Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE--brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine, the leading publication for IT professionals deploying Windows and related technologies.
~~~~ THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY ~~~~ Winternals Software
NEC Solutions America, Inc.
http://www.nec64.com/datacenter (below COMMENTARY)
~~~~ SPONSOR: WINTERNALS SOFTWARE ~~~~
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May 13, 2003--In this issue:
- Why the Future of Windows Is Important Today
2. HOT OFF THE PRESS
- Microsoft Upgrades MSN's Antispam Tools
3. KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT
- Messenger Service Spam
- Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!
- Cast Your Vote in Our Annual Readers' Choice Awards!
5. HOT RELEASES (ADVERTISEMENTS)
- Quest Software
- Tumbleweed Communications
6. INSTANT POLL
- Results of Previous Poll: Enterprise IM
- New Instant Poll: Server Hardware
- Featured Thread: VPN
- Tip: How Can I Delete Cached Copies of Roaming Profiles in Windows 2000 and Later?
8. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Understand Your LAN and Internet Network Traffic Statistics
- Have a Mobile Computing Experience
- Submit Top Product Ideas
9. CONTACT US - See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, News Editor, [email protected])
* WHY THE FUTURE OF WINDOWS IS IMPORTANT TODAY
I spent last week in muggy New Orleans, home to Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2003, a surprisingly exciting show given its rather stodgy and seemingly limited name. But WinHEC has become the place to be for people such as me, who are interested in upcoming developments in the PC industry. So I was treated to a long list of briefings and sessions detailing upcoming Windows client (Longhorn) and server (Blackcomb) releases, Next-Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB--formerly Palladium), and various other technologies that won't see the light of day for months or in some cases years. You might wonder why future Windows developments are relevant to you in your day-to-day job, given the problems we have keeping today's systems running. But WinHEC wasn't just a crystal-ball look at the future. The show made obvious some technology trends that will affect all of us. Here are three topics from WinHEC that I think are important.
Windows XP for the Long Haul
No one from Microsoft explicitly said so, but during all the talk about Longhorn--which, incidentally, won't ship until 2005--one thing became clear: XP isn't a short-term OS. Nope, we'll be using XP for many years. And although we'll see various service packs (Service Pack 2--SP2--is due in late 2003), Quick Fix Engineering (QFE) releases, support for new technologies (e.g., Bluetooth, USB 2.0), and other updates, such as Windows Media 9 Series, the core XP OS will have a retail shelf-life of at least 4 years, far longer than the previous several Windows versions. This news is good for several reasons. First, XP will be more supportable--it's a known quantity and the base for several product editions (e.g., XP Professional Edition, Tablet PC Edition). Second, users will grow comfortable with this Windows version as it becomes pervasive across most business and consumer systems. Third, for the first time since the mid-1990s, we might have a chance to master a piece of software in a time when competition and the Internet boom have caused OS and office productivity suite development to surge, with frequent product revisions.
Longhorn Installation Technologies Will Be Staged over Time
I also learned a lot about Longhorn last week, and if you're morbidly curious, you might want to check out my new Road to Longhorn article on the SuperSite for Windows ( http://www.itprotoday.com ), which details some features and changes we can expect in the next Windows desktop OS. But don't be turned off by the long-term nature of Longhorn--one piece of very exciting Longhorn technology is relevant to all of us in the short term. That technology is Longhorn's Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE), a relatively new imaging-based setup routine that Microsoft says will dramatically shorten Windows installation time. In fact, the company says that unattended Longhorn installations should take less than 15 minutes.
Why does this news matter now? To prepare system makers, IT administrators, and anyone else who needs to roll out massive numbers of Windows desktops for the Longhorn version of WinPE, Microsoft will provide an interim WinPE version later this year that works with both Windows Server 2003 and XP. The interim WinPE will provide more modern (i.e., not DOS-based) tools for rolling out Windows now and help system makers prepare their factories for the changeover when Longhorn does ship. The interim WinPE version, which will ship this fall, will support 32-bit and 64-bit Windows.
Secure and Private Computing
Another technology that you should be aware of is NGSCB (or Palladium as I still like to call it). Palladium is one of the most misunderstood technologies Microsoft has created, largely because of the misinformed opinion pieces that have sprouted up on the Internet. But Palladium isn't evil, it isn't about Microsoft being Big Brother, and it certainly isn't about coercing control over your computer. Instead, Palladium, like many Microsoft technologies these days, is based around a few core principles, which the company's marketing folk call pillars or tenets (I provide these terms for humor purposes only).
In Palladium's case, those principles are security, privacy, reliability, and business integrity. "From a process perspective, we're changing the way we're building software," Mike Nash, vice president of Microsoft's Security Business Unit, told me last week. "It's cultural." Nash compared Palladium to the early days of NT, which he said addressed problems that, in some cases, didn't even exist when the product was released. Palladium consists of four components: Clear process isolation, in which you can have applications running inside the Palladium context; sealed storage, which determines who or what can access which data; secure hardware paths, so that the system knows that users, rather than a snooper tool, are sending keystrokes or mouse movements; and attestation, a system that verifies things are what they seem to be (e.g., that the applications you run are the right applications, the user is the user, and the systems are the systems).
So why worry about Palladium now? In an increasingly connected world, keeping private corporate and personal data is getting harder and harder. So Microsoft expects businesses to be the catalyst for Palladium-based PC sales (Palladium requires Longhorn and special PC hardware). Looking forward, it's not too early to begin examining Palladium and thinking about whether this solution might be appropriate for your needs. If Palladium is successful, we might one day take for granted data, personal, and corporate security, as we do with electricity or running water. I suspect many companies want to see that day hastened.
If you're interested in more Palladium information, please let me know--I'm not sure whether it's too early to begin discussing specifics. But one thing is clear: These technologies are coming down the track like a speeding freight train, and they're going to appear more quickly than seems possible. Don't be caught unaware when everything suddenly changes.
~~~~ SPONSOR: NEC SOLUTIONS AMERICA, INC. ~~~~
The NEC Express5800/1000 series servers provide ultimate scalability and price/performance for Datacenter applications. The server just received the best-ever TPC Benchmark for a 32-way server running Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server. And upgrading the server from 8- or 16-way to a 32-way server requires only a simple chip addition. Upgrading with the next two generations of Intel Itanium processors is also accomplished with only chip replacements--nothing else. The combination of speed, scalability, and price/performance delivers on every level for mission-critical databases, transaction intensive processing and server consolidation.
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])
* MICROSOFT UPGRADES MSN'S ANTISPAM TOOLS Microsoft announced late last week that it has significantly updated the antispam tools for its MSN family of Internet services, including Hotmail, in an effort to protect hundreds of millions of people from unwanted email. Microsoft notes that since the update, MSN blocks more than 2.4 billion spam messages each day, or about 80 percent of the total volume of email it routes to its customers. The company will also use the technology behind the MSN antispam tools in Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and Microsoft Office 2003, the company says. For the complete story, visit the following URL:
* MESSENGER SERVICE SPAM
Several months ago, I stopped by the office of one of my clients to perform a server health check. The client’s server farm includes a Web server that's used primarily by internal network users. Through RRAS and a small amount of subterfuge on the firewall, I permit selected users to connect to the Web server over the Internet. Because the Web server has a public internal address (10.1.1.x) and I translate external requests made to a registered address to the internal, public address, I thought the server was invisible to all but carefully screened HTTP requests. So, imagine my surprise that day when I found a message from the Psychic Network or some such organization in the middle of the Web server’s screen. These messages are a form of spam known as "messenger spam." In spite of all the care I exercised in locking down the Web server (disabling nonessential services and using port redirection to mask the address of the server), I overlooked one small item--the Messenger service. Read more about Messenger spam and how to get rid of it at the following URL: http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=39008
(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 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! 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!
* QUEST SOFTWARE
FREE WHITE PAPER: Bulletproof Your Windows Network. Don't waste a year testing GPOs and learning from your mistakes - put Group Policy best practices to work for you today! Download "Bulletproof Your Windows Network with Group Policy," by Windows/AD expert Darren Mar-Elia. CLICK HERE NOW: http://www.quest.com/landing/winnet_update051303.asp
* TUMBLEWEED COMMUNICATIONS
LIVE WEBCAST: ZERO IN ON SPAM IN THE ENTERPRISE
Featuring analyst firm Gartner, City of Hope and Mutual of Omaha on Thursday, May 22, 2003, 10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET. Find out about anti-spam best practices for large enterprises and how Tumbleweed customers are successfully managing spam. http://anon.doubleclick.speedera.net/anon.doubleclick/PentonMedia/tumbleweed.html
* RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: ENTERPRISE IM
The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Does your organization use enterprise Instant Messaging (IM)?" Here are the results from the 192 votes. - 27% Yes, we use enterprise IM - 15% No, but we plan to - 58% No, and we have no plans to
* NEW INSTANT POLL: SERVER HARDWARE
The next Instant Poll question is, "Which server does your company most commonly use?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine home page and submit your vote for a) HP/Compaq, b) Dell, c) IBM, d) Unisys, or e) Other. http://www.winnetmag.com/magazine
* FEATURED THREAD: VPN Gene is running a VPN client on Windows XP Professional Edition and accesses the VPN service on his Windows Server 2003 server. After he connects to the VPN, the connection times out after about 2 minutes with the message that the session has reached its time limit. He has searched for settings to expand this time limit but without success. If you can help, join the discussion at the following URL: http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=54&tid=58704
* TIP: HOW CAN I DELETE CACHED COPIES OF ROAMING PROFILES IN WINDOWS 2000 AND LATER?
( contributed by John Savill, http://www.windows2000faq.com )
When you use a roaming profile in Win2K or later, the OS typically caches a local copy of the profile. However, you can disable this caching by performing the following steps: 1. Open the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in, right-click the container that holds the group policy that you want to use to apply the change, select Properties, select the Group Policy tab, then click Edit. 2. Navigate to Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, System, "Logon for Windows 2000" or "Computer Configuration", Administrative Templates, System, then click "User Profiles for Windows 2003". 3. Double-click "Delete cached copies of roaming profiles." 4. Select Enabled, then click OK. 5. Close the policy editor.
Don't use this policy if you enable slow-link detection for Windows XP and Win2K clients because this feature relies on cached profiles when a slow link is detected. You can also disable cached copies of roaming profiles directly in the registry by creating a registry value named DeleteRoamingCache of type REG_DWORD and setting it to 1 under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System registry subkey.
(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])
* UNDERSTAND YOUR LAN AND INTERNET NETWORK TRAFFIC STATISTICS TamoSoft released CommTraffic, network traffic accounting software that collects, processes, and displays traffic and network usage statistics for Internet and LAN computer network connections. You can customize the program to display incoming, outgoing, and summary traffic statistics. You can use the software to set time and traffic limits to reflect your ISP's rates. After you reach the limit, the program alerts you with an alarm or email message. CommTraffic costs $49. Contact TamoSoft at [email protected] http://www.tamos.com
* HAVE A MOBILE COMPUTING EXPERIENCE Motion Computing released the M1200 Tablet PC, a clipboard-sized computer with a 12.1" XGA display. The M1200 features integrated 802.11b wireless communications, 128MB to 60GB of RAM capacity, a lithium-ion battery with as much as 4 hours of battery life, and hard disk capacities of 20GB, 40GB, and 60GB. For pricing, contact 512-637-1100 or [email protected] http://www.motioncomputing.com
* 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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