Microsoft's MSN to add antivirus protection for PCs

Posted by bink on October 17 2003, 3:13 PM. Posted in MSN.

Microsoft Corp.'s MSN division will offer antivirus protection at no extra charge to computer users who subscribe to a package of software and services for high-speed Internet users, the company said Thursday.

MSN Premium, due for release this winter, costs $9.95 a month and is designed for computer users who already have high-speed Internet access through Internet providers.

Through a deal with Santa Clara, Calif.-based Network Associates, MSN Premium customers will have full antivirus and firewall protections for their computers -- normally a $70 product -- said Lisa Gurry, MSN group product manager.

"Broadband users in particular do face a risk because they have an always-on connection," she said.

The move reflects two of Microsoft's priorities -- to gain paying subscribers for its money-losing MSN division and to promote computer security after a series of embarrassing Microsoft software flaws opened the door for hackers to attack computers around the world.

The deal expands on an existing agreement between MSN and Network Associates, in which MSN 8 Internet subscribers can pay for limited antivirus protection. Network Associates offers its antivirus and firewall protections to America Online subscribers for an added fee and to other Internet providers' customers as well.


Terminal Services License Server Viewer (LSView.exe)

Posted by bink on October 17 2003, 4:13 AM. Posted in Windows Server 2003.

Terminal Services License Server Viewer (LSView) is a GUI tool that displays information about all available Terminal Services license servers in the current domain and current site of the computer. It is useful for monitoring and logging the status of license servers.LSView displays the following information:
  • The names of all license servers in the current domain and site. This includes new license servers added to the domain and all license servers from the current Active Directory Site within the domain.
  • The types of all license servers in the domain. There are two types of license servers, Enterprise License Servers and Domain License Servers. The Workgroup License Server type for workgroups is Domain. It is important to know the type of license server when troubleshooting.
  • The date and time each license server is available. By default, LSView updates server availability every five minutes.

Download  LSView

Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools:


Important smartphone-related information for Orange Customers

Posted by bink on October 17 2003, 4:06 AM. Posted in Windows Mobile.

Updates for Orange SPV and SPV E100 Windows Mobile-based Smartphone customers will be made available directly from Orange. Unfortunately, this software update is not available at this time. Please visit the following Orange Web sites for the latest information on update availability. Orange SPV E200 and Motorola MPx200 Windows Mobile-based Smartphone customers are not affected by this MSN Messenger service change. For more information click here. Some background information: Microsoft has updated the MSN® Messenger Service to ensure that our customers have the latest security and privacy protections. This change requires Windows Mobile-based device users to use updated MSN Messenger software in order to connect to the Service as of October 15, 2003. At this time, there are no MSN Messenger software updates available for Windows Mobile-based Smartphones. Microsoft is working with its mobile operator partners to make updates available for Windows Mobile-based Smartphones soon. We apologize for any service interruptions. MSN® Messenger is the only feature impacted by this update. No other voice, data, or software functionality on Smartphone is impacted by this change.

Q&A: Microsoft's Muglia on thwarting hackers

Posted by bink on October 17 2003, 3:39 AM. Posted in Security.

He's not a household name, but Bob Muglia is part of a small constellation of executives that Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer have repeatedly entrusted with important projects over the years. During the course of his 15-year career with the company, Muglia has been given such responsibilities as managing the development of the MSN network, the Microsoft Office suite and Windows Server applications. These days, Muglia is running the storage business he started some 22 months ago while at the same time overseeing Microsoft's enterprise management division.

But outside events may have conspired to turn this into one of his toughest assignments.

During the last couple of years, hackers have repeatedly compromised Microsoft software by exploiting Windows vulnerabilities. The company contends that its software security is improving but allows that it remains a target for the foreseeable future.

The $64,000 question is whether this studied ambiguity will hinder Microsoft's ambitions to sell more of its software to information technology directors with big corporate data centres. Muglia spoke with CNET about the steps Microsoft is taking to foster better enterprise management and how the security issue is affecting the company.

Q: Microsoft has been talking a lot about interim steps -- such as getting users to turn on firewalls -- before making broader changes in the software. Is that the extent of what you can do about security in the near term? A: Many things go into securing systems. Clearly, we've been working on eliminating problems, and as we continue to find them, we'll make sure to get patches out there. But that's not the only thing we have to do.

For instance? With Blaster (also known as MSBlast), customers who had the Internet firewall turned on didn't get hit. In general, the idea of having that kind of level of defence is very useful. So we're looking at ways to get the (Internet Connection Firewall) turned on and finding ways to make it as effective as it can be -- in addition to offering tools that prevent people from getting into the system. The way I like to think of it is that you need multiple levels of defence. Like with a house, you need a gate, which is one level of defence. Then you need your doors locked -- and maybe an alarm turned on as well.


Windows Servers to Come in 3 New 64-bit Flavors

Posted by bink on October 17 2003, 3:22 AM. Posted in Windows Server 2003.

Three new 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 entered the beta testing stage on Wednesday. Microsoft produced an Enterprise Edition of Windows Server 2003 supporting the AMD64 architecture, as expected. But the software giant had two surprise versions to unveil as well in the form of new Standard Editions for both AMD's 64-bit processors and Intel's Itanium Architecture processor.

All three products will enter general availability in the second half of 2004, at the same time as Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 is released. The GA date is a significant slip for AMD's fledgling processor, given that Microsoft had originally talked about releasing SP1 and supporting AMD's 64-bit technology in the fourth quarter of this year.

For now, the new AMD versions will carry the title of Windows Server 2003 for 64-bit Extended Systems. The name refers to AMD's design, which uses the x86 instruction set from Intel's 32-bit architecture. That allows the processors to run old applications seamlessly, or to take advantage of the comparatively limitless memory possible in 64-bit systems with some minor coding tweaks.

Intel took a different approach with Itanium, creating a new instruction set that requires applications to be ported to run with the full capabilities of the processor.

Source  See also MS Press Release:

Microsoft Offers Customers Additional 64-Bit Computing Choices

Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL boost business IM wares

Posted by bink on October 17 2003, 3:15 AM. Posted in Messenger.

Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc., and America Online Inc. all announced enhancements to their respective instant messaging (IM) services for businesses on Wednesday, the opening day of the Fall 2003 Instant Messaging Planet Conference and Expo in San Diego.  AOL certified Akonix Systems Inc., maker of an IM management software, as a partner of its AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) service for businesses. Meanwhile, Yahoo launched its revamped business IM service, Yahoo Business Messenger 2.0, with integrated Web conferencing capabilities from WebEx Communications Inc. Finally, Microsoft announced the integration of IMlogic Inc.'s IMlogic IM Manager with the Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003. IMlogic competes against Akonix.

The moves are designed to boost the companies' capabilities in the fast-growing corporate IM space. IM communications, which first flourished as free services among individual home users, quickly found their way to corporate offices, as users took advantage of the ability to exchange messages instantly and in real time with coworkers and outside business partners.

However, companies quickly realized if employees were exchanging sensitive and confidential work-related information and data over IM networks, then corporate IM communications needed certain security, management and control features that the regular services for individuals lacked. Now Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL all provide special software, tools and services for companies that want to use their IM networks for work-related communications.

By making Akonix an AIM partner, AOL certifies that the Akonix L7 Enterprise IM communications manager works well with its IM service. It also means the companies will collaborate in enhancing and extending the Akonix L7 Enterprise for the AIM network, and that those improvements are authorized, compatible and supported by AOL, said Peter Coppola, Akonix's vice president of product marketing.

Meanwhile, Yahoo Business Messenger 2.0 is available now, giving users the ability to blend instant messaging with Web meeting services, allowing users to, among other things, share applications and presentations with integrated video and voice conferencing, according to information on this section of Yahoo's Web site:

Finally, the Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003, essentially server software for providing IM services, gains the ability to log, archive and report on IM usage through its integration with IMlogic IM Manager.

Resource Tool Kit for Microsoft Identity Integration Server 2003

Posted by bink on October 17 2003, 3:11 AM. Posted in Identity Integration.

The Microsoft® Integration Server 2003 (MIIS 2003) Resource Tool Kit add functionality and flexibility for remote administration and configuration of an MIIS 2003 server. Use them to parse input files, view management agent configurations, run management agents in batch mode, search for domain and directory information, archive files, and monitor Windows Management Interface (WMI) statistics on the Windows Enterprise Server 2003 hosting MIIS 2003 and SQL Server. The following tools are available in this package:FileViewer Identity Integration Server Dynamic Help MAConfigurationViewer MASequencer MASequenceConfiguration MIISClearRunHistory MIISDCInfo MIISDNSearch MIISDSNameConverter MIISGetMailAddress MIISLogBackup MIISSecurityGroupInfo MIIS Service Monitor MIISSQLDiag


The Microsoft Communications Protocol Program, Get The Protocols!

Posted by bink on October 17 2003, 3:07 AM. Posted in Windows (general).

The Microsoft Communications Protocol Program (MCPP) makes available by license over 100 proprietary protocols that enable your server software to interoperate and communicate with Microsoft desktop client operating systems.   Now, we've made it even easier to get the protocols:

•   No NDAs to sign to see terms and pricing •  Simplified royalty structure and lower up-front payment •  Public web site with license agreements and sample protocol documentation

This is your best opportunity ever to achieve optimal interoperability and greater customer satisfaction without the hassles. via

MSN Video Beta Goes Live

Posted by bink on October 17 2003, 1:53 AM. Posted in MSN.

MSN Video will offer custom programming to consumers, so they can watch the type of programming that most interests them, from news to sports to entertainment to a host of other topics, or even specific program segments. When the offering becomes broadly available, consumers will have the opportunity to watch segments of their favorite television programming on demand from any device that supports broadband Internet access. View MSN Video Player    

Microsoft: a growing force in enterprise IT

Posted by bink on October 16 2003, 11:32 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

A Datamonitor survey of 200 large European enterprises has revealed the extent to which Microsoft [MSFT] has already penetrated the enterprise mindset. Though many still disparage Microsoft's pedigree in this space, the traditional heavyweights really should be worried.

When asked which vendors they would consider for integration projects, a surprisingly high number of the end-users recently surveyed by Datamonitor included Microsoft among their top three. A weighted average of their responses put Microsoft in the lead, just above IBM [IBM]. The results really do highlight the efforts Microsoft has been making to enter, and compete effectively in, the enterprise market.Microsoft has also made considerable inroads into other areas where the company would not necessarily be expected to be strong. The company's SharePoint Portal is more of a development environment than a traditional enterprise portal offering. But the survey once again indicated Microsoft's improving reputation in the enterprise sector.In addition to a strong showing in integration and portals, Microsoft also features highly in the areas of mobility and web services. 34% of the enterprises surveyed say that their preferred mobile development environment is the .NET Compact Framework. This was the largest response and shows the extent to which Microsoft has been making progress in this sector. Though the company's mobile unit continues to make a loss, in targeting the developers, Microsoft is establishing itself in the mobile space. This market is still nascent, though, and the eventual winners are far from decided.Although the greatest proportion of respondents (39%) indicated that their strategic development environment for web-enabled application development and web services is J2EE, 26% still opted for Microsoft's .NET. In the case of .NET, one of the key reasons for its apparent success is undoubtedly the strength of the Microsoft development environment, Microsoft Visual Studio .NET. The company aggressively targeted the developer community in order to penetrate the enterprise segment, and it appears that this tactic has paid dividends.In the past, Microsoft's efforts to penetrate the enterprise IT market have been less than successful. This appears to be changing rapidly, and the current leaders need to be increasingly vigilant to the threat that Microsoft presents. source

Bill Gates applauds Poland for progress in putting paid to software piracy

Posted by bink on October 16 2003, 2:47 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

Poland is making good progress in the fight against pirated software, Microsoft's Bill Gates said in Warsaw Wednesday.

"The rate of software piracy has been going down year by year," Gates told an afternoon press conference summarizing a stay in Poland. "We are pleased with the progress."

The Business Software Alliance (BSA), set up to combat piracy, said in an April 2003 report that software piracy accounted for 53% of the Polish software market, a reduction of 18% from 1996. BSA said that the average annual rate of growth for the programming market had come to 23% since 1995 and put Poland in third place in Eastern Europe as an IT market.

"This is good for local software firms who can bootstrap their business to the local economy," Gates said of progress in the fight against pirated software.

Gates was in Warsaw to sign a Government Security Program agreement with Poland that will grant the Polish government access to Microsoft source codes. The codes will allow the government to upgrade and adjust Windows and other Microsoft products, especially in terms of meeting government security needs.

Such moves, part of the Shared Source Initiative, are designed to help Microsoft fend off competition from free, open source products, which have increasingly been selected by local governments in Europe on the basis of their price (technically zero) and the increased control over source code.