Windows 2003 SP1 beta build

Posted by bink on September 14 2003, 12:48 AM. Posted in Windows Server 2003.

Thanks Matt for sending this in

I previously reported that Win2k3 sp1 beta would start around September 10th.

Now it appears that is getting ready to get build 1069 tested by its beta testers.

On 4th of July I reported that build 1023 was released to partner companies to test.


Windows 2003 sp1 beta1 released to testers

Posted by bink on September 14 2003, 12:47 AM. Posted in Windows Server 2003.

Yesterday I reported that MS was getting ready to post build 1069 of win2k3 sp1.

Today indeed it is released to beta testers.

Several builds are available at Not all testers have access to all products listed below.* Windows Server 2003 Standalone SP1 CD - X86 Beta 1* Windows Server 2003 Standalone SP1 CD - for 64-bit Itanium-based Systems, Beta 1* Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition for 64-bit Itanium-based Systems, SP1 Beta 1* Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition for 64-bit Itanium-based Systems, SP1 Beta 1* Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Version 2003, for 64-bit Itanium-based Systems, SP1 Beta 1* Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition for 64-bit Itanium-based systems, SP1 Beta 1* Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition for 64-bit Extended Systems* Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Version 2003, for 64-bit Extended Systems* Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition for 64-bit Extended Systems* Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition, Checked build, for 64-bit Extended Systems* Windows XP 64-Bit Edition, Checked build, for 64-bit Extended Systems* Windows Server 2003, Customer Support and Diagnostics CD SP1 Beta 1* Windows Driver Development Kit (DDK)* Windows Hardware Compatibility Test (HCT)* Windows Software Development Kit (SDK)The "Stand-Alone" for Windows Sever 2003 Service Pack 1 does not have a time-bomb.

screenshots of

 Screenshot: Windows Server 2003 SP-1 @ BetaPlace Screenshot: Download Page Screenshot: Install Survey @ Windows Beta View: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Post-RTM Fixes

A day in the life of a MS patch

Posted by bink on September 12 2003, 11:12 PM. Posted in Security.

Considering all the attention that's been given to Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Initiative, I expected the company would have a platoon of security specialists sequestered in a NORAD-like bunker under Washington State's Mt. Rainier, all staring at giant plasma displays showing DEFCON ratings, graphical virus and worm progress reports. I imagined various personnel with strange symbolic shoulder patches on their uniforms running off to secret elevators with bodyguards and bulletproof briefcases handcuffed to their wrists.

In reality, the MSRC process and facilities aren't quite so glamorous. However, the resources that Microsoft applies to each vulnerability do put the company's money where its mouth is when it comes to Trustworthy Computing.

According to MSRC security program manager Stephen Toulouse, the first step in the security response process is the point at which Microsoft is made aware of a vulnerability. "We receive vulnerability reports through a variety of channels," said Toulouse. In some cases, the MSRC is notified by security researchers and others through a widely publicized e-mail address --- Some researchers have a direct line to a specific member of the MRSC team. Researchers are not compensated for their efforts, according to Toulouse. In addition to the researchers in the security community, Microsoft also has teams internally that find and report vulnerabilities to the MSRC.

read whole story

1st Legit copies of Office 2003 Monday!

Posted by bink on September 12 2003, 10:33 PM. Posted in Licensing.

First (Legit) Office 2003 Users to Get Code MondayForget that Office 2003 already leaked onto the Web this week. Microsoft says it plans to make its next-gen desktop suite officially available to its volume licensing customers (those with Select, Enterprise Agreement and MSDN subscriptions) on Monday, September 15. Microsoft also plans to make OneNote 2003, its note-taking app, available to these users on Monday. Retail customers will still <!-- start ziffarticle //-->have to wait until October 21,<!-- end ziffarticle //--> the day Microsoft launches Office 2003, to buy their


Posted by bink on September 12 2003, 10:15 PM. Posted in Windows (general).

Next week my 8Mbit ADSL will arrive at my new home, but the next provider is already on the horizon... No not fibre, but Ethernet To The Home (ETTH).

Think fibre to the home is the future? Think again. Finnish company Teleste, a European supplier of network kit for cable operators, has signed a co-operation agreement with the second biggest Dutch cable operator Essent Kabelcom to develop and deploy a fast IP-based data access technology called Ethernet to the Home (ETTH). ETTH offers speeds up to 10 Mb/s data speed to residential customers without the need of active consumer premise equipment, and up to 50Mb/s symmetrical data connectivity to business customers. More importantly, it works with plain old coax cables. That means cable operators can extend the life of their present networks with only limited changes to their infrastructure. Since the technology is fully Ethernet based, subscribers won't need a modem or an adapter either. They can plug their computers straight into the wall. At the moment, DSL and Cable Internet providers are competing head to head. Both offer almost the same data speeds with 8 megabits per second as a maximum. VDSL, the fastest DSL variant, offers speeds up to 56 Mbps, but only at a short distance. Ethernet To The Home doesn't have that limitation; the cable infrastructure uses network amplifiers. Fibre has long been viewed as the next step in broadband because it provides access speeds beyond what is available through cable or DSL connections, or even T1 or T3 lines. Speeds would range from 10 megabits per second to 100 Mbps. Both Dutch and Swedish governments subsidise fibre network services to the home. Earlier in the year, Dutch telco KPN Telecom started talks with the city council of Amsterdam to connect 40 thousand households in the Zeeburg and IJburg suburbs to a fibre broadband network. (...not my suburb)Unfortunately, fibre is still very expensive. That's why Essent Kabelcom believes Ethernet To The Home is a better solution. A trial is to take place in the Netherlands in the near future.

Citrix: Bear Paw will not be a &quot;Citrix-Killer&quot;

Posted by bink on September 12 2003, 9:39 PM. Posted in Windows (general).

Last week I reported about Bear Paw, the codename of the new Terminal Services in Windows, the announcement of Bear Paw has caused some discussion between Citrix users...


In the past, I reported (here, here, and here) about Microsoft's new Terminal Server update codenamed "Bear Paw." The fact that Bear Paw will be some sort of update to Terminal Server for Windows 2003 is true. However, whether it will be a "Citrix-killer" is anyone's guess. (I wrote that there have been rumors of a "Citrix-killer" and I openly questioned whether this could be it?) Shortly after I published those articles, I started to get a lot of phone calls and emails from people at Citrix categorically denying that Microsoft was working on anything that would even come close to being a Citrix-killer. Here's what they said:

  • Citrix and Microsoft have a very strategic relationship and work closely together. Microsoft is not going in the server-based computing direction, and therefore it is in Microsoft's interest to ensure that Citrix remains a strong option for supporting mobile access to 32-bit applications..
  • Citrix has guaranteed access to the Microsoft Windows source code through at least May 2005.
  • This "fire drill" of something that's going to render Citrix obsolete happens every few months, and it never pans out.
  • Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server has a lot of real value that is above and beyond Microsoft's offerings, including the web interface, Citrix Secure Gateway, application-level load balancing, and seamless windows.
  • Citrix has unique products that even further extend the core value of MetaFrame Presentation Server. These products include things like MetaFrame Secure Access Manager, MetaFrame Conferencing Manager, and Citrix Password Manager.
  • Regarding Bear Paw, all we know for sure is that Microsoft is working on an update to Terminal Server. No one knows what features it will have or whether it will even compete with MetaFrame Presentation Server.

Windows Server 2003 plagued by incompatibility

Posted by bink on September 12 2003, 9:30 PM. Posted in Windows (general).

Businesses running Windows NT that want to upgrade to Server 2003 face a stumbling block in the form of SQL Server 7

Windows NT Server 4.0 users are keen to migrate to Windows Server 2003, but the biggest stumbling block lies within Microsoft, a company executive has admitted.   "One of the main problems facing NT customers in Australia is that SQL Server 7 doesn't work on Server 2003," said Michael Leworthy, Microsoft Australia Windows Server product manager.

SQL Server 7 is Microsoft's four-year-old enterprise relational database management and analysis system. Yukon, the code name for the next version, is currently in development.

Microsoft's support for NT doesn't expire until the end of 2004 although telephone support for NT 4.0 workstation ceased in June.

Leworthy said customers were complaining of spending too much time managing their NT systems.

"NT users are struggling with security, administration and support issues with their customers," he said in an interview with ZDNet Australia.

IT budgets will always be a problem for IT managers justifying new technology acquisitions. "We have static budgets so how can we deploy Windows 2003 and get immediate return on investment?" is a common question Leworthy receives from NT customers.

Another portion of users can't make the upgrade due to application compatibility issues.

Microsoft realises that when it comes to porting enterprise applications that have been running on NT, challenges arise.

"We're committed to helping these customers and I've been working with a select group of partners to solve all these issues," Leworthy said.

He cited an example of a bank which invested AU$15m (£9.4m) on Intuit software running on NT. Microsoft has been conducting portability tests for the customer, taking the application and running it on Microsoft Virtual Server.

Microsoft is pulling out all the stops to put NT users on the upgrade path. Apart from a new Upgrade to Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Web site, it will be spending "millions" on marketing initiatives starting in October, Leworthy said.,39020645,39116300,00.htm

New MS broadband products soon

Posted by bink on September 12 2003, 8:37 PM. Posted in Broadband Networking.

In the coming weeks, Microsoft will unveil its second-generation Broadband Networking product line, which will feature 802.11g wireless products that run at 54Mbps, a dramatic improvement over the current line's 802.11b-based 11Mbps. In addition to the standard desktop and notebook computer wireless adapters and wireless base stations, Microsoft will also unveil an Xbox Wireless Adapter that will let gamers access online multiplayer games wirelessly for the first time. The company will also unveil a new line of PC mouse devices and keyboards.

 "Our new line of broadband networking devices will make their US debut featuring 802.11g, which is up to five times faster than 802.11b, the technology used in our original lineup that debuted in 2002," Tom Gibbons, general manager of the Hardware Group, said. "Wi-Fi technology is everywhere you look, whether over a cup of coffee at Starbucks or on the front page of the business section. In fact, latest analyst predictions indicate by the end of 2003, there will be 9.3 million Wi-Fi users worldwide, up from 2.5 million last year." Microsoft noted a Gartner study that predicts 31 million Wi-Fi users by 2007.

In addition to the new wireless hardware, which is entering a crowded market that embraced 802.11g months ago, Microsoft also unveiled new mouse and keyboard hardware last week and will ship later this month. All the products are wireless, including the two standalone mouse devices--the Wireless Optical Mouse and Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer--and several mouse/keyboard combinations, such as the Wireless Optical Desktop Elite, Wireless Optical Desktop, Wireless Optical Desktop Pro, and Basic Wireless Optical Desktop. The new mouse devices feature interference-reducing wireless technology and dramatically better battery life than previous models--as much as 6 months, the company says. They also feature an innovative new scroll wheel, called the Tilt Wheel, which will let users scroll horizontally as well as vertically. In early 2004, the company will introduce wired versions of its new keyboards and mouse devices.

Microsoft goes to Hollywood

Posted by bink on September 12 2003, 8:24 PM. Posted in Windows Media.

Microsoft's surprise decision to submit Windows Media Series 9 as a standards candidate to Hollywood underscores the software giant's ambitions to take its multimedia technology beyond the Net, as well as the considerable barriers it faces. This week, the Redmond, Wash.-based company sent in its underlying video-compression code for vetting by the Society of Motion Picture Television Engineers (SMPTE)--a first for Microsoft and a marked departure from the company's longtime commitment to keeping its technology proprietary. In doing so, Microsoft is aiming to provide a viable successor to MPEG-2, a compression standard that is the foundation of satellite, cable, video-editing systems and DVDs.

Microsoft submitted its technology to SMPTE on Monday, but waited until Friday to officially announce both that move and a blizzard of new Windows Media partnerships. The announcments were made at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam.

If SMPTE approves Windows Media Series 9 as a standard, Microsoft hopes its technology will become the de facto software for a range of set-top boxes, professional video-editing equipment, satellite transmissions and consumer electronics. Because the applications are disparate, SMPTE members are free to adopt any technology they choose.

The organization's endorsement could open doors for Microsoft and offer a sizable money-making opportunity in giving it royalty rates for usage of the technology for years to come.

What's more, industry watchers say, the move could be a first step for Microsoft in a lobbying campaign with technical standards bodies in other industries, such as wireless, where it has yet to gain a foothold for video delivery compared with rival RealNetworks. The vetting process of SMPTE would give Microsoft substantial credibility to shop its codec to partners outside of the PC business.

"Microsoft has decided to surrender the key family jewels to SMPTE to see that video engineers adopt it as an alternative to MPEG-2," said Richard Doherty, a director at research firm The Envisioneering Group.

"Windows Media 9 Series has not succeeded in as many systems or as many entertainment products as they hoped, and there's been a lot of criticism of how closed it is," Doherty added. "This is smart by them to run this up a standards flagpole."

The move comes one year after Microsoft debuted its next-generation proprietary technology with great fanfare in Hollywood. Celebrities such as James Cameron and LL Cool J were featured at the launch to underscore Microsoft's grand ambitions for its technology in Hollywood. But to date, those largely have not come to fruition.


Microsoft staff get broadband at home

Posted by bink on September 12 2003, 8:18 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

Around 500 Microsoft staff in Ireland are to get broadband access at home to increase productivity among teleworkers or those working outside office hours.

Microsoft Ireland plans to roll-out the service to an initial 500 users in what it says is the largest corporate provision of broadband of this kind in the country.Esat BT has already begun connecting employees and will continue to roll-out the high speed online service to the initial 500 staff over the coming months.  Although the concept of working from home is an attractive one to many employees and employers, Microsoft said that, in reality, it can often be hampered by teleworkers having slow and costly internet connections that can negate the benefits of teleworking.

"This initiative will enable Microsoft Ireland's teleworkers to access and send data securely and quickly, which will help them to work quicker and smarter," Esat BT chief executive Bill Murphy said.

The workers will be using Esat BT's residential ADSL service, which provides users with an "always-on" internet connection at speeds of up to 512 kilobytes per second, 10 times faster than standard dial-up.