by CIO Staff

Top Ten IT News Stories of the Week; Microsoft Support for Windows 98, ME to End in July,

Apr 14, 20065 mins
Enterprise Applications

1. “Microsoft Support for Windows 98, ME to End in July,”

Computerworld, 4/13. The software giant plans to stop all public and technical support for its older operating systems, Windows 98 and Windows Millennium Edition (ME), come July 11. However, online self-help support will continue to be available on Microsoft’s support website until at least July 11, 2007. The withdrawal in mainline support plus the delay in the next major update to its client operating system, Window Vista, presents an issue for Microsoft, according to analysts. Former Windows 98 and ME users may likely move this summer to Windows XP and hence be less willing to migrate quickly to Vista once it ships in early 2007.

2. “New Mass. CIO Offers Update on Open Document Format Plans,” Computerworld, 4/13. Massachusetts is unlikely to meet its January 2007 deadline for a full-scale implementation of its Open Document Format policy, according to the state’s chief information officer. There’s still too much work to be done on resolving accessibility issues and implementation planning, according to Louis Gutierrez. However, the CIO stressed that Massachusetts remains committed to migrating to ODF and phasing out the state’s use of Microsoft’s Office software suite.

3. “Google Launches Google Calendar Service,”, 4/13. The search company’s entry into the Web-based calendar service arena with a beta version of Google Calendar may help spark more innovation in that space. So far, Google’s playing its cards close to its vest about its specific plans for the calendar. While the service will be integrated with its Gmail e-mail software, Google wouldn’t comment as to any potential linkages into, the open-source alternative to Microsoft’s Office desktop software suite.

4. “Oracle Releases, Then Pulls, Zero-Day Database Exploit Code,” Computerworld, 4/10. Oracle had some egg on its face this week. The company accidentally released details online about an unpatched security vulnerability in its Oracle 9i and 10g databases, including sample code that could be used to exploit the problem. The occurrence was particularly ironic given that the software vendor has previously criticized researchers for disclosing security vulnerabilities. Oracle intends to release a patch to address the vulnerability on or around April 18.

5. “Counties Across the U.S. Posting Sensitive Information Online,” Computerworld, 4/12. U.S. county websites are veritable treasure troves of personal data about their residents. Criminals can easily comb through land records and other public documents posted on county websites to obtain information about individuals including their Social Security numbers, driver’s license details and bank account numbers. Counties have largely failed to realize they need to redact sensitive data about their residents from the public documents they’re making available online.

6. “Red Hat and JBoss Execs Stress Their Deal’s Synergies,”InfoWorld, 4/10. In a surprise turn of events, Linux distribution vendor Red Hat announced plans to buy open-source middleware company JBoss for more than US$350 million. The move put pay to ongoing rumors that Oracle was likely to purchase JBoss. With JBoss under its belt, Red Hat will be able to increase what it can offer in open-source component stacks, while the middleware player will be able to expand its worldwide reach using Red Hat’s global channels.

7. “Dell Partners With WebMD for Employee E-Health Records,”Network World, 4/10. The computer hardware vendor is set later this month to become one of the first large U.S. companies to offer regularly updated electronic health records to its U.S. staff. The program, in partnership with WebMD, will be voluntary and free, forming part of a larger effort under way at Dell focused on health and wellness. Using a Web portal, Dell’s 25,000 U.S. employees will be able to track their surgical and prescription histories as well as be reminded about future scheduled doctor’s visits or medical procedures.

8. “ Launches Mobile Access With Acquisition,”, 4/11. The on-demand CRM software vendor made its first-ever acquisition this week, picking up wireless technology developer Sendia. The move enables and its partners to further open up CRM and other enterprise applications available via its AppExchange platform to mobile users who can access the applications via browsers on their BlackBerry, Palm and other handheld devices.

9. “BlackBerry vs. Redberry in China,”

BusinessWeek, 4/13. Just when Research In Motion might’ve hoped its legal battles were at the end, another potential conflict may be looming for the maker of the BlackBerry wireless e-mail device, this time in China. State-run telecommunications company China Unicom has launched its own BlackBerry-like device and called it Redberry, apparently in honor of the BlackBerry. RIM hopes to launch BlackBerry in China by the end of May, partnering with Hong Kong-based cellular carrier China Mobile.

10. “Company Finds New Homes for Microsoft Licenses,”

Network World, 4/10. U.K. startup Disclic has come up with an interesting business model in Europe. The company buys up Microsoft product licenses from companies going out of business and then resells them to other companies under the legal terms and conditions laid out by Microsoft. Disclic typically offers the licenses for software including Microsoft Office, Windows Server, SQL Server and Exchange Server at a 20 to 50 percent discount compared to what Microsoft resellers charge for licenses.

-China Martens, IDG News Service

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