What’s New in Microsoft Land: 11 – 15 February, 2008

Yahoo! put an end to all the speculations around Microsoft’s unsolicited bid on Monday. The answer was a big no, thank you, and the motivation was that the Sunnyvale-based company’s board considered that the offer greatly undervalued Yahoo! The proposal of $44.6 billion, or $31 per share, was forwarded to the Internet giant on the first of February.


The rejection couldn’t go unanswered, so Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO issued a statement saying, among others, that "A Microsoft-Yahoo! combination will create a more effective company that would provide greater value and service to our customers. Furthermore,
the combination will create a more competitive marketplace by establishing a compelling number two competitor for Internet search and online advertising. The Yahoo! response does not change our belief in the strategic and financial merits of our proposal. As we have said previously, Microsoft reserves the right to pursue all necessary steps to ensure that Yahoo!’s shareholders are provided with the opportunity to realize the value inherent in our proposal."

The last phrase gave birth to a lot of controversy regarding what all of those "necessary steps" might be, a hostile takeover being what everybody instantly thought about. Nobody dared compete with Microsoft head on regarding the Yahoo! deal, but several companies reportedly had some talks with the Internet company about eventual alliances that would save Jerry Yang’s firm from being forced to sell. Google was the first, but its interest won after realizing that regulators would not allow it to happen and AOL came second, but that was mostly the rumor mill working its magic. The most serious of all was News Corp, and messages being sent back and forward between Murdoch and Yang were reported in the press.

Tuesday, the Redmond-based company officially confirmed that Windows 7 and Office 14 would not be confined to desktops only. Eyeing the tremendous growth of its online counterparts from Google in particular and some other companies, Microsoft decided to implement its own branded strategy with Software plus Services.

"On the consumer side, though, our work will be anchored in a few core things. Windows and Office need to embrace the Internet and go live, and we’ve got good efforts underway and in market for both Windows Live and Office Live," CEO Steve Ballmer said after, the previous day, Chairman Bill Gates had underlined the importance of blending the desktop-based Office System with services in the clouds.

The peer to peer copyrighted file sharing scandal that has been roaming the Internets (© George W. Bush) for the past month or so, with renewed vigor, convinced Microsoft to conduct a survey among students between the seventh and tenth grade, and its results found that most of them were not aware of the laws in state. Wednesday was educational day for the Redmond-based company, so it launched an interactive web site, http://www.mybytes.com for the young to develop their own intellectual property and assign usage rights, by mixing music online to create a custom riff for downloading as a ringtone, according to Press Pass.

49 percent of the respondents said that they were not familiar with the laws and the penalties for such crimes, while only 11 percent admitted to knowing "very well" what the regulations were. The rest answered that they were aware that illegal downloading wasn’t a good thing and said that some rules were clear, but rather in a big haze.

"Widespread access to the Internet has amplified the issue of intellectual property rights among children and teens," said Sherri Erickson, global manager, Genuine Software Initiative for Microsoft for Press Pass. "This survey provides more insight into the disparity between IP awareness and young people today and highlights the opportunity for schools to help prepare their students to be good online citizens."

Valentine’s Day didn’t deliver on the love, but it compensated with the best known surrogate: promotion. Not one, but fourteen, and all at the top. It was the 14th after all, so they kind of had to go with that number.

These came to reflect the company’s commitment to maintain and furthermore built a strong and dynamic management team across its unique portfolio of businesses. "Along with attracting world-class talent from outside the company, one of my top priorities is growing Microsoft’s existing leadership team. […] Each of these executives will play a critical role in leading Microsoft into the future. Today’s promotions are a result of their ability to think strategically on a global scale, the respect they’ve earned from their peers, customers and partners, and their significant contributions to the company," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft.

The seven executives that were promoted to senior vice president are Chris Capossela, Kurt DelBene, Antoine Leblond, Andy Lees, Satya Nadella, S. Somasegar and Bill Veghte, and the seven executives promoted to corporate vice president are Walid Abu-Habda, Brad Brooks, Larry Cohen, Steve Guggenheimer, Scott Guthrie, Roz Ho and Brian Tobey. Best of luck to them all!

On Friday, news came out about long time security giants Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro being bested by Microsoft’s alternative, the lesser known Forefront, in terms of performance. It was widely less resources consuming, using 60 percent of what Symantec threw at it, the AntiVirus Corporate Edition 10.2. Compared to the same product, Microsoft Forefront proved to be able to deliver 13 times faster boot times and more than twice greater speed at quick scans.

This study was conducted to test Forefront Client Security’s system performance compared
to the three leading competitive products. Testing was carried out during April and May 2007. The study shows that Microsoft Forefront Client Security’s results were favorable, compared to those of two of the leading competitors. It uses few system resources on servers and is comparable to the leading competitor in scanning times on both older and newer machines, and also when scanning .cab files. West Coast Labs also found that when malware was discovered, Microsoft’s bandwidth usage on clients was the lowest of all the four products," revealed a member of Microsoft Switzerland.

source : news.softpedia.com



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