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Windows 7 on track; Facebook to open up

Headlines: Microsoft: Win 7 'on track'; Business Productivity Online Suite goes online; other IT channel news.

IT channel news for April 27, 2009

Microsoft: Win 7 'on track'

A release candidate of Windows 7 should make it out as planned by month's end, according to a Microsoft blog. MSDN and TechNet subscribers should have access to the code April 30. The masses should have it by May 5. Broader, public availability will begin on May 5th. Changes to features and functions of the proposed Vista and/or Windows XP successor are outlined on the Engineering Windows 7 blog.

Business Productivity Online Suite goes online

Microsoft-hosted business productivity applications -- Exchange Server, SharePoint and so on -- are now officially for sale. Trial versions of the services have been available since March. The effort is closely watched, especially by hosting partners who privately view these Microsoft offerings as competitive to their own. It probably comes as no comfort to those partners that Microsoft is offering a 25% discount on its suite through the end of June. Hewlett-Packard's EDS division will also resell the Business Productivity Online Suite.

Traditional Microsoft VARs will get a percentage of any BPOS deals they refer to Microsoft.

Facebook to open up

Facebook, the student-oriented website that is moving into mainstream business use, is slated to open up some of its core code to third-party developers, according to reports. An announcement is expected Monday. Facebook, which recently passed the 200 million user mark, is seen as a rich trove of potential users. In theory, going forward, software developers could write services that make use of user-posted photos, videos and other data, although only with that user's permission.

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