Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE—brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine, the leading publication for IT professionals deploying Windows and related technologies.
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October 15, 2002—In this issue:
- More from MEC: Jupiter, Greenwich, Titanium, and XDocs
2. HOT OFF THE PRESS
- Microsoft Eases Copy Protection in Windows XP Media Center
3. KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT
- Critical Java Hotfix Feedback
- RIS-based XP Installation Bug Fix
- Disk Manager Hangs Services.exe
- Stressed Server Blues
- Hey Denver and San Francisco! Got Security Concerns?
- Planning on Getting Certified? Be Sure to Pick Up Our New eBook!
5. HOT RELEASES (ADVERTISEMENT)
- VeriSign - The Value of Trust
6. INSIDE WINDOWS SCRIPTING SOLUTIONS
- November 2002 Issue
- Scripting a Corporate Update System, Part 2
7. INSTANT POLL
- Results of Previous Poll: Bugbear Worm
- New Instant Poll: Memory Upgrades
- Featured Thread: How to Undo the Network Setup Wizard for XP
- FAQ: Why can't I add or remove programs after I install Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 6.0 or IE 5.5 on Windows 2000?
9. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Inventory Your Hardware and Software Assets
- Submit Top Product Ideas
10. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, News Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Last week, I discussed Microsoft's confusing server message and the need for the company to consolidate its many server products. Well, ask and you shall receive: One day later, Microsoft responded with an announcement at MEC 2002 that it was consolidating its BizTalk Server, Commerce Server, and Content Management Server software into one product, code-named Jupiter, that will ship in two stages over the next 18 months. And the company is also consolidating its management products—Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) and Systems Management Server (SMS). Perhaps these moves are an indication of simpler times ahead. This week, I discuss Microsoft's e-business server consolidation and some other MEC announcements.
Microsoft Senior Vice President of .NET Enterprise Servers Paul Flessner announced the company's Jupiter plans during his MEC 2002 keynote address last week. "Oftentimes when customers have a choice of an integrated product and standalone products, they feel like they have to make a choice between a pure play best-of-breed application, or the OK functionality you might find in an integrated product set," he said, explaining Microsoft's decision to integrate its e-business servers. "With Jupiter, our customers won't have to make that choice. We have the advantage of building this integrated solution on top of award winning, best of breed e-business products, so we're going to be able to deliver an integrated experience that's also best of breed functionality."
Microsoft will deliver Jupiter in two stages. In the second half of 2003, Microsoft will ship a Jupiter server product that includes process automation, workflow and integration technologies, Business Process Execution Language support, and an integrated development platform based on Visual Studio .NET. A second release, due in the first half of 2004, will add many Web site management features and an integrated environment for knowledge workers, probably based on Microsoft Office.
To extend Instant Messaging (IM) to the enterprise, Microsoft will release its Real-Time Communications (RTC) server, code-named Greenwich, in early 2003. The company originally planned to release this server as part of Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) 2003. And although Greenwich will still have strong ties to Microsoft's next server OS, divergent development schedules and increasing capabilities caused a split. According to Microsoft, Greenwich will provide a central means to manage all real-time communications within a business, supporting IM, video conferencing, and voice communication. And Greenwich provides the security, manageability, standards-based architecture, and extensibility that Microsoft says will set the product apart from competing solutions.
The next Microsoft Exchange Server version, code-named Titanium, is due in mid-2003 and will deliver a vastly improved Outlook Web Access (OWA) client that virtually duplicates all the functionality in the Outlook 11 client, also due in mid-2003. New OWA features include spell checking, task management, and antispam technologies. Titanium will also extend the use of mobile devices such as Pocket PCs, thanks to support for industry-standard mobile Web technologies and new mobile services. At MEC, Microsoft touted new Titanium features, such as support for Win.NET Server Volume Shadow Copy, Active Directory (AD), and Outlook 11 cache mode, so that offline users can still access their inbox information.
Microsoft also used MEC to introduce a new member of the Microsoft Office family, XDocs. XDocs is the code-name for a new application or service that will work inside other Office applications—Microsoft isn't sure which ones yet—that will bring XML Web services technologies to the client. Building off the investment that companies have made with XML on back-end systems, XDocs provides a client-side interface for accessing information. Previously, companies might have used Web pages for this purpose, but Web pages have two huge limitations. First, from a UI perspective, Web pages aren't very rich environments. As a result, they can't support many Office features that users have come to expect, such as spelling and grammar checking, WYSIWYG drag-and-drop functionality, and conditional formatting. Second, Web pages aren't persistent, and are ineffectual for entering huge amounts of data over time.
To address these and other limitations, XDocs will present the user with a familiar Office application interface, complete with all the niceties found in other Office applications. XDocs will support three modes: In Design mode, developers and technical users can create forms-based interfaces that interact with XML back-end systems. In Editing mode, an end user can access an XDocs form, and edit existing back-end data. In View mode, an end user can query back-end data, perhaps presenting it in various visually attractive ways.
XDocs functionality consolidates heterogeneous data sources into one interface, which reduces training and support costs. From a developmental standpoint, creators of XDocs forms can build in client-side data validation, exception handling, and other advanced features, further minimizing costs and data-entry errors. Scott Fisher, a program manager with the Office team, told me this week that XDocs is a direct result of customer feedback. "Customers need this technology," he said. "Consider the Education segment: Higher education wants to simplify the application process. You can't use a Web form to fill out a medical student application, because it's a 70-hour process. You can't do it in a browser, it's not possible. But XDocs works offline. You can fill out the form over time, and submit it when it's done. We've gotten a very positive reaction from users."
I asked Fisher about the viability of XML data, and he said that most back-end servers are already XML-enabled, whether they come from Microsoft or not. "Any industry with stringent requirements for data will want XDocs," he explained. "The insurance industry will use it for doctor referrals."
XDocs will probably ship with Office 11 in mid-2003, and Microsoft expects to ship a beta by the end of the year—likely in November.
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2. HOT OFF THE PRESS
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, email@example.com)
Microsoft announced last week that it will ease the copy protection features in Windows XP Media Center Edition (XP MCE), the new XP version for digital media enthusiasts that will ship with Hewlett-Packard (HP) media center PCs beginning this month. The company had originally designed XP MCE to let consumers back up television programming recorded with the product's digital video recording (DVR) feature to play back only on the PC that made the recording. But under the new policy, users will be able to copy XP MCE recordings to recordable DVD and play back those recordings on any PC running XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows Media Player 9 (WMP 9). DVD players featuring support for the new Windows Media Video (WMV) 9 codec will also be able to play back the backup DVDs, the company said. For the complete story, visit the following URL:
3. KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT
(contributed by Paula Sharick, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Last week, I wrote about the MS02-052 hotfix, which eliminates a couple of critical security flaws in how Java screens access embedded code and objects. The Microsoft article "MS02-052: Flaw in Microsoft VM JDBC Classes Might Permit Code to Be Run"
( http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q329077 )
states that you must update all systems running Java version 3805 or earlier and that the version number after the installation should be 3807. Many of you emailed me to say the hotfix didn't change the Java version number: If you started at version 3805, the jview command, which displays the current version number, reported 3805 after you installed the hotfix.
After a little investigating, I discovered that the critical hotfix updates the Java version number in one registry key, but the jview command queries a different registry key when reporting the current Java version number. To be consistent, the MS02-052 hotfix should update the Java version number in both places. Find out how to confirm the installation of this hotfix by reading the article at the following URL:
WEB-EXCLUSIVE ARTICLES: The following items are posted on the Windows & .NET Magazine Web site. For the complete story, use the following link and scroll to the appropriate article.
If you use Windows 2000's Remote Installation Service (RIS) to install Windows XP, you’ll be happy to know that Microsoft has corrected an authentication problem that prevents a successful installation of XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) slipstream builds. If you don't install this patch, a RIS-based installation crashes with a stop code of 0x6b and error message PROCESS1_INITIALIZATION_FAILED. Find out more about this fix at the follwowing URL:
If you stop and restart the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Disk Manager snap-in several times in a row, you might encounter a deadlock in the master service management component, services.exe. Find out more about this problem and how to solve it at the following URL:
An extremely busy Windows 2000 server running either Win2K Server Terminal Services or Microsoft IIS might crash several times a week with a stop code of 0x0a. Before the crash, clients report that the server is very slow to respond to input. Read more about the problem at the following URL:
(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)
Time is running out to register for the Windows & .NET Magazine Security RoadShow 2002, coming next week to Denver and San Francisco. Register now and hear Mark Minasi and Paul Thurrott address the topic on everyone's mind: security. Sign up today before it's too late!
"The Insider's Guide to IT Certification" eBook is hot off the presses and contains everything you need to know to help you save time and money while preparing for certification exams from Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and CompTIA and have a successful career in IT. Get your copy of the Insider's Guide today!
5. HOT RELEASES (ADVERTISEMENT)
FREE E-COMMERCE SECURITY GUIDE
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6. 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 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 the 2002 issues online!
To access this issue of Windows Scripting Solutions, go to the following URL:
Do you repeatedly use certain commands in your job? Would you like those commands preloaded and available for use each time you open a command shell window? This capability isn’t just wishful thinking.
The following article is available for free to nonsubscribers for a limited time.
Discover how to create client-side scripts to search for updates in a central script repository. — Alistair G. Lowe-Norris
7. INSTANT POLL
The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Has your organization been bitten by the Bugbear worm yet?" Here are the results (+/-2 percent) from the 376 votes:
- 28% No, we haven't seen it
- 64% We've seen the worm, but our antivirus solution caught it
- 6% Yes, Bugbear has damaged our systems
- 1% I don't know
The next Instant Poll question is, "How often do you upgrade memory on your client systems?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine home page and submit your vote for a) Every 3 months, b) Every 6 months, c) Every year, or d) Every 2 years or longer.
Mike's friend ran the Network Setup Wizard on a Windows XP Professional Edition machine at home and now can't access the shares from a laptop connected to his home network. Mike wants to know how to uninstall or undo XP's Network Setup Wizard. Join the discussion at the following URL:
( contributed by John Savill, http://www.windows2000faq.com )
A bug in the Microsoft IE 6.0 and IE 5.5 installation procedure prevents you from adding or removing new programs. To resolve this problem, you can try to reinstall IE. If reinstalling the Web browser doesn't work, perform the following steps:
- Reboot your machine.
- During startup, press F8 to start the computer in Safe mode with Networking.
- Use the Local Administrator account to log on (the Windows Update dialog box will appear and state that Windows is updating the following items: browsing services, Internet tools, and system services).
- Run the Control Panel Add/Remove Programs applet and ensure that you can see the installed programs listed correctly as you'd expect.
- Reboot the machine.
9. NEW AND IMPROVED
Altiris announced updates to its Asset Mgmt Suite, a bundle of products that can inventory your software and hardware assets, track corporate contracts and fixed assets, and determine the true total cost of ownership (TCO). The Application Metering Solution now includes the ability to set denial policies by collections (e.g., groups, users, time of day, type of application). You can also receive hardware summary data for specific applications. The Asset Control Solution and Contract Mgmt Solution are now accessible through an integrated management console. Asset Mgmt Suite costs $58 per node when you purchase 10 to 99 nodes. Contact Altiris at 801-226-8500.
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@example.com.
10. CONTACT US
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