WinInfo Daily UPDATE, August 29, 2003

This Issue Sponsored By

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1. In the News
- Microsoft Preps Small Business Server 2003

2. Short Takes
- Allchin: We Might Listen to Customers and Reconsider Windows XP SP2 Schedule
- Allchin: Bug Fixes, New Features, or Both?
- MSBlaster Worm Author Arrested, Sort Of
- Microsoft to Change IE in Wake of Patent Lawsuit
- Microsoft's California Settlement Payout Begins
- Gateway Enters Digital-Camera Market
- No WinInfo Daily UPDATE Monday

3. Announcements
- Need Help Managing Your Storage Investment?
- Try Windows & .NET Magazine!

4. Event - New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show

5. 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]

Microsoft Preps Small Business Server 2003
Microsoft will soon unleash two Windows Small Business Server 2003 suites--products that bundle Windows Server 2003 with the company's most recent enterprise servers. Small Business Server 2003, Standard Edition, is a low-end bundle that will include Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and will cost $599. A higher-end version--Small Business Server 2003, Premium Edition--will include Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000 in addition to Exchange 2003 and will cost $1499--the same price as Small Business Server 2000. In addition, Microsoft will change the Small Business Server licensing to allow for as many as 75 Client Access Licenses (CALs), up from 50 in earlier versions.
PC makers such as Dell and HP will sell low-end servers bundled with Small Business Server 2003 for as little as $999. According to Microsoft, these servers will include all the products preinstalled and will set up in just minutes. And prebundled servers based on Small Business Server 2003, Premium Edition will start at just $1499, the company said. Microsoft is raising CAL prices from $60 to $99, arguably because of Small Business Server 2003's additional functionality. However, this pricing is still significantly lower than CAL pricing for the individual products, Microsoft notes.
Small Business Server 2003 is targeted at two types of small businesses: companies that have a few technical people who can handle administrative duties in addition to their usual jobs and companies that want to farm out administration to a services organization. In either case, Small Business Server 2003 includes well-thought-out management tools that administrators can use remotely. For end users, the product suites include similarly well-designed client tools that let users access the suites' features from connected desktops or from the Web.

==== 2. Short Takes ====
An often-irreverent look at some of the week's other stories, by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Allchin: We Might Listen to Customers and Reconsider Windows XP SP2 Schedule
In an interview with "Computerworld," Microsoft Group Vice President Jim Allchin said that Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) is still on track for early 2004. However, the company is evaluating the schedule, making me wonder whether all the pressure from users is finally making an impact in Redmond. "If we don't change our mind, \[that date is correct\]," Allchin said. "There are many things that can help drive that. In particular, the consent decree helped drive when we did SP1 ... We could decide to accelerate the service pack. It's not some hard-and-fast thing. We have a team. ... I don't want to get it locked down to a particular path, because something may come up. Something came up in the last couple of weeks. It's got a lot of focus here right now." Sadly, the big concentration should be on changing the service pack schedule. As I've said before, these releases need to ship every 6 months like clockwork.

Allchin: Bug Fixes, New Features, or Both?
In the same interview, Allchin also helped clarify Microsoft's earlier "no new features" pledge for service packs--a clarification that might not please many Windows administrators. "I think it's very confusing about what's a feature, what's a bug fix," he said. "I mean, some of the wireless support that we produced just recently, we've already shipped it for Wireless Protected Access, for example. Was that a bug fix or was that a feature? Our general idea is that service packs are trying to be a roll up of the quick-fix engineering updates, as well as other things that we have found internally that we think are important to deliver to customers." Since the mid-1990s, people have been complaining about Microsoft adding features to service packs, but I think this approach actually makes sense. If the company updates the core OS at some point in its life cycle, that code should make its way into the next service pack.

MSBlaster Worm Author Arrested, Sort Of
The author of an MSBlaster (LoveSan) worm variant was allegedly arrested this morning, although reports were conflicting when I wrote this story. The FBI said it had identified an 18-year-old US resident as the author of MSBlaster.B, which came after the original MSBlaster, one of the most destructive attacks ever launched on the Internet. The FBI reported that the suspect had been under surveillance for an undisclosed time period before the arrest. According to the agency, the MSBlaster.B worm variant was the first to introduce the particularly malicious code that helped it replicate so quickly. I'll provide more information as it arrives.

Microsoft to Change IE in Wake of Patent Lawsuit
As a result of Microsoft's recent patent-infringement lawsuit loss, the company said this week that it will alter its dominant Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) browser. The changes, which Microsoft has yet to disclose, could affect a huge number of Web sites, according to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a standards body that oversees Web technologies such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and HTML. The changes could be highly disruptive because IE controls about 96 percent of Web traffic, and the patent-infringement lawsuit involved hyperlinks, which are pretty much the Web's core technology. I'll be in constant communication with the Web masters at to ensure that this change, whatever it is, doesn't disrupt the Web's most important destination.

Microsoft's California Settlement Payout Begins
The California court system approved Microsoft's $1.1 billion antitrust settlement, so the payments are set to begin. Thanks to the settlement, lucky consumers in that state who purchased Windows and Microsoft Office products will be able to collect cash vouchers good for refunds on future computer software and hardware purchases. Two-thirds of the unclaimed settlement money will go to the California Department of Education, which will use the funds to purchase computer products for the poorest public schools in the state. California consumers can request their claim forms on the Web at or by calling 1-800-203-9995. Enjoy!

Gateway Enters Digital-Camera Market
PC maker and budding consumer electronics giant Gateway released its first digital cameras this week, honoring the company's pledge to expand into the more lucrative digital-lifestyle market. Gateway now offers two tiny camera models--a 2-megapixel version that retails for $130 and a 5-megapixel version that costs $399. The company is also offering larger cameras with different prices and features, including a 4-megapixel version for $199 and a 5-megapixel camera for $249. Each camera includes a USB connection and a 3x optical zoom lens. The camera introductions are part of a planned 50-product rollout for 2003. Competitors such as HP are also getting into the digital-lifestyle game with similar "PC-plus" releases.

No WinInfo Daily UPDATE Monday
Because of the Labor Day holiday in the United States, we won't publish this newsletter on Monday. See you Tuesday.

==== 3. Announcements ====
(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

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==== 4. Event ====
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5. ==== CONTACT US ====

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