Microsoft to open stores and other IT channel news in brief

Microsoft to launch retail stores; support issues dog virtualization rollouts, Novell launches Moonlight and other news in brief.

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IT channel headlines for Friday, Feb. 13, 2009

Microsoft to launch retail stores

In what many call another sign of Microsoft's Apple envy, the PC software giant is getting into retail. The company plans to launch a chain of "Microsoft-branded" retail outlets, and it tapped a former Wal-Mart exec, David Porter, to run the whole shebang. Porter will be corporate vice president of retail stores and will report to Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, another former Wal-Mart exec. Most recently, Porter headed up worldwide product distribution at DreamWorks Animation SKG. his job is to "create a better PC and Microsoft retail purchase experience for consumers worldwide."

The first order of business will be setting up the timeline, locations and specifics for the stores. Microsoft said Porter will work closely with those in existing retail programs within Microsoft's entertainment & devices division.

Support issues dog virtualization rollouts

Users say that, recession notwithstanding, they continue to spend on virtualization technology, but support issues have slowed some deployments, according to SearchServerVirtualization.com. Speaking at IDC's Virtualization Forum in New York, corporate virtualization experts said a lack of support from application vendors is one major hindrance to faster deployment.

Novell's Moonlight 1.0 brings Silverlight to Linux

The open source port of Silverlight for Linux was released this week, according to SearchWinDevelopment.com. Novell-sponsored Moonlight 1.0 is a fully-featured implementation of Silverlight 1.0. Silverlight is Microsoft's rich Internet application (RIA) platform and Adobe Flash "killer." Moonlight 1.0 passes all of Microsoft's regression tests for Silverlight, according to project lead Miguel de Icaza, vice president of engineering at Novell. Still to come is a full-functioning port of Silverlight 2.0 that Microsoft released in October. That release adds support for the .NET languages and a subset of Windows Presentation Foundation.

Red Hat claims milestone

Red Hat President and CEO Jim Whitehurst said this week that Red Hat broke the $500 million mark in 2008, a first for an open source company. SearchEnterpriseLinux.com wonders if the company's numbers are a sign of the maturation of open source, or is $500 million negligible when compared to the numbers of industry big-wigs like Microsoft?

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