Windows 2000 Support on Life Support

It’s no mystery that Microsoft wants us all to run its latest and (sometimes) greatest applications and operating systems. The carrot is new features and hopefully better security and stability. The stick is to downgrade support for older versions, which the company is now doing for Windows 2000, both client and server. Now, instead of mainstream support, users will shift to extended support. Implicit here is that the older software—and thus you—are not mainstream, and the company is extending you help until you come to your senses and upgrade.

Keeping SP1 at Bay
While Microsoft does want us on the latest and (sometimes) greatest, it realizes that IT can't flip a switch and upgrade. In the case of Windows 2003 SP1, there are testing and patching issues that must be dealt with. To answer these concerns, Microsoft has a new tool that lets Automatic Update download security fixes but blocks SP1 until you're ready.

Yahoo!: Paid Content for Free?
Like any red-blooded American, I love free stuff—especially if it’s useful. So when I heard that Yahoo! had a new service where I could search for paid subscription-based content, well I Yahoo!-ed for more info, clicked the link, and was ready for free Web nirvana. Forrester was one of the few offering search, so I went for it—free Forrester research! And I don't even have to call the press relations department!

But a query on "Microsoft Licensing" brought me the bad news—I wasn't registered and couldn't view the reports. Now Yahoo! never said I'd get paid stuff for free—it was just me being over-optimistic. But jeepers, I can gain the same exact disappointment through a regular search, which will also give me free results I can actually use.

Blasting Microsoft P2P
In another staggering example of innovation (Not!), Microsoft Research has been building a peer-to-peer (P2P for the acronym-minded) system, code-named Avalanche.

The author of P2P rival BitTorrent, Bram Cohen, lashed out at Microsoft in a recent blog. (Blogs are now news fodder, eh? Well, at least it beats the non-ending parade of 'Tom Cruise Is Nuts' stories.) Cohen claims the Microsoft work is garbage, and if it ever does work, will work poorly.

There’s a bigger issue here. Why do P2P in the first place? Don't we have enough vulnerabilities already? Of course, if Microsoft's P2P allows exploits, which it will, the company will build a service pack to disable the P2P it built in the first place!

If you’re going to build a P2P system, can you please pull out all the stops and make it secure?

Communicator Goes Web
Microsoft Communicator users soon won't need a rich client, and instead will be able to do their real-time communicating with a browser. If OWA is any indication, Firefox might not be so fully supported.

Microsoft Now Officially Hates Viruses—At Least On Windows
Microsoft put its money where its viruses are, and this week sealed the deal to buy anti-virus vendor Sybari. Not surprisingly, Linux and Unix versions of the products were immediately axed. Poking fun at that move would be too easy, but feel free to snicker quietly.

Pet Peeve of the Week
I do a lot of searching, and when I read something on the Web, the old-fashioned man buried deep within wants hard copy. So I print. Here's the problem (which you probably know all too well): Half the time the only thing that prints is an ad—the actual copy somehow can't find its way to my toner. More often the page prints, but a word or two is chopped from the right-hand margin, so you use your imagination to fill in the blanks.

Come on guys: Don't make us search for your printer-friendly links to get something legible. And if you have a printer-friendly link, let the default actually print the darn thing instead of the pop-up ad. Bad form guys.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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