Archive 33

office     Hosted Solution Facilitates Team Collaboration (Mar 12)

Overview of how the Global Identity Management Team (GIdMT) leveraged Microsoft IT’s centrally-hosted Windows SharePoint Services collaboration environment to quickly and easily build a team site. By providing the SharePoint collaboration environment to teams across the corporation, Microsoft IT benefits from associated economies of scale and lowered support costs.

Download: Hosted Solution Facilitates Team Collaboration

office     Exchange Server 2003 Design and Architecture (Mar 11)

Microsoft IT had operated a complex, worldwide messaging infrastructure at Microsoft that used over 100 mailbox servers running in 75 locations worldwide, using a variety of non-scalable hardware configurations. Microsoft IT upgraded to use Exchange Server 2003 on clustered Windows Server 2003 servers attached to Storage Area Network systems. As a result, Microsoft IT consolidated mailbox servers, improved mobile messaging, and enhanced its ability to backup and restore mailbox data to better meet its Service Level Agreements.

Download: Exchange Server 2003 Design and Architecture

office     Excel 2003 Samples: Expense Report and XML Schema (Mar 11)

This download contains two sample files that accompany the Office Online article Turn around expense reports in a snap with Excel 2003 and XML. The first file is an Excel spreadsheet that demonstrates how to use Excel 2003 to create a typical expense report. The second file is an XML schema file used to map XML elements to cells in the spreadsheet.

Download: Excel 2003 Samples: Expense Report and XML Schema
View: Turn around expense reports in a snap with Excel 2003 and XML

office     Project Server 2003: Multilingual User Interface (MUI) Packs (Mar 11)

Microsoft® Office Project Server 2003 supports use by multilingual and multinational companies with a language plug-in called the Multilanguage User Interface Pack (MUI Pack). To add language support after you have finished installing Project Server, simply install the MUI Pack for the language you want to add.

MUI Packs for Project Server can only be installed on a computer that already has Project Server installed.

Download: Project Server 2003: Multilingual User Interface (MUI) Packs

update     Outlook flaw riskier than thought (Mar 11)

Alright, if you don’t get it by now; click here and run Office Update

Microsoft has raised the severity rating of an Outlook flaw to “critical,” the highest level, after its initial analysis was challenged by the researcher who found the security hole.

The vulnerability in Outlook 2002, first publicized on Tuesday, when Microsoft released a patch, could allow an attacker to use a malicious Web site to cause an affected PC to download and execute a program.

When Microsoft released its fix, it said it believed that the attack could only be accomplished if a PC user had the “Outlook Today” folder as the default home page in Outlook 2002. Now, after being alerted by Jouko Pynonnen, the Finnish security researcher who found the flaw, it says the potential for attack is greater.

“After we released the bulletin, we were made aware that (the ‘Outlook Today’ restriction) could be gotten around by the attacker,” said Stephen Toulouse, the program manager for Microsoft’s Security Response Center. Toulouse stressed that the patch provided to customers on Tuesday prevents any attack, even though the hole is larger than first thought.

View full article: Outlook flaw riskier than thought

info     Securing Cyberspace (Mar 11)

Last month, Microsoft and leading Internet service providers from many nations united in a common cause: to better protect more than 150 million customers from the hacker attacks that periodically threaten to disable computers and disrupt Internet traffic.

The Global Infrastructure Alliance for Internet Safety was formed to help members respond faster and more effectively to outbreaks of software viruses, worms and other malicious code. Already, the group has played a crucial role in analyzing the recent “MyDoom” virus, developing tactics to curb its proliferation and helping customers guard against it.

The Alliance is one of several promising efforts by industry and government to improve computer security. In the past decade, millions of people and businesses have come to enjoy and rely upon the Internet, but its highly beneficial connectivity has had the unfortunate side effect of making it easier for criminals to launch online attacks that disrupt our shared information infrastructure.

Although there is no quick or easy way to completely protect against cyberattacks, Microsoft is committed to enhancing the security of our products and customers and collaborating to make computing safer.

To start, we are using state-of-the-art engineering practices and processes that make our software more secure by design. We began shipping new versions of key products in their most secure configurations, to provide higher levels of protection by default. And we have been improving how we disseminate software security updates to make them easier for customers to install and maintain.

View full article: Securing Cyberspace

office     Live Communications Server 2003 Update: Exchange Migration Scripting Files (Mar 11)

This download provides new versions of four scripting files that were included with Live Communications Server 2003. You should download and use these updated scripting files if you plan to migrate from Microsoft Exchange 2000 Instant Messaging to Live Communications Server 2003.

The following files are updated with this release:

  • rtcimpac.wsf

  • rtcish.wsf

  • rtcmcon.wsf

  • rtcsipen.wsf

The updated files resolve the following issues:

  1. The scripts can construct the SIP URIs inconsistently even though the migration appears to succeed.

  2. When renaming the URI to use the Exchange Instant Messaging account instead of the domain account name, it can fail with an Event Log entry indicating that the target URI is in use in the database.

  3. You might receive an error message “Failed to perform LDAP Query for user” due to an error in parsing logic while performing an LDAP search that retrieves attributes from that user object.

Download: Live Communications Server 2003 Update: Exchange Migration Scripting Files

info     Army to Gates: Halt the free software (Mar 10)

Microsoft has been mailing free copies of its pricey Office productivity software to government employees, but CNET has learned that at least two federal agencies are warning recipients to return the gifts or risk violating federal ethics policies.

Since the launch of Office 2003 last year, Microsoft has given out tens of thousands of free copies of its flagship software, which retails for about $500, to workers at its biggest customers. The giveaway was expanded to government workers this year, but ethics offices at the Department of the Interior and Department of Defense have said the offers constitute unauthorized gifts and must be returned.

The Department of the Army went a step further, calling on Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates to stop sending the software to Army personnel.

View full article: Army to Gates: Halt the free software

info     Anti-piracy directive could expose consumers (Mar 10)

The Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive, passed by the European Parliament on Tuesday, could mean significant legal changes for firms and individuals, say civil liberties groups.

Minor copyright infringements could lead to harsh sanctions under the anti-piracy directive approved by the European Parliament on Tuesday, according to a UK civil liberties group. The directive could trigger sweeping changes to the UK’s intellectual property laws, it says, including raids, equipment seizures and the freezing of bank accounts used for file copying.

“It is very disappointing that the amendments we had worked on to limit the scope of the directive to commercial piracy didn’t pass,” said Ian Brown, director of the Foundation for Information Policy Research. “What we have ended up with is a vague, potentially wide-ranging directive. Groups concerned about the directive will now have to try to persuade 25 member states to do good implementations, since we have not been able to prevent these problems at a European level.”

Once the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) directive is approved by ministers, as is expected on 11 March, member states will have two years to adopt the directive’s provisions into national law, which is a process that gives states significant leeway in interpretation.

View full article: Anti-piracy directive could expose consumers

info     Microsoft Plans to Sue Spammers (Mar 10)

Microsoft, along with other Internet industry players, is due to announce Wednesday lawsuits against spammers under the CAN-SPAM Act. The software giant also will detail a technical initiative aimed at stopping the onslaught of unsolicited e-mail, a company representative reveals.

The lawsuits announced under CAN-SPAM will be among the first since the law took effect on January 1, and will target “serial spammers,” a Microsoft representative in Europe says.

Microsoft will also discuss plans for its Caller ID e-mail specification, the representative says. The sender authentication technology that aims to thwart the spoofing of e-mail addresses–a common spammer tactic–was talked up by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates at the RSA security conference in San Francisco last month.

The technical initiative is presumably meant to supplement the antispam efforts being made under the CAN-SPAM law.

View full article: Microsoft Plans to Sue Spammers
View Press Release: America Online, EarthLink, Microsoft and Yahoo! Team Up To File First Major Industry Lawsuits Under New Federal Anti-Spam Law

office     MapPoint and Streets & Trips Construction Update (Mar 10)

Download the construction update to keep your maps current in Microsoft MapPoint and Streets & Trips.
Save the file in the folder where you installed the program files for MapPoint or Streets & Trips. I.e. C:\Program Files\Microsoft MapPoint\Data\.

Download: MapPoint 2001 and Streets & Trips 2001 Construction Update
Download: MapPoint 2002 and Streets & Trips 2002 Construction Update
Download: MapPoint 2003 and Streets & Trips 2003 Construction Update
Download: MapPoint 2004 and Streets & Trips 2004 Construction Update

update     Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-009 (Mar 10)

Note that you are not effected when you installed Service Pack 3

A security vulnerability exists within Outlook 2002 that could allow Internet Explorer to execute script code in the Local Machine zone on an affected system. The parsing of specially crafted mailto URLs by Outlook 2002 causes this vulnerability. To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would have to host a malicious Web site that contained a Web page designed to exploit the vulnerability and then persuade a user to view the Web page.

The attacker could also create an HTML e-mail message designed to exploit the vulnerability and persuade the user to view the HTML e-mail message. After the user has visited the malicious Web site or viewed the malicious HTML e-mail message an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could access files on a user’s system or run arbitrary code on a user’s system. This code would run in the security context of the currently logged-on user. Outlook 2002 is available as a separate product and is also included as part of Office XP.

View: Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-009
Download: Outlook 2002 Security Patch: KB828040

other     Slipstream Office XP to SP3 (Mar 9)

I updated my guide on how you can slipstream Office XP with Service Pack 3. This way you can create an Office XP SP3 installation CD and save you from the need to apply it afterwards.

View: Slipstream Office XP to SP3

update     Office XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) (Mar 9)

Office XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) provides the latest updates to Microsoft Office XP. SP3 contains significant security enhancements, in addition to stability and performance improvements. This service pack applies to any level of Office XP. It contains all updates included in Office XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Office XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), and updates released after SP2.

Download: Office XP Service Pack 3 (SP3)
Download: Office XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) for Access 2002 Runtime
Download: Office XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) for SharePoint Team Services

howto     Save Embedded Pictures in Their Original Format (Mar 9)

You’ve probably come across this at least once; You receive a nicely HTML formatted message with embedded pictures so the sender can tell the story with the pictures and when you try to save the pictures you can only save them as a bmp-file. Or; you receive a fun e-mail with an animated gif-file and when you try to save it you can only save it as a bmp-file which will of course break the animation.

Subscribers to my newsletter already received this guide in their mailboxes last week. Click here if you also want to receive the latest news around Microsoft Office and tips for Outlook in your mailbox.

View: Save Embedded Pictures in Their Original Format