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(below COMMENTARY)


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January 14, 2003—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

  • Microsoft Plays the Name Game; More About NT 4.0 Support

2. HOT OFF THE PRESS

  • Microsoft Settles with State of California

3. KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT

  • A Permanent Fix for Windows XP SP1 File-Access Errors
  • Microsoft Removes Hard-Coded IE Links

4. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Windows Scripting Solutions for the Systems Administrator
  • New! News, Tips, and More to Keep Your Network Humming
  • Back by Popular Demand—Don't Miss our Security Road Show Event!

5. INSIDE WINDOWS SCRIPTING SOLUTIONS

  • February 2003 Issue
  • Real-World Shell Scripting: List Processing with Command Shell Scripts

6. INSTANT POLL

  • Results of Previous Poll: NT Server 4.0
  • New Instant Poll: Implementing the Microsoft .NET Framework

7. RESOURCES

  • Tip: Include All File Types in a File-System Search

8. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Use a Pocket Guide for Quick Reference
  • Filter Spam
  • Submit Top Product Ideas

9. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. COMMENTARY
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, News Editor, thurrott@winnetmag.com)

  • MICROSOFT PLAYS THE NAME GAME; MORE ABOUT NT 4.0 SUPPORT

  • During my "Future of Microsoft Security" talk on the Microsoft Security tour last year, I joked about all the name changes Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) 2003 has undergone. First, it was code-named Whistler Server. At a Gartner conference in early 2002, Microsoft named the product Windows 2002 Server but then noted that the "fat lady hasn't sung yet" and renamed the product Windows .NET Server. Late last year, the company tried to foster some sort of naming consistency by renaming the product Windows .NET Server 2003, telling me that, yes, seriously, this was the final name. In my security talk, I joked that Microsoft still had a few months of development time left, so perhaps the company would change the name again.

    Well, I might have been joking, but last week, Microsoft did change the name again—to Windows Server 2003. Microsoft dropped the .NET moniker as part of a wider initiative at the company to better brand its Microsoft .NET-enabled products in a way that wouldn't confuse customers, partners, and developers. So virtually every product with ".NET" in its name will feature a new "Connected with .NET" logo. This logo will appear on Microsoft and third-party software that meets certain criteria. Products bearing the logo will fully support XML Web service capabilities and will take advantage of Microsoft .NET Framework programming model benefits such as multilanguage support, added security, and enhanced flexibility.

    Microsoft representatives are sensitive to how this name change will affect customers and are quick to point out that this name change doesn't represent a move away from the company's .NET plans. Indeed, Microsoft has wrestled with branding since .NET was still called Next Generation Windows Services (NGWS), a name so awful that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer noted it would be changed (as it was, eventually, to .NET) even though the company hadn't yet figured out what the product should be called. Throughout the development of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP, various Microsoft representatives I talked to bemoaned the branding problem and the confusion it was causing in the marketplace. Not helping matters was the fact that Microsoft released several products, such as the so-called .NET Enterprise Server family, that had little or nothing to do with .NET. Sometimes enthusiasm gets in the way of common sense.

    Microsoft also wrote to me about the final release and availability of Windows Server 2003. The company will launch its next Windows server product alongside Visual Studio .NET 2003 in San Francisco on April 24, 2003, although the company expects to begin shipping both products to customers before that date. The name change won't affect the development time or final shipping date of Windows Server 2003, the company said.

    More About NT 4.0 Support
    Many readers—including several from Microsoft—wrote last week to inform me that contrary to what I wrote in last week's Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE, Microsoft has decided to extend support for Windows NT 4.0 for 1 more year—to December 31, 2003. Thanks to this extension, NT 4.0 is now in what Microsoft calls the Extended Support Phase, but the company will waive fees for nonsecurity hotfixes through the end of this year. Beginning January 1, 2004, NT 4.0 pay-per-incident and Premier Support will no longer be available, although Microsoft is still evaluating whether it will issue more security updates for the OS after that date. On January 1, 2005, Microsoft will discontinue online support for NT 4.0. You can find out more about your NT 4.0 support options at the following URL:
    http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/productinfo/availability/retiring.asp

    I probably should have anticipated this response, but several readers took exception to my comments about the viability of NT 4.0, noting that many corporations either can't or won't upgrade for various reasons. From a pure cost standpoint, I've often argued that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," and certainly this is the case with many NT 4.0 installations. However, the decision comes down to whether your particular business can save money by upgrading to the newer OS versions that offer needed features or make your workers more productive. As with my general advice regarding Windows Server 2003, if you don't need any of the new features that the upgrade offers, you probably don't need to undergo the time and expense of upgrading.


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    2. HOT OFF THE PRESS
    (contributed by Paul Thurrott, thurrott@winnetmag.com)

  • MICROSOFT SETTLES WITH STATE OF CALIFORNIA

  • Microsoft announced last Friday that the company had reached a settlement in the largest class-action lawsuit to arise since the guilty verdict in Microsoft's federal antitrust case. The case was scheduled to go to trial next month. According to the settlement's terms, Microsoft will pay 13 million California plaintiffs more than $1.1 billion in vouchers they can use toward future computer hardware or software purchases. For the complete story, visit the following URL:
    http://www.wininformant.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=37669

    3. KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT
    (contributed by Paula Sharick, paula@winnetmag.com)

  • A PERMANENT FIX FOR WINDOWS XP SP1 FILE-ACCESS ERRORS

  • A few months ago, I discussed several file-access problems that Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) users experience when they access files on a Windows 2000 domain controller (DC) or file server on which Server Message Block (SMB) signing is enabled (see " Solving XP SP1 Network File Errors.") An incompatibility in how an XP system negotiates signed SMB packets with Win2K causes a variety of file-access errors, including the inability to save or copy files and error messages indicating that a file or network path doesn't exist (even when the file and network shares are valid). XP SP1 clients also have difficulty applying group policies and encounter errors running logon scripts. When you have problems applying Group Policy on the client, you'll see messages in the event log stating that Group Policy processing was aborted (e.g., event ID 1058 from UserEnv or event ID 1030 from SceCli).

    When Microsoft first addressed this problem, the company announced a Win2K fix, pulled the fix, then recommended users disable SMB signing as a temporary workaround. I heard from several readers that the workaround reduced, but didn't eliminate, file-access errors. Microsoft has reclassified the fix for the SMB signing and file-access problem as a security vulnerability in Security Bulletin MS02-070 (Flaw in SMB Signing Could Enable Group Policy to be Modified).

    Now you can download a permanent fix that correctly implements SMB signing between XP and Win2K systems and eliminates a security flaw as well. To find out more information about this hotfix, visit the following URL:
    http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=37677

  • MICROSOFT REMOVES HARD-CODED IE LINKS

  • If you want to use your default browser in all Windows 2000 browser-aware functions, you can install a patch that removes the hard links to Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE). After you install this patch, Win2K should start the default browser, not IE, in all browser-aware applications.
    http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=37677

    4. ANNOUNCEMENTS
    (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

  • WINDOWS SCRIPTING SOLUTIONS FOR THE SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR

  • You might not be a programmer, but that doesn't mean you can't learn to create and deploy timesaving, problem-solving scripts. Discover Windows Scripting Solutions, the monthly print publication that helps you tackle common problems and automate everyday tasks with simple tools, tricks, and scripts. Try a sample issue today at
    http://www.winscriptingsolutions.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei262lup

  • NEW! NEWS, TIPS, AND MORE TO KEEP YOUR NETWORK HUMMING

  • Networking UPDATE brings you the how-to tips and news you need to implement and maintain a rock-solid networking infrastructure. We'll explore interoperability solutions, hardware (including servers, routers, and switches), network architecture, network management, network security, installation technology, network training, and WAN disaster recovery. Subscribe (at no cost!) at
    http://www.winnetmag.com/email/networking

  • BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND—DON'T MISS OUR SECURITY ROAD SHOW EVENT!

  • If you missed last year's popular security road show event, now is your chance to catch it again in Portland, Oregon, and Redmond. Learn from experts Mark Minasi and Paul Thurrott about how to shore up your system's security and what desktop security features are planned for Microsoft .NET and beyond. Registration is free so sign up now!
    http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/security2003

    5. 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 2003 issues online!
    http://secure.duke.com/nt/win32scripting/index.cfm?action=sub&code=wi26xhm

  • February 2003 Issue

  • To access this issue of Windows Scripting Solutions, go to the following URL:
    http://www.winscriptingsolutions.com/articles/index.cfm?action=usprint&issueid=623

  • FOCUS: List Processing

  • Want to process lists without overcomplicating your scripts? Windows Scripting Solutions shows you advanced techniques for using command shell scripts to efficiently sort through a list and extract specific information.

    The following article is available for free to nonsubscribers for a limited time.

  • Real-World Shell Scripting: List Processing with Command Shell Scripts

  • Learn advanced For command techniques for processing specific lines of information from a list.

    6. INSTANT POLL

  • RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: NT SERVER 4.0

  • The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Does your company still use Windows NT Server 4.0 as its enterprise server system?" Here are the results from the 543 votes.
    • 42% Yes
    • 32% Yes, but we plan to upgrade in 2003
    • 24% No, we don't use NT

    (Deviations from 100 percent are due to rounding error.)

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: IMPLEMENTING THE MICROSOFT .NET FRAMEWORK

  • The next Instant Poll question is, "Has your organization implemented the Microsoft .NET Framework yet?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine home page and submit your vote for a) Yes, b) No, but we plan to in 2003, or c) No, and we have no plans to implement it.
    http://www.winnetmag.com/magazine

    7. RESOURCES

  • TIP: INCLUDE ALL FILE TYPES IN A FILE-SYSTEM SEARCH

  • ( contributed by John Savill, http://www.windows2000faq.com )

    Q. How can I use the registry to include all file types in a file-system search under Windows XP?

    A. To use the registry to include all file types in a file-system

    search, perform the following steps:

    1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
    2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ContentIndex registry subkey.
    3. Double-click FilterFilesWithUnknownExtensions, set the value to 1, then click OK.
    4. Close the registry editor.

    8. NEW AND IMPROVED
    (contributed by Carolyn Mader, products@winnetmag.com)

  • USE A POCKET GUIDE FOR QUICK REFERENCE

  • O'Reilly released 11 new Pocket Guides and Pocket References for less than $15 each. The books include "C Pocket Reference," "C# Language Pocket Reference," "Essential System Administration Pocket Reference," "VB.NET Pocket Reference," "Windows XP Pocket Reference," and "Word Pocket Guide." Contact O'Reilly at 617-354-5800.
    http://www.oreilly.com

  • FILTER SPAM

  • Sunbelt Software announced pricing changes for iHateSpam, email-filtering software for Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express. The product, now $19.95, was previously available for $29.95. The program analyzes incoming email messages against spam indicators to determine the validity of the message. The software puts suspicious email messages into a quarantine folder. Contact Sunbelt Software at 727-562-0101 or 888-688-8457.
    http://www.sunbeltsoftware.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 whatshot@winnetmag.com.

    9. CONTACT US
    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    • ABOUT THE COMMENTARY — thurrott@winnetmag.com
    • ABOUT KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT — paula@winnetmag.com
    • ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL — gayle@winnetmag.com

    (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

    • TECHNICAL QUESTIONS — http://www.winnetmag.net/forums
    • PRODUCT NEWS — products@winnetmag.com
    • QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION?
      Customer Support — winnetmagupdate@winnetmag.com
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      emedia_opps@winnetmag.com

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