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Longhorn Server Beta 3 release!!!

April 26th, 2007 by Patrick S

Windows Server Code Name Longhorn has been released to beta testers today (five separate editions!!), with some of the most important changes coming to Longhorn Server Core. Core will support a grand total of 8 roles, double the 4 roles it had back in mid 2005. The grand total of roles available to Server Core includes:

  • Active Directory
  • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services
  • DNS
  • DHCP
  • File/Print
  • Windows Media Services
  • Terminal Services (gets TS Easy Print and the new TS RemoteApp management interface)
  • Virtualization (configuring a server as a dedicated host for virtual servers.) (won’t be available immediately.)
  •  Network Access Protection (has greatly improved setup and integration)
  • IIS7 (does XCOPY deployment; and lots, lots more…)

PowerShell is also included in the 3rd beta release of Longhorn Server, as well as the Windows Firewall being enabled by default.

And what if you want to try this great os and dont know how to run it? The folks at Microsoft have launched a new Windows Server “Longhorn” Technical Library on the Windows Server Tech Center, they have a detailed Reviewers’ Guide available to download and read, and perhaps coolest of all, they have teamed up with the folks in our Microsoft Learning group to develop free self-paced e-learning clinics. These interactive, multimedia-based clinics provide eight hours of training on topics like server management, centralized application access, branch office management, and security and policy enforcement. They keep track of which sections you’ve completed, so you can start and stop them whenever you like, and you can even download them for offline use to keep you company on transatlantic flights.

So-All-in-all its been a Massive day for Windows Server! I cant wait to download it give it a test run…
… I love you windows server 😛

Source: AeroXP and The folks at the Windows Server Blog 

Check it out – (now live-so go grab yourself a copy)

Posted in Beta News, MS News, Testing, Windows Server System | 4 Comments »

Microsoft Only sold 244 copies of Genuine Windows Vista in China

April 20th, 2007 by Patrick S

Microsoft spent millions of dollars advertising its next generation OS ‘Windows Vista’ in China, in fact the IT juggernaut threw up the biggest Vista Ad on the 421 meter high Jin Mao tower in Shanghai China. However after 2 weeks (Jan 19 to Feb 2) from launch Microsoft managed to sell a mere 244 copies of Windows Vista. Software piracy is rampant in the middle kingdom and a pirated version of Vista sells for a mere $1 on the streets. The following numbers are quoted by Windows Vista chief distributor in Bejing.

“…China’s population is 1.3 billion. Vista Ultimate sold 242 copies. That’s a market penetration rate of .0000186% …”

News source: newlaunches/ & MSFN

Posted in Humour, Windows Vista | 2 Comments »

HP Customer Participation Program software causing memory leak

April 16th, 2007 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

A Microsoft MVP reported that a file hppusg.exe is causing a memory leak, which can use as much memory as 800MB or 900MB.

A research on the file hppusg.exe reveals that this file is used by HP for HP Customer Participation Program. It is saved under the directory of C:\Program Files\HP\HP UT\bin

Based on HP website,

“Cause: The hppusg.exe is the HP Customer Participation Program software that the user has opted to install. It does not affect printing or HP Toolbox FX functionality.”

Any other users having this memory leak (from this program)? If yes, post back!

I’ll be restoring back to my default factory state for my HP Tx1000 and enable HP Customer Participation Program, in the next few weeks to see if I’m having the same memory leak.

Thanks to Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP for this report.

Update: It seems that a combination of this HP Customer Participation Program and HP Toolbox are causing the problem. A minimum installation of drivers should solve this issue.

Posted in Windows Vista | 27 Comments »

Outlook 2007 Performance Patch

April 16th, 2007 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

Every since the beta version of Microsoft Outlook 2007, Outlook has a huge performance issue. However Microsoft just released an update for Outlook 2007 to resolve the performance issue.

I can’t say that this will 100 percent solve the latency issues, but users should see a big improvement,” said Jessica Arnold, Outlook’s program manager.

Download it from:

 News source:

Posted in Office 2007 | 2 Comments »

Server DNS vulnerability attacks

April 14th, 2007 by Patrick S

Microsoft confirmed yesterday that it has uncovered targeted attacks exploiting a new vulnerability in the Windows Server DNS Service.

Microsoft immediately mobilised its Software Security Incident Response Process (SSIRP) to investigate.

Due to a stack-based buffer overrun that exists in the Windows DNS Server’s remote procedure call (RPC) interface, attackers can send an RPC packet to the interface enabling them to run malicious code on the system. This vulnerability could allow a criminal to run code in the security context of the Domain Name System Server Service in Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Service Pack 4, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2, which by default runs as Local SYSTEM.

Users are encouraged to follow its “Protect Your PC” guidance of enabling a firewall, applying all security updates and installing anti-virus and spyware software to help minimise the possibility of a successful attack.

Microsoft is also urging customers to disable remote management over RPC capability for DNS Servers through the registry key setting, as well as block unsolicited inbound traffic on ports between 1024 and 5000 and enable advanced TCP/IP filtering, which will act as a workaround and stop attackers exploiting this vulnerability.

Details and workarounds can be found in Microsoft’s Technet Security Advisory 935964.


Posted in Security, Windows Server System | Comments Off on Server DNS vulnerability attacks

Windows XP to be put to bed in 2008

April 14th, 2007 by Patrick S

From the end of January 2008 all Microsoft Windows XP products will be retired to make way for its successor, Windows Vista.
Microsoft has confirmed that from 31 January 2008 large PC makers, such as Dell, HP and Toshiba, will no longer be able to buy licences for the software so they can install it on new machines. This change includes ALL versions of Windows including Home, Pro, MCE and Tablet PC editions

So far the responses to this news from MSFT have been “luke warm”. While people want to see change to the new version of Windows many people are also annoyed at Microsoft for pulling XP from right under them. Vista from has had a VERY average response from the general public since it went RTM. Many people refuse to upgrade and prefer the tried and true XP.

The end is near for XP-However I can still see MSFT releasing SP3 soon enough to accommodate for the masses of XP users that still remain…and shall remain for a long time to come. We will still get to see that friendly Blue Luna theme for a while yet.

Posted in MS News, Products, Windows XP | 1 Comment »

Windows splash screens from 1.01 to Vista

April 13th, 2007 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

Ever since the dawn of the Windows operating system, Microsoft has used Splash Screens as a means of distracting us while the operating system is loading. In addition to their entertainment value, the Windows splash screens typically provide us with some sort of feedback on the progress of the sometimes lengthy startup process.

In this gallery, you’ll be able to browse through all the splash screens from Windows 1.01 to Windows Vista.


Posted in MS News | Comments Off on Windows splash screens from 1.01 to Vista

“Live From Redmond” Webcast series

April 11th, 2007 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

VB Team is trying to get the word out about a Live From Redmond webcast series the VB team has put together aimed at Orcas and VB 9. The series will start April 18th and will continue into June.

Posted in .NET Framework, Daily Life, MS News, Visual Studio | Comments Off on “Live From Redmond” Webcast series

Has been hacked?

April 11th, 2007 by Zack Whittaker

This has me really confused – I was checking my WHOIS for my domain names to see when I need to renew them, and thought I’d check out Microsoft’s WHOIS as a simple query. After going to a number of different websites to verify this, I saw this on the WHOIS search. If anyone has any idea how this could have happened, let us know.

Please note: some strong language in places. If anyone has a low disposition, please don’t read some of the things below.

Edit: Wendy, in your lame attempt to explain this one to me (bless), it seems that Google and a lot of the other big websites out there have the sam problem. It’s not down to the individual websites, it’s something to do with the WHOIS search itself. I think…

Domain names in the .com and .net domains can now be registered
with many different competing registrars. Go to
for detailed information.
To single out one record, look it up with “xxx”, where xxx is one of the of the records displayed above. If the records are the same, look them up with “=xxx” to receive a full display for each record.

Posted in Corporation, Microsoft | 5 Comments »

Microsoft TechEd SEA 2007 – Get Ready!

April 9th, 2007 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

For Southeast Asia readers,


Yes, that’s right – the most gargantuan IT spectacle in the known universe will be back in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from September 10th – 13th 2007. Bigger, better, faster, cooler than ever before, you don’t want to miss it if you’re a geeky techie who’d prefer to stay in on a saturday night with a good book (such as “.NET Internals” or “Windows Server 2003 Security for Dummies”) instead of catching the new Rocky movie at the local cinema (it starts out ok, but gets hammy around the middle of the film).

Find out more here.


Posted in MS News | Comments Off on Microsoft TechEd SEA 2007 – Get Ready!

Live TV Giveaway

April 6th, 2007 by Kristan M. Kenney

The people over at are giving away two invites to the Windows Live for TV beta. For the most interesting 2 stories about “how has technology got you into trouble?”, they will send the invites to the best stories.

“Technology has got me into trouble before. I was at a party, this weird girl gave me her number so I typed it in and put as the name (without her seeing me) “Hayley – weird”. I went to the same club a few weeks later, the same girl saw me and asked why I hadn’t called her. I told her I didn’t have her number – she persued this and took my phone, and entered in her number again. When she went to save it, it said “Do you want to replace ‘Hayley – weird’?” That got me into hot water with a few of her friends.”


Posted in MS News | Comments Off on Live TV Giveaway

ANI Patch now Released!!!

April 4th, 2007 by Patrick S

Microsoft’s Patch for the ANI vulnerability is now out.

Click for bigger view

As discussed in our previous blog, this update was earlier to the usual second Tuesday monthly Security Release because of the alarming increase of Malwares and sites exploiting the ANI vulnerability. Please make sure you install this security update right now!

Update: When you install the patch and have a computer with a Realtek Audio card you might get an error message saying “Rthdcpl.exe – Illegal System DLL Relocation”. Microsoft has released a hotfix for this so if you have this problem, you can download the fix here.

Update etc sourced from F-secure

Posted in MS News, Security, Windows Vista, Windows XP | Comments Off on ANI Patch now Released!!!

Expression Web and Blend being added to MSDN subscription

April 4th, 2007 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

Go to an interactive design or web conference and ask an audience to raise their hands if they are “designers”, then again if they are “developers”, and I am always surprised to see that as much as a third (and sometimes more) of the crowd will just stare back at you perplexed, annoyed, or with playful contempt.  Turns out the label “designer” and “developer” are pretty ill suited to describe many of the ranks of folks who build applications, interactive content, and websites.  More than two distinct populations, these folks form a continuum of personalities, training, passions, and skills that span across uber-design (say, graphic illustration or photography) to uber-development (writing low-level drivers for devices, or algorithms for image processing)… while the majority of folks might be comfortable with one of these terms, for many they fail to deliver any real insight.

However there are a few statements I’d go on the record as making about the two populations that I think are unequivocally true (and are correlated in numerous quantitative research projects we have conducted):

    • Designers tend to wear black clothes, often turtlenecks, as much as 67% of the time in winter months
    • Developers like free t-shirts received at tech conferences (or as morale boosters at work), where as designers tend to use these shirts as extra materials for collages and cleaning up acrylic paint from their art-boards
    • Most designers can’t do math or quantitative thinking above a high-school level, rather, they make decisions purely through emotional intuition and guessing
    • Developers don’t understand modern art, don’t attend techno or electronic live performances, and only read non-fiction books
    • And contrary to popular belief, Santa Claus is a designer, not a developer…

Yes, the point is that any characterization of “designer” or “developers” is bound to fail, and the above examples are merely a yarn.  But I bet I had (many of) you on “designers wear black”…

By now you’ve heard about Microsoft Expression, a new product family from Microsoft “for professional web and interactive designers”.  Yes, “designers”, not “developers” (haven’t I fully undermined the validity of those terms yet?)  Coupled with our Visual Studio product line for “developers”, the two product lines together aim to radically improve the process of collaboration amongst teams of “designer/developers”.  We think role specific tools will help users with different skill sets, sensibilities, and passions to feel more at home in their tool of choice, while simultaneously allowing everyone to just swap projects/files and iterate along the way from concept to delivery of a project. 

Back in December of 2006 Microsoft shipped Expression Web (the rest of the Expression Studio is coming really soon (this quarter)) and they decided NOT to include it within any of the MSDN Subscriptions that many developers and organizations use to stay up to date on all things msft platform/tools. 

As of today Microsoft is adding Expression Web to MSDN Premium subscriptions (and the greater Team Edition offerings), and it will be available for download immediately.  This is the full product license, per other products available in MSDN subscriptions.  Microsoft is also going to include Expression Blend  in these subscriptions once it ships. By doing so, they are doing the right thing for not only “developers”, but hope this will also benefit “designers” who adopt the full Expression Studio and work on teams collaboratively with “devs”.  So much of what Microsoft is delivering in next generation platforms (ASP.NET, “WPF/E”, WPF) can only fully be exploited and realized when both the visual/interactive/emotional design is coupled with the functional, programmatic, deployable and secure manifest—and that is the focus that drove this decision, irrespective of what you call the person who does what on the project.

Source from: Somasegar’s Weblog(Corporate VP, Developer Division)

Posted in .NET Framework, MS News, MSDN, Visual Studio | Comments Off on Expression Web and Blend being added to MSDN subscription

Microsoft changes mind on Vista and Thin-Client computing…

April 3rd, 2007 by Patrick S

Spring is in the air, and like many of us, Microsoft is looking to slim down for summer. Despite its former reluctance to support thin-client computing, it looks like Microsoft has loosened up and clarified its licensing when it comes to thin clients. MSFT has claimed that it will loosen the strings that it currently has on thin-client licensing a more “supported” feature in its Windows OS rather than the gray area it currently is now.

First, they are going to permit streaming Vista directly to thin clients, allowing it to boot from the network instead of a local hard drive-until now it was only really a Unix/Linux (and MacOS) concept. This means that any updates/program installs made on the server will be applied to the Thin-clients as soon as the next user ‘logs on’. This is because the OS resides on the server itself.
The use of this technology is all well and good but impractical in some instances because the use of Thin-clients chews up huge amounts of bandwidth!

The other change is a new subscription license called Windows Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktops (VECD).VECD lets you host Vista as virtual machines on something like VMware or Virtual PC. Currently, in my environment we do something along these lines. VPN users connect to a farm of VMware ESX servers running multiple copies of Windows via RDP. Since they are just using RDP, we only need one port open on our firewall, which keeps home PC cooties off our network. Since it’s to a PC that’s actually a virtual machine on ESX it’s simple to expand the number to meet increased demand.

Until now, this has been a gray area as far as licensing is concerned; with VECD it is now legitimate, although there is supposed to be a fee schedule based on the number of devices you are using it with. The cost will be different for full PCs and thin clients, but Microsoft’s announcement does not go into much detail.

Only time will tell…

Microsoft Press Pass: Found HERE
Info Sourced from:

Posted in Computing, MS News, Products, Windows Server System, Windows Vista | Comments Off on Microsoft changes mind on Vista and Thin-Client computing…

Animated cursor attacks escalate; emergency patch coming

April 2nd, 2007 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

Microsoft plans to release an emergency, out-of-cycle Windows update on Tuesday, April 3, 2006 to patch the animated cursor (.ani) vulnerability currently being used in widespread malware attacks.

The decision follows a weekend of escalated attacks, which include a self-propagating worm spotted in China and the discovery of hundreds (possibly thousands) of hacked Web sites hosting animated cursor exploits.

According to Christopher Budd, a program manager in the MSRC (Microsoft Security Response Center), the out-of-band patch is in response to the increased attacks and the public disclosure of proof-of-concept code.

“In light of these points, and based on customer feedback, we have been working around the clock to test this update and are currently planning to release the security update that addresses this issue on Tuesday April 3, 2007,” Budd said in a blog entry.

The proof-of-concept code is available at, a public repository for free exploits. The remote exploit code even bypasses the unofficial patch being offered by eEye Digital Security.


Posted in Windows Vista, Windows XP | 1 Comment »

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