Windows-Help.NET Newsletter 05 Oct. 2002, Vol 5 No. 40

In this issue:

w   Steve Ballmer: Software and Snack Food
w   Microsoft Security Bulletin
w   Recent Support BBS Postings
w   Web Site Updates
w   Administrivia

The Utility For Any Serious Windows Tweaker!

Steve Ballmer: Software and Snack Food

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

In the second installment of Microsoft Executive E-mail, Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer talks about his admiration for the successful consumer businesses, and his believe that Microsoft should learn from them.

Ballmer's email is the second to be send by a Microsoft executive, chairman Bill Gates send the first installment last July.

In his email Ballmer acknowledged that Microsoft is the second place he has worked. "I marketed brownie mix and blueberry muffin mix for one of the largest consumer products companies," he wrote (leaving out the name of the company, Proctor & Gamble). "I have great admiration for successful consumer businesses, and I believe Microsoft can learn from them."

"Satisfying customers is what it's all about with technology products, too. And customers expect the same high quality and reliability in computing devices and software as they do in consumer products," Ballmer continues. "But meeting their expectations is much harder, and not just because information technology is more complex and interdependent. Products are seldom around long enough in one form to be fully time-tested, let alone perfected. And customers continually come up with new uses for their technology, new combinations and configurations that further complicate technology companiesí efforts to ensure a satisfying experience, free of hiccups and glitches."

A little further Ballmer notes: "Let's acknowledge a sad truth about software: any code of significant scope and power will have bugs in it. Even a relatively simple software product today has millions of lines of code that provide many places for bugs to hide. That's why our customers still encounter bugs despite the rigorous and extensive stress testing and beta testing we do. With Windows 2000 and Windows XP, we dramatically improved the stability and reliability of our platform, and we eliminated many flaws, but we did not find all the bugs in these or other products. Nor did we find all the software conflicts that can cause applications to freeze up or otherwise fail to perform as expected."

Ballmer says that Microsoft will focus its efforts to improve Microsoft's products and better satisfy its customers. To accomplish this, Microsoft will increase the use of error reporting tools (as seen in Office and Windows XP), which are already having a positive impact according to Ballmer. Microsoft will also provide customers with easier, more consistent ways to update their products and provide them with more effective, readily available support and services.

OK, so this is might be interesting stuff to read for some, but what does it mean? Well, not that much yet, but if the companies employees (around 50,000) take this seriously, we could see some change in their attitude. It looks like Microsoft wants a closer relationship with it's customers - even the small ones - something that has been different in the not to distant past, where Microsoft had been accused of ignoring the consumer in favor of their larger customers.


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Microsoft Security

Unchecked Buffer in Windows Help Facility Could Enable Code Execution

Microsoft released a patch for all Windows versions to fix critical security vulnerabilities in the HTML Help facility.

Affected Software Versions

  • Microsoft Windows 98 / 98 Second Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 / NT 4.0, Terminal Server Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000
  • Microsoft Windows XP


    Unchecked Buffer in File Decompression Functions Could Lead to Code Execution

    Microsoft released a patch for Windows 98 (with Plus! Pack), Windows Me and Windows XP to fix two security vulnerability in the Compressed Folders function.

    Affected Software Versions

  • Microsoft Windows 98 with Plus! Pack
  • Microsoft Windows Me
  • Microsoft Windows XP


    Recent Support BBS Postings

    Replacing hardware with Windows XP - Windows XP
    Risk in HIGH PERFORMANCE swapfile - Windows Me
    Cable modem sharing - Networking
    Quarantined files problems - Security / Virus
    Are you having problems accessing Windows Update? - WinXP

    Web Site Updates

    These pages were added/updated in the past 2 weeks. Information on previously updated/added pages is available on the What's New? page for 1 month.


    Added: Microsoft Security: Unchecked Buffer in Windows Help Facility Could Enable Code Execution
    Added: Microsoft Security: Unchecked Buffer in File Decompression Functions Could Lead to Code Execution

  •   Highlights

    SANS / FBI The Twenty Most Critical Internet Security Vulnerabilities

    The FBI, together with the SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Networking, and Security) Institute, has published a list of the 20 most serious security vulnerabilities affecting both Windows and Unix. The majority of the successful attacks on operating systems come from only a few software vulnerabilities, left unpatched by the un-informed. The easy and rapid spread of the Code Red and NIMDA worms can be traced to exploitation of unpatched vulnerabilities. So head over to read the document, and get your systems a little more secure!

    Read Full Article
    W32.Bugbear@mm Spreading Like Wildfire

    Exploiting an 18-month-old flaw in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, a new e-mail virus threatens IE users who have left their software unpatched. The worm has keystroke-logging and backdoor capabilities and also attempts to terminate the processes of various antivirus and firewall programs.

    Read Full Article
    Windows XP Tip: Using Program Compatibility Wizard

    Windows XP includes a "Compatibility Mode" in which you can "fool" programs into thinking they are running in an older Windows version.

    If you are having problems with a program that used to work in your previous version of Windows, you should try the Program Compatibility Wizard included in Windows XP to get your program to function properly.

    Read Full Article
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