WinInfo Daily UPDATE, January 29, 2004

This Issue Sponsored By

Argent Software
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1. In the News
- Office 2003 SR1 to Include InfoPath, OneNote, and Security Improvements
- Former Microsoft Employee Jailed, Fined for Stealing Software
- Judge Rules Against Microsoft in Yet Another Patent Flap

2. Announcements
- New Web Seminar: Email Is a Service--Manage It Like One
- Get 2 Sample Issues of Windows & .NET Magazine!

3. Event
- New--Microsoft Security Strategies Roadshow!

4. Contact Us
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

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==== 1. In the News ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Office 2003 SR1 to Include InfoPath, OneNote, and Security Improvements
Microsoft revealed this week that its first Microsoft Office 2003 service release, due in late spring, will be a major release that includes new security features and major improvements to the two new Office applications, Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003 and Microsoft Office OneNote 2003. In a post-release meeting late last year, the Office team discussed some of these improvements, and although the representatives I spoke with at the time were unwilling to give specific details about the changes, a list of those improvements is slowly becoming available.
Like earlier service releases, Office 2003 Service Release 1 (SR1) will include all the bug fixes and patches that the company has released for the various Office products since it first introduced the suite in October 2003. But like Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), due around the same time, Office 2003 SR1 will include some security technologies culled from the company's Springboard security push, which applies future-thinking security methods to existing products. Office 2003 applications will therefore be more secure from the start, although company representatives are quick to point out that this release already benefits from years of customer feedback and the bug-reporting tools that debuted in the earlier version. Indeed, based on my own daily use, Office 2003 is a mature, stable, and reliable product.
Microsoft will update InfoPath, its XML forms package, so that information workers can route XML forms through email. For OneNote, the note-taking application that debuted in October, Microsoft is responding to customer feedback by providing a major update that will incorporate the features customers have most often requested. Although the company hasn't yet divulged those changes, they're likely to include better customization of the folder/section/page hierarchy the application uses to organize notes and better integration with Microsoft Office Outlook 2003.

Former Microsoft Employee Jailed, Fined for Stealing Software
A federal judge sentenced a former Microsoft employee to 21 months in prison and fined him more than $4 million for his role in a massive theft of software from the company. Wilson I. Delancy, who worked closely with another Microsoft employee, Kori R. Brown, a former administrative assistant in the company's Xbox group, spent almost 2 years funneling software that was originally intended for charitable donations to a store in the Seattle area, where Delancy and Brown sold the software. Because Delancy's activities included rerouting software from Microsoft's Columbus, Ohio, warehouse, he was charged with mail fraud, a federal offense. Brown, who was Delancy's accomplice, was sentenced to 17 months in prison last November. Like Delancy, Brown was also convicted of mail fraud.
Microsoft investigators discovered the scheme last year during a companywide internal-purchasing crackdown in the wake of the infamous Daniel Feussner case, in which the employee stole more than $9 million worth of Microsoft software, then sold it on the street at a steep discount. Feussner, who had been in charge of Microsoft's MSN Search efforts, committed suicide before he could be brought to trial for 15 counts of wire, mail, and computer fraud.

Judge Rules Against Microsoft in Yet Another Patent Flap
Judge William Browning of the Senior US District Court in Tucson, Arizona, ruled yesterday that Microsoft encroached on patents owned by Research Corporation Technologies (RCT), a Tucson-based software company. "The judge has determined that Microsoft is guilty of patent infringement and that the technology is used in some of Microsoft's biggest products," said Brian Ferguson, an attorney representing RCT. RCT first filed suit against Microsoft in December 2001, alleging that the software giant used technology in Windows and Microsoft Office that's covered by RCT's patents for improving the quality of images displayed on both computer screens and printouts.
Judge Brown granted a motion for summary judgment against Microsoft, ruling that RCT proved its four patent-infringement claims. Microsoft must now defend itself in front of a jury in federal court. The jury will hear evidence from both sides, determine the extent of the patent infringement, and award damages to RCT. Ferguson says those damages could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Aiding the company's defense is the fact that RCT has already settled similar patent-infringement claims against Lexmark and HP, both of which make printers. These two companies and Seiko Epson now license the technology from RCT.
Although the court hasn't set a date for the trial, a Microsoft spokesperson reiterated his company's belief that it has done no wrong. "We believe that there was no infringement and the technology in question was developed by Microsoft," he said. "We also contend that the RCT patents are not valid and look forward to the opportunity to present evidence on this point."

==== 2. Announcements ====
(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

New Web Seminar: Email Is a Service--Manage It Like One
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Get 2 Sample Issues of Windows & .NET Magazine!
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==== 3. Event ====
(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

New--Microsoft Security Strategies Roadshow!
We've teamed with Microsoft, Avanade, and Network Associates to bring you a full day of training to help you get your organization secure and keep it secure. You'll learn how to implement a patch-management strategy; lock down servers, workstations, and network infrastructure; and implement security policy management. Register now for this free, 20-city tour.
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4. ==== CONTACT US ====

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