Feeds

Gates previews Win64

But 'technology preview' bodes ill for shipping it with Itanium...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Bill Gates yesterday announced a "technology preview" of 64-bit Windows, and unveiled the finished version of something Microsoft is taking great pains to describe as "Internet Explorer 5.5 technologies."

Microsoft's Web site was combed for references to IE that made it sound like it might be a standalone application a while back, but this is getting very silly; the Microsoft release on Bill's presentation manages three mentions of "Internet Explorer 5.5 technologies," one of vanilla Internet Explorer 5.5 (surely somebody goofed) and one of the "Internet Explorer 5.5 development platform." We figure the last one is terminologically OK, but ominous.

Timescale-wise, the "technology preview" of 64-bit is maybe a little ominous too. Technology preview is Microsoftspeak for alpha, or even pre-alpha, and although it means developers and hardware manufacturers will be able to get their hands on Win64 code in some kind of shape from now on, it seems reasonable to doubt Microsoft's ability to ship finished code in sync with the Itanium rollout.

Microsoft's new schedule for Whistler calls for shipping in second half 2001, and Whistler is due to go into beta any time now. So go figure on Win64's chances. In the past slippage on new operating systems hasn't made a great deal of difference to Microsoft, because there's been no competition and the hardware manufacturers have just had to wait, but it's different with Itanium, because there's Linux and a clutch of Unices poising themselves to jump in.

Despite the strenuous efforts not to position IE as an app, Gates' pitch did tend to peg it more as part of apps and tools than as part of the OS. Aside from being a development platform, it has "specific enhancements designed to provide developers with a more powerful Web development environment." It is "the best path forward for Web developers preparing for .NET as it offers the ability to develop reusable components for use across the Internet, providing the first steps toward creating rich services on the Web."

This sounds awfully like what Microsoft was worried Netscape might do to it, back at the start of the browser wars, doesn't it? The browser is the platform, it runs on multiple operating systems, so back in those days Netscape threatened to erase Microsoft's advantage of Windows being the "standard" platform for application development. Sure, Microsoft insists that IE is just part of the OS these days, but it's actually part of several operating systems, and on the Mac doesn't it look a teensie bit like an apps?

Mobile Internet Explorer is part of the stable, but is also rather like an app, given that Ericsson has designs on running it on Symbian's EPOC. Basically, we're starting to see the .NET strategy boil down to the .NET services platforms out there on the servers, and the browser, digital dashboard or whatever as the client platform.

Where's the OS? And who cares? This bizarre evolutionary process is probably taking place because it's logical, rather than because Microsoft is consciously preparing for a split into an apps and an OS company, but if the axe does fall one day, it'll be helpful. ®

Register helpful hint: Attention, Microsoft press office. We've noted with some dismay your recent tendency to refer to Microsoft's products as "raising the bar." This time you say IE 5.5 "further raises the bar for enabling developers..." Now, in puissance, when you raise the bar, you make the fence higher, so you can sort out which horse can jump best. Making the obstacles bigger for your users and developers is surely not what you mean?

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.