IE8 already, more Vista delays, big holiday gadget budgets, WinTel/AppTel to usurp living rooms, and Zillow under the tree?

Summary:IE8 already? Internet Explorer 7 is hardly out the door (in fact, Secunia has already found a second vulnerability in the newly-released browser) and Microsoft is already dropping hints about IE8, also known as IE Next, according to Mary Jo Foley.

IE8 already? Internet Explorer 7 is hardly out the door (in fact, Secunia has already found a second vulnerability in the newly-released browser) and Microsoft is already dropping hints about IE8, also known as IE Next, according to Mary Jo Foley.With IE 7 finally out the door, Microsoft has begun sharing some hints about IE 8.0, also known as IE Next. Chris Wilson, the newly minted platform architect for IE, addressed the Ajax Experience crowd this week and presented some of his thinking on what matters for the Web, going forward. 

Microsoft also has its sites set on more near term stuff. For example, getting Vista out the door. Apparently, there's a new flaw in the release candidate of Vista that crashes the operating system so badly that it has to be reinstalled. ComputerWorld is reporting that the bug has caused Microsoft to delay Vista's release to manufacturing (RTM) until November 8. The continued delays have caused Microsoft to issue upgrade coupons to holiday system buyers. But regarding those coupons, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes says "Microsoft has taken what should be relatively easy and made it far too complicated by handing too much control over to the PC vendors (a list which includes Acer, Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Sony, Toshiba …)."

With the holiday season already here, Ed Bott asks "Who’s got the best seat in the digital living room? Bott says (and I agree) that a lot of hardware and software companies, including Microsoft, are betting big bucks that they can take over the living room and be your hub for digital media. Just yesterday, I was having this discussion with someone else.

The three companies most focused on this goal -- because it probably represents the hottest growth area for them -- are Microsoft, Apple, and their primary hardware backer Intel. All three are deadset on moving in on the household names that have traditionally "owned" the home entertainment center. What's their secret weapon? Their proprietary digital rights management technologies. As people acquire more of their content (video and audio) from sources like the iTunes Music Store (iTMS) that only serve up copy-protected versions of that content, the merchants who run those sources (like Apple and Microsoft) get to decide where that content will work, and where it won't. It's no coincidence that Apple's forthcoming iTV can playback iTMS-purchased content while a Motorola set-top box (or any of the other gear in your home entertainment center) can't. My problem? Computing gear has never been very good at hardcore audiophile stuff like amplification and it probably never will (or your computer will wiegh about 150 pounds).

Speaking of the holidays, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes points out that we'll be parting with about $21 billion over the next few months and that the average consumer will drop $195 on consumer electronics alone. Of course, you and I not average. What’s on your holiday wish list? I want a pair of bluetooth enabled Oakley's with interchangeable Rx lenses. How does what you want compare with what other people are most likely to buy?

Another question: Where will you be doing most of your buying? Within the next few weeks, I'm relatively certain the boxes from Amazon (the ones I have to cut down to size for recycling) are going to start showing up. That's where my wife does most of her holiday shopping.  But Donna Bogatin points out that prying eyes are trying to unlock the secrets of successful outfits like Amazon.  She says the commerce giant wants to stop Google's mission to snare direct competitors into revealing confidential, proprietary details of competitive operations to the "do no evil" Google.

Meanwhile, Russell Shaw thinks that Zillow (yes, the entire company) is going to end up under someone's Christmas tree on relatively short order. Russell notes that there are several likely suitors of the red-hot real-estate information site and points out which of them would make for a perfect marriage. Can you guess (Hint: It's not eBay or Amazon.)

Topics: Microsoft


David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

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