Microsoft Delays Yukon and Whidbey until 2005

Yesterday, in a stunning move that will likely have ramifications for the next Windows version (code-named Longhorn), Microsoft delayed the next versions of SQL Server (code-named Yukon) and Visual Studio .NET (code-named Whidbey) from late 2004 until the first half of 2005.

Both products have been in beta since last fall, and Microsoft issued early releases of both to Microsoft Professional Developers Conference

(PDC) 2003 attendees in October.

"Microsoft made the decision to delay the delivery of these products to ensure that they meet the high-quality requirements of our customers," a Microsoft representative told me yesterday. "We are still on track to deliver SQL Server Yukon beta 2 and Visual Studio [.NET] Whidbey beta 1 in the coming months."

Yukon and Whidbey comprise the Yukon wave of products that Microsoft says it will ship before the Longhorn wave, which will include new versions of Microsoft Office, MSN, Visual Studio .NET, Windows, Windows Server, and other products. If Microsoft delays the Yukon products until 2005, Longhorn probably won't ship until the first half of 2006 at the earliest.

Microsoft Releases March Security Updates

Yesterday, the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) issued three new security bulletins, none of which is rated critical. One bulletin is rated important; the other two have moderate ratings. The bulletins highlight security flaws in Windows Media Services, Microsoft Office XP, and MSN Messenger, the company noted.

The Office security flaw is the only vulnerability that could let malicious attackers run unwanted code on users' systems. The flaw affects systems running Office XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Microsoft Outlook 2002 SP2.

The moderate security flaw for MSN Messenger 6.1 and MSN Messenger 6.0 could let attackers view--but not change or download--files on the victim's computer. Microsoft will fix the flaw in an upcoming version of the Instant Messaging (IM) application the company plans to issue.

The moderate security flaw in Windows Media Services, which affects Windows 2000 SP4, SP3, and SP2, could let attackers send fake streaming-media requests that could shut down the service. That situation would be, in effect, a Denial of Service (DoS) attack.

Microsoft switched to a monthly security-update release schedule last fall. "Microsoft is committed to helping customers keep their information safe, and releasing security bulletins on a regular, monthly schedule makes security response more predictable and easier for customers to manage," a company representative told me. You can download the patches that fix this month's security flaws from the Microsoft Web site.

From Boston

My first post from Boston. Got my machine setup, installed NewsGator and I'm ready to do some posting baby!

Ashan and I have got a lovely, big apartment at Harbor Towers (check out the pics at the site). I'll be posting a lot of pics from Ashan's digital camera and more from mine as soon as I buy it.

Rationalize Away, Brother!

I saw this on Green Hat Journal:

Eric Raymond lambasted open-source hackers for their pathetic user-interfaces: "This kind of fecklessness [in UI design] is endemic in open-source land. And it's what's keeping Microsoft in business — because by Goddess, they may write crappy insecure overpriced shoddy software, but on this one issue their half-assed semi-competent best is an order of magnitude better than we usually manage."

One thing we (Microsoft) have on them (Eric Raymond and friends) is that we write software people actually buy. Hell, in their case they find it hard to give it away.

I wonder how does the Mac fit into Eric's rationalization. It can't be the UI...

[Y. B. Normal]

Windows XP … Reloaded

Despite Microsoft's repeated denials, the company will indeed release an interim version of Windows XP that will bridge the gap between the initial XP release and Windows Longhorn, which is currently due in late 2005 at the earliest. The interim XP version will ship as a new retail product that replaces existing retail boxed copies of XP and as a set of updates, called XP Reloaded, that existing XP users can install separately. According to sources I contacted this morning, XP Reloaded will include all the features from XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), which is due by midyear, as well as a host of other unique features, including Windows Media Player (WMP) 10.

Other details about XP Reloaded are unknown at this time, although the update kit apparently will include a Web-based installer application that will let users choose optional features. Reports about an XP version 2 release first cropped up more than a year ago, but Microsoft officials repeatedly denied that the company planned to issue such a release. In early 2004, when the company revealed the new security features that XP SP2 will include, the rumors resurfaced. But the XP Reloaded OS refresh will clearly include a lot more than security updates, possibly in a bid to revive consumer excitement about XP while Microsoft preps the ever-delayed Longhorn release. [WinInfo]

Radio Lovers

Listed to old time radio shows for free.

These guys offer hundreds of vintage radio shows for you to listen to online in mp3 format, all for free. Before the days of video games, shopping malls, MTV, and the Internet, families used to sit in their living room each night to listen to radio shows such as Abbott and Costello, Superman, Groucho Marx, The Avenger, Gunsmoke, Sherlock Homes, and many others. When TV become popular in the 1950's, most of these shows went off the air, but they now live on at websites such as this one and on weekly nostalgia radio broadcasts worldwide.

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