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VLK Hell: Could Linux/UNIX Appeal to Microsoft Enterprise clients June 30, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Opinions.
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The new VLK scheme for Windows Vista and Longhorn server while great to reduce piracy, is sure to inconvenience many.  Not necessarily for pirates but for legit users as well.  How many times have we legit users had to call Microsoft because we failed  the check.  I had to tonight on a new install, on a Toshiba with a copy that was bought direct from Microsoft.  How was I to know Microsoft was distributing pirated copies of its own software?  Anyhow, while I was able to get legit rather quickly, it was a huge hassle.  Now, when Microsoft implements this VLK registration scheme for its enterprise customers, they better make it as flawless as possible a procedure, Im talking surgical.  Nothing will piss an IT manager off more than having to waste his time on a glitch on behalf of Microsoft and waste his time on the phone.

This is where Linux or UNIX flavors could appeal, not necessarily for the Desktops but for the Server implementation.  I dont have that problem with Solaris, Linux, OpenServer, or any of the BSD’s.  And I dont have to waste anymore time on the phone.  There are some days where Im so busy I dont know if Im coming or going and there have been somedays three work days have passed before I realize its Thursday and I ponder what happened to Tuesday and Wednesday.  People are busy and if the new VLK licensing schemes prove to be more trouble than what they are worth, Im not going to worry about a 30 day deadline when UNIX or Linux or my current Windows Server OS works very well as a file server, directory server, e-mail server etc. Microsoft has got a lot of work to do with the new VLK scheme and if it proves to be as retarded sometimes as the current WGA validation scheme, Im going to go with the path of least resistance and when the servers die or need to be upgraded I will look at the alternatves if too many horror stories are out there.

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Utilities and SDK for Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications June 30, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Application Development.
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Utilities and SDK for UNIX-Based Applications is an add-on to the Subsystem for UNIX-Based Applications (referred to as SUA, killed the Services for UNIX Product ) subsystem that shipped in Microsoft Windows Vista / Longhorn Server Beta 2.  This download only works on Vista and Longhorn Server Beta 2, not XP or Server 2003

Link 

UNIX Side Components for Identity Management for UNIX – Shipped with Windows Server codenamed Longhorn Server Beta 2 June 30, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Uncategorized.
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These are the set of UNIX side utilities that enable password synchronization between Windows and UNIX machines.

Link 

Senate report blasts Mass. OpenDocument policy June 30, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Tech News.
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A Sante oversight commitee has a few word for Massachusetts over their choice of using ODF.  Now the report does not mention Microsoft at all.  Pacheco who was in cgarge of the committee makes these following statements ” The process, quite frankly, was driven by one individual in a very powerful position (Kriss) issuing a memo to an individual in a less powerful position (Quinn). Then he was told to get it done and forget about any obstacles,”

Link to Story
My Take; Even though some parts of the report echo Microsofts stance ie Accesibilty issues and such I cant say whether Microsoft had a hand in this or not.  If Quinn and Kriss did violate the procedure for getting the standard adopted it might be awhile before its reapproved.  I just want to know which Open Source backers contacted Kriss to get him on the ODF train.  (That statement probably just made me lose a few readers  )

User sues Microsoft for WGA tool June 30, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Uncategorized.
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A computer user has launched processings to su Microsoft for class action regarding its WGA tool that sent back information to Microsofts.  The plaintiffs suit calls Microsofts WGA tool spyware.
Link to story
My Take;  While I doubt this guy will win I think when/if Microsoft turns WGA into a kill dwitch in the fall he will be right.  Then it will have a malicous purpose.

IE7 Beta 3 June 29, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Tech News.
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Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) Beta 3 has been designed to make everyday tasks easier, provide dynamic security protection and improve the development platform and manageability. End user improvements include a streamlined interface, tabbed browsing, printing advances, improved search functionality, instant feeds (RSS), dynamic security protection, and more. Visit the Internet Explorer site for more information on IE7 Beta 3.

Download: IE7 Beta 3 for Windows XP SP2
Download: IE7 Beta 3 for Windows Server 2003 SP1
Download: IE7 Beta 3 x64 Edition

Sun: Open source is about self-interest June 28, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Uncategorized.
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So now Sun is dictating how people think.  Sun says people need to stop thinking of Open Source as free but as “connected capitalism”.  they got a chance to speak at the Open Source Business Conference he discussed things like Open Source as a legal minefield and Warren Buffets recent investment in the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation

Link to story 

News.com Link 

My Take;Sounds like a pretty mindless speech.  He chided legal firms who offer protection for Open Source users claiming that “If you think Open Source is a legal minefield, you are doing it wrong” to which my response is Mr. Simon Phipps you are full of shit. Because of the pace of open Source development and the impossible task of checking ever single line of code its very easy for someone to slip anything in there.  Submissions are pretty much done through the honor system.  What happens if someone slips in proprietary code that was not released by the IP holder.  This is one flaw of the GPL 3 and Mr. Phipps interpretations.  Personally, Id rather pay $100,000 dollars for that protection then millions of dollars in lawyers fee’s and court time.   As for the Open Source Java question I love what IBM had to say:

IBM would gladly help Sun bring Java into the open-source realm

You wanna know why IBM is so eager? it has nothing to do with licensing fee’s or for consumers best interests.  Because then that control of Java goes straight from Sun to IBM.  Developers in IBM, BEA, Red Hat etc will be in contrrol of Java and Sun and the community will be just SOL. IBM and the others will make a good excuse, “Oh we know how to do it better, after all we have been working with Java for years” but make no mistake other corporations and interests will control Java.  So we are just trading in one demon for others.

Update to the Update: More on WinFS June 28, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Opinions.
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Quentin Clark over on the WinFS team has put up a contradiction, and confusing one at that on the state of WinFS and claims Microsoft basically hasnt thrown dirt in the grave yet.

Is WinFS dead?
Yes and No. Yes, we are not going to ship WinFS as a separate, monolithic software component. But the answer is also No – the vision remains alive and we are moving the technology forward. A lot of the technology really was database stuff – and we’re putting that into SQL and ADO. But some of the technology, especially the end user value points, are not ready, and we’re going to continue to work on that in incubation. Some or all of these technologies may be used by other Microsoft products going forward.

Still sounds like Cairo to me, if you want to go with his interpretation Cairo was never killed but was indeed placed in Windows 2000.  just because you release some of the technology from the product does not mean it shipped or was not killed.

Will the “Relational Filesystem” ever be in Windows?
Hey – we are very busy finishing Vista, and just aren’t ready to talk about what comes next. The vision for a richer storage in Windows is very much alive.  With the new tools for searching and organizing information in Windows Vista, we are taking a good step towards that vision.  “

Basic interpretation, i doubt it.  Fast indexing and Desktop Search are “Good enough” and sadly thats Microsofts mantra.  Personally when if Microsoft makes anouther announcement about a relation filesystem I wont give it a second thought

Why are parts of WinFS going into SQL Server?
We have a vision around data that guides us we call the “Data Platform Vision”. We’ve been talking with customers about this for some time, and we have heard consistent positive feedback. It was clear that the integrated storage and automation features of WinFS will help SQL Server deliver on the “Beyond Relational” and “Continuous Availability and Automation” promises of that vision. We decided to focus resources on delivering these technologies to our customers as part of the Data Platform Vision in the near term.”

This has no impact on the end user, which Microsoft had intended for WinFS.  As I stated, just becuse you move a set of technolgies into another product from another does not mean its alive and well.  To me this seems like Quentin is trying to justify the move

What is a ship vehicle? Why does it matter that WinFS is not a “separate ship vehicle”?
A ship vehicle is the method in which we bring a technology to market. This could be a separate product release, a service pack to an existing product, or an integrated technology in a larger product platform. We announced the removal of WinFS from Longhorn two years ago, and talked about WinFS being a separate ship vehicle. But we are no longer are planning to release a separate WinFS delivery vehicle.

Knitpicking over a “ship vehicle”, I have now seen and heard it all.

So what does this say to me.  Well it reitirates the death of WinFS.

Quentin and the rest of the crew at Microsoft are missing two points.  The first being, it has had two chances to deliver this technology and failed.  regardless of ship vehicle, regardless of where parts of the technology are being shipped.  The second point being that Microsoft had billed WinFS as one of the Pillars of Longhorn, basically that got a sledge hammer smashed into it.  That had many people thinking they were serious about it this time.  Well, we see what happened. With the new plans it will not directly affect the end user as per the original design plans so I dont even see their current plans as being in the vision of what WinFS was intended.  What Quentin has done with this update to me, is simply trying to justify killing the product before it even hit the streets.  They can knitpick and scream into the clouds all they want that WinFS is not dead.  Its dead, I am almost certain there will not be a product called WinFS.

Link to story 

EDIT:  I dont know Quentin Clark, have never met him and this should not be seen as an attack on him personally, its not.

Microsoft aquires iView June 28, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Tech News.
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Microsoft aquires iView who makes a product called Mediapro for PC and for Mac.  The aquisition will see the technology put into their Expression creative suite for Windows and Mac.

Link to story 

Microsoft To Enforce Volume License Key Compliance For Vista, Longhorn June 28, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Uncategorized.
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In continuing their fight against piracy and making sure everyones legit.  Volume License Keys, most used in organizations where IT managers are responsible for their deployments and keeping track of how many licenses they have and use.  Before it was on the honor system on reporting.  Basically now, you have to validate before a 30 day time period and enterprise customers must report their license usage every 30 days.

Link to story 

My Take; This has two sides to it.  The good side, being that no you have easier management of licenses and pirates with VLK’s will be screwed, for a short time anyway.  The bad to worse side of it is that like WGA Im sure there will be problems, flaws in the system where innocent legit users will perhaps be locked out of their systems resulting in lost productivity perhaps data loss where Microsoft will most likely be sued the hell out of.  But it all points to that WGA may actually start being used as a  kill switch  which is going to be a very messy proposition and it doesnt look to be very favorable to Microsoft.  So, Im thinking now may be an actually good time for Apple or Xandros to try to secure some high end OEM deals.  The way its looking it may soon be a very profitable venture for some lucky software maker.