Five years is an eternity in the tech world, and it does seem like an eternity since Windows Vista (once code-named Longhorn — remember that?) has been in development. This week, it was released to manufacturing, and Ben Romano captured the moment. Earlier in the week, Office 2007 headed to manufacturing, too. In effect, that opens the gates for the next versions of the company’s most lucrative products.
Bam, bam, bam. Not that long ago, there was a sense that there was little new coming out of Microsoft. Not now. Continuing the onslaught of product introductions, the company this week updated its Virtual Earth mapping service, showed off its nifty Photosynth display technology and disclosed a downloadable movie service for the Xbox 360. Of those, the movie and video downloads, as Kim Peterson reported, provided interesting possibilities, bringing to market what had been a diffcult link in the emerging video download business — viewing the download on TV.
The stock options backdating case unravels in bits at the company. Kristi Heim reports that the internal investigation has been completed, the company’s general counsel is leaving, and the company is taking a $22.9 million charge over seven years.
In what could have some implications down the road on the issue of adware, Bellevue-based Zango has agreed to pay the FTC a $3 million fine and to clearly notify consumers and get their agreement before installing the software that legions of computer users complain they don’t want. The settlement left privacy advocates happy. Here’s a bit more about the case, which dates back to when the company was known as 180Solutions.
The Seattle biotech says its Provenge prostate-cancer drug performed a lot better than a placebo among men with early-stage disease. That gave the stock a bit of a boost.
Quote of the week
“Competitors tried to get regulators to castrate the product. I wouldn’t say antitrust played any dramatic role.”
— Bill Gates, during a European tour to promote Windows Vista
If you missed it
Its handsets and mobile devices are lot better known that it is, but Taiwan-based HTC is a powerhouse in the mobile industry as a maker of high-end products. Tricia Duryee reports how it’s beefing up its American operations. Much of that is coming through a heavy focus on its U.S. headquarters in Bellevue, conveniently close to Microsoft, which provides the operating system for its products.