Gates Interview MSNBC

Posted by bink on October 18 2003, 5:33 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

From a Blog:

Bill Gates: “Jealousy has driven more mistakes by my competitors than anything else, when people focus not on the next breakthrough, but on cutting off Microsoft. Its actually been quite a windfall for us."  Whole Article

Electronically Sign and Seal Microsoft Word Documents with a USPS Electronic Postmark

Posted by bink on October 18 2003, 5:26 PM. Posted in Office.

United States Postal Service - Electronic PostmarkSign in Microsoft WordUSPS EPM Extension for Microsoft Office lets you digitally sign Word documents and seal them with the trusted USPS Electronic Postmark (USPS EPM).

Verify with USPS TrustJust click the USPS EPM icon in the Microsoft Word toolbar, apply a USPS EPM to your document (contract, letter, agreement), and sign. This gives your document tamper protection against fraud and the ability to verify document authenticity with a click of the USPS EPM signature block. Evidence of document authenticity is stored in the USPS EPM repository for seven years to ensure trusted non-repudiation of content.

You will need a digital certificate to use this software.

Microsoft Offers A Thumbs-Down To iTunes, Calling It "Limited"

Posted by bink on October 18 2003, 5:22 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

This won't come as a surprise to anyone, but Microsoft thinks that iTunes for Windows is just too limiting for discerning Windows users. This was revealed in an "interview" with Dave Fester, General Manager - Windows Digital Media Division, titled "Q&A: Choosing a Digital Music Service for Windows Users." In the interview, Mr. Fester says that Windows users "expect choice in music services," something which iTunes does not provide. The interview with the Microsoft executive was conducted by Microsoft's PressPass PR arm.

Fortunately, Microsoft also has the solution for all those Windows users who are looking for choice in music services: The company recommends just about any service that relies on Microsoft's Windows Media 9 technology. From the "interview:"

PressPass: We've heard that Apple will be launching a Windows-based version of iTunes. Do you see that as impacting Napster or other Windows-based services?

Fester: iTunes captured some early media interest with their store on the Mac, but I think the Windows platform will be a significant challenge for them. Unless Apple decides to make radical changes to their service model, a Windows-based version of iTunes will still remain a closed system, where iPod owners cannot access content from other services. Additionally, users of iTunes are limited to music from Apple's Music Store. As I mentioned earlier, this is a drawback for Windows users, who expect choice in music services, choice in devices, and choice in music from a wide-variety of music services to burn to a CD or put on a portable device. Lastly, if you use Apple's music store along with iTunes, you don't have the ability of using the over 40 different Windows Media-compatible portable music devices. When I'm paying for music, I want to know that I have choices today and in the future.

PressPass: How do the current Windows-based services differ from iTunes?

Fester: As I mentioned, there are lots of choices in Windows music services. The service that offers consumers the most tracks and best experience will win the hearts and minds of consumers. If you look at Napster, it will launch as the world's largest online service with over half a million tracks from all the major labels and hundreds of independents on October 29. Napster goes way beyond individual downloads, offering advanced services such as unlimited downloads, customized radio, shared playlists, music videos and more. Music fans can use dozens of devices with Napster, and can even enjoy this service in the convenience of their living room with a remote control and Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004.

All told, music fans should look for services that offer the best experience and take advantage of the best digital media platform available on Windows. With Windows Media 9 Series, you get faster starts, better quality music, and support for the most devices.

You can read the full interview at Microsoft's Web site.

Zdnet "admits" its wrong about winXP sp2

Posted by bink on October 17 2003, 9:19 PM. Posted in Windows XP.

Wednesday Zdnet reported that at Citrix iForum Microsoft's corporate vice president of content, Richard Kaplan announced that winXP sp2 was to be released in December 2003. I thought that was great news and posted it. Still thinking this was weird releasing it months earlier then previously announced and no beta program in progress, I started my own research via contacts at Microsoft.

After gathering info I was sure Zdnet had it wrong (post). My doubts reached via my sources, all the way up to Mr Kaplan himself. He too told Zdent had it wrong, the Beta is scheduled for December, not the final. He would contact Zdnet about the issue.

Now ZDet reports “Confusion reigns over Windows XP SP2” it states Mr Kaplan announced it wrong. I don't know I wasn't there.

I doubt I was they only one doubting this issue, though I hope I contributed to get the “confusion” out of the world. (which I helped starting in the first place, by posting Zdnet's initial article)

Confusion reigns over Windows XP SP2

MS got a patent to store a session ID in a cookie

Posted by bink on October 17 2003, 8:51 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

From Blog SuperGarv

Microsoft got a patent to store a session ID in a cookie and the SID-related data on the server.So this is like one of the most basic features of any personalized webpage, or even the most basic setup of PHP sessions. Even though I doubht that Microsoft will use that for patent sueing, a patent like this should not be able to get.Every judge should easily see, that their way is common practice and can't really be done in another way. This is exactly, why IT-Patents should not be given in Europe, just as they are (currently still?) discussed in Europe.There's no bright future ahead for E-Development and Free Software, if that gets common practice.I should think about getting a patent for sending electronical representations of characters through different servers.

The Patent

Live Communications Server, worth it?

Posted by bink on October 17 2003, 5:33 PM. Posted in Office.

It used to be that instant messaging (IM) was relatively easy to deploy in Windows. You'd simply deploy Exchange 2000's built-in Instant Messaging Service, and all was well with the world.

Oh, there were (and still are) quirks. For example, you have to use two different clients depending on your users'operating systems. Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 users must use Windows Messenger, while Windows NT, 95, 98 and ME users have to use the Exchange Instant Messaging (IM) Client 4.6 or higher. But this is penny ante stuff, albeit the kind of thing you must track carefully lest you end up with users and help desk personnel quarreling over IM client compatibility issues.

That was then. This is now. Starting in October 2003, if you want Microsoft's best of breed IMing, you have to pay extra for Microsoft's Live Communications Server (LCS) 2003, formerly known as Greenwich.

Is it worth it? For my money, no. If you already have IM up and working with Exchange Server 2000, and your users are happy, there's no compelling reason to upgrade.

For example, the only client you can use with LCS is Windows Messenger. So, you can forget about using such useful multiple IM system clients as Trillian. Or, as is more likely in most companies, you can also forget about using MSN Messenger and NetMeeting with LCS. That capability will appear in the next version of LCS which won't be out for... well, a while yet.

Actually, I'd be hard pressed to find any reason... if you just look at LCS 2003 on its own. But, if you're going to use it with a full SPS 2003 setup, then LCS makes a great deal of sense.

What You Gain from LCS

When used properly, business instant messaging makes business work flow go much more smoothly. That's not just my opinion. I've seen network operating centers go from chaos to organization, thanks to a well implemented IM solution.

People who don't get IM, or think of it only as something that their teenagers use to endlessly yack with each other, are missing the point. With IM, thanks to presence technology, you can see if the person you need to talk with is available, talk to them, and get a response back -- all while you're still in the middle of your project or on a call with a client. It may not sound like much, and it certainly doesn't work for everyone, but with the right people it can mean a tremendous increase in productivity.

The long and short of it is that IM can enable people to work together as if they were officemates, even if they're hundreds of miles apart.

Don't believe me? Try it, using a public IM system. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

You may be so pleased that you'll consider using a public IM instead of LCS or another business-based IM system. Don't give in to the temptation.

With LCS, you get centralized IM logging and auditing, a legal necessity in some businesses now, and management. Put together these not only give you business control of IM, but they cut down considerably on IM's problems, which, alas, are many.


Microsoft and Citrix

Posted by bink on October 17 2003, 5:09 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.


Have a look at Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer video from the Citrix iForum about the Microsoft / Citrix relationship.My personal opinion is that Citrix password manager and conferencing manager is a very different ball game then, let's say, MultiWin, WinFrame and MetaFrame. I sincerly hope these products will not go the same route as Extranet. With so many newcomers riding the terminal services wave, Citrix might be better off defending their number one money maker, their ICA based multiuser servers. Instead of protecting their turf they now nose dive into new markets. This all combined with the new pricing scheme which suggest that nobody at Citrix is realizing that IT budgets are going down fast.

Smart screens sample DNA

Posted by bink on October 17 2003, 3:38 PM. Posted in Windows (general).

An intelligent liquid crystal displays which could bring mobile DNA fingerprinting a step closer has been developed by scientists.  Epson and Cambridge researchers have developed the technology Joint research between Cambridge University scientists and Epson has yielded an intelligent, ultra-thin display device which combines clever circuitry and sensors.

The sophisticated device can take samples either through touch or in liquid form, then analyse and store the information.

The technology could be used a range of wireless mobile devices, like handheld computers or even wrist watches.

Testing time

The scientists who have been researching liquid crystal display (LCD) technology say the wafer-thin sensing displays are about the size of a film negative.

The technology could be used in a range of testing and sampling applications.

  The collection, retention and storage of DNA is an extremely imprecise art, with concerns of cross contamination or damage

Gareth Crossman, Liberty  "Thin Film Transistors (TFT) can be seen as an intelligent version of LCD technology," Professor Piero Migliorato at the University of Cambridge told BBC News Online.

"The TFT will have an intelligent chip inside programmed to do a set job, be it reading people's fingerprints or telling a person's blood type in the future."

The chip technology behind the display will be able not only to store but also to analyse information.

It means in the future, police equipped with mobile devices could take DNA fingerprinting samples from people when they are on the beat.

This could make it is a lot easier for samples to be recorded and stored, and raises the possibly of using wireless technology to compare database information with samples.

TFTs are often used to make screens for computers, and this development of it is a result of long term collaborative research effort between Cambridge University and technology giants Epson.

The University's Epson lab was set up in 1998 to encourage cross-fertilisation of academic and professional research and development.

Continue at BBC

ONENOTE records lectures, highlightes and organizes with flexibility

Posted by bink on October 17 2003, 3:26 PM. Posted in Office.

To best understand OneNote, Microsoft's newest member of the Office software family, think about the three-ring binder you used in school.

The binder was filled with paper and divided into sections so biology notes wouldn't get mixed with the algebra notes. But they were still together, in one place, for quick reference when it came time to study.

Microsoft has taken that concept and put it into a software program that is a must-have for anyone whose day-to-day tasks involve taking notes -- from lawyers to students to journalists.

OneNote is not sold as part of the Office 2003 bundle and it works fine with earlier versions of Office. It costs $49 for students and educators and is available at university bookstores across the country. Retail price is $99 (after a $100 rebate).

Starting with the basics, OneNote's home page consists of color-coded section tabs across the top of the screen -- the dividers of the three-ring binder.

Across the right side of each page are page tabs and sub-page tabs for that section -- the individual sheets of paper inside each section of the binder.

The heart of the screen, however, is the blank page where the notes themselves are taken -- either typed, pasted in from a Web page, pasted in from other documents or drawn in using one of the pen tools (think diagrams, charts and illustrations).

Images or text pasted from a Web page include a tag with a Web link to the item's origin.

It's true that some of the features make OneNote look a lot like Word -- and many of the tools are the same. But OneNote offers more flexibility. It doesn't force the text to the left margin the way Word does. Like handwritten note-taking, your text can go anywhere on the page you'd like it to go.

And you can mark up the notes the same way you would if you were writing them. OneNote comes with a highlighter pen tool (change the colors to suit your taste) and a set of ``note-flag'' icons that replace the handwritten asterisks that I use when taking written notes.

But the coolest feature in OneNote -- and one I would have loved during college lectures -- is the audio recording tool. When you start the audio recording, the computer's microphone not only records the lecture into an audio file but also synchronizes the recording with the notes you're typing.

For example, say you're reviewing your notes and come across something in your shorthand that doesn't make sense. Click on the audio icon in that part of the notes and the recording will play back from that point in the lecture without having to listen to and fast forward through the lecture to find the right spot.

I also liked OneNote's search feature, which searches the entire contents of the notebook (just like sifting through the binder). It not only finds typed notes but is also pretty good at recognizing handwritten notes created with the pen tool or imported from a Tablet PC application.

It includes a note flag summary feature, which searches for all of the important notes that you've marked and lists them in a side window.

For those who really have trouble organizing notes, OneNote comes with templates for to-do lists, lecture notes, business meeting agendas and more.

There's a lot to like about OneNote -- including the way it works with other Office applications. Note pages can be e-mailed either as OneNote files (for other OneNote users) or as HTML files so others can see your notes.

But I would like to see it recognize names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses and import them into Outlook's address book or contacts page, as well.

Like Outlook, Word, Excel and the other members of the Office family, OneNote includes features and tools that the average person won't know about unless he or she goes exploring.

Microsoft is offering free 60-day trials, available for download after Tuesday from After the 60 days, users can no longer enter text into the software, but the notes you've taken will not be lost. Purchasing and installing the software -- from a CD, not a download -- will not harm the notes taken during the trial time.

OneNote will come bundled on Toshiba's new line of Tablet PCs.

If you're a note taker, especially if you're a student, I think OneNote is a productivity tool that could change the way you take notes. The free trial is a great way to find out.


New tablet PCs to pad the market

Posted by bink on October 17 2003, 3:18 PM. Posted in Tablet PC.

With the first anniversary of Microsoft's Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system approaching in November, several PC makers have released or will soon release new tablet PC models designed around the OS.

Hewlett-Packard led the pack, launching its HP Compaq Tablet TC1100 on Monday. Meanwhile, Acer is working on a big-screen tablet PC, which recently appeared on its Web site, and several other manufacturers are said to be working on new models as well.

The first crop of tablet PCs with the Microsoft OS have done relatively well. The tablet market, which includes machines with the Microsoft operating system, along with more specialized hardware, is on track to ship half a million units by the end of this year, market research firm IDC said.

While many companies are focusing on updating their existing models, Acer is attempting to break the mold. Its forthcoming tablet features a 14-inch screen and, like its current tablets, is also a convertible. The tablet's 14-inch screen can open, rotate and fold down to create a writing surface.

Acer is likely to have a size advantage over its competitors, which offer either 10.4-inch or 12.1-inch screens. Tablet PCs that use the Microsoft OS typically also come in a slate form, usually with a provision for a detachable keyboard.

Continiue at Cnet

Microsoft gradually is forcing its own employees to use Microsoft smartphone

Posted by bink on October 17 2003, 3:16 PM. Posted in Windows Mobile.

While we were at ITU Telecom World 2003 conference we have encountered many employees of Microsoft who were carrying non-Microsoft cell phones, for example cell phones from SonyEricsson. So why Microsoft couldn´t force all employees to use Microsoft smartphone for the sake of quality improvement? Well, it looks like Microsoft can do it and already started doing it: We made some steps towards this with the launch of the SPV, where all MS sales folks in the U.K. were given SPVs and those were the only phones and bills MS would pay for. It is a practice common at cellular handset vendors, but the problem with Microsoft is, that it is a software-only vendor, so they have to purchase these phones on the market. Once Motorola MPx200 will arrive to USA, this practice may spread also to Microsoft USA, and then we can be certain that quality, stability and usability of Microsoft smartphone software will improve greatly...Full answer from Neil Enns from Microsoft follows. Microsoft has a long history of doing this. You may have heard the term "dogfooding" or "eating our own dogfood", and we do that religiously for software before release at Microsoft. For Office 2003, for example, we pretty much had every single PC in the company running it months before it was released. I, ah, fondly remember the days of running pre-release versions of XP on my machine. As with its namesake, dogfood isn´t always delicious... The tricky part with our business is the hardware piece. It´s trivial to put Office 2003 bits on a network share, send email to everyone telling them to install it, and then locking out access to Exchange for older versions. But you can´t put the Smartphone or Pocket PC bits out on a network share without hardware to put them on. Until *very* recently, we simply couldn´t get our hands on enough devices to do what you propose. We made some steps towards this with the launch of the SPV, where all MS sales folks in the U.K. were given SPVs and those were the only phones and bills MS would pay for. But we have to buy our phones from the operator (or sometimes the manufacturer) just like anyone else. It´s very tricky for to negotiate for large hardware purchases when production is limited as it was when Smartphone was first launched. With the rollout of the MPX200 I expect you´ll start to see what you propose, particularly since we finally have a device that U.S.-based employees can purchase.msmobiles