WINDOWS MESSENGER vs. MSN MESSENGER

Microsoft has completely mucked up the marketing of its Passport service and its instant messenger products. I follow this industry pretty closely, but I’ve frequently been baffled about how the various pieces fit together.

I get an e-mail newsletter from WinXP News (not overly technical, not completely flattering to Microsoft, and frequently filled with useful tips and tricks – recommended!) Here’s an easy guide to Microsoft’s instant messenger products from this week’s newsletter. […] continued

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MICROSOFT XMAS GOODIES

If you’re running Windows XP and you want to kill a little time, drop by www.microsoft.com/holiday for some Christmas-themed computer toys – screensavers, skins for Media Player, digital photo greeting card templates, and the like. (Be warned – the screensavers are extraordinarily dull. Don’t bother.)

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MICROSOFT DECISION LEAKED EARLY

An interesting technical sidelight on Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s approval of the Microsoft-DOJ settlement. The release of her decision was carefully scheduled for 4:30pm US Eastern time, after the markets had closed. The folks running the Court’s web site apparently didn’t realize anybody would find it, so the decision appeared on the Court’s web site two hours early. […] continued

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MICROSOFT SETTLEMENT APPROVED

The coverage of Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s approval of the Microsoft-DOJ settlement in the mainstream press is likely to be a bit short on details and context. Here’s CNET’s collection of articles about the settlement, with links to the full opinion and judgment.

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MICROSOFT BUTTERFLIES

The press lovingly covered the spanking delivered to Microsoft by the city of New York for plastering butterfly decals all over to promote the launch of MSN 8. “Illegal, irresponsible and dangerous defacing of public property,” according to the letter from the city.

When you read the articles, did you realize the decals were the plastic kind that stick to glass without adhesive – the ones you can peel right off? […] continued

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NEW MICROSOFT HARDWARE

Microsoft is rolling out a completely new lineup of mice and keyboards. Here’s the Microsoft press release. The lineup includes new wireless equipment, plus a smaller mouse sized specifically for notebooks.

Later this fall Microsoft will add a keyboard and mouse designed to use Bluetooth, the short-range wireless technology. Only Microsoft would decide that its conventional mice and keyboards should be blue, while its Bluetooth mouse and keyboard would be grey. […] continued

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MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PALLADIUM AND “TRUSTED COMPUTING”

Here’s an extensive discussion of the “Palladium” software that Microsoft is developing for future versions of Windows, to work with hardware designed by the “Trusted Computing Platform Alliance” led by Intel. It is promoted for its “security,” but that has deep meanings you don’t suspect. And its digital rights management features will complete the transfer of control from consumers to copyright owners in ways that will leave us pining for the good old days. […] continued

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MICROSOFT RESERVES RIGHT TO HACK YOUR COMPUTER

Here’s one of those things that might be trivial, or it might be enormously significant. There’s no way to be sure – but this is not a time when I have a very high opinion of the decisions made for us by big businesses.

Microsoft included language in the license agreement for Windows Media Player 7.1 that was very very scary. […] continued

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THE NEXT STEP IN PERSONAL COMPUTING

Here’s an important one. My mind is buzzing trying to guess the implications of this.

This comes from an e-mail newsletter put out by Windows & .NET magazine, summarizing an exclusive account in Newsweek. It’s your first look at ideas that will profoundly change our computing experience. Many of the concepts here will undoubtedly become part of personal computing, regardless of whether Microsoft is the moving force or not. […] continued

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STATES BAIL OUT ON MODULAR WINDOWS DEMO

The states in the Microsoft trial screwed up in a big way yesterday. The lawyers blew it, and the states may have blown a hole in their case.

The states have been insisting that Microsoft be ordered to produce a stripped-down “modular” version of Windows XP in which various “add-ons” (media player, Internet browser, etc.) can be snapped in and out. […] continued

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MICROSOFT AND MONEY

Microsoft acknowledges what analysts have also been pointing out – that its growth will start to slow over the next few years. But Microsoft’s cash on hand is starting to raise some eyebrows. Cash and short-term investments are currently above forty billion dollars, and increasing by a billion dollars a month. […] continued

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WINDOWS LITE

The nine states challenging Microsoft in the antitrust case are pressing for access to Windows source code so they can demonstrate that certain Windows features can be removed without crippling Windows as an operating system. They’ll press for a version of Windows without Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, and Windows Media Player, allowing manufacturers to include other products in their place on new systems. […] continued

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SECURITY UPDATE

Microsoft pledged to focus on security last week in an edict from Bill Gates that might be PR fluff – but not necessarily. Gates has a keen sense of when Microsoft has to turn itself around, and this might be one of those times when the company redefines itself and stays a step ahead. […] continued

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NETSCAPE vs. MICROSOFT

The media played up the lawsuit Netscape filed against Microsoft a couple of days ago. The allegation is that Microsoft damaged Netscape by preventing the Netscape browser from competing fairly in the marketplace. Presumably the damages are the lost profits from the Netscape browser. I was amused by the assumption that Netscape will be awarded hundreds of millions of dollars (or billions, in some news reports) for its lost profits. […] continued

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MICROSOFT REVAMPS SUPPORT SITE

Microsoft has launched a new web site that centralizes all support services. The MS Knowledge Base, an essential tool for tech professionals, is always visible, reducing the amount of back and forth work that’s necessary to go through articles searching for a solution. There’s also links to the download sites and support newsgroups. […] continued

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