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Stop Me If You've Heard This Before

Welcome to the holding pattern.

With Vista and Office 2007 still floating around in beta world, and with no specific date for the release of either on the horizon, the throng of IT types attending Microsoft's TechEd show in Boston this week hasn't been treated to a boatload of news -- more of a toy boat floating in a bathtub, really. Sure, there are a lot of announcements, but they don't really say much of anything. A repackaged "strategy" here, an incremental release there -- it's all pretty pedestrian, and we've heard it all before. There have been no shockers, no earth-shattering revelations or jaw-dropping technology demos. In fact, RCP has already managed to get just about everything new into one big story.

The noticeable lack of excitement here is a little disappointing given that this show often showcases what's new and forthcoming from Redmond. But it's not surprising. The Vista/Office waiting game has Microsoft, partners and customers in something of a holding pattern for now, waiting for the OS and office suite that will drive the world's computers for years to come...once they arrive.

Until then, we'll have to be content with bits of "news" like this one: Microsoft is readying technology that will ease integration of third-party software applications (as well as its own business apps) into Office 2007.

This is all part of something called Office Business Applications, which sounds a lot like the type of integration the company is already offering between Dynamics -- which was, to be fair, boosted with this week's release of Dynamics AX 4.0 -- and Office, or between Office and SAP's enterprise resource planning applications. (The SAP-Office link-up is called Duet and was scheduled to be available this month; news of it has been hanging around since March) Nothing (much) to see here, then. And nothing to do but prepare for Vista and Office...and wait.

Are you preparing for the Vista and Office releases? If so, how? Let me know at lpender@rcpmag.com.

By the way, due to the constraints of the TechEd schedule, this week's editions of the newsletter will be a little shorter than usual and won't include as much reader feedback as you've been used to reading. But don't panic -- everything will be back to normal next week. And please don't stop sending those e-mails.

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Antigen, We'll Hardly Know Ye
Don't get too attached to the name of those Microsoft-branded security tools that Redmond announced last week. The Antigen for Exchange brand -- a name born from the moniker that existed before Microsoft bought Sybari Software, which made the original Antigen product -- is already on the chopping block. It'll eventually disappear into the newly announced Microsoft Forefront security brand. Maybe Microsoft did introduce something this week -- confusion...

What do you think of the Forefront name? Tell me at lpender@rcpmag.com.

It's Farewell to Microsoft for Blogger Scoble
Popular intra-Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble is leaving Redmond for a "Silicon Valley video-blogging startup," whatever that is.

But at Least the Government Knows When You're Ordering a Pizza
While the NSA was busy wiretapping phone calls, somebody stole a bunch of information from the Energy Department's nuclear weapons agency. That should help us all sleep better tonight.

Posted by Lee Pender on June 12, 2006 at 11:53 AM


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