It seemed that, in the cyber-security world at least, the perfect storm was brewing. Microsoft knew Blaster was coming. Security experts knew. Certainly malicious code writers knew it was coming because they had been creating an exploit since the Windows RPC vulnerability was first uncovered last month. Users were also supposedly informed, yet few had downloaded the patch—or worse, failed to perform basic security practices such as maintaining firewalls and updating virus protection. (All this kind of makes us in the media throw up our hands in futility.)
Still, Blaster arrived last week, and when it did, everyone acted as if they were caught unawares. As Dennis Fisher reports, Microsofts Windows Update site was overwhelmed, and other workarounds didnt help those running Windows 2000 SP1 and SP2.
In the ultimate twist of irony, users still laboring under pre-W2K versions have been left unscathed. And what was it Microsoft was saying about Windows XP being its best and safest operating system ever?
On to a comparatively more rational topic: the ongoing recovery in the economy and the technology industry. Things are looking up, but just a little. As Anne Chen reports in our story on 2004 IT budgets, CIOs are still not spending more, and the money they do spend is paying for "technology investments that will drive down costs while driving new business." Our Corporate Partners also weigh in on the topic in a roundtable discussion.
If this cost of impact is the secret for IT next year, Carly Fiorina thinks HP has the right ingredients with its Adaptive Enterprise push. In the next release of its Utility Data Center, due early next year, HP will boost support for Linux and modularity, enabling users to bring the AE cornerstone in gradually, as Jeff Burt reports.
Finally, Web services are coming of age, as Darryl Taft reports this week, with the final approval of the Web Services Interoperability Organizations Basic Profile 1.0. With this milestone, vendors are prepared to get on board the BP spec for their products, which means interoperability—good news for developers.
Stan Gibson is on vacation for two weeks. Until then, send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.