Windows-Help.NET Newsletter 29 March 2003, Vol 6 No. 10

In this issue:

w   Microsoft's next Windows Versions
w   Microsoft Security Bulletin
w   Recent Support BBS Postings
w   Web Site Updates
w   Administrivia

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Microsoft's next Windows Versions

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

Longhorn Many of you may already have heard some news about Microsoft's future Windows plans, currently under the code-name "Longhorn".

The project is currently still in its infancy (read Alpha stage), and a first Beta of Longhorn isn't expected before this fall.

Therefore I haven't spent too much time writing about it. There are some Web sites, which seem to get their hands on every leaked Alpha build, and "review" it like there is no tomorrow.

Well, that's all fine and dandy, but Microsoft's plans for the OS are only just now taking some shape. Major changes will take place before the first Beta build is released, so there's not much point looking at (leaked) Alpha builds in too much detail.

The main focus for Longhorn seems to be a change in file system, and the Graphical User Interface (GUI).

The file system used in Longhorn will change to a database type storage called WinFS (Windows Future Storage), which is based on the next version of Windows SQL Server 2003 (currently code-named Yukon). This new file system has some capabilities designed to improve searches for certain files on ever increasing storage media. To this end two new features called Windows Future Storage Services and Windows Storage Full-Text Index are part of the new file system. In Longhorn you will just answer a simple question "What are you looking for?" in order to find files. You'd just search for "Music from Pete", or "Pictures from Julia".

The GUI will use more 3D like objects, taking full advantage of 3D video hardware to add more depth and photo-realism, and will take a more task-based approach, expanding on current Windows XP design. The code name for the new user interface is "Avelon".

Longhorn is also reported to include a new setup routine, designed to install the OS in under 20 minutes.

Now, originally it was thought that Longhorn would just be the next "Client" version of Windows, and the Windows release after Longhorn (currently code-named Blackcomb), would be a Server-only release.

But this week, Microsoft Senior Vice President Brian Valentine revealed that plans for Longhorn and Blackcomb are very much in flux. Valentine said that Microsoft is reevaluating its plans and could well ship both client and server components of each release.

So it seems clear that the plans for the next Windows version are far from being set, and we'll just have to wait and see for the first Longhorn beta near the end of this year, which will probably shed some light about the future Windows versions.

Microsoft Security

Flaw in RPC Endpoint Mapper Could Allow Denial of Service Attacks

Microsoft has posted a patch for Microsoft Windows 2000 & XP, and a work-around for Windows NT 4. A flaw exists in the RPC protocol used by the Windows OS. An attacker could exploit the vulnerability to launch a Denial of Service Attack against a remote machine.

Severity Rating: Important

Affected Software Versions

  • Microsoft Windows NT 4
  • Microsoft Windows 2000
  • Microsoft Windows XP


Recent Support BBS Postings

Desktop icon text colour? - Windows XP
TFT Monitors - Hardware
Update notification program? - Other Internet Software
Network Scanning tools - Networking
XP slooooow boot - 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: MS PocketPC 2002 Phone Edition -- Part 3

Updated: LinkStash - ver 1.5 new build
Added: Registry Compactor - ver 1.0 released


Added: Microsoft Security: Flaw in RPC Endpoint Mapper Could Allow Denial of Service Attacks
Added: Microsoft's next Windows Versions
Added: Microsoft Releases DirectX 9.0a

Windows XP

Added: Disable the Windows XP Prefetcher


MS PocketPC 2002 Phone Edition

Part 3: PocketPC proves to be a gaming heaven!

Read Full Article
Microsoft Releases DirectX 9.0a

This week Microsoft released DirectX 9.0a. Microsoft DirectX is a group of technologies designed to make Windows-based computers an ideal platform for running and displaying applications rich in multimedia elements such as full-color graphics, video, 3D animation, and rich audio. The DirectX 9.0a release includes security and performance updates, along with many new features across all technologies, which can be accessed by applications using the DirectX 9.0 APIs. This release also resolves an issue with DirectX 9.0 where some multiplayer games or MSN Messenger may not work correctly. A number of minor bugs were also resolved.

Download DirectX 9.0a End-User Runtime
Microsoft Windows Media Player 9 Series Fix

When you try to play back certain ASF files created by hardware devices, you may receive the following error message approximately three or four minutes after playback has started:

0xC00D1199 -- Windows Media Player cannot play the file. The file is either corrupt or the Player does not support the format you are trying to play.

You may also receive this error message when you seek past the three- or four-minute mark by using the track bar.

Download Media Player 9 Series Fix [860 KB]
Windows XP Tip: Disable the Windows XP Prefetcher

Windows XP has a Prefetcher component, which shortens the amount of time it takes to start Windows and programs. When trouble shooting either Windows or program start-up issues, it might be helpful to disable the prefetcher, because it runs as a background service while other applications are running or loading.

Read Tip
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