4th of July: XBOX Independence day....

Thanx Will for sending this in.

Advisory: XBOX Dashboard local vulnerability
 Release Date: 2003/07/04
Last Modified: 2003/07/04
       Author: Stefan Esser

  Application: Microsoft XBOX Dashboard (up to today)
     Severity: A vulnerability within the XBOX Dashboard allows to
               totally compromise the security features of the XBOX.
         Risk: Critical
Vendor Status: Vendor is not willing to talk about XBOX vulnerabilities.


Overview:

The XBOX Dashboard is what appears when you turn the XBOX on without a disc in the DVD drive. It will let you adjust system settings, manage your save games, play and rip audio CDs and configure your XBOX Live account. It is the heart of the XBOX and its most vulnerable point, because it lacks several security restrictions which are enforced on games. This includes the lack of the reboot-on-eject-button "feature",which is obligatory for all games. 
The existance of an exploitable vulnerability within the dashboard could totally compromises the XBOX security system. It will make the box independent from Microsoft  signed code and therefore this information is released to the public now on the 4th of July 2003, the day of the XBOX Independence.
 

More details: http://lists.netsys.com/pipermail/full-disclosure/2003-July/010895.html


MS stops making Gaming devices

Microsoft Corp. is discontinuing its SideWinder line of gaming peripherals immediately due to competitive pressures in the market, company officials said Wednesday.
Microsoft said its exit from the market was due to "long-term category decreases, proliferation of manufacturers, and highly competitive pricing," according to a statement from the company. Microsoft's SideWinder line includes PC joysticks, gamepads, steering wheels, and force-feedback enabled devices.

"Microsoft will continue to sell current SideWinder gaming devices while stock is available and are working with retailers to offer a combination of competitive pricing and other opportunities to allow them to sell through their inventory," the company said. "We are determining the optimal course for use of the brand name for the future and have no plans to manufacture new SideWinder devices for any platform."

Microsoft said it would continue to manufacture its non-game-releated hardware, such as keyboards and computer mice. In addition, Microsoft will continue to support the SideWinder line in future versions of Windows "as long as these products remain viable", the company said.

Microsoft Discontinuing SideWinder Peripherals


Exchange 2003 on MSDN downloads

Thans JF. MSDN Subscribers can now download Exchange 2003 Enterprise Edition English. It is not yet on the MS VOL Licensing server.

MSDN Subscribers can go here https://msdn.one.microsoft.com


MS Corporate Error Reporting 2.0 released

The Corporate Error Reporting (CER) 2.0 tool allows IT Administrators to manage error reports and error messages created by the Windows® Error Reporting client (WER) in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003™ and error-reporting clients (ER) included in other Microsoft programs. If error-reporting clients are configured to work with CER 2.0 then error reports are redirected to a secure CER shared directory instead of being sent to Microsoft.

CER 2.0 allows IT Administrators to identify computers that have stopped responding, how often, and determine which users are affected. CER 2.0 can also map the end user to a Microsoft solution or custom solution to rectify the issue. By staging the Error Reports in a shared directory where additional metadata can be viewed through CER 2.0, Administrators can determine the time and date the program stopped responding, the name of the user and computer they were working on, and the signature of the failure that contains the application name and module. When these reports are anonymously synchronized with Microsoft per the Microsoft Data Collection Policy all available solutions are mapped to the report view in the CER 2.0 tool. This function then provides end users with the option of viewing the solution to that issue, if available, the next time that error signature is reported.

CER 2.0 can be used to view and categorize error reports which can be gathered on a secure CER shared directory created by the CER 2.0 tool. For example, these error reports can display the frequency a particular program or system stops responding. IT Administrators can use CER 2.0 to manage Microsoft Solution Responses, which determine which responses should reach the end user and creating custom solution responses. CER 2.0 is defined by the policies associated with the error reporting clients. These policies can be configured locally or by Group Policy deployment using Active Directory, Systems Management Server (SMS), or preconfigured desktop images.

Obtaining Corporate Error Reporting 2.0:

CER 2.0 is available now on the Microsoft Volume Licensing Site (MVLS) for eligible Software Assurance customers

Source and more resources on CER 2.0


MS Patch Management

One of the biggest issues facing Microsoft's enterprise customers today is patch management, primarily because the company's many products all have their own tools and methods for providing software updates. The problem is exacerbated by the bewildering number of product revisions, language versions, and other product differentiators, many of which require the software giant to issue multiple patches for the same vulnerabilities. And finally, because many of its tools use different patch infrastructures, customers often see different results when they use products such as Windows Update (WU), Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA), Software Update Services (SUS), and Systems Management Server with the SUS Feature Pack. To fix these issues, the company is overhauling its patch management infrastructure and will unleash a new generation of patch management tools for its customers as soon as early 2004.

Today, Microsoft's patch management solutions are, well, patchy at best. The company often provides incomplete and inaccurate patch information, it admits, inadequate assessment and deployment tools, an inconsistent patch experience because of the wide range of installer types the company uses, and it produces poor quality patches. The latter point is a tough spot for the company, which is walking the line between delivering high-quality patches and delivering patches quickly. Changes to the underlying infrastructure should help it do both.

To address these patch management issues, Microsoft is creating a new, centralized patch management architecture that it will use for all of its products. Then, it will build new versions of WU, MBSA, SUS, and the SUS Feature Pack for SMS that work off of this infrastructure. Intriguingly, the company plans to provide these tools to customers in early 2004, which is much earlier than I had previously expected. Microsoft has been discussing centralized patch management for years, but it always seemed like pie in the sky functionality; at an early June reviewer's workshop for Exchange Server 2003, the company noted that Kodiak, the next major Exchange version, would integrate with Windows Update, which led me to believe that the centralized architecture was still some years away, as Kodiak isn't due until 2006-7.

From a schedule standpoint, Microsoft has many patch management milestones in the months ahead. Later this month, the company will standardize its Knowledge Base (KB) articles, making them easier to read, and release a new version of its Microsoft.com Search tool, which will be geared toward searching for security patches, which the company says is one of the number one reasons customers visit the site; also Microsoft just released updated best practices guides for patch management (URL below). In the first quarter 2004, Microsoft will deliver its common patch architecture. convert its patch installers to be consistent, and release a new version of Windows Update that is geared toward all Microsoft products; we might call this "Microsoft Update" though the final name has yet to be chosen. In Q2 2004, SUS, and SMS 2003 will be upgraded to work with this new architecture. In late 2004, Microsoft will convert from 8 patch installer types to just two (MSI 3.0 and Update.exe).

source: Microsoft's Plan to End the Patch Management Nightmare

See also:

The Microsoft Guide to Security Patch Management provides concise information, prescriptive guidance, tools, and templates to help organizations cost-effectively maintain a secure and reliable Microsoft environment through the proactive assessment of vulnerabilities and the application of security patches and appropriate countermeasures.

Download Guide


Windows 2003 Small Business server reaches RC1

Microsoft announced the release of Windows Small Business Server 2003 (SBS 2003) Release Candidate 1 (RC1), a near-final version of the company's final Windows Server 2003 version, this one aimed at small businesses. SBS 2003 enhances the features customers have always enjoyed about previous SBS version, including its easy-to-use and attractive administrative consoles and simple end-user access points, but adds a number of new features geared toward remote administration and users, backup, and other functionality requested by users. This release also adds a number of exciting new changes: The suite will be offered in two versions, one of which includes SQL Server, and one that does not, and it will be available to customers preinstalled on low-end server hardware from major PC makers for the first time.

"We looked very carefully at the needs of small-business customers and their technology providers when we designed this release of Windows SBS," said Bill Veghte, the corporate vice president of the Windows Server Group at Microsoft. "Windows Small Business Server 2003 delivers unprecedented innovations in simplicity, resulting in a new solution that uniquely enables a broader population of small businesses to more quickly realize returns on their IT investment while providing new opportunities for channel partners to profitably service an even larger spectrum of small-business customers."

In a pre-briefing late last week, I was provided with an overview of SBS 2003's new features and the two new product versions, which include a Standard Edition and a Premium Edition. SBS 2003 Standard Edition includes Windows Server 2003 (which is basically the equivalent of Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition), Exchange Server 2003, Outlook 2003, Windows SharePoint Services, SBS-specific components, and 5 Client Access Licenses (CALs). Premium Edition includes all the features and capabilities of Standard Edition and adds ISA Server 2000, SQL Server 2000 SP3, and FrontPage 2003. Splitting the product into two editions makes sense, as most small businesses will want file and print sharing, and email, for example, but many can make do without the database.

Source: Microsoft Announces Windows Small Business Server 2003    more over at SuperSite for Windows


July 2


MS Identity Server goes RTM

Microsoft Corp. today delivered the Microsoft® Identity Integration Server (MIIS) 2003, a key element of its comprehensive approach to help customers build cost-effective, end-to-end identity management solutions. MIIS improves identity and access management for customers by enabling them to integrate information from multiple repositories for a single, complete view of user information. As a result, MIIS reduces the risk and complexity associated with building, deploying and maintaining a comprehensive identity and access management solution.

"Customers have told us they need an end-to-end solution for managing identity information and access rights," said Bill Veghte, corporate vice president for the Windows Server (TM) Group at Microsoft. "With today's delivery of MIIS, we bring provisioning and metadirectory capabilities together in a single solution that enables customers to create and manage user identities with a single consistent view across the enterprise and throughout the complete life cycle of identity management."

In addition to integrating identity information across multiple platforms, MIIS makes identity management easier by automating the process of establishing and eliminating user accounts and enabling self-service password management.

"With Microsoft Identity Integration Server 2003, Pirelli now has a true identity management solution," said Marco Micci, technology innovation manager at Pirelli SpA. "We use MIIS to manage identities for more than 18,000 employees in 24 countries. This solution will help us achieve significant cost savings and improve productivity and efficiency as we move forward."
 

Microsoft Identity Integration Server 2003 Released to Manufacturing


SMS 2003 RC1

 A release candidate of Microsoft's long-awaited Systems Management Server 2003 was made available Tuesday, and the final version remains on track for a September ship date, Microsoft said.

Microsoft last September shipped the beta-test version of SMS 2003, developed under the code name Topaz, to about 10,000 customers.

The release candidiate announced this week offers improved mobile support for laptops and roaming users, tighter integration with Windows 2000/2003 Active Directory and new metering and Web-based reporting tools, Microsoft said.

Microsoft has been discussing its Topaz project for more than three years and originally planned to ship it in the spring of 2002.

Following the release of SMS 2003, the software giant plans to unify several of its management products--including SMS 2003 and Microsoft Operations Manager--into a single Systems Management Center
 

Internet Week Microsoft Systems Management Server Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 To Ship In September July 1, 2003

via www.neowin.net

Get the RC at betaplace (logon required)


MOM Roadmap

Have been to an interesting session about MOM2000sp1. At the end the speaker showed the roadmap to new versions and some interesting stuff will happen:

MOM2004 and SMS 2003 can be delivered as 1 suite: System Center Suite, then after the release of Longhorn products (desktop/server/office) the two products will merge in to 1 product: System Center!

MOM 2004 will start in beta in a few months and RTM is currently scheduled for end of Q2 2004. MOM 2004 has a whole new interface, not the 2 pane hierarchal view (MMC) but 1 window with more panes so you have a complete overview at 1 look!

 


June 30


Exchange 2003 RTM!

As previous mentioned on my site, on today (Monday June 30th) Exchange 2003 RTM'ed!

Select Availability: August 1st

Open Availability: August 1st (Open disk kit with Exchange 2003 and Outlook XP, as Outlook 2003 will not yet be available. Customers who then wish to get Outlook 2003 will need to re-order an Open disk kit again when Outlook 2003 is available - beginning in October).

Retail Availability

Retail availability is dependent on the availability of Outlook Standard 2003. English will be available in the mid-September timeframe and all other languages are still TBD – waiting on the final RTM for Outlook Standard. Most likely all other languages will be in the October-November timeframe.

English – mid-September

French - TBD

German - TBD

Spanish - TBD

Italian - TBD

Chinese Simplified - TBD

Chinese Traditional - TBD

Japanese - TBD

Korean- TBD


Eval Downloads

Downloadable 120 day eval software in both Standard and Enterprise (and in all 9 server languages) will be available after 12:00 pm PST on Monday, June 30th from http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/evaluation/trial/

Eval Kits

There will be one Eval kit that will contain Exchange 2003 Standard, Enterprise 120 day evals, Windows 2003 Standard and Enterprise 180 day evals, and Office 2003 Professional Edition when it becomes available (current plan of record is October).


Availability: Eval kits will be orderable from http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/evaluation/trial/ beginning after 12 PM PST on Monday, June 30th. The kits will be ready around mid-July and begin shipping at that time. For kits distributed in the July-September timeframe (before Office eval is available), a fulfillment card will be inserted in the kit with a link where customers can sign up to be automatically sent the Office eval when it becomes available.


OWA Trial – NEW!!!

Customers can experience all the new features and functionality of the new Outlook Web Access by signing up for a free 7 day demo account. Customers can sign up for the demo account at http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/evaluation/ti/trial/owa.asp

These demo accounts will be a great way for customers to be able to test drive some of the coolest new features in Exchange.



Here’s some key info related to the trial


· Length of trial. Your free trial begins immediately and last for seven days. It may take several minutes to provision your OWA account.

· Browser recommendation. Your OWA trial account is enabled for OWA only. Internet Explorer version 5.01 or later is required; Internet Explorer 6.0 or later is recommended.

· Message limitations. Inbound and outbound messages are limited to 2 megabytes (MB). Total mailbox size cannot exceed 5 MB.

· Account expiration. Your OWA trial account will automatically expire after seven days. No extensions or data storage can be accommodated beyond the expiration date.

· Performance. While the OWA trial environment is designed for optimal performance, your individual experience may vary based on the speed and quality of your Internet connection.


June 28


 

Release Candidate released

RTC server (codename Greenwich) the latest addition to the Office system has reached Release Candidate status and made available to beta testers.  RTC Beta Team also released Windows Messenger 5.0.0292, WM5 beta testers are currently testing WM 5.0.0250 which is incompatible with the previous beta of RTC.

The resource kit will be made available tomorrow.

source: email

http://www.betaplace.com


Announcing: 2004 MCP Exam Retirements
 

Microsoft develops new exams and discontinues others to ensure that all exams reflect current job roles. Announcements of exams that are scheduled for discontinuation will be made once a year in June to MCPs who subscribe to the MCP NewsFlash e-mail. This information will also be available on the Microsoft Training & Certification Web site:

http://www.microsoft.com/traincert/mcpexams/status/examstoretire.asp.

June 2004 Exam Retirements
The following Exams are scheduled to be discontinued in June 2004:

70-015 Designing and Implementing Distributed Applications with Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0
70-016 Designing and Implementing Desktop Applications with Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0
70-019 Designing and Implementing Data Warehouses with Microsoft SQL Server 7.0
70-028 Administering Microsoft SQL Server 7.0
70-029 Designing and Implementing Databases with Microsoft SQL Server 7.0
70-100 Analyzing Requirements and Defining Solution Architectures
70-152 Designing and Implementing Web Solutions with Microsoft Visual InterDev 6.0
70-155 Designing and Implementing Distributed Applications with Microsoft Visual FoxPro® 6.0
70-156 Designing and Implementing Distributed Applications with Microsoft Visual FoxPro 6.0
70-175 Designing and Implementing Distributed Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0
70-176 Designing and Implementing Desktop Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0

For more details about discontinued exams, including current exam retirements for June 2003, and information on how the discontinuations might affect your certification, please visit the Microsoft Training & Certification Web site:

http://www.microsoft.com/traincert/mcpexams/status/retired.asp.

 


Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiator version RTM

Microsoft iSCSI software initiator for use with Windows Server 2003; Windows 2000; and Windows XP Professional. Included are x86 free and checked builds and IA64 free and checked builds

 

Download details Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiator version 1.0


Microsoft iSNS Server Release Candidate version 2

Microsoft iSNS Server is used for discovery of targets on an iSCSI network. Included are x86 free and checked versions and IA64 free and checked versions

Download details Microsoft iSNS Server RC2


MS SPOT designs

story from one of the SPOT designers:
"Back on a steamy day in July 2001, when I received an email entitled "Job Opportunity", I almost dismissed it as spam. But I read it anyway. Turns out it was from a fellow wristwatch fan who lurks at Timezone.com, a site I write for. It's not unlike Pocket PC Thoughts, but it's dedicated to wristwatches. He said he had liked my work at Timezone and his "group" was looking for a graphic designer for an upcoming project. His email address was @microsoft.com. Hmm. I called him. We hit it off. By the end of that week, I was on a plane to Redmond to discuss the project. I made a little presentation and found myself hired. Then I signed a huge stack of papers that basically said I was sworn to secrecy regarding any and all aspects of the project, under penalty of death.

So I spent the next two years working on this top secret project, out of my home office, unable to tell a soul what I was doing.

In February 2003, the cat was let out of the bag. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Bill Gates unveiled some examples of
Microsoft's newest venture, Smart Personal Objects Technology, or 'SPOT'. As many now know, SPOT is the technology behind an upcoming wave of new devices, from key chains to alarm clocks to refrigerator magnets and more, that receive data via radio signal.

I was mostly hired to work on the digital wristwatches...more specifically, brainstorming, mostly via graphics, on how the watches should operate, what the screens might look like, what advertising and merchandising for the watches might look like, what the watches themselves might look like, etc.

As with Pocket PCs, Microsoft is designing the tech and letting other folks make the thing. So far, Fossil, Citizen, and Suunto have signed on and will be producing watches using the SPOT technology. The first offerings should be on the shelves by fall.

So what does this watch do anyhow? Well, for instance, if it knows your daily commuting route, it can analyze the traffic conditions on that route and alert you to problem areas. If there's a tractor trailer jack knifed on Main St., you'll know right when you wake up by looking at your watch, instead of having to hang around the radio or TV for the traffic report. You'll even have the option to have an alarm automatically set itself earlier based on traffic delays or poor weather conditions...i.e. if you went to bed with the watch set to wake you up at 7am, but there was an accident on your route at 5:30am, the watch could wake you up at 6am instead, so you have time to find an alternate route to work.

It can also provide info on airline schedules, stocks, weather, news, sports etc. You'll be able to customize what content you receive on the watch. The content will change depending on where you are. If you fly to California, you'll get local California weather updates on your watch when you land. Your watch will also automatically display the local time wherever you are.

The variety of content is virtually endless...everything from movie times to restaurant reviews, short text messages from friends and family, upcoming meeting details, directions to a local store.

Thanks to Bill & Co. for a great gig!"

more watch designs spot2

source: Pocket PC Thoughts View topic - Amazing SPOT Mock-up Designs via Slashdot Microsoft SPOT Watches
 

model from Suunto    MSN Direct


MS updates SQL Accelerator

Microsoft has released the latest version of the SQL Server Accelerator for Business Intelligence (BI).

Accelerator for BI is a rapid application development tool designed to automate the process of building the infrastructure of an analytical application.

The 1.2 version supports SQL Server 2000 Standard and Enterprise editions, as well as Microsoft Office 2003 and includes the capability to generate a solution from an XML file.

Other additions include separation of the application generation and deployment processes so that applications can be put into production faster, and support for the drill-through actions in count measures which enhances the reporting capabilities of the generated application.

The automation of the above listed features enables partners and customers to spend less time coding and architecting the solution.

The company also said the updated version offers customised solutions, quickens time to market by automating back-end processes, and is flexible because it allows easy integration with existing solutions and is an extensible framework and ecosystem.

SQL Server Accelerator for Business Intelligence is available for download at no additional cost to licensed SQL Server 2000 users here


SQL Server Accelerator for BI Home


Codename: SPARK

Microsoft is working to tighten integration between the upcoming SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and the current Content Management Server 2002, sources said.

New linkage software, code-named Spark, was dubbed by one source close to the company as "glue code similar to current integration packs." It is due within months of the new portal server software itself. SharePoint Portal Server 2003 is due late this summer or early fall.

"They needed to rewrite the current SharePoint/Content Management integration kit given the new SharePoint server architecture anyway," he said.

A Microsoft partner familiar with the plans said the company sometimes refers to this linkage software internally as "SharePoint Plus 90" meaning it will debut within 90 days of the portal.

The source called Spark a stop gap measure since Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft's long-term plan is to put content management capabilities into its "Discovery" e-business suite next year.

That suite will also meld e-commerce and integration capabilities and offer tight ties to SharePoint Portal Server, Microsoft executives have said.

In the meantime, Microsoft shipped beta code of BizTalk Server 2004, aka Voyager, early this month. Voyager is viewed as phase one of Jupiter while Discovery is phase two.

CRN Daily Archives Microsoft To Spark SharePoint 2003, Content Manager Integration 822 AM EST Fri., June 27, 2003


yes, no!, yes!!, nooo!!, YESSSSS!!!!------> Longhorn Server

just in from Wininformant:

Well, the internal debate over whether to deliver a Windows Server update in the Longhorn timeframe is apparently over. According to sources in and close to Microsoft, the software giant is now working on a version of Longhorn Server that will succeed Windows Server 2003 and precede Blackcomb. Longhorn Server will provide customers with the important core technologies from Longhorn, including a .NET-based user interface and graphics library called Avalon, a SQL Server "Yukon"-based file system add-on called Windows Future Storage (WinFS), and low-level anti-virus APIs, among other features. Currently, Longhorn Server is still considered a minor update, however, and not a major update like Blackcomb.

source: WinInfo Short Takes Week of June 30


June 26


Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 website up

Thanx Yuval. Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 (SP4) provides the latest updates to the Windows 2000 operating systems. These updates are a collection of fixes in the following areas: security, application compatibility, operating system reliability, and setup. Windows 2000 SP4 is a recommended update that includes the updates contained in previous Windows 2000 service packs.

English and German pack available here

Updated my slipstreamed bootcd page too!

Order the Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 CD

Windows 2000 SP4 System Requirements

Readme File for Service Pack 4 (printer friendly version)

Release Notes for Windows 2000 Service Pack 4

Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 FAQ

List of Fixes in Windows 2000 Service Pack 4

Security Bulletin

Service Pack 4 Installation and Deployment Guide (printer friendly version)

Hotfix Deployment Guide (printer friendly version)

Windows 2000 SP4 Deployment Tools

Windows 2000 SP4 Support Tools

Download Windows Symbol Packages

Windows 2000 SP4 Checked Build

source:

Windows 2000 Service Pack 4

260910 - How to Obtain the Latest Windows 2000 Service Pack


Great tech doc site

and it is all free !

Only4Gurus - Useful Microsoft Resources

 


nice logo.....


June 25


Windows 2003 seminars

These seminars of technical resources, tools, security guides, and other information are designed to help IT professionals deploy, maintain and support Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

Windows Server 2003 Virtual Conference Seminars, Part 1

Windows Server 2003 Virtual Conference Seminars, Part 2

Windows Server 2003 Virtual Conference Seminars, Part 3

Windows Server 2003 Virtual Conference Seminars, Part 4

Windows Server 2003 Virtual Conference Seminars, Part 5


MS Jet Engine SP7

Microsoft Jet 4.0 Service Pack 7 (SP7) provides the latest updates to the Jet 4.0 database engine with Windows, and is discussed in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 282010.

Download details Jet 4.0 Service Pack 7 (SP7) for Windows XP

Download details Windows 2000 Patch Microsoft Jet 4.0 Service Pack 7

Windows Server 2003 Patch- Microsoft Jet 4.0 Service Pack 7

Jet 4.0 Service Pack 7 (SP7) for Windows Millennium Edition

Download details Jet 4.0 Service Pack 7 (SP7) for Windows 95 - 98 - NT 4.0


Alert!!----> Windows 2000 SP4 is out!

As previously mentioned on this site today is RTW day for win2k SP4! According to neowin there are 669 Public fixes, 6 partner only fixes and 675 fixes in total.

Download Windows 2000 SP4 - Network Install 130MB
Download Windows 2000 SP4 - Express Install 600K
View Windows 2000 SP4 Fix List at Neowin.net

build of the pack is 4.081


SQL server "YUKON" beta starts soon

In an Email from Michael O'Connor (Program Manager - SQL Server), Michael outlined that "action starts in mid-July". He also announced companies will be able to add employees to the beta program but the employees won't be able to recieve additional CDs. SQL Server Yukon is now live on Betaplace.com and Microsoft are currently setting up newsgroup access for testers.

The mid-july date signals Microsoft is still on target for this beta program which is expected to be a huge part of the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) later this year.

source: http://www.neowin.net/comments.php?id=12112&category=main


MS services for Unix review

Microsoft may not be ready to announce its own Linux distribution, but it does sell a product with appeal for POSIX fans: Windows Services for Unix 3.0. Designed as a migration tool to assist organizations moving from Unix to Windows, SFU is also useful for organizations that need to live with both Unix and Windows.

SFU runs under Windows to emulate a Unix environment. It provides more than 300 utilities, including a software development kit said to support nearly 2,000 Unix APIs, a few GNU tools (including the gcc, g++, and g77 compilers), many POSIX-2-compliant utilities, some scripting tools (including awk, sed, perl, and Tcl/Tk) and two shells (C shell and Korn shell; sorry, bash is not included). ActiveState's version of Perl is also included as an option.

On top of this, SFU piles a few Unix-like services implemented using Microsoft technologies. NFS is supported as a client, server, and a gateway. NIS passwords support MD5 encryption and are synchronized with Microsoft passwords. SFU also includes IPv6 telnet client and server support and sendmail support.
 

read the review: NewsForge The Online Newspaper of Record for Linux and Open Source


MS bCentral releases new traffic analysis tool

Microsoft has launched a new Web site traffic-analysis service for customers of its bCentral Web hosting and e-commerce services.
FastCounter Pro is designed to let small businesses monitor traffic patterns to help them improve the design and marketing of their Web sites and to increase overall traffic. The Redmond, Wash., company plans to announce the service later this week.

The service is targeted at companies that don't have the time or expertise to analyze their own Web logs, Microsoft said. It's the latest online service out of Microsoft bCentral, which, in addition to offering Web hosting, provides auction listings, file sharing and online calendar services to about 80,000 customers.

Microsoft also recently updated several other bCentral services, including its Web hosting, e-commerce and search engine optimization tools, adding new user interfaces and other features, said Paul Prokop, bCentral product manager.

FastCounter Pro features include traffic summaries on an hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis, and a breakdown of traffic by new or returning visitors, Microsoft said. It also gives information about which sites led visitors to a given site, which sites generated the highest number of visits, and key words and phrases visitors used to find the site.

The service, available now, costs $19.95 a month or $199 a year for up to 50,000 page views a month.

FastCounter Pro - Microsoft bCentral


NASA: Shuttle program resumes in December

NASA is aiming to launch its next Shuttle mission in December — ten months after the Columbia disaster in which all seven crew were killed.

Bosses are drawing up rescue plans in case the astronauts become stranded in space.

The crew will also be trained to repair damage in orbit. New cameras will film the Shuttle on take-off so it can be monitored for possible problems.

An official inquiry report into the Columbia disaster is still to be published.


NASA to rely on Russion cargo ships until it resumes shuttle flights to ISS

NASA is expected to resume suspended shuttle flights to the International Space Station (ISS) this next December, an informed source in the Russian Airspace Agency has told RIA Novosti. According to him, U.S. and Russian space officials have been staying in constant touch with each other since the Columbia crash early this year, trying to jointly cope with the aftermath of the disaster.

Prior to the resumption of shuttle flights, NASA plans to develop strategies for the repair of spacecraft on the orbit and for rescuing crews in an emergency. The agency is now going to make the launches solely in the daytime, so as to create better conditions for videotaping the space vehicle both as it takes off and as it enters the orbit, Russian space officials report. However, NASA is worried that the large amount of work to be done before restarting shuttle flights may make it put off the first scheduled launch from December till next March. In which case, it will have to use the services of a Russian cargo ship, the officials say.
 


The crew of the space shuttle ColumbiaNASA: Foam is "Most probably cause" of disaster

Investigators say foam from a fuel tank was "the most probable cause" of the wing damage that led to the break up of the space shuttle Columbia during re-entry.

A piece of insulation foam weighing 1.5lb struck the shuttle during lift-off in January.

Roger Tetrault, a member of the Columbia Accident Investigation, said he believes the deadly breach was on the leading edge of Columbia's left wing.

It is the first time any of the 13 board members has publicly blamed the foam for the disaster on February 1 when Columbia disintegrated on re-entry, killing all seven astronauts aboard.

It came as Nasa released footage of the seven astronauts taken just days before the tragedy.

Board chairman Harold Gehman Jr said he expects to release an interim recommendation to Nasa, possibly as early as this week.

Mr Tetrault said only two other possibilities for the crash existed.

"I can't eliminate micrometeorites, although I think the possibility of that is extremely small," he said.

"The only other possibility is a strike by a broken bolt or its housing during lift-off.

"Radar indicated a piece of debris flying away 126 seconds after the launch. It's possible the debris was part of one of the massive bolts that hold the boosters and external fuel tank together or the container that catches the bolt halves after they are explosively severed."

More on this here: CNN.com - Foam 'most probable cause' of shuttle accident - Jun. 24, 2003


June 24


Patch management

These documents provide an overview of the Microsoft Solutions for Management (MSM) patch management solutions, which are composed of service offerings on the following: Patch Management Using Microsoft® Systems Management Server (SMS), and Patch Management Using Microsoft® Software Update Services (SUS).

Download details Microsoft Solutions for Management 1.0 Patch Management


New TAB in messenger 6!

To add it to your tabs, go to C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft\MSN Messenger\<number id>\ConfigCache.Xml and add these lines after one of the tabs:

CODE
<tab>
<image>http://messenger.msn.com/emotitab/images/hivetab_icon.png</image>
<name>MSN Messenger Community</name>
<tooltip>Express yourself with MSN Messenger!</tooltip>
<contenturl>http://messenger.msn.com/emotitab/emoticons.htm</contenturl>
<hiturl>http://c.msn.com/c.gif?DI=2308&amp;TP=http://messengertabs.msn.com/us/MSN Messenger Community</hiturl>
</tab>

 

 source:MSFN - MSN 6 Expression Tab        I haven't tested it yet, but I assume it works!

 

 

 

 


MS Releases localized Windows XP in Serbian

 
Microsoft officially released interface localization packages in the Serbian language at the Sinergija03 conference in Belgrade.

Windows XP is the first Microsoft OS that has been localized in Serbian. The translation took nearly one year, and was announced at last year’s Sinergija02.

Dejan Cvetkovic, general manager of Microsoft Belgrade, presented the first three copies of the localized Windows XP to the representatives of Serbian Orthodox Church on the first day of the conference. The localization packages were officially released and presented to the public at the main event of Sinergija03 on Thursday by Cvetkovic and Branislav Lecic, Serbian Minster of Culture and Media.

Windows XP was localized to both Cyrillic and Latin Serbian alphabets, and the upgrade packages can be downloaded from www.microsoft.co.yu

At a press conference on Thursday, Cvetkovic announced that Microsoft will focus on developing the partner network next year, especially the System Builder partner channel with hardware vendors.

The company also announced their support for forming the first computer university in Belgrade. The university will be formed by Microsoft's local training partners, and the program was designed by experts from the School of Electrical Engineering and the School of Mathematics at Belgrade University. The first generation of students will be enrolled in September, and the lectures will start in October. Various universities in Serbia offer software development and hardware engineering courses, but this will be the first school completely focused on Computer Science.

Sinergija is an annual conference and expo organized by Microsoft and their local partners in Serbia and Montenegro. Apart from localized XP, the main subjects of this year’s conference were Windows 2003 Server, Visual Studio .NET 2003 and new Office applications.
 


MS forms a team to fight against SPAM

Microsoft assembling a team of experts charged with battling the accelerating spread of spam as unsolicited e-mail clogs in-boxes worldwide, including that of Bill Gates, founder and chairman of the world's largest software maker.

At risk is the usefulness of e-mail itself, which has allowed people to communicate more quickly and efficiently, said Kevin Doerr, who has been named to direct Microsoft's spam-fighting strategy.

"Where it hurts most is customer satisfaction. But when it starts to change behavior, we could have consumers turn away from email, and that has huge implications," Microsoft's Doerr told Reuters on Monday.

Microsoft now blocks more than 2.4 billion spam messages daily. North American e-mail users are expected, on average, to see the number of spam e-mails that they receive daily more than triple over the next three years to 35 messages per day, according to Ferris Research.

A team of about 20 people from across Microsoft is now working to come up with ways to fight spam. That team will grow by about another third in coming months, Doerr said.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, along with other major Internet businesses, has ramped up its spam-fighting efforts in recent months in response to a sharp increase in spam that has sparked a jump in consumer complaints.

Microsoft said last week that it had filed 15 lawsuits against individuals and businesses that it said are responsible for flooding its Internet service arm with more than 2 billion spam messages daily.

In April, Microsoft, AOL Time Warner's America Online unit and Yahoo! Inc. -- which represent the world's largest block of e-mail users -- said they were working together to block unidentified messages and to stop spammers from creating fraudulent e-mail accounts.

"One of the things that we're very clear about is that there is no one single solution to this problem," said Doerr, who outlined Microsoft's strategy of using legislation, technology and industry collaboration to fight spam.

full story:
Reuters Breaking News from Around the Globe

 


Microsoft ex-worker is accused of fraud

The second Microsoft employee in six months was charged yesterday with obtaining millions of dollars worth of the company's software for free, illegally reselling it and pocketing the profits.

Bellevue resident Richard Gregg pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 62 counts of mail fraud and computer fraud in a continuing six-month federal investigation into abuse of Microsoft's now-redesigned employee software-ordering system.

Yesterday's indictment charges Gregg, 48, with selling 31 pieces of software intended for internal use only. The software was worth $17 million, according to federal authorities. Each sale carries one count of mail fraud and one count of computer fraud.

That means, if convicted, Gregg faces a theoretical maximum penalty of life in prison and $15 million in fines, as well as years of supervised release. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugh Berry said yesterday the penalty will probably be less than that, because charges for various counts are usually combined.

Gregg also faces the forfeiture of his property, including a 1999 Land Rover Discovery, a 2002 BMW M3, and the contents of two savings accounts and two checking accounts.

Gregg, who could not be reached for comment, sold his Bellevue condominium last month for $175,000, property records show. On those records he lists a rented Bellevue mailbox as his forwarding address.

The former Microsoft employee turned himself in voluntarily yesterday morning and was released without bond. No trial date was set, but Berry said the trial will probably take place by late August.

Gregg served as project coordinator for Windows development before being fired in December 2002. As such, he was entitled to use Microsoft's MS Market program, which is intended to let Microsoft employees order software -- for internal use only -- at no cost. Company policy forbids selling the products.

Hmmmm, remember what happened to the 1st guy "The Dude" ?

Full story: Microsoft ex-worker is accused of fraud


Exchange 2003 RTM date

Microsoft has currently set the RTM date of Exchange Server 2003 to June 30th


Windows 2003 SP1 will have new security tool

The first service pack for Windows Server 2003--due in December--will include a roles-based Security Configuration Wizard that will provide administrators with a definitive list of the services required for each Windows 2003-based server. The wizard will be based on an XML database that includes information about Windows 2003, Exchange, SQL Server, and other Microsoft products. When you configure the server to perform certain roles, the wizard can shut off any unnecessary services, taking the guess work out of what used to be a very complicated process. Additionally, the company tells me the tool can be used to shut down any ports not required by the assigned server roles, further increasing the integrity of the system.

The Security Configuration Wizard for Windows Server 2003 will work in two different modes. In the simplest mode, the wizard will automatically identify the roles assigned to the server by evaluating what services are running and which roles were previously configured. After evaluating the running services, the wizard will then inform the administrator about which unnecessary services are running and offer to shut them down. In a more restrictive mode, the administrator can simply tell the wizard which roles should be assigned to the server, including such things as Web server, DNS server, or directory server. The wizard will then shut down any unneeded services.

An interesting user interface in the wizard can display the list of running services as well as which services are required by the currently assigned roles, helping administrators understand what is often a confusing set of dependent services. Also, it can open and close ports on the server, again based on roles, and block traffic to unnecessary ports.

source: Windows Server 2003 SP1 to Feature New Security Tool


Office 2003 Beta 2 Technical Refresh For All                                                                    June 23


June 22


Folder Icon XP beta1

FolderIcon XP allows you to change an icon for any folder. Left-click on a folder and choose its icon, mark it as a "hot" or make it look gray. Collection of unique icons included (colored and marked XP-style icons) as well as a customizable set of links to external (system) icons, specially chosen for marking folders. Logging of changes allows you to rollback changes done. Works on network folders as well. Advanced features (like mark parent/child folders) included.

http://meaningdata.com/download/FolderIconXP10_b1.exe


ERD Commander ScreenShotWininternals Adminpack 4.0 released

Winternals, announced the release of Administrator's Pak 4.0, a suite of six system repair, data recovery, and troubleshooting products for Windows NT/2000/XP/Server 2003. Included in this bundle is ERD Commander 2003, the flagship product of the Administrator's Pak. The Administrator's Pak allows full read and write access to dead systems in a familiar Windows-like environment, providing an array of tools to rapidly diagnose and repair system failures.

"Due to its ability to repair the precise cause of a system crash, the Administrator's Pak has always been immensely popular among systems administrators and network administrators," said Edwin Brasch, president and CEO of Winternals. "We're pleased to offer this new release, developed based on extensive feedback from our worldwide customer base."

The Administrator's Pak helps administrators avoid reinstallation of the operating system and applications on unbootable Windows computers, thereby minimizing downtime. Reinstallation is the standard procedure to recover unbootable machines, even though the procedure can last anywhere from hours to potentially days, depending on the scope of the reinstall. While re-imaging can eventually return a dead computer to a bootable configuration, it is a cumbersome process that results in extended downtime for end-users, and does not allow IT staff to diagnose the problem and prevent future occurrences.

The Administrator's Pak is an alternate solution to reinstallation or re-imaging. This product suite offers a host of repair and diagnostic tools on one CD that any IT professional familiar with the Windows operating systems will be comfortable using. Recovery time is reduced to minutes since the Administrator's Pak provides immediate access to the specific drivers, settings, and files that prevent a Windows server or workstation from booting.

About Administrator's Pak

The Administrator's Pak consists of six individual tools: ERD Commander 2003, Disk Commander (which now operates within the ERD Commander 2003 environment), NTFSDOS Professional, Remote Recover, Monitoring Tools, and - new for version 4.0 -TCPView Professional.
 

This is a must have for Windows Professionals!

Winternals Software - Repair and Recovery


Flexbeta Slipstreamer 2.0 beta

Flexbeta Slipstreamer XP is an application that will slipstream any Windows XP or Office XP Service Pack into your installation files. It has currently been tested to work for all Windows XP and Office XP Service Packs up to SP2 (SP2 1213 for Windows XP).

Changes in this version:

Screenshot: Start Screen - ISO creator
Download: SlipStreamerXP2Beta2.exe - Mirror 2 - Mirror 3 - Mirror 4


Pocket PC 2003 review

Hardware Analsys.com posted a review of PocketPC2003 on a Asus MyPAL a620 and it looks the "TURBO" button is back

Hardware Analysis - Asus MyPal a620, PocketPC 2003 -


 

Office 2003 refresh published

Friday MS released Office Beta refresh (build 5329) Thanks to neowin for direct links to betaplace (OfficeBeta membership required)

  • Office Professional Beta 2 Technical Refresh Patch
     
  • Publisher 2003 Beta 2 Technical Refresh Patch
     
  • InfoPath 2003 Beta 2 Technical Refresh Patch
     
  • FrontPage 2003 Beta 2 Technical Refresh Patch
     
  • OneNote 2003 Beta 2 Technical Refresh Patch
     
  • Microsoft Office 2003 Multilingual User Interface Pack Beta 2 Technical Refresh Patch
     
  • Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2003 Beta 2 Technical Refresh - Full Build
     
  • Business Contact Manager for Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 Beta 2 Technical Refresh - Full Build
     
  • Windows® SharePoint™ Services Beta 2 Technical Refresh
     
  • SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Beta 2 Technical Refresh
     
  • Office 2003 Interim Beta Release Goes Live (MS Watch)


    June 19


     

    Get MSDN subscription for life! Win an XBOX, win Visual Studio

    MSDN has a survey and if you fill it in you can win MSDN subscription for life. As always this is only for US residents, why should MS care about the rest of the world? I hate this attitude.

    Win an XBOX or Visual Studio by entering ASP.net sweepstakes, US only of course!!!

    Shop at shop.microsoft.com and get special prices..... US only.....

     


    Xbox 2 in 2006

    Talking to the technology press in Japan overnight, Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer shocked the world by announcing the launch date for the next generation of Xbox in the country.

    Indeed, speaking of the console’s relatively poor performance to date in Japan, Ballmer indicated that perhaps the launch time for the machine wasn’t quite right.

    He went on to state that the next Xbox console, tagged as Xbox 2 or Xbox Next depending who you speak to, will hit the Japanese market in 2006.

    This amazing news sees the projected global roll-out for the next Xbox slip back somewhat from the late 2004 - early 2005 prediction bandied about by most analysts. As Microsoft at various times has said that it wished to deliver a simultaneous launch on a global basis, does this mean that we won’t see Xbox 2 for as long as three years? Most believe this is unlikely.

    It’s better to promise a later date and deliver early than to allow a product to slip, though some this morning are pointing towards a clever piece of subterfuge by Ballmer.

    It is well known now that Sony is not having the easiest time with its current next-generation research and development phase, with the PS3 as tangible as orange nut fog. This being the case, to let SCE believe it has more breathing space than it actually has may well prove to be a weighty blow in the battle for Generation 5 supremacy.

     


    CheapXP in Thailand

    Microsoft has slashed prices on Windows XP and Office to join the Thai government's "people's PC" project, a move which could help curb the spread of the rival Linux operating system in the country.

    Microsoft last week announced plans to join the budget PC project by offering a bundle containing Windows XP and its Office suite to ICT PC buyers for a mere 1,490 baht (£22), the Thai daily The Bangkok Post reported.

    Buyers can now choose a Windows- and Office-loaded desktop for 12,390 baht (£182), excluding taxes, the report said. In other parts of the world, a standard edition of the Office XP software alone costs about £243.

    "Microsoft has developed a specific Thai programme with a unique product for this unique project,'' Andrew McBean, Microsoft Thailand's managing director, was quoted as saying.
     

    source and full story: http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t272-s2136259,00.html


    Microsoft looses No.2 position

    Microsoft has lost its status as the world's second-largest corporation to drug maker Pfizer due to slowing sales growth that caused it to miss out on this year's stock-market rally.

    Pfizer's market value (stock price times number of outstanding shares) has jumped to $284.6 billion, up 17.9 percent in 2003.

    Chief Executive Officer Henry McKinnell kept the company's sales growing faster than the pharmaceutical industry's average by snapping up rights to new products and buying rivals.

    Microsoft's market value has held around $279.9 billion. Both Microsoft and Pfizer trail General Electric, with a $307.1 billion value.

    Microsoft slipped from its No. 2 perch as computer-related shares soared. An index of computer companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index has climbed 23 percent this year, while shares of Microsoft have gained just 0.9 percent, the sixth-worst-performing stock among the 83 members of the technology index.

    "Its earnings aren't going anywhere; even sales have slowed," said Rich Merriman, president of Pennsylvania Trust which manages more than $1 billion. "In Pfizer, you've got a good grower with a dividend."

    New York-based Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, may not hold onto the No. 2 slot it gained this week for long: A decline of just 1.7 percent in its share price could cause it to drop below Microsoft.

    Kent Hollenbeck, a Microsoft spokesman with public-relations firm Waggener Edstrom in Portland, declined to comment on the software maker's drop.

    In April, the software company said revenue growth in the 12 months beginning in July would slow to between 3.4 percent and 5.9 percent from 13 percent for the current fiscal year. Revenue, which climbed an average 38 percent annually in the 1990s, grew less than 15 percent for three straight years.

    Microsoft paid a dividend for the first time in March, when holders received 8 cents a share. The payout is a sign the company expects growth to remain slow, Koch said.

    Shares of General Electric, which makes products ranging from jet engines to television shows, are up 26 percent in 2003.

    The company hasn't always been on top: A year ago, GE lost its No. 1 ranking to Microsoft.


    Applocal Util

    Unicode based platforms, such as Windows XP, emulate the language environment required to run non-Unicode applications by internally converting application's non-Unicode text data to Unicode using a system-wide variable commonly called the system local (or language for non-Unicode applications). The language of the non-Unicode applications should be of the same script or family as the one defined by the system locale. Failing to meet this condition results in display of garbage characters in the UI of the application.

    This approach has few usability limitations:

    Only an administrator has the ability of setting the system locale value.
    Setting the system locale requires a system reboot.
    Only one system locale can be set at a time.

    AppLocale (or Application Locale) is a temporary solution to these limitations caused by non-Unicode applications running on the Unicode (UTF-16) based Windows XP. AppLocale detects the language of the legacy application and simulates a corresponding system locale for code-page to/from Unicode conversions.

    IMPORTANT NOTES:

    AppLocale is based on the new application compatibility technology introduced in Windows XP and can only be installed on these two operating systems.
    If you frequently use non-Unicode applications in a given script (or set of languages), it is strongly recommended to set your system locale variable to the language of the target application and not to use AppLocale.
    Application developers should not consider AppLocale as an alternative to migrate their product to Unicode. Today, with Microsoft Layer for Unicode (MSLU), creating pure Unicode applications that can also be deployed on non-Unicode platforms -- such as Windows 98 -- has been made possible.
     

    download


    Step by Step guide setup IPv6 in testlab

    This white paper describes how to configure Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) in a test lab using five computers. Of the five computers, one is a DNS server, two are clients, and two are routers. This white paper also includes an exercise that severs network connectivity between intranets and then uses Intra-Site Automatic Tunnel Addressing Protocol (ISATAP) to restore communication.

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/6/2/262762de-e171-4563-b891-ee6520736c3f/Stepbystep_IPv6final.DOC


    SQL notification services 2.0 sp1

    SQL Server Notification Services is a platform for developing and deploying applications that generate and send notifications. The notifications can be sent to a wide variety of devices, such as e-mail addresses, cell phone numbers, or Microsoft Windows Messenger clients. Applications built on Notification Services can scale to support thousands to millions of users.

    Notification Services 2.0 SP1 is a stand-alone release of Notification Services. SQL Server Notification Services is a platform for developing and deploying applications that generate and send notifications. The notifications can be sent to a wide variety of devices, such as e-mail addresses, cell phone numbers, or Microsoft Windows Messenger clients. Applications built on Notification Services can scale to support thousands to millions of users.

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=79b34da2-185f-455c-9365-96ffbc6da608&DisplayLang=en#filelist


    Application Center 2002 Service Pack 2 released

    Application Center 2000 Service Pack 2 is a significant refresh of Application Center to support the latest versions of Microsoft technologies, including the Windows .NET Framework, Windows Server 2003, and IIS 6.0.
    http://download.microsoft.com/download/b/c/4/bc4a0cb0-4d2c-46f3-9e25-eb0e11c08e81/AC2000SP2.exe

    http://www.microsoft.com/applicationcenter/

    download details


    June 18


    MS Flight simulator 2004 goes GOLD

    Microsoft Game Studios today announced that Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight for Windows has gone gold and is clear for takeoff. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight is scheduled to land on store shelves on July 29 in North America for an estimated retail price of $54.95 U.S. Virtual pilots will soon have the opportunity to relive history as Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight takes them on a journey through the friendly skies.

    Enthusiasts around the world will experience the history of aviation with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight. As the world celebrates the 100th anniversary of powered flight in 2003, A Century of Flight allows virtual pilots to feel what it's like to take the controls of nine historic aircraft -- the record-breakers, the workhorses and the innovators -- such as Charles Lindbergh's Ryan NYP Spirit of St. Louis, the Douglas DC-3 and the world's first successful powered aircraft, the 1903 Wright Flyer. Engaging, interactive multimedia provides a wealth of historical information on the planes that shaped aviation history and the pilots who flew them. Informed and insightful articles help players discover all that Flight Simulator and its fleet of 24 aircraft has to offer. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight also introduces an updated, dynamic weather system, enhanced automatically generated (auto-gen) scenery and detailed visual effects, as well as 15 modern aircraft, including the Robinson R-22 Beta II helicopter.

    http://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/board.pl?action=viewthread&threadid=42394




     

    Finally MSN messenger 6 preview is here!

    Some may have seen the new messenger6 before (2 million) Now you can get the preview officially. Get it now, I really like it, webcam and filetransfers work all the time!

    Show your pic of the day to your buddies and play online games!

    Get it here now: http://www.msnmessenger-download.com/Preview/default.aspx


    June 17


    MSNsearch gets new crawler

    MSN is working on a Web crawler, known as the MSNBot, that it will likely make a part of its next MSN search engine.
    A growing number of Web sites are reporting sightings of the MSNBot as it crawls their Web sites.

    "Looks like the competition will shortly be h(ea)ting up in the search engine world," says one poster, Martin Belam. "Microsoft have started sending their own MSNBot out scouring the web to build a new index for MSN search."

    Microsoft has created a Web page, "MSN Search Prototype Web Crawler" to a number of questions about its bot.

    "MSNBOT is still in the development and research stage," notes Microsoft on its site.

    "This crawl is a prototype work. MSNBOT is not currently indexing for the MSN Search Engine, so your site may or may not show up in MSN Search results today," according to the site. "Although we have not set a date, it is our intention to eventually integrate the crawled contents into MSN Search results."

    A number of industry watchers have been expecting Microsoft to build its own bot since Yahoo purchased Inktomi, one of Microsoft's OEM search partners, earlier this year.

    "With Yahoo grabbing Inktomi from out under MSN, I suspect that they're deciding to build/buy their own Internet crawler," said one search-engine consultant. "And I'm curious as to whether they view paid inclusion as a business model they're interested in."

    The current MSN Search engine currently does not include its own built-in spider, or bot. Instead, MSN has relied on LookSmart and Inktomi for its directory and search results. MSN also works with Overture on paid placements and sponsorships for its site. MSN has denied talk that it plans to dump Overture as its paid-search partner and get into that business itself.

    When asked for comment on the timing of MSNBot, an MSN spokeswoman had this to say: "While MSN does not have any specific timelines or plans to discuss at this time, they are committed to delivering the most relevant search results for consumers. Today, MSN Search takes an approach that utilizes both internal technology, as well as the technology of third-party companies, including Looksmart, Inktomi, Overture and Girafa. MSN is strongly committed to continuing to improve their search experience through developing technology internally and continuing to work with partners."

    But Microsoft has made no bones about the fact that it wants to "out-google Google" — READ the rest at MicrosoftWatch.com

     


    Longhorn WinFS: faster & Smarter

    Around 20 years ago, Microsoft's widely used MS DOS 2.0 operating system could only handle hard drives up to 16 MB. Yet, for the few people using PCs back then, what today seems like a ridiculous memory limitation was not actually a problem, since "mass storage" in those days was about as expensive as a color TV. What was worse in the '80s and '90s was the amount of expensive memory that the DOS OS wasted. Even the first Windows versions were not capable of completely utilizing all the physical memory on the drive.

    That was scarcely 25 years ago, but many computer generations later, the problem has been turned on its head. Developers don't have to struggle with restrictions on hard-drive capacities; instead, they have their hands full managing gigantic quantities of data on storage media virtually unlimited in size. FAT systems were never designed to cope with several hundred MB of data on disks of 200 GB.

    The dilemma has prompted Microsoft to take action with its next Windows generation. The Windows Future Storage (Win FS) file system will take its place in Longhorn, the successor to XP. For the first time, a server technology will manage data on home PCs via a relational database. This article traces its development and lifts the veil on file systems of the future.
     

    read the rest of this nice article at Toms Hardware

    I'm of to Eminem in concert!


     

    Windows 2000 SP4 refresh build 4.079 released

    Another refresh of the Release Candidate is released to testers. This might be the last test build befor the final is released, now currently scheduled for June 25th.

    Official beta testers can get it at http://www.betaplace.com


    June 16


    MSN Messenger 6 public preview released this Thursday

    Found this on www.neowin.net:

    This thursday everyone will have the chance to officially download and use MSN Messenger 6. Although we're unsure of what the build number will be or whether games will be turned on for all countries outside of the USA, we've been informed that we will see a public preview on Thursday.


    Office 2003 Beta2 refresh build 5329, almost there

     

    The site is getting closer each day that the refresh download actually works.

    Neowin posted links this weekend to the site, where it will be available.

    Also if you go there with an interim build (DF8, 5207) of Office 2003 you cant update to beta2 refresh:

    NOTE: The Office Update Beta site only supports the official Office 2003 Beta 2 build (build number 11.4920.4920) and the official Office 2003 Beta 2 Technical Refresh build (build number 11.5329.5329). You cannot use the site because you have installed Office 2003 product(s) from an unsupported build. Click on "About ..." under "Help" in the menu bar of your Office application to find its build number. To use the Office Update site, please uninstall any Office 2003 products from unsupported builds.
     

    keep checking:

    http://officeint.microsoft.com/officeupdate/mainCatalog.aspx?CTT=98


    Fix for Hyper threading issue in WinXPsp1

    A program that uses large mapped file views to share information between two processes may experience a significant performance decrease. The performance degradation occurs in the UnmapViewOfFile function.

    CAUSE
    This problem occurs if you install Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) on an Intel Pentium 4 computer that has more than one logical processor.

    RESOLUTION
    A supported fix is now available from Microsoft, but it is only intended to correct the problem that is described in this article. Apply it only to computers that are experiencing this specific problem. This fix may receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, Microsoft recommends that you wait for the next Windows XP service pack that contains this fix.

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;815227

    via www.warp2search.net


    MS Producer for PowerPoint 2003

    Microsoft Producer 2003 for Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 is the next release of this very popular add-in for PowerPoint 2003 and PowerPoint 2002. Producer 2003 provides users with many powerful new features that make it easier to synchronize audio, video, slides, and images to create engaging and effective rich-media presentations. Producer 2003 gives content and media professionals, as well as everyday PowerPoint users a host of new content authoring features.

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/d/3/5/d35a076b-46c3-4f5c-bc2f-af7e5a82b889/msprod2.exe


    l


    HP supports Windows 2002 64 bit ?

    Thankx Rinnie for this find. It must be a typo, HP claims that it support Windows 2002 AMD64 bit when it is out......

    Q2. Will ACU-XE support Windows 2002 (64-bit version)?
    A2. Yes, support for Windows 2002 (64-bit version) for ACU-XE will be available the same day Windows 2002 (64-bit version) is announced and shipping.
     

    http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/servers/proliantstorage/software-management/acumatrix/questionsanswers.html#gen2


    MS: Don't use the leaked messenger

    Microsoft urges users not to run leaked beta versions of its forthcoming MSN Messenger Version 6 instant messaging application because the software is not ready for consumer use.
    Early versions of MSN Messenger 6 have popped up on dozens of Web sites and new sites spring up every day. Microsoft said the versions that are offered on the Web are meant for internal testing only and that it does not know who leaked the software.

    "We had intended for the beta to be an internal beta only. MSN strongly discourages users from downloading a beta from unauthorized sites due to concerns about the stability of the code and lack of complete information," Microsoft's MSN unit said in a statement sent via e-mail Friday.

    Microsoft has asked individual Web sites offering the beta for download to pull the software, Larry Grothaus, lead product manager for MSN said. Users should be patient and wait for the "public preview" of the application that is due out in the next couple of weeks, he said.

    Still, Microsoft is thrilled about the popularity of the beta software: over 2 million people have downloaded the leaked versions, according to a memo sent Thursday to the MSN team by Blake Irving, corporate vice president of the MSN & Personal Services Division, MSN Communications and Merchant Platform group at Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft.

    "(MSN Messenger version) 6 is fast becoming one of the most addictive services we've ever created," Irving wrote. "Anyone that has used V6 knows why it's a winning service ... I don't think the industry will have seen such a thing since ICQ got big years and years ago."

    MSN Messenger 6 promises improvements to the user interface, new personalization features, integrated online gaming and built-in voice and video chat features. The final version of MSN Messenger 6 should be out "a couple of months" at most after the public preview becomes available in the coming weeks, Grothaus said.

    Microsoft offers a preview of what MSN Messenger 6 will look like on its Web site at http://messenger.msn.com/sneakpeek/

    source: http://www.infoworld.com/article/03/06/13/HNmsnbeta_1.html


    June 13


    Messenger 6 downloaded 2 million times

    Without being officially released in beta or final, the leaked version of messenger 6 has been downloaded 2 million times according to an Microsoft internal memo obtained by Cnet. Hmmm how does MS count those downloads? Well maybe they monitor the Messenger servers and see how many version 6 clients connect.....

    The memo, penned by Blake Irving, vice president of MSN's communications division, is a flowery account of the software's private test efforts to date. Calling it "totally addictive" and citing his 14-year-old sister-in-law as one surprise beta tester, Irving heralded the product's viral appeal.

    "We have seen unprecedented global consumer enthusiasm for this version," Irving wrote.

    A Microsoft representative declined to comment on the memo and would not offer a time frame for version 6's public test release.

    source: Cnet via www.neowin.net via www.mess.be

    This makes me wonder about the discussion if leaked software damages Microsoft, this shows how a community gets enthusiastic about a product, people who use it, know it is beta and know they can't call MS support if it doesn't work. The argument that MS isn't free anymore to remove features because "the public" already seen them, seem a bit weak to me.

    Still, I'm changing the policy on my site regarding leaked Microsoft free software, if something leaks I'll post the news, but won't post links the the leaked freeware code. (I never posted links to leaked MS software that needs to be paid for [warez])

    Being MVP and professionally working closer with Microsoft it just doesn't feel right, it will be all over the place anyway. Don't worry I will keep writing my own independent opinion, which mostly is positive towards Microsoft (products) anyway.
     


    New MS R&D center in Asia

    Software giant Microsoft Corp said yesterday that it will invest NT$550 million over three years in a planned technology center in Taipei. The Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) will be launched in the third quarter of the year, and will be the first Microsoft R&D center in southeast Asia.

    "This project not only brings understanding of our technology, but also will drive the local economy, through knowledge learning and training, to new heights," said Doug Hauger, Microsoft's competitive and technical sales general manager, via video conference from the US yesterday.

    Microsoft hopes the investment will generate more than NT$4 billion in revenue over the next three years for Taiwan's software industry by cooperating with 70 local software companies to develop new software solutions under its .NET technological infrastructure, Microsoft's Taiwan general manager Eunice Chiu (ªô©sÄR) said.

    The .NET platform is a set of software technologies that Microsoft says will help connect information, people, systems and devices through the use of Web services.

    The company plans to assemble 140 local and foreign technicians for the project and train over 2,800 Taiwanese professionals by holding various workshops, Chiu said.

    Chiu did not say what type of software technology the center will focus on, but said Microsoft prefers alliances with companies that are willing to devote resources to working with Microsoft and have a strategic plan to develop Taiwan's software market. Chiu added that around 50 companies are interested in partnering with the center to date, but refused to elaborate on prospective candidates.

    http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2003/06/13/2003055087




     

    Win2k SP4 RTM on June 25th

    Just been informed by sources close to MS that SP4 of windows 2000 is set at June 25th


    IIS 6 resources

    Thanks Jeff.

    IIS 6.0 Resource Kit Tools
    http://microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=56FC92EE-A71A-4C73-B628-ADE629C89499&displaylang=en


    Whitepapers

    IIS 6.0 Feature List
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/iis/evaluation/features/default.mspx

    IIS 6.0 Technical Overview
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/techinfo/overview/iis.mspx

    IIS 6.0 Deployment Guide
    http://microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=F31A5FD5-03DB-46D2-9F34-596EDD039EB9&displaylang=en

    IIS 6.0 Features for Server Consolidation

    Technical Overview of Windows Server 2003 Application Services http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/techinfo/serverroles/appserver/appserv.mspx

    IIS 6.0 Documentation
    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/technet/prodtechnol/windowsserver2003/proddocs/standard/iiswelcome.asp

    Webcasts

    The Rebuilding of IIS, Version 6.0
    http://www.microsoft.com/usa/webcasts/ondemand/1901.asp

    Migration to IIS 6 from IIS 4, IIS 5, and Apache 1.3x http://www.microsoft.com/usa/webcasts/ondemand/1722.asp

    Isolating and Securing Web applications in IIS 6.0 http://www.microsoft.com/usa/webcasts/ondemand/1721.asp


    IIS 6.0 Deployment Overview
    http://www.microsoft.com/usa/webcasts/ondemand/1720.asp


    Q811493 still has issues

    The re-release of the patch still has issues with versions of certain files, thanks Wally for sending this in:

    Q811493 (re-release 5/28/03) installs:
    C:\Windows\System32\ntkrnlpa.exel Version 5.1.2600.1151
    C:\Windows\System32\ntoskrnl.exe Version 5.1.2600.1151

    Q811493 (original 4/16/03) installs:
    C:\Windows\System32\ntkrnlpa.exel Version 5.1.2600.1150
    C:\Windows\System32\ntoskrnl.exe Version 5.1.2600.1150

    So, it is reasonable to conclude that whatever problem existed in these two files was discovered and fixed between 4/16/03 and 5/28/03. However, let's take a look at another patch that updates the same files.

    Q330909 (released 2/27/03) installs:
    C:\Windows\System32\ntkrnlpa.exel Version 5.1.2600.1159
    C:\Windows\System32\ntoskrnl.exe Version 5.1.2600.1159
    According to the version numbers on Q330909, the 5.1.2600.1159 versioned files should supersede all releases of Q811493. But logically, how can this be? Microsoft discovered and fixed the problem sometime between 4/16/03 and 5/28/03. Yes, I know the Q330909 knowledgebase article says that the patch installs Version 5.1.2600.1133. The article is wrong! Q330909 installs versions 5.1.2600.1159 because it was updated on 2/27/03.

    Solution:
    Whomever created the re-release of Q811493 apparently didn't read the memo (or see Office Space :-). They should have given the re-released patch a higher version than 5.1.2600.1159. After many days of talking to many people at Microsoft, here's the answer I finally received.


    Thank you for your update.
    I agree with you that this is a version problem of the updates.
    These particular issues have been reported to our development team and they are currently investigating possibilities for inclusion. While we cannot guarantee that when these features will be added, we would like to ensure you that we will make every effort to see that it does.

    Thanks for choosing Microsoft.


    RDP client 5.2 download

    Thanx Mark. Get the new client that is included in win2k3, it has new features like connecting to console of a win2k3 server and auto reconnect.

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=a8255ffc-4b4a-40e7-a706-cde7e9b57e79&DisplayLang=en


    WinPE 1.2 released

    For Select License customers winPE 1.2 is released, it is also available on https://licensing.microsoft.com

    Donno what's new in it, it is still based on winXP


    Win2k3 ADS RAP NDA

    Dont have a clue what I mean? Well I'm in the Rapid Adaption Program for ADS (Automated Deployment Services) A Windows 2003 add-on to deploy wink2 and win2k3 servers from "bare-metal"

    To join this program with I'm under NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) so I can't inform you with non-public news on ADS.

    ADS is set to be released in August as previously mentioned on Bink.nu


    Bink.nu exclusive: Windows 2003 AMD 64 roadmap

    Microsoft will release a 64-bit version of the Windows family of operating systems for the AMD64 architecture to OEM customers only!

    BETA - Mid 2003

    RC - Late 2003

    RTM - Late 2003


    Balder Multi Boot Tool!

    Cool tool! It basically allows you to add more than one OS on a CD, like the 6in1 for Win2k3. It also allows you to integrate drivers, services packs, hotfixes and external programs, such as .Net Framework and DirectX. With many external program it also gives the option to install them silently so you don't even know they are installing!

    http://balder.ms


    MVP logoI'm MVP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Jump to Microsoft's MVP page...

    Thank you, Thank you! Well today Microsoft showed their appreciation for my work on my sites and the MSN group. Microsoft has a special program to regocnise people who spend many hours helping people understand their products, like answering questions posted in newsgroups.

    "The Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) progam was started in the mid 1990s. It recognises those members of the general public who devote their time and considerable computing skills, on a voluntary basis, to helping users "in distress" in the various online communities of Microsoft users."

    Recognized: Microsoft MVPs are acknowledged by peers and also by Microsoft for their active participation in Microsoft technical communities around the globe.
    Credible: Microsoft MVPs have demonstrated practical expertise providing the highest quality information and content.
    Accessible: Microsoft MVPs are active technical community leaders sharing their experience with peers.
     

    See my "award" There is more then this award, there are certain benefits.

    I'll be at TechED in the 1st week of July and attend the European MVP gathering there too.

    Welcome to the MVPS.ORG home page!

    Microsoft Most Valuable Professional

    MVP Awards


     

     

    Flexible screen on your sleeve

    Computerscherm in mouw

    Pioneer today presented a flexible screen that can be put on your sleeve and is connected to your computer in your pocket. cool!

    In 5 years this might be normal.

     


     

    Fast TCP, superfast Internet

    How to speed up the net

    Imagine an internet connection so fast it will let you download a whole movie in just five seconds, or access TV-quality video servers in real time. That is the promise from a team at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, who have developed a system called Fast TCP.

    A key feature of Fast TCP is that it could run on the same internet infrastructure we have today. Steven Low, who led the Caltech team, likens the way the internet works now to driving a car while looking only 10 metres ahead. You slowly increase the car's speed until an obstacle comes into view, but then you have to hit the brakes.

    "This is OK for driving slowly in a parking lot," says Low. But on the open road you need to be able to look further ahead: "That's what we are doing with Fast TCP."

    Today, all traffic on the internet uses a system called the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) developed in the 1970s by network engineers Vinton Cerf at Stanford University and Bob Kahn at the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
     

    source and full story: New Scientist


    New Messenger6 build leaked

    Winbeta leaked a new build of messenger 6. (256)

    screenshot


    MSN 8.5 released

     Download: MSN Explorer 8.5 Final

     Screenshot: Screenshots of MSN Explorer 8.5
     View: Microsoft Press Statement on MSN 8.5

    source: Neowin.net - Where unprofessional journalism looks better - Exclusive MSN Explorer 8.5 Final Released


    MSBSA 1.1.1

    Thank Douglas. MSBSA supports win2k3 now

    As part of Microsoft's Strategic Technology Protection Program, and in response to direct customer need for a streamlined method of identifying common security misconfigurations, Microsoft has developed the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA). Version 1.1.1 of MBSA includes a graphical and command line interface that can perform local or remote scans of Windows systems. MBSA runs on Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000, and Windows XP systems and will scan for common security misconfigurations in the following products: Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Internet Information Server (IIS) 4.0 and 5.0, SQL Server 7.0 and 2000, Internet Explorer (IE) 5.01 and later, and Office 2000 and 2002. MBSA also scans for missing security updates for Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, IIS, SQL, Exchange, IE, and Windows Media Player.

    Download details Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer v1.1.1 (for IT Professionals)


     

    Need an older version of Messenger, DirectX or IE

    OldVersion.com


    Is it so simple to bypass evaluation edition of win2k3?

    Windows 2003 Server Enterprise

    from Marshall:

    The answer is no. All the linked method does is remove the evaluation version message from the desktop. Microsoft has fixed/removed this old setupreg.hiv hack dating from the W2K days. The OS still has a 180 day timebomb located somewhere else in the OS. To my knowledge (and I am pretty widely read on this subject), nobody has identified the location of this timebomb or figured out a way to remove it. Until then, Microsoft need not worry about someone using the evaluation version for more than the licensed period.
     

    MS keyboard layout creator

    Ever wanted to quickly and easily define your own keyboard layout for a language Microsoft doesn't support? Or define your own keyboard layout so you can quickly and easily enter your favorite symbols with a simple keystroke? Well, want no more: the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator is here!

    The Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator extends the international functionality of Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 systems by allowing users to:

    * Create new keyboard layouts from scratch
    * Base a new layout on an existing one
    * Modify an existing keyboard layout (.KLC) file and build a new layout from it
    * Package the resulting keyboard layouts for subsequent deployment and installation.

    Download


    IE June cumulative patch

    This is a cumulative patch that includes the functionality of all previously released patches for Internet Explorer 5.01, 5.5 and 6.0. In addition, it eliminates two newly discovered vulnerabilities:

    In order to exploit these flaws, the attacker would have to create a specially formed HTML email and send it to the user. Alternatively an attacker would have to host a malicious web site that contained a web page designed to exploit these vulnerabilities. The attacker would then have to persuade a user to visit that site.

    As with the previous Internet Explorer cumulative patches released with bulletins MS03-004 and MS03-015, this cumulative patch will cause window.showHelp( ) to cease to function if you have not applied the HTML Help update. If you have installed the updated HTML Help control from Knowledge Base article 811630, you will still be able to use HTML Help functionality after applying this patch.

    June 2003, Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer (818529)

    For Windows 2003 Server Users


     

    Get Messenger 6 preview!

    .NET Messenger Service -- Start Download

    does not work (yet)


    Media Center beta screenshots

    TechCritic has pics of the next Media Center edition

    Tech-Critic - EXCLUSIVE Media Center Edition Beta Screenshots!


    Windows XP SP2 beta build 1213 leaked

    Some sites offer this download for members


    Exchange 2003 RC1 released

    Exchange 2003 RTM is set for this month, till then try RC1 your self by downloading at Microsoft.

    Register: http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/evaluation/ti/rc1.asp

    Download Exchange 2003 RC1 to get the stability and quality you need to start planning your Exchange 2003 deployments. Exchange 2003 RC1 is a 120-day evaluation edition that can be directly upgraded to the released version and released 120-day evaluation code. You can upgrade from Exchange 2003 RC1 to the released version of Exchange 2003 by performing in-place upgrades.

    NOTE: This is not the same "RC1" that was made available via channels of WInbeta.org (build 6895.5) This is build 6940.4

    direct link


    Windows 2000 SP4 release dates

    Details this week have emerged about the release date of Windows 2000 Service Pack 4. The final edition is due to be released in English and German form to RTP(Release to Premier) on June the 16th. Shortly afterwards the RTW/RTM (Release to Web/Release to Manufacturing) will be released on June the 18th.

    In a document entitled "Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 Readiness Guide, v1.2 (28th May)" Microsoft outlines key dates for the release of SP4.


    Release to Manufacturing (RTM) - June 18, 2003

    Release to Premier (RTP) - June 16, 2003

    Release to Web (RTW) - June 18, 2003

    North America CD Fulfillment - CDs ship to end users 4-6 weeks after RTM

    Channel Availability (Select) - Standalone and Integrated Code ships in the August kit

    Channel Availability (Open) - Available to existing customers via WWF SP4 SKU or by downloading; New customers receive integrated SP4 in their first kit.

    source: Neowin.net - Where unprofessional journalism looks better - Exclusive Windows 2000 SP4 Release Dates Revealed



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