Dear Windows-Help.NET Subscriber,
Early reports are in that Microsoft has started work on their next project, a "consumer" version of NT, code-named Neptune. It will be preceded by Millennium, the last consumer version of Windows based on the Windows 9.x kernel. Microsoft aims to ship Millennium next year, and Neptune in 2001.
According to an article by Mary Jo Foley, a Sm@rt Reseller, and long-time Microsoft reporter, Microsoft is aiming to enable a whole new class of PCs and devices to function as the central source of entertainment and information in consumers' living rooms.
Neptune will be Microsoft's first operating system to make use of the WinTone service that CEO Bill Gates outlined last fall. WinTone is aimed at making PCs self-healing and self-updating.
In addition, Neptune will provide users with access to a variety of MSN (The Microsoft Network) services, including gaming, online shopping, e-mail, data and file storage, online communities, and software downloads.
Millennium will be the first step towards Neptune, and according to reports, it will involve the 100% removal of legacy support. The removal of the 16-bit DOS backbone will create a more stable and robust operating system, although it will also mean that backward compatibility for games will be lost.
Millennium will also be Microsoft's main OS in the EasyPC joint venture with Intel, as reported in our Newsletter of April 10.
Earlier this week, Microsoft rolled out the Release Candidate 1 (RC 1) version of Windows 2000, around nine weeks after the delivery of beta three of the OS to around 100,000 testers.
According to Craig Beilinson, a Windows 2000 product manager, Microsoft estimates that a final release of Windows 2000 will be available around the end of this year.
Microsoft is expected to release at least two more "Release Candidates", before releasing the code for manufacturing.
Data Fellows warns of Back Orifice 2000
Data Fellows, one of the world's leading developers of anti-virus and encryption software, is warning computer users about Back Orifice 2000 (BO2K), a new version of the Back Orifice backdoor Trojan.
Written by the Cult of The Dead Cow (CDC), BO2K allows outsiders to access and modify any information on a Windows 95, 98 and NT machine through an invisible server program installed by the program. It also allows outsiders to spy on what the user is doing.
BO2K is expected to be revealed during the Def Con 7 conference in Las Vegas in July 1999, and it is expected to be released a week or two later by the Cult.
Data Fellows will analyze BO2K as soon as it is released by the CDC and will be adding detection and removal of it to F-Secure Anti-Virus within hours after a sample of the program has been received. The detection and removal of BO2K will be provided, as usual, as a free update to all users of F-Secure Anti-Virus.
Further information is available on the Data Fellows Web site.
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