Channel Marker

July 25, 2007  8:57 AM

Another study shows end users’ lack of awareness

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

I have a friend who works for an IT help desk. A few weeks back, an employee called him up and asked — and I quote — “How do I use the Internet?”

Now, a new study by Trend Micro is confirming what most people (especially IT help desk employees) already knew: A lot of end users are clueless about the technology they work with daily.

This study specifically focused on Web threats — malware from the Internet that can install malicious software, steal sensitive information and use up a computer’s resources. Of the 1,600 end users who responded from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan, just 54% said they were aware of such threats. Germany had the most aware users at 63%, ahead of the U.K. (57%) and United States (54%). Only 43% of Japanese users said they were aware of Web threats, but Trend Micro said that data may be wrong because “Web threats,” as a phrase, “is difficult to translate into Japanese and is not often used.”

The results show that awareness of Web threats is “slowly” rising, Trend Micro said. The results also indicated that Web threats are the third most serious IT security issue, behind viruses and trojans. Other threats that received mention were pharming, phishing and spam. In a press release, Trend Micro’s anti-malware CTO, Raimund Genes, said Web threats are “perhaps the greatest challenge to protecting the privacy of personal information and the confidentiality of corporate information.”

As vendors are wont to do with these kinds of studies, Trend Micro uses these results to push the need for “a multi-layered, comprehensive set of techniques … to address the newest class of threats” — in this case, the Trend Micro Web Threat Protection Strategy product.

July 25, 2007  6:49 AM

Channel news: Firefox URL bug supports malware; Sun exec charges Microsoft with “patent terrorism”

Bcournoyer Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Mozilla confirms own URL handling bug ‘Turns out it’s a problem with Firefox as well.’ [TheReg]

Sun exec accuses Microsoft of ‘patent terrorism’ The efforts of Microsoft to pressure the Linux community over alleged and unspecified patents is akin to “patent terrorism”, according to Aussie executive for Sun Microsystems.

Near-feature-complete Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 due later this week Microsoft plans to deliver the Beta 2 bits of Visual Studio 2008 (“Orcas”) later this week, according to Scott Guthrie, General Manager of Microsoft’s Developer Division. Meanwhile, the Redmondians have delivered a first pre-alpha of IronRuby, Microsoft’s implementation of the Ruby dynamic language.<!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–> [All About Microsoft]

Continued »

July 24, 2007  2:02 PM

A chance for the channel to compete with RFID

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

The last few days have not been kind to radio frequency identification (RFID).

ABI Research reported today that Wi-Fi is “muscling in on RFID’s location-based services markets,” predicting that the market for Wi-Fi as a real-time location services (RTLS) provider will grow by more than 1300% over the next five years. That forecast came just four days after the managing director of Heavey RF, an Irish firm, issued his own report calling RFID “potentially one of the biggest technical blunders in history.”

The Heavey RF report says that RFID has a place in the market but will never fully live up to its hype because it is less reliable and cost effective than bar-coding. If you agree, that opens the door for a new technology in the RTLS market. Enter Wi-Fi, whose revenues in the market will increase from $59 million this year to $839 million in 2012, according to New York-based ABI.

“In the past, companies wishing to deploy RTLS had to buy proprietary RFID systems, inlcuding very expensive readers,” said Stan Schatt, ABI’s vice president and research director, in a statement. “But there is now such a large installed base of Wi-Fi equipment worldwide that Wi-Fi-based RTLS becomes cost effective for companies that had never considered it before.”

ABI recommends that vendors — including market leader Cisco and main competitors Aruba and Trapeze — work with channel partners who have RTLS experience to best take advantage of this new opportunity.

“It is a sophisticated solution that requires a knowledgeable reseller,” Schatt said.

ABI pointed out several benefits of Wi-Fi RTLS over RFID: Users that already have wireless networks don’t need to install extra cabling, and it utilizes specialized software to maximize its effectiveness. But there are also some problems with Wi-Fi RTLS compared to RFID, according to ABI: It’s “somewhat less accurate,” less secure and requires more wireless access points.

July 24, 2007  7:15 AM

Channel news: Hack exploits common coding error; HP buys 2 data pushers

Bcournoyer Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

New hacking technique exploits common programming error Researchers at Watchfire Inc. say they discovered a new technique that exploits a common dangling pointer error. []

H.P. making 2 purchases to push data Hewlett-Packard said it had agreed to pay $1.6 billion for software maker Opsware, giving a hefty payoff to Opsware founder, Marc Andreessen. [NYT]

Intel cuts desktop prices by up to 50% Aggressive 1333MHz FSB pricing strategy. [TheReg]

Continued »

July 23, 2007  7:06 AM

Channel news: New Symantec ‘bot tool; DoD records at risk; hack-for-sale market grows

Bcournoyer Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Symantec bats botnets with new tool Symantec hopes customers accept AntiBot as a complimentary layer to the company’s other security offerings. [eWEEK]

US service personnel at risk of ID theft Half a million people’s records sent unecrypted. [TheReg]

Dirty e-Deeds done dirt cheap Password stealers, keyloggers, customized Trojans—you name it, it’s for sale, and the ROI boggles the mind. [eWEEK]

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July 20, 2007  11:37 AM

Microsoft financial results show Office cloud success, potential of other strategies

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

After all the sturm und drang around Microsoft’s games and “software plus services” game plans at and after the Microsoft Worldwide Partners Conference last week, it still should come as no surprise to active Microsoft solution providers that the engine of the company’s growth and profit continues to be boring old Office and Windows.

All those billions cover a multitude of miscues. The $1-billion-plus-change charge Microsoft had to take on Xbox warranties for example.

The Microsoft Business Division (MDB) — home of Office — logged a hefty $3 billion in profit for the quarter ending June 30. That’s up from $2.5 billion for the year-ago period.

The client business, earned $2.8 billion for the period, up from $2.5 billion for the comparable quarter last year. Yikes.

Meanwhile, Entertainment and Devices, (games) lost $1.2 billion this quarter compared to a $423 million loss last year. Overall, Microsoft raked in nearly $4 billion in profits, compared to nearly $3.9 billion for the year-ago period.

One attendee of the recent Microsoft partner conference engaging in the “who will be the next CEO” game said that if people thought games-guy Robbie Bach could be a dark horse candidate, that billion-dollar write down might fix that, fast.

Meanwhile, speaking of Microsoft Business Division: That group now encompasses all the ERP and CRM products; so, with business apps all wrapped up with Office revenues, it’s gonna be tough to gauge the health of the ERP and CRM business going forward.

Also does anyone find it weird that Bob Muglia’s Server & Tools group is now in MBD? One former Microsoft exec says taking that from Kevin Johnson (president of the platforms and services division and former head of marketing and sales) frees the latter up to concentrate on executing the company’s search and advertising effort and make sure its purchase of online advertising agency aQuantive (another anti-Google tactic) bears fruit.

July 20, 2007  7:53 AM

Channel news: VMware/NetApp in cahoots; SAP sees boost in midmarket

badarrow Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

VMware and NetApp in cahoots? Network Appliance strives to tighten the integration of its software –particularly its snapshot capabilities — with VMware virtualization. [

SAP sees bright future in midmarket The company makes buoyant claims for its midmarket product, expected this fall. [eWEEK]

Bharosa to give Oracle users transaction security Oracle’s acquisition of Bharosa Inc. will fill a key hole in Oracle’s security lineup, according to experts. []

Microsoft’s profit rises despite Xbox charge Microsoft said it eked out a gain in net profit despite taking a $1 billion charge to pay for repairs to its Xbox 360 game consoles. [NYT]

New hires, datacenter investments evident in Microsoft earnings There are lots of meaty bits buried in the Microsoft Q4 2007 and year-end fiscal 2007 balance sheets — including the cost of rapidly growing headcount across various divisions, as well as the huge expense Microsoft is incurring to build out its datacenters to support its Live strategy. [All About Microsoft]

Oracle/SAP lawsuit fuels third-party maintenance argument The care and feeding of business software is a touchy topic. Now, a high-profile lawsuit forces the software maintenance issue to raise its ugly head — again.[]

Oracle vs. SAP lawsuit: Five questions answered Get answers to some common questions about Oracle’s lawsuit against SAP and its TomorrowNow third-party support division.[]

Cheap flash sinks SanDisk’s profits Misty margin-filled memories. [TheReg]

The desktop — time to say goodbye? When it comes to the corporate customer, desktops are still king, particularly because they’re the easiest and least expensive to upgrade with fast, power-hungry components. Yet one researcher predicts it will be five to seven years before only the “die-hard” desktop users are left. Is it time for you to make the switch? [Computerworld]

Apple ties Gateway for third in US PC shipments, looks to steal the bronze While many have criticized Apple for giving the iPhone more priority than the Mac, it looks like sales aren’t suffering because of it. Presumably due to the halo effect, Apple’s US PC shipments for Q2 of this year landed them in a tie with the once mighty Gateway in terms of market share. [Engadget]

July 19, 2007  7:34 AM

Channel news: Dell buys MSP ISV; court allows warrantless snoop

badarrow Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Dell Shakes up MSP market Michael Dell has been evaluating the managed services market for several months. Now, he’s finally making his move. Dell Inc. today acquired Silverback Technologies, an MSP platform provider. The deal shakes up the fiercely competitive MSP market and the channel. [TechIQ]

Court ruling allows government to snoop without warrant A controversial court ruling has attorneys and groups like the EFF up in arms. [DailyTech]

EMC, HDS kick off thin provisioning cage match EMC, trailing HDS with thin provisioning, is sniping at HDS’s offering. Meanwhile, users increasingly tune out the soap opera and look to emerging vendors for new features. []

Continued »

July 18, 2007  1:24 PM

Google adds paid SMB search to portfolio

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

To borrow from Ronald Reagan’s lexicon, there Google goes again.

Amping up its business push, the Web search giant on Tuesday unveiled a hosted search service tailored for SMBs.

Money text from the release: “Custom Search Business Edition starts at $100 a year for searching up to 5,000 pages, and extends to $500/year for up to 50,000 pages. Larger volumes of pages are supported through Google’s enterprise sales group.”

Nowhere is there mention of how anyone other than Google can make money off this offering, although Google in the past few years did garner some Microsoft SharePoint partners for its “for pay” search appliance effort.

Continued »

July 18, 2007  8:32 AM

Report: Server security best practices not followed

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

A new Forrester Research report predicts a lot of opportunity for VARs and integrators in the server security market. According to the report, “Best Practices: Server Operating System Security,” most IT managers fail to implement best practices in server patching, server hygiene and access control. Based on surveys with 137 firms, analyst Jennifer Albornoz Mulligan says these are the best practices they should be following:

Server patching: Plan how and when you will triage, apply, and validate new patches.

Server hygiene: Repeatedly check to ensure that server security options are set properly with tools and standardized methodologies.

Access control: Hire the best and brightest, but keep track of what they do and what they have access to.

Channel companies  should educate their customers on what they should be doing to keep their servers secure, then help them develop the right policies and deploy the right systems to enforce those policies. For more resources, check out’s project guide on Patch Management Services and SearchSystemsChannel’s all-in-one guide for Blade Server Resellers, which includes a section on security.

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