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January 15, 2003—In this issue:
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
- Sun, Microsoft Wrestle over Java in Windows
- Microsoft Gives Windows Source Code to Governments
- Microsoft Updates MOM
- New! News, Tips, and More to Keep Your Network Humming
- Windows Scripting Solutions for the Systems Administrator
3. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Representatives from Sun Microsystems and Microsoft are scheduled to appear in a US District Court next Tuesday to present their plans for integrating Sun's Java technology into Windows. The companies' plans are expected to be quite different. Sun wants its Java technology implemented in Windows within a few months, and Microsoft wants a 9-month reprieve—hardly in keeping with the notion behind the imposed preliminary injunction, which was designed to integrate Java into Windows as quickly as possible and avoid further damage to the technology.
On Monday, the companies submitted written proposals, protected under court seal, to Judge J. Frederick Motz. The proposals contain details about how Microsoft should implement the technology, the suggested timeline, and which Microsoft products would be affected. Sun says it asked the judge to require Microsoft to add Java to Windows within 90 days, a request that allegedly differs greatly from Microsoft's stance. The software giant's proposal calls for a 9-month delay before the company adds Java to Windows, Sun says. "Microsoft seeks to narrow and postpone its obligation to distribute the Java platform," Sun wrote in a court filing yesterday. "Some of Microsoft's proposed terms could serve as loopholes undermining the relief Sun has been granted."
Microsoft would rather see the issue handled in federal court than in the court of public opinion. "We will respond to these claims in court," said Microsoft spokesperson Jim Desler. "It's important that whatever injunction is entered by the court be very clear and well defined and we believe that our proposed order seeks to do just that."
Today, Microsoft announced the Government Security Program (GSP), a plan that will let various governments view the Windows source code to ensure that the product meets their security needs. The announcement, which is clearly a response to worldwide calls for governments to adopt open-source solutions such as Linux, was somewhat unexpected but is in keeping with Microsoft's ever-evolving plan to undermine adoption of open-source Windows competitors. Microsoft says that GSP is integral to the company's efforts to address the unique security requirements of governments and international organizations throughout the world. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Russia have already signed GSP agreements with Microsoft, and the company is discussing the GSP with more than 20 other countries.
"At Microsoft, we view governments that utilize our software as trusted partners," said Microsoft chief technology officer (CTO) and Senior Vice President Craig Mundie. "The \[GSP\] will provide governments with the opportunity to assess the security and integrity of the Microsoft products they deploy. In talking with government customers, we've been told this is a key capability that they need and we responded. In addition to source code access we are providing technical documentation, methods for troubleshooting, access to cryptographic tools subject to export controls, and access to Microsoft expert support technicians who can collaborate with governments on how they use this source code access."
Microsoft isn't charging for the program, but the company is controlling how governments access its Windows source code. Microsoft will provide governments with a code-review tool, complete with certain license restrictions, that lets technical government representatives view—but not alter or copy—the Windows source code. This source-code access, as well as the other technical information Microsoft provides, will let governments assess Windows' security prowess and help them develop their own secure applications that run on Windows.
This week, Microsoft announced enhancements to the Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) product that will help extend the product to new Microsoft environments such as Windows Server 2003 and various third-party applications. The enhancements include 30 Management Pack updates, a Service Pack 1 (SP1) release with customer-requested fixes, a new MOM software development kit (SDK), and a new MOM resource kit. MOM adds various operations-management capabilities to Windows Server, including comprehensive event management, proactive monitoring and alerting, reporting, and trend analysis.
"The introduction of these enhancements is a significant step toward Microsoft's continued commitment to making Windows the best-managed environment," said Kirill Tatarinov, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Management Business Group. "Our customers expect a management solution that delivers a quick and continuous return on investment through ease of deployment and use. \[MOM\] can reduce day-to-day support costs of Windows-based environments through seamless maintenance of mission-critical applications and systems."
The new MOM enhancements include:
- Management Pack updates—More than 30 new Management Pack updates extend MOM's ability to monitor Windows-based environments. Examples include Management Packs that enable monitoring of applications created for the Microsoft .NET Framework, Network Load Balancing (NLB), and Microsoft Cluster service. Microsoft has also updated some existing Management Packs.
- MOM SP1—The first MOM service pack adds bug and security fixes, as well as new features, such as globalization support, performance and scalability enhancements, and support clustering for the MOM database.
- MOM SDK 2—An updated MOM SDK includes new tools and components, such as sample 2-way connectors, integration of UI views, custom reporting solutions, and better support for managing non-Windows servers. Developers can use the SDK to programmatically control group management, access any data MOM collects through standard SQL Views, access MOM alerts, and integrate MOM data with Help desks and service desks.
- MOM resource kit—A new MOM resource kit includes tools to increase the product's efficiency in various environments. One tool, the Server Status Monitor utility, makes MOM more efficient in smaller environments. The resource kit also adds new testing and debugging tools that let administrators test scripts before deploying them in live environments.
For more information about MOM and its new enhancements, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
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