Information for Developers about Changes to IE

Posted by bink on October 7 2003, 8:09 PM. Posted in Internet Explorer.

This section describes changes to Internet Explorer's handling of ActiveX controls and Java applets. Developers who build ActiveX controls, Web developers who use ActiveX and Java Applets on their Web sites, and developers who host the Web Browser OC or MSHTML should consult this documentation to understand how the user experience is changing, and also how to modify their pages to manage the user experience for their content.

From this site, there are links to Microsoft documentation explaining these changes, a test version of Internet Explorer that shows how it will work when new versions of Windows are released that have this behavior, as well as links to information provided by other companies who produce ActiveX controls or tools.

Microsoft expects that new computers and retail purchases of Microsoft Windows XP will have this behavior sometime early next calendar year. Microsoft also expects that new service packs of Windows XP and Internet Explorer will have this behavior starting sometime after that.

Please read this disclaimer about information on this Web site.

For Web DevelopersChanges to the Default Handling of ActiveX Controls by Internet ExplorerThis topic describes the changes to the behavior of Internet Explorer when loading ActiveX controls and how Web developers can manage the user experience for their Web pages. For WebOC HostsHandling ActiveX Controls in WebOC and MSHTML Hosting ApplicationsThis topic describes how you can control and customize the new Internet Explorer behavior in your WebOC and MSHTML applications.

Test the Pre-Release BitsMicrosoft has made two versions of Internet Explorer 6 with the new behavior available for testing. Microsoft strongly recommends that only developers actively testing the changes to Windows and Internet Explorer perform the install. In order to use either of these installation packages, you must first have Windows XP SP1 installed.

IE 6 Update v.01 (download)This installation package includes the altered files for Windows and Internet Explorer in a Self Extracting ZIP file. First, download the package. It will ask for approval on the License terms, and then for a location to copy the self-extracting ZIP to. Then, to install, run the Self-Extracting zip. It will create a directory, by default called "IE 6 Update". Inside that folder will be a local copy of IEXPLORE.EXE. Double click on that program to run the updated version. Other ways of starting Internet Explorer will run your current system version of Internet Explorer. Other programs that use Internet Explorer technology such as the WebOC or MSHTML will not be changed by installing this way. This installation method should be used by Web Developers who want to test their content running in existing and updated versions of Internet Explorer side-by-side. Coming SoonThis installation updates your Windows system with the updated version of Internet Explorer. All uses of Internet Explorer and Internet Explorer technology on the machine will be updated with this method. This installation method should be used by developers who want to test the behavior of their applications that use Internet Explorer technology.

See also: Microsoft Confirms Changes to Windows, IE in Wake of Lawsuit

Messenger update for Windows Mobile (available now

Posted by bink on October 7 2003, 8:08 PM. Posted in Windows Mobile.

When I was playing with the xda II on weekend I've tested more or less every functionality and application.

One of them was for sure MSN Messenger, it notifies you to imediatly download an updated messenger update. However, if you follow the links provided there you get the following information:

MSN Messenger Security Update for Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs and Smartphones

The MSN Messenger Security Update is part of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing initiative, which aims to provide customers with improved security and greater privacy protection.

As part of this update, all .NET Messenger Service clients will be required to upgrade to compliant versions of Messenger service client software by October 15, 2003. Microsoft is developing updates for Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs and Smartphones.

Pocket PC and Pocket PC Phone Edition updates will be available through Microsoft in early October to prevent any service disruptions. Microsoft is also working on updates for Smartphone users with its partners.

Visit this Web site in early October to download the MSN Messenger client for Pocket PC and Pocket PC Phone Edition, and to learn more about the availability of Smartphone updates from Microsoft and its partners.

So far neither for the Pocket PC platform, nor for the Smartphone platform an upgrade is available and it's 9 days till 15th only. So I truly wonder when this update will become available. Also it's a kind of irritating that a brand new, still not released device like the xda II isn't already equipped with this compliant version. I hope O2 will be able to include the new MSN Messenger version by default, otherwise it would be a bad user experience if you buy a brand new device which seems to include outdated software.


MS Cluster guide and tool

Posted by bink on October 7 2003, 5:49 PM. Posted in Tools & Utils.

This guide provides step-by-step instructions for creating and configuring a typical single quorum device multi-node server cluster using a shared disk on servers running the Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003 Enterprise Edition and Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition operating systems.


The Cluster Recovery Utility is a tool that collects together a number of pieces of functionality that are particularly useful in a server cluster after a disk on the shared bus has failed.

Server cluster configurations manage disks on a shared storage infrastructure that are visible from multiple nodes although only one node in a server cluster can access any given disk at any point in time. In the event of the failure or corruption of a disk on the shared storage interconnect special care must be taken to restore the data and recover the applications.

The Cluster Recovery Utility is a tool that collects together a number of pieces of functionality that are particularly useful in a server cluster after a disk on the shared bus has failed.

This utility is primarily aimed at the following scenarios:

Restoring resource checkpoint files Replacing a failed disk Recovering from disk signature changes Migrating data to a different disk on the shared bus Note: this tool works on WIndows 2000 too! I actually used it last week and saved me from reinstalling a SQL cluster


How MS could stop spyware and adware with Longhorn

Posted by bink on October 7 2003, 5:44 PM. Posted in Windows Server 2008.

If I could request one security feature for the upcoming Windows Longhorn, it would be this:

Automatic OS-Level Application Sandboxing.

What does this mean?

1) When you install an application, you choose where to install it. The program you've installed can read and write files only in that directory. If needed, it can request access to other directories, such as My Documents, but it cannot do this without your permission. My MP3 player should have access to my MP3 files, not my entire hard drive.

2) Applications today get full read and write access to the Windows Registry. I propose giving write access only to the applications own section. It can have read and write access to other sections via public API, such as for adding file type associations, that way any changes can be easily tracked and undone.

3) Applications wishing to have Internet access must register themselves in a list of Internet-aware applications. From this list I can see which applications are using the Internet, disable access to any particular program, and see the internet addresses that each program is connecting to and receiving connections from. Programs should also have limits on what addresses they can connect to. An antivirus update program should only have access to connect to the virus update site, not any web site in the world.

4) Only programs installed via Windows Update should have access to the Windows directories. This black box approach will help prevent unstable Windows installations caused by 3rd party programs.

5) Legacy applications that can't be sandboxed with this model must give the user warnings and register themselves in a list of unsafe programs.

The point of this OS-Level Application Sandboxing is to make it impossible for Spyware and Adware to exist. A good side effect is that it will make many virus attacks more difficult. Ideally most of this is transparent to the user. This will also prevent programs like Real Audio from altering Windows Media Player codex and settings without user permission.

This is something I thought of over the weekend. This is not necessarily part of Longhorn. If it is part of Longhorn, it will a coincidence or maybe even because somebody on the team read this and thought it was a good idea.

7 things to keep in mind about Longhorn

Posted by bink on October 7 2003, 5:40 PM. Posted in Windows Server 2008.

  • 1. Aero, the 3D-rendering user interface;
  • 2. Avalon, the core set of application programming interfaces (APIs) for handling graphics/presentation chores;
  • 3. Indigo, the next release of Microsoft's Web-services infrastructure that will underlie the OS; think .NET Remoting + MSMQ + ASMX + .NET Enterprise Services (a k a COM+);
  • 4. WinFS, the Windows File System data-store that Longhorn will borrow from Microsoft's SQL Server "Yukon" database; will be able to store XML and metadata in a single place;
  • 5. Real-time communications and speech, meaning the instant-messaging, P2P technology and the core speech API that will be built into the platform;
  • 6. Trustworthy Computing/security, which, in Longhorn's case, will consist largely of the Next-Generation Secure Computing Base, or "Palladium," code;
  • 7. And last but not least, the catch-all category of Fundamentals. My guess as to what falls into this group? Integrated workflow capabilities; rights-management; perhaps even the good old .Net Framework.

    There's still a lot TBD (to be determined) regarding Longhorn. We hear the client version of the operating system will come in consumer and business flavors. Exactly how many of each is far from final.

  • Read more at MS watch

    Microsoft, Sun Extend JVM Support

    Posted by bink on October 7 2003, 5:35 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

    Microsoft Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. are making nice and agreeing to extend the period through which Microsoft will support its Java Virtual Machine.

    Under the agreement announced Tuesday, Sun and Microsoft have agreed to extend Microsoft's maintenance agreement for its Microsoft Java Virtual Machine (JVM) until September 30, 2004. This move enables users of the Microsoft JVM to have more time to transition their applications off the Microsoft Java platform.

    Microsoft has been phasing out its support for the JVM. And in a settlement agreement reached in 2001 following a Sun lawsuit against Microsoft, the companies agreed to limit the period where Microsoft would support the JVM. But Sun officials said many developers have asked for more time to make the transition.

    "We're working together to serve the greater Java community," a Sun spokeswoman said.

    Yet, while the two companies are obviously got along well enough to make this announcement, Sun's current lawsuit against Microsoft remains in place. In fact, the agreement regarding Microsoft's support of the Microsoft JVM has been a point of conflict in the case. This settlement does nothing to change the status of the case, Sun said.

    "The suit and the decision from the suit are not changed by this new license," said a Sun spokeswoman. "The antitrust case is proceeding on course and we're not commenting further on the antitrust case at this time."

    Meanwhile, Sun and Microsoft said they will include links on Microsoft's Java Web site that will feature upgrade information for developers who use the Microsoft JVM.

    In addition, Sun announced a new program and Web site to take advantage of the opportunity to attract developers making the transition off of Microsoft's platform. The site features diagnostic tools to help developers ensure they are using the current version of the Sun JVM and Java Runtime Environment (JRE).

    Sun recently announced agreements with several leading PC manufacturers that would ensure distribution of the most current JVM and JRE on all more than 50 percent of PCs shipped. Rich Green, vice president of the Sun Developer Platforms Group, said Sun has distribution deals with companies such as Apple, Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Toshiba, among others. And Green said he expects Sun to reach agreements with more PC manufacturers so that the Unix system vendor can have distribution through companies that cover up to 90 percent of PC shipments.

    Sun also has seen 18.8 million downloads of its JVM through its Get Java Desktop Upgrade program since January, the company said.

    Meanwhile, Microsoft Monday released its J# Controls for download. The J# Browser Controls "provide developers with a way to migrate their existing Java applet source code to run within the context of the .Net Framework," a Microsoft description of the technology said. "J# Browser Controls have full access to the .Net Framework, including the ability to access native support for XML Web services. They also provide J# developers with a way to enable rich, client-side functionality within a Web-based application." source

    Review: SBS 2003 Is An Attractive Alternative

    Posted by bink on October 6 2003, 5:38 PM. Posted in Small Business Server.

    With the release of Small Business Server 2003 expected on Oct. 9, Microsoft has fired a shot across the bow of the SMB server appliance market. The new, slimmed-down version of SBS 2003 standard edition offers everything most small businesses would need, and at an attractive price point, making the product an alternative to low-priced, proprietary server appliances.

    Microsoft has gone to great lengths to integrate key back-office applications into SBS 2003, without overly complicating the product, reducing initial setup to less than 15 minutes when purchased with OEM server hardware bundles. Aggressive hardware bundling deals from leading server vendors should bring the overall cost of a new five-user SBS 2003 standard edition server to less than $1,500, while the reduction in administrative and setup chores helps to greatly reduce installation costs.

    SBS 2003 standard edition combines Windows Server 2003 with Exchange 2003, Share Point Services, networking, faxing, a network health monitor and several other components aimed at easing administration and setup. The premium edition adds ISA Server, SQL Server and a specialized edition of BizTalk 2004. Both versions of SBS 2003 are limited to single-server installations and 75 users.

    CRN Test Center engineers put SBS 2003 standard edition through its paces and were impressed with the improvements offered. Starting with an HP Proliant server configured with an OEM install of SBS 2003 standard edition, Test Center engineers were able to set up a basic SBS 2003 network in less than 45 minutes, including configuring Internet access, VPN connectivity and five user accounts.

    The basic installation process shows that Microsoft has accepted the fact that many businesses now use broadband connections that leverage broadband routers.

    The Test Center used a D-Link DI-624 broadband router connected to a cable modem (news - web sites) as the interface to the Internet. SBS 2003's installation wizard recognized that router using universal plug and play and then offered several scenarios to best integrate the device into the network. Test Center engineers chose to have DHCP assignments remain with the D-Link router and then configured port forwarding on the router to pass specific services on to the SBS 2003 server.

    The key advantage offered by that setup is that solution providers can leverage an existing hardware firewall, without overcomplicating the deployment of an SBS 2003 network. Furthermore, solution providers could choose to integrate a broadband security appliance into the mix to perform content filtering, anti-virus filtering and anti-spam technology. In the past, most of those services were installed directly on the server, impacting performance and further complicating deployments.

    Setting up VPN access was just as easy. Test Center engineers simply used the "configure remote access" wizard found on the setup "to do" list to add VPN functionality. That wizard offered to use DHCP assignments from the D-Link router, further simplifying setup. The only caveat concerned setting up appropriate port forwarding on the router to pass PPTP VPN traffic on to the server. Continue

    Microsoft finds inspiration in freeware world

    Posted by bink on October 6 2003, 5:35 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

    Open source activists such as the free software foundation may not regard Microsoft Corp.'s shared source license as "open", but shared source manager Jason Matusow makes it plain that the company has been inspired and influenced by the free software movement.Matusow acknowledges that shared source software is not "open" in the sense that Linux, Apache or the BSDs are considered open, but says Redmond recognizes the "technical and trust benefits" of open source."This is not open source and that's why we call it shared source," he says. "But we're certainly learning from open source." Microsoft "very firmly" believes in the value of its proprietary software, Matusow says. "We're going to directly sell software at the same time as we potentially offer the source code, so we need to think about the balance of these two elements." The shared source initiative has four main targets, he says: existing customers, such as governments, OEMs and corporates; new development, such as CE.Net and ASP.Net applications; teaching and research; and business opportunities for Microsoft partners.Although some source code is released with few restrictions, other code is very limited in its circulation. The Windows source is available only to some large corporates, about 125 universities, and 15 "sovereign entities" including NATO, the EU, and the governments of New Zealand, Australia, China, Taiwan, Russia and the U.S..Code access for governments is through the government security program, or GSP. Governments are particularly interested in security and privacy audits, but Matusow says licensees also use the shared source program to assist with debugging or to improve their own internal support.Developers are mainly interested in source access to assist with debugging, Matusow says. "You don't need the Windows source code to write good Windows apps," he says. "But sometimes just being able to debug, and separate 'Is it a Microsoft scenario, or ours?' can save hundreds of hours of work." Other source releases, such as the CE.Net codebase and ASP.Net starter kit, are more liberal. The license for the ASP.Net starter kit allows reselling. "Not only can you look at the code and modify and redistribute, but you can sell this stuff if you choose and you don't owe us a licensing fee." Matusow says the kit has been downloaded 450,000 times. "It has been very interesting to watch how projects have sprung off." Much of the CE.Net source code is also available. "We took 45 percent of the OS and put it under a very simple license … that says you can look at this code, you can modify this code, you can redistribute this code but you cannot commercialize it." The Rotor license is more restrictive; although it is free to download, commercial use is forbidden, limiting its use outside universities. "Absolutely," Matusow agrees. "That is definitely a research endeavor." Asked whether the more liberal license are used as a tool to catch up in markets where Microsoft does not have a clear lead, Matusow says "Sure. Certainly. That's why we separate these ideas."We're trying to be very direct about this, in that Microsoft is a commercial software provider. Our business model is built around the idea that we will invest in innovation in software and then we'll turn around and we'll sell that software. Now some of it we'll indirectly commercialize, and some of it we'll directly commercialize." However, there's no corporate directive on when source should be released. "It's really up to the development team," Matusow says. "My job at Microsoft is to understand the benefits of open source, understand the benefits of the various business models and how people are applying those, and then to bring those back to (the product groups)."Our executive staff is very interested in seeing us expand our shared source program, yet we're not going by fiat to each and every group and saying 'You will share source code'." The government security program includes access to the Windows 2000, XP and 2003 source, documentation, and a visit to Redmond, Matusow says."What's turned out to be critical about that is that we thought source code was going to be the central part of the GSP. It turns out governments are far more interested in the documentation, and in coming to Redmond and meeting the individual development teams and the program managers." In any case, the Windows source is too large for a casual browse. It is hosted on a server in Redmond and made available to licensees through MSDN Code Centre Premium subscriptions. The 700 engineers who have MSDN access are authorized through the use of smartcards and smartcard readers."There's such a significant amount of source code that it becomes somewhat troublesome to find the code that they need to find," Matusow says. "So we have indexed that entire Windows source code, which turned out to be more of a job than we originally thought it would be." Uptake has been limited, he says."All over the world there are about 2,000 enterprises which are able to receive Windows source code. There are about 50 which have taken it up."Linux is the same way. If you talk to Linux users you'll find that many are happy that the Linux source is available to them were they to need it -- but it's 10 million lines of code, easy." So how far can Microsoft take its newfound interest in source release? Matusow says the company will do whatever makes business sense. "We have no intention of eviscerating our business model around source code access; at the same time, if there's a clear customer benefit to be had, we will definitely go down that path." source

    Opinion:Linux vs. Windows Viruses

    Posted by bink on October 6 2003, 5:32 PM. Posted in Security.

    To mess up a Linux box, you need to work at it; to mess up your Windows box, you just need to work on it, writes SecurityFocus columnist Scott Granneman.

    We've all heard it many times when a new Microsoft virus comes out. In fact, I've heard it a couple of times this week already. Someone on a mailing list or discussion forum complains about the latest in a long line of Microsoft email viruses or worms and recommends others consider Mac OS X or Linux as a somewhat safer computing platform. In response, another person named, oh, let's call him "Bill," says, basically, "How ridiculous! The only reason Microsoft software is the target of so many viruses is because it is so widely used! Why, if Linux or Mac OS X was as popular as Windows, there would be just as many viruses written for those platforms!"

    Of course, it's not just "regular folks" on mailing lists who share this opinion. Businesspeople have expressed similar attitudes ... including ones who work for anti-virus companies. Jack Clarke, European product manager at McAfee, said, "So we will be seeing more Linux viruses as the OS becomes more common and popular."

    Mr. Clarke is wrong.

    Sure, there are Linux viruses. But let's compare the numbers. According to Dr. Nic Peeling and Dr Julian Satchell's Analysis of the Impact of Open Source Software (note: the link is to a 135 kb PDF file):

    "There are about 60,000 viruses known for Windows, 40 or so for the Macintosh, about 5 for commercial Unix versions, and perhaps 40 for Linux. Most of the Windows viruses are not important, but many hundreds have caused widespread damage. Two or three of the Macintosh viruses were widespread enough to be of importance. None of the Unix or Linux viruses became widespread - most were confined to the laboratory."

    So there are far fewer viruses for Mac OS X and Linux. It's true that those two operating systems do not have monopoly numbers, though in some industries they have substantial numbers of users. But even if Linux becomes the dominant desktop computing platform, and Mac OS X continues its growth in businesses and homes, these Unix-based OS's will never experience all of the problems we're seeing now with email-borne viruses and worms in the Microsoft world. Why? Continue

    Microsoft faces unique dilemma

    Posted by bink on October 6 2003, 5:19 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

    Microsoft surprised many early this year by announcing its first dividend in history.

    It has now raised its yearly payout from $0.08 per share to $0.16. That's still modest, with shareholders buying today getting a yield well below 1 percent, but it may well increase significantly in the future.

    With 10.8 billion shares outstanding, Microsoft's dividend will cost $1.7 billion annually. That's a small portion of the company's $13 billion in annual free cash flow, not to mention its $49 billion in cash and equivalents, which grows by leaps in interest alone.

    If Microsoft has a weakness, it's that it can't find a business that equals or betters its world-dominating software. Any new business venture it takes on (MSN, MSNBC, gaming consoles, keyboard sales, etc.), should it ever grow large enough, would only lower the company's stellar returns on investment.

    This leaves Microsoft with an enormous, growing pile of cash and few truly exceptional ways to invest it.

    The company recently said it would add up to 5,000 jobs (it currently employs about 55,000) in fiscal 2004 and increase spending by $6.9 billion.

    Microsoft's shares are among the least expensive in the nation's 20 most widely held stocks. At $28 per share, the company trades at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 24. There have been much worse times to buy the stock, and there may not have been many better times (in terms of value) since about 1998.

    Decision: Windows Server 2003 Upgrade or Not?

    Posted by bink on October 6 2003, 4:57 PM. Posted in Windows Server 2003.

    That is indeed the question for today's NT or Win2K based IT department. If fact, it's a pretty good question for any IT department to be asking. As with many seemingly simple questions, the path to the answer can be complex and require a lot of consideration. An "Executive Overview" of some key areas of concern can help to shed some light on that path.

    The question involves key areas including cost of acquisition and implementation as well as total cost of ownership (TCO), performance considerations including security, reliability, availability and scalability, along with management and operations considerations. It's a pretty safe bet that no IT department is going to be standing still for too long, so the question is not so much whether or not to upgrade as whether or not Windows Server 2003 is the upgrade path to choose. Since the principal visible competitors are the flavors of *nix servers with Linux leading the field, that will be the primary comparate.

    If the first part of cost, acquisition, marks the first battle, then Linux probably wins it quite handily. It is perceived as essentially free, which is a tough price to beat. There may be some costs associated with acquiring some particular distribution, but Linux is not typically burdened with the licensing costs that go along with Windows.

    According to studies, however, that is where it ends and Linux appears to quite quickly become more expensive than Windows. Staffing surfaces as the main difference. Windows simply requires less, and requires less training.

    Analyst firm IDC compared the TCO of Windows 2000 to Linux and concluded that when it comes to network infrastructure, print serving, file serving and security applications, "the cost advantages of Windows are significant: 11-22% less over a five year period." Linux did show a 6% saving in the area of Web Serving, however Microsoft says they are "delivering more to Web server customers by reducing resource requirements and lowering acquisition costs with the release of Windows Server 2003."

    Giga Research, a subsidiary of Forrester Research, ran an objective comparison and analysis of portal application development and deployment for .NET on Microsoft Windows and J2EE on Linux. Their report describes a "Total Economic Impact" (TEI) in which they conclude, "Microsoft offers a substantial cost advantage over J2EE/Linux as a development platform for the applications considered."

    The cost savings occur largely as a result of Microsoft's tools that "simplified development" which then translates into "lower labor costs for development and administration of custom applications and a faster time to deployment." In some of their sample cases, twenty-five percent lower. Again it would seem that the savings in licensing costs are more than replaced by higher subsequent labor costs.

    When it comes to performance, no guessing is required. There have been quite a lot of independent studies and tests on which we can base decisions. One such test, designed by Veritest and audited by Meta Group, studied IBM's claims about running Linux on their mainframes to consolidate Windows servers, especially for file serving and Web serving.

    The test used SuSE Enterprise Linux 8.0 as the operating system, the VeriTest NetBench 7.03 benchmark against Samba for file serving, and the WebBench 4.1 benchmark against Apache for Web serving. The results demonstrated that "mainframe Linux performed poorly on standard file-sharing and Web-serving benchmarks -- between 20 and 300 percent below that of Windows Server 2003 on the VeriTest study." Continue

    OneNote makes tablet sing

    Posted by bink on October 6 2003, 4:27 PM. Posted in Office.

    Perhaps the greatest challenge for any knowledge worker, however broadly defined, is capturing the scribbles that one makes in the course of a day. These often start on sticky notes, scratch pads, cocktail napkins, and similarly awkward -- and easy to misplace -- media. Enterprises face an even greater hurdle when trying to corral the notes of hundreds or thousands of knowledge workers. Often, valuable information must be laboriously retyped, but this is impeded by both sloppy handwriting and an incomplete understanding of the context.

    Enter another opportunity for Microsoft. The software behemoth has tried repeatedly to wrap its arms around the nascent world of pen-driven computing, with limited success. Though a number of hardware vendors have embraced the Tablet PC concept that turns a laptop running Windows XP into a device responsive to the pushing of a “pen” and able to manipulate “digital ink,” tight IT budgets have resulted in a muted reception from the corporate world. But the introduction of Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 may well be the killer app that justifies an investment in pen computing.  My experiences with both the beta and final release of OneNote are proof that successful handwriting recognition requires a patient user. Granted, my scrawl is abominable -- sometimes even I can’t figure out what I meant, especially weeks or months later. Asking a computer to decipher my handwriting is almost an act of cruelty. So it’s no surprise that when OneNote tried to render my scribbling into text, the output was more amusing than accurate.

    But the results were better than I expected, coming very close on many phrases, especially if I paid attention to what I was doing. (Since handwriting recognition is a function of the Tablet PC’s Windows XP operating system, it’s unfair to rate OneNote on that aspect.) OneNote documents are stored in “notebooks” that contain one or more pages that can be manipulated as easily as those in a binder. Notebooks can hold the transcribed text or the original “ink” -- the latter may be the most useful format for copperplate-challenged users such as me. OneNote also supports audio input; this is helpful for those already accustomed to dictating, but is perhaps less so for most end-users. As with handwriting, voice recognition is handled by the OS.

    OneNote is like the proverbial tap-dancing elephant; I’m more impressed by its existence than its ability. OneNote failed to decipher my scrawling perfectly but it tried valiantly. It takes the novelty that is the Tablet PC and turns it into an indispensable tool. Even if some people’s handwriting isn’t easily recognized, OneNote still improves upon cocktail napkins. The “cool” factor doesn’t hurt, either. source