Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE, April 15, 2003

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Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE--brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine, the leading publication for IT professionals deploying Windows and related technologies. http://www.winnetmag.com

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~~~~ THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY ~~~~

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(below COMMENTARY)

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April 15, 2003--In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY
- Exchange Server 2003 Fights Spam, Email Viruses

2. HOT OFF THE PRESS
- Intel Recalls New Pentium 4 Processor

3. KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT
- New Qchain Release Corrects Versioning Bug

4. ANNOUNCEMENTS
- Couldn't Make the Microsoft Mobility Tour Event? - Sample Our Security Administrator Newsletter!

5. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)
- HP OpenView for Windows Test Drive

6. INSTANT POLL - Results of Previous Poll: 64-Bit Processing - New Instant Poll: Antispam Solution

7. RESOURCES - Featured Thread: Internet Explorer Will Not Connect - Tip: How Can I Extend the USB Polling Period on My Laptop?

8. NEW AND IMPROVED - Clear and Store Event Logs - Hide Documents from Unwanted Access - Submit Top Product Ideas

9. CONTACT US - See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1.

COMMENTARY


(contributed by Paul Thurrott, News Editor, [email protected])

* EXCHANGE SERVER 2003 FIGHTS SPAM, EMAIL VIRUSES

Last January, I wrote about the escalating problem with spam and wondered how Microsoft could release major new versions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 this year without including antispam features. Later, I discussed this matter with a member of the Exchange development team and learned that Microsoft will address junk mail in both Exchange 2003 and Outlook 2003, although the details weren't forthcoming. This week, Microsoft is discussing Exchange 2003's security features, which include tools for fighting email viruses and junk mail.

Spam is a huge and growing problem. Microsoft cites a November 2003 Gartner report that spam is increasing at a rate of 1000 percent per year, and the report predicts that by 2004, more than 50 percent of all email-message traffic will be spam unless organizations take steps now to stem the growing tide. Exchange 2003 works to stop spam at the edge of the network, before the spam reaches users' Inboxes. In keeping with past policy, however, the Microsoft antispam tool isn't a full-featured solution. Instead, the company encourages third-party developers to create solutions that plug into Exchange and scan incoming email messages. The tool attaches a numeric score, or Spam Confidence Level (SCL), to each message that indicates the probability that the message is spam. Based on a threshold that the Exchange administrator sets, Exchange 2003 forwards the message to either the recipient's Inbox or junk-mail folder.

Naturally, Microsoft would prefer that users install the latest version of its messaging client, Outlook 2003, in tandem with Exchange 2003. Those users who do so will benefit from an integrated solution that combines antispam features on the server with antispam features on the client. As a standalone application, Outlook 2003 already includes a serviceable junk-mail filter that uses Bayesian-like filtering technology. However, Outlook combined with Exchange offers a solution that prefilters spam, thus reducing network traffic. Users can also integrate their Outlook-based blacklists and accepted senders lists with the server so that their settings are available from any PC or mobile device. Likewise, users who move between Outlook Web Access (OWA) and the Outlook client will always have access to their antispam settings.

To help battle email-borne viruses, Microsoft introduced its Virus Scanning API (VS API) for Exchange 2000 Server and later, which will let third-party vendors provide integrated antivirus tools. With Exchange 2003, Microsoft has updated VS API to version 2.5, which supports new functionality. For example, VS API 2.5-enabled tools can scan outgoing and incoming email for viruses. And VS API makes deleting infected messages easier and sends warning messages to those who send and receive infected email messages, which could stem the spread of virus-encoded email.

Also, Exchange 2003 will ship in locked-down mode, making this Microsoft's first full-fledged server product to take advantage of the security ideals behind the company's Trustworthy Computing initiative. In Microsoft parlance, Exchange 2003 will be "secure by design, secure by default, and secure in deployment." We'll have to wait and see how Exchange 2003 fares in the real world before delivering a verdict, but clearly, Microsoft is more serious about security now that its customers are demanding it. Certainly, Exchange 2003 should prove to be a more secure product than its predecessors.

Not coincidentally, the company is also touting the security benefits of Windows Server 2003 this week, and because many enterprises will choose to run Exchange 2003 on top of Windows 2003, I want to quickly examine some of the relevant security features in this product as well. Certain components of Windows 2003, such as Microsoft IIS and Internet Explorer (IE), are locked down, not installed by default, or otherwise configured in the most secure setting possible. One of the more interesting aspects of security in Windows 2003, however, is the revelation that misconfigurations cause 95 percent of security problems. So Microsoft is working on ways to simplify configuring Windows security. In mid-2003, the company will issue a tool called the Security Configuration Wizard for Windows 2003. The tool will help manage security by server role, in keeping with the product's new roles-based management scheme.

And finally, on a related note, I came across a fascinating report about junk mail that will interest many Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE readers. According to the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), most junk mail comes from displaying email addresses on public Web sites, but ways exist to avoid spam even after your email address has been made public. It's a great report and well worth reading. http://www.cdt.org/speech/spam/030319spamreport.shtml

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2.

HOT OFF THE PRESS


(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])

* INTEL RECALLS NEW PENTIUM 4 PROCESSOR Monday was to have been a big day for microprocessor maker Intel: The company was introducing a new version of its 3GHz Pentium 4 chip that supports systems with an 800MHz bus and faster Double Data Rate (DDR) memory than runs at 400MHz. PC makers such as Dell and Gateway were primed and ready to deliver systems based on the new processor and chipset. And when Monday came, the press releases were sent out and the PCs went live. There was just one problem: Intel had to recall the processors that were to have powered those systems because of a bug that seems to affect only a small portion of the manufactured chips. And although the public relations flap from this problem is unlikely to be as serious as two of Intel's other infamous episodes--the Pentium 90 arithmetic error and the process ID flag problem--this week's recall is embarrassing nonetheless. Read more details at the following URL: http://www.wininformant.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=38684

3.

KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT


(contributed by Paula Sharick, [email protected])

* NEW QCHAIN RELEASE CORRECTS VERSIONING BUG If you use a script to install multiple hotfixes with only one system restart, you probably invoke the Qchain utility at the end of the script. Qchain examines the files that each hotfix replaces, identifies hotfixes that update the same file, and ensures that only the most recent file version is installed. The March release of Qchain corrects situations in which the utility doesn't install the most recent version of a file. This bug occurs when you install two or more patches that contain different versions of the same file, and that file is open when the hotfix installation runs. For more details about this bug, visit the following URL: http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=38687

4.

ANNOUNCEMENTS


(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

* COULDN'T MAKE THE MICROSOFT MOBILITY TOUR EVENT? If you were too busy to catch our Microsoft Mobility Tour event in person, now you can view the Webcast archives for free! You'll learn more about the available solutions for PC and mobile devices and discover the direction mobility marketplace is headed. http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars/mobility

* SAMPLE OUR SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR NEWSLETTER!
If you spend the better part of your day dealing with security concerns such as controlling user access, viruses, and tightening your network's permeability, then you can benefit from the type of information we publish each month in Security Administrator. Every issue shows you how to protect your enterprise with informative, in-depth articles, timely tips, and practical advice. Sample our most recent issue today! http://www.secadministrator.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei253xup

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HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)

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* HP OPENVIEW FOR WINDOWS TEST DRIVE Monitor the availability and performance of your corporate website -- FREE for 30 days, using powerful HP OpenView management software for Windows. Simulate activity. Monitor complex transactions. Meet business demands. Manage web services. Click here. http://www.winnetmag.com/hptestdrive/

6.

INSTANT POLL

* RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: 64-BIT PROCESSING The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Does your company have plans to implement 64-bit computing technology?" Here are the results from the 146 votes. - 11% We already operate a 64-bit environment - 7% We plan to move to 64-bit technology within 1 year - 9% We plan to move to 64-bit technology within the next 2 to 3 years - 73% We have no plans to move to 64-bit technology

* NEW INSTANT POLL: ANTISPAM SOLUTION
The next Instant Poll question is, "Do you use a third-party antispam solution on your company network?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine home page and submit your vote for a) Yes or b) No. http://www.winnetmag.com/magazine

7.

RESOURCES

* FEATURED THREAD: INTERNET EXPLORER WILL NOT CONNECT
Eric is having trouble getting Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) to connect his Windows XP system to the Internet. You can join the discussion at the following URL: http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=36&tid=57455

* TIP: HOW CAN I EXTEND THE USB POLLING PERIOD ON MY LAPTOP?
( contributed by John Savill, http://www.windows2000faq.com )

By default, your computer's USB polling period is 1 millisecond (ms), which can sometimes cause problems--even if no USB devices are connected--when a laptop is trying to enter a hibernate state. You can extend this polling period up to 5ms by performing the following steps: 1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe). 2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\\{36FC9E60-C465-11CF-8056-444553540000\} registry subkey. 3. For each subkey (e.g., ...0000, ...0001), go to the Edit menu, then select New, DWORD Value. 4. Enter the name IdleEnable, set the value to an integer from 2 to 5, then click OK. 5. Close the registry editor. 6. Restart the machine for the change to take effect.

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NEW AND IMPROVED

(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])

* CLEAR AND STORE EVENT LOGS Dorian Software Creations released Event Archiver 4.0, an event-log consolidation tool that can clear and store event logs in a variety of formats. The new version adds hourly and daily archiving options. You can quickly transport log files though FTP to storage centers within a global network. Pricing is $89.99 for a one-pack server license. Contact Dorian Software Creations at 678-222-3443 or [email protected] http://www.eventarchiver.com

* HIDE DOCUMENTS FROM UNWANTED ACCESS Pilot Group released Hide Folder 2.6, software that safeguards your data. You can hide important documents from unwanted access. Hide Folder lets you password-protect your personal and important folders. You can also make your folders invisible, inaccessible, or with read-only access. Hide Folder also lets you specify which programs can still access protected items, such as virus scanners. For pricing, contact Pilot Group at [email protected] http://www.hide-folder.com

* SUBMIT TOP PRODUCT IDEAS Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Do you know of a terrific product that others should know about? Tell us! We want to write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to [email protected]

9.

CONTACT US

Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

* ABOUT THE COMMENTARY -- [email protected]

* ABOUT KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT -- [email protected]

* ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL -- [email protected] (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

* TECHNICAL QUESTIONS -- http://www.winnetmag.com/forums

* PRODUCT NEWS -- [email protected]

* QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION? Customer Support -- [email protected]

* WANT TO SPONSOR WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE UPDATE? [email protected]

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Thank you for reading Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE.

__________________________________________________________ Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

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