Do We Get Enough In Innovation for What We Give to Microsoft? (Mar 9)
It’s 2004; do you know where your computer dollars are going?
One can learn a lot about the computer industry by looking at the breakdown of manufacturing costs in an average desktop PC, as compiled by iSuppli Corp., a market-research firm. Excluding labor and shipping, and leaving out the costs of a monitor, keyboard or mouse, the typical desktop PC these days costs the Dells or the H-Ps of the world roughly $437 in parts.
The biggest portion of that — 30%, or $134 — goes to Intel for a Pentium processor. The disk drives, including whatever CD or DVD is installed, cost around $104; the RAM memory is $54; and the remaining hardware items — power supply, case, circuit boards — total $100.
The final 10%, or $45, goes to Microsoft for the Windows operating system.
View full article: Do We Get Enough In Innovation for What We Give to Microsoft?
New worm masquerades as Microsoft update (Mar 8)
Sober variant employs latest social engineering technique.
A new variant of the Sober worm has surfaced this morning, antivirus specialist F-Secure has warned.
Sober D pretends to be a Microsoft software update that protects against a new version of the MyDoom worm. Once activated the worm displays a patch loading screen, but harvests email addresses and mails itself out using its own SMTP engine.
The email, written in either English or German, has the headline ‘Microsoft alert: please read!’ The body text adds: ‘New MyDoom virus variant detected – please download this digitally signed attachment.’
Paul Bushen, technical manager at F-Secure UK, told vnunet.com: “The social engineering is good enough to do the job of fooling people. “People are not learning quickly that Microsoft does not send out emails like this. “It’s like remembering to back up your hard drive regularly: something that’s done religiously, but only by those who’ve been caught out in the past.”
Sober A first surfaced in October 2003, again using either English or German text and a variety of social engineering techniques. The virus has previously been disguised as a Microsoft email and as one from the Recording Industry Association of America.
Deployment Guide for Microsoft Content Management Server 2002 Connector for SharePoint Technologies (Mar 8)
The Microsoft® Content Management Server (MCMS) 2002 Connector for SharePoint™ Technologies contains software and documentation that you can use to integrate Microsoft Content Management Server 2002 with Microsoft Windows® SharePoint Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003.
MCMS Connector for SharePoint Technologies is designed for organizations that use or plan to use Microsoft Content Management Server 2002 with Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies. Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server 2003 provide collaboration and intranet features such as search, alerts, and document versioning that you can use to organize, share, and find important information located throughout your organization.
This paper organizes the various deployment scenarios and deployment best practices for MCMS Connector for SharePoint Technologies by the features you want to use most. The deployment scenarios and best practices in this paper assume basic Microsoft Content Management Server, Windows SharePoint Services, and SharePoint Portal Server deployment knowledge.
Gates: Buy stamps to send e-mail (Mar 7)
If the U.S. Postal Service delivered mail for free, our mailboxes would surely runneth over with more credit-card offers, sweepstakes entries, and supermarket fliers. That’s why we get so much junk e-mail: It’s essentially free to send. So Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates, among others, is now suggesting that we start buying “stamps” for e-mail.
Many Internet analysts worry, though, that turning e-mail into an economic commodity would undermine its value in democratizing communication. But let’s start with the math: At perhaps a penny or less per item, e-mail postage wouldn’t significantly dent the pocketbooks of people who send only a few messages a day. Not so for spammers who mail millions at a time.
Though postage proposals have been in limited discussion for years — a team at Microsoft Research has been at it since 2001 — Gates gave the idea a lift in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Details came last week as part of Microsoft’s anti-spam strategy. Instead of paying a penny, the sender would “buy” postage by devoting maybe 10 seconds of computing time to solving a math puzzle. The exercise would merely serve as proof of the sender’s good faith.
View full article: Gates: Buy stamps to send e-mail
Microsoft wants to know who your friends are (Mar 5)
Thanks to e-mail, we all have thousands of “contacts,” but in some ways, this newfound popularity makes it harder to keep up with our true friends.
That’s one of several problems Microsoft’s research arm is trying to address as part of a push into “social computing.” Communicating with others is one of the key reasons people use computers, but researchers worry that the methods we use for handling those interactions have become a little too impersonal.
“Contacts don’t match the way people think,” said Lili Cheng, group manager of the social-computing group within Microsoft Research. A better model is the handwritten list of phone numbers many people keep next to their computer. That, Cheng said, “better represents the people that you’d want to talk to.”
To try to translate that idea into digital terms, Cheng and her team have come up with a concept called Inner Circle, which automatically maintains and updates a list of about 20 people with whom one is e-mailing and instant messaging the most.
The project is one of several efforts Cheng’s team showed off this week at Microsoft’s TechFest. The two-day event brings thousands of company employees to the giant’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash., to hear presentations from workers in Microsoft Research’s five labs, based in Cambridge, Mass., the Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Redmond and Beijing.
View full article: Microsoft wants to know who your friends are
Experts question Microsoft’s Caller ID patents (Mar 5)
Just a week after Microsoft Corp.’s Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates unveiled his company’s plan for securing e-mail communications, leading e-mail authorities, legal experts and at least one Internet service provider (ISP) are expressing concerns about the e-mail sender authentication plan, known as Caller ID.
Some experts agreed that the technology is promising. However, Microsoft’s claim that it owns patents around Caller ID and its decision to license the technology to third parties, rather than submit it to an Internet standards body, have riled e-mail experts and domain owners, some of whom said they worry about a power grab by the Redmond, Washington, company and are wary of signing on to the new system.
Caller ID allows Internet domain owners to publish the IP (Internet Protocol) address of their outgoing e-mail servers in an XML (Extensible Markup Language) format e-mail “policy” in the DNS (Domain Name System) record for their domain. E-mail servers can query the DNS record and match the source IP address of incoming e-mail messages to the address of the approved sending servers, Microsoft said. The goal is to reduce spam for end users.
View full article: Experts question Microsoft’s Caller ID patents
How to collect Outlook 2003 connection performance from Exchange 2003 (Mar 5)
Client side monitoring is used to find client errors and latency problems. An Administrator can turn on client side monitoring on the Exchange Server via a registry key. When enabled via a reg-key, Outlook 11 clients send data to the server based on status and state of connection including failed RPC requests and error conditions. This information is aggregated on the server and exposed to the administrators via event log entries.
This is controlled on the Exchange server by registry key: ClientMonitoringReportLevel (DWORD). This registry key will be located at the following location:
This registry key will have three settings:
0 = do not collect data from any Outlook 11 clients.
1 = collect performance data only from high bandwidth Outlook 11 clients
2 = collect performance data from all Outlook 11 clients
Virus writers stage online slanging match (Mar 4)
It’s cyber-handbags at dawn as worm authors turn on each other
The authors of the MyDoom, Bagel and Netsky worms are staging a public slanging match – with the world’s PCs as their arena.
The war started when an early version of Netsky, referred to as either C or D, began removing the Bagel and MyDoom viruses as part of its payload. And now the authors of MyDoom.G, spreading today, have included comments in the worm’s code insulting Netsky. A similar message was found in Bagel J, also discovered today, which ended: “Don’t ruine our bussiness, wanna start a war?” Netsky’s authors responded with the following message in Netsky.F: “Skynet AntiVirus – Bagle – you are a looser!!!”
“We have three different groups fighting here,” said Mikko Hypponen, director of antivirus research for F-Secure. “Netsky seems to come from an individual or hobbyist group while Bagel’s creators appear to be a spam group like MyDoom’s authors. We don’t know who’s going to win but in the meantime the rest of us are all losing.”
The battle continues to hot up, with more than one new variant of all three viruses being identified today.
Office 2004: First Look (Mar 4)
Although Microsoft’s Office 2004 won’t be on store shelves until the middle of this year, we got a sneak peek at its new features. And these additions — from a command center for related correspondence, calendars, and files, to an audio recorder that gives your typing fingers a rest — made quite an impression. Come take a look at the next version of one of the most important program suites for the Mac.
The biggest addition in Office 2004 — an organizational tool called Project Center — resides in Entourage. But there’s more to Project Center than e-mail. It reaches across Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, providing a single place from which to jump to documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and e-mail messages scattered across your hard drive. Project Center is at the heart of Microsoft’s efforts to make organizing and managing information with Office easier.
Office 2004 will cost the same as the previous version of the suite, across all three editions introduced by Microsoft last fall. The Standard Edition of Office 2004 — which includes all four Office applications — sells for $399. The $499 Professional Edition includes the same programs, as well as the latest version of Virtual PC with Windows XP Professional. The cost of the Student and Teacher Edition remains $149, with users still able to install the suite on as many as three Macs.
View: Office 2004: First Look
MSN Messenger 6.2 is coming! (Mar 3)
This week is going to be a busy week in MSN Messenger Land, Mess.be brings to you the announcement of MSN Messenger 6.2! Only minutes ago Microsoft has changed its internal site to a new layout, after looking around we found out that the layout change is related to the release of MSN Messenger 6.2 ! And best of all we can tell you the exact date of arrival, Thursday, April 08, 2004.
The new site holds a list of Authorized Users of .NET Messenger Service. The programs in this list are allowed to use the MSN protocol. For now the only allowed client are:
MSN Messenger for Windows or Mac , Windows Messenger , MSN TV service , Microsoft TV set-top box , MSN Mobile , Windows Mobile-based devices, including Pocket PC and Smartphone , Windows CE .NET-based devices, including Windows CE .NET 4.0, 4.1, and 4.2 , MSN Messenger Connect for Enterprises ( IMlogic , Vayusphere , Akonix ). Programs not listed (like trillian and bots) are considered illegal.
MSN Messenger 6.2 will be available for Windows XP, 2000, ME and 98 and the new site will become orange!
View full article: MSN Messenger 6.2 is coming!
The 2004 Worldwide Microsoft Office Specialist Competition (Mar 3)
This year Microsoft are once again searching the globe for the students with the best Microsoft Word and Excel skills.
Countries all over the world are hosting local competitions to determine Country Champions. In the summer of 2004, each country’s champions will compete in regional and world championships.
Think you have what it takes? Find out how to participate
Removing the Unique Tracking Number from Subject Line of Microsoft CRM E-Mail (Mar 3)
This update addresses the E-mail tracking feature of the Microsoft Business Solutions CRM v1.0 product. This feature provides the ability to track e-mail correspondence by including a unique tracking number that appears on the subject line of messages composed from within the Microsoft CRM system.
When this update is applied to a Microsoft CRM implementation, the administrator will have the ability to turn on or off the e-mail tracking feature. If the e-mail tracking is turned off, the Microsoft CRM system will no longer generate the unique tracking number. In addition, this results in the loss of the Microsoft CRM system’s ability to automatically track incoming e-mail.
Solution Files for Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2003 Labs (Mar 3)
Use these solution files in conjunction with the Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System, Version 2003 Labs available from the MSDN Office Developer Center.
SharePoint Portal Server 2001 Service Pack 2a Client (Mar 3)
SharePoint Portal Server 2001 Service Pack 2a (SP2a) Client is a cumulative client service pack that provides updates based on the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Initiative and the latest fixes for customer-reported issues. These client components are included in the full SP2a download.
Improvements in SP2a client include:
OLE DB Provider for Internet Publishing security fixes
Microsoft May Offer an Early Office Update (Mar 2)
A new version of Office could be closer than expected if Microsoft decides to release an interim version of its Windows operating system before the debut of Longhorn.
Microsoft’s Office team is closely following a project named “Windows XP Reloaded” on the Windows side of the company, a Microsoft official said last week. The XP Reloaded project is exploring ways to deliver further updates to Windows XP after the release of Service Pack 2 later this year and before the release of Longhorn.
“When the Windows team does innovation within their operating system, we are going to take advantage of that innovation,” says Gytis Barzdukas, director of Office product management at Microsoft. “When the Windows guys rev, we’re going to be interested in revving also.”
But while the Windows XP Reloaded talks could lead to a revision of Windows before Longhorn, it is too early to draw any firm conclusions, Microsoft says. The same goes for the Office team. “We don’t have a definitive plan. We haven’t made a decision to do something interim between now and Longhorn,” Barzdukas says.
A new Office version only makes sense if the update to Windows contains features the productivity applications can take advantage of, Barzdukas says. Changes to the user interface or Windows storage technology, for example, would be a reason to come out with a new version of Office, he says.
Analysts at Gartner predicted earlier this year that Microsoft would offer interim releases of Windows and Office prior to the release of Longhorn to appease customers who signed up for its Software Assurance licensing program, which provides three-year contracts for software maintenance and upgrades.
View full article: Microsoft May Offer an Early Office Update