August 8

Longhorn desktop 2005, Longhorn Server 2006

Longhorn Server Won't Ship Simultaneously with Longhorn Desktop
In the topsy-turvy world of the next Windows Server version ("Will it be Longhorn Server?" vs. "Will it be Blackcomb Server?") comes news that the next version, which will indeed by Longhorn Server, will not ship alongside desktop versions of Longhorn. This is similar to what happened with the Whistler project, which morphed into separate Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 development paths. Microsoft hopes with Longhorn, however, to get the desktop and server releases a bit closer to each other in order to make life easier on customers. According to current schedules, however, what I call Windows Longhorn (desktop) will ship in late 2005, while Longhorn Server won't hit until early 2006. Since Microsoft likes to keep its server releases about three years apart, that's good timing. But then Microsoft was never one to keep to a schedule.

WinInfo Short Takes Week of August 11

Windows XP ServicePack 2 build 1224 leaked

The 155 MB package slipped to the internet yesterday, not much news about it some screenies here

August 7

New MS Mice can tilt

Microsoft is reinventing the mouse wheel, adding Tilt Wheel Technology for horizontal scrolling and smoothing the vertical-scroll motion, the company said yesterday.

The tilt wheel allows users to scroll left and right as well as up and down without having to use the on-screen navigation bars. This can be handy when working on a large spreadsheet or trying to view an unwieldy Web site, Microsoft said.

Microsoft is planning to launch three mice with the new tilting wheel on September 3, one corded and two cordless operating at 27MHz, a company spokeswoman said. The mice will also have a feature that lets users toggle between open applications on a computer by pressing down on the wheel, she said.

Eight out of every ten mice sold in the US has a scroll wheel, according to Microsoft, which cited research by NPD Techworld. However, users want more, Microsoft said. The vendor said it found strong demand for horizontal scrolling in its own research.

Microsoft rival Logitech is happy that Microsoft is following suit with a button to switch between applications, a feature Logitech introduced a year ago, but isn't too convinced about demand for horizontal scrolling: "It is not to say that horizontal scrolling is good or bad, but the things that customers say they want to do with their mouse are the things we have already implemented," said Lloyd Klarke, a senior product manager with Logitech.

Klarke also said there is a clear purpose for the "clicks" a user feels when scrolling vertically. With Microsoft's new wheel there are no clicks when scrolling up and down. Logitech studied the clicks and found them key to the scrolling experience, Klarke said.

"Customers need some sort of détente, a click, to know that they are moving to the next line. What they don't want is either absent or overemphasized clicks. We spent a long time measuring to get the right feel," he said.

The new Microsoft mice will be sold worldwide. Further product and pricing details will be announced at launch. Pricing is expected to be in line with Microsoft's current mouse portfolio.

By joris Evers


Media Center look-alike

myHTPC is a highly customizable, menu driven front end that allows you, among other things, to launch external programs, browse pictures and large collections of almost any type of media stored on your computer.

myHTPC is extremely flexible and allows you to easily build nested menu structures that can accomplish many tasks. Its large, clear display makes it perfect for large monitors or TV sets.

Although myHTPC is targeted at Home Theater Personal Computer users, it can serve many purposes. For example, it can be used to build a simple menu for children to access their programs. It can also work very well with kiosk and touch-screen applications.

myHTPC is free myHTPC - Home - The best Home Theater PC frontend

Excel 2002 Post-Service Pack 2 Hotfix Package: July 11, 2003

Issues That Are Fixed in the Hotfix Package
The following issues are fixed in this hotfix package. These issues were not previously documented in a Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

The ChangeLink Method Does Not Behave As Excepted

Not all array formulas that contain external Microsoft Excel links are changed when you use the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) ChangeLink method.
The Range.Calculate or the Selection.Calculate Methods Fail After You Update Links to a Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) Server

Excel does not calculate ranges in a workbook when the Range.Calculate or the Selection.Calculate methods are called. This issue occurs after you open and update any workbook with DDE links.

hmmm, no public link to this fix. 823338 - Availability of Excel 2002 Post-Service Pack 2 Hotfix Package July 11, 2003

MOM downloads

The Microsoft® Operations Manager 2000 Service Pack 1 Management Pack Development Guide provides high-level overview information about MOM SP1, along with detailed procedures and guidelines that are used to develop a custom Management Pack. It is not necessary for you to have programming skills to develop a MOM Management Pack. However, some programming skills are beneficial if you choose to use scripts as responses to processing rules. This guide is primarily for those who:

Have a high-level understanding of MOM SP1

Have advanced knowledge of the product or service for which they want to develop a Management Pack.


Hotfix: This release also contains a Hotfix that is required by the updated Windows Operating System Management Pack module (posted May 15, 2003) when used to monitor Windows Server 2003. If you use the Windows Operating System Manage Pack module with Windows Server 2003, this Hotfix must be applied for the reports contained within that Management Pack to work correctly.

Download        MOM KB 821014    MOM Home Page    More MOM Downloads

August 7

MSI 3.0 beta starts

Thanx John for sending this in. The MSI 3.0/Beta1 release will be available for download and test in early September 2003.

Compatibility - Packages and patches authored for MSI 2.0 are fully supported on the MSI 3.0 engine. By just installing MSI 3.0 users will be able to benefit from its many servicing improvements. MSI 3.0 patches have additional data tables which are necessary to completely exploit the new features. It is important to note that MSI3.0 patches can be installed by MSI 2.0 – the engine will just ignore the new tables and the associated functionality.

Patch Removal – MSI 3.0 provides native support to remove small and minor updates (patches). Any patch installed by the MSI 3.0 engine is eligible for removal. The removal of a patch is the functional equivalent of never installing the patch. The state (files, regkeys, etc…) of the product when a patch (or patches) is installed and removed is identical to its state where the patch (or patches) was never installed. Patches can be removed in any order. Patches are removed using the command line or the calling the MsiRemovePatches API.

Sequencing – The new MSI 3.0 patch sequence table enables authors to provide explicit instructions for the order in which updates should be applied on target machines. Updates will be applied to target products in a consistent and predictable order regardless of the order in which they are physically provided to the target machine. By adding the patch sequence table authors can reliably update un-versioned files. Patches without the sequence table will be applied in the order in which they are provided to the engine.

Performance – Patches installed with the MSI 3.0 engine will take substantially less time to apply as compared to previous versions. Patching no longer implies a full product reinstall, so the engine does not have to examine all product files during patching operations. MSI 3.0 makes a distinction between product repair and patching and will use a lighter weight reinstall mechanism that only updates the files affected by a patch. MSI 3.0 also reduces needless file copies during patch application to further speed up patching.

Source List API – MSI 3.0 provides significant enhancements for system administrators to manage the list of sources for products and patches. New APIs will enable full static management of the product sources including network, URL and Media sources and enable access to read, edit and replace the MSI source lists from an external process.

Multiple Patching - MSI 3.0 allows more than one patch to be installed (or removed) in a single installation transaction with integrated progress, rollback, and reboot behavior. Patches installed together in a single transaction can still be uninstalled individually. If one patch in the set obsoletes, supersedes, or touches the same files as other patches in the set, MSI will take this into account. MSI 2.0 patches are fully supported, and there are no additional authoring requirements to enable this functionality.

Inventory APIs – MSI3.0 supports rich product, feature, component and patch inventory queries. Privileged accounts can use the new inventory APIs to enumerate across user and install contexts.

Xbox Live! gets new dashboard

Microsoft will be rolling out the first of several major Xbox Dashboard enhancements announced at E3 this year for US gamers on August 25th, the company said in a statement on its website.

When gamers boot up the Xbox Live service with no disc in the tray, a short download will bring them the new Live Dash, which offers instant access to the Friends list (without trawling through Account Management), and options from here to see what people are playing and send invites. Previously, this functionality was only available from within an Xbox Live title.

Furthermore, players will be able to set up a Voice Chat session right from the Dashboard, effectively giving Live users flat-rate voice communications over broadband.

Account Management will also be accessible from the main screen, along with a button to take players back to the comfortable old Main Menu should they be so inclined. By the look of the screenshot on, tournament announcements will also be made from the frontpage of the new menu.

This update is just the first of several changes to the Xbox Live system, with other planned initiatives including the introduction of XSN Sports, which will tally tournament/game results and rankings to be accessed over the Internet by computer, and tighter integrations with Microsoft's MSN internet services including Web Explorer and Messenger.

It's not currently clear when the Dashboard enhancements will come to the UK and the rest of Europe. LIVE About Features-LiveNow - Microsoft Dashboard revamp starts August 25th

Xbox gets new TV chip

Microsoft is to update its Xbox consoles with a new, cheaper TV output system.

Focus Enhancements' FS454 chip is now shipping to Microsoft for incorporation into future consoles.

The chip has taken a while to get here. Microsoft commissioned the part in May 2001, and the part was finally finished according to the specifications laid down by the Beast of Redmond in July 2002. Now, just over a year later, production chips are on their way to Microsoft.

According to Focus, the FS454 supports "virtually all" of the world's standard- and high-definition formats. The company claims it consumes less power than rival parts and - crucially - costs less.

That should help Microsoft reduce the amount of money it loses on each machine.

The FS454 also provides Macrovision 7.1 DVD anti-copy protection technology in the encoder for all TV outputs.

The Register

August 5

MDAC 2.8 released

Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) 2.8 contains core Data Access components such as the Microsoft SQL Server™ OLE DB provider and ODBC driver. This redistributable installer for the MDAC 2.8 release installs the same Data Access components as Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

This release does not include Microsoft Jet, the Microsoft Jet OLE DB Provider or ODBC driver, the Desktop Database ODBC Drivers, or the Visual FoxPro ODBC Driver.

Download details Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) 2.8


Please install MS03-026 patch NOW! (pinned 30-7-2003)

Reminder: over a week ago MS released a critical patch for a security issue in RPC, All NT based Windows editions are affected Windows NT4, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

If a worm is developed to use this exploit CodeRED and Slammer will look like child play. Please apply the patch ASAP, don't wait till after the weekend, codes to develop a worm are already posted in hacker forums.

NOW -> Microsoft TechNet security/bulletin/MS03-026.asp

CodeRED and Slammer did not do much damage on the local system, it was concentrating on spreading itself via network. CodeRED and Slammer did not do much damage on the local system, it was concentrating on spreading itself via network.
This time a malicious hacker could decide to wipe the system after it has infected 10 machines. With this exploit it can gain access with system privileges, which is the highest privilege on a Windows system.

The "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" days are over in a connected world, OK the system might be running fine, but it is broke, a door is wide open.....

The company that discovered it has more info on it: LSD-PL.Net

MAJOR flaw in many Cisco IP 4 routers!!!!

This flaw could shutdown the complete Internet and corporations, so I'm told (I'm not a router specialist). If these routers are attacked they are not remotely manageable anymore. Weird how this issue gets so low attention compared to issues with Microsoft software.

Exchange 2003, win2k sp4 slip on Licensing download server

Customers with acces to the licensing download server can get Windows 2000 SP4 slipstreamed ISO's and (later today) Exchange 2003 standard and Enterprise edition.

Whidbey Alpha starts

Microsoft has started the next big Visual Studio release "Whidbey" Alpha program and sent mails to the qualified testers last day. "Whidbey" is the code name for the release of Visual Studio that's expected to ship in 2004.


Active Directory in Application Mode is released to the web for free download
The Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Active Directory® service is the fastest growing directory service for intranets and extranets because of its rich integration of directory and security, scalability, and native Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) support. Windows Server 2003 builds on that success by supporting a number of new LDAP capabilities in Active Directory targeted for IT professionals and applications developers. Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) is one of the new capabilities that are part of Microsoft's fully integrated directory service available with Windows Server 2003. Organizations, independent software vendors, and developers who want to integrate their applications with a directory service now have an additional capability within Active Directory that provides numerous benefits.



July 30

Pretty Cool! Microsoft Newsgroup Social Analyzer

Microsoft researchers are working on technology that makes it easier to navigate Usenet news groups, and which could help clear clutter in e-mail inboxes.

A concept called the Community .net Server takes a new approach to displaying Usenet groups and message threads, making it easier for users to pick a relevant group, cut out spam and display the most active threads first.

The concept is for Usenet groups, but can be extended to e-mail, said Microsoft research sociologist Marc Smith.

Usenet is a giant, distributed database of news groups, that predates the World Wide Web. Postings can be read with a web browser or with reader software such as Microsoft's Outlook Express.

Typically Usenet groups are listed alphabetically in a reader, group information is limited to basics such as the number of messages and message data is limited to message size, poster name and time and date of posting.

"We need tools that will help us better discover and use online communities. The interface to a social space was designed by some of the most antisocial people in the world," Smith said. "You want to see more metadata about these communities, such as how many people are in there and come back."

Microsoft Research loads news group and message data into a SQL Server database for analysis. Users can get a detailed overview of activity in Usenet groups. This allows a user, for example, to find not just a group on Windows XP with a lot of messages, but one where many postings get replied to, Smith said. A proof of concept interface called Netscan is online on the Microsoft Research website.

Furthermore, message analysis before the list is displayed to a Usenet user can make sure that only relevant messages are shown. Through a personalized homepage a user can be kept up to date on replies to posting and keep track of threads, groups and posters. A concept of the personalized homepage is not yet available.

Smith believed the analysis technology can replace the "Outlook Today" screen in the Outlook e-mail client. The "Outlook Tomorrow" screen would display message threads, remind users they have not replied to a person they usually get back to immediately and provide other information on the inbox.

However, Smith has yet to persuade any Microsoft product groups to incorporate the Microsoft Research "social accounting" metrics. The Exchange, MSN Search, Windows and Outlook teams have shown interest, and some inside Microsoft are using the tools to track the Microsoft newsgroups, Smith said.

Check it out here: Netscan

MIcrosoft Research preps Usenet analysis tool by Joris Evers

Microsoft CRM gets Call center connection

Microsoft's CRM solution has been customized by more than 1,000 VARs since its release earlier this year. One of these customizations allows MS CRM to be integrated to the contact center. This capability comes courtesy of a new partnership between AltiGen and Convergion. As part of the agreement, Convergion will provide integration services through authorized AltiGen and Microsoft CRM resellers to companies integrating their contact centers with Microsoft CRM.
AltiGen, which provides VoIP phone systems and other contact center products, says it chose Convergion because of its nationwide reach and expertise in telecom, CRM, and contact centers. Convergion also has experience customizing both Microsoft CRM and AltiGen solutions.

Convergion says it chose AltiGen because it is a certified Microsoft partner developing communications solutions and technology for the mid-market. This past April AltiGen announced out-of-the box integration with Microsoft CRM. AltiGen says its open architecture enables rapid development and customization for integrating the contact center with Microsoft CRM, which provides for low total cost of ownership.

AltiGen's partnership with Convergion aims to allow businesses to significantly reduce implementation costs and timeframes, making integrated CRM deployments affordable. "We tried to take what most small and midsize businesses could not dream of having in a call center and make it affordable," says Jim Puchbauer, director of marketing at AltiGen. "This partnership really allows us to turbo charge a contact center." Puchbauer says that AltiGen's core business is call centers with about 50 seats.

According to Mark Albrecht, ISV team manager at Microsoft, the integration of telephony applications for call handling with CRM is necessary to enable delivering business insight to mid-market contact centers.

"The Convergion solution of Microsoft CRM with AltiGen telephony will enable us to meet our goals of improved internal and external communications, better lead/opportunity tracking, and the ability to take advantage of the virtual workforce when the need arises," Rich Barton, president for N Hunt Moore and Associates, said in a statement about the partnership. "We are a small company and now are very mobile with a central repository of information at our fingertips. We chose Microsoft CRM and AltiGen through Convergion because it is easily accessible, user friendly and has powerful integration." MS CRM Gets Call Center Connection

July 29

New Microsoft Mice!

Microsoft is usually refreshing their desktop hardware products about once to twice a year. We have learned that the Redmond based company has a new wireless optical mouse lined up for this years fall-winter season.
The peripheral desktop device Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer Platinum will be available in at least four different designs, including a black leather version. Also in the line up is a new Natural MultiMedia Keyboard.

Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer Platinum is an enhanced design of the original IntelliMouse Explorer with improved ergonomics and possibly some sort of interference protection. Unfortunately no information is available on the optical resolution of the IntelliMouse Explorer Platinum. We assume that Microsoft will position the new mouse series against Logitech's MX700, but we will have to wait for the official announcement to make any definitive statement. Most intriguing is the black leather model that Microsoft is going to introduce - most likely targeting executive offices.

click links underneath for really laaaaaaaarge pics!    Warp2Search.Net Your Daily Tech News Service - Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer Platinum - October Launch

Wrlss IntelliM Expl_Front_BlkMet.jpg
Wrlss IntelliM Expl_HO_Leather.jpg
Wrlss IntelliM Expl_HO_Silver.jpg
Wrlss IntelliM Expl_LO_Leather.jpg
Wrlss IntelliM Expl_Miata_Receiver.jpg
Wrlss IntelliM Expl_Wheel_BlkMet.jpg


Windows Services For UNIX 3.5 beta

Before you continue, it is important to understand that the Beta release of any product will not display the stability of a shipped Microsoft product. You may encounter problems with beta release of Services for UNIX version 3.5, which could possibly result in a loss or destruction of data. This release is not appropriate for production use, and we suggest that you back up your existing data before you install and run this software.

Download    Windows Services for UNIX Home Page

july 28

Info from the MSFAM

Longhorn Beta 1 Still on Track for 2004
Microsoft Group Vice President Jim Allchin reiterated the Longhorn schedule I reported back in early June: "Now, the next step for Longhorn, we've had some design previews already," he said. "We've shared with partners as well as ISVs and IHVs what we're doing. We do have regular builds running of this. The next big event is PDC, which is our Professional Developer Conference, which is coming up at the end of October. We will be handing out CDs there to get the developers going, to let them see the great capability that we're putting into Windows, and then later next year we will be doing Beta 1, which will be a broad beta of the technology of Windows code-named Longhorn. As Bill said, there are other pieces coming in the Longhorn wave but I'm just talking about the client here." In other words, Longhorn is still on track for a 2005 release.

Is Longhorn really on track for 2005? While the company's official stance is that things haven't changed, things really have changed. First, the Longhorn Server release is now official. Second, executives at the company are starting to reiterate how complicated and huge this release is. "Longhorn is a bit scary," Gates admitted during lunch at the meeting. "We have to be willing to change things. It should drive a whole range of upgrades, but that could be sort of delayed. It's so innovative, and there is a lot of work to be done in terms of what has to go in and what has not. If you split it up, then you delay one of the really great pieces." In other words, don't hold the company to a specific release date. This is Microsoft we're talking about, after all.

Windows 9x, NT 4 Still Huge
One interesting little factoid, according to Jim Allchin: "There are probably still 350 million PCs with [Windows] NT 4.0 or Windows 9x on them." Allchin mentioned this figure as an opportunity for upgrades, but I bet the figure is quite a bit higher than that, actually.

Windows XP SP2 This Year
Allchin also mentioned a few details about the release of Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), which is one of my most common email questions these days. "We are having Service Pack 2 for Windows XP coming out this fiscal year," he said, a release that is "primarily not [about new] features, but there will be a few things that we're adding to that." Those new things, by the way, include the ability to have two interactive users working off the same XP Professional box at the same time, one at the machine, and one remotely using Remote Desktop. The feature is geared toward Smart Display owners, however. Allchin also said that new XP Tablet PC Edition and Media Center Edition release would ship this year too, though we already knew that.

New Version of Plus! Digital Media Edition on the Way
I've often touted the Photo Story feature in Plus! Digital Media Edition as the single reason why all XP users need to grab this $20 package, and apparently Microsoft agrees the tool is a hidden gem. A "Lite" version of the program appears in the recently released Microsoft Digital Image Suite 9, and Allchin revealed that a new version is on the way: "We have an update of the Plus! pack coming out," he said. "We had [Photo Story] in the first version, but we've upgraded it in a significant way. [The new version gives you can option called] 'Create a video CD of your story.' So, a key improvement that we're making here is that you can select this, and then burn a CD, a video CD, that you can play in virtually any modern DVD player. So, even if you don't have a PC, you can be able to share it with friends and family or others that only have DVD players." Sounds cool, but I hope it's a free upgrade.

WinInfo Short Takes Week of July 28 - MS Financial Analysts Meeting Roundup

Microsoft Windows Memory Diagnostic tool

The Windows Memory Diagnostic tests the Random Access Memory (RAM) on your computer for errors. The diagnostic includes a comprehensive set of memory tests. If you are experiencing problems while running Windows, you can use the diagnostic to determine whether the problems are caused by failing hardware, such as RAM or the memory system of your motherboard. Windows Memory Diagnostic is designed to be easy and fast. On most configurations, you can download the diagnostic, read the documentation, run the test and complete the first test pass in less than 30 minutes.

To run Windows Memory Diagnostic, you must reboot your computer with the disk or CD-ROM on which you installed Windows Memory Diagnostic in the drive. After the reboot, Windows Memory Diagnostic will load and its interface will appear. After loading, the first test pass will begin, using the default standard test suite, and continue until complete, unless Windows Memory Diagnostic is either paused or exited. Once the first test pass is complete, Windows Memory Diagnostic will begin a second test pass using the same settings as before. Windows Memory Diagnostic will continue to run test passes until you exit.

Windows Memory Diagnostic User Guide    Download Windows Memory Diagnostic   Note, the Agreement when installing still states "BETA"

MS Content Management Server 2002 SP1 !

MCMS 2002 SP1 contains a collection of hotfixes and security fixes, as well as added functionality for Windows Server 2003, Visual Studio .NET 2003, and .NET Framework 1.1.
Please be sure to read and review the SP1 documentation before installing SP1.

MCMS 2002 SP1        SP1 Documentation    MCMS 2002 SP1 Authoring Connector for Word Language Pack    MCMS 2002 SP1 Authoring Connector

3' updated

After remaining silent for a long time, NetGen(3° Team) has finally released an update to 3°. The latest build available is 1.0.0352.0.

Following is the official statement on this update:
We released an update today. If you have autoupdate enabled from the settings tab of your 3° launchpad, the next time you start up 3° you will be prompted to update. Or you can just download the updated version from this website.

We fixed a few bugs and improved the install process. Now that the peer to peer software is out of beta, it is much easier to install. No more guest passwords and crawling through BetaPlace to find it. Just go to and choose the Recommended Update with the Advanced Networking Pack for Windows XP.

IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE ALL OF THE PEOPLE IN YOUR GROUPS UPDATE AT THE SAME TIME YOU DO. Unfortunately, you won't see people in your groups if they don't have the same version. So even if they are connected to the group, you won't see them. We had to do this to ensure that the product was completely secure and stable.

Thanks for using 3°!

~The NetGen Team

Couple of days ago when I asked 3° team about the reason for slow beta tetsing process, 3° Customer Support responded me and stated:

Download: 3° Build 1.0.0352.0 (4.9 Mb)

View: 3° Homepage
News source: ieXbeta


July 25

Microsoft Virtual Server details

Microsoft purchased Connectix assets, Virtual Server, Virtual PC for Windows, Virtual PC for Mac. Connectix will sell/support VPC until 8/15, the VM development team will be added to the Windows Core OS team.

Virtual Server architecture
 Up to 32-way, 64GB RAM, with up to 64 VMs per system
 Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003
 Runs as system service, exposes COM APIs
 Remote management via Web console Capabilities
 Isolation: run multiple OSes in isolated VMs on single server
 Compatibility: runs every major x86 operating system
 Portability: configure on laptop, deploy on big Intel Iron
 Extensibility: scripted/programmatic VM automation
 Manageability: integrates with Windows Server 2003 Version 1.0
 Optimized for Windows Server 2003 Enterprise (<32GB)

Licensing:    VM is a computer, within a computer, Same requirements as standalone servers. One license per installed OS
Support:    PSS supports Microsoft OS/apps in VM, Customer support for other OSes comes from OS vendor/support provider.

April 15: Joint Development Program
Q2/Q3: Virtual Server Release Candidate, broadly available for testing and review, reliability, performance feedback
Q4 2003: Virtual Server RTM

Codename ORCAS: Visual Studio .NET 2005

The Whidbey release of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework will represent a significant milestone in the Microsoft developer tools roadmap. Following the SQL Server Yukon and Visual Studio Whidbey wave of products, the next major platform update will be the Windows operating system release codenamed Longhorn. The Whidbey release of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework will run on this landmark operating system release, as will applications built with Visual Studio Whidbey.
In addition, the subsequent release to Whidbey, Visual Studio Orcas, will support the managed interfaces, enhanced UI features, and other new capabilities of the Longhorn operating system. These include the Longhorn trustworthy computing and security model, new application model, improved communication and collaboration, integrated data storage, and innovations in presentation and media. As more information about Longhorn and Orcas becomes available in the coming months, this document will be updated.
With the launch of Visual Studio .NET 2002 and the .NET Framework 1.0, Microsoft introduced a unified programming model, new and enhanced programming languages, and its most integrated and powerful developer toolset ever. One year later, Visual Studio .NET 2003 and version 1.1 of the .NET Framework build on the strength of the initial release and deliver unprecedented integration with the Windows Server 2003 operating system. Moving forward, Microsoft will continue this trend of integrating managed code support in major product releases – first with SQL Server Yukon and later in the Windows Longhorn operating system.
Over the course of this product roadmap, Microsoft plans a steady stream of innovation in both tools and framework, offering the businesses of today and tomorrow premier tools with which to meet their evolving business needs. Microsoft will continue its commitment to delivering productive tools that help customers take maximum advantage of the underlying platform and achieve success while building a wide range of software solutions.

Motorola Smartphone, first pics!

Motorola will reportedly launch a mobile phone based on Microsoft software later this year, the first of the top five handset makers to do so, industry sources said on Thursday.

"It will come later this year. They've been working on it for many months now," one industry source told Reuters.

Pictures of the new Motorola handset, to be produced by Taiwan's contract manufacturer Chi Mei Communication Systems circulated on discussion groups on the Internet.

Motorola and Microsoft were not immediately available to comment.

Motorola told Reuters in February it would bring out a Microsoft phone, mainly in response to US operators' requests, but then declined to give details or timing. Motorola's model would be a clamshell with an internal antenna. Microsoft is struggling to break into the 450 million units a year mobile phone industry, but the major vendors have so far been reluctant to work with the software giant.

Some have said they fear Microsoft is out to dominate their industry, just like it rules in the personal computer sector where its Windows software is the main operating system.

The top five handset makers, including Motorola, jointly own Britain-based Symbian which also makes operating software for mobile phones, but Motorola's decision showed Microsoft could not be kept out of the sector forever, one consultant said.

"This is a start of an era where the main manufacturers see that they can't live without Microsoft. The vendors will have to find a way to live with it," said John Strand in Copenhagen.

source:Telecom Asia - Motorola to launch first Windows OS phone this year report

View topic - EXCLUSIVE first pictures emerge of Motorola Smartphone

Longhorn, a bit scary...

Longhorn, the next version of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows desktop operating system, will be so different from its predecessors that users may not like it right away, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said Thursday.

"Longhorn is a bit scary. ... We have been willing to change things," Gates said while trying to eat a fruit salad and drink a Diet Coke during lunch at Microsoft's annual financial analyst meeting at the company's Redmond, Washington, headquarters.

"It (Longhorn) should drive a whole range of upgrades, but that could be sort of delayed," Gates said. Because of differences with the previous versions of Windows, it could be a year or two after its release before computer users really pick up Longhorn, he said.

Gates appeared to distance himself from a commitment the company made at its Windows Engineering Hardware Conference (WinHEC) in May to deliver Longhorn in 2005. At lunch Thursday, he would not comment on the release date.

"Longhorn is innovative ... there is a lot of work to be done in terms of what has to go in and what has not," Gates said. Asked if Microsoft would consider dropping some of the innovations it has planned so the product can come out sooner, Gates said no: "If you split it up, then you delay one of the really great pieces," he said.

"We need a big bang release to drive excitement," Gates said.

Microsoft has been tightlipped about specific features in Longhorn, but early versions of the product have leaked to the Internet. Major changes in Longhorn are expected to include the graphical user interface and either a new file system or a technology update to the existing file system.

Gates said on Thursday that Longhorn will have a new file system, but Microsoft officials at WinHEC said the operating system will have a new storage system that will be based on the existing NTFS.

Microsoft promises more details about the operating system release, which analysts have said will be one of the most important Windows launches for Microsoft, in October at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference to be held in Los Angeles. A beta of Longhorn is planned for next year.

InfoWorld Gates Longhorn is 'a bit scary' July 24, 2003 By Joris Evers

Longhorn comes with Server and Office updates

Microsoft is preparing Office and server products to accompany the launch of Longhorn, the successor to Windows XP, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said Thursday, reigniting speculation about a server version of Longhorn.

"Longhorn is not just a release of a Windows client," Gates said in a meeting with financial analysts at Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., headquarters. Longhorn is a "big bet" for Microsoft and the company at the same time will have "advances in Office and server" products, Gates said.

Microsoft Senior Vice President Eric Rudder in a slide showing the future of servers mentioned "Windows Server Longhorn." Rudder recently added Windows Server to the list of Microsoft units he heads up.

Gates' comments and Rudder's presentation renew speculation about a server version of Longhorn, which Microsoft has at several times said will be a client-only release, but has also suggested may be released in a server version. Gates did not give a timeframe for Longhorn, but Microsoft at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in May set 2005 as the year for Longhorn. Microsoft in April released Windows Server 2003 and is planning to release Office 2003 later this year. With Longhorn planned for 2005, it could mean that Windows Server 2003 and Office 2003 will be outdated in two years, an upgrade cycle that is shorter than Microsoft's typical three-year cycle.

"We have not set a rate on a next server release, but we hit about every three years. Longhorn is in the same zone as the three years," said Bob O’Brien, group product manager in Microsoft's Windows Server division in an interview ahead of the financial analyst meeting on Wednesday.

Two industry analysts attending the Thursday meeting were divided on what Gates' comments mean.

"I think Microsoft will have to at least refresh Windows Server 2003 when it releases Longhorn," said Rob Helm, research director at Directions on Microsoft Inc., an independent research firm in Kirkland, Wash.

Joe Wilcox, a Washington, D.C.-based Jupiter Research senior analyst, on his firm's Microsoft Monitor log said a server release of Longhorn is a possibility, however "I wouldn't place any bets yet. Microsoft is still early in its Longhorn plans, and roadmaps are by no means final."

Not only do the roadmaps not appear final, questions remain about the technology underlying Longhorn. "We're doing a new file system which is called next-generation Windows, or WinFS," Gates said about Longhorn. At WinHEC, however, Microsoft officials said WinFS is not a new file system, but a storage technology that is built on the existing NTFS file system.

InfoWorld Gates Longhorn to come with server and Office updates July 24, 2003 By Joris Evers

Outlook connector in MSN9

Microsoft demonstrated a forthcoming feature of MSN 9.0 — called Outlook Connector for MSN — at its annual Financial Analyst Meeting here on Thursday.
The Connector is aimed at providing users with seamless integration between Outlook 2003 and MSN services, such as scheduling, contact management, photo-sharing, and the like.

During Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates' kick-off remarks to the financial analyst and press attendees of the day-long event, lead technical program manager Raj Pai put a "preview" release of the Connector through its paces. Pai said Microsoft make the final version of the Connector available as part of MSN 9.0 when it ships later this year.

Microsoft officials have acknowledged for years that customers have been champing at the bit for the ability to share their business and home calendars and contacts.

The Connector will allow for "rich integration scenarios," Pai said, such as the ability to drag contacts from a personal account to a work account. Users will be able to share calendars with pre-designated friends and colleagues. And all changes made to personal and business schedules and contacts that are made offline will be synchronized automatically when users go online later.

In addition to e-mail synchronization via the Connector, other "premium" services are expected to be available to MSN subscribers only. Among those under consideration, according to Microsoft executives, are some kind of DRM-protected online music/video service, advanced spam filtering, and possible some kind of souped-up parental controls.

MSN 9.0 to Include Built-In Outlook Synchronization

July 24

Greenwich renamed again.

The instant messaging server codename Greenwhich has been renamed again. First it was part of .NET server (now windows server 2003) as communiocation service, then it was removed and started as a server on its own codename Greenwhich. When beta was in progress the Server got the name Realtime Communication Server (RTC). Then MS announced that RTC was moved from the Windows System to the Office System Group.

Today MS renamed the product again: Microsoft Office Live Communications Server.

Also Microsoft announced Microsoft Office Live Meeting, which I assume is the successor of Exchange 2000 Conferencing server.

Live Meeting enables businesses to conduct real-time, interactive presentations and meetings over the Internet. A multimedia platform and application service for Web-based communication and collaboration, Live Meeting is a natural fit in the Microsoft Office System, which is designed to better connect people, information and business processes across an organization to transform information for business impact. It will be the first fully hosted collaboration service for the Microsoft Office System. Live Meeting is built on a scalable browser-based architecture.

Microsoft's Real-Time Collaboration Offerings Join Microsoft Office Family and Get Live

Microsoft CRM 1,2 will have new licensing model

Starting in December, that group, which had been the only subset of Microsoft partners authorized to sell the higher-end Microsoft CRM Professional Edition, will have to compete with tens of thousands of Microsoft-certified partners for that pleasure. With the release of Microsoft CRM 1.2, the vendor will also make CRM available through all of its standard volume license agreements and through broad distribution.

That means all 30,000 Microsoft certified partners can peddle CRM if they so desire. And that customers can source it however they like. There are currently 6,000 authorized MBS partners worldwide. The fear among some authorized MBS partners is that they will do the evangelizing and road work, only to lose the sale to lower-priced providers.

Microsoft executives acknowledge the concern, but maintain that what partners may miss in up front product-sales margins will be more than made up with post-sales implementation and support dollars.

"Regardless of where the customer chooses to buy, there will be significant partner opportunity in the form of fees from Microsoft if they do both pre-sales and post-sales services," Don Nelson, general manager of Managed Partners for Microsoft

Read on: CRN Daily Archives With New CRM Release, Microsoft To Shake Up Distribution Model 910 AM EST Thurs., July 24, 2003

Security Bulletins....

Cumulative Patch for Microsoft SQL Server (815495)

Who should read this bulletin: System administrators using Microsoft® SQL Server™ 7.0, SQL Server 2000, Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE) 1.0, Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE 2000) and SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (Windows).

Impact of vulnerability: Run code of attacker's choice

Maximum Severity Rating: Important

Recommendation: System administrators should apply the security patch to affected systems.

Affected Software:

Microsoft SQL Server 7.0     Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE) 1.0     Microsoft SQL Server 2000     Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE 2000)     Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (Windows)

Download patch     Microsoft SQL Server 7.0     Microsoft SQL 2000 32-bit Edition     Microsoft SQL 2000 64-bit Edition

More at Microsoft TechNet

Unchecked Buffer in DirectX Could Enable System Compromise (819696)

A security issue has been identified in Microsoft® DirectX® that could allow an attacker to run programs on a computer running Microsoft Windows®. The attacker would first have to send you an e-mail message or entice you into visiting a malicious Web site. You can help protect your computer by installing this update from Microsof.

Get the latest Direct X 9B which is released today or if you run older versions get patches at Microsoft TechNet

Flaw in Windows Function Could Allow Denial of Service (823803)

Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Server
Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server Edition

A flaw exists in a Windows NT 4.0 Server file management function that can cause a denial of service vulnerability. The flaw results because the affected function can cause memory that it does not own to be freed when a specially crafted request is passed to it. If the application making the request to the function does not carry out any user input validation and allows the specially crafted request to be passed to the function, the function may free memory that it does not own. As a result, the application passing the request could fail.

By default, the affected function is not accessible remotely, however applications installed on the operating system that are available remotely may make use of the affected function. Application servers or Web servers are two such applications that may access the function. Note that Internet Information Server 4.0 (IIS 4.0) does not, by default, make use of the affected function.

Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Server     Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server Edition

More at Microsoft TechNet

Advanced Networking Pack for winXP

The Advanced Networking Pack for Windows XP is a set of platform technologies designed to run on Windows XP SP1 to enable the use and deployment of distributed, peer-to-peer applications based on Internet standards. The update includes a new version of the IPv6 stack, including support for NAT traversal for IPv6 applications. An IPv6 firewall is included to protect the end-user's machine from unsolicited IPv6 traffic, while the peer-to-peer platform makes it simple to write distributed solutions.

Download details Advanced Networking Pack for Windows XP

Download DirectX 9.0aDirect X 9.0b released

This download provides the DirectX 9.0b end-user multi-languaged redistributable that developers can include with their product. The redistributable license agreement covers the terms under which developers may use the Redistributable. For full details please review the DirectX SDK EULA.txt and DirectX Redist.txt files located in the license directory.

Download details DirectX 9.0b Redistributable for Software Developers

Download the DirectX 9.0 SDK

July 23 iTunes for Windows

In the wake of Apple's success with digital music downloads, hopeful competitors are stumbling over themselves to get a product out that can emulate and, presumably, surpass the iTunes Music Store. First up to bat is's, which opened its virtual doors this week. The Web site offers customers a wider selection of music from all the major labels, cheaper prices, and the important ubiquity of Windows support, but it is also almost too visually similar to Apple's offering, raising issues of impropriety. Perhaps more alarming, the music on is saddled with more restrictions than that offered by Apple.

"[Apple CEO] Steve Jobs is a visionary, but he's on the wrong platform," notes founder Scott Blum, referring to the fact that the iTunes Music Store serves less than 1 percent of all computer users, because it requires Mac OS X., meanwhile, reaches almost 98 percent of all computer users, he says. Naturally, isn't the first player in this market, but then the iTunes Music Store wasn't first either; MusicNet, MusicNow, pressplay, and Rhapsody have been plying the digital delivery of music for some time now.

But BuyMusic hopes to surpass Apple's offering by charging just 79 cents (and up) for single songs (compared to Apple's 99 cents and up) and $7.99 (and up) per album (compared to Apple's $9.99 or more); the company also offers more music than Apple, with over 300,000 songs available, and more on the way. Music downloaded from BuyMusic also works with a far wider range of portable devices than that obtained from the iTunes Music Store. That's because BuyMusic is using the technically superior and more widely accepted Windows Media Audio (WMA) 9 format, while Apple chose an unpopular version of MP3 called AAC (Advanced Audio Coding). However, both AAC and WMA offer superior sound than the MP3 format at similar file sizes, and both support Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology, which lets content providers set limits on what customers can and can't do with their downloads. For example, customers of the iTunes Music Store can burn virtually unlimited mix CDs, copy music to an iPod, and share tunes with up to three Macs in a household.

read on: Launches First iTunes Competitor

Windows password cracked in seconds

If your passwords consist of letters and numbers, beware.
Swiss researchers released a paper on Tuesday outlining a way to speed the cracking of alphanumeric Windows passwords, reducing the time to break such codes to an average of 13.6 seconds, from 1 minute 41 seconds.

The method involves using large lookup tables to match encoded passwords to the original text entered by a person, thus speeding the calculations required to break the codes. Called a time-memory trade-off, the situation means that an attacker with an abundance of computer memory can reduce the time it takes to break a secret code.

The results highlight a fact about which many security researchers have worried: Microsoft's manner for encoding passwords has certain weaknesses that make such techniques particularly effective, Philippe Oechslin, a senior research assistant and lecturer at the Cryptography and Security Laboratory of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), wrote in an e-mail to CNET

"Windows passwords are not very good," he wrote. "The problem with Windows passwords is that they do not include any random information."

Read on: Cracking Windows passwords in seconds CNET

Microsoft preps Content Management Server Standard Edition

Microsoft Tuesday said it is preparing a Standard Edition of its Content Management Server 2002 product in a move to generate more sales to small and midsized businesses.

Content Management Server is a content management system for Web sites. It is part of Microsoft's "E-Business Server" family, but unlike the other products in that line, BizTalk Server and Commerce Server, Content Management Server has never been available as a Standard Edition, only in the more expensive Enterprise Edition. That will change before year-end.

"Content Management Server is available today, but we are going to provide another offering that is more appealing to the small and midsized business space," said Trina Seinfeld, a product manager with Microsoft.

The Standard Edition of Content Management Server will have all the functionality of the Enterprise Edition, but is restricted to 15 users who can manage a single Web site and runs on a single-processor server only, Seinfeld said. The software will run on Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Server.

Content Management Server Standard Edition is due out by year-end. Pricing has yet to be determined, but will be in line with the Standard Edition versions of the other E-Business Server products, which are priced at $6,999, Seinfeld said. The Enterprise Version of Content Management Server costs $42,000 per processor, she said.

Microsoft acquired the Content Management Server product when it bought NCompass Labs in April 2001. The first Microsoft version of the product, Content Management Server 2001, was released in August 2001. That initial product was succeeded by Content Management Server 2002 in October last year. Competing products are sold by Vignette, Interwoven and others.

Microsoft is in the process of unifying all of its E-Business Server products as part of a project, called Jupiter. In June, the vendor marked the completion of Jupiter's first phase with the first beta of BizTalk Server 2004.

The release of Content Management Server Standard Edition is not part of Jupiter, Seinfeld said. The second part of Jupiter, which will include commerce, content and some portal features and functionality, is slated for late 2004 or 2005, Microsoft has said.

Microsoft preps slimmed-down Content Management Server

winPE builder 2.0 beta!! (removed)

MS kindly requested Bart to remove the PE builder (again).

Bart released winPE builder 2.02a beta. This tool is similar to Microsoft winPE (Windows Pre-installation Environment) which is not widely available (OEM and Select partners). Bart's PE builder is easy custumisable with extra tools!

WinPE) is a minimal operating system based on the Windows XP kernel. It will give you a complete Win32 environment with network support, a graphical user interface (800x600) and FAT/NTFS/CDFS filesystem support. Very handy for burnin testing systems with no OS, rescuing files to a network share, virus scan and so on.

Go check it out and test his great new cool tool!

July 22

Yukon tools to be added in SQL 2000

Microsoft said next month it will release more information about a reporting-service feature originally designed for Yukon database software, which will be available for SQL Server 2000 by the end of the year.

About 60 customers are currently testing SQL Server Reporting Services, though more than 100 others applied to be a part of the private beta, said Tom Rizzo, a Microsoft group product manager.

Microsoft will be releasing more data about how SQL Server Reporting Services works, including some technical white papers and developer walk-throughs, Rizzo said. The public beta is scheduled for the fall and the service will be available by the end of the year; included with the SQL Server license.

Interest in this service is high. It was first discussed at Microsoft's TechEd conference in early June. "People are really asking a lot of questions," said Kurt Windisch, director of program development at Levi, Ray and Shoup Inc. in Springfield, Ill.

"Reports are the crux of an organization," Windisch said. "That's what the decision makers want to see, and a technical person wants to please the decision maker."

The software offers several key services for IT administrators and for database administrators, Rizzo said.

It has graphical design tools for reports. "Instead of code, you can drag and drop in Visual Studio to create reports in a graphical environment," Rizzo said. Customers today have a few different options in this regard. They can create their own reports or use a third-party application, such as the one made by Crystal Decisions in Palo Alto, Calif.

read full article:    source:

Q&A MS Enterprise Storage

When folks think of storage software, often times the first names that come to mind might be Veritas, HP, IBM, or even EMC these days. But Microsoft? Well, it's true. The Redmond, Wash. software giant has been gaining momentum in a niche of the storage software market known as NAS, or network-attached storage.

NAS is hard disk storage that is set up with its own network address rather than being attached to the department computer that is serving applications to a network's workstation users. By moving storage, which more often than not takes up a lot of space, off of the department server and onto the local area network, applications and files can be piped from one location to the next because they are not competing for the same resources.

Microsoft specializes in delivering NAS to the low-end markets, and according to the latest figures from research firm IDC, the market share for Windows in NAS devices rose 8 percent in the first quarter to 41 percent. Not too shabby for a market that reaped $1.49 billion last year.

Read Q&A Charles Stevens, Microsoft Enterprise Storage

MS Identity and Access Management Solution

The Microsoft Identity and Access Management Solution guides provide an explanation of the issues and challenges that are present in this area. It also defines a process to enable you to assess your issues and requirements in order to design and implement for a successful solution.

This solution addresses how you can successfully plan, design and implement a structured identity and access management infrastructure. It will aid decision makers, architects and implementers, through our process, who need to understand and plan a solution that addresses manageability and TCO of user accounts, as well as mitigating the security vulnerabilities exposed by multiple authentication, authorization and account provisioning processes and technologies. The solution takes the form of two guides:

1.Planning and Designing an Identity and Access Management Solution
2.Implementing an Identity and Access Management Solution

The Planning Guide explains the planning and design issues behind identity and access management, and the benefits to be gained from a strategy that addresses them. This guide defines identity and access management in a security and manageability context.
The Implementation Guide, takes you through the outcome of the planning process through design decisions and trade–offs to implement a solution.

The Test Guide, provides the functionality, vulnerability and technical test cases we used and the test process that was applied.


Default Access Control Settings

This white paper describes the default security settings for components of the Microsoft® Windows® XP operating system. These components include the registry and file system, and the default security settings include user rights and group membership. This white paper details the implications of these settings for developers and system administrators, and it provides answers to frequently asked questions.


IIS5 update for Exchange 2003

This Internet Information Services (IIS 5.0) update corrects an issue that occurs when using Exchange Server 2003 on a clustered system. When Kerberos authentication is enabled an error occurs between IIS 5.0 and the Exchange Server 2003 virtual server's IIS resources. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.


CSR Bluetooth chip in MS prototype PC

CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio), today announced that its BlueCore single-chip solution has been chosen by Microsoft Corp. to bring Bluetooth wireless technology to its 'Athens' prototype PC. The 'Athens' PC is currently on a world tour that has recently included Bluetooth Congress in Amsterdam and Microsoft aims to use it to demonstrate how multiple forms of communication can be merged into a consistent and streamlined design. CSR's BlueCore has been used to enable integrated wireless telephony functionality that would allow a user to utilise a central communications unit via a wireless handset and headset.

Mike Foley, Wireless Architect, Microsoft & Former Chairman of the Board, Bluetooth SIG commented, "In developing this prototype, we have paid particular attention to ensuring that both 'Athens' hardware and software are meshed as tightly as is possible. CSR's BlueCore solution is technology that we have already integrated into our Bluetooth wireless keyboard and mouse. Our experience tells us that BlueCore is a sturdy, robust product and that the CSR's designers are fully capable of bringing their expertise to such a demanding project as 'Athens'."

The 'Athens' prototype PC is intended for business use and aims to provide a vision of future business desktop PC technology that will provide a seamless and natural experience for both communications and collaboration. An integrated communications unit is wirelessly connected to a Bluetooth-enabled handset and headset, the silicon for which is provided by CSR.

Kristine Overlaur, Technical Marketing Manager, CSR, added, "Bluetooth is ideal for wirelessly channelling real-time data between devices. Our market leading BlueCore silicon is designed for easy integration into any kind of electronic device, and therefore we are pleased Microsoft have identified this when designing the 'Athens' prototype PC."

Unstrung - The world wide source for analysis of the global wireless economy

Microsoft Money 2004 released

I think this is the first "2004" product released by Microsoft.

Download Money 2004 Trial

Microsoft Money 2003 Home (yes, site is still 2003)    source:

July 21

SSL/TLS in Windows 2003

There are a number of components in Windows Server 2003 that help provide security for communications. One component is the SSL/TLS protocol and its related technologies. This paper provides a detailed description of these protocols and how they work in Windows Server 2003. Performance tuning and server planning information is also included.


Windows Messenger 5.0 RC released

Release Candidate, Build 335 of Windows Messenger is released to betatesters.

Small Business Manager 7.5

To offer small, growing businesses the ability to effectively manage assets, streamline fulfillment, and choose from a wide array of options for sophisticated data analysis, Microsoft Business Solutions today launched an enhanced release of its business application developed specifically for today's small businesses. Microsoft(R) Business Solutions Small Business Manager 7.5 includes features that help small companies improve efficiencies in how they manage
orders, inventory, assets, payroll and deduction. Small Business Manager 7.5 also includes powerful reporting tools, increased flexibility and enhanced integration capabilities. "Microsoft Business Solutions is committed to delivering compelling products and services to small businesses," said Karen Engel, group product manager with Microsoft Business Solutions. "Small Business Manager 7.5 is geared toward customers that are outgrowing packaged software. It offers a greater breadth of functionality and control in a single package that's affordable and easy to use. And it's available through a network of dedicated, local partners that have a proven track record when it comes to fully customizing technology and helping small businesses get up to speed quickly." Specific features and benefits that small companies can realize using Small Business Manager 7.5

Read on

Linux desktops in Munich wil run Windows in VMWARE...

Remember that story about the city of Munich choosing Linux to power 14,000 desktop computers? One aspect of this story that most people don't know about is that up to 80 percent of those Linux desktops will be equipped with VMWare, a virtual machine emulator, under which they will run Windows and Windows applications. That's right, folks: The majority of those "Linux desktops" will be used to run … Windows. I'm not a big fan of Gartner, but they've issued a report, correctly titled, "Munich's Choice Doesn't Prove Linux OK for General Desktop Use," that raises some interesting issues. First, many of the Windows desktops they're migrated are very old Windows versions like Windows 3.1, making the switch to Linux less painful (it would be equally painful to switch to XP). Gartner says the cost of switching to Linux will cost 30 million Euros, or 3 million Euros more than it would cost to switch to XP, not including any steep discounts Microsoft would have no doubt provided. And finally, because most of the Linux machines will use VMWare to run Windows anyway, Linux is really being used as a hosting environment, and not as a replacement. In other words, this isn't exactly a good business case on which other companies can base a decision to migrate to Windows desktops. And, not coincidentally, that's why we're not reading about a lot of other high-profile Linux switchers.

WinInfo Short Takes Week of July 21

Updated MS support reporting tools

The Microsoft Product Support Reporting Tool facilitates the gathering of critical system and logging information used in troubleshooting support issues. The reporting tool DOES NOT make any registry changes or modifications to the operating system. There are 7 specialty versions, one for each of the following support scenario categories: Alliance, Directory Services (not for Windows NT 4.0), Networking, Clustering, SQL, Software Update Services, and Base/Setup/Storage/Print/Performance. Each version gathers some of the same basic information but there are specific reports unique to each of the support scenario categories. Please read the readme.txt files for more details about each version.

Download details Microsoft Product Support's Reporting Tools

windows Bootvis updated

Customer research shows a frequently requested feature that users want from their PCs is fast system startup, whether from cold boot or when resuming from standby or hibernation. The Windows development team at Microsoft has taken bold steps in making fast startup PCs a reality with the Microsoft® Windows® XP operating system.

The design goals for Windows XP on a typical consumer PC are:

• Boot to a useable state in a total of 30 seconds

• Resume from Hibernate (S4) in a total of 20 seconds

• Resume from Standby (S3) in a total of 5 seconds

Boot and resume times are measured from the time the power switch is pressed to being able to start a program from a desktop shortcut.


BootVis.msi    (works on Win2k3 too)        MS removed it after a week.... donno why.

Fast Resume Design

July 18

Interview with......ME!!!

Microsoft Poland launched a Windows 2003 portal last month which looks great, but it is in Polish so I can't read it. Anyway the guys of interviewed me and it is posted (in English too) on the win2k3 portal. (English)

Polish: Steven Bink - świeżo upieczony Most Valuable Professional (MVP) - rozmawia z nami o tzw. IT-communities, o kulisach sprawy z głośnym transferem domeny i o uzależnieniu… od pisania newsów. więcej

Direct X summer update

New Release of DirectX 9.0 SDK Update- Summer 2003 (Beta 2)

"This release contains updated versions of the D3DX library. The new features contained are support for shader model 2.0 with capability bits on, and new animation system updates. The support for shader model 2 allows the High-Level Shader Language (HLSL) to enable flow control via predication to reduce the amount of instructions needed to run advanced shaders. For information on what is supported in shader model 2.0, refer to the DirectX 9.0 SDK reference documentation. The animation system adds functionality for looping, callback functions, event querying, and more advanced animation cloning functionality. The Direct3D team now has a team of engineers that are specifically addressing the issue of creating development tools to make it easier for you the developer to make use of Direct3D in an optimal way. This includes many updates to the DirectX extensions for Visual Studio .Net 2003, and extended support for DirectX Texture Tool.There are several new graphic samples demonstrating how to: "

high dynamic range lighting effects using floating point textures and shaders
use spherical harmonic math functions in the simple case of a single fixed directional light
Better show a depth-of-field effect using floating point textures and shaders
And this release includes the all of the DirectX 9.0b Developer runtime enhancements.


Nobody switching to MAC

its been a year since Apple's campaign....

Paul Thurrott's Internet Nexus

Embedded: Microsoft cheaper then Linux

According to research funded by Microsoft, 'Windows costs 68 percent less overall'
A Microsoft-funded report has shown that it costs more and takes longer to bring Linux embedded devices to market compared with devices using Windows.

Embedded operating systems are used in everything from cars, handhelds, and set-top boxes to industrial control devices.

The report, released this week by US research firm Embedded Market Forecasters, showed that it took 8.1 months to bring Windows products to market, compared with 14.3 months for embedded Linux projects, resulting in a 43 percent lead for Windows.

Also, an average Linux engineering team size was 14.2 people, compared with 7.9 for an embedded Windows project.

In addition, the average total cost of development for a Windows project was $480,000 (£301,820), versus $1.5m for a Linux project. The salaries of both types of developer were assumed to be the same. Windows is therefore 68 percent cheaper to deploy overall, said the report.

"Embedded Linux can be effective in distinct scenarios, but does not broadly translate into lower cost or faster development," said Jerry Krasner, the author of the study.

"Windows CE, .Net and Windows XP Embedded appear to deliver a significant total cost of development advantage due to their greater degree of maturity, feature-richness, componentization, integrated tool chain and parallel development process," he said.

The report polled 100 firms globally, with half involved in Linux projects and the other half in Windows.

ZDNet UK - News - Business - Story - Windows cheaper than Linux - report

Neowin under attack...again....[their back online now!]

Some axxholes has started another DOS attack on Neowin website.

Citrix XP or Win2k3 Terminal Server?

This guide shows you the differences between Citrix XP and win2k3 Terminal Server so you can decide if you need citrix anyway.

July 17

SBS sp1a

Small Business Server 2000 SP1a contains the same updates as Small Business Server 2000 SP1 (released on August 16, 2002), plus Microsoft Windows® 2000 Service Pack 4 (SP4). If you are not running Small Business Server 2000 SP1, install SP1a for the latest updates to the operating system, server applications, and security features.

Note If you are already running SP1, there is no need to install SP1a. Small Business Server 2000 SP1a contains the same updates as SP1, plus Windows 2000 SP4.

Download details Small Business Server 2000 Service Pack 1a

MS dogfood

Microsoft's technology dietitians offer employees only one item on the menu: dog food.

That's because the software maker has a philosophy known internally as "eating our own dog food", referring to the common practice of running beta, or test, software throughout the organisation.

The whole dog food concept has never been more important to Microsoft or potentially difficult. The company now has more enterprise software testing at one time than perhaps any other time in its history. Testing products include Exchange Server 2003, Office 2003 and Real-Time Communications Server, SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Windows Messenger 5, among others.

ZDNet UK - Tech Update - Story - Microsoft's dog food diet

Win2k3 websites

When we (netcraft) first reported on Windows Server 2003 we gave an indication on the numbers of sites that had been put up prior to the official launch. In the three months since the launch the number of active sites has increased by over 300% and now stands at 88,400.

Netcraft Windows Server 2003 approaching 100,000 active sites; 8,000 sites switch from Linux

New TweakUI XP-powertoy


Download details Windows XP PowerToys

16 july

A Critical patch for Windows released!! along with 2 important patches

Remote Procedure Call (RPC) is a protocol used by the Windows operating system. RPC provides an inter-process communication mechanism that allows a program running on one computer to seamlessly execute code on a remote system. The protocol itself is derived from the Open Software Foundation (OSF) RPC protocol, but with the addition of some Microsoft specific extensions.

There is a vulnerability in the part of RPC that deals with message exchange over TCP/IP. The failure results because of incorrect handling of malformed messages. This particular vulnerability affects a Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) interface with RPC, which listens on TCP/IP port 135. This interface handles DCOM object activation requests that are sent by client machines (such as Universal Naming Convention (UNC) paths) to the server. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability would be able to run code with Local System privileges on an affected system. The attacker would be able to take any action on the system, including installing programs, viewing changing or deleting data, or creating new accounts with full privileges.

To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would need to send a specially formed request to the remote computer on port 135.

Test and install this patch immediately, though I hope you don't have port 135 open to the internet, patch anyway to be sure!....remember slammer and code red.

Bulletin ms03-026 and download

Affected Software:

Microsoft Windows NT® 4.0
Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Services Edition
Microsoft Windows 2000
Microsoft Windows XP
Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003

Not Affected Software:

Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition

Other important patch for Windows XP Unchecked Buffer in Windows Shell Could Enable System Compromise (821557)

important ISA patch: Flaw in ISA Server Error Pages Could Allow Cross-Site Scripting Attack (816456)

Messenger 6.0 final released

MSN have as expected released the final version for MSN Messenger 6, version 6.0.0602. Messenger Plus! still works in this version
Work will now be on MSN 9 and MSN Messenger 6.1 which are due to debut in beta form near the end of august. MSN Messenger 6.1 is expected to have subscriber only games/launch site applications.

Final messenger 6       
View Download Information    source

Yukon beta1 released

Today beta of Yukon (successor of SQL 2000) is released to betatesters via betaplace. I got in the beta too, but can't download it yet, only a subset of testers can download it, the rest will be able to get it few weeks later.

more at,4248,1195526,00.asp

Messenger Plus 2.2 final

At last, the official public release of Messenger Plus! 2.20 has been released. Lots of new features and improvements (including new sounds), Messenger 6 compatibility, lighter and improved sponsor program (still optional of course). This update is a must for everyone!

Download Messenger Plus! v2.20
Messenger Plus! Web Site

New Plus! DigitalMediaEdition updates

We have recently enhanced the Microsoft Plus! experience and are releasing the following update to Plus! Digital Media Edition.

This update fixes minor issues with Plus! Audio Converter, Plus! Alarm Clock, Plus! Analog Recorder and Plus! Dancers discovered since the release of Plus! Digital Media Edition. Specifically, this update will help to:

  • Combine Photo Story Lite and Plus! Photo Story into a single option when Microsoft Digital Image Pro and Plus! Digital Media Edition are installed on the same PC.
  • Fixes WMA compatibility issues in Audio Converter reported with certain consumer CD and DVD players.
  • Enhance the overall reliability and performance of Plus! DME based on "Windows Error Reporting Feedback" and other user feedback.
  • Enable Analog Recorder to better handle the recording of certain types of audio with frequent pauses, such as audio books.
  • Enable programs to work better with guests accounts.
  • Address compatibility with DirectX9 to ensure that users can experience the Plus! DME tour.
  • Provide certain other fixes and enhancements.

Microsoft Plus! Digital Media Edition - More Plus! Home via

Messenger 6 release Thursday

Consumers have more than just the new and improved features of MSN® Messenger 6.0 -- everything from live video pictures and online games to customized backgrounds and oodles of new and animated emoticons -- to convince them to upgrade to the newest version of the world's most-used free instant messaging (IM) service.* On four upcoming Fridays, MSN will give away $1,000 an hour for 10 hours to U.S. consumers who enter the Friday Fast Cash sweepstakes** and are logged on to MSN Messenger 6.0.

On July 17, MSN begins broadly distributing and promoting a final version of Messenger 6.0 at The Fast Cash Friday giveaway, which will occur each Friday between July 25 and Aug. 15, is the first of several summer promotions that will build on the consumer excitement and glowing media reviews since the June 18 public-preview release of Messenger 6.0.

"Fast Cash Friday is our way of celebrating the completion and final release of MSN Messenger 6.0, our most feature-rich, personalized and coolest IM service ever," said Lisa Gurry, MSN group product manager at Microsoft Corp. "This promotion and others we have planned for later this summer are our way of encouraging people to see for themselves how much fun they can have while IM-ing."

MSN Gives Consumers 1,000 More Reasons an Hour To Upgrade to MSN Messenger 6.0

SmartPhone 2003 sneak peek

from New Zealand Geek site:

I've seen the Windows Mobile Smartphone 2003 in action and it is nice. This new version feels 30% faster than the 2002 version (according to the user). The boot time on this windows Mobile Smartphone and on my Nokia 3650 is almost the same. And the Vodafone logo wasn't there yet - just a round green thing with a text "Operator logo" to indicate where the logo will show up at boot time.
The integration between the device's data capabilities (e-mail, calendar, contacts) with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 is very well done.
The e-mail system is well implemented, with support for multiple mailboxes, ActiveSync/POP/IMAP in any combination. The OS supports schedules for automatic synchronisation on peak and off-peak hours, and options to only synchronise when new e-mail or appointment arrives on the server. The mobile phone will receive a notification (like the WAP "push") and initiate a sync action to pull the new content. Very smooth and well done. By they, it does not support an icon based menu, like the Symbian, but the numbered menu options are easy to access.

On the multimedia side, this new version supports Windows Media 9, with a very good picture quality.

The predictive T9 dialling is very nice, and shows not only the contacts, but also received calls, SMS and e-mails while browsing for a name. Menus acted fast and the response was very good. Finding a contact using the T9 dialling was faster than I could find using the Nokia 3650, which requires multitap.

Geekzone, mobile forums

win2k SP4 corrupts autodesk VIZ files

AUTODESK VIZ files are corrupted by service pack four of Windows 2000, according to the firm.
This is clearly a significant problem.

A notice on the Autodesk site says that both it and Microsoft are working to fix the problem.

The note says that if you have installed Service Pack 4 for Windows 2000, you might well find that Autodesk VIZ 4, 3D Studio VIZ 3 and 3D Studio VIZ3i won't open any .max files any more.

Autodesk suggests that users that haven't yet installed SP4, don't. If you un-install the Service Pack, the firm says it will "alleviate" the problem. It offers some workrounds, here.

But some data will still be destroyed, said Autodesk.

And there's a forum discussion about the problem, at CGA Architect

Windows 2000 SP4 corrupts Autodesk VIZ files

IE6 update

When you try to download a file with Internet Explorer from a Web server, you may receive the following error message:

"Internet Explorer cannot download FileName from WebServer."

This behavior occurs because the content disposition header for the file stream is greater than approximately 150 bytes and the Latin character set is equal to 150 characters. This behavior may occur if the content disposition header is formatted with a non-Latin character set, such as Japanese or Russian.
For example, a 17-character content disposition header in the Japanese character set is 153 bytes because the UTF-8 encoding scheme uses 9 bytes to represent a single Japanese character, but it uses only 1 byte in the Latin character set.

Download: IE6 SP1 Update: "IE Cannot Download a File"
View: Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 816868

FrontPage 2003 Extends Support for SharePoint Products and Technologies

Microsoft announced Monday that beta versions of two of its upcoming Office 2003 applications have been integrated to make it easier to design corporate portals, internal Web sites companies use to disseminate information to employees. The new features allow companies to use FrontPage 2003, the revamped version of Microsoft's Web authoring package, to customize the standard page designs included in Microsoft's Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 package.

The integration capabilities are included in the wide-reaching update Microsoft recently made available to Office 2003 beta testers.

Press Release     C|Net News

Easy bypass MS DRM?

Folks on AVSforums say they have successfully used tools from the Microsoft software development kit to rip and re-encode audio protected by Microsoft DRM in the WindowsMedia 9 format. This is only a rumor at this point -- I haven't seen the crack myself, but WM9 developers seem to be taking it as gospel.

How did these criminal masterminds pull off this incredible feat? Did they crack an encryption key? Did they beat an MS employee with a rubber hose? Did they heat a CPU in a microwave oven? Was it a buffer overflow? An underflow? What was this remarkable feat?

Incredibly, there was no exploit needed. These wily crackers merely had to write a program using well documented 100% aboveboard functions provided by Microsoft. It was not hard, involved no breakthroughs, did not depend on reverse engineering, and did not need a key. All they did was build the right DirectShow graph, and since DirectShow is a tool for third party software developers to build shipping software, ISVs can easily offer an all-in-one solution to strip DRM from content without fear of the DMCA.

What this means is that the DRM on which both Microsoft and their many partners in the RIAA and MPAA are counting on is nothing but a sham. There is no DRM in MS DRM. MS DRM is pure smoke [July 16, 2003]

Another one

A third Microsoft employee charged with stealing software from the company pleaded guilty yesterday to felony mail fraud.

Kori Robin Brown, an administrative assistant in the Xbox division, had been fired last year after Microsoft found some employees were apparently selling software acquired through its internal purchasing system.

The U.S. Attorney's Office alleges Brown ordered more than $6 million worth of database software for company use, then sold it on the side for $50,000 to $100,000 altogether.

More than $32 million worth of software was allegedly stolen and sold outside the company by Brown and two other employees Microsoft reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation last year.

First to be charged was Daniel Feussner, a flamboyant 32-year-old programmer arrested in December and accused of stealing $9 million in software. He died in February after ingesting antifreeze.

Last month Richard Gregg, a 43-year-old program coordinator from Bellevue, pleaded not guilty to charges that he stole more than $17 million worth of software.

Brown, 31, placed 17 orders for SQL Server software between October 1998 and August 2000 and then "converted the software to her own use and sold it to a third party," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

All three were fired shortly after the discoveries, company spokeswoman Stacy Drake said.

"Since identifying the misuse, we've thoroughly examined our internal ordering system and made many adjustments to prevent this from happening again," she said.

Brown, of Spokane, is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 3. She faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine

The Seattle Times Business & Technology Ex-worker admits guilt in Microsoft theft case

Win2k3 SP1 beta

The official betaprogram of Windows 2003 Service Pack 1 is currently set to start on September 10th

July 12

Run Win2k3 as Workstation: Enable System Restore

Thanks Gosh for sorting this out and pointing to your guide:

This guide will show you the steps how to enable system restore on your win2k3 system. A winXP CD is required.

Neowin Board - [HOW-TO]System Restore under Server 2003

More on issues on win2kSP4 has put up a page with win2k sp4 issues:

" not see this as an attempt to knock SP4 and tell you to not deploy it. This SP has hundreds of important security fixes, so it is important. The main thing I am emphasizing is that you need to TEST, TEST, and TEST in a non-production environment FIRST.

Names have been removed but otherwise left exactly the way they were sent, so that you can get an idea of the general problem areas. We hope that this will help some of you and help prevent some unplanned downtime.

Now, keep in mind that these problems are coming up in site-specific configurations, and that you would never see these in your own environment. So,... test. These problems were not really put in categories, but when you read them you will readily recognize similar problems with earlier SP's like third party apps breaking, BSOD's, applications hanging and the like. Here goes


July 11

MS Lunch humor

Microsoft is sponsoring the lunches at OSCON 2003. During today's lunch, they hung this banner over the lunch tables:

Free as in Lunch.

O'Reilly Network Microsoft Lunch Humor [July 11, 2003]

Windows 2000 Datacenter sp4 patch

This patch allows you to install win2k SP4 on your win2k datacenter in your test environment. Obviously this is not supported my Microsoft in any way. Read the readme first which is included in the zipfile.

July 10

New Messenger 6 build released

A new and improved version of Microsoft's popular instant messaging client has been released today. It seems the official release marked for a weeks time has either been put forward to now or this build has been released by mistake.

MSN 9 is due to start beta testing in as little as a months time. And it's rumoured MSN 9 will contain MSN Messenger 6.1 which could have functions locked only to MSN 9 subscribers with the new premium and plus services being created.

This version is still compatible with Messenger Plus!

Windows 2000    Download MSN Messenger 6.0.0503 for Windows XP    ME    source: Neowin

Media Player 9 update

Microsoft has released a new build of Windows Media Player 9 -

When the Windows Media Player 9 Series starts, it updates the radio preset list from the Internet. In certain enterprise scenarios, the network administrator may want to restrict this behavior.

A new Group Policy object permits an administrator to prevent the Windows Media Player 9 Series from accessing the Internet to retrieve this information.

Download directly         View Knowledge Base article        source: Warp2Search - Your Daily Tech News Service

Service monitoring and control using MOM

This service offering includes the operations guide for Microsoft Operations Manager 2000, delivery guidance for doing MOM projects, best practices information, a resource kit, sales pack, and test planning materials.

MSM20-Service Monitoring and Control Using Microsoft Operations Manager.msi

MS Solutions Framework whitepapers 3.0

Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) provides proven practices for planning, building, and deploying a variety of technology solutions, combining aspects of software design and development and building and deploying infrastructure into a single project lifecycle for guiding technology solutions of all kinds. MSF helps organizations achieve a delicate balance of flexibility while meeting commitments; speed while minimizing risk.


Windows 2000 SP4 issues

The following is a living document that will continue to track Windows 2000 open issues and will outline strategies, and possible or actual solutions.
Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 Open issues: w2ksp4issues

more on citrix XP and win2k sp4 here

July 9


Title: Buffer Overrun in Windows Could Lead to Data Corruption (817606)
Date: July 09, 2003

Software: Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0; Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0;Terminal Server Edition; Microsoft Windows 2000;Windows XP Professional
Impact: Allow an attacker to execute code of their choice
Maximum Severity Rating: IMPORTANT
Bulletin: MS03-024

What Is It?
The Microsoft Security Response Center has released Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-024 which concerns a vulnerability in Windows.  Customers
are advised to review the information in the bulletin and test and deploy the patch in their environments, if applicable.

More information is now available at

Title: Flaw in Windows Message Handling through Utility Manager Could
Enable Privilege Elevation (822679)
Date: July 09, 2003
Software: Microsoft Windows 2000
Impact: Privilege elevation
Maximum Severity Rating: Important
Bulletin: MS03-025

What Is It?
The Microsoft Security Response Center has released Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-025 which concerns a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows 2000. Customers are advised to review the information in the bulletin and test and deploy the patch in their environments, if applicable. More information is now available at

Title: Buffer Overrun In HTML Converter Could Allow Code Execution
Date: July 9, 2003

Microsoft Windows 98; Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition; Microsoft Windows Me; Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Server; Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server Edition; Microsoft Windows 2000; Microsoft Windows XP; Microsoft Windows Server 2003

Impact: Run code of attacker's choice
Maximum Severity Rating: CRITICAL
Bulletin: MS03-023

What Is It?
The Microsoft Security Response Center has released Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-023 which concerns a vulnerability in Windows. Customers are advised to review the information in the bulletin, test and deploy the patch immediately in their environments.

More information is now available at:

MS Speech server Beta

Microsoft Corp. today announced several key milestones for bringing speech technology to the mainstream including the first public beta release of the highly anticipated Microsoft® Speech Server, a Windows Server System (TM) , and the beta 3 release of the Speech Application Software Development Kit (SASDK). In addition, Microsoft established several new resources to engage with enterprises looking to adopt Microsoft's Speech Application Language Tags (SALT)-based speech offerings. The resources include the Microsoft Speech Server Beta Program; an Early Adopter Program (EAP); and specialized training courses on Speech Server, the SASDK, and voice user interface (VUI) and speech application design. To build a solid foundation for companies interested in becoming partners, Microsoft also today introduced the Microsoft Speech Partner Program.

View: Speech Beta Sign-up
View: MS Speech Sever Beta Home page
View: The full press release
News source: Neowin

winXP error reporting update

Windows Error Reporting has a new feature. With this feature, you can automatically view responses to Windows error reports. After you submit an error report, you can immediately view any available information that relates to the issue, such as hotfixes, workarounds, or other relevant information.
This update is automatically applied to any computer that runs Windows XP or Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1). You can use the Add or Remove Programs utility in Control Panel to remove the update.

821558 - Update For Windows Error Reporting

Small Business Server 2003 RCOrder the Release Candidate

Be among the first to experience Microsoft Windows® Small Business Server 2003 Release Candidate (RC) and learn why it is the simplest way for small businesses to overcome obstacles and succeed in today's marketplace.

The Preview Kit features a preview version of Windows Small Business Server 2003, Standard Edition, plus a Premium Technologies CD (a CD previewing some of the benefits enabled by the premium edition) and a Resources CD with detailed product information, feature and installation guides, links to product training, and product support resources. In addition, the kit includes features found in Windows Small Business Server 2003, Premium Edition, including database tools for e-commerce, data warehousing, and line-of-business solutions. Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 provides small businesses with the simplest way to get the power of Microsoft Windows Server 2003, plus Microsoft server-based solutions for e-mail, fax, database, and secure, shared Internet access—all integrated as one solution with a unified setup and centralized management, for an exceptional value.

Customers in the United States receive standard shipping at no cost. Shipping charges apply to all International and Express shipments. (typical....)

order: Small Business Server 2003 RC   
Product Overview

Identity feature pack

Identity Integration Feature Pack for Microsoft® Windows Server™ Active Directory® manages identities and coordinates user details across Microsoft Active Directory, Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM), Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, and Exchange Server 2003 implementations. Using Identity Integration Feature Pack, you can combine identity information for a given user or resource into a single, logical view. Identity Integration Feature Pack also automates the provisioning of new and updated identity data, eliminating time-consuming, repetitive administration and the need to manually add, delete, or update identity information, groups, and user accounts.


8 July

New Messenger Plus!

While I was at TechED last week, patchou released a new Messenger PLus which is MSN 6 compatible

Try 2.20 here

Microsoft To Address Win 2003, E-Business Server Compatibility Issues

Microsoft next month plans to release service packs to enable Commerce Server 2002 and Content Management Server 2002 to run on the latest Windows Server 2003 operating system.

Currently, solution providers wanting to move customers on those e-business servers to Windows Server 2003 find it a rough row to hoe and are waiting for code to facilitate the transition.

"We have to continue developing on Windows Server 2000 and then forklift everything over to 2003. We're waiting for an infrastructure fix that we presume will not affect the functionality of the solutions we're building," said one East Coast solution provider familiar with the issue.

"We can't even upgrade to [the current] Visual Studio .Net 2003 because that requires .Net Framework 1.1. There is a complete disconnect between the current version of Visual Studio and the e-business servers. Everyone in the midtier is affected by this," he continued.

When Windows Server 2003 shipped in late April, after many delays and much hoopla, solution providers had expected updates for the e-business servers to follow shortly. That did not happen.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said the company is working on the problem. Service Pack 1 for Content Management Server 2002 is slated to ship Aug. 1. That will add support as well for Visual Studio .Net 2003 and the .Net Framework 1.1. Commerce Server 2003 Service Pack 2 will add analogous support for that server software and is slated to ship Aug. 15, the spokeswoman said. Such service packs are typically downloadable from Microsoft's Web site.

Other solution providers acknowledged the glitch but said the workaround is not onerous. "Commerce Server 2002 does not yet work with Windows 2003, but there will be a patch. If we were to start a new project right now, we'd do it on Windows 2000. It's nothing to lose sleep over," said one West Coast partner.

source and complete story: CRN Breaking News Microsoft To Address Win 2003, E-Business Server Compatibility Issues 131 PM EST Tues., July 08, 2003

Windows Media Video Compression Manager

This Video Compression Manager (VCM) based version of the Windows Media Video 9 encoder/decoder will enable legacy encoding and editing applications to support the Windows Media Video 9 codec in file containers such as AVI. The package also enables Windows Media Video 9 to be played back in Windows Media Player 6.4

The Windows Media Audio and Video 9 Series codecs offer the best experience when delivered using the ASF file container. To offer the flexibility our customers have asked for, new licensing terms allow for these codecs to be used in other file containers as well.

Once installed, legacy solutions will automatically be able to use the codec via the VCM interface. The VCM includes a property page so that users can set encoding parameters.

Download now!     source

Net: 3 Years of the 'Vision' Thing

The end of last month marked the third anniversary of Microsoft's launch of its .Net strategy, which executives such as Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said at the time was a "bet-the-company thing." But three years later, reactions are mixed as to whether that strategy, along with the vision that accompanied it, has played out as the Redmond, Wash., software developer had hoped.

Rob Helms, research director for Directions on Microsoft, a research company that tracks Microsoft, in Kirkland, Wash., said the .Net initiative described a

vision for how software and the Internet would evolve; a new platform for software development that supported the vision; and a new business—application hosting—that would drive future growth for the company.

"Three years later, most of the hopes behind the .Net initiative have not been realized," Helms said, adding that .Net has now almost vanished from Microsoft's vocabulary.

But others, including Microsoft executives, disagreed. "I think it is important to emphasize that .Net is our Web services strategy across the company and is fundamentally something we are absolutely committed to," said Neil Charney, director of Microsoft's Platform Strategy Group, in an interview recently.

Charney also defended Microsoft's recent decision to drop the .Net moniker from almost all product names, which has created the perception among some that the strategy was being abandoned.

"When we shifted to Windows, we made a lot of noise about that move, and in some ways, we've done that with .Net," Charney said. "But as that became infused in everything we do, we are no longer using it as a version moniker. It's an assumed capability in every product."

Regarding the vision painted three years ago, it was first just that—a vision, Charney said. Microsoft was really trying to articulate the characteristics of this new model of computing, what it would deliver at the end of the day. A broad vision was painted that "is certainly a vision that has kept us focused over the past few years of connecting information, people, systems and devices. We're very much committed to that vision," he said.

The first phase of .Net targeted the developers—delivering the tools and technologies to enable them to start building solutions—while the second phase, over the past year, has been providing businesses with an understanding of the value of back-end integration and why it is important to their business.

source: .Net 3 Years of the 'Vision' Thing

July 5th

I was at Tech Ed in Barcelona

The wireless network sucks at Teched, you get kicked of every time, but it is a challenge connecting 7000 people wireless read more here last day it was fixed ;)

July 4th

win2k3 ADS

Here is an article on Automated Deployment Services, this is the new tool to rapid deploy win2kand win2k3 servers. It is still in beta, though RC1 was released to testers this week I'm closely involved with this tool in then so called "Rapid Adoption Program" that I'm doing at a customer together with the ADS product team. Microsoft speeds up server set-up

RTM is scheduled for half august.

Windows 2003 sp1 beta out for partners

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 Build IDS build 1023 is now available for download at

The stand-alone installer weighs 62MB and contains about 400 files.

"The build is provided for partner evaluation only. This is NOT a preview of the Beta. Therefore, no feedback will be collected on this build at this time. For those of you evaluating AMD64 builds please see details below.

AMD64 sites may continue to use the current feedback and support channels which were previously set up for you."

The “Stand-Alone” for Windows Sever 2003 Service Pack 1 does not have a time-bomb.

source: via    screenshot from

And more languages of Windows 2000 sp4 are available Windows 2000 Service Pack 4

New server tools coming

In TEcheED session (DEP315) the speaker talked about two new tools that will be released to the web (for free) by the end of this summer.

UltraSound: this is a cool FRS monitoring tool, in the GUI you have an overview of all your domain controllers in your forrest(s) and directly see if replication has issues somewhere. Events are displayed in a sidepane, tool looked great and usefull. 'till then use the sonar.exe

Server Perf: This tool collects performance counters and events and creates a report of the health of your system. Also cool tool and easy configurable.

Another nice thing presented in the session, details about Micrsoft's own IT infrastructure:

Itanium 32bit support in win2k3 SP1

In partnership with Microsoft, Intel will give a customer preview of its 32-bit execution layer for 64-bit Itanium 2 processors in the beta of Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2003.
The inability of the Itanium Family processors to run 32-bit applications without a large performance penalty has been a major shortcoming of Intel's 64-bit Itanium line that has negatively affected industry adoption. Applications written for Itanium's new EPIC instruction set have been slow to materialize, and, even when applications are present, budgetary restraints due to economic conditions have kept users from splurging on purchases of a completely new architecture from processors to servers to operating systems to applications.

Intel currently supports applications written using the x86 instruction set on its Itanium chips, but the chipmaker does so through hardware that has proven inefficient.

In the Windows 2003 SP1 beta, Intel says it will offer a preview version of the 32-bit execution layer that will cause the Itanium 2 processors to run x86 applications at the full clockspeed rating of the processor. For example, the 1.5-GHz Itanium 2 "Madison" processors launched this week would offer that clockspeed to 32-bit applications, as well.

If Intel can deliver the final version of the technology by Windows Server 2003 SP1, it could blunt any momentum that rival chipmaker AMD builds up with its Opteron and AMD Athlon 64 processors. AMD is trying to exploit the disconnect between 32- and 64-bit performance in Itanium with its own 64-bit processors that use the x86 instruction set, allowing 32-bit applications native access to more of the chips' capabilities. The Opteron shipped in late April, and a new eight-processor capable version came out this week.

Meanwhile, Windows Server 2003 SP1, which is expected to be available in the fourth quarter, is filling up as a delivery vehicle for new features. Microsoft plans to introduce formal support for the AMD 64-bit processors in SP1 and also has plans to introduce a security configuration wizard that locks down systems according to server roles during setup.

ENT News News Intel's 32-bit on Itanium Preview to Come in Windows 2003 SP1 Beta via

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