Microsoft CRM, Office 11 Teams Wage Katt Fight

Spring is when people get the "Urge to Merge," thought the Katt, not the dead of winter.

Spring is when people get the "Urge to Merge," thought the Katt, not the dead of winter. But at Metas Metamorphosis conference last week in Orlando, Fla., the buzz was of several security companies joining forces. According to a Tabby tipster, Meta analyst Earl Perkins said that within 30 days, several competitive mergers could occur. While he didnt cite specifics, the tipster noted, he did indicate that the possible mergers included the "usual group of competitors," which the Kitty can only assume means Symantec, Network Associates, Internet Security Systems and Computer Associates. Two companies that some attendees speculated might be ripe for a merger are NA and ISS.

In addition, Perkins hinted that Novell may go shopping in the near future, the tipster said.

Novell has popped up in conversations a lot recently. Another friend of the Furball said folks attending next summers CeBIT show should look for N-iX to unveil a version of Business Linux 0.8 for Novells GroupWise and NetWare customers.

On the Microsoft front, His Hirsuteness heard that tensions are rising between the companys Office 11 and Microsoft CRM teams in Redmond. Microsoft CRM relies heavily on Office components such as Outlook and Excel. But Office 11 is being increasingly positioned as a business tool. With a new focus on connecting people, businesses and information management, Office 11 is looking a little too CRMish to the CRM development team. The tipster claimed this amalgamation of features has the CRM gang grumbling that Office 11, due to ship about midyear, could become their biggest competitor.

As for Microsoft CRM itself, the industry pool has already begun for how late its next iteration will ship. Promised for the second half of this year, insiders now believe it may not hit the streets until next year.

Spencer was amused when a tipster told him to check out a contest at The group is holding a "stupid security" competition and is inviting folks to report pointless, intrusive security measures theyve witnessed over the last year. The contest ends March 15, and winners will be announced at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference in the Big Apple April 3. "I dont know what the prize is, but Im guessing its not an XCam," laughed the Lynx.

The Kitty pleads meow-culpa to a faux fact in his Jan. 20 column. Apples new video software Final Cut Express is not a freebie and will cost around $300.

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt, the Whiskered Wonder, has been the mascot and tipster extraordinaire for eWEEK and its predecessor print publication PC Week since 1984. The Gadabout Gatto makes the rounds of...