This eWEEK: April 28, 2003

When IBM does something right, it can be scary.

When IBM does something right, it can be scary. The once-bumbling Big Blue is showing it knows how to do acquisitions. Sure, the last chapter of the IBM-Rational saga hasnt been written, but so far, as Darryl K. Taft reports, IBM is approaching things in a, well, very rational way, putting IBMs massive research capabilities at the service of Rationals highly regarded chief scientist, Grady Booch.

And talk about making sense of an acquisition; it could finally be happening at Hewlett-Packard. For several years, Carly Fiorina has been striving mightily to boost HPs services business, but the $3 billion, 10-year deal with Procter & Gamble that HP snagged from the jaws of EDS is a sign that the strategy may finally be taking hold. Cynics might guess that HP had to low-ball the deal, but both HP and P&G deny it. See Paula Musichs story for the details, and for what it means to you, read what Editor in Chief Eric Lundquist has to say in Up Front.

When Microsoft does a big rollout, its easy to lose sight of the fact that subtle enhancements may be masked in big marketing hype. Windows Server 2003 is not a new paradigm, but there are plenty of desirable features—especially if youre committed to the Windows platform. It shouldnt come as too much of a surprise that eWEEK Labs scored the product as good or excellent in all categories—except interoperability (see review). For a look at what the new Win Server can do in the 64-bit arena, take a look at Anne Chens story on how its being used at Cornell University.

While Microsoft can focus its attention on its vast user base, the universe of other software vendors must behave differently. BMC CEO Robert Beauchamp told Eric and me in our Face to Face interview that BMC must try to work with everyone. And Microsoft-funded research to the contrary, the Linux value proposition is something that cannot be ignored. BMCs systems management tools will help give Linux enterprise credibility.

If youre getting seriously interested in Wi-Fi, NetWorld+Interop in Las Vegas this week is a good place to be. NEC America will be making a wireless LAN splash with an emphasis on voice, as Paula reports. InfoVista will bring service-level-management tools to the table, according to Carmen Nobel. Finally, Evan Koblentz reports, Quantum will add capacity and management to its DX100 disk backup appliance.

For more on N+I, see our special section.

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