Windows Client UPDATE, May 15, 2003

Windows Client UPDATE--brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network http://www.winnetmag.net

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May 15, 2003--In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY - The Growing Client Software Standardization Problem

2. NEWS & VIEWS - MSN Antispam Tools Upgraded

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS - Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified! - Cast Your Vote in Our Annual Readers' Choice Awards!

4. RESOURCES - Tip: Changing IE's KeepAliveTimeout Value - Featured Thread: XP Doesn't Recognize PC Card

5. NEW AND IMPROVED - Manage Desktops and Their Configurations - Back Up and Restore Windows Systems and Applications - Submit Top Products

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

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1.

COMMENTARY

(David Chernicoff, [email protected]ag.com)

* COMMENTARY: THE GROWING CLIENT SOFTWARE STANDARDIZATION PROBLEM

An interesting phenomenon is occurring at Microsoft that's perhaps best described as planned obsolescence. With the release of Windows Server 2003, the company has said outright that certain applications won't run on Windows 2003, most notably Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, which Microsoft won't support on Windows 2003 until users upgrade it to Exchange Server 2003. Users of Microsoft SQL Server versions earlier than SQL Server 2000 will need to upgrade to a patched version of SQL Server 2000 to run the application on Windows 2003. Few applications appear on the certified list for the Windows 2003 software.

Because you're reading Windows Client UPDATE, you're no doubt wondering why I'm bringing up these server-related problems. I'm not as interested in these server-side concerns as I am in Microsoft's willingness to come forward and say, "This isn't going to work." Would that the company had been as straightforward about its client-side applications: Over the past few years I've heard stories about incompatibilities between various files formats within the Microsoft Office suites. Some of these incompatibilities are clearly documented, but others seem to happen without any acknowledgement from Microsoft.

Personally, I deal with this incompatibility problem on an almost daily basis. Using Microsoft Word to write my columns for Windows Client UPDATE is never a problem, but when I'm writing books and making use of features such as comments and revision marks, the differences between Microsoft Office XP and Office 2000 can become painfully apparent.

Because of the nature of my work, I try to stay current with the most recent versions of the software I write about. Unfortunately, using the most current software often puts me a generation or two ahead of many of the users I need to share files with. The first time I received a file back that I had created in Word 10 (Office XP's version of Word) from a publisher for whom I was writing a book, the file had been edited in Word 9 (Office 2000's version of Word), contained comments entered in Word 9, and had revisions entered in both Word 10 and Word 9. I was forced to ask the project's lead editor to redo all of the changes in one version of Word so that I could find and follow the trail of the edits in the document, which was an 80-page book chapter.

The next generation of Office, Office 11, is already getting rave reviews for its XML-based document formats. Given the way software is bundled, small business users who aren't on software licenses but who use the software that's included on new computers they buy will probably need to deal soon with three different versions of the Office suite in their computing environment. This problem has no simple solution; if your small business buys only a dozen or two computers each year, one or two at a time, you'll probably find yourself with different versions of the Office applications. Potentially, these versions can't communicate with one another completely. The only suggestion I can offer to solve the problem is to standardize on one version of Office and buy sufficient software so that all your users share key applications. This situation is a scary one, and it isn't likely to go away any time soon.

2.

NEWS AND VIEWS

(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])

* MSN ANTISPAM TOOLS UPGRADED

Microsoft announced late last week that it has significantly updated the antispam tools for its MSN family of Internet services, including Hotmail, an effort that will help protect hundreds of millions of people each day from receiving unwanted email. Microsoft notes that it now blocks over 2.4 billion spam email messages every day, or about 80 percent of the total volume of email it routes to its customers. The technology behind the MSN anti-spam tools will also be released in Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and Microsoft Office 2003 later this year, the company says.

"Spam is no longer just an inconvenience for consumers and the online industry; it has become a major problem, one that makes it hard for people to sort through their personal email and reduces productivity," said Lisa Gurry, the group product manager for MSN at Microsoft. "MSN drew a line in the sand with MSN 8 and its powerful spam-fighting tools. With these and other tools, as well as increased consumer education, we are striving to deliver the best resources to significantly reduce the flow of spam."

Recent updates to the antispam technology in MSN and Hotmail add the ability to block images in HTML email unless the sender is in the user's contacts list. This feature can prevent spammers from ensuring that a spam message was read, which can result in the user getting more spam in the future. The feature can also be seen in the beta release of Microsoft Office 2003. Another feature Microsoft recently added to MSN and Hotmail is Human Interactive Proof (HIP), which prevents spammers from anonymously and automatically creating temporary Hotmail accounts to send spam. The company says this effort has reduced new email account creation by 20 percent.

3.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

* GET THE EBOOK THAT WILL HELP YOU GET CERTIFIED!

The "Insider's Guide to IT Certification," from the Windows & .NET Magazine Network, has one goal: to help you save time and money in your quest for certification. Find out how to choose the best study guides, save hundreds of dollars, and be successful as an IT professional. The amount of time you spend reading this book will be more than made up by the time you save preparing for your certification exams. Order your copy today! http://winnet.bookaisle.com/ebookcover.asp?ebookid=13475

* CAST YOUR VOTE IN OUR ANNUAL READERS' CHOICE AWARDS!

Which companies and products are the best on the market? Tell us by nominating your favorites in the annual Windows & .NET Magazine Readers' Choice Awards survey. Click here! http://www.winnetmag.com/readerschoice

4.

RESOURCES

* TIP: CHANGING IE'S KEEPALIVETIMEOUT VALUE (contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])

When I'm working across my high-latency satellite Internet connection, my browser occasionally times out before connecting to the Web site I want to access. The problem is Microsoft Internet Explorer's (IE's) default KeepAliveTimeout value, which defaults to 1 minute. I could defeat the value by using the satellite proxy server that my connection software provides, but doing so causes some problems that I prefer not to experience. Fortunately, by creating a KeepAliveTimeout registry entry, I can reset the timeout length default value. A longer timeout lets me cope with some of the inherent latency that my satellite Internet connection introduces. To create the KeepAliveTimeout entry and set its value, take the following steps:


1. Launch regedit.
2. Open HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings.
3. Create a KeepAliveTimeout subkey of type REG_DWORD.
4. Set the data value to the number of milliseconds (ms) you want the connection to stay alive. The valid data value range is from 60,000ms (1 minute) to 2,147,483,647ms (just less than 25 days). A setting of no more than a few minutes should solve most connection problems.

* FEATURED THREAD: XP DOESN'T RECOGNIZE PC CARD

Forum member Mike Szilard has a Dell Latitude D600m laptop with Intel Centrino mobile technology running Windows XP. He's happy with the 802.11b support; for 256-bit encryption, he uses a D-Link AirPlus DWL-650+ CardBus Adapter. Mike has a problem whenever he removes, then reinstalls the DWL-650+: Each time he reinstalls the card, XP doesn't recognize it. Mike didn't experience this problem on his previous computer, which ran Windows 2000. If you can help, join the discussion at the following URL: http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=36&tid=58709

5.

NEW AND IMPROVED

(contributed by Sue Cooper, [email protected])

* MANAGE DESKTOPS AND THEIR CONFIGURATIONS

AutoProf released Profile Maker 8, a desktop configuration and management solution for your Windows desktops and thin clients. The application provides conditional software deployment and Microsoft Outlook profile management and can create standardized desktop environments that allow customized individual configurations. Profile Maker 8 features an improved administrative interface and logging and reporting capabilities, as well as filtering that provides more granular control of the network. The Active Directory (AD)-integrated software offers remote management capability. Profile Maker 8 supports all Windows versions. Contact AutoProf at 603-433-5885 or [email protected] http://www.autoprof.com

* BACK UP AND RESTORE WINDOWS SYSTEMS AND APPLICATIONS

Dantz Development announced Retrospect 6.5 for Windows, an application to back up and restore your file servers, desktops, notebooks, and business-critical applications. The software fully supports large, multidrive tape libraries; protects Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SQL Server data; and supports Windows Server 2003. You can run multiple backup operations concurrently to multiple tapes or disks. The UI lets you perform other tasks while Retrospect is running backup operations. Contact Dantz Development at 925-253-3000 or [email protected] http://www.dantz.com

* SUBMIT TOP PRODUCTS

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 What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to [email protected]

6.

CONTACT US

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

* ABOUT THE COMMENTARY -- [email protected]

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

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

* PRODUCT NEWS -- [email protected]

* QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR WINDOWS CLIENT UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION? Customer Support -- [email protected]

* WANT TO SPONSOR WINDOWS CLIENT UPDATE? -- [email protected]

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