Windows Server 2003 on Verge of Upgrade
I’ll try to keep this light and breezy, but my mood is subdued after
seeing the devastation and suffering Katrina has brought. New Orleans is a great
city and host to many important IT events, including a recent TechMentor
show. I’m looking forward to the city recovering and getting back to welcoming
guests -- I’ll be one of the first to return. My thoughts are also with
the other areas hit hard. If you have any stories or comments, e-mail me at
. Now, on
to the news.
It seems less important now, but for shops that rely upon Windows Server 2003,
Release 2 is still a pretty big deal. A release candidate is now ready for
download, with the
final release slated by year’s end.
R2 has many new features, especially in the areas of security, centralized
management, identity management and .NET support. With Longhorn server perhaps
years away, R2 is your best shot at playing with something new.
Busted: Selling Old Source Code
Microsoft doesn’t even want to support this old junk, but that didn’t
stop Bill Genovese, Jr. from selling Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 source
code. The code made its way to the ‘Net after it was stolen, and Genovese
tried to hawk the ripped-off source code through his Web site (not too obvious!).
If the judge throws the book, the 27-year-old Genovese could be close to 40
when he gets out -- and a quarter of a million dollars poorer. So, how much
was he looking for? Twenty bucks. That’s a year in jail for every two
Will IP Buy Turn Microsoft into Ma Bill?
The old phone companies are halfway dead and gone, and if the VoIP folks have
their way, what’s left of the old guard will be dead and buried soon.
bought an IP phone player, Teleo, and plans to build the technology into
MSN, as Yahoo is beginning to do. While this is a consumer play, much home-oriented
technologies end up driving business. Remember, CD-ROMs and speakers started
on home PCs.
FrontBridge Goes to Redmond
Microsoft this week closed
the deal to buy FrontBridge, a vendor of messaging services including hosting
and compliance. Expect to hear a sales pitch from your Redmond rep soon.
Dealing with Software Religion?
It seems that IT pros have always fought over technology. Fifteen years ago
it was OS/2 versus Windows, and before that the mainframe versus microcomputers
and LANs. Today the zealots fight over Linux, the Mac and Microsoft. Do deep-seated
emotions (yours or others) affect what technologies make it to your shop? Tell
me your war stories at email@example.com.
Spyware (Letters) Won’t Die
Letters about spyware keep pouring in, and my favorites are those that offer
advice, like this one:
"To fix Surf Sidekick:
- Go here.
- I would need more information about the "Command" spyware.
- My worst experience with spyware? How about spyware (or maybe it was
a virus) that:
a. Replaces the host file so you can't go to Microsoft, Symantec and other
sites you need to remove it. If you repair the host file, it gets replaced
b. Shuts down the browser when certain words are typed in Google (like ‘virus,’
c. Disables Task Manager and any program that looks like it. (I was eventually
able to find one that wasn't recognized by the spyware.)
I worked for two days removing that spyware/virus mentioned above. The fix
ended up being a combination of spyware detection tools, a task manager not
recognized by the virus, going into Safe Mode, and a pinch of luck!”
One author is a fan of Microsoft’s shared computing services, as you
can see from this note:
"The better way: download and install [Microsoft
Shared Toolkit for Windows XP] … and activate the Windows Disk Protection
Here's what another reader had to say:
“Switch your 9-year-old to XP and give him a normal user account, not
a Power User one. Your spyware problems will disappear. If you're really paranoid,
also switch him to Firefox (although I find lots of sites like nickjr.com
don't render well in Firefox). I did this to my wife’s and sons’
PC a year ago and haven't had any spyware problems since.”
In the last Redmond Report, I wrote on Microsoft’s
collaboration with the federal government on public policy: “Also
on the agenda: backing of free trade, more money for basic federal research,
passing a Cybercrime treaty with Europe and allowing more foreign computer experts
to work in the U.S. I'm still waiting to see something here I can disagree with.”
Here’s what one reader had to say about that:
“You know, I was going along with everything you wrote until I read
the last, sort of nonchalant phrase in the quote from your sentence above.
Please help me understand how you can agree with [‘allowing more foreign
computer experts to work in the U.S.’]. Are you advocating, or is Microsoft
continuing to advocate, for foreign ‘experts’ versus American
IT professionals and prospective American (IT) professionals?
Wouldn’t it be better for American corporations and citizens [if] Microsoft
and the federal government [found] ways to educate/train and employ more Americans
now and in the future rather than hiring foreign computer experts [who] had
much of their advanced education/training paid for by their governments.
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It’s no mystery that the foreign expert works for less, since he/she
is not saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. Hell, our
government can subsidize farmers until the cows come home, but provide (fully
fund) ALL deserving and qualified U.S. students with a free post secondary
and/or post graduate education is just not even given a passing thought, much
less real effort. If education was free in our country like it is in other
countries, we might also develop an excess supply of CIS workers that WE could
Don’t get me wrong, I am not an MS hater. I have built my (second)
career on Microsoft and am very grateful, but this is a goal or policy that
to me seems ill conceived, however economically or politically expedient it
is for the MS corporate world strategy.”
Here’s my response to Mike:
This is a tricky one for sure. Many vendors see a shortage of computer experts
and foreign workers help build U.S. intellectual property. At the same time,
many -- perhaps millions -- of highly trained U.S. computer pros got booted
out of IT during the great collapse. Thanks for highlighting the complexity
of the issue, the harm to U.S. workers, and the harm of an overly simplistic
And finally, a major Doug Barney body blow:
“Please try not to be overly cute with your article headings in your
e-mails (leave that to the magazine). Sometimes we working stiffs only have
a little time to glance through e-mails such as yours.
When the Subject line reads ‘Redmond Report: Worm Authors Squashed,
WinFS Beta, Multi-Core Future, More,’ I expect to find a sub-heading
with ‘multi-core,’ so I can easily read the article and move on
(if you want to put cute subtitle that's fine, just keep the primary title
something that is focused.
When the title is ‘Cookies and Chips, Er, Processors,’ I have
to waste time scanning up and down the e-mail (something you may want me to
do for advertising sake, but not necessarily what I want to do). If it happens
too often, I often just unsubscribe, ignore or delete the e-mail out of frustration.
I think your magazine has decent content, but just try and make sure you
don't complicate the finding of the content more than is necessary.”