Stories by Randall C. Kennedy

  • Windows 'XP mode': The new DOS box

    An October surprise -- that's how many are interpreting Microsoft's 11th-hour revelation that it will be providing a virtualized copy of Windows XP as a free compatibility add-on to Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions.

  • Windows XP vs Vista: What you need to know

    Will Windows XP still be properly supported by Microsoft and, as a primary development target, by third parties? Is there something XP die-hards have missed, some hidden gotcha that's going to trip them up 12, 18, or 24 months from now?

  • Solving the legacy Windows compatibility puzzle

    There's been a lot of chatter lately about how Microsoft needs to start over with Windows. Many point to the (NT) code base's 16-year history and how the need to maintain backward compatibility is hampering efforts to move the platform forward. According to these critics, a clean break is necessary in order to stop the kind of bloatware madness that so crippled Windows Vista. Dump the creaking legacy that is the Win32 API/ATL/MFC, they say, and solve the compatibility riddle through VM technology.

  • Fat, fatter, fattest: Microsoft's kings of bloat

    What Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away. Such has been the conventional wisdom surrounding the Windows/Intel (aka Wintel) duopoly since the early days of Windows 95. In practical terms, it means that performance advancements on the hardware side are quickly consumed by the ever-increasing complexity of the Windows/Office code base. Case in point: Microsoft Office 2007, which, when deployed on Windows Vista, consumes more than 12 times as much memory and nearly three times as much processing power as the version that graced PCs just seven short years ago, Office 2000.

  • Thin vs. Fat: Google's plan to kill Microsoft Office

    The long battle of "thin versus fat" has commenced. From all appearances, Google is angling to end Microsoft's hegemony by disrupting fat client computing on the desktop. The target: none other than Microsoft Office. The weapon of choice: browser-based, thin client applications.

  • New i3 moving in the right direction

    “Diamond in the rough” is an apt description of Veritas Software’s i3 application performance management (APM) suite. Obtained when the company acquired Precise Software last year, i3 comprises three core components: the Insight analysis module, Indepth agent technology, and Inform alerting service. The components provide a solid foundation for monitoring application execution across multiple tiers in a heterogeneous network environment.

  • IBM x450 offers so-so performance

    In the dog-eat-dog world of commodity, Intel-based servers, IBM’s eServer xSeries 450 is a greyhound. As is often the case with such purpose-bred creatures, IBM’s lean and svelte rack-mountable 64-bit solution sacrifices computing heft (lots of memory and expansion possibilities) in favour of another worthwhile quality — a smaller footprint.