Stories by Eric Lai

Microsoft woos bloggers with free computers, Vista

Microsoft's efforts to woo influential bloggers by sending them free computers loaded with the Vista operating system is generating controversy, with some online writers attacking would-be Vista reviewers for taking what were tantamount to bribes, while recipients defend their editorial independence, arguing that journalism-style rules prohibiting such gifts are outdated.

Microsoft exec praised Mac 'to change Vista process'

Outgoing Windows development chief James Allchin says he was being "purposefully dramatic" in a three-year-old e-mail to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer that surfaced late last week at an Iowa antitrust trial against Microsoft. In the e-mail, Allchin told his two colleagues that development on the Windows Vista operating system had gone astray and that he would buy a Macintosh from rival Apple Computer were he not a Microsoft employee.

Open source stacks not answer: analysts

Many vendors are offering open source application stacks as an alternative to integrated sets of proprietary applications that have long locked users into the technology of a single supplier.

Microsoft to roll out new version of WGA

Microsoft on Tuesday released a revamped version of its Windows Genuine Advantage tool that it hopes will reduce complaints arising from paid-up users of Windows XP caught in the dragnet of the controversial anti-piracy program.

Ice doesn't slow planned Microsoft Vista launch

A rare snowstorm that has covered the Seattle area with glazed sheets of ice since Monday turned Microsoft Corp.'s campus into a ghost town on the eve of its big official launch of Windows Vista and Office 2007 on Thursday.

Linux users to MS: What 'balance sheet liability'?

While Microsoft may cast the Nov. 2 patent cooperation agreement it pushed on new partner Novell as a way to protect corporate users of the SUSE Linux operating system from potential lawsuits, CIOs Tuesday said they weren't worried in the first place.

Microsoft launches interoperability group

Reiterating that it wants to play better with others, Microsoft has started a group to promote software interoperability. Twenty-five companies, including Sun Microsystems, BEA Systems, XenSource and Novell, have agreed to join the Interop Vendor Alliance announced Tuesday at Microsoft's IT Forum in Barcelona, Spain.

ICT savings from Vista could be ‘funny money’ says US CIO

As Microsoft was preparing to release Windows Vista to manufacturing this week and make it available to corporate users at the end of the month, the debate is ratcheting up over how much money — if any — companies could save by upgrading to the new operating system.

Red Hat reacts to Microsoft-Novell pact: "Unthinkable"

Following on the heels of its “Unfakeable Linux” rebuttal to the recent incursion by Oracle into its core Linux support business, Red Hat has called the new alliance between rivals Microsoft and Novell “unthinkable” — but still spun it as a victory for all Linux vendors.

Online ID fraud overhyped, problem is offline: analyst

Despite incidents such as the US$22 million (NZ$33 million) in losses suffered by E-Trade Financial and TD Ameritrade from online identity fraudsters, the problem of online identity theft is vastly overhyped when compared with its more prevalent offline equivalent, according to one analyst group.

Oracle updates BerkeleyDB

Oracle has released Version 4.5 of BerkeleyDB, the embeddable database it acquired in February through the purchase of SleepyCat Software.

Google’s hiring procedures are cumbersome, candidates say

Bolstered by the US$4.2 billion (NZ$6.3 billion) it raised in a second stock offering in September 2005, Google has been on a hiring spree and is still looking to fill more than 1,000 positions. But for some software developers and other IT workers, Google’s arduous and secretive hiring process has started outweighing the glamour and perks it offers. In response, the search engine vendor says it is taking steps to simplify and shorten its hiring procedures.