Archive 41

office     Office 2003 Tool: Add a Bilingual Translation Dictionary Service to the Microsoft Office System (May 14)

The download includes a set of files required to build and install a minimal Office System 2003 bilingual translation dictionary, available by using the research pane.

This tool accompanies the article, “Add a Bilingual Translation Dictionary Service to Microsoft Office System” available on MSDN. (available when clicking the download link)

The Translation Dictionaries article enables Microsoft’s partners – be they specialized ISVs or dictionary publishers – to create additional bilingual dictionaries and deliver these to users of Office within the familiar Office interface. With the help of this resource, partners can adapt dictionary content they already own and integrate it completely into Office 2003.

Once the new dictionary content is ready, the partner makes this available to the user for a one-time installation (e.g. from CD or the Web) to their hard drive. The user can then access it in the same way as the bilingual dictionaries which ship with Office 2003, i.e. through the Research Pane or by simply right-clicking on the word to be translated.

Download: Office 2003 Tool: Add a Bilingual Translation Dictionary Service to the Microsoft Office System


office     Deploying SharePoint Products and Technologies for Enterprise Collaboration (May 14)

Detailed discussion about the design and deployment of the Microsoft IT hosted collaboration platform. The platform supports personal storage, team Web sites, group and division portals, and enterprise services. With server farms centralized in three regional data centers, Microsoft saves both hardware and support costs.

Download: Deploying SharePoint Products and Technologies for Enterprise Collaboration


office     Project Server 2003: UPDATED MIGRATE.SQL (May 14)

The file Migrate.sql that was included on the Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 CD in the \SUPPORT\DATABASE folder does not support partitioning the Project Server database across multiple database servers when there are also multiple code pages across the database servers.

This download updates the file Migrate.sql and allows the Project Server 2003 database to be partitioned across multiple database servers that have multiple code pages.

The updated Migrate.sql supports all Project Server 2003 languages and is recommended to be used instead of the file included on the Project Server 2003 CD for all languages. The updated Migrate.sql is required for:

  • Any deployment using Hebrew.

  • Any deployment using more than one code page across partitioned database servers.

Download: Project Server 2003: UPDATED MIGRATE.SQL
 


update     New Security Bulletin! (May 11)

This update resolves a newly-discovered vulnerability. A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the Help and Support Center because of the way that it handles HCP URL validation. The vulnerability is documented in the Vulnerability Details section of this bulletin.

An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system, including installing programs; viewing, changing, or deleting data; or creating new accounts that have full privileges. However, significant user interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability.

Important: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS04-015.mspx
Run: Windows Update


office     MapPoint Streets and Trips Construction Update (May 11)

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


update     Sasser (A-E) Worm Removal Tool (May 11)

This tool will help to remove the Sasser (A-E) worm from infected systems. Once the tool has run—after the End-User License Agreement (EULA) is accepted—it automatically checks for infection and removes any of the targeted worms that are found.

Download: Sasser (A-E) Worm Removal Tool


info     Microsoft Reward Program Helps Lead to Information Resulting in Arrest Related to Sasser Internet Worm (May 11)

Microsoft Corp. today commended German law enforcement for its prompt arrest relating to the Sasser worm and confirmed that the company’s anti-virus reward program investigators had worked with informants on the case during the past week. German authorities were able to arrest the alleged perpetrator of the Sasser worm within seven days of its launch, based on fast action by local police and broad cooperation among German law enforcement agencies, the FBI and Secret Service in the United States, and Microsoft.

Brad Smith, senior vice president and general counsel at Microsoft, confirms with reporters an arrest in Germany of the alleged perpetrator of the Sasser worm virus.

“As this case demonstrates, we will move quickly to support law enforcement worldwide to identify and hold responsible those who break the law by launching viruses and worms targeted at our customers,” said Brad Smith, senior vice president and general counsel at Microsoft. “The information leading to this arrest resulted in part from Microsoft’s anti-virus reward program, as well as new technical and investigative techniques we have developed during the past year to address precisely this type of situation.”

Microsoft entered into a partnership last November to create a $5 million anti-virus reward program, supporting Interpol, the FBI, and the Secret Service. Aware of this program, certain individuals in Germany approached Microsoft investigators last week, offered to provide information about the creator of the Sasser virus, and inquired about their potential eligibility for a reward. Microsoft informed the individuals that the company would consider providing a reward of up to $250,000 if their information led to the arrest and conviction of the Sasser perpetrator.

View full Press Release: Microsoft Reward Program Helps Lead to Information Resulting in Arrest Related to Sasser Internet Worm


office     Exchange 2003 Guides and Recommendations (May 8)

Exchange Server 2003 Security Hardening Guide
This book guides you through the process of hardening your Exchange 2003 environment, including configuration recommendations and strategies for combating external threats.

Exchange Server 2003 Performance and Scalability Guide
This guide provides information about Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 performance and scalability.

Preview: Making Your Exchange 2003 Organization Fault Tolerant
“Exchange Server 2003 High Availability Guide” is an upcoming addition to the Exchange Server 2003 Technical Documentation Library. This preview chapter provides information about how to maximize the fault tolerance of you Exchange 2003 messaging system.

Slowing and Stopping E-Mail Viruses in an Exchange 2003 Environment
This document provides you with recommendations on how to fortify an Exchange environment against e-mail transmitted viruses and worms. Resources for the implementation details related to the recommendations are included. Suggestions are given on what to do when a virus attack occurs.


other     Sperry Software add-ins got updated! (May 8)

There were a number of bug fixes made to several of the add-ins, especially right around the time that Microsoft released Service Pack 3 for Outlook 2002 (more on that below). Here’s the list of recent bug fixes and version numbers;

  • Add Email Address v2.2.4 – Corrected problem when using custom categories under Outlook 2003.

  • Always BCC v1.4.1 – Similar to the above problem, two emails were being sent when using Word as the email editor.

  • Auto Print v2.2.7 – Fixed bug when printing multiple attachments all having the same name.

  • Follow Up Reminder v1.1.3 – Fixed a bug that caused two emails to be sent when using Word as the email editor.

  • Insert Date/Time v2.0.8 – Corrected intermittent problem that reported “InsertDateTime.AddMenuHook”, “Type Mismatch”.

  • Print On Demand v1.4.1 – Fixed a bug that caused HTML emails to list the attachments in one long line and also added the ability to clip the number of email addresses shown (to avoid wasting paper).

  • Random Quote Insert v2.0.0 – Added a button to the Outlook toolbar to allow insertion of quotes whenever they’re wanted not just when the email is sent.

  • Reply To All v1.0.26 – Fixed a bug that prevented the Reply To All Self Removal feature from working when the Reply To All Confirmation button was checked and HTML emails were the default format. Also fixed the bug where multiple copies of the email were saved (one in the Sent Items, one in the Outbox).

  • VCard Converter v1.0.8 – Corrected a bug that prevented the vcf files from being written to the save folder that the user picked, when the user did not assign a save folder immediately.

  • Watch Outlook Folders v1.4.5 – Forced notification message windows to be “on top” of other windows, even if Outlook is minimized.

To get these latest versions, just go back to your original order email to get the URL locations and download the add-ins again. It is necessary to uninstall the current version first, by going to Control Panel…Add/Remove Programs. Find the add-in in the list and select “Remove”. Then, install the new one by double clicking on the installation file. Outlook should be closed during this process. By the way, you can tell what version you currently have by going to Tools…Options, then finding the add-in in the list of tabs. The version number is in the Support frame.

Interested in Sperry Software add-ins? Just click here. If you see anything you like use “BH93RF24” to get a discount when ordering!


office     Spam filter, Exchange 2003 SP1 to launch at TechEd (May 6)

Look to late May for a bounty of new messaging tools from Microsoft, including the release of the IMF and the first service and feature pack for Exchange Server 2003.

The Intelligent Messaging Filter [IMF] will be released later this month, likely at Microsoft’s TechEd conference in San Diego, said Edward Wu, a product manager for Exchange Server at Microsoft, during a Webcast hosted by the company.

Wu said Microsoft is still reviewing whether IMF will be offered only to customers with Software Assurance, as it was originally intended, or whether it will be made available to all customers. A decision is expected at TechEd, he said.

The software runs on Exchange 2003 and uses the same Smartscreen technology that was recently added to Outlook 2003, MSN and Hotmail. IMF uses Bayesian analysis to learn to identify spam, and considers the whole message, not just a few key words, to identify spam.

The messaging filter has been in a limited beta for several months. It will come as welcome relief to enterprise customers who continue to fight the deluge of spam that flood their corporate networks.

“No one is satisfied with the antispam tools available today,” said Lee Benjamin, a consultant and chairman of the Exchange Server Boston User Group. “No vendor has a clear product strategy that deals with the problem.”

Wu also said Exchange Server 2003 will see its first service pack at the end of May. The service pack will be released in two parts. SP1 will contain the bug fixes and a second Web release will contain the new features.

View full article: Spam filter, Exchange 2003 SP1 to launch at TechEd


office     Exchange Server 2003 Administration Guide (May 6)

Geared toward the experienced IT administrator, this book shows you how to configure and manage Exchange Server 2003 organizations and servers. It also explains how to set up and use recipient policies, messaging, client access, mailbox and public folder stores, and Exchange clusters. It includes detailed appendixes on Exchange tools, services, store management, folder replication, and full-text indexing.

Download: Exchange Server 2003 Administration Guide


update     Sasser (A-D) Worm Removal Tool (KB841720) (May 6)

This tool will help to remove the Sasser (A-D) worm from infected systems. Once the tool has run—after the End-User License Agreement (EULA) is accepted—it automatically checks for infection and removes any of the targeted worms that are found.

After running, the tool displays a message describing the outcome of the detection and removal process. The tool can be safely deleted after it has run. Also, the tool creates a log file named sasscln.log in the %WINDIR%\debug folder.

Download: Sasser (A-D) Worm Removal Tool


info     Microsoft Offers Anti-Spam Capabilities to Distinguish Legitimate E-Mail (May 6)

Microsoft Corp. and IronPort Systems Inc. today announced initial success with the Bonded Sender Program, IronPort’s legitimate e-mail sender program to reduce the deluge of unwanted e-mail sent to Microsoft® customers. For the past five months, Microsoft has worked with IronPort Systems’s Bonded Sender Program (http://www.bondedsender.com/ ) legitimate e-mail sender program on its MSN® and MSN Hotmail® platforms. The Bonded Sender program, powered by IronPort and certified by TRUSTe, identifies legitimate senders of e-mail based on their adherence to program standards and the posting of a financial bond.

Programs such as safe lists reputation, rating and e-mail accreditation have emerged to help prevent good e-mail from accidentally being blocked by filters. Such programs reinforce the importance of allowing legitimate marketers to communicate with their customers and help ensure that customers can correspond with institutions and organizations such as banks, political groups and retailers. These approaches are the inverse of the early e-mail-blocking lists and avoid many of the pitfalls associated with those lists. Microsoft continues to evaluate a variety of programs for potential implementation on its MSN and Hotmail platforms.

“Because spam is our e-mail customers’ No. 1 complaint today, our technology arsenal must include a process that works in tandem with our filters to differentiate good e-mail from junk e-mail,” said Ryan Hamlin, general manager of the Anti-Spam Technology and Strategy Group at Microsoft. “Bonded Sender is an example of a program that effectively raises the bar on conduct for good e-mail senders, while simultaneously helping recipients such as Microsoft identify important messages that consumers have requested.”

View full press release: Microsoft Offers Anti-Spam Capabilities to Distinguish Legitimate E-Mail


info     MS to Help Zap Worms Automatically (May 6)

Microsoft (Quote, Chart) is working on a plan to include worm removal tools in a new feature called Microsoft Update that’s on schedule for release by this year’s end.

With the proliferation of destructive worms like Blaster, NetSky and Sasser escalating daily to pose an ever-greater threat to home users, Microsoft plans to release the new Microsoft Update as part of the larger Windows Update patch management platform.

Depending on the threat level of malicious worms, the software giant will automate the worm removal process. This goes beyond Microsoft’s latest moves to create disinfection tools to deal with major virus outbreaks.

Earlier this year, Microsoft distributed a detection and removal tool for Windows XP and Windows 2000 machines infected by the Blaster virus. The tool was released as a 317 KB download (3 to 5 minutes for dial-up connections) after ISPs complained that infected home users were “actively transmitting” the worm.

Last weekend, when the Sasser worm and several mutants started exploiting the Local Security Authority Subsystem Service (LSASS) vulnerability, Microsoft again released a removal tool for customers.

However, as security experts have repeatedly warned, home users need to be actively prodded into applying software fixes. A Microsoft spokesperson told internetnews.com that the company’s long term security vision was outlined in a recent executive e-mail issued by Chairman Bill Gates, where “significant investments” in four key areas were identified.

View full article: MS to Help Zap Worms Automatically


info     Gartner: Worms Jack Up the Total Cost of Windows (May 6)

Dealing with widespread worms like Sasser raises the cost of using Windows, a research analyst said Wednesday.
Mark Nicolett, research director at Gartner, recommended that enterprises boost spending on patch management and intrusion prevention software to keep ahead of worms, which are appearing ever sooner after vulnerabilities in Windows are disclosed.

“This is part of the carrying cost of using Windows,” said Nicolett. “The cost of a Windows environment has gone up because enterprises have to install security patches very rapidly, deal with outages caused by secondary problems with these patches, and deploy additional layers of security technology.”

Although he placed some caveats on his numbers, Nicolett said that informal surveys with Gartner clients indicate that simply moving from a no rapid patch deployment capability to an ongoing process that can respond quickly to vulnerabilities raises the cost of using business by about 15 percent.

View full article: Gartner: Worms Jack Up the Total Cost of Windows

 Archive 40

office     Microsoft Unveils Live Communications Server 2005 (May 5)

Microsoft Corp. today announced the opening of the beta program for Microsoft® Office Live Communications Server 2005, or LCS 2005, previously code-named “Vienna.” LCS 2005, a next-generation enterprise instant messaging (IM) and presence-awareness server, will be a significant next step toward Microsoft’s vision of seamlessly connecting people, information and business processes in real time to increase productivity and enable better decisions faster.

LCS 2005 builds on the foundation of the current version, LCS 2003, which provides a standards-based enterprise IM solution and an extensible real-time collaboration platform. Foundation elements include these:

  • Presence. LCS incorporates presence capabilities into productivity and line-of-business applications within the enterprise. All participating users will be able to see whether someone is online and available.

  • Encrypted instant messaging. LCS provides easy-to-use and familiar text-based messaging within an encrypted and authenticated environment.

  • Microsoft Office System integration. LCS acts as a “presence engine” behind the Microsoft Office System, enabling out-of-the-box presence integration within Microsoft Office System applications, servers and services. LCS also enables the viewing of presence information directly from Microsoft Outlook® 2003, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word as well as team sites and portals, such as Windows® SharePoint (TM) Services.

  • Standards-based architecture. LCS is built using industry-standard protocols Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and SIP Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE), enabling a broad partner and developer ecosystem.

View full Press Release: Microsoft Unveils Live Communications Server 2005


office     InfoPath 2003 Training: Hands-on Exercises (May 4)

The package contains practice files for use with InfoPath 2003 SP1 Training: Hands-on Exercises. To view the training labs, click the link available in the Related Resources section of this page.

This set of labs will help you learn how to design and deploy Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based forms in InfoPath 2003 SP1.

Download: InfoPath 2003 Training: Hands-on Exercises


info     Three Minutes: Will We Get a Do-Not-Spam List? (May 4)

Federal Trade Commissioner Orson Swindle, 67, chats about his agency’s popular Do-Not-Call list and the proposed Do-Not-Spam list. A former Marine aviator, Swindle spent more than six years in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp.

PC World: Isn’t the FTC’s Do-Not-Call telemarketing list one of the most popular citizen-participation programs ever
Orson Swindle: Certainly since I’ve been here. It’s made real heroes out of us. We see people with T-shirts on, saying, “I like Do-Not-Call.” In fact, one of our employees jogging one day had an FTC T-shirt on, and somebody stopped and said, “Thank you for Do-Not-Call.”

PCW: And now the FTC is considering a Do-Not-Spam registry?
Swindle: A part of [the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003] directs the FTC to take a very serious look at the possibility of a Do-Not-Spam list similar to the Do-Not-Call list. We are in the process of going through that right now. We expect to hear from an awful lot of people, and probably some spammers, too. We have a big task before us…to come up with a report to Congress by mid-June as to what might be done and whether or not it’s feasible.

View full article: Three Minutes: Will We Get a Do-Not-Spam List?


update     What You Should Know About the Sasser Worm and Its Variants (May 2)

Microsoft teams are investigating reports of a worm, identified as W32.Sasser.worm, and its variants, which are currently circulating on the Internet. Microsoft has verified that the worm exploits the Local Security Authority Subsystem Service (LSASS) issue addressed in Microsoft Security Update MS04-011 on April 13, 2004.

View: What You Should Know About the Sasser Worm and Its Variants
View: Microsoft Security Update MS04-011
Download: Sasser.A and Sasser.B Worm Removal Tool (KB841720)


update     Netsky Remains Big Dog In April (Apr 30)

The Netsky worm continued to dominate the virus charts for another month, security vendor Sophos said Friday as it released its April Top Ten list.
Seven of the ten viruses Sophos named to the monthly list were variations on Netsky, with Netsky.p, Netsky.b, and Netsky.d most prominent. That trio accounted for 23.2, 20.2, and 16.8 percent, respectively, of all viruses detected by the U.K.-based vendor.

Netsky.p, which in March accounted for a paltry 2.1 percent of all viruses, leaped to the top spot in April, while March’s leader, Netsky.d (at 30.2 percent) dropped by almost half to just 16.8 percent. Variants new to the list, including Netsky.q and Netsky.t, totaled just 3 percent, proof that newer worms are not always the most deadly. Netsky.q, for instance, had the entire month of April to run, since it was first discovered March 28, while Netsky.t hit the Internet a week later on April 5.

All told, Netsky variants made up 69 percent of all malware in April, a bump up from the 59.8 percent the worm family tallied in March.

The most likely explanation for the rise in Netsky was the release of the worm’s source code.

“With the original Netsky author claiming to have shared the viral code, it’s quite possible that other virus writers jumped on the bandwagon,” said Chris Kraft, Sophos senior security analyst, in a statement.

View: Netsky Remains Big Dog In April
View: latest virus threats on Symantec


info     First complaint filed under Can-Spam (Apr 30)

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a criminal complaint against four Detroit-area men under the federal Can-Spam Act, in the first case sparked by the legislation.

In a filing Wednesday in the U.S. District Court of Michigan, federal attorneys contend that Daniel J. Lin, James J. Lin, Mark M. Sadek and Christopher Chung violated the terms of the Can-Spam Act by creating massive e-mail campaigns that marketed fraudulent weight loss products. The Can-Spam Act takes aim at individuals who create and dispense unsolicited and fraudulent e-mail.

Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Detroit, said Chung and Sadek were arrested and appeared in court on Wednesday. The men were subsequently released on unsecured bonds of $10,000.

The two Lins have not yet been reached by authorities, she said. The criminal complaints are good for a period of 30 days, during which Assistant U.S. Attorney Terry Berg will decide whether to seek an indictment.

According to court documents, the four men are accused of generating hundreds of thousands of different e-mails that hid their identities and advertised a weight loss patch. The e-mails were sent out under a variety of company names, including AIT Herbal, Avatar Nutrition and Phoenix Avatar, identified collectively as the Avatar Companies. The e-mails were allegedly sent to millions of e-mail accounts over the course of several years.

View full article: First complaint filed under Can-Spam


office     TechNet Support WebCast: An overview of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (Apr 30)

Wednesday, June 16, 2004: 10:00 AM Pacific time (Greenwich mean time – 7 hours)

This Support WebCast session introduces Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1). It talks about the various changes that are included in SP1 and the benefits of installing SP1. The session also briefly introduces some of the Web release tools that will be released at the same time as SP1.

This is a Level 200 session that will be presented by Evan Dodds .

Evan Dodds has been supporting Exchange Server at Microsoft for four years and most recently was involved with the Exchange 2003 SP1 project.

View: TechNet Support WebCast: An overview of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 1
Download: Add a reminder to your calendar for this event


office     Project 2003 Software Development Kit (SDK) (Apr 30)

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     Project Server 2003: Project Data Service (PDS) Usage and Methods Reference (Apr 30)

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 XML format and returns an XML response.

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


office     SharePoint Products and Technologies Resource Kit Chapter 28: Disaster Recovery (Preview) (Apr 30)

The most important step in solving critical problems is to think ahead and record your problem-resolving strategy in a disaster recovery plan. Before you can do that, you must be aware of the problem-solving tools available. This chapter covers operational tasks common in disaster recovery scenarios using the native tools provided by Microsoft® Office SharePoint™ Portal Server 2003 and Microsoft Windows® SharePoint Services. In addition, this chapter discusses how to leverage Microsoft SQL Server™ backup and restore processes to safeguard your data in Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies solutions.

Download: SharePoint Products and Technologies Resource Kit Chapter 28: Disaster Recovery (Preview)


info     Worms create rough ride for Symantec (Apr 27)

While a continual flow of new viruses boosts Symantec’s bottom line, the company risks being stuck without a revenue stream if the situation changes

The good news is that a series of worms, viruses and other security headaches has been a windfall for Symantec. That’s also the bad news.

Since arriving in 1999, Symantec chief executive John Thompson has tried to transform the security software maker, to make it less dependent on the volatile consumer market and more reliant on stable corporate revenue. Thompson made some headway in 2002 and 2003, but the recent rash of viruses threatens to undo that limited success, as analysts forecast that the consumer businesses will end the fiscal year as Symantec’s chief revenue source.

“The company has been told many times by Wall Street it was not growing its enterprise business fast enough. It has been showing some growth, but not to the degree people had hoped for,” said Tom Berquist, a Smith Barney Citigroup analyst. “There is risk in relying heavily on consumer sales. If virus attacks slow down and people have bought all the protection they need, then Symantec’s growth will slow down to the rate of IT as a whole. They need to step up their enterprise-security business that is not tied to antivirus, in case consumer antivirus slows.”

View full article: Worms create rough ride for Symantec


office     Microsoft Project 2002: System Policy Editor and Templates (Apr 27)

The Microsoft Project 2002: System Policy Editor and Templates download includes the Microsoft Project 2002 system policy template. You must install the System Policy Editor and the template on your computer before you can create a system policy file.

Using the System Policy Editor, you can control which Microsoft Project 2002 options are available to your users. You can create system policies and easily distribute the settings from a central administrative installation point.

This download is part of the Microsoft Project 2002 Resource Kit, which is available online at TechNet.

Download: Microsoft Project 2002: System Policy Editor and Templates


info     Coder serves up poetry with newest Bagle (Apr 27)

The author of the latest variant of the Bagle worm has gone beyond penning just a piece of code: The writer has also included a poem in the document attachment on which the worm piggybacks.

The malicious program, known as Bagle.Z, has not spread very quickly, said Vincent Gullotto, vice president of the antivirus emergency response team for Network Associates, which makes security software.

“I don’t anticipate this one to last long,” he said, adding that the variant has had some initial success because the worm attaches itself to e-mail in a control panel file, which is an executable not used by virus writers before. “It is not a file that most people would typically block, so it may penetrate into some environments.”

The release of Bagle.Z is the latest in what appears to be a contest between the writers of two worms: Bagle and Netsky. A recent version of Netsky, or Skynet, as the author calls it, included a promise by the writer to keep creating new versions as long as the creator of the Bagle worm keeps revising that program.

View full article: Coder serves up poetry with newest Bagle


howto     Added to site: Setting Permissions on a Mailbox (Apr 25)

Setting the correct permissions on mailboxes and Outlook folders can be done in several ways when you are in an Exchange organization. The correct way for you depends on your needs. While some methods look quite the same the results can be very different. This guide explains in which way you can set permissions and what their results are.

View: Setting Permissions on a Mailbox


update     ‘Osama Captured’ e-Mail is Malicious Trojan (Apr 25)

Those “Osama Bin Laden Captured” e-mails hammering your in-box today will attempt to download a Trojan if the embedded URL is clicked, anti-virus experts warned Friday.

Glendale, Calif.-based Panda Software said the URL embedded in the e-mail directs users to what appears to be an advertising page before exploiting a known security vulnerability in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) browser to download the trojan.

The fake news item, purporting to come from CNN or the BBC and promising photographs and video of Bin Laden’s capture, first appeared on instant messaging networks earlier this month. According to security analysts, it is yet another use of social engineering tactics by spammers to direct traffic to Web sites.

The “Small.B” trojan opens ports on an infected machine and can be used to hijack PCs for use as spam zombies. The trojan has the ability to listen on the open port for instructions and redirects traffic to other IP addresses.

A spokesperson for anti-virus firm Sophos told internetnews.com the malicious trojan will only affect users using an unpatched IE browser. Microsoft has issued cumulative patches the IE browser to plug known vulnerabilities.

View entire article: ‘Osama Captured’ e-Mail is Malicious Trojan
Run: Windows Update

 Archive 39

office     Microsoft Office 2000/XP to Microsoft Office 2003 Migration Issues (Apr 25)

This paper explains the basic differences between Microsoft Office 2000/XP and Microsoft Office 2003 at a cursory level. It describes the obvious changes a user might see in the menu bar user interface and what a user might perceive as a bug, depending on his or her advanced usage of the various Office applications. This paper also provides a summary of the most likely issues an administrator might encounter during and after a migration of Office 2000/XP to Office 2003. Included is information about several design changes that affect programmatic access to Office application objects, which may also affect custom applications.

Download: Microsoft Office 2000 to Microsoft Office 2003 Migration Issues
Download: Microsoft Office XP to Microsoft Office 2003 Migration Issues


office     Exchange Server 2003 Client Access Guide (Apr 25)

This guide provides information about working with Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 and client access. It describes the new features for Exchange 2003 and Office Outlook® 2003, in addition to improvements in Outlook Web Access 2003. It contains configuration information, such as how to secure your messaging environment, deploy the server architecture, and configure Exchange servers for your supported client access methods. This guide also describes how to manage protocols, Exchange Virtual Server, Outlook Web Access, Exchange ActiveSync®, and Outlook Mobile Access.

Download: Exchange Server 2003 Client Access Guide


info     Spam showing little sign of abating (Apr 25)

Two factors are combining to ensure that combating spam will continue to be a near-impossible task – the fact that companies are happy to continue flouting anti-spam legislation and the fact that a lack of education among end users is set to keep aggravating the issue.

However, blame for the latter issue can hardly be laid at the feet of employees when 57 per cent of companies are failing to communicate their policy relating to unsolicited email, according to mail-filtering firm Clearswift.

To give some idea of the extent of the problem – spammers, who require a response rate of about one in one million emails, appear to be striking a chord with less tech-savvy UK workers.

Alyn Hockey, director of research at Clearswift, said: “The recent MyDoom email virus confirmed for the security industry the lack of awareness about opening spam email attachments, with too many people being tricked into opening the virus.”

View full article: Spam showing little sign of abating


other     MSN Messenger 6.2 out (Apr 22)

Microsoft have released version 6.2 of their popular messaging software, MSN messenger.

Download: MSN Messenger 6.2 out
View: MSN Messenger 6.2 out


info     Sex spam has to be clearly labelled (Apr 22)

FROM MAY 19, spam containing sexual content will have to be specifically marked, according to a new US law.
The FTC has ordered that the phrase ‘sexually explicit’ should be placed in the headers of all spam mail containing sexual content and forbidden spammers from putting graphic pictures in the bodies of messages.

They say that this will remove the old ‘brown paper bag’ type of sex spam in which the reader has not got a clue what they are seeing until it is opened.

According to a study by the Federal Trade Commission, 17 per cent of pornographic email offers contain images of nudity people are forced to see. The law should make it easier for spam filters to work better, however some think that the new law lacks teeth.

Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore told WRIC TV that the law makes the assumption that criminals will obey the law, which was always a bit silly.

View: Sex spam has to be clearly labelled


office     Preview: Managing Free/Busy Folders (Apr 22)

This chapter describes how Microsoft Exchange clients generate and retrieve free/busy data, and how Exchange stores the data. It recommends three basic ways to deploy free/busy servers for maximum efficiency. It describes the behavior of free/busy folders when you replicate free/busy data between Exchange organizations or between an Exchange organization and a messaging system other than Exchange. Finally, this chapter also provides some recommendations for cleaning up free/busy data.

Download: Preview: Managing Free/Busy Folders


office     Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Administrator’s Guide (Apr 21)

This download contains information about managing Microsoft® Office SharePoint™ Portal Server 2003, including:

  • Planning

  • Deployment Scenarios

  • Installation

  • Security

  • Configuration

  • Administration

  • Backup and Restore

  • Maintenance

  • Customization

  • Troubleshooting

  • Reference

Download: Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Administrator’s Guide (version 2)


office     Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Help (Apr 21)

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

  • Startup and Settings

  • Customizing the Portal Site

  • Personalizing the Portal Site

  • Working with Alerts

  • Searching the Portal Site

  • Working with Areas

  • Working with the Site Directory

  • Working with Backward-Compatible Document Libraries

  • Managing the Portal Site

  • Working with Windows® SharePoint Services

Download: Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Help


info     AOL opens its doors on e-mail (Apr 21)

America Online this week is expected to announce a new feature that will let subscribers access their e-mail through third-party applications such as Eudora and Microsoft’s Outlook, the company confirmed Tuesday.

Called Open Mail Access, the feature can be used on any e-mail software that supports Internet Message Access Protocol, which lets applications access e-mail off other servers.

The launch of the tool, expected Thursday, is the latest step in AOL’s attempts to ramp up its service in the face of dial-up subscriber losses and an uncertain future for its broadband product. AOL hopes that added offerings will make its service more appealing to existing subscribers and potential new ones.

The new feature could also mark a new direction in the company’s strategy. For most of its lifespan, AOL has prided itself on its exclusive content and services. But with the recent rebound in online advertising and the surge in paid search, the company has become more willing to push its propriety content and services outside its walls.

View full article: AOL opens its doors on e-mail


office     Word 2003: Rich Text Format (RTF) Specification (Apr 21)

The Rich Text Format (RTF) Specification provides a format for text and graphics interchange that can be used with different output devices, operating environments, and operating systems. Version 1.8 of the specification contains the latest updates introduced by Microsoft Office Word 2003. RTF uses the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), PC-8, Macintosh, or IBM PC character set to control the representation and formatting of a document, both on the screen and in print. With the RTF Specification, documents created under different operating systems and with different software applications can be transferred between those operating systems and applications.

Download: Word 2003: Rich Text Format (RTF) Specification, version 1.8


office     Exchange Patches (Apr 21)

This patch resolves problems that were found in the Exchange 2003 Store since Exchange 2003 was released.

Download: Exchange 2003 Store Patch 6980.72
Download: Exchange 2000 Post-Service Pack 3 (SP3) Rollup Patch 6556.4


office     OneNote 2003 Service Pack 1 Preview (Apr 20)

Responding to enthusiastic feedback from OneNote (TM) users, Microsoft Corp. today announced the release of Microsoft® Office OneNote 2003 Service Pack 1 (OneNote SP1) Preview, a software update that delivers technical updates and feature enhancements requested by customers to help them better capture, organize and share their notes and information. Customer feedback from newsgroups, surveys, focus groups and customer visits directly impacted 90 percent of the new SP1 features, including increased integration with Microsoft Office 2003 Editions, the ability to copy notes from a Pocket PC into OneNote, and the ability to password-protect notes.

“A strong measure of OneNote’s success in meeting the needs of information workers is the enthusiastic feedback we’ve received from early customers. These customers are telling us that OneNote is helping them be more productive, and that they are engaged in the product’s future development,” said Peter Pathe, corporate vice president of Office Authoring Services at Microsoft. “The OneNote product team’s responsiveness to requests for feature enhancements in OneNote SP1 is a great example of Microsoft’s commitment to delivering valuable innovation to our customers.”

OneNote 2003 is a groundbreaking application for desktop, laptop and Tablet PC users. Since its release in October 2003, it has been applauded for improving productivity for individuals and teams by allowing them to capture and use their notes more effectively. While research from Microsoft shows that over 90 percent of adults in the United States take notes, few products have been developed specifically to aid in the process of capturing and managing this information. OneNote provides users with an easy and intuitive way to capture thoughts and ideas, which often serve as the basis for further documents such as presentations, memos, papers or speeches. Furthermore, the integration of OneNote with Microsoft Office 2003 Editions and Microsoft Windows® SharePoint (TM) Services enables users to easily share their notes and collaborate with team members.

View full Press Release: From Wish List to Check List- Customer Input Drives Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 Service Pack 1
Download: OneNote 2003 Service Pack 1 Preview
View: What’s New in the Service Pack 1 Preview


info     Spam slips though the maintenance gap (Apr 19)

Even though most organisations know that they are not tackling spam adequately, many are still failing to take the elementary steps necessary to protect themselves.
Security company Clearswift found in its global 2004 Spam Monitor survey that, while more than 72 per cent of organisations have some form of spam defences in place, 55 per cent believe these to be inadequate.

Clearswift’s research showed that these firms have reason to be concerned because it found significant and serious gaps in anti-spam technology defences deployed by businesses.

Security threats include companies having their mail servers hijacked by spammers to send out spam.

Some 24 per cent of organisations admitted that they had been used as an ‘open relay’ to send junk mail, and a worrying 34 per cent did not know whether they had been infiltrated in such a way.

View full article: Spam slips though the maintenance gap


office     Troubleshooting Exchange Server 2003 Performance (Apr 19)

Having one or more subsystems that are underperforming alters the responses and behaviors of a server. Usually, this means that the server becomes unresponsive or falls below what is considered acceptable operational behavior. This diminished performance puts the service level agreement (SLA) at risk, which ultimately means the organization itself can suffer.

This technical article provides administrators of Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 with information about 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


office     Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Sarbanes-Oxley (Apr 19)

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 radically changes corporate governance and reporting obligations of publicly traded companies, and significantly increases personal accountability for organizations’ officers, auditors, securities analysts and legal counsel.

The Office Solution Accelerator for Sarbanes-Oxley can help organizations facilitate compliance initiatives related to sections 302 and 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The accelerator combines software components and templates, enabling customers and partners to implement solutions that enhance visibility over financial processes and internal controls.

Benefits for Businesses
The Office Solution Accelerator for Sarbanes-Oxley helps companies manage their financial processes and controls, not just collect data. The business benefits include the following:

• Increased visibility into processes, risks, controls and other documents
• An easier and accelerated compliance process
• A flexible foundation that is adaptable to customers’ evolving needs and longer-term compliance initiatives

Download: Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Sarbanes-Oxley

MAPILab
Use "4PM76A8" to get a discount when ordering!

 Archive 38

office     Q&A: Microsoft Announces Availability of XML Schema for Microsoft Office Visio 2003 (Apr 15)

Microsoft today announced the addition of the Microsoft Office Visio 2003 XML Reference Schema to its open and royalty-free documentation and license program that was initially unveiled in November 2003. Microsoft Office Visio 2003 is the diagramming and data visualization tool in Microsoft Office 2003.

Microsoft is providing the complete description of the Visio Extensible Markup Language (XML) file format to enable organizations to access information captures in their Visio diagrams and to integrate with other XML-enabled applications, such as customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Extensive support of XML in the Microsoft Office suite will allow Office applications to create, view and edit structured data stored in disparate systems.

To learn more about how XML will impact users of Visio 2003, PressPass spoke with Jean Paoli, an XML architect at Microsoft. Paoli is one of the co-creators of the XML 1.0 standard with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and has played a significant role in the XML community since 1985. He has helped accelerate XML activity at Microsoft by creating and managing the team that delivered the software that XML-enabled both Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Windows.

View full Press Release: Q&A: Microsoft Announces Availability of XML Schema for Microsoft Office Visio 2003


office     Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas (Apr 15)

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), FormTemplate XML schemas (Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003) and DataDiagramingML (Microsoft Office Visio 2003).

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

Download: Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas


office     Office XP Document: Update Deployment White Paper (Apr 15)

Three service packs for Office XP (and the stand-alone versions of Office XP programs) are available from Microsoft. This white paper describes how to distribute and install these service packs and other Office XP fixes and updates. It describes the different types of admin and client Windows Installer patches that you can use when you deploy updates and it covers methods for managing these updates.

Dowload: Office XP Document: Update Deployment White Paper


office     Microsoft Office XP Document: Pictures in Earlier Office Documents Appear Flipped WhitePaper (Apr 15)

Now this is a funny one!

In Microsoft Office XP, many users see flipped images in their documents. These images may be inverted, upside-down, or both inverted and upside-down. Most users can fix this issue quickly if it occurs in only a handful of their documents. However, this problem can be pervasive in organizations because of document-sharing and template sharing; therefore, the issue becomes more complex and sometimes confusing to resolve. Microsoft has released a fix to help correct the problem (Microsoft Knowledge Base article 312838), but the fix and its implementation have in some cases added to the confusion.

This white paper gives an in-depth history of the issue, in addition to a detailed explanation of the fix, its caveats, various scenarios in which to use its settings, and information about how to educate the organizational end user about this issue.

Download: Microsoft Office XP Document: Pictures in Earlier Office Documents Appear Flipped WhitePaper


office     Excel White Paper: OLAP PivotTable Considerations (Apr 15)

Microsoft® Excel 2002 and Microsoft Office Excel 2003 provide more OLAP PivotTable® functionality than earlier versions of Microsoft Excel, but the extra functionality may have a performance cost when you are using large data sets. This white paper describes these performance issues and some ways to minimize them.

Download: Excel White Paper: OLAP PivotTable Considerations


office     Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Guides (Apr 15)

Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Administrator’s Guide
Guide for installing, configuring, managing, and maintaining Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Help
Help for using the features of Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003.


update     New and updated Security Bulletins (Apr 13)

Critical: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS04-011.mspx

Critical: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS04-012.mspx

Critical: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS04-013.mspx

Important: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS04-014.mspx

Bulletins updated to advise of the availability of an update for Exchange Server 5.0
Re-released: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS00-082.mspx

Re-released: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS01-041.mspx

Re-released: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS02-011.mspx

Re-released: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS03-046.mspx


office     Exchange 2000 Server Upgrade Series – Job Aids (Apr 13)

The Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Upgrade Series is specifically created to assist you in the process of planning, deploying, and operating Exchange 2000 Server. Whether you are part of a large multinational organization with branch offices all over the world or a small company based in one location, the information and best practices contained in this guide should save you considerable time and effort.

Download: Exchange 2000 Server Upgrade Series – Job Aids


office     Project 2003 Software Development Kit (SDK) (Apr 13)

The Microsoft Office Project 2003 Software Development Kit (SDK) contains documentation, tools, and samples called Solution Starters to help customize Project 2003, and to extend Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 and integrate with other applications.

Download: Project 2003 Software Development Kit


about     I’m back from the Summit! (Apr 12)

Alright, so I packed my laptop, I packed my power plug converter for the US (Euro plugs don’t-fit), I had Internet access on my hotel room and just when I thought I had it all I found that my own power plug doesn’t fit in my own converter. How stupid is that?  So I had no chance to update my site when I was away; Sorry!

Although without a laptop the Summit was still great! I finally met with some other MVP’s and with the Microsoft Developers who I mail with for some time now.

On the first day was the registration and the product fair where they were showing some new technologies. On the second day we went to the Microsoft campus where we had a Welcome session by Microsoft and some presentations from the other MVP’s on other Office products. Some were good and some were… well… could be better ;-)

On Tuesday it was CEO day and we had presentations by;
Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer
Jim Allchin, vice president of the Platforms Group
Eric Rudder, senior vice president of Servers and Tools
Lori Moore, corporate vice president of Product Support Services (PSS)
Rich Kaplan, corporate vice president of the Content Development and Delivery Group (CDDG)

All presentations were very good but of course Steve Ballmer’s presentation was the best. He can be very hilarious as well. Just like the whole week, but this day in particular, was under NDA so I can’t go into any details.

Wednesday was the last day already. In the morning we had a session with the Exchange MVP’s and Developers were we could give feedback on how Exchange works with Outlook and got info on current development. In the afternoon we had a “Product Deep Dive” with the Outlook Developers were we got more info on the development of Outlook 12 and Outlook 13. Again, I am under NDA so I can’t tell you anything about it but so far it looks promising!

In between the sessions I got myself a new toy: the Acer C302XMi-G Tablet PC! I’m writing on it at the moment and it recognizes my handwriting very nicely (go figure, it’s really awful writing!). It has a 14″ screen so it’s just like writing on A4 paper. Thanks Jeff for taking me to the shop!

 summit 2004_1 summit 2004_2
    
 summit 2004_3 summit 2004_4
    
 summit 2004_5 summit 2004_6

R.I.P. my dearest products…

View: Microsoft Opens Product Development Cycle and Knowledge Base To Most Valuable Professional Contributions


office     Outlook 2003/2002 Add-in: Notes Connector (Apr 12)

Outlook Connector for IBM Lotus Domino enables you to use Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2002 to access your e-mail messages, calendar, address book, and To Do (task) items on an IBM Lotus Domino Release 5.x or Release 6.x server.

Download: Outlook 2003/2002 Add-in: Notes Connector


office     Project 2003: Project Renamer PDS Extender (Apr 12)

The download includes the compiled ProjectRenamer.dll, and the Visual Basic 6.0 source code for the Project Renamer PDS Extender.

Note For an explanation of how to develop and test the Project Renamer, see the Project Renamer PDS Extender topic, under the section Programming Tasks, in the file pj11sdk2003.chm of the Project 2003 SDK Download. The complete Project 2003 SDK also includes the Project Renamer PDS Extender source code.

Download: Project 2003: Project Renamer PDS Extender


office     Project Server 2003: Project Data Service (PDS) Usage and Methods Reference (Apr 12)

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 XML format and returns an XML response.

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

  • Using the PDS with Multiple Project Server Sites

  • What’s New in the PDS for Project Server 2003 (points to six updated topics)

  • Using the Project Data Service

  • The PDS and Project Server Security Architecture

  • Writing a PDS Extender

  • PDS Methods XML

  • Using SOAP to call PDS methods

  • Programmatic Logon to Project Server

  • API Reference (five updated methods)

  • Service for Enterprise Data Maintenance (EDM)

  • Error Codes

  • PDS Permissions (updated)

  • Field ID Values for Enterprise Custom Fields

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


office     MapPoint and Streets & Trips Construction Update (Apr 12)

Download the construction update to keep your maps current in Microsoft MapPoint and Streets & Trip.

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


about     I’m off to the MVP Summit (Apr 2)

Well I’m off to Seattle for the Global MVP Summit where I’ll also be meeting the other MVP’s. Since we have a full schedule I’m probably not able to update my site daily with the latest news. I will however post pictures of the summit whenever possible so keep checking any way :-)

For the ones posting in the Outlook newsgroups; not all of the Outlook MVP’s will be at the Summit and they’ll continue posting answers to your questions but be patient with them!

 Archive 37

other     Office2PDF Launches Revolutionary New PDF Tools for Microsoft Office. (Apr 1)

Office2PDF tools provide PDF functionality and feature control from within Office. Used in conjunction with Adobe Acrobat, Office2PDF tools provide PDF feature management at the source.

The initial release brings three key products: DocInfo Pro, DocSlides and Destinations. DocInfo Pro allows the author to set document information settings and also document open settings in the PDF, with DocSlides providing Word authors with the ability to create PDF Slideshows directly from Word and Destinations allows the author to create and manage named destinations inside their Word documents for automatic conversion and creation in PDF.

For additional information or to download evaluation versions visit Office2PDF’s website: http://www.office2pdf.com

View full article: Office2PDF Launches Revolutionary New PDF Tools for Microsoft Office


office     Microsoft Office gets China boost (Apr 1)

A Chinese software company announced on Wednesday that it has signed an agreement with Microsoft to help popularize the Office productivity package in Chinese schools.

Tengtu International said its Beijing subsidiary, the largest supplier of educational software for China’s elementary and secondary schools, will develop an “Education Resource Kit for Office” to integrate the company’s educational software and services with Microsoft’s Office 2003.

Tengtu provides education software and distance-learning services to more than 35,000 Chinese schools, with 17.5 million students. The company was selected by the country’s Ministry of Education to run the main education portal and distance-learning network for the national school system.

View: Microsoft Office gets China boost


office     Word 2003: XML Viewer (Apr 1)

The Microsoft Office Word 2003 XML Viewer allows people who create WordprocessingML files in Office 2003 Editions to share their documents with people who do not have Word 2003 installed on their computers. When you post WordprocessingML documents on the Internet, you can include the Word XML Viewer to expand your online audience to people who might not have Word, or to those with previous versions.

This download includes the released version of the WordprocessingML to HTML transformation, which allows the viewer to display WordprocessingML files saved by Word 2003 by transforming the WordprocessingML file into HTML from within Internet Explorer.

Download: Word 2003: XML Viewer


office     Exchange Server 2003 Transport and Routing Guide (Apr 1)

Microsoft® Exchange servers use Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) to communicate with each other and to send messages. SMTP is part of the Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003 or Windows® 2000 Server operating system. This guide discusses basic components of transport and routing, explains how SMTP works in Exchange Server 2003, provides information on configuring a routing topology, discusses deployment scenarios, suggests ways to help secure your infrastructure, and offers troubleshooting tips.

Download: Exchange Server 2003 Transport and Routing Guide


office     SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Advanced Migration Scenarios (Apr 1)

Microsoft® Windows® SharePoint™ Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, the next versions of SharePoint Team Services and SharePoint Portal Server 2001, respectively, provide easy-to-use collaboration tools for your organization. Windows SharePoint Services is a set of services that you can use to create and maintain many team sites, and SharePoint Portal Server 2003 is a server product that adds features you can use to build and manage integrated, enterprise-scale portal solutions.

This white paper describes the most common scenarios that IT professionals encounter when migrating from SharePoint Portal Server 2001 to SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Each scenario is accompanied by a recommended migration approach. This white paper also introduces two new Microsoft migration utilities: the Document Library Export Tool (Spout.exe) and the Document Library Import Tool (Spin.exe).

Download: SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Advanced Migration Scenarios


office     Project Server Guides (Apr 1)

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 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.

Project Server 2003 Application Configuration Guide
This guide outlines what you need to know about configuring the Enterprise Global Template and populating the Enterprise Resource Pool.

Project Server 2003 Configuration Planning Guide
This guide helps you to understand the Microsoft Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution in great detail, including the applications and components that make up the EPM solution, their integration points, performance implications, and environmental considerations.

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


faq     Added FAQ: Outlook Doesn’t Close (Mar 30)

t isn’t very common that Outlook doesn’t close on it’s own. Practically always this is caused by an add-in or another program that integrates with Outlook. Once this add-in is disabled or updated or the program is closed the problem will be gone and Outlook will close normally again. Click the link below for more details.

View: Outlook Doesn’t Close


faq     Added FAQ: Contacts are not available in the Address Book (Mar 30)

When trying to use the Address Book to address a message to a contact you could find that the contact from your Contact folder aren’t listed. Here are the two things you’ll need to check and set correctly.

View: Contacts are not available in the Address Book


info     Spammer’s Porsche up for grabs (Mar 30)

Internet giant AOL has ratcheted up the war against unsolicited e-mail with a publicity-grabbing coup – an online raffle of a spammer’s seized Porsche.
AOL won the car – a $47,000 Boxster S – as part of a court settlement against an unnamed e-mailer last year.

“We’ll take cars, houses, boats – whatever we can find and get a hold of,” said AOL’s Randall Boe.

According to Mr Boe, the Porsche’s previous owner made more than $1m by sending junk e-mail.

Hitting them where it hurts
AOL is one of the noisiest opponents of the evasive spam trade, and this month joined forces with Microsoft, Yahoo and Earthlink to sue hundreds of spammers.

Seizure of property is becoming a major tactic in these lawsuits, since guilty spammers often protest their inability to pay large fines.

View: Spammer’s Porsche up for grabs


update     Virus Alert! W32.Netsky.Q@mm and W32.Beagle.V@mm (Mar 30)

They just keep on coming. These viruses have had more sequels than Police Academy

View: more info about W32.Netsky.Q on Symantec
View: more info about W32.Beagle.V on Symantec


office     Project Server 2003 Disaster Recovery Guide (Mar 30)

System administrators must protect their networks from both data loss and system downtime. This guide provides guidelines for developing a disaster prevention and recovery strategy for computers running Microsoft Office Project Server 2003, and describes availability options and backup and recovery techniques for a Project Server deployment.

Download: Project Server 2003 Disaster Recovery Guide


office     Office XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) (Mar 30)

It looks like (almost?) all the languages are there now. Don’t forget to slipstream it.

Download: Office XP Service Pack 3 (SP3)


office     Visio 2000 Service Pack 2 (SP2) (Mar 30)

Visio 2000 Service Pack 2 (SP2) provides the latest updates to Microsoft Visio 2000. SP2 contains security enhancements and stability improvements. This service pack applies to Visio 2000 SR1 only. It contains all updates released after SR1.

Download: Visio 2000 Service Pack 2 (SP2)


office     Live Communications Server 2003 Update: Daylight Saving Time Switch (Mar 30)

This update fixes an issue in Live Communications Server 2003 that occurs when daylight saving time begins. When the clock changes from standard time to daylight saving time, the Live Communications Server will prematurely expire registration and presence records. Because of this, users might experience presence and instant messaging inconsistencies.

Without this update, these symptoms will automatically recover within nine hours, though often within a few hours.

Download: Live Communications Server 2003 Update: Daylight Saving Time Switch


update     Virus Alert! W32.Beagle.U@mm (Mar 28)

Due to an increase in the rate of submissions, Symantec Security Response has upgraded W32.Beagle.U@mm to a Category 3 from a Category 2 threat as of March 25, 2004.

W32.Beagle.U@mm is a variant of W32.Beagle.T@mm. The worm sends itself as an email with a blank subject and body and a randomly named attachment. It also opens a backdoor on TCP port 4751.The attachment name is a random string of letters with an .exe extension.

View: More info on Symantec
Download: Removal Tool

 Archive 36

office     Exchange SDK Documentation and Samples March 2004 (Mar 28)

The documentation and samples assist developers in building applications for Exchange 2000 Server.

Download: Exchange SDK 2000 Documentation and Samples March 2004
Download: Exchange SDK 2003 Documentation and Samples March 2004


office     Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Sarbanes-Oxley (Mar 28)

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 radically changes corporate governance and reporting obligations of publicly traded companies, and significantly increases personal accountability for organizations’ officers, auditors, securities analysts and legal counsel.

The Office Solution Accelerator for Sarbanes-Oxley can help organizations facilitate compliance initiatives related to sections 302 and 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The accelerator combines software components and templates, enabling customers and partners to implement solutions that enhance visibility over financial processes and internal controls.

Download: Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Sarbanes-Oxley


office     Outlook Deployment Options: Customizing a PRF File (Mar 29)

Most Microsoft Outlook profile settings can be configured and deployed to users by using the Microsoft Custom Installation Wizard or the Custom Maintenance Wizard. However, on occasion administrators might want to deploy Outlook settings that are not included in the wizards. When this is the case, the Outlook profile file (PRF file) can be used. This paper describes the PRF file, how to modify it with new settings, and how to deploy it to users.

Download: Outlook Deployment Options: Customizing a PRF File


office     Outlook 98 Update: E-mail Security (Mar 28)

To help protect you against most viruses spread via attachments in e-mail, Microsoft has introduced a significant security enhancement for Outlook® 98 and 2000 – the Outlook 2000 SR-1 E-mail Security Update and the Outlook 98 E-mail Security Update. This security update provides protection from most viruses, such as the Goner, ILOVEYOU, and Melissa viruses, as well as other viruses that spread themselves through e-mail, or worm viruses that can replicate through Outlook. This update limits certain functionality in Outlook to provide a higher level of security; it was not created to address a security vulnerability within Outlook. This update provides unprecedented security protection for Outlook and Microsoft encourages all users of Outlook 2000 and Outlook 98 to install the appropriate update for their version of Outlook.

Download: Outlook 98 Update: E-mail Security


office     Guide to Microsoft Office Reference Implementation for Clinical Forms (Mar 28)

The Microsoft Office reference implementation for clinical forms includes a guide, an InfoPath form, and code samples, which together provide an example of the automation of patient information collection, retrieval, and sharing in an emergency department.

The sample form, code, and architecture can be used to jumpstart the development of your own solution for the healthcare industry.

Download: Guide to Microsoft Office Reference Implementation for Clinical Forms


office     Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange 2000 Server require NetBIOS name resolution for full functionality (Mar 25)

Interesting new KB article

SYMPTOMS
In larger Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 organizations and larger Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server organizations, some operations do not work correctly if NetBIOS name resolution is not working on the network.

CAUSE
Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2000 still have several NetBIOS dependencies. You may have to use NetBIOS name resolution across different subnets for the successful operation of all Exchange components, depending on the network topology.
RESOLUTION

Microsoft recommends that Exchange organizations use Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) and DNS for name resolution. Installations of Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2000 in large and subnetted organizations without WINS have not been fully tested. In large organizations, NetBIOS name resolution through broadcasts may not function correctly. Some Exchange functionality may also be affected.

View: KB 837391


other     Windows Messenger 5.0 (Mar 25)

Windows Messenger allows real-time communication with other people who use Windows Messenger and who are signed in to the same instant messaging service. It is the instant messaging client of choice for businesses in managed environments with connectivity to Microsoft Exchange Instant Messaging Servers and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) based Instant Messaging Servers, in addition to connectivity to the Microsoft MSN Messenger service.

Download: Windows Messenger 5.0 (build 5.0.0482)


office     Project 2002 Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Multilingual User Interface Pack (Mar 25)

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

Project 2002 Service Pack 1 for Multilingual User Interface Pack ensures that Project 2002 Service Pack 1 performs with complete functionality when you use a Project 2002 Multilingual User Interface Pack.

Download: Project 2002 Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Multilingual User Interface Pack


office     Project 2003 Update: KB832887 (Mar 25)

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

This update fixes a problem where you cannot remove an indent of a task after the task becomes part of a summary in Microsoft Office Project 2003.

Download: Project 2003 Update: KB832887


other     Microsoft ActiveSync 3.7.1 (Mar 25)

Microsoft® ActiveSync® 3.7.1 is the latest synchronization software for Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs and Smartphones. ActiveSync 3.7.1 contains fixes making synchronization more trouble free than ever before and includes all the significant improvements brought to you in ActiveSync 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7: it is easy to install and use while offering the best levels of reliability. If you had not already installed ActiveSync 3.5, ActiveSync 3.7.1 will also bring you up to date with compatibility to Microsoft Office XP and Windows XP.

Download: Microsoft ActiveSync 3.7.1


info     Windows XP Box (Mar 23)

A Windows XP box as a computer casing? See the link below for pictures and how it’s done.

View: Windows XP Box


info     Enhanced Microsoft Exhibit Offers Sneak Peek at Office of the Future (Mar 23)

When the managers of a Danish manufacturing company arrived at Microsoft’s main campus here on an overcast afternoon recently, their expectations were as unclear as the weather outside. They wanted technology to eliminate the hassles created by their disparate business systems and streamline their operations. They just didn’t know how — or if — Microsoft could help them do these things any time soon.

Then they stepped inside the Center for Information Work (CIW). The center is Microsoft’s showroom for some of the technology innovations that the company expects will reach information workers in the coming years. This vision is of software that seamlessly links and offers instant analysis of sales projections and inventories, both in-house and through the supply chain. It’s also software that increases IT security through new methods of user identification and enables mobile employees to stay connected in real time, even if they are half a world away.

“Very inspiring,” said one of the managers after completing the tour and seeing in action software and hardware prototypes that addressed many of the business challenges he had outlined earlier in the day to a Microsoft sales manager. “I asked for this at 3 p.m.,” he said, a mixture of humor and surprise in his voice. “And I got to see it at 5,” — in the center.

View: Enhanced Microsoft Exhibit Offers Sneak Peek at Office of the Future


office     Partner Program for Microsoft Office System Generates More Than 1,800 Solutions, Stimulates Local Business (Mar 23)

At the CeBIT information and communication technology show today, Microsoft Corp. announced the one-year anniversary of its Office System Partner Solutions Program, which has generated a surge of innovation among solution developers throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Only five months since the release of Microsoft® Office System, more than 1,500 solution partners in EMEA are developing approximately 1,800 complementary applications — 49 percent of the worldwide total. Of these, more than 400 solutions have been implemented or are available for customers to license and deploy.

“Since this program started, we’ve seen phenomenal uptake in the European market that has far exceeded our expectations,” said Jeff Raikes, group vice president for productivity and business services at Microsoft. “The amount of development activity that has emerged in this short time highlights the significance of technology improvements, particularly in XML, in the Microsoft Office System and the new opportunities it creates for customers and partners.”

View: Partner Program for Microsoft Office System Generates More Than 1,800 Solutions, Stimulates Local Business


office     Lots of Office Updates Today (Mar 23)

Project 2002 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
Project 2002 Service Pack 1 (SP1) contains significant security enhancements as well as stability and performance improvements.

Visio 2000 Service Pack 2 (SP2)
Visio 2000 Service Pack 2 (SP2) provides the latest updates to Microsoft Visio 2000. SP2 contains security enhancements and stability improvements.

Office XP Service Pack 3 for Multilingual User Interface Pack
Office XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) for Multilingual User Interface Pack ensures that Office XP Service Pack 3 performs with complete functionality when you use an Office XP Multilingual User Interface Pack.

Visio 2002 Service Pack 2 (SP2)
Visio 2002 Service Pack 2 (SP2) provides the latest updates to Microsoft Visio 2002. SP2 contains significant security enhancements as well as stability and performance improvements.

Project Server 2002 Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Multilingual User Interface Pack
Project Server 2002 Service Pack 1 for Multilingual User Interface Pack ensures that Project Server 2002 Service Pack 1 performs with complete functionality when you use a Project Server 2002 Multilingual User Interface Pack.

Office XP Input Method Editor Update: KB835727 for Multilingual User Interface Pack
The Microsoft Office XP Input Method Editor Update: KB835727 for Multilingual User Interface Pack provides the latest updates to Microsoft Input Method Editor. This update contains significant security enhancements in addition to stability and performance improvements.

Excel 2003 Update: KB834691
Under certain circumstances, a flaw in Microsoft Office Excel 2003 can cause the RAND(), RANDBETWEEN(), SLOPE(), INTERCEPT(), FORECAST(), and STEYX() functions to return incorrect values. This update fixes the flaw so that these functions generate the correct results.

Office XP Update: KB833858
Microsoft Office XP Update: KB833858 provides the latest updates to the Microsoft Script Editor. This update contains important security and stability enhancements and may require a reboot.

Access 2002 Update: KB833857
After installing Microsoft Office XP Service Pack 3, descending indexes in Access 2002 that have been upsized to SQL Server may still be upsized as ascending indexes. This update ensures that Access 2002 wizard files are updated correctly.

Project Server 2002 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
Project Server 2002 Service Pack 1 (SP1) contains significant security enhancements as well as stability and performance improvements.

Run: OfficeUpdate


office     Outlook 2003 Junk E-mail Filter Update (Mar 23)

This optional update provides the Junk E-mail Filter in Outlook 2003 with a more current definition of which e-mail messages should be considered junk. By installing it, you help the filter provide a higher level of protection against junk e-mail.

Download: Outlook 2003 Junk E-mail Filter Update

 Archive 35

info     Firms urged to rethink spam strategy (Mar 23)

IT managers should rethink their spam filter strategy as the market is expected to experience dramatic vendor consolidation this year, Gartner has warned. According to the analyst group, fewer than 10 of the 40 vendors in the market will still be in business by 2005. And current firewall, antivirus and web filtering vendor technology fails to meet enterprise requirements, while companies that do offer viable products are smaller and have a limited track record.

Enterprises need sophisticated detection engines that are constantly updated, said Arabella Hallawell, research director at Gartner, in a statement. “If a solution blocks legitimate business email, or is too restrictive or inflexible for an enterprise culture, it’s not viable,” she said. “If the spam filtering solution requires a team of administrators or heavy end user involvement to administer and update, then it’s not practical either.”

Before signing contracts with suppliers, enterprises should request protection clauses to cover them in the event of a vendor being acquired, and should also demand shorter-term contracts. “Companies must consider a vendor’s core business fundamentals. A quality installed base also indicates sufficient strength to mitigate short-term vendor risks,” added Hallawell.

Maurene Caplan Grey, research director at Gartner, added that enterprises cannot afford to delay decisions until the market shakes out. “Their problems with spam have become too enormous,” she said.

Gartner said 60 per cent to 75 per cent of the incoming email received by its clients is spam.

View: Firms urged to rethink spam strategy


office     InfoPath 2003 Training: Hands-on Exercises (Mar 22)

The package contains practice files for use with InfoPath 2003 SP1 Training: Hands-on Exercises. To view the training labs, click the link available in the Related Resources section of this page.

This set of labs will help you learn how to design and deploy Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based forms in InfoPath 2003 SP1.

Download: InfoPath 2003 Training: Hands-on Exercises
View: InfoPath 2003 SP 1 Training- Hands-on Exercises on MSDN


office     Outlook 2003 Add-in: Video E-mail (Mar 22)

It got updated again

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.

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


info     Spam reduces faith in email (Mar 21)

The growing problem of spam is taking a heavy toll on US internet users’ perception of the safety of email.
According to a survey by cyber-monitoring group Pew Internet and American Life Project, 63 per cent of users are becoming less trusting of emails, while over a third claim to have cut back their use of email as a communication tool.

The majority of those surveyed indicated that the volume of junk mail has increased this year. This is despite the ratification of recent US Can Spam legislation, which became law on 1 January.

The findings appear to be backed up by a recent review from anti-spam and security company Brightmail, which found that spam accounted for 62 per cent of all email sent last month.

According to Pew Internet, the apparent failure of the US legislation and the rise in spam is causing increasing discomfort to internet users.

Three-quarters found spam unpleasant and annoying, while 86 per cent said that unsolicited email caused them distress.

The survey gives credence to concerns voiced by critics of the Can Spam Act who have suggested that, while the penalties are strong, the law’s weakness is that it attempts to regulate rather than ban the practice of spamming.

It does this by requiring email marketers to include legitimate return addresses and opt-out information in all the unsolicited messages they send.

View: Spam reduces faith in email


office     Microsoft Online Seminars: Office Solution Accelerator for Recruiting (Mar 21)

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. In this presentation see how the Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Recruiting automates interview scheduling, interview planning, and assessment processes for hiring managers, recruiters, and interviewers.

Download: Microsoft Online Seminars: Office Solution Accelerator for Recruiting


office     Windows SharePoint Services Administrator’s Guide (Mar 21)

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

Download: Windows SharePoint Services Administrator’s Guide (version 1.3)


office     Microsoft MapPoint Location Server, Version 1.0 (Mar 21)

Microsoft® MapPoint® Location Server is an enterprise server product that works with PC and mobile device clients to help enterprise users determine the location of coworkers who are using a wireless devices. Mobile personnel can use MapPoint Location Server to locate each other and to find other places they want to visit; for example, to find a hotel or conference center while on a business trip.

MapPoint Location Server includes three main components:

  • MapPoint Location Server Web Service—A Web service, installed within the enterprise, that works with both mobile operators and MapPoint Web Service to provide location services, render maps, find points of interest, and supply driving directions.

  • MapPoint Location Server database—A SQL Server 2000 database that stores information about users, Find Nearby categories, and other information related to MapPoint Location Server.

  • MapPoint Location Server management console—A Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in that can be used to administer MapPoint Location Server.

Download: Microsoft MapPoint Location Server, Version 1.0
Download: MapPoint MLS Fact Sheet
Download: MapPoint Location Server SDK, Version 1.0, for Visual Studio .NET 2003


info     Can I have an email quickie? – Phoenix says, ‘Yes!’ (Mar 19)

Phoenix Technologies this week has kicked off what will prove to be a protracted battle to own the PC before the OS loads with a new version of its FirstWare Assistant software that gives customers easy access to e-mail.

Unveiled at CeBIT, the latest version of FirstWare Assistant lets users check their Microsoft Outlook email, calendar and contacts data without booting Windows XP. By holding down the “F” key, users get instant access to this information – technology thought to be ideal for checking up on appointments, recalling a phone number or pulling up directions while on the road. Phoenix is just one of a number of companies including Intel that is trying to beat Windows to the punch.

“Users typically spend several minutes to boot up their machine and then boot up Outlook,” said Michael Goldgof, senior vice president of marketing at Phoenix. “Now, they can turn on their machine and a screen comes up that gives them immediate access to information that is synched up.”

View: Can I have an email quickie? – Phoenix says, ‘Yes!’


update     New Bagle Worm Variant Can Run Without Launching Attachment (Mar 19)

A series of new variants of the prolific Bagle worm has raised alarms in the security community through an innovative infection mechanism: The e-mail message in which the variants arrive may have no file attachment, and it’s possible for a user to become infected without having to launch one.

The message includes a Windows ActiveX control and uses a vulnerability announced and patched by Microsoft Corp. in August and another problem from last October. The most recent Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer also includes a fix for the more recently discovered flaw.

The ActiveX control does not contain the actual worm, according to McAfee Security. Instead, it creates and runs a VBScript on the system, which downloads and executes the worm from one of a list of IP addresses. According to McAfee, as of 06:45 PST on March 18, “The majority of the 590 IP addresses seen have been closed down. At the time of writing, 39 were still responding.”

The ActiveX infection mechanism requires that the e-mail client permit ActiveX controls to run in HTML e-mail. Microsoft e-mail clients have disallowed this feature by default for several years.

View: New Bagle Worm Variant Can Run Without Launching Attachment


office     Excel 2003 Sample: NCAA Results Tracker (Mar 19)

This download contains Excel spreadsheets that you can use to track predictions of winners and losers for each NCAA college basketball 2004 men’s and women’s Division I championship playoff games. It is designed to work with the NCAA bracket Excel templates that contains the names of the final 64 teams.

Download: Excel 2003 Sample: NCAA Results Tracker


office     Server Consolidation Using Exchange Server 2003 (Mar 19)

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


office     Microsoft Project 2000 Resource Kit (Mar 19)

The Microsoft Project 2000 Resource Kit is designed for administrators, information technology (IT) professionals, and support staff who deploy and support Microsoft Project 2000 and Microsoft Project Central. It features a comprehensive set of tools to help you with installation and configuration, and it describes strategies and techniques that you can use to support Microsoft Project 2000 and Microsoft Project Central in your organization.

Download: Microsoft Project 2000 Resource Kit


info     Customers squeezed, as ISPs close in on viruses (Mar 18)

High-speed Internet service providers are increasingly putting their customers in the security hot seat, as they try to fight recent virus attacks that turn computers into spam factories.

Broadband companies have said they routinely monitor customer accounts for signs of abuse and take action when it’s appropriate. Although such policies have been in place for years, they’re now being invoked more than ever, due to the spread of viruses that allow spammers to spew out millions of junk e-mail messages under victims’ noses.

The virulence of these virus attacks has sparked a fierce debate over countermeasures, security experts said. The problem has become so bad that broadband companies are considering whether it’s time to substantially beef up policing on their networks–something they’ve avoided in the past because of the cost and potential privacy concerns involved.

“Nowadays, a person sending spam is Granny, and she has no idea she’s doing it,” said Joe Stewart, a senior security researcher at Lurhq, a corporate security company. “(ISPs) can pull the plug, but it’s hard and time-consuming to spend time on each user on tech support.”

The debate touches on far-reaching questions about the direction of Internet security policy and about the roles of ISPs and individuals in maintaining safe networks. Should the primary responsibility for security fall to broadband ISPs or subscribers?

View: Customers squeezed, as ISPs close in on viruses


office     Updated: Outlook 2003 Add-in: Video E-mail (Mar 18)

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 1: This is a new version, updated December 3, 2003, that fixes an issue with a link in the body of the video e-mail.
Note 2: FireWire digital cameras are not supported by this download

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


office     Windows SharePoint Services Administrator’s Guide (Mar 17)

Guide for installing, configuring, managing, and maintaining Windows SharePoint Services.

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

 Archive 34

office     Word 2003 Sample: Creating a Custom Spell Checker with Word 2003 and Visual Basic .NET (Mar 16)

This sample file accompanies the MSDN article “Creating a Custom Spell-Checker with Word 2003 and Visual Basic .NET” which demonstrates using the Word object model in conjunction with Microsoft Visual Basic .NET to create a simple spell-checker whose functionality you can add to your own applications. To view the article, click the link in the Related Links section.

You can tie into the objects and methods of Microsoft Office Word 2003 to create powerful applications. To demonstrate creating and using a spell-checker with object and methods from Word, the article describes how to create an application in Visual Basic .NET that checks a text file for spelling errors.

This download presents a complete example of this sample application.

Download: Word 2003 Sample: Creating a Custom Spell Checker with Word 2003 and Visual Basic .NET


office     Microsoft Office XP Web Services Toolkit 2.0 (Mar 16)

The Microsoft® Office XP Web Services Toolkit 2.0 brings the power of XML Web services to Office XP by enabling developers to use the Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) Business Registry or the URL to a Web Services Description Language (WSDL) file to reference XML Web services.

The Office XP Web Services Toolkit 2.0 supports SOAP 3.0 and complex data types. It was updated to support Windows 2000 SP4.

Download: Microsoft Office XP Web Services Toolkit 2.0


update     Bagle Latches on to Anti-Spam Ploy (Mar 15)

Three new Bagle variants discovered over the weekend differ from previous incarnations by using an antispam trick to try to avoid detection by antivirus software–but experts believe the attempt won’t succeed.

The Bagle worm installs a back door on infected systems and could allow a machine to be used as an e-mail gateway for sending spam. Since the beginning of March, Bagle has arrived under the guise of an encrypted Zip file with a password included in the e-mail text. Within days, antivirus companies updated their products to look for the password and decrypt the Zip file.

But now the Bagle author has released three new versions (N, O and P) of the worm that produce the password in the form of a graphic or picture file, so a simple text scan of the infected e-mail will not find the password. This trick is commonly used by Web sites to hide e-mail addresses from Web bots that trawl the Internet looking for potential spam targets.

Cluley said Sophos updated its systems over the weekend to include detection for the new variant. “We can pick up the password, even if it has been put inside a graphic,” he said.

View: Bagle latches on to antispam ploy


office     Trustworthy Messaging at Microsoft (Mar 15)

Microsoft needed to use e-mail for transmitting business-sensitive data but was concerned about security and data privacy. Microsoft’s internal IT group deployed a solution they called trustworthy messaging, offering both senders and recipients three levels of protection for their data. These solutions were based on applying Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) digital signatures, S/MIME encryption, and/or rights management policies.

Download: Trustworthy Messaging at Microsoft


office     Exchange Server 2003 Site Consolidation: Preliminary Results (Mar 15)

Description of how Microsoft is consolidating its Exchange Server 2003 infrastructure from seventy-two to six geographic sites. By deploying highly available clustered servers in regional data centers, Microsoft has simplified its messaging infrastructure and advanced its strategy to consolidate IT infrastructure.

Download: Exchange Server 2003 Site Consolidation: Preliminary Results


office     Exchange Server 2003 Security Hardening Guide (Mar 15)

This guide is designed to provide you with essential information about how to harden your Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 environment. In addition to practical, hands-on configuration recommendations, this guide includes strategies for combating spam, viruses, and other external threats to your Exchange 2003 messaging system. While most server administrators can benefit from reading this guide, it is designed to produce maximum benefits for administrators responsible for Exchange messaging, both at the mailbox and architect levels.
This guide is a companion to the Windows Server 2003 Security Guide . Specifically, many of the procedures in this guide are related directly to security recommendations introduced in the Windows Server 2003 Security Guide. Therefore, before you perform the procedures presented in this guide, it is recommended that you first read the Windows Server 2003 Security Guide.

Download: Exchange Server 2003 Security Hardening Guide


office     Live Communications Server Architecture and Deployment (Mar 15)

Detailed discussion about how Microsoft IT designed and deployed the live communications platform at Microsoft. Microsoft Office Live Communications Server uses industry standard Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to provide presence information, encrypted real-time communications, a single namespace across trusted forests, and integration with Microsoft Office and other collaboration programs.

Download: Live Communications Server Architecture and Deployment


office     Custom solutions and add-ins that integrate with Outlook 2002 are affected after you apply Office XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) (Mar 13)

This article describes the security-related changes that have been made in Microsoft Office XP Service Pack 3 (SP3). These changes may adversely affect custom solutions that integrate with Microsoft Outlook 2002.

Office XP SP3 includes a wide variety of security-related changes to help reduce the effects of various forms of malicious attacks on your computer and on your Outlook program. However, some of these changes may restrict the functionality that was available before you installed Office XP SP3. Although Microsoft regrets any adverse affect that these changes may have on custom solutions, these changes are necessary to help reduce risk.

The following issues may occur if you install Office XP SP3 with a custom solution, such as a custom form, a COM add-in, Outlook Visual Basic for Applications, or external code that automates Outlook.

View: Microsoft Knowledge Base Article – 838871


office     Exchange Supports Broader Range of Storage Solutions (Mar 12)

Microsoft Corp. today announced support for a broader range of storage solutions for use with Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003, part of Windows Server System (TM) . Customers now will be able to enjoy the benefits of Internet Small Computer Systems Interface (iSCSI) and network attached storage (NAS) storage solutions that have qualified for the Designed for Windows® Logo Program. The Designed for Windows Logo helps customers identify products that deliver a high-quality computing experience with the Microsoft Windows Server (TM) operating system.

“Exchange Server customers have been asking us for the ability to utilize iSCSI and NAS storage devices in an Exchange environment,” said Kevin McCuistion, director of Exchange marketing at Microsoft. “These new storage solutions for Exchange 2003 bring exciting benefits to our customers and are especially valuable in small-business and remote-office scenarios.”

With iSCSI support in Exchange 2003, customers are able to take advantage of an industry-standard storage protocol that is designed to transport block-level storage traffic over Internet Protocol (IP) networks. iSCSI enables low-cost solutions that provide businesses with performance, reliability and security for their storage area networks. The capabilities announced today also will enable customers to easily deploy and maintain Exchange 2003 database files on qualified NAS devices, providing new opportunities for storage consolidation and user access from a local area network through network-addressable content.

View full Press Release: Exchange Supports Broader Range of Storage Solutions


office     Office XP update interferes with spam filters (Mar 12)

Microsoft’s latest set of updates for Office XP is causing headaches for users of two junk mail filtering products.

After installing Office XP Service Pack 3 (SP3), users of Sunbelt Software’s iHateSpam and Cloudmark’s SpamNet are complaining about security warnings popping up with each e-mail message they receive, according to reports on the Windows NTBugtraq mailing list.

Both Sunbelt and Cloudmark acknowledge the problem and have posted support bulletins on their websites. Sunbelt has released an update to its software to fix the problem while Cloudmark said it is working with Microsoft to solve the issue.

Office XP SP3 contains security enhancements for the Office suite in addition to stability and performance improvements.

After installing SP3, each e-mail received triggers a dialogue box alerting the user that a program is trying to access e-mail addresses stored in Outlook and warning that this could be related to a computer virus. There is no indication of what program is accessing Outlook, according to the NTBugtraq posting.

Microsoft is investigating the issue.

View full article: Office XP update interferes with spam filters


other     Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger update (Mar 12)

Windows Messenger 5.0
Windows Messenger is the instant messaging client of choice for businesses in managed environments.

MSN Messenger 6.1 for Windows
MSN Messenger is an instant messaging program that lets you send instant messages to your friends, and much more.


update     More NetSky worms. So much for quitting (Mar 12)

Two new NetSky worms appeared on the scene yesterday, despite a promise by the original author this week to refrain from releasing any more versions.

Differences in the code of NetSky-L and NetSky-M from their 11 older siblings have led anti-virus researchers to suspect that they are the work of a copycat. This suggests the source code of the virus has been leaked.

Text hidden inside NetSky-K said that it would be “the last version”, but warned that the source code would be “available soon”. Releasing the source code would make it far easier for other viruswriters to create new versions of the worm, such as NetSky-L.

Like previous versions, Netsky-L, spreads by email in an attachment. But it contains a number of significant differences from its predecessors.

View: More NetSky worms. So much for quitting


office     Improving Time and Absence Reporting Through Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003 (Mar 12)

Discussion of how Microsoft IT improved the usability of its internal time and absence reporting tool through Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003. The InfoPath solution provides a more intuitive experience for the end user, and has contributed to an increase in compliance for reporting leave and absence data.

Download: Improving Time and Absence Reporting Through Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003


office     Exchange Server 2003 Transport and Routing Guide (Mar 12)

Microsoft Exchange servers use Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) to communicate with each other and to send messages. SMTP is part of the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 or Windows 2000 Server operating system. This guide discusses basic components of transport and routing, explains how SMTP works in Exchange Server 2003, provides information on configuring a routing topology, discusses deployment scenarios, suggests ways to help secure your infrastructure, and offers troubleshooting tips.

Download: Exchange Server 2003 Transport and Routing Guide


office     Office XP Alternative User Input Update: KB832668 (Mar 12)

The Microsoft Office XP Alternative User Input Update: KB832668 updates the framework that is used to support advanced text services in Office XP.

Download: Office XP Alternative User Input Update: KB832668

 Archive 33

office     Hosted Solution Facilitates Team Collaboration (Mar 12)

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

Download: Hosted Solution Facilitates Team Collaboration


office     Exchange Server 2003 Design and Architecture (Mar 11)

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

Download: Exchange Server 2003 Design and Architecture


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


update     Outlook flaw riskier than thought (Mar 11)

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

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

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

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

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

View full article: Outlook flaw riskier than thought


info     Securing Cyberspace (Mar 11)

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

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

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

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

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

View full article: Securing Cyberspace


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

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

The following files are updated with this release:

  • rtcimpac.wsf

  • rtcish.wsf

  • rtcmcon.wsf

  • rtcsipen.wsf

The updated files resolve the following issues:

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

View full article: Anti-piracy directive could expose consumers


info     Microsoft Plans to Sue Spammers (Mar 10)

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


update     Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-009 (Mar 10)

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

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

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

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


other     Slipstream Office XP to SP3 (Mar 9)

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

View: Slipstream Office XP to SP3


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

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

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


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

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

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

View: Save Embedded Pictures in Their Original Format

 Archive 32

info     Do We Get Enough In Innovation for What We Give to Microsoft? (Mar 9)

It’s 2004; do you know where your computer dollars are going?

One can learn a lot about the computer industry by looking at the breakdown of manufacturing costs in an average desktop PC, as compiled by iSuppli Corp., a market-research firm. Excluding labor and shipping, and leaving out the costs of a monitor, keyboard or mouse, the typical desktop PC these days costs the Dells or the H-Ps of the world roughly $437 in parts.

The biggest portion of that — 30%, or $134 — goes to Intel for a Pentium processor. The disk drives, including whatever CD or DVD is installed, cost around $104; the RAM memory is $54; and the remaining hardware items — power supply, case, circuit boards — total $100.

The final 10%, or $45, goes to Microsoft for the Windows operating system.

View full article: Do We Get Enough In Innovation for What We Give to Microsoft?


update     New worm masquerades as Microsoft update (Mar 8)

Sober variant employs latest social engineering technique.

A new variant of the Sober worm has surfaced this morning, antivirus specialist F-Secure has warned.
Sober D pretends to be a Microsoft software update that protects against a new version of the MyDoom worm. Once activated the worm displays a patch loading screen, but harvests email addresses and mails itself out using its own SMTP engine.

The email, written in either English or German, has the headline ‘Microsoft alert: please read!’ The body text adds: ‘New MyDoom virus variant detected – please download this digitally signed attachment.’

Paul Bushen, technical manager at F-Secure UK, told vnunet.com: “The social engineering is good enough to do the job of fooling people. “People are not learning quickly that Microsoft does not send out emails like this. “It’s like remembering to back up your hard drive regularly: something that’s done religiously, but only by those who’ve been caught out in the past.”

Sober A first surfaced in October 2003, again using either English or German text and a variety of social engineering techniques. The virus has previously been disguised as a Microsoft email and as one from the Recording Industry Association of America.

View: New worm masquerades as Microsoft update


office     Deployment Guide for Microsoft Content Management Server 2002 Connector for SharePoint Technologies (Mar 8)

The Microsoft® Content Management Server (MCMS) 2002 Connector for SharePoint™ Technologies contains software and documentation that you can use to integrate Microsoft Content Management Server 2002 with Microsoft Windows® SharePoint Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003.

MCMS Connector for SharePoint Technologies is designed for organizations that use or plan to use Microsoft Content Management Server 2002 with Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies. Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server 2003 provide collaboration and intranet features such as search, alerts, and document versioning that you can use to organize, share, and find important information located throughout your organization.

This paper organizes the various deployment scenarios and deployment best practices for MCMS Connector for SharePoint Technologies by the features you want to use most. The deployment scenarios and best practices in this paper assume basic Microsoft Content Management Server, Windows SharePoint Services, and SharePoint Portal Server deployment knowledge.

Download: Deployment Guide for Microsoft Content Management Server 2002 Connector for SharePoint Technologies


info     Gates: Buy stamps to send e-mail (Mar 7)

If the U.S. Postal Service delivered mail for free, our mailboxes would surely runneth over with more credit-card offers, sweepstakes entries, and supermarket fliers. That’s why we get so much junk e-mail: It’s essentially free to send. So Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates, among others, is now suggesting that we start buying “stamps” for e-mail.

Many Internet analysts worry, though, that turning e-mail into an economic commodity would undermine its value in democratizing communication. But let’s start with the math: At perhaps a penny or less per item, e-mail postage wouldn’t significantly dent the pocketbooks of people who send only a few messages a day. Not so for spammers who mail millions at a time.

Though postage proposals have been in limited discussion for years — a team at Microsoft Research has been at it since 2001 — Gates gave the idea a lift in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Details came last week as part of Microsoft’s anti-spam strategy. Instead of paying a penny, the sender would “buy” postage by devoting maybe 10 seconds of computing time to solving a math puzzle. The exercise would merely serve as proof of the sender’s good faith.

View full article: Gates: Buy stamps to send e-mail


info     Microsoft wants to know who your friends are (Mar 5)

Thanks to e-mail, we all have thousands of “contacts,” but in some ways, this newfound popularity makes it harder to keep up with our true friends.

That’s one of several problems Microsoft’s research arm is trying to address as part of a push into “social computing.” Communicating with others is one of the key reasons people use computers, but researchers worry that the methods we use for handling those interactions have become a little too impersonal.

“Contacts don’t match the way people think,” said Lili Cheng, group manager of the social-computing group within Microsoft Research. A better model is the handwritten list of phone numbers many people keep next to their computer. That, Cheng said, “better represents the people that you’d want to talk to.”

To try to translate that idea into digital terms, Cheng and her team have come up with a concept called Inner Circle, which automatically maintains and updates a list of about 20 people with whom one is e-mailing and instant messaging the most.

The project is one of several efforts Cheng’s team showed off this week at Microsoft’s TechFest. The two-day event brings thousands of company employees to the giant’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash., to hear presentations from workers in Microsoft Research’s five labs, based in Cambridge, Mass., the Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Redmond and Beijing.

View full article: Microsoft wants to know who your friends are


info     Experts question Microsoft’s Caller ID patents (Mar 5)

Just a week after Microsoft Corp.’s Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates unveiled his company’s plan for securing e-mail communications, leading e-mail authorities, legal experts and at least one Internet service provider (ISP) are expressing concerns about the e-mail sender authentication plan, known as Caller ID.

Some experts agreed that the technology is promising. However, Microsoft’s claim that it owns patents around Caller ID and its decision to license the technology to third parties, rather than submit it to an Internet standards body, have riled e-mail experts and domain owners, some of whom said they worry about a power grab by the Redmond, Washington, company and are wary of signing on to the new system.

Caller ID allows Internet domain owners to publish the IP (Internet Protocol) address of their outgoing e-mail servers in an XML (Extensible Markup Language) format e-mail “policy” in the DNS (Domain Name System) record for their domain. E-mail servers can query the DNS record and match the source IP address of incoming e-mail messages to the address of the approved sending servers, Microsoft said. The goal is to reduce spam for end users.

View full article: Experts question Microsoft’s Caller ID patents


office     How to collect Outlook 2003 connection performance from Exchange 2003 (Mar 5)

Client side monitoring is used to find client errors and latency problems. An Administrator can turn on client side monitoring on the Exchange Server via a registry key. When enabled via a reg-key, Outlook 11 clients send data to the server based on status and state of connection including failed RPC requests and error conditions. This information is aggregated on the server and exposed to the administrators via event log entries.

This is controlled on the Exchange server by registry key: ClientMonitoringReportLevel (DWORD). This registry key will be located at the following location:
HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeIS\ParametersSystem\
This registry key will have three settings:

0 = do not collect data from any Outlook 11 clients.
1 = collect performance data only from high bandwidth Outlook 11 clients
2 = collect performance data from all Outlook 11 clients

View: How to collect Outlook 2003 connection performance from Exchange 2003


update     Virus writers stage online slanging match (Mar 4)

It’s cyber-handbags at dawn as worm authors turn on each other

The authors of the MyDoom, Bagel and Netsky worms are staging a public slanging match – with the world’s PCs as their arena.

The war started when an early version of Netsky, referred to as either C or D, began removing the Bagel and MyDoom viruses as part of its payload. And now the authors of MyDoom.G, spreading today, have included comments in the worm’s code insulting Netsky. A similar message was found in Bagel J, also discovered today, which ended: “Don’t ruine our bussiness, wanna start a war?” Netsky’s authors responded with the following message in Netsky.F: “Skynet AntiVirus – Bagle – you are a looser!!!”

“We have three different groups fighting here,” said Mikko Hypponen, director of antivirus research for F-Secure. “Netsky seems to come from an individual or hobbyist group while Bagel’s creators appear to be a spam group like MyDoom’s authors. We don’t know who’s going to win but in the meantime the rest of us are all losing.”

The battle continues to hot up, with more than one new variant of all three viruses being identified today.

View: Virus writers stage online slanging match


office     Office 2004: First Look (Mar 4)

Although Microsoft’s Office 2004 won’t be on store shelves until the middle of this year, we got a sneak peek at its new features. And these additions — from a command center for related correspondence, calendars, and files, to an audio recorder that gives your typing fingers a rest — made quite an impression. Come take a look at the next version of one of the most important program suites for the Mac.

The biggest addition in Office 2004 — an organizational tool called Project Center — resides in Entourage. But there’s more to Project Center than e-mail. It reaches across Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, providing a single place from which to jump to documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and e-mail messages scattered across your hard drive. Project Center is at the heart of Microsoft’s efforts to make organizing and managing information with Office easier.

Office 2004 will cost the same as the previous version of the suite, across all three editions introduced by Microsoft last fall. The Standard Edition of Office 2004 — which includes all four Office applications — sells for $399. The $499 Professional Edition includes the same programs, as well as the latest version of Virtual PC with Windows XP Professional. The cost of the Student and Teacher Edition remains $149, with users still able to install the suite on as many as three Macs.

View: Office 2004: First Look


other     MSN Messenger 6.2 is coming! (Mar 3)

This week is going to be a busy week in MSN Messenger Land, Mess.be brings to you the announcement of MSN Messenger 6.2! Only minutes ago Microsoft has changed its internal site to a new layout, after looking around we found out that the layout change is related to the release of MSN Messenger 6.2 ! And best of all we can tell you the exact date of arrival, Thursday, April 08, 2004.

The new site holds a list of Authorized Users of .NET Messenger Service. The programs in this list are allowed to use the MSN protocol. For now the only allowed client are:

MSN Messenger for Windows or Mac , Windows Messenger , MSN TV service , Microsoft TV set-top box , MSN Mobile , Windows Mobile-based devices, including Pocket PC and Smartphone , Windows CE .NET-based devices, including Windows CE .NET 4.0, 4.1, and 4.2 , MSN Messenger Connect for Enterprises ( IMlogic , Vayusphere , Akonix ). Programs not listed (like trillian and bots) are considered illegal.

MSN Messenger 6.2 will be available for Windows XP, 2000, ME and 98 and the new site will become orange!

View full article: MSN Messenger 6.2 is coming!


info     The 2004 Worldwide Microsoft Office Specialist Competition (Mar 3)

This year Microsoft are once again searching the globe for the students with the best Microsoft Word and Excel skills.

Countries all over the world are hosting local competitions to determine Country Champions. In the summer of 2004, each country’s champions will compete in regional and world championships.

Think you have what it takes? Find out how to participate


office     Removing the Unique Tracking Number from Subject Line of Microsoft CRM E-Mail (Mar 3)

This update addresses the E-mail tracking feature of the Microsoft Business Solutions CRM v1.0 product. This feature provides the ability to track e-mail correspondence by including a unique tracking number that appears on the subject line of messages composed from within the Microsoft CRM system.

When this update is applied to a Microsoft CRM implementation, the administrator will have the ability to turn on or off the e-mail tracking feature. If the e-mail tracking is turned off, the Microsoft CRM system will no longer generate the unique tracking number. In addition, this results in the loss of the Microsoft CRM system’s ability to automatically track incoming e-mail.

Download: Removing the Unique Tracking Number from Subject Line of Microsoft CRM E-Mail


office     Solution Files for Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2003 Labs (Mar 3)

Use these solution files in conjunction with the Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System, Version 2003 Labs available from the MSDN Office Developer Center.

Download: Solution Files for Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2003 Labs


office     SharePoint Portal Server 2001 Service Pack 2a Client (Mar 3)

SharePoint Portal Server 2001 Service Pack 2a (SP2a) Client is a cumulative client service pack that provides updates based on the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Initiative and the latest fixes for customer-reported issues. These client components are included in the full SP2a download.

Improvements in SP2a client include:

  • OLE DB Provider for Internet Publishing security fixes

  • Hotfix roll-up

Download: SharePoint Portal Server 2001 Service Pack 2a Client


office     Microsoft May Offer an Early Office Update (Mar 2)

A new version of Office could be closer than expected if Microsoft decides to release an interim version of its Windows operating system before the debut of Longhorn.

Microsoft’s Office team is closely following a project named “Windows XP Reloaded” on the Windows side of the company, a Microsoft official said last week. The XP Reloaded project is exploring ways to deliver further updates to Windows XP after the release of Service Pack 2 later this year and before the release of Longhorn.

“When the Windows team does innovation within their operating system, we are going to take advantage of that innovation,” says Gytis Barzdukas, director of Office product management at Microsoft. “When the Windows guys rev, we’re going to be interested in revving also.”

But while the Windows XP Reloaded talks could lead to a revision of Windows before Longhorn, it is too early to draw any firm conclusions, Microsoft says. The same goes for the Office team. “We don’t have a definitive plan. We haven’t made a decision to do something interim between now and Longhorn,” Barzdukas says.

A new Office version only makes sense if the update to Windows contains features the productivity applications can take advantage of, Barzdukas says. Changes to the user interface or Windows storage technology, for example, would be a reason to come out with a new version of Office, he says.

Analysts at Gartner predicted earlier this year that Microsoft would offer interim releases of Windows and Office prior to the release of Longhorn to appease customers who signed up for its Software Assurance licensing program, which provides three-year contracts for software maintenance and upgrades.

View full article: Microsoft May Offer an Early Office Update