In the past year, we of the eWeek editorial board have taken positions to advance the interests of you, our readers. Here is where we stand:
In a mid-September issue, we urged both Hewlett-Packard and Compaq to call off their planned merger. Now, with the opposition of both Hewlett and Packard heirs, the likelihood of the merger is waning, and our position remains unchanged: HP and Compaq must forget about the merger and get back to innovating and competing with Dell, Sun and IBM.
In 2001, Microsoft came close to getting off unscathed from its legal battles, despite being found guilty of anti-competitive practices. We are hopeful that the nine states opposing the antitrust settlement, as well as the opponents of the private suit settlement, can pursue a course that results in justice—that includes appropriate penalties for Microsoft.
For users of Microsoft operating systems and Outlook, 2002 will look much like 2001. Microsoft software will be the target of ever-more-sophisticated hacking techniques. Microsoft must do better. Unless and until it improves security as much as it has ease of use, then the Windows XP platform, and its enterprise users, will be vulnerable.
Intels 64-bit computing strategy, already uncomfortably dependent on a completely new software base, desperately needs a boost in the form of Compaq shipping its first Itanium-based server now that Dell has pulled its Itanium workstation from the market. Intel needs to get its act together before Sun, IBM and—yes—AMD make IA-64 irrelevant.
We favored additional H1-B visas to encourage the worlds best technical talent to come here. But that was before almost 100,000 dot-com and IT staffers re-entered the U.S. talent pool in the first 11 months of this year via layoffs. Now, we oppose any raising of the H1-B limit for the foreseeable future.
As the World Wide Web Consortium continues to formulate a policy on how it will deal with patent-encumbered technology submitted to it, we repeat our call to the W3C to not endorse any standards that require adopters to pay patent royalties to be standards-compliant.
Finally, we continue to oppose the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act, or UCITA, because it diminishes the rights of software users, making software shrink-wrap license agreements less flexible, harder to contest in court and applicable in more cases.
With that, we wish you a healthful and prosperous 2002.