There's been a balanced diet of Microsoft news this week -- with hearty servings of security stew, product pie, crepe .NET and Spam a la Redmond. The bad news? There are no stories about overly-regular geese this week. The good news? There's always next week.
FEELINGS OF INSECURITY
Microsoft offers plug for 'critical' SQL Server holes
It's patch time again! Microsoft says there are five flaws in SQL Server 2000. Control of the server is on the line here, so the vulnerabilities are rated "C" for "critical." Two flaws within the SQL Server Resolution Service are of particular concern. Patches to caulk the flaws are available from Microsoft's TechNet Web site.
Microsoft Exchange Server flaw uncovered
SQL Server 2000 isn't alone in its insecurity. Exchange Server Version 5.5 has a remote buffer overflow flaw that could let attackers crash the server and even take it over. Microsoft has posted a patch on its Web site, but Exchange SP3 must be installed for it to work.
Shavlik eases Microsoft patch management
Shavlik Technologies has updated its Microsoft patch management product, HFNetChkPro. It allows administrators to scan systems and groups of systems to check for up-to-date and improperly configured patches. New patches can be downloaded and pushed to machines or scheduled for later download. The update adds realtime inspection and installation of patches, new options for scheduling patch downloads and application, and better reporting and management features.
NEW STUFF NOW
Microsoft unfurls .NET Server RC1
The first coming of .NET Server is now out of the bag. Microsoft has officially released the first version of .NET Server to beta testers. Microsoft is touting .NET Server RC1's accent on security and the Web services features built into its core. The company reportedly will make the build available for free to customers through the Win.NET Server Customer Preview Program, where customers can download or order CD versions of RC1, which will expire 360 days after installation.
Microsoft's .NET set to link to Apache, Oracle
Apache -- Microsoft does that. MS plans to bring the open source Web server heavyweight into the .NET family. Developers will be able to build links to Apache Web servers using the ASP.NET software layer. More than half of all Internet sites use Apache, which competes with Microsoft's own IIS. .NET is making for some strange, or at least bitter bedfellows -- MS has also extended .NET to Oracle's database products and may do the same for IBM's DB2.
Microsoft updates Office XP, Exchange Server
Microsoft is bearing a couple of gifts. The first is the free Office XP Web Services Toolkit 2.0, which should provide a better way to access data in back-office systems or remotely in third-party stores. If you want to use it, you have to uninstall the previous version and have Windows Installer 2.0. Gift number two is Service Pack 3 for Exchange Server 2000, which packs some important security patches.
NEW STUFF LATER
Titanium a nice snack -- not a big meal
The next Exchange release, Titanium, isn't anything to stop the presses or take your breath away, but Microsoft says the mobile features should keep you happy until the next big thing comes out.
Microsoft demos next .NET: Greenwich .NET Messenger, tweaks for Visual Studio.NET
It's almost Greenwich time in Redmond. Greenwich is the name of a realtime communication and collaboration server that should be out in early 2003. Greenwich will also be spun off as a Web service to be called .NET Messenger. The company also plans to update Visual Studio.NET this fall and tweak its security, performance and mobile capabilities. Bill Gates said this week that .NET's greatest achievement thus far has been Visual Studio.NET.
Microsoft embeds HailStorm into .NET
Hailstorm evidently lives on through .NET. Microsoft plans to take parts of the XML schema and data access technology and work it into the .NET client/server software stack.
Survey: Microsoft tops list in e-mail seats
The e-mail seat market didn't exactly sit still in 2001. A fresh batch of data from IDC shows more than 50 million new e-mail and calendaring seats were sold last year. Exchange Server nabbed 30 million of those, and Lotus lured 14 million new Domino seats. IDC claims Microsoft has 83 million total Exchange users -- Domino has 74 million, and Novell has 34 million GroupWise users.
Microsoft to add 5,000 new workers
Microsoft is giving its research and development arm a boost. The company will boost its R&D investment by nearly one BILLION dollars and hire 5,000 new workers in the coming year.
The world according to Gates
Coming to an inbox near you: spam canned in Redmond. Microsoft plans to send out newsletters every few months offering its take on the world of technology and public policy. In fact, the first one just came out, authored by Bill Gates -- he talked about Trustworthy Computing and security.
Every geek has its day -- in this case it's today
Hurry before it's too late! Go grab a geek, and kiss 'em on the cheek! You won't find it written in red on the calendar, but Friday is a special day set aside to honor sys admins.