Here's a quick survey of some of the Microsoft news from the past few days about which I didn't have a chance to blog over Thanksgiving weekend. On my short list: Yet more on the Office 'kill switch,' the latest theories on what's behind the Microsoft-Novell deal, and a couple of buried tidbits on Vista and U.S. antitrust scrutiny.
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Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley's blog covers the products, people and strategies that make Microsoft tick.
Mary Jo Foley
Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).
I had a chance to chat with some of these in-the-trenches developers over the past few weeks to get their feedback on what's working and what isn't with the .Net Framework 3.0 and Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005 Second Edition technologies.
It's now November 21, and both Microsoft and Novell are still spending an inordinate amount of energy trying to convince nonbelievers that their intentions in forming their interoperability alliance on November 2 were as altruistically pro-customer as they originally claimed.
My blogging colleague (and ZDNet editorial director) David Berlind sent me an interesting follow-up note on my call for Microsoft to show proof that Linux is infringing on Windows patents -- as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer alleged last week.
Buried in a Knowledge Base article that Microsoft published to the Web on November 14 are details of Microsoft's plans to combat Office 2007 piracy via new Office Genuine Advantage lockdowns.
If Linux really is in violation of Microsoft patents, as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said this week, I think Microsoft needs to show it and prove it by making some code snippets available for all to see.
It's not even November 30 (or January 30) yet. But Microsoft has made Windows Vista available for download to a substantial pool of individuals via the Microsoft Developer Network, TechNet Plus and Microsoft Connect.
It's surprising how little ink, virtual or otherwise, the "Voices for Innovation" (VFI) -- a Microsoft-supported group of partners and consumers who are "interested in promoting a positive technology agenda" -- has received.
Back to the name game. While names don't make a company cool or not, they can make a difference, even with geekier products like development tools. The Microsoft Expression tools team seems to understand that lesson quite well.
It seems like 'interoperability' is an easier pill for Microsoft to swallow when it's delivered in press releases than in real-world situations.