Fixing an IT Annoyance
I read Michael Dragone’s “Fixing Network Problems” (January 2009, InstantDoc ID 100660) and wanted to address the infamous Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) problem of not connecting to the Internet when the user invokes a web page. The problem is definitely annoying. To resolve the problem, I reinstalled IE 6.0 (the version I was using at the time) by going to %systemroot%\inf and locating the ie.inf file. I right-clicked the file and clicked Install. The installation prompted me for the Windows CD's i386 folder; I copy mine locally each time I build a machine, so I had it immediately available. After the installation and reboot, I didn't experience any Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site \[web address\] messages. Give this fix a shot; it might fix your IT annoyance.
—David Lawrence

Real-World Solutions
Michael Morales’ “What Would Microsoft Support Do?” columns are exceptional. He presents real-world, practical solutions to problems I face every day. I recently experienced two problems that he covered in recent columns: one involving Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) that a Microsoft patch resolved, and one involving a memory leak that caused physical and virtual memory to max out. “Resolve Memory Leaks Faster” (InstantDoc ID 99933) was a tremendous help with the second problem. I now go directly to this column when my issue of Windows IT Pro arrives.
—Todd Lester

Thanks for sharing your appreciation for my column! All of us in Escalation Services at Microsoft share a strong passion to help people solve their problems and avoid the dreaded support call. However, in the real world, a support call is often inevitable, so one of our goals is to arm you with the right data that makes the experience short and sweet! It’s great to hear that the column is hitting home. Feel free to send me any suggestions for future articles!
—Michael Morales

Cloud Computing: Storm Brewing
In his “Cloud Computing" editorial (January 2009, InstantDoc ID 100943), Jeff James asks for reader opinions about the debate. Everything I’ve read about cloud computing supports my view that it's simply the latest iteration of plain old mainframe computing. This isn’t the first time people have declared the end of the desktop/client server model. Remember the noise a few years ago about thin clients?

The marketing argument that businesses should outsource their cloud sounds nutty to me and many others. Clouds need to stay in-house. IT is core business. The idea of giving up custody of your data, your customer lists, product design files, and so on isn't going to appeal to many people. Would you outsource your financial planning or middle management? Would GM give up its design groups or assembly plants to a third party that says, “Trust me”? If there's a place for cloud computing, it's more wisely limited to single office organizations, particularly for web-based applications.

Nobody is talking about the impact on the WAN of this centralized processing. My agency has about 5000 users. We have 800 in the central office and about 175 at a number of regional offices. Everyone else is at a location that has from two to 40 users. Eighty percent of us are on the WAN. We have Fibre Channel links (that we own) to a few of the closer units. Everyone else uses a T1, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), DSL, or cable. Some people are still on dial-up because their remote rural site has no other option.

With so many sites, one of them is down virtually every day. With cloud computing, that site would be out of business for the duration, whether 30 minutes or three days. When I started in IT, we had three VAX terminals sharing a 1200-baud phone line to the mainframe. Never again.
—Tom Doran

Evangelizing Vista?
Is Mark Minasi still evangelizing Windows Vista for businesses even after corporate IT has soundly rejected it. Not one of his "10 Reasons to Deploy Windows Vista 10" (November 2008. InstantDoc ID 99986) is a business driver. These reasons make much more sense for consumers than for businesses.
—Barry Hohstadt

Thanks for reading, Barry. When the magazine asked me to contribute to its "point/counterpoint" article about deploying Vista, I knew the editors would have trouble finding someone to cover the "pro-Vista" side, so I chose to write it. I must object to your statement that corporate IT has rejected Vista. I've been extremely busy over the past two years working with clients adopting Vista. Regarding my article's list of 10 items, you can accomplish most of those functionalities with Windows XP SP3 only by adding a bunch of costly third-party software, so I think at least a look at Vista—which bundles a lot of useful stuff—is warranted.
—Mark Minasi