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Welcome to Bink.nu
previously known as www.Windowsxp.nu please update your bookmarks to http://bink.nu

This site provides news, tips and downloads about the new OS Windows XP and other Microsoft Technologies

Author: Steven Bink, a Windows 2000+XP MCSE and MVP from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Bink.nu is not owned or controlled by Microsoft

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August 29

IE6 sp2 soon?

 Microsoft released a knowledge base article confirming a new Bug in IE6 SP1...

Under the status line ms says, this problem will be fixed in Internet Explorer 6 SP2. So perhaps MS will release a new version of the popular browser sooner than the next service pack for XP.

822071 - Cannot View Some PNG Images

Warp2Search.Net Your Daily Tech News Service - Internet Explorer 6 SP2 soon

YESSS!! Bart's PE Builder 3.01 !!

The third release and now MS has no problems with it so it now should be available longer then 1 day ;-)

Check www.nu2.nu after the weekend for download.

Microsoft claim (more) domains

Last week Microsoft called webmasters of Msnfan.com, Msnbase.nl, Msn6.nl, Msnnamen.nl, Msntools.com and MSNshit.nl with the request to stop using domain names with MSN in it. Some of the sites have already changed the domain, some sites have not been contacted yet Msnskins.nl, Msnskins.com and Msndating.nl (last week).

You might remember the same thing happening to this site when it ran under the name www.WindowsXP.nu which is now owned by Microsoft.

DUTCH: WebWereld 'Microsoft eist domeinen met MSN in naam op'

WinXP sp2 in mid 2004 :-((((((

Based on feedback from customers and partners Microsoft is committed to providing a 12 month roadmap of upcoming service packs and security rollup packages. The updated service pack roadmap chart details three key points:

Due to feedback and reviews of the feasibility and usability of the Windows Security Rollup Packages, Microsoft has decided that we will not be releasing any further updates for Windows NT Workstation and Windows NT Server 4.xx in the foreseeable future.

Windows XP (Professional and Home) Service Pack 2 will be released in mid-2004

The Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 release date has been moved from late-2003 to the first quarter of 2004.

UPDATE: Wininformant has more on this issue, it might be released earlier in Q1 2004:

In an interview with ComputerWorld, Microsoft group vice president Jim Allchin said that Windows XP SP2 was still on track for early 2004. However, the company is evaluating the schedule, making me wonder if all the pressure from users is finally settling in over in Redmond. "If we don't change our mind, [that date is correct]," he said. "There are many things that can help drive that. In particular, the consent decree helped drive when we did SP1 ... We could decide to accelerate the service pack. It's not some hard-and-fast thing. We have a team. ... I don't want to get it locked down to a particular path, because something may come up. Something came up in the last couple of weeks. It's got a lot of focus here right now." What should be a big focus, sadly, is changing the service pack schedule. Again, these release need to ship every six months like clockwork.

WinInfo Short Takes Week of September 1

Outlook Mail counter

“Outlook mail counter” to place your outlook count on your desktop. With the recent beta of Outlook 2003 it looks like this utility isn’t going to be that useful since the new outlook does this on it’s own. One of the top requests the developer received was to allow people who didn’t use outlook but a web mail service like Yahoo or MSN to check their mail in a similar way. Now developed Pop mail counter for windows XP. This program talks directly to a POP mail server, counts your mail and places this information on your Windows XP welcome screen. Now currently running a public Beta.


Codename: Bear Paw

Bear Paw is the codename of the next generation terminal services. It is first mentioned at the Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting in a presentation by Eric Rudder.

Some curious engineers asked for more info at Microsoft, this was some of the reply:

Microsoft have made it very clear at this time, the specific features that will be included in Bear Paw have not been confirmed.

Eric Rudder did reference Bear Paw and did imply that it is targeted for Microsoft FY04 (July - June 04.) release.

Eric Rudder's reference was pre-mature.

We have now been advised by Chandra Shekaran, the Terminal Server group manager, that Eric Rudder should not have mentioned Bear Paw! Bill Veghte has already spoken to him and advised him that at this stage Bear Paw is undefined re features or Release dates.

Microsoft public position on Bear paw at this time is - Bear Paw is the code name for the next release of Terminal Server. Its features set and release date are at this time undefined.

Chandra confirmed to me that Bear Paw will not be released on its own, it will either be part of a Service Pack or a major release. He specifically said that it could be part of win2k3 SP2 or Longhorn - but nothing is decided.


Smartbar XP

SmartBarXP is a bar that runs down the side of your screen, and can be configured to display interactive panes, display shortcuts to common locations, or even replace your existing taskbar. A huge selection of panes are available to be added to the bar, which range from media Players and a running slideshow pane, to live news, weather and stock feeds, and much more.
To add to the incredible flexibility of functionality, SmartBarXP can be fully customized in almost every aspect you could think of. Every pane has extensive options where needed, and can be customized to function and look just the way you want it to. The bar itself can also be customized, with several options for positioning, auto hiding, pane scrolling, fading and translucency effects, changing the language and regional setting, and more. You can also select the theme the bar takes on; it can match your current Windows XP theme, the Classic Windows theme, or even use a third party SmartBarXP theme.


MS Windows Services for Netware 5.02 SP2

Windows Services For Netware 5.02 Service Pack 2 (SP2) provides a cumulative roll up of updates and services that have been offered since the release of Windows Services For Netware 5.01 Service Pack 1.

The Windows Services For Netware 5.02 SP2 provides a cumulative roll up of updates and services that have been offered since the release of Windows Services For Netware 5.0. Windows Services For Netware SP2 offers substantial improvements to the Directory Synchronization and File Migration Utility since the initial release of the Microsoft Windows Services For Netware 5.0 software product.

The Windows Services for Netware SP2 offers two updates for download: MSDSSSP2 and FPNWSP2.

Download files

MS Sector Inspector

SecInspect.exe is a command-line diagnostics tool that allows administrators to view the contents of master boot records, boot sectors, and IA64 GUID partition tables. Additional features include creating hex dumps of binary files and backup/restore of sector ranges.

Sector Inspector is a flexible diagnostics tool for safely collecting disk and file system-related data for offline analysis. Sector Inspector has additional features that allow backup and restore of sector ranges for use with other disk editing tools. Because low-level disk access is performed, administrator privileges are required to use most features of Sector Inspector.


Exchange 2000 September post sp3 roll-up patch

This patch resolves problems that were found in the Exchange 2000 since SP3 was released.

The September 2003 Exchange 2000 Server Post-Service Pack 3 Rollup supercedes the March 2003 Exchange 2000 Server Post-Service Pack 3 Rollup that was re-released on March 24, 2003. Earlier Rollup Patch released in March has build no. while the September roll up patch carries

This update requires Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Service Pack 3.

The list of fixes that are contained in this rollup will be available shortly.

Download: Exchange 2000 Post-SP3 Rollup Patch 6487.1
View: More Info. about this download
View: March 2003 Exchange 2000 Server Post-SP 3 Rollup
Source: www.iexbeta.com

XP Tweakguide

A great tweakguide for Windows 2000 /XP in helpfile format, made by a Lex van der Horst (a Dutch MVP) Check it out now.


homepage of Lex van der Horst: http://windowsxp.homedns.org

Live Meeting Trial

Live Meeting, formerly PlaceWare Conference Center, is a new service in the Microsoft Office System that enables you to collaborate online with employees, clients, and customers in real time with groups of 2 or more than 2,000. With just a phone and a computer with an Internet connection, you can free yourself from the cost and hassle of business travel.

The Live Meeting Web conferencing service helps you and your employees run and participate in interactive meetings around the world with remote teams, prospects, customers, partners, colleagues, and global audiences—in real time and at a moments notice. With everyone participating from their desktops, teams can swap ideas, share information, mark up files, collaborate with whiteboards, or negotiate deals—at a fraction of the cost of travel. Communicating with people more easily and quickly can help shorten sales cycles, increase productivity, and improve the bottom line.

View: Sign up for the free, 30-day Live Meeting trial
View: Order Live Meeting.
View: Microsoft Office Live Meeting Overview
View: Experience a Live Meeting demonstration in real time
News source: www.iexbeta.com

Microsoft Virtual PC 2004

Microsoft will release Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 late in calendar year 2003. In the meantime, a 45-day free trial of the Connectix Virtual PC for Windows version 5, now from Microsoft, can be downloaded for evaluation purposes.

August 15th was the last day customers could purchase Virtual PC for Windows from Connectix. In late 2003, Microsoft will release a new version of Virtual PC (Microsoft Virtual PC 2004) which may have different features and may require migration from the current Connectix Virtual PC for Windows product. You can find more information about Microsoft's Virtual PC for Windows product plans and support options, and you can download a trial version of Virtual PC for Windows 5.2 at http://www.microsoft.com/virtualpc.

Currently, Microsoft has also made available the complete version of Virtual PC for Windows 5.2(43.6 Mb) for MSDN Subscribers at MSDN subscribers site.

Download: Microsoft Virtual PC for Windows 5.2 45-day Free Trial (23.34 Mb)
View: Microsoft Virtual PC for Windows 5.2 Trial Download Page
View: System Requirements & Serial No. for Trial Edition
View: Virtual PC for Windows Product Overview
View: Microsoft Virtual PC Homepage
source: www.iexbeta.com

August 28

Office 2003 release details


What Will Be Available

August 2003

Technology Guarantee. Acquire Microsoft Office XP or other Office version 2002 programs and you may be eligible to receive a free upgrade to the latest version when it becomes available. Learn more about the Microsoft Office Technology Guarantee.

Sign-up for trial CDs. In early October, 30- and 60-day trial versions of most Microsoft Office System programs will be available. If you sign up today we will send you an e-mail message when you can order trial versions. Learn more and sign up today.

October 2003

Availability to Volume License customers. Customers enrolled in the Microsoft Select and Enterprise Agreement volume licensing programs will begin receiving receive the new Microsoft Office System programs (English only) in their October CD shipments. Learn more about Microsoft Volume Licensing.

Trial CDs. Trial CDs for the new Microsoft Office System programs will be available the first week of October. Learn more and sign up today.

Availability to MSDN® Subscribers. MSDN Universal Subscribers will receive Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 in the October shipment, and other Microsoft Office System products in subsequent shipments. MSDN Universal Subscribers will also be able to download Microsoft Office System products from MSDN Subscriber Downloads on October 1, 2003.

October 21, 2003

Retail availability. The Microsoft Office System programs will be available at retail and online outlets.

Microsoft Office System launch events. Participate in the Microsoft Office System launch by attending a launch event in your area. Sign up today to receive an e-mail with information on launch events in your area. Stay tuned to this Web site for more information about upcoming events.

How to Get Microsoft Office System Programs

IE 6 still has 22 holes

Last week the august cumulative patch for IE was released. This site claims there are still 22 unpatched security holes in IE

{ PivX Solutions, LLC }

Windows 2003 64 AMD details

A MICROSOFT WORD DOCUMENT has escaped from its laboratories and found itself on the world wide web.
Dubbed "Hands on Lab", the lengthy document outlines a great many procedures when working with 32-bit and 64-bit AMD architecture.

As the article says, a 64-bit operating system supports far more physical memory than a 32-bit OS. Windows NT for the AMD64 platform supports 16 terabytes.

This, says Microsoft, has a number of benefits. More applications can support more users, each application has better peformance because it can be completely resident in the main memory, and wipes out the performance penalty of swapping pages to and from disk.

The document also claims AMD64 has benefits for businesses, including increased productivity, lower cost of ownership, and new application opportunities, particularly in graphics.

There is more, very much more, here, complete with revisions, corrections and a heap else.

Windows AMD 64 OS details escape onto World Wide Web


Hi, I'm back from a great holiday at Curacao. I got my Advanced PADI diving certification! I'll start updating my site with the latest news again so keep checking.

WindowsUpdate runs on Linux!?


Microsoft moved its update server to linux according to this report, and so changed IP to AKAMAI one of the largest hosting companies (which MS invested in too)

But maybe it is a linux device in front if the server to protect the server from attack.

Windows no-update

My windowsupdate does not work on my laptop after I did a clean install, when I do scan for updates, it immediately states 100% scanned and no updates available. Anybody have a clue? please email me bink at bink.nu, thanx

UPDATE: Thanx Michael for the suggestion, in IE I had no Languages defined, I added US english and it was fixed!

Support tools

Support Tools for Microsoft Operating Systems
Phase 6 Service Release 1, Public Edition
This is Phase 6 Service Release 1 of the Support Tools for Microsoft Operating System. Support Tools for Microsoft Operating Systems are provided as troubleshooting tools for those working with Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

Support Tools for Microsoft Operating Systems Phase 6 provides the following two tools to increase supportability of Windows Server 2003. These tools are intended for Microsoft partners such as OEM and Systems Integrator, who need to troubleshoot enterprise customer's problems such as system crash or other system problems.

Kernel Memory Space Analyzer (also called Kanalyze):

Kanalyze is a crash dump analysis tool. It automatically analyzes crash dumps, locates various kernel data objects, and identifies anomalous conditions of data items in kernel memory space.

User Mode Process Dump (also called Userdump):

Userdump is a troubleshooting tool for user mode problems. It allows dumping running Win32 processes on the fly, or automatically dumps monitored processes when an exception occurred.

Download details Support Tools for Microsoft Operating Systems, Phase 6 Service Release 1 (SR1)

Related: Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 OEM Support Tools

August 15 Office 2003 RTM day!

Today Office 2003 will officially RTM. I also heard it will be in MSDN today!

Author receives Microsoft award

COMPUTER author Karl Moore has landed a top award from software giant Microsoft.

Earlier this year the 23-year-old, of Rawcliffe Bridge, was placed on a short list presented to the top brass at Microsoft Head Office in Redmond, Washington, USA.
Karl was up for the title of Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for his books on the Visual Basic programming language.
After two months of deliberation Karl was this week named Visual Basic (MVP).
Speaking from his publishers in London, Karl said: "I am both honored and thrilled to receive this award.
"It is a true surprise - I didn't even know I had been picked, never mind short listed."
Microsoft will now provide Moore with a year's supply of free software, alongside private access to the company's own product store.
As reported by the Courier last week, the self-taught Moore has spent the last three years of his life studying and talking about Visual Basic.
He has written two books, Karl Moore's Visual Basic.NET and the newly released follow-up, The Ultimate VB.NET Code Book.
For more information visit www.karlmoore.com.

Doncaster Today

MS Blaster scan tool

Bit late I must say, but today MS support released a scan tool to detect vulnerable systems on your network.

Download Tool

826955 - Virus Alert About the W32.Blaster.Worm Worm

What You Should Know About the Blaster Worm and Its Variants

I might move to Thailand

An interesting little report in the Wall Street Journal:
In order to compete with the Thai government's plan to sell a million cheapo Linux PCs, which we covered earlier, Microsoft did some fancy footwork on pricing. And on activation.

According to the Journal, Microsoft said it would sell WIndows XP and Office at a piffling $36 a PC.

And Microsoft also agreed to make specific Thai versions of Windows XP, IE and the Media Player.

But here's the real stunner, aside from the price. The Vole also removed the need for product activation for Windows XP in Thailand, at the government's request.

So what gives?

If it can do all these marvelous things in Thailand, why not anywhere else on our planet? As Windows XP forms a particularly large item in a PC's bill of materials, resellers everywhere would certainly welcome this one.

Microsoft agrees to remove XP activation, slashes price to bone

August 14

My opinion: MSN digital music, hmmmmm

Well I signed up for the "European" MSN digital music portal which was launched today, MSN in my country doesn't have it yet, as always Dutch Microsoft sites are way behind, they are still promoting "Messenger 6 Preview" and were promoting win2k sp3 while sp4 was out for weeks. Anyway I signed up bought some credits and downloaded 2 songs from Beyonce (just for testing) 1 permanent which I can copy to CD and 1 temporary (just play and no copy, playback is allowed for 1 month.

As an audiophile I want the best quality, certainly when I pay for it, well the WMA files are encoded in WM8 !!! Why? They spend millions in developing and promoting WM9.

The tracks are 128 bit, I had no option to select better quality or switch to WM9, Album Art is not added or downloaded like other digital media I have. (please correct me if I got it all wrong)

So Microsoft nice try, but no thanks for now. I don't know if Apple's iTunes have these options, but I'm sure more music lovers would like to choose quality.

MSN Digital Downloads

Comments from reader Mikael:

1. I agree, they should have used WMA9

2. ...but remember that WMA at 128 equals (in quality) to MP3 at 160.

3. Apple uses also 128, and a lot worse format.


Microsoft prepares to be blasted

Microsoft hopes to be ready when hundreds of thousands of computers infected with the MSBlast worm start pelting its Windows Update service with data requests on midnight Friday.
The company has taken steps to try to dodge the denial-of-service attack, but it's also begun educating Windows users about other ways to get updates and patches in the event that the update service is made unavailable.

"We are preparing," said Stephen Toulouse, security program manager for Microsoft's security research center. "We are working diligently to make sure that our customers can get the patch."

The primary payload of the MSBlast worm, which began infecting systems Monday, is a DoS attack against the service from which most Windows users get their updates. If successful, the maneuver would frustrate efforts to patch the Windows vulnerability the worm exploits. The strategy is also a way of simply harassing the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant; the worm's code contains a message for the company's founder: "billy gates why do you make this possible? Stop making money and fix your software!!"

Named after the msblast.exe file that contains the program, MSBlast continued to spread across the Net on Wednesday, infecting nearly 228,000 computers by midmorning, according to data gathered by security company Symantec.

Computers infected with the worm will start sending connection requests to the Windows Update service at midnight Friday, according to the clock on a given user's computer.

Although Toulouse was mum on the specific steps the software giant is taking to prepare for the attack, Microsoft is advertising alternative ways to get downloads and information from its site. The company has put more than 10 links on its main Web site to send people to more information and alternative channels for downloading updates.

Toulouse also stressed that consumers can and should get the latest patches from the company's Download Center.

Lloyd Taylor, the vice president of technology and operations Keynote Systems, which evaluates network performance, said that Microsoft's service will likely fall victim to the attack.

"I don't think any network in the world would be accessible with the amount of traffic that is going to be thrown at it," Taylor said.

Taylor also said that the amount of traffic directed at the Microsoft site could take down small local networks. But a similar prediction a few years ago fell flat.

In 2001, after Code Red infected some 350,000 computers, it aimed a similar DoS attack at whitehouse.gov. The network administrators were able to move the site from the targeted Internet address and sidestep the attack. Moreover, despite hundreds of thousands of PCs flooding the Internet with data, local network outages didn't happen.

Marc Maiffret, chief hacking officer for security software maker eEye Digital Security, said the amount of data sent from each infected computer would be small and that it would be unlikely to overwhelm any networks. Each compromised computer should send 50 packets of data every second--about 16kbps. That's quite low for such attacks.

"I doubt Windows Update will go down," Maiffret said. "They have a big network, and it's very distributed."

News Microsoft prepares to be Blasted


Microsoft to start Music download service in EU

Microsoft has stolen a march on rival Apple by signing a deal with a digital music company backed by singer Peter Gabriel to launch the first internet download service in Europe to sell individual tracks.
The new venture will be accessed through Microsoft's Windows Media Player software and will allow users to download songs from a choice of more than 200,000 by major artists.

Apple's iTunes service, which sold more than 6.5m tracks in three months since launching in the US, has been heralded as a success because it allows users to download tracks at a set price and then copy them to CDs or portable players.

OD2, Mr Gabriel's company, said single tracks would be available from about 75p each while albums would cost £7.99, considerably cheaper than their instore counterparts.

"For the first time, millions of music fans across Europe will be able to buy individual tracks from all five major labels," said Jonathan Usher, the director of Windows Media Division.

The five record groups, all of which have signed deals with OD2, have also promised to supply exclusive singles to the service before they are available in the shops.

They hope this will encourage fans to pay for the track rather than downloading it illegally from file sharing sites. A successful launch could assuage industry fears that fans are becoming bored with tracks before they hit the shelves.

There are also hopes that downloading could help revive flagging singles sales. Tracks bought through the service are expected to be eligible for the charts from later this year.

Media Player will link to either Microsoft's own MSN service or one operated by the Italian internet company Tiscali.

Charles Grimsdale, chief executive of OD2, said he expected to have at least 300,000 tracks available through the service within a matter of weeks.

With the might of Microsoft behind the launch, record companies are hoping that the service will turn the tide against illegal downloads.

"This is a significant step, the Windows Media Player is the dominant player in Europe and will significantly widen the potential customer base," Mr Grimsdale said.

Guardian Unlimited Special reports Microsoft beats Apple to the music

windows XP to be shipped with firewall enabled

Microsoft said yesterday that it planned to change the way it distributes its flagship Windows XP operating system software, in response to a malicious software "worm" that has spread over the Internet in recent days attacking tens of thousands of personal computers by exploiting vulnerabilities in Windows.

Dissemination of the worm, a viruslike program, slowed yesterday as network administrators and individual computer users around the world took steps to protect their machines, even as Microsoft's critics stepped up their complaints that the company's industry-dominant software puts its customers at risk of such outbreaks.

In at least a partial answer to its critics, Microsoft said that it would begin shipping the consumer and business versions of Windows XP with the protective network firewall completely activated, to make PCs less vulnerable to attacks.

As part of its so-called .NET strategy, the company has been selling Windows XP with the firewall only partially enabled, to make it easier for users to play games online and make use of various automated Web services -- such as programs that make it easier for consumers to link the information in their credit card accounts to their checking accounts online, for example. But critics have long said that such capabilities, which can make PCs more open to network attacks, should be chosen by the user, instead of being an automatic feature of the software.

Steve Lipner, Microsoft's director of security strategy, said yesterday that the company had been shipping the software without the full firewall protection turned on because customers had indicated that it was their preferred setting.

"Doing it the way we did was probably the right decision when we shipped XP," he said. "Obviously, times change, and the things we do to protect our customers change."

In the future, customers who chose to partly disable the firewall will be able to do so. The other main version of Windows now sold by Microsoft, Windows Server 2003, has already been sold with the firewall fully enabled; users can disable it if they choose.

Yet critics say that beyond the firewall setting, Microsoft continues to put its customers at risk by selling buggy software that must be fixed through periodically released software patches downloadable from its Web sites.

After a new Windows vulnerability was discovered in July, Microsoft created a software patch. But only a fraction of the users of the affected versions of Windows took that step, leading critics to warn that someone would inevitably create a worm or virus to exploit the weakness on the millions of unpatched computers. Indeed, the worm carries a message blaming Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman, for the vulnerabilities in the company's software.

Microsoft to fully enable Windows XP firewall before shipping

New variant of Blaster worm on the loose

A modified version of the W32.Blaster worm is on the loose, according to advisories from two security firms. But users whose machines are patched against the original Blaster should be protected against the variant as well.

Kaspersky Labs, a security firm in Moscow, this morning reported that it had detected a modified version of Blaster, also known as Lovsan, that takes advantage of the same vulnerability in the Windows interface that handles remote procedure calls (RPC).

The only changes seem to be in the appearance of the new worm and a new text string abusing Microsoft Corp. and antivirus writers, according to the the Kaspersky alert.

The name of the worm file has been changed from MSBLAST.EXE to TEEKIDS.EXE, according to Steven Sundermeier, a vice president at Central Command Inc., a Medina, Ohio-based vendor of antivirus software. The variant also uses a different code-compression method than the original, he said.

An official at the CERT Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh said the center had not heard of any variants so far. But given the amount of exploit code available that can take advantage of the RPC vulnerability, the reported appearance of variants isn't surprising, said Art Manion, an Internet security analyst at CERT.

Meanwhile, the original worm still appears to be spreading, but at a slower pace. At this point, "it's more of a slug than a worm really," said Russ Cooper, an analyst at TruSecure Corp., a security vendor in Herndon, Va., and moderator of the NTBugTraq mailing list. "It's crawling along at a very slow rate."

So far, TruSecure's servers have recorded attacks from about 471 unique Internet Protocol addresses -- or about 13 new ones every hour, Cooper said. About 88% of the attacks on TruSecure's servers are from new IP addresses.

CERT estimated the number of infected systems worldwide as being "in the low hundreds of thousands," Manion said.

Project 2003 RTM on august 18

on Aug. 18 it will release to manufacturing one of the programs of the Microsoft® Office System, Microsoft Office Project 2003. This milestone brings companies one step closer to the features in Project 2003 that align resources and business activities with strategic objectives, which can make the difference between those organizations that achieve success and those that do not.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO )
Chris Capossela, general manager of the Microsoft Project Business Unit, announced the news during a presentation at the Silicon Valley Speaker Series, a monthly event held at the company's Mountain View campus. The Microsoft Office System is scheduled for availability later this fall.

Customers and Partners Reap Line of Business Benefits

Project 2003, with its Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution, is being recognized by customers, independent software vendors and system implementers as a platform for scalable solutions that enable companies to maximize their efficiency by aligning their initiatives with business objectives. The Gear and Apparel group at Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) is using the Project 2003 beta to streamline the process of bringing new and revised REI-branded products to market. By blending its product development expertise with EPM practices, the Gear and Apparel group will be better positioned for continued growth.

Microsoft Office Project 2003 includes Project Professional 2003, Project Server 2003 and Project Web Access, which work together to create the EPM Solution. Also part of the Microsoft Office Project 2003 product lineup is Project Standard 2003, the version of Project designed for stand-alone use. Estimated retail pricing* will be $1,499 for Project Server 2003, $999 for Project Professional 2003 and $599 for Project Standard 2003.

Customers who acquire an earlier retail version of Microsoft Project between Aug. 15 and Nov. 30 may have the option to upgrade to Microsoft Office Project 2003. Additional information on the Microsoft Office System Retail Technology Guarantee will be available at http://www.microsoft.com/office/ on Aug. 15, 2003.

August 13

ADAM overview

This self-contained 9 minute presentation shows a high-level overview of ADAM. Download

Half of Windows crashes down to third-party software, says Microsoft

Though it's not trying to sidestep blame...

Microsoft has laid the blame for half of all Windows crashes on third-party code.

Scott Charney, chief security strategist at Microsoft, told developers at the TechEd 2003 conference in Brisbane, that information collected by Dr Watson, the company's reporting tool, revealed that "half of all crashes in Windows are caused not by Microsoft code but third-party code".

Charney's comments come as the company highlights the rigour with which it tests its own products before release. Microsoft emphasised that products such as Yukon and Exchange Server were undergoing thorough testing - both internally and via independent third parties - prior to their release to the market.

The company is employing root cause analysis and event sequence analysis procedures to scrub out the creation of sloppy code. The result is that individual developers have a high degree of accountability for the code they produce, while the systems and processes associated with code development are rigorously monitored.

Root cause analysis enables the company to check closely the work of individual developers. “If a developer has written vulnerable code, then we look at what else that developer has written and check it,” Charney said.

Event sequence analysis takes this further, analysing the reasons why the vulnerable code was written. Charney said it was not necessarily so they can sack whoever is writing vulnerable code but to find out the reasons why and how Microsoft can improve its staff with training or more efficient processes.

As Charney made his remarks, Charles Sturt University announced it would be offering a Master of Information Systems Security degree including MCSE:Security industry certification.

Charney also reinforced Microsoft's message to developers and network administrators that they need to build secure applications and networks "from the ground up".

The chief security strategist's remarks have come at an unfortunate time, as mainstream and niche media outlets produce heavy coverage of the impact of the MSBlast worm, which has infiltrated corporate and enterprise networks worldwide.

Worm hits over 100,000 Windows computers

The worm that hit the internet yesterday infected over 100,000 windows computers, luckily you visit my site daily and you patched your system weeks ago. Others were not so lucky. So still spread the word to patch, the Blaster worm is a rather kind worm, another worm might be on the way making use of same open door and do more nasty stuff.

Longhorn stuff

The Road to Longhorn- Part Two

Hawk Eye On "Longhorn"

Longhorn 1-PageGuides.com

Microsoft's new Patch management plans

Microsoft is working to end the patch management nightmare by creating a new, centralized patch-management architecture that it will use for all its products; this infrastructure will be used by a new generation of services, such as Microsoft Update, and tools, like the company's installer programs. This week, the company issued its first beta of Microsoft Installer 3.0, one of two installer programs Microsoft will support under the new patch management scheme. For anyone supporting Microsoft's products, what was once a dream is suddenly becoming reality.

"Customers told us to reduce the vulnerabilities in our products before they ship, and to get fixes out before vulnerabilities are exploited," a Microsoft representative told me. "It's not easy delivering timely, high quality patches under our current system. So we need to simplify patch management, and create tools to do this effectively and consistently." Microsoft Installer 3.0, one of the two end-user patch installation technologies Microsoft will support under the new scheme should ship in early 2004, I've been told.

Microsoft has many goals for its next-generation installer technology. Hot-fixes, security patches, and other updates shouldn't require a reboot when possible, the company tells me. There should be a simpler and more consistent way to determine what patches are already installed and which critical updates need to be installed. Patches should be delivered as quickly as possible, reducing customers' exposure to problems. And of course, patches should work properly the first time and not introduce separate issues of their own.

Microsoft Installer 3.0 is only part of the answer. The company will shore up its patch infrastructure in the coming months and then update services like Windows Update and AutoUpdate to work off the new common back-end. Then, a wide-reaching service, currently known only as Microsoft Update, will arrive, providing updates for all of the company's applicable products. Other patch management-related products, such as Systems Management Server (SMS), the Microsoft Baseline Security Advisor, and Software Update Services (SUS) will also be updated to take advantage of the new infrastructure.

Installer Refresh First Step to Ending Patch Management Nightmare    Microsoft's Plan to End the Patch Management Nightmare  

One Small Step For Microsoft …

Outlook Express stops here...

It might be the world's most widely distributed e-mail client, but Microsoft has confirmed that it has no intention of further developing Outlook Express. "[Outlook Express] just sits where it is," said Dan Leach, lead product manager for Microsoft's information worker product management group. "The technology doesn't go away, but no new work is being done. It is consumer e-mail in an early iteration, and our investment in the consumer space is now focused around Hotmail and MSN. That's where we're putting the emphasis in terms of new investment and new development work."

While Outlook Express has always been most popular with individual consumers, many business users have also utilised it, in part because it is part of the default Windows install. Microsoft executives are hoping those users will now switch to the full-blown Outlook client (and pay for an Office licence in the process). "IMAP is just not a very rich protocol," Steve Conn, Exchange Server product manager, told ZDNet Australia during the company's Tech Ed conference. "The great majority of people used Outlook Express because they weren't on a LAN environment, and Outlook was just too fat for them."

The full story @ ZDNet AU    via www.neowin.net

Windows XP 64 bit missing and extra stuff

Here is some information about Windows XP 64bit. It has some features not found on any 32bit Windows version, but it is missing some other features not ported/tested yet.

OSNews.com - Exploring the Future of Computing via www.warp2search.net

Office 12 development process

Even as Microsoft prepares to launch Office 2003 this fall, it is readying a new quality-first development process for Office 12.

The company is stepping up its quality assurance, stressing a new goal, called Milestone Q, of getting code clean and solid earlier in the development process, according to a Microsoft internal memo examined by CRN. Toward that end, the company will use more automated quality-assurance and testing tools such as Big Button and Buddy Web. Office 12 is also known internally as the Longhorn version of Office.

In the current Office development workflow, if a developer thinks a feature is done, he checks it into the system,often before his program manager or testers have worked with it. Going forward, the developer, tester and program manager all will work on the code before it is checked into the main source branch. Theoretically, that means it will be immediately ready for internal testing, also known as "dogfooding."

One solution provider, who requested anonymity, was glad to hear Microsoft is upping the ante on quality, "but this sort of begs the question with what happened in previous versions of Office."

Office, which has an estimated 90 percent of corporate desktops, is often beta-tested by solution providers.

Software development, especially for a product as feature-rich as Office, is a repetitive process comprising what can seem to be endless feedback loops and rework.

"We're trying to reduce the iteration of that cycle because it's extremely costly," said Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president of Microsoft's Information Worker Product Group. "We want to use our development resources more effectively, yielding higher-quality code and not iterating what customers never see," he said.

The Office 12 team will rely on new tools, including Buddy Web, a system developers can use to privately share releases, according to the memo, from Eric Fox, Office development manager at Microsoft. Buddy Web had previously been used by the Outlook team.

In addition, the Office group will have access to Big Button, a system that gives developers easy access to the appropriate set of tests for their code.

Automation has become a bigger factor in both internal and external testing. The use of the Watson tool in Office 2003 development led to more complete testing,including an additional beta round,and what Microsoft says is much better code. Watson automates the near-instantaneous transmission of crash reports and data to Microsoft over the Web.

Another tool, dubbed Service Quality Monitor (SQM), will also be used more widely. Watson reports system information about crash-related events, "where you were in the code, what was the state of Intel registers and key memory variables," Sinofsky said. "SQM, - pronounced 'skwim'- informs us of a sequence of events: 'Here you started Outlook, wrote a message, moved a message to the folder.' Each of these little pieces of data are piled up and sent occasionally, and we look at that data in aggregate."

The use of SQM and Watson is voluntary and anonymous, he added.

Microsoft readies Windows Storage Server 2003

Over the past couple of years, Microsoft's Enterprise (news - web sites) Storage Division has signed up an increasing list of OEM partners for its network-attached storage architecture, and the result has been strong growth in sales of Windows-powered NAS. And more changes are due next month with the launch of the group's next-generation design, which is dubbed Storage Server 2003.

However, other than the MS seal of approval and the confidence that imprimatur can bring to some parts of the market, what's the appeal to storage vendors? Could it be the very same things we customers look for in a technology supplier?

Microsoft next month will offer a wider variety of NAS to OEM partners starting with the launch of its next-generation design, dubbed Windows Storage Server 2003. The current list of NAS partners includes Coastline Micro Inc.,Dell Inc., EMC Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., and Iomega Corp.

Starting with WSS 2003, the group will offer seven different configuration to partners, according to Claude Lorenson, product manager with the Enterprise Storage Division. This is more than double the number offered under the current (and for all purposes now previous) Microsoft-powered NAS program. During our conversation, held across the street from last week's LinuxWorld show, he called them stock-keeping units (SKUs).

For the high-end SKUs, Microsoft will offer enterprise-level capabilities such as support for clustering, Fibre Channel, iSCSI and load balancing. These and other features improve performance when the NAS is used as a gateway to a storage area network. (Earlier this summer, Microsoft released its iSCSI driver package for Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000 (news - web sites), and Windows XP (news - web sites) Professional.)

At the entry-level part the SKU list is a configuration that supports only two hard disks, uses software RAID and removes support for Unix (news - web sites) NFS. "We're very conscious about differentiation. A small business environment won't have Unix servers. It's at a price that provides our OEMs the ability build a sub-$1,000 box and still make money," Lorenson said.

Another WSS 2003 SKU will add print server capabilities, useful in a small business or department environment. The feature had been requested by its OEM customers as well as from end users of the current versions.

"With WSS 2003 we have a real breadth of products, from a NAS box for $999 to a really high-end 48TB device, and all run by Windows," Lorenson said. "People are starting to realize that we can fine tune [NAS] for different environments. Before long, you're going to start seeing more focused offerings in every level."

In addition to the expanded SKUs, changes within Microsoft's storage group will boost the technical and marketing support available for partners selling their NAS solutions.

The Enterprise Storage Division will release its own updates separate from the general server releases, Lorenson said. "There will be a WSS 2004, that will be totally upgradeable from 2003, and so on into the future. We will do our own patches and QFEs [Quick Fix Engineering updates] directly. This is only possible because we have an organization surrounding the product."

Yahoo! News - Microsoft Readies Windows Storage Server 2003 Release

Smartphone stuff

Orange will release a new Smartphone on September 1st. It will have JAVA 2.0 and Bluetooth and Smartphone 2002 OS.

details here: Téléphone portable et services mobiles ORANGE

Intel and Microsoft Smartphone:

The first mobile phone designed by Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. is set to enter the market this fall, marking the duo's first joint volley against established handset makers.
Mitac, a Taiwan-based computer maker expanding into the handheld-device market, plans to start selling its new Mio8380 in Europe in the end of the third quarter.

Besides voice calls, the handset, advertised on Mitac's web site, will be capable of playing music and video, sending e-mail, taking pictures and keeping a diary. The mobile phone will cost between $565 and $598 before subsidies.

The handset uses Microsoft's Smartphone 2002 operating system and Intel's PXA255 200MHz processor. The phone is based on a reference design that was first introduced to the industry in early 2002, rattling the nerves of established handset makers that fear Microsoft and Intel could use their considerable resources to dominate the market.

Microsoft and Intel have targeted the handset market to counter slowing sales for PCs, which remains a major source of revenue for both companies.

Because of established players' reluctance to work with Microsoft and Intel, the two companies have turned to Asian contractors like Mitac and High Tech Computer, which are anxious to enter the handheld market.

Techweb News Microsoft-Intel Phone Set To Hit The Market Microsoft-Intel Phone Set To Hit The Market August 12, 2003

See phone here

August 12

I hope you listened!!, worm is spreading.......

Last night a worm started to spread (MSBlaster) it infects vulnerable systems by randomly scanning IP subnets, after august 15 till the end of the year it will start a distributed DDOS attack on Windowsupdate.com. A message is placed in the registry:
I just want to say LOVE YOU SAN!!

billy gates why do you make this possible ? Stop making money and fix your software!!

It also starts a remote command session and listens to port 4444.

Due to random methods of the worm it may cause the infected computer to crash/ reboot, see pic form ComputerAssociates--->

Luckily this worm does not harm your system that much, it might fill up your network though.

Don't think if you have a firewall that you are safe and dont have to patch, a collegua laptop might be infected at home and is plugging it in your network now!

Read the below message from MS and follow the links to AV sites, for more details and removal instructions:


PSS Security Response Team Alert - New Virus: W32.Blaster.worm


PRODUCTS AFFECTED: Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows NT 4.0, NT 4.0 Terminal Services Edition


The Microsoft Product Support Services Security Team is issuing this alert to inform customers about a new worm named W32.Blaster.Worm which is spreading in the wild. This virus is also known as: W32/Lovsan.worm (McAfee), WORM_MSBLAST.A (Trendmicro), Win32.Posa.Worm (Computer Associates). Best practices, such as applying security patch MS03-026 should prevent infection from this worm.

Customers that have previously applied the security patch MS03-026 before today are protected and no further action is required.

IMPACT OF ATTACK: Spread through open RPC ports. Customer's machine gets re-booted or has mblast.exe exists on customer's system.

TECHNICAL DETAILS: This worm scans a random IP range to look for vulnerable systems on TCP port 135. The worm attempts to exploit the DCOM RPC vulnerability patched by MS03-026.

Once the Exploit code is sent to a system, it downloads and executes the file MSBLAST.EXE from a remote system via TFTP. Once run, the worm creates the registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "windows auto update" = msblast.exe I just want to say LOVE YOU SAN!! bill

Symptoms of the virus: Some customer may not notice any symptoms at all. A typical symptom is the system is rebooting every few minutes without user input. Customers may also see:

- Presence of unusual TFTP* files

- Presence of the file msblast.exe in the WINDOWS SYSTEM32 directory

To detect this virus, search for msblast.exe in the WINDOWS SYSTEM32 directory or download the latest anti-virus software signature from your anti-virus vendor and scan your machine.

For additional details on this worm from anti-virus software vendors participating in the Microsoft Virus Information Alliance (VIA) please visit the following links:

Network Associates: http://us.mcafee.com/virusInfo/default.asp?id=description&virus_k=100547

Trend Micro: http://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/virusencyclo/default5.asp?VName=WORM_MSBLAST.A

Symantec: http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.blaster.worm.html

Computer Associates: http://www3.ca.com/virusinfo/virus.aspx?ID=36265

For more information on Microsoft’s Virus Information Alliance please visit this link: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/virus/via.asp

PREVENTION: Turn on Internet Connection Firewall (Windows XP or Windows Server 2003) or use a third party firewall to block TCP ports 135, 139, 445 and 593; TCP ports 135, 139, 445 and 593; also UDP 69 (TFTP) for zombie bits download and TCP 4444 for remote command shell. To enable the Internet Connection Firewall in Windows: http://support.microsoft.com/?id=283673

1. In Control Panel, double-click Networking and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.

2. Right-click the connection on which you would like to enable ICF, and then click Properties.

3. On the Advanced tab, click the box to select the option to Protect my computer or network.

This worm utilizes a previously-announced vulnerability as part of its infection method. Because of this, customers must ensure that their computers are patched for the vulnerability that is identified in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-026. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS03-026.asp. Install the patch MS03-026 from Windows Update http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com

As always, please make sure to use the latest Anti-Virus detection from your Anti-Virus vendor to detect new viruses and their variants.

RECOVERY: Security best practices suggest that previously compromised machine be wiped and rebuilt to eliminate any undiscovered exploits that can lead to a future compromise. See Cert Advisory:

Steps for Recovering from a UNIX or NT System Compromise. http://www.cert.org/tech_tips/win-UNIX-system_compromise.html

For additional information on recovering from this attack please contact your preferred anti-virus vendor.

RELATED MICROSOFT SECURITY BULLETINS: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS03-026.asp

RELATED KB ARTICLES: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=826955

RELATED LINKS: http://www.microsoft.com/security/incident/blast.asp

As always please make sure to use the latest Anti-Virus detection from your Anti-Virus vendor to detect new viruses and their variants.


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