Channel Marker

August 31, 2007  10:21 AM

Channel news: Microsoft monopoly news; EMC buys VAR

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Microsoft Still a Monopoly, 7 State Attorneys Say Seven states are pushing back against the Department of Justice’s assessment that the landmark antitrust settlement between the United States and Microsoft has removed the anticompetitive obstacles created by the software maker and resulted in more competition in the middleware market. [eWeek]

EMC Buys VAR, Beefs Up Services EMC has acquired its fourth solution provider in under two years with an aim to beefing up its services business, but it says other solution providers should not be concerned the company is lessening its channel focus. [ChannelWeb]

Monster data theft also hit U.S. job site About 146,000 people using a U.S. government jobs Web site had their personal information stolen by hackers who broke into computers at Monster Worldwide, a government spokesman said on Thursday. [CNET]

Microsoft third-party licensing and activation server set to RTM In July, Microsoft announced its intentions to deliver a number of licensing technologies to third-party vendors interesting in deploying Microsoft-like activation and licensing in their products. One of those components, the Software Licensing and Protection Server (SLP), is likely to be released to manufacturing (RTM) on August 31, according to a Microsoft blog entry by a member of the SLP team. [All About Microsoft]

Cisco Turns to Trend Micro for Router Security Cisco Systems Thursday unveiled plans to add content security services to its routers via an extended partnership with Trend Micro. [ChannelWeb]

Sun seeks developer help to make Solaris ubiquitous Sun Microsystems Inc. has ambitious plans for the commercial and open-source versions of its Solaris operating system, hoping to achieve for Solaris the kind of ubiquity already enjoyed by Java. [Computerworld]

Sony pleads innocent in latest rootkit fiasco Sony claims the rootkit-like behavior of a device driver used to run its biometric Micro Vault USM-F thumb drive was unintentional. [CNET]

I.B.M. Researchers Advancing Computer Processing Ability Researchers at I.B.M. laboratories say they have made progress toward storing information and computing at the level of individual atoms. [New York Times]

August 31, 2007  9:38 AM

Microsoft’s slow-motion train wreck

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Microsoft’s acknowledgement this week that Windows Server 2008 (Longhorn) won’t   release to manufacturing till early next year  surprised very few people.

The company started the RTM/ship wiggle last year when the official word went from the server would be generally available by year’s end to the server would be released to manufacturing by year’s end.

Anyone who’s watched the company for more than a month knows that’s the beginning of the drip, drip, drip of a bad news being prepped and leaked bit by bit. Only it’s not really bad news for customers, who hate upgrades. It is, however, bad news for beleaguered Microsoft partners who always want new bits to sell and may be sick of talking about upcoming wares to customers only to not have anything new to sell or implement.

Face it, the Longhorn launch has been a slow-motion train wreck going back well on four  years. Remember all the PDC 2003 promises? Microsoft hopes you don’t.

Since that time the promised WinFS storage-unification-extravaganza has been promised, repromised, nuked, and reborn as a more incremental vision; the server and client were split up, the client ended up as a big-fat-tub-o’-goo albeit with a nice interface. And the server? Well the server still ain’t here.

One long-time New York area database-and-tools partner sounds weary when he discusses it. He chalks the mega-if-phantom launches to marketing realities. “They need to get the most out of their marketing buck,” says he. Who really cares if what they’re trying to market has been discussed to death for the previous three years? (Ok, that last bit is from me.)

The really funny thing is that, as some expectedthe company may actually have very little to launch at its super-duper-mega-big-bang launch February 27.

Back in July, COO Kevin Turner promised “the biggest enterprise launch” in company history from the stage at the worldwide partners conference. That would be SQL Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008, and Windows Server 2008. All to sally forth from the same
Los Angeles stage. Only even then it wasn’t true. Follow up interviews quickly uncovered that not even Microsoft was promising that SQL Server would be available at that time

For the record, Microsoft says SQL Server 2008 is still on for GA in the second quarter of next year. Let’s just say June. The official word on Visual Studio 2008 (Orcas) still seems to be availability at the end of this calendar year, although it’s been pretty quiet (TOO quiet) on that front for a while now.

So, it’s conceivable that on its “biggest ever enterprise launch” day Microsoft will actually have nothing to launch. “That’s pretty low, even by their standards,” says one long-time industry watcher.

Oh well. Maybe next launch.

Barbara Darrow, a Boston-area journalist, can be reached at 

August 30, 2007  7:28 AM

Channel news: WinServer ‘08 delayed; raw code causes Win validation woes

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Windows Server 2008’s real release slides into next year Microsoft has pushed Windows Server 2008 out one quarter. Instead of seeing the bits at the end of this year, it will land sometime in the first quarter. []

Vista validation woes caused by preproduction code Human error was responsible for the Windows Genuine Advantage system shutdown that denied validation to Vista systems, Microsoft says. [eWEEK]

Windows XP, Vista service packs coming in 2008 Vista’s first service pack is arriving in early 2008, but IT shops will likely give a warmer welcome to XP SP3, due out sometime in the first half of next year.[]

U.S. agency may keep Windows XP on its PCs for three more years The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives plans to install PCs that can run Windows Vista next year. But it will continue to use Windows XP on them. [Computerworld]

Continued »

August 29, 2007  10:30 PM

Microsoft buys Parlano to bolster ‘enterprise chat’

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Less than two months before it launches  Office Communications Server 2007, Microsoft is buying Parlano, and says it will integrate that company’s “group chat” capability into OCS.

Parlano’s MindAlign group chat will be funneled into both OCS, which melds VoIP, IM and Web conferencing and into the Office Communicator client, Microsoft said Wednesday night via e-mail.

It was unclear whether MindAlign would make it into the initial release of either product or be slip-streamed in later. Microsoft could not be reached for comment.

Update: The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter and after that customers with software assurance rights to OCS 2007 standard CAL will have rights to group chat based on Parlano technology. Those with Live Communications Server 2005 Standard CALs and with active Software Assurance will also have the right to group chat, according to Microsoft.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

There is clearly consolidating going on around enterprise IM. In January, Adobe Systems bought Antepo, a New York EIM provider.

Instant messaging, pioneered by America Online, took the consumer world by storm and subsequently infiltrated offices as workers brought their favorite tools in from home. That invasion did not amuse IT departments who viewed IM, rightly, as a security weakness:

Since then solution providers have wrestled with resulting issues—nothing like cutting and pasting corporate data into an IM message and sending it to the buddy universe. And vendors worked to fill the gap. IBM blazed the trail of corporate-palatable IM with Sametime.  Microsoft is responding with OCS.

Barbara Darrow, a Boston-area journalist, can be reached at

August 29, 2007  5:10 PM

Avnet enhances storage business with LeftHand Networks distribution deal

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Avnet Technology Solutions, a division of Avnet Inc., has announced an agreement under which its thousand-plus solution-provider partners will be able to distribute the open iSCSI storage area network technology of LeftHand Networks.

“Avnet is looking to expand its storage solutions, in particular in the virtualization and consolidation space,” according to Mario Arjona, Avnet Technology Solutions’ Partner Relationship Manager.

LeftHand Network’s products work with IBM and HP servers, so their technology complements what our partners are already selling,” Arjona said.

The agreement quintuples the 200 or so partners currently authorized to sell LeftHand’s iSCSI SAN products and help the company meet its goal of 100% growth per year, according to David Bangs, LeftHand Networks’ VP of sales said.

LeftHand’s software customers will like the fact that LeftHand’s SAN/iQ storage clustering software, can be combined with industry standard hardware from HP, said Scott Pelletier, vice president of enterprise sales and engineering at Denver, Colorado based Lewan & Associates.

“Avnet is the first distributor LeftHand has worked with who also partners with HP and can deliver pre-integrated systems to us on any LeftHand compatible hardware platform,” Pelletier said.  “This will be faster and more cost effective for us as a VAR. We hope to continue expanding our storage practice, and this partnership can only help that effort,” Pelletier added.

August 29, 2007  1:44 PM

Oracle promotes top channel execs

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Oracle has promoted its top North America and Worldwide channel execs.

Rauline Ochs, the top North America channel exec for Oracle has been promoted to senior vice president from vice president.  Ditto Doug Kennedy, Oracle’s worldwide channel poobah. Both were vice presidents and are now senior vice presidents.

Ochs’ news  was posted to Oracle’s Web site in early august. Kennedy’s bio has yet to be updated.

Ochs is credited with implementing Oracle’s  All Partner Territory strategy in the U.S.  Some partners are unclear as to how the roles are differentiated but also acknowledge that Oracle has made some progress in channel friendliness.

“Face it, most of it is due to Chuck [Charles Phillips, Oracle’s president] but Rauline and Doug are tasked with executing his vision,” said one long-time oracle reseller partner.

Ochs joined Oracle in the fall of 2003 after stints at BEA Systems and IBM before joining the database (and now apps) kingpin. Kennedy has spent 15 years at Oracle where  he’s headed field support service, and support account management for Oracle’s biggest 100 U.S. customers.

Partners are watching Oracle closely as it parlays its $20 billion plus investment in Siebel, PeopleSoft and other business applications. The company traditionally splits sales model between technology (database and middleware) and applications.

Barbara Darrow, a Boston-area journalist, can be reached at

August 29, 2007  10:42 AM

Microsoft: Vista SP1 beta due soon, Windows Server 2008 RTM early 2008

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

For partners who’ve been wondering, Microsoft says it will make Windows Vista SP 1 beta available within weeks to “a moderate sized audience.”

The service pack will address reliability and performance issues, new hardware support and support for emerging standards, Microsoft said in an email. Details on what will be in this beta, which will be made more broadly available via MSDN and TechNet later, are here .

The beta will include all the previous updates as well as BitLocker Drive Encryption, support for Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) and Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT.)While many partners have not been overwhelmed byVista or customer reception to it, they need to keep their eye on it as it. More details are here.

Given that the bulk of users remain on Windows XP, the fact that Windows XP SP 3 beta is also going out to partners and customers in a few weeks may be of more immediate interest. Final bits are due in the first half of next year, Microsoft  said.

This service pack will also roll up all previous security updates, out-of-band-releases and hot fixes plus a few new updates, the company said.

And for Longhorn watchers, Windows Server 2008 will release to  manufacturing in Q1 of 2008. The company had hoped to release that code by year’s end. The company  said this RTM will not affect the previously-announced  mega-launch of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 to take place February 27 in Los Angeles. More information is available  here. 

Barbara Darrow, a Boston-area journalist, can be reached at

August 29, 2007  7:44 AM

Channel news: Lawsuits over automating email; EarthLink cuts half workforce

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Amazon, Google, Yahoo, and others sued for automating their e-mail The companies are accused of violating a patent on automatic message routing held by Polaris IP. The patent has a long history in litigation, but all the cases have been settled out of court. [InformationWeek]

EarthLink to trim work force and close offices Shares of the Internet service provider EarthLink climbed sharply Tuesday after it said it would cut 900 jobs — about half its work force — and close four offices. [NYT]

Microsoft releases two Vista hotfix packs via Windows Update Microsoft quietly released two mega-hotfix packs for Windows Vista via Windows Update on August 28. [All About Microsoft]

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August 28, 2007  7:30 AM

Channel news: Dell laptop explodes; Microsoft goes more virtual

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Dell laptop explodes ‘like fireworks’ Oh no, not again [TheReg]

Microsoft looks to increase server virtualization market share The release of Windows Server Virtualization will help increase Microsoft’s sever virtualization market share more than the Citrix-XenSource acquisition, experts say. []

Microsoft fixes validation issue that withheld Vista features The shut-down of Vista validation under Microsoft’s Windows Genuine Advantage program has been fixed. [eWEEK]

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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]

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