While 2007 is still a long way off, Microsoft is making headway with Longhorn Server. Before the Windows Server team can dedicate itself exclusively to Longhorn Server, it needs to roll out several other new releases, including Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1; the 64-bit and Compute Cluster versions of Windows Server 2003; and Windows Server 2003 “R2.”
Microsoft has issued a workaround for a newly discovered security issue in WINS (Windows Internet Name Service) that could lead to malicious code execution. Just days after research outfit Immunity Inc. issued an advisory, Redmond confirmed that the WINS vulnerability could make it possible for an attacker to take control of a WINS server remotely.
The SCO Group Inc.’s Web site has once again been attacked, but this time hackers didn’t just target the site for a distributed-denial-of-service attack — they defaced the Web site itself. The most obvious attack was on SCO’s home page, where a banner image for SCO Web seminars has been replaced with a JPEG image that says, “We own all your code. Pay us all your money.” In the background, a woman appears to be writing “realloc(,” a common C language function used to change the size of a memory block.
Efforts under way to revise the popular GNU General Public License could put additional pressure on Microsoft Corp. by the time it tries to push its long-awaited Windows upgrades out the door. The Free Software Foundation is working to revamp the GPL — the first such rewrite in 13 years. From a strategic point of view, the best possible timing would be to have a draft of the next version of the GPL ready before the end of next year. Following that, a global summit on licensing would be convened in 2006.
Emerging trends in IT hardware could force software licensing costs up by more than 50 percent over the next year, unless businesses re-negotiate existing contracts now, according to research company Gartner. Gartner claims the move to multicore-chip architectures, virtualized hardware and utility computing threatens existing capacity-based, or CPU-based, licensing agreements offered by the major software vendors. Andy Butler, a research director at Gartner, said the software industry is failing to reflect the hardware changes in its licensing policies.
Hewlett-Packard said it expects that job cuts in the first half of 2005 will cost about $200 million, wiping off about 4 cents per share. HP gave no details of how many jobs will be cut but said the work force reductions will be made across its businesses.
While the Windows vs. Java vs. Linux debate makes for good media fodder and even better “flame baits” on discussion forums, it does little to help an IT manager who needs to marry a Java-based database in one department with a Web-facing ASP.NET application in another. With such platform gaps in mind, Microsoft is rolling out a series of Webcasts Jan. 18 – Feb. 11, 2005, to discuss interoperability between the software development platforms of major vendors like Sun Microsystems, BEA Systems, and IBM.
Microsoft has announced what it hopes will be a new attack on piracy. The company has decided to give away software to those who bought machines with fake copies pre-installed. Microsoft will be offering anyone who’s “unsure” about whether they’ve got dodgy software the chance to have it checked out by Microsoft, with the promise that if it does turn out to be counterfeit, they’ll replace it.
A European Union judge told a closed meeting on Thursday he planned to rule within a month whether to freeze curbs imposed by the EU’s executive on Microsoft. He’s weighing whether to suspend sanctions imposed by the European Commission until Microsoft’s main appeal against sanctions levied this March is decided years from now. The sanctions order Microsoft to provide a version of its ubiquitous Windows operating system without its Media Player multimedia software, and to share data on protocols.
When Microsoft settled its antitrust battle with the Computer & Communications Industry Association earlier this month, the CCIA’s top executive, an outspoken critic of Microsoft, was paid nearly $10 million. According to the documents seen by the London-based Financial Times, Ed Black, chief executive officer of the CCIA, took half of the $19.75 million payment Microsoft made to the association.