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Opinion: Early tests show rough edges and improved information management, such as freshened file search.

It's not just the first beta of Windows client that is going to testers today. Microsoft also is delivering on Wednesday the first beta bits of its Longhorn Server product, due to ship in 2007.

Microsoft places the long-awaited first beta for the Windows "Longhorn" client into the hands of beta testers, who will rigorously put Vista through its paces.

Vista Beta 1 has yet to debut, but more new information is trickling out on what to expect in Microsoft's pending Windows and browser releases. (Microsoft Watch)

The OS formerly known as Longhorn is expected out in beta Aug. 3, and Microsoft has a job on its hands trying to inspire widespread migration.

VARs expect Apple-on-Intel to make Mac-based solutions cheaper and to give Macs a more secure development road map. But many customers are put off by Apple's embrace of the enemy and are anxious to see that the switch doesn't divert its own unique development path.

Oracle defended the math behind its new and comparatively stingy 25 percent rebate on multicore processors, saying that customers are now getting charged for what they in fact get: a 1.5 to 1.75 times performance boost from a dual-core chip.

Review: The channel has largely declined to pitch thin-client computing to customers because the technology and the margins were too weak. But Sun's new effort at a thin-client platform, Sun Ray, may change some minds.

Opinion: Instead of racing to provide new features, database vendors should take the time to upgrade patch management tools.

News Analysis: Experts offer tips on how to tackle a double-headed patch beast from Oracle and Microsoft—while keeping your sanity.

The third cumulative patch from Oracle since the start of its new system applies a set of 49 fixes to a wide array of offerings.

After a report from a private security research firm that the original patch fails to address an exploitable flaw, Oracle tries again.

Open source isn't just about better software, says Berkeley political scientist Steven Weber. It's about fostering creativity and challenging the status quo.

The company undertakes to protect its OEM and ISV Royalty partners from the legal costs of IP-violation lawsuits.

Opinion: It's taken a while to develop and more time to start to catch on, but Neterion believes resellers are ready to consider 10G-bit Ethernet technology.

"Tromboning" is a consistent problem, making product selection even more important than usual when consolidating voice and data networks, according to one provider implementing VOIP at Vermont Legal Aid.

Tools and services are available that can help administrators maintain Linux's software management strengths without completely sacrificing flexibility. But each distribution contains or is compatible with different tools. stray from your Linux distribution without getting lost.

Public IM networks may be easy to use, but for a serious and secure enterprise IM system, you need one of your own that can also talk with the public networks.

Ignore the smoke Microsoft is blowing about Longhorn. Windows 2000 support is ending now, not in 2007, which means VARs need to look nowfor viable new desktops for their customers.

Thunderbird, Mozilla's open-source e-mail client, has some useful features that are worth experimenting with while waiting for a more advanced version to arrive.

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