoft rivals announced on In Brussels, Belgium, several Microsoft rivals announced on Wednesday that the've asked the European Commission--the European Union's antitrusst division-- to launch a new investigation into Microsoft activities. The complaint -- filed by IBM, Oracle and Nokia and six other companies -- charges Microsoft of abusing the market dominance it holds for products such as Word and Excel.

Microsoft filed a 75-page response saying, among other things, that "the Commission repeatedly refused to clearly define its requirements and concerns, despite repeated requests and accommodations by Microsoft." The company also described the accusations as the work ofcompetitors who constantly seek to use the regulatory process to their business advantage

Here and Gone: Windows Vista Names Appear, Then Vanish
Someone at Microsoft quietly posted the names for new editions of Windows Vista on a public Web page last weekend -- and Microsoft quickly removed them, saying that the posting was premature and the names aren't yet final.

Special Report: With Vista on the Horizon, What Should You Do Now?
One thing about Windows Vista that's no secret: Microsoft's first full operating-system release in five years will arrive with new features intended to satisfy pent-up user demand. But what should you be doing between now and Vista's actual release date, currently planned for sometime during the second half of this year?

In this special report for our sister publication, regular contributor Stuart J. Johnston sums it up this way: Test. Plan. Budget. But most of all: Wait.  

Beta Update #1: Systems Management Server 2003 Release 2
Microsoft has started its public beta testing for Systems Management Server 2003 Release 2, the company announced this week. Among other changes, the release features a scanning tool that monitors systems for security vulnerabilities such as passwords that are too easy to crack and firewalls that have been turned off.

“Organizations can use this tool to identify systems that don't meet their internal security and configuration policies and requirements,” says Felicity McGourty, director of product management for Microsoft's Window Enterprise Management Decision. SMS 2003 R2 is slated for release to manufacturing in May.

Beta Update #2: Commerce Server 2006
Microsoft has also begun beta testing the latest release of its full-service e-commerce package, the company announced this week. Microsoft Commerce Server 2006 is designed to help companies more easily manage e-commerce sites by streamlining or eliminating technical challenges. For instance, the package comes with a ready-to-deploy starter site that provides a blueprint for developing applications such as online catalogs, shopping carts and checkout functions. The final version is scheduled to ship in July 2006.  

Microsoft Backs Improved Disaster-Response Initiative
Microsoft is contributing more than $40 million in software and cash to two nonprofit groups focused on disaster-response improvements, the company announced this week. The two organizations, NetHope and the Interagency Working Group on Emergency Capacity Building, are working toward better communications and collaboration capabilities for use during a variety of crises.

In Your Opinion: Building Your Business
We'd love your feedback for an upcoming Redmond Channel Partner package of stories on growing your business. Specifically, we're looking for companies that have:

  • Grown through mergers and acquisitions. If you've gone this route -- or if you've consciously opted against it—we'd like to hear from you.
  • Opted to limit their growth. If your company deliberately stepped off the growth treadmill, temporarily or permanently, for any reason, we'd like to hear from you.

Let me know at [email protected].

Posted by Anne Stuart on February 22, 2006