Windows-Help.NET Newsletter 01 March 2003, Vol 6 No. 6

In this issue:

w   Microsoft Launches new Windows XP Desktop Site
w   Microsoft Solution for Securing Windows 2000 Server
w   Microsoft Security Bulletin
w   Recent Support BBS Postings
w   Web Site Updates
w   Administrivia

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Microsoft Launches new Windows XP Desktop Site

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

Microsoft Launches new Windows XP Desktop Site This week, Microsoft launched a new Web portal called the Desktop Center. The new site is aimed at enterprise customers, and should provide them with tools & resources to assist them in evaluating and deploying Windows XP Professional and Office XP (personally I don't see much difference with the Desktop Deployment Resource Center launched in April 2002).

In the Deployment Tools section of the site you'll find a collection of tools designed to assist the IT professional in preparing & managing Windows XP deployment. Included in the tools section is the Windows Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT). The toolkit not only helps evaluate and test applications, it also goes a step further by assisting IT administrators in tailoring adjustments to the applications so they are optimized for Windows XP. According to Microsoft, a recent study audited by BearingPoint Inc. (formerly KPMG Consulting) showed that when Microsoft evaluated nine companies with more than 800 applications using the toolkit it found Windows XP was compatible with more than 95 percent of the applications upon deployment.

"Enterprise customers told us they wanted better tools and resources to help them through the deployment process," said Rogers Weed, corporate vice president of Windows product management at Microsoft. "The toolkit will alleviate much of the burden of testing applications and streamline the process by addressing compatibility issues before deploying the OS across the organization."

The Desktop Deployment portal Web site also includes a host of other updated and improved tools and resources to help enterprises evaluate and deploy Windows XP Professional and Office XP. The portal includes a calculator to measure return on investment; a System Preparation Tool; guides for large-scale deployments and easy access to other deployment resources including TechNet, service offerings, knowledge base articles, deployment partners and best practices from early adopters.

The site also offers a free Customer Toolkit CD, which is only available for U.S. and Canadian customers. The CD includes all tools & resources of the new site.

Microsoft Solution for Securing Windows 2000 Server

Securing Windows 2000 Server Microsoft released an updated guide to TechNet, called "Microsoft Solution for Securing Windows 2000 Server". The guide is delivered in 11 chapters, plus a Test Guide, a Delivery Guide, and a Support Readiness Guide, each with applicable job aids, script files and test cases. Securing Windows 2000 Server provides customers with comprehensive information and analysis tools to assess security risks specific to Windows 2000 Servers.

This guide was previously released, but has been updated on the 17th February. You can download [5.7MB] the guide as an executable from the Microsoft Web site. The guide itself requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded for free from the Adobe Web site.

The guide is also available on-line at the Microsoft TechNet Web site.

Microsoft Security

Flaw in Windows Me Help and Support Center Could Enable Code Execution

Microsoft has posted a patch for Windows Me. A security vulnerability is present in the Windows Me version of Help and Support Center, and results because the URL Handler for the "hcp://" prefix contains an unchecked buffer, which could be exploited by an attacker.

Severity Rating: Critical

Affected Software Versions

  • Windows Me


Recent Support BBS Postings

Remove system restore folders? - Windows XP
IE6 Cannot Be Repaired - Internet Explorer
Pentium 4 and Win98 - Windows 98
Win2000 Installation Help & Tips - Windows 2000
Unwanted toolbar buttons and links - Internet Explorer

Web Site Updates

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

Added: Is Lindows all that it's hyped to be? -- Part 1

Updated: Tweaking Toolbox for Windows - ver 3.0


Windows Me

Added: Microsoft Security: Flaw in Windows Me Help and Support Center Could Enable Code Execution

Windows 2000

Added: Microsoft Solution for Securing Windows 2000 Server

Windows XP

Added: Microsoft Launches new Windows XP Desktop Site


Is Lindows all that it's hyped to be?

Part 1: Breaking the mold - the alternative requirement.

Read Full Article
Microsoft Announces Windows Rights Management Services For Windows Server 2003

Last week, Microsoft announced plans for Windows Rights Management Services (RMS), a new technology for Windows Server 2003 that will give organizations advanced ways to help secure sensitive internal business information including financial reports and confidential planning documents.

DRM technologies that will let Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Office 2003 users create secure documents that can't be leaked, copied, or forwarded to unauthorized individuals.

Microsoft says it will ship a beta version of RMS in the second quarter of 2003.

White Paper: Microsoft Rights Management Solutions for the Enterprise
Microsoft sets date for Windows Server 2003

Microsoft has set March 12 as the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) date for its new server operating system, setting itself for an April 24 launch date.
FREE software: VCW VicMan's Photo Editor

A totally freeware product (although they offer a Pro version with more features), this image editor is excellent for people on a budget. The interface is very Photoshop-like, and will make old PS users feel right at home. It even has over 100 built-in filters and the ability to make use of Photoshop's own filters. Over 30 image file formats are supported, along with TWAIN compatible device (scanner/camera) importing.

Web site
Microsoft Developing P2P Application

Microsoft has started beta testing ThreeDegrees (3°), its entry in the peer-to-peer (P2P) software market. The application lets you establish groups of friends, to enable you to share digital photo's and music, listen to shared playlists simultaneously, use "winks" to send personalized animations.

3° requires Windows XP Home Edition or Professional with Service Pack 1 (English OS Only), MSN® Messenger for Windows version 5.0 or higher and the Windows XP Peer-to-Peer Update.
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