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WinInfo Daily UPDATE--Short Takes--September 2, 2005

WinInfo Daily UPDATE--Short Takes--September 2, 2005

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Short Takes Blog

Short Takes
- Microsoft Office Vista?
- Windows Vista Build 5219 Ready for PDC 2005
- Microsoft Freeze-Dries Vista
- Yet Another Class-Action Suit Against Microsoft Unfolds
- Intel Rebuts AMD
- Massachusetts Turns Away from Microsoft ... Again
- Test Drive a Mac Mini ... Or Not
- Microsoft Looking for a Loft in Manhattan
- FireFox 1.5 Beta 1 Due Next Week
- Microsoft Offers Windows Server 2003 R2 RC0 for Public Download
- No WinInfo Monday

==== Short Takes Blog ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Ah September. It's that place where summer goes to die (at least here in the northeastern United States). I don't care what the calendar says. When September 1 arrives, the beach starts closing early and the crowds thin. Then Labor Day comes, and it's all over. Summer is dead, just like it never happened. Damn you, passage of time. Damn you.

Although autumn is in some ways just the depressing transition between the wonders of summer and depths of cold of winter, there's a certain charm to cool nights, pumpkin patches, apple trees, and falling leaves. Plus we're traveling a lot this autumn, which should make life interesting. Yeah, I'm just trying to deal with it.

The first of the aforementioned trips, in about 10 days, is to Los Angeles for Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2005. Are you going? Talk to me. No? Then stay tuned to the SuperSite for Windows. If the prebriefings are any indication, it's going to be quite a show. Microsoft Office 12 UI, new Windows Vista build (see below), and lots more. This show's the real deal, folks.

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

Microsoft Office Vista?
Microsoft is now referring to Office 12 internally as Office Vista, leading me to wonder whether that will be the product's official name or whether it simply means that this Office version will ship at the same time as Windows Vista. What's unusual about this name is how obvious it is--if it sticks, it might be the most predictable product name in Microsoft history. My guess--and yes, it's only a guess--is that the company will call it Office Vista. Why wouldn't it?

Windows Vista Build 5219 Ready for PDC 2005
Microsoft recently forked the Vista code tree into the version the company will give out at PDC 2005 and the version that will become Beta 2. The current PDC build--build 5219--could very likely make it into the greedy little hands of attendees, and it has a few interesting surprises: It includes the infamous and once-missing Sidebar feature and has the Tablet PC and Media Center functionality enabled. And fear not, people. You've been waiting to hear which product editions Microsoft will ship in the Vista time frame, right? That announcement is coming next week. Stay tuned.

Microsoft Freeze-Dries Vista
At TechEd Australia this week, Microsoft revealed that it's working on a new Vista technology that's code-named Freeze Dry. Freeze Dry essentially saves data and application states so that when a system automatically reboots after a patch, the system restores all the running applications, a la Hibernation mode. Like all cool names at Microsoft, Freeze Dry is just a code name that will change to something boring by the time the technology is released. I'm shooting for something like Microsoft Windows Application State Restoration Foundation.

Yet Another Class-Action Suit Against Microsoft Unfolds
A Manhattan, New York, judge has certified another class-action antitrust lawsuit against everyone's favorite monopolist, although, to be fair, it's been a while since Microsoft has been out abusing customers, partners, and competitors. New York State Supreme Court Justice Karla Moskowitz ruled that a class-action suit is the appropriate way for consumers in that state to recover money lost to Microsoft's "predatory pricing and deceptive business practices," as outlined in Microsoft's 1998 US antitrust case. Ah, it's been a while since I've written those words. But fear not--it's like riding a bike.

Intel Rebuts AMD
You might recall that AMD sued Intel last week, accusing the chip maker of antitrust violations. This week, the "Empire struck back." (Note to self: Send George Lucas $10 for appropriating that term.) Intel filed a brief in which it accused AMD of blaming its own "anemic" business failures on Intel and of contradicting its own evidence against Intel. "AMD's complaint is a case study of legal dissonance," Intel writes in the brief. AMD, however, isn't exactly twisting in the wind. Intel is being investigated for antitrust abuses in both Japan and the European Union (EU), and AMD is quite obviously the company that would suffer most from any Intel transgressions. "There is a reason that there is a global investigation of the illegal Intel monopoly," AMD Vice President Thomas McCoy said in response to Intel's filing. "Nobody has to take our word for it." Ah yes, a war of words. Good stuff.

Massachusetts Turns Away from Microsoft ... Again
The State of Massachusetts has decided, again, to switch its workers from proprietary Microsoft Office software to open document formats. Massachusetts announced that, beginning in 2007, all electronic documents that state employees create and save must use open formats. That move leaves Microsoft in the lurch because, as you might have noticed, the company isn't very big on open formats. Massachusetts is proposing to use OpenDocument, which the and Sun Microsystems StarOffice suites use, and Adobe's PDF format as its standard document types. Excuse me, but isn't PDF a proprietary document format? Is this really just about Massachusetts trying to get a better licensing deal for Microsoft Office?

Test Drive a Mac Mini ... Or Not
This news is sad and weird. Earlier this week, Apple Computer launched a test-drive program for its low-end Mac mini, offering consumers the opportunity to buy one between now and October 31 and get their money back if they decide within 30 days that they don't want to keep it. The theory is simple: People will love the Mac mini so much that no one in their right mind would return one. Well, Apple nixed the deal after just 24 hours and refuses to comment on why it did so. The big question, of course, concerns those people who purchased one that day specifically because they thought no questions would be asked if they wanted to return it. Methinks there will be some questions ... and no good answers.

Microsoft Looking for a Loft in Manhattan
In its bid to try to copy every successful thing Apple has ever done, Microsoft this week revealed that it's shopping for retail store space in New York's Time Square. Microsoft has tried retail before, with a failed venture in San Francisco. Apple, meanwhile, has hundreds of retail locations around the country (and a few international locations as well), and more are opening all the time. Although many--myself included--have openly wondered what the point of these stores is, they've clearly paid off, promoting Apple brand awareness and giving people local places to buy iPods and see Macs in action. Can Microsoft replicate this success? First, the company will need to have products that are as hip and cool as Apple's. Otherwise, a Microsoft store will simply be the electronics equivalent of a Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, not The Gap.

FireFox 1.5 Beta 1 Due Next Week
The Mozilla Foundation plans to ship the first beta version of Firefox 1.5, formerly code-named Deer Park, next week. New features will include streamlined product-update functionality, faster browser navigation thanks to cached versions of recently visited pages, drag-and-drop tab reordering, and improved pop-up blocking. Originally due in late summer, Firefox 1.5 was delayed for various reasons and will now likely ship in late 2005, around the same time as Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 7.0. A Firefox 1.5 Beta 2 version is due in October.

Microsoft Offers Windows Server 2003 R2 RC0 for Public Download
The news isn't getting a lot of press, but Microsoft is quickly finishing work on Windows Server 2003 R2 (for release 2), its first major upgrade to Windows 2003. In anticipation of the final release, Microsoft recently shipped Windows 2003 R2 Release Candidate 0 (RC0) to testers and has now made it available to the public in a 180-day time-limited version at the URL below. To use this version of R2, you'll need a functioning copy of Windows 2003 Enterprise Edition with Service Pack 1 (SP1), a trial version of which is available at the same URL. R2 x86 (32-bit) and x64 (64-bit) versions are available for download.

No WinInfo Monday
Monday is the Labor Day holiday here in the United States, so there won't be a WinInfo Daily Update. Look for its return on Tuesday. Have a great weekend.

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