Exchange 2003 launched worldwide

Posted by bink on October 21 2003, 4:35 PM. Posted in Exchange.

Today, Microsoft Corp. launched Exchange Server 2003, the next edition of its messaging and collaboration server, as part of the Microsoft® Office System. Exchange Server 2003 delivers pervasive productivity to information workers through security-enhanced, ubiquitous access to business-critical communications and scheduling. A new study by the META Group released today predicts that in specific enterprise deployment scenarios, organizations can reduce approximately 50 percent of key operational costs related to server administration, hardware and software. More than 330,000 user seats have been deployed, and more than 200 customers in the early adopter programs are in the process of migrating to Exchange Server 2003 with confidence that it will simplify their IT infrastructure and enable them to make business decisions more efficiently and compete more effectively.

"Customers are juggling tight budgets, while at the same time under pressure to strengthen their network infrastructure and find new ways to serve their users. Messaging is the lifeblood for businesses; it's the way people work and collaborate. With the increasing dependence our customers have on e-mail today, we were driven to make Exchange more reliable and accessible than ever," said Paul Flessner, senior vice president of the Server Platform Division at Microsoft. "Exchange Server 2003 is the result of three years of customer feedback and it will deliver to our customers the best payback to date on their messaging investment."

The META Group study looked at the potential cost savings a company could achieve by migrating from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003 with a focus on operational costs. Analysts determined that a 45,000-user enterprise could generate about $600,000 in total annual operational costs. The savings are based on the elimination of 54 percent of an enterprise's servers and an additional 51 percent savings in server management, administration and maintenance costs, mainly through site consolidation. Such reductions are possible with the enhancements in Exchange 2003 and Outlook® 2003, including Cached Exchange Mode, which improves the user experience especially for remote users with slow network connections; more efficient communication between client and server, which increases network bandwidth efficiency; and Volume Shadow Copy services, which deliver faster backup and restore capabilities. The META Group's calculation is a mainstream average, and companies will see a variance based on labor costs, geographic distribution, product configuration and other variables. Furthermore, these savings reflect only a portion of the total cost of ownership of an Exchange e-mail infrastructure. The complete Exchange Ownership cost study is available to customers free of charge at

In the less than four months since Exchange 2003 was released to manufacturing, customers are already reaping the benefits of increased productivity and reduced costs.

More info

Microsoft plans major European Xbox promotions

Posted by bink on October 21 2003, 5:19 AM. Posted in Xbox.

A report in a marketing magazine suggests that Microsoft is preparing to spend up to £3 million on Xbox promotions in Europe over the coming months, including tie-ins with companies such as MTV and Interbrew.

Haymarket Marketing Magazine has reported that Microsoft has hired specialist marketing firm Tequila London to create a number of new marketing promotions for the console and its games, and the company is in negotiations with a number of other firms with a view to running Xbox related campaigns in the run up to Christmas.


Among the companies named as possible promotional partners are two of the UK's largest telecommunications companies, BT and Telewest, massively popular music channel MTV, and drinks distributor Interbrew - whose brand labels include Stella Artois, Becks, Boddingtons, Staropramen and Labatts.

The new campaigns orchestrated by Tequila would tie in with the marketing activity of Microsoft's European Xbox advertising firm, McCann-Erickson, with all of the activity being co-ordinated by the company's European head of Xbox marketing, Michel Cassius.

New tab on the site! KBArticles

Posted by bink on October 21 2003, 3:23 AM. Posted in Site News.

Powered by KBAlertz, this site has now a new tab where you can see the latest Microsoft Knowledge Base articles for Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows 2003.! 

So check it out using the KBArticles Tab!

Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Recruiting

Posted by bink on October 21 2003, 3:22 AM. Posted in Office.

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 Exam Targets Project Managers

Posted by bink on October 21 2003, 3:18 AM. Posted in Training & Certification.

Microsoft has introduced another new exam, dubbed 70-281, Planning, Deploying and Managing an Enterprise Project Management Solution, which is one of many that the company has released in the last few months. According to the exam objectives guide for exam 70-281 (click here to view it), it counts as an elective toward the MCSE on Windows Server 2003. Beta testing is expected in December. Microsoft was unable to comment on the exam as of this writing.

According to the exam guide description, 70-281 is aimed at candidates who have at least three years of experience and who "are familiar with basic project management concepts and the Microsoft Enterprise Implementation Framework." Exam 70-281 appears to address Tier 4 of Microsoft's IT Professional Audience Taxonomy (see figure). Microsoft last week released an exam aimed at tier 1, consisting of desktop technicians and help desk support personnel (see "Desktop Tech Cert Sees Light of Day" or click here).


Office 2003 on MS Terminal server or Citrix MetaFrame

Posted by bink on October 20 2003, 11:28 PM. Posted in Office.

While browsing the Citrix support site I came across this reference to Microsoft TechNet article 828955. Besides giving a how-to on installing Microsoft Office 2003 on terminal server, it also mentioned that the only supported version on Terminal services is MS Office 2003 Enterprise edition.As always, have a look at the Citrix support forum if you're experiencing troubles with your MS Office 2003 installation on MetaFrame.Note: Terminal Server Installations of Office 2003 are only supported with Enterprise versions of Office 2003. Retail and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) versions of Office 2003 are not supported and therefore should not be installed in a Terminal Server environment.

For more information about the installation and customization of Office 2003 on Terminal Services, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

For more information about how to install Office 2003 on a computer that is running Terminal Services, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

For more information about how to deploy Office 2003, see the Microsoft Office Resource Kit. To do so, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Symantec Ghost 8.0 released

Posted by bink on October 20 2003, 11:06 PM. Posted in Tools & Utils.

Symantec today announced Symantec Ghost 8.0 Corporate Edition, a PC management solution that now offers inventory and local cloning enhancements to save IT administrators valuable time. Symantec Ghost 8.0 Corporate Edition assists in reducing IT costs by providing customers an effective solution for operating system deployment, software distribution and back-up and disaster recovery.

Ghost 8.0 Corporate Edition introduces a new hardware and software inventory feature that allows customers to manage hardware and software inventories within their networks from a central location. IT administrators are able to ease OS migration tasks by creating "Dynamic Folders" to manage a group of target PCs based upon hardware or software attributes. Symantec Ghost 8.0 Corporate Edition also now provides a client staging area that enables customers to reduce network bandwidth by keeping a local backup and recovery image, thereby eliminating the need to repeatedly push images over the network.

"Ghost 8.0 allows customers to drastically reduce the cost of deploying and managing servers, desktops and laptops within the enterprise environment," said Thom Bailey, group product manager, Symantec Corp. "Symantec Ghost continues its market and technological leadership by offering many capabilities that make it one of the most comprehensive PC management and software deployment solutions available for enterprise environments."

Ghost 8.0 is an easy-to-use, integrated solution that provides operating system deployment, configuration, computer migration and software deployment across hardware platforms and operating system types. The solution offers IT administrators the ability to deploy or restore an OS image or application onto a PC in minutes and easily migrate individual user settings and profiles to customize the PC.

Symantec Ghost 8.0 includes several new features designed to enhance PC deployment and configuration management functionality in enterprise environments:

--  Hardware/Software Inventory -- Customers can manage hardware and software inventory from a centralized console and create detailed reports from customizable views. Enables IT administrators to design provisioning tasks based on specific client attributes.  --  Client Staging Area -- A designated repository that can be dynamically created on managed PCs which provides the ability to launch and execute contents locally, store whole disk images, software "hot fixes" and user profiles. Contents may be preserved during a cloning or restore procedure to ensure an "onboard" recovery solution for every PC.  --  Multicast File Transfer -- Allows an IT administrator to send and execute individual files or critical security-related "hot fixes" to multiple recipients simultaneously.  --  Microsoft Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) Support -- Includes a 32-bit version of Ghost and GhostCast Server designed and certified for the Microsoft Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) as well as for Windows 200 and Windows XP.  --  External Media Support -- Provides support for direct cloning to supported USB, Firewire and recordable DVD external drives and devices.  --  Enhanced File System Support -- Includes the ability to read and write images to and from NTFS partitions. Ghost 8.0 also provides full LILO and GRUB support for the EXT2 and EXT3 Linux file systems.

Symantec Ghost 8.0 Corporate Edition is available through Symantec's worldwide network of distributors and resellers.

Microsoft Makes Moves to Dramatically Streamline Corporate Payments

Posted by bink on October 20 2003, 8:07 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft Works With SWIFT and Key Industry Participants on RosettaNet Payments Pilot And Launches RosettaNet Payments Toolkit

Today at the SIBOS 2003 Conference in Singapore, Microsoft Corp. announced it is participating in the RosettaNet Payment Milestone Program, an initiative designed to drive the automation of payments from RosettaNet business processes. Microsoft also announced today the launch of its RosettaNet Payments Toolkit, a software solution that will support this initiative and provide financial institutions and their corporate customers with an efficient way of automating the payment process for supply chain transactions.

The toolkit, which forms part of the Microsoft® BizTalk® Accelerator for SWIFT, aims to provide a cost-effective way for banks and corporations to integrate the payment process quickly and easily into existing information technology systems. This is part of Microsoft's effort to deliver automated financial messaging solutions to lower costs and decrease settlement cycle times. Currently, the payments process still often relies heavily on manual reconciliation to enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, representing significant costs to banks and businesses.

"Industry estimates indicate that for every billion dollars in sales, the cost to corporations alone for settling these transactions is around $27 million," said Josh Weisberg, senior product manager for E-Business Servers at Microsoft. "The transition to automated processes that use standard messaging infrastructure and technologies for handling corporate payments will result in huge cost savings for both corporations and banks."

By using Microsoft's solution, corporations can automate the payment initiation and reconciliation of credit advices with remittance advices, using the SWIFT payment initiation and cash-reporting Extensible Markup Language (XML) standards. These standards can be integrated into treasury, ERP and accounting systems, allowing for more advanced cash management and greatly reducing the costs associated with manual processes. Banks will no longer be required to manage multiple proprietary connections with their customers and will be able to minimize resources required to handle exceptions, dramatically cutting the cost per transaction.

continue  See also:

Microsoft Announces BizTalk Accelerator for SWIFT, Provides Complete SWIFT Messaging and Connectivity Support
First Public Beta Customer, Nicholas-Applegate Capital Management, Expects to Reduce Current Infrastructure Costs by 50 Percent Using New Accelerator

Citrix Addresses Windows 2000 SP4 Issues

Posted by bink on October 20 2003, 7:54 PM. Posted in Windows 2000.

In late June, Microsoft released Service Pack 4 for Windows 2000. Within hours, support forums and web boards became abuzz with problems experienced in Citrix MetaFrame environments after the Windows Service Pack was installed. As seen on the THIN list, public newsgroups, thin planet, and the Citrix knowledge base, most of the problems had to do with extremely slow logons once the service pack was installed. These issues were so bad that Roy Tokeshi (of the Citrix MetaFrame Thin Client Support Community) even created a support site dedicated to the problems.

Microsoft has acknowledged the problems in Citrix MetaFrame environments and released a post-SP4 hotfix.

All of these issues lead to one question--if Citrix and Microsoft work so closely together, how could there have been such a major issue with new a Microsoft service pack that broke just about every MetaFrame environment where it was installed?

During the press conference at iForum last week, I posed this question to Citrix's CTO Bob Kruger. He responded by basically saying that he wasn't aware of any issues and that Citrix and Microsoft work closely together on new software. (Click here for the full transcription of my question and Kruger's response.)

A lot of readers sent me email saying that they were shocked at Kruger's response. I added some of their comments to the end of the transcript. On Friday, I received an email from Bob Kruger.

In his email, Kruger pointed out that there aren't enough hours in the day for him to stay on top of the message boards and fulfill both his roles at Citrix, so he depends on the support folks to keep him clued in to the major problems. He said that "While the boards might be abuzz with stuff about SP4, the percentage of calls related to SP4 have been negligible."

He further committed that "your question in the press session and the comment on your site have led me to challenge things and I do intend to find out what’s really transpired." He said that his team has a meeting with the Microsoft Terminal Services product group very soon and that he'll be verifying that nothing went awry with their processes and procedures. Kruger closed the email by saying that he took the issue to heart, and that he agrees that a service pack shouldn't have broken MetaFrame.

All in all, I personally feel that this is great news. While it's too late for anything to be done about SP4, I think that the issues have been raised to the right people within both companies, and hopefully we won't see any other "out-of-the-box" problems of this magnitude in the future. (After all, Microsoft did name Citrix as their "Global ISV of the Year.")

source via WAP!

Posted by bink on October 20 2003, 6:06 PM. Posted in Site News.

As of today news can be read from WAP devices. Thanks to Brodie who is Chief editor for the WAP articles, he shortens the articles to save connection time.

So get Wapping at Downtime!

Posted by bink on October 20 2003, 7:36 AM. Posted in Site News.

As you've already noticed, has been down for about 24 hours.  Well, we're back now, and running much better!  A complete format later, our server is in top-top shape!