2/13/2008

Microsoft Will Speed Up Vista SP1 Release

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft now says its Vista Service Pack 1 will become available to some business users before the end of this month — an about-face from the software giant’s earlier announcement of a delay of up to six weeks to fix a performance issue.

Many subscribers to Microsoft’s TechNet support service indicated they were unhappy with the delay, with one calling it “a major slap in the face for loyal subscribers who pay good money each year to have early access to this technology.” Another asked how he was supposed to test potential issues if SP1 was held back. Additional comments called into question “the usefulness of having a TechNet subscription.”

Saying Microsoft had “heard the feedback,” Windows Product Management Group spokesperson Mike Nash said Vista SP1 will be made available to at least some users beginning later this month.

“For broad availability, we are still planning to release in mid-March, as we want to be sure that everyone has the smoothest experience possible,” Nash wrote in a blog.

Dell to buy e-mail services company MessageOne

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Dell Inc said on Tuesday it will buy business e-mail services provider MessageOne Inc, which was co-founded by Michael Dell’s brother, aiming to compete with similar service provided by Microsoft Corp and Google Inc.

The $155 million cash deal is the computer maker’s latest in a recent wave of acquisitions ranging from small shops like software company Everdream to Dell’s $1.4 billion purchase in November of network storage provider EqualLogic.

MessageOne’s software, which is delivered to customers over the Internet, helps companies manage and archive e-mail, minimize outages and prevent data losses, Dell said in a statement.

Online travel agencies focused overseas

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Online travel agencies, eager to expand their reach in an increasingly electronic world, have set their sights on international markets where travelers are not yet accustomed to booking trips online.

Chief executives at the three largest publicly traded online travel agencies (OTAs) — Expedia Inc, Priceline.com Inc and Orbitz Worldwide — said at the Reuters Travel and Leisure Summit in Los Angeles this week that they aim to capture the largest possible chunk of those budding markets.

“The Asia-Pacific market is the biggest market that we’re looking at,” said Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. China and India are the most tempting geographic targets, he said.

Comcast defends Internet practices

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Comcast Corp. told the Federal Communications Commission in formal comments Tuesday that hampering some file-sharing by its subscribers was a justifiable way to keep Web traffic flowing for everyone.

The comments are the fullest accounting yet of how Comcast manages its network.

Comcast’s network management is the subject of formal complaints to the FCC from consumer groups and law professors.

The groups say Comcast has breached the principle, known as “‘Net Neutrality,” of treating all Internet traffic equally. They also say the company was hampering movie downloading services because they might compete with Comcast’s cable TV business.

Comcast says it must curb some file-sharing traffic because some subscribers would otherwise hog the cables with their uploads and slow traffic in their neighborhood.

The company - the country’s second-largest Internet service provider - also said it was justified in using “reset” packets to break off communications between two computers.

Comcast sometimes inserts these packets in the data stream to kill a file-sharing session. The move “fools” each computer into believing the other computer wants to end the connection.

The return addresses of Comcast’s packets indicate they’re from one of the file-sharing computers when they are in fact from Comcast.

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