by CIO Staff

Top Ten IT News Stories of the Week; Microsoft Loses Bid for IBM Documents in Antitrust Case

Apr 21, 20065 mins
IT Leadership

1. “Microsoft Loses Bid for IBM Documents in Antitrust Case,”, 4/21. Gates Inc. has failed in its attempt to subpoena communications from its rivals in the United States related to the antitrust case brought against the software giant by the European Union. Microsoft had asked courts in the home states of IBM, Novell, Oracle and Sun to hand over their correspondence with the European Commission and the monitoring trustee in the case. All three U.S. courts have rejected Microsoft’s request, and the stage is now set for the company to begin its appeal against the 2004 antitrust ruling Monday at the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg.

2. “Report: Oracle May Launch Its Own Version of Linux,”Network World, 4/17. While he’s not in the public eye as much as in the past, Oracle Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison tends to generate waves whenever he speaks. This week, he mused aloud about whether Oracle should release its own version of Linux. The acquisition-hungry company had looked into buying Red Hat or Novell, the two leading Linux distributors, but decided against it since Oracle wouldn’t end up owning the intellectual property, according to Ellison. Oracle would like to be able to offer its users a complete software stack, and an operating system is what’s missing, given that the company already has databases, applications and middleware galore.

3. “IT Departments in California Preparing for Next Quake,”Network World, 4/17. The 100th anniversary this week of the earthquake that devastated San Francisco in 1906 was a wake-up call to IT departments in the Golden State to dust off their disaster-recovery plans. There’s a 62 percent chance of another major earthquake occurring in the Bay Area within the next 30 years, according to experts. Users are assessing whether their building infrastructures could withstand a major earthquake and investigating how best to implement failover plans and data backup and storage systems.

4. “Microsoft to Unveil New Patch Management Software,”PC World, 4/18. The software vendor plans to give customers an early look at the next version of its Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) software next week. Not due to ship until the first half of next year, WSUS 3.0 will focus on ease of use. The free software offers an alternative way to control the deployment of Microsoft patches and security updates compared with the company’s Systems Management Server offering.

5. “Google Unveils Enterprise Applications Search With Big-Name Backing,” InfoWorld, 4/18. A host of application vendors including Oracle, Cognos and gave their support to Google’s latest enterprise search announcement, OneBox for Enterprise. The feature allows users of Google’s search appliances to carry out real-time searches on business applications to access information such as contacts, calendar entries and sales leads. It’s another move to try and push Google’s search offerings up on a par with those of pure-play enterprise search vendors.

6. “U.S. Tech Trade Deficit Wider than Expected,”, 4/19. The imbalance between U.S. high-tech imports and exports continues to grow. In their annual study, researchers at the American Electronics Association reported that last year the United States imported US$96 billion more tech goods than it exported, more than double the $40 billion gap reported in 1999. The disparity is even more dramatic between the United States and China. Imports from China to the United States grew 26 percent in 2005, reaching $86 billion, while U.S. exports to China grew 10 percent but reached just $10 billion.

7. “Group: Yahoo Help Leads to Another Dissident Arrest,”Computerworld, 4/19. The U.S. portal company apparently helped supply the Chinese government with information that led to the arrest of another dissident, according to media rights group Reporters Without Borders. Jiang Lijun is the third cyberdissident to be jailed after Yahoo’s Hong Kong arm provided the Chinese authorities with access to his e-mail account. Jiang received a four-year prison sentence for posting prodemocracy articles online.

8. “Intel Turns Bearish,”

BusinessWeek, 4/20. Not a jolly week for Intel. The chip giant reported disappointing first-quarter results and gave a gloomy forecast for the rest of its financial year. Job cuts may be on the horizon, as Intel looks to tighten its belt by potentially shedding unprofitable businesses and trimming spending in the face of continued strong competitive pressure from bitter rival Advanced Micro Devices.

9. “Users Unfazed by Symantec’s $1B Tax Bill,”Computerworld, 4/20. The fallout from Symantec’s acquisition of storage software vendor Veritas last year continues. The move was much panned by analysts, and the companies have yet to fully mesh, so being hit with an almost US$1 billion tax bill related to the purchase was another body blow for Symantec. While users weren’t overly concerned at the news, down the line they could re-evaluate their investment in the company’s software, since the tax bill may have a chilling effect on Symantec’s future spending on research and development and product support.

10. “The On-Demand Software Scrum,”BusinessWeek, 4/17. Renting software over the Internet is proving more popular than looked likely only six years ago, when and others started talking up the concept of on-demand applications. These days, Microsoft, SAP and Oracle’s Siebel business are all in that market and considering how they expand the concept to more of their applications. Oracle expects about half of its customer base will ultimately want to access applications as a hosted online service.

-China Martens, IDG News Service

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