Archive 21

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

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

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

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


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

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

Download: Project 2003 Software Development Kit (SDK)


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

View: Corel adds Office support to latest graphics suite


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

View: Tips For Cleaning Up Your Mailbox


info     Users Baffled Over Junk Mail Advice (Jan 13)

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

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

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

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

View full article: Users baffled over junk mail advice


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

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

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


office     Microsoft Office System News and Reviews (Jan 10)

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

View: Microsoft Office System News and Reviews


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

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

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


office     Troubleshooting Exchange Server 2003 Performance (Jan 10)

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

Download: Troubleshooting Exchange Server 2003 Performance


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

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

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


office     Planning an Exchange 2003 Messaging System (Jan 9)

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

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

 Archive 20

other     Verisign Certificate Expiration Causes Multiple Problems (Jan 8)

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

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


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

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

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

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

Download: Project Server 2003 Web Parts and URL Options


office     Microsoft Word Forms Passwords Hacked (Jan 8)

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


about     First Newsletter Sent Out (Jan 6)

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

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

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

Thanks again to all subscribers!

Robert Sparnaaij AKA Roady


info     Spammers Top Microsoft Hit List (Jan 6)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View entire article: Spammers Top Microsoft Hit List


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

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

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


office     Microsoft Publisher 2003 Review (Jan 6)

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

View entire article: Microsoft Publisher 2003 Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

View: Microsoft Plans Office 2003 Service Pack For May


info     PCs to change radically in 2004 (Jan 5)

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

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

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

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

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

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

View entire article: PCs to change radically in 2004


office     New Office Templates for 2004 (Jan 5)

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

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

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


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

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

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


office     Microsoft Office 2003: It Matters (Jan 4)

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

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

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

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

View entire article: Microsoft Office 2003: It Matters


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

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

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

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

 Archive 19

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

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

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

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

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

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


info     Gates patents e-picture hanging (Jan 4)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View full article: Gates patents e-picture hanging


about     Happy New Year!!! (Jan 1)


office     Exchange 5.5 CDO Patch 2657.55 (Dec 31)

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

Download: Exchange 5.5 CDO Patch 2657.55


office    Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals (Dec 30)

The Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals enables partners and organizations to rapidly create proposal development solutions to increase the win rate of sales teams.

Designed in response to feedback from customers who want to derive additional value from their Microsoft Office System investments, the Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals helps sales professionals to improve their proposal win rate by streamlining the proposal development process, facilitating the use of the latest approved product and legal information, and ensuring a systematic evaluation of bid opportunities. Using the extensive input from our customers, Microsoft designed the Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals to help sales professionals specifically by automating proposal process steps, leveraging a corporate knowledge base, establishing effective collaboration, and increasing project control. Furthermore, the Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals is fully integrated with Microsoft Office Word, so that sales professionals can quickly adopt the solution and work more productively with familiar software tools.

The Microsoft technology partners play a central role in delivering the complete, end-to-end proposal development solution to customers by integrating, configuring, customizing and consulting using the Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals.

Download: Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Download: Microsoft Office HTML Viewer Service for Windows SharePoint Services


info     Microsoft aims to make spammers pay (Dec 27)

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

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

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

View full article: Microsoft aims to make spammers pay


about     Merry Christmas! (Dec 25)


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

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

The guide explains how you can go from

 ieregbefore

to

ieregafter

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


update     New Sober virus spreading fast (Dec 22)

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

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

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

Type

Worm

Infection Length

74,346 bytes (minimum size)

Systems Affected

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

Systems Not Affected

Linux, Macintosh, OS/2, UNIX

More info at Symantec
Removal instructions


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

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

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


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

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

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

  • Planning

  • Deployment Scenarios

  • Installation

  • Security

  • Configuration

  • Administration

  • Backup and Migration

  • Maintenance

  • Customization

  • Troubleshooting

  • Reference

Download: Windows SharePoint Services Administrator’s Guide


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

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

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

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

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

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

View: Microsoft and New York State join to fight spam


office    Visio Viewer 2003 (Dec 19)

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

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

Download: Visio Viewer 2003


Click here for older news

Sperry Software
Use "BH93RF24" to get a discount when ordering!

 Archive 18

other    MSN Messenger 6.1 for Windows (Dec 19)

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Download: Microsoft Office HTML Viewer Service for Windows SharePoint Services


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

mcse
(official logo not yet available)


office    Bookshelf Symbol 7 Font Removal Tool (Dec 12)

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

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


office    Excel 2003 Sample: XML File (Dec 12)

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

Download: Excel 2003 Sample: XML File


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

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

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


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

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

View: Getting the News button in Outlook 2003


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

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

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

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

View: Complete overview of the Sperry Software Add-ins


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

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

Top 10 Viruses of 2003, according to MessageLabs

  • Sobig-F (32,432,730)

  • Swen-A (4,184,129)

  • Klez-H (4,006,766)

  • Yaha-E (1,920,424)

  • Dumaru-A (1,129,061)

  • Mimail-A (1,052,481)

  • Yaha-M (862,682)

  • Sobig-A (842,729)

  • BugBear-B (814,865)

  • SirCam.A (511,578)

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


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

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

Download: Using Exchange Server 2003 Recovery Storage Groups


office    Troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Performance (Dec 11)

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

Download: Troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Performance

 Archive 17

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

Download the construction information update to keep your maps current.

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

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


office    Celebrate the Holidays with Microsoft (Dec 9)

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

View Microsoft Office website templates: Celebrate the Holidays


info    Congress passes anti-spam bill (Dec 9)

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

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

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

View: Congress passes anti-spam bill


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

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

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

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

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

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

View entire article: Mafia muscles in on spam and viruses


office    Exchange Server 2003 Resource Guide (Dec 9)

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

  • Quick Analysis: Exchange Server Comparison

  • 4 Dependencies of Exchange

  • Building a Case for Making the Upgrade

  • Exchange Server 2003 Configuration Spotlight

  • Knowledge Base Articles Worth Reading

  • Essential Links

  • Anti-Spam Features in Exchange Server 2003

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

  • The Best Microsoft Documentation on Exchange Server 2003

  • Exchange Server 2003 Skills Assessment and Certification

  • Exchange Server 2003 Training

  • Sins of Omission

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


office    XML opens up Office 2003 (Dec 8)

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

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

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

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

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

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


office    Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas (Dec 8)

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

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

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

Download: Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas


about    Subscribe to the Newsletter! (Dec 5)

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

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

So what can you expect of the newsletter subscription?

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

  • How To article about once a month

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

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

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

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

Till soon!

Robert Sparnaaij


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

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

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

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

View full article: New e-mail worm targets antispammers


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

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

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

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

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


office    Help Publisher for FrontPage (Dec 4)

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

Download: Help Publisher for FrontPage


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

Tools to support deployment of Microsoft Office Visio 2003

Download: Microsoft Office Visio 2003 Resource Kit Tools


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

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

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

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

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

View: Hijacked PCs blamed for a third of spam

 Archive 16

info    Virus damage costs increase fourfold (Dec 3)

Either enterprises are spending four times more cleaning up after virus and worm attacks this year, or they significantly underestimated their costs last year, according to new research.

It costs four times more to clean up after a virus than previously thought, according to a survey of large enterprise IT departments. Compared with previous estimates, costs associated with cleaning up after a virus or worm attack have increased by more than 400 percent over the past 12 months, to £122,000, says The Corporate IT Forum, which represents the corporate IT user community.

The Forum surveyed its members, which include more than half of the FTSE 100 and 250 companies, after the MSBlast worm this August. The figure of £122,000 is four times that estimated by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) last year. According to the survey, three out of four IT departments spent around 365 person-hours repairing damage caused by the attack. However, 35 percent of organisations were hit far worse, with each losing an average of 3,080 person-hours.

David Roberts, chief executive of the Corporate IT Forum, said the costs associated with worm and virus clean-up are much higher than expected, especially for smaller companies that do not have the resources required to implement a strong security policies: “Our research is just the tip of the iceberg. The companies surveyed have better than average security and incident response policies in place. Organisations with relatively poor protection will be being hit even harder as they will suffer more downtime and wider business disruption — as well as getting more viruses in the first place,” he said in a statement.

View: Virus damage costs increase fourfold


office    Word 2003: XML Toolbox for Microsoft Office Word 2003 (Dec 2)

This toolbox assists the XML content author and developer working with the new XML features of Word 2003.

The Word XML Toolbox requires that .NET Programmability Support is enabled. For .NET Programmability Support to be installed during the Office 2003 setup, the PIAs require the .NET Framework 1.1 already be installed. It is recommended that you install the Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 before you install Microsoft Office 2003. With the .NET Framework 1.1 already installed, a complete installation of Office 2003 will install all of the PIAs.

Download: Word 2003: XML Toolbox for Microsoft Office Word 2003


office    Visio Viewer 2003 (Dec 2)

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

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

Download: Visio Viewer 2003


office    Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2003 Update: Windows Small Business Server 2003 (Dec 2)

With this update you can use Windows Small Business Server 2003 to run Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2003.

Download: Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2003 Update: Windows Small Business Server 2003


other    Outlook Connecter for MSN Set for Beta (Dec 2)

After demonstrating a prototype in July called Outlook Connecter for MSN, Microsoft is finally ready to invite customers into the beta program.

The beta is designed to seamlessly integrate Microsoft’s Outlook 2003 productivity software with MSN services ranging from photo sharing and contact management to online scheduling. The test is scheduled to run throughout the month of December into January.

In a message to invited testers, Microsoft beta coordinators stressed, “Since this beta has such a short window of opportunity to submit bugs and feedback, it is very critical that we have high participation in the first 2 weeks of the beta. Please make your decision carefully.”

The invite also notes that a valid credit card number is required during installation, but no charges will be made during the beta.

The guest ID “MSNOLC” is needed in order to access BetaPlace and apply to test Outlook Connecter for MSN.

View: Outlook Connecter for MSN Set for Beta (source: WinBeta)


office    Slow uptake seen for Office 2003 (Dec 2)

Only about 35 percent of large businesses plan to move up to the latest version of Microsoft’s Office software next year, according to a new survey of chief information officers.

The Merrill Lynch survey polled CIOs at 75 U.S. companies and 25 European ones on a number of issues, including whether they were “likely to upgrade to Office 2003 in the next year.” A total of 65 percent said “no,” a result Merrill Lynch attributed to complex new server-based functions–including capabilities based on Extensible Markup Language (XML)–included in the new version of the productivity software. “Without a new killer app in Office, the upgrade cycle looks to be gradual until new XML-based technologies take hold in the broader market,” according to the report.

A Microsoft representative said initial sales of Office 2003 are in line with expectations and well ahead of early results for the previous version of the software, Office XP. “Customers should always make sure they see value in their software purchases,” the representative said. “Microsoft’s job is to show them that value in Office, and that’s exactly what we’re in the process of doing with the Microsoft Office System. We’re confident that as more companies evaluate the Microsoft Office System, they’ll see for themselves the value in the investment.”

The survey results are in line with predictions accompanying the launch of Office 2003 in October, when analysts noted that businesses would need to do significant testing and resource planning before taking advantage of XML functions and other server-based tools.

View entire article: Slow uptake seen for Office 2003


office    What’s behind Microsoft’s Office moves? (Dec 1)

Looming competitive and regulatory pressures factored into Microsoft’s recent decision to reveal formerly secret pieces of its latest Office software, according to analysts.

Microsoft announced that starting Dec. 5, customers and partners will be able to view the unique Extensible Markup Language (XML) dialects, or “schemas,” used by three of the most common Office applications: Word, Excel and InfoPath.

Microsoft has made extensive XML support one of the key selling points for Office 2003, with the widely adopted standard promising more fluid exchange of data between Office documents and enterprise computing systems.

The software giant attracted growing criticism for its refusal to reveal the XML schemas Office would use. Without access to the schemas, customers were ensured only of basic data interchange, without access to sophisticated formatting and organizational information included in Office documents.

Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Jupiter Research, said such concerns became more widespread once the software hit the market, and Microsoft had to respond.

View full article: What’s behind Microsoft’s Office moves?


info    A Spam-Free Future By Bill Gates (Nov 30)

Overwhelmed and infuriated by a torrent of unwanted e-mail, consumers, industry and government are rising up against the scourge we all know as spam.

More than half of all e-mail sent today is spam, which puts a heavy strain on networks and wastes time, money and other resources of consumers and businesses. And 70 percent of e-mail users say spam has made their online experience unpleasant or annoying, a study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found. One-quarter say that spam has caused them to reduce their use of e-mail.

The anti-spam legislation the House passed on Saturday is an important step in defense of a vital part of the nation’s technology infrastructure. The Senate, which passed a similar bill last month, is expected to adopt the House language, and the president is expected to sign it into law. All are to be congratulated for acting to preserve the Internet as an efficient medium for global communication and commerce.

This legislation expands the tools available for curbing deceptive and fraudulent spam. It prohibits use of misleading subject lines, false return addresses and phony routing information — favorite ploys for defeating spam filters, luring unwary recipients and avoiding detection. With strong criminal and civil penalties, it extends protection to consumers nationwide and adds clout to legal actions like those that Microsoft and others have brought under state laws against deceptive spammers.

But laws alone are not enough. A comprehensive solution must combine strong laws and enforcement with industry cooperation, technological innovation and the empowerment of informed consumers.

View full story: A Spam-Free Future By Bill Gates


info    A 20-year plague (Oct 30)

Of all the accomplishments in the annals of technology, Fred Cohen’s contribution is undeniably unique: He introduced the term “virus” to the lexicon of computers.

The University of New Haven professor used the phrase in a 1984 research paper, in which he described threats self-propagating programs pose and explored potential defenses against them. When he asked for funding from the National Science Foundation three years later to further explore countermeasures, the agency rebuffed him.

“They turned it down,” said Cohen, who is also principal analyst for research firm Burton Group. “They said it wasn’t of current interest.”

Two decades later, countless companies and individuals are still paying for that mistake. The technology industry has yet to find a blanket solution to the ever-growing list of viruses and worms that constitute the greatest risk to computers on the Internet. Every year, companies lose billions of dollars when forced to halt work and deal with infectious digital diseases, such as Sobig and Slammer.

View full article: A 20-year plague


office    Project Server 2003: Portfolio Analyzer OLAP Extensions (Nov 27)

This solution starter shows how to add data from Project Server, as well as external data, to the Portfolio Analyzer cube, and how to create or modify views of the cube using Project Web Access. The documentation explains how to add new data dimensions to the cube from existing project view tables, how to extend the view tables and cube staging tables, and how to add data to the cube from external sources such as Microsoft® Windows® SharePoint™ Services.

The samples include three examples of extending the Portfolio Analyzer cube, with test applications and instructions on how to install the samples so that the extensions are executed every time the cube is updated.

The sample code and documentation in the solution starter includes the following:

  • Adding a Pay Period Dimension: update the cube staging tables with additional data from Project Server view tables, manually add a dimension to the Portfolio Analyzer cube using SQL Server Analysis Manager, and add the pay period dimension to a view of the cube in Project Web Access.

  • Adding Windows SharePoint Services Data for Risk Analysis: add a modified template for task issues and risks to SharePoint Services, extend the view tables and cube staging tables, and automatically populate the tables and create new risks and issues cubes whenever the Portfolio Analyzer cube is rebuilt. Add new views for analysis of risks and issues to the Portfolio Analyzer page in Project Web Access.

  • Adding Task Information for Earned Value Analysis: add task earned value data to the cube. Add a new view to chart earned value fields such as task BCWP, ACWP, BCWS, and a number of other cost fields over time for a project portfolio, and also filter by the data by Enterprise Task Outline Code.

Note The Portfolio Analyzer OLAP Extensions Solution Starter is provided as a separate download; it will also be included in the Microsoft Office Project 2003 SDK download from the Microsoft Download Center.

Download: Project Server 2003: Portfolio Analyzer OLAP Extensions


office    Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services (Nov 27)

Alert: Microsoft has found an issue in Windows SharePoint Services that may cause problems during new installations or content database creation. Please refer to Microsoft Knowledge Base Article KB833019 for more information and workarounds to this issue.

View: Knowledge Base Article KB833019


office    Microsoft issues Exchange flaw fix (Nov 25)

Microsoft has made a knowledge paper available that details how to fix the recently reported Exchange security hole.

Microsoft has issued a knowledge paper on how to fix the flaw in Exchange Server 2003. Last week Microsoft announced it had received notification of a flaw in Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 that either denied users access to Outlook Web Access or, worse, gave them full access to someone else’s account.

Andrew Cunningham, Exchange product manager for Microsoft Australia, told ZDNet Australia that investigations by Microsoft had revealed the issue came to light when someone ran Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services on an Exchange Server. “It’s not a common scenario,” Cunningham said. “Most organisations have a dedicated Exchange application and a dedicated SharePoint scenario as well.” This issue arose because SharePoint turned off the Kerberos authentication, which is set on by default on the Exchange Server.

Microsoft has issued a paper detailing how to fix the problem, which involves turning the Kerberos authentication back on for the Exchange server, and also running it on SharePoint. The paper is available from Microsoft’s Web site. “We’ll continue testing to close [the investigation] off,” said Cunningham. “To see whether we need to make changes to the code, or whether any other knowledge-based articles need to be released.”

View: Microsoft issues Exchange flaw fix
View: Configure Windows SharePoint Services to Use Kerberos Authentication


info    Ex-Microsoft Employee Sentenced for Fraud (Nov 25)

A former Microsoft Corp. employee accused of stealing more than $6 million worth of company software and reselling it was sentenced Tuesday to 17 months in prison for mail fraud.

Kori Robin Brown, 31, of Spokane, Wash., will also be subject to three years of supervision after release, under the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman. Brown pleaded guilty to the mail fraud charge in July.

Brown, a former administrative assistant at Microsoft, is one of three employees recently accused of taking advantage of an internal Microsoft system that allowed employees to order and receive Microsoft software for business purposes for free.

Prosecutors said Brown got software worth more than $6 million and resold it to a third party for between $50,000 and $100,000.

The flaws came to light last year after federal authorities charged another Microsoft employee, Daniel Feussner, of stealing software with a retail value of $9 million and using the sales proceeds to buy expensive cars and jewelry. Feussner, who was awaiting trial on charges of wire, mail and computer fraud, died in February after drinking antifreeze.

An internal Microsoft investigation led authorities to Brown and another employee, Richard Gregg, 43, of Bellevue, Wash., who is accused of stealing software valued at $17 million. Gregg pleaded not guilty in June to similar wire, mail and computer fraud charges. His trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 12.

Microsoft fired all the employees.

View: Ex-Microsoft Employee Sentenced for Fraud


office    Welcome to the SharePoint Trial (Nov 25)

Try the latest version of Microsoft Windows® SharePoint™ Services

  • 30 day free SharePoint trial

  • 5 user accounts

  • 10 MB disk space

Sing up: SharePoint Trial
View: SharePoint Trial website


office    Microsoft Solution Accelerator for Intranets (Nov 25)

The objective of the Solution Accelerator for Intranets is to enable partners and enterprise customers to quickly build comprehensive intranet solutions that provide enterprise search and document management, Web-based team collaboration, and tight integration with the Microsoft Office System.

The Solution Accelerator for Intranets is a collection of documentation that presents a prescriptive, tested, and supported approach to designing, deploying, operating, and growing a highly-available intranet solution. In the development of such a solution, the accelerator documentation addresses issues that are not discussed in the product documentation, such as service readiness planning, resource requirements, and capacity planning. Topics such as monitoring, backup and restore, planning for growth, and disaster recovery are also covered.

Download: Microsoft Solution Accelerator for Intranets version 2.0

 Archive 15

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

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

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

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

  • Evaluate potential risks to the successful deployment of EPM.

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

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

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

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

  • Point the reader to resources for configuring the system.

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

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


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

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

  • Startup and Settings

  • Customizing the Portal Site

  • Personalizing the Portal Site

  • Working with Alerts

  • Searching the Portal Site

  • Working with Areas

  • Working with the Site Directory

  • Working with Backward-Compatible Document Libraries

  • Managing the Portal Site

  • Working with Windows SharePoint Services

Download: Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Help


office    Microsoft retires NetMeeting (Nov 25)

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

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

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

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

View: Microsoft retires NetMeeting


info    The Wall of Fame (Nov 25)

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

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

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

WETA BY THE NUMBERS

HUMANPOWER
IT staff: 35
Visual f/x staff: 420

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

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

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

View: The Wall of Fame


office    Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services (Nov 25)

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

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

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

  • Microsoft Office InfoPath™ 2003 integration

  • Flexible deployment scenarios

  • Document libraries

  • Meeting workspace sites

  • Lists

  • Document workspace sites

  • Surveys

  • Templates

  • Threaded-view discussion boards

  • Extensibility

Improved features include:

  • Microsoft Office System integration

  • Microsoft Office FrontPage® 2003 integration

  • Administration features

  • Backup and restore

  • Search capabilities

  • Web discussions

  • Alerts

  • Browser-based customization

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


info    Spamming with spamming news (Nov 24)

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

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


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

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

Download: Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 Management Pack Guide


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

View full story: Congress Passes Bill That Will Limit Spam


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

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

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

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

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


update    Microsoft investigates possible Exchange 2003 flaw (Nov 23)

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

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

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

View: Microsoft investigates possible Exchange 2003 flaw


office    Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Recruiting (Nov 21)

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

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


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

This will bring your version up to 6.1.0.203

Download: MSN Messenger 6.1 for Windows 6.1.0.203 (English)
Download: MSN Messenger 6.1 for Windows 6.1.0.203 (different language)


office    Office XP Tool: Web Components (Nov 21)

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

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

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

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

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


info    Key Office exec to exit Microsoft (Nov 21)

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

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

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

View: Key Office exec to exit Microsoft

 Archive 14

office    Deploying Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Clusters (Nov 20)

Windows Clustering is a Microsoft Windows® 2000 Server feature that administrators can use to achieve continuous availability of server resources. Read this Exchange Online Book to help you understand how Exchange 2000 uses Windows Clustering and how to:

  • Plan for and create Exchange 2000 clusters

  • Monitor the performance of Exchange 2000 clusters

  • Maintain the availability of Exchange 2000 clusters

Download: Deploying Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Clusters


office    Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) Management Pack for Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 (Nov 20)

The Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Management Pack module monitors events placed in the Application event log. This Management Pack module highlights events that may indicate possible service outages or configuration problems, so you can quickly take corrective or preventative actions. For example, this Management Pack module alerts you of the following critical conditions:

  • Data backup or restore fails

  • Core services such as search, alert notifications and administration are not running

  • Content source crawl fails

  • Search propagation of one or more content indexes fails

  • Audience compilation or profile import fails

This Management Pack module quickly brings any failures or configuration problems to your attention, increasing the availability and performance of SharePoint Portal Server. This Management Pack module provides the knowledge and expertise you need to leverage Operations Manager for immediate return on your investment.

Download: Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) Management Pack for Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003


office    Steve Ballmer Microsoft Office System Launch Video: Productivity in the Digital Decade (Nov 20)

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

Download: Steve Ballmer Microsoft Office System Launch Video: Productivity in the Digital Decade


office    Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services Management Pack Guide (Nov 20)

This document describes the monitoring scenarios that are supported by the Microsoft® Windows SharePoint Services Management Pack and includes detailed instructions for deploying, configuring, and tuning the Management Pack. This guide also includes operational guidance and reference information that lists the contents of the Management Pack.

Download: Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services Management Pack Guide


info    Consumers plagued by opt-in marketing spam (Nov 19)

Anger mounts over junk mails from businesses, but EU laws look set to make the problem worse.

Over half of all opt-in marketing emails are irrelevant, inappropriate and little better than spam, according to a recent poll of internet users. One in six of all spam messages received by UK internet users is junk sent by businesses to consumers who have signed up to receive news and special offers. But the survey, conducted by customer-profiling software firm NCorp, found that seven out of 10 of the 500 consumers questioned would have “little hesitation” in transferring their business to another company if they were consistently sent ‘second degree spam’ after signing up to an electronic mailing list.

Two out of five respondents said they found marketing as annoying as double-glazing salespeople. Only one in five marketing emails contains content tailored to a recipient’s preferences and interests. And an overwhelming majority – 96.5 per cent – of the survey’s respondents said companies should have a duty of care to only send out marketing information and offers by email that they know will be relevant and of interest to the recipient.

“Sending spam is completely socially unacceptable, whatever form it takes,” said Martin Blackburn, managing director of NCorp. Consumers feel extremely let down when they are consistently sent irrelevant and inappropriate content after giving a company their permission to be emailed, he added. But he warned that the problem of second degree spam was set to worsen as new UK and EU legislation effectively banned unsolicited communications. “Hardcore spammers will therefore seek to cover themselves by using opt-in mailing lists. This means honest businesses will have to work even harder to win over the trust and confidence of consumers,” he said.

View: Consumers plagued by opt-in marketing spam


office    Huawei Teams With Microsoft (Nov 19)

Stepping up the pressure on Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) in the VOIP equipment market, China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has announced a partnership with Microsoft Corp., a move analysts say is bound to raise the hairs on Cisco’s neck.

Cisco and Huawei have been at loggerheads since the incumbent provider slapped a lawsuit on Huawei, accusing the company of violating copyright laws and stealing intellectual property to use in its products and support materials. Cisco recently halted the suit pending an independent review of Huawei products, after Huawei said it had changed its source code.

Now Huawei is back on the offensive, teaming up with Microsoft in China, where the two firms will sell an integrated package of next-generation network equipment from Huawei coupled with Microsoft’s Exchange Server 2003. Dubbed U-SYS WorkSpace, the offering is aimed at carriers looking to offer IP Centrex and other hosted IP services like Microsoft Exchange.

View full story: Huawei Teams With Microsoft


office    Microsoft Connecting Web Conferencing with IM (Nov 19)

Next month, Microsoft Corp. is planning to release an update to its Office Live Meeting 2003 that will integrate it with Windows Messenger so that users can initiate Web conferencing sessions right from the enterprise instant messaging client. In an interview with eWEEK.com during the Comdex trade show here, Microsoft officials said the move is one of many that the software maker is planning to more deeply integrate its various products with Live Meeting, the renamed Web conferencing service it acquired from PlaceWare Inc.

The Redmond, Wash., company plans to go as far as to introduce in 2005 a server-based version of Live Meeting, something the company hinted at when it introduced Live Meeting 2003 in September. While details are still being worked out, the server version will either be a stand-alone offering or a feature within Microsoft’s Office Live Communications Server presence and IM software introduced with Office System 2003 in October, said David Hastie, product manager in the real-time collaboration group.

Any server version also would work in conjunction with the hosted service so that enterprises could mix and mingle their approach by, for example, using the server software with internal employees while connecting attendees from outside the enterprise through the hosted service, Hastie said.

View full story: Microsoft Connecting Web Conferencing with IM


office    Updated: Windows SharePoint Services Administrator’s Guide (Nov 19)

Version 1.2
Includes updated “Capacity Planning” topic.

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


office    Outlook 2003 Performs Slowly or Stops Responding When Connected to Exchange Server 2003 Through HTTP (Nov 18)

When you use Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 to connect to a Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 e-mail server by using a remote procedure call (RPC) over HTTP, Outlook 2003 may perform slowly or stop responding (hang).

CAUSE
This issue may occur in one or both of the following scenarios:

  • The Bypass proxy server for local addresses check box is selected in the Microsoft Internet Explorer options, and the HTTP connection to your Exchange Server 2003 e-mail server can be made through the HTTP proxy server on the network that you are connected to.

  • Outlook 2003 has issued a local RPC call that is waiting for a remote RPC call to complete. This problem is more noticeable when you are using a slow network connection.

View KB article: Outlook 2003 Performs Slowly or Stops Responding When Connected to Exchange Server 2003 Through HTTP


howto    Added Content: Adding Sound to Your E-mail (Nov 18)

Adding sound to a mail message in Outlook Express is pretty straight forward; Forward-> Background-> Sound. In Microsoft Office Outlook it isn’t that straight forward at all. It is even quite hard to find. Probably because Microsoft Office Outlook is targeted to a more business public than a home user one. But if you look a bit closer you’ll find that you can do a lot more fun stuff Microsoft Office Outlook than Outlook Express. This guide not only instructs you how to add a sound to an e-mail but also leads you to options to let you add stuff like scrolling text or even a movie!

View: Adding Sound to Your E-mail


info    Microsoft Anti-Spam Virtual Press Room (Nov 18)

Yesterday Microsoft launched the Microsoft Anti-Spam Virtual Press Room. This site has been designed to provide you with all the latest news and information about Microsoft Corp.’s efforts to work with customers, partners, government, law enforcement and industry to help solve the spam problem for e-mail users.

View: Microsoft Anti-Spam Virtual Press Room


office    Mail server flaw opens Exchange to spam (Nov 18)

Administrators of e-mail systems based on Microsoft’s Exchange might have spammers using their servers to send unsolicited bulk e-mail under their noses, a consultant warned this week.

Aaron Greenspan, a Harvard University junior and president of consulting company Think Computer, published a white paper Thursday detailing the problem, discovered when a client’s server was found to be sending spam. Greenspan’s research concluded that Exchange 5.5 and 2000 can be used by spammers to send anonymous e-mail. He says even though software Microsoft provides on its site certifies that the server is secure, it’s not.

“If the guest account is enabled (on Exchange 5.5 and 2000), even if your login fails, you can send mail, because the guest account is there as a catchall,” he said. “Even if you think you’ve done everything (to secure the server), you are still open to spammers.”

Microsoft, however, said the problem is relatively minor and that the company hasn’t had many complaints. “This particular method of sending spam relies on specifically configured servers or is leveraging weaknesses in the protocol itself,” the software giant said in a statement issued in response to questions from CNET News.com. “The fact is that Microsoft has not received a lot of calls from customers that have experienced problems detailed by Think Computer.” Moreover, the company said the issue doesn’t affect the latest version of the software, Exchange Server 2003.

View full article: Mail server flaw opens Exchange to spam


info    Microsoft’s Protect Your PC Campaign Gains New Industry Partner (Nov 18)

Today at COMDEX Las Vegas 2003, Microsoft Corp. announced continuing industry support for its Protect Your PC campaign, demonstrated by a new anti-virus and firewall offering from Computer Associates International Inc. (CA). Starting today, CA will offer its eTrust EZ Armor consumer anti-virus and firewall desktop security suite, including free updates and signatures for a year. The special CA offer includes one year of personal firewall and antivirus protection, including daily virus signature updates. The free software will be available for download through June 30, 2004, from the CA Web site and can be accessed via a link from Microsoft Protect Your PC Web site. CA joins other leading vendors working with Microsoft to increase awareness and education about PC security among customers.

The Protect Your PC campaign is designed to help consumers understand a few simple measures they can take to decrease threats from viruses and other malicious attacks. Customers are encouraged to take three key steps to protect their PCs:

  • Use an Internet firewall on all PCs and laptops

  • Update their computer

  • Use up-to-date anti-virus software

View: Microsoft’s Protect Your PC Campaign Gains New Industry Partner


other    New Hotmail demo (Nov 18)

Two months ago I posted you a demo of the new Hotmail. Now there is a second demo available. It shows new Hotmail features like Calendar and Calendar sharing. The Contacts area has gotten a nice update as well.

View: Old demo (you must be logged on to Hotmail first)
View: New demo


info    Microsoft Announces the Next Version of the Tablet PC Operating System (Nov 17)

Today at COMDEX Las Vegas 2003, Microsoft Corp. announced Windows® XP Tablet PC Edition 2004, the latest version of its Tablet PC operating system. The new version features deep integration of pen support in Windows XP, making it easier to create text anywhere in Windows and familiar Windows applications. In addition to recently announced tools in the Tablet PC SDK that enable them to create pen-aware Web pages, the new operating system now offers software developers a rich set of capabilities to deliver innovative software applications based on the Tablet PC platform.

Key features of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2004 include the following:

  • Enhanced “ink to text” experience throughout Windows and in any Windows application, makes the pen a mainstream input device. Inserting text is easier with the new Tablet PC Input Panel (TIP), and word and case recognition is improved. Developers and users can even add “rules” for how handwriting should be recognized in certain text fields (e.g., e-mail messages, addresses, URLs).

  • Integration in Microsoft Office 2003 and Office OneNote 2003 offers enhanced productivity by allowing users to annotate anywhere in Microsoft® Office Word, Excel or PowerPoint® 2003, and send handwritten e-mail in Office Outlook® 2003. OneNote (TM) on the Tablet PC brings together ink, text and Web content in one application.

  • New capabilities enable developers to create powerful productivity applications. Developers can integrate pen and ink in Web-based line-of-business solutions. Companies such as FranklinCovey Co. and Corel Corp. are deeply integrating pen and ink in their applications. This support makes ink as natural to use as text or any other feature.

View full PressRelease: Microsoft Announces the Next Version of the Tablet PC Operating System
View: Q&A: Inside the Next Version of the Tablet PC Operating System

 Archive 13

info    Security At Microsoft (Nov 17)

Microsoft is committed to sharing its internal IT security practices in order to help its customers successfully secure their environments. This paper describes what Microsoft’s Corporate Security Group does to prevent malicious or unauthorized use of digital assets at Microsoft. This asset protection takes place through a formal risk management framework, risk management processes, and clear organizational roles and responsibilities. The basis of the approach is recognition that risk is an inherent part of any environment and that risk should be proactively managed. The principles and techniques described in this paper can be employed to manage risk at any organization.

Download: Security At Microsoft IT Showcase Technical White Paper


office    Microsoft pries open Office 2003 (Nov 17)

Microsoft on Monday said it will license the XML-based file formats used in the latest edition of its Office applications on a royalty-free basis.

The move is designed to give companies better access to documents that are created using Office 2003, the latest edition of Microsoft’s desktop application suite. Microsoft said it is taking the action in response to requests from its software partners as well as from corporate and government customers who demanded a way to better interoperate with Microsoft’s dominant suite of desktop applications.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company’s Extensible Markup Language (XML) reference schemas for Excel, and the InfoPath forms application will be available starting Dec. 5. WordprocessingML for Word, the XML schema for Word, will be available online Monday.

View complete article: Microsoft pries open Office 2003

See for the download the article below this one


office    Microsoft Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas (Nov 17)

This download contains the Microsoft Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas and related documentation. The current download includes the schemas and documentation for WordprocessingML, the XML file format for Microsoft Office Word 2003.

This download will be updated December 5th, 2003 to also contain schemas and documentation for SpreadsheetML (Microsoft Office Excel 2003) and FormTemplate XML schemas (Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003).

Download: Office 2003 XML Schemas


info    Microsoft Adds New Spam Filtering Technology Across E-Mail Platforms (Nov 17)

Innovative spam-filtering technology developed at Microsoft Research is being deployed across all Microsoft e-mail platforms as part of the company’s multi-pronged effort to chase unsolicited e-mail and practitioners of illegal spamming out of consumers’ inboxes.

In his keynote address at COMDEX Las Vegas 2003 on Sunday evening, Bill Gates unveiled SmartScreen Technology, a machine-learning-based filtering technology. SmartScreen Technology uses a probability-based algorithm to essentially “learn” what is and what isn’t spam based on characteristics of both types of mail. The source material for educating SmartScreen Technology has come from hundreds of thousands of e-mail users who contribute to Microsoft’s feedback loop program. Gates called SmartScreen Technology a major advance in the battle to help secure consumers’ inboxes and return greater productivity to people’s e-mail experience.

SmartScreen Technology has already been incorporated into the spam filters for Microsoft Outlook 2003, MSN 8 and Hotmail, and will soon be available in a new Intelligent Message Filter for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 that is planned for release to customers in the first half of 2004.

View full article: Microsoft Adds New Spam Filtering Technology Across E-Mail Platforms


howto    Added Content: Color Code Your E-mail Advanced (Nov 16)

Last week I added a How To on color coding your e-mail. After some good reactions on this I decided to create an advanced guide for this as well and here it is!

Directing mails to different folders to sort or distinguish them is probably one of the most used way of organizing mail. There is a different one however; color code them!

Color coding has a few advantages I think over moving them to separate folders. One of them is that you don’t get lost in all sorts of mail folders. Also sometimes a folder doesn’t make much sense as you just want to strike some messages and moving them to a different folder could cause them to strike even less!

View: Color Code Your E-mail Advanced
View: Color Code Your E-mail Basics


office    Course: Deploying Microsoft Office Live Communication Server 2003 (Nov 15)

The goal of this course is to educate IT Professionals in the area of deploying Microsoft® Office Live Communications Server 2003, Standard Edition. The target audience for this course is system integrators and MCSEs who have experience in deploying Exchange or real-time environment technologies.

Download: Course 2081a Live Communication Server


update    New virus disguised as PayPal e-mail (Nov 14)

A computer virus that camouflages itself as a message from PayPal has started spreading among home users, antivirus companies said on Friday.

The program is a variant of the Mimail virus, which has previously spread by appearing to be a security advisory from Microsoft. The latest version of the program is attached to an e-mail forged to look as though it came from PayPal, an online payment service bought by eBay last year. Running the program infects the victim’s computer and asks the PC user for credit card information, which the virus then sends to the attacker.

“It is a new trend among virus authors to get deeper into criminal acts and attempt to generate revenue,” said Craig Schmugar, virus research engineer for security company Network Associates.

The virus appears as an attachment–“www.paypal.com.scr”–to an e-mail that purports to be from PayPal. When a person opens the e-mail attachment, a window appears bearing the PayPal logo and asking for credit card information. The virus stores any information provided by the victim in a file called “ppinfo.sys” and the file is sent to four e-mail addresses stored in the program.

View: New virus disguised as PayPal e-mail
View: Technical info about Mimail.H on Symantec


office    Windows SharePoint Services 2003 Software Development Kit (SDK) (Nov 13)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download: Windows SharePoint Services 2003 SDK


office    SharePoint Products and Technologies: Integrating SharePoint Products and Technologies and Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003 Sample Nov 13)

Use these sample files to create custom reporting forms. You can create individual and summary status reports using an InfoPath form library and a SharePoint site. These files include a custom template that provide customized views of the form library.

Download: Integrating SharePoint Products and Technologies and InfoPath 2003 Sample


office    Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Management Pack Guide (Nov 13)

This document describes the monitoring scenarios that are supported by the Microsoft® SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Management Pack and includes detailed instructions for deploying, configuring, and tuning the Management Pack. This guide also includes operational guidance and reference information that lists the contents of the Management Pack.

Download: Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Management Pack Guide


office    Exchange 2000 Server Upgrade Series – Planning Guide (Nov 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 – Planning Guide


office    Microsoft Outlook 2003 Spam Filter: Under the hood (Nov 13)

There are 28 anti-spam add-ins for Outlook in the slipstick.com software archive MAPIStore.Com — those are real add-ins by third-party developers, fully integrated with Outlook and implementing the newest spam filtering methods, including self-training ones based on various modifications of the Bayesian method. Microsoft Outlook 2003 is supplied with built-in junk mail filter based on “state-of-the-art technology developed by Microsoft Research”. This Microsoft technology is considered in our article.

Spam filtering is a very difficult task, which is evident at least from the fact that, despite numerous software solutions offered and attempts to enforce anti-spam legislation, our mailboxes are still stuffed with junk mail. And the problem is growing even more serious year after year.

Probably, that’s why we failed to learn about the new Microsoft technology from publications about Microsoft Office 2003 much more than one could read in the program help: “technology : that is used to evaluate whether an unread message should be treated as a junk e-mail message based on several factors, such as the time it was sent and the content of the message”. In our opinion, spam filtering has something in common with cryptography: the fact that the algorithm is kept in secret doesn’t make it crack-proof, nor does it guarantee effective spam filtering. And that’s why we decided to publish this article.

Our company is specializing in development of add-ins for Microsoft Outlook, therefore we thoroughly scrutinize all innovations in Microsoft Office — both as users and as software developers. As users, we were a bit surprised to find a hint at usage of some variant of the Bayesian’s method for the filtering in one of the articles about Microsoft Office 2003 — and we expected to see something trainable. However, the filter appeared to us as kind of “black box” — we could only choose between the two filter response levels — low and high. No more controls were provided. We tried to train the filter, marking messages as spam and vice versa, but all in vain.

Then we started studying it as software developers. In Microsoft Outlook, unlike Outlook Express, there are advanced and well documented facilities for creation of add-ins, using which a software developer can add almost any feature to Outlook. Alas, here disappointment was awaiting us again: neither the filter itself, nor any other anti-spam components could be detected (senders black list etc.) anywhere. Of course, they did exist and they worked, but a third-party software developer couldn’t get access to them or find out any information about them.

View full article: Microsoft Outlook 2003 Spam Filter: Under the hood


other    Winter Fun Packs for Windows XP (Nov 13)

This year, use your own creativity with Windows XP to make unique gifts for your friends and family. Discover how to use digital music, home movies, and photos to create one-of-a-kind personalized presents, and a homemade holiday whose memories you will treasure forever.

Download all the goodies you need to create memorable holiday gifts, plus a few special items just for you, including screen savers, Windows Media Player skins, and more.

View: Winter Fun


office    Excel Spreadsheets Tap Into Grid Power (Nov 13)

Platform Computing has released a software module that enables Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet software to tap into the power of a grid computing system, the company said Tuesday.

The Excel adapter is now a standard part of Platform’s Symphony Suite, software the Toronto-based company sells to join groups of computers together into a single pool of processing power. Platform is aiming the Excel adapter software at financial services companies, where analysts often must perform high-speed calculations such as calculating the risks incurred by a particular change to a stock portfolio.

The software moves a common desktop software package one step closer to the widespread but still-distant notion of computing power that will be much like today’s electrical power grid: something that’s always available for those who need a little more computing capacity. This idea is closely related to the utility computing concept that’s under development in various forms at many of the largest computing hardware and software companies.

View full article: Excel spreadsheets tap into grid power
View: Official Press Release from Platform


other    Plus! Dancer LE: Experience music in a whole new way with lifelike 3-D and animated dancers (Nov 12)

A funny download for everyone! It’s a bit like the Screenmates which already existed for Windows 3.x. Hmm, has Clippy become a real ghost or is he just pretending? Well something says me that we still haven’t seen the last of him…

Experience music in a whole new way with lifelike 3-D and animated dancers that groove on your desktop with dozens of entertaining and hilarious dance moves. Try the freely downloadable “LE” version of Plus! Dancer then step up to the full version and get a choice of sizes and a wide range of dancers to choose from!

System Requirements
Supported Operating Systems: Windows XP

Microsoft Windows® XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition.
Requirement: 233 megahertz (MHz) processor, such as an Intel Pentium or Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) processor.
Recommendation: 500 MHz processor or faster, such as a Pentium III or equivalent processor.
Sound Card

Download: BooWho_DancerLE.exe
Download: Cobey_DancerLE.exe
Download: EandM_DancerLE.exe
Download: Jade_DancerLE.exe
Download: Kris_DancerLE.exe

View: Microsoft Plus! Digital Media Edition
View: Meet the dancers

 Archive 12

office    Microsoft Project Server 2003: Multilanguage User Interface Packs (Nov 12)

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.

View: Microsoft Project Server 2003: Multilanguage User Interface Packs


update    Security Update for Microsoft Windows 2000: KB329115 (Nov 12)

This update resolves the “Certificate Validation Flaw Could Enable Identity Spoofing” vulnerability in Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4. Download now to help prevent an attacker from attempting identity spoofing using certificates.

Download: Security Update for Microsoft Windows 2000: KB329115 (English)
Download: Security Update for Microsoft Windows 2000: KB329115 (different language)
View: Microsoft Security Bulletin MS02-050

Run Windows Update


other    MSN Messenger 6.1 for Windows (Nov 12)

Get the latest version of MSN 6.1! The word goes that version 7.0 is already worked on.

Download: MSN Messenger 6.1 build 6.1.0202 (English)
Download: MSN Messenger 6.1 build 6.1.0202 (different language)


office    Word 2003: Sample XML Resume Template (Nov 12)

This developer sample includes a sample XML resume template for use in developing your own templates that takes advantage of a resume schema in XML and then allows end users (who have no knowledge of XML) use the template to create resume documents.

Included in this sample is the default resume.dot template file used with Microsoft Office Word 2003 and a companion .XSD file for use with the MSDN article “Creating and Applying an XML Resume Template in Microsoft Office Word 2003.”

Download: Word 2003: Sample XML Resume Template
View: Creating and Applying an XML Resume Template in Microsoft Office Word 2003


update    Microsoft Windows Security Bulletin Summary for November, 2003 (Nov 12)

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-048 – Cumulative Update for Internet Explorer (824145)

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-049 – Buffer Overrun in the Workstation Service Could Allow Code Execution (828749)

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-051 – Buffer Overrun in Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions Could Allow Code Execution (813360)

View:  Microsoft Windows Security Bulletin Summary for November, 2003

Run Windows Update


office    Spawn Add-in for FrontPage (Nov 11)

Now you can quickly and easily create hyperlinks that open in a new window configured exactly the way you want. Spawn makes it a breeze to create popup windows right within FrontPage in a flash!

The popup windows work great in all browsers, even Netscape 4.5. When you set the location of the popup window with Spawn, the location you specify is correctly read by Netscape and Internet Explorer both. Get better performance from Spawn.

This version supports CSS classes, a Title tag, and complete control over the placement of Spawn’s script and is now supported in shared borders and frames.

Download: Spawn Add-in for FrontPage
View: Jimco Add-ins


info    Spam surge raises fears of junk mail assault (Nov 11)

Organised spammers may have launched a new assault on Web users, with an anti-spam company reporting a spike in the amount of junk mail being sent.

An email security firm has warned that spammers may be increasing their assault on Web users, after detecting a rise in the amount of unsolicited junk messages sent across the Internet. FrontBridge, which provides outsourced email filtering services for companies, said this week that it detected a 15 percent increase in spam between the 14th and 18th October — which it believes is a sign that organised spammers are ratcheting up their activities.

“Users who until this point had remained spam-free are now reporting multiple messages per day,” said Craig Whitney, FrontBridge’s European director. “This latest jump in the volume of spam being generated just adds to the load that enterprises have to manage every day,” Whitney added. This mid-October surge in spam activity could mean that some of the most determined and active spammers have added many more email addresses to the lists that they use when sending their unsolicited emails. Other experts, though, believe that the anti-spam industry should be able to combat the threat.

“We often see spikes in the spam load that last a few days. This may be attributed to one such spike,” Matt Sergeant, senior anti-spam technologist at Messagelabs, told ZDNet UK. “Generally these do not last, as it is very difficult to sustain these kind of attack levels without getting noticed. The general trend for spam, though, is definitely on the up, with our latest figures showing that 50.5 percent of all email is now spam.”

FrontBridge has also announced that it is targeting the European enterprise market by launching a Euro HQ in London. Through this, it hopes to persuade more companies to sign up for its managed email security services, which it claims can save a company £71 per user per year.

View: Spam surge raises fears of junk mail assault


office    Windows XP Expert Zone Chats (Nov 11)

Every month, Microsoft executives and other experts host live online chats about Windows XP, Media Center PCs, Tablet PCs, and Smart Displays. The experts from Microsoft, its partners, or the user community will answer your questions, take your suggestions, and discuss computing.

November 11th  3:00pm Pacific /6:00pm Eastern /11:00pm UK (GMT)
Inking in Office 2003 – Members of the Tablet PC team at Microsoft will host this chat about using the inking features in Microsoft Office 2003 on a Tablet.

Download: Reminder to your calendar
View: Enter Chat Room


update    Security Updates for Office versions 97, 2000 and 2002 (Nov 11)

Office 97
Excel 97 Security Patch- KB830356        Download: English
Word 97 Security Patch- KB830354        Download: English

Office 2000
Excel 2000 Security Patch- KB830349     Download: English
Word 2000 Security Patch- KB830347     Download: English

Office 2002/XP
Excel 2002 Security Patch- KB830350      Download: English
Word 2002 Security Patch- KB830346      Download: English
Office XP Web Services Security Patch- KB812708                      Download: English
FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions Security Patch- KB813380     Download: English

Run Office Update


howto    Added Content: Color Code Your E-mail (Nov 11)

Directing mails to different folders to sort or distinguish them is probably one of the most used way of organizing mail. There is a different one however; color code them!

Color coding has a few advantages I think over moving them to separate folders. One of them is that you don’t get lost in all sorts of mail folders. Also sometimes a folder doesn’t make much sense as you just want to strike some messages and moving them to a different folder could cause them to strike even less!

View: Color Code Your E-mail


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

Download the construction information update to keep the road construction projects information of your maps current in Streets and 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 and Trips 2001 Construction Update
Download: MapPoint 2002 and Streets and Trips 2002 Construction Update
Download: MapPoint 2003 and Streets and Trips 2003 Construction Update
Download: MapPoint 2004 and Streets and Trips 2004 Construction Update


downloads    Port Requirements for Microsoft Windows Server System (Nov 10)

This one is very handy to keep for configuring your firewall!

This spreadsheet shows what network ports are used by the system services utilized by the Microsoft Windows Server System products.

Download: Port Requirements for Microsoft Windows Server System


office    Sales Teams Get Edge in Creating Winning Bids From New Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals (Nov 10)

Microsoft Corp. today helped companies arm their sales professionals with a new tool for winning that next bid by introducing the Microsoft® Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals. This is the latest in a series of accelerators that help companies and partners realize greater value from their investments in the Microsoft Office System by more quickly delivering new capabilities to information workers.

The Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals allows organizations to rapidly develop solutions that help sales teams create more winning proposals by substantially streamlining the proposal development process. By integrating seamlessly with Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, the accelerator allows sales professionals to work more productively with familiar software.

View full Press Release: Sales Teams Get Edge in Creating Winning Bids From New Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals
View: Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals Website
Download: Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals (Microsoft Office Word 2003 and InfoPath 2003 of the Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 required)
Download: Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals Documentation
View: Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals Demo


info    UK employers get tough on Net abuse (Nov 10)

Britain’s bosses are getting tougher with workers who disobey Internet and email use and abuse policies. Almost half (45 per cent) of employers in a study by IRS Employment Review said they had punished workers for such reasons in the last year. Less than five per cent dealt with more than six cases, but one UK employer had punished 10 workers for Internet and email misuse.

Of the 90 per cent of respondents who answered policy questions in the survey, all cited “accessing pornography” on the Internet as forbidden, with almost all (96 per cent) also citing the sending of obscene emails as proscribed behaviour. Other forbidden activities include: emails that denigrate colleagues (63 per cent), Internet gambling (63 per cent), using Web-based email (45 per cent), Internet shopping (31 per cent) and sending non-work related emails (14 per cent).

Two thirds (66 per cent) of the organisations quizzed offer access to email facilities to all employees but wider Internet access is more tightly controlled. Just over half (57 per cent) of the organisations polled give Net access to all employees, but 24 per cent limit it to office-based employees and just under five per cent restrict Internet access to managers alone. Approximately, two-thirds of the survey’s respondents operate an intranet.

View full article: UK employers get tough on Net abuse


office    Office add-on makes a sales call (Nov 10) (Updated!)

I’m not sure whether they are talking about the already released Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals (Nov 7) or about an updated version of it.

Well the press release is out now. I was right; it is the software download I got you the link for on November 7.

Microsoft is set to release on Monday one of the first add-on packages for the new version of its Office productivity software: a collection of software and services aimed at helping sales professionals create better proposals. The package, available as a free download for Office 2003 customers enrolled in Microsoft’s Software Assurance licensing program, is part of the Office Solution Accelerator Program that the company announced shortly before the release of the new Office System.

The new Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals includes templates and tools to help sales professionals create proposals, including guidelines for building services that cull data from corporate databases to ensure that proposals reflect the latest facts and figures.

View: Office add-on makes a sales call