Top 10: Yang's move, Microsoft-Novell developments

This week's tech news roundup includes Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang stepping down, the latest from the Microsoft-Novell partnership, advice for IT in the slumping economy, and more

Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, who co-founded the company, stepped aside this week to the surprise of no one who has followed the recent travails of the company. While that ship continued to list, the IETF debated what, if anything, to do about the problematic DNS bug that was discovered earlier this year. And the BlackBerry Storm lived up to its name, if not entirely to its hype, as it debuted in the United States and the United Kingdom.

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1. Yahoo's Yang to step down as CEO and What's Yahoo's next move?: From the "it's about time" file -- Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang is leaving the company's CEO post, which he took over in July 2007. While he took charge to try to right what was wrong with the company, his CEO tenure didn't go so well, with the failed Microsoft buyout attempt, followed by a failed ad deal with Google, with two rounds of layoffs and slumping finances mixed in. Yang will continue as a board member, and when a new CEO is found he will resume his previous title of "Chief Yahoo." What happens next at Yahoo has been the source of much debate this week.

2. A future without programming: There are presently tons of codeless app dev tools available, tools that will help you create an app without having to do any of the coding yourself. This is a great boon to people who want to create simple apps without having to write all the code, or even noncoders who just want to make the app that they need themselves. But they could also be signaling a decline for developers as they see themselves replaced by applets.

3. Microsoft, Novell eye Moonlight beta, system management: As Microsoft and Novell near the two-year anniversary of their controversial interoperability agreement, they are announcing a beta of Moonlight, which will bring Microsoft's Silverlight RIA technology to Linux. The companies are also rolling out the Advanced Management Pack, which enables management of Windows and Linux servers from a single console.

[ For a two-year retrospective on the agreement, featuring comments from Microsoft, Novell and an opponent of the arrangement, see The Microsoft-Novell Linux deal: Two years later. ].

4.JavaFX RIA technology almost ready: Sun says that general release products for JavaFX Desktop and JavaFX Script should be out by the end of the year. Featuring an application platform based on Java, a scripting component and runtimes for desktop and mobile systems, JavaFX, Sun officials said, gives the company a unique entrant in a market also featuring Adobe Systems, with Flash, and Microsoft, with Silverlight.

5. Five top spending priorities for hard times: Forrester, Gartner and IDC have slashed 2009 IT spending growth projections, with IDC forecasting a decline to a paltry 0.9 percent from its pre-financial crisis prediction of 4.2 percent. Analysts say that despite the grim financial scene, companies should not inflict deep cuts on IT. "Companies should tighten their belts, not take their pants off," says Forrester senior analyst Andrew Reichman. InfoWorld chatted up analysts and CIOs to find out which technologies should be funded regardless of what the economy is up to (or down to, as it were).

6. Hosted Exchange, SharePoint now widely on sale: About 500,000 users have already adopted Exchange Online since a limited release for large enterprises in October 2007, and Microsoft expects half of all enterprise employees with e-mail to use a combined online and premises-based system in five years. Naturally, the company hopes that its Exchange Online, now in full release, will capture a large part of that market.

7. Survey: U.S. IT spending forecast worst since 2001: Forty-five percent of those who responded to a new ChangeWave Research Survey said their companies aim to spend less on IT or even nothing at all on IT during the first quarter of 2009 -- the highest percentage response to that survey question since 2001. Researchers talked to 1,926 U.S. respondents who are involved with IT spending to get the dismal survey results. Just 10 percent said they plan to spend more in the first quarter, which was down three points from an August survey.

8. Microsoft drops OneCare anti-virus product: Microsoft is essentially giving up on its efforts to build a consumer anti-virus business as it is discontinuing its OneCare software. Microsoft pushed hard to get OneCare to be thought of as on the same level as products from Symantec or McAfee, but it was poorly reviewed and failed to establish itself as being able to run with the big boys. OneCare will be replaced with free anti-virus software called Morro.

9. Obama administration to inherit tough cybersecurity challenges: The administration of President-elect Barack Obama will wind up dealing with key cybersecurity initiatives begun during the Bush administration, but far from fruition. More progress has been made on other cybersecurity projects, but some of those have been found to be lacking. Those in the security industry say that the next administration will also have to focus on collaboration between public and private sectors.

10. Bush's exit to put new e-records system to the test: The National Archives and Record Administration expects to receive 140TB of data when the Bush administration ends after eight years with inauguration day, Jan. 20, when all paper and electronic records of the administration become the legal responsibility of NARA. The unprecedented volume of records has to be sorted, indexed, and preserved. Comparatively, the Bush years are expected to generate 50 times more data than the Clinton administration, which also went two terms.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.