Search feature in Longhorn

Posted by bink on September 26 2003, 5:31 AM. Posted in Windows Server 2008.

A great deal of information is leaking out of Redmond Washington this week as Microsoft's spin-masters start the process of promoting the new search tool that will be incorporated in the new version of the Windows operating system currently code named, "Longhorn". The new OS will blur the division between a computer's hard-drive and the general Internet. The goal is to create the ultimate search tool, though with the number of features and tools being spoken of this week, it looks much like a Swiss-Army knife compared to the butter knife MSN currently provides.

Here is a couple of features announced this week:When a user is looking for information on a specific subject, Longhorn will be able to search their drive, email files, digital images and other personal information as well as searching the general Internet for topic matches. In a bid to build a digital backup of a person's memories, MSN's new search tool will convert personal items such as bills, photos, music and documents into digital, searchable files. If you've seen it on your computer, it is basically up for grabs for the Longhorn version of MSN search. How this applies to documents stored on another computer remains to be seen but Microsoft will likely code in an opt-out feature allowing users to lock-down sections of their hard-drive from the search tool's spiders. According to MSN researcher Susan Dumais, the new search-function will help find material that users have seen at one time or another, regardless of whether it was an E-mail, an Office document or a web-site.

Geotargeting is another feature being rolled out with Longhorn and is also being tested by rivals Google and Yahoo. Geotargeting refers to the process of providing local listings for searches. If MSN, Google or Yahoo knows the searcher lives in a certain area (currently defined by US Zip-codes), it will return listings from businesses in that zip code that match the keyword phrases entered by the user. The easiest example is the local pizza company. When I want pizza, I want it now so a listing for a pizza parlor in Seattle, (no matter how yummy the pizza), is rather useless to me in Victoria. But if my search-query results in getting local pizza menus and phone numbers faster than a trip through the Yellow Pages, chances are I'm going to use this feature often. The same can be said for dentists, building contractors, veterinarians, horticulturists, bike shops, and most other service-based businesses. Chances are, these businesses will also be willing to spend at least as much as they spend on their annual Yellow Pages listings, (and as those of us running businesses know, that's a lot of pizza).

That Microsoft is making announcements and granting interviews about their new product tells us that the marketing hype is just beginning. Remember the roll-out marketing effort for the MSN7 that had a dude in a butterfly outfit placing butterfly stickers all over Manhattan last year? Don't worry if you fail to remember that campaign, if any trace of it is to be found on your computer, Longhorn will remember it for you.


How Good Is the win2k3 Basic Firewall?

Posted by bink on September 26 2003, 5:30 AM. Posted in Windows Server 2003.

From Windows Magazine  “I recently spent a few weeks testing Windows Server 2003 by using the Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 release candidate (RC). One of my goals was to evaluate the efficacy of the RRAS firewall. The basic firewall is a new component in Windows 2003 that uses an enhanced version of the firewall software that Microsoft first shipped in Windows XP. My test system had two network adapters, one for the internal network and one for the Internet connection. I enabled the RRAS basic firewall on the network adapter that's connected to the Internet and configured the server to accept incoming and outgoing SMTP mail, to permit secure and nonsecure browser access to the internal Web site and to the Remote Web Workplace, and to accept incoming VPN PPTP and Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) connections.”

continue Windows Magazine   source

Microsoft Ring Cam

Posted by bink on September 25 2003, 11:03 PM. Posted in Research.

Microsoft has a prototype camera that can keep everyone in the room in the Web conference picture.   Microsoft is showing around a prototype product, called the Ring Cam, designed to make Web conferences more like face-to-face meetings. Combined with Web-conferencing software that Microsoft acquired this year, remote-meeting participants would be able to view and hear a live, 360-degree image of participants in another location. Few details are known about when products might result from the prototype. A Ring Cam--actually multiple FireWire cameras--would stitch together images from its surroundings. Software would isolate the audio and image of whichever participant is speaking, says Amit Mital, general manager of Microsoft's real-time collaboration unit. That technology likely would be incorporated in Microsoft's Office Live Meeting 2003 service, which is based on products it acquired with the recent purchase of PlaceWare Inc.

Microsoft's challenge is to integrate the real-time technologies it's developing--instant messaging, presence awareness, team workspaces, and now Web conferencing--over the next several years, Mital says.

Some IT execs and managers who gathered at Microsoft's Mountain View, Calif., campus to see the first public demonstration of the concept were at least curious about the trial balloon.

Harvey Peters, an application specialist with Safeway Inc., said he wanted more details on Microsoft's collaboration plans. The grocery retailer is preparing to use Web conferencing and instant messaging to communicate with its stores, suppliers, and customers.

Mital is more definite about plans for Live Meeting. It will be a component of efforts, including phone-and-PC integration, one-click calling commands, and point-and-click conference calling. The software also is expected to let callers schedule conferences, create team work spaces, and automate the process of creating searchable notes.

An early version of Live Meeting is being used among Microsoft employees, he says, and that use is doubling about every two weeks.

Pics of prototype MS Research

“Distributed Meetings: A Meeting Capture and Broadcasting System”, ACM Multimedia, 2002. PDF.

"Practical Calibrations for a real-time digital omnidirectional camera", Technical Sketches, Computer Vision and Pattern <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place><st1:City>Recognition</st1:City>, <st1:State>Hawaii</st1:State>, <st1:country-region>US</st1:country-region></st1:place>, Dec 2001.<o:p> PDF</o:p>

2002 fact sheet MS Research

source Iweek and MS Research

Microsoft Solutions Framework 3.0

Posted by bink on September 25 2003, 10:43 PM. Posted in Microsoft Solutions.

Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) provides proven practices for planning, building, and deploying a variety of technology solutions, combining aspects of software design and development and building and deploying infrastructure into a single project lifecycle for guiding technology solutions of all kinds. MSF helps organizations achieve a delicate balance of flexibility while meeting commitments; speed while minimizing risk.


Microsoft Solutions Framework Resource Library

Microsoft Solutions Framework Web Site

Microsoft dominance threatens U.S.

Posted by bink on September 25 2003, 10:16 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

Security experts warn that No. 1 maker of desktop software is also No. 1 target for virus writers.The ubiquitous reach of Microsoft software on desktops worldwide has made computer networks a national security risk susceptible to "massive, cascading failures," computer security experts said.In a report unveiled Wednesday at an industry meeting in Washington, D.C., the experts said Microsoft is now the number one target for malicious computer virus writers. The report's authors told the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), the industry group hosting the meeting, that the software's complexity has made it particularly vulnerable to attacks.

So far this year, two major viruses emerged that took advantage of flaws in Microsoft software. Slammer, which targeted computers running Microsoft's server-based software for databases, slowed down Internet traffic across the globe and shut down flight reservation systems and cash machines in the United States.

The Blaster worm burrowed through hundreds of thousands of computers, destroying data and launching attacks on other computers.

"The nature of the platform that dominates every desktop everywhere is such that its dominance, coupled with its insecurity, cannot be ignored and is a matter of corporate and national policy," said Dan Geer, a security consultant and chief technology officer of Stake, a computer security company.

Geer, along with other well-known computer security experts Rebecca Bace, Peter Gutmann, Perry Metzger, Charles Pfleeger, John Quarterman, and Bruce Schneier, said they issued their report to raise awareness of the risk to national security due to the wide-spread use of one software system. The authors said the report was a reflection of their own views and not necessarily those of the CCIA, an industry group of Microsoft's competitors that has a long history of suing the world's largest software maker.

But in response to the report, Americans for Technology Leadership, a trade group backed by Microsoft and other companies and organizations, called the report an attempt by the CCIA to exploit the "serious issue of cyber-security."

"Cyber-security is an industry-wide problem that will not be solved by malicious finger pointing and political attacks," Jim Prendergast, executive director of Americans for Technology Leadership, said in a statement.

Is monopoly the problem? continue at CNN

Windows 2000 Registry Repair Utility

Posted by bink on September 25 2003, 10:11 PM. Posted in Windows 2000.

Registry Corruption in Windows 2000 can prevent your system from booting. The Windows 2000 Registry Repair Utility is a tool that can help to recover a Windows 2000 system from registry corruption. This utility can be downloaded on to floppy disks and then run on the system with the corrupted registry. Six floppy disks are required for downloading this utility. The utility will attempt to repair the corrupted registry and allow your machine to boot again.

  • Before you download this tool, you will need to download the Windows XP Professional Setup Boot Disks: Windows XP Professional Utility: Setup Disks for Floppy Boot InstallThis will require six floppy disks. Be sure to label the disks in order in which you use them for the download. You will need the disk numbers later.
  • Next, download the Windows 2000 Registry Repair Utility by clicking on the link on this page. Clicking on the link will launch an installer that will guide you through the download. You will be asked to insert Disk No. 6 of the Windows XP Setup Boot Disks into your floppy drive, and run the Windows 2000 Registry Repair Utility installer, which will write new files to the floppy disk.
  • Next, insert Windows XP Setup Boot Disk No. 1 into the floppy drive of the machine with the corrupted registry and then boot the system with Disk No. 1 inserted into the floppy drive.
  • The system will boot into the floppy disk. Insert the other floppy disks as prompted by the system. You will eventually see a screen that gives you a choice of either installing Windows XP or repairing the existing installation. Select the Repair option.
  • Once you select the Repair option, the Windows 2000 Registry Repair Utility will attempt to repair the corrupted registry and will display whether or not the registry repair was successful.
  • If the registry repair was successful, you can remove the floppy disk from your drive and boot the system as usual. If the repair failed, you will need to call Microsoft Product Support Services for further assistance.

Outlook 2003 Add-in: Personal Folders Backup

Posted by bink on September 25 2003, 10:04 PM. Posted in Office.

Backing up your Microsoft Outlook information is quicker and easier with the Personal Folders Backup feature. Personal Folders Backup creates backup copies of your .PST files at regular intervals, in Outlook 2000 and later versions, making it easy to keep all of your Outlook folders safely backed up. With Personal Folders Backup, you can choose which of your .PST files you wish to back up, and how often you wish to back them up. Download

Print Migrator 3.1

Posted by bink on September 25 2003, 10:02 PM. Posted in Tools & Utils.

Print Migrator provides complete backup, restore and migration operations for Windows NT-based operating systems from Windows NT 4 to Windows 2003.


XP rollup pack delayed

Posted by bink on September 25 2003, 9:40 PM. Posted in Windows XP.

 Sources close to MSFN have told us that the Security Rollup Package for Windows XP SP1 has been delayed due to an unforeseen problem with a specific DLL file relating to DirectX. The Security Rollup Package was originally due yesterday (24th September).

The problem is currently being worked on today and Hardware Quality Labs can take up to 18-48 hours minimum for stability and stress checks. Microsoft is expecting to release the Security Rollup Package sometime after 3pm PST. But in the worst case, it could be re-scheduled for next Wednesday and will undergo another beta testing cycle.

What is a Security Rollup Package? A Security Rollup Package provides a cumulative rollup of security updates that have been offered since the release of Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) in one download, giving users and corporations an easier way to rollout security updates to a number of systems.source

Preview Office 2003

Posted by bink on September 25 2003, 9:37 PM. Posted in Office.