by CIO Staff

Top 10 IT News Stories of the Week: Microsoft Vista Released, E-Voting Problems, Google Sends Kama Sutra Worm, and More

Nov 10, 20066 mins
Small and Medium BusinessWindows

1. “Microsoft’s Vista OS Released to Manufacturing,”

Computerworld, 11/08

Microsoft finished the release to manufacturing, or RTM, version of its oft-delayed Windows Vista OS, with copies distributed to PC makers. Businesses are due to receive copies by Nov. 30, with home and small business users last in line, with the OS expected to be available preinstalled on PCs Jan. 30, the previously announced launch date. Jim Allchin, co-president of Microsoft’s platform products and services group, who made the RTM announcement at a press conference, predicted adoption among consumers will be “fast and immediate,” with businesses perhaps taking more time. Analysts have been saying for a while now that they don’t expect businesses to jump at the upgrade. Market researcher Forrester issued a report on Thursday, the day after the RTM news, suggesting that home users aren’t going to rush to upgrade either. 2. “Reports of E-Voting Problems Surface,”, 11/08

“Few Tech Changes If Democrats Control Congress,”

Infoworld, 11/06

Before Tuesday’s U.S. midterm election, IT industry groups and analysts predicted few changes in the legislative approach to technology if Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives. At that point, there wasn’t much talk about the likelihood of Democrats also becoming the majority party in the Senate, but late Thursday afternoon with the concession speech of incumbent Virginia Republican Sen. George Allen to Democrat challenger Jim Webb, that’s exactly what happened. IT industry groups and analysts were still predicting there probably won’t be a lot of change in IT legislation, though tech groups all said they will be able, perhaps even better able, to work with Democrats. With thousands of complaints related to electronic-voting problems pouring in well before polls closed across the country on Tuesday, perhaps legislators will entertain bills related to technology’s use in the electoral process?  3. “Google Accidentally Sends Kama Sutra Worm,”, 11/08

Whoops! Google accidentally sent out e-mail including W32/Kasper.A@mm, also known as the Kama Sutra worm, to its Google Video Blog mailing list. A Google spokesman said he didn’t have much in the way of details regarding how the Google Video Team managed to distribute the worm to its e-mail list, but he offered assurances that “internal protocols” have been implemented to keep such an incident from occurring again. 4. “NTP Hits Palm With Patent Infringement Suit,”, 11/06

Patent-holding firm NTP filed an infringement claim against Palm that echoes the allegations the company made against Research in Motion that placed the popular BlackBerry service in peril. NTP alleges that Palm is using NTP technology in mobile wireless e-mail devices, and it wants a federal judge to order that Palm stop selling and operating those products. It also has asked that Palm be slapped with punitive damages. In March, RIM agreed to pay $612.5 million to settle NTP’s patent claims, ending the threat of an injunction and bringing a huge sigh of relief to avid BlackBerry users.

5. “Mozilla Firefox 1.5 Support to End April 24,”, 11/09

Fresh on the heels of releasing Firefox 2.0, Mozilla told users that it will cease supporting Firefox 1.5 as of April 24 of next year, at which point there won’t be any additional security or stability patches for the open-source browser.

6. “HP Closes Mercury Buy, Promises Road Map,”Infoworld, 11/07

Hewlett-Packard at long last closed its $4.5 billion acquisition of IT management software and services vendor Mercury Interactive and soon after said it will gradually retire HP’s OpenView line and Mercury’s product lines and merge those wares into a newly branded line. HP had plenty of time to make those sorts of decisions, given that it first made an offer for Mercury in July, then had to extend its tender offer four times before Mercury shareholders would give it the go-ahead. With the deal’s closing, Mercury became a wholly owned subsidiary of HP.

7. “Skype Upgrade to Get Smart New Features,”, 11/08

Skype is testing an upgrade of its free communications software that will feature community conference calls, text chats and IT management features, giving enterprise users more reason to consider Skype. The upgrade, Skype 3.0, automatically detects telephone numbers in webpages and initiates calls using the SkypeOut fee-based service.

8. “What’s With All This Spam?”Network World, 11/08

Researchers and IT managers confirmed what everyone who uses e-mail already knows: Spam levels have soared in the past month, perhaps as much as a whopping 80 percent, and there’s no indication of relief anytime soon. Researchers suggest that the huge jump owes to a new generation of viruses and zombies that make their way around the Internet faster and are harder to get rid of than previous generations of malware. Image spam—a message with text trickily embedded into an image file that evades filters because those can’t recognize words inside of an image—also is a likely culprit. Security firms and antispam vendors are hard at work to get a grip on the problem, while systems administrators pull their hair out over what the increase in spam is doing to hack at bandwidth and computing power.

9. “Microsoft Plans Product Barrage,”Infoworld, 11/07

In the next year to 18 months, Microsoft is planning to let loose with more product news and announcements than in any other stretch in company history. The kickoff started this week with the Office 2007 rollout and will be followed by a steady stream of product launches, including the Vista OS, as well as the 2007 versions of SharePoint server and Exchange. Business intelligence is a priority for the company, with “end-to-end” software for BI promised in the next 18 months.

10. “Web 2.0 Summit a Tech Schmoozefest,”

San Francisco Chronicle, 11/09

“Web 2.0: ’Net Recovery at a Crossroads,”Computerworld, 11/07

The annual Web 2.0 conference this week in San Francisco brought out some of the biggest names in IT for speeches and pontification, with a heavy focus on the possibilities and the future of wikis, blogs, podcasting, content syndication, tagging, application mashups, video sharing, social networking and social bookmarking. Mobile devices were expected to be brought into the mix, and there would be plenty to capture the attention of the enterprise as well, speakers and show vendors pledged. The consensus seems to be that Web 2.0 products and services will not succeed by simply mimicking products and services that already exist, but by going beyond. Along the way, there was a range of product news and announcements, and overall the show got high marks for being entertaining and informative.

-Nancy Weil, IDG News Service

Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.