Desperate for iPods, Microsoft Machinations, and Darl to Get the Shove

It was an interesting day yesterday, with a wide range of announcements covering everything from MP3s to Facebook to Vista hacking and back again. There's no time to waste, so let's dive right in.

Starting with our least favorite player, Microsoft was in the news yesterday — aren't they always? — for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the shocking news that Windows is easily hacked. Now, we know you're all trying to get your jaws off the floor after this unthinkable revelation, but Tuesday brought not one but two windows hacking reports. That's right, not only have hackers managed to get Windows Vista to participate in invalidly authenticating itself, but they're also infiltrating Windows-based ATMs with DOS attacks, keyloggers, and worms. Somehow, we're glad we stash our cash in our mattress. Perhaps taking a clue from that, IBM is launching a Linux-based PC in Europe to steal customers away from Microsoft's offerings — a move guaranteed to increase the competition that's been so seriously lacking.

On that subject, the U.S. Department of Justice revealed today that they — along with a cavalcade of state attorneys general — will be taking a close look at the Empire's "open source" pledge. Meanwhile, Satan's Little Helper was busy shouting that their European problems are over while the company's IE8 team was desperately trying to make it reality, including the announcement that IE8 will — finally — be a standards-compliant browser. Lastly — and probably least-ly — Big Evil announced "Office Live Workspace Beta" today, which though it sounds like a challenge to Google Docs, really isn't, as it requires a working copy of Office to be installed on the user's system. That didn't seem to stall Big Bad Bill for a second though, as the outgoing-Chairman was busily telling the conference-goers that Google has no idea what it's doing, and that they're software is so bad he can't even remember the names. We hear Aricept helps with that, Billy.

While we're on the topic of Google, the search giant is losing its chief salesperson — the lovely and talented Sheryl Sandberg — to Facebook, where she'll become Chief Operating Officer and take charge of the effort to expand the network around the globe. It's not lost on us that Facebook's biggest partner is Big Evil, which just happens to be desperate to bolster its online advertising division. Meanwhile, Yahoo — the search resources Big Evil really wants to get its hands on — is reportedly in talks to buy AOL as well as MySpace, both in exchange for pieces of the Yahoo pie. Fun, fun — here's hoping it works.

Shifting to the world of music tech, Warner Music — a former sister-company to AOL — announced it will be extending its DRM-free music sales into Europe, after announcing a similar partnership with Amazon late last year. It seems everyone wants to get their hands on music these days, so much so that researchers at the Urban Institute are blaming iPods for an increase in muggings, theorizing that the proliferation of the easily-snatched accessories have drawn record numbers to a life of crime. We're not sure about that, but we wouldn't be surprised if a London man wasn't driven to murder after his wife's downloading habits landed him with a $22,000 bill for international data charges. Apparently, his better-half queued up four episodes of Friends to download though his cell phone — a free service while in Britain — only to have them unexpectedly continue their downloading while he was on business in Germany. All we can say is "Holy wow."

And, ending on a happy note, it looks like SCO CEO Darl McBride will be joining a queue of his own — at the unemployment office. The Chief Architect of the IBM/Novell debacle will be saying his goodbyes if the Norris Partners takeover is approved, leading him to surmise that his continued presence "may be to the huge detriment of shareholders, customers and employees." Ya think, Darl — we say good riddance.

And now, it's good riddance for us, as we're off.

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