As we look out on the world of Windows this week, what do we see? A penguin, with a couple of Microsoft's biggest rivals riding the tails of its tux. Oh, and a couple of patches too (surprise, surprise).
"TUX" TOASTED AND ROASTED
IBM goes on the offensive against Sun at LinuxWorld
Sun and IBM have both pledged their allegiance to the penguin. The vendors have put some meat on their Linux strategies, rolling out new open-source wares at LinuxWorld.
Microsoft's LinuxWorld booth attracts notice but not crowds
LinuxWorld attendees are both impressed and disgusted that Microsoft is making its presence known at this year's conference. Some are pleased that the software giant has recognized that the Linux operating system is a viable competitor to Windows, but others feel Microsoft is only hoping to earn a quick buck. So how did it go for Microsoft at LinuxWorld? You might expect Redmond's representatives to be covered in rotten tomatoes or eggs. But Microsoft says most expo attendees came by the booth to see what the company was up to; only a few dropped by to read Redmond the riot act.
Microsoft: Linux looks cheap at first, but the costs come later
Microsoft may be playing the role of cordial houseguest at LinuxWorld, but the software giant has quietly been taking jabs at Linux's low-cost reputation. One Microsoft platform director said Linux's real costs materialize only after it is installed.
MS leads anti-open source lobby
Microsoft is a big backer of a lobbying effort called the "Initiative for Software Choice." The idea here is to get governments to think twice before opting for open-source software. Microsoft has been losing business to open- source competitors in several countries.
WHAT THE DELL?
Dell unhooks Windows from desktops
You don't see too many PCs ship without OSes, but the practice is on the verge of becoming more commonplace. Dell next month will debut its n-Series corporate desktop and workstations -- they come OS-less but will have a copy of a free operating system, FreeDOS, packed inside the box. FreeDOS won't be pre-installed, so customers will have an easier time choosing and installing the OS they want.
Microsoft patches Windows 2000 flaw, SQL holes
It's patch time again! Microsoft has issued one to caulk a Windows 2000 flaw that could hand over the system keys to an attacker. That flaw is found in the Network Connection Manager. But wait, there's more! Another newly-available patch covers holes in SQL Server 7.0 and 2000.
Microsoft: SSL flaw is in OS not IE
Security experts say Internet Explorer brings out a flaw in the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) standard for protecting online transactions and e-commerce. The problem can trigger what's called a "man in the middle attack" with the user totally clueless as to what's going on. Microsoft responded by saying the browser's not behaving badly, Windows is. The company is working on patches.
Flash flaw opens Windows for attack
Here's a newsflash about Macromedia's Flash Player: It has a flaw that could let unsavory characters run malicious code on Windows and Unix-based operating systems. A separate flaw has been found that could let an attacker read files on a local hard drive. Macromedia's Web site has the fixes available.
Microsoft issues second .NET Framework service pack
If you haven't installed the sequel to .NET Framework SP1, Microsoft recommends you do so ASAP. SP2 is considered a critical update for developers creating .NET-based applications and services, Visual Studio .NET users, admins and end users. It's now downloadable from Microsoft's Web site.
Microsoft's grant has strings attached?
Microsoft's Canadian subsidiary has set up a $10 million fund to support technology research and development at universities in the Great White North. But not everyone is hoisting a Labatt's at the news. One of the schools that got a grant has agreed to require a class in C# as part of the deal. Some folks are C-sharply criticizing all this, complaining that the universities are letting Microsoft buy a piece of the curriculum.