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IT Channel News Briefs, Oct. 20

Today's headlines: Big layoffs are coming at Yahoo, and Microsoft licensing shuts out virtual appliances.

Information technology (IT) channel news in brief for Monday, Oct. 20, 2008.

Report: Yahoo to slash costs, jobs

Yahoo plans to announce major layoffs and other cuts tomorrow, according to The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper reported today that more than 1,000 jobs are on the chopping block, and that Yahoo will disclose the details of the cuts during its quarterly earnings call. Rumors that Microsoft is interested in acquiring Yahoo reignited last week as Yahoo's stock price continued to fall; the Journal said these cuts are an attempt to reverse Yahoo's fortunes from the inside.

No Windows-based appliances for you!

Now that the Open Virtualization Format (OVF), a platform-independent packaging and distribution format for virtual machines, is here, more applications will be packaged as OVF-based virtual appliances. But don't hold your breath for virtual appliances based on Microsoft Windows, said SearchServerVirtualization.com.

Virtual appliances put applications and operating systems preinstalled and preconfigured inside virtual machines. The recently released OVF provides a standard way to build and package such appliances. But Microsoft licensing prevents ISVs from building appliances with Windows. The company allows only certified resellers to package and distribute Windows, effectively preventing Microsoft customers and channel partners from distributing appliances based on a Windows application, said Jeff Byrne, senior analyst and consultant with the Hopkinton, Mass.-based Taneja Group.

Mixed reactions to Microsoft-BlackBerry rumor

Experts in the mobile device market are split over whether Microsoft should acquire BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, according to SearchMobileComputing.com. Rumors began swirling last week that Microsoft could acquire RIM, and there have been reports that Windows Mobile 7 could be delayed until 2010. Some analysts say the acquisition wouldn't make sense, because BlackBerry devices run their own operating system. But others think the move could bolster both Microsoft and RIM.

Oracle ships new ID management software

Oracle today announced its Adaptive Access Manager 10g Release 3, which adds improved "context-aware" fraud prevention and risk mitigation, the company said. The software sports statistical evaluation techniques that can help administrators thwart fraud in real time, according to Oracle.

Check out Friday's IT channel news briefs.

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