The Demo 09 and Cebit trade shows added a steady stream of news to what already seemed like a busy week in IT -- narrowing the list to 10 stories was tougher than usual. Even allowing for the likelihood that we have a case of early spring fever, the headlines were hopping and for a change the ones that captured our attention did not tend to be related to the recession. There was a key federal appointment, some more blunt talk from Yahoo's new CEO and a warning from the FTC, among other things.
1. Microsoft confirms IE8 kill switch in Windows 7 and Windows 7 leaks continue as new build hits BitTorrent: In what will certainly be considered a key positive feature to some users -- we will refrain from naming names here -- Microsoft confirmed that users will be able to remove Internet Explorer 8 and an expanded list of integrated applications and features from Windows 7. In related news, the second post-beta build of the operating system leaked onto the Web.
2. Meet the nation's first CIO: President Barack Obama offered up a surprise this week, naming Vivek Kundra the first federal CIO. Kundra earned high marks as Washington, D.C.'s, CTO, putting the nation's capitol on the map as a leader in government use of technology.
3. Demo 09: Recession weeds out uninspiring start-ups and Cebit 2009 highlights: Demo has become one of the more interesting IT shows in recent years, showcasing emerging technologies, while even a shrunken Cebit remains enormous. Both shows were this week and Network World offered a round up of news from each, complete with a slide show out of Hanover.
4. Yahoo CEO likes Google maps better than Yahoo maps: In the morale-boosting (insert eye-rolling emoticon) news story of the week, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said she prefers Google Maps to Yahoo Maps and that Yahoo Maps is not as good as it should be. OK, so that second part is not much of a news flash, but from other comments made by a Yahoo executive at the conference, it does not sound likely that Yahoo is going to improve its maps anytime soon. Bartz also let it be known that she told Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that any future negotiations between their companies have to stay confidential. Good luck with that. Although there is reason to believe that Ballmer might just have met his match in Yahoo's blunt new CEO.
5. Linux Foundation moves on training: While developers are being laid off, job postings related to Linux development are up, so the Linux Foundation decided to offer training along those lines. The foundation also announced that it is taking charge of the Linux.com information site.