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February 6, 2003—In this issue:
- How the Legal Wrangle Between Sun Microsystems and Microsoft Will Affect You
2. NEWS & VIEWS
- Microsoft Granted Stay in Java Case, Issues New XP SP1
- Don't Miss Our 2 New Security Web Seminars in March!
- Join the HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show!
- Tip: Adjust Windows XP's Search Function
- Featured Thread: Windows 95 PCs Not Logging On to Win2K AD Server
- Featured Article: Report Identifies New Cyber Threats
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Manage Systems from a Familiar Interface
- Ensure Backup Privacy and Protection
6. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(David Chernicoff, [email protected])
Regardless of your opinion about Microsoft's legal trials and tribulations over the past few years, the US District Court's January 15th ruling regarding Microsoft is likely to directly affect you as a Windows desktop user or IT support person. The order would have required Microsoft to bundle Sun Microsystems' Java technology in Windows XP within 120 days. However, on Tuesday, the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals stayed that order. (For more information about the stayed order, see the News & Views section in this issue of Windows Client UPDATE.) If the order is ultimately upheld, corporate users of Windows OSs will find their job has become more complicated.
Back when an actual battle occurred between Microsoft and Sun over the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) that ran on Windows, Microsoft won for a simple reason: The Microsoft Virtual Machine (Microsoft VM) worked better than Sun's JVM. Whether that victory was due to Microsoft's proprietary knowledge of Windows or Sun's lubricious behavior regarding Java and Microsoft (keep in mind that Java isn't an open standard; Sun has refused to release it to public control), many independent tests found that the Microsoft VM was faster and less problematic than JVM. Having lost on the technology playing field, Sun sued Microsoft to include the Sun Java Runtime Environment (JRE) in Windows, to the exclusion of the Microsoft VM. If Sun ultimately wins the court battle, Windows corporate environments everywhere will face a host of potential problems.
The XP retail release didn't directly include Java support, but purchasers of the OS who accessed Web pages that required Java were given the opportunity to download the Microsoft VM and add Java support. Users who upgraded to XP from Windows 2000 received the Microsoft VM with the upgrade. It's a reasonable presumption that all of your current Windows computers are running some form of the Microsoft VM; if you've kept your systems updated, they probably all have the same version of the Microsoft VM. If the court order forcing Microsoft to bundle Java in XP is upheld, all of your future Windows installations will be required to use the Sun JRE. As a consequence, you'll need to perform any product testing or evaluation that uses Java in any way on no less than the two separate environments, unless you plan to explicitly install the JRE on every Windows client in your enterprise.
The court order doesn't require you to install the JRE, and your current Microsoft VM will continue to run just fine, although Microsoft will not stop updating the VM unless the final court order requires the company to do so. The JRE will become available through Windows Update as a Recommended Update, which will simplify its distribution. However, you'll need to keep a close eye on those users you allow to access Windows Update because at the moment, there is no reason to replace the existing Microsoft VM.
If the court order is upheld, in addition to the necessity of testing two Java platforms, Windows corporate users might find it necessary to open corporate support accounts with Sun because Microsoft won't be responsible or liable for providing support for the JRE. I hope this situation won't lead to finger-pointing should problems arise when running Java within Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), but if history is any guide, that will likely be the case.
If you're interested in seeing the US District Court's order, you can find it at http://microsoft.com/presspass/java/01-21-03sunorder.pdf. And if you can show me how this order benefits any entity other than Sun (i.e., explain to me why this action will be good for consumers), I'd like to hear from you.
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2. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])
The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, delivered some good news to Microsoft on Tuesday when it stayed an order that would have required the software giant to begin bundling Sun Microsystems' Java technology in Windows XP within 120 days. The stay means that Microsoft won't need to worry about the potential bundling until Sun's $1 billion antitrust case against Microsoft goes to court, a process that could take months. Coincidentally, when the appeals court issued its stay, Microsoft had just announced plans explaining how it would handle bundling Java.
"We're pleased the Fourth Circuit has stayed the court order," said Microsoft spokesperson Jim Desler. "We believed all along it was appropriate that this matter be decided by the circuit court before we move forward with implementing the injunction." Sun said it was disappointed by the decision but looked forward to proving the merits of its case against Microsoft in court.
Earlier Tuesday, Microsoft released an updated version of XP Service Pack 1 (SP1), XP1a, which dispenses with Microsoft's dated Java version but is otherwise identical to the original SP1. The company had said that it would release an SP1b that included Sun's Java technology within 120 days to comply with the earlier court ruling, but those plans are now on hold because of the stay. Microsoft said that it also would have distributed Java in other ways, including on CD-ROM and through online downloads such as Windows Update. Future Windows revisions, such as XP SP2 (due "later in 2003") and Longhorn, would also have included Java, the company said.
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(contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])
A reader recently sent me an email message telling me that the Search function in Windows XP is broken. The reader insisted that the Search function never seemed to see certain files on his computer. I asked the reader what kinds of files he was searching for, and he told me that when he used the "Search for a word or phrase" option, he never seemed to find the files he wanted. He had a large collection of notes he had taken during meetings, and he wanted to be able to search through those files to find comments to follow up on.
The reader's problem was that he was using his own convention for labeling his notes—specifically, a four-digit date (e.g., 0208) as the file extension. By default, XP's word or phrase search function requires that the file extension be a registered file type. Rather than tell the reader that he had to change his naming convention and go back through a year's worth of files to rename them, I showed him the following steps to quickly edit the registry to allow XP's search function to look for files with unknown extensions.
- Launch regedit.
- Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ContentIndex.
- Double-click FilterFilesWithUnknownExtensions, in the right-hand pane.
- Change the data value to 1.
- Exit the registry editor.
- Reboot the computer.
Forum member Troy Backus reports that the hardware on one of his organization's secondary Windows 2000 Active Directory (AD) servers failed last week. He has rebuilt the server, reinstalled Win2K, and synchronized the AD information. However, now Windows 95 PCs are dropping off the network, and their users can't log on until the primary AD server is rebooted. After the primary server is rebooted, the Win95 machines log on without problem, but after a couple of hours the connection fails, and Troy has to reboot the server. If you can help Troy solve this problem, join the discussion at the following URL:
A recent security report notes that cyber attacks are on the rise and specifies new areas of risk: nstant Messaging (IM), peer-to-peer (P2P) applications, and mobile devices. Read Mark Joseph Edwards's assessment of the new threats to client systems.
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Sue Cooper, [email protected])
Vector Networks released PC-Duo Enterprise 2.0, a suite of systems management modules for your enterprise. The software integrates with Microsoft Management Console (MMC), creating a framework in which you can create, save, and open collections of administrative tools. New features include a UI with the Windows XP look and feel, self-healing to automatically detect and repair your application problems, and local language text conversion. Contact Vector Networks at 770-622-2850, 800-330-5035, or [email protected].
UltraBac Software announced UltraBac 7.0.3, backup and disaster-recovery software. UltraBac 7.0.3 offers built-in encryption, client-side file compression, single-file restoration from image-based backups, and a remote installation feature that lets you easily distribute and install the software on selected network servers and workstations. UltraBac 7.0.3 runs on Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000, and Windows NT servers. Pricing starts at $495 per server with unlimited workstation support. Contact UltraBac Software at 425-644-6000 or [email protected].
6. CONTACT US
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