Interview: Microsoft's departing CFO John Connors recently talked with McKinsey about the thinking behind the company's cash payment to shareholders, its new approach to financial transparency, and its embrace of Sarbanes-Oxley.
Between the Lines
Larry Dignan and other IT industry experts, blogging at the intersection of business and technology, deliver daily news and analysis on vital enterprise trends.
Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic.
Andrew Nusca is a writer-editor for ZDNet, contributor to CNET and the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. In 2013, his coverage will focus on enterprise startups. He is based in New York.
Rachel King is a staff writer for ZDNet based in San Francisco.
Today, one of my students presented a paper in my graduate middleware class entitled Defense Enabling Using Advanced Middleware: An Example (PDF). The paper talks about various strategies for defending applications (rather than systems) from attack.
Employers who allow Internet access in the office now have the option of charging employees for personal bandwidth thanks to a new system developed by Exinda Networks. According to an article, the billing system allows a company to monitor exactly which Web sites are visited by each employee and how much bandwidth has been used.
In November, Sun announced--but didn't actually begin selling-- pay-as-you-go computing. Today, Sun is ramping up capacity and adding a high-end storage service costing $1 per gigabyte per month.
In issue #8 of ZDNet's IT Matters series of podcasts (download the MP3, or learn how to have them automatically downloaded while you're sleeping), Sun president and COO Jonathan Schwartz lays out his vision for utility computing, why Sun's $1-per-CPU-per-hour pricing has no choice but to trend down towards (maybe to 50 cents next year), why services built on utility grids will trend to be free, and why Google, Yahoo and eBay are examples of how we're actually already there.
Somewhere within Sun, the executives are saying "Whattayagotta do to get some respect around here? We give and give and give and they still want more.
Under a great deal of stress from all corners of the technology industry due to a structure and process that more closely resembles that of a club rather than an organization that can professionally lead and represent the interets of such a rapidly growing community, the Open Source Initiative has announced that it will restructure to meet the demands of a much more mature open source world.
On his Wi-Fi blog, Glenn Fleishman points to an article about the huge price disparity between wireless equipment for business and similar kits sold to the SOHO market. He offers this explanation: There is, of course, a price premium you pay for devices that handle VLAN switching, multiple broadcast SSIDs, and other enterprise-related features.
In response to my recent blog entry regarding Sun's OpenSolaris, its 1600 patents and whether they'll create a safer legal haven to which Linux developers will be drawn, the folks at Gentoo are disputing my characterization of their Portaris and Portage technologies as being Napster-like facilitators that can grease the wheels of open source license violation.
People are still talking about the recent news that the FBI's Virtual Case File system won't work after almost $170 million has been spent on it. A Wired News story has generalized the commentary to talk about government IT blunders.