Archive 8

office    Office has work to do (Oct 28)

Microsoft Office 2003 leaves resellers largely unmoved.

The channel is not expecting a rush of corporate interest following last week’s launch of the Microsoft Office 2003 suite.
Although the launch is vital for Microsoft, as Office sales account for over a quarter of the company’s revenue, resellers do not believe there will be a spike in initial upgrade interest.

The new suite includes upgrades to the existing applications and new extensible mark-up language applications based around information sharing and collaborative working.

John Taylor, marketing director at VAR Trustmarque, said: “Some large companies may decide to upgrade immediately, but in general we’ll see a slow but steady rise in companies making the switch.

“The product has improved, but I’m not sure if it’s improved enough to be an essential upgrade.”

Angela Ashenden, senior analyst at Ovum, said the tight integration of the product would benefit resellers.

“This tight integration makes a lot of sense for Microsoft, but to get the benefits users should have the latest upgrades to get full functionality,” she said.

View article: Office has work to do

longhorn    Outlook Express 7? (Oct 27)

Yesterday evening I got my hands on the latest leaked copy of Longhorn (build 4051). I messed something with the files so it would take my Windows 2003 Beta key to install with and made it bootable so I could do a clean install on one of my test systems (it was about time that expired Exchange 2003 RC1 got formatted anyway).

After I was pleasantly surprised that my tweaking worked at first attempt the installer ran pretty smooth. The install screens are looking quite nice (although the background colours don’t look that good when booting with PXE). Also the hardware detecting wasn’t in the promised 10 minutes (more like half an hour) which is all with all no big deal as it obviously isn’t optimised yet.

When you finally get around to booting it up for the first time you are presented with a new Bliss wallpaper and a new skin called Slate. This skin looks a lot better than the old Plex one which was in previous builds. Slate isn’t, as you probably know already, going to be the final skin; that will be Aero. Also notice that the Start button doesn’t have “Start” on it anymore.

I never actually started up Outlook Express on the previous builds but I did in this. It looks quite nice with the new colours and the navigation is slightly changed. I couldn’t find any new options that fast but it is already marked as Outlook Express 7 although the file versions tell otherwise. The file versions are (as always) the same as those of Internet Explorer. This could be an early indication that there will be no functional development done to Outlook Express. Internet Explorer however did get some functional improvements already with a pop-up blocker as a very welcome new feature.

Screenshots always say more than a thousands words…

Windows Explorer

Games folder

Little error when requesting system info from the new Hardware and Devices overview

New Windows Event Viewer in MMC

Outlook Express 7

Picture Viewer

New Task Scheduler

Windows Help

office    SharePoint Products and Technologies 2003 SDK: Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 programming information (Oct 27)

Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies uses a common set of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 services named Windows SharePoint Services, to take advantage of the performance, stability, and security features of the Microsoft .NET Framework. Use Windows SharePoint Services to create and maintain team sites. Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, a server product, is built on Windows SharePoint Services, and adds features used to build and manage integrated, large-scale portal solutions.

Download: SharePoint Products and Technologies 2003 SDK: Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server

info    Outlook 2002 Still In Beta? (Oct 26)

Someone from the Outlook forum came across a quite old KB article where is stated that the article discusses a Beta test product that is not yet announced or released publicly by Microsoft.

View: KB 289988 OL2002: “Ask Me Before Sending a Response” Option for Message Receipt Is Active but Seems Not to Work

office    Microsoft in standards battle with W3C (Oct 24)

World Wide Web Consortium says InfoPath signatures cannot be trusted.

Microsoft and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) are at loggerheads over competing standards for electronic forms which help automate business processes.
On Tuesday, Microsoft released InfoPath, its new XML-based application in Office 2003 allowing users to organise and share data.

But the security of its signatures has been called into question on a W3C discussion forum.

The W3C recently released the specification for XForms 1.0, which allows the creation of interactive forms to help automate the exchange of corporate data.

It is being backed by IBM and Sun Microsystems as a more open approach for heterogeneous environments that rely on interoperability.

Dr John Boyer, a research scientist at e-forms specialist PureEdge Solutions, and co-author of the XML DSig standard and the XForms 1.0 recommendation, said that businesses cannot rely on InfoPath signatures for security.

He claimed that, in under five minutes, PureEdge managed to change a signed InfoPath form from an ‘Employment Applicant Rating’ form to a ‘Prisoner Registration’ form.

Read full article: Microsoft in standards battle with W3C

office    Office 2003 sparks data retention row (Oct 24)

Information rights management functionality could make employees careless, experts warn.

The launch of Microsoft Office 2003 has led to calls for more awareness and better enforcement of corporate email usage policies.
The new information rights management functionality in the latest version of Office is designed to protect against the unintended proliferation of sensitive information.

New features include the ability to limit which recipients can open, edit, copy or even print emails or documents.

But industry experts have warned that this could lull employees into a false sense of security about the management of sensitive corporate information.

Simon Stokes, head of e-commerce law at Tarlo Lyons, told “The fact that the Microsoft technology allows you to manage email is good, but it does stress the need to have proper data retention and email usage policies and to make sure that employees’ email use is consistent with that.”

Read full article: Office 2003 sparks data retention row

other    Using ISA Server with Exchange 2003 (Oct 24)

This article describes how to deploy ISA Server 2000 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Feature Pack 1 as your advanced firewall server to protect your messaging environment. Microsoft® Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 are designed to work closely together in your network environment to provide a more secure messaging environment than previous versions of Exchange. When you use ISA Server to handle all inbound requests from client applications such as Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003 and Outlook Web Access, your Exchange front-end servers no longer need to be located in the perimeter network.

Download: Using ISA Server with Exchange 2003

office    Microsoft Office Project Server 2003: Project Data Service (PDS) Usage and Methods Reference (Oct 24)

This reference explains how to use the PDS Application Programming Interface (API) to allow client applications to access Project Server portfolio data. Client applications can programmatically log on to Project Server and use Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) to call PDS API methods. The PDS implements a SOAP listener, which receives method calls in Extensible Markup Language (XML) format and returns an XML response.

The PDS reference includes sample code and information about the following:

  • What’s New in the PDS for Project Server 2003

  • Using the Project Data Service

  • The PDS and Project Server Security Architecture

  • Writing a PDS Extender

  • PDS Methods XML

  • Using SOAP to call PDS methods

  • Programmatic Logon to Project Server

  • API Reference

  • Service for Enterprise Data Maintenance (EDM)

  • Error Codes

  • PDS Permissions

  • Field ID Values for Enterprise Custom Fields

Note This PDS reference is provided as a separate download for convenience. The topics are the same as the MSDN online topics in PDS Reference for Microsoft Office Project Server 2003. This PDS reference is also included in the complete Microsoft Office Project 2003 SDK download from the Microsoft Download Center. For additional information on using the PDS, see the complete SDK download or the MSDN online Microsoft Office Project 2003 SDK documentation.

Download: Microsoft Office Project Server 2003: Project Data Service (PDS) Usage and Methods Reference

office    Microsoft Office Project 2003 Software Development Kit (SDK) (Oct 24)

The Microsoft Office Project 2003 SDK is designed for solution providers, value-added resellers, and other developers to help customize Project 2003, and to extend and integrate Project Server 2003 with other applications for Enterprise Project Management. It features articles, programming references, tools, and sample code, including extensive articles called Solution Starters.

Microsoft Office Project 2003 SDK contents:
Solution Starters provide extensive documentation and working applications with source code that show how to build and install extensions to integrate other applications with Project Server. All of the Solution Starters use components developed with the Project Data Service (PDS), and source code for PDS Extenders. The Solution Starters currently available are:

  • BizTalk Server Workflow Solution Starter integrates timesheet data using Microsoft BizTalk® Server with Project Server to enable quick changes in business workflow processes. The sample includes PDS Extenders that synchronize timesheet management between BizTalk and Project Server.

  • Project Server to Siebel Solution Starter integrates Project Server with the Siebel CRM (Customer Relationship Management) application. The sample includes a PDS Extender to generate projects in Project Server 2003 from sales opportunity and resource data in Siebel, a Siebel Business Service extension to synchronize Siebel with data from Project Server.

Project Data Service (PDS) Reference: The PDS is an extensible XML-based Application Programming Interface (API) for Project Server. The PDS Reference includes test tools and code templates for developing PDS Extenders and components that integrate with Project Server.

Project Server Integration includes the following articles:

  • Integration with InfoPath shows how Microsoft® Office InfoPath™ 2003 can be integrated with Project Server 2003 to bring more visibility, control, and participation to Enterprise Project Management.

  • Object Link Provider Reference: This section of the SDK contains information about the properties, methods, and interfaces of the Object Link Provider, to help extend the integration of Microsoft® Windows® SharePoint™ Services with Project Server

Download: Microsoft Office Project 2003 Software Development Kit (SDK)

office    Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 PSMIGRAT Utility (Oct 24)

The tool PSMigrat.exe is used to migrate Microsoft Project Server 2002 data from SharePoint Team Services to Windows SharePoint Services. PSMigrat.exe extracts the subweb information from SharePoint Team Services into one or more FWP files. For each site, PSMigrat.exe packages all of the site content (including documents and issues) into a CAB file and expands the file to perform additional operations. Then the tool SMIGRATE.EXE is run by PSMigrat.exe to add this information to the server running Windows SharePoint Services.

Download: Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 PSMIGRAT Utility

office    Windows SharePoint Services Template Package- High School (Oct 24)

This product shows the great results you can get when you customize a Windows SharePoint Services-based Web site using Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003. This template contains the custom Theme used in creating this site, and detailed instructions and necessary files to allow you to reproduce the look on your own Windows SharePoint Services-based site. For more inspiration, information and tools to help you customize Windows SharePoint Services-based Web sites with FrontPage 2003, visit the Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 Customization Kit at

Download: Windows SharePoint Services Template Package- High School

info    Microsoft Praises Senate for Passage of Burns-Wyden Anti-Spam Bill (Oct 23)

Brad Smith, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Microsoft Corp., today issued this statement in support of the U.S. Senate passage of the Burns-Wyden anti-spam bill:

“Microsoft is pleased with today’s passage of S. 877, the Senate anti-spam legislation championed by Senators Conrad Burns, R-Mont., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore. This bill is an important step in reducing the volume of spam by helping to stave off unsolicited and fraudulent e-mail that erodes trust in technology for consumers and costs businesses billions of dollars a year. Microsoft particularly supports the bill’s strong enforcement provisions that will better enable ISPs to prosecute spammers on behalf of their customers. In addition, today’s Senate action strengthens the protection of children online from illicit and pornographic e-mail, and with an amendment by Senators Hatch (R-UT) and Leahy (D-VT) it increases the criminal penalties for those who intentionally mislead or deceive consumers. These provisions not only make the overall bill stronger, but help give parents more peace of mind that stiff penalties have been put in place to ward off criminals and to better protect children on the Internet.

View PressPass: Microsoft Praises Senate for Passage of Burns-Wyden Anti-Spam Bill

other    Windows Messenger update (Oct 23)

Windows Messenger also got an update to build 5.0.0468.

Download: Windows Messenger (English)
Download: Windows Messenger (different Language)

other    MSN Messenger 6.1 Released (Oct 23)

Like mentioned yesterday MSN Messenger has gone final today. The final build number is 6.1.0155.

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

office    Visio IFilter 2003 Add-in: Text Search in Visio Files (Oct 23)

The Microsoft Visio IFilter 2003 is a component used by the Microsoft Windows Indexing service and Microsoft Office SharePoint™ Portal Server 2003 to extract text strings from Microsoft Visio files (.VSD, .VSS, .VST, .VDX, .VSX, and .VTX formats). The text strings are then indexed by these servers and the resulting indices are made available to several client applications that provide a user interface to search for text strings in files. These search clients include Visio 2003 Find Shape, Windows 2000 and Windows XP File Explorer search, Office 2003 search, Microsoft Windows SharePoint™ Services 2003 search, and SharePoint Portal Server search.

Download: Visio IFilter 2003 Add-in: Text Search in Visio Files