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In the News

- Microsoft Announces Yet Another Edition of Visual Studio 2005
- Mozilla Foundation Ships Firefox Preview Release, Thunderbird 0.8
- IETF Shoots Down Microsoft Email Proposal

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, thurrott@windowsitpro.com

Microsoft Announces Yet Another Edition of Visual Studio 2005

Microsoft has delayed the release of the Visual Studio 2005 product line several times, but the company seems to be making up for the delay by continually padding the release with new editions. This week, in an effort to reach just about every conceivable market, Microsoft added yet another Visual Studio edition to its 2005 product line. The most recent release, Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition, is designed for small-business individuals and developers who need a bit more power than the Visual Studio Express Editions offer.
"With Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft's goal was to move away from the idea that one tool fits all developer needs," Microsoft Developer Division Corporate Vice President S. Somasegar said this week. "Recent third-party studies prove the increased performance, scalability, reliability, and developer productivity benefits of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework. Microsoft is taking steps with Visual Studio 2005 to make this even more compelling for a wide range of users."
Compelling? Possibly. Confusing? Certainly.
Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition includes support for the standard Visual Studio languages, including C#, C++, J#, and Visual Basic, and is designed for Windows, Web, and mobile development, the company says. But the product joins an already crowded stable of products that includes Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition, Visual C# 2005 Express Edition, Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition, Visual J# 2005 Express Edition, Visual Web Dev 2005 Express Edition, Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition, Visual Studio 2005 Team Architect Edition, Visual Studio 2005 Team Developer Edition, Visual Studio 2005 Team Product Manager Edition, and Visual Studio 2005 Team Tester Edition (with more to follow, no doubt). As if those releases weren't confusing enough, Microsoft also recently announced Visual Studio .NET Professional 2003 Special Edition, a new edition of the current Visual Studio product that bridges the gap between today's products and Visual Studio 2005, which won't ship until next year. Visual Studio 2003 Special Edition includes Visual Studio .NET 2003 Professional Edition, Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition, and Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Developer Edition and costs just $550 for current Visual Studio users and $750 for new users.
Given this array of products, I have no doubt that the mantra for the Orcas release of Visual Studio (which is due in 2006, around the same time as the Windows Longhorn release) will be all about simplification. Round and round we go.

Mozilla Foundation Ships Firefox Preview Release, Thunderbird 0.8

Today, the Mozilla Foundation announced a preview release of Firefox, the organization's standalone Web browser that's based on the Mozilla source code. The Firefox 1.0 Preview Release ships with all the leading-edge features from earlier Firefox releases, including tabbed browsing and pop-up blocking, and adds several exciting new features, such as Live Bookmarks, an in-place Find bar, and a new plug-in installer. In addition, Mozilla announced the release of Thunderbird 0.8, its prerelease email, newsgroup, and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) client, and SpreadFirefox.com, a Firefox advocacy Web site.
"We are delighted to announce these milestones for Firefox and Thunderbird," Mitchell Baker, president of the Mozilla Foundation, said. "These new releases, along with the launch of the SpreadFirefox.com Web site and the success of our Security Bug Bounty Program, demonstrate the power of open source to harness the creative energies of volunteer contributors from around the world." Firefox is arguably the most innovative and feature-rich Web browser, and with the Preview Release, the product is moving ever closer to its final 1.0 release this fall. Also nearing the 1.0 milestone is Thunderbird 0.8, which adds a unified Inbox feature for users with multiple POP3 email accounts; data-migration features for Microsoft Office Outlook, Outlook Express, and Eudora users; integration with RSS Web logs (blogs); new Quick Search functionality for instantly finding email messages; and other new features.
You can download the Firefox 1.0 Preview Release and Thunderbird 0.8 from the Mozilla Foundation Web site. The Web site also contains the download for Mozilla 1.7, the most recent version of the integrated browser suite that includes all the security enhancements that are available in the most recent versions of Firefox and Thunderbird.
http://www.mozilla.org

IETF Shoots Down Microsoft Email Proposal

A technical working group at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) voted last weekend to veto a Microsoft proposal that identifies the source of email messages. The IETF's MTA Authorization Records in DNS (MARID) working group said that Microsoft's proposal is too secretive and that the software giant refused to identify a possible related patent application for its proposed technology.
"The working group has at least \[reached a\] rough consensus that the patent claims should not be ignored," Working Group Chair Andrew L. Newton said in a discussion forum. "It is the opinion of the co-chairs that MARID should not undertake work on alternate algorithms reasonably thought to be covered by the patent application. The objection is based on questions of deployment caused by incompatibilities with open-source licenses. However, there were also a significant number of responses from participants stating that they had no such deployment issues."
Microsoft's suddenly controversial email-identification technology, Purported Responsible Address (PRA), is similar to a competing technology called Sender Policy Framework (SPF). Email providers can publish PRA and SPF information so that email clients and servers can verify the authenticity of email messages, and Microsoft says that its own services will continue to provide PRA and SPF information. The bigger problem for Microsoft is that PRA is part of the company's Sender ID proposal, which Microsoft would like to see accepted as an Internet standard. Until the PRA patent questions are resolved, however, the IETF will likely be able to block that attempt.

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==== Events Central ====

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