Channel Marker


August 27, 2007  7:20 AM

Channel news: Acer buys Gateway; IBM, Siemens take on Microsoft

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Taiwan’s Acer to buy Gateway, become No.3 PC maker Taiwan’s Acer said on Monday it will buy Gateway for $710 million, creating the world’s No.3 PC maker, as Acer doubles its presence in Gateway’s lucrative but highly competitive home market. [Reuters]

IBM Turns to Siemens for Help in Taking On New Microsoft Tools IBM last week announced that it will license parts of Siemens AG’s OpenScape software to add unified communications capabilities to its Sametime instant messaging and webconferencing software. Analysts said the move is an effort by IBM to bring Sametime, part of its Lotus Notes messaging and collaboration suite, up to par with Microsoft Corp.’s Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007. [Computerworld]

Microsoft WGA servers are fixed, but no word on what went wrong Microsoft has fixed whatever caused a massive worldwide outage of its Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) system that seemed to last just under 24 hours. So far, however, company officials aren’t commenting publicly on what happened. [All About Microsoft]

Continued »

August 26, 2007  11:52 AM

Ruh, roh: Windows Genuine Advantage goes belly up

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Just when you thought Microsoft might catch a PR break after public Google miscues, word leaks (erupts?) that its reviled  Windows Genuine Advantage service went belly up on Friday.  At that time Microsoft techs promised a fix by Tuesday.

You know WGA: It’s Microsoft’s big brothery way of checking your customers’ Windows bits and bytes to make sure they’re legal. It’s all about keeping everyone legit and happy. Yeah. Right.

The outage was addressed by early Saturday afternoon eastern time, but not before the you-know-what hit the fan. In a big way.

Engadget headline: “WGA servers down: Everyone’s a pirate today.”

ZDNet UK header: What’s Windows Genuine Advantage? Three days off work.”

Of course that one was written before Microsoft fixed the issue within a day. Is that what the company means about  “under promising and over delivering”?

Barbara Darrow, a Boston-area journalist, can be reached at badarrow@comcast.net


August 24, 2007  7:31 AM

Channel news: WinServer 2008 to get better power management; Sun becomes JAVA

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Microsoft details Windows Server 2008 power management features Windows Server 2008 will offer new power management features. Stephen Berard of Microsoft discusses their potential to reduce data center server energy consumption. [SearchDataCenter.com

Sun Microsystems to change ticker symbol to ‘JAVA’ Twenty-one years after going public, Sun decides to make an image change. [eWEEK]

Microsoft Office faces desktop applications challenge from Google, Sun Microsoft Office could have a viable desktop application alternative thanks to Google and Sun’s partnership to distribute StarOffice for free. [SearchITChannel.com]

Continued »


August 23, 2007  4:52 PM

Golden Google gets tarnished

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

It was bound to happen. Google, the maestro of sleek (i.e. non Microsoft-like) interfaces and Web applications and services, is starting to feel some pain.

Netcraft, picking up a report on the Blogger status page, reports that Blogger and Blogspot — Google sites both — were offline for an hour on Wednesday.

Google apologized “profusely.”

Mitigating factor: Google’s outed itself on its own site. Counter-mitigating factor: Given the gazillions of self-posters affected, this was probably pre-emptive PR. Nothing like ticking off a nation of navel-gazers.

It’s one thing for freebie services to crap out — even many bloggers have to agree that you get what you pay for. But, as Google pushes more and more into real-world business apps, the stakes change and so does the scrutiny.

You can practically smell the schadenfreude from Redmond. What company gets slammed more for outages, bugs, and hack attacks than Microsoft? And what company look more like an old fogey compared to Google’s glitz?

Now it’s time for Google to be measured for maturity.

And, some folks are also starting to wonder publicly if Google is really a good open-source netizen. It uses the stack but critics say it releases only a tiny portion of the enhancements it makes.

Money quote from The Register’s Ashlee Vance:

“Google has become the poster child for the software as a service (SaaS) abuse of open source software. The ad broker uses copious amounts of open code but gets around returning changes to “the community” by claiming it does not redistribute the code. Instead, Google simply places the software on servers and ships a service to consumers.”

Somewhere, someone in Redmond is smiling. Barbara Darrow, a Boston-area journalist, can be reached at badarrow@comcast.net .


August 23, 2007  7:07 AM

Channel news: Server shipments rise; Windows Live on mobiles; SAP preps Web-delivered apps

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Worldwide server shipments and revenues rose in second quarter of 2007 Worldwide server shipments for the second quarter of 2007 increased 2.7% over the same quarter last year, while worldwide server revenue for the same period climbed 5.1% according to Gartner. Worldwide server revenue totaled $13 billion for the quarter, as worldwide servers shipments reached just over 2 million units. [Tekrati]

Windows Live suite debuts … on cell phones If you dig into Microsoft’s newly minted Windows Live Services deal between the Redmond software maker and “the world’s largest mobile device manufacturer” Nokia, which the pair announced on August 22, it’s basically a deal to preload the promised Windows Live suite on Nokia phones. [All About Microsoft]

SAP to debut Web-delivered software line SAP AG said on Wednesday that it will release a line of business management software next month, featuring programs that are designed to be delivered to customers over the Internet. [Reuters]

Continued »


August 22, 2007  7:12 AM

Channel news: Microsoft preps Comm Server for Oct.; Dell laptops drop as Apple’s grow

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Microsoft news fuels Cisco rivalry Microsoft will officially launch its Office Live Communications Server 2007 on Oct.16. This product represents a heightened rivalry with Cisco, despite this week’s protestations of cooperative competition. [SearchITChannel.com]

Dell takes huge hit as Apple laptop sales soar ‘Halo effect’ generated by demand for iPhones has caused a transformation in Apple’s laptop sales [InfoWorld]

Dell’s SMB giveaways spook channel A flurry of Dell SMB service giveaways has potential channel partners concerned about the vendor’s motives as Dell launches a channel recruitment drive. [ChannelWeb]

Continued »


August 21, 2007  1:16 PM

Microsoft announcement at VoiceCon fuels Cisco rivalry

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

By Barbara Darrow

Never one to let an event go by without putting in its two cents, Microsoft said at VoiceCon today that six companies, including Intel, LG-Nortel, Polycom and Texas Instruments, are licensing its RT Audio Codec for use in their audio conferencing, gaming and wireless-over-IP wares.

The company also said it will officially launch its Office Live Communications Server 2007 on Oct.16 with Bill Gates and Jeff Raikes sharing the keynote honors.

This product — which melds VoIP, instant messaging and Web conferencing — represents a heightened rivalry with Cisco. Yesterday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Cisco CEO John Chambers talked up the need for their two companies to work well with others. Including each other. Interesting that they chose to make this disclosure the same day they chatted very publicly with PBS’ Charlie Rose.

But the fact that both companies will offer the same functionality means that partners with limited resources may feel the need to align with one or the other.

Given the huge reach of Microsoft and Cisco, it’s inevitable that the two would end up facing off. As a slew of Microsoft execs said at the company’s worldwide partner conference, the company will compete strongly with rivals where it can win business, but when the customer opts for a rival product, it must also promise — and deliver — good citizenship (e.g., interoperability with other wares in mixed environments). Thus, as always, parts of Microsoft compete with SAP, Oracle, Sony, IBM, insert-your-company-of-choice-or-the-free-and-open-software-movement here, while other parts of Microsoft will woo and support them.

Barbara Darrow, a Boston-area journalist, can be reached at badarrow@comcast.net.


August 21, 2007  12:56 PM

Symantec delays Virtual Security Appliance, VMware makes play

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Value-added resellers (VARs) who want to get into virtual security have a big decision to make: jump in now with one of the smaller vendors already in the market, or wait a while for the major players to join the party.

Symantec was supposed to be one of the first big-name vendors to enter the space by releasing its Virtual Security Appliance for Intel vPro next month. But the Cupertino, Calif. company just announced that it’s delaying the release date. A spokesman said today that Symantec plans to release the appliance as soon as possible, but other published reports say it won’t be out until the middle of 2008. The delay will give Symantec more time to address beta testers’ concerns and to add more open source support, the spokesman said.

VMware, the virtualization market leader, is also making a security play, according to our colleagues at SearchSecurity.com. The newly-public company has acquired Determina, a host-based intrusion prevention systems vendor, and is expected to take advantage of its Memory Firewall technology to protect virtualized operating systems and applications. Executive editor Dennis Fisher quotes a VMware executive as saying the acquisition will help “make our virtualization platform the safest place to run applications. VMware does not have plans to enter the security content subscription business. VMware maintains its commitment to working with the security partner community.”

Catbird Networks and Reflex Security both released virtual security products this year. You can read all about those offerings and what’s in store for the virtual security market in the SearchSecurityChannel.com story, “Smaller vendors kick off virtual security trend.”


August 21, 2007  7:33 AM

Channel news: Cisco, MSFT link on virtualization; backup reports add capacity plans

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Cisco, Microsoft discuss aligning virtualization efforts Cisco and Microsoft executives say their virtualization technology programs are complementary, not adversarial. [eWEEK]

Backup reporting expands to add capacity planning Aptare adds capacity planning for primary data storage to its product line, joining Symantec in recent attempts to broaden the appeal of reporting software.[SearchStorage.com]

Dell’s iSCSI assault revealed Dell is set to unveil a new iSCSI system called MD3000i. The unit will reportedly run on the same physical platform as the MD3000, which is Dell’s direct attached SAS device. At launch, the MD3000i will only support 400GB SAS drives. By November, however, the product should have 750GB SATA drives available. [TheReg]

Continued »


August 20, 2007  10:42 AM

Big deal hits in not-so-quiet August

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

It was some August for industry watchers. While many of us were at the beach, there was a lot of moving and shaking going on.

Witness Citrix’ half-a-billion-dollar buyout of Xensource, the virtualization paragon. See this blog for an interesting examination.

The two companies and their mutual sometimes ally Microsoft clearly plan a mutual counterattack on newly public VMWare,

The big logistical question here, other than the product amalgamation issues, is if and how the two companies’ partner channels will come together.

Early on, Citrix won plaudits for its partner programs. Of late, however, many partners complain about over distribution leading to thin margins. Xensource partners are watching that with some concern.

And now, with virtualization clearly a prize, all eyes will turn on other players— Virtual Iron, SWsoft.

Barbara Darrow, a Boston-area journalist, can be reached at badarrow@comcast.net


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