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WinInfo Daily UPDATE, December 7, 2004

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In the News

- Lenovo, IBM to Announce Plans for New US-Based PC Company
- Microsoft Ships Windows Server 2003 SP1 RC

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Lenovo, IBM to Announce Plans for New US-Based PC Company

Although the details are still shrouded in mystery, sources close to the negotiations between computer giant IBM and the China-based PC maker Lenovo Group say that the companies will announce plans tonight for IBM to sell its PC business for as much as $2 billion. Under the terms of the deal, IBM and Lenovo will create a new US-based PC maker, the majority of which will be owned by Lenovo, although IBM will retain a small stake. Although the companies were originally mute about the topic, IBM and Lenovo early this week confirmed that IBM's PC business is on the block.
The new company will be the third largest PC maker in the world and will likely continue to use the IBM name, as well as key IBM brands such as ThinkPad, for at least a few years. It will also have access to IBM's corporate accounts, which is considered key to the new company's success.
Lenovo, which was previously known as Legend, is China's largest PC maker and is partially owned by the Chinese government. However, the company has recently started investigating acquisitions and mergers that would let it better compete with Dell and HP worldwide. Although the new deal with IBM won't technically see all of IBM's PC operations come under the Lenovo umbrella, it will give the Chinese company direct access to the lucrative US PC market. In that market, IBM is in a distant third place behind Dell and HP, and its PC business is said to be only marginally profitable. Shares of Lenovo were halted on the Hong Kong stock exchange in anticipation of the blockbuster deal.

Microsoft Ships Windows Server 2003 SP1 Release Candidate

Today, Microsoft shipped the first release candidate (RC) build for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1). Known as Windows 2003 RC1, the update is available to the public as a 316MB download for 32-bit x86-based systems or as a 396MB download for 64-bit Itanium systems (see the URLs below). Microsoft expects to ship the final version of Windows 2003 SP1 in early 2005.
"Windows Server 2003 SP1 isn't the huge architectural leap that Windows XP SP2 was," Microsoft Group Program Manager Iain McDonald told me last week. "But there are some major new features, like the Security Configuration Wizard. It doesn't get forced on you. You have to install \[the wizard\] separately after you've installed SP1. And we put the \[Windows Firewall\] on by default during clean installs. It's not on all the time, of course. But during an install and during boot-up, Windows Firewall protects the system against electronic attacks. It's a blunt instrument."
Windows 2003 SP1 RC1 includes an enhanced security infrastructure that borrows the pertinent low-level security features from XP SP2, including the data execution prevention (DEP) technology and Distributed COM (DCOM) restrictions; a new roles-based Security Configuration Wizard (SCW) that makes it easy to close unneeded services and ports that are? given the tasks a service is assigned to perform; Windows Firewall, which provides boot-time and setup-based protection against electronic attacks; and the post-setup Security Update Wizard, which prevents client network access to the server until it's properly configured. I'll review Windows 2003 SP1 RC1 soon on the SuperSite for Windows.

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 Release Candidate (32-bit)

Itanium-based versions of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 Release Candidate (64-bit)

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==== Events Central ====

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