1. “Microsoft to Announce Vista Minimum Requirements,” CIO.com, 5/18.
The software giant outlined the minimum hardware requirements needed to run the next client version of its operating system, Windows Vista. Gates Inc. drew the distinction between the computing needs of low-end and higher-end versions of the OS, dubbing them Windows Vista Capable PC and Windows Vista Premium Ready PC, respectively. At the low end, users will need a computer with at least an 800MHz chip and 512MB of system memory, while higher-end Vista OS demands come in at a minimum 1GHz processor and 1GB of system memory.
2. “Symantec Sues Microsoft over Vista,” CIO.com, 5/19.
More news on the Vista front. Security and backup software vendor Symantec sued Gates Inc. this week, asking a U.S. court to call a halt to development of the upcoming Windows operating system. Symantec alleges that Microsoft is wrongfully incorporating storage technology that Symantec owns through its Veritas acquisition in both existing and planned versions of the Windows operating systems. The dispute is focused on the interpretation of an August 1996 agreement Microsoft signed with Veritas over use of the latter’s volume management technology.
3. “Microsoft to Restart Tech Docs Project in Antitrust Case,” Computerworld, 5/17.
Another court matter. This time it’s the software behemoth’s November 2003 antitrust settlement with the U.S. government. The judge in the case described Microsoft’s progress on creating technical documentation required by the settlement as “disappointing.” The documentation would provide the vendor’s rivals with information so they could make their products interoperable with those from Microsoft. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly approved a two-year extension to parts of her judgment so Microsoft can start over on the documentation.
4. “Sun to Open-Source Java: No Timetable Set,” Computerworld, 5/16.
The main news from Sun Microsystems’ JavaOne conference was a commitment from the company to make its Java technology freely available. However, Sun didn’t provide any specifics on when exactly the software would take the open-source route. Rich Green, the company’s software chief, hedged his bets a little, giving a caveat to the announcement. Should the Java community not give the move its wholehearted support, Sun might reconsider the move.
5. “Dell Plans AMD Servers as Profit Drops,” CIO.com, 5/19.
The computer maker is no longer an Intel-only shop. For the first time, Dell will use processors from a company other than Intel, turning to the chip giant’s bitter rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) to power some of its enterprise servers by year’s end. The news came as Dell reported another disappointing fiscal quarter. Company executives blamed the shortfall in first-quarter results on attempting to simultaneously increase growth and profitability in a market that was more competitive than Dell had anticipated.
6. “SAP Demos New Muse User Interface at Sapphire,” CIO.com, 5/18.
In a bid to simplify and broaden user access to its software, the business applications vendor unveiled a new GUI. Dubbed Project Muse, the interface allows users to access SAP’s ERP and CRM applications from their Macintosh, Linux or Windows desktops and from mobile devices. The company has been developing Project Muse over the past year with Adobe Systems and its Macromedia business unit. SAP intends to roll out the new interface across its entire mySAP Business Suite over the next 18 months.
7. “Gates Anoints SharePoint, Hammers IBM, and Outlines Storage, Workflow,” Network World, 5/16.
Chairman Bill Gates was in a feisty mood at Microsoft’s first-ever conference focused on its SharePoint portal. The portal is key to Microsoft’s collaboration future, and the vendor’s SQL Server database will become the common data storage for all of the software giant’s server applications, he said. Gates tore into Microsoft’s main groupware rival, IBM, alleging that Big Blue has done nothing new in that space since 1997 when Ray Ozzie, who originated Notes, quit the company. Ozzie is now Microsoft’s chief technology officer. At the same time, in Germany, IBM gave users a look at the next version of its Notes client, code-named Hannover.
8. “Gartner to CIOs: Think Business Development,” Computerworld, 5/16.
Use your imagination about how to help your companies make more money was the message to chief information officers from the market research firm. Thinking of your IT department as a revenue generator, not just a cost center, is the best way to try and snag more dollars for technology spending, according to Gartner analysts. They predict that global IT budgets in 2006 will be essentially flat; that’s the fourth year in a row.
9. “State Department Limits Use of Lenovo PCs,” InfoWorld, 5/19.
Not good news for the Chinese hardware vendor. The U.S. Department of State won’t use Lenovo computers on a classified network due to ongoing fears about the company’s ties to the Chinese government. Back in March, the department announced it had purchased US$13 million of computing equipment from Lenovo, including 16,000 PCs. Some 900 of those machines were due to be used in a classified network connecting U.S. embassies and consulates, but after concerns were raised, the computers will now be used only in unclassified settings. Lenovo purchased IBM’s PC business last year.
10. “Negroponte’s $100 Laptop Sputters Along,” CIO.com, 5/18.
While there’s no doubt that the One Laptop Per Child project is a worthy endeavor, pinning down specifics on how exactly millions of children around the globe will receive their own $100 computers can be harder than herding cats. The project is already running late, and trying to get the price of the laptop’s materials to fit the $100 price tag is proving harder than expected. It looks more likely that initial machines will cost $130 and be powered by 400MHz chips, not 500MHz as originally planned. Production on the laptops won’t begin until the first quarter of 2007.
Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.
— China Martens, IDG News Service