WinInfo Daily UPDATE--Short Takes--July 22, 2005

500 Million Mobile Phone Sales in 2005 

Microsoft has a habit of announcing things when I'm on vacation or a business trip, perhaps to keep me on my toes. So this week when I headed to Stowe, Vermont with the family I was smart enough to book a place with wireless Internet. Just one problem: The wireless connection has been down all week and apparently the outage involved someone getting struck by lightning, yes, seriously. Anyway, it came as no surprise that Microsoft decided to pick this week of all times to announce Longhorn's official name which is Windows Vista. I'll have a bigger write-up about this on Monday, but suffice it to say it's hard to download hundreds of email messages via dial up.

Vermont, you say, I thought you were going to Quebec. Well we were and still are but now it's happening in August. The culprit again is Microsoft. The company scheduled a Windows Vista, formerly code-named Longhorn Beta 1, reviewers workshop right in the middle of the week that we had planned to go to Quebec, so I had to put off that trip and pick a shorter trip that could fit on either side of the workshop. So here we are: On dial-up. With all kinds of things happening. Sigh.

I had such grand plans, but as usual nothing works as planned. I guess it could be worse. I could be moving. Or having a baby. Or both. On the good news front, Stowe is an old favorite of ours. My wife and I got engaged here almost 17 years ago, although this is the first time the kids have come along. So far so good.

Because of this unexpected bit of technological collapse, Short Takes might be a bit shorter than usual. I had expected things to clear up with the wireless connection by the end of the week, but that hasn't happened. So here we are. Stranded. In Vermont. Let's jump, in shall we?

Longhorn Becomes Windows Vista 

I get the feeling Microsoft couldn't wait to shed the Longhorn code name if only because the company was tired of all the slow as cattle jokes coming out of Apple Computer, but early this morning Microsoft revealed that it was naming the next major Windows version Windows Vista. The theme I've been told again and again is clarity, which begs the question: Why not just call it Windows Clarity?

"Windows Vista will bring clarity to your world by letting you focus on what matters most to you," Greg Sullivan, Windows Product Manager told me in an early morning briefing today (yes I did this from Vermont). "We live in an age of more. We have more data, more music, more content than ever before. Windows Vista will help you get the clarity you need to get your work done quickly so you can get off the computer and spend time with your family. "It's a message that appeals to all 600 million Windows customers," Sullivan noted, "because we all have things we want to accomplish and goals we strive toward. I'm not completely sold on the name. I think the company should have gone with Windows 2007 or whatever but it's not horrible, I guess. Like the Pentium name, I'm sure I'll get used to it. In the meantime, it's still Longhorn to me.

IE 7.0 Beta When 

I've received a lot of queries about the release of Microsoft Internet Explorer IE 7.0 Beta 1 which will run on Windows Server 2003 Windows XP and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition. Microsoft says that IE 7.0 Beta 1 will ship at the same time as Windows Vista formerly code named Longhorn Beta 1. This morning the company revealed that Windows Vista Beta 1 will become available to testers on August 3 about a week later than the internal ship date of July 27 p p Windows Vista Beta 1 Who br I also get a lot of questions from agitated people who are eager to test Longhorn now of course called Windows Vista Well I reported this earlier but it bears repeating Windows Vista Beta 1 will be made available only to members of the private beta group and to Microsoft Developer Network MSDN and TechNet subscribers If you re not in one of those groups you can look forward to beta 2 which Microsoft will make broadly available to the public If you re still itching for Windows Vista Beta 1 information however you know where to look I ll be updating the SuperSite for Windows on August 3 with a slew of beta 1 content Stay tuned br http www winsupersite com p p Apple Sells 500 Million Songs on iTunes br So what do you do when you ve sold 500 million songs I guess you pop the champagne and raise your middle finger toward Redmond Remember when we thought it was only a matter of time before some Windows Media Audio WMA based music service surpassed Apple s iTunes and Creative Labs Rio Audio or some other company released a portable audio player that was just as good as the iPod Yeah well those days are over In the new worldview there s Apple and then there s everyone else and it isn t entirely clear what Microsoft or anyone else for that matter can do about it Sure 128Kbps Advanced Audio Coding AAC songs might be low rent and sure the iPod is still expensive but yeah whatever p p Microsoft Earnings Come On Strong br When you ve been covering Microsoft as long as I have you come to expect certain things Products will ship late always Security will never be as good as it could be And the company s earnings just keep kicking fiscal butt Yesterday Microsoft announced that it had earned 2 99 billion on revenues of 10 6 billion in the most recent quarter Net income was actually 3 7 billion but the company had 756 million in charges stemming from that little European Union EU antitrust fracas you might have heard about In related news Microsoft s yearly revenues set a record The company earned 12 12 billion in fiscal 2005 on revenues of 39 79 billion Still not enough Microsoft doled out 44 billion to its investors during the year as well through share repurchases and dividends In other words when you want to describe rolling in dough you could do worse than to start with Microsoft p p Mozilla Abandons Firefox 1 1 Heads to 1 5 br The Mozilla Foundation is discovering what Microsoft learned long ago Software takes much longer to develop than you originally plan and things don t often go the way you d like them to Case in point Faced with ever lengthening development times for major milestones to the Firefox Web browser the Mozilla Foundation this week decided to scrap the name Firefox 1 1 and rename it Firefox 1 5 The Mozilla folks say that the version number change is because of the large number of bug and security fixes but I think it s significant that the company is also pushing out the expected release date by several months It s OK guys This change suggests maturity which is just fine in a product that links individuals with the Web p p Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird 1 06 Released br And speaking of Firefox the Mozilla Foundation this week released Firefox 1 06 and Thunderbird 1 06 two minor updates that fix problems introduced by last week s Firefox 1 05 milestones You can grab the new versions at the Mozilla Foundation Web site br http www mozilla org p p AOL Releases IE Based Web Browser br AOL released a Web browser That s shocking right Well check this out Unlike say the newer Netscape browsers AOL s browser isn t horrible And get this The browser is based on IE Called AOL Explorer what else the new browser features a sleek look well designed tabbed browsing Web page thumbnails and Really Simple Syndication RSS feed aggregation All in all it s pretty swell and I don t say that lightly having suffered for years under the horrible yoke of the company s online service AOL Explorer is available for free and I have to say you might just want to give it a shot br http downloads channel aol com browser p p Intel Profits Rise on Better than Expected Laptop Chip Demand br Intel s profits surged in the most recent quarter thanks to increasing demand for microprocessors for both desktop and notebook computers The microprocessor giant reported a profit of 2 04 billion for the quarter ending June 30 a 16 percent jump year over year Revenues were up 15 percent to 9 2 billion Intel credits better than expected sales in emerging markets such as Asia Latin America and Eastern Europe Meanwhile established markets such as the United States and Europe are moving to portable computers raising sales of notebook based microprocessors p p 500 Million Mobile Phone Sales in 2005 br OK I mentioned earlier that there was nothing in sight that was going to knock Apple out of its seemingly unassailable position in the music market Maybe I spoke or ahem wrote too soon One market has the chance to usurp Apple s dominance And what s amazing is that it s already happening right under our noses The devices are called cell phones and increasingly they re being designed to work with digital music Just how popular are these devices Well global sales of cell phones will surpass 800 million units this year and will hit 1 billion by 2009 By that time an estimated 2 6 billion cell phones will be in use around the globe As with microprocessors emerging markets and constant upgrades in established markets are credited for this growth When compared with these figures Apple s iPod sales look a little more down to earth I guess But what s going to stop Apple from offering iTunes over the air services to cell phone users p p Events and Resources br A complete Web and live events directory brought to you by Windows IT Pro http www windowsitpro 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