Windows-Help.NET Newsletter 1 Nov. 2003, Vol 6 No. 36

In this issue:

w   Microsoft Releases Longhorn Details
w   Microsoft Security Bulletin
w   Recent Support BBS Postings
w   Web Site Updates
w   Administrivia

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Microsoft Releases Longhorn Details

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

Microsoft Releases Longhorn Details at PDC 2003 This week, Microsoft offered developers an early look at the next version of Windows (currently code-named Longhorn) at the company's Professional Developers Conference (PDC).

In his keynote speech, Microsoft's Chairman and Chief Software Architect, Bill Gates said that Longhorn would be the biggest release of this decade, the biggest since Windows 95.

According to Gates, Longhorn will take advantage of hardware improvements over the next three years, and that the software is today's limiting factor, not hardware.

"So the personal computer in less than three years will be a pretty phenomenal device. The graphics capability, some of which we have in today's machines and not exploited by all applications, will be even better. The memory, the speed, none of these things are the constraint. In fact, I think it's simple to say where the constraint is in this era. It's not the microprocessor, like it was when we needed performance for GUI; it's not the cost of networking, like we had to worry about when the Internet came along. Here, it's software, software that is managing itself, software that's reducing the complexity and that's really today's theme, getting the platform to be rich enough so that this all comes together."

Microsoft handed out CD's of a technical preview of Longhorn to developers, and "reviews" and pictures are popping up all over the Internet, although the final product won't look much like the current preview. If you'd like to see some pics, head over to Paul Thurrott's Longhorn Gallery. Since I didn't attend PDC 2003 myself, I'll have to wait another 4-8 weeks before I will receive my CD with the Longhorn preview build.

Other improvements include big advances in speech capabilities built into Longhorn, in both recognition and synthesis, and a new search system that should make finding things on your computer easier.

The first beta version of Longhorn is expected well into 2004. Right now the talk is for a summer '04 beta release, and Microsoft hasn't given any indication on a final release date, but my guess is that it could easily be at least three years out.

Microsoft Security

Microsoft Updates Patch

This week, Microsoft revised three of the patches it released in its October 2003 bulletin, the first monthly security advisory offered by the company. Affected by the revision are the MS03-042 "Buffer Overflow in the Windows Troubleshooter ActiveX Control Could Allow Code Execution", MS03-043 "Buffer Overrun in Messenger Service Could Allow Code Execution" and MS03-045 "Buffer Overrun in the ListBox and in the ComboBox Control Could Allow Code Execution" patches. Subsequent to the release of the original bulletin and the associated patches, Microsoft was alerted to a problem discussed in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 830846, "Windows Product Updates May Stop Responding or May Use Most or All the CPU Resources". This problem is unrelated to the security vulnerability discussed in the bulletins.

Microsoft has developed a fix for this issue and is re-releasing the bulletins to reflect the new updated patches. Customers who have already applied the original patches are protected against the vulnerabilities discussed in the security bulletins.

For more info, or to download the updated patch, see the above bulletins.


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Recent Support BBS Postings

Slow Windows Updates Installs - Windows XP
Favicon location - Internet Explorer
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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: Office 2003 Review
Added: Microsoft Releases Longhorn Details at PDC 2003
Added: Microsoft Releases Rights Management Add-on for Internet Explorer

Windows XP

Added: Microsoft Releases Autoplay Repair Wizard


Office 2003 Review

On the 21st October Microsoft launched their new Office System. I had a look at it, and posted this samll review.

Read Full Article

PDC Highlights

Check out some of the activities of the PDC (Professional Developers Conference). Presentations are played using the Microsoft Windows Media Player.

Day One [13.6 MB]. Attendees talk about what they are learning and excited about and Robert Hess interviews Jim Allchin about what he's most excited about with Longhorn.

Day Two [6.9 MB]. Eric Rudder talks about how developers can prepare for WinFX, and Gordon Mangione discusses important features in Yukon.

Day Three [7.7 MB]. PDC attendees talk about what areas they'd like to see Microsoft researching, and Rick Rashid shares his thoughts on the advances in traditional and non-traditional computer systems.

              Windows-Help.NET Newsletter Current Issue

I now use RSS to deliver the Windows-Help.NET Newsletter to people who would rather not subscribe to the e-mail newsletter. The easiest way to experience RSS is through a "news aggregator" (may I recommend FreeReader?) for your desktop computer. This will fetch and organize recent content and provide simple ways to read it.

You can learn more about RSS at the Web site of fellow publisher Lockergnome.

Microsoft Releases Rights Management Add-on for Internet Explorer (beta 2)

This week, Microsoft released a Rights Management add-on for Internet Explorer (Beta 2). The Rights Management Add-on for Internet Explorer is a way that Windows users can view files with restricted permission.

Read Full Article

Microsoft Releases Autoplay Repair Wizard

The Microsoft AutoPlay Repair Wizard scans your computer devices to find defective AutoPlay settings, and attempts to fix those it finds.

Supported Operating Systems: Windows XP & Windows Server 2003

Download [77 KB]

Product activation glitch hits Symantec

Some of the 1.2 million customers that have installed software maker Symantec's latest Norton PC security package have been unable to use the software because of new antipiracy technology, the company confirmed Thursday.

Read C|Net Article

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