PowerPoint Patch Prepped, Plugs Problem

Last Patch Tuesday, PowerPoint got a security advisory about a zero-day exploit that uses remote execution. This coming Tuesday, a critical patch for the problem will be out.

The good news is that few of these PowerPoint attacks have been made, and they only affect older versions of the tool. The better news? In less than a week, your PowerPoint should be secure.

Windows 7 Gains Windows Server Hooks
As Windows 7 gets closer to market, more and more add-ons are appearing, albeit in beta form. You already know about the XP compatibility mode that will come free with high-end versions of the OS. Now Redmond is releasing tools that let Windows 7 configure and manage Windows Server 2008.

The overall idea is to "manage roles and features" through Windows 7. IT can set up roles for DNS, terminal services, AD and Hyper-V. These tools work best with Windows Server 2008 R2, but can direct the activities of older servers, as well.

In fact, Microsoft hopes Windows 7 will drive Server 2008 migration. Besides the remote management tools, Windows 7 has two 2008-dependent features. Direct Access lets Windows 7 clients talk to 2008 without a VPN. And BranchCache lets remote Windows 7 clients attach to headquarters more quickly through caching and traffic shaping.

Stuck in the Middleware
When the economy goes south, a lot of expenses get quickly cut. Collision on your car insurance gets axed, those expensive guitar lessons for the kids get shelved, and lobster dinners are replaced with Hamburger Helper.

In the case of IT, middleware goes to the bottom of the heap. The Gartner Group claims middleware isn't just stuck in neutral, but is in reverse, with a nearly 1 percent decline this year. One bright spot in this otherwise gray forecast is Microsoft, which is gaining ground largely through its cloud services.

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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