April 2008 - The New Face of User Groups

Even with the Web and IM, professional-level IT user groups are as important as ever. Also, readers comment on Vista, virtualization, Windows Server 2008 and more on the Redmond reader survey; best practices for ensuring high availability for your mission-critical apps; product reviews; and much more!


The New Face of User Groups

Even with the Web and IM, professional-level IT user groups are just as vibrant and important as ever.

Always There for You

Hardware and software products use different approaches to high availability.

The Redmond Reader Survey

Readers reflect mixed emotions on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, virtualization and the corporate juggernaut that is Microsoft.

Always Open for Business

Follow these best practices to help ensure high availability for your mission-critical applications.


Glitch Postpones Windows XP SP3 Availability

One of Microsoft's retail point-of-sale applications has an incompatibility with Windows XP Service Pack 3 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1.

Betas Boost Capabilities of Operations Manager 2007

Betas debuted at this week's Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas.

IDC: IT Budgets Down in 2008

IT execs are focusing on cutting costs rather than investing in technology this quarter, according to a report by research analysts at IDC.

Convergence Idea Gets Serious With Live Mesh, Analysts Say

Live Mesh sounds like "HailStorm" in concept -- a way to access your data from any device with an Internet connection -- says Microsoft's Rosoff.

Microsoft's Revenues Flat in 3Q 2008 Report

Microsoft had flat revenue results as reflected in its third-quarter 2008 report.

Microsoft Nixes XP Extended-Life Rumors

Windows XP, which will no longer be sold after June 30, will not get a reprieve despite Ballmer's quip at a press conference about relenting to customer feedback.

Bugs Are Up, Microsoft Security Report Says

New attack vectors and methods for hacker intrusion, it seems, are popping up every few months.

Update: North American Imagine Cup 2008 Crowns Winner

Team Sparx takes away top honor and trip to global final in Paris in July.

Microsoft Releases Windows XP SP3 to Manufacturing

Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) has been released to manufacturing, according to a post on Microsoft TechNet.

Microsoft Investigating LocalSystem Access Bug

Security personnel in Redmond are investigating a newly reported zero-day bug vulnerability in Microsoft operating systems and server systems.

Hoax Subpoena E-Mails Shine Light on 'Spearphishing'

Hundreds of executives at some of America's most well-known companies received e-mails that they probably didn't want to get -- even if those messages weren't a hoax.

Microsoft Plans MSDN Revamp

Microsoft is finally tuning up its Microsoft Developer Network site and promises to resolve long-running frustrations developers have encountered working with it.

Project Albany Moves Into Google Turf

Microsoft revealed "Albany," a consumer-oriented hosted service that provides Excel, PowerPoint and Word applications, plus security and collaboration tools.

SQL Server 2005 SP3 Expected in Summer '08

Microsoft announced through two blogs that it plans to release the next service pack to SQL Server 2005, Service Pack 3 (SP3).

Imagine Cup '08 Heads to Los Angeles

Software development competition finalists compete to move on to global finals in Paris, France.

Vista SP1 Expands Language Support, but Hits USB Snag

As of yesterday, Vista Service Pack 1 is now generally available in all 36 supported languages.

XP SP3 Release Rumors Continue

Rumors that Windows XP Service Pack 3 will appear this month continue to flourish.

SQL Server 2008 To Offer Spatial Data Type Support

sQL Server 2008 offers new support for spatial data types that some analysts say should deliver a real boost to geospatial applications and data sharing.

Virtualization May Help With Windows Bloat

The Microsoft Windows operating system has become unwieldy and is choking on the amount of code that needs to be maintained.

CIOs See Declining IT Budgets in Q1

About a fourth of CIOs in the United States reported decreases in their budgets in the first quarter of this year, according to a survey released by Gartner this month.

Vista Credential Inching Toward 20K

Microsoft's latest tally of MCPs shows MCTS: Vista-Configuration to be one of the hotter certifications.

Symantec: Online Security Concerns Growing in the Workplace

Windows processing environments put themselves at risk whenever they check their MySpace pages or shop for other goods and services -- all while at the workplace.

Windows Live OneCare 2.5 Beta Released

Microsoft's automated security suite for home users and small businesses is available for testing from the Microsoft Connect Web site.

Microsoft Issues Initial Protocol Documentation

Microsoft today released information on protocols used in some of its software products.

Microsoft, Symantec Rethink Security Approach

If the traditional notion of infrastructure-based perimeter security is not yet dead, it's not for lack of effort by keynote speakers at this week's RSA Security conference.

Microsoft Rolls Out 8 Patches for 10 Vulnerabilities

Microsoft rolled out five "critical" and three "important" patches for Windows Server 2008, Vista, Office, IE and other software.

'Stirling' Beta Security Solution Released

Microsoft's released a public beta version of an integrated security solution, code-named "Stirling."

Microsoft's Bid Goes Hostile, but Yahoo Stands Firm

Yahoo's board of directors got a letter from Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer over the weekend about Yahoo's slow response to Microsoft's proposed takeover bid.

Vista SP1's 'Endless Reboot' Problem Fixed

Microsoft reported today that it has fixed a problem that caused some users upgrading to Vista Service Pack 1 to enter "an endless reboot cycle."

Windows XP Licensing Extended for Low-Cost PCs

Microsoft yesterday provided new details about the life of its popular Windows XP operating system.

Gartner: Virtualization 'Highest Impact' Tech Through 2012

When it comes to infrastructure and operations, research firm Gartner says that virtualization will be the most significant trend through the next four years.

Microsoft Plans 8 Fixes in April

Redmond is poised to release eight security bulletins for its April patch release, with five designated as "critical" and three deemed "important."

Driving VMware

The virtualization stalwart's product guru, Raghu Raghuram, helps the company set its sights on next-generation products and services.

Running on Automatic

Automating your virtualized data center can be a challenge.

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