Archive 11

office    PowerPoint tips: perfect presentations (Nov 9)

PowerPoint is the most popular tool for giving presentations. It’s ideal for everything from sales talks to academic lectures.
The program makes compiling and running a presentation easy, but there are still pitfalls that can trip up even the best presenter.

Presenting is about a lot more than displaying slides on a screen. You have a message to deliver and the presentation is a means of getting that message across.

You’ll need some presentation skills to engage your audience and persuade them to listen to what you’re saying, but the way you set up and use your PowerPoint slides can also help a lot.

View: PowerPoint tips: perfect presentations
View: PowerPoint tips: perfect presentations (mirror in my Other Programs section)

other    IE 6.05, Pop-Up Ad Blocking to Debut in Windows XP SP2 (Nov 9)

You won’t need to wait for Longhorn in late 2005 to get pop-up ad blocking in Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE). Microsoft will release IE 6.05 as part of Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), which is due in the first half of 2004. Whether IE 6.05 will include some of the other new IE features, such as the new download manager, found in the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2003 Longhorn build is unclear. But pop-up ad blocking is definitely among the changes we can expect, as are other new security features such as more locked-down Internet security zones.

View: IE 6.05, Pop-Up Ad Blocking to Debut in Windows XP SP2

office    Exchange 2000 and 2003 – All Technical Articles and Books / Updated (Nov 8)

This download contains all Exchange 2000 and 2003 technical articles and books produced by the Exchange product team through October 2003.

Download: Exchange 2000 and 2003 – All Technical Articles and Books / Updated

office    Upgrading Public Folders from Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 to Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server (Nov 8)

In Exchange 2000, as in Exchange 5.5, a public folder is a storage container for messages or information shared among all users in your organization. Public folders can still contain different types of information, and they are still part of the information store that Exchange clients and Web browsers can access. Now, Microsoft Office 2000 and custom applications can also access Exchange public folder stores. You can open and save documents directly in the public folder stores.

After upgrading to Exchange 2000, take the additional step to reconfigure public folders with the help of this article.

Download: Upgrading Public Folders from Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 to Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server

office    Microsoft Office Project 2003 Setup Flow Diagram (Nov 7)

These diagrams describe the Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 Setup as a flow diagram. You can view this information in two ways:

  • To view the Project Server 2003 Setup Flow Diagram in your browser, open Project_Server_Setup_Flowchart.htm in Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or later.

  • To view the Project Server 2003 Setup Flow Diagram in Microsoft Office Visio 2003, open Project Server Setup Flowchart.vsd.

Download: Microsoft Office Project 2003 Setup Flow Diagram

info    Microsoft ends silence on hotmail domain SNAFU (Nov 7)

Microsoft has at last commented on the blunder that resulted in its lapsed domain being snapped up by a private individual.

The person – who asked not to be named – then tried to alert Microsoft to the slip and hand back the domain, much like any decent person would if they saw someone drop a handkerchief, or a wallet, in the street.

However, his attempts to return the domain were ignored. Microsoft only took notice once El Reg got involved.

Anyhow, the software giant is remaining tight-lipped about how such an oversight might have occurred.

Instead, it said in a statement: “Microsoft has resolved this issue. We have put processes in place to ensure there is no recurrence of this eventuality.”

What a relief. ®

View: Microsoft ends silence on hotmail domain SNAFU

office    Office 2003 Smart Document Software Development Kit (SDK) (Nov 7)

This download is for developers who are interested in developing custom solutions that use the smart document functionality introduced in the Microsoft® Office System.

The Microsoft® Office 2003 Smart Document SDK contains documentation, tools, sample code, and XML schemas.

Download: Office 2003 Smart Document Software Development Kit (SDK)

office    Office 2003: No Browser Required (Nov 7)

For anyone thinking Office 2003 is just another ho-hum productivity suite upgrade, it’s time to download a trial version and start taking a long, hard look at the software’s extensibility.

As I have noted many times, Microsoft is trying to turn Office, like Windows, into a platform onto which developers and businesses build other programs or custom applications. A number of new Office features showcase this extensibility. In the recent Jupiter Research report, “Microsoft Positions Office 2003 for Enterprise Information,” I explore one new, extensible feature: The Research pane.

Research pane optionally opens down the right-hand side of any Office 2003 document. Installing the software also replaces Internet Explorer’s built-in search feature with a modified version of Research pane. Through the Office Research pane, people can do Web searches using MSN and access stock quotes, translation services and online subscription-based information databases Factiva and eLibrary. My report looks at what applications or browsers business users use to access back-end corporate and Internet-located information, what applications they would like to use to access this information and whether they use or change a browser’s default search settings, among other findings. The report also reviews the potential competitive impact of the feature and makes recommendations to Microsoft’s competitors, customers and partners.

The report hinted at, but did not delve into some of the Research pane’s e-commerce capabilities, which circles back to my original point about Office 2003 extensibility. Besides supporting Extensible Markup Language (XML), one of several standards adopted for Web services, Research pane also supports Secure Socket Layer (SSL). So, in theory, a company supporting XML Web services could conduct e-commerce sales from within the Research pane. No Web browser required. I want to repeat that: No Web browser required.

View entire article: Office 2003: No Browser Required

office    Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals (Nov 7)

The Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals enables partners and organizations to rapidly create proposal development solutions to increase the win rate of sales teams.

Designed in response to feedback from customers who want to derive additional value from their Microsoft Office System investments, the Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals helps sales professionals to improve their proposal win rate by streamlining the proposal development process, facilitating the use of the latest approved product and legal information, and ensuring a systematic evaluation of bid opportunities. Using the extensive input from our customers, Microsoft designed the Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals to help sales professionals specifically by automating proposal process steps, leveraging a corporate knowledge base, establishing effective collaboration, and increasing project control. Furthermore, the Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals is fully integrated with Microsoft Office Word, so that sales professionals can quickly adopt the solution and work more productively with familiar software tools.

The Microsoft technology partners play a central role in delivering the complete, end-to-end proposal development solution to customers by integrating, configuring, customizing and consulting using the Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals.

Download: Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals
Download: Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals Documentation

office    Office 2003 Research Service SDK (Nov 7)

With the Microsoft Office 2003 Research Service SDK, you can build information services that provide users with robust information sources and actions that make it possible for users to manage information in powerful ways—all from within their Office applications. You can also easily adapt existing information stores to provide content to Office applications, so that users can take advantage of information services when authoring documents, presentations, and so on.

Download: Office 2003 Research Service SDK

faq    Added Content: What happens to mails dragged to the Outlook Today Folder? (Nov 6)

This week a question in the newsgroup was what happens to mails dragged to the Outlook Today folder? Although the solution is rather easy it can be a real pain when you don’t know where to look and you really need to access those items. So I added it to my FAQ.

View: What happens to mails dragged to the Outlook Today Folder?

info    Microsoft forgets to renew domain (Nov 6)

Microsoft was busy covering up an almighty cock-up last night after forgetting to renew its domain name.

Despite being warned that the domain for its popular Web mail service was up for renewal, it seems Microsoft – or whoever had the task of managing its domain – overlooked this vital piece of administration. As a result, last month Microsoft lost its claim to the domain and it was duly returned to the open market to be picked up by whomever fancied it.

Luckily, the domain was snapped up on the same day – October 23. The new owner – a good hearted soul – then proceeded immediately to contact Microsoft, inform the giant of its slip and arrange to hand back the domain. However, Microsoft didn’t want to know. Despite phone calls and emails – and being fobbed off by Microsoft drones – our man behind this public-spirited deed was completely blanked by the software empire. Microsoft only took notice when The Register contacted the company yesterday afternoon to enquire why its site was registered to a private individual. It was then we were told that the matter was under investigation and being “escalated”. Worryingly, no one in the UK could deal with the matter so it was up to the US to sort things out.

Of course, while Microsoft’s spinstresses tried to stall for time, the company was busy scurrying behind the scenes to sort out this embarrassing episode. It managed to contact’s new owner, grovel at their mistake and sort out the mess. By all accounts, will be returned in a few days.

A spokeswoman for Nominet UK – the registry for all .uk domains – confirmed that had failed to be renewed and was placed back into pool of available domains. For Nominet’s part, she confirmed that “all the standard renewal procedures were followed regarding”. “I would like to remind companies and their agents that it is their responsibility to renew their domains,” she said.

Despite repeated attempts to seek comment from Microsoft, the software giant has failed to cobble together any form of statement that might shed light on this situation.

In December 1999, Microsoft forgot to renew the domain name, and so rendered its Hotmail service partially crippled. A Linux programmer, Michael Chaney, paid the $35 fee and promptly handed over ownership to Microsoft. Here is his story.

View: Microsoft forgets to renew domain

info    It’s Your Inbox (Nov 6)

New legal and technological tools can curb the spam epidemic.

Although tarnished by misuse, the Internet’s first popular application is beginning to get its groove back.

E-mail is what attracted millions of people to the Internet originally, but lately a flood of spam has diminished its usefulness as a tool for global communication and legitimate e-commerce.

Each day, e-mail service providers, including Microsoft’s MSN, filter out billions of spam messages before they reach subscribers’ Inboxes. Still, the volume continues to rise, and enough gets through to bedevil customers.

According to a recent national survey commissioned by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, a nonprofit research organization, 70 percent of e-mail users say that spam has made their online experience unpleasant or annoying. One-quarter say that spam has caused them to reduce their use of e-mail.

Yet, the tide is turning, thanks to multipronged efforts by the technology industry, other businesses and governments. Last month marked an important milestone as the United States Senate voted 97-0 to outlaw the shadiest tactics used by many spammers.

View: It’s Your Inbox

Additional resources:

Our approach to the spam problem
More information on the company’s multi-pronged strategy and links to information on blocking and filtering spam with Microsoft products.

Bill Gates: Toward a Spam-Free Future
A message to customers from Microsoft’s chairman and chief software architect

The Can-Spam Act of 2003
Text of the bill approved by the United States Senate (.pdf file – 60 pages)

Pew Internet & American Life Project
A report on how spam is hurting e-mail and degrading life on the Internet

office    Microsoft Office Project 2003 Database Schema (Nov 5)

These diagrams describe the relationships between tables and fields in the Microsoft Office Project 2003 database.

Download: Microsoft Office Project 2003 Database Schema
Download: Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 Database Schema

info    Q&A: Microsoft Establishes Anti-Virus Reward Program (Nov 5)

Anyone who has lost files or work due to a computer virus or worm knows the frustration and aggravation such events cause. Multiply that by the number of people and businesses impacted by the attack, and add in the cost of replacing or rebuilding the damaged or lost files, systems and even hardware, and the magnitude of the problem becomes clear. Most notably, the MSBlast worm and Sobig viruses have caused millions in damages worldwide and inconvenienced millions of businesses and consumers across the globe.

Despite the heavy costs of such crimes, tracking and pursuing those who illegally launch destructive code can be very difficult. Law-enforcement agencies use all means at their disposal, including sophisticated investigative techniques. Despite these efforts, criminals can escape prosecution because gathering the evidence necessary to identify them online is very difficult; for example, an attacker might use spoofed IP addresses that are very difficult to trace. Many online attackers have been apprehended, but many more – including those who spread MSBlast.A and Sobig – remain unfound.

To supplement online investigations, Microsoft has announced an old-fashioned criminal-justice tactic to help solve a modern-day problem — a monetary reward.Initially funded by Microsoft with US$5 million, the Anti-Virus Reward Program will help the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Secret Service, in coordination with Interpol, to identify and arrest those who commit crimes by illegally unleashing malicious viruses and worms on the Internet. In particular, Microsoft is offering two rewards of $250,000 each for information that results in the arrest and conviction of those responsible for launching the MSBlast.A worm and Sobig virus.

View: Q&A: Microsoft Establishes Anti-Virus Reward Program