WinInfo Short Takes: Week of February 14

EARLIER THIS WEEK, I broke the news about the release date of Windows Millennium Edition ("Windows Me"), which will hit the streets on May 26, 2000. Well, here are some other pending releases from Microsoft: In February, the company will release a variety of foreign language versions of Internet Explorer 5.01, including Hungarian and Polish this past week on the 8th, Russian on the 15th, Turkish and Greek on the 22nd, and Slovakian and Slovenian on the 29th (remember, it's a leap year). Also due this month is the new optical IntelliMouse (in PS/2 and PS/2/USB versions), on the 16th. On March 15th, the company will release Services for Netware 5.0, while April 3rd sees the release of Services for Unix 2.0. In May, we can expect Exchange Server 2000, which will be released on the 17th in Standard, Enterprise, and Conferencing Server editions. And on June 16th, we can expect new hardware such as the Trackball Explorer, Trackball Optical and Wheel Mouse Optical.

I TRY TO write about IBM's OS/2 as often as possible, as you know, and... well, OK, that's not true. Originally billed as the 32-bit OS of the future, OS/2 fell by the wayside when Windows 95 was released and has declined into a marketshare stupor that makes even the Be OS look good by comparison. But I'm hearing rumors this week that IBM is actually (can you believe it?) working on updates to this once proud OS, including the desktop version, which was put in maintenance mode over a year ago. IBM won't be marketing this release and won't be selling it at retail, but then the 6 remaining OS/2 desktop users are used to such treatment, I suppose. A virtual tip of the hat to the OS that could've been.

MICROSOFT CEO STEVE Ballmer will be discussing the next version of Visual Basic next week in his keynote address at the VBITS:San Francisco show. But if you can't make it to the show, fear not: Microsoft will be Webcasting it live from the Visual Studio Web site.

SELF-STYLED INVENTOR of the Internet, U.S. vice president Al Gore, was recently asked whether he preferred the Mac or PC. Gore, who is running for president this year, uses a Windows PC. He had a Mac until "finally the delay in the availability of the new high-tech applications software got to be so long that I finally switched over." So there you go: Pragmatism from on high.

MICROSOFT HAS PUBLISHED one volume of the seven book "Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit," in its entirety online. The Windows 2000 Server Deployment and Planning Guide is an indispensable (ahem) resource for anyone wishing to rollout this new operating system. Check it out online at the Microsoft TechNet Web site

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