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MS throws volume-license users a bone

Microsoft is offering premium customers the first crack at Exchange 2003. Maybe this will take some of the sting out of the wounds caused by the Licensing 6.0 fiasco.

Time to cash in on that Open License you paid big bucks for.

Starting today, Microsoft is offering its premium customers -- the folks with volume-license deals -- the first crack at Exchange 2003. Maybe this will take some of the sting out of the wounds that are just beginning to heal over the Licensing 6.0 fiasco.


Microsoft is still being cagey about the formal release date for the newest version of its messaging and collaboration software platform -- later this year is all Redmond officialdom will say -- but sources tell's Margie Semilof that Exchange 2003 will make its official debut sometime in October.

If you plan to be an early adopter of this technology, you'll have to be an early adapter as well. Since Outlook 2003 isn't ready for prime time yet, users of the early version of Exchange 2003 will have to make do with an older client for now. The good news is that the new Exchange has some compelling features, such as support for mobile and wireless devices, better integration with Windows and spam-slamming abilities.

For some real change in Exchange, save your pennies now for Kodiak. That's the code name for the far-off version of Exchange that should make the 2003 model look like a mere cub.

Speaking of Exchange, a card-carrying member of the open-source community recently talked with about the possibility of the fledgling making a dent in Exchange's armor. OpenGroupware's chances? Not good, says Nat Friedman, a developer and co-founder of Ximian Inc. in Boston. Friedman, who spoke mostly in positive terms about Exchange, said there's simply no good reason for companies to migrate from Microsoft's platform. If there's one area in which open-source -- or anyone else -- can make headway against Exchange, it's in creating a low-end groupware server, Friedman said.

For a story that just won't go away, look no further than the Windows Remote Call Procedure (RPC) vulnerability. reported this week that the flaw has found its way onto a list of the biggest and baddest in the IT security world. That list was put together by security service provider Qualys Inc.

To make matters worse, the WinInformant site posted an article about how some users are discovering that Microsoft's patch for the RPC flaw isn't doing them any good. One user said he downloaded MS03-026, but a denial-of-service vulnerability was still present when he ran the demonstration code.

This user's experience probably represents only a sliver of the Windows community, but's editors are curious about whether anyone else out there is having a problem. That's why we're inviting users to take our latest poll: How have you dealt with the Windows RPC vulnerability?

Finally, this week's Windows news wrap-up wraps up with Longhorn, which appears to be back in the saddle now that Microsoft senior VP Eric Rudder has the reins in server country. Conflicting word on Longhorn from Redmond over a prolonged period has muddied the waters over whether this circa-2005 version of Windows will have a client version, a server version or both. Let the record now show: Rudder says a server version will definitely happen.

You can take it to the bank. Just make sure that bank is federally insured.


Exchange 2003 available early for some MS customers

Exchange's soft underbelly is the low end

Windows RPC vulnerability high on list of flaws to watch

Problems with Windows patches reported

Microsoft steers back to Longhorn release

Dig Deeper on Windows client management

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