MIIS 2003 MOM Managment pack

Posted by bink on October 2 2003, 9:46 PM. Posted in Identity Integration.

Microsoft® Identity Integration Server 2003 (MIIS 2003) enables the integration and management of identity information across multiple repositories, systems and platforms. MIIS 2003 augments the Active Directory® directory service by providing broad interoperability capabilities including: integration with a wide range of identity repositories; provisioning and synchronizing identity information across multiple stores; and brokering changes to identity information by automatically detecting updates and sharing the changes across systems.


Outlook collaboration using Windows SharePoint Ser

Posted by bink on October 2 2003, 9:35 PM. Posted in Office.

http://www.slipstick.com/emo/2003/up031001.htm#sharepointMicrosoft this week released Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 2.0, a free component for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 that succeeds the earlier SharePoint Team Services (STS). In a sense, WSS is the fulfillment of a long effort to provide a degree of workgroup-level collaboration for Outlook users that doesn't depend on Exchange Server. It's not a perfect solution, by any means, but is worth a look if you're in the market for a new server or a new server operating system (since WSS 2.0 requires Windows 2003).

Most user interaction with SharePoint takes place in the browser. The Outlook integration in this version is for Outlook 2003 only and consists of four features -- shared contacts, shared calendar, meeting workspaces, and document workspaces.

These sites can help you download the new component and find out more about WSS 2.0:

Main page at Microsoft (including download link)http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/technologies/sharepoint/ 

WSS FAQhttp://wss.collutions.com/default.aspx 

Windows SharePoint Services Administrator's Guidehttp://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=a637eff6-8224-4b19-a6a4-3e33fa13d230

Contacts and calendar sharing with SharePoint

The contacts and calendar sharing between Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 and Outlook 2003 is one-way: When you click the Link to Outlook button on a SharePoint contacts or events list, Outlook 2003 adds a Personal Folders .pst file named SharePoint Folders to your profile and creates a folder that links to the data on the SharePoint site. A note in the status bar tells you when the data was last updated and when the next update will take place. You can also right-click the folder and choose Refresh to update the folder on demand.

The data in Outlook is read-only. You cannot create new SharePoint contacts or appointments in the Outlook folders, nor can you use Outlook to modify the SharePoint data.


Windows XP Embedded Datasheet

Posted by bink on October 2 2003, 9:32 PM. Posted in Windows Embedded.

Get a 1-page overview of Windows XP Embedded, the operating system software desgined to help you rapidly build reliable and advanced embedded devices.

Windows XP Embedded is the operating system and development platform delivering the power of the Windows operating system in componentized form, so you can rapidly build reliable and advanced embedded devices. Read about new features, key strengths, developer tools, and system requirements. Download

MDAC checker tool updated

Posted by bink on October 2 2003, 9:29 PM. Posted in Tools & Utils.

Support for MDAC 2.8 added

The Component Checker tool is designed to help you determine installed version information and diagnose installation issues with the Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC). MDAC is installed with numerous Microsoft products and can also be redistributed using the redistribution program (mdac_typ.exe) that you can download from the Microsoft Universal Data Access Web site. This version of Component Checker includes updated snapshots for MDAC 2.7 SP1 on Windows XP SP1, MDAC 2.8 and checks for the following versions of MDAC.


Patch management tools sales rise

Posted by bink on October 2 2003, 9:26 PM. Posted in Security.

"Our sales went up eight times between July and September — that's a pretty big spike," he said. "None of those people were doing patch management before. MS03-026 [the advisory highlighting the MSBlast flaw] comes out, that changed the market for us." - Mr. Shavlik

from article: Microsoft moves beyond patches

Conceding that its strategy of patching Windows holes as they emerge has not worked, Microsoft plans next week to outline a new security effort focused on what the company calls "securing the perimeter," a company executive said in an interview.

Although Microsoft will continue to devise ways to improve the means by which Windows users apply upgrades, or patches, to their software, the company had realized that too many customers don't upgrade quickly enough to thwart hackers.

"From our side, (it) has been a little naive to think that all of those customers are going to do patches," said Orlando Ayala, Microsoft's former sales chief, who now heads its sales push to small and midsize businesses. "It's just hard."

Until now, Microsoft's efforts have largely centred on improving the way it writes its code and then fixing holes as they emerge.

"The strategy on security has been very [much] based on patch management," Mr. Ayala said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

However, recent worm and virus attacks have repeatedly shown that many customers remain vulnerable long after patches have been released, he said.

Mr. Ayala declined to detail Microsoft's new approach, or say whether the plans include getting further into the market of providing antivirus software. He did say that part of the effort will be a deeper relationship with firewall providers.

"We are going to start putting more emphasis on what we call securing the perimeter," he said. "That speaks of a deep partnership with the firewall world."

Mr. Ayala said that although the company has made some gains with its Trustworthy Computing effort, it is now trying to take a new approach.

"The first question is how can you secure stuff so you don't [let attacks] get in," he said. "It's kind of a shift in the strategy. It's very important; that's all I can say."

The Slammer worm that hit companies in January and the recent MSBlast worm highlighted the failure of companies to patch their systems quickly. It's extremely hard for any company to keep up, said Bruce Schneier, chief technology officer for network monitoring service Counterpane Internet Security.

"The patch treadmill is endless — you have to keep going faster and faster to keep up," he said.

Microsoft executives have recently hinted that a change of course might be needed.

Speaking to a crowd of Silicon Valley executives last month, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that the recent security issues represented a threat to innovation. At the time, he said that Microsoft was developing what he called "shield technology."

"The most important technology area we are focused on is shield technology," Mr. Ballmer said in the Sept. 15 speech. "We know bad guys keep writing viruses. The goal is to block them before they get on PCs."

At that time, Microsoft declined to comment further on what Mr. Ballmer meant.

Finding a way to deal with the avalanche of patches that come in, not just from Microsoft but from other software makers, has become a key focus of information-technology managers, said Ryan McGee, director of product marketing for McAfee System Protection Solutions at security and antivirus company Network Associates.

"This is a topic of conversation in every customer conversation that we have," he said. "We talk about how to mitigate the vulnerabilities that are in the environments because they haven't been able to patch."

The recent MSBlast worm that hit companies in August and September likely infected more than one million computers. From the time information about the vulnerability was released to the start of the attack, companies had 26 days to patch their systems. And the times are decreasing, according to a recent study. For companies with tens of thousands of systems, keeping up with the race is hard, Mr. McGee said.

"We hear customers telling us there is a problem," he said, adding that several companies offer patch management automation as a solution. "I wish I were announcing a [patch management] product or acquisition because it's a market where we could make money."

Many companies are already in the market of detecting and cataloguing vulnerable computer and network devices and then automating patching. A recent study by one such company, Qualys, found that a significant portion of security vulnerabilities remain on computers connected to the Internet. read on

Mysterious malware hits DNS servers

Posted by bink on October 2 2003, 7:31 PM. Posted in Security.

"Malicious code -- possibly related to the Microsoft Internet Explorer "object type" vulnerability -- is changing local DNS settings to random numbers. As a result, it makes all DNS-dependent applications, such as e-mail, Web access and internal servers unavailable."

Windows XP Media Center 2004 launched

Posted by bink on October 2 2003, 7:29 PM. Posted in Windows XP Media Center.

More Terminal Server Roadmap / Bear Paw Features E

Posted by bink on October 2 2003, 6:36 PM. Posted in Windows (general).

can't believe this information wasn't picked up sooner... It looks like some major details about Microsoft's future Terminal Server direction were revealed way back on June 4 at a TechEd breakout session presented by Adam Henderson (a Terminal Server program manager for Microsoft). His presentation (download here) was entitled "Terminal Services In Windows Server 2003 Technical Overview."

Slide 17 is titled "Product Roadmap, What's Next for Terminal Services?" The slide then mentions the following features for the Longhorn/Blackcomb timeframe:

  • Application Publishing
  • Remote Apps Integrated Locally
  • Collaboration
  • Single Sign-on
  • Multimedia
  • More, more, more!

It should be noted that this does not necessarily represent the official position of Microsoft regarding the future of Terminal Services. Rather, this is just what one program manager within Microsoft mentioned in one presentation.

Technically, this presentation took place before the term "Bear Paw" was made public. Bear Paw refers to the next edition of Terminal Server which is rumored to be part of Service Pack 2 for Windows Server 2003. The features listed in this presentation are listed as Longhorn/Blackcomb Terminal Server features which means that they might technically be "post Bear Paw" enhancements (or "rumors of rumors"). Then again, these could be all Bear Paw features that are planned for SP2, and the presenter of this presentation just listed them as generic future features. Either way, it is interesting to see the features that at least some people in Microsoft believe are being developed into the new versions of Terminal Server.

What's interesting about this feature list is that it shows that Microsoft seems to be genuinely interested in integrating Terminal Server with the other mainstream servers and technologies. The local/remote application integration works well with Remote Installation Services, SMS, and Microsoft's overall vision of making applications easier to deploy. The multimedia and collaboration capabilities indicate that Microsoft may be trying to tie Terminal Server capabilities into NetMeeting (a la Citrix Conferencing Manager).http://www.brianmadden.com/thin#28

Busy month for Microsoft

Posted by bink on October 2 2003, 6:30 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft has a busy month of product launches or important events ahead.

Yesterday, the company launched Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004. The upgrade comes almost a year following release of the first version of the software. Timing of the release could be very important for Microsoft and its PC manufacturer partners. I've been saying for months, this holiday season might be a fair bit better for PC sales than the last couple. One reason: Three years ago, rebates from Internet Service Providers notched down a PC's cost by as much as $400 and contributed to a huge spike in computer sales. Now, those ISP contracts, typically with a three-year commitment, are expiring; it's good reason for consumers to consider upgrading those three-year-old PCs. Many factors contribute to PC sales cycles, and the economy certainly cannot be ignored. My unscientific speculation isn't based on any hard data, but I would be surprised to see another holiday PC sales season gone bust.

At the same time, Microsoft would appear to be releasing its new home entertainment PC operating system at the right time. My colleague Avi Greengart has a new report ready that covers the PC's role in the living room. I would expect that he or our colleague Michael Garternberg may blog on this topic tomorrow. Bottom line: The Media Center comes with many of the right features at the right time in the market.

Next week, Microsoft will hold its partners event in New Orleans. Attneding this year's conference will be a "Who's Who" list of Microsoft executives. The company doesn't have a fully-staffed sales force, relying instead on a worldwide network of about 800,000 partners--mostly value-added resellers, system integrators and independent software developers.

That same week, Microsoft will launch Small Business Server 2003. The software comes as Microsoft advances a $2 billion blitz to gain more customer traction in the small- and medium-business market. SBS 2003 is a tidy, integrated package containing Windows Server 2003, Exchange Server 2003 and Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003. A second, premium, version adds advanced security features, among other enhancements.

On Oct. 21, Office 2003 officially will launch. The software already is available to volume-license or Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers. This new Office release is important to Microsoft, in part, as it is the first, major deliverable for many customers that signed up for Software Assurance upgrade protection. Microsoft also is looking to shift customer focus away from the applications and features and more how the new "Office System" can better facilitate the flow of information within the enterprise. Microsoft also sees Office's support for Web services as reason for some customers to replace Web browsers or custom applications with the productivity suite. I wouldn't be surprised to see marketing around Office as a "smarter" client for back-end information systems or client-relationship management and enterprise resource planning software.

The same day, Microsoft will launch Exchange Server 2003. The new version is, in some ways, more enterprise-ready than its predecessor. While the product offers many new visible features, some of the most important changes are under the hood, such as product scalability, manageability and performance. New privacy and security features, such as spam-filtering features that work with Office Outlook 2003, should appeal to some businesses.

Microsoft's professional developer conference--saving the best for last, so to speak--kicks off in Los Angeles on Oct. 26. On schedule: Previews of Windows XP-successor Longhorn, the upcoming Yukon version of SQL Server and the next release of Visual Studio .Net. I expect the event to showcase a tighter business strategy and technological integration between Microsoft developer tools and major, forthcoming products. It will be interesting to see Microsoft's progress on the new file system coming in Yukon and Longhorn. Watch to look for: How developed will be the Longhorn preview version Microsoft is expected to hand out to conference attendees. Based on the most recent, leaked Longhorn build, Microsoft is working on some interesting concepts for the new OS.

Microsoft's Autumn Harvest

More on SpeechServer

Posted by bink on October 2 2003, 6:19 PM. Posted in Speech Server.

Speech Server is currently in beta 1; the speech SDK is in its third beta release. Microsoft executives have said the company plans to ship the final Speech Server product in Q1 of next year. This week, Microsoft said it will ship the final code by "spring" of next year.

Speech Server is, in short, a telephony server, explains corporate VP of speech technologies, Kai-Fu Lee. It will compete with similar products from InterVoice, Avaya and Nortel. It is aimed at medium-sized businesses and enterprise-level customers.

"You connect an ASP.Net Web server on one side, and a telephone on the other," Lee says. The Speech Server can route calls, accept stock trades and provide other rudimentary voice responses as part of a variety of customer applications.

Microsoft's biggest differentiator, at least for the moment, is Speech Server's multimodal interface, says Lee. Unlike most products on the market, Speech Server will take voice input, and generate graphics — rather than speech — output, he says.

Whole article at mswatch

Phoenix, MS Sign BIOS Pact for More Reliable Windo

Posted by bink on October 2 2003, 6:16 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

Seeking a way to improve the reliability of Windows, BIOS maker Phoenix Technologies LLC and Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced an agreement to develop device-level management services for future versions of the Windows OS.

The deal will tie together the Phoenix "Core" BIOS software more closely to the Microsoft OS. These forthcoming services will deliver more, sophisticated information about the state of a system to Windows and give IT managers a clearer picture of the current state of the machine, the companies said.

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