Skip navigation

WinInfo Daily UPDATE, March 11, 2005

This email newsletter comes to you free and is supported by the following advertiser, which offers products and services in which you might be interested. Please take a moment to visit this advertiser's Web site and show your support for WinInfo Daily UPDATE.

New! Essential Guide to Active Directory Management

Sponsor: Quest Software

Managing AD after migration can present challenges. "The Essential Guide to Active Directory Management" looks at:

- Reducing workload and complexities with secure AD management
- Improving control with delegated privileges and tasks
- Centralizing management of user id and provisioning
- Tracking user rights and activity through role-based administration

Get more mileage from your AD. Get your guide today!


In the News

- Microsoft Acquires Groove, Gets New CTO

Short Takes

- Gates: Longhorn Gets Its Groove Back
- Microsoft Won't Confirm WinFS on Windows XP Rumors
- Microsoft Settles Case
- US Government to Get Windows Patches First
- AMD Takes on Centrino with New Turion Line
- Microsoft Unveils New Video Game Development Tools
- Microsoft Seeks Patent Reform
- Judge: Bloggers Aren't Journalists
- OpenOffice 2.0 Beta Arrives. It's Free!
- IBM's PC Business Sale Clears Government Hurdle
- Linux Creator Switches to the Mac ... Sort Of
- Mozilla Foundation Cancels Browser Suite
- VB 6 Supporters Need to Get a Life

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Microsoft Acquires Groove, Gets New CTO

In a somewhat unsurprising move, given the tight relationship between the two companies, Microsoft announced yesterday that it will acquire Groove Networks, a leading provider of ad-hoc workgroup collaboration software. In addition, Groove Founder Ray Ozzie will become a Microsoft chief technology officer (CTO); Norman Judah and David Vaskevitch will also retain their CTO titles. Previously, Ozzie created a little program you might have heard of called Lotus Notes.
"The acquisition of Groove complements Microsoft's collaboration offerings to include real-time, server-based, and peer-to-peer solutions that address the ever-changing and more complex work environment," Jeff Raikes, group vice president of Microsoft's Information Worker Group, said. "Together, Microsoft and Groove will make anytime, anywhere collaboration a more natural and easy extension of how information workers coordinate their projects and document-centric work." The Groove technology will become part of Microsoft's Information Worker Group, which is responsible for Microsoft Office. Groove's flagship product, Virtual Office, lets people in disparate physical locations work collaboratively over a network. Virtual Office provides workspaces through which workers can share files, host discussions, manage projects, and perform similar actions. The software complements technologies that Microsoft currently employs in products such as Microsoft Live Communications Server 2005 and Microsoft Office Communicator 2005, both of which the company announced earlier this week.
Based in Beverly, Massachusetts, Groove was founded in 1997 and has been a close Microsoft partner ever since. According to Groove, most company employees will continue to work in the Massachusetts office. The acquisition should be completed by June, Microsoft noted.

==== Short Takes ====

An often-irreverent look at some of the week's other stories, by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Gates: Longhorn Gets Its Groove Back

During a press conference describing Microsoft's acquisition of Groove Networks, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said yesterday that Groove's collaboration technology will be integrated into Longhorn, the next major Windows release. "We will bring together the peer-to-peer and authentication capabilities Groove has built into its application with the equivalent things we have been incubating at Microsoft to strengthen the platform," Gates said. "Clearly, a big thing with Longhorn is its peer-to-peer capabilities, and Groove will help us pull that together. Groove has some fantastic and unique features we want to fit into the entire Office offering \[as well\]." Longhorn will feature simple ad hoc networking features and new "castle" functionality, which Microsoft describes as "domains for the home." For more information about upcoming Longhorn technologies, check out my recently updated "The Road to Windows Longhorn 2005" showcase on the SuperSite for Windows.

Microsoft Won't Confirm WinFS on Windows XP Rumors

Various Web rumor mills have been reporting that Microsoft is going to backport its WinFS storage technology to Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), just as the company has decided to do with the Avalon and Indigo technologies. Microsoft refuted those claims, however, stating that the company is simply investigating the feasibility of such a move. Because WinFS won't ship in final form until early 2007 at the earliest--compared with a mid-2006 release for Avalon and Indigo--supporting XP SP2 might not make much sense. WinFS is a relational database-backed storage engine that sits on top of the NTFS file system. Its exclusion from Longhorn, however, doesn't mean that Longhorn won't feature instant desktop search features. In the aforementioned SuperSite showcase, I describe exactly which search features Longhorn will include.

Microsoft Settles Case

Microsoft settled a 3-year-old lawsuit yesterday. The suit alleged that the software giant stole digital media technology and trade secrets from Burst in a bid to improve the Windows Media products. Terms of the settlement haven't been revealed and likely won't be, but Burst's complaints and evidence were pretty compelling. According to Burst, Microsoft courted the company for 2 years, then simply integrated its technologies into Windows Media Player (WMP) without paying for them. During the trial, a controversial email destruction rule that Microsoft Senior Vice President Jim Allchin instigated was revealed, casting further doubts on Microsoft's case. Now that the case is settled, one can only wonder about the outcome. My guess? Microsoft indeed ended up paying for Burst's technology.

US Government to Get Windows Patches First

Microsoft said this week that it will give the US government priority when it comes to disclosing and fixing security flaws in Windows and other software. The company will give the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) versions of critical software fixes up to a month before they're publicly released, according to reports. Then the DHS will distribute the fixes to other government agencies. It seems like a great plan, and I'm sure the government will stay one step ahead of the hackers as a result. Ahem.

AMD Takes on Centrino with New Turion Line

AMD has revealed its 64-bit answer to Intel's Centrino chipset, which powers mobile computers from virtually every notebook and Tablet PC maker on earth. Dubbed the Turion 64 and designed for the thin and light notebook market, the new 64-bit chipset is compatible with AMD's x64 processors, and companies such as Fujitsu, Packard Bell (it's still around?), and Seimens will be early adopters. The Turion 64 also includes support for ATI and NVIDIA graphics, 802.11g wireless networking, and the AMD PowerNow technologies, which can reduce notebook power consumption by as much as 75 percent.

Microsoft Unveils New Video Game Development Tools

At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco this week, Microsoft revealed that it's creating a new IDE for Xbox 2 video game developers called XNA Studio. Based on the company's popular Visual Studio .NET products, XNA Studio seeks to help video game development workflow proceed more quickly and efficiently, bringing together tools that content creators, programmers, management, and quality-assurance staff need into one ball of spaghetti code so complicated that only an MIT graduate could even launch the installer. But, seriously, because video game development now rivals the process Hollywood companies use to make big-budget movies, Microsoft felt it was time that the tools met that challenge.

Microsoft Seeks Patent Reform

Speaking of challenges, Microsoft noted this week that it's seeking sweeping reforms from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, Microsoft Senior Vice President and General Counsel Brad Smith said that although Microsoft has "benefited substantially as an industry and a country from patent protection ... the long-term health \[of the US patent system\] is threatened unless we take this opportunity to reform it." According to Microsoft, patent applications have more than tripled in the past few years as companies have started to use patents as legal hammers. The result is classic America--an overly litigious environment in which companies constantly sue each other for violating the vaguest-worded patents imaginable. For example, 30 companies are now suing Microsoft, an admittedly huge company, for patent violations. Yikes.

Judge: Bloggers Aren't Journalists

In a controversial move that has raised online outrage to new levels, a California state judge ruled this week that bloggers and representatives of blog-like Web sites aren't journalists and therefore aren't protected under the same laws that protects true journalists. The ruling is a blow to tiny, which Apple Computer is suing for revealing trade secrets., like many Apple fanatic sites, is literally run by a teenager from his college dorm room. But the big problem with this case isn't the kiddie sites and their methods of collecting secret information about their favorite company. The problem is the way Apple is handling this fiasco. Instead of creating a win-win situation--in which the company would simply promise to work more closely with its fan sites and give them information ahead of time under a nondisclosure agreement (NDA)--Apple is instead playing the lose-lose card. In this scenario, Apple loses even if it wins because, let's face it, a huge corporation beating up a college student in court isn't exactly an impressive victory that makes the company look good. If Apple could learn to work with the people who support it the most, the company would benefit greatly in the public perception while preventing those sites from prepublishing product information. Think Different, indeed.

OpenOffice 2.0 Beta Arrives. It's Free! has released a public beta of the eponymously named and free 2.0 office productivity suite. Now more Microsoft Office-like than ever, the free 2.0 beta suite is both free and, better yet, free. Yes, folks, that means that you can download this full office productivity suite for no cost. Or, put another way, it's free. It looks a lot like Office 2003 when running under Windows, which is kind of cute, and features most of the functionality of Office 97--or maybe even Office 2000. But it's free, and that has to count for something. You can download the free 2.0 beta from the Web site. The final version will also be free.

IBM's PC Business Sale Clears Government Hurdle

A US government committee has finished investigating IBM's sale of its PC business to China-based Lenovo Group and has determined that the sale can go through if both companies make a few concessions to accommodate national security concerns. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) investigated the deal after some members of Congress questioned the sale of a US corporate asset to a company with close ties to China's "authoritarian" government. The deal is the first billion-dollar purchase in the United States by a Chinese company and will likely remain a milestone in China's modernization for quite some time. Now that the scrutiny is over, IBM says the deal will be finalized in second quarter 2005, as previously scheduled. And Lenovo presumably will move its Bond villain-like PC headquarters to Raleigh, North Carolina.

Linux Creator Switches to the Mac ... Sort Of

The Macintosh community was agog this week at news that Linux creator Linus Torvalds has "switched" to the Mac, but the truth, as is so often the case, is so much less exciting than the rumors. Torvalds is indeed using a Power Mac G5 tower, but some unnamed corporation gave it to him as a gift. And he's running Linux on the box, not Mac OS X. "It obviously runs only Linux, so I don't think you can call it a Mac any more," Linus noted. "And ... I got the machine for free." So much for Apple's highest-profile switcher.

Mozilla Foundation Cancels Browser Suite

The Mozilla Foundation confirmed rumors this week that it's abandoning the Mozilla Browser Suite and won't develop an official 1.8 version. Instead, the organization will now concentrate on the highly successful Firefox Web browser, as well as the standalone mail and calendar applications known as Thunderbird and Sunbird, respectively. This logical step shouldn't be seen as a bad thing. The Mozilla Browser Suite, which was a monolithic application that bundled Web browsing, email and newsgroups, chat, Web editing, and other functionality into a single executable, was an unwieldy beast. Three cheers for progress.

VB 6 Supporters Need to Get a Life

Although it was released in 1998--a whopping 7 years ago--and is about to be replaced by a third-generation product successor, Visual Basic (VB) 6 still garners the kind of strange support that communities that back technologies such as FoxPro, the Commodore Amiga, and the Apple Newton seem to attract. And, like the people who still use those aging products, VB 6 users need to get a life. They're complaining that Microsoft is finally getting ready to kill support for the ancient technology, despite the fact that the software giant has already extended the VB 6 support deadline and offered numerous upgrade possibilities. VB 6 predates the Microsoft .NET movement and is thus simpler and much more limited than modern development environments. For this reason, it appeals largely to enthusiasts and amateurs, the type of people who used to litter the Web with badly written VB applications that featured humongous push buttons and other awful UIs. My advice is simple: Use VB 6 if you must, but spare us the complaints. It's time for an intervention.

==== Events and Resources ====

(A complete Web and live events directory brought to you by Windows IT Pro: )

Discover, Manage, and Archive Information Within Your Exchange Enterprise

Limit your legal exposure and protect corporate information. In this free Web seminar, Exchange MVP Paul Robichaux provides an overview of general retention and compliance issues, knowledge of pitfalls you may encounter when implementing your policy, insight into managing mail data for best-efforts compliance, and Exchange's built-in archiving and compliance features. Register now! emailannc

=== Announcement ====

(from Windows IT Pro and its partners)

Get Windows IT Pro at 44 Percent Off!

Windows & .NET Magazine is now Windows IT Pro! Act now to get an entire year for just $39.95--that's 44 percent off the cover price! Our March issue shows you what you need to know about Windows Server 2003 SP1, how to get the best out of your IT staff, and how to fight spyware. Plus, we review the top 10 features of Mozilla Firefox 1.0. This is a limited-time, risk-free offer, so click here now:

==== Contact Us ====

About the newsletter -- [email protected]
About technical questions --
About product news -- [email protected]
About your subscription -- windowsitproupdate[email protected]
About sponsoring UPDATE -- [email protected]


This email newsletter is brought to you by Windows IT Pro, the leading publication for IT professionals deploying Windows and related technologies. Subscribe today!

Manage Your Account

You are subscribed as %%$email%%

You are receiving this email message because you subscribed to this newsletter on our Web site. To unsubscribe, click the unsubscribe link:


View the Windows IT Pro privacy policy at

Windows IT Pro is a division of Penton Media Inc.
221 East 29th Street, Loveland, CO 80538
Attention: Customer Service Department

Copyright 2005, Penton Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.