Channel Marker

August 14, 2007  1:17 PM

VAR eye view: Mail migrations overstated

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

When Microsoft made the second beta of Exchange Server 2007 SP1 available to testers on Monday, it used the occasion to once again tout mass migrations of IBM/Lotus Notes customers into the Microsoft Exchange and/or SharePoint camp.

This time it claimed that more than three million customers in “over 1000” companies have switched to the Exchange Server /Sharepoint Server dynamic duo from Notes in the past year.

IBM and Microsoft have made a parlor game of such claims and counterclaims for the past decade. You know it’s Lotusphere time when Microsoft announce X-million Notes users have switched. IBM/Lotus typically returns fire.

But many e-mail-savvy VARs say these mass migrations are simply not in evidence in the real world.

“The Lotus situation is very stable really and despite what everyone is saying, customers are not flocking off of Notes. Lotus Notes and Domino are very capable, mature products,” says Ron Herardian, chief systems architect for Global System Services, a Mountain View, Calif.- solution provider who works in both camps.

In fact, if people were to count Web mail seats hosted by ISPs, the market share picture would be very different from what either IBM or Microsoft is saying, Herardian maintains.

“A little known fact is that Sun has more messaging seats than Lotus and Microsoft combined if you count Web mail seats,” Herardian noted. Sun Microsystems had its own mail server product and then bought Netscape Communications technology later on. Its mail is typically hosted by ISPs and telecoms.

As for GSS’ business, mail customers are in three camps…Lotus, Microsoft and Sun, he noted.

Many solution providers now say the Lotus-Microsoft numbers are moot from another perspective: They say those customers who are weighing a mail move are just as likely to consider less-pricey Web-2.0 like or other hosted mail solutions as the more expensive Microsoft and IBM options. Most typically don’t know or care what the underlying technology is.

Still, many e-mail VARs expect dueling press releases about stolen customers to keep flowing out of Cambridge and Redmond for some time.

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

August 14, 2007  9:30 AM

Novell enters endpoint security market

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

There’s a new player in the endpoint security market.

Networking giant Novell has acquired Senforce Technologies and plans to integrate the Draper, Utah-based vendor’s products into an endpoint security suite. The move should help Novell go up against security vendors like Symantec and McAfee, as well as its traditional competitors in the networking market. It will also give value-added resellers (VARs) and systems integrators (SIs) a new option to help protect their customers against malware and data leaks.

Our colleagues over at have the full story on Novell’s acquisition of Senforce. Meanwhile, here at, you can learn how to sell endpoint security and find out more about the data leak prevention market.

August 14, 2007  7:03 AM

Channel news: Novell owns Unix, SCO must pay; SCO stock dives

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Vista SP1: The first reviews are in Build No. 6001.16549 of Vista Service Pack 1 — which Microsoft now is confirming as one of the “early, pre-beta test builds that were made available to a select group of testers” — has made its way onto torrents all over the Web over the past few days. The first reviews are starting to come in. [All About Microsoft]

Novell owns Unix copyrights after all Judge tells SCO to find its checkbook. [TheReg]

Investors bailing on SCO stock, SCOX plummets 70% In the wake of a ruling which declares that Novell, not SCO, is the rightful owner of the UNIX copyrights, the price of SCO’s stock has plummeted, dropping 70 percent and staying down all day. [Ars Technica]

Continued »

August 13, 2007  6:51 AM

Channel news: Google offers storage; Wipro nails Boeing services deal

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Google rolls out paid storage services Web search and Internet services company Google Inc. on Friday began selling expanded online storage, aimed at users with large picture, music or video file collections. [AP]

Wipro in talks for Boeing IT svcs contract: official India’s third-largest software services exporter, Wipro Ltd. , is in talks for software and technological support contract for an upcoming Boeing facility in India, an official said on Monday. [Reuters]

Apple iPhone to provoke complex mobile attacks, expert warns Mikko Hypponen, director of antivirus research at F-Secure Corp., said he expects mobile malware attacks to escalate thanks to interest in Apple’s iPhone. []

Continued »

August 10, 2007  7:32 AM

Channel news: Symantec security, isn’t; MSFT’s six critical patches

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Symantec security products less than secure Two words: Live Update. [TheReg]

Microsoft plans six critical patches Fixes critical vulns in Windows, Office and Internet Explorer. [TheReg]

American sent to the slammer for faking Windows certificates Microsoft has a party. [TheReg]

Cisco warns of critical IOS flaws Attackers could exploit multiple flaws in Cisco’s IOS to cause a denial of service or remotely execute arbitrary code. []

EMC buys Tablus for data classification and security The acquisition, announced today, allows EMC’s InfoScape file management product more widespread data classification and security capabilities, the company says.[]

Google starts charging for extra storage Microsoft and Google engaged in some low-level sparring in the online-storage space on Thursday, with Microsoft relaunching its paid Windows Live Skydrive service and Google quickly trumping with its first-ever paid space offer. [Computerworld]

VMware raises IPO price range VMware’s latest SEC filing is fueling speculation that the company’s IPO could come as early as Aug. 13. [eWEEK]

Microsoft storage services: code-name Cosmos The Microsoft Code Name of the Day is Cosmos. Cosmos, according to sources experienced in the ways of the orderly, systematic universe, is a forthcoming data storage/processing framework for Live Search. [All About Microsoft]

AMD passes the collection plate again Brother, could you spare $1.5bn? [TheReg]

Network physics simplifies application SLA management Network Physics’ NetSensory 6.1 adds at-a-glance views of application performance with its new SLA Dashboard. [eWEEK]

New monitoring technology helps university find mobile users With students and professors so mobile on his campus, a university CIO adopted a new monitoring technology to identify users and better understand network behavior. []

August 9, 2007  7:41 AM

Channel news: Cisco patches VoIP; MSFT SPs for Vista, XP; Vista drives Linux PC sales

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Cisco patches serious holes in voice-enabled offerings Four updates in all. [TheReg]

Microsoft releases service packs for Vista, XP to testers Microsoft rolls out SP1 for Windows Vista and SP3 for Windows XP. [DailyTech]

Vista aiding Linux desktop, strategist says Microsoft will lose market share to open-source desktops, a Dell strategist says at LinuxWorld. [eWEEK]

Continued »

August 8, 2007  9:06 AM

Attention database fans: New SQL Server ‘08 bits available

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Microsoft has made a new SQL Server 2008 code available for testers. Click here to download this, the second, Community Technical Preview (CTP) of the database.

This CTP includes more functionality around the enterprise reporting engine, T-SQL, database mirroring and XML support according to the this company Web site. The first CTP came out in early June at Tech Ed.

Microsoft execs said last month that the company will start prepping partners on SQL Server 2008 (aka Katmai) marketing plans in October. The final product is due in the second quarter of next year.

While some say the shift from “beta test” drops to CTP releases is semantic sleight of hand, Microsoft officials and some outsiders say it’s actually a substantive change.

CTP releases are more frequent and tend to include big “blobs” of related functionality.

The idea is to provide like-minded testers with bigger chunks of useable code that they can really hammer on for the tasks they care about. A beta drop tended to have broader but less developed sets of functions.

“The focus here is on quality of code,” Kim Saunders, senior director of SQL Server Marketing said at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference last month. The overall aim is to ensure the company delivers a fully tested new database release every three years or so.

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

August 8, 2007  7:24 AM

Channel news: VoIP risk threatens data; MSFT fixes Vista; Sun lays off; Apple unveils iMac

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

VoIP vulnerability threatens data VoIP vulnerabilities have now reached a level of sophistication that allows hackers to steal, view or delete data. []

Microsoft posts two major Vista fix packs for download Remember those Windows Vista reliability and performance fix packs — beta versions of which temporarily escaped to the masses last week? On August 7, Microsoft posted the final versions of the two packs for download. [All About Microsoft]

Sun Microsystems to reduce work force Server and software maker Sun Microsystems Inc. plans to cut an unspecified number of jobs as part of a new restructuring plan, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. [AP] Continued »

August 7, 2007  4:24 PM

The perils of partnering; Adobe, Kinko’s and Oracle’s four-letter word

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

If anyone needs a nudge about the perils of partnering, the recent Adobe/Kinko/Fedex imbroglio is a wakeup call.

Smaller partners of big software companies have to look out for their self interest every second.

Here’s what happened:

Adobe Systems decided to put a pushbutton link to Fedex/Kinko in the latest version of its Acrobat software. That way a customer could create a document, format it with Adobe software, and send it paperlessly over the Web to Kinko’s for hard-copy output. Think of the courier mileage saved! For ease of use, it’s a lovely scenario.

One small thing: Kinko’s is a huge partner for Adobe, but so are thousands of smaller print shops who, by the way, compete with Kinkos.

And those smaller shops—who might in aggregate even own a bigger share of Adobe’s than Kinko’s—most certainly don’t appreciate the preferential treatment. (Wall Street Journal story here.)

When Adobe favored its large partners (Kinko/Fedex) over myriad smaller partners, it repeated similar miscues from the tech era.

It may be natural for a large software company to favor its largest partners, but it does so at great peril.

My favorite case in point: Oracle execs asked about that company’s partnering strategy invariably talk up Dell, which is a huge partner in that it bundles a lot of Oracle (and Microsoft and whatever) software on its boxes. What those Oracle execs repeatedly fail to understand is that Dell is one four-letter word to which every other potential Oracle channel partner views with nothing short of abhorrence.

Every time Oracle (or Microsoft or Acme Software) names the direct-to-customer, VAR-disenfranchising Dell as a preferred partner, blood pressures spike among the army of other Oracle partners. What some forward-thinking Oracle exec should remember is that when it comes to small businesses, these smaller solution providers with their hands-on capabilities often make a helluva lot better implementation partners than Dell. Or Kinko’s. Or whoever.

Addendum: two days after The Journal and others reported on the Adobe dustup, the company agreed to pull the offending button from Acrobat.

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

August 7, 2007  7:05 AM

Channel headlines for Aug. 7, 2007: Lenovo to sell Linux; Ubuntu chief attacks MSFT

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Lenovo to sell laptops with Linux Lenovo Group Ltd. , the world’s No. 3 PC maker, said on Monday it would start selling laptop computers preloaded with Linux software from Novell Inc. instead of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system. [Reuters]

Ubuntu chief: Microsoft fracturing the open-source community Microsoft’s patent indemnity agreements with several Linux vendors are unsettling the marketplace, Ubuntu leader says. [eWEEK]

Survey: Cost of cybercrime reaches $7 billion A study by Consumer Reports finds cybercrime has cost U.S. consumers more than $7 billion during the last two years. [eWEEK]

Continued »

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