Stories by Carol Sliwa

Planning virtualization moves wisely

Not so long ago, if Underwriters Laboratories needed to add three additional servers worth of computing power in three weeks, the company just bought three new units, says Kent Walker, manager of computer operations for UL. With more time for capacity analysis - which is both labor and time-intensive - Walker might be able to shift resources around and stave off the purchase. But when the need is immediate, there's no time for that.

Microsoft exec on Office 2007 training fears

Many IT managers have voiced concerns that the dramatically different user interface in Microsoft's Office 2007 software will force them to plan migrations more carefully than they have had to in the past, with increased end-user training. But during an interview with Carol Sliwa at this week's Windows Vista and Office 2007 launch event, Chris Capossela, corporate vice president of the product management group in Microsoft's business division, insisted that companies won't have to devise "some big, sophisticated training plan" to roll out the new Office applications. Excerpts follow:

Microsoft exec downplays compliance

When Microsoft's Juan Fernando Rivera visited Computerworld late last month, his title was director of worldwide license compliance. Rivera now identifies himself as the worldwide director of software asset management, or SAM. In an ironic twist, Rivera is now adamant that SAM is not about license compliance, contending that "compliance is a by-product of software asset management." Rivera discussed the role of SAM in an interview with Computerworld.

IT, hosted services keep Microsoft CIO busy

As CIO and vice president of managed solutions at Microsoft, Ron Markezich is responsible for the company's internal IT operations and for delivering IT services to customers. Energizer Holdings last year became the first user to contract with Microsoft for remote desktop management, messaging and collaboration services. XL Capital, an insurance and financial services firm, has also signed a managed services deal, according to Markezich. During an interview with Computerworld US at TechEd 2006 last week, Markezich discussed Microsoft's Internet-based services vision for corporate IT.

Ozzie sees IT role for 'Live' services

Just days before he succeeded Bill Gates as Microsoft's chief software architect, Ray Ozzie last week heralded a new era of "services disruption" that he claimed will transform the way enterprise IT infrastructures and business systems are designed, deployed, managed and used.

Massachusetts OpenDocument plans questioned by disabled

Two words came to mind when John Winske, president of the Boston-based Disability Policy Consortium, learned just before Labor Day last year that Massachusetts was planning to adopt the Open Document Format for Office Applications as a standard for its executive-branch agencies.

Firefox finds cracking the corporate market a challenge

Boeing has been discreetly providing feedback to the Mozilla Foundation for the past year or so on features that might encourage enterprise adoption of the open-source Firefox browser. At the top of the list has been a tool kit to help IT departments distribute Firefox with custom configurations to end users.

Programming options pose dilemma for SQL server users

Only three of Nasdaq Stock Market's 30 developers have expertise in using the native programming language for Microsoft's SQL Server database. So for two major upcoming IT projects, the New York-based exchange hopes to write database code using general-purpose programming languages that all of the developers know.

Ballmer on SQL Server 2005

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer this week said SQL Server 2005 should eliminate any "last bit of hesitancy" that enterprise users may have about the database's ability to scale. Ballmer spoke with Computerworld at the launch of the SQL Server upgrade, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006, discussing the new products and other topics.

Sun faced with StarOffice 8 challenge

Sun Microsystems has worked to improve the compatibility of its StarOffice application suite with Microsoft's Office, but it still faces an uphill climb as it tries to entice corporate users to consider the new version released on Tuesday.

Microsoft GM on service focus

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced a substantial reorganization of its top management into three divisions. With that as a backdrop, Martin Taylor, general manager of platform strategy at Microsoft Corp., talked about the company's reorganization and said it should not be viewed merely in terms of the competition against Google and Yahoo. Excerpts from an interview with Computerworld this week follow:

Novell Exec Says Linux Growing in Data Center, Gaining in Workgroups

Novell's US$290 million in revenue in its most recent quarter fell short of expectations. David Patrick, vice president and general manager of Novell's Linux, open-source platforms and services group, spoke with Computerworld about the company's prospects as it tries to shift its customer base from NetWare to the open-source Linux operating system.