WinInfo Short Takes: Week of April 26, 2010

An often irreverent look at some of this week's other news, including a clarification about my blogging activities, Office 2010 RTM on MSDN and TechNet, Microsoft more secure than Adobe or Apple, a market capitalization controversy, and so much more ...

Maybe I Misspoke

My comments last week about killing off the WinInfo Blog generated some frantic email messages from readers who thought I was going to stop doing Short Takes each Friday. No worries: Short Takes will continue as before. But I had a short "blog" section preceding the actual news blurbs each week, and that's what I'm discontinuing. The blog stuff is all over at the SuperSite for Windows now. Sorry for the confusion.

Office 2010 Now Available on TechNet Plus, MSDN

Just a heads-up: If you're an MSDN or TechNet Plus subscriber, you can now download the final, shipping version of Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 from those services. Both offer the Professional Plus edition of the suite, in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. I'll be reviewing Office 2010 on the SuperSite for Windows in the days ahead, but in the meantime, you can check out the 11 screenshot galleries I've posted.

Microsoft More Secure than Adobe or Apple

Well, duh. But it's interesting to see an actual security expert come out and state what should be obvious to everyone—even though it flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Former hacker Marc Maiffret, cofounder of eEye Digital Security, says that both Adobe and Apple significantly lag behind Microsoft when it comes to security. "Companies like Adobe are where Microsoft was 10 years ago," he said recently. "They've really only begun in the last six months or so \\[to take\\] security seriously and understanding that it impacts their business in a serious way ... It's even a little scarier with Apple because they try to market themselves as more secure than the PC, but anytime there's been a hacking contest, within a few hours someone's found a new Apple vulnerability. And the Apple community is pretty ignorant to the risks that are out there as \\[they relate\\] to Apple. The reason we don't see more attacks out there compared to Microsoft is because their market share isn't near what Microsoft's is." Ah, yes. Thank you Marc. Let that last statement just hang in the air, because it's the hard, cold truth. And it's nice to see someone with some actual security street cred tell it like it is. There's a lot more to this story, but check out the great CNET interview with Marc for more.

Apple Surpasses Microsoft's Market Capitalization

This one will be sure to drive some controversy in the days ahead, but let's just call it like it is: Apple just surpassed Microsoft's market cap. That this news comes in the wake of record Microsoft quarterly revenues is, I think, equally amazing, but then Apple hasn't exactly been a financial slouch lately, either. According to Standard & Poor’s, Apple is now the number-two company on the S&P 500 index, behind Exxon-Mobile and ahead of Microsoft. It has a market cap of $241.5 billion, ahead of Microsoft’s $239.5 billion. The controversy here comes via how S&P measures market cap. Put simply, it isn't a measurement of a company's assets and liabilities but is instead a measure of "what the market thinks a company is worth." And in case you haven't been paying attention, Microsoft is viewed as boring and old (i.e., the tech industry's Oldsmobile) while Apple (equally as old as Microsoft) is viewed as young, hip, and aggressive. Guess which one the market loves? As crazy as I think the stock market is, I will say this: Apple is absolutely more interesting than Microsoft. And even though market cap isn't really a good measurement of the worth of a company, it does speak very much to Apple's highly successful marketing. This was a long time coming. And maybe it's just what Microsoft needs to get off its duff and be as aggressive as it can be across the board.

Microsoft Advertising Bing Service on WNBA Uniforms

Microsoft this week announced that it is sponsoring the Seattle Storm, a WNBA basketball team. As part of this sponsorship, the Bing logo will appear on the front of the Storm's team uniforms, providing Microsoft with an interesting way to advertise its search engine to the sad and lonely people who actually watch the WNBA. And as dumb as this sounds, it's better than the other sponsorship deals that netted company logos on WNBA team jerseys: the Los Angeles Sparks have a Farmers Insurance Group logo on their shirts, and the Phoenix Mercury advertise LifeLock, an identity theft protection service.

Microsoft Wins Anti-Piracy Case in China

It's like finding a needle in a needle stack. Microsoft this week won a Chinese court case against a local insurance company that was using pirated software to run its business. As a result, Dazhong Insurance must pay Microsoft 2.2 million yuan, or $320,000, to cover damages associated with the case. Now, if Microsoft could just successfully sue every other business in China, maybe it would come out ahead in a country that, frankly, just doesn't give a damn about intellectual property, copyright laws, human rights, or any of those other prickly little things the rest of us hold so dear.

Wait, You Want to Put the Xbox 360 ... on TV? That's Crazy!

Bloomberg this week reported that Microsoft and News Corp. are in talks to start a TV channel for users of the Xbox 360. The show would be exclusively offered to subscribers of Xbox Live, which reveals the stupidity inherent in this news. So it's not a "TV show" so much as it is yet another bit of video content delivered over the Internet and viewed on the Xbox console. News Corp. wants Microsoft to charge customers $1 or $2 extra each month to cover the show, and apparently both parties have forgotten how lame the various video game channels are that we've had to deal with on the real TV. And really, do Xbox 360 users need to spend even more time in front of the TV? "Hey, when we're done playing video games, maybe we can watch videos about video games!" Sounds like a plan.

Windows Weekly ... Now in Both Audio and Video

Leo and I recorded a new episode of the Windows Weekly podcast this week, and as always there will be versions on both iTunes and the Zune Marketplace, in both audio and video formats, in the coming days.

But wait, there's more. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter, Friendfeed, and the SuperSite Blog.

TAGS: Windows 8
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