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A bunch of tidbits.

* Washington addicted to e-mail [Examiner, 7.30.2007]
Washington wins the award for "most e-mail addicted" city in the country, according to a new study released Thursday by Dulles-based AOL. Atlanta, New York, San Francisco and Houston rounded out the top five. Of Washingtonians who have a portable e-mail device, 29 percent say they can't live without it.

* Washington Times editorial: Delays and the FAA [WTimes, 7.28.2007]
The longer-term solution is the Next Generation Air Transportation System, or simply "NextGen," which uses global-positioning satellites and other advanced avionics and communication technology. The GPS-based system is far more efficient and can handle two or three times the capacity of the current radar-based system. It also provides pilots and controllers with a much more exact view of aircraft locations, which would allow more planes in the same limited airspace.

While clearly necessary, upgrading is an expensive proposition. Between now and 2025 infrastructure upgrades will cost between $15 billion and $22 billion, and equipment upgrades will cost between $14 billion and $20 billion. With the taxes that pay for the current system set to expire on Sept. 30, Congress will have the opportunity to reform or overhaul how NextGen is financed. Funding needs to be assessed more equitably, said Mrs. Blakey, who noted that commercial travelers contribute 97 percent of funding even though general aviation uses about 16 percent of the resources. Sentiment in the Senate appears to be leaning in that direction as well. The current version of the Senate bill includes a $25 surcharge for all aircraft, with an exception only for small, piston-engine planes. Commercial airlines are all for shifting cost to other users, but the proposal is expected to face congressional opposition.

* Redmond Magazine: Microsoft: 60 Million Copies of Vista Sold [7.27.2007]
In half a year, Windows Vista has outsold Apple's entire installed base. That's according to Microsoft COO Kevin Turner, who announced the figures at Microsoft's financial analyst meetings yesterday.

Turner said Vista has sold 60 million copies since the consumer launch last January. That's a big jump from its last announced sales figure of 40 million copies, which Microsoft touted at its WinHEC conference in May.

Turner's proclamation may have been at least in part a response to media reports of slow Vista uptake and less-than-glowing reviews of the product, especially compared with continued strong Windows XP sales. But a number of market research companies, including Gartner and In-Stat, claim that there's no great clamor for Vista, and that it hasn't been the huge success Microsoft claims it has.

* WSJ: Behind Microsoft's Bid to Gain Cutting Edge [WSJ, 7.30.2007] [Registration required; Temporary free link here.]
Craig Mundie is at the center of a daunting challenge. As the man designated to replace Bill Gates as Microsoft's long-term strategic thinker, his aim is to position the company to survive and thrive in the post-Gates era.

* NYT: Microsoft's Gates Plans Leave Amid Great Change [7.30.2007]
Bill Gates, who co-founded Microsoft, still intends to step away next year as planned. But so far, Mr. Gates, the company's chairman, is showing no sign of fading away.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Jul 30, 2007 at 12:16 PM


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