Today is launch day for Windows XP, which brings a fresh crop of
Windows submissions from all and sundry: "The price of innovation"
reveals WinXP pricing scheme); Steve Ballmer says "There is no
innovation in the Linux world. They cloned a lot of stuff from
Windows, including very old stuff," (and cavorts, once again, on
the stage); unhappiness continues over the halt of plug-in support
in IE; Dean Pannell gets another visit from the Toadie; Michael
Moore takes up a collection to help Mr. Gates recover from the
devastating effects of charities on his business, and Code Red is,
say some security people, with us forever as a new variant rears
its head. Plus video clips of Mr. Gates himself launching XP to
Kool and the Gang.
"Despite looming clouds of regulatory and congressional
scrutiny, Microsoft Corp. Friday morning heralded the delivery of
Windows XP to computer manufacturers in a send-off complete with
helicopters swooping over Redmond.
Microsoft is calling it the biggest Windows event in Microsoft
history to be supported by marketing and advertising spending
rumored to be in the range of $1 billion.
Set for release on Oct. 25, Microsoft is promising that the
latest addition to the Windows family will take the PC to new
heights. Software development is complete; beta versions have been
tested and retested. According to Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman
and chief software architect, Windows XP is the culmination of more
than 15 years of research, development and customer feedback.
"Simply put, Windows XP is the best operating system Microsoft
has ever built," Gates said.
"Kollar-Kotelly will now have the task of holding
hearings on what remedies should be imposed to prevent any further
abuse of Microsoft's monopoly in personal computer operating
systems. She must also decide whether Microsoft violated antitrust
laws by tying its Internet Explorer browser into the Windows
The penalty could require simple changes in Microsoft conduct or
a breakup of the Redmond, Wash., firm. Judge Jackson ordered the
company be split in two, but that portion of his ruling was
overturned by the appeals court in June.
The appeals court last week rejected Microsoft's request to
delay the company's antitrust case until the Supreme Court decides
whether to take the case. Microsoft had also said that if the
appeals court didn't put the case on hold, it would put the
public's faith in the judicial system in jeopardy.
"The bottom line: Consumers can expect to pay a little
more for XP than for previous Windows versions, with street price
increases ranging up to about 10 percent.
Windows XP comes in two flavors, one for home users and the
other for business professionals. The Home Edition upgrade carries
a manufacturer's authorized price (MAP) of $99, or about $10 more
than Windows Me. The full version is $199, or about $20 more than
The Professional Edition will cost around $199 as an upgrade or
$299 for the full version, which in both instances is about a $20
increase over Windows 2000. But compared to a special $120
promotional offer for Windows 2000 Professional, the commercial XP
version will cost nearly $80 more."
Steve Ballmer was in Brazil this week, preparing the
way for the launch of Windows XP. Among other things, Mr. Ballmer
had a meeting with the President of Brazil, when he announced a
program to open the Windows source code to eight Brazilian
Here we have a free translation of some of Ballmer comments
"There is a saying that imitation is the most sincere form of
appraisal", started Ballmer when referring to Linux. "There is no
innovation in the Linux world. They cloned a lot of stuff from
Windows, including very old stuff. They [ the Linux developers] are
not very open to innovation", he said.
"If someone asked me why customers would want Linux instead of
Windows, I would answer: I don't know".
"Toadie is really rolling now. "We've got the followup
versions lined up, too. First comes Windows FUR, which introduces
the Left-Handed surcharge to help us re-coup the cost of
Left-Handed testing. Then, Windows FUITA adds a recreational
surcharge so we can afford to keep our programmers happy even
though FUITA is really just DOS 1.0 with a splash screen."
(I hate his cackle.) "I don't see how I can make this look
good," I reply, "If you get all their money and fubar their
computers, they won't be able to run the city or pay for things
like road construction and police."
"That's it!" Toadie is flat-out beaming now. "'Redmondware
clears up your morning commute. No detours, no tickets.' That's
great. The Big Guy was right, Pizza Boy, you're the best!"
"Microsoft said it made the decision a few weeks ago
for ``security and technical reasons,'' but critics called it the
latest example of the software giant promoting its own technology
to the exclusion of others.
The main program to be affected is Apple's QuickTime. Web-site
developers will now have to make a plug-in available using
Microsoft's ActiveX technology, and users will have to do a
``This is typical Microsoft behavior, supporting its own
proprietary technology that locks you into Windows,'' said Marty
Gordon, a spokesman for Netscape.
"A new permutation of the Code Red II worm was
discovered on Friday, and experts say that Code Red is now unlikely
ever to disappear.
The new variant has been dubbed CodeRed.d, and exploits the same
Index Server flaw in Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS)
software as the initial Code Red. According to Roger Thompson,
technical director of malicious code research at anti-virus firm
TruSecure, who detected the variant, the appearance of a new worm
indicates that we are stuck with the Code Red problem
"This is pretty much noise level for Code Red II and CodeRed.d
-- it's not going to get any better or worse, and will stay like
this forever," said Thompson. "Those machines that have not yet
been patched never will be, meaning that the worm is here to
"Objective: To help Bill Gates recoup the massive
amount of money he loses whenever small charities make copies of
his already-purchased, outdated software while trying to assist
desperately poor children."
"Windows XP, the latest version of Microsoft's flagship
product, is scheduled for widespread availability on October 25,
Microsoft said in a statement. Microsoft said it is continuing to
work closely with PC manufacturers to ensure their most advanced
hardware solutions will fully complement the new operating system.
Industry observers have said Microsoft is also eager to get
Windows XP out of the door because it is facing increased calls
from rivals and privacy groups to change the product, which
integrates new features like instant messaging and online
The complaints say such bundling of new services repeats the
kind of behavior that landed Microsoft in hot water with the U.S.
Justice Department (news - web sites), which is locked in a
drawn-out antitrust battle with the company."
Finally, CNET has a pair of video clips (available in Real
format, verified on a Linux machine):