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(below COMMENTARY)


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December 17, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

  • Microsoft Looks to 2003

2. HOT OFF THE PRESS

  • Microsoft Delivers Web Services Tool Update

3. KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT

  • Zen and the Art of Error Messages

4. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Planning on Getting Certified? Make Sure to Pick Up Our New eBook!
  • Get the New Windows & .NET Magazine Network Super CD/VIP!

5. HOT RELEASES (ADVERTISEMENT)

  • Guidelines for Implementing a Storage Resource Management Policy

6. INSIDE WINDOWS SCRIPTING SOLUTIONS

  • January 2003 Issue
  • Handy Scripts for Administrators

7. INSTANT POLL

  • Results of Previous Poll: Spam

    - New Instant Poll: Microsoft .NET Framework

8. RESOURCES

  • Tip: Importing Files and Settings

9. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Administer Mixed Microsoft Environments
  • Determine Which Hardware and Software Are on Your Network Clients
  • Submit Top Product Ideas

10. CONTACT US

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

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

Editors note: Because of the holidays, Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE will be on hiatus for the next 2 weeks. Look for the next edition January 7. This month's Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE Special Edition will mail on December 30. Have a safe and happy holiday season, and we'll see you next year.

  • MICROSOFT LOOKS TO 2003

  • During a recent Windows & .NET Magazine Security RoadShow, I joked that Microsoft's enterprise product suite, back when it was called BackOffice, used to be easy to figure out: It consisted of Windows NT 4.0, Microsoft Mail, SQL Server, SNA Server, Internet Information Server (IIS), and ... well, that was about all. Today, Microsoft's product roadmap is far more complex. As I noted in the October 8, 2002, issue of Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE ( http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=26920 ), Microsoft's server lineup is so vast and complex that figuring out how to just legally license these products is prohibitively time-consuming. And although the company has since announced plans to consolidate some product lines over time—notably its management servers and e-business servers—figuring out Microsoft's servers isn't going to become any easier in the months ahead. The reason is that this week, the company announced a subset of products it intends to release in 2003. Hold on tight; it's going to get confusing.

    Naturally, Microsoft will base most of these new products on Microsoft .NET technologies, which is a first, even though the company has been using the .NET Enterprise Server moniker for more than a year. In fact, we might think of 2003 as the ".NET wave" of Microsoft releases, a generation of XML and .NET-based products that sits between the so-called Windows XP wave and the SQL Server 2003—code-named Yukon—wave. Here are some of the Microsoft products we can look forward to in 2003.

    Windows .NET Server 2003
    I've been covering Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) 2003 in Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE regularly for a few months and probably will continue to do so throughout 2003, thanks to the variety of new features and capabilities that this vast upgrade to Windows 2000 Server offers. Win.NET Server will ship in a variety of 32- and 64-bit editions in April 2003 and will offer advances in management, Active Directory (AD), scalability and performance, storage, and various other technologies. One interesting tidbit about Win.NET Server that I would have taken with a grain of salt had I not witnessed it on my Web servers, is that Microsoft claims an average 2X performance boost over Win2K Server on the same hardware. If true, this is a first for any Windows upgrade. And then I upgraded my Web servers. I don't have specific figures yet, but the response time after an in-place upgrade is markedly and obviously faster. I'll be looking more at these performance claims in the future.

    Visual Studio .NET 2003
    Microsoft plans to accompany every new software release wave with an update to Visual Studio .NET, so the .NET wave will include Visual Studio .NET 2003, a minor upgrade that will be available for free to Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) customers and for just $30 for everyone else. Shipping in April 2003, Visual Studio .NET 2003 features important improvements to Visual C++ (VC++), including compatibility with the latest ISO specs and Microsoft's Windows Forms technology; support for new Web services standards such as Web Services Security (WS-Security), Web Services Routing Protocol (WS-Routing), and WS-Attachments; and integration with the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework, which lets developers target mobile devices based on Windows CE .NET (formerly code-named Talisker) but not on the Palm OS or non-Microsoft cell phone platforms, which is too bad.

    SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-bit)
    Although Win.NET Server represents Microsoft's first credible stab at a 64-bit product family, the OS won't be very useful without support servers that take advantage of the underlying platform's extensive RAM and storage capabilities. To this end, the logical starting point is SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition, and the 64-bit version will take advantage of Intel Itanium's massive process-address space to offer in-memory databases that are applicable to large-scale e-commerce, data warehousing, and analytic applications. The 64-bit edition of SQL Server will ship in April 2003.

    Microsoft Office 11 and XDocs
    Microsoft is working to complete the XML circle, so to speak, by embedding rich XML capabilities into its best-selling client-side solution. This functionality will let IT workers use common Office applications to access, update, and manage back-end server data. The company is also working on a new Office 11 family member called XDocs, which will let IT administrators create simple forms that access that back-end data. Office 11 is due in mid-2003.

    SharePoint Team Services 2.0
    Also due in mid-2003 as an optional add-on for Office 11, SharePoint Team Services 2.0 will build on the current product's team-oriented collaboration tools, letting IT administrators with no Web site building experience create online collaboration portals for their workers. SharePoint Team Services will be more tightly integrated with Office 11, giving users a SharePoint Document Workspace that's as easy to access as the local file system. Workers can use the tool to share task lists, calendars, discussion lists, and other resources in addition to collaborative documents. Microsoft isn't discussing details yet, but I'm expecting more information about this potentially useful tool soon.

    Exchange 2003 Server
    Exchange 2003 Server (code-named Titanium) will also ship in mid-2003 and will include tight integration with Win.NET Server and its new AD version. Titanium will support Win.NET Server's new scalability features as well, including up to eight-node clustering on Win.NET Server 2003, Enterprise Edition and Win.NET Server 2003, Datacenter Edition. Titanium will support technologies such as NTT DoCoMo's i-mode, cHTML, and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) 2.0 microbrowsers for anywhere access through mobile devices; a new Outlook Web Access (OWA) version that's almost visually indistinguishable from Outlook 11; intelligent new optimizations for users on low-bandwidth connections; better antispam technologies; and stronger security.

    "Greenwich" and MSN Messenger Connect
    Once planned as part of Win.NET Server, Microsoft's Real-time Communications (RTC) server is now a separate product that will include a separate Instant Messaging (IM) application. Greenwich is the server product, and MSN Messenger Connect is the client product. These products bring to the table the logging and auditing features enterprises need to embrace IM as a core communications method inhouse. Microsoft says that Greenwich and MSN Messenger Connect will ship in mid-2003.

    "Jupiter" E-Business Server
    Microsoft will release its consolidated e-business server, code-named Jupiter, in phases over the next few years. In the first phase, due in late 2003, the company will ship a set of technologies that will integrate its current e-business servers, Microsoft BizTalk Server, Commerce Server, and Content Management Server. Then, in 2004, the next-generation e-business server will launch as one product.

    These are just a few of the upcoming releases, but I'm out of space. Looking to 2003, I'd like to hear which topics you're most interested in, whether they're on this list or not. Drop me a note at thurrott@winnetmag.com and let me know how we can better serve your needs in the coming year.

    Correction
    In last week's discussion of new Microsoft management initiatives, I confused a few terms. The Microsoft Systems Architecture (MSA) provides solutions that deal primarily with physical tasks, such as building a datacenter. These solutions are part of the Windows Server team. In parallel with MSA, Microsoft also offers the Microsoft Solutions for Management (MSM), an umbrella term for the five management-related prescriptive architectural blueprints the company offers, with more to follow. Before last week, MSM didn't exist. What changed was that Microsoft announced a new MSA item—the MSA Enterprise Data Center (EDC)—and launched MSM. Sorry if this caused any confusion.


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

  • MICROSOFT DELIVERS WEB SERVICES TOOL UPDATE

  • Microsoft has delivered an update to its Visual Studio .NET software-development tool that lets programmers more easily build advanced, secure Web services. Web Services Enhancements 1.0 for Microsoft .NET (WSE) integrates with Visual Studio .NET and the Microsoft .NET Framework, and supports technologies such as Web Services Security (WS-Security), Web Services Routing Protocol (WS-Routing), and WS-Attachments. This final release follows the tool's April 2002 technical preview. For the complete story, visit the following URL:
    http://www.wininformant.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=37426

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

  • ZEN AND THE ART OF ERROR MESSAGES

  • It's time to wrap up yet another year of bugs, blue screens, diagnostic techniques, and troubleshooting topics. I'd like to finish the year on a positive note, and to that end, I'll share with you the contents of an email message I received a few days ago. The message describes a novel and appealing alternative to the cryptic error messages we receive every day—one that delivers bad news with poetry and style. The introduction that accompanied this message claims that technology folks in Japan have replaced Windows' vague and, oftentimes, downright ugly errors with haiku messages that precisely describe the situation.

    For those of you who've forgotten your high-school English lessons, the rules for composing haiku are strict and thus appeal to techies who like order in the universe. Each poem has 17 syllables: The first line has five, the second line has seven, and the third line has five. I'm sure you'll enjoy the contrast between the graceful, empathetic, haiku messages and the harsh, tech-speak Windows versions. I'd opt for the haiku version; nothing like a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down. To view the haiku error messages, read the online version of this article at the URL below. Happy holidays to all!
    http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=37429

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

  • PLANNING ON GETTING CERTIFIED? MAKE SURE TO PICK UP OUR NEW eBOOK!

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    http://winnet.bookaisle.com/ebookcover.asp?ebookid=13475

  • GET THE NEW WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE NETWORK SUPER CD/VIP!

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    5. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)

  • GUIDELINES FOR IMPLEMENTING A STORAGE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT POLICY

  • Download this free technical white paper now from Windows & .NET Magazine's White Paper Central. Brought to you courtesy of Precise SRM.
    http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;4879222;7402808;o?http://www.precise.com/go/w2k/whitepaper

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

  • January 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=618.

  • FOCUS: Simplify Administration Tasks

  • Simplify your administrative tasks by using computer startup scripts and handy Perl scripts, by learning to write logon scripts for all Windows OSs, and by discovering the Forker utility for simultaneous batch processing.

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

  • HANDY SCRIPTS FOR ADMINISTRATORS

  • Use Perl to automatically search the Path variable for a file, calculate a directory tree's disk usage and number of files, delete files based on criteria such as age and file size, and query or change system properties.
    —Dave Roth
    http://www.winscriptingsolutions.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=27332

    7. INSTANT POLL

  • RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: SPAM

  • The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Is email spam a problem in your work environment?" Here are the results (+/-2 percent) from the 331 votes:
    • 49% Yes, it's a serious problem
    • 33% Yes, it's somewhat of a problem
    • 18% No, I receive very little spam

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: MICROSOFT .NET FRAMEWORK

  • The next Instant Poll question is, "Will your enterprise implement the Microsoft .NET Framework in 2003?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine home page and submit your vote for a) We've already implemented the .NET Framework, b) Yes, we plan to implement the .NET Framework in 2003, c) No, we have no plans to implement the .NET Framework, or d) I don't know.
    http://www.winnetmag.com/magazine

    8. RESOURCES

  • TIP: IMPORTING FILES AND SETTINGS

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

  • Q. How can I use the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard to import my files and settings?
  • A. To import your files and settings, perform the following steps:

    1. Start the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard (go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and click "File and Settings Transfer Wizard"; alternatively, you can type
    2. migwiz.exe

      at the command prompt).

    3. From the welcome screen, click Next.
    4. Select "New computer," then click Next.
    5. When the wizard gives you the option to create a wizard disk that you can use on the old computer to collect the files and settings, select "I don't need the wizard disk," then click Next.
    6. Select the location of your files and settings; click Next (the wizard will import the information and write over the existing configuration information).
    7. After the wizard has finished importing the information, click Finish.
    8. Log off and log on for all changes to take effect.

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

  • ADMINISTER MIXED MICROSOFT ENVIRONMENTS

  • Avatier released Trusted Enterprise Manager (TEM) 5.0, software that lets you administer mixed Microsoft enterprise environments. TEM's features help to simplify user management and help expedite migration from Windows NT to Active Directory (AD). The AD-mimicking feature creates a shadow environment that lets you perform Windows 2000 Server functions in NT and Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5. For pricing, contact Avatier at 925-217-5170 or 800-609-8610.
    http://www.avatier.com

  • DETERMINE WHICH HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE ARE ON YOUR NETWORK CLIENTS

  • Microforge.net announced Network Auditor, software that can detect and monitor your network's hardware and software. You can use Network Auditor to determine information about which devices, services, and software are installed on your network's machines. Network Auditor runs on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, and Windows 9x systems. Network Auditor isn't licensed per user, but if you have a Network Auditor license, you can install and use as many copies as you need, providing all copies are configured to use the same inventory database. Pricing is $495.
    http://www.microforge.net

  • 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.

    10. 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
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