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SQL Server 2005 SP3 released

Today's headlines: SQL Server 2005 SP3 comes out, and IT pros rate the best and worst vendors.

Information technology (IT) channel news in brief for Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008.

SQL Server 2005 SP3 hits

Microsoft posted SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3 to its website Monday. The update allows SQL Server 2005 Notifications Services to run against an instance of either SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008. And the updated reporting services support the building of models based on Teradata databases.

Customer survey: Best and worst tech resellers, vendors

Results of the VendorRate Report 2008, which surveyed 3,000 IT professionals about their supplier preferences, are out. The top-rated IT vendor for 2008 was ChemSW, which provides chemical inventory management software. Filling in the top slots were Informix (part of IBM), Salesforce.com, Intel and IBM Server and Systems. The best reseller was CDW.

On the flip side, the lowest-rated vendor was Sprint Nextel, followed by SunGard Data Systems, SAP Large Enterprise, CA, Datamaxx Group, EMC and Symantec Enterprise Storage and Backup. The lowest-rated reseller was Fry's Electronics, and the lowest-rated consultant was Accenture.

Microsoft online exodus continues

Another Microsoft online executive is leaving the company. Live Search general manager Brad Goldberg has decided to pursue an opportunity outside of Microsoft, the company said yesterday, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Microsoft Blog. Two other online execs -- Bill Shaughnessy and Brian McAndrews -- have also announced their departures since Microsoft hired former Yahoo exec Qi Lu to be its new online chief.

Dell packaging goes even greener

Dell has stepped up its green packaging strategy with a plan to reduce desktop and laptop materials by 10% worldwide, increase sustainable materials in cushioning by 40% and ensure that 75% of packaging components are curbside recyclable by 2012. In its new packaging, Dell is using renewable materials, including cushions that are comprised of recycled milk jugs and laundry detergent bottles.

Dell said its new recycling goals, announced yesterday, will save more than 150,000 trees. As part of its overall green strategy, Dell also announced the new Dell Greenprint Advisor, a free Web-based resource center that organizations can use to assess their green initiatives. Companies in the United States can access the resource center at www.dell.com/greenprint.

Microsoft-Alcatel battle ends -- almost

Microsoft and Alcatel have settled six of the seven patent lawsuits they have been wrangling over for six years, Bloomberg reported yesterday. Lucent (before it merged with Alcatel) began demanding consumer royalties for features in the Microsoft Windows operating system in 2002. A federal jury in San Diego later awarded Alcatel-Lucent $1.52 billion for a violated patent related to digital music technology, but a judge later threw out that verdict.

This latest agreement covers six lawsuits, including the digital music technology suit. Financial terms of the agreement haven't been released. Microsoft will continue to appeal a verdict that awarded $511.6 million for violation of a touch-screen form entry patent. Microsoft believes that patent is invalid.

Check out yesterday's IT channel news briefs.

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