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

 Archive 11

office    PowerPoint tips: perfect presentations (Nov 9)

PowerPoint is the most popular tool for giving presentations. It’s ideal for everything from sales talks to academic lectures.
The program makes compiling and running a presentation easy, but there are still pitfalls that can trip up even the best presenter.

Presenting is about a lot more than displaying slides on a screen. You have a message to deliver and the presentation is a means of getting that message across.

You’ll need some presentation skills to engage your audience and persuade them to listen to what you’re saying, but the way you set up and use your PowerPoint slides can also help a lot.

View: PowerPoint tips: perfect presentations
View: PowerPoint tips: perfect presentations (mirror in my Other Programs section)


other    IE 6.05, Pop-Up Ad Blocking to Debut in Windows XP SP2 (Nov 9)

You won’t need to wait for Longhorn in late 2005 to get pop-up ad blocking in Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE). Microsoft will release IE 6.05 as part of Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), which is due in the first half of 2004. Whether IE 6.05 will include some of the other new IE features, such as the new download manager, found in the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2003 Longhorn build is unclear. But pop-up ad blocking is definitely among the changes we can expect, as are other new security features such as more locked-down Internet security zones.

View: IE 6.05, Pop-Up Ad Blocking to Debut in Windows XP SP2


office    Exchange 2000 and 2003 – All Technical Articles and Books / Updated (Nov 8)

This download contains all Exchange 2000 and 2003 technical articles and books produced by the Exchange product team through October 2003.

Download: Exchange 2000 and 2003 – All Technical Articles and Books / Updated


office    Upgrading Public Folders from Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 to Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server (Nov 8)

In Exchange 2000, as in Exchange 5.5, a public folder is a storage container for messages or information shared among all users in your organization. Public folders can still contain different types of information, and they are still part of the information store that Exchange clients and Web browsers can access. Now, Microsoft Office 2000 and custom applications can also access Exchange public folder stores. You can open and save documents directly in the public folder stores.

After upgrading to Exchange 2000, take the additional step to reconfigure public folders with the help of this article.

Download: Upgrading Public Folders from Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 to Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server


office    Microsoft Office Project 2003 Setup Flow Diagram (Nov 7)

These diagrams describe the Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 Setup as a flow diagram. You can view this information in two ways:

  • To view the Project Server 2003 Setup Flow Diagram in your browser, open Project_Server_Setup_Flowchart.htm in Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or later.

  • To view the Project Server 2003 Setup Flow Diagram in Microsoft Office Visio 2003, open Project Server Setup Flowchart.vsd.

Download: Microsoft Office Project 2003 Setup Flow Diagram


info    Microsoft ends silence on hotmail domain SNAFU (Nov 7)

Microsoft has at last commented on the blunder that resulted in its lapsed hotmail.co.uk domain being snapped up by a private individual.

The person – who asked not to be named – then tried to alert Microsoft to the slip and hand back the domain, much like any decent person would if they saw someone drop a handkerchief, or a wallet, in the street.

However, his attempts to return the domain were ignored. Microsoft only took notice once El Reg got involved.

Anyhow, the software giant is remaining tight-lipped about how such an oversight might have occurred.

Instead, it said in a statement: “Microsoft has resolved this issue. We have put processes in place to ensure there is no recurrence of this eventuality.”

What a relief. ®

View: Microsoft ends silence on hotmail domain SNAFU


office    Office 2003 Smart Document Software Development Kit (SDK) (Nov 7)

This download is for developers who are interested in developing custom solutions that use the smart document functionality introduced in the Microsoft® Office System.

The Microsoft® Office 2003 Smart Document SDK contains documentation, tools, sample code, and XML schemas.

Download: Office 2003 Smart Document Software Development Kit (SDK)


office    Office 2003: No Browser Required (Nov 7)

For anyone thinking Office 2003 is just another ho-hum productivity suite upgrade, it’s time to download a trial version and start taking a long, hard look at the software’s extensibility.

As I have noted many times, Microsoft is trying to turn Office, like Windows, into a platform onto which developers and businesses build other programs or custom applications. A number of new Office features showcase this extensibility. In the recent Jupiter Research report, “Microsoft Positions Office 2003 for Enterprise Information,” I explore one new, extensible feature: The Research pane.

Research pane optionally opens down the right-hand side of any Office 2003 document. Installing the software also replaces Internet Explorer’s built-in search feature with a modified version of Research pane. Through the Office Research pane, people can do Web searches using MSN and access stock quotes, translation services and online subscription-based information databases Factiva and eLibrary. My report looks at what applications or browsers business users use to access back-end corporate and Internet-located information, what applications they would like to use to access this information and whether they use or change a browser’s default search settings, among other findings. The report also reviews the potential competitive impact of the feature and makes recommendations to Microsoft’s competitors, customers and partners.

The report hinted at, but did not delve into some of the Research pane’s e-commerce capabilities, which circles back to my original point about Office 2003 extensibility. Besides supporting Extensible Markup Language (XML), one of several standards adopted for Web services, Research pane also supports Secure Socket Layer (SSL). So, in theory, a company supporting XML Web services could conduct e-commerce sales from within the Research pane. No Web browser required. I want to repeat that: No Web browser required.

View entire article: Office 2003: No Browser Required


office    Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals (Nov 7)

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
Download: Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals Documentation


office    Office 2003 Research Service SDK (Nov 7)

With the Microsoft Office 2003 Research Service SDK, you can build information services that provide users with robust information sources and actions that make it possible for users to manage information in powerful ways—all from within their Office applications. You can also easily adapt existing information stores to provide content to Office applications, so that users can take advantage of information services when authoring documents, presentations, and so on.

Download: Office 2003 Research Service SDK


faq    Added Content: What happens to mails dragged to the Outlook Today Folder? (Nov 6)

This week a question in the newsgroup was what happens to mails dragged to the Outlook Today folder? Although the solution is rather easy it can be a real pain when you don’t know where to look and you really need to access those items. So I added it to my FAQ.

View: What happens to mails dragged to the Outlook Today Folder?


info    Microsoft forgets to renew hotmail.co.uk domain (Nov 6)

Microsoft was busy covering up an almighty cock-up last night after forgetting to renew its hotmail.co.uk domain name.

Despite being warned that the domain for its popular Web mail service was up for renewal, it seems Microsoft – or whoever had the task of managing its hotmail.co.uk domain – overlooked this vital piece of administration. As a result, last month Microsoft lost its claim to the domain and it was duly returned to the open market to be picked up by whomever fancied it.

Luckily, the domain was snapped up on the same day – October 23. The new owner – a good hearted soul – then proceeded immediately to contact Microsoft, inform the giant of its slip and arrange to hand back the domain. However, Microsoft didn’t want to know. Despite phone calls and emails – and being fobbed off by Microsoft drones – our man behind this public-spirited deed was completely blanked by the software empire. Microsoft only took notice when The Register contacted the company yesterday afternoon to enquire why its hotmail.co.uk site was registered to a private individual. It was then we were told that the matter was under investigation and being “escalated”. Worryingly, no one in the UK could deal with the matter so it was up to the US to sort things out.

Of course, while Microsoft’s spinstresses tried to stall for time, the company was busy scurrying behind the scenes to sort out this embarrassing episode. It managed to contact hotmail.co.uk’s new owner, grovel at their mistake and sort out the mess. By all accounts, hotmail.co.uk will be returned in a few days.

A spokeswoman for Nominet UK – the registry for all .uk domains – confirmed that hotmail.co.uk had failed to be renewed and was placed back into pool of available domains. For Nominet’s part, she confirmed that “all the standard renewal procedures were followed regarding hotmail.co.uk”. “I would like to remind companies and their agents that it is their responsibility to renew their domains,” she said.

Despite repeated attempts to seek comment from Microsoft, the software giant has failed to cobble together any form of statement that might shed light on this situation.

In December 1999, Microsoft forgot to renew the domain name Passport.com, and so rendered its Hotmail service partially crippled. A Linux programmer, Michael Chaney, paid the $35 fee and promptly handed over ownership to Microsoft. Here is his story.

View: Microsoft forgets to renew hotmail.co.uk domain


info    It’s Your Inbox (Nov 6)

New legal and technological tools can curb the spam epidemic.

Although tarnished by misuse, the Internet’s first popular application is beginning to get its groove back.

E-mail is what attracted millions of people to the Internet originally, but lately a flood of spam has diminished its usefulness as a tool for global communication and legitimate e-commerce.

Each day, e-mail service providers, including Microsoft’s MSN, filter out billions of spam messages before they reach subscribers’ Inboxes. Still, the volume continues to rise, and enough gets through to bedevil customers.

According to a recent national survey commissioned by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, a nonprofit research organization, 70 percent of e-mail users say that spam has made their online experience unpleasant or annoying. One-quarter say that spam has caused them to reduce their use of e-mail.

Yet, the tide is turning, thanks to multipronged efforts by the technology industry, other businesses and governments. Last month marked an important milestone as the United States Senate voted 97-0 to outlaw the shadiest tactics used by many spammers.

View: It’s Your Inbox

Additional resources:

Our approach to the spam problem
More information on the company’s multi-pronged strategy and links to information on blocking and filtering spam with Microsoft products.

Bill Gates: Toward a Spam-Free Future
A message to customers from Microsoft’s chairman and chief software architect

The Can-Spam Act of 2003
Text of the bill approved by the United States Senate (.pdf file – 60 pages)

Pew Internet & American Life Project
A report on how spam is hurting e-mail and degrading life on the Internet
 


office    Microsoft Office Project 2003 Database Schema (Nov 5)

These diagrams describe the relationships between tables and fields in the Microsoft Office Project 2003 database.

Download: Microsoft Office Project 2003 Database Schema
Download: Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 Database Schema


info    Q&A: Microsoft Establishes Anti-Virus Reward Program (Nov 5)

Anyone who has lost files or work due to a computer virus or worm knows the frustration and aggravation such events cause. Multiply that by the number of people and businesses impacted by the attack, and add in the cost of replacing or rebuilding the damaged or lost files, systems and even hardware, and the magnitude of the problem becomes clear. Most notably, the MSBlast worm and Sobig viruses have caused millions in damages worldwide and inconvenienced millions of businesses and consumers across the globe.

Despite the heavy costs of such crimes, tracking and pursuing those who illegally launch destructive code can be very difficult. Law-enforcement agencies use all means at their disposal, including sophisticated investigative techniques. Despite these efforts, criminals can escape prosecution because gathering the evidence necessary to identify them online is very difficult; for example, an attacker might use spoofed IP addresses that are very difficult to trace. Many online attackers have been apprehended, but many more – including those who spread MSBlast.A and Sobig – remain unfound.

To supplement online investigations, Microsoft has announced an old-fashioned criminal-justice tactic to help solve a modern-day problem — a monetary reward.Initially funded by Microsoft with US$5 million, the Anti-Virus Reward Program will help the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Secret Service, in coordination with Interpol, to identify and arrest those who commit crimes by illegally unleashing malicious viruses and worms on the Internet. In particular, Microsoft is offering two rewards of $250,000 each for information that results in the arrest and conviction of those responsible for launching the MSBlast.A worm and Sobig virus.

View: Q&A: Microsoft Establishes Anti-Virus Reward Program

 Archive 10

info    One Virus Engine Is Not Enough (Nov 5)

Research shows using multiple anti-virus engines yields the most effective protection. Analysis of the results from five independent testing organizations shows no single anti-virus engine is effective across the spectrum of email threats.

The data from the research paper, “One Virus Engine is Not Enough”, shows that no single product catches a comprehensive range of email viruses and malware within a variety of compressed and uncompressed file formats. A more secure approach must employ multiple anti-virus engines to cover a broader spectrum of threats.

The professional anti-virus testing laboratories (ICSA Labs, West Coast Labs, Virus Bulletin, AV-Test.org, and Virus TestCenter) looked at the leading anti-virus engines – namely, those developed by Trend Micro, Symantec (Norton), McAfee, Norman, and SOFTWIN – for their overall virus detection rate, their ability to scan through compressed and embedded files, and their coverage of non-virus malware. Each product showed strengths in different areas, meaning that combining the capabilities of two or more products would enable organizations to make up for deficiencies in any single product.

View: One Virus Engine Is Not Enough
Thanks to: MSD2D.com


info    Microsoft to offer bounty on hackers (Nov 5)

Microsoft will announce on Wednesday that it will offer two $250,000 bounties for information that leads to the arrest of the people who released the MSBlast worm and the SoBig virus, CNET News.com has learned.

The two programs attacked computers that run Microsoft’s Windows operating system, causing havoc among companies and home users in August and September. The reward, confirmed by sources in both the security industry and in law enforcement, will be announced in a joint press conference with the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service and Interpol that’s scheduled for 10 a.m. EST Wednesday.

The rewards are the first time a company has offered money for information about the identity of the cybercriminals.

View: Microsoft to offer bounty on hackers


info    Protect Your PC (Nov 4)

In this presentation learn how to protect your PC by taking three simple steps.

Download: Protect Your PC (57MB video)


update    It’s a fact; Office 2003 first official critical update! (Nov 4)

Office 2003 Critical Update: KB828041 offers the highest levels of reliability available for Microsoft Office 2003. This update fixes an issue in Microsoft Word 2003, Microsoft Excel 2003 and Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 that occurs when opening a file last edited and saved in Office 2000. Under this specific scenario it is possible for graphic content to be inadvertently lost on save. The Office 2003 Critical Update: KB828041 is part of Microsoft’s continued effort to provide the latest product updates to customers.

View: Overview of the Office 2003 Critical Update

Microsoft recommends that you use the Office Update site to determine if your computer requires this update before installing it.
A full-file administrative update for use by IT Administrators is available on the Microsoft Office 2003 Editions Resource Kit Web site.

Download: Office2003-KB828041 client (English)
Download: Office2003-KB828041 client (different language)
Download: Office2003-KB828041 administrative (English)
Download: Office2003-KB828041 administrative (different language)


info    Ex-hackers ‘rubbish at security’ (Nov 4)

Don’t employ former hackers to safeguard systems, warn experts.

Companies should stop hiring hackers to beef up security – not for ethical reasons but because they are no good at it, according to experts.
Delegates at the RSA Security Conference in Amsterdam heard a panel of reformed hackers, police officers, members of the legal profession and corporate security experts launch scathing attacks on the abilities of most hackers.

The skills that make a good hacker are not the same as those required by an IT security officer, delegates were told. “Everyone thinks that if you know how to break into a system then you must know how to protect one. It’s rubbish. I could teach a monkey to break into a system in four hours,” claimed Ira Winkler, chief security strategist at Hewlett Packard. “While there are highly skilled technical hackers out there, they are the ones you never know about because they don’t get caught.”

But most hackers are IT professionals in their 20s and 30s, suggesting that companies may be late in their realisation that cyber-poachers do not make good cyber-gamekeepers. “Why would you want to employ a hacker with a criminal record, i.e. someone so bad they’d been caught?” asked Tony Neate, industry liaison officer at the National High Tech Crime Unit. “After all, if a bank is looking to employ a security guard they don’t try and find a former bank robber to guard their safe. Companies must be sure that they know their staff’s backgrounds.”

Checking employees was highlighted as essential, but there was a gap in the law as juvenile criminal records are sealed when the perpetrator reaches adulthood. But a quick search of the internet using a web or newsgroup search engine should reveal details of a person’s hacking history, if it exists.

View: Ex-hackers ‘rubbish at security’


office    Windows SharePoint Services Template Packages (Nov 4)

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

Download: Windows SharePoint Services Template Package- Human Resources
Download: Windows SharePoint Services Template Package- Finance
Download: Windows SharePoint Services Template Package- Real Estate
Download: Windows SharePoint Services Template Package- Hospital


office    Xara Webstyle 4 (Nov 4)

A quick and easy way to produce quality graphics and photos for the Web, no programming skill required. Create graphics by simply customizing the professionally designed templates, including animated banner ads, button bars and DHTML menus, headings, web page backgrounds and even complete themed page layouts. And because the templates are vector graphics there is no loss of quality. Webstyle has a built in photo album builder to generate stunning albums in just a few clicks. Webstyle 4 also includes one of the quickest photo editors available, auto thumbnail creation, plus seamless integration with FrontPage. All customers receive a CD which contains the software, over 1600 fully editable templates, tutorial movies and a collection of TrueType fonts.

Download: Xara Webstyle 4 (trial)


info    Web hoaxes set to increase (Nov 3)

Widespread education needed as more consumers are targeted.

Web fraudsters are increasingly targeting consumers with password-confirmation scams, experts have warned.
The scam involves sending emails which purport to come from a service provider asking consumers to confirm their passwords at a website. Customers of several British banks were targeted last month.

The websites are cunningly constructed fakes. Once the password entries are made online thieves collect them. As well as banks, companies like eBay have also been targeted.

“A huge number of people are getting suckered by spoof websites, particularly in the US,” said Scott Schnell, senior vice president of sales and marketing for RSA Security. “Once they use the sites they are losing everything, all their personal information. This problem needs to be addressed.”

Schnell suggested that companies and the press should educate employees and the public respectively. Better identity management would also help, he added. “Someone being lazy or stupid, two essential human traits, can defeat the very latest risk management system,” said Jon Collins, associate at analysts Quocira. “Education is vital, there’s a fundamental misunderstanding about technology. When people go to these websites they aren’t thinking properly about threats.”

Financial institutions never ask customers for confidential information via email or to divulge such details at websites linked to by a web address in an email. Genuine banking websites are always prefixed with ‘https’. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’ and guarantees that details are being kept confidential.

View: Web hoaxes set to increase


office    Xara Online FrontPage Extension (Nov 3)

Xara Modules are hosted Web page add-ins providing everything from customized graphics to Web forms and online databases. Other Modules let you edit your photos online and place remotely updatable text within your Web page. Xara Online provides a wide range of free Modules and a 15 day trial of their Premium Modules.

Download: Xara Online FrontPage Extension
View: Xara mainpage


office    Publishing a SharePoint Site Accessible to External Users (Nov 3)

Well the 30th I posted the link to the documentation on “Publishing a SharePoint Site Accessible to External Users”. Today Microsoft released it again!? Same version, same overview, different name, different download location. The last edit in the file was of the 26th so could it be that they simply lost the documentation and had to repost it??? I give them the benefit of the doubt and say “Unlikely”. Nevertheless, here’s the repost.

Many organizations require an efficient way to share files, folders, and resources and easily collaborate on the same document with people outside of the network. Using the Windows SharePoint Services solution in Windows Small Business Server 2003, organizations can now easily collaborate with users outside of the local network to satisfy this business need.
This document does not include information about publishing a SharePoint site accessible to external users using Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server.

Download: Publishing a SharePoint Site Accessible to External Users


info    Stay in Touch While on the Go (Nov 3)

Microsoft launched software for Pocket PC devices three years ago in the belief that people wanted to “do more” on mobile devices. In this presentation see the latest devices in 2003 that help you stay in touch while on the go.

Download: Stay in Touch While on the Go WMP presentation (300kbps)


update    Virus: The Mimail family (Nov 3)

W32.Mimail.C@mm is a Category 3 mass-mailing worm that steals information from infected computers. D and E variants have also reached the surface.

View: Mimail.C
View: Mimail.D
View: Mimail.E
Download: Free removal tool al Mimail versions


info    Spam and IM threaten email’s future (Nov 1)

Will the dominant communication tool end up going the same way as carrier pigeons?

The future of email as the dominant form of electronic communication and collaboration is becoming less certain as spam and the use of instant messaging (IM) chip away at the technology.
According to analyst IDC, more than 20 billion spam messages are expected to be sent daily worldwide by 2006.

IDC’s report, Worldwide Email Usage Forecast, 2003-2007: Spam and Instant Messaging Take a Bite out of Email, estimates that spam represents just under a third of all external and internal email sent on an average day in North America in 2003, up from 24 per cent in 2002.

The rising torrent of spam is reducing email’s usefulness by forcing users and IT staff to expend time and energy identifying and deleting it, and preventing it from clogging inboxes.

The other prong of the attack against email comes from the value of IM’s immediacy and the growing awareness of its presence in the workplace. But it is rapidly becoming more similar to email in terms of corporate requirements for tracking and archiving of messages.

“To keep email at the collaboration centre stage, email proponents will need to do a better job of helping end-users manage email and use other collaborative tools in conjunction with email,” said Mark Levitt, research vice president for collaborative computing at IDC.

View: Spam and IM threaten email’s future


office    Outlook 2003 Add-in: Personal Folders Backup (Oct 31)

This updated version fixes an issue with the browsing functionality on Windows 98 and Windows ME.

Download: Outlook 2003 Add-in: Personal Folders Backup (English)
Download: Outlook 2003 Add-in: Personal Folders Backup (different language)


office    Outlook 2003 Add-in: Video Email (Oct 31)

Use a Web camera to easily send and reply with a video email to your friends and family with just two clicks on the Video Email for Outlook 2003.

Download: Outlook 2003 Add-in: Video Email

 Archive 9

howto    Added Content: Outlook 2003: Reverting back to /Being compatible with a previous version of Microsoft Office Outlook (Oct 31)

There could be all sorts of reasons why you want to revert back to an older version of Microsoft Office Outlook. One could be because your demo has expired. Also there could be all sorts of reasons why you need to be compatible with older versions of Microsoft Office Outlook like when your laptop holds a previous version of Outlook while your home computer holds Microsoft Office Outlook 2003.

View: Outlook 2003: Reverting back to /Being compatible with a previous version of Microsoft Office Outlook


faq    Added Content: What is the Winmail.dat file? (Oct 31)

Since this question has come up quite a few times now I’ve added it to my FAQ.

View: What is the Winmail.dat file?


office    Windows SharePoint Services Template Package- Legal (Oct 31)

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

Download: Windows SharePoint Services Template Package- Legal


info    E-Mail Providers Devising Ways to Stop Spam (Oct 30)

Congress recently edged closer to passing the nation’s first law to curb e-mail spam, but those who work under the Internet’s hood are attacking the problem from another angle.

Rather than trying to flag and prohibit unsavory messages, as a Senate bill that passed last week would attempt, they are tinkering with the technical architecture of e-mail so that computers will be able to recognize good mail. Then, the theory goes, it is a relatively simple matter to block all other e-mail from getting through.

For the past nine months, several separate initiatives by technologists at e-mail and Internet provider companies have sought to crack the problem, but solutions have been elusive. A major hurdle is that spammers exploit the very attributes of e-mail that help make it popular: Anyone can send mail directly to anyone else and can do so anonymously if they choose. The result is that it can be difficult to sort good from bad. Not only can spammers devise fictitious Internet addresses to mask their locations, but increasingly they are forging the addresses of legitimate individuals and companies.

Microsoft Corp., America Online, Yahoo Inc. and EarthLink Inc. — the top Internet provider and e-mail account companies that joined together to work on the problem last spring — are close to an announcement on a “trusted sender” system. The approaches by the different groups vary, but they all hinge on retooling e-mail so that servers — the computers that power networks of other computers — can mark mail that is sent as trusted and identify those same characteristics when the e-mail is received.

View: E-Mail Providers Devising Ways to Stop Spam


office    Publishing a SharePoint Site Accessible to External Users (Oct 30)

Many organizations require an efficient way to share files, folders, and resources and easily collaborate on the same document with people outside of the network. Using the Windows SharePoint Services solution in Windows Small Business Server 2003, organizations can now easily collaborate with users outside of the local network to satisfy this business need.
This document does not include information about publishing a SharePoint site accessible to external users using Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server.

Download: Publishing a SharePoint Site Accessible to External Users (updated link to reflect the repost by Microsoft on November 3rd)


info    Copy shop worker loses position after posting Mac photo (Oct 30)

Michael Hanscom admits it probably wasn’t the best idea. He thought the photo on his personal blog of Apple computers being offloaded at a Microsoft loading dock might get a couple of smirks from friends. He never imagined it would cost him his job.

THAT’S PRECISELY what he says happened, though. Hanscom has found several minutes of Web fame this week as the latest example of how bloggers’ blend of personal and professional can backfire. Hanscom, who says he has kept an online journal since 1998, worked in Microsoft’s copy shop, taking printing and publishing orders from employees at the software giant’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash. (MSNBC is a Microsoft-NBC joint venture.)
On Monday, Hanscom’s manager called him in and showed him an Oct. 23 post that featured a photo of stacked boxes of Apple Macintosh G5 computers under the title, “Even Microsoft wants G5s,” noted he had seen them on the loading dock of the building where he worked and remarked that a couple had fallen off their palettes. The close-cropped photograph reveals little more than a delivery truck and the pile of computers on a loading dock. Though Microsoft remains a target of derision for many Mac users, the company remains a major producer of software for Apple systems.

But the entry still raised hackles with Microsoft security officials, he says, who told his manager they couldn’t ask him to remove the post but instead wanted him off Microsoft premises. “I was told they saw it as a security violation,” says Hanscom, a longtime Mac fan who says he was amused to see Microsoft getting the machines. “I think they might have seen it as derogatory.

echnically, Microsoft didn’t fire Hanscom. The 30-year-old has worked for a temp firm, Todays Staffing, since he moved to Seattle from Anchorage in the summer of 2001 — mostly on contracts for Xerox, which runs Microsoft’s copy service. The Microsoft gig was Hanscom’s second posting with Xerox and he says he saw no hints that anyone was unhappy with his work. “My manager had nothing but good things to say,” Hanscom recalls. Even after he had Hanscom escorted off campus, “he was hoping to help me find something else.”
Microsoft would not comment on Hanscom’s dismissal. Spokeswoman Stacy Drake McCredy said the company did not discuss personnel or security matters.

View full story: Copy shop worker loses position after posting Mac photo
View: http://www.michaelhanscom.com/eclecticism/2003/10/even_microsoft_.html


longhorn    PDC Highlights Day Three (Oct 30)

PDC attendees talk about what areas they’d like to see Microsoft researching, and Rick Rashid shares his thoughts on the advances in traditional and non-traditional computer systems.

Download: PDC Highlights Day Three


longhorn    PDC Highlights Day Two (Oct 30)

Eric Rudder talks about how developers can prepare for WinFX, and Gordon Mangione discusses important features in Yukon.

Download: PDC Highlights Day Two


info    CAN-SPAM Law Won’t, Critics Say (Oct 30)

Proposed new law is a start, but flawed, even advocates admit.

The first federal antispam law may be on its way to reality, but many antispam advocates say it won’t stem the flood into e-mail users’ in-boxes.

The Senate unanimously approved the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act last week. It requires e-mail users to opt out of unwanted commercial e-mail, instead of requiring e-mail senders to get permission before sending. That approach is backwards, say vendors of antispam technologies and at least one consumer advocacy group.

Only Partly There
The bill gives consumers little control over spam, says Ray Everett-Church, counsel for the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email (CAUCE). Everett-Church says he is encouraged that the bill includes an amendment requiring the Federal Trade Commission to consider a national do-not-spam e-mail registry, but it doesn’t require the FTC to actually implement such a list.

A 1991 law authorized the Federal Communications Commission to create a national do-not-call telemarketing registry, which took effect in early October–12 years later, Everett-Church notes. The FTC has expressed concerns about creating and maintaining a massive do-not-spam list, and CAN-SPAM’s opt-out approach basically lets spammers continue to e-mail until they’re told to stop, he adds.

“Until the FTC decides whether or not they care to create a do-not-e-mail list, [CAN-SPAM] creates essentially carte blanche permission for spammers to send unlimited quantities of e-mail to the consumer,” Everett-Church says. “I’m deeply concerned that we may never see a do-not-e-mail list, and until such a time as we do, we will see an unlimited right to see spam.”

View: CAN-SPAM Law Won’t, Critics Say


update    Patch day! (Oct 30)

Write it down in your Outlook Calendar and set a reminder for it as the new patch policy from Microsoft means that patches are released at the end of the month unless they are severe (then they are generally available within 24 hours).

This month there are updates for updates;

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-042: Buffer Overflow in Windows Troubleshooter ActiveX Control Could Allow Code Execution (826232)
Maximum Severity Rating: Critical
Recommendation: Customers should apply the patch immediately

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-043: Buffer Overrun in Messenger Service Could Allow Code Execution (828035)
Maximum Severity Rating: Critical
Recommendation: Customers should disable the Messenger Service immediately and evaluate their need to deploy the patch

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-045: Buffer Overrun in the ListBox and in the ComboBox Control Could Allow Code Execution (824141)
Maximum Severity Rating: Important
Recommendation: Customers should install this security patch at the earliest opportunity
 

Run Windows Update!


longhorn    PDC Highlights – Day One (Oct 29)

Check out some of the activities of the first day of the PDC. Attendees talk about what they are learning and excited about and Robert Hess interviews Jim Allchin about what he’s most excited about with Longhorn.

Should we make fun of the guy that thinks Yukon will be the one after Longhorn…???

Download: PDC Highlights – Day One


other    Messenger 6.1 Games Patch (Oct 29)

For the people addicted to the MSN6 games mess.be has developed some custom games and have updated their patch for the final release of MSN 6.1 (build 6.1.0155). Next to the default games from MSN you’ll have; Chess, Nine Men’s Morris, Reversi, Sea Battle, Yahtzee and Tetris as extra games available from the Launch Site button. You need to have your MSN6 closed before you apply the patch. Also the person you want to play with must have the patch applied.

Download: MSN Messenger 6.1 (English)
Download: MSN Messenger 6.1 (different language)
Download: Mess.be Games Patch v0.5
View: Mess.be games site


office    Developer claims rights breach in Office 2003 (Oct 29)

Freelance writer and software developer Eric Wilson has spent a decade supporting, writing about and developing Microsoft platforms. But last week he warned that buyers of Microsoft’s Office 2003, released last week, might be breaching his intellectual property rights.

Wilson, who writes regularly for Next, said technology in Office 2003 infringed patents he had applied for and, in an action reminiscent of the global recording and movie industries’ approach to piracy, said he would bypass Microsoft and instead pursue its customers for “additional royalties and special conditions”.

Microsoft Australia’s director of corporate and legal affairs, Chris Woodforde, said the software company was “very confident” no claim would succeed against Microsoft or its customers. He said that if Microsoft needed technology from a developer, they would buy it and not risk infringement.

“Eric’s a very respected developer and we’ve taken what he has to say very seriously,” Woodforde said.

“We’ve evaluated his claim and fully investigated and don’t agree with it.

“He has no issued patent and the reader view technology was available before he sought his patent.

“As a company that relies on intellectual property, we respect intellectual property rights . . . and if we thought there was going to be any liability to our customers we would do something about it. If this technology was available we would buy it.”

Full story: Developer claims rights breach in Office 2003


info    Happy Birthday! (Oct 28)

Bill Gates turned 48 today.


update    Sober worm causes headaches (Oct 28)

Virus firms warn of new email attachment-based malware.

A new virus threat called Sober could be causing a few headaches today, according to antivirus researchers.
The Sober worm, spotted in the last 12 hours, is a traditional attachment-based piece of malware that uses social engineering to trick people into activating its payload.

In contrast with the Flea virus discovered last week, which so far appears to have failed to bite, Sober hides its code in an HTML email. Microsoft Outlook users can activate the payload just by opening the email.

View article: Sober worm causes headaches
View: Info on Sober at Symantec

 Archive 8

office    Office has work to do (Oct 28)

Microsoft Office 2003 leaves resellers largely unmoved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

View article: Office has work to do


longhorn    Outlook Express 7? (Oct 27)

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

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

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

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

Screenshots always say more than a thousands words…

Windows Explorer

Games folder

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

New Windows Event Viewer in MMC

Outlook Express 7

Picture Viewer

New Task Scheduler

Windows Help


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

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

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


info    Outlook 2002 Still In Beta? (Oct 26)

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

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


office    Microsoft in standards battle with W3C (Oct 24)

World Wide Web Consortium says InfoPath signatures cannot be trusted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read full article: Microsoft in standards battle with W3C


office    Office 2003 sparks data retention row (Oct 24)

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

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

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

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

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

Read full article: Office 2003 sparks data retention row


other    Using ISA Server with Exchange 2003 (Oct 24)

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

Download: Using ISA Server with Exchange 2003


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

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

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

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

  • Using the Project Data Service

  • The PDS and Project Server Security Architecture

  • Writing a PDS Extender

  • PDS Methods XML

  • Using SOAP to call PDS methods

  • Programmatic Logon to Project Server

  • API Reference

  • Service for Enterprise Data Maintenance (EDM)

  • Error Codes

  • PDS Permissions

  • Field ID Values for Enterprise Custom Fields

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Project Server Integration includes the following articles:

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

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

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


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

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

Download: Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 PSMIGRAT Utility


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

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

Download: Windows SharePoint Services Template Package- High School


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

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

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

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


other    Windows Messenger update (Oct 23)

Windows Messenger also got an update to build 5.0.0468.

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


other    MSN Messenger 6.1 Released (Oct 23)

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

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


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

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

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

 Archive 7

update    Security Update for Exchange 5.5 (Oct 22)

A security issue has been identified that could allow an attacker to run programs and access data on a computer running Microsoft® Exchange Server 5.5 Outlook® Web Access. You can help protect your computer by installing this update from Microsoft.

Read: Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-047
Download: Security Update for Exchange 5.5 (KB828489) (English)
Download: Security Update for Exchange 5.5 (KB828489) (different language)


howto    How To Manage General Information For Multiple Contacts (Oct 22)

Creating contacts is easy and before you know it you’ve got several dozen, hundreds of them in your Contacts folder. It is very likely that some of them have relations with one another like the same company. If you want to store company info with the contacts you just don’t want to open every contact and add the same information to it. Even worse; do you want to change the address for every contact when the company relocates? I know I wouldn’t!

The following method describes an easy way to manage general information for contacts that are linked with one another in some way.

View: How To Manage General Information For Multiple Contacts


info    No Final Rights-Management Support for Office 2003 — Yet  (Oct 22)

Users who are counting on locking down document permissions via Office will have to work with beta RMS components for now.

When Microsoft officially takes the wraps off its Office System 2003 family on Tuesday morning, the company will be launching six different versions of its desktop suite, four new Office System servers and one service (its Live Meeting Web conferencing offering).

But there will be one offering missing from its line up: Its Windows Rights Management Services solution.

Windows Rights Management Services (RMS) —and its Office implementation, known as Information Rights Management — is the technology that Microsoft has developed to increase user control over documents and data. While RMS is technically a member of the Windows Server 2003 System family, not the Office System, it is via Office 2003 that most users will get their first taste of RMS.

Microsoft has been talking up its rights-management plans since earlier this spring. But the final RMS products just missed the cut-off date to be part of the Office System launch, say sources.

The RMS client has been available for download from Microsoft’s Web site since early September, and a near-final release of the RMS server has been downloadable since mid-September. The Rights Management add-on for Internet Explorer component of the RMS solution went to beta test in May.

Sources close to the company say that Microsoft could release its RMS solution to manufacturing as early as this week, and be launched officially early next month.

A Microsoft spokesman said that RMS is “still on schedule to go before end of calendar year 2003,” and declined to provide further specifics.

Microsoft has signed up a number of software and services partners who plan to support its RMS products. EDS, Avenade, Digex, Reciprocal and Omniva all are working on offerings that will build around RMS.

One Microsoft services partner, GigaMedia Access, announced on Tuesday a beta version of its RMS-related offering. The GigaTrust managed service (available for both individuals and enterprises) is designed to extend RMS to support clients other than Office 2003. GigaTrust will allow Windows XP and Windows 2000 clients to author and consume rights-management-protected content, company officials say, in a secure way.

GigaMedia is working on providing other rights-enabled portal-based content, say company officials, and are working to add rights-managed support for mobile devices.

View: No Final Rights-Management Support for Office 2003 — Yet


office    Producer for PowerPoint final (Oct 22)

Earlier I posted you the tutorials for Producer 2003. Now that the Office 2003 suite has been released Producer is final as well and ready for download in several languages

Download: Producer for Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 (English)
Download: Producer for Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 (different language)
View: Producer 2003 Tutorials


office    OneNote 2003 Trial Software (Oct 22)

A 60-day evaluation copy of Microsoft Office OneNote is also available now for download.

Download or order: 60-day evaluation copy of OneNote 2003


other   Latest (and last?) MSN Messenger 6.1 Beta (Oct 22)

Because tomorrow should be the launch of the new MSN 9 Explorer which will include the final MSN Messenger 6.1

Download: MSN MEssenger 6.1 Beta build 6.1.0150


office    Happy Launch Day! (Oct 21)

Microsoft Corp. today announced the general availability of the new Microsoft® Office System, along with research that shows how leading companies are already gaining a competitive advantage from Microsoft Office System productivity solutions. The research, conducted for Microsoft by Navigant Consulting Inc. (NYSE “NCI”), showed that information workers using the solutions gained an average of two hours in productive time each week without working longer hours, that the companies realized a median net present value of $4,000 per worker, and that the solutions paid for themselves in an average of just eight months. (Full details of the new research can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/officesystemlaunch.)

With six suites, 11 products, four servers, one service and Solution Accelerators, the new Microsoft Office System is evidence of Microsoft’s focus on helping information workers, the teams they work on, and the companies they work for become more productive and achieve their goals. The Microsoft Office System consists of the 2003 versions of the core Office suites and programs; updates to other information work programs such as Visio®, FrontPage®, Publisher and Project; two completely new programs, Microsoft Office OneNote™ and Microsoft Office InfoPath™; and four servers, including the new Office Live Communications Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003. Added to that are additional services, such as Microsoft Office Live Meeting, and solutions that help people and their organizations make greater use of information, collaborate more effectively, and easily integrate business processes to increase individual, team and organizational productivity.

“The new Office System is a major leap forward for information workers,” said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft. “It makes information work more productive — and more profitable — by offering innovative new ways to communicate, to find and share information, and to manage complex projects.”

office2003

Microsoft Office System Launch Event with Bill Gates
Windows Media icon 56K | 100K | 300K

New Office Website
http://office.microsoft.com
 

Highlights on the website:

Product Info

Why is the new Office worth a look?

Read the overview

Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to Office Professional Edition 2003

Get trial version


office    Microsoft Accelerator Downloads (Oct 20)

Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Recruiting
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.

Microsoft Accelerator for Six Sigma
Microsoft Accelerator for Six Sigma is an integrated set of products and services customized for Six Sigma practitioners. The accelerator can help Six Sigma project teams more effectively manage a large number of projects, more easily track their financial impact, optimize and track resources, and electronically share knowledge gathered across the enterprise. By helping the customer focus on reducing costs, business cycle times, and solving business problems using Six Sigma projects, the accelerator enables companies to effectively manage Six Sigma initiatives across the enterprise.


info    Woman sentenced for reading e-mail of husband’s ex-wife (Oct 20)

A judge sentenced an Arizona woman to 60 days home detention for intercepting her husband’s ex-wife’s e-mail, saying the penalty is a warning to others who might be tempted to do the same.

“Privacy is still a cherished value,” U.S. District Judge Richard P. Matsch said in sentencing Angel Lee, 28, of El Mirage, Arizona.

Lee pleaded guilty in March and admitted accessing at least 215 e-mails sent last year to her husband’s ex-wife, Duongladde Ramsay.

Officials said she fraudulently obtained the user name and password information for Ramsay’s e-mail account.

Matsch, best known for his role overseeing the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, bombing trials, has said the e-mail case involved a vicious divorce dispute over children. At Lee’s sentencing Friday, he said he considered sending her to jail but believed she needed to be home with her young children.

“I really apologize for what I did,” Lee told the judge. “She (Ramsay) has a right to feel the way she feels.”

Ramsay has compared Lee’s actions to someone breaking into her home and reading her diary.

View at CNN: Woman sentenced for reading e-mail of husband’s ex-wife


office    New Microsoft Office allows emails to self destruct (Oct 20)

MICROSOFT LAUNCHES its latest upgrade to the all-conquering Orifice suite of programs tomorrow, and one of the features incorporated into the new Outlook will be an email “self-destruct” function, which, it seems, it could have done with during its court battle with the US Department of Justice.
During that trial, the court ordered Microsoft to hand over thousands of old emails, some of which turned up some very interesting stuff about how the Vole actively worked to annihilate its competitors.

Microsoft reckons its use of “Information Rights Management” to determine who is allowed to see emails and by which date emails should be deleted is supposed to increase security. We here, however, as journalists and chroniclers of the age, suggest that the software decreases security by allowing revisionist versions of our current history to appear, as the original documents are digitally shredded.

Even in the US, destroying emails can be a federal offence. Indeed, just this year brokers Morgan Stanley were fined $1.65m for failing to keep proper e-mail records.

View: New Microsoft Office allows emails to self destruct


info    New Microsoft Office System Arriving Worldwide (Oct 20)

On Tuesday, Oct. 21, at events in New York City and worldwide, Microsoft launches the new Microsoft Office System, a system of productivity programs, servers, services and solutions that help connect people and organizations to information, business processes and each other. PressPass is assembling a package of feature articles, transcripts, and virtual newsrooms to assist journalists.

Go to: Microsoft Office System Launch Virtual Pressroom


other    USPS Electronic Postmark(EPM): Digitally sign and postmark Word documents (Oct 20)

The USPS Electronic Postmark (USPS EPM) is a web-based service that allows users to digitally sign and timestamp electronic documents within Microsoft Word. This electronic proof, digitally signed by the US Postal Service, provides evidence to support non-repudiation of electronic transactions. The USPS EPM is designed to detect the tampering or altering of electronic data. This service is integrated as a Word extension within Microsoft Office 2003 and Microsoft Office XP.

Click to go to the United States Postal Service Web site.


office    Producer 2003 Tutorials (Oct 20)

Microsoft Producer for Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 makes it easy to capture, synchronize, and publish audio, video, slides, and images. Producer 2003 is the current version of this popular add-on for Microsoft PowerPoint and is the ideal tool for creating engaging presentations, training, and business communications.

Download: Producer 2003 Final Release Candidate
View: Producer 2003 Tutorials


office    DWT Browser w/ Sample DWTs (Oct 20)

FrontLook DWT Browser enables you to acquire, browse and manage your Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 compatible Dynamic Web Templates (DWTs). Two Sample DWTs included.

There are three main components to the FrontLook DWT.

Browser: DWT Online Browser – enables you to browse and install online DWTs.

DWT Manager / Browser – enables you to browse and view the list of available DWTs on your hard drive. It also copies the DWT to the current web so that you can customize the DWT for that web without affecting the other webs that might use that DWT.

Two Sample DWTs to use on one of your webs.

Download: DWT Browser w/ Sample DWTs


office    New XML Features in Microsoft Office Access 2003 Sample (17)

Learn about Microsoft Office Access 2003 by using these sample files in conjunction with the article “New XML Features of Microsoft Office Access 2003” available on MSDN. See Related Links for more information.

This download contains several sample files. You can modify these sample templates to fit your needs.

Download: New XML Features in Microsoft Office Access 2003 Sample