by CIO Staff

EMC Says It Will Buy RSA

Jun 30, 20065 mins

1. “EMC to Buy RSA for $2.1B,”, 6/30. Storage giant EMC has been very active on the acquisition trail in recent years, but its proposed purchase of security company RSA will be one of its largest outlays. The buy will help EMC more rapidly deliver on its promise to customers to integrate security with its information management range of offerings. The company is moving away from its roots as a seller of storage hardware, reinventing itself as a one-stop shop for users to secure, access, manage and store their data.

2. “Microsoft Office 2007 Delayed by a Few Months,”InfoWorld, 6/29. Another product shipment hiccup for the software giant with the announcement of a likely delay in the availability of the next release of its desktop software suite. First slated to ship in October, the business version of Office 2007 will now probably appear in December, followed by the consumer release debuting in early 2007. Microsoft is using the extra months so that its engineers can work on incorporating feedback on prerelease versions of the software from its 2.5 million beta testers. Since Office 2007 had previously been due to ship in tandem with Microsoft’s upcoming Vista operating system, analysts are wondering if another delay for Vista is also in the cards.

3. “IT Centralization at VA Key to Security, Former Agency CIOs Say,” Computerworld, 6/29. The good news this week was that the stolen laptop containing personal data on 26.5 million U.S. veterans and military personnel was found and the data apparently hadn’t been compromised. However, that discovery won’t put an end to the questions the theft of the computer has raised about information security at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In a hearing before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, two former VA chief information officers called for the department to centralize management of all its IT programs and activities. Both CIOs had tried to achieve this goal during their tenure but encountered resistance to change from the department’s management.

4. “Gates Foundation Receives $30.7 Billion Pledge,”Network World, 6/26. Wouldn’t you want a best friend like Warren Buffett? Bill Gates’ bridge buddy pledged to give away the bulk of a US$37 billion charitable donation to the foundation run by Gates and his wife. Buffett’s donation will nearly double the assets of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to about US$65 billion, making it the largest charitable foundation in the world. Gates recently announced he will step down from day-to-day operations at Microsoft come July 2008 to focus his attentions on the foundation.

5. “Google Launches Checkout Payments System,”

PC World, 6/29. The search giant finally unveiled its online payments system, anticipated for the past year, which it’s calling Google Checkout. The system is designed to simplify business-to-consumer online transactions by allowing buyers to store their purchasing information with Google. In that way, users will have to enter payment preferences and shipping information only once instead of multiple times with different sellers. Checkout will have a wider scope than eBay’s existing PayPal offering, with PayPal in theory being one payment option within the Google platform.

6. “EU May Fine Microsoft €2 Million A Day,”Macworld, 6/28. Monday is set to mark another stage in the ongoing standoff between the software vendor and the European Commission over Microsoft’s alleged violations of the organization’s 2004 antitrust ruling. According to people close to the case, the commission is due to propose a new fine against Microsoft of 2 million euros a day, which could total up to 460 million euros (US$577 million) for failing to comply with the ruling.

7. “Intel Sells Communications Unit to Marvell for $600M,”, 6/27. As had been rumored for some time, the chip giant offloaded its communications and application processor business unit to Marvell Technology as part of its previously stated aim to reorganize its business and cut capital expenditure. Intel’s XScale communications business ate up a lot of the company’s resources but never developed into a particularly profitable operation, making it ripe for a sell-off, according to analysts.

8. “Symantec CEO: Microsoft Has ‘Long Way to Go,’ “, 6/28. John Thompson is clearly a man who relishes a challenge. At one time, he helmed IBM’s OS/2 dying business and now heads up troubled security software vendor Symantec. One of the major issues Thompson’s now facing is how to deal with Microsoft, as that vendor looks to eat into Symantec’s lunch with its rival security software. However, he believes Microsoft has plenty of work ahead of it before the company becomes a serious competitor.

9. “User Pressure Spurs Microsoft to Dial Back WGA,”

Computerworld, 6/27. User power works. Microsoft came out with an updated version of its Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) Notifications antipiracy program this week after customers told the company they were unhappy with how often the program was checking their software to see if it was genuine or counterfeit. WGA Notifications had been checking users’ versions every time they logged on; now it will carry out a check only periodically. Microsoft is facing a class-action lawsuit over the WGA tool, with some customers alleging the previous version of the software violates some U.S. consumer protection and antispyware laws.

10. “Belgian Gov’t Moves Toward OpenDocument Format,”

Macworld, 6/26. Following in the footsteps of the state of Massachusetts, Belgium became the second governmental body to commit to widespread adoption of the OpenDocument Format (ODF) to exchange government documents. Using ODF will enable the government to move away from reliance on Microsoft’s file formats, with all Belgian federal agencies required to use software that can handle ODF by September 2007. The Danish government intends to launch a pilot program in September to publish documents in ODF.

-China Martens, IDG News Service (Boston Bureau)

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