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    August 6, 2002—In this issue:

    1. COMMENTARY

    • Big Changes Afoot During Microsoft's Summer of Discontent

    2. KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT

    • 59 Post-SP3 Hotfixes Conflict with SP3 Upgrade

    3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

    • Become Part of Our MEC 2002 Focus Group!
    • Enter the Windows & .NET Magazine/Transcender Sweepstakes!

    4. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)

    • Security Workshops from Microsoft and NetIQ!

    5. INSTANT POLL

    • Results of Previous Poll: Hardware and Software Spending
    • New Instant Poll: Security Expenditures

    6. RESOURCES

    • Featured Thread: Export/Import GPO
    • Tip: How Can I Quickly Jump to a New Web Address in Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)?

    7. NEW AND IMPROVED

    • Enforce Internet AUP
    • Manage GPOs

    8. CONTACT US

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

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

  • BIG CHANGES AFOOT DURING MICROSOFT'S SUMMER OF DISCONTENT

  • This week has brought several important changes to the way that Microsoft does business, and one or both of these changes will likely directly affect you and virtually every other Microsoft customer. First, Microsoft's dreaded Licensing 6.0 scheme has gone into effect, dramatically altering the way medium and large businesses purchase software from the company. Second, Microsoft said this week that it will begin implementing several components of its proposed antitrust settlement with the US government, despite the fact that the federal judge overseeing the case hasn't approved the settlement yet. Let's look at these two developments.

    Licensing 6.0
    After two delays because of customer complaints, Microsoft has finally unleashed Licensing 6.0, its new "simplified" licensing program. Unfortunately, in this case, simplified means more expensive for many of the software giant's customers. To paraphrase Microsoft's description of Licensing 6.0, the company's volume licensing is now essentially a 2- or 3-year software subscription term, during which time you receive "free" product upgrades. Simple, right?

    Despite Microsoft's claims to the contrary, I think the company designed Licensing 6.0 with two key goals in mind, neither of which is about making anything easier on its customers. First, Microsoft wants customers to upgrade to new Windows and Office versions when the versions are released, not when corporations want to upgrade. And second, Microsoft wants to move to a steadier, more regular revenue stream, which this subscription software model will provide.

    Moving customers to new products in a timely fashion helps make Microsoft's new products more enticing because the company can issue press releases describing how well its products are selling, as it did recently when Windows XP hit the 46-million licenses mark. (One has to wonder how many of those licenses were bought because companies were trying to get in under the Licensing 6.0 deadline.) In the future, each Windows and Office release will have positive sales stories, thanks to Licensing 6.0.

    Subscription software has long been a Microsoft dream. And thanks to a recent agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Microsoft can no longer artificially smooth its books, making growth look more linear than it is. If Licensing 6.0 is successful, this linear growth will now be real, rather than manufactured.

    Customers have responded to Licensing 6.0 in various ways, with some expressing resignation over what was likely an inevitable change in Microsoft's business strategy. But for the first time, Microsoft's licensing is causing some customers to look at solutions—particularly open-source solutions such as Linux and OpenOffice.org—outside of Redmond. Even companies such as Novell, with its aging NetWare line, and Corel, with its nose-diving WordPerfect products, could make something of a comeback, thanks to Licensing 6.0.

    If you're wrestling with Licensing 6.0, I'd love to hear from you. Is this the final straw or just another in a long line of changes that won't ultimately affect your business? Please let me know.

    Microsoft Implements Antitrust Concessions
    On Monday morning, Microsoft announced that it will implement four of the key provisions from its proposed settlement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) this month, despite the fact that the judge overseeing the case has yet to accept or reject the settlement terms. Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith explained that the four provisions include milestones that come due this month, so the company felt it should proceed and then make changes later, if necessitated by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly's eventual ruling.

    The four provisions include:

    1. The upcoming release of Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1), which includes a Set Program Access and Defaults component for hiding Microsoft middleware (e.g., Microsoft Internet Explorer—IE, Outlook Express, Windows Media Player—WMP). A similar component is also present in Windows 2000 SP3, which Microsoft released last week.
    2. The required disclosure of internal middleware interfaces (APIs) in Windows.
    3. The launch of a communications protocol-licensing program for third parties, which will be royalty-based.
    4. New contracts with PC manufacturers and other OEMs.

    Smith said that all four concessions are based on a set of core principles that Microsoft is implementing inhouse. First, the company seeks to reinforce its antitrust compliance as a corporate commitment and the personal responsibility of all engineers and employees involved with the affected products. This commitment means that the company will adhere not only to the letter of its agreement, but also to the spirit. Second, Microsoft will provide all the necessary resources to customers, developers, and other third parties as a result of these concessions and do so in a timely manner. Smith also said that Microsoft would err on the side of reasonableness, seek feedback from others, and work to build constructive relationships with the government and the computer industry.

    What these provisions mean to you is that third-party products will interoperate much better with Windows clients and servers. On the client side, IT administrators who roll out XP SP1 will be able to easily replace Microsoft middleware with preferred third-party products, for example. On the server side, makers of server tools and services will be able to replace Microsoft server products in a way that will be seamless to desktop clients.

    The most interesting aspect of both announcements, however, is that they're tied directly to what might well be the company's biggest problem: Trust. Licensing 6.0 leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but it's encouraging to see Microsoft reach out to honor its legal agreements. And although seeing how serious this effort is will take a while, serious and honest compliance could go a long way toward fixing Microsoft's reputation. Now if only we could get better licensing terms.

    Reference:
    Microsoft Implements Antitrust Concessions
    http://www.wininformant.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=26159


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

  • 59 POST-SP3 HOTFIXES CONFLICT WITH SP3 UPGRADE

  • Here's the bad news—ugly, but predictable. Microsoft privately distributed a large number of post-Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3) code changes to selected customers before releasing SP3. Because Microsoft incorporated changes into SP3 after distributing the post-SP3 hotfixes, the original version of 59 post-SP3 hotfixes contain older file versions than those in the SP3 catalog. If you attempt to install the original version of these post-SP3 hotfixes on a running SP3 system, file version conflicts might cause the hotfix install to fail or to function incorrectly. To guarantee a working OS, you need to obtain and reinstall the new improved version of each affected hotfix after you upgrade to SP3.

    The post-SP3 patch problem affects hotfixes that Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) distributed to customers between April 2, 2002, and July 29, 2002. If you have a support contract, you need to verify whether any of the 59 updates are installed on systems you plan to upgrade. Microsoft states that this problem applies only to privately distributed updates, and is not a concern for security hotfixes or updates posted at the Microsoft Download Center and Windows Update Web sites. Microsoft also claims that SP3 setup will detect and warn you of hotfix conflicts during the "inspecting your system" phase of the upgrade. If you don't get any such warnings during Setup, you can safely proceed. For more details and a list of the 59 hotfixes, visit the following URL:
    http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=26166

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

  • BECOME PART OF OUR MEC 2002 FOCUS GROUP!

  • If you're attending MEC 2002 and work at a company with more than 3000 employees, join our focus group on October 9, 2002. We'll give you a free lunch and $100! To be considered for this focus group, please email us at mailto:research@winnetmag.com by August 23. Please include your full name, job title, and email address.

  • ENTER THE WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE/TRANSCENDER SWEEPSTAKES!

  • Nothing can help you prepare for certification like Transcender products, and no one can help you master your job like Windows & .NET Magazine. Enter our combined sweepstakes contest, and you could win a Transcender Deluxe MCSE Core Pak (a $569 value) or one of several other great prizes. Sign up today!
    http://www.winnetmag.com/sub.cfm?code=swei202fus

    4. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)

  • SECURITY WORKSHOPS FROM MICROSOFT AND NETIQ!

  • Join Microsoft and NetIQ, the Elite Force in Enterprise Security, to get the hand-to-hand tactics you need to fight dangerous hacker exploits during our technical workshop series, Digital Crime Prevention Labs. Register before 8/15 to save $100!
    http://www.netiq.com/events/seminars/digitalcrimeprevention/default.asp

    5. INSTANT POLL

  • RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE SPENDING

  • The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Does your organization plan to purchase computer hardware or software with the money budgeted for the rest of 2002?" Here are the results (+/-2 percent) from the 119 votes:
       - 17% Yes, we are planning to purchase hardware
       -  3% Yes, we are planning to purchase software
       - 59% Yes, we are planning to purchase both hardware and software
       - 22% No, we have no plans to purchase either hardware or software.

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: SECURITY EXPENDITURES

  • The next Instant Poll question is, "Does your organization plan to make any security-related purchases with the money budgeted for the rest of 2002?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine home page and submit your vote for a) Yes, b) No, or c) I don't know.
    http://www.winnetmag.com/magazine

    6. RESOURCES

  • FEATURED THREAD: EXPORT/IMPORT GPO

  • David wants to know whether he can export a Group Policy Object (GPO) from one domain and import it into another domain as a new GPO. If you can help, visit the following URL:
    http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?app=70&id=110450

  • TIP: HOW CAN I QUICKLY JUMP TO A NEW WEB ADDRESS IN MICROSOFT INTERNET EXPLORER (IE)?

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

    A. To navigate to a new Web page in IE, you can either select a Web site from the Favorites menu or select the Address bar, highlight the current address, then type in a new address. To quickly jump to a new Web address, you can skip the first two steps of this second procedure by pressing Alt+D, which automatically highlights the current address in the Address bar. Type in a new address and press Enter.

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

  • ENFORCE INTERNET AUP

  • St. Bernard Software released iPrism 3.2, an Internet access-management appliance that can monitor, block, and report on your organization's Web activity. You can use the appliance to enforce Internet Acceptable Use Policies (AUP). You can securely manage Web access without modifying workstations, servers, firewalls, or other network components. The appliance sells with supporting subscription services and includes a one-time cost of $2195. Subscription pricing is based on the number of users. A 250-user subscription is $3295. Contact St. Bernard Software at 800-782-3762.
    http://www.stbernard.com/iprism

  • MANAGE GPOS

  • FullArmor announced FAZAM 2000 3.0, Group Policy Management software that features Change and Configuration Management (CCM) enhancements. Other enhancements include reporting capabilities, disaster recovery, health check, and Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP) of Group Policy Objects (GPOs). You can use the software to track changes to GPOs, eliminate the risk of making changes in a live production environment, prevent individuals from making simultaneous changes to the same GPO, and reduce the risk when delegating GPO administration. For pricing, contact FullArmor at 617-457-8100.
    http://www.fullarmor.com

    8. 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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