Archive 26

info     PayPal virus writing scammer scumbag pleads guilty (Feb 5)

A Minnesota man who tried to defraud PayPal customers through a phishing scam has pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

Alec Scott Papierniak, 20, of Mankato in Minnesota, also admitted using viral code to further his fraudulent activities at an appearance in a federal court in San Jose on Tuesday.

Papierniak was able to siphon money from online accounts after he tricked users into handing over their user names and passwords via bogus security alerts. These bogus alerts directed users to a maliciously constructed Web site run by Papierniak, instead of the genuine PayPal site.

In pleading guilty, Papierniak also admitted to emailing a “key logger” virus to PayPal users, again with theft in mind. Both MiMail-I and MiMail-J fit the bill, but we’re not certain if either virus was involved in this case.

The 20 year-old ran the scams for nearly two years until he was caught in September 2003. Papierniak, who admits stealing in excess of $30,000 during that time, has agreed to pay restitution to his victims.

A DoJ statement on the case omits details of how Papierniak was tracked down, beyond saying it was the result of an FBI investigation. If a member of the public was involved we’d be very disappointed if Microsoft didn’t stump up a substantial reward as part of its Anti-Virus Reward Program.

Papierniak pleaded guilty to a specimen charge involving theft of $10,000 from one account and is scheduled to return for sentencing by US District Judge James Ware on May 10. Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment but Papierniak’s guilty plea will go some way towards reducing the severity of his sentence.

View: PayPal virus writing scammer scumbag pleads guilty


office     Troubleshooting Exchange Server 2003 Performance (Feb 5)

This technical article provides administrators of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 with information on how to isolate performance degradations and how to use existing tools and products, such as Performance, Load Simulator, Exchange Stress and Performance 2003, Network Monitor, and Filemon, for this purpose. The information in this article can also be used to ensure that a server is not degrading over time because of hardware issues or malfunctions.

Download: Troubleshooting Exchange Server 2003 Performance


other     Saint Valentine’s Day Screensaver (Feb 5)

This is a screensaver for Windows which celebrates Valentine’s Day. During setup you can enter the message of love you would like the screensaver to display by editing the screensaver settings.

Download: Saint Valentine’s Day Screensaver


office     Now, MS Office in 14 Indian languages (Feb 5)

Microsoft India would make available its Office suites, including Office 2003 and Windows 2003, in all 14 Indian official languages in next three years, while plans are in the offing to provide an improved thrust on the company’s e-commerce initiatives in the country.

“We are providing local language interface much ahead of the curve (maturity point) and the enablement in the remaining five languages is under the company’s localisation drive,” Microsoft India managing director Rajiv Kaul told reporters here on Thursday.

The software major had earlier provided local language interface for its Office suites in nine Indian languages, including Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam and Telugu among others.

On its improved thrust on e-commerce initiatives, he said that Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Customer (B2C) sectors are expected to mature shortly, with a turning point somewhere between 18 and 24 months.

View full article: Now, MS Office in 14 Indian languages (via bink.nu)


info     Equant touts hosted Exchange 2003 e-mail (Feb 5)

France Telecom subsidiary Equant, which provides communications and data networking services around the world, announced on Thursday that it will offer hosted e-mail and other messaging services based on Microsoft’s Exchange Server 2003. Equant executives said the service would allow businesses to benefit from recent improvements to Microsoft’s e-mail server without paying big up-front costs. “We’re convinced of the large potential of the emerging market for hosted messaging solutions,” Gilles Pradere, vice president of managed services for Equant, said in a statement. Equant also offers hosted messaging services based on IBM’s competing Lotus Notes software.

Microsoft introduced Exchange 2003 late last year as part of a family of products built around its Office 2003 productivity software. Significant enhancements in the new version of Exchange include new tools for filtering spam and setting up remote access to e-mail accounts.

View: Equant touts hosted Exchange 2003 e-mail


info     Gates’ e-post idea gets stamp of disapproval (Feb 5)

Bill Gates may have his detractors in the Internet community, but he united the world’s e-mail users last month with a pledge to end the scourge of spam — or junk e-mail — by the year 2006. The chairman of Microsoft Corp. outlined a number of possible strategies, like creating “computational puzzles” to thwart bulk e-mail programs, but the one he’s placing his bets on is electronic postage. It’s a proposal that some detractors say is technologically unfeasible and may be little more than a veiled attempt at a money grab by Microsoft and other large e-mail providers.

People involved with the Web have been whispering about e-mail postage — also known as “sender pays” — for a decade, but it resurfaced last month when Mr. Gates broached the topic at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The belief is that e-postage would deter rampant spammers; a 1-cent levy on each e-mail, for example, would be ruinous for companies that send out millions of unsolicited ads every day with the hope that a handful of people will respond.

Mr. Gates thinks spammers should be punished retroactively, in a transaction known as a “charge-back.” When a person receives a piece of mail that they deem as spam, they press a designated button and the sender is charged a fee for that message.

Observers agree that combatting spam is a noble and worthy endeavour but feel that the notion of e-postage is fraught with logistical and financial problems.

Bill Sweetman, president and founder of e-business consultancy Kalixo, says the scheme outlined by Mr. Gates is well-intentioned but has an inherent weakness. “The problem with this is you can’t find these folks in the first place, so where are you going to send the invoice?” he asks.

View full article: Gates’ e-post idea gets stamp of disapproval


office     Outlook 2003 Sample: What’s New in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 for Developers? (Feb 5)

Learn how to use Visual Basic .NET to integrate Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 with Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies. Although changes to the Outlook Object Model are small in scope, new properties are added to support integration with Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services (formerly known as SharePoint Team Services) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003. The sample Visual Basic .NET Outlook Add-in allows you to import a Contact list from a SharePoint site into Outlook and directly export Outlook Contact items to a SharePoint site.

Download: Outlook 2003 Sample: What’s New in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 for Developers?


info     Are you secure? (Feb 4)

10 Best Practices For Avoiding Computer Viruses
Read 10 tips from the Microsoft Office team that will help you reduce the risk of a virus infecting your computer.

Help Protect Your Computer Against Viruses with Outlook
Read this article to learn how viruses can affect your computer and how to use Microsoft Office Outlook® to help keep your computer safe.


office     Access 2003 Sample: Using Automation with Access and Outlook (Feb 4)

This download provides a sample Access file for use with the MSDN article “Using Automation in Microsoft Office Access 2003 to Work with Microsoft Office Outlook 2003.” Automation is the process of controlling one program from another program.

Download: Access 2003 Sample: Using Automation with Access and Outlook
View: Using Automation in Microsoft Office Access 2003 to Work with Microsoft Office Outlook 2003


office     Server Consolidation Using Exchange Server 2003 (Feb 4)

As e-mail messaging continues to grow in both volume and business importance, organizations are looking for new options to manage future demand in a reliable and cost-effective way. One option is to build a messaging strategy based on advanced technologies available in Microsoft® Windows Server™ 2003 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. This article discusses strategies for server consolidation using Exchange 2003.

Download: Server Consolidation Using Exchange Server 2003


info     Microsoft Site Appears to Weather MyDoom Attack (Feb 3)

Microsoft Corp. appeared to have survived the worst the MyDoom worm could throw at it Tuesday. Experts say the virus, a variant of the MyDoom.A virus that knocked out another company’s Web site Sunday, was programmed to fire continuous volleys of debilitating data at Microsoft’s site Tuesday. But there was no visible impact on the software giant’s Web site, http://www.microsoft.com, which barely flickered as the MyDoom.B Internet worm’s trigger time of 8:09 EST passed. Microsoft had said Monday it was taking a series of technical precautions to ward off any attack. The company declined to give any immediate comment Tuesday.

MyDoom.B is a low-grade variant of the original MyDoom.A virus, the fastest-spreading e-mail contagion to ever hit the Internet, security experts said. MyDoom.A has infected hundreds of thousands — and possibly over one million — PCs, generating a torrent of spam e-mails and crippling corporate e-mail servers, plus slowing traffic for some Internet service providers. The biggest victim of MyDoom.A was Utah-based computer software firm SCO Group. The week-old worm, also dubbed Novarg or Shimgapi, knocked the SCO site offline Sunday with a barrage of data known as a denial of service attack. SCO scrambled to launch an alternative site at http://www.thescogroup.com.

MyDoom.B, which was programmed to target both SCO and Microsoft with a similar attack starting Tuesday, spread more slowly than its super-potent sibling and was never considered much of a threat, security experts have said. “As far as MyDoom.B is concerned, you’re more likely to see it in the headlines than in your e-mail in box,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos Plc. Still, security officials warned Tuesday MyDoom.A was still spreading rapidly despite the fact more computer users were fortifying their machines with a variety of free patches available from anti-virus vendors.

“It’s now become less of a virus infection problem and more of an e-mail glut problem,” Cluley said.

View: Microsoft Site Appears to Weather MyDoom Attack


info     MyDoom Author: “Sorry” (Feb 3)

The MyDoom variant that joined the original virus in wreaking havoc on the Internet last week contains a cryptic message in which the author appears to apologize for the malicious code, security experts say. The creator of what anti-virus experts say is the fastest spreading virus ever on the Internet signed MyDoom and MyDoom.B with “andy,” and left the following message in the latter version: “I’m just doing my job, nothing personal, sorry.”

“Our interpretation is that he’s apologizing to the general public,” Jimmy Kuo, research fellow at anti-virus software maker Network Associates Technology Inc., said Friday. “Our guess is that someone is paying him to write this thing.”

Both MyDoom versions install a “back door” in infected PCs, enabling hackers to commandeer the machines to send spam, launch denial of service attacks, or perform other nefarious acts. Some experts, however, doubted the sincerity of the apology. Many virus writers leave cryptic messages in their code to tease investigating authorities and to pat themselves on the back for their handiwork.

“If he’s really sorry, then why did he release it,” said Michele Morelock, technical support leader at anti-virus software maker Sophos Inc. “I would imagine it’s much more tongue-in-cheek than saying I’m really sorry for releasing it.”

View full article: MyDoom Author: “Sorry”


office     Access 2003/2002/2000 Sample: On how much time has elapsed (Feb 3)

The On how much time has elapsed sample file provides three sample database functions to learn how Access stores Date/Time values and how to calculate elapsed time. Use this file in conjunction with the Office Power User column On how much time has elapsed.

Download: Access 2003/2002/2000 Sample: On how much time has elapsed


info     Microsoft releases metadata removal tool (Feb 3)

I’ve posted the download below at the beginning of this year already. The download link is there because it’s relevant for the article

A year ago, 10 Downing Street published a dossier on Iraq’s security and intelligence organisations. It was cited by none other than Colin Powell in his address to the United Nations. Then a lecturer in politics at Cambridge University discovered that much of the 19-page document was copied from three different articles, one written by a graduate student.

How did he know? In the document there was a listing of the last 10 edits of the document, showing the names of the people who worked on the file. These logs are normally hidden and cannot be viewed directly in Word.

MS Word is notorious for containing private information in file headers, but not any longer. Microsoft has quietly released a tool to scrub leaky metadata from documents edited with its software. The Remove Hidden Data Add-In will permanently remove hidden and collaboration data, such as change tracking and comments, from MS Word, MS Excel, and MS PowerPoint files. For Office XP/Office 2003 only, we should add.

View: Microsoft releases metadata removal tool
Download: Office 2003/XP Add-in: Remove Hidden Data


office     Project Server Guides (Feb 3)

Project Server 2003 Disaster Recovery Guide
This guide provides guidelines for developing a disaster prevention and recovery strategy for computers running Microsoft Office Project Server 2003.

Project Server 2003 Installation Guide
This guide covers the installation of Microsoft Office Project Server and its related components.

Project Server 2003 Administrator’s Guide
This guide provides information about managing users, managing security (categories and templates), managing views, and configuring Project Server settings for your organization.

 Archive 25

office     Step by Step Tutorials (Feb 3)

Accessibility training documentation for Office applications and Windows OS

Download: Step by Step Tutorials


update     Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (Feb 2)

Who should read this document: Customers who are using Microsoft® Internet Explorer
Impact of vulnerability: Remote Code Execution
Maximum Severity Rating: Critical

View + Download: Security Bulletin MS04-004


info     Gates backs e-mail stamp in war on spam (Feb 2)

Should people have to buy electronic stamps to send e-mail?

Some Internet experts have long suggested that the rising tide of junk e-mail, or spam, would turn into a trickle if senders had to pay even as little as a penny for each message they sent. Such an amount might be minor for legitimate commerce and communications, but it could destroy businesses that send a million offers in hopes that 10 people will respond. The idea has been dismissed both as impractical and against the free spirit of the Internet.

Now, though, the idea of e-mail postage is getting a second look from the owners of the two largest e-mail systems in the world: Microsoft and Yahoo.

Ten days ago, Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman, told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that spam would not be a problem in two years, in part because of systems that would require people to pay money to send e-mail. Yahoo, meanwhile, is quietly evaluating an e-mail postage plan being developed by Goodmail, a Silicon Valley start-up company.

“The fundamental problem with spam is there is not enough friction in sending e-mail,” said Brad Garlinghouse, Yahoo’s manager for communications products.

The company is intrigued by the idea of postage, Garlinghouse said, because it would force mailers to send only those offers a significant number of people might accept. “All of a sudden, spammers can’t behave without regard for the Internet providers’ or end users’ interests,” he said.

View full article: Gates backs e-mail stamp in war on spam


office     Microsoft Content Management Server 2002 Connector for SharePoint Technologies (Feb 2)

Microsoft® Content Management Server 2002 Connector for SharePoint™ Technologies enables you to integrate Microsoft Office® SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Windows® SharePoint Services 2.0 technologies with Microsoft Content Management Server (MCMS) 2002 to create an end-to-end solution for document publishing.

MCMS Connector for SharePoint Technologies is designed primarily for businesses that are already using or intend to use SharePoint Technologies and MCMS 2002.

Download: Microsoft Content Management Server 2002 Connector for SharePoint Technologies


office     Exchange 2003 Deployment Guide (Feb 1)

This book provides installation and deployment information for intermediate and advanced administrators planning to deploy Exchange Server 2003.

Download: Exchange 2003 Deployment Guide (version 1.1)


info     Waiting For MyDoom’s Sunday Punch (Jan 31)

his Sunday, as American football fans await the Super Bowl broadcast, a slow-motion, digital wave will be building on the Internet, a result of the recent MyDoom worm attack. Following the worm’s dissection by security analysts, the world knows a distributed denial-of-service attack is coming, but there’s little that can be done to stop it.

Here’s how Sunday’s distributed denial-of-service attack will proceed: At midnight of the international date line the Windows computers infected by the MyDoom.A and MyDoom.B worms will begin to send large numbers of Web requests to the Web site of The SCO Group, the Lindon, Utah-based Unix vendor; the wave will begin in the far east and move westward around the world. Such a large quantity of requests will overwhelm SCO’s Web server, making the site unavailable.

On February 3, a similar attack will form against Microsoft from computers infected with MyDoom.B. However, major antivirus vendors reported that the infection rate for MyDoom.B was much less than the earlier worm, which it is believed infected hundreds of thousands of systems.

View full article: Waiting For MyDoom’s Sunday Punch
View more details on the first MyDoom/Novarg on Symantec
View more details on the second MyDoom/Novarg on Symantec


info     Australia joins global spam battle (Jan 31)

Two Australian government agencies have joined an international campaign aimed at persuading companies to close open relays and proxies, in a bid to reduce the amount of spam.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) are taking part in an international campaign to educate companies about the need to close open relays and proxies.

The campaign is headed by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), with 36 agencies from 26 countries taking part. Dubbed ‘Operation secure your server’, the aim is to persuade organisations to close open relays and proxies to reduce the amount of unsolicited commercial email.

“As part of the initiative, the participating agencies have identified tens of thousands of owners or operators of potentially open relay or open proxy servers around the world and are sending letters urging them to protect themselves from becoming unwitting sources of spam,” according to an ACCC statement.

View full article: Australia joins global spam battle


office     Microsoft Online Seminars: Microsoft Exchange (Jan 31)

See how to maximize your business potential with Microsoft solutions. Seminars are learning resources designed to meet the needs of developers, IT professionals, and business decision makers.

Sessions include…

  • 19991118OWAKB1: The Microsoft Exchange 2000 Web Client: Microsoft Outlook Web Access

  • 20000511ExchangeKM1: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server: Enabling “Knowledge Workers Without Limits”

  • 20000518ExchangeccMailGD1: Upgrading from cc:Mail to Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server

  • 20000518Groupwise: Migrating from GroupWise to Microsoft Exchange Server 2000

  • 20001121mec1400: Advanced Microsoft Active Directory Integration

  • 20001128mec4333: Building a Group Calendaring Web Application

  • 20001205mec1200: Deploying Microsoft Exchange 2000: A Practical Overview for Upgrading Exchange 5.5

  • 20001205mec1302: Deploying Microsoft Exchange 2000: Upgrading from Exchange 5.5 (Part 2)

  • 20010109exchma: Making the Decision to Migrate to Microsoft Exchange 2000

Download: Microsoft Online Seminars: Microsoft Exchange


info     MyDoom Lessons: Failures of Education, Antivirus Vendors (Jan 30)

The sorry truth is that people fall very easily for social engineering attacks. The problem has nothing at all to do with Windows; if end-users were running Linux or anything else, it’s clear that any e-mail message could persuade them into following whatever steps were necessary to compromise their systems.

User education has proved a failure. Sure, it’s better to have educated users than uneducated ones, and it’s worth continuing to try to drill the details, if only to give individuals a chance to protect themselves.

However, IT managers must assume that their clients are dumber than dirt about this antivirus stuff and will run whatever executable code strangers send them.

Worse, one vendor told me today that whenever one of these attacks happens a number of people intentionally run the virus—knowing it’s a virus—just to see what happens. This must be the digital equivalent of a kid wondering what happens when her or she puts their fingers in an electrical socket.

View full article: MyDoom Lessons: Failures of Education, Antivirus Vendors


office     Access 2000 Sample: Report Topics (Jan 30)

The Access 2000 Sample: Report Topics database contains sample reports that demonstrate how to perform a variety of reporting tasks, including:

  • Creating a Top 10 report

  • Printing a constant number of lines per group

  • Shading every other detail line in a report

Download: Access 2000 Sample: Report Topics


office     Windows SharePoint Services 2003 Software Development Kit (SDK) (Jan 30)

The SDK contains conceptual overviews, programming tasks, and references to guide you in developing solutions based on Windows SharePoint Services as a platform. The SDK includes information about the following technologies:

  1. Web Part Framework Create, package, and deploy Web Parts on SharePoint sites.

  2. Server-side object model Work with individual lists and sites or manage an entire Windows SharePoint Services deployment.

  3. Web services Use default Web services, or create custom Web services, to interact with Windows SharePoint Services from external applications.

  4. Collaborative Application Markup Language (CAML) Customize the schemas that define lists and sites, define queries for use with members of the object model or Web services, and specify parameters for use with methods in Remote Procedure Call (RPC) protocol.

  5. RPC protocol and other protocols Post requests from client applications to the server in order to access or modify data.

  6. Client-side APIs Use ActiveX controls to launch applications on the client or to provide other features that enhance Windows SharePoint Services.

This update of the SDK includes new documentation for the Web Part Page Services Component (WPSC), which is a client-side somponent that adds dynamic capabilities to your Web Part Page by providing Web Part discovery, notification, and state management services used by Web Parts and Windows SharePoint Services RPC methods.

Download: Windows SharePoint Services 2003 Software Development Kit (SDK)


office     Exchange Server 2003 RPC over HTTP Deployment Scenarios (Jan 30)

Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 and Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003, combined with Windows Server™ 2003, support the use of RPC over HTTP to access Exchange servers. Using the Microsoft Windows RPC over HTTP feature to enable your users to connect to their Exchange mailbox eliminates the need for remote office users to use a virtual private network (VPN) to connect to their Exchange servers. Users running Outlook 2003 on client computers can connect directly to an Exchange server within a corporate environment from the Internet.

Download: Exchange Server 2003 RPC over HTTP Deployment Scenarios


office     Office Update Inventory Tool Version 2.0 (Jan 30)

The Office Update Inventory Tool version 2.0 enables administrators to check one or more computers in their organization for the status of Microsoft Office 2000, Office XP, and Office 2003 updates.

Download: Office Update Inventory Tool Version 2.0


info     Microsoft Offers $250,000 Reward for Information Leading to Conviction of MyDoom.B Perpetrators (Jan 30)

Reward Is Third From Microsoft Reward Fund to Support Worldwide Law Enforcement Efforts Against Malicious Code Distributors

REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 29, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it will pay a $250,000 (U.S.) reward for information resulting in the arrest and conviction of those responsible for unleashing the MyDoom.B worm. MyDoom.B, detected yesterday, is a variant of the earlier released MyDoom.A worm, also known as the Novarg worm, which has spread quickly infecting computers around the world. The release of this B variant triggered the first alert from the newly formed Department of Homeland Security’s cyber alert system yesterday.

Characteristics of MyDoom.B
Characteristics of the B variant of MyDoom include these:

  • Infects the computers of unsuspecting consumers and automatically sends infecting e-mail to their e-mail contacts

  • Blocks access to anti-virus vendor Web sites and www.microsoft.com

  • Leaves a “backdoor” into infected computers, allowing any hacker to modify the existing worm without the user’s knowledge

  • Is designed to launch an attack against www.microsoft.com next month

“This worm is a criminal attack,” said Brad Smith, senior vice president and general counsel at Microsoft. “Its intent is to disrupt computer users, but also to keep them from getting to anti-virus locations and other sites that could help them. Microsoft wants to help the authorities catch this criminal.”

Residents of any country are eligible for the reward, according to the laws of that country, because Internet viruses affect the Internet community worldwide.

Partnership Program With Law Enforcement
Representatives of three law enforcement agencies, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U. S. Secret Service and Interpol, joined Microsoft to unveil the company’s $5 million reward program in November. All three agencies have engaged Microsoft in their investigations of this most recent worm.

Individuals with information about the MyDoom worm or any other worms or viruses should contact the following international law enforcement agencies:

  • International/Interpol via the Interpol National Central Bureau in any of Interpol’s 181 member countries or at http://www.interpol.int/

  • FBI or Secret Service via any local field office

  • The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at http://www.ic3.gov

View full Press Release: Microsoft Offers $250,000 Reward for Information Leading to Conviction of MyDoom.B Perpetrators


office     Microsoft Sets Office Service Pack 1 Timing; Watch For InfoPath Improvements (Jan 29)

Microsoft this week acknowledged that Office 2003 Service Pack 1 is in the works but gave no details beyond an expected late June launch date.

Original plans called for Service Pack 1 (SP1) to include fairly substantial enhancements and even new features for the InfoPath and OneNote components of the Office System lineup (see story). InfoPath enables a user’s desktop applications–Word or Excel, for example–to tap into back-end data via XML links. OneNote is a note-taking application that accepts penned or inked input.

For InfoPath, Microsoft wants to enable users to “ink” in input into fields and make it easier to route the created forms around, sources close to the company said.

“It will be easier to e-mail the form around. Before, it had to be deployed on a Web server as a URL, and, if I didn’t have InfoPath myself, I couldn’t see it. They’re working to open that up,” said one source.

Also on the wish list: better workflow using the BizTalk 2004 integration server and better editing and layout tools, sources close to the company said.

View full article: Microsoft Sets Office Service Pack 1 Timing; Watch For InfoPath Improvements

 Archive 24

office     Project 2003 Sample: Managed Code PDS Extension for Project Server 2003 (Jan 29)

Build a Project Data Service (PDS) extension using Microsoft Visual Studio .NET. The download includes a C# base class that makes the building of custom PDS extensions easy, and guidance on best practices to follow when extending Project Server 2003.

The Project Data Service (PDS) is the API for Microsoft® Office Project Server 2003. PDS extensions provide the developer with a good mechanism to extend and enhance Project Server functionality. The download includes a base class for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET that makes it easy to write PDS extensions to access and update the existing Project Server database, access new databases, or communicate with other systems and applications using Web services. The documentation includes guidance on best practices to follow when extending Project Server.

Download: Project 2003 Sample: Managed Code PDS Extension for Project Server 2003


office     Solution Accelerator for Microsoft Systems Architecture (MSA) Enterprise Messaging (Jan 29)

The Solution Accelerator for Microsoft Systems Architecture (MSA) Enterprise Messaging provides referential and implementation guidance to enable a customer or solution provider to adequately plan, build, deploy and operate a Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 enterprise messaging system that is secure, available, reliable, manageable, and cost-effective.

Download: Solution Accelerator for Microsoft Systems Architecture (MSA) Enterprise Messaging


update     MyDoom variant targets Microsoft (Jan 28)

A new version of the mass-mailing MyDoom virus has hit the Net, aiming data attacks at Microsoft’s Web site and interfering with an infected PC’s ability to access downloadable security-software updates, antivirus companies said Wednesday.
“We are trying to understand (what the virus’ authors are doing), but they are basically trying to stop people from going to security sites,” said Sharon Ruckman, senior director for security response at security software maker Symantec.

MyDoom.B, the second version of the virus, is already spreading around the Internet, Ruckman said. It includes some changes to the e-mail that carries the virus, including new subject lines and a message that mimics an error from Sendmail software, a common e-mail gateway server.

The MyDoom virus, also referred to as a worm, started spreading Monday and has swamped companies with a large number of e-mail messages that appear to be errors returned from a mail server.

View full article: MyDoom variant targets Microsoft
View more details on Symantec


info     “Number 3 Spammer” Wants Microsoft/Spitzer Suit Dismissed (Jan 28)

OptInRealBig.com LLC, which is being sued by Microsoft Corp and New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer over allegations of fraudulent activity related to spamming, is attempting to have the suit dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.

Scott Richter, who is president of the company and has been named the world’s number three spammer by SpamHaus.org, which tracks unsolicited commercial email, told ComputerWire the firm filed a motion to dismiss on Friday.

Richter claims that the state laws cited in Microsoft’s Seattle and Spitzer’s New York suits do not have jurisdiction over his company, which is based in Colorado.

Richter pointed to a recent court ruling that went against America Online Inc in Virginia, where it had sued a Florida resident for sending spam to its servers, which are physically located in Virginia. The court ruled two weeks ago that it did not have jurisdiction.

The Spitzer lawsuit cites 8,000 emails containing 40,000 “fraudulent statements”, meaning things such as misleading From: or Subject: lines. The suit is under fraud laws that predate the passage of the CAN-SPAM Act.

View full article: “Number 3 Spammer” Wants Microsoft/Spitzer Suit Dismissed


office     Microsoft Office 2003 Smart Tag Software Development Kit (SDK) (Jan 28)

The Microsoft® Office 2003 Smart Tag SDK contains documentation, tools, sample code, and XML schemas useful for developers who are working with smart tags.

This download is for developers who are interested in creating solutions that use the smart tags available in the Microsoft Office System.

Download: Microsoft Office 2003 Smart Tag Software Development Kit (SDK)


about     I’m an MVP!!! (Jan 27)

I knew about the nomination a little over a month ago already but since today it’s official;

I’m MVP Office Systems – Outlook

Thank you Microsoft for your appreciation!

For the ones who don’t know about the MVP award

The Microsoft MVP Program is a worldwide award and recognition program that strives to identify amazing individuals in technical communities around the globe who share a passion for technology and the spirit of community. Microsoft MVPs are recognized for both their demonstrated practical expertise and willingness to share their experience with peers in Microsoft technical communities.

Who are Microsoft MVPs? Microsoft MVPs are a diverse group of individuals who are:

  • Recognized:They are acknowledged by peers and also by Microsoft for their active participation in Microsoft technical communities around the globe.

  • Credible:They have demonstrated practical expertise providing the highest quality information and content.

  • Accessible:They are active technical community leaders sharing their experience with peers.

View: MVP Program website


update     Visio 2003 Update: KB832362 (Jan 27)

Microsoft recommends that you use the Office Update site to determine if your computer requires this update before installing it.

This update addresses an issue where an insufficient memory error message is generated when trying to print from the Italian language version of Visio 2003.

Download: Visio 2003 Update: KB832362
View: KB article 832362


update     Word 2003 Update: KB830000 (Jan 27)

Microsoft recommends that you use the Office Update site to determine if your computer requires this update before installing it.

Under certain circumstances Word 2003 can become unresponsive when the user saves a file or when Word automatically saves an AutoRecover file. This update corrects that potential error.

Download: Word 2003 Update: KB830000 (English)
Download: Word 2003 Update: KB830000 (different language)
View: KB article 830000


info     Key Events in Microsoft History (Jan 27)

Review important dates and events in the history of Microsoft Corporation from 1975 to the present.

Download: Key Events in Microsoft History


update     New Virus: W32.Novarg.A@mm / W32/Mydoom@MM / WORM_MIMAIL.R (Jan 27)

W32.Novarg.A@mm is a mass-mailing worm that arrives as an attachment with the file extension .bat, .cmd, .exe, .pif, .scr, or .zip. When a computer is infected, the worm will set up a backdoor into the system by opening TCP ports 3127 thru 3198. This can potentially allow an attacker to connect to the computer and use it as a proxy to gain access to its network resources. In addition, the backdoor has the ability to download and execute arbitrary files.

The worm will perform a DoS starting on February 1, 2004. It also has a trigger date to stop spreading on February 12, 2004.

Also Known As:

W32/Mydoom@MM [McAfee], WORM_MIMAIL.R [Trend]

 

Type:

Worm

Infection Length:

22,528 bytes

View more details on Symantec


other     Microsoft Search Tool Takes On Google (Jan 26)

Microsoft Corp. today will introduce a new Web search feature as the software maker plays catch-up with Google Inc. in a critical area of Internet commerce, Monday’s Wall Street Journal reported.

Microsoft will begin offering customers of its MSN online service a software ” toolbar” for Internet browsers that has a window for searching the Web using keywords and phrases. The toolbar, which sits below the control panel on a browser, includes shortcut buttons to other Microsoft services such as Hotmail e-mail and its MSN Messenger product.

View full article: Microsoft Search Tool Takes On Google
Download: MSN Toolbar BETA
View: MSN Toolbar Details
View: Press Release by Microsoft


info     Microsoft: XML patent moves are no big deal (Jan 26)

Recent patent applications filed by Microsoft are routine moves and don’t reflect a change in the company’s position on Extensible Markup Language, according to a spokesman for the software maker.

As previously reported, Microsoft has filed applications for numerous XML-related patents in the United States, Europe and New Zealand. The patents deal with the way its Office software processes XML, the fast-growing standard for exchanging data among disparate computing systems.

XML-based capabilities have been one of the main selling points for Office 2003, the recently released version of Microsoft’s market-leading productivity package. By saving documents as XML files, Office allows back-end computing systems, such as corporate databases, to retrieve and reuse data from those documents. XML support also allows Office to become a client for viewing and manipulating data from Web services and from complex enterprise applications such as customer relationship management (CRM) software.

View full article: Microsoft: XML patent moves are no big deal


info     Gates Looks to Monty Python for Tips on Knighthood (Jan 26)

Microsoft’s Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, is looking to classic comedy for clues on what to expect when he receives an honorary knighthood from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth.
“All I know about the ceremony is what I saw on Monty Python,” Gates told a conference in London Monday.

He was referring to the British cult comedy troupe, whose film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” featured the mythical King Arthur roving through medieval England recruiting knights.

Gates, co-founder and chairman of the software giant, will receive the honor from the queen in recognition of his contribution to enterprise.

The ceremony will take place at Buckingham Palace, but no date has yet been set.

View: Gates Looks to Monty Python for Tips on Knighthood


info     For Gates, a knight to be remembered (Jan 26)

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is set to receive an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II, in recognition of his services to global enterprise.

The Foreign Office announced early on Monday that Gates will become a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. This is one of the highest honors that Britain can bestow upon those born outside the United Kingdom.

“Microsoft technology has transformed business practices, and (Gates’) company has had a profound impact on the British economy,” the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, said in a statement.

However, unless he renounces his American citizenship, he won’t be able to refer to himself as “Sir Bill Gates,” but writing KBE after his name will be allowed.

View full article: For Gates, a knight to be remembered


info     Bill Gates’ Solution to the Spam Problem: Make Spammers Pay (Jan 26)

He said it before and he’s saying it again but now with a “date”!

A spam-free world by 2006? That’s what Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates is promising.

“Two years from now, spam will be solved,” he told a select group of World Economic Forum participants at this Alpine ski resort. “And a lot of progress this year,” he added at the event late Friday, hosted by U.S. talk show host Charlie Rose.

Gates said Microsoft, where he has the title of chief software designer, is working on a solution based on the concept of “proof,” or identifying the sender of the e-mail.

One method involves a human challenge, or requiring the sender of an electronic pitch to solve a puzzle that only a flesh-and-blood person can handle. Another is a so-called “computational puzzle” that a computer sending only a few messages could easily handle, but that would be prohibitively expensive for a mass-mailer.

But the most promising, Gates said, was a method that would hit the sender of an e-mail in the pocketbook.

People would set a level of monetary risk—low or high, depending on their choice—for receiving e-mail from strangers. If the e-mail turns out to be from a long-lost relative, for example, the recipient would charge nothing. But if it is unwanted spam, the sender would have to fork over the cash.

“In the long run, the monetary (method) will be dominant,” Gates predicted.

View full article: Bill Gates’ Solution to the Spam Problem: Make Spammers Pay

 Archive 23

office     Visio Viewer 2003 (Jan 26)

It got another update

The Visio Viewer 2003 allows anyone to view Visio drawings and diagrams (created with Visio 5, 2000, 2002, or 2003) inside their Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5.0 or later Web browser.

Visio users can freely distribute Visio drawings and diagrams to team members, partners, customers, or others, even if the recipients do not have Visio installed on their computers. Internet Explorer also allows for printing, although this is limited to the portion of the drawing currently displayed.

The Visio Viewer 2003 enables users to discover the advantages of using Visio drawings, charts, and illustrations in a Web-based environment. It is particularly useful for teams that need to collaborate from different locations.

Download: Visio Viewer 2003 (English)
Download: Visio Viewer 2003 (different language)


update     New Virus: W32.Dumaru.Y@mm (Jan 25)

W32.Dumaru.Y@mm is a multi-threaded, mass-mailing worm that opens a backdoor, runs a keylogger, and attempts to steal personal information. It is very similar to W32.Dumaru.M@mm.

It uses its own SMTP engine to spread to email addresses that it finds in files on the infected system.

Also Known As:W32/Dumaru.y@MM [McAfee], I-Worm.Dumaru.j [Kaspersky], Win32.Dumaru.Y [Computer Associates], W32/Dumaru-Y [Sophos], WORM_DUMARU.Y [Trend]
Variants:W32.Dumaru.M@mm
Type:Worm
Infection Length:17KB

View: more details on Symantec


info     Queen to give knighthood to Bill Gates (Jan 25)

Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder and the world’s wealthiest man, is to receive an honorary knighthood for “services to global enterprise”.

The recommendation that he receive the honour was made by the Chancellor, Gordon Brown. Buckingham Palace is expected to announce it tomorrow, when Mr Gates will speak at a conference on “Advancing Enterprise” organised by Mr Brown.

The controversial software company creator – whose commercial success has led to hatred of him among his competitors – is worth an estimated $40 billion (£22 billion). Microsoft is described as the “Evil Empire” by those who resent its grip on the computer industry.

Other Americans to have received the KBE include George Bush, the former president, Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, Steven Spielberg, the film director, and Alan Greenspan, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank.

Mr Greenspan is another speaker at tomorrow’s conference. The event has prompted resentment in the Prime Minister’s close circle, who knew nothing about it until a fortnight ago.

They are annoyed that the conference – which gathers together luminaries from the business and political worlds including Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, Sir Terry Leahy, chief executive of Tesco, and Lord Browne, chief executive of BP – is taking place in Tony Blair’s most difficult week since he became Prime Minister in 1997.

“On the eve of Hutton and the university fees vote, this is Brown saying, ‘Look at all my powerful friends’,” said a Downing Street adviser.

Mr Gates has been a notable donor to charities and good causes. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was created in 2000 to improve “equity in global health and learning”. He has donated nearly $26 billion to the foundation.

The foundation set up a £139 million scholarship scheme three years ago to attract the brightest students to Cambridge University. It has also invested millions of dollars in research for an Aids vaccine.

View: Queen to give knighthood to Bill Gates


office     Exchange Server 2003 Glossary (Jan 23)

This glossary comprises important terms and definitions for the Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 product. In addition, the following terminology is in the glossary:
• Definitions of key components and processes within Exchange overall.
• Definitions of other processes and components from products that Exchange works with, such as Microsoft Active Directory directory service.

Generally, industry terms or definitions that would be in standard computer dictionaries, or in other Microsoft product glossaries have not been included.

Download: Exchange Server 2003 Glossary


info     UNDP and Microsoft Announce Technology Partnership To Combat Poverty in Developing Nations  (Jan 23)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Microsoft Corp. today announced a technology partnership to create and implement information and communications technology projects that will help developing countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Under the agreement, announced at the Annual Meeting 2004 of the World Economic Forum in Davos by UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown and Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates, Microsoft and the UNDP will work together to build capacity in developing countries around the world, by providing technology-enabled training for youth and adults in community education centers. By providing skills training, content, curricula and other new resources, this partnership will help expand UNDP’s ongoing development efforts and will encourage the exploration of creative, technology-based solutions to the world’s most pressing development challenges. The alliance will draw on the resources of Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential program, the company’s global initiative to deliver computer literacy and job skills training to underserved communities.

In addition, Microsoft and UNDP have agreed to work together in support of UNDP’s Southern Africa Capacity Initiative (SACI). In this sphere, Microsoft and UNDP will explore innovative opportunities to use technology to build capacity, facilitate e-government initiatives,and improve the delivery of basic services in countries most adversely affected by the HIV and AIDS pandemic.

“Technology is a powerful tool that can help transform lives, economies and societies,” Gates said. “We’re committed to working closely with the UNDP to develop solutions that enable people to achieve their goals and strengthen their communities.”

View full Press Release: UNDP and Microsoft Announce Technology Partnership To Combat Poverty in Developing Nations


office     Microsoft sets date for Office revamp (Jan 23)

Microsoft announced on Friday that it expects to release the first major update for Office 2003 in late June.

Office 2003, the latest version of the company’s market-leading productivity package, was launched in late October amid considerable fanfare about its new capabilities, which allow the software to serve as a broad tool for consuming and manipulating corporate data.

Microsoft typically waits about six months after a major product release to put out the first service pack (SP1), a collection of previously released bug fixes and updates. The late June target for releasing SP1 for Office 2003 would put it slightly behind that pattern, but the new Office has been subject to relatively few bugs in its first three months.

The introduction of the first service pack is a milestone for major business customers, who often prefer to wait for the first roundup of patches before considering a new product stable enough to install.

Analysts have said the release of SP1 is likely to be less significant for Office 2003, however, as big businesses will still be testing the product’s extensive and complicated connections to back-end computing systems at that point. “The first service pack is kind of a bogus landmark” for Office 2003, Gartner analyst Michael Silver said. “Most businesses aren’t going to be anywhere near ready by the time that comes out.”

View full article: Microsoft sets date for Office revamp


faq     Added FAQ article: Cannot Delete Message (Jan 23)

There are three easy steps you can take to solve this for most situations. Please click here if you message is stuck in the Outbox.

View: FAQ article: Cannot Delete Message


info     EU anti-spam laws are OK (Jan 23)

It’s just over a month since new anti-spam legislation was introduced into the UK with almost universal condemnation that the new laws would have a limited effect in the fight against junk email.

The £5,000 fine for offenders has been branded by some experts as an “inadequate deterrent”. And even those who’ve welcomed the new legislation – which is part of an EU-wide directive – doubt it will have any real impact on combating spam.

For although there is one EU anti-spam law, how it is interpreted and implemented is up to each individual European country. Earlier this week, for example, Denmark fined a telecoms hardware company a record £37,000 for sending fax spam.

In the UK, on the other hand, spammers can expect to receive fines of up to £5,000 if the case makes it to a Magistrates’ Court. What’s more, the process of bringing legal action against spammers is so cumbersome and clunky that it could be at least a year before anyone makes it inside a courtroom.

The Information Commissioner, the body charged with administering the anti-spam law in the UK, declined to reveal how many complaints it had received in the first month, except to say that it had “received a steady stream of complaints”. In the UK at least, it comes as no surprise that some people simply don’t believe the new anti-spam laws will work.

Nevertheless, there are some who believe the new legislation is a significant step forward in the right direction.

View entire article: EU anti-spam laws are OK


update     Bagle Virus: The Next Sobig.F? (Jan 23)

A potentially devastating virus emerged last week, threatening to unleash the kind of widespread disruption the PC industry experienced last year with Sobig.F. But the Bagle.a virus, alternatively called Beagle and Bagel, petered out rather quickly this week after infecting hundreds of thousands of computers, according to security experts. The virus is categorized as a mass-mailing virus, which means that it replicates by spreading through email attachments.

But Bagle.a might be just the first in a series of related electronic attacks, and experts from Network Associates and Symantec are warning their customers to be on the lookout for permutations of the virus, which might be more virulent. The original versions of Sobig, for example, caused few problems, but Sobig.F was the fastest-spreading computer virus of all time, affecting millions of systems in September 2003. Bagle.a expires next week, leading some experts to believe that newer strains will materialize in a short period of time.
Bagle.a appears in email messages as an attachment and does nothing to hide the fact that it’s up to no good. The body of the email looks like this:

Test =)
(random characters)

Test, yep.

The attachment is always 15,872 bytes and can be renamed to virtually any name.

View: Bagle Virus: The Next Sobig.F?
View more info about Bagle on Symantec
View more info about Bagle on McAfee


office     Microsoft to fund Welsh versions of XP, Office (Jan 23)

The Welch Language board said that Microsoft will pay to make Welsh versions of Windows XP and MS Office 2003.
But a group of open source volunteers thinks that the Vole’s hand has been forced by a large chunk of free software available in the language.

Those include Mozilla, openoffice.org, Scribus, Gnome, KDE and Linux.

The volunteers said that over 90,000 phrases have been translated by unpaid volunteers, making a Welsh desktop running Welsh applications possible.

The Welsh Language Act gives the language parity with English. It’s been in force for 10 years.

The volunteers point out that Microsoft still hasn’t a version of Windows or Office for Scots Gaidhlig (Gaelic), which has 60,000 speakers. Nevertheless, there’s a move to give Scots Gaelic parity.

View: Microsoft to fund Welsh versions of XP, Office


office     Microsoft To Bridge Office, Back Office Apps Jan 23)

Microsoft continues to build bridges between Office desktop apps and reservoirs of back-office data. The “Information Worker Bridge” project now under way seeks to make it easier for integrators or in-house developers to make Excel or Word de-facto front ends for back-end accounting, ERP or other applications, sources said.

In theory, this would take back-office integration beyond ODBC drivers and InfoPath, the Office application that lets people build dynamic forms on their desktops that tap into back-office XML data. “What they’ve done is figured out what the ‘connector ware,’ workflow sequencing control, and sync layer will look like, and built a series of APIs accessible from Visual Studio,” said one partner close to the project. Those APIs, which will enable developers to build links to backend sources, will “figure out format conversion, transcoding and routing, so what you ask for is appropriately responded to via Excel or whatever,” said the partner, who noted that this work, plus BizTalk Server 2004 acting as a broker, will facilitate integration.

View full article: Microsoft To Bridge Office, Back Office Apps


office     Customizing Microsoft Outlook Web Access (Jan 22)

This Exchange Online Book provides an overview of Exchange 2000, the Outlook Web Access architecture, and the individual components that make up Outlook Web Access. It also provides developers with the processes to customize and extend Outlook Web Access for their own solutions.

View: Customizing Microsoft Outlook Web Access


office     Access 2003 Sample: Animating Microsoft Office Access 2003 (Jan 22)

Learn different methods of animating Microsoft Office Access 2003. These include using the Animation ActiveX control, the Timer control, and animating the Office assistant.

This sample accompanies the article “Animating Microsoft Office Access 2003” available from MSDN. This download includes sample files for use with the tasks presented in the article mentioned previously.

Download: Access 2003 Sample: Animating Microsoft Office Access 2003
View: Animating Microsoft Office Access 2003


info     Danish spammer fined £37k (Jan 22)

A Danish company flogging telecoms kit has been fined a record £37,000 for sending spam. A Danish court handed down the Danish Krone 400,000 fine today after the company – Aircom Erhverv ApS – was found guilty of sending 15,000 unsolicited commercial emails.

Denmark, like the UK, is one of six European countries so far to have introduced new anti-spam laws based on an EU directive. In the UK, spammers can expect to receive fines of up to £5,000 if the case makes it to a Magistrates’ Court. Should they opt to have their case heard by a Crown Court then spammers face an unlimited fine. Of course, that legislation has only just been introduced in the UK and it could be at least a year before the first cases of spamming come before a court.

In the meantime, there’s always the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) to give offenders a ticking off. Like the one today, where a London-based spammer was told off for sending “several e-mails” for a prank telephone call service and for a CDROM.

View: Danish spammer fined £37k


info     Bagle Virus Spread Starts To Cool Off (Jan 21)

Bagle.a, the first major mass-mailing computer virus this year, is starting to slow down after infecting hundreds of thousands of computers, security experts said on Tuesday.

The worm is programmed to stop contaminating computers on Jan. 28, but seems destined to drop off the security industry’s radar before that date. The program spreads through e-mail and infects the PCs of people who open the attachment.

The number of customers reporting a Bagle infection has declined since Monday, according to Weafer. Network Associates, a rival antivirus company, said it had an almost 40 percent fall in the number of reports received from its customers.

View full article: Bagle virus spread starts to cool off
View more info about Bagle on Symantec

 Archive 22

other     Salesforce.com Plugs into Microsoft Office (Jan 21)

Salesforce.com last week announced a new plug-in designed for Microsoft’s Office that lets users import data from its Salesforce.com hosted CRM services into Excel, Outlook, and Word.

Although most business intelligence (BI) vendors have developed client-side tools for use with their products, Microsoft Office—and the Excel spreadsheet in particular—remain important tools for many users. “Recent research suggests that end users continue to look to spreadsheets as the one key analysis tools to supplement their other BI tools,” writes Dan Vesset, a senior analyst for information access tools with IDC. “The familiarity with spreadsheet functionality and their inherent flexibility continues to make tools such as Microsoft Excel an integral part of most Business Analytics implementations.”

Salesforce.com says that the Office Edition plug-in is available to all its customers at no charge. Officials say that the plug-in installs seamlessly into any of several versions of Office—Office 2000, Office XP, and Office 2003—and creates new pull-down menus that allow users to sign into Salesforce.com and pull data from the CRM system.

View: Salesforce.com Plugs into Microsoft Office


info     Microsoft files XML word patent in New Zealand (Jan 21)

Software colossus Microsoft filed a patent in New Zealand last year for XML based word processing files, it has emerged. That, suggests an NZ web site, might fly in the face of a general move towards XML, as sponsored by the WC3.

According to NZOSS, an open source site, the patent in question is 525484, which describes a “word processing document stored in a single XML file that may be manipulated by applications that understand XML”.

This patent was filed on the 24th of April last year, the web site said. It adds that there have been no objections to the patent so far.

View full article: Microsoft Patent for XML Based Word Processing Files (via The Inquirer)


office     InfoPath 2003: Contoso Sales Report and Contract Generation Solution (Jan 20)

This solution is designed to help technical decision makers and solutions developers/architects understand and learn about building Microsoft® Office InfoPath™ 2003 solutions. The document walks through the steps involved in creating an end-to-end solution to implement a typical business process—the Sales Report and Contract Generation for a fictitious company, Contoso Pharmaceuticals. The introduction describes the specific technical benefits that InfoPath provides. This document also serves as a roadmap for a series of tutorials that implement the Sales Report and Contract Generation Solution.

In addition to this document and the various tutorials, you can also order the companion DVD, which contains a virtual PC with all these solution components and infrastructure. The VPC is a good resource to get hands on training on the material covered in the various tutorials. As an alternative, you can download a small files package that provides the key pieces for the lessons.

This download includes all the sample files for the tutorials as well as a CHM version of the tutorials.

Download: InfoPath 2003: Contoso Sales Report and Contract Generation Solution


office     Access 2003 Sample: Performing Mail-Merges Using XML Data (Jan 20)

This sample accompanies the article “Performing Mail Merges Using XML Data in Microsoft Office Access 2003” available on MSDN.

Mail merge is a feature in Microsoft Office Word 2003 where you can merge boilerplate information, such as a form letter, with variable information, such as a database of names and addresses of customers. Using this feature, you can create documents that are almost exactly the same: the substance of the documents is the same for every customer, yet each document is customized to a particular individual in your database.

In the application discussed in this article, a Microsoft Office Access 2003 table created from an XML file, is used as a data store for the address information that is merged with a Word document.

Download: Access 2003 Sample: Performing Mail-Merges Using XML
View: Performing Mail-Merges Using XML Data in Microsoft Office Access 2003


office     Word 2003 Sample: Simple Sample of a Smart Document (Jan 20)

This sample accompanies the article “Simple Sample of a Smart Document in Microsoft Office Word 2003” available from MSDN.

Smart documents offer a way for developers to add context to the data with which a user interacts. In the article, learn how one smart document sample was created.

The sample demonstrates ways that you can add controls in the Document Actions task pane that interact with the content in the document body. For example, when the user clicks into the top line of text in the document, the task pane presents help text and a text box that prompts the user to type a name. After the user clicks out of the text box, a message box is displayed with a greeting.

Download: Word 2003 Sample: Simple Sample of a Smart Document
View: Simple Sample of a Smart Document in Microsoft Office Word 2003


office     Exchange Server 2003 Message Security Guide (Jan 20)

This book discusses how, when using S/MIME, encryption protects the contents of e-mail messages and digital signatures verify the identity of a purported sender of an e-mail message. In addition, this book provides guidance on how to implement S/MIME with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. In addition, this book provides guidance and pointers to other resources where those are necessary.

Download: Exchange Server 2003 Message Security Guide


info     Microsoft: We took MikeRoweSoft too seriously (Jan 20)

Microsoft has admitted it may have made a mistake in threatening Mike Rowe for using his Web site, mikerowesoft.com

Rowe, a student from Vancouver, registered mikerowesoft.com to front his part-time Web site design business in August 2003. Three months later, he received an email from Microsoft’s lawyers asking him to transfer the domain name to Microsoft. They offered to pay him a “settlement” of $10 (£5.55), which is the cost of his original registration fee.

However, after the case received widespread coverage on the Internet, Microsoft has admitted it may have taken things too far and has promised to treat Rowe fairly. A Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet UK: “We appreciate that Mike Rowe is a young entrepreneur who came up with a creative domain name. We take our trademark seriously, but maybe a little too seriously in this case.”

Under the law, Microsoft is required to take action to protect its trademark against widespread infringement. Struan Robertson, editor of legal IT Web site Out-Law.com, explained that if a trademark holder does not take action to protect its trademark whenever it is aware of a potential infringement, it risks losing that protection.

View full article: Microsoft: We took MikeRoweSoft too seriously


info     MSBlast virus writer faces 15 years behind bars (Jan 19)

A virus writer accused of creating an MSBlast variant last year is to face a Romanian court this week and could be sentenced to 15 years in jail if convicted.

Dan Dumitru Ciobanu, 26, is alleged to have written a computer virus that spread over the intranet of a Romanian university in September 2003. The virus only hit 27 machines but Ciobanu still faces between three and 15 years in jail for “unlawful possession of a program and disturbing a computer system”.

Researchers from antivirus firm BitDefender helped identify Ciobanu after being drafted in by Romanian authorities. The suspect will appear before the Iasi county Court of Appeals this week.

Mihai Radu, communication manager at BitDefender, said in a statement that the case highlights the serious consequences of virus writing.

“Young people playing at virus writing should keep in mind that computer viruses are not games. When unleashing a computer virus, the author places property and people at risk,” he said.

View: MSBlast virus writer faces 15 years behind bars


office     Show and tell for Microsoft (Jan 17)

Microsoft is considering an expansion of a program that would allow companies to see the source code underlying its Office software and other applications.

The company’s Shared Source Initiative, launched nearly three years ago, allows business customers, governments, business partners and academic institutions access to the source code, or software blueprint, underlying Microsoft’s Windows operating system and other products.

Currently, 20 of the company’s products are available under the program, including all versions of Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. But Microsoft has yet to extend access to Office, its most profitable product, or to its server-based applications.

That could change this year. The software giant is “looking up the application stack” to determine which products it will offer next under the shared-source program, Jason Matusow, Shared Source manager at Microsoft, told CNET News.com. On the short list are Office, various server applications, the company’s development tools and even its catalog of game software. “We’re not holding anything back in terms of our thinking on this,” Matusow said.

“We’re looking at how we provide source code (for these products), and for which communities,” said Matusow. In addition to source code, Microsoft will supply documentation and development assistance, he said. The company is debating internally how to expand the program, and no time frame for the expansion has been set, Matusow stressed. Microsoft already offers a program to license the underlying Extensible Markup Language (XML) file formats in Office.

View: Show and tell for Microsoft


office     Exchange 2000 and 2003 – All Technical Articles and Books / Updated (Jan 17)

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     Project Server Downloads (Jan 17)

Project Server 2003: Edit Site Utility
You can use the Edit Site utility to create a Project Server hosted deployment and to edit the properties for existing hosted sites.

Project Server 2003 ConnInfo Utility
The ConnInfo tool ensures that Project Server administrators maintain user roles and registry settings when moving Project Server data to a new database server.

Project Server 2003 WinHTTP Proxy Configuration Tool
Proxycfg is required to configure proxy settings for Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 deployments.

Project Server 2003 PSCOMPlus Tool
Use PSCOMPlus to specify the user accounts required by Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services and Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services.

Project Server 2003 PSMIGRAT Utility
Use PSMigrat.exe to migrate from SharePoint Team Services to Windows SharePoint Services during a migration from Microsoft Project Server 2002 to Microsoft Office Project Server 2003.

Project Server 2003 SetTracing Utility
Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 uses the Project Server Tracing Service to log application errors to the Event Viewer. The Project Server SetTracing Utility also allows you to redirect the tracing output to a log file, or to the Event Viewer and a log file.

Project Server 2003 In-Box Documentation
Documentation about various Project data formats and setup scenarios that can be used out-of-the-box.

Project Server 2003: View Backup and Restore Utility
The View Backup and Restore utility is a command-line tool that enables you to back up and restore the views that you create in Project Web Access.

Project Server 2003: View Effective Rights Tool
The View Effective Rights tool enables Project Server 2003 administrators to more easily troubleshoot problems related to security settings and access control.

Project Server 2003: Project Server Health Monitor Utility
The Project Server Health Monitor utility enables you to detect Project Server components that are not responding or that are responding slowly.

Project Server 2003: Project Server Data Population Tool
You can use the Project Server Data Population tool to load large amounts of custom outline codes, resources, projects and tasks, assignments, and tracking data into the Project Server database.

Project Server 2003: SmokeTest Utility
The SmokeTest utility performs a series of tests to verify the basic functionality of a Microsoft Office® Project Server 2003 installation.

Project Server 2003: Restore Single Project Utility
You can use the Restore Single Project utility to restore a single project to an earlier state.


office     Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services Migration Tool (Jan 17)

Smigrate.exe is a Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services utility that can be used to back up and restore a Web site on a server running Windows SharePoint Services. This utility is used when migrating a SharePoint Team Services deployment to Windows SharePoint Services.
Note SMIGRATE.exe requires CABARC.exe and EXTRACT.exe to be in the same folder in order to run.

Download: Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services Migration Tool


update     New MiMail sneaks past filters (Jan 16)

The latest variant of the MiMail worm is using a software downloader to spread its payload, in an effect to fool anti-virus software. The downloader arrives in inboxes as a file, called paypal.exe or paypal.zip, in an email headed ‘PAYPAL.COM NEW YEAR OFFER’. It offers a credit equal to 10 per cent of the host’s PayPal account if the user registers with their credit card details.

MiMail was created in Russia and first appeared on the internet at the beginning of August 2003. “To date, isolated incidents of infection by this malicious software have been reported in various countries throughout the world,” said Denis Zelkin, head of communications at Kaspersky Labs. “The new modification of the worm differs from previous versions only by the fact that it is compressed using UPX.”

Once activated the Trojan contacts a Russian web server and downloads the latest copy of the MiMail worm. This then harvests email addresses on the host and stores them in a file called outlook.cfg in the Windows folder. It also copies itself onto the registry so that it is reloaded with every reboot.

Major antivirus firms already have identity files on the malware and users are advised to update.

View: New MiMail sneaks past filters


info     Royal Mail posts digital stamps (Jan 16)

Royal Mail today launched the UK’s first digital stamp, based on an online postage purchasing system called SmartStamp. Customers of the web-based service will be able to use their own PCs to create personalised stamps, pay for them over the internet and print them directly onto envelopes which can be posted in the usual manner. Subscribers will receive a CD-Rom containing an application to create mailing lists and address envelopes. The software can link to Outlook and use existing address lists.

When users are ready to pay they connect to the internet and submit an order. The cost of the stamps is then deducted from a pre-paid user account, which can be topped up with a credit card or by direct debit. Businesses and individuals will be able to brand SmartStamps with their own logo or designs.

Alison White, head of business products at Royal Mail, said: “SmartStamp will suit anyone working within a small or home office. “The optimum usage level is about 10 letters per day. If you send out this much post, then we recommend that you seriously consider using SmartStamp.”

View: Royal Mail posts digital stamps


office     Exchange Server 2003 Message Security Guide (Jan 16)

This book discusses how, when using S/MIME, encryption protects the contents of e-mail messages and digital signatures verify the identity of a purported sender of an e-mail message. In addition, this book provides guidance on how to implement S/MIME with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. In addition, this book provides guidance and pointers to other resources where those are necessary.

Download: Exchange Server 2003 Message Security Guide

 Archive 21

office     Project Server 2003: Project Data Service (PDS) Usage and Methods Reference (Jan 16)

Note: when you already have the Project 2003 Software Development Kit (SDK) you don’t have to install this anymore

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 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.

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


office     Project 2003 Software Development Kit (SDK) (Jan 16)

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.

Download: Project 2003 Software Development Kit (SDK)


office     MapPoint and Streets & Trips Construction Update (Jan 14)

Download the construction information update to keep your maps current. 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


other     Corel Adds Office Support to Latest Graphics Suite (Jan 14)

Corel’s new graphics suite includes a tool for exporting files into Office documents, and features improved text handling.

Corel launched CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 12, the latest version of the company’s flagship application, on Wednesday. The new package will be available in February and includes support for Office file formats and new tools aimed at speeding up the design process.

Eighteen months after the last update, this latest version of the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite includes an “Export for Office” feature that allows graphic files to be easily inserted into Microsoft Office documents, such as text files, spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations.

View: Corel adds Office support to latest graphics suite


info     Microsoft’s Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for IT Organizations (Jan 13)

perhaps even moved personal goals like daily gym workouts to the “maybe next year” category. On the business side, however, there’s still plenty of opportunity to turn good intentions into effective action.

In keeping with its charter to share best practices with customers, the internal IT organization that in essence “runs” Microsoft has drawn up a Top 10 list of New Year’s resolutions aimed at helping businesses ensure IT success in 2004 (see list at right). To learn more about these guidelines and the reasoning behind them, PressPass sought out Ron Markezich, general manager of Global Technology Services for Microsoft IT, and Pete Boden, the group’s director of information security.

View full article: Microsoft’s Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for IT Organizations


office     Security Update for Exchange 2003 (KB832759) (Jan 13)

A security issue has been identified that could allow one user to randomly access another user’s mailbox. To be protected against this problem, it is only necessary to install this update on Microsoft Exchange 2003 front end servers. However, Microsoft recommends that you install this update on all Microsoft Exchange 2003 servers in your organization. If you do so, then all servers will already be protected in case they are ever designated as front end servers.

Download: Security Update for Exchange 2003 KB832759 (English)
Download: Security Update for Exchange 2003 KB832759 (different language)
View: Security Bulletin MS04-002


office     Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac: a first look (Jan 13)

There’s a new version of Microsoft Office for the Macintosh on the way. Slated for a mid-2004 release, the productivity suite includes old favourites Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage, plus a handful of features completely new to the Mac, including Project Center for project management and Compatibility Reports for ensuring seamless information exchange with other platforms and older versions of Office.

Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac is all about the view. The new Notebook Layout View in Word simulates the look of ruled notebook paper for easy note taking. And as a bonus, you can record audio notes directly into Word. The Page Layout View will come in handy for Excel users wanting to tweak margins, headers, footers and layout before printing.

Office 2004’s new Project Center lets you view all email, files, contacts, meetings and tasks associated with a project. Also, the Scrapbook feature gives you quick access to frequently used text, pictures and more, all within a one-click reach.

View full article: Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac: a first look


howto     Added Content: Tips For Cleaning Up Your Mailbox (Jan 13)

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: Tips For Cleaning Up Your Mailbox


info     Users Baffled Over Junk Mail Advice (Jan 13)

The Office of the Information Commissioner has been criticised for telling recipients of spam that they should reply to junk mail sent from within the UK in order to opt out of receiving it.
Although the European Privacy and Communications Directive has adopted an opt-in approach, where users must give the green light to receiving email blasts, the Information Commission said that people should ask to be struck off lists if the mail originated in the UK.

A spokeswoman told vnunet.com: “We never tell people to reply to spam from abroad but they can exercise their right to opt out if the email comes from a UK company.” She added that the Commission would monitor the situation for abuse of this policy.

But critics warned that this is against recommendations which tell people never to reply to spam as it confirms that an address is ‘live’.

Steve Linford, founder of anti-spam organisation Spamhaus, insisted that people should never reply to spam. “How can people tell if it comes from the UK? The address won’t necessarily provide the clue,” he said.

View full article: Users baffled over junk mail advice


office     COM Add-in Template for Microsoft Office Project 2003 (Jan 12)

The download includes a set of template files you can use to create COM add-ins for Project 2003, using Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0. The Visual Basic COM add-in designer template for Project is based on the designer template for Microsoft Office System applications, with some customizations that are relevant to Project.

Download: COM Add-in Template for Microsoft Office Project 2003


office     Microsoft Office System News and Reviews (Jan 10)

Find out what the press is saying about the Microsoft Office System.

View: Microsoft Office System News and Reviews


update     New Trojan masquerades as Windows XP update (Jan 10)

Security companies are warning Internet users about a new Trojan horse program spreading via spam e-mail and masquerading as a Windows XP software update from Microsoft Corp.
The program, known as Xombe or Dloader-L, arrives as an executable attachment in spam e-mail messages purporting to come from windowsupdate@microsoft.com and installs itself on victim’s computers when users open the attachment.

View: New Trojan masquerades as Windows XP update
View: How to Tell If a Microsoft Security-Related Message Is Genuine


office     Troubleshooting Exchange Server 2003 Performance (Jan 10)

This technical article provides administrators of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 with information on how to isolate performance degradations and how to use existing tools and products, such as Performance, Load Simulator, Exchange Stress and Performance 2003, Network Monitor, and Filemon, for this purpose. The information in this article can also be used to ensure that a server is not degrading over time because of hardware issues or malfunctions.

Download: Troubleshooting Exchange Server 2003 Performance


other     Make Outlook Web Access Your Default Mailer (Jan 9)

This guide explains how you can set OWA as the default mailer. I added a mirror of the guide in my Other Programs section.

View: Make Outlook Web Access Your Default Mailer
View: Make Outlook Web Access Your Default Mailer (mirror)


office     Planning an Exchange 2003 Messaging System (Jan 9)

In addition to evaluation and design recommendations, this book describes improvements in Exchange 2003, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, and Microsoft Office Outlook 2003. It also identifies network infrastructure, hardware, Microsoft Active Directory® directory service, and administrative concerns. In addition, this book discusses the considerations that help you design a highly reliable and consistently available messaging system, including storage technologies, clustering, server tuning, and client configuration.

Download: Planning an Exchange 2003 Messaging System (version 1.1)

 Archive 20

other     Verisign Certificate Expiration Causes Multiple Problems (Jan 8)

We had to do a little sleuthing today. Many readers wrote in with problems that turned out to be related. A certificate which Verisign used for signing SSL certificates has expired. When applications which depend on that certificate try to make an SSL connection, they fail and try to access crl.verisign.com, the certificate revocation list server. This has effectively DOS’ed that site, and Verisign has now updated the DNS record for that address to include several non-routable addresses, reducing the load on their servers. Some applications affected include older Internet Explorer browsers, Java, and Norton Antivirus (which may manifest itself as Microsoft Word being very slow to start). Hope this helps a few people.

View: Verisign Certificate Expiration Causes Multiple Problems
View: Verisign Support


office     Project Server 2003 Web Parts and URL Options (Jan 8)

Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 provides six Web Parts that allow users to access Project Server data from Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003.

This download includes the HTML Help file pj11WebParts.chm that explains how to use the Project Server Web Parts, and how you can easily change the views of standard pages in Project Web Access with URL options, and then quickly create customized Web Parts from the modified views. You can assemble the Web Parts into your own custom pages as shared documents, and add other components from your organization’s Web Part galleries.

The download also includes a Web Part .NET assembly that you can use on any server with Windows SharePoint Services or SharePoint Portal Server, even if Windows SharePoint Services is not provisioned by Project Server. You can use the .NET assembly that is provided in the download to create highly customizable Web Part Pages that allow you and your team to use Project Server data. The instructions also explain how to modify the C# code, create a strongly named key, and install your own custom assembly.

Download: Project Server 2003 Web Parts and URL Options


office     Microsoft Word Forms Passwords Hacked (Jan 8)

An anonymous reader notes: “SecurityFocus has published a hack that can be used to unlock Microsoft Word documents that have been password protected. The ‘secure’ file can easily be edited and the original password re-inserted, removing any trace of the modification. A ZDNet UK article says Dell uses password protected Word files to send quotes, which could make for a messy legal battle.” This feature, known as ‘Password to Modify’, is not the password protection on the document itself, just the protection that restricts unauthorized editing of the file. This hack allows someone to download such a file, edit it, and restore the password…effectively allowing changes to the file to go potentially unnoticed.

Note from Microsoft,
Form protection “is not intended as a full-proof protection for tampering or spoofing, this is merely a functionality to prevent accidental changes of a document”, request additional time to update Microsoft Knowledge Base article. Targeting beginning of January 2004 for release of this advisory.

View: Microsoft Word Forms Passwords Hacked
View: Microsoft KB article 822924


office     MicroWorld Technologies to Continue Security Updates For Outlook 2000 (Jan 8)

MicroWorld Technologies, Inc., makers of eScan and MailScan, the world’s premier “gateway” style computer virus protection software, has announced the company’s intention to continue providing security updates and anti-virus functionality for Microsoft Windows 95, 98 and Outlook 2000. Microsoft announced it is abandoning support, development and continued sales of the lines, deemed obsolete by the software giant, as of January 2004.

View full article: MicroWorld Technologies to Continue Security Updates For Microsoft Windows 95, 98 and Outlook 2000


office     A Happy 20th Birthday to Microsoft Word and Excel for Mac (Jan 7)

In 1984, Microsoft’s then-CEO Bill Gates was quoted as saying, “the Mac is the only microcomputer beside the IBM PC worth writing software for.”

At the time, Macs were still shiny and new like, well, a freshly picked apple. Holding true to his word, Gates oversaw the development of two little applications called Microsoft Word and Excel, which would eventually become household names.

Twenty years later, Microsoft continues to deliver on Gates’ promise. At Macworld Conference and Expo 2004 in San Francisco this week, Microsoft announced plans to release Office 2004 for Mac and Virtual PC for Mac Version 7 in the first half of 2004. These new releases, and other products Microsoft makes for the Mac, are developed by an oasis of Mac-only developers in an otherwise Windows world at Microsoft: the Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU). The Mac BU has made its mark in the industry, and at Microsoft, in large part by transforming four applications — Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Entourage — into the most popular productivity suite for the Mac platform.

View: A Happy 20th Birthday to Microsoft Word and Excel for Mac
View: Work Just Got Better: Introducing Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac
View: Microsoft Timeline: 20 Years of Software Innovation on the Mac


about     First Newsletter Sent Out (Jan 6)

Today I sent out the first newsletter. Since I announced it on my webpage a little over a month ago quite a few of you have already subscribed; Thanks for that!

Subscribers will have a week exclusive access to the “Tips For Cleaning Up Your Mailbox” guide before it shows up in the How To section.

Click here to subscribe to the newsletter so you’ll be the first to get access to the new How To articles as well.

Thanks again to all subscribers!

Robert Sparnaaij AKA Roady


info     Spammers Top Microsoft Hit List (Jan 6)

Spammers beware — Microsoft intends to make you very unhappy in 2004.

Not content with merely adding new spam-filtering capabilities to its e-mail software, in the coming year Microsoft also intends to track down and take legal action against spammers, no matter where in the world the junk mailers are located.

Several of the viruses that targeted Microsoft products in 2003 are specifically tied to spammer activities. But Microsoft spokeswoman Erin McGee said that spam-spewing computer viruses are not the primary reason behind the company’s antispam campaign.

“Just the sheer volume of spam — regardless of how it was generated — was the impetus,” said McGee. “That and the rise in general consumer unhappiness, inconvenience and dissatisfaction with spam and the effect it’s having on their inboxes.”

Seventy percent of e-mail users who responded to a recent survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, a nonprofit research association, said that spam made their online experience unpleasant or annoying, and 25 percent said that spam has caused them to reduce their use of e-mail.

But spam is “much more than an annoyance,” according to Microsoft chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates.

In a statement, Gates said that spam also “costs businesses millions of dollars a year, and can encroach on families and children, exposing them to pornographic or fraudulent content.

“Microsoft is committed to eliminating the torrent of spam through sophisticated filtering technologies, and by working in partnership with law enforcement, our industry peers and government leaders at the state and federal levels,” Gates added.

View entire article: Spammers Top Microsoft Hit List


office     Office 2003/XP Add-in: Remove Hidden Data (Jan 6)

With this add-in you can permanently remove hidden and collaboration data, such as change tracking and comments, from Word 2003/XP, Excel 2003/XP, and PowerPoint 2003/XP files.

Download: Office 2003/XP Add-in: Remove Hidden Data


office     Microsoft Publisher 2003 Review (Jan 6)

1991 brought us Microsoft’s first incarnation of Publisher, 1.0. While considered to be a very basic DTP application, it introduced thousands of people to the world of greeting cards, newsletters, WordArt and text boxes. 12 years later, Publisher has changed, matured, improved and grown. Not only has it grown in use, but in size. Originally Publisher 1.0 fit on 3 floppy disks (2 if you didn’t add the clipart). Microsoft Publisher 2002 weighed in at 1.2 GB. Now, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003 now only measures at under 450 MB. But that comes with a price. No longer is Microsoft including the clipart CD, and requires web access to the Office 2003 only clipart. The Commercial Printing environment of Publisher was introduced in Publisher 2000 and has found yet another version that has opened up more possibilities for commercial printers with improved CMYK support as well as improved spot colors.

View entire article: Microsoft Publisher 2003 Review


office     Microsoft Plans Office 2003 Service Pack For May (Jan 5)

There’s no rest for the weary. Microsoft is putting pedal to the metal to get Service Pack 1 for Office 2003 out by May, sources said. The current schedule is to prep a release candidate by April and final, or “Release To Web,” code by late May. This release is critical because many corporate accounts hold off on upgrading to new software versions until the first service pack is available.

The plan now is for SP 1 to include not only the hot fixes and patches that typically flow after the retail release of a product, but also fairly major new features for both InfoPath and OneNote, the sources said. InfoPath is the application that enables a user’s desktop applications — Word, Excel, etc. — to tap into back-end data via XML links. OneNote is a note-taking application that eliminates the need for keyboard entry. Office 2003 hit the retail shelves in late October, although volume buyers could get it a month earlier.

The release also will include fixes and security bolstering as part of the company’s continued security push, code-named Springboard, the sources said. “This is a date-driven release,” an insider confirmed. Some pointed out that the rush to finalize code appears to run counter to the company’s push to build in quality and security up front and not ship products until they are solid.

Officially, Microsoft is circumspect on the subject. The service pack “is still in the early development stages, so anything we say about it would only be speculation right now, as a lot can change during the development process,” said Dan Leach, lead product manager of the Information Worker Product Management Group, through a spokeswoman. “One thing we can say is that, thanks to new technologies like Watson, and feedback from over 600,000 beta testers, the newly launched Office System represents the most stable, reliable and secure version of Office Microsoft has ever produced.”

Microsoft has acknowledged that Watson and new tools including Service Quality Monitor (SQM) are key in the development of the Longhorn Office release, also known as Office 12.

View: Microsoft Plans Office 2003 Service Pack For May


info     PCs to change radically in 2004 (Jan 5)

It’s all change on the PC front during 2004, and practically everything that defines a “new” computer is set to change over 12 months, with many happening during the next six months.
A few things will stay the same, but mostly on the peripheral front. Let’s go through the list.

The two CPU manufacturers have some big changes afoot. Intel is about to replace the current socket 478 with socket 775 – and that change should happen in Q2. First we’ll see the Prescott 478, then the Prescott 775. AMD will also do the dance of the socket shift, moving from 754 and 940 pin sockets to mostly 939 pin designs. Both companies will change processes from 130nm (nanometres) to 90nm.

In the middle of the year, the memory that current PCs use will also change. The now venerable DDR will begin to fade away, with DDR-II replacing it. With that change comes a new DIMM format, and new motherboards to plug them into.

Motherboards will also have a total makeover. Intel is driving this move, and the BTX form factor will come to dominate in no time. That will have better cooling, better power distribution, better mounting, and probably a bunch of things Intel hasn’t told us about yet.

With the rise of new mobos will come new power supplies. Current [geddit?!?] power supplies are called ATX, after the ATX mobos they plug into. With the rise of 100+ watt CPUs, higher draw GPUs, lower voltage CPUs, and more sensitive electronics, you need more carefully controlled power, delivered in different ways. That means new power supplies.

With a new power supply and motherboard, you will also need a new case. The BTX spec redefines airflow, and how things are placed around the computer, and doing that is hard to accomplish without a new case design. So, shiny new cases for shiny new parts, probably with new kinds of windows, new LED placements, and new cold cathode colors. Be still, my beating heart.

View entire article: PCs to change radically in 2004


office     New Office Templates for 2004 (Jan 5)

Make your own 2004 calendar
Download a template and customize it with clip art and your own engagements.

Get in shape for the new year
Use templates to help track your fitness goals, count calories, and more.

Plan ahead for taxes
Get your finances in order for the new year with this year-end tax plan template.


faq     Updated FAQ: Getting the News button in Outlook 2003 (Jan 4)

Another method of getting the News button back in Outlook 2003 is to add a registry key that machines running a previous version of Outlook also have. This will allow you to choose Microsoft Office Outlook as the default newsreader in Internet Options.

View: Getting the News button in Outlook 2003
Download: Outlook Newsreader reg-file


office     Microsoft Office 2003: It Matters (Jan 4)

There was, for once, some substance in the hype surrounding the launch of Microsoft Office 2003, although the marketers could not resist going over the top with a breathy video proclaiming that it will turn us all into Shakespeare.

The new version is a step change almost as big as the one that brought the world to your desktop with links to the web, because the extensive support for XML turns Office into a potential front end for any database, online service or trading system.

That might not mean much to the average end user, but it is a major shift for developers of next-generation systems. There was, nevertheless, a feeling at the launch that Microsoft may at last be reaching the limits of its dominance.

Some of the new features for collaborative working are similar to what Lotus has been doing for years, and even XML is a weapon that can backfire. It is an open standard, and the more Microsoft promotes its use, the more opportunity there will be for rivals.

View entire article: Microsoft Office 2003: It Matters


update     New E-Mail Security Threat: Cyber Blackmail (Jan 4)

Corporate and home PC users are receiving blackmail threats from Internet con artists who claim to have access to their PCs, security experts say. The blackmailers threaten to delete information or plant pornographic files on their hard drives if not paid. “It used to be that a hacker would hack into a company, steal data and ask for money — or otherwise they would sell the customer database to someone else. That’s the old style,” F-Secure research manager Mikko Hypponen told NewsFactor. “The new style is, you don’t do any hacking at all. You simply claim that you can hack people’s systems, and if they don’t pay, they get hacked.” This type of extortion demand is an example of hackers shifting their target from big companies to individual users — in many cases, office workers. “It’s much easier to con a home user or an office worker than an I.T. security admin or the top management of a company,” Hypponen said.

Small Payments
A blackmail threat could target any user connected to the Internet. The cyber blackmailer sends an initial e-mail claiming to have hacked a corporate network or to have broken into a home user’s system. The amount of money the hacker demands usually is modest in comparison to previous computer blackmail schemes. “We used to see ransoms like (US)$30,000 to $50,000 for customer database thefts,” Hypponen said. In contrast, “the ransom [demands] that we’ve seen in these new cases are around $25 dollars — something that anyone could easily pay.”

View entire article: New E-Mail Security Threat: Cyber Blackmail

 Archive 19

info     Bank of England hit by hoax e-mail scam (Jan 4)

The Bank of England says it has intercepted over 100,000 fraudulent e-mails masquerading as computer security software issued by the central bank. The bogus e-mail, which appears to come from a Bank of England administrator, instructed recipients to download a file attachment designed to protect individuals’ banking details from fraudsters.

The Bank of England said it received scores of queries from companies and individuals asking about the e-mail’s authenticity. It advised recipients to delete it immediately. The e-mail comes amid a string of e-mail and Web site hoaxes posing as banking institutions.

In the past few months, a rash of fake e-mails claiming to be from some of the world’s biggest banks have appeared in e-mail in-boxes, attempting to dupe banking customers into divulging their bank details. A spokeswoman from the central bank said technicians were working with the UK’s National Hi-Tech Crime Unit to determine what — if anything — the file attachment was capable of, and who may have sent it.

“It appears to come from somebody outside the UK,” the spokeswoman said. She added the email address used — admin@bankofengland.co.uk — does not exist.

View article: Bank of England hit by hoax e-mail scam


info     Gates patents e-picture hanging (Jan 4)

Not really Office related but still a nice article. I hope you can forgive me ;-)

For a man with a 65,000 square foot house, picture hanging could be a hassle. So Bill Gates has patented a method for doing it electronically – and it has applications beyond his abode.

What do you give the man who has everything for Christmas? Something simple like a nice picture frame is always a good fallback or, if he’s a geek, an electronic picture frame might work.

A patent assigned on Tuesday to William H Gates III, the richest man in the world, gives the rights over a system for electronically distributing art around buildings. US patent number 6,670,934 describes a hierarchical representation of spaces within an environment, in which each space can be further subdivided into subspaces.

It’s a system that is likely to be a must-have in a 66,000 square foot house such as the one Bill Gates had built for himself in Medina, a wealthy enclave near Seattle, in the late 1990s. With miles of fibre optic cable linking servers to lighting, music, and climate controls throughout the complex, the ability to control which electronic picture hangs above the 24-seat formal dining table should not be overlooked.

The art distribution system, as it is known, allows a user to create play lists of images. These images can then be displayed according to the running order, on displays such as TFT monitors in a particular space — say a house — and within all subspaces — for instance rooms — of that larger space.

An important aspect of the patent application is the ability for a user to control the system from devices distributed around the building.

View full article: Gates patents e-picture hanging


about     Happy New Year!!! (Jan 1)


office     Exchange 5.5 CDO Patch 2657.55 (Dec 31)

This patch resolves problems that were found in the Exchange Server 5.5 CDO since SP4 was released. See the More Information About This Download link in the Related Resources section for a list of the fixes that are included in this patch.

Download: Exchange 5.5 CDO Patch 2657.55


office    Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals (Dec 30)

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


update     Malaysian e-mail virus exploits terrorism fears (Dec 30)

A virus hidden in an e-mail purporting to warn of planned terrorist attacks is spreading in Malaysia, according to published reports.

Potential victims receive a message labeled “Urgent message to all citizens of Malaysia” that claims to warn of five planned terrorist attacks, with the times and places supposedly leaked by an anonymous Malaysian government source. The e-mail says it seeks to minimize the number of terrorist victims by spreading the information on the planned attacks.

The text of the e-mail contains a link that claims to connect to a Web site with important information regarding the supposed attacks. However, the Malaysian Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCERT) said clicking the link actually triggers the installation of a virus, which attempts to connect to three different Internet hosts. MyCERT’s Web site said the virus was similar to the Backdoor.Tofger Trojan horse reported in early December 2003.

MyCERT also said, according to The Star, that the three Internet hosts to which the virus attempts to connect could have had their security compromised already. MyCERT has already notified the three hosts’ system administrators.

View full article: Malaysian e-mail virus exploits terrorism fears
View: Removal Instructions


office    Microsoft Office HTML Viewer Service for Windows SharePoint Services (Dec 29)

The Office HTML Viewer server provides support for users who want to view the content of files on document libraries, but do not have Word, Excel, or PowerPoint from Office 97, or a newer release of Office, installed on their local computer.

Download: Microsoft Office HTML Viewer Service for Windows SharePoint Services


info     Microsoft aims to make spammers pay (Dec 27)

Despite efforts to stem the billions of spam e-mails flooding inboxes, unwanted messages are still turning e-mail into a quagmire of misery. Spammers send out tens of millions of e-mails to unsuspecting computer users every day, employing a myriad of methods to ensure their pills, loans and “requests for our lord” pleas fox e-mail filters. Some are even turning to prose and poetry to fool the technological safeguards people put in place. But a group of researchers at Microsoft think they may have come up with a solution that could, at least, slow down and deter the spammers. The development has been called the Penny Black project, because it works on the idea that revolutionised the British postage system in the 1830s – that senders of mail should have to pay for it, not whoever is on the receiving end.

“The basic idea is that we are trying to shift the equation to make it possible and necessary for a sender to ‘pay’ for e-mail,” explained Ted Wobber of the Microsoft Research group (MSR). The payment is not made in the currency of money, but in the memory and the computer power required to work out cryptographic puzzles. “For any piece of e-mail I send, it will take a small amount computing power of about 10 to 20 seconds.”

If I don’t know you, I have to prove to you that I have spent a little bit of time in resources to send you that e-mail. “When you see that proof, you treat that message with more priority.” Once senders have proved they have solved the required “puzzle”, they can be added to a “safe list” of senders. It means the spammer’s machine is slowed down, but legitimate e-mailers do not notice any delays.

View full article: Microsoft aims to make spammers pay


about     Merry Christmas! (Dec 25)


other     Added Content: Internet Explorer: Remove “Microsoft Internet Explorer” from the title bar (Dec 24)

Ever used the Taskbar option “Group similar taskbar buttons”? It is a new feature introduced with Windows XP and it is on by default. It could be handy sometimes but I lost the overview for Internet Explorer windows.

The guide explains how you can go from

 ieregbefore

to

ieregafter

View: Internet Explorer: Remove “Microsoft Internet Explorer” from the title bar


update     New Sober virus spreading fast (Dec 22)

W32.Sober.C@mm is a mass-mailing worm that uses its own SMTP engine to spread. The subject of the email varies and is written in either English or German. The email’s attachment name also varies, but it has a .bat, .com, .cmd, .exe, .pif, or .scr file extension.

The first time W32.Sober.C@mm is activated, it displays a fake error message, with the subject “Microsoft,” and the text “<file name> has caused an unknown error. Stop: 00000010×18.”

This threat is written in the Microsoft Visual Basic programming language and is compressed with UPX.

Type

Worm

Infection Length

74,346 bytes (minimum size)

Systems Affected

Windows 2000, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP

Systems Not Affected

Linux, Macintosh, OS/2, UNIX

More info at Symantec
Removal instructions


office    Steve Ballmer Microsoft Office System Launch Video: Productivity in the Digital Decade (Dec 22)

Recorded in Orlando, Florida on October 21, 2003, see Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer’s keynote presentation for the Microsoft Office System launch.

Download: Steve Ballmer Microsoft Office System Launch Video: Productivity in the Digital Decade (120MB)


office    Windows SharePoint Services Administrator’s Guide (Dec 22)

Version 1.3
Includes an updated index and a new topic: “Security Considerations for Server and Site Configurations”.

This download contains information about managing Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services, including:

  • Planning

  • Deployment Scenarios

  • Installation

  • Security

  • Configuration

  • Administration

  • Backup and Migration

  • Maintenance

  • Customization

  • Troubleshooting

  • Reference

Download: Windows SharePoint Services Administrator’s Guide


info    Microsoft and New York State join to fight spam (Dec 19)

Microsoft Corp. and the New York State Attorney General have teamed up to fight unwanted commercial e-mail, or spam, a Microsoft spokesman said Wednesday.

A news conference to announce the cooperation has been scheduled for Thursday morning, according to a Microsoft media alert. At the event, Microsoft and New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer will announce legal action against spammers, sources familiar with the announcement said.

“This announcement is about a collaborative effort regarding spam,” Microsoft spokesman Sean Sundwall said. He declined to give further details of the pact with the New York State Attorney General ahead of Thursday’s event.

The announcement comes days after U.S. President George W. Bush signed a bill into law establishing federal rules for commercial e-mail and penalties for unsolicited mass mailing.

In June, Microsoft announced it had filed several lawsuits, 13 in the U.S. and two in the U.K., against spammers. That announcement was made together with Washington State Attorney General Christine Gregoire and representatives of the U.K. data protection authority. Thursday’s announcement with the New York State Attorney General is expected to be similar to that one, the sources said.

View: Microsoft and New York State join to fight spam


office    Visio Viewer 2003 (Dec 19)

The Visio file viewer got an update as well. No change log here either.

The Visio Viewer 2003 allows anyone to view Visio drawings and diagrams (files with the .VSD, .VSS, .VST, .VDX, .VSX, or .VTX extension created with Visio 5, 2000, 2002, or 2003) inside their Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5.0 or later Web browser.

Download: Visio Viewer 2003


Click here for older news

 Archive 18

other    MSN Messenger 6.1 for Windows (Dec 19)

This will update MSN to version 6.1.0.207. No change log available so I don’t know what’s new (just some bug fixes I guess).

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


info    Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Sarbanes-Oxley Will Aid in Corporate Financial Compliance (Dec 19)

Microsoft Corp. today (sorry about the slow update, this was the 17th) announced the forthcoming Microsoft® Office Solution Accelerator for Sarbanes-Oxley, the product of ongoing work, including input from experts from Big Four accounting firms, to help companies meet growing compliance requirements in a cost-effective way with software they already license. The accelerator, one of a series of accelerators aimed at helping companies handle key business issues, is designed to make it easier for publicly traded companies to more easily manage their internal financial controls.

Specifically, the accelerator helps address the recurring needs surrounding internal control documentation, monitoring and testing, as required by sections 404 and 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Although the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is U.S. legislation, regulatory compliance is an issue for companies around the world. The accelerator will support Japanese and other double-byte characters, making it ideal for global companies.

Microsoft will use the accelerator to help meet its own compliance needs. “Our pain points are similar to those of other companies, and this tool will go a long way toward reducing them,” said Scott Di Valerio, corporate vice president and corporate controller at Microsoft. “We’re working closely with the Microsoft product group, which is developing the accelerator to meet the world’s needs – but also our own.”

Built on Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003, the Office Solution Accelerator for Sarbanes-Oxley is the first deliverable under a larger compliance initiative from Microsoft. The accelerator, scheduled for March 2004 release, combines software components, templates and architectural guidance to help companies work with partners to create compliance solutions.

View entire article: Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Sarbanes-Oxley Will Aid in Corporate Financial Compliance


office    Microsoft Office HTML Viewer Service for Windows SharePoint Services (Dec 19)

The Office HTML Viewer server provides support for users who want to view the content of files on document libraries, but do not have Word, Excel, or PowerPoint from Office 97, or a newer release of Office, installed on their local computer.

Download: Microsoft Office HTML Viewer Service for Windows SharePoint Services


office    Research and Reference in Microsoft Office 2003 (Dec 19)

The Research and Reference feature in Microsoft Office 2003 applications provides rich, integrated search functionality. Research and Reference is also a platform for organizations to build their own research and reference services and for third party research providers to build subscription services.

Download: Research and Reference in Microsoft Office 2003 (Technical White Paper)


office    Outlook 2003 Junk E-mail Filter Update (Dec 19)

Microsoft recommends that you use the Office Update site to determine if your computer requires this update before installing it.

This update enhances the junk e-mail filter in Outlook to help provide a higher level of protection against junk e-mail. As part of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to reducing junk e-mail, periodic updates will be provided to Outlook users. This update is optional and simply provides a more up-to-date definition of messages that are considered to be junk or not junk.

For more information on this update, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article (832333) Overview of the Outlook 2003 Junk E-mail Filter Update: KB832333.

Download: Outlook 2003 Junk E-mail Filter Update (English)
Download: Outlook 2003 Junk E-mail Filter Update (different language)
Download: Outlook 2003 Junk E-mail Filter Update (administrative)


office    Live Communications Server 2003 Document: Release Notes 1.0b (Dec 19)

The Release Notes Update contains new information for Live Communications Server 2003 Standard Edition. It contains all of the information in the release notes that shipped with the product, as well as, a new section containing the most up-to-date information.

Download: Live Communications Server 2003 Document: Release Notes 1.0b


about    I’ve passed my SQL exam!!! (Dec 17)

Yes, finally I sad down and just took the exam and passed! Since I passed for my MCSA exam I didn’t feel like studying anymore but still kept taking my SQL book with me everywhere I go (but opening it… :-S). Since I didn’t want to drag that book along with me in 2004 anymore I simply had to take that exam. Now that I’ve passed I’m an MCSE!!!

Of course I had to study for it this week and didn’t had the time to update the site. I hope you can forgive me! I’ll be updating the news tomorrow and I’ll post a little Internet Explorer tip. I’m also going to begin with my newsletter now which will be sent out in the first week on 2004. No a subscriber yet? Subscribe here.

mcse
(official logo not yet available)


office    Bookshelf Symbol 7 Font Removal Tool (Dec 12)

This utility removes the bssym7.ttf font included in Microsoft Office System 2003, which has been found to contain unacceptable symbols.

Download: Bookshelf Symbol 7 Font Removal Tool (English)
Download: Bookshelf Symbol 7 Font Removal Tool (different language)


office    Excel 2003 Sample: XML File (Dec 12)

This download contains the sample workbook that accompanies the Assistance Center on Office Online article How to use XML in Excel 2003. The workbook contains sample XML data that you can use to create a fictitious expense report.

Download: Excel 2003 Sample: XML File


office    Exchange SDK Documentation and Samples December 2003 (Dec 12)

The Exchange SDK Documentation and Samples assist developers building applications for Exchange. This release of the SDK includes new and updated information and sample code to help you develop collaborative enterprise applications with Exchange. The README file contains installation instructions and late-breaking information about the Exchange SDK Documentation and Samples.

Download: Exchange 2000 SDK Documentation and Samples December 2003
Download: Exchange 2003 SDK Documentation and Samples December 2003


faq    Added Content: Getting the News button in Outlook 2003 (Dec 11)

Got the new Outlook 2003 but are you missing the news option on the Go menu? Follow the instructions in the FAQ to get the option back.

View: Getting the News button in Outlook 2003


about    Can’t Keep Up With Your E-mail? (Dec 11)

You might have seen the banner already; HowTo-Outlook is now officially sponsored by Sperry Software. Sperry Software produces Add-ins for Microsoft Office Outlook and is officially listed at the Microsoft Office Market Place.

What are Outlook add-ins?
Add-ins are helper programs that integrate directly into Outlook. They enhance and expand the capabilities of Outlook. All of their add-ins are for Microsoft Outlook 2003, 2002 or 2000.

As a visitor of HowTo-Outlook you’ll now get an extra 5% discount when you use the discount code “BH93RF24”. This is on top of the 10% discount you get already when you buy 2 or more add-ins!

View: Complete overview of the Sperry Software Add-ins


info    Sobig-F blamed for massive increase in spam (Dec 11)

Two thirds of spam originates from computers infected by viruses such as Sobig-F, according to MessageLabs. The email filtering firm blames Sobig-F, the world’s fastest spreading virus for a rise in both spam and viruses in 2003. At its peak, one in every 17 emails stopped by MessageLabs contained a copy of Sobig-F. By December 1, more than 32 million emails containing the virus had been stopped by MessageLabs, making Sobig-F the biggest viral nuisance this year.

Top 10 Viruses of 2003, according to MessageLabs

  • Sobig-F (32,432,730)

  • Swen-A (4,184,129)

  • Klez-H (4,006,766)

  • Yaha-E (1,920,424)

  • Dumaru-A (1,129,061)

  • Mimail-A (1,052,481)

  • Yaha-M (862,682)

  • Sobig-A (842,729)

  • BugBear-B (814,865)

  • SirCam.A (511,578)

View entire article: Sobig-F blamed for massive increase in spam


office    Using Exchange Server 2003 Recovery Storage Groups (Dec 11)

Using the recovery storage group feature in Exchange Server 2003, you can mount a second copy of an Exchange mailbox database on the same server as the original database, or on any other Exchange server in the same Exchange administrative group. You can do this while the original database is still running and serving clients. The recovery storage group can also be useful in disaster recovery scenarios. This book provides information on how to determine if a recovery storage group is useful in your deployment, how to set up a recovery storage group, and how to troubleshoot common problems.

Download: Using Exchange Server 2003 Recovery Storage Groups


office    Troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Performance (Dec 11)

This technical article provides administrators of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 with information on how to isolate performance degradations and how to use existing tools and products, such as Performance, Load Simulator, Exchange Stress and Performance 2003, Network Monitor, and Filemon, for this purpose. The information in this article can also be used to ensure that a server is not degrading over time because of hardware issues or malfunctions.

Download: Troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Performance

 Archive 17

office    MapPoint and Streets and Trips Construction Update (Dec 10)

Download the construction information update to keep your maps current.

Save the file in the Data folder, located where you installed the program files for MapPoint or Streets & Trips. For example C:\Program Files\Microsoft MapPoint\Data\.

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


office    Celebrate the Holidays with Microsoft (Dec 9)

Use templates for writing letters to Santa, creating cards and labels for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the New Year, and more.

View Microsoft Office website templates: Celebrate the Holidays


info    Congress passes anti-spam bill (Dec 9)

Congress yesterday passed a much-criticised anti-spam bill, after the House voted to approve minor Senate amendments. The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act does more harm than good in the fight against spam, according to critics.

The bill criminalises common spamming tactics, such as using false return address. But it overrides Californian laws which had allowed spam recipients to sue their tormentors. The bill requires online marketers to act on requests to “opt out” of future emails. This is much less strict than the ‘opt-in’ approach adopted by European Union legislation, which means e-marketers must seek the permission of consumers before they send out commercial emails.

Unfavourable comparisons between the two approaches has led anti-spam group Spamhaus to dub the bill the YOU-CAN-SPAM Act. The Can-Spam Act is expected to be signed into law by President Bush before the start of next year.

View: Congress passes anti-spam bill


info    Mafia muscles in on spam and viruses (Dec 9)

Organised crime is moving online into spam and virus writing – which means attacks may become less common but more dangerous, a Russian antivirus expert has warned. As criminal gangs get involved, the ‘independent’ operators that currently dominate the spam and virus market will be squeezed out, reducing the total number of attacks.

The latest MiMail worms were the first in a new type of attack aimed at deriving financial profit from viruses and malware, according to Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder of Kaspersky Lab and head of its antivirus research.

Recent MiMail variants collected and forwarded PayPal account details to the worms’ creators.

“The business of the mafia is business, and there could be a lot of money to be made from malware and spamming,” said Kaspersky. “As they consolidate control of the business of hacking and virus writing they will squeeze out independents. Spam will be an early target.

“If you are a spammer or malware developer, sooner or later the mafia will come knocking on your door.”

View entire article: Mafia muscles in on spam and viruses


office    Exchange Server 2003 Resource Guide (Dec 9)

Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and ENTmag.com have teamed up to create the Exchange Server 2003 Resource Guide. This FREE guide provides essential information on Exchange Server 2003 for IT professionals and IT managers who must make informed decisions about Microsoft’s major new messaging and collaboration system. Contents include:

  • Quick Analysis: Exchange Server Comparison

  • 4 Dependencies of Exchange

  • Building a Case for Making the Upgrade

  • Exchange Server 2003 Configuration Spotlight

  • Knowledge Base Articles Worth Reading

  • Essential Links

  • Anti-Spam Features in Exchange Server 2003

  • Third-Party Products That Use the Anti-Spam API

  • The Best Microsoft Documentation on Exchange Server 2003

  • Exchange Server 2003 Skills Assessment and Certification

  • Exchange Server 2003 Training

  • Sins of Omission

Free download after registering
View: Exchange Server 2003 Resource Guide via Bink.nu


info    Wicked Sun forces final death of Win98, Office 2000, etc (Dec 9)

Microsoft will pull the plugs on MSDN downloads of a range of products, including Windows 98, Office 2000, SQL Server 7 and NT Workstation, next Monday. These contain the polluted Java which, according to the settlement with Sun, Microsoft has to stop supporting. So it’s all Sun’s fault, really.

Up to a point. The deal with Sun doesn’t actually require Microsoft to completely kill off its JVM finally until September of next year, so it’s clearing the decks early, and perhaps conveniently. The demise of Office 2000, SQL 7 and ISA Server 2000 in particular will help usher users along the company’s recommended upgrade paths. Microsoft will be issuing new, settlement compliant, versions of Office XP Pro, Publisher 2002, NT Server 4.0 and Small Business Server 2000.

Officially, the issue for Microsoft is one of support rather than availability. Windows 98 and NT 4.0 Workstation licences, for example, ceased to be offered through system builders earlier this year. Developers use the MSDN download facility, however, for support and backward compatibility purposes. Prudent developers will therefore be spending the next week grabbing images ‘just in case’, while the surreal-minded among you might care to conjure with the notion of Win98 ISOs showing up on P2P networks, with Sun lawyers in hot pursuit.

View full article:  Wicked Sun forces final death of Win98, Office 2000, etc


office    A First Look At the Exchange Intelligent Message Filter (Dec 8)

In most organizations, unsolicited junk E-mail, or SPAM, is a huge problem. SPAM consumes Internet bandwidth, eats up disk space on your mail server, decreases employee productivity, and can expose your corporation to potential legal liabilities if the recipients find SPAM in their inbox to be offensive. In Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft has implemented a lot of features that help to address the SPAM issue. Exchange 2003 includes anti SPAM features such as real time block list service provider support, black lists and white lists, sender filtering, inbound recipient filtering, and the ability to restrict mail relaying.

Even with all of these built in features, it’s possible that the best Exchange SPAM protection may be yet to come. Microsoft intends to release an Exchange Server 2003 add on product in the first half of 2004 that is intended to dramatically increase Exchange’s ability to deal with SPAM. The product is called Exchange Intelligent Message Filtering.

Exchange Intelligent Message Filtering will be implemented at the Exchange Server level. The software will use something called Microsoft SmartScreen technology to analyze each individual inbound message. Each message is assigned a number which is the software’s SPAM confidence level for that message.

View full article: A First Look At the Exchange Intelligent Message Filter


office    XML opens up Office 2003 (Dec 8)

Royalty-free XML schema promises to ease integration of Office into workflow applications.

Microsoft has opened up some of its Extensible Markup Language (XML) schemas to customers and partners developing solutions based on Office 2003. The move will help firms implement document management systems using XML technology and is being offered under a royalty-free licence to encourage use of the XML specifications, Microsoft said.

The Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas, announced last month, are now available to firms looking to build products or solutions to work with the latest version of Microsoft’s productivity suite. The schemas available under the licensing agreements consist of WordprocessingML, SpreadsheetML and FormTemplate, which apply to Word, Excel and the InfoPath XML forms creation tool, respectively.

Microsoft said the initiative follows discussions with the Danish government over its plans to use XML to manage documents. “The Danish government’s use of standards-based XML technology shows its commitment to forward-thinking IT infrastructure and management,” said Microsoft’s European chairman, Patrick De Smedt. The Danish government wants to encourage better exchange of data across the public sector by creating a repository of XML schemas. Using Microsoft Office and XML may set a precedent for other European governments, he said.

One of the major new features in Office 2003, launched in October, is its support for XML. While Word and Excel are compatible with previous Office file formats, they can optionally save documents as XML files, using Microsoft-defined schemas that describe how data is stored within them. Other XML-enabled applications can use the schema to access the data in such documents.

View entire article: XML opens up Office 2003
View article below for download information


office    Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas (Dec 8)

This download contains the Microsoft Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas and related documentation and now includes:

  • Overview articles on WordprocessingML (the XML file format for Microsoft Office Word 2003), SpreadsheetML (Microsoft Office Excel 2003) and FormTemplate XML schemas (Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003).

  • Reference documentation on the Microsoft Office 2003 schemas, detailing every element and types.

Download: Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas


about    Subscribe to the Newsletter! (Dec 5)

It was a bit of a hassle but finally it’s here; the Outlook Newsletter!

A lot of credits go to my provider Hosting.nl and more specifically Guido Nijland who helped me a great deal with the script.

So what can you expect of the newsletter subscription?

  • News updates and links to the latest Microsoft Office updates and add-ins about every two weeks

  • How To article about once a month

  • Specials whenever I feel like one! These could be about anything as long as it is fun and computer related! Like at the moment I’m working on a review Windows XP vs. Mac OS X.

  • Got any other cool ideas? Send them to me! (See About page for address)

So when can you expect the first issue? Well basically that depends on two things; whether the live test succeeds and how much time I’ve got left to get the first issue out. I’m planning before Christmas and otherwise I’ll be one of the first to wish you a Happy New year! :-)

One final thing;
I’ve been testing with the subscription all night but if you still found something broken about it please mail to me so I can look into it. So if you get an error please try again later it’ll be worth it, promise!

Till soon!

Robert Sparnaaij


info    New e-mail worm targets antispammers (Dec 4)

Antispam organizations are the target of a new Internet worm outbreak that tries to knock them offline with a crippling data barrage, computer security experts said Tuesday.

Virus experts believe the worm, W32/Mimail-L, is the work of a vengeful spam e-mail peddler bent on paralyzing organizations that try to deal with spam, the torrents of get-rich-quick schemes and body-enhancement deals that clog in-boxes daily.

“It’s the third Mimail variation to come after us, except this one is trying to do more,” said Steve Linford, founder of The Spamhaus Project, a British-based group that singles out spammers. Spamhaus was hit by Mimail late Monday. According to antivirus and spam-filtering company Sophos, the Mimail-L program comes as an attachment to an e-mail purporting to be from a woman named Wendy who details an erotic encounter and then offers naked photographs. Clicking on the attachment activates the virus. Once triggered, the worm forwards itself to other e-mail users. The worm can also turn the affected PC into a “zombie,” which can then be remotely commanded to bombard one of eight targets, such as Spamhaus, with a disabling blizzard of data–a so-called denial-of-service attack.

View full article: New e-mail worm targets antispammers


office    Outlook 2003 Add-in: Video E-mail UPDATED! (Dec 4)

Use a Web camera to easily send a video e-mail to your friends and family. It takes just two clicks on the Video E-mail for Outlook 2003 add-in.

NOTE: This is a new version, updated December 3, 2003, that fixes an issue with a link in the body of the video e-mail.

If you installed the previous version of Video E-mail, please uninstall the program first.

Download: Outlook 2003 Add-in: Video E-mail


office    Help Publisher for FrontPage (Dec 4)

With this 3rd party FrontPage add-in, you can create full-featured HTML help files as easily as making a Web site. Help Publisher can produce HTML Help 1.x and MS Help 2.0 format help files as well as publishing help topics to Microsoft Word for proofreading and the production of manuals. Automatically creates the help file’s table of contents from the web’s navigation structure and can even create an expandable/collapsible JavaScript contents for website hosted help. Automatic index generation from keywords associated with each topic page. Simple inclusion of context sensitive help and ‘See Also’ menus. Easy import of existing HTML Help Workshop projects and a comprehensive help file and tutorial are provided.

Download: Help Publisher for FrontPage


office    Microsoft Office Visio 2003 Resource Kit Tools (Dec 4)

Tools to support deployment of Microsoft Office Visio 2003

Download: Microsoft Office Visio 2003 Resource Kit Tools


info    Hijacked PCs blamed for a third of spam (Dec 3)

PCs that have been compromised by Trojans are being used by spammers to relay vast amounts of email and avoid detection. One third of all spam circulating the Web is relayed through PCs that have been compromised by Remote Access Trojans (RATs), according to corporate spam and antivirus company, Sophos.

Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant for Sophos, said on Wednesday that the increasing use of broadband Internet connections and a general lack of security awareness have resulted in around one in three spam emails being redirected through the computers of unsuspecting users. “There are lots of people on cable modems and broadband connections that haven’t properly secured their computer. They don’t know it, but their PC is being used as a relay for sending spam to thousands and thousands of other people. We believe that 30 percent of all spam is being sent from compromised computers,” he said.

Cluley said that if a RAT is able to get into a PC, an attacker could take full control of that PC, as long as it is connected to the Internet. “They can steal information, read files, write files, send emails from that users name — it is as though the attacker has broken into the office or home and is sitting in front of that computer,” he said. There is also very little chance that the PC’s owner will have any idea their system is being used by a third party, said Cluley, who warned that an attacker could remove any traces of their activity, so that there would be no obvious record: “It is really just network and Internet bandwidth that is suffering — there is no permanent record left on the PC that you can look up — you wouldn’t see anything if you checked your Outlook sent items folder,” he said.

Sophos is also concerned that there may be a connection between the virus writers and spammers. Cluley pointed out that both groups have similar interests and he said he has known of worms that have attacked anti-spam Web sites: “Anti-spam Web sites have been knocked out by these viruses, why is that? We all suffer from spam. Virus writers are either working with spammers or they are the spammers,” he said.

View: Hijacked PCs blamed for a third of spam