Ultimate Power Tool
In “The Power of For” (September 2007, InstantDoc ID 96539), Mark Minasi covered some basics of using the For command. I’ve been using For in my scripting for years. It’s particularly powerful when you have a simple yet repetitive task to deal with or when you have a complex task to handle. At one company I worked for, I was able to use the For command with PsExec to deploy applications to hundreds of desktops in a few hours. The beautiful thing is that For is free, and it can be a godsend for cash-strapped IT teams. -Brent McCraney

If you found Mark’s September column on For useful, be sure to read “Counting on For” (October 2007, InstantDoc ID 96704) and “The Final For” (November 2007, InstantDoc ID 96903), in which he explores more uses of the For command.

-Jason Bovberg

Microsoft’s Competitive Strategy
I read Karen Forster’s IT Pro Perspective editorial, “Exchange 2007 SP1 and Performance Point,” (October 2007, InstantDoc ID 96977) and want to respond to her questions.

I wish I didn’t have to add servers to keep the functionality I already have. For example, my company uses InfoPath forms that are automatically submitted via email to public folders and individuals in Exchange. Although some processes could probably benefit from Share- Point or PerformancePoint, I expect that often it won’t really matter in most cases. But because Exchange public folders are going away, I’ll now have to have SharePoint to accomplish the same tasks as before.

I also don’t like having a new client that I have to install, update, upgrade, and troubleshoot for each new Microsoft server. SharePoint is an excellent platform for building the client interface to all Microsoft server systems. Unless an application is standalone, like Word, the emphasis should be on using SharePoint for the client in all cases. Microsoft should offer a module to replace Outlook, Communicator, Project, and so on. If Microsoft is going to make SharePoint the console, then do it 100 percent.

So, I’d say the following to Microsoft:

1. Don’t remove functionality from existing server systems unless the user community isn’t using it.
2. It’s OK to add servers if it will give companies additional functionality.
3. Build SharePoint into a centralized console before you try forcing customers into it. In fact, make Share- Point so good that you won’t have to convince your customers to adopt it.

If Microsoft took this advice, it wouldn’t have to worry about Google or anyone else.

-Nate McAlmond

You can read Nate’s complete letter and my comments on my Hey Microsoft! blog at www.windowsitpro.com/ Article/ArticleID/ 97390/Too_Many_ New_Microsoft_ Clients_and_ Servers.html

-Karen Forster

Security Risks Revisited
Security is the reason Jeremy Schubert gave in “IT Pro Hero: User Logon Tracking Redux” (September 2007, InstantDoc ID 96633) for modifying the user logon tracking from the June 2007 article “It’s 10:00 p.m., Do You Know Who’s Logged On?” (InstantDoc ID 95922). Jeremy stated that it was a potential security risk to have the logs open on a share.

It’s just as much of a risk to have the EventSave freeware utility available for user execution. EventSave’s default behavior is to clear the local computer event logs to text files stored in the same directory as the .exe file. If an end user were to find the .exe file, he or she could run it, clearing out their local event viewer. In my opinion, this security risk is just as great as allowing user access to write/append the batch script–generated logs that the June article mentions.

-Ashley Ames

Totally Free Utilities-NOT
In “8 More Absolutely Cool, Totally Free Utilities” (September 2007, InstantDoc ID 96628), Douglas Toombs lists System Information for Windows (SIW) as one of his favorite utilities. When I went to download the utility, however, I found that it isn’t totally free. Here’s the relevant portion of the End User License Agreement (EULA): “This Software is being distributed as Freeware for personal, non-commercial use. It may be freely used, copied and distributed as long as it is used only for personal purposes. Use on multiple PCs in a corporate, educational, non-profit, military or government installation is prohibited.” SIW might be a great utility, but I can’t use it for my employer without purchasing a paid version. -Stan Anderson

I apologize for the oversight. I had read the quote, “SIW is a standalone utility that does not require installation (Portable Freeware)” on Gabriel Topala’s Web site, gtopala.com, and took it at face value. As it turns out, Stan is right. “Free,” in this case, applies only to personal use, not commercial. I’ll read the EULAs more thoroughly for the next article.

-Douglas Toombs