Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE--July 15, 2003

This Issue Sponsored By

Executive Software


1. Commentary: Microsoft Should Offer Free Antivirus Technology to its Windows Customers

2. Hot Off the Press
- Microsoft Announces SharePoint Portal Server 2003

3. Keeping Up with Win2K and NT
- Win2K SP4 Fallout and Unexpected Results

4. Announcements
- Exchange 2003: Do You Plan to Migrate or Wait?
- Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!

5. Inside Windows Scripting Solutions
- August 2003 Issue
- Focus: Choosing the Right Tool for the Job

6. Instant Poll
- Results of Previous Poll: Thin-Client Technology
- New Instant Poll: Antivirus Services

7. Resources
- Tip: How Can I Adjust the Amount of Space that Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) Reserves for Temporary Internet Files?

8. Event
- Assessing Security Risks in Exchange 2003 9. New and Improved
- Store and Retrieve Directory-Enabled Applications
- Recover Lost Passwords
- Submit Top Product Ideas

10. Contact Us
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

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==== 1. Commentary: Microsoft Should Offer Free Antivirus Technology to its Windows Customers ====
by Paul Thurrott, News Editor, [email protected]

What you're about to read is controversial in certain circles. I'm not sure why; I believe the following discussion results in an obvious decision. I'm going to argue that Microsoft has a responsibility to bundle core antivirus technologies in Windows--for free, not for a monthly subscription fee--and that by doing so, the company will prove that it's more concerned about its customers than its relationships with certain partners. I expect to receive many complaints about this stance, so let me explain.

Microsoft recently revealed that it plans to add various antivirus technologies to Longhorn, the next major Windows client. The company has two basic plans for antivirus technology in Longhorn: One could help third-party antivirus companies, and the other could make their products obsolete. First, Microsoft will add deep-level APIs to Longhorn so that third-party antivirus developers can embed their products more intimately into Windows. Currently, antivirus products must latch on to Windows at a higher level, making them more resource-intensive than will be necessary under the new system. Second, Microsoft plans to offer its own antivirus service with a low-cost subscription fee. Microsoft representatives said the company doesn't want to unfairly wrest the market from third-party vendors. They said that if Microsoft offers the service for free, the company might kill the third-party client antivirus market.

No doubt based on Microsoft's timid lurching into the antivirus market, Symantec Chairman and CEO John Thompson described Microsoft's move into the antivirus market as "much ado about nothing" in an interview with CRN recently. Although Thompson's proclamation about Microsoft's move might have a temporary calming effect on Symantec's shareholders and employees, the truth is that Symantec has much to fear from this move. I've often argued that Norton Antivirus has been living on borrowed time because adding antivirus technology to Windows is an obvious and overdue necessity. "Until \[Microsoft has\] an offering in the marketplace, until we know what it is targeted toward, we're not going to run around doing high-speed hand-wringing at Symantec," Thompson told CRN.

Well, let the hand-wringing begin. Unlike Microsoft's questionable justifications for embedding products such as Windows Movie Maker, Windows Media Player (WMP), and Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) into the core Windows OS, adding antivirus technology to Windows is a no-brainer, akin to the company's decision to add a basic firewall product as part of Windows XP or TCP/IP as part of Windows 95. In my opinion, customer safety and security should come first at Microsoft, and if that hurts a few third-party developers, so be it. The history of Microsoft's OSs includes instances in which third-party utility makers saw functionality from their products added to the core OS. Those companies that survived and flourished were able to move into new markets and continue innovating with features and services that Microsoft didn't offer. Not only would Microsoft be justified in adding antivirus technology to Windows, I argue that the company has a responsibility to do so for free because antivirus isn't a just value-adding feature, it's become a necessity.

If you're still not convinced that your security should take precedence over one product category, consider the following: Most antivirus products sold with new PCs today include only a limited amount of free antivirus signature updates, usually from 1 to 6 months. These signature updates are what makes an antivirus product relevant because they provide protection against new viruses on an ongoing basis. Most people who use third-party antivirus products stop updating signatures after the free trial period has expired, leaving their systems open to attack. The key here is human nature: Many people just don't understand the necessity of keeping signatures up-to-date and, arguably, they shouldn't have to. As a base part of the OS, Microsoft could simply use its Automatic Update feature to ensure that your system is always up-to-date by silently turning on its antivirus technology if your machine is connected to the Internet. That way, customers are automatically protected, without having to do any work.

Under Microsoft's current plan, customers who sign up for the Microsoft antivirus service would get most of these benefits, albeit after first paying the company a monthly fee. But again, we don't pay monthly fees for IE and the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF), and these free products (excuse me, core Windows components) certainly compete with third-party products. In a similar vein, Microsoft should simply offer the antivirus service for free. And the sooner the company makes this decision and alerts its customers, the better. As customers of the software giant, we've made an investment in Microsoft's platform, and providing free antivirus would reinforce the notion that we've made the right decision.

For corporate customers, the decision to add antivirus technology to Windows is even simpler. Most midsized and large-sized businesses are already essentially paying Microsoft a regular subscription fee for their software. Is the software giant really considering adding an additional "antivirus surcharge" on top of its volume-licensing fees? Many people compare Windows and its various options to a car; buyers are free to swap out the manufacturer-supplied radio for one that a third party makes. Carrying this comparison to its logical conclusion, users are free to use Netscape instead of IE if they so desire. But antivirus technology isn't an optional component anymore--it's more like a crucial part of the engine. If you're connected online, you should have antivirus protection; in other words, the car shouldn't even start unless this crucial component is enabled. This is just commonsense.

Come on, Microsoft, do the right thing. Customers come first.


==== 2. Hot Off the Press ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Microsoft Announces SharePoint Portal Server 2003
Microsoft announced today that its next-generation portal server based on SharePoint technologies will be called Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 when the company releases the product later this summer. The server, known simply as SharePoint Portal Server 2.0 during the beta, is the high-end companion to Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 2003, which Microsoft will provide free to Windows Server 2003 customers. SharePoint Portal Server 2003 builds on WSS by providing enterprise customers with a way to create so-called portal Web sites through which companies can communicate with their workers, partners, and customers. For the complete story, visit the following URL:

==== 3. Keeping Up with Win2K and NT ====
by Paula Sharick, [email protected]

Win2K SP4 Fallout and Unexpected Results
This week, I discuss some problems and unexpected results that people have experienced after upgrading systems to Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 (SP4). Although many upgrade problems are related to a system's hardware and software configuration, the problems I describe here are common to many upgrade paths. As a quick reminder, if you suddenly experience problems with an application that relies on a third-party service, you might need to give the service account one or both of the new security rights I discussed in my July 8 column ( ).
On the home front, I upgraded several systems to Win2K SP4, including a couple of Win2K servers running firewall software, a VPN server, an application server running Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 and Microsoft IIS, and a system with a clean (empty) hard disk. Every installation ran successfully, and no obvious problems have surfaced during the past 2 weeks. However, as you well know, your mileage might vary. To learn about the known problems that have surfaced with SP4, visit the following URL:

==== 4. Announcements ====
(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

Exchange 2003: Do You Plan to Migrate or Wait?
Windows & .NET Magazine and Aelita Software would like to know about your organization's plans to migrate to Exchange Server 2003. Take our brief survey, "Windows & .NET Magazine: The State of Exchange Migration," and sign up to receive a free white paper titled, "Upgrade or Migrate? Deployment Options for Exchange 2000/2003." Give us your feedback today!

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 on 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!

5. ==== Inside Windows Scripting Solutions ====

Windows Scripting Solutions is a monthly paid print newsletter loaded with news and tips to help you manage, optimize, and secure your Web-enabled enterprise. NONSUBSCRIBERS can access all of the newsletter content in the online article archive from the premiere issue of Windows Scripting Solutions (December 1998) through the print issue released 1 year ago.
In addition to receiving the monthly print newsletter, SUBSCRIBERS can access all the newsletter content, including the most recent issue, at the Windows Scripting Solutions Web site ( ). Subscribe today and access all 2003 issues online!

August 2003 Issue
To access this issue of Windows Scripting Solutions, go to the following URL:

Focus: Choosing the Right Tool for the Job
Knowing what tools are available for the job is half the battle. This issue introduces you to two tools that you can use in WSH scripts: the Dictionary object and the Universal Command-Line Wrapper.

Determining Group Membership Metrics
Use this script to determine how many groups your users belong to.
--Dick Lewis

==== 6. Instant Poll ====

Results of Previous Poll: Thin-Client Technology
The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "What's your company's situation regarding terminal services or thin-client technology?" Here are the results from the 176 votes:
- 51% We currently use a Microsoft terminal server product
- 24% We currently use a third-party thin-client product
- 6% We're considering implementing thin-client technology at my company
- 6% We don't use thin-client technology but would consider doing so if it made sense
- 13% Thin-client technology doesn't make sense for my organization

New Instant Poll: Antivirus Services
The next Instant Poll question is, "Do you think Microsoft should offer free antivirus services to its Windows customers?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine home page and submit your vote for a) Yes, b) No, or c) I don't know.

==== 7. Resources ====

Tip: How Can I Adjust the Amount of Space that Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) Reserves for Temporary Internet Files?
by John Savill,

To modify the amount of space that IE uses for temporary files, perform the following steps: 1. Go to the Control Panel Internet Options applet (or open IE, then select Internet Options from the Tools menu). 2. Under the "Temporary Internet files" section, click Settings. 3. Under the "Temporary Internet files folder" area, move the slider or enter the amount of space to use (in megabytes), then click OK. 4. Click OK to return to the main dialog box.

==== 8. Event ====
(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

Assessing Security Risks in Exchange 2003
This free archived Web seminar delivers an introduction to the new security features and enhancements of Exchange Server 2003, including the new security APIs that can minimize virus risk and spam traffic. Register today!

==== 9. New and Improved ====
by Carolyn Mader, [email protected]

Store and Retrieve Directory-Enabled Applications
TNT Software released Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) Management Pack for ELM 3.1. ELM Management Packs are for ELM Enterprise Manager, ELM Log Manager, and ELM Performance Manager users. ADAM is a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory service that provides data storage and retrieval for directory-enabled applications. Administrators and developers can use the ADAM Management Pack to automate monitoring the health, status, and availability of ADAM instances. Administrators can also use the software to track ADAM performance for capacity planning. For pricing, contact TNT Software at 360-546-0878 or 877-546-0878.

Recover Lost Passwords
AccentSoft Utilities released Accent Office Password Recovery 2.1, a password retrieval program that finds passwords for documents created in Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Word. To speed the password-recovery process, Accent Office Password Recovery lets you choose between three types of search methods: a dictionary of common words, numbers, and phrases; all possible character combinations; and a mask to search possible character arrangements. Accent Office Password Recovery costs $50 for home use and $66.45 for business use. Contact AccentSoft Utilities at [email protected]

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]

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==== 10. Contact Us ====

About the newsletter -- [email protected] About technical questions -- About product news -- [email protected] About your subscription -- [email protected] About sponsoring UPDATE -- [email protected]

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