Saturday, January 27, 2007
- Woohoo, a new SCO press release! Seems that the all-encompassing suite of super-featureful Me Inc. apps is now available in Russia. Or at least HipCheck is; that's the one they babble on about the most, anyway. The PR insists HP is involved somehow, but doesn't specify exactly how. HP's mentioned in the title, and in the first paragraph, and nowhere else.
- Mr. Cringely at InfoWorld insults the world's NASCAR fans by asserting Darl may have a new career in stock car racing.
- The ever-relentless Panglozz has figured out that Royce's Micro-Cap fund sold its remaining SCO stock a while back. More here.
- If you haven't seen it already, you must, you simply must watch this promo video for Windows/386, circa 1987. As the Inquirer notes, it really gets fun around 7 minutes in, so if you get tired of the corny Mission Impossible crap, feel free to fast forward a bit. When our heroine starts rapping about spreadsheets and databases and such, it's time to stop, watch, rewind, and watch again in amazement. The 80's truly were a dark and primitive time, and Windows 2.x was only a tiny part of it.
- Speaking of the 80's, I recently broke down allowed a Microsoft product into my home. My usual policy is to give any MS product at least a quarter century so others can find all its vulnerabilities before I'll let it cross the threshold. In this case it's been only 24 years, so I'm going out on a limb a little here. But I've had the thing for about a month now and it hasn't been pwn3d yet, so I guess that's an encouraging sign.
- And while we're on MS, there's a whole passel of Vista stories out there on the interwebs right now, since they're finally launching the damn thing at midnight. I think they're hoping there'll be lines out the door, people desperately waiting to have all their OS dreams fulfilled with tasty Vista goodness. I don't claim to have a finger on the pulse of the non-techie general public, or even most of the techie general public, so I really couldn't guess whether there'll be lines or not. Somewhere there's probably a Wal-Mart with a couple of paper-hat-wearing junior MCSEs out front who've been camped out for the last three weeks without a single shower break (for fear of losing their spot in "line"). That's if security hasn't shooed them away for frightening the other shoppers.
Anyway, here's a selection of Vista coverage.
- The Houston Chronicle asserts people won't be waiting in line for Vista. Which begs the question: Has anyone waited in line to buy Windows at midnight, any version of Windows, since Win95 came out? I don't recall there being lines when XP launched, and XP really was a genuine advance over Win9x.
- ZDNet, on "upgrading" existing hardware to Vista: "Buying Vista? Get a guarantee."
- The Star, on Vista's fine print.
- Ars Technica on the upgrade version of Vista. Seems that MS is now taking a hard line on upgrades, and for the first time the Vista upgrade will absolutely refuse to install unless it finds an existing copy of a previous Windows OS installed. So if your Vista box ever gets so hosed you need to nuke and repave the thing, you'll need to first reinstall the old OS, and then install Vista, assuming you kept the install media for the old OS. Nice! And what could be more convenient?
- Ok, well, at least Daniel Lyons has a few nice words to say about Vista. Although even he says he prefers Macs better, and he'd like to point out all the nice things he's said about Linux over the years, while he's at it.
- This is actually an Office 2k7 item, not a Vista item, but it can be hard to say where Windows ends and Office begins. If you're used to HTML email in Outlook, you're in for a supremely rude surprise in Outlook 2k7. It uses the ultra-lame HTML rendering engine in Word, instead of the one in IE7, so most reasonably complex HTML emails won't be rendered correctly anymore. Now, one might argue that since the Word engine does so much less, it's potentially more secure. Where the IE engine would get confused and hand over the keys to the kingdom, the Word engine will just throw up its hands and not even try. On the other hand, the IE engine has been patched and repatched over the years, much more often than its cousin in Word. The Word engine just hasn't undergone the same trial by fire, so who can really say what its vulnerabilities might be?
- A bit about Vista's DRM & driver signing scheme. The executive summary version is that it's rather less ironclad than MS led everyone to believe. Film at 11.
- And this chilling threat from Steve Ballmer himself: "Vista won't be last client OS from Microsoft".
- On the other hand, the Financial Times argues Vista is the end of an era for M$.
- And in what may signal the shape of things to come, GL covers a new M$ patent regarding modular operating systems. Ok, sure, the basic idea isn't new. And the idea of selling the OS modules separately isn't new either; IBM practically invented the art of unbundling, decades ago. But I've never heard of anyone using DRM to make sure nobody's swiping any precious OS modules. That's new, so far as I know, so maybe BillG's entitled to a software patent on that. I mean, to the degree that anyone is entitled to a software patent on anything, which is highly debatable.
- In a non-Vista item, Microsoft's IPTV software has major issues.
- Elsewhere, Adobe's decided to make PDF an open standard. Word is they're a bit worried about MS's new "PDF-killer" XPS format, and they'd like the blessing of a standards body, please. Now, recall that the original design goal of PDF was to make it possible for people to share formatted documents without sharing any of Adobe's precious (i.e. "sold separately") Type 1 PostScript font files. Which worked rather well, as it turns out. A lesson here is that if you're going to insist on having an antipiracy scheme, it's best to have one that makes piracy unnecessary.
- More on why Apple didn't tie up with Verizon to launch the iPhone.
- An NYT piece on lavish birthday bashes among the ultra-rich. Boies's recent 65th b-day gets a quick mention.