Archive for August 2008

Microsoft and IE: losing browser market share or just losing it?

Microsoft announced the release of Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 this week. The new version brings the promise of a new era in online productivity and W3C compliant web browsing. However, the second beta, which supposedly is an improvement on the first, also came a couple of caveats.

First, if you have Windows XP SP3, in order to install IE8 Beta 2, you must first uninstall beta 1. In order to uninstall beta 1, you must first uninstall SP3, remove beta 1 and reinstall SP3. If you install beta 2 with Windows XP SP3, you won’t be able to uninstall either the service pack or the browser. According to a statement posted on the IEBlog by Microsoft Program Manager Jane Maliouta,  the installation becomes permanent. You can upgrade to later builds of IE 8 but you won’t be able to remove the browser or SP3.

Second, as listed in the release notes, Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 has known compatibility issues with numerous applications, both third-party and Microsoft. Apparently some of these issues existed in the first beta as well, including a major incompatibility with one of Microsoft’s own applications, Visual Studio .NET 7.

When software reaches beta it is usually theoretically in a state where major bugs are addressed and the software is only a step or two away from production. When the software is in beta, it usually means it is ready for usability testing in a real-world environment. Normally a browser application wouldn’t necessarily need such serious scrutiny for compatibility with other independent applications. But this is IE, which, once installed, becomes embedded with Windows.

The inability to be uninstalled in its native OS without practically reinstalling the OS itself (once SP3 is installed it becomes part of the OS) and the issues it has with at least two of Microsoft’s own applications are serious issues. Many software companies would consider such major bugs as software still in alpha, not beta and would take the time to fix them. Mozilla is one example of a company that does this.

The fact that Microsoft was fully aware of these issues when it was in beta 1 and still released them in beta 2 instead of addressing them first tells me that they are rushing to release instead of ensuring stability for beta testing.

Remember, this is the second beta. Theoretically the second beta addresses the bugs found by testers of the first beta. Yet these major bugs purportedly exist in beta 2 as well.  What other bugs were not fixed? Ask other beta testers if they want to waste their time logging the same bugs in beta 2 they logged in beta 1. Given this scenario from their point of view, how productive is that?

So, if IE8 beta has so many issues, why even beta test it? I mean, after all, this is a mega giant software company, the largest and most powerful software company in the world. They created this thing called IE8. It’s their little monster. They can essentially write the code to  make it do what they want.

Are they that lazy that it is just easier to release it with a disclaimer than to just make it work right to begin with? Or are they in such a hurry to get it to market and stop the leak in market share to Firefox that they just don’t have the time to bother with it?

It may be a little of both, however I contend it is the latter. Given their rush to market with Vista I surmise this is becoming their modus operandi. Apparently they didn’t learn anything from the Vista launch.

Microsoft is losing market share in the browser arena, confidence in the operating system market, trust among the developers and credibility overall.

In other words, I think Microsoft is losing it.

 

 

Sitepoint

 

Microsoft releases IE8 beta 2

(TheForceField.Net) August 29, 2008 — Microsoft released beta 2 of Internet Explorer 8  Wednesday. The new version of the official Windows web browser includes new features and enhancements as well as improvements in security.

According to Microsoft's web site, new features in IE 8 include Web Slices, which allows you to monitor updates of specific content on web pages; InPrivate Browsing, a feature which lets you prevent sites from being recorded in your history and temporary Internet files; color coded tabbed browsing and an a new enhanced address bar.

New security features include Smartscreen Filter, which flags malicious websites and Compatibility View, a feature that allows you to view web pages originally created for older browsers, particularly earlier versions of Internet Explorer.

The new web browser will be compatible with Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista and will be released in 32-bit and 64-bit versions for Server 2003 and Vista.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 is free to download and is available at  http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/beta/default.aspx

 

 

ChangeWave Survey Shows Grim IT Spending Overall — But Apple Boosts iPhone Share Among Businesses

ChangeWave's latest IT purchasing survey shows another pullback occurring in corporate spending — both for the current quarter so far and for the next 90 days going forward. At the same time, the Apple iPhone is beginning to gain traction in the corporate marketplace even as RIM maintains a big market share lead.

Rockville, MD (PRWEB) August 28, 2008 — ChangeWave's latest IT purchasing survey shows the downturn in the U.S. economy is far from over, as an even greater pullback is taking place in corporate spending. At the same time, the Apple iPhone is beginning to gain traction in the corporate marketplace even as RIM maintains a big market share lead.

A total of 1,947 respondents involved with IT spending in their organization participated in the study, conducted August 11-21, 2008.

The survey first asked respondents if their 3rd Quarter IT spending was on track to date, and the results were the worst we've seen in a ChangeWave survey. Three-in-ten (30%) say they've spent "Less than Planned" — 3-pts worse than the previous May survey. Just 12% say they've spent "More than Planned." Detailed charts on corporate IT spending and smart phone trends, along with additional ChangeWave findings can be downloaded at changewave.com/corporate.

Visibility Going Forward — A Picture of Negative Growth:

Looking ahead, the results are correspondingly grim, with 29% saying their company's IT spending will decrease (or there will be no spending at all) in the 4th Quarter — 5-pts worse than the previous survey. At the same time, just 13% say spending will increase — a drop of 2-pts from previously.

 

Increase vs. Decrease in IT Budgets
Increase vs. Decrease in IT Budgets

"The brief period of stabilization picked up in our May survey has given way to another major leg downward," said Tobin Smith, founder of ChangeWave and editor of ChangeWave Investing. "You have to go way back to the middle of the last recession (August 2001) to find a ChangeWave survey projecting this big of an IT spending downturn."

In terms of the impact of energy costs, better than a third of respondents (35%) reported high prices were affecting their company's IT spending plans for second half 2008, 1-pt worse than previously. Almost as importantly, one-in-four (25%) say the looming U.S. presidential election is having an impact on their company's IT spending decisions.

This supports the thesis that corporate America has currently placed a considerable percentage of spending decisions on hold, at least till after the November elections — perhaps longer.

When we asked respondents exactly when they thought IT spending would pick up in their company, a robust 39% said not until at least the 2nd Quarter of 2009 or later.

Corporate Smart Phones: Research In Motion Holds its Lead:
In the same survey ChangeWave also focused on corporate smart phone buying, and here Research in Motion (RIMM) (79%) continues to overshadow its two main competitors in terms of planned 4th Quarter purchases — but note that it's down a full 3-pts from the record high registered in May.

(See attached chart – Corporate Market: RIM vs. Palm vs. Apple)

ChangeWave also picked up weaker visibility for RIM in its most recent consumer smart phone survey (June 2008). Thus, at least momentarily, RIM appears to be confronted with visibility issues on both the consumer and corporate fronts.

Rival Apple (AAPL) (17%) continues to show considerable momentum in terms of planned corporate smart phone purchases — up 4-pts from previously. Note that recent ChangeWave Consumer surveys have shown the 3G iPhone having a huge impact on consumer demand, the current results show the iPhone is beginning to gain real traction in the Corporate market as well.

In yet another positive for Apple, 19% of respondents report the release of the 3G iPhone has made their company More Likely to purchase Apple products in the future — only 1% say Less Likely. Thus, the 3G iPhone release appears to be having a positive 'halo effect' in terms of improved overall corporate purchasing intentions for Apple products in general.

To sign-up for real time email alerts from ChangeWave on IT spending and smart phone trends, visit changewave.com/hotwire.

About ChangeWave:
ChangeWave runs a proprietary network of more than 15,000 highly qualified business, technology, and medical professionals in leading companies of select industries – credentialed experts who spend their everyday lives working on the frontline of technological change. ChangeWave surveys its members on a range of business and investment research topics, collects feedback from them electronically, and converts the information into quantitative and qualitative reports. For more information, visit changewave.com.

For questions, contact Darlene March: darlene @ changewave.com

Astronauts discover malware in space

Think you can escape the evil of malware infestations by leaving the planet? Think again. Malware can be found anywhere now, even in space.

Computerworld posted an article today revealing that astronauts on board the International Space Station discovered it on one of their laptops, and according to NASA, apparently it is not the first time.

The malware was allegedly identified as W32.Gammima.AG by SpaceRef.com. it was discovered by Russian astronaut Sergey Volkov last month. Volkov was scanning flash cards for viruses on a Russian laptop when the worm was found. According to the International Space Station Daily Report for Friday August 22, NASA reported the space agency uploaded Norton AntiVirus to the space station the day before to install on the laptop and remove the malware. “All A31p laptops onboard are currently being loaded with latest NAV software and updated definition files for increased protection”, NASA said in the report.

Of course, the worm didn’t originate off-world, it was carried up there, but that makes it all the scarier. The simple truth is that when it comes to avoiding badware, there really is no escape. 

There is a lot more we can say about it all, but the only thing I really want to know is this. Why Norton? Surely NASA could do better than that. No wonder we haven’t sent a man to Mars yet. I know NASA is on a budget and they are not exactly in the anti-malware business, but Norton? Sheesh. I hope it wasn’t the trial version.

Then again, if they are using Norton, that means they are also probably using Windows. Hmm.

On second thought, Is this something we really want to know?

 

 

Myfax Free Trial

 

 

Episode 25 – The Story of OnForce Part 2

This week we will continue our discussion with Jeffrey Leventhal, an entrepreneur who founded the OnForce platform and learn how he started the company. Part 2 of a two part series.

TechPodcasts Promo Tag :10
Intro 1:17
Billboard :43

News and Comment segment 4:51
Mozilla announced the winners of the Extend Firefox 3 contest. The competition, held between March and July, was intended to encourage developers to create add-ons for the new Firefox 3 web browser released June 17. You can find the details of the contest and list of winners at http://blog.mozilla.com/extendfirefox.

System Management News reports that recent outages in Amazon’s S3 online data storage services and Apple’s MobileMe, have raised concerns about the stability of cloud computing.

You can read the article in the August 15 issue of System Management News. A single issue of System Management News is $9.95 but a subscription is free to professionals who qualify. if you are an IT professional and would like a free subscription to System Management News you can subscribe at http://theforcefield.tradepub.com/free/smns or simply click on the link in the show notes in the RSS feed for this episode.

Microsoft has signed on comedian Jerry Seinfeld to star in a series of commercials beginning September 4. Redmond reportedly signed Seinfeld to a contract worth $10 million to appear with Bill Gates in a campaign to sell Windows Vista.

Commercial Break 1:00
Get Great Web Hosting at GoDaddy.com and save 10%! GoDaddy.com 1:00

Intro to Interview 1:48
This week we’re going to continue our discussion with Jeff and hear more about the early days of OnForce, Inc. We’ll discuss the OnForce forums and how they helped influence the direction of platform after it was launched, learn why he decided to step down as CEO and find out where he thinks OnForce ranks among his accomplishments as an entrepreneur. Part two of a two part story.

Jeff Leventhal Interview 19:05

Wrap up and Close :46

©2008 Savoia Computer. All rights reserved.

Episode 25 – The Story of OnForce Part 2

This week we will continue our discussion with Jeffrey Leventhal, an entrepreneur who founded the OnForce platform and learn how he started the company. Part 2 of a two part series.

TechPodcasts Promo Tag :10
Intro 1:17
Billboard :43

News and Comment segment 4:51
Mozilla announced the winners of the Extend Firefox 3 contest. The competition, held between March and July, was intended to encourage developers to create add-ons for the new Firefox 3 web browser released June 17. You can find the details of the contest and list of winners at http://blog.mozilla.com/extendfirefox.

System Management News reports that recent outages in Amazon’s S3 online data storage services and Apple’s MobileMe, have raised concerns about the stability of cloud computing.

You can read the article in the August 15 issue of System Management News. A single issue of System Management News is $9.95 but a subscription is free to professionals who qualify. if you are an IT professional and would like a free subscription to System Management News you can subscribe at http://theforcefield.tradepub.com/free/smns or simply click on the link in the show notes in the RSS feed for this episode.

Microsoft has signed on comedian Jerry Seinfeld to star in a series of commercials beginning September 4. Redmond reportedly signed Seinfeld to a contract worth $10 million to appear with Bill Gates in a campaign to sell Windows Vista.

Commercial Break 1:00
Get Great Web Hosting at GoDaddy.com and save 10%! GoDaddy.com 1:00

Intro to Interview 1:48
This week we’re going to continue our discussion with Jeff and hear more about the early days of OnForce, Inc. We’ll discuss the OnForce forums and how they helped influence the direction of platform after it was launched, learn why he decided to step down as CEO and find out where he thinks OnForce ranks among his accomplishments as an entrepreneur. Part two of a two part story.

Jeff Leventhal Interview 19:05

Wrap up and Close :46

©2008 Savoia Computer. All rights reserved.

 

 

http://media.techpodcasts.com/theforcefield/media.libsyn.com/media/theforcefield/The_Force_Field_25.mp3

Mozilla announces winners of Extend Firefox 3 contest

(TheForceField.Net ) August 22, 2008 — Mozilla announced the winners of the Extend Firefox 3 contest. The competition, held between March and July, was held to encourage developers to create add-ons for the new Firefox 3 web browser released last month. Categories included Best New Add-On, Best Updated Add-On and Best Music Add-On.

The winners of Best New Add-On included Pencil, an open source GUI prototyping and drawing tool, Tagmarks, which allows a user to add icons to bookmarks and HandyTag, a tool that provides keywords to bookmarks.

Grand prize for Best Updated Add-ons went to Read It Later, which allows a user to save pages for reading offline, TagSifter, a tag and bookmark organizer and Bookmark Previews, which allows a user to preview bookmarked pages.

Best Music Add-On went to Fire.fm, a tool that allows a user to listen to music on Last.fm. You can find the details of the contest and list of winners at http://blog.mozilla.com/extendfirefox .

Check Point To Offer ZoneAlarm ForceField Free On Patch Tuesday

(TheForceField.Net ) August 12,2008 — Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. announced yesterday that they would give away copies of its ZoneAlarm ForceField security application to the public for one day only on Patch Tuesday, the day Microsoft releases its monthly patches and security updates for Windows.

Beginning August 12 at 9 AM EDT Check Point will make full licensed versions of ZoneAlarm ForceField available for download on its web site. The promotion will last for a 24 hour period to conclude at 9 AM EDT Wednesday August 13.

In a press release yesterday  Laura Yecies, vice president and general manager for Check Point’s ZoneAlarm consumer division explained the promotion. “We wanted to emphasize the importance of putting a series of safety practices into place when consumers surf the Web,” Yecies said. “Keeping patches up-to-date is vital for maintaining optimal Web security—but is not enough—which is why employing a browser security solution such as ZoneAlarm ForceField is critical.”

The free promotion will include a full license for one year and is limited to one download per user. The application is available at www.zonealarm.com/patchtuesday .

 

Security Source

Episode 24 – The Story of OnForce Part 1

This week we’re going to talk to Jeffrey Leventhal, an entrepreneur who founded the OnForce platform and learn how he started the company. Part 1 of a two part series.

TechPodcasts Promo Tag :10
Intro 1:17
Billboard 1:52

News and Comment segment 4:51
Microsoft has announced the release of SQL Server 2008. The RTM is now available for download at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/default.aspx.

System Management News reports that IT jobs are alive, well and growing strong, according to a new survey by the American Electronics Association.

You can read the article in the August 1 issue of System Management News. A single issue of System Management News is $9.95 but a subscription is free to professionals who qualify. if you are an IT professional and would like a free subscription to System Management News you can subscribe at http://theforcefield.tradepub.com/free/smns or simply click on the link in the show notes in the RSS feed for this episode.

Late last month a Superior Court Judge in Alameda County ruled that cell phone carriers that charged customers early termination fees for canceling their contracts did so in violation of state law.

Commercial Break 1:00
Alternageek Podcast Promo :30

CS Techcast promo :30

Intro to Interview 2:53
This week we’re going to talk with entrepreneur Jeffrey Leventhal, founder and first CEO of OnForce, Inc. We will learn how he came up with the idea for OnForce, find out how long it took him and his team to develop the platform and hear how it first went live. Part one of a two part story.

Jeff Leventhal Interview 15:40

Wrap up and Close 1:14

©2008 Savoia Computer. All rights reserved.

Episode 24 – The Story of OnForce Part 1

This week we're going to talk to Jeffrey Leventhal, an entrepreneur who founded the OnForce platform and learn how he started the company. Part 1 of a two part series.

TechPodcasts Promo Tag :10
Intro 1:17
Billboard 1:52

News and Comment segment 4:51
Microsoft has announced the release of SQL Server 2008. The RTM is now available for download at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/default.aspx.

System Management News reports that IT jobs are alive, well and growing strong, according to a new survey by the American Electronics Association.

You can read the article in the August 1 issue of System Management News. A single issue of System Management News is $9.95 but a subscription is free to professionals who qualify. if you are an IT professional and would like a free subscription to System Management News you can subscribe at http://theforcefield.tradepub.com/free/smns or simply click on the link in the show notes in the RSS feed for this episode.

Late last month a Superior Court Judge in Alameda County ruled that cell phone carriers that charged customers early termination fees for canceling their contracts did so in violation of state law.

Commercial Break 1:00
Alternageek Podcast Promo :30

CS Techcast promo :30

Intro to Interview 2:53
This week we're going to talk with entrepreneur Jeffrey Leventhal, founder and first CEO of OnForce, Inc. We will learn how he came up with the idea for OnForce, find out how long it took him and his team to develop the platform and hear how it first went live. Part one of a two part story.

Jeff Leventhal Interview 15:40

Wrap up and Close 1:14

©2008 Savoia Computer. All rights reserved.

 

http://media.techpodcasts.com/theforcefield/media.libsyn.com/media/theforcefield/The_Force_Field_24.mp3

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