WinInfo Short Takes: Week of May 8

ACCORDING TO INTERNAL Microsoft documents, Windows Me Release Candidate 1 (RC1) will be released today, five weeks after the release of Beta 3 and five weeks before the final ("RTM") release. Of course, it's always possible that Windows Me will be delayed yet again, as it's suffered two major delays already this year. But I just wanted to mention that I don't pull these dates out of my... hat. Regardless of whether RC1 is actually "declared" today, that's the official schedule. If they miss it, that just means that Windows Me is late again. UPDATE: My inability to do simple date math has foiled me once again, as the dates mentioned here are incorrect. Windows Me RC is due on May 12; the RTM is due June 16.

THE OPEN SOURCE Web server Apache continues to dominate its competition, and it has risen to a respectable 61.53% share of the market, according to Netcraft. Microsoft's IIS is a distant second, though it also gained a bit of marketshare, coming in at 21.09% of the market. What this means, of course, is that Apache has almost three times the usage of its nearest competitor, a Microsoftian feat. And since both Apache and IIS are free, one could argue that Microsoft isn't doing so well in what is obviously a level playing field. Maybe the DOJ is onto something. Thanks to Derek Colley for the tip.

WITH ABSOLUTELY NO sense of irony, the Linux community is publicly voicing its willingness to wait if it means that Linus Torvalds will get it right, "it" being the next version of Linux, which was delayed yet again this week. But if Linux 2.4 is starting to sound like Windows 2000, don't tell anyone in the Linux crowd, lest they burst a blood vessel at the thought that their OS would follow the same monotonous path to completion as its dear enemy. Anyway, Linux 2.4, which was expected in early 2000, is now due in November, or as they say, "when it's ready." I believe it. Do you believe it?

WHILE THE MORE cynical among us might point to the ILOVEYOU ("Love Bug") virus as a prime example of the weak security in Microsoft's products, I'm not sure that I see it that way. This is the type of thing that happens when a lot of people use your product, and there isn't much more behind it that I can see. If we were all still using PINE on UNIX right now, that's where the virus writers would spend their time. On the other, hand, you can't beat the Windows platform when it comes to harming users. Virus writers can simply leverage the richness of ... OK, I'll stop.

SUN MICROSYSTEMS RECENTLY announced a reorganization of its operations that will allow the company to better focus on its customers' needs. If that sounds a little familiar, at least remember that this company isn't (yet?) being sued by the federal government, so the reason for the reorg at least sounds plausible. Sun used to be a big faceless company that served bigger faceless companies, but in recent years, it's embraced the Dot Com movement and developed a real personality. Seriously.

LOTS OF PEOPLE are worried about the employees at Microsoft, whose stock value was cut almost in half in recent days. I guess this concern is similar to one's feelings about the people working on the half-completed Death Star in Return of the Jedi (reference: the movie "Clerks"; highly recommended). They weren't evil empire drones, but real people with families, kids and bills to pay, and so are the guys and gals at Microsoft. But don't feel too bad for them (the Microserfs, that is): Even if Microsoft meets with a similar fate as the Empire did in the Star Wars trilogy, know that its employees will be in demand elsewhere

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