Windows Client UPDATE--Life Extension for the 32-Bit World--May 27, 2004

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1. Commentary: Life Extension for the 32-Bit World

2. News & Views

- Appeals Court Rejects Microsoft Plea; Lindows Case Heads to Trial

3. Resources

- Tip: Fix for XP SP1 Flash-Drive Write-Performance Problem
- Featured Thread: Move \winnt\system32 Folder to Multiple Partitions

4. New and Improved

- Reflectent Improves EdgeSight Desktop Management Product
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==== 1. Commentary: Life Extension for the 32-Bit World ====

by David Chernicoff, [email protected]

The urge to upgrade your desktop computers to the latest and greatest technology is a strong one. Having the fastest machine on the block is a matter of pride to some people and a practical business requirement to others, although few users need the absolute latest technology to adequately do their jobs.

Although I admit to being a bit of a technology freak, I've personally managed to avoid the latest-and-greatest hardware trap. My primary computer activities don't require a lot of processing power. I only recently moved into the Intel Pentium 4 Processor (P4) world because the digital-editing tools I use really benefited from the performance improvement I achieved over my old, dual-processor 550 MHz Pentium 3 Processor (P3) computer. Nonetheless, few users can get by with antiquated technology, and corporate buyers tend to buy computers just behind the bleeding edge of technology, in an effort to extend the useful life of their systems.

I've been carefully following the progress of the 64-bit version of Windows XP, for the same reason that I eventually bought a new computer: the potential performance improvements for the image and video editing that consumed more of my time. Until recently, though, I wasn't encouraged by what I saw. Development for the 64-bit Intel Itanium processors meant that I'd need to buy new 64-bit applications and that my existing 32-bit apps would run only in an emulation mode, which would likely be slower than they ran on my fast P4 computers.

But a light on the 64-bit horizon has appeared in the form of the AMD64 platform. AMD's 64-bit processor technology extends the Intel x86 processor architecture to a 64-bit model, rather than replacing it completely as Itanium does. The AMD64 platform lets 32-bit applications run natively alongside 64-bit applications and offers performance improvements even to 32-bit apps. AMD currently offers two families of 64-bit processors--the Opteron series for servers and Athlon series for desktops and mobile computers.

Microsoft has acknowledged the importance of the AMD64 innovation and is moving a native 64-bit version of XP to the platform (along with the next version of Microsoft's Server OS), although the AMD64 processors run the 32-bit version of XP exceedingly well.

HP has been shipping AMD64 processor-equipped versions of its product line for some time now and, in fact, provides benchmarks on the HP Web site that show the performance improvements that AMD64 versions of HP's server hardware achieved over otherwise identical Intel-processor-equipped hardware. You can find the HP benchmarks at http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/servers/benchmarks.

Just as important as the performance gains, however, is the significant protection of your hardware investment that you can achieve by adopting AMD64-powered computers. AMD64 CPUs are shipping for desktops, servers, workstations, and notebooks, all of which run 32-bit OSs. When the 64-bit Windows OSs become available, all of these computers will be upgradeable to the 64-bit OS and will realize any corresponding performance improvements. This upgradeability alone might cut an entire hardware upgrade cycle from the corporate budget, because the introduction of a new OS is often accompanied by a rollout of new hardware that can take advantage of (or is possibly required by) the new OS. For the first time in a long while, hardware will be a step ahead of software in terms of upgrade necessity.

You can find more information about the AMD64 technology at http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/ProductInformation/0,,30_118_9331,00.html . If you have any interest in the future of your computing hardware, you should take a look at the AMD64.

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==== 2. News & Views ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Appeals Court Rejects Microsoft Plea; Lindows Case Heads to Trial

Microsoft's trademark lawsuit against Lindows.com will continue to trial, possibly later this year, after a federal appeals court denied Microsoft's appeal request. Microsoft had questioned an earlier court decision that found the company's Windows trademark to be potentially invalid because the word "windows" is a common term. Microsoft had argued that the term isn't generic in the computer industry, despite its general use--dating back almost 30 years--to describe onscreen objects in various graphical systems. And because Microsoft owns a trademark on the term, the company sued Lindows.com for naming its Linux distribution Lindows, a name that Microsoft said might confuse consumers.

In February, US District Judge John Coughenour ruled that the eventual jury in the Lindows trial would have to decide whether the term windows was a generic term before November 1985, when Microsoft sold its first version of Windows. He let Microsoft appeal that decision, however. But now the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle has elected not to hear the appeal, and the case will head back to trial. Judge Coughenour said this week that he might be able to schedule the trial for the second half of this year.

"This outright denial of Microsoft's appeal confirms that the trial will focus on how consumers and the software industry used the term 'windows' in the 1980s, before Microsoft dominated the landscape," Lindows.com CEO Michael Robertson said. Microsoft says it will "vigorously defend" itself in court.

Facing legal action in various other countries in which Microsoft's Windows trademark has received less scrutiny, Lindows.com has been forced to change the name of its Linux distribution to Linspire. But Microsoft has continued its legal assault anyway, noting that Lindows.com hasn't changed its company name. Thus, Microsoft says, Lindows.com is still violating Microsoft's Windows trademark.

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==== 3. Resources ====

Tip: Fix for XP SP1 Flash-Drive Write-Performance Problem

(contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])

I recently got a call from a friend who complained that ever since she'd installed Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1), writing data to her USB flash drives seemed to take forever. She said that even the Windows 98 SE computer that she shared files with through the USB-attached memory card was faster than the XP system.

I told my friend that her problem is actually a known bug that's scheduled to be fixed in XP SP2 later this year. I gave her this workaround to use until Microsoft fixes the problem.

  1. With the USB flash memory card attached to the computer, click Start, Run.
  2. Type devmgmnt.msc in the text box and click OK.
  3. Double-click the Disk Drives entry.
  4. Right-click the affected device.
  5. Select Properties from the context menu.
  6. Click the Policies tab.
  7. Enable the "Optimize for quick removal" check box.
  8. Click OK.

You don't have to reboot the computer after performing these steps. XP should now write data more quickly to the flash-card storage device. This fix should apply to any USB- or 1394-attached external storage device that exhibits the write-performance problem.

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