Windows-Help.NET Newsletter 26 April 2003, Vol 6 No. 14

In this issue:

w   Microsoft Launches Windows Server 2003
w   Windows XP Creativity Fun Packs
w   Microsoft Security Bulletin
w   Recent Support BBS Postings
w   Web Site Updates
w   Administrivia

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Microsoft Launches Windows Server 2003

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

Windows Server 2003 This week, Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Server™ 2003. Simultaneous with Windows Server 2003 availability, Microsoft also announced Visual Studio® .NET 2003 and SQL Server™ 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-bit).

"As Microsoft's flagship server product, Windows Server 2003 delivers the performance and productivity business customers expect, while maximizing every dollar of their IT investment," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "Windows Server 2003 with Visual Studio .NET 2003 and SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) is the cornerstone of Microsoft's enterprise strategy and lays the foundation for customers to implement integrated, cost-effective solutions that connect information, people, systems and devices."

Microsoft is hoping that with the launch of Windows Server 2003 it can convince customers who are holding on to Windows NT Server 4.0 to upgrade. Compared to Windows 2000 Windows 2003 doesn't include any (mayor) new features, but the overall emphasis on security in the new OS makes it more appealing. Windows Server 2003 does contain thousands of small changes and refinements over Windows 2000, making Windows Server 2003 around 30 percent more efficient then Windows NT.

Microsoft even put up a dedicated section on the Windows Server 2003 home devoted to Upgrading from Windows NT Server 4.0.

More information is available at the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Web site.

Windows XP Creativity Fun Packs

Windows XP Creativity Fun Packs Last Tuesday, Microsoft released four new Fun Packs for Windows XP. These special spring-themed Fun Packs are loaded with great extras that can help you to be even more creative while enjoying the built-in digital media and communications capabilities available in Windows XP.

The fun packs contain the following extras:

  • Windows Media Player 9 Series
    • A blogging plug-in
    • 3-D Alchemy Visualizations and 3-D Picture Viz with spring-themed backgrounds
  • Windows Movie Maker 2
    • Six new video titles, 3 music tracks, 5 music transitions and 50 sound effects
  • Digital Photography and Web Browsing with Windows XP
    • 15 new greeting card templates for those special springtime occasions including Mother's Day, Father's Day, Weddings and graduation.
    • Five new title slides for Photo Story, a feature included in Plus! Digital Media Edition - a digital media enhancement pack for Windows XP.
    • Over 70 Favorites that connect users to a broad range of websites containing useful information for springtime and beyond. These sites can help you to find the perfect gift for Mothers' Day, buy a digital camera, plan a hike, start a garden, get a start on baseball season and much more!
  • Windows XP Power Toys
    • A Video Screen Saver Power Toy allowing you to play any Windows Media Video file as your Windows XP Screensaver.
    • Automatic Desktop Wallpaper Changer Power Toy.

The new Fun Packs, as well as some recently updated how-to articles about using Windows XPs digital media and communications features, will be available Tuesday from the Microsoft Windows XP Experiences Web site, or get the individual packs, which I have linked from the Windows-Help.NET Web site.

Microsoft Security

April 2003 Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer

Microsoft has posted a cumulative patch for Internet Explorer 5.01, 5.5, 6.0 that, when installed, eliminates all previously discussed security vulnerabilities. In addition, it eliminates four newly discovered vulnerabilities.

Severity Rating: Critical

Affected Software Versions

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01, 5.5 and 6.0


April 2003 Cumulative Patch for Outlook Express

This patch addresses a vulnerability that could allow an attacker to run code of the attacker's choice on a user's machine. To exploit the vulnerability, attacker would have to be able to cause Windows to open a specially constructed MHTML URL, either on a web site or included in an HTML email message.

Severity Rating: Critical

Affected Software Versions

  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.5 and 6.0


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Recent Support BBS Postings

NTFS & Networks - Windows XP
Spell Check in OE - Internet Explorer
XP wont print to shared printer - Networking
Good test site! - Security / Virus
Show Desktop QuickLaunch Button - Windows XP

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: Microsoft Security: April 2003 Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer
Added Microsoft Security: April 2003 Cumulative Patch for Outlook Express
Added: Microsoft Posts Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools for Download
Added: Microsoft Posts Patch for Office 2000 Registration Bug

Windows 98

Updated: Internet Explorer 5 Security Patches

Windows XP

Added: Windows XP Media Center Edition Critical Update
Added: Microsoft Kernel Patch Slowing Down WinXP Systems
Added: Microsoft Announces FREE Windows XP Creativity Fun Packs


Microsoft Kernel Patch Slowing Down Windows XP Systems, Microsoft Issues Warning

Microsoft is said to be looking into problems that some people have reported after installing a security patch that was issued last week. The patch - which was designed to stave off a buffer overrun that could allow attackers to elevate privilege permissions on users' machines - ended up slowing some users' systems to a crawl.

Microsoft added information to the Security Bulletin late Wednesday, warning users of Windows XP Service Pack 1 that their systems could suffer performance problems when installing the patch.

Read Full Article
Microsoft Posts Patch for Office 2000 Registration Bug

Microsoft has posted a software patch to fix a registration glitch experienced recently by an unknown number of Office 2000 users.

The problem, detailed on a Microsoft support Web page, occurred for some users after April 15, when a pop-up message would appear as they opened Office 2000 applications. The message told the users to register their copies of Office 2000, even if they had previously been registered or didn't require registration. The problem appears to centre on the Select Customer - ie. non-academic volume licence purchasers - version of the Office 2000 Service Release 1 (SR-1) running on Windows 2000, but could possibly also include other versions.

Full details and the patch can be found in Microsoft Knowledge Base article 818798.

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Microsoft Posts Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools for Download

This week, Microsoft released the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools. These are a set of software tools for administrators, developers, and power users to manage Active Directory, Group Policy, TCP/IP Networks, Registry, Security, Scalability and many other areas of the Windows Server 2003 operating system.

You can download the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools from the Microsoft download [12 MB] site (English only). Requires Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Professional and 30 MB of free disk space.
Windows 2000 Patch: Code Download Manager Update

Because of code changes and improvements to Windows Update, you may be unable to obtain the latest device driver updates using Windows Device Manager and Add Printer Wizard components. To resolve this issue, you must update the Code Download Manager (CDM), a component on your computer that interacts with Windows Update.


Related Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 329553
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