WinInfo Daily UPDATE, October 5, 2004

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In the News

- Microsoft, palmOne in Email Partnership
- Microsoft Working on Spyware Solution
- Kodak Wins Patent-Infringement Suit Against Sun's Java

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Microsoft, palmOne in Email Partnership

Today Microsoft and handheld-maker palmOne announced a strategic partnership in which palmOne will license Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 ActiveSync technology for use in future Treo Smartphones. The technology will help Treo owners synchronize data, including email, between their devices and Exchange 2003.
"palmOne has built its brand on making complex technologies easy to use, and having wireless synchronization to Exchange 2003 available out of the box will enhance our Smartphone customers' experience, while slashing company IT costs," palmOne President Ed Colligan said. "Key to offering the premier mobile email access device is our open-platform approach, resulting in a full spectrum of choices for individuals to \[Chief Information Officers\] (CIOs) at the largest enterprises."
The deal with Microsoft gives palmOne a more competitive stance against rival Research in Motion (RIM), whose handheld BlackBerry devices have become popular in recent years. Also, by integrating with Exchange, palmOne won't need to build or purchase its own email server product, helping the company reduce costs. However, the alliance is somewhat controversial because palmOne has battled Microsoft in the handheld computer market for 8 years. Recently, devices based on Microsoft's Pocket PC platform have closed the gap on those based on the Palm OS, which palmOne devices use (Palm OS maker PalmSource is a separate company from palmOne).

Microsoft Working on Spyware Solution

During a weekend trip to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates revealed that his company is working on an antispyware software solution. Gates didn't say when the company would ship the technology or whether it would be bundled with Windows or shipped as a standalone product.
Gates did say, however, that Microsoft is dedicating "hundreds of millions of dollars" of its $5 billion annual R&D budget toward solving the problems of "malware and adware." Although Gates says that he's never been victimized by a virus, his PCs have been riddled with spyware, forcing him to run third-party spyware scanners. "I haven't had a virus on my machine basically ever," he said.
In a related Webcast event, Microsoft Security Business and Technology Vice President Mike Nash said that the company's spyware efforts will likely come to market in a free system update similar to Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). "Some of this will come through extra protection in the platform," he said. "But it's also clear that there are some good third-party solutions available today as well. As our plans develop, we will update you with our progress."
Additionally, Microsoft is working on an antivirus solution, although the delivery plans for that product might have changed. Originally, Microsoft intended to ship its antivirus technology as a core part of Longhorn, the next Windows version. With Longhorn's release slipping to 2006, however, Microsoft could deliver the antivirus solution before that time, perhaps as an XP update.

Kodak Wins Patent-Infringement Suit Against Sun's Java

After a 3-week trial, a federal jury decided that Sun Microsystems infringed on Kodak patents when Sun developed the Java programming language and runtime environment. The decision sets the stage for what could be a massive payout from Sun: Kodak is seeking more than $1 billion in damages. The trial's penalty phase starts this week.
"We are pleased that the court has validated Kodak's intellectual-property rights protecting these valuable innovations," Kodak said in a statement issued yesterday. "Kodak has and continues to make substantial technology investments to ensure high-quality products." Sun has promised to mount a "vigorous defense" during the penalty stage, which isn't a bad idea: The $1.06 billion that Kodak is seeking is equal to half the operating profit Sun generated between 1998 and June 2001, according to "The Wall Street Journal."
Sun argued that it didn't infringe on Kodak's patents. Furthermore, Sun argued, Kodak's patents are invalid. Kodak obtained the patents in question when it purchased Wang Laboratories' imaging software division in 1997. The patents cover a method by which a software program can "ask for help" from another program. This method, Kodak said, is similar to how Java operates.

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