Archive 15

office    Office 2003 Enterprise Project Management Solution Document: Planning and Design Toolkit (Nov 25)

Known before as the Enterprise Implementation Framework (EIF), the new Planning & Design Toolkit (PDT) for the Microsoft Office EPM Solution is a set of tools and material that assists the EPM planning team with collecting information and data related to the how the EPM solution will be used within the enterprise.

This beta version of the PDT is designed to provide an experienced analyst with the information necessary to:

  • Conduct interviews in order to gather requirements for the deployment.

  • Evaluate potential risks to the successful deployment of EPM.

  • Design the right configuration to meet the organization’s needs.

  • Obtain (via hyperlinks) any additional information the analyst might need in order to fully understand the implications of design decisions.

  • Create a logical design specification that can be used by the IT resources to configure the system.

  • Define the processes and standards critical or important to a successful implementation of EPM.

  • Point the reader to resources for configuring the system.

Note: The PDT is not a substitute for a proper implementation team. It is critical to have team members with proper skills and backgrounds, such as a senior consultant, involved in the implementation process.

Download: Office 2003 Enterprise Project Management Solution Document: Planning and Design Toolkit

office    Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Help (Nov 25)

This download contains information about using Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, including:

  • Startup and Settings

  • Customizing the Portal Site

  • Personalizing the Portal Site

  • Working with Alerts

  • Searching the Portal Site

  • Working with Areas

  • Working with the Site Directory

  • Working with Backward-Compatible Document Libraries

  • Managing the Portal Site

  • Working with Windows SharePoint Services

Download: Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Help

office    Microsoft retires NetMeeting (Nov 25)

Microsoft is retiring its six-year-old NetMeeting online conferencing application and instead will push Office Live Meeting, formerly known as PlaceWare, for online meetings. NetMeeting helped pioneer online conferencing when it was released in May 1996, before the advent of instant messaging (IM) and other services for real-time online communication. The software still ships as part of Windows and some of its features, such as whiteboarding and application-sharing, are used by the MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger IM applications. But NetMeeting has served its purpose and will gradually be phased out, Microsoft spokeswoman Stacy Drake said. Microsoft has already stopped development work on NetMeeting and links from MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger will be cut in future updates to those products, she said. Instead, Microsoft’s IM applications will link to Office Live Meeting, Drake said. “Since buying PlaceWare we will focus our real time collaboration efforts on Office Live Meeting,” she said. Microsoft completed the acquisition of PlaceWare Inc. in April and launched a new version of the service in September.

Microsoft also plans to remove NetMeeting from its Web site, Drake said. The NetMeeting directory already appears to be gone, which means that users have to type in the IP address of the person they want to conference with. Drake could not give a time-frame for the NetMeeting phase-out, saying only that it would be “gradual.”

NetMeeting has been used mostly for online conferencing between small groups of people. Large companies like Dow Chemical Co. supported NetMeeting on thousands of PCs as a collaboration tool to save travel costs, according to a March 1998 Microsoft announcement. Some businesses still use NetMeeting, although IM and Web conferencing products outclass it in terms of usability, analysts said.
“Should the industry mourn the loss of NetMeeting? No,” said Mike Gotta, senior vice president at Meta Group Inc. “It was significant on the timeline and was widely used because there was no big alternative. For those who standardized on NetMeeting, this will force them to make what is a good decision anyway, which is to get off it.” Robert Mahowald, a research manager at IDC, agreed. “It was never a very good conferencing tool. It was the kind of thing IT was reluctant to touch and users had to set up themselves,” he said. NetMeeting died when better, competing products such as IBM’s Lotus Sametime came out, he said.

NetMeeting’s retirement is unrelated to a patent infringement lawsuit involving the product that Microsoft lost earlier this month, the company said. A jury ordered the software maker to pay US$62.3 million in damages for infringing on a technology patent held by a division of manufacturing and technology company SPX Corp. SPX subsidiary Imagexpo LLC sued Microsoft in October last year for infringing on its patent with the whiteboard feature of Microsoft’s NetMeeting. Microsoft contests the accusation.

View: Microsoft retires NetMeeting

info    The Wall of Fame (Nov 25)

Not Microsoft Office related but I still wanted you to post this impressive list for all the hardware and/or Lord of the Rings lovers

Meet the real star of Lord of the Rings – a 1,600-box server farm.

Gollum is real. So is Shelob. And Middle-earth did exist – just a long, long time ago. At least that’s what Weta Digital, the visual effects house behind The Lord of the Rings trilogy, wants you to believe. Its mantra for the final instalment: photorealism. The Return of the King, which opens in theatres December 17, will feature almost 50 percent more f/x shots than The Two Towers and will be composed of more data than the first two movies combined. Churning out scenes like the destruction of Barad-dûr and the Battle of Pelennor Fields (with thousands of bloodthirsty CG Orcs) took 3,200 processors running at teraflop speeds through 10-gig pipes – that’s one epic render wall. What else went into making Frodo’s quest look so good? By Weta’s account, more than you might think.


IT staff: 35
Visual f/x staff: 420

Equipment rooms: 5
Desktop computers: 600
Servers in renderwall: 1,600
Processors (total): 3,200
Processors added 10 weeks before movie wrapped: 1,000
Time it took to get additional processors up and running: 2 weeks
Network switches: 10
Speed of network: 10 gigabits (100 times faster than most)
Temperature of equipment rooms: 76 degrees Fahrenheit
Weight of air conditioners needed to maintain that temperature: 1/2 ton

Disk: 60 terabytes
Near online: 72 terabytes
Digital backup tape: 0.5 petabyte (equal to 50,000 DVDs)

Number of f/x shots: 1,400
Minimum number of frames per shot: 240
Average time to render one frame: 2 hours
Longest time: 2 days
Total screen time of f/x shots: 2 hours
Total length of film: Rumored to be 3.5 hours
Production time: 9 months

View: The Wall of Fame

office    Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services (Nov 25)

Get the Windows® SharePoint™ Services download today. Windows SharePoint Services is the Windows Server 2003 component that helps organizations increase individual and team productivity by enabling them to create Web sites for information sharing and document collaboration.

Sites based on Windows SharePoint Services, called SharePoint sites, take file storage to a new level, providing communities for team collaboration that make it possible for users to collaborate on documents, tasks, and events, and make it easier for them to share contacts and other information. Windows SharePoint Services enables managers of teams and sites to manage site content and user activity easily. The environment is designed for easier and more flexible deployment, administration, and application development.

New and Improved Features
New features in Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services include:

  • Microsoft Office InfoPath™ 2003 integration

  • Flexible deployment scenarios

  • Document libraries

  • Meeting workspace sites

  • Lists

  • Document workspace sites

  • Surveys

  • Templates

  • Threaded-view discussion boards

  • Extensibility

Improved features include:

  • Microsoft Office System integration

  • Microsoft Office FrontPage® 2003 integration

  • Administration features

  • Backup and restore

  • Search capabilities

  • Web discussions

  • Alerts

  • Browser-based customization

Download: Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services (English)
Download: Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services (different language)

info    Spamming with spamming news (Nov 24)

I don’t know which is worse; being spammed or all the spamming news lately. Even when you try to fight back spam you’ll loose. Sad but true. Hopefully the Anti-Spam Bill will pay off real soon!

View: Dutch blogsites fight cyberwar against spammer
View: Spam vigilante faces jail

office    Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 Management Pack Guide (Nov 24)

This guide provides information about the Microsoft® Office Project Server 2003 Management Pack for Microsoft Operations Manager 2000 SP1, including monitoring scenarios, deployment steps, operations tasks, and reference content.

Download: Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 Management Pack Guide

info    Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates Lauds Passage of Anti-Spam Bill (Nov 23)

Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corp., today issued the following statement in support of the House’s passage of the S. 877 anti-spam bill:

“Today’s passage of the anti-spam bill is a milestone in the battle against spam, and a major step toward preserving e-mail as a powerful communication tool. Microsoft applauds both houses of Congress for their efforts to get a strong bill to the president before the end of the year. This legislation is a critical component of the broader fight against spam, and complements the industry’s own anti-spam technologies. It will help consumers regain control of their inboxes, and support e-mail service providers in their battle to contain the spam menace.

“With this legislation, the spammers who deluge computer users with billions of unwanted e-mails will face significant penalties for their illegal actions. Microsoft particularly supports the strong enforcement provisions, and the ban on falsifying the origin of e-mail solicitations and illegally obtaining lists of e-mail addresses, both of which will help Internet service providers prosecute spammers.

View full Press Release: Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates Lauds Passage of Anti-Spam Bill

info    Congress Passes Bill That Will Limit Spam (Nov 23)

Congress moved significantly closer to the first-ever federal protections against unwanted commercial e-mails with the House passing a bill Saturday that would impose new limits on sending irritating offers on the Internet. Final approval by lawmakers could come before Thanksgiving.

The measure would outlaw the shadiest techniques used by many of the Internet’s most prolific e-mailers and include penalties up to five years in prison in rare circumstances. But it also would supplant even tougher anti-spam laws already passed in some states, including a California law scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.

Passed on a 392-5 vote, the House bill largely mirrors “Can Spam” legislation the Senate approved last month. Supporters hoped slight differences between the two measures could be resolved before Congress adjourns for the year. The Bush administration has supported anti-spam efforts.

View full story: Congress Passes Bill That Will Limit Spam

info    Microsoft’s Anti-Spam Moves Lack Teeth (Nov 23)

Microsoft’s recently-announced anti-spam add-on for Exchange Server 2003 may be a first step in the company’s assault on enterprise junk mail, say analysts, but the move is neither a threat for third-party software makers already in the market, nor of much use to large corporations.

On Monday, Microsoft said that it would offer Exchange Intelligent Message Filter, an add-on to Exchange Server 2003, sometime during the first half of 2004. Based on the SmartScreen anti-spam technology already used by Microsoft’s Hotmail and integrated with the newest edition of its Outlook e-mail client, Exchange Intelligent Message Filter will scan incoming e-mail and delete or set aside suspected spam.

Microsoft will rely on Hotmail users to submit spam examples, which will be analyzed by the Redmond, Wash.-based developer to determine what is and isn’t spam, then update its filters accordingly. Additionally, the SmartScreen technology, and thus the Exchange add-on, can assign a spam confidence level to messages based on the regularity of word associations, and ‘train’ itself to better spot spam by monitoring what kind of messages users designate as junk mail.

View full story: Microsoft’s Anti-Spam Moves Lack Teeth

update    Microsoft investigates possible Exchange 2003 flaw (Nov 23)

Microsoft is investigating a potential security issue with Exchange Server 2003, which would be the first since the e-mail server was launched last month. The potential flaw lies in the Outlook Web Access (OWA) component of Exchange Server 2003. A network administrator at a Nashville, Tennessee, provider of investment performance reporting tools found that users logging in to OWA could be logged in to another user’s mailbox at random and have full access privileges. “This seems to be a major security flaw and we have had to shut off OWA indefinitely because of the issue,” the network administrator wrote in a posting to NTBugtraq, a well-known security mailing list.

A preliminary investigation by Microsoft indicated that the issue occurs only with Kerberos authentication disabled, which the vendor said is uncommon. “We recommend that our customers ensure that Kerberos authentication is enabled, which is the default configuration,” Microsoft said in a statement Friday.

Microsoft has already developed a patch, which is currently being tested, the network administrator said in an e-mail message. Microsoft would not comment on any patch because it is still investigating the issue. “Upon completion of this investigation, Microsoft will take the appropriate action to protect our customers, including providing a fix and additional mitigation information if either is warranted,” the vendor said.

View: Microsoft investigates possible Exchange 2003 flaw

office    Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Recruiting (Nov 21)

Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Recruiting is an integrated set of software components and prescriptive documentation that makes the recruiting process more efficient for recruiters, hiring managers, interviewers and recruiting assistants. It accomplishes this by enabling companies to quickly schedule interviews, create on-line customized interview plans and easily capture feedback on candidate performance.

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

other    Update: MSN Messenger 6.1 for Windows (Nov 21)

This will bring your version up to

Download: MSN Messenger 6.1 for Windows (English)
Download: MSN Messenger 6.1 for Windows (different language)

office    Office XP Tool: Web Components (Nov 21)

Microsoft Office Web Components are a collection of Component Object Model (COM) controls for publishing spreadsheets, charts, and databases to the Web. They are also used to view these items when published, as well as data access pages.

If you have Microsoft FrontPage®, Microsoft Access, and Microsoft Excel installed, Office Web Components allow you to publish interactive data as part of a Web page. Using Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.01 or later, Office Web Components allow you to view a published control (spreadsheet, chart, or database) on a Web page. With Internet Explorer version 5 or later, Office Web Components allow you to view data access pages.

The Office Web Components tool provides view-only functionality for users who do not have Office XP installed. By installing this tool, users can view published components and data access pages on the Web without having to install Office XP.

If you have already downloaded and installed the previous version of the Microsoft Office XP Web Components prior to August 14, 2001, refer to the instructions in the Before you install section.

Download: Office XP Tool: Web Components (English)
Download: Office XP Tool: Web Components (different language)

info    Key Office exec to exit Microsoft (Nov 21)

Microsoft executive Joe Eschbach plans to leave the company after just a year on the job. Eschbach, recruited by Office chief Jeff Raikes from Adobe Systems a year ago to help spur the expansion of Microsoft Office, plans to leave Dec. 1.

In a statement, Microsoft credited Eschbach for his role in last month’s launch of Office 2003. “Joe played a critical role in overseeing the launch of Office 2003,” the company said. “We are sad to see him leave.” Microsoft said Eschbach, a corporate vice president, will be replaced by Chris Capossela, a 12-year Microsoft veteran and head of the company’s Project unit.

Eschbach’s hiring had fueled speculation that Microsoft was trying to develop a “PDF killer.” His departure–to pursue “new opportunities,” according to a company representative–comes shortly after mobile phone unit executive Juha Christensen said he would leave Microsoft to start his own company.

View: Key Office exec to exit Microsoft