********************

Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE--brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine, the leading publication for IT professionals deploying Windows and related technologies. http://www.winnetmag.com

*********************

~~~~ THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY ~~~~

Special Operations Suite - To Fully Use Your AD http://www.specialoperationssuite.com

Avoid Software License Compliance Violations http://www.execsoft.com/sitekeeper/sitekeeper.asp?ad=wandnetnl4 (below COMMENTARY)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~ SPONSOR: SPECIAL OPERATIONS SUITE - TO FULLY USE YOUR AD ~~~~ Do you think migrating to Active Directory will solve all your needs regarding Desktop Management? Then you need to rethink. A powerful third party Active Directory integrated product is needed and this is it! Special Operations Suite provides functionality that covers necessary areas of Computer Lifecycle Management; Inventory, Eventlog consolidation, messaging to desktops, Software Management and analysis. http://www.specialoperationssuite.com To learn more about Software Management using Active Directory and what the future holds for you, download a FREE white paper. The paper covers basic and advanced topics about Software Management using Active Directory as well as best practices and troubleshooting. http://www.specialoperationssuite.com/products/whitepaper.asp

********************

March 18, 2003--In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY - Microsoft Refines Management Message

2. HOT OFF THE PRESS - MSN in Major Strategy Shift

3. KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT - IE Cumulative Update Is Messy

4. ANNOUNCEMENTS - Microsoft Mobility Developer Conference - Windows & .NET Magazine Connections: Win a Florida Vacation

5. INSIDE WINDOWS SCRIPTING SOLUTIONS - April 2003 Issue - Desktop Diagnostics with Command Shell Scripts

6. INSTANT POLL - Results of Previous Poll: Office Suite - New Instant Poll: RDBMSs

7. RESOURCES - FAQ: What's the Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE)?

8. NEW AND IMPROVED - Protect Against Spam - Exchange Information on a Common Platform - 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 REFINES MANAGEMENT MESSAGE

This week at the 2003 Microsoft Management Summit (MMS 2003) in Las Vegas, Microsoft will announce a major overhaul of its management vision and product lineup, an initiative that will change the company's focus to delivering solutions that manage the complete end-to-end lifecycle of its products. Microsoft announced the first stages of this transition at last spring's show. This year, Microsoft Senior Vice President Brian Valentine and other company executives will outline the specific product rollouts and time lines that the company will use to make the change.

Among the technologies that Microsoft will discuss this week are new feature packs for Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 (code-named Topaz), the upcoming version of the company's Change and Configuration Management (CCM) solution. According to David Hamilton, director of the Microsoft Management Business Group, SMS 2003 is a major upgrade focused on desktop management. The product will include features to manage the inventory of software installed on desktop computers, will support remote devices such as Pocket PCs, and will include new reporting and metering tools. "SMS 2003 will be more modular than the previous version and support Pocket PC 2003 \[due this summer\] onwards," Hamilton told me. "We will also be supporting Windows XP Embedded for customers using it to manage cash machines, free-floating devices in industrial settings, and so on. We believe the design principles for \[Pocket PC and XP Embedded\] devices need to be consistent with desktop management, with one UI, one concept. It's a real challenge to make that happen." SMS 2003 will ship in September, Hamilton said.

With the current release of SMS, SMS 2.0, Microsoft began releasing a series of add-on feature packs that let administrators more easily perform new tasks in SMS. One of the most popular feature packs for SMS 2.0 is the Software Update Services (SUS) Feature Pack, which makes rolling out critical security updates for Windows and Microsoft Office easier. With SMS 2003, Microsoft will continue the feature pack tradition with a variety of add-ons that the company will discuss this week for the first time.

Another key Microsoft management product, Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM), the company's event and performance manager, recently received a major update, Service Pack 1 (SP1). MOM SP1 adds international-language support for managing non-English environments, various performance and scalability improvements, and support for clustered databases. The latter two improvements make MOM more viable in large-scale, distributed environments, Hamilton said. "A lot of the focus with SP1 was on the international support," he noted. "MOM wasn't originally localized." Also, the company has updated MOM with a new software development kit (SDK) that developers can use to extend and automate MOM's features and a new MOM resource kit that includes new testing and debugging tools. "MOM is focused on operations management, such as events and performance," he said. "It collects events and looks at the performance of systems over time and predicts problems. It does that for any type of application, including Active Directory \[AD\], \[Microsoft\] IIS, DHCP, DNS, \[Microsoft\] Exchange Server, \[Microsoft\] SQL Server, or whatever."

Finally, Microsoft will soon update its high-availability Web application deployment and management tool, Application Center 2000, to SP2; the release will ship shortly after Windows Server 2003. Application Center 2000 SP2 will make it easier to manage IIS-based Web applications, which organizations often use in broad scale-out Web environments, Hamilton said. "AppCenter is broader in what it does \[compared to MOM\]," he said. "It's specifically for managing components of IIS-based Web applications, such as configuration data, content that is primarily located in Web pages and MSMQ \[Microsoft Message Queue Services\]."

Hamilton told me that Microsoft is concentrating its management efforts going forward on best practices, documentation, and solving common customer scenarios. "We have a broad-based effort around solution offerings called the Microsoft Systems Architecture \[MSA\], an umbrella offering for Microsoft Solutions for Management \[MSM\]," he said. The company shipped version 1 of MSA in December 2002; it includes a series of best-practice guides about topics that customers ask about most often, including deploying OSs, monitoring servers, and security patch management. "We received more interest in the guides than we had expected," Hamilton said, noting that Microsoft will release new guides every 6 months.

What details can we expect to hear at MMS 2003 this week? Hamilton said that Microsoft will make a series of announcements about the next versions of its management products and detail how these products are changing over time. Last year, the company provided rough guidelines for the evolution of its so-called Server Manager and Client Manager projects, which will eventually consolidate the current line of management products. This year, the company will give us more information about this migration. Stay tuned. I'll have more information about these developments next week.

********************

~~~~ SPONSOR: AVOID SOFTWARE LICENSE COMPLIANCE VIOLATIONS ~~~~ Sitekeeper(tm) Systems Management Software-Simplified. Get your site secure, in compliance and avoid license violations. Affordable, quickly deployed and easy to use, Sitekeeper is License Tracking, Hardware and Software Inventory, and Software Deployment-Simplified. No servers or expensive databases required and no agent software required for NT/2K/XP machines, so you can keep your servers lean and clean. Have Sitekeeper up and running in minutes. Save serious time managing your network with Sitekeeper. Download free evaluation now. http://www.execsoft.com/sitekeeper/sitekeeper.asp?ad=wandnetnl4

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2.

HOT OFF THE PRESS

(contributed by Paul Thurrott, thurrott@winnetmag.com)

* MSN IN MAJOR STRATEGY SHIFT According to an IDC report, Microsoft is once again fiddling with its MSN unit, this time in a gigantic strategy shift that will remake the online service as a cobranded Web portal that's marketed to broadband Internet suppliers. Microsoft is downplaying the change, referring to it as a refinement of the company's existing strategy; but the changes are vast and will eventually result in the company leaving the dial-up online services market, a potentially calamitous situation for MSN's 8.7 million subscribers. On a different level, however, the strategy shift is interesting because it marks the first time Microsoft will drop its long-held desire to unseat America Online (AOL) as the number-one online service. For the complete story, visit the following URL: http://www.wininformant.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=38366

3.

KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT

(contributed by Paula Sharick, paula@winnetmag.com)

* IE CUMULATIVE UPDATE IS MESSY Microsoft released a security rollup for all versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) on February 5; then, on February 12, the company released a hotfix that corrects an IE 6.0 authentication flaw the rollup introduces. (For more information about the hotfix, see Security Bulletin MS03-004: Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer.) Two weeks after the cumulative rollup's original release, the company updated the rollup posting, but whether the files in the rollup changed is unclear. The cumulative update has been available for a month now, and no additional problems have surfaced (or at least been made public). If you distributed the original February 5 release, you might need to apply two additional hotfixes--one to correct the IE 6.0 authentication problem and one to restore HTML-based Help functionality in the browser. In a better world, Microsoft would have more respect for the time and effort required to distribute three separate updates and would reissue a cumulative update that includes both post-rollup hotfixes. Read more about the cumulative update, including downloading and installing instructions, at the following URL: http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=38372

4.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

* MICROSOFT MOBILITY DEVELOPER CONFERENCE The premier 3-day developer event for building and bringing to market wireless applications for Microsoft Windows(r) Powered Pocket PC and Smartphone. Designed for developers, software vendors, wireless operators and IT professionals, this event provides the tools/strategies to build and market mobile applications, content, and services. Register today quoting MDC819. http://www.microsoft.com/europe/mdc

* WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE CONNECTIONS: WIN A FLORIDA VACATION Simply the best lineup of technical training for today's Windows IT professional. Register now for this exclusive opportunity to learn in-person from the Windows & .NET Magazine writers you trust. Attendees will have a chance to win a free Florida vacation for two. Register today and you'll also save $300. http://www.winconnections.com

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 ( http://www.winscriptingsolutions.com ). Subscribe today and access all the 2003 issues online! http://secure.duke.com/nt/win32scripting/index.cfm?action=sub&code=wi26xhm

* April 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=635

FOCUS: Automate Enhanced Security Learn how to automate a random-expiration password policy to tighten security. Plus, get scripts for automating troubleshooting tasks and extending LDAP controls.

* Desktop Diagnostics with Command Shell Scripts Use this handy script to capture diagnostic information for troubleshooting computer problems. --Dick Lewis http://www.winscriptingsolutions.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=38060

6.

INSTANT POLL

* RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: OFFICE SUITE The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Which office suite does your organization use?" Here are the results from the 393 votes. - 87% Microsoft Office - 2% Lotus SmartSuite - 3% Corel WordPerfect Office - 6% Sun StarOffice - 3% Other

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

* NEW INSTANT POLL: RDBMSs The next Instant Poll question is, "Which relational database management systems (RDBMSs) are in use at your company?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine home page and submit your vote for a) Microsoft SQL Server, b) Oracle and SQL Server, c) DB2 and SQL Server, d) Oracle, DB2, and SQL Server, or e) Other http://www.winnetmag.com/magazine

7.

RESOURCES

* FAQ: WHAT'S THE WINDOWS PREINSTALLATION ENVIRONMENT (WinPE)? ( contributed by John Savill, http://www.windows2000faq.com )

WinPE is a minimal OS, based on the Windows XP kernel, that will replace MS-DOS during the initial OS installation stages beginning with the next Windows desktop OS (code-named Longhorn). Recent alpha builds of Longhorn use WinPE, which provides a GUI environment during the entire installation instead of the old text-based screen prompts that are common during the initial setup of earlier Windows installations. WinPE will also let the user enter the license key during the initial stage of the installation, rather than forcing the user to wait until later in the installation process.

Because WinPE is based on XP, this new minimal OS can - create and format disk partitions for FAT, FAT32, and NTFS - access file shares on an intranet and connect to as many as four file shares - support all mass-storage drivers for XP and Windows 2000

8.

NEW AND IMPROVED

(contributed by Carolyn Mader, products@winnetmag.com)

* PROTECT AGAINST SPAM BorderWare Technologies released MXtreme, an appliance that protects you from receiving spam and uses adaptive learning techniques. The appliance automatically adjusts spam-detection rules and uses a technology based on an advanced lexical analysis algorithm. Available in three models depending on the size of your environment, the device features virus scanning, encryption, and content-filtering capabilities. You can deploy MXtreme between your internal mail servers and the Internet. For pricing, contact BorderWare Technologies at 877-814-7900. http://www.borderware.com

* EXCHANGE INFORMATION ON A COMMON PLATFORM Proscape Technologies released the Proscape Tablet PC Edition to provide mobile organizations with a common platform to exchange, update, communicate, monitor, and present sales and marketing information. You can use the Proscape Tablet PC to publish and print brochures in realtime, monitor and manage in-field sales presentations in realtime, and collaborate through predefined workflow rules. For pricing, contact Proscape Technologies at 800-459-9300. http://www.proscape.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.com/forums

* PRODUCT NEWS -- products@winnetmag.com

* QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION? Customer Support -- winnetmagupdate@winnetmag.com

* WANT TO SPONSOR WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE UPDATE? emedia_opps@winnetmag.com

******************** This email newsletter is brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine, the leading publication for Windows professionals who want to learn more and perform better. Subscribe today. http://www.winnetmag.com/sub.cfm?code=wswi201x1z

Receive the latest information about the Windows and .NET topics of your choice. Subscribe to our other FREE email newsletters. http://www.winnetmag.com/email |-+-|-+-|-+-|-+-|-+-|

Thank you for reading Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE.

__________________________________________________________ Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

********************

Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE--brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine, the leading publication for IT professionals deploying Windows and related technologies. http://www.winnetmag.com

*********************

~~~~ THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY ~~~~

Special Operations Suite - To Fully Use Your AD http://www.specialoperationssuite.com

Avoid Software License Compliance Violations http://www.execsoft.com/sitekeeper/sitekeeper.asp?ad=wandnetnl4 (below COMMENTARY)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~ SPONSOR: SPECIAL OPERATIONS SUITE - TO FULLY USE YOUR AD ~~~~ Do you think migrating to Active Directory will solve all your needs regarding Desktop Management? Then you need to rethink. A powerful third party Active Directory integrated product is needed and this is it! Special Operations Suite provides functionality that covers necessary areas of Computer Lifecycle Management; Inventory, Eventlog consolidation, messaging to desktops, Software Management and analysis. http://www.specialoperationssuite.com To learn more about Software Management using Active Directory and what the future holds for you, download a FREE white paper. The paper covers basic and advanced topics about Software Management using Active Directory as well as best practices and troubleshooting. http://www.specialoperationssuite.com/products/whitepaper.asp

********************

March 18, 2003--In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY - Microsoft Refines Management Message

2. HOT OFF THE PRESS - MSN in Major Strategy Shift

3. KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT - IE Cumulative Update Is Messy

4. ANNOUNCEMENTS - Microsoft Mobility Developer Conference - Windows & .NET Magazine Connections: Win a Florida Vacation

5. INSIDE WINDOWS SCRIPTING SOLUTIONS - April 2003 Issue - Desktop Diagnostics with Command Shell Scripts

6. INSTANT POLL - Results of Previous Poll: Office Suite - New Instant Poll: RDBMSs

7. RESOURCES - FAQ: What's the Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE)?

8. NEW AND IMPROVED - Protect Against Spam - Exchange Information on a Common Platform - 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 REFINES MANAGEMENT MESSAGE

This week at the 2003 Microsoft Management Summit (MMS 2003) in Las Vegas, Microsoft will announce a major overhaul of its management vision and product lineup, an initiative that will change the company's focus to delivering solutions that manage the complete end-to-end lifecycle of its products. Microsoft announced the first stages of this transition at last spring's show. This year, Microsoft Senior Vice President Brian Valentine and other company executives will outline the specific product rollouts and time lines that the company will use to make the change.

Among the technologies that Microsoft will discuss this week are new feature packs for Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 (code-named Topaz), the upcoming version of the company's Change and Configuration Management (CCM) solution. According to David Hamilton, director of the Microsoft Management Business Group, SMS 2003 is a major upgrade focused on desktop management. The product will include features to manage the inventory of software installed on desktop computers, will support remote devices such as Pocket PCs, and will include new reporting and metering tools. "SMS 2003 will be more modular than the previous version and support Pocket PC 2003 \[due this summer\] onwards," Hamilton told me. "We will also be supporting Windows XP Embedded for customers using it to manage cash machines, free-floating devices in industrial settings, and so on. We believe the design principles for \[Pocket PC and XP Embedded\] devices need to be consistent with desktop management, with one UI, one concept. It's a real challenge to make that happen." SMS 2003 will ship in September, Hamilton said.

With the current release of SMS, SMS 2.0, Microsoft began releasing a series of add-on feature packs that let administrators more easily perform new tasks in SMS. One of the most popular feature packs for SMS 2.0 is the Software Update Services (SUS) Feature Pack, which makes rolling out critical security updates for Windows and Microsoft Office easier. With SMS 2003, Microsoft will continue the feature pack tradition with a variety of add-ons that the company will discuss this week for the first time.

Another key Microsoft management product, Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM), the company's event and performance manager, recently received a major update, Service Pack 1 (SP1). MOM SP1 adds international-language support for managing non-English environments, various performance and scalability improvements, and support for clustered databases. The latter two improvements make MOM more viable in large-scale, distributed environments, Hamilton said. "A lot of the focus with SP1 was on the international support," he noted. "MOM wasn't originally localized." Also, the company has updated MOM with a new software development kit (SDK) that developers can use to extend and automate MOM's features and a new MOM resource kit that includes new testing and debugging tools. "MOM is focused on operations management, such as events and performance," he said. "It collects events and looks at the performance of systems over time and predicts problems. It does that for any type of application, including Active Directory \[AD\], \[Microsoft\] IIS, DHCP, DNS, \[Microsoft\] Exchange Server, \[Microsoft\] SQL Server, or whatever."

Finally, Microsoft will soon update its high-availability Web application deployment and management tool, Application Center 2000, to SP2; the release will ship shortly after Windows Server 2003. Application Center 2000 SP2 will make it easier to manage IIS-based Web applications, which organizations often use in broad scale-out Web environments, Hamilton said. "AppCenter is broader in what it does \[compared to MOM\]," he said. "It's specifically for managing components of IIS-based Web applications, such as configuration data, content that is primarily located in Web pages and MSMQ \[Microsoft Message Queue Services\]."

Hamilton told me that Microsoft is concentrating its management efforts going forward on best practices, documentation, and solving common customer scenarios. "We have a broad-based effort around solution offerings called the Microsoft Systems Architecture \[MSA\], an umbrella offering for Microsoft Solutions for Management \[MSM\]," he said. The company shipped version 1 of MSA in December 2002; it includes a series of best-practice guides about topics that customers ask about most often, including deploying OSs, monitoring servers, and security patch management. "We received more interest in the guides than we had expected," Hamilton said, noting that Microsoft will release new guides every 6 months.

What details can we expect to hear at MMS 2003 this week? Hamilton said that Microsoft will make a series of announcements about the next versions of its management products and detail how these products are changing over time. Last year, the company provided rough guidelines for the evolution of its so-called Server Manager and Client Manager projects, which will eventually consolidate the current line of management products. This year, the company will give us more information about this migration. Stay tuned. I'll have more information about these developments next week.

********************

~~~~ SPONSOR: AVOID SOFTWARE LICENSE COMPLIANCE VIOLATIONS ~~~~ Sitekeeper(tm) Systems Management Software-Simplified. Get your site secure, in compliance and avoid license violations. Affordable, quickly deployed and easy to use, Sitekeeper is License Tracking, Hardware and Software Inventory, and Software Deployment-Simplified. No servers or expensive databases required and no agent software required for NT/2K/XP machines, so you can keep your servers lean and clean. Have Sitekeeper up and running in minutes. Save serious time managing your network with Sitekeeper. Download free evaluation now. http://www.execsoft.com/sitekeeper/sitekeeper.asp?ad=wandnetnl4

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2.

HOT OFF THE PRESS

(contributed by Paul Thurrott, thurrott@winnetmag.com)

* MSN IN MAJOR STRATEGY SHIFT According to an IDC report, Microsoft is once again fiddling with its MSN unit, this time in a gigantic strategy shift that will remake the online service as a cobranded Web portal that's marketed to broadband Internet suppliers. Microsoft is downplaying the change, referring to it as a refinement of the company's existing strategy; but the changes are vast and will eventually result in the company leaving the dial-up online services market, a potentially calamitous situation for MSN's 8.7 million subscribers. On a different level, however, the strategy shift is interesting because it marks the first time Microsoft will drop its long-held desire to unseat America Online (AOL) as the number-one online service. For the complete story, visit the following URL: http://www.wininformant.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=38366

3.

KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT

(contributed by Paula Sharick, paula@winnetmag.com)

* IE CUMULATIVE UPDATE IS MESSY Microsoft released a security rollup for all versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) on February 5; then, on February 12, the company released a hotfix that corrects an IE 6.0 authentication flaw the rollup introduces. (For more information about the hotfix, see Security Bulletin MS03-004: Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer.) Two weeks after the cumulative rollup's original release, the company updated the rollup posting, but whether the files in the rollup changed is unclear. The cumulative update has been available for a month now, and no additional problems have surfaced (or at least been made public). If you distributed the original February 5 release, you might need to apply two additional hotfixes--one to correct the IE 6.0 authentication problem and one to restore HTML-based Help functionality in the browser. In a better world, Microsoft would have more respect for the time and effort required to distribute three separate updates and would reissue a cumulative update that includes both post-rollup hotfixes. Read more about the cumulative update, including downloading and installing instructions, at the following URL: http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=38372

4.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

* MICROSOFT MOBILITY DEVELOPER CONFERENCE The premier 3-day developer event for building and bringing to market wireless applications for Microsoft Windows(r) Powered Pocket PC and Smartphone. Designed for developers, software vendors, wireless operators and IT professionals, this event provides the tools/strategies to build and market mobile applications, content, and services. Register today quoting MDC819. http://www.microsoft.com/europe/mdc

* WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE CONNECTIONS: WIN A FLORIDA VACATION Simply the best lineup of technical training for today's Windows IT professional. Register now for this exclusive opportunity to learn in-person from the Windows & .NET Magazine writers you trust. Attendees will have a chance to win a free Florida vacation for two. Register today and you'll also save $300. http://www.winconnections.com

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 ( http://www.winscriptingsolutions.com ). Subscribe today and access all the 2003 issues online! http://secure.duke.com/nt/win32scripting/index.cfm?action=sub&code=wi26xhm

* April 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=635

FOCUS: Automate Enhanced Security Learn how to automate a random-expiration password policy to tighten security. Plus, get scripts for automating troubleshooting tasks and extending LDAP controls.

* Desktop Diagnostics with Command Shell Scripts Use this handy script to capture diagnostic information for troubleshooting computer problems. --Dick Lewis http://www.winscriptingsolutions.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=38060

6.

INSTANT POLL

* RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: OFFICE SUITE The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Which office suite does your organization use?" Here are the results from the 393 votes. - 87% Microsoft Office - 2% Lotus SmartSuite - 3% Corel WordPerfect Office - 6% Sun StarOffice - 3% Other

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

* NEW INSTANT POLL: RDBMSs The next Instant Poll question is, "Which relational database management systems (RDBMSs) are in use at your company?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine home page and submit your vote for a) Microsoft SQL Server, b) Oracle and SQL Server, c) DB2 and SQL Server, d) Oracle, DB2, and SQL Server, or e) Other http://www.winnetmag.com/magazine

7.

RESOURCES

* FAQ: WHAT'S THE WINDOWS PREINSTALLATION ENVIRONMENT (WinPE)? ( contributed by John Savill, http://www.windows2000faq.com )

WinPE is a minimal OS, based on the Windows XP kernel, that will replace MS-DOS during the initial OS installation stages beginning with the next Windows desktop OS (code-named Longhorn). Recent alpha builds of Longhorn use WinPE, which provides a GUI environment during the entire installation instead of the old text-based screen prompts that are common during the initial setup of earlier Windows installations. WinPE will also let the user enter the license key during the initial stage of the installation, rather than forcing the user to wait until later in the installation process.

Because WinPE is based on XP, this new minimal OS can - create and format disk partitions for FAT, FAT32, and NTFS - access file shares on an intranet and connect to as many as four file shares - support all mass-storage drivers for XP and Windows 2000

8.

NEW AND IMPROVED

(contributed by Carolyn Mader, products@winnetmag.com)

* PROTECT AGAINST SPAM BorderWare Technologies released MXtreme, an appliance that protects you from receiving spam and uses adaptive learning techniques. The appliance automatically adjusts spam-detection rules and uses a technology based on an advanced lexical analysis algorithm. Available in three models depending on the size of your environment, the device features virus scanning, encryption, and content-filtering capabilities. You can deploy MXtreme between your internal mail servers and the Internet. For pricing, contact BorderWare Technologies at 877-814-7900. http://www.borderware.com

* EXCHANGE INFORMATION ON A COMMON PLATFORM Proscape Technologies released the Proscape Tablet PC Edition to provide mobile organizations with a common platform to exchange, update, communicate, monitor, and present sales and marketing information. You can use the Proscape Tablet PC to publish and print brochures in realtime, monitor and manage in-field sales presentations in realtime, and collaborate through predefined workflow rules. For pricing, contact Proscape Technologies at 800-459-9300. http://www.proscape.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.com/forums

* PRODUCT NEWS -- products@winnetmag.com

* QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION? Customer Support -- winnetmagupdate@winnetmag.com

* WANT TO SPONSOR WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE UPDATE? emedia_opps@winnetmag.com

******************** This email newsletter is brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine, the leading publication for Windows professionals who want to learn more and perform better. Subscribe today. http://www.winnetmag.com/sub.cfm?code=wswi201x1z

Receive the latest information about the Windows and .NET topics of your choice. Subscribe to our other FREE email newsletters. http://www.winnetmag.com/email |-+-|-+-|-+-|-+-|-+-|

Thank you for reading Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE.

__________________________________________________________ Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.