Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE--July 29, 2003

This Issue Sponsored By

Executive Software


1. Commentary
- Notebooks Go Wide; Fun Facts and Figures from Microsoft

2. Hot Off the Press
- IE's Domination of Web Grows

3. Keeping Up with Win2K and NT
- Symantec Antivirus Software Blue Screen Workaround
- Post-Win2K SP4 Terminal Services Printer Bug Fix

4. Announcements
- Exchange 2003: Do You Plan to Migrate or Wait?
- Learn More About the Security Risks in Exchange 2003

5. Instant Poll
- Results of Previous Poll: Win2K SP4
- New Instant Poll: Power Management Devices

6. Resources
- Featured Thread: DNS Server Error
- Tip: How Can I Retrieve Core Windows Files that I've Deleted?

7. Event
- New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show! 8. New and Improved
- Streamline Server Deployment
- Perform Fast File Operations
- Submit Top Product Ideas

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


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==== 1. Commentary: Notebooks Go Wide ====
by Paul Thurrott, News Editor, [email protected]

In early May at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2003 trade show, Microsoft made one point very clear: High dpi, wide-screen displays would be the screen of choice for Longhorn, the next Windows version. I've used several wide-screen displays, including the one on the vpr Matrix 200A5 notebook I reviewed in November 2002 ( ) and the one on the 17" iMac that I currently use for non-Windows tasks. Switching back to a standard 4:3 monitor after using a wide-screen display is difficult: The convenience of being able to display documents side by side can be a huge time-saver, and people are more attuned to viewing information in a landscape, rather than a portrait, orientation.

Today's wide-screen displays don't typically offer high dpi (i.e., above 96dpi) capabilities, but they're still worth investigating. If you haven't been following the wide-screen market recently, you might be surprised to discover several contenders at a variety of price points. In fact, if you're interested in a wide-screen display, you'll most likely be able to find a notebook machine in your price range.

The wide-screen notebook phenomenon, of course, started with Apple Computer, which launched its excellent PowerBook G4 more than 2 years ago (I reviewed an early 400MHz model in June 2001-- ). Since then, Apple has complemented this 15" unit with a new 17" aluminum PowerBook G4, which features the same whopping 17" screen as my iMac. I'm not convinced a 17" screen is portable, but one thing is clear: Suddenly, Apple has a lot of competition in the wide-screen arena.

On the low end of the spectrum, eMachines offers its eMachines M5310, the budget PC company's first notebook offering. The M5310 features a 15.4" wide-screen display running at 1280 x 800 (WXGA), 802.11g wireless networking, an AMD Athlon XP-M 2400+ mobile processor, 512MB of RAM, and a 40GB hard disk for just $1200, but you can often find it for a few hundred bucks less at places such as Best Buy. That's Crazy Eddie pricing, and I intend to check this machine out soon.

Hewlett-Packard's (HP's) wide-screen HP Workstation X1000 series machines don't cost much more. For a starting price of $1299, this machine features an Intel Pentium M 1.3GHz (up to 1.7GHz) processor, 256MB of RAM, a 40GB hard disk, various wireless options, and a WXGA screen.
For the frequent traveler, Sony recently introduced a tiny iBook-like notebook, the VAIO TR Series, which features a 10.6" wide-screen display running at 1280 x 768, an Intel Pentium M 900MHz processor, and battery life up to 7 hours. The VAIO TR Series weighs only 3.11 pounds.

Dell offers a variety of wide-screen Inspiron and Latitude notebooks and takes the game a step further by providing a range of screen types. You can choose between WXGA, WSXGA+ (1680 x 1050), and WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolutions, although Dell's boxes are quite definitely desktop replacements--they weigh 7 pounds to start and go up from there. Predictably, Dell's prices are quite cheap; an Inspiron 8500 system starts at just $1299.

Other companies offer wide-screen wares. Going forward, I'll be looking at a few wide-screen notebooks for our "Laptop of the Month" feature. Drop me a note and tell me whether you think the future looks wide.

Fun Facts and Figures from Microsoft

Last week, Microsoft held its annual financial analysts meeting, which always provides a wellspring of information for people interested in how the company has performed and what it plans for the coming years. I'm still pouring over the videos, transcripts, and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations that came out of the event, but here are some interesting numbers I was able to cull so far, in no particular order:

- Microsoft is increasing its research and development funding in fiscal year 2004 by 8 percent.

- Microsoft has shipped 130 million Windows XP licenses; 70 percent are XP Professional Edition.

- PC sales grew 3 percent in the past year, but Microsoft's client business grew 11 percent; overall, Microsoft grew 13 percent year-over-year, thanks largely to Licensing 6.0 and users migrating to XP Pro.

- Microsoft said 350 million PCs still run Windows NT or Windows 9x.

- Windows and Linux are the only server platforms that will grow market share over the next year. Currently, Windows Server owns 53.1 percent of the server market, compared with 16.7 percent for Linux. Next year, the mix will be roughly 53.7 percent to 19.2 percent--in Windows' favor. Windows Server sales grew 7.7 percent in fiscal year 2003, compared with 19.2 percent for Linux.

- Today, 37 percent of developers use Microsoft .NET, compared with 34 percent for Java (a year ago the ratio was 25:30). More than 2.5 million developers use .NET technologies.

- Microsoft has sold more than 150 million Microsoft Exchange Server seats worldwide.

- Approximately 500 million cell phones are in use worldwide.

- 25 million unique users visit Microsoft Office Online each month.

- Microsoft has shipped 9.4 million Xboxes; each customer buys an average of 5 software titles for the device, and Xbox Live has more than 500,000 paid subscribers.

- Microsoft Office System products that aren't part of the core Office suite earn the company more than $1 billion each year. Microsoft Project alone generated $500 million in revenue in the past year.

- Microsoft applied for 1500 patents in fiscal year 2003.

- Almost half of the email that goes through Hotmail's servers--or 2.4 billion messages every day--is spam; in 2001, it was only 8 percent.

- Spam costs about a penny to send--and a dollar to receive; Microsoft estimates spam is a $10 billion-a-year problem for the industry.

- MSN Messenger is the largest free Instant Messaging (IM) service on the planet, and more than 9 million people are using the service concurrently at any given time.

- Google currently indexes only 30 percent to 40 percent of all Web sites.

- More than 80 million people worldwide access the Internet with a broadband connection.

- More than 70 percent of all time online is spent communicating with email and IM; less than 30 percent is spent browsing the Web.


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

IE's Domination of Web Grows
Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) hasn't had a significant update since 1998. However, the browser continues to dominate the Web, garnering a record market share of 95.4 percent, according to the most recent report by Web analytics firm What's more, IE has garnered its highest usage level ever at a time when other browsers, such as Mozilla Firebird and Apple Computer's Safari, have earned record amounts of publicity for adding crucial features that IE lacks, including pop-up ad blocking and a tabbed UI that can negate the need to open multiple browser windows. For the complete story, visit the following URL:

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

Symantec Antivirus Software Blue Screen Workaround
Two popular antivirus packages, Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition 8.0 and NSI's Double-Take, can cause all versions of Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows NT to crash. In one case, a system crashes with a stop code of 0x0000007F and the message "UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP." In the second case, the system might simply restart with no warning message. According to the Microsoft article "You Receive a 'Stop 0x0000007F' Error Message or Your Computer Unexpectedly Restarts" (, both packages exhibit this behavior when the kernel mode scanning drivers are unable to allocate buffer space by calling the file system to map a portion of a disk file in memory. When a system has insufficient kernel-mode memory, NTFS can't allocate the requested buffer and sometimes can't allocate enough memory to indicate the buffer request failed. In this situation, the system crashes with the "0x07F Stop" message. This event will most likely happen on systems with up to 128MB of memory or on systems that perform a large amount of I/O. To find out more about this problem, visit the following URL:

WEB-EXCLUSIVE ARTICLES: The following item is posted on the Windows & .NET Magazine Web site. For the complete story, use the following link and scroll to the appropriate article:
- Post-Win2K SP4 Terminal Services Printer Bug Fix

==== 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!

Learn More About the Security Risks in Exchange 2003
Videotaped live at Microsoft TechEd 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. Plus, you'll discover more about the future of the messaging industry and what's on the horizon in assessing risk. Register today!

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==== 5. Instant Poll ====

Results of Previous Poll: Win2K SP4
The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Have you updated your Windows 2000 systems to Service Pack 4 (SP4)?" Here are the results from the 400 votes:
- 45% Yes, we've installed SP4
- 6% Yes, but we uninstalled SP4 because of system problems
- 44% No, we're waiting until SP4 problems are ironed out
- 5% We have no plans to upgrade to SP4

New Instant Poll: Power Management Devices
The next Instant Poll question is, "How much responsibility do you have for recommending power management devices for your company?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine home page and submit your vote for a) Approve purchases, b) Recommend brands/vendors, c) Evaluate brands/vendors, or d) No involvement.

==== 6. Resources ====

Featured Thread: DNS Server Error
LjCharlie needs help interpreting the following DNS error message:
"DNS server has updated its own host (A) records. In order to ensure that its DS-integrated peer DNS servers are able to replicate with this server, an attempt was made to update them with the new records through dynamic update. An error was encountered during this update, the record data is the error code." If you can help decipher this message for him, join the discussion at the following URL:

Tip: How Can I Retrieve Core Windows Files that I've Deleted?
by John Savill,

Although you can manually copy the files from the Windows installation media, you're probably better off using the System File Checker utility that ships with Windows 2000 and later. If you've changed your configuration since you installed Windows and your installation media is now available at another location, you'll need to perform the following steps before you run System File Checker:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion registry subkey.
3. Change the Sourcepath value to point to the installation media's new location (e.g., D:\i386).
4. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Setup registry subkey.
5. If the Sourcepath value is listed, change the value here also to point to the installation media's new location.

To use System File Checker, perform the following steps:
1. Insert the Windows CD-ROM installation media.
2. From the Start menu, select Run.
3. Enter

sfc /scannow

to start the System File Checker process and check all core files. The utility will replace any missing core files and make sure all the files are up-to-date.

==== 7. Event ====
(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show!
Learn more about the wireless and mobility solutions that are available today! Register now for this free event!

==== 8. New and Improved ====
by Carolyn Mader, [email protected]

Streamline Server Deployment
VERITAS Software announced VERITAS OpForce 3.0, automated server-provisioning software that helps streamline server deployment. The software lets you quickly reallocate underused servers to places in which you can most use the servers' computing power. VERITAS OpForce 3.0 supports Windows, Sun Microsystems' Solaris, IBM's AIX, and Red Hat Linux systems. Pricing starts at $7500 per VERITAS OpForce management server and $500 per managed CPU. Contact VERITAS Software at 650-527-8000 or 800-327-2232.

Perform Fast File Operations
WinAbility Software released AB Commander 6.2, file-management software that lets Windows users perform quick file and folder operations. Users can work with two different folders simultaneously and side by side through the dual-panel file manager. The software features a built-in file splitter, folder synchronizer, image viewer, and text editor. For pricing, contact WinAbility at 435-518-0024.

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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==== 9. 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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Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

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