May 12, 2012
NYT: New Bing and Closer Ties to Facebook In Quest for Search Engine Impact
NYT: "The new version of Bing is the biggest overhaul to the search engine since Microsoft introduced it three years ago. It is the result of a continual conversation at the company about how to make Bing a more effective competitor to that other search engine — Google — and try to stem its considerable losses. In its last fiscal year, Microsoft reported operating losses from its online services division of $2.6 billion."
April 09, 2012
Microsoft Purchases Majority of AOL's Intellectual Property, Including Netscape Patents
Ben Kersey: "Microsoft and AOL ...signed a deal that would see MSFT pick up 800 of AOL’s patents for around $1 billion in cash. The deal is expected to close at the end of 2012, with Microsoft being able to leverage AOL’s remaining 300 patents under a non-exclusive license. As it turns out, there was an undisclosed term to the deal, and AllThingsD reports that Microsoft has picked up part of Netscape."See also NYT: Microsoft's AOL Deal Intensifies Patent Wars, by Steve Lohr: "The lofty price Microsoft paid AOL for 800 patents - $1.3 million each - reflects the crucial role patents are playing in the business and legal strategies of technology companies."
February 28, 2012
Microsoft Paper Focuses on Evolved Security, Privacy and Reliability Strategies for Cloud and Big Data
News release: "Today at the RSA Conference 2012, Scott Charney, corporate vice president of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, shared his vision for the road ahead as society and computing intersect in an increasingly interconnected world. In a new paper, Trustworthy Computing (TwC) Next, Charney encouraged industry and governments to develop more effective privacy principles focused on use and accountability, improve end-to-end reliability of cloud services through increased fault modeling and standards efforts, and adopt more holistic security strategies including improved hygiene and greater attention to detection and containment."
February 27, 2012
Help with SharePoint is on the way in The Adventures of SharePoint Reading Bee© Animated Series
Via LLRX.com: Help with SharePoint is on the way in The Adventures of SharePoint Reading Bee© Animated Series"Microsoft SharePoint expert Lorette S.J. Weldon asks us to imagine walking into the library without worrying about file compatibilities and adjustments of applications to do what you want when you want. All you would see is a library with your workstation. When SharePoint is properly implemented, it could blend into the background. You would never know that it was there. Lorette created an animated series to assist librarians to leverage this application, and has included a very short survey to offer suggestions for future episodes."
February 20, 2012
Windows IE Team: Google Bypassing User Privacy Settings
Follow up to Third-Party Cookie Blocking in Safari Bypassed For Millions of Users, this posting via the Windows Internet Explorer Engineering Team Blog: "When the IE team heard that Google had bypassed user privacy settings on Safari, we asked ourselves a simple question: is Google circumventing the privacy preferences of Internet Explorer users too? We’ve discovered the answer is yes: Google is employing similar methods to get around the default privacy protections in IE and track IE users with cookies. Below we spell out in more detail what we’ve discovered, as well as recommendations to IE users on how to protect their privacy from Google with the use of IE9's Tracking Protection feature. We’ve also contacted Google and asked them to commit to honoring P3P privacy settings for users of all browsers. We’ve found that Google bypasses the P3P Privacy Protection feature in IE. The result is similar to the recent reports of Google’s circumvention of privacy protections in Apple’s Safari Web browser, even though the actual bypass mechanism Google uses is different. Internet Explorer 9 has an additional privacy feature called Tracking Protection which is not susceptible to this type of bypass. Microsoft recommends that customers who want to protect themselves from Google’s bypass of P3P Privacy Protection use Internet Explorer 9 and click here to add a Tracking Protection List. Customers can find additional lists and information on this page."
December 04, 2011
Harvard Law/Computer Scientist Declares PCs Dead
"The following op-ed by Harvard Law School Professor Jonathan Zittrain appeared in the Nov. 30 edition of the Technology Review - The PC is dead. Rising numbers of mobile, lightweight, cloud-centric devices don't merely represent a change in form factor. Rather, we're seeing an unprecedented shift of power from end users and software developers on the one hand, to operating system vendors on the other—and even those who keep their PCs are being swept along. This is a little for the better, and much for the worse. The transformation is one from product to service. The platforms we used to purchase every few years—like operating systems—have become ongoing relationships with vendors, both for end users and software developers. I wrote about this impending shift, driven by a desire for better security and more convenience, in my 2008 book The Future of the Internet—and How to Stop It."
December 03, 2011
Microsoft Research: How fighting email spam is helping the search for an HIV vaccine
Microsoft TechNet: "Helping tackle some of the most urgent global challenges is firmly on the agenda for Microsoft Research (MSR) – applying our experience, our depth and breadth of expertise, our partnerships and the power of software to tackle these challenges. In the case of searching for a vaccine for HIV, all of this comes in to play as we’re applying high-powered computation, fighting HIV with data and perhaps surprisingly, using our experience of building email spam filters to find a solution. More than 1.8 million people die of HIV-related causes each year — approximately 5,000 deaths per day. One of the great challenges in fighting HIV is that the virus is constantly mutating to avoid attack by the immune system — so much so that it can change as much within one infected person as the influenza virus has throughout recorded history. This makes it incredibly difficult to accurately analyze the virus and develop therapies that attack its elusive weak points. Each mutation means another variable to identify and understand. To complicate things even more, individual immune response varies greatly; some people’s immune systems are able to robustly combat the virus, allowing them to live for years without treatment, while others become sick more quickly as their bodies fail to resist the invasive attack...David Heckerman and Jonathan Carlson of Microsoft Research along with a Microsoft Computational Biology Tool called PhyloD....enables efficient data mining which then leads to specific cell analysis that helps detail virus patterns for further analysis. PhyloD contains an algorithm, code and visualization tools to perform complex pattern recognition and analysis – enabling Heckerman and his colleagues to learn how different individual immune systems respond to the many mutations of the virus..."
September 25, 2011
BTN: Microsoft Becomes First Corporate User of Standard XML-Based Bank Statements
Microsoft Becomes First Corporate User of Standard XML-Based Bank Statements'Microsoft collaborated with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi and SWIFT to develop a unified format that lets it receive electronic bank statements from all its banking providers in the same format. Extensible Markup Language is a way of formatting, parsing and tagging data such that computer programs can read and act on the information. (For instance, a customer name might be tagged). The ISO 20022 standard [ppt] provides a common schema for such messages, so that everyone uses the same tags and formats. It was developed mainly by European banks to handle new payment structures for Single European Payments Area payments sent between banks. But the standard has taken time to mature and crystallize. "Even within 20022, there are still lots of different variants, based on what country you're working in and banks' data processing requirements once the payment or cash reporting gets to the back end," says Colin Kerr, Microsoft industry solutions manager. "That places a huge burden on the corporate treasury that has to work with multiple banks." Microsoft works with eight major banks around the world and another 90 banks locally."
April 28, 2011
GSA Plans RFP for $2.5 Billion in Cloud Computing to Support IT Reform Plan
Jason Miller, Executive Editor, Federal News Radio: "The General Services Administration is about to give the Obama administration's policy that requires agencies to use cloud computing a big boost. GSA plans on releasing a request for proposals May 10 for e-mail-as-a-service that could be worth $2.5 billion. Vivek Kundra, the federal chief information officer, said Wednesday there are $20 billion in systems across the government that could move to the cloud, and email and collaboration software are among the easiest first steps. We already are seeing 15 agencies that have identified 950,000 e-mail boxes across 100 email systems that are going to move to the cloud," he said during an update on the administration's 25-point IT reform plan at the White House. "This represents a huge opportunity for [vendors] to aggressively compete for these new opportunities in the cloud space and provide the government with the best value and most innovative technologies." Among those 15 agencies already on their way are the Agriculture Department and GSA. USDA is moving 120,000 employees to Microsoft's cloud, while GSA picked Unisys, which partnered with Google, to move as many as 30,000 employees to a new email system."
January 05, 2011
Google Wins Injunction in Cloud Computing Bid Protest Against Interior
Follow up to Google Files Bid Protest Against Dept. of Interior Over Hosted Email and Collaboration Services, news that Google wins: Interior forbidden to award noncompetitive contract to Microsoft - "U.S. Federal Claims Court Judge Susan Braden ruled on Jan. 3 that negotiations for a sole source contract with Microsoft “commenced many months prior to July 15, 2010,” when department officials decided Microsoft's software was their standard for e-mail and computer operating systems. Meanwhile, Google had been trying to get considered for the work as well."
December 08, 2010
USDA Moves 120,000 Users to Microsoft’s Cloud
News release: "The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that it is moving its on-premises e-mail and productivity applications to Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure, becoming the first cabinet-level federal agency to embrace the cloud. In one of the largest cloud federal government deployments ever, the USDA is moving its 120,000 users to Microsoft Online Services, consolidating 21 different messaging and collaboration systems into one, said Chris Smith, the USDA’s chief information officer. The USDA plans to start the shift within the next four weeks. “This is really about increasing collaboration and communications across the breadth of 120,000 users in 5,000 offices across the country and 100 countries around the globe to better deliver on the USDA’s mission,” he said. “For us a move to the cloud was a question of performance, service, and cost, and this solution will help us streamline our efforts and use taxpayer dollars efficiently.” The USDA will use Microsoft Exchange Online for messaging and calendaring, SharePoint Online for document collaboration, Office Communications Online for instant messaging, and Office Live Meeting for Web conferencing. Smith said that improvements in productivity and communication, such as the ability to see colleagues’ availability and choose whether they want to communicate via chat, voice, or mail, mean that employees will now be able to collaborate more efficiently."
December 03, 2010
Verizon White Paper: Escaping from Microsoft’s Protected Mode Internet Explorer
Escaping from Microsoft’s Protected Mode Internet Explorer - Evaluating a potential security boundary, November 2010"In Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Vista, Microsoft introduced a new browser security feature called “Protected Mode”. According to Microsoft, this mechanism “significantly reduces the ability of an attack [against Internet Explorer] to write, alter or destroy data on the user’s machine”.1,2 A clearer description is that the feature attempts to protect the integrity of the client machine in the event the browser is compromised in an attack and prevent malware from being persisted on the targeted machine. This paper will describe why this is not currently the case in Internet Explorer 7 or 8 for remote code execution vulnerabilities, discuss the limitations of the feature by design, identify generic attacks patterns that can be used to bypass the feature (without user intervention) and discuss some inconsistencies in the underlying access control implemented in Microsoft® Windows®."
November 02, 2010
Google Files Bid Protest Against Dept. of Interior Over Hosted Email and Collaboration Services
The complaint, Google Inc. vs. The United States, filed Ocotber 29, 2010 in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, is here. "This action protests the terms of U.S. Department of the Interior ("DOI") Request for Quotation 503786 ("RFQ") for hosted email and collaboration services and DOI's supporting "Limited Source Justification", and seeks preliminary and permanent injunction against the DOI proceeding with the RFQ, or any related procurement, solicitation or task order, without first complying with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements..."TechSpot, via TechDirt: "...Google Apps was not on the government's table and the search giant is arguing that restricting the Request for Quotation (RFQ), a document asking companies to design a solution and quote a price, to Microsoft is "unduly restrictive of competition." The US is defending its position by claiming that Google was not considered in the RFQ because Redmond offered two things that Mountain View didn't: Unified Mail/Messaging, and "enhanced security." In the RFQ, the Department of Interior (DOI) specifically stated that the solution had to be part of the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite according to the 37-page court filing. Google pointed out to the DOI that Microsoft has had downtime issues in the past and insisted that Google Apps is a suitable alternative."
["The contract, worth nearly $60 million, seeks to consolidate 13 different e-mail systems into a single web-based platform."]
Google's lawsuit: bigger target is security seal of approval from feds
October 16, 2010
Google, Facebook battle for 'future of the Web'
Could Google's Achilles heel be showing as Facebook teams up with Microsoft? "Microsoft advanced its partnership with Facebook this week, a move that could represent the biggest threat to Google's search standing yet. Microsoft and Facebook announced that they're teaming up to make Internet searching more social. Now when someone uses Microsoft's Bing search engine to look for a new car or a book, she can see which ones her Facebook friends liked. It will now be easier for searchers to get their friends' opinions before they make purchasing decisions. Industry watchers said this was an interesting development for search in general, but it also holds big implications for Google in particular. What's notable is that Facebook turned to Microsoft for this deal and not to the search market leader, Google."
September 09, 2010
The Impact of Competition on Technology Adoption: An Apples-to-PCs Analysis
The Impact of Competition on Technology Adoption: An Apples-to-PCs Analysis, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, July 2010, Number 462, by Adam Copeland and Adam Hale Shapiro"We study the effect of market structure on a personal computer manufacturer’s decision to adopt new technology. This industry is unusual because there exist two horizontally segmented retail markets with different degrees of competition: the IBM-compatible (or PC) platform and the Apple platform. We first document that, relative to Apple, producers of PCs typically have more frequent technology adoption, shorter product cycles, and steeper price declines over the product cycle. We then develop a parsimonious vintage-capital model that matches the prices and sales of PC and Apple products. The model predicts that competition is the key driver of the rate at which technology is adopted."
August 04, 2010
Microsoft Street Slide: Browsing Street Level Imagery
Street Slide: Browsing Street Level Imagery - Johannes Kopf, Billy Chen, Richard Szeliski, Michael Cohen [Microsoft Research]. Please see the accompanying video here."Systems such as Google Street View and Bing Maps Streetside enable users to virtually visit cities by navigating between immersive 360 degree panoramas, or bubbles. The discrete moves from bubble to bubble enabled in these systems do not provide a good visual sense of a larger aggregate such as a whole city block. Multi-perspective “strip” panoramas can provide a visual summary of a city street but lack the full realism of immersive panoramas. We present Street Slide, which combines the best aspects of the immersive nature of bubbles with the overview provided by multiperspective strip panoramas. We demonstrate a seamless transition between bubbles and multi-perspective panoramas. We also present a dynamic construction of the panoramas which overcomes many of the limitations of previous systems. As the user slides sideways, the multi-perspective panorama is constructed and rendered dynamically to simulate either a perspective or hyper-perspective view. This provides a strong sense of parallax, which adds to the immersion. We call this form of sliding sideways while looking at a street facade a street slide. Finally we integrate annotations and a mini-map within the user interface to provide geographic information as well additional affordances for navigation. We demonstrate our Street Slide system on a series of intersecting streets in an urban
setting. We report the results of a user study, which shows that visual searching is greatly enhanced with the Street Slide interface
over existing systems from Google and Bing."
July 11, 2010
New on LLRX.com - Development of a SharePoint Site
Development of a SharePoint Site - Lorette S.J. Weldon continues her series with a discussion on how to interpret and document the requirements of an organization or a specific department in order to develop a successful SharePoint site.
June 02, 2010
FT.com Reports Google Phasing Out Corporate Use of Windows
FT.com: "Google is phasing out the internal use of Microsoft’s ubiquitous Windows operating system because of security concerns, according to several Google employees. The directive to move to other operating systems began in earnest in January, after Google’s Chinese operations were hacked, and could effectively end the use of Windows at Google, which employs more than 10,000 workers internationally."
May 30, 2010
EU data protection group says Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! do not comply with data protection rules
Article 29 Data Protection Working Party Press Release, Brussels, 26 May 2010: EU data protection group says Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! do not comply with data protection rules"The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, a group of European data protection authorities, today told the three major search engine operators – Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft – that their methods of making users’ search data anonymous still do not comply with the European Union’s Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. The Article 29 Working Party recognises the search engines’ efforts to bring their policies in line with European data protection legislation. However, in letters sent to the companies, the Working Party urges them to use an outside auditor to verify their commitments to make users’ internet search data truly anonymous."
May 11, 2010
Windows Announces Free Web Version of Word Coming In June
New York Times: "This latest version of Office, which includes applications like Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint, is Microsoft’s long-awaited effort to modernize one of its most lucrative products and to thwart rivals like Google that are nipping at its heels with free Web software. For the first time, Microsoft will provide a free online version of Office that lets people store their documents on the Web rather than on their personal computers...Microsoft has said that Office 2010 will range in price from a limited, free Web version supported by ads to a full-blown version that costs $500, both to be available to consumers in June."
April 20, 2010
Symantec White Paper: Problems with Microsoft Outlook Personal Storage Tables
Death to PST Files, A Symantec Hosted Services Whitepaper: "Email is one of your company’s most critical—and most widely used—assets. According to a 2009 study by The Radicati Group, the average corporate email user sends and receives 167 email messages per day. The report estimates that this number will increase to 219 messages per day by 2013. This steady flow of email messages means managing email is more difficult than ever. A company must provide employees constant access to their email accounts and manage copies of every important email to comply with regulatory requirements. If a company is faced with a lawsuit, it must have the ability to easily place legal holds on emails and conduct efficient e-discovery. Since email is the source of so much vital information, users are reluctant to delete old messages, which turns their email system into a personal email filing cabinet. In essence, users create their own email archives using PST files. Most companies impose quotas that limit the amount of storage each person can use for emails. Without these quotas, server disk drives would overflow and email systems would crash."
September 28, 2009
Deloitte: Cloud computing - A collection of working papers
Deloitte: Cloud computing - A collection of working papers, released September 17, 2009 and published on July 31, 2009."Cloud Computing frequently is taken to be a term that simply renames common technologies and techniques that we have come to know in IT. It may be interpreted to mean data center hosting and then subsequently dismissed without catching the improvements to hosting called utility computing that permit near realtime, policy-based control of computing resources. Or it may be interpreted to mean only data center hosting rather than understood to be the significant shift in Internet application architecture that it is...Cloud computing represents a different way to architect and remotely manage computing resources. One has only to establish an account with Microsoft or Amazon or Google to begin building and deploying application systems into a cloud. These systems can be, but certainly are not restricted to being, simplistic. They can be web applications that require only http services. They might require a relational database. They might require web service infrastructure and message queues. There might be need to interoperate with CRM or e-commerce application services, necessitating construction of a custom technology stack to deploy into the cloud if these services are not already provided there."
July 31, 2009
Highlights from Microsoft's Financial Analyst Meeting
Via seattlepia.com, Highlights from Microsoft's Financial Analyst Meeting: "The world's largest software company has a long list of major product releases to look forward to..."
January 05, 2009
New on LLRX: Metadata - What Is It and What Are My Ethical Duties?
Metadata - What Is It and What Are My Ethical Duties?: Jim Calloway explains why every lawyer needs to understand a few basic things about metadata. He contends that the legal ethics implications of metadata “mining” are no longer just of interest to the lawyers processing electronic discovery, or the ethics mavens.
September 01, 2008
Google Launches New Beta Browser for Windows
The Official Google Blog: "As you may have read in the blogosphere, we hit "send" a bit early on a comic book introducing our new open source browser, Google Chrome. As we believe in access to information for everyone, we've now made the comic publicly available -- you can find it here. We will be launching the beta version of Google Chrome [September 2, 2008] in more than 100 countries."
August 27, 2008
Windows Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 Released
"Features include significant security, privacy and developer tools updates."
May 23, 2008
Microsoft Announces Termination of Live Search Books and Live Search Academic Projects
Microsoft Live Search Blog: "Today we informed our partners that we are ending the Live Search Books and Live Search Academic projects and that both sites will be taken down next week. Books and scholarly publications will continue to be integrated into our Search results, but not through separate indexes. This also means that we are winding down our digitization initiatives, including our library scanning and our in-copyright book programs. We recognize that this decision comes as disappointing news to our partners, the publishing and academic communities, and Live Search users."
February 27, 2008
Commission imposes EUR 899 million penalty on Microsoft for non-compliance with March 2004 Decision
News release: "The European Commission has imposed a penalty payment of 899 million euros [$1.3 billion] on Microsoft for non-compliance with its obligations under the Commission’s March 2004 Decision (see IP/04/382) prior to 22 October 2007. Today’s Decision, adopted under Article 24(2) of Regulation 1/2003, finds that, prior to 22 October 2007, Microsoft had charged unreasonable prices for access to interface documentation for work group servers. The 2004 Decision, which was upheld by the Court of First Instance in September 2007 (see CJE/07/63 and MEMO/07/359), found that Microsoft had abused its dominant position under Article 82 of the EC Treaty, and required Microsoft to disclose interface documentation which would allow non-Microsoft work group servers to achieve full interoperability with Windows PCs and servers at a reasonable price."Commission Decision of 27 February 2008 to impose penalty payments on Microsoft – frequently asked questions
February 10, 2008
Update on Microsoft Bid For Yahoo
Follow up to February 2, 2008 posting Microsoft Proposes Acquisition of Yahoo! for $31 per Share, this news: Microsoft Lawyers Map Out the Bid for Yahoo - Company lines up its case for a new antitrust fight, by Nathan Carlile, Legal Times, February 11, 2008. "By making its offer for Yahoo, antitrust lawyers say, Microsoft is wagering that past rebukes by the feds will not play a role this time. The company is still operating under a consent decree negotiated as part of its settlement with the Justice Department as part of the epic antitrust case against the company. The decree was recently extended until 2009, and a three-member team at Justice is continuing to monitor Microsoft's moves."
WSJ - Yahoo Board to Reject Microsoft Bid: "Yahoo Inc.'s board plans to reject Microsoft Corp.'s unsolicited $44.6 billion offer to acquire the Web giant, a person familiar with the situation says. After a series of meetings over the past week, Yahoo's board determined that the $31 per share offer "massively undervalues" Yahoo, the person said. It also doesn't account for the risks Yahoo would be taking by entering into an agreement that might be overturned by regulators. The board plans to send a letter to Microsoft Monday, spelling out its position."
January 26, 2008
W3C Publishes HTML 5 Draft, Future of Web Content
Press release: "W3C...published an early draft of HTML 5, a major revision of the markup language for the Web. The HTML Working Group is creating HTML 5 to be the open, royalty-free specification for rich Web content and Web applications. The group operates entirely in public with nearly five hundred participants, including representatives from W3C Members ACCESS, AOL, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nokia, and Opera."
January 12, 2008
British Educational Communications and Technology Agency Report on Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007
Press release: "Becta [British Educational Communications and Technology Agency], the education technology agency, has published a key report on Microsoft Vista and Office 2007 and on document interoperability which analyses the suitability of both software packages for adoption by schools and colleges."Microsoft Vista and Office 2007: full report, Published: 9 January 2008, Publication ID: BEC1-15529, 40 pages, PDF
January 10, 2008
Library of Congress, Microsoft Announce Agreement to Support New Interactive Experience for Visitors
Press release: "The Library of Congress and Microsoft Corp. have signed a cooperative agreement that will change the way Library visitors experience history. The joint technology initiative will electronically deliver the Library’s immense collection of historical artifacts to patrons visiting its Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C., and will allow unparalleled and immersive interactive experiences that will bring the institution’s vast historical collections and exhibits to life–on-site and online–through the upcoming myloc.gov Web site."
December 28, 2007
Proofpoint Reports Spam Email Trends for November 2007
Press release: "Proofpoint, Inc., the leading provider of unified email security and data loss prevention solutions, today reported spam trends for data collected during the month of November 2007, finding that, on average, spam continues to represent nearly 90% of the total email volume received by large enterprises. Attachment-based spam made a comeback with the prevalence of image-based spam, PDF spam and Microsoft Word document spam all increasing over October levels."
December 22, 2007
Norway's E-Gov Sites Required to Use Open Source Formats
The Inquirer: "Norway's Government has mandated that its websites must use Open Document Format (ODF) for files published for use by the Norwegian public.
"The government has decided that all information on governmental websites should be available in the open formats HTML, PDF or ODF. With this decision the times when public documents where only available in Microsoft's Word-format is coming to an end. "'Everybody should have equal access to public information. From 2009 the citizens will be able to chose which software to use in order to gain access to public information. The government's decision will also improve the competition between suppliers of office applications,' says IT-minister Heidi Grande Røys."
December 16, 2007
Google and Microsoft Battle Over Future of Desktop and Web
New York Times: Google Gets Ready to Rumble With Microsoft - "The growing confrontation between Google and Microsoft promises to be an epic business battle. It is likely to shape the prosperity and progress of both companies, and also inform how consumers and corporations work, shop, communicate and go about their digital lives. Google sees all of this happening on remote servers in faraway data centers, accessible over the Web by an array of wired and wireless devices — a setup known as cloud computing. Microsoft sees a Web future as well, but one whose center of gravity remains firmly tethered to its desktop PC software. Therein lies the conflict."
October 04, 2007
Microsoft Launches Technology Platform to Collect, Store and Share Health Information
Press release: "Joined by nationally recognized medical providers, health-management device manufacturers and patient advocacy organizations, Microsoft Corp. today launched Microsoft® HealthVault, a software and services platform aimed at helping people better manage their health information. The company outlined its vision for ways that HealthVault can bring the health and technology industries together to create new applications, services and connected devices that help people manage and monitor their personal health information...The HealthVault platform is available to people for free at http://www.healthvault.com."
September 17, 2007
European Commission’s Decision on Microsoft's Abuse of Dominant Position Upheld
Press release: "The European Commission welcomes today's ruling by the Court of First Instance upholding the European Commission’s 2004 decision on Microsoft's abuse of its dominant market position and confirming the totality of the fine imposed. In this decision, Microsoft was fined €497 million for infringing the EC Treaty rules on abuse of a dominant market position (Article 82) by leveraging its near monopoly in the market for PC operating systems onto the markets for work group server operating systems and for media players (see IP/04/382 and MEMO/04/70). This conduct hindered innovation in the markets concerned to the detriment of consumers. To put an end to this abusive behaviour, the Commission ordered Microsoft to disclose interoperability information which would allow non-Microsoft work group servers to achieve full interoperability with Windows PCs and servers and to offer a version of its Windows operating system without Windows Media Player. The Court’s ruling confirms that the Commission was right to prohibit Microsoft's anti-competitive conduct which harmed competition to the detriment of consumers."See also this Link for a complete chronology of the case.
June 20, 2007
Microsoft Complies With Vista Browser Choice Option
Press release: Justice Department Files Joint Status Report on Microsoft’s Compliance with the Final Judgments: "The Department of Justice told the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia [June 19, 2007] that it has reached an agreement with Microsoft Corporation to resolve a complaint by Google regarding Microsoft’s desktop search function in Windows Vista. In a joint filing with the court, the Department, 17 state Attorneys General, and the District of Columbia said that the agreement, which aims to promote user choice, will resolve any issues the complaint may raise under the final judgments."Joint Status Report on Microsoft's Compliance with the Final Judgments (06/19/2007): "2. Complaint Regarding Desktop Search: Plaintiffs have previously reported that they were investigating a middleware-related complaint. This complaint, filed by Google, relates to the desktop search functionality in Windows Vista that enables users to search for files located on their computer. This desktop search functionality in Vista, referred to as "Instant Search" in Microsoft's promotional materials, allows users to enter a search query into a text box and receive a list of results from the user's hard drive that contain the search term, either in the name of the file or program, in the full text of the file, or in the keywords associated with that file. The desktop search functionality relies on an index that is updated whenever files on the computer change. The use of an index enables the quick return of search results, as Windows can run the search query against the index and obtain the results, rather than having to search every file on the computer for the search term every time the user conducts a search. Google's complaint contends that desktop search in Windows Vista is a new "Microsoft Middleware Product" under the Final Judgments. The complaint contends that Microsoft has violated the Final Judgment by failing to adhere to the requirements of Section III.C and Section III.H as it pertains to this new Microsoft Middleware Product. After completing their investigation of the complaint, Plaintiffs worked together to reach an agreement by Microsoft with the goal of promoting user and OEM choice for desktop search in Windows Vista. Plaintiffs are collectively satisfied that this agreement will resolve any issues the complaint may raise under the Final Judgments, provided that Microsoft implements it as promised."
June 10, 2007
Privacy Ranking Report of Internet Service Companies
Source: "Privacy International (PI) is a human rights group formed in 1990 as a watchdog on surveillance by governments and corporations. PI is based in London, and has an office in Washington, D.C. Together with members in 40 countries, PI has conducted campaigns throughout the world on issues ranging from wiretapping and national security activities, to ID cards, video surveillance, data matching, police information systems, and medical privacy, and works with a wide range of parliamentary and inter-governmental organisations such as the European Parliament, the House of Lords and UNESCO."Background report from Privacy International - "A Consultation report: This report has been prepared by Privacy International following a six-month investigation into the privacy practices of key Internet based companies. The ranking lists the best and the worst performers both in Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 across the full spectrum of search, email, e-commerce and social networking sites.
The analysis employs a methodology comprising around twenty core parameters. We rank the major Internet players but we also discuss examples of best and worst privacy practice among smaller companies. The report was compiled using data derived from public sources (newspaper articles, blog entries, submissions to government inquiries, privacy policies etc), information provided by present and former company staff, technical analysis and interviews with company representatives. Because the 2007 rankings are a precedent, Privacy International will regard the current report as a consultation report and will establish a broad outreach for two months to ensure that any new and relevant information is taken into account before publishing a full report in September."
Interim results are available here in PDF format, 6 pages
Related: An Open Letter from Privacy International to Google, 10/06/2007
March 27, 2007
Reseachers Focus on Fighting Web Spam
Hao Chen, Assistant Professor, UC Davis in collaboration with In collaboration with Microsoft Researchers Yi-Min Wang and Ming Ma, pub lished Spam Double-Funnel: Connecting Web Spammers with Advertisers. [Darlene Fichter]Overview: "Web spamming is a prevalent problem on the Web. Publishing and contributing to the web is increasingly easy. Spammers, motivated by money, want to attract users to their sites. High visibility in search results facilitates and lends a false air of legitimacy to the spammer's page. To get to this point, spammers create many doorway pages hosted by free services. They publicize the URLs to these doorway pages through comment spam. Their goal in doing so is not to trick people, but rather to defeat search engine ranking algorithms."
See also their website, Strider Search Ranger: War on Search Spam: Shifting the Battleground by “Following the Money”. Created: January 2007. Last Updated: March 20, 2007
March 25, 2007
January 31, 2007
List of Top Companies from Harris Interactive Ranks Microsoft in First Place
WSJ free feature: How Boss's Deeds Buff A Firm's Reputation - Gates's Philanthropy Puts Microsoft Atop Yearly Survey Of Best, Worst Companies: "Top-ranked Microsoft managed to beat Johnson & Johnson, whose emotionally appealing baby-products business had kept it in first place for a remarkable seven consecutive years. In the Reputation Quotient survey conducted by market-research firm Harris Interactive Inc., respondents gave Microsoft very high marks for leadership and financial results. But Mr. Gates's personal philanthropy also boosted the public's opinion of Microsoft."WSJ: Reputation Rankings (includes 60 companies -- users may sort data by respective company rankings in 2005 and 2006, and corresponding changes in those years) - "Boosted by the philanthropy of Bill and Melinda Gates, Microsoft beat out Johnson & Johnson in the eighth annual survey of U.S. corporations with the best and worst reputations. Merck, Royal Dutch Shell and AT&T saw the biggest increase over 2005 in overall reputation as compiled by rankings on 20 different attributes."
November 01, 2006
Complaint Filed With FTC Calling for Investigation of Online Consumer Tracking and Data Collection Practices
Press release, November 1, 2006: "The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG), two of the leading public-interest advocacy groups working on behalf of a more diverse and competitive online environment, filed a complaint today with the Federal Trade Commission, calling on the commission to undertake an immediate, formal investigation of online advertising practices. As the groups make clear in their 50-page filing (PDF), the data collection and interactive marketing system that is shaping the entire U.S. electronic marketplace is being built to aggressively track Internet users wherever they go, creating data profiles used in ever-more sophisticated and personalized "one-to-one" targeting schemes."
October 18, 2006
Microsoft Releases Privacy Guidelines for Developing Software Products and Services
Microsoft public version of extensive internal privacy guidelines for developers: "In response to requests from customers, partners, ISVs, educators, advocates, and regulators, we created a public set of privacy guidelines for developing software products and services. These guidelines are based on our internal guidelines and our experience incorporating privacy into the development process. By documenting our principles, we hope to help anyone building products and services to meet customer expectations and deliver a more trustworthy experience."
New AmLaw Tech Survey
AmLaw Tech Survey: Law Firms Play Variations on Old Themes - "The 11th annual survey finds firms expanding IT while adopting new versions of old standards."
Microsoft Releases Windows Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP
Press Release, October 18, 2006: "Microsoft Corp. today released to the public Windows® Internet Explorer® 7 for Windows XP, the latest version of the world’s most popular Web browser. Customers can upgrade and browse the Web with confidence knowing that the new browser provides a greater level of security, makes everyday tasks easier, and works well with the Web sites they visit."Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP Fact Sheet
Forrester Research - Internet Explorer: Just Do it - Oct. 12, 2006
WSJ free article, Microsoft Upgrades Internet Explorer -- But Not Much Is New, by Walt Mossberg
ComputerWorld review: Just Say Yes to Internet Explorer 7
Power users may not like it, but IE7's vastly improved features and security make it an essential upgrade
August 30, 2006
Joint Status Report on Microsoft's Compliance with the Final Judgments
Joint Status Report on Microsoft's Compliance with the Final Judgments - Aug 30, 2006.
June 28, 2006
Microsoft Launches Community Development Website
"Welcome to CodePlex, Microsoft's community development Web site. You can use CodePlex to create new projects to share with your fellow developers around the world, join others who have already started their own projects, or use the applications on this site and provide feedback."
June 20, 2006
The Battle for Search Engine Dominance Continues
The un-Google, June 15, 2006, from The Economist print edition (free online, if you view an advert first): "Google dominates the lucrative market for web-search, but its rivals [Microsoft, Ask, Yahoo] are setting out to change that." Most Microsoft Workers Search With Google - Do employees at Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google use their own search engines? Apparently, some do and some don't.
June 17, 2006
Microsoft Security Response Center Blog
Microsoft Security Response Center Blog
June 13, 2006
Treasury IG Audit of the Microsoft Consulting Services Contract
Department of the Treasury's Office of the Inspector General on Tax Administration Report: Invoice Audit of the Microsoft Consulting Services Contract - TIRNO-03-K-00191, June 2006 (30 pages, PDF).
May 15, 2006
Status Report on Microsoft Compliance With Final Judgments
Joint Status Report on Microsoft's Compliance with the Final Judgments - May 15, 2006 (25 pages, PDF)
April 17, 2006
Image Based Searching Using Cell Phone Photos
From Microsoft Research, Photo2Search: Explore the Real World via Camera Phone "Seeking information about something seen, a user takes a photo of the object and sends the photo, via e-mail or Multimedia Messaging Service, to a Web-based server, which searches an image database for matches. The server then delivers database information—whether it be a Web page featuring the object in the photo or information associated with the object—to the user, who can act on the information received: read a menu, enter a gallery, book a hotel room, make a purchase."
Menglei Jia, Xin Fan, Xing Xie, Mingjing Li, Wei-Ying Ma, Photo-to-Search: Using Camera Phones to Inquire of the Surrounding World, demo, The 7th International Conference on Mobile Data Management (MDM'06), Nara, Japan, May, 2006 (text not yet available).
March 20, 2006
Global Phishing Enforcement Initiative Launched By Microsoft
Press release: "Neil Holloway, president of Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), unveiled a global law enforcement campaign that will target cybercriminals behind phishing attacks. Microsoft Corp. announced that by the end of June 2006 it will have initiated legal actions on more than 100 cases in EMEA against individuals suspected of committing online fraud; 53 of these will have already started by the end of March 2006...The legal actions are linked to a larger Microsoft(R) program, the Global Phishing Enforcement Initiative (GPEI), launched by the company to coordinate and expand its many anti-phishing efforts worldwide to fight phishers through consumer protection, partnerships and prosecution."
February 22, 2006
Guide to Features in Latest IE7 Beta
Inside Look: Internet Explorer 7, Beta 2, by Wei-Meng Lee
February 21, 2006
New on LLRX.com
BMG Music v. Gonzalez, Matt Schruers and Jonathan Band
Job Swaps and Library Exchanges, by Katie Thomas
Got Competitive Intelligence? Tips, Tools, Techniques for the Savvy Marketer (PPT), by Donna Cavallini and Sabrina I. Pacifici
The Government Domain: FirstGov Becomes First in Government Search, by Peggy Garvin
E-Discovery Update - by Fios Inc. - Defining A Standard for Admitting Electronic Evidence at Trial, by Conrad J. Jacoby
CongressLine by GalleryWatch.com - The Earmark - Part 1, by Paul Jenks
Reference from Coast to Coast, by Jan Bissett and Margi Heinen
Faulkner's Practical Web Strategies for Attorneys - Maximize Your Browsing Experience: Toolbars, Bookmarklets, and Extensions, by Frederick L. Faulkner IV
The Tao of Law Librarianship: Do-It-Yourself Professional Development, Part II, by Connie Crosby
FOIA Facts: Chief FOIA Officers Named, by Scott A. Hodes
Burney's Legal Tech Reviews - The Almost Perfect Laptop Bag with...Accessories, by Brett Burney
After Hours - Chocolate Cornucopia, by Kathy Biehl
February 15, 2006
The Internet in China: A Tool for Freedom or Suppression?
House of Representatives Committee on International Relations, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations, February 15, 2006 Hearing, The Internet in China: A Tool for Freedom or Suppression?The Honorable Christopher H. Smith, The Honorable James A. Leach, Mr. James Keith, The Honorable David Gross, Mr. Michael Callahan (Senior VP & GC, Yahoo! - testimony in HTML), Mr. Jack Krumholtz (Microsoft), Elliot Schrage (VP, Google -- note, his testimony was posted on the Official Google blog in HTML), Mr. Mark Chandler (Senior VP and GC, Cisco Systems), Ms. Libby Liu (Radio Free Asia), Mr. Xiao Qiang, Ms. Lucie Morillon (Reporters Without Borders), Mr. Harry Wu, Ms. Sharon Hom
Related legislation from the House, introduced February 14, 2006: Global Online Freedom Act of 2006 (26 pages, PDF)
Links to statements and testimony below are in PDF:
New York Times, House Member Criticizes Internet Companies for Practices in China: "In a crowded House hearing room, Representative Christopher H. Smith, Republican of New Jersey, unleashed a scathing condemnation of four American Internet and technology companies — Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Cisco — for a "sickening collaboration" with the Chinese government and for "decapitating the voice of the dissidents" there."
Online Firms Facing Questions About Censoring Internet Searches in China
AP: Congress Chides 4 Companies Over China
UK Times Online: Google and Yahoo face their Congressional critics
From Danny O'Brien, Electronic Frontier Foundation, open letter to the Committee, A Code of Conduct for Internet Companies in Authoritarian Regimes, February 15, 2006: "In considering how these companies might construct their services to best serve global human rights, we believe that simple guidelines, consciously followed, could significantly limit the damage caused by corporate engagement with these regimes..."
BusinessWeek.com - The Web and China: Not So Simple - Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft say they face a stark choice: Conform to Beijing's edicts or quit the market. The truth is much more complicated
January-February 2006 Legal Affairs, The latest American technology helps the Chinese government and other repressive regimes clamp down, by Derek Bambauer, fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School
on domestic surveillance that was also the topic of discussion at the above referenced hearing today:
Declan McCullagh reports, "Under cross-examination during a congressional hearing, Yahoo's top lawyer refused on Wednesday to say whether the company opens its records for government surveillance without a court order." Declan's article includes an edited transcript of the exchange between Rep. Brad Sherman and Yahoo GC Michael Callahan on the NSA issue.
Also, Politicians lash out at tech firms over China, by Anne Broache and Declan McCullagh
Related postings on domestic surveillance
January 31, 2006
January 21, 2006
MSN Blog Post Explains Search Data Provided to DOJ
Following up on the news this week, Google Fights DOJ Order to Produce Records of Database Searches, this related posting Privacy and MSN Search states the the facts as follows:"Over the summer we were subpoenaed by the DOJ regarding a lawsuit. The subpoena requested that we produce data from our search service. We worked hard to scope the request to something that would be consistent with this principle. The applicable parties to the case received this data, and the parties agreed that the information specific to this case would remain confidential. Specifically, we produced a random sample of pages from our index and some aggregated query logs that listed queries and how often they occurred. Absolutely no personal data was involved."
Legislative reference: Child Online Protection Act
January 17, 2006
IE7 Has "Delete Browsing History" Feature
From the IE Blog, news that the upcoming IE7 will have a 'Delete Browsing History' feature that allows users to easily eliminate a range of information on their browsing activities, all from one menu. This information includes temporary Internet files, cookies, the history of websites most recently visited, form data, and passwords. Also note: "...if you're part of a domain in a corporate environment, an administrator has the ability to disable certain aspects of this feature."
December 24, 2005
Microsoft Announces Details of RSS Integration With Outlook
RSS Aggregation - Part 1: The Partnership
November 25, 2005
August 23, 2005
World Wide Web Consortium Supports Open Source Standards for Copyright Services
As a follow-up to my August 12, 2005 posting, Preregistration of Certain Unpublished Copyright Claims, these comments hand delivered to Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Copyright Office, by Tim Berners-Lee and Daniel J. Weitzner of the World Wide Web Consortium, document their oppositon to "the use of a single vendor's World Wide Web browser" to create and submit online forms to the Copyright Office.
August 17, 2005
August 15, 2005
Logo and Branding for New Version of IE Browser Debuts
Via the IEBlog, you may view the new logo and branding for the yet to be released IE 7. See also Exclusive: Why Microsoft Rebranded IE 7.0 as Windows IE 7.0
August 12, 2005
Preregistration of Certain Unpublished Copyright Claims
From the August 4, 2005 Federal Register: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking, Preregistration of Certain Unpublished Copyright Claims, Copyright Office, Library of Congress.Summary: The Copyright Office is supplementing its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on preregistration of copyright claims, issued July 22, 2005. That notice proposed procedures to preregister any unpublished work being prepared for commercial distribution that is in a class of works determined by the Register of Copyrights to have had a history of pre-release infringement. Today's notice seeks information as to whether persons filing the electronic-only preregistration form prescribed by the Copyright Office will experience difficulties if it is necessary to use Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser in order to preregister a work.
August 10, 2005
Preview of New IE Browser
A First Look at IE 7 (includes screen shots of new features)
Search in Beta 1
July 27, 2005
Microsoft Publishes New Anti-phishing White Paper
"The focus of this white paper is to describe the basic workings of a new capability, the Microsoft® Phishing Filter, that will be included in the upcoming release of Internet Explorer 7. The Microsoft Phishing Filter will not only help provide consumers with a dynamic system of warning and protection against potential phishing attacks, but — more important — it will also benefit legitimate ISPs and Web commerce site developers that want to try to ensure that their brands are not being 'spoofed' to propagate scams and that their legitimate outreach to customers is not confusing or misinterpreted by filtering software." [the document is in Word, and available at this Link]
July 25, 2005
Microsoft Security Guide for Small Business
Security Guide for Small Business - "This guide helps explain why security is important to your business and outlines steps to better security."
June 24, 2005
Microsoft Announces Its New OS and Browser Will Implement RSS
The Microsoft Development Center has extensive and detailed documentation on RSS implementation in Longhorn: "This paper describes RSS in the context of a vision for how web content is and will be consumed, explores opportunities enabled by incorporating RSS functionality into applications and outlines the Windows platform services that make this easy." See also RSS in Longhorn
May 16, 2005
Enhanced Version of MSN Search Toolbar Launched
Microsoft press release: Searching just got smarter with launch of MSN Search Toolbar with Windows Desktop Search:"The MSN® network of Internet services today launched the new MSN Search Toolbar with Windows® Desktop Search, a suite of tools that helps people rapidly search across the Web or their PC and provides easy access to world-leading MSN services. The final version of the MSN Search Toolbar includes free enhancements for Windows® 2000 and Windows XP customers, providing a dramatically upgraded desktop search experience. These new innovations for Windows customers will make it easier than ever to find and retrieve documents, e-mail, images, video and more on their Windows-based personal computers."
May 13, 2005
Microsoft Announces Comprehensive PC Security Subscription Service
Press release: Microsoft to Deliver Automated, All-in-One PC Health Service for ConsumersWindows OneCare Live: Coming Soon to Beta: "Windows OneCare is built specifically for people who don't have the time or technical expertise necessary to secure and manage a computer on a daily basis. It is a comprehensive PC health service that goes beyond security to take an integrated approach to help protect and care for your computer."
May 02, 2005
Security Experts Report on Critical Internet Vulnerabilities
Press release: "More than 600 new Internet security vulnerabilities were discovered during the first quarter of 2005, according to the SANS Institute and a team of experts from industry and government. This group has identified the most critical vulnerabilities disclosed in Q1 that pose critical risks that need to be addressed through patching and other defensive actions. Individuals and organizations that do not correct these problems face a heightened threat that remote, unauthorized hackers will take control of their computers and use them for identity theft, for industrial espionage, or for distributing spam.."See also from BusinessWeek.com, Probing Your PC's Weak Spots
March 11, 2005
Microsoft's Security Top 10 List
"Here at the Microsoft Security Response Center, we investigate thousands of security reports every year. In some cases, we find that a report describes a bona fide security vulnerability resulting from a flaw in one of our products; when this happens, we develop a patch as quickly as possible to correct the error. In other cases, the reported problems simply result from a mistake someone made in using the product. But many fall in between. They discuss real security problems, but the problems don't result from product flaws. Over the years, we've developed a list of issues like these, that we call the 10 Immutable Laws of Security. Don't hold your breath waiting for a patch that will protect you from the issues we'll discuss below. It isn't possible for Microsoft—or any software vendor—to "fix" them, because they result from the way computers work. But don't abandon all hope yet—sound judgment is the key to protecting yourself against these issues, and if you keep them in mind, you can significantly improve the security of your systems." [Link]
January 19, 2005
MSN Search Now Live, and My MSN Supports News Feeds
Microsoft is done beta testing MSN search, and it is now "offically" live.Related news about MSN - Really Simple Syndication: Getting Started, is a useful guide to implementing news feeds on the My MSN service.
See also MSN Removes Beta Tag from Search Site, which includes information on how this engine indexes content, as well as the implications of another major player in the battle for search engine dominance.
January 10, 2005
Comparison of Three Antispyware Tools
In this comparison of MS AntiSpyware vs Ad-Aware vs SpyBot, Microsoft's beta application receives high marks for form, features and function.
January 07, 2005
Microsoft Releases Free Beta Antispyware Software
Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta): Overview, includes a link to download.
Related news: From CNN, Microsoft offers free security program, and from PCWorld, Microsoft Sends Shivers Through Antivirus Market - "Release of anti-spyware tool, promise of virus removal software could spell trouble for antivirus software companies."
Update: January 13, 2005, Free Microsoft Program To Battle Spyware Has Some Serious Flaws, by Walter S. Mossberg.
December 27, 2004
The Growing Impact of Blogs in the Corporate Arena
Fortune.com has an extensive article on the slippery slope effect of relying on the "viral" linking aspect of blogs to promote products, as well as highlighting recent examples of the enormous impact of bloggers' responses to instances of what they perceive as corporate misdeeds and the marketing of faulty products.Related article from the New York Times: Marketing's Flip Side: The 'Determined Detractor'
December 13, 2004
Beta Version of MSN ToolBar Suite Available
Features include [See this link for more details]:Three search toolbars make searching quicker and easier
Desktop Search finds things on your computer, fast
Automatic form fill manages personal information and passwords
Pop-up Blocker prevents bothersome advertisements
Highlight helps skim through result pages
: Microsoft Launches Desktop Search
, Microsoft Enters Desktop Search Fray
, and Computer-scouring software rivals Google tool
September 28, 2004
Microsoft Announces Open Source Wiki Application
Thanks to Paige, who alerted me to this article with details about Microsoft's FlexWiki, a free, "experimental collaboration tool, based on WikiWiki.See also SourceForge.net's Project: FlexWiki: Summary, and Enter the World of the "Wiki"
August 18, 2004
New Listserv for SP2 Help and Related Resources
"EDUCAUSE has created a listserv for institutions to share experiences and advice about the impending Microsoft release of Service Pack 2 (SP2). Support and help desk staff, security officers, and others will be prime beneficiaries. You can subscribe to the listserv and access archives online."Related resources from Microsoft: Windows XP Service,
Pack 2 Resources for IT Professionals and Some programs seem to stop working after you install Windows XP Service Pack 2. See also What to Do When XP or 2000 Won't Boot.
Installing Windows XP Service Pack 2: One Librarian's Experience
July 07, 2004
Microsoft Weighs In On Corporate Blogging
The Four-Letter Word That Can Get People Excited About Your Products:"What do George Bush and John Kerry, IBM, and thousands of small businesses have in common? They all use a Web log—or "blog" for short—to reach potential customers and get them interested in their products. But not all do so with equal success."
July 06, 2004
Campaign Websites and the Politics of Open Source
Knowing Their Politics by the Software They Use. Democratic campaign party websites are using open source apps, and the Republicans are using Microsoft. See also Political Influentials Online in the 2004 Presidential Campaign, (56 pages, PDF), a study by GW's Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet.
June 11, 2004
USPTO Grants Order Challenging Patent on Operating System for File Names
From the Public Patent Foundation press release:"The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an Order granting the Public Patent Foundation's Request for Reexamination of Microsoft's patent on the FAT file system, which Microsoft concedes is "the ubiquitous format used for interchange of media between computers, and, since the advent of inexpensive, removable flash memory, also between digital devices." In its Order, the Patent Office found that PUBPAT's request raised "a substantial new question of patentability" regarding every claim of the patent."
For reference, see Patent Number 5,579,517 and from Microsoft's site, FAT File System Technology and Patent License, December 3, 2003.
June 10, 2004
Microsoft Adds RSS Feeds for IT Pros
The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) is now providing 22 RSS feeds for its developer centers. [therssweblog]
May 31, 2004
May 28, 2004
MSN Will Release New Search Tool
Microsoft to launch new search tool. According to CBS MarketWatch, the new application will be launched as a beta, and "allow users to search for files and information across their PCs, in e-mails, on the Internet and from other sources." See also Google Readies Launch of New Desktop Search Tool.
May 19, 2004
Google Readies Launch of New Desktop Search Tool
An article is today's New York Times describes the new, apparently free, search engine tool, code named "Puffin," that Google is preparing to introduce for use in locating files and text on your PC.
April 23, 2004
EU Ruling on Microsoft
The Commission of the European Communities decision, April 21, 2004, is 302 pages, pdf.
March 09, 2004
Microsoft Patent For Mouse Scroll Wheel
Patent 6,700,564 granted March 4, 2004 - Input device including a wheel assembly for scrolling an image in multiple directions:"Abstract: A computer input device having a housing and an engagable scroll wheel. The scroll wheel is rotatable about an axis to preferably cause vertical scrolling of an image on a display. The rotatable member is laterally movable relative to the housing. A sensor is preferably positioned within the housing for sensing lateral movement of the rotatable member. In response to sensed lateral movement of the rotatable member, the image is horizontally scrolled, preferably in the direction of the lateral movement."
February 18, 2004
Microsoft Statement on Downloading Leaked Source Code
From the statement: "Microsoft is sending letters explaining to individuals who have already downloaded the source code that such actions are in violation of the law. Additionally, Microsoft has instituted the use of alerts on several peer-to-peer clients where such illegal sharing of the source code has taken place. These alerts are designed to inform any user who conducts specific searches on these networks to locate and download the source code that such activity is illegal." [Link]
January 29, 2004
Microsoft Will Delay Browser Changes Related to Patent Dispute
An update on the Microsoft-Eolas patent dispute: Microsoft Holds Off on Eolas-Related Changes To Windows and Internet Explorer - "Microsoft Corp. today announced that it will not, for now, implement modifications to its Windows® operating system or Microsoft® Internet Explorer as a result of the Eolas patent lawsuit. Given the present legal status as well as requests made by partners and customers, Microsoft will, for the time being, not move ahead with the modest steps it intended to take to modify Windows and Internet Explorer as a result of the August jury decision in the Eolas patent lawsuit."
Critical New IE Flaw Will Be Addressed by Microsoft
Microsoft announced that an update will be forthcoming (no date provided) to patch a recently revealed IE 6 browser flaw that leaves users vulnerable to unintentionally downloading malware through files from websites that appear legitimate. A description of this flaw, as well as a demonstration of its application, is provided by the security company Secunia.
January 15, 2004
Microsoft to Appeal Browser Patent Decision
Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler is quoted in this Internet.com article in response to yesterday's patent infringement decision (1:99-cv-626), "We feel very good about our prospects on appeal. We remain steadfast in our belief that the Eolas patent is not valid. While the judge did not grant all our post trial motions, the court did accept some of our arguments and decided to stay the injunction pending our appeal."See also this November 2003 article from CNet: Patent office to re-examine Eolas patent
January 14, 2004
Browser Patent Claim Upheld Against Microsoft
This afternoon, Judge James B. Zagel, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago), refused to overturn a $521 million verdict against Microsoft, ruling in favor of Eolas Technologies Inc. in their web patent infringment dispute. The patent at issue is number 5,838,906, and is titled "Distributed hypermedia method for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document."See my previous posts on this case here.
December 18, 2003
Predictions That Cybercrime Will Increase in 2004
From the Washington Post, Online Financial Crime Headed From Bad to Worse. Worms, viruses and browser flaws will all continue to pose security risks for enterprise wide networks and home users alike in 2004. There are numerous web resources on these topics, and here are several to keep you current on the latest threats: Internet Storm Center, Symantec Security Response, the McAfee Security Virus Calender, and the CERT Coordination Center.
December 12, 2003
December 11, 2003
A Commentary on Whether the Patent Process is Broken
From the Washington Post's Jonathan Krim, this article Patenting Air or Protecting Property? reviews the growing criticism of the USPTO's patent process, and details the marked increase in lawsuits involving Internet-related technologies from companies that include high-profile Amazon, Microsoft, Blackberry, and eBay.
December 10, 2003
New Microsoft Patent for Writing Windows Apps Using HTML
TechDirt posted on a patent awarded by the USPTO to Microsoft yesterday for a "Method and apparatus for writing a windows application in HTML."See also Microsoft wins HTML application patent
November 18, 2003
MSN Newsbot Tested Around Europe
"Software giant Microsoft is testing its answer to Google's popular news aggregator and search site. "MSN Newsbot", on MSN UK, France, Spain and Italy, signals at least one of Microsoft's intentions as it seeks to build out its own search technology." [Link]
November 06, 2003
FTC Obtains TRO Against Company Using Pop-Up Ad Scam Scheme
The Federal Trade Commission issued a news release today on a temporary restraining order obtained from District Court, Northern District of Maryland against D Squared Solutions, a company that bombarded Windows Messenger service users with pop-up ads, whether or not consumers were on the web.Complaint for Injunctive and Other Equitable Relief
Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause
List of Web Sites Operated by D Squared and its Licensee
Ready to Pop Your Top Over "Pop Up Spam?" Here's How to Make it Stop
November 05, 2003
Microsoft Posts Bounty for Hackers
"Microsoft Corp. today announced the creation of the Anti-Virus Reward Program, initially funded with $5 million (U.S.), to help law enforcement agencies identify and bring to justice those who illegally release damaging worms, viruses and other types of malicious code on the Internet. Microsoft will provide the monetary rewards for information resulting in the arrest and conviction of those responsible for launching malicious viruses and worms on the Internet. Residents of any country are eligible for the reward, according to the laws of that country, because Internet viruses affect the Internet community worldwide." [Link]See also Q&A (with Hemanshu Nigam, Corporate Attorney, Microsoft Digital Integrity Group): Microsoft Establishes Anti-Virus Reward Program
November 04, 2003
Microsoft's New Digital Rights Management System
Microsoft's new Windows Server 2003 allows users to implement digital rights management applications for Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents as well as Outlook emails. [Link] See my previous posting on this new version here.Microsoft's press releases is here.
See also Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing White Paper, September 12, 2003.
October 31, 2003
Challenge to Browser Patent by Web Consortium
From the World Wide Web Consortium:"Acting on the advice of the W3C HTML Patent Advisory Group, W3C has presented the United States Patent and Trademark Office with prior art establishing that US Patent No. 5,838,906 (the '906 patent) is invalid. W3C Director Tim Berners-Lee has written an unprecedented request to US Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property James E. Rogan to take action to remove the patent to allow operation of the Web. Please refer to the briefing.
Google's IPO and Talks With Microsoft
Today's New York Times reported that Google seems intent on pursuing an IPO in early 2004 (with an offering of 10-15% of the company's stock), and that talks with Microsoft have not resulted in any form of agreement.
October 20, 2003
New MS Office Includes Self Destructing E-Mail Feature
The BBC reports that Microsoft Office 2003, available tomorrow, will include new e-mail privacy and security features, including the ability to designate specific readers, prevent message forwarding and printing, and a "time-stamp" which results in email deletion on a specified date.For more product details, see also Inside Office 2003, from PCWorld.com
October 17, 2003
Microsoft and USPS Partner on Postmark App
From the USPS:"Just click the USPS EPM icon in the Microsoft Word toolbar, apply a USPS EPM to your document (contract, letter, agreement), and sign. This gives your document tamper protection against fraud and the ability to verify document authenticity with a click of the USPS EPM signature block." Free for individual users who have Microsoft Office XP and Office 2003.
October 15, 2003
Microsoft Obtains Patent on Unique User IDs
United States Patent 6,632,248, Customization of network documents by accessing customization information on a server computer using uniquie (note: the word unique is misspelled in the patent document itself) user identifiers."The customization options may include a wide variety of information such as, for example, network addresses (e.g., URLs) of a user's favorite sites, types of news that the user wants to see, display information that determines how the information is presented to the user, stock ticker symbols for which the user wishes to receive stock quotes, or the city for which the user wishes to receive a weather report."
October 13, 2003
Microsoft Updates May Become Automatic
According to PCWorld.com, Microsoft may institute automatic security updates via a default option.
October 09, 2003
Victim of ID Theft Sues Microsoft
Hacker victim files lawsuit blaming Microsoft security:The President of TriCoast Studios, Marcy Levitas Hamilton, whose Social Security number was stolen by a hacker, contends that security flaws in Microsoft software are the basis of her complaint.
October 07, 2003
Microsoft and Amazon in New E-Commerce Collaboration
Microsoft Partners With Amazon:"The Amazon service will enable users to make purchases without launching a browser or leaving their Office document, presentation or email message. Users will also be able to take data from Amazon, such as book information for footnotes and bibliographies, and embed it in their documents."
October 06, 2003
Upcoming Changes to IE
Microsoft Confirms Changes to Windows, IE in Wake of Lawsuit:"On Monday, Microsoft verified that it will be making what it calls "modest" changes to Windows and Internet Explorer (IE) to meet the requirements of a jury verdict against it in the Eolas patent infringement case."
September 25, 2003
New Microsoft Office 2003
From the review:"E-mail fans (or slaves) will be delighted to learn that Microsoft Outlook has received a sensational and far-reaching overhaul. But among the big three - Word, Excel and PowerPoint - you'll find only a new, blue color scheme and a few other choice changes."
September 11, 2003
New Website on Enforcement of Microsoft Antitrust Judgments
This new website, launched today by the California Dept. of Justice, coordinator for the participating states attorneys general listed on the left side of the homepage, allows consumers to post anonymous, online complaints concerning Microsoft's "unlawful monopoly conduct."
September 02, 2003
In Wake of Patent Ruling, Microsoft Plans Changes to IE
IE Patent Loss Aftershocks Reverberate. This article indicates that in the wake of the recent $521 milllion patent verdict against Microsoft, the company will make unspecified changes to its IE browser.
August 18, 2003
Chinese Gov't To Eliminate Microsoft OS and Office
China blocks foreign software use in gov't:"A new policy by China's governing body the State Council will rule that all ministries have to buy only locally-produced software at the next upgrade cycle. The move, aimed at breaking the dominance of U.S.-based Microsoft on desktop computers, will eliminate Microsoft's Windows operating system and Office productivity suite from hundreds of thousands of Chinese government computers in a few years' time."
August 12, 2003
Microsoft Will Appeal $521M Patent Infringement Verdict
Microsoft loser in patent suit: $500 million verdict in Net case: "Microsoft was told by a jury to pay $521 million to the University of California and a Chicago-area company that claimed they invented technology used in the Internet Explorer browser."See United States Patent 5,838,906
Microsoft Statement on Eolas Technologies Jury Verdict - Aug. 11, 2003
August 03, 2003
Microsoft's Website Hit By DOS Attack
"Microsoft's Web site was made inaccessible for an hour and 40 minutes Friday afternoon when a denial-of-service attack overwhelmed the site with traffic, making it impossible for legitimate page requests to get through." [Link]
July 21, 2003
Microsoft Office 2003 to Feature Link to LexisNexis
From the LexisNexis press release: "LexisNexis will provide a legal research option on Microsoft’s new Research Task Pane featured in Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003, Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Office Excel 2003, Microsoft Office PowerPoint® 2003, and Microsoft Office Access 2003." (thanks Donna).
July 10, 2003
Microsoft Speech Server
Microsoft has released into beta testing its speech server and said it will launch a partner program for solution providers building speech applications.Microsoft's White Paper: Microsoft Speech Server, Enabling people to use speech as part of their everyday interactions with software and services whether they are using telephones, mobile devices, or PCs.
February 13, 2003
Microsoft Appeals Ruling to Include Java
Microsoft appealed to the 4th Circuit to reverse a lower court decision forcing the company to include Java programming language in new releases of Windows XP. See my previous posts on this issue here, here and here.
February 04, 2003
Microsoft Wins Stay from Fourth Circuit
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued an order (in PDF) granting stay of the District Court Order in Microsoft's ongoing battle against Sun Microsystems. This permits Microsoft to delay adding Java to updated versions of Windows XP. Microsoft's press release on this news is available here.
January 23, 2003
Microsoft Appeals District Court Order on Java
Not surprisingly, on January 22, Microsoft filed an emergency motion for a stay pending appeal with the 4th Circuit, of the January 21 order by U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz(Maryland) granting Sun Microsystems Inc.'s motion for preliminary injunction requiring Microsoft to add Java to its Windows OS within 120 days of the order.
January 21, 2003
Microsoft and Sun Deliver Agreement to Judge
On January 20, Microsoft and Sun delivered an agreement to Maryland U.S. District Court Judge J. Frederick Motz detailing how Microsoft would implement Java in its Windows OS, in accordance with the judge's order to do so within 120 days. See this Reuter's article for more details.
January 15, 2003
Microsoft Source Code Available to Governments
There are several reports today that Microsoft will release its source code to governments around the world in an attempt to stem the tide of their migration to open source operating systems such as the increasingly popular Linux. According to the Wall Street Journal, "Russia and NATO have already signed up for the Microsoft initiative."
However, the "Government Security Program" comes with various strings attached, and is primarily meant to support Microsoft's marketing efforts concerning the security and stability of its applications, and allow governments to test the various Windows platforms within their specific, secure environments.
January 13, 2003
Microsoft Settles With California
According to a press release from plaintiff's counsel Eugene Crew, Microsoft has agreed to a record settlement for a series of antitrust class action suits. California consumers and businesses will receive $1.1 billion for Microsoft products that they "purchased between Feb. 18, 1995, and Dec. 15, 2001, for use in the State of California." Payment will be in the form of vouchers, which may be used to purchase computers or software from any company.
See also Microsoft's resource page on the case here, which includes the Transcript of Microsoft News Teleconference on California Class Action Antitrust Settlement.