1. “Sun Open Sources Java Under GPL,”CIO.com, 11/13
No one was in any doubt that Sun would make its core Java platform freely available, given that the company pledged to do so in May. The interesting twist when the company did finally announce the open sourcing of both its Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE) and its Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME) this week was Sun’s choice of license. Instead of going with its own common development and distribution license, which Sun has used when previously open sourcing products, the company opted for the GNU general public license version 2 (GPLv2). Sun’s hoping that making Java available under GPLv2, the same license used by the Linux operating system and other popular open-source software, will encourage more developers to use Java as well as enable Linux distributions like Debian and Ubuntu to bundle Java with their operating systems.
2. “Dell Earnings Delayed by SEC Probe,”CIO.com, 11/16
The bad news continues for the computer maker, which has yet to recover from a string of disappointing fiscal quarters. Dell was forced this week to delay reporting its latest financials due to complications related to probes into the company’s accounting and fiscal reporting being conducted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Dell’s own audit committee. The SEC began an informal probe into Dell in August that has been escalated to a formal investigation. Speculation continues to rise that Dell executives, notably Chief Executive Officer Kevin Rollins and Chief Financial Officer James Schneider, may be on their way out.
3. “NBC Executive Is Expected to Bring Operational Strengths to AOL,”
The New York Times, 11/16
In a surprise move, Time Warner ousted Jonathan Miller, the chairman and CEO of its ailing AOL business, in favor of television executive Randy Falco. Heading up AOL since 2002, Miller had only recently reorganized the company around a new strategy of generating revenue from advertising sales, abandoning its longtime subscription-based model. Falco has spent his entire career, some 31 years, at NBC, and Time Warner is hoping he can bring more operational acumen to AOL. Interestingly, at the suggestion of Time Warner executives, Miller had recently met Falco for drinks to sound him out about joining AOL to assist him on the operations side. Miller apparently had no idea Falco was to be his replacement.
4. “Borland Changes Course, Will Spin Off Tools Group,”InfoWorld, 11/14
In another unexpected turn of events this week, Borland announced it will spin off, not sell off, its developer tools group. Home to products such as Delphi and JBuilder, the tools division will become a wholly owned Borland subsidiary known as CodeGear early next year. Back in February, the vendor put its tools business up for sale, hoping to seal a deal by September. Although Borland did receive offers, none of them reflected the value the vendor had put upon the operation, according to Tod Nielsen, Borland’s CEO. Spinning off CodeGear will enable Borland to focus on what it sees as its core business, the application lifecycle management (ALM) market, and potentially also to return to profitability.
5. “Microsoft Lays Out Longhorn, PowerShell and Apps Mgmt. Road Maps,”
Network World, 11/14
As the software giant finishes off two massive projects, its Vista client operating system and its Office 2007 suite, looming on the horizon is the next release of Microsoft’s server OS currently code-named Longhorn. The vendor expects to release the final beta version of Longhorn in the first half of next year and then ship the completed OS at the end of 2007. Microsoft has yet to determine how it will deliver its “Viridian” hypervisor virtualization technology, which was supposed to be a feature in Longhorn. It looks as though Viridian won’t appear until 100 to 180 days after Longhorn ships.
6. “Google Gives Hosted Apps Suite a ‘Start’ Page,”CIO.com, 11/13
After launching Google Apps for Your Domain back in August, the search company has established a central point where users can access the set of free browser-based collaboration and communications applications. Google has added a Start page option so that organizations can put together links to the Google Apps services as well as highlight other online content they’d like their users to be aware of, such as news stories and weather reports. The Google Apps for Your Domain suite features the vendor’s Gmail Web mail, Google Talk instant messaging, Google Calendar and the Google Page Creator webpage design service.
7. “Microsoft Could Be Hit With Another E.U. Fine,”CIO.com, 11/15
The organization has imposed yet another deadline on the software giant that, if not met, may involve more fines. It’s the latest chapter in a long-running battle between the two over the terms of compliance with the European Commission’s March 2004 antitrust ruling against Microsoft. If Microsoft doesn’t provide more complete interoperability information about its Windows operating system by Nov. 23, the European Commission may institute daily fines of US$3.8 million. Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes expressed frustration with Microsoft, saying the current documentation supplied by the vendor is like a jigsaw where some parts are missing that should have been in place months ago. Microsoft reiterated its commitment to achieving full compliance with the commission’s March 2004 decision.
8. “Former CA Sales Exec Gets Seven Years in Jail,”CIO.com, 11/15
Stephen Richards, the former head of worldwide sales at Computer Associates, was sentenced to seven years in jail this week for his role in a massive accounting fraud at the software vendor now known as CA. Both Richards and his codefendant, former Computer Associates CEO Sanjay Kumar, pleaded guilty to financial fraud charges in April, including falsely reporting hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue before contracts were closed to inflate quarterly financial results. Kumar received a 12-year prison sentence earlier this month. Still to be determined is how much restitution to victims of the fraud, those who invested in the company, both Richards and Kumar will pay. Also unclear is whether legal investigations into CA’s past are now complete. Richards and Kumar were to go to trial but opted to plead guilty instead, meaning many details about what exactly went on at Computer Associates remain unknown.
9. “U.S. Gov’t IT Leaders Feel More Secure,”CIO.com, 11/13
Despite a few major security breaches, notably at the Department of Veterans Affairs, 58 percent of the IT leaders in the U.S. government pronounced themselves more confident about their agencies’ cybersecurity capabilities now than they were two years ago. Only 12 percent of those polled in a survey by Cisco believe their operations are currently less secure than in 2004. Many of the surveyed IT decision makers are spending more of their time on security and information assurance. The main obstacle to improving cybersecurity is concern around funding, but other important issues include a lack of security standards, poor management support and insufficient trained staff. Agencies are struggling to integrate piecemeal security products designed to fix specific IT vulnerabilities.
10. “Dems Score With Better Data,”
Technology may be part of the reason for the Democrats’ win over the Republican Party last week in U.S. midterm elections. New data warehouse software may have helped the Democrats improve the quantity, quality and availability of voter information so that they could better target voters and mobilize them to cast their ballots. The new software is a marked improvement on the situation in 2004, when the Democrats’ voter targeting project was criticized for providing state-level organizations with inaccurate data versus a well-organized Republican system.
-China Martens (IDG News Service, Boston Bureau)
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