WinInfo Daily UPDATE, September 18, 2002

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September 18, 2002—In this issue:

1. NEWS AND VIEWS

  • Sun Linux: Good Timing or Too Little, Too Late?
  • Microsoft, ARM Drive New Support For Windows CE .NET
  • Microsoft Finally Attacks Hotmail Spam

2. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Mark Minasi and Paul Thurrott Are Bringing Their Security Expertise to You!
  • Real-World Tips and Solutions Here for You

3. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])

  • SUN LINUX: GOOD TIMING OR TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE?

  • Today, Sun Microsystems will announce plans to battle Microsoft for PC-desktop supremacy, with low-cost alternatives to Windows and Microsoft Office products. Sun will introduce its new Linux distribution (due early in 2003), which the company will use in tandem with its StarOffice office productivity suite to provide enterprises with a cost-efficient choice. Sun feels that it's the perfect time to attack Microsoft's two cash cows because the software giant has raised prices and stiffened licensing terms, despite a weakened economy and lower corporate spending. Equally problematic for Microsoft: Its offerings are widely considered unacceptable security risks.

    "The industry is ready," said Sun Executive Vice President Jonathan Schwartz. "There is a great opportunity for a major systems company \[such as Sun\] to commercialize a full Linux desktop."

    Historically, companies have used Linux as a low-cost file, Web, and print server product, but rarely is the solution deployed on the desktop because of its difficult-to-use, UNIX-like underpinnings and the relative immaturity of its desktop interface and tools. But recent improvements to the Linux desktop, most notably from companies such as Red Hat and Ximian, have made Linux desktop solutions more viable. Microsoft's recent move to Licensing 6.0, which raised costs for many of the company's customers, is just icing on the cake, Linux advocates say. After I wrote a Windows & .NET Magazine article about Licensing 6.0 earlier this summer (see the URL below), administrators and managers who were beginning Linux evaluations because of the Microsoft price increases deluged me with mail.

    Still, even Sun admits that its desktop push is in the early stages and isn't yet ready for many office workers. So the company is targeting certain cost-sensitive markets—such as corporate call centers and customer service areas, retail banking, factories, and government and educational institutions—with its Linux desktop solutions. Sun doesn't expect companies to switch over its more advanced workers, who need the wider range of functionality that full-powered Windows PCs provide, to Linux and StarOffice just yet, the company says. Instead, Sun will offer package deals that include third-party PCs, Sun desktop software, and smartcard interfaces for logons. The idea is that users should be able to walk up to any PC in the workplace and access their crucial applications and data, rather than be tied to one PC.

    Critics of the plan say that Sun will hurt sales of its high-end Solaris offering, not Windows sales. But Sun counters that Solaris is an expensive server OS, and that customers can use Linux in a low-end, complementary fashion alongside Solaris. Rolling out Solaris desktops would be as prohibitively expensive for institutions as rolling out Windows, but Linux—combined with low-cost hardware and StarOffice—is a compelling solution for many companies, Sun says.

    I've evaluated recent and upcoming Linux distributions such as Red Hat Linux 8, and I can say that the open-source OS is more viable now than ever and that StarOffice is a mature, stable, and compatible alternative to Office. Whether corporations embrace these solutions remains to be seen, but Sun is definitely starting with the right markets. But the most curious aspect of this story is that Microsoft has yet to respond to the threat with lower prices and other concessions. The time to act comes before your market share begins eroding, not after.

    More on the Folly of Licensing 6.0
    http://www.win2000mag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=26305

  • MICROSOFT, ARM DRIVE NEW SUPPORT FOR WINDOWS CE .NET

  • At their first ever Executive Summit today, Microsoft and embedded-microprocessor maker ARM announced that three new silicon makers—Motorola, NeoMagic, and STMicroelectronics—will develop products optimized for Windows CE .NET (formerly code-named Talisker). The companies will make Pocket PCs and other mobile devices that are based on Windows CE .NET and run on the ARM architecture, which is widely considered one of the most efficient and speedy embedded processors available. The announcement means that three major chipmakers—ARM, Intel, and Texas Instruments—now support Windows CE .NET offerings.

    "The most exciting thing about this announcement is that Microsoft and ARM are engaging in a two-way collaborative relationship, where the OS and the chip architecture are developed in parallel," Eric Carpenter, ARM's director of Strategic Platforms, told me. "This is more and more important because these products are getting more complex. The software and hardware should be created together from the beginning and not stitched together after the fact." The close codevelopment of future Windows CE .NET versions and the ARM architecture makes the platform a more compelling solution for companies that create PDAs, smart cell phones, smart displays, and other embedded devices, Carpenter noted.

    "This is a two-way dialog," agreed Microsoft's Scott Horn, director of marketing for the Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group. "We are working together with ARM so that OEMs can have better choice and innovation."

    Companies such as Motorola will begin huge marketing pushes this fall for Pocket PCs and other devices based on the ARM and Windows CE .NET platform. Motorola is also releasing Palm OS 5-based devices based on the ARM platform.

  • MICROSOFT FINALLY ATTACKS HOTMAIL SPAM

  • Today, Microsoft announced a strategic alliance with Brightmail, the worldwide leader in antispam technology, to protect Microsoft's 110 million MSN Hotmail users from the rampant spam that has plagued the service for months. The companies say that Brightmail's server-based antispam technologies will be fully deployed within several weeks.

    "Unsolicited junk email is a global problem in the industry today that affects not just Hotmail users, but email users everywhere," said Rick Holzli, MSN Hotmail general manager. "Joining forces with a leader such as Brightmail underscores MSN's continued commitment to aggressively fight spam and provide our users with a world-class email experience."

    Under terms of the agreement, Brightmail's Solution Suite will filter spam at Hotmail's gateway, letting the service remove unwanted email before it hits users' inboxes. Brightmail uses patented technology to automatically identify and eliminate spam, the company says. Whatever it is, the technology will surely be a better solution than Hotmail's current antispam solution, which appears to have absolutely no effect on the amount of junk mail most Hotmail users receive.

    2. ANNOUNCEMENTS
    (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

  • MARK MINASI AND PAUL THURROTT ARE BRINGING THEIR SECURITY EXPERTISE TO YOU!

  • Windows & .NET Magazine Network Road Show 2002 is coming this October to New York, Chicago, Denver, and San Francisco! Industry experts Mark Minasi and Paul Thurrott will show you how to shore up your system's security and what desktop security features are planned for Microsoft .NET and beyond. Sponsored by NetIQ, Microsoft, and Trend Micro. Registration is free, but space is limited so sign up now!
    http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars/roadshow

  • REAL-WORLD TIPS AND SOLUTIONS HERE FOR YOU

  • Early-bird discount for Windows & .NET Magazine LIVE! expires September 21st! Register now, and you'll also receive access to sessions of concurrently run XML Web Services Connections. Choose from more than 70 sessions and save $1595. Discover why more than half of our attendees choose to attend only LIVE! events, which are chock-full of "been there, done that" knowledge from people who use Microsoft products in the real world. Register now at
    https://secure.win2000mag.com/events/windows_register.asp

    3. CONTACT US
    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

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