Thursday, November 18, 2010

Advanced Persistent Threats - Part II. The China Angle

My earlier post about Advanced Persistent Threats just got more interesting. Today, the Wall Street Journal confirmed that China Telecom redirected up to 15% of all of internet traffic on April 8th, 2010. The attack targeted US Government Servers, Dell, IBM, Yahoo and Microsoft.

This means that Google is not alone, since they were viciously attacked in December 2009 (see previous post). In fact, what is interesting is that so far, the only company to stand up to the Chinese has been Google. How will these companies react?  Hard to tell since these kind of attacks are nearly impossible to stop, except that this attack was preventable.

So how did they do it? It was the result of changing the routing tables that are generated by network routers. As I have said in the past, the world is not a nice place and trusting all of the actors on the internet is no longer a smart business proposition. No enterprise and no government can really assume that they are not at risk from these types of attacks.

The net result of all of this is that a private, secure business network will emerge. Companies, such as the government owned China Telecom, if they keep perpetrating this kind of alleged behavior, will be blocked from conducting business outside of China.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The iPad Arrives at Target as Tablet Announcements Increase

Three weeks ago the headline that caught my eye was the front page of the Target Sunday Flyer in the San Jose Mercury News: The iPad is available at Target. Yes, now Target, AT&T, Verizon and others are going to resell the iPad. Apple is expanding distribution just as the wanna be Tablets show up.

There are so many Android Tablets arriving it is hard to decide where to start. The Samsung Galaxy isn't bad, but I wonder if the Verizon will really push it. The 5 inch Dell Streak isn't bad but it looks more like a phone than a tablet.

The Blackberry Playbook Tablet looks interesting, but I don't see any ads from Blackberry pushing it yet. I also don't see the Playbook out yet.

That brings me to HP and Microsoft. The two made big noise earlier this year, but that was before HP bought Palm. Now there is an eery silence, from both companies, except for occasional promises from Microsoft.

So while all the new comers get ready for their launch, Apple is reportedly expanding iPad production capacity to 3 million units a month. It will be interesting to watch this play out.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

iPhones and Family Plans - A Saturday spent at AT&T and Apple Stores

After two years with two different cell phone plans, we made plans for a consolidation, and due to an existing iPhone in the family, and the new far less expensive data plan from AT&T, the decision was made to go with AT&T.

Our family members were given the choice on phones and to make a long story short, all picked the iPhone. It was a long Saturday and it started easily enough with a visit to the Apple Store in Los Gatos, CA. Tip: go to Apple Stores that are not in Malls. The Apple retail staff are more laid back.

The Apple salesman was very nice and we got two iPhones enabled and old data ported over in a little over an hour and a half. It was nice and relaxing at the Los Gatos store. I saw the CIO of Cisco there and she looked pretty interested in a bunch of iPad accessories. That was the start of the journey.

Apple can only add a phone to an existing plan or create a new plan. They are not authorized to set-up a family plan. Very strange, but it is reflective of the relationship between AT&T and Apple.

Next stop was the AT&T store. We waited in line for over an hour. After that, we got the new phones correctly updated and our other son's plan migrated to a family plan. My wife decided not to go with a Blackberry Torch and the AT&T store had no iPhones. So it was back to the Apple Store at a Mall across the street in San Jose.

We waited at the Apple store for 45 minutes before getting served. It was not relaxing like the Los Gatos store. They had an iPhone 3GS that I bought and it was turned on and the data was migrated from the old phone. Then it was back to the AT&T store to get it added to the family plan. The AT&T Salesman was very nice and claimed we were all set.

We finally got home well after dinner time.  While it was a long day, it was no longer than when we signed up with Verizon two years ago. It would be nice if Apple had more ability to setup AT&T family plans.

It was all good until this week, when we started getting messages that we were over our unlimited texting plan. A quick phone call to AT&T solved that.

I will say this. Never underestimate what a teenager can do with thousands of apps from the iTunes app store. The hot tip for your teens is to teach them how to connect their iPhone to wireless networks (home and school). That way, they don't go over the limits on their data plan.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

iPad Envy: How Apple Caught the PC Industry Off-Guard

2010 will be remembered most in technology circles as one in which Apple caught the entire PC industry off guard. We're talking about the Apple iPad and the Tablet wars it has stoked. Was this a stroke of genius or just another example of design and usability as a core operating principle of a technology company.

First, the rumors in January about an Apple Tablet. Microsoft's Steve Ballmer tried very hard to circumvent that by announcing Tablets (referred to as Slates) at CES in early January. Jump ahead seven months later and there is no Slate to be seen.

After the iPad announcement, there was lots of criticism until shipments started. After that, People went wild and so did news agencies (racing to develop iPad Apps). I wrote about the five principles that make the iPad a winner before the match even started in my blog post titled: The Five Factors that Make the iPad a Winner. While some might refer to Apple's success as a 'rounding error', by June, 2010, Apple had already sold over three million iPads.

Figure 1
Figure 1 above shows the impact that the Apple iPad has had on technology providers. In fact, today there is not a PC provider or a carrier that isn't laser focused on this new category. Count the wanna-bes far and wide: Verizon, Google, Dell , Microsoft and even Blackberry. So far, few vendors are shipping any devices (the HP Slate is not shipping;  the Dell Streak is shipping outside of US).

Will tablets go the way that smart phones are headed, which implies that Google's Android has a big chance at victory (due in part to mass marketing by hardware manufacturers and cellular carriers)?

Google still is learning about User Interface design and the usability that goes with it. Every engineer at Google learns how to optimize applications for Search, Google's cash cow. Google would also be wise to invest in more UX training.  A plus for Google is that their time-to-market, the time it takes to release a new OS version, is impressive. That said, can you name the Droid device most people carry? Naming and branding needs work as well.

What about Microsoft? Well, a stealth project Tablet called the Courier was cancelled.  Why? Well, it probably lost a battle with the Windows 7 team. Courier looked pretty cool. Check out this YouTube video of a Courier.  It looked far more advanced than the iPad, but again, innovative ideas are killed off every day in the corporate world.

Rest assured, Microsoft will be in the market with Tablets and they will run ads on TV. The problem is that it is more than putting Windows 7 on a device. Microsoft needs more than a 'tuned' version of Windows 7. If it was just that, why didn't tablets take off years ago when Microsoft introduced Ink in its OS.

The reality is that right now, with the iPad, Apple has a multi-year lead on the rest of the Industry. The iPad doesn't require tinkering or tuning. It works and the UI is so intuitive, you see Grandparents using them on planes.

Building for design and usability with tight integration between the OS and the hardware platform is art and science combined. It seems so simple, but the reality is that thanks to Apple, users (IT jargon for people) now have a design and usability standard. The rest of the industry needs to pay close attention to these important lessons.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Return of Ford Motor Company

The news is starting to spread. With an outstanding earnings release, and a new stable of cars and trucks, Ford is back, even if they are far leaner than they ever were.

1932 Ford Model A
Many people in this country grew up with Ford vehicles and it had an impact on their life. I saw it first hand, since both of my parents drove fords and still do. In fact, I learned to drive in a 1972 Ford Station Wagon. What has never changed is the Ford logo: it is still the same.

The Ford F-150 has been the king of trucks since its inception. Many have tried to conquer it, but it is hard to compete with a truck this rugged. My neighbor in New York only used Ford trucks at his business because he indicated that nothing else could take the pounding.

It is in the car line-up that the changes have been coming at such a steady pace. The Mustang is just a joy to drive and it is a head turner. That said, Ford now offers a 40 MPG Fiesta that has been blogged and you-tubed for the last two years and is already popular with the iPhone crowd.

The biggest thing Ford has done is to simplify while it improved quality. Ford offers only six different car models, which is one of the reasons it is making money. These cars run well and are as good or better than their competition.

Ford is not slowing down either. Next week (last week of July 2010), Ford unveils the redesigned Ford Explorer.

Ford is back and it is great to see. Quality cars and trucks, at reasonable prices. They work and they run. Just like the original Model T that Henry Ford built.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Picking the Right Mac Laptop for College

If your high school graduate is about to head off to college, it is important to properly equip them with a PC (oops I meant a Mac) that is easy to use and that will work reliably and not require any assistance. We made the shift for our kids back in 2006 and the long term road test indicates that occasionally running disk utility is the only maintenance needed on these machines.

The laptop of choice for a lot of students is shifting to the Apple MacBook and the reasons are now self-explanatory (they easy to use and just work, all the time).  I'm going to share some brief thoughts on which MacBook to choose and the reasons why.

Platform - 13 inch vs 15 inch MacBook Pro
This is a personal preference, but a bigger screen often means more productivity. The only reason not to buy one from the University Store (UCLA offers both) is because you DO want to order online and get the 500 GB 7200 RPM hard disk. It is much faster than the standard drive (5400 RPM) and that also means more productivity for your student. Check out this link from Having had a glossy 13" MacBook for a while, I might now opt for the Anti-Glare Option.

Don't forget Apple Care. Don't skip this option, as it provides three years of support and repair service for your Mac.

Office Suite
Microsoft Office 2008 is the office suite of choice. Note that a key feature in MS Word is the Note taking feature and it allows for audio recordings of the professor's lecture.

Online File, Content Access and Backup
Mobile Me from Apple is one option, so is Google Docs. Some friends are using Mobile Me more often and for a student, it also backs up contacts. Before you sign-up though, check out what the University is offering. Also, send along some food sized USB memory sticks for file sharing etc.

An extra power cord can be a life saver, as sometimes a power cord can be left in the library and you need power for an all nighter... Some dorm rooms won't fit an extra display but that is your choice.

Transporting and Protecting your laptop
A number of providers, including Speck provide skins and backpacks/bags to protect and transport your Mac...Solar backpacks, while not for everyone, do work.

The printer to pick will be a separate post, as picking the right printer is easier said than done. So, have fun picking your Mac and start using it now, so you get used to it before heading to school.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

CyberWar Reference Links

There is a lot of information out there about the Google hack. It is worth keeping a list:

January Articles
Computer World

March Articles
Mcafee Blog

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cyber Warfare and the new Era of Advanced Persistent Threats

Cyber Warfare is here and your PC is the tool that becomes a weapon. How it does so is up for debate, but facts that have come to light indicate that the PC you pick, the browser and reader you use and the apps you run are being harnessed to launch cyber warfare attacks on you, your company and your country.

I wrote about the hack of Google earlier this year and since then even more information has come to light. The fact that so much of Google's infrastructure was compromised is probably why Google was so angry.

The issue for the normal user and for any IT Pro is that Operating Systems, Flash Players, PDF viewers are all being exploited through zero day vulnerabilities. It isn't just one application that is being exploited. It is a combination and that suggests a much higher level of sophistication than we have known so far in the Internet generation.

The Cocktail combo used to get Google appears to have been PCs with IE 6 running on them. That browser, combined with Facebook Instant Messaging, could enable a fatal trojan to be loaded onto the target PC. After that, it was easy.

Google's reaction was to stop support for IE6. It is a true statement that Adobe has had as much heat for security flaws as Microsoft. Apple has also quietly been issuing security updates at the same frequency as Adobe and Microsoft.

Even more telling is how these attacks are now being labeled. George Kurtz of Mcafee writes. “These highly customized attacks known as ‘advanced persistent threats’ (APT) were primarily seen by governments and the mere mention of them strikes fear in any cyberwarrior. They are in fact the equivalent of the modern drone on the battle field. With pinpoint accuracy they deliver their deadly payload and once discovered — it is too late. All I can say is wow. The world has changed.”

Corporate Security is a big issue and it cannot be ignored. The wrong OS or Browser or player puts you at risk.  Most of the Analysts I know are not taking a strong position on this. The risks are clear: gamble and you lose source code or even more.

It is clear that higher levels of defenses are needed. The first step is knowledge. Check out this link for some courses. Raise your browser security levels and look for best practices like the plug-in checker from Mozilla. Lastly, consider disconnecting certain corporate systems from the regular network (ie a standalone network). Don't wait. Put together a new plan now.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Making of a Corporate Marketing Video called 'The Ask'

It may be that it is a dying art, but in twelve years at Gartner, I rarely ever saw a good (let alone great) launch video for a new product. Jump ahead to 2010 and I'm back in vendor land facing the task of getting the word out on a new Collaboration product offering that is now announced (Saba Live and Saba Collaboration Suite).

The making of a corporate video is never easy and it is fraught with roadblocks and challenges. Overcoming them is about staying focused on the mission: producing a short, but compelling story that convinces all viewers to look a little closer at what you have to offer.

The making of The Ask is almost as interesting as the video itself. First, you need a world class script writer who is technical enough to be able to understand product features but then able to finesse them into the story without hitting the viewer over the head. My good friend Sheldon Renan wrote the script for The Ask and he is the same guy that produced the famous video called The Deadline when I was running marketing for MFPs (Digital Copier/Printers) at Xerox in Rochester NY.

You also need to have a great director David Rathod and a great producer Laura Marks, both pictured on the left. But to make it happen, you need a great team to pull off the story. 
The Collaboration Business Unit at Saba moved mountains and we created a fictional company, Bladzco, that is featured in the video. One of the funny stories about the making of the video is that all the screen shots were actually filmed during the production (almost no post). That is a credit to the strength and maturity of the products.
That said, Saba has had a collaboration offering since 2005 and has offered Saba Centra Web Conferencing for over ten years. That is one reason why so many Global 500 firms and the public sector trust Saba for enterprise class web conferencing.

So, now the video is out and my friends at Gartner are calling it 'impressive'. So are our customers.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fingernails and SmartPhones

A small musing on one aspect related to Smartphone selection.

Many of my female professional associates have long fingernails that make it hard to use a touch screen smartphone. As a result, many of them are going the way of the Blackberry or Android devices because of the physical keyboard.

In fact, some of my friends carry two devices, one for heavy texting, the other for browsing. Maybe the iPad will change that behavior (eliminate the need for a second device).

What is your preference?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Smartphones, Tablets and the Rise and Fall of Technology Providers

Time changes all things and 2010 is no exception. Everywhere I go, I see iPads.  In fact, my team at Saba Software helped me produce an awesome launch video about Saba Live and it has iPads featured in it. No one has made a challenge so far to the iPad. Nothing, not a squeak.
What is interesting to watch is how the smartphone wars have changed the landscape.  My friends at Gartner used to say that it wouldn't take much for Palm to be successful. Palm is gone. HP wants PalmOS...
Microsoft put out a new phone called the Kin and promptly killed it, only days after starting a TV advertising campaign. You can still see the website that shows the Kin, but you can also read the details about how it got killed here.
Google now claims that an Android phone is sold every two seconds and that Android is surpassing the iPhone. That may be, but Android doesn't have the cult appeal of the iPhone. That said, some techies are starting to shift. However, the new data plan for the iPhone will mean millions of teenagers will get iPhones, since many parents will go for the $15 dollar a month data plan.
Nokia, the world's largest producer of smart phones recently warned that earnings may fall.
The Apple iPad created a new category and is now a mainstream toy for all the tech enthusiasts that travel the world. Mainstream consumers are snapping them up too. Who will respond to the iPad? So far, no one has.
So, in the course of 36 months, the market for smartphones and tablets has changed. Vendors like Apple and Google are on the rise. Others are taking their lumps. As I have said before, user experience trumps everything.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Adobe vs Apple is really about Flash losing to H.264

It is the talk of Silicon Valley. The Flash smack down by the usually reserved Steve Jobs. The return strikes from Adobe, which didn't really accomplish much, except make it look very obvious that the two companies are not talking.

It seems that Adobe's Kevin Lynch never really talked to Steve and it was naive to think that Apple would ever give up control of its user interface for the iPhone, iTouch or iPad. That was really one of the big issues. Flash could enable a common user interface across all mobile devices. Ah but that is when the chess match gets interesting.

It is also a fight about money. Adobe sells tools that allow the creation of Flash and it has a great business. Apple makes money too and you can argue with their tactics, but you can't argue with the success of the iPhone or the App Store.  I don't see too many developers complaining about the App Store model, as many are now rich beyond their wildest dreams.

HTML 5 and H.264 are here. Argue as much as you want, but the numbers on H.264 are real. I was surprised by the uptake, but it is clear that it is already game, set, match for H.264.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Five Factors that make the iPad a Winner

Today is launch day for the Apple iPad, the tablet device that is destined to be a PC laptop killer.  In previous posts, including ones on eBooks that go back to Gartner Research Notes I wrote in 2000, we described the aspects that an eBook Reader  (tablet like device) would need and predicted the year it would appear (2007). Now it is 2010 and we essentially have the second generation device with the Apple iPad.

There are four factors that make the iPad a winner:
1. Platform. Form factor and a great display are the starting points. The hardware isn't perfect, but it has a familiarity to all previous Apple devices. It doesn't have everything, but third parties (see guide from Mashable) will help out here.
2. Operating System. Simplicity and a progressive disclosure based UI design are at the heart of it. For any Apple user, it is immediately intuitive. For any new user, it takes little time to get used to it, except for the touch typing.
3. Content. This is where things start to change. The content available now is tiny compared to what is coming. Apple has figured out the recipe for its platforms and understands that people not only want content (iTunes), but that they highly desire it. Music was the first content store, there will be many more...
4. Applications. Lots of firms are recompiling and refactoring their iPhone apps to work on the iPad. There will be lots of iPad specific apps coming too.
5. User Experience. The last and most important factor is user experience. When people are delighted by a device, that is a great user experience. More than anything else, Apple has figured this out. Like its famous Apple Mac computers and the revolutionary iPhone, the reason Apple is succeeding is because of the superior user experience they deliver. The iPad will be no exception.

So put aside all the hype you will hear. The iPad has just changed the personal computing market and it is a few apps short of being a laptop killer (Walt Mossberg agrees). These are the reasons that the iPad is a winner and probably the reason that you might have one sooner than you think.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Apple iPad: The Game was over before it began.

In previous posts, I predicted that the iPad would be a huge hit. Many were skeptical in the press. Order taking just started last week (the unit hasn't shipped yet) and sources told the Wall Street Journal that hundreds of thousands of iPads have been ordered.

Where are all the orders for the look alike devices? The truth is Consumers are much smarter in 2010 than they were in May 1990, when Windows 3.x was announced. The iPad isn't even shipping yet and it has already won.

Of course, it isn't the iPad itself that is the difference. It really is the Operating System, the User interface and the applications and content that you can put on it that are the difference makers. Put simply, the iPad and it's brethren the iPhone/iTouch offer a superior user experience. They delight their users.

So the game is over before it has even begun. It will be interesting to watch which vendor makes a counter move, but they have mountains to climb and few have done their homework like Apple has on this product. Clearly, Steve Jobs and team have every right to be giddy with excitement.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Truth is Chasing Toyota and Lexus

In an era where people communicate more quickly than ever before, news travels quickly. That is what happened when a 911 tape was released about an accident in California. News of this accident caused a recall by Toyota. Initially, in the fall of 2009, the public was told that it was floor mats causing a stuck accelerator.

The truth is now chasing Toyota, the world's largest automotive manufacturer.  The problem with Toyota and Lexus gas pedals appears to be more than a stuck pedal. Sudden acceleration is the term mechanics are whispering about.

There is an issue on with how Toyota is dealing with the problem. They are not coming clean about their Lexus brand, cars and SUVs that are manufactured by Toyota. It was a runaway 2009 Lexus ES 350 that killed off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor and his family. It was not Saylor's Lexus, but a loaner from Bob Baker Lexus in El Cajon California, the Toyota Lexus Dealer that Saylor had taken his Lexus in for service.

The Los Angeles Times lists the Toyota and Lexus Models involved in the US Recall. What is so strange is that the expanded recall announced by Toyota recently denies any problem with Lexus in its recent press release. Note, this is probably because they quietly issued a recall in 2009.

Here are the vehicles listed as part of the recall by NHTSA (Pontiac is also listed):

  • Toyota, Lexus and Pontiac vehicles affected by the entrapment recall are:
    • 2007-2010 Camry
    • 2005-2010 Avalon
    • 2004-2009 Prius
    • 2005-2010 Tacoma
    • 2007-2010 Tundra
    • 2007-2010 Lexus ES 350
    • 2006-2010 Lexus IS 250 and IS350
    • 2008-2010 Highlander
    • 2009-2010 Corolla
    • 2009-2010 Venza
    • 2009-2010 Matrix
    • 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe
Here is what Toyota lists in their press release:
   Certain 2009-2010 RAV4
• Certain 2009-2010 Corolla
• 2009-2010 Matrix
• 2005-2010 Avalon
• Certain 2007-2010 Camry
• Certain 2010 Highlander
• 2007-2010 Tundra
• 2008-2010 Sequoia

Read details of the NTHSA Report that was compiled by ace reporters Ken Bensinger and Ralph Vartabedian of the Los Angeles Times. Their article highlights some of the incredible facts that the NHTSA found about the 2009 Lexus ES 350. Here is how Consumer Guide Automotive describes the 2009 Lexus ES 350: "The 2009 Lexus ES 350 is largely unchanged. ES is essentially a luxury version of the Toyota Camry; Lexus is Toyota's premium division."

Toyota is racing to correct the problem but the question is, what is the problem? Somewhere in Japan, I think there are some engineers that know exactly what the problem is. The truth is out there and it is chasing Toyota and its premium Lexus brand.

The real question is this. Would you let yourself or a family member (especially your kids) drive one of these cars?

Note, this Blog post offers opinions only.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Apple Device: Will it Lure Bill Gates out of Retirement?

A few days ago, I blogged about the second generation ebook reader. I was referring to the new device that is being announced by Apple tomorrow.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Apple Execs, who are giddy with glee about their new device. Giddy? Content providers are also reacting the same way. Besides Apple, the winners are users out there and all the book, newspaper and magazine publishers, who were struggling with a digital business model.

It's the OS
The key thing is that Apple began this journey years ago with some critical developments. First, it was all about taking an Operating System (OS) and making it mobile friendly (iPod, iPhone).  Lots of naysayers have ignored this key move. It is the OS here that is strategic. Hardware can be copied. Software and great UI design is much much harder to mimic.

Second it was building two content related ecosystems, iTunes and then the AppStore. No other AppStore has come even close to Apple's success and iTunes remains the gold standard for music distribution.

So now Apple is about to launch a new device with great content and you have a recipe that will crush all comers. Who wins? You do. Students, Soccer Moms and even business people be carrying one soon.

Apple is on a roll right now. Google is a few laps behind (on Mobile) and we keep waiting for a response from Microsoft. It makes one wonder when Microsoft Founder Bill Gates will need to come out of retirement.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Second Generation eBook Reader

The second generation eBook Reader is about to launch and it will obliterate all other entrants.. Yes, it is the new Apple Tablet and it has been in the works for years. Details  of the Tablet have been leaking for days. Will everyone want one? Of course. Get in line early.

Besides a great design, why will this eBook reader rock? The answer is simple. It is all about content and Apple has the inside edge with iTunes, the App Store and soon the new iNewstand (note, sample name). Why is the New York Times suddenly going to charge for its online edition? Its really simple. They want to catch the wave.

What will be the biggest market for the Apple Tablet? Kids. Text books meet games. The perfect storm.

Should you put your content in the new Apple iNewstand? Right away...So what happens to all those other eBook Readers? eBay....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The New Era of Government Sponsored Cyber Warfare

The world has changed forever. Cyber warfare has reach new heights with initial reports confirming that the attack on Google, Yahoo, Adobe, Juniper and at least 31 other companies were sponsored by the Chinese Government (see report: Verisign iDefense IDs Chinese Government ).

The sophistication of the attacks has stunned everyone including Carlos Carrillo, the consultant who helped do the investigation for Google and security firm MacAfee. With details emerging, it is no wonder that Google is considering pulling out of China. Government sponsored attacks on Companies at this level are unheard of and given the number of companies targeted, executives must realize that the very survival of their enterprise hinges on making some fundamental changes in their approach to corporate security.

These attacks weren't just probes, the hackers were trying to get access to source code, which is what products and software services are based on. One who has access to source code can copy it, change it and make a new product or service.  News of this should make any rational business person shake their head in disgust. It means that it is now all out cyber warfare and a different approach to defensive measures must be taken.

So what does one do in the short term? Since every version of Internet Explorer is vulnerable to this kind of attack and since no enterprise can guarantee that users will reset their browser settings to high security, the simplest approach is to remove Internet Explorer from all corporate PCs and all personal PCs that access the corporate network. Mashable reports on that exact recommendation that the German Government just issued.

CIOs can't wait on this. This screams for immediate action. No one wants their career to be marked by the story of how the crown jewels (aka source code) of the company they worked at were stolen because a bad browser wasn't replaced. That is just the first step. Realizing that governments are using multi-stage cyber attacks means that new guidelines and procedures must be employed.