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Windows-Help.NET Newsletter10 Jul. 1999, Vol 2 No. 28

 Microsoft Starts Work On "Consumer" NT

by Arie Slob

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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How to Use Security Zones in Internet Explorer
This Microsoft Knowledge Base article describes the types of security zones in Internet Explorer, and how to configure different levels of security for Web sites that you visit.

Internet Explorer includes five predefined zones: Internet, Local Intranet, Trusted Sites, Restricted Sites, and My Computer.

You can set the security options you want for each zone, and then add or remove Web sites from the zones depending on your level of trust in a Web site.

MSKB Q174360

Getting started with the Windows Desktop Update
Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 has moved the Web onto your desktop. This mingling of the world of the Web with your desktop and folders has many advantages: You now have many points of access to the Web from your desktop, plus you can add Web content to your desktop and your folders, personalizing the look and feel of everything you see and use on your screen.


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Windows Tip
One Click Shut Down or Restart
See this document for instructions on how to place a shortcut on your Desktop, which let you shutdown or restart Windows 9.x with one (single/double) mouse click.

Windows 98 Tip:
Problems Accessing Windows Update
If you are having trouble accessing the Windows Updated Web site, have a look at this troubleshooting page. Don't forget to scroll all the way down, where you find a collection of links to over 60 Microsoft Knowledge Base articles, describing various problems and their solutions.


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Ask your Windows 95 / 98 / NT questions here!

  Microsoft Security

Patch Available for "Unprotected IOCTLs" Vulnerability

Affected Software Versions

  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Workstation
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Server
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, Terminal Server Edition

More information.

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  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: Data Fellows warns of Back Orifice 2000
Updated: IRC Networks and Servers, Listing O - Z
Added: Microsoft Security: Patch Available for "Unprotected IOCTLs" Vulnerability
Added: The truth about VMM32.VXD
Updated: Drivers Available For Download From Windows Update Site

Windows 95
Added: Preview Media Files (in Windows Explorer)

Windows 98
Updated: Internet Explorer 5 Tip: Setup
Updated: Windows 98 Second Edition Hangs During Suspend
Added: Windows 98 Second Edition Shutdown Problems
Added: Preview Media Files (in Windows Explorer)
Added: Windows 98, VMM32.VXD
Updated: Upgrading to Windows 98 Second Edition
Added: Windows 98 Second Edition Update doesn't update Internet Explorer 5
Updated: Problems Accessing Windows Update

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