An often irreverent look at some of the week's other news, including Apple's ironic Leopard delay, Paul in the news, Microsoft's plot to kill XP, Vista activation hacks, Office 2007's fake flaws, virtualization delays, DNS threats, and so much more...
- Apple Delays Leopard
- I Wish People Would Actually Read What I Write
- Microsoft Plots to Kill XP
- Microsoft Acknowledges Vista Product Activation Hacks
- Office 2007 Flaw Reports Untrue, According to Microsoft
- Microsoft Delays Virtualization Beta
- Microsoft Warns of New DNS Threat
- Bill Gates Allegedly Headed for Outer Space Too
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]
OK, seriously. The weather (I know, I know) has turned from bad to
worse. Say what you will about global warming, but we're not
seeing warming so much as we are the weather being unusual. December was warmer than usual, but April continues to be miserable, and we're
looking at a major snowstorm on Sunday. Sorry, but this weather isn't
what we signed up for. I know New England has crazy weather, but it's
Mark's birthday party was exactly the nightmare I'd feared, and it
took all weekend for my wife and I to recover. Mark, of course,
declared the event a success, in the sense that 17 screaming 9-year-
olds running rampant in a bizarre black-lighted indoor mini-golf place
can be called a success. Now he's planning something even more insane
for next year. I can't wait.
Our friends from France arrived Monday, and I should have known
something was wrong when I saw the paramedics go into customs, but I was blissfully ignorant until an hour later when I started wondering why our friends weren't coming out of customs. To make a long story short, their two-year-old daughter had gotten sick on the plane, and she was sick for the next three days or so. But this morning, she suddenly smiled at me, ate a big breakfast, and acted as if nothing had happened. So all is well, and our friends are here long enough that they can still go see some sites.
Leo and I recorded another episode of the Windows Weekly podcast this
week, although I'm curious to see what happens to the episode. Most of
the podcast was me ranting about Wikipedia, which had been ignoring my
complaints for quite some time. We recorded the podcast Thursday
night, and when I woke up this morning, Wikipedia had finally
responded to my complaints and fixed the problems. I'm conferring with
Leo about how to proceed.
An often irreverent look at some of the week's other news
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]
Apple Delays Leopard
Back when Apple was constantly poking fun at Microsoft for its
continual Windows Vista delays, I felt that the Macintosh maker was
being a bit disingenuous. This week, it became obvious why that's
true: Apple delayed the release of Mac OS X Leopard again, this time
to October 2007. Apple CEO Steve Jobs previously promised that Leopard
would ship around the same time as Vista, and then late last year
Apple promised that Leopard would ship by Spring 2007. Now, the OS has been delayed again, and you can almost hear the Mac fanatics scrambling to defend the company. Let's imagine some of their arguments, and how hypocritical they are, given that none of these people ever cut Microsoft any slack. "I'm glad that Apple is delaying Leopard," they'll say, "since this will ensure that the quality level is higher than ever." "Who would get worried over an OS delay?" they'll ask, rhetorically. "Don't worry, people, Apple hasn't given up on the Mac!" Sure Apple hasn't. Here's the reality: All the fun, all the excitement, and soon, all the money at Apple will be coming from the consumer (i.e., iPod, iPhone, Apple TV) side of the company, a shift that's been obvious for some time. This situation is similar to the switch Apple made from the Apple II to the Mac in the mid-1980s,
when the company abandoned the Apple II even though it was making all
the company's money at the time. Apple has seen the future, and it's the iPod. Sorry.
I Wish People Would Actually Read What I Write
Last week, I offered up my opinion that Microsoft would never release
Windows XP SP3. My opinion is based on years of experience observing
Microsoft, but is nothing more than an opinion. Yet, for some reason,
this bit of conjecture has been reported all over the Web as "Paul
Thurrott reports that Microsoft has cancelled XP SP3." Sigh. So ZDNet
blogger Mary Jo Foley simply asked Microsoft about XP SP3. (I wish
more people had thought to do so.) Here's Microsoft's decidedly
noncommittal response: "SP3 for Windows XP Home Edition \[and
Professional\] is currently planned for 1H CY2008. This date is
preliminary." So there you go. And for the record, I still feel that
Microsoft is going to skip out on XP SP3. Even if the company does
release XP SP3, 2008 is about two years too late.
Microsoft Plots to Kill XP
And speaking of XP's impending death, Microsoft said this week that it
will stop providing XP to PC makers and retail stores by the end of
2007, you know, just in case anyone thought they could get in the way
of Vista sales by buying XP. "This has been the practice at Microsoft
for some time, and this process provides a gradual transition away
from a previous version of an OS, from full availability, to
availability only through a distributor, and finally availability via
downgrade rights," a Microsoft representative told CNET News.com.
Microsoft Acknowledges Vista Product Activation Hacks
This week, Microsoft admitted that hackers have broken the product
activation scheme in Vista in at least two different ways, letting
users pirate the software and install Vista on multiple PCs. However,
Microsoft said it has no plans to thwart the hackers' efforts. "Our goal isn't to stop every 'mad scientist' that's on a mission to hack Windows," Microsoft Senior Product Manager Alex Kochis wrote in his blog this week. "Our first goal is to disrupt the business model of organized counterfeiters and protect users from becoming unknowing victims. This means focusing on responding to hacks that are scalable and can easily be commercialized, thereby making victims out of well-intentioned customers." I guess Microsoft isn't sanctioning these hacks, but it sure isn't doing much to discourage hackers either.
Office 2007 Flaw Reports Untrue, According to Microsoft
This week, Microsoft investigated reports of four flaws in its Office
2007 system and determined that the only flaws were in the reports.
According to the company, the reported flaws aren't true and don't
"demonstrate any vulnerability in Word 2007 or any Office 2007
products." Microsoft also complained that it wasn't told of the flaws
before their public disclosure. Anyway, the point here is simple: If
you read about possible flaws in Office 2007 this week, relax. The
reports are bogus.
Microsoft Delays Virtualization Beta
This week, Microsoft alerted me to a delay in the delivery of a beta
version of its Windows Server virtualization technology (code-named
Veridian and Hypervisor). The company had originally planned to ship a
public beta of Veridian in the first half of 2007, but that release
has been pushed back to the second half of the year. However,
Microsoft said that the delay of the beta won't affect the final
release, which is still due within 180 days of Longhorn Server.
Microsoft also noted that Longhorn Server is still on track to be released in the second half of 2007. Also, another Microsoft virtualization technology release--Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1--has been delayed to the second quarter of 2007.
Microsoft Warns of New DNS Threat
This week, Microsoft warned that a newly discovered flaw in its DNS
Server service in various Windows Server versions could quickly be
exploited, so the company will likely ship an out-of-band (OOB) fix.
In other words, it looks like Microsoft's going to be forced to ship a
fix as soon as possible, instead of waiting for the regularly
scheduled May 2007 patch release. This type of OOB release is a
nightmare for system administrators, but I suppose it's better than
seeing malicious hackers remotely control all of your servers.
Bill Gates Allegedly Headed for Outer Space Too
With ex-Microsoft programmer Charles Simonyi currently circling the
globe in the International Space Station after a flight aboard a
Russian rocket, Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin said this week
that Simonyi told him that billionaire Bill Gates will also visit
outer space soon. Gates, like Simonyi, would have to pony up a $25
million fee and undergo months of training before traveling into
space. But let's face it: $25 million is pocket change for the world's
richest man, and he's not exactly burning the midnight oil coding DOS
on punch cards anymore. Simonyi is the fifth "space tourist" (or, as
he put it, the first "space nerd").