October 2005 - Inside Microsoft Research

Rick Rashid heads the team this "advancing the state of the art"; Internet Explorer: The ultimate admin's guide and a look at the alternatives, plus Beta Man checks out Spotlight on AD and much more.


Test Drive a Better Browser

These alternatives to Microsoft's Internet Explorer can add Web-browsing muscle, but they're not without potential problems.

The Power Inside

As head of Microsoft Research, Rick Rashid leads a team that remains largely anonymous, but whose work finds its way into nearly every product Redmond ships.

Smoke, but No Fire for TCO

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a concept touted by Microsoft and various Linux vendors as proof that their products are cheapest to run. But TCO claims aren't what they're cracked up to be, and most IT shops never use TCO, or just plain do it wrong.

Keep Data in Line, Most of the Time

For synchronizing data on PocketPCs and Smartphones, ActiveSync 3.8 is easy enough to use, but many users say OS and phone service issues can knock it off balance.

Get Serious About Securing IE

Internet Explorer is one of the most used products in nearly every environment, but most administrators know little about how to tune it for best performance and safety.

Product Reviews

All Is Not Lost

When you need to find a long-lost document, dtSearch Desktop delivers quick results.

RX for Windows

The utilities in Winternals Admin Pak can help you get through most of the Windows troubleshooting incidents you'll ever encounter.

SoftGrid Serves Up Applications

Deliver applications to your users safely, conveniently and without a lot of overhead.

Truly Wireless Networking

Strix Access/One's unique configuration can put an end to cabled networks.

Barney's Rubble

Spy Hunter

Doug Barney is fed up with spyware, and is determined that something must be done about it infiltrating our computers.

Beta Man

Spotlight Lights Up AD

Quest Software's Spotlight on Active Directory 6.0 is worth a close look for anyone tasked with AD performance tuning and troubleshooting.

Letters to Redmond

Readers Respond October 2005

New-found respect, the possibility of buying a Mac and a DMZ question for Security Advisor columnist Joern Wettern.

Mr. Script

Setting the Timer

Mr. Script explores integrating a Web-based order system with electronic software deliver.

Security Advisor

Will R2 Make You More Secure?

The new version of Windows Server 2003 has some components directly targed at security pros, but they may not be what your network needs. Joern Wettern takes a detailed look to help you decide.


Creative Server-Naming Conventions

Readers reflect back to the days when naming their servers involved imagination and the ability to possess a sense of humor.


IT Weekly Roundup, Oct. 28

From the business wires this week: a change auditing solution for Active Directory, an embedded SQL database engine and a simple file sharing program.

Exam Objective Guides for MCTS and MCPD Exams Now Available

MCTS exams 70-431, 70-431 and MCPD exam 70-441 to head to beta in November-December time frame, with live release in 1Q 2006.

MCP for the New Generation

Microsoft says new-gen program's aim is to simplify the cert process and reduce costs and training time.

IT Weekly Roundup, Oct. 21

From the business wires this week: grid computing software, NAC solutions, SATA RAID storage systems and a Windows XP Media Center.

Microsoft Learning, Microsoft Partners Coming Together

Two groups to become more closely aligned; new "blended training" tools also being added.

IT Weekly Roundup, Oct. 14

From the business wires this week: a patch management system, a software licensing solution and remote access software for help desk technicians.

MCT Program Re-Up Moved to April 2006

One other change: MCTs with tenure excused from meeting minimum training delivery requirements.

IT Weekly Roundup, Oct. 7

From the business wires this week: software for documenting your network’s assets and vulnerabilities, a solution for joining heterogeneous systems to Active Directory, and network time servers.

Live Date for 70-293/70-294 Sim Exams Delayed to 2006

Microsoft cites priority developing SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 exams, as well as sim refinements based on testers' feedback.

WinFS Questions Persist

New beta includes only a client version, but sheds light on new details.

Microsoft Maps Out Plan to Integrate Virtualization into Windows

Plan calls for support for Linux guest OSes and, eventually, use of hypervisor to incorporate virtualization into the OS.

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