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Windows Client UPDATE--Virtual Learning--April 28, 2005

Windows Client UPDATE--Virtual Learning--April 28, 2005

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1. Commentary:
- Virtual Learning

2. News & Views
- Microsoft, EU Reach Impasse

3. Peer to Peer
- Tip: Side-by-Side Window Displays
- Featured Thread: Adding Web Sites to IE Trusted Sites

4. New and Improved
- Get the Latest IT News on Your Desktop
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

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==== 1. Commentary: Virtual Learning ====
by David Chernicoff, [email protected]

Often, after I make a recommendation in this column, I get email from readers asking me how to implement it. The problem is that many of the suggestions are fairly complex and difficult to walk someone through, especially if I have to introduce new concepts that the reader is unfamiliar with or has never tried.

Group Policy Objects (GPOs) are one such concept. For administrators that have been managing Windows networks, using GPOs is second nature. But for new administrators, especially in the small and midsized business (SMB) space, aggressively using GPOs can be a bit scary. Often, they need a little hand-holding to help them through their initial GPO deployments.

Help is on the way. Using GPOs is the subject of one of eight virtual labs that Microsoft has online right now. A virtual lab is a Remote Desktop connection via the RDP ActiveX control to a server at Microsoft. Each virtual lab has a downloadable manual that walks you through the exercise; you have 90 minutes to complete each lab exercise.

These virtual labs let users experiment with various tasks and technologies on a live computer, without the need to set up test computers in their own environment. They offer a great solution for small businesses that can't afford to keep test networks up and running for their IT departments. I've received positive feedback from readers for three of the eight available labs: Configuration Management with GPOs, Deploying Windows XP SP2, and Using the User State Migration Tool. The labs are definitely worth a look if you need a little help with unfamiliar processes. You can check them out at

The link also has several on-demand Webcasts that cover a wide variety of topics on desktop deployment. The on-demand Webcasts are delivered as two downloads: a .wmv file containing the broadcast and a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. The Web site lists 38 on-demand Webcasts about desktop deployment, and the eight virtual labs all have accompanying Webcasts.

Webcasts and virtual labs are also available for topics such as security and for applications such as Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) and Microsoft Exchange Server. These online resources are excellent for jump starting your use of the technologies and processes that they cover.



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==== 2. News & Views ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Microsoft, EU Reach Impasse
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer rushed to Brussels, Belgium, this week to placate the European Union's (EU's) Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes for the second time in a year. But Ballmer received a cold reception from Kroes. Her message was simple and to the point: Microsoft must meet the EU's antitrust demands--and it must do so immediately. To read the entire story, visit the following URL:

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==== 3. Peer to Peer ====

Tip: Side-by-Side Window Displays
(contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])

I mentioned on an online forum that I use a high-resolution monitor (1920x1440x32), primarily because I almost always have two document windows open. A forum reader asked me how to display documents side by side in Microsoft Word. This functionality has been built into every 32-bit version of Windows since Windows 2000 Server. To have two documents (or two windows) open side-by-side, open both applications or documents, and bring one window to the foreground. Hold down the Control key, and on the taskbar right-click the second document or window you want to share the screen. Select Tile Vertically from the context menu. The window that was in the foreground and the window you selected from the taskbar will open side-by-side, filling the screen.

Featured Thread: Adding Web Sites to IE Trusted Sites
Forum user Stef is having trouble adding a site to Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) Trusted Sites. If you can help, join the discussion at

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==== 4. New and Improved ====
by Gayle Rodcay, [email protected]

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