by CIO Staff

Top Ten IT News Stories of the Week: Vista Won’t Be Delayed

May 05, 20065 mins
Small and Medium BusinessWindows

1. “Microsoft Says Vista ‘Still On Track’ Despite Gartner Doubts,”Computerworld, 5/2. Gates Inc. maintains that the next major release of its client operating system, Windows Vista, won’t be further delayed. The software giant was responding to a research note from industry analyst Gartner this week forecasting another slip in Vista’s release date from early 2007 to the second quarter of next year. Vista was originally due out way back in 2004, but Microsoft pushed back its release a number of times before settling on a shipping date in time for this Christmas, only to go back on that commitment in March.

2. “ISO Approves OpenDocument Format as Standard,”Computerworld, 5/3. OpenDocument Format joined the likes of HTML and PDF this week as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved ODF as an international standard. Designed for saving and exchanging digital office documents, ODF is based on the XML file format used by open-source productivity suite OpenOffice, and is backed by the likes of IBM, Sun and Novell. Those supporters are hoping the ISO seal of approval will encourage more governments to adopt ODF, typically replacing their Microsoft environments.

3. “Many Oracle Users Still Waiting for April Patches,”, 5/3. The database and applications player is keeping some of its customers waiting longer than expected for the latest round of its security patches. Although patches for some Oracle software did appear as promised on April 18 as part of the vendor’s quarterly Critical Patch Updates, other fixes have yet to materialize, now being promised for May 15.

4. “Microsoft, SAP Set to Enhance Productivity Software,”

Network World, 5/3. The two vendors previewed their first codeveloped software this week—Duet for Microsoft Office and SAP. Set to ship in June, the software previously known as Project Mendocino enables users to use Office as a front-end to access data and processes from SAP’s business applications. Microsoft and SAP will also jointly sell and market Duet and plan to issue regular releases of additional integration capabilities, with each release targeted around a specific area of a corporation’s operations.

5. “IT Vendors, Privacy Groups Release RFID Standard,”, 5/2. The Center for Democracy and Technology’s Working Group on radio frequency identification (RFID) tags released a set of best practices this week. The group made up of IT vendors and privacy groups is hoping the information might help lower consumer concerns around the technology. The group recommends that companies using RFID tags on their products always inform customers about the inclusion of the technology, ensure that their tags are designed with built-in security in mind, and let consumers know whether they can deactivate the tags.

6. “BlackBerry Maker Faces New Patent Lawsuit,”PC World, 5/1. Research In Motion might’ve hoped it had seen the last of the inside of a courtroom for a while with the March settlement of its long-running and bitter patent infringement lawsuit with NTP. No such luck. Instead, the maker of the BlackBerry wireless e-mail device is facing a similar action brought by Visto, which alleges that RIM’s service violates four of its patents. Like NTP before it, Visto is calling for the shutdown of BlackBerry’s service in the United States along with unspecified damages.

7. “Google Complains About IE Search,”

PC World, 5/2. The search company has voiced its concern to the European Commission over the way Microsoft sets search defaults in Internet Explorer 7. Currently in beta testing, IE 7 includes a search box that by default uses Microsoft’s own MSN search engine. Users wanting to use third-party search engines need to access a drop-down menu and set the search box to use other engines including that offered by Google.

8. “Intel Invests $1B for Broadband in Developing World,”InfoWorld, 5/2. The chip giant plans to spend US$1 billion over the next five years to provide Internet access in developing countries. Intel will invest the money specifically in designing new types of cheap PCs, promoting WiMAX wireless broadband networks, and training 10 million teachers to educate users about the technologies. The company already has two PC designs—the EduWise small notebook PC for interactive learning and the Community PC, a ruggedized model for use in rural public-access kiosks. Intel expects to release six more PC types by 2008 and will contract with PC manufacturers to build the devices.

9. “Skype Piles it On,”

BusinessWeek, 5/3. The Internet phone service owned by eBay continues to grow by leaps and bounds with Skype-registered worldwide users now numbering more than 100 million. However, Skype may not achieve its goal of having 200 million users before year’s end since rivals AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google are all beefing up their Web-calling services available via their instant-messaging services.

10. “Napster Launches Free On-Demand Music,”

InfoWorld, 5/1. Napster became the first digital music service to offer customers both free and legal on-demand music this week with the relaunch of the website. Back in 1999, in its original incarnation as an online music file-swapping network, Napster battled the major record companies in the courts over copyright issues and ultimately lost the fight with its service being shut down in 2001. Now owned by Bertelsmann, Napster has been operating as a music service for paid downloads since the summer of 2004.

-China Martens, IDG News Service

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