Microsoft Project Green

Posted by bink on September 29 2003, 4:16 AM. Posted in Dynamics.

Two years and more than $2 billion after Microsoft bought its way into the business-applications market, the company's Business Solutions division is a money loser. Yet, Microsoft officials remain doggedly upbeat about the direction of a unit that increasingly will compete with Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP in a software sector that's been dragging. Why? The answer involves a little-known initiative called Project Green.

As Microsoft looks for avenues of growth beyond its maturing Windows and Office lines, business applications may represent one of its best opportunities. Senior VP Orlando Ayala was recently quoted in The New York Times as saying that run-your-company applications could become a $10 billion business for Microsoft. Business Solutions, the Microsoft unit that sells business applications, generated $567 million in revenue in fiscal 2003, an 84% increase over the previous year. The jump reflects last year's acquisition of European software company Navision.

A large and growing percentage of Business Solution's developers are quietly working on a suite of enterprise applications intended to integrate tightly with Microsoft's next-generation desktop and server software. Project Green is "very ambitious," says Paul Hamerman, a Giga Information Group analyst. "They've crafted a strategy to integrate the entire Microsoft stack, from back-end systems and operating systems to the Office applications."

To some, the whole undertaking may seem counterintuitive. Why write new financial, human-resources, distribution, and other enterprise-resource-planning modules when Microsoft already has four suites of applications that support many of the same functions? That's right. When Microsoft purchased Great Plains in 2001, it also got the applications of Solomon Software, a company Great Plains bought earlier. And when Microsoft acquired Navision last year, the deal included ERP software from Axapta, which Navision had previously snapped up. The result: Microsoft found itself with four sets of business applications to sell--and support.

Business Solutions officials promise they'll continue enhancing the acquired suites for years to come. Already this year, the division has introduced upgrades to the Great Plains, Navision, and Solomon applications. In parallel, though, there's Project Green, an effort that involves about 40% of Business Solutions' 1,700 programmers, says Satya Nadella, the division's corporate VP of product development. By the middle of next year, Nadella says, two-thirds of Business Solutions' developers will be concentrated on new products, with about a third pumping new features into the existing apps.

A product road map released earlier this year calls for the Green applications to begin appearing in 2005, but that date could slip because the apps are being developed in parallel with Microsoft's next-generation operating system, known as Longhorn. "Think of us as being aligned with Longhorn," Nadella says. Microsoft hasn't given a target date for Longhorn, but some analysts have speculated it won't arrive until 2006. In the meantime, Microsoft is working on technologies related to the Green applications.

The rationale for Project Green is that, in order to get the kind of deep and wide integration that increasingly defines all Microsoft software, the company had to write applications using its own programming languages, development tools, and APIs. Originally developed outside of Microsoft, the Axapta, Great Plains, Navision, and Solomon applications were written in a variety of languages using different programming tools, and they run on disparate operating systems and databases.

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Windows Storage Server 2003 - Product Overview

Posted by bink on September 29 2003, 4:01 AM. Posted in Storage Server (NAS).

Windows® Storage Server 2003 is a dedicated file server based on Windows Server™ 2003 that is designed for dependability, seamless integration, and best value in networked storage. Windows Storage Server 2003 integrates with existing infrastructures and supports heterogeneous file serving as well as backup and replication of stored data. Windows Storage Server is also an ideal solution for consolidating multiple file servers into a single solution that enables cost reduction and policy-based management of storage resources.

Windows Storage Server 2003 includes advanced availability features such as point-in-time data copies, replication1, and server clustering. Because Windows Storage Server 2003 solutions are preconfigured, they can be deployed out of the box in minutes, and the Web-based user interface makes management easy. Windows Storage Server 2003 integrates with existing infrastructures, so enterprises can make full use of commonly-used network environments and standard management software, as well as the Active Directory® service. Preconfigured Windows Storage Server 2003 solutions are available from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in sizes ranging from a few hundred gigabytes (GBs) to several terabytes.

Find out more about the dedicated file server based on Windows technology that is designed for high availability, reliability, scalability, and ease of management.Windows Storage Server 2003 Datasheet

To learn more about Windows Storage Server 2003 OEM solutions, see the How To Buy page.

Registry Defragger

Posted by bink on September 28 2003, 10:00 PM. Posted in Tools & Utils.

Registry Defragmentation optimizes registry by removing fragmentation, deleting unused entries, compacting the registry and re-indexing registry for maximum speed. You should use the utility regularly, but especially after installing or uninstalling a program to minimize the size of the registry files and optimize registry access.
Download Registry Defragmentation 2.1 RC1 at Betanews
Screenshot from Betanews:

SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services Beta Program

Posted by bink on September 27 2003, 10:30 PM. Posted in SQL 2005.

Michael O'Conner, Program Manager, SQL Server Development send invites to testers for the SQL 2000 Reporting services Beta program:

I've personally been using Reporting Service since its early builds about a year ago and it's transformed my idea of creating, managing and distributing reports and I've barely scratched the surface. We'd like to know what you think and that's why you're here. We're eager to hear your feedback, both good and bad, and we want to make sure it's got the quality level necessary to become your tool of choice.We are planning to distribute the beta in early October, so stay tuned. I'll be back in touch with more information on program logistics, how to use the beta newsgroups, where to get the bits and so on.


Dell announces own WinXP Media Center edition

Posted by bink on September 27 2003, 10:07 PM. Posted in Windows XP Media Center.

Media playback on new Dell desktops will soon take place in an exclusive software application for home digital media management christened "The Dell Media Experience." Media Experience bears a strikingly similar look and feel to Microsoft's Media Center Edition of Windows XP. The software, which can run on Windows XP Home -- rather than be tied down to XP Professional like Microsoft's offering -- enables digital playback of music, DVDs and video clips. It also bundles a slideshow utility which can be synchronized with user defined audio tracks. "From one perspective, Dell would be able to offer a consistent digital media experience across all its PCs, even those without Media Center. On the other hand, Dell also would be able to put a Media Center-like interface on PCs running Windows XP, which is cheaper to license than XP Professional-based Media Center," Joe Wilcox, senior analyst for Jupiter Research, told BetaNews. "That could help Dell undercut some competitors as the company could deliver a similar experience for customers interested in music, photos and movies but not willing to pay for TV viewing or digital video recording, among other Media Center enhancements," said Wilcox. Betanews

Messenger Worm! & IE hole exploits

Posted by bink on September 27 2003, 10:03 PM. Posted in Security.

A new network virus called Worm.Win32.Smbmsn.163840 was discovered two days ago by Asia-based Global Hauri. This worm spreads through MSN Messenger through a file called SMB.EXE. If the user accepts this file, it will send itself to all contacts on his or her contact list. If the user executes it, a DOS prompt will come up for about a second and disappears. This occurs because it unzips a couple of files to the C: root and windows directories. The file also tempers with the registry (see below for details).Do NOT accept the file transfer of SMB.EXE (or any other suspicious file) in MSN Messenger!An MSN spokesperson said the company is aware of the virus, and that users' best means of protection is to have a desktop anti-virus solution already installed, and to use MSN Messenger 6's anti-virus feature. The feature enables customers to link their desktop anti-virus software to the IM client, automatically scanning incoming files for viruses.Read source for info on how to remove to worm ... News source: via

IE Exploits

Security holes in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser have been exploited by hackers to hijack AOL instant messaging accounts and force unsuspecting Web surfers to run up massive phone bills, computer experts cautioned on Friday.

Some Internet Explorer users are also finding that malicious Web sites are secretly slipping trojan programs onto their computers, which could prove an even more dangerous exploit, said Drew Copley, a research engineer at Aliso Viejo, California-based eEye Digital Security, who discovered the original security vulnerability.

Such stealth programs can include keystroke loggers that record everything a person types or software to erase the hard drive, among other things, he said.

Microsoft has released a patch for the original hole, which was reported about a month ago, said Stephen Toulouse, security program manager for Microsoft's Security Response Center.

The company is looking into what it says are variations of the original hole that have been discovered since then that the patch does not fix, Toulouse said.

"We will release a fix for the variations," he said.

Security experts are reporting the variations as new security holes, disclosed within the past three weeks and used for different types of attacks, Copley said.

Microsoft and eEye Digital Security said they have issued information for temporary workarounds.

In general, the attacks are accomplished by leading Internet Explorer users to a malicious Web site, either by sending an e-mail with a link to the Web page or distributing a link through instant messaging, Copley said.

When the Web site appears, it downloads code that can execute commands on its own onto the unsuspecting computer user's machine, according to Copley.

An attacker has written a program that uses a security hole in Internet Explorer to hijack an already running AOL Instant Messenger account, changes the password and send a message to the buddies list with a link to the malicious Web page, according to postings on the Bugtraq security e-mail list.

The Web site the posting listed as stealing the AIM passwords appeared to have been shut down.

An AOL Time Warner(AOL) spokesman said the company was looking into the issue.


Another attack is being accomplished by sending computer users to Web sites -- typically porn sites -- that change the computer's dial-up settings to an expensive long-distance phone number without the user knowing it, said Richard Smith, an independent Boston-based security researcher.

In the so-called "porn dialer" attack, victims are being charged as much as $5 a minute instead of paying their normal Internet service fee, he said.

A third type of attack steers computer users to pay-per-click Web sites, where the spam marketer gets paid each time someone goes to the Web site, Copley said.

"These kinds of bugs are really spooky" because they work in the background, undetected by the computer user, he said. "With these kind of holes, a lot of roaches crawl through."

Computer users can protect themselves by applying patches, following the workaround instructions or changing their settings in Internet Explorer to prompt them before a Web site downloads programs that can execute on their own, Toulouse said.

Also on Friday, anti-virus company Global Hauri of South Korea warned about a new medium-risk computer worm that spreads through Microsoft Network's MSN Messenger system, attempts to connect to a porn Web site and passes itself around to others in the victim's contact list.

Toulouse said Microsoft was looking into the matter.


Windows 2003 SBS on MSDN

Posted by bink on September 27 2003, 5:44 AM. Posted in Small Business Server.

Thanks Ovan, on MSDN subscriber downloads Windows 2003 Small Business Server is available now!

Also the office system family members are added: Onenote, Frontpage, Project and Visio

Philips talks to WebMusic stores, blocks Microsoft

Posted by bink on September 26 2003, 11:14 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

AMSTERDAM, Philips Electronics said on Friday it is talking to Internet music retailers to help them sell songs and prevent piracy, as it steps up its efforts to keep a few companies from controlling the digital world.

Europe's leading consumer electronics maker will offer products to play and protect digital music, Larry Blanford, Philips' chief for its North American Consumer Electronics operations told Reuters in an interview.

"We are in discussions with parties that want to develop music download sites," he said. Philips has a broad range of portable and fixed music recorders and players.

Dell, Viacom's (VIAb) MTV and others have recently said they will start music retail services on the Web. Apple, RealNetworks and Microsoft  already sell music on the Web, using different technology to encrypt and protect songs. Clients of Microsoft Music Club can play songs they acquire only if they have a PC or music set equipped with Windows Media Player.

Philips, which globally ranks No. 3 behind Japan's Sony (6758) and Matsushita (6752), has chosen not to support Microsoft's Windows Media Player in its consumer electronics products, a company spokesman said separately. "We need a technology that works, that is available to everyone, managed in a fair way and not constrained to any particular group," Blanford said.


Longhorn RTM: August 15 2005? It Doesn't Appear So

Posted by bink on September 26 2003, 11:09 PM. Posted in Windows Server 2008.

From Wininfo short takes: recently predicted that Windows Longhorn would RTM on August 15, 2003, but a Microsoft representative tells me that date is no longer correct, and is in fact from an old schedule. I chatted briefly with one of the folks at Neowin about the date before I heard from my source, and while they're a reliable site, it appears they're getting out-of-date information in this case. Honestly, I'm not sure what to believe at this point, but it seems unlikely that Microsoft, which has never been able to hit even the vaguest deadlines for major projects, would announce a specific date for Windows Longhorn two years in advance, especially given the way that company executives have been downplaying release date expectations all year. I guess we'll see: With the PDC less than a month away, Longhorn fever is building to a crescendo.

IgLatinpay in Onghornlay Uildbay 4029: What's the Story?

I've gotten a lot of questions about the bizarre pig latin that appears in the desktop version string in Windows Longhorn build 4029. Surely this is a fake, right? Actually, no. According to a source at the software giant, Microsoft was simply testing its new version identification scheme, through which the company is dramatically simplifying the way it provides the product name and version number in its OS. So by changing the Windows version string to pig latin, they can be sure it's correctly propagating to all of the places in the UI where this information is displayed. In previous Windows versions, changing the product name or version number, as the company did repeatedly with Windows Server 2003, caused a lot of problems because this information had to be manually changed in dozens of locations. Now, the company can make quick changes because this information only appears once in the Windows code. If you're interested in Longhorn 4029, I've posted a second screen shot gallery on the SuperSite for Windows.

MOM SP1 Performance and Sizing Kit

Posted by bink on September 26 2003, 10:42 PM. Posted in Operations Manager (MOM).

You can use the findings in this paper along with the MOM SP1 Management Server Sizer as a starting point to help you to determine the appropriate performance and sizing considerations for MOM SP1 in your environment.Specifically, this paper answers questions such as:
  • How large must the management server be in terms of hardware resources?
  • How large is the overall footprint of MOM SP1?
  • How large should the MOM SP1 database be?
  • What are the system requirements needed to run MOM SP1 effectively?
  • What is the expected disk activity on the MOM SP1 database and database server?
  • What is the expected CPU usage of the MOM agent on a managed computer?


MS celebrates Longhorn Gold Release 2 weeks early

Posted by bink on September 26 2003, 7:43 PM. Posted in Windows Server 2008.

How do you keep a large team of developers on a big project motivated during the inevitable slippages? Easy: you just pretend the project is already complete. The next release of Windows is a full two years away, but Microsoft executives and key Longhorn developers will be partying hard this autumn to celebrate the 'gold' release of the software. A gala event is being planned, naturally enough, at the Longhorn Bar and Grill in the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort. "Great music, warm staff, tasty food and the natural ambiance that comes from the Mountains has made the Longhorn an integral part of the Whistler experience for 15 years," the bar boasts. Although look out for the "raucous ghost" of Country Dick Montana, who played his final performance at the Longhorn before succumbing to a heart aneurism, and whose spectral presence is "credited with many bizarre happenings". This, perhaps, being the most bizarre. Earlier this week NeoWin made a firm prediction of a firm ship date for Longhorn: 15 August 2005. This surreal claim now appears to make some sense. If Longhorn is virtually finished two years early, that clears the way for a RTM (Release to Manufacturing) party. This leaves only one slight... ah… issue - apart from the absence of the software itself, of course. If RTM no longer means 'Release to Manufacturing', what does the M stand for? Metaphysical? Readers are invited to give this acronym a full makeover. The best suggestion wins a Register T-shirt and the chance to raise a toast, with your reporter, to England's World Cup victory in 2010.

Author of report critical of Microsoft loses job

Posted by bink on September 26 2003, 5:49 AM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

The chief technology officer for a technology firm that works closely with Microsoft Corp. lost his job after he helped write a study critical of the insecurity of Microsoft software.

Daniel E. Geer Jr., an expert with nearly three decades studying technology and computer security, learned Thursday he was no longer employed by AtStake Inc. of Cambridge, Mass.

AtStake declined to say whether Geer resigned or was fired. Spokeswoman Lona Therrien said Microsoft did not call for Geer's dismissal, which AtStake said was effective two days ago. Microsoft also said it was not involved in the decision.

But critics said Geer's firing was reflective of Microsoft's far-reaching ability in Washington and across the technology industry to silence experts who complain about weaknesses in its software or its aggressive business practices. The Justice Department struggled years ago to find technology executives willing to testify against Microsoft in its antitrust trial.

Geer could not be reached immediately for comment, but one person familiar with Geer's situation said he was fired in a call Thursday morning from AtStake executives.

AtStake has worked closely with Microsoft in the past, examining some of its software blueprints for security problems and providing consulting services.

AtStake's announcement came one day after Geer and six other experts published a report complaining that the U.S. government relies too heavily on software from Microsoft. It argued that the widespread dominance of Windows has created an unhealthy ``monoculture'' inadequately resistant to viruses and attacks by hackers.

Geer was identified Wednesday in a conference call with journalists as AtStake's technology officer and the lead author of the report, which was funded by the Washington-based Computer and Communications Industry Association, a trade group whose members include some of Microsoft's biggest corporate rivals.

``The values and opinions of the report are not in line with AtStake's views,'' the company said in a statement. It said Geer's participation working on the report was ``not sanctioned.''

``Security is much more complicated than focusing on this one issue,'' said Chris Wysopal, AtStake's director of research and development. ``We think the way the (CCIA) paper is positioned ... is just not the answer.''

Wysopal said experts within AtStake debate about security issues internally but that Geer represented his views as the company's consensus. ``We value diversity of opinions here,'' Wysopal said.

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