1. “Microsoft To Offer Production-Ready Vista Technologies,” InfoWorld, 1/18. Gates Inc. released Go-Live versions of Web services and workflow technologies Wednesday which are due to be included in its Vista operating system. The idea behind this week’s release is to give developers a head start on Vista, according to analysts. In this way, developers can create applications based on the Go-Live technologies and have them running on earlier versions of Windows, then move them over to Vista when the operating system ships at the end of this year.
2. “Feds Take Porn Fight To Google,” CNET News.com, 1/19. The U.S. government is trying to force Internet search companies including Google to hand over millions of their search records. The move comes as federal prosecutors are preparing to defend Internet pornography law, the 1998 Child Online Protection Act (COPA), against a challenge in court from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). While Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL appear to have all chosen to comply with the government’s subpoena for search records, Google says it will “vigorously” resist the request.
3. “Tech Is Hit With A Mild Chill,” , BusinessWeek, 1/19. It was a disappointing week on the whole for the IT market as a number of major players missed their stated earnings including bellwether Intel which blamed its poor showing on inventory problems. The downturn in many technology stocks is more like a one-off cold, not a prolonged dose of the flu, according to analysts, who predict IT spending this year will be four to five percent higher than 2005.
4. “Big Blue Is In The Pink,” BusinessWeek, 1/18. Despite a sometimes rocky fiscal year, IBM was one of the IT vendors with something to celebrate this week. Big Blue reported better than expected fourth-quarter earnings, due in part to strong growth in its strategic consulting, business process outsourcing (BPO) and related software sales along with increases in sales of its blade servers and its chips. It wasn’t all roses though, currency fluctuations hit IBM’s sales performance hard and overall revenue from global services fell. The company also recently announced it’s under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in relation to its first-quarter fiscal results.
5. “PC Market Achieved Double-Digit Growth in 2005,” InfoWorld, 1/19. Global shipments of personal computers hit a double-digit percentage increase last year, according to analyst reports. Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) became the largest PC market worldwide for the first time, according to Gartner. However, the regions to show the greatest amount of growth in PC shipments were Asia-Pacific and Latin America. U.S. market growth was well below the global average indicating that the replacement cycle for corporate desktop PCs has peaked, while sales of mobile computers stayed steady. Both Gartner and IDC ranked Dell the number one global PC vendor, followed by Hewlett-Packard and in third position Chinese vendor Lenovo.
6. “Microsoft Updates Lotus Notes Migration Tools,” PC World, 1/18. Timing is everything. Gates Inc. just happened to announce new migration tools to encourage Lotus Notes users to embrace Microsoft Exchange less than a week before IBM holds its annual Notes user conference. Among the tools are three Windows Sharepoint Services application templates that have a similar look-and-feel to Notes templates.
7. “New GPL Takes Shots At Patents, DRM,” Computerworld, 1/16. Monday saw the first draft release of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 3, the first major revision to the free and open-source software license in 15 years. The draft requires software distributors to “shield” users of their products from patent infringement claims and it also prevents GPL-licensed software from being used in digital rights management (DRM) copy-protection software.
8. “Chairman Promises Bill Prohibiting Sales Of Phone Logs,” InfoWorld, 1/19. Joe Barton, the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee promised Thursday to introduce legislation outlawing the sale of telephone call logs. He’s one of the first Republicans to get involved in the privacy issue. Back in July of last year, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) said it had identified 40 websites that sell telephone records without the owners’ consent.
9. “Tokyo Stock Exchange Faces More IT Worries,” Computerworld, 1/18. It was another tough week for the operator of one of the world’s largest stock markets which has been beset by IT systems problems in recent months. The Tokyo Stock Exchange had to deal with the fall-out of being forced to halt trading for 20 minutes on Wednesday since its computer system was close to capacity. The heavy volume of trading stemmed in part from allegations of wrongdoing at Japanese Internet portal Livedoor. Experts pointed out that the exchange has limited experience in handling online trading as well as a management that has yet to fully recognize the importance of IT in its operations.
10.”Chambers Defends Cisco’s Wide Reach,” Network World, 1/16. The reason why networking equipment giant Cisco is extending initiatives in all markets from the enterprise to consumers is simple, according to the company’s CEO John Chambers. Cisco believes the distinction between enterprise, commercial, consumer and service provider networks is set to blur as those markets come together and data, voice, video and mobility services converge.
–China Martens, IDG News Service