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News Date: Monday 30th August 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
ICQ 99b 3.18 - Site News
  • Desktop Watch Official release of QuickLaunch 1.5.5 Beta
    Time: 16:42 EDT/21:42 GMT Source: Desktop Watch Posted By: Alex H

    Tom Worley of QuickLaunch is letting Desktop Watch official release his latest version of his software; you can read our pre-review on it. QuickLaunch is a program that makes the programs that start with your computer wait just a bit longer than normal, and then loads each program one at a time.

  • MS advertorial slammed by mag trade body
    Time: 16:40 EDT/21:40 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Alex H

    Microsoft has been castigated by the American Society of Magazine Editors for producing an advertisement for Microsoft Daily News that "looks like editorial", according to Marlene Kahn, the executive director of ASME.

  • Ads aim to simplify high-speed Net access
    Time: 16:38 EDT/21:38 GMT Source: Posted By: Alex H

    Internet access providers are looking to market their high-speed services to the greatest number of Net surfers as possible, but in the process may risk oversimplifying a technology still struggling with speed issues.

    Excite@Home, the nation's leading cable modem service, has launched a "multimillion-dollar" advertising campaign planned to run in several local markets where its service is available. The campaign aims to reach beyond the tech-savvy Internet users that now dominate Excite@Home's subscriber base to enlist people new to the Net.

  • Sun-Netscape alliance preparing another e-commerce offering
    Time: 16:36 EDT/21:36 GMT Source: Posted By: Alex H

    The Sun-Netscape alliance will soon ship a suite of e-commerce software that allows businesses to more easily forge electronic links with customers, suppliers, and business partners. The suite consists of two existing Netscape products: the Netscape Application Server and a new version of its ECXpert software, which manages transactions over the Internet.

    The Sun-Netscape combination is an outgrowth of a complex arrangement hammered out in March when America Online purchased Netscape for $10 billion. The bundle will allow businesses to easily connect with each other and to trade information. At the heart of the package is the Netscape Application Server, software that runs the transactions between the Web browser and back-end services, such as databases and human resources programs.


  • Malicious Java code uses IE to access computers
    Time: 16:34 EDT/21:34 GMT Source: Posted By: Alex H

    Researchers have created a malicious Java program that takes advantage of a security hole in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser to get unlimited control over a Windows-based computer. Within two days of hearing about the problem, Microsoft wrote and issued a patch to fix it, a spokeswoman for the company said.

    Through the security hole, a malicious Java program called an "attack applet" could "install a virus, read your email, write a file, set up a monitoring station, turn on your microphone," said Gary McGraw, a Java security expert and co-author of the book Securing Java. "It could do anything. It's way worse" than a bug that just crashes a computer, he said. Java is a technology created by Sun Microsystems that allows programs to be sent across a network and run on any Java-enabled computer.


  • Microsoft's Hotmail cracked like an egg
    Time: 15:23 EDT/20:23 GMT Source: PC Week Posted By: Byron

    Hotmail, the popular Microsoft Corp. e-mail Web service, has been cracked wide open. The problem isn't a small hole that only a technically adept cracker can use. With this hole, anyone with access to a short HTML script, already widely circulated, can open a Hotmail account.

  • Microsoft Clears Up Your Screen
    Time: 15:22 EDT/20:22 GMT Source: PC World Posted By: Byron

    Microsoft is making it easier for you to see. On Monday the company will reportedly give product details of an application that should make it easier for users to read text on their computer screens. Readability has been one of the prime inhibitors to consumers embracing electronic books, or e-books, which can be read from computers or specialized devices.


  • MS to unveil wireless e-book design
    Time: 06:52 EDT/11:52 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Byron

    Microsoft will announce plans for a tablet computer this week at the Seybold conference, according to an article in today's New York Times. As always, the company says it has no plans to build the device itself, but that it intends to work with hardware companies to build and sell it.

    Ominously, there seems to be no timescale attached, but Microsoft is also scheduled to announce delivery plans for ClearType today, and the two are likely to be linked. ClearType, which at least Microsoft thinks is a revolutionary technology that will make screens easier to read, and therefore make electronic books more feasible, will go into beta under the name Microsoft Reader in the next few months, and is intended to ship in Q1 2000.

  • Site News
    Time: 06:20 EDT/11:20 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    Quite a few of you have e-mailed me asking where I have vanished to, well don't worry I'm still working on the site but I have yet again been ill so my time has been taken up trying to get better. Here is a list of upcoming reviews:

    Hardware: Microsoft Dual Strike (Zulu), Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer, Matrox Millennium G400 32MB Dual Head, Palm Pilot V
    Software: System Shock 2, Heavy Gear 2
    Shows: Massive ECTS (Entertainment Computer Trade Show) round up - Hardware news, software news and interviews with Microsoft's DirectX and Hardware teams


  • ICQ 99b 3.18 #2568 released
    Time: 02:35 EDT/07:35 GMT Source: Desktop Watch Posted By: Alex H

    The folks at ICQ must have heard our complaints. They have just released a new build. This is #2568. The first new feature that I noticed is that now after the name of the ActiveList-it shows how many members are on line out of the total membership.It also seems to launch and connect a bit more quickly,too. ICQ just keeps getting better and better.

News Date: Sunday 29th August 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
Vizact - Site News
  • Site News
    Time: 18:08 EDT/23:08 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Alex H

    Once again another Sunday goes by without much news breaking on the internet. It is a shame because there isn't much else to do on a Sunday. Just a quick reminder of the Active Windows Community that is there, so you can post your views and ideas on the message board. We are also selling the Mouse Mats which can still be bought for a low price, so go get one now!

  • Vizact public area on Ultimate OS server
    Time: 17:52 EDT/22:52 GMT Source: E-Mail Posted By: Alex H

    The Ultimate OS have added a public area where people can showcase their pages made with the Microsoft program, Vizact. Check it out here.


  • Microsoft to restart European Net service
    Time: 17:47 EDT/22:47 GMT Source: Posted By: Alex H

    Microsoft will relaunch its MSN Internet service in Europe in the next 12 to 18 months, the company's head for Europe told the newspaper Welt am Sonntag. "We will start MSN anew in most European countries," Bernard Vergnes was quoted as saying, adding that the relaunch was expected within 18 months. More information would be available in October, Microsoft Germany chief Gregory Gordon told the paper.

    Microsoft had about 30,000 online customers in Germany last year when it discontinued the service as many clients were defecting to the opposition, Welt am Sonntag said.

    Microsoft has spent millions to beef up its MSN service, which has stagnated at about 3 million users while rival America Online races ahead, having topped 18 million customers earlier this month.

News Date: Saturday 28th August 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
 C&C2 Review - IE5 flaw - Virtual Machine Patch 
  • Patch Available for "Virtual Machine Sandbox" Vulnerability
    Time: 16:00 EDT/21:00 GMT Source: Microsoft Posted By: Alex H

    Microsoft has released a new version of the Microsoft® virtual machine (Microsoft VM) that eliminates a security vulnerability that could allow a Java applet to take unauthorized actions on the computer of a web site visitor. Frequently asked questions regarding this vulnerability can be found at

    The Microsoft VM is a virtual machine for the Win32® operating environment. It runs atop Microsoft Windows® 95, 98 or Windows NT®. It ships as part of each operating system, and also as part of Microsoft Internet Explorer. The version of the Microsoft VM that ships with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 and Internet Explorer 5.0 contains a security vulnerability that could allow a Java applet to operate outside the bounds set by the sandbox and take any desired action on the user's computer. If such an applet were hosted on a web site, it could act against the computer of any user who visited the site.

    A new version of Microsoft Virtual Machine can be found here.


  • Scientists crack Net security code
    Time: 15:56 EDT/20:56 GMT Source: MSNBC Posted By: Alex H

    A group of scientists claimed Friday to have broken an international security code used to protect millions of daily Internet transactions, exposing a potentially serious security failure in electronic commerce. Researchers working for the National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI) in Amsterdam said consumers and some businesses could fall victim to computer hackers if they get their hands on the right tools.However, not every computer whiz has access to the equipment, worth several million dollars, and no related Internet crimes have yet been uncovered, the experts said.

  • Win2000 to provoke domain showdown
    Time: 15:48 EDT/20:48 GMT Source: ZDNet Posted By: Alex H

    As if the technical preparations required to integrate Windows 2000 into the enterprise aren't enough, IT managers will also have to manage brewing political battles, such as who controls a network's domain names.

    Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT) has implemented DDNS (Dynamic Domain Name System) in Windows 2000 in a way that makes it extremely difficult for administrators to integrate the operating system upgrade with Unix systems, which use the older, static DNS.

    The Windows 2000 implementation of DDNS, which links domain names and IP addresses, all but requires Windows administrators to take control of naming services. Unix administrators, who have traditionally overseen DNS in mixed Unix/Windows NT environments, are fighting to keep control.

  • IE5 flaw makes PCs vulnerable
    Time: 15:46 EDT/20:46 GMT Source: ZDNet Posted By: Alex H

    Some hackers search for security holes in order to exploit them; others look for them for the sheer intellectual challenge. The latter is true in the case of Bulgarian hacker Georgi Guninski, who has repeatedly exposed dangerous security holes in Microsoft products.

    Guninski's latest discovery -- a treacherous design flaw in Internet Explorer 5.0 -- is perhaps the most serious ever. It allows anyone with a Web page to take over your computer system via a few simple lines of text within the HTML code that comprises the page. If you so much as visit the page, your system may be subject to the exploit.

    As if this weren't bad enough, hostile HTML code can also be included in an e-mail message. This is possible because many e-mail programs, including Outlook Express, Outlook, Eudora Lite and Eudora Pro, invoke IE5 "behind the scenes" to display e-mail that contains HTML code. So, even if you are not using IE5 for your usual Web browsing, you may be susceptible.

  • Windows 2000 RC2 delays
    Time: 15:44 EDT/20:44 GMT Source: E-mail Posted By: Alex H

    Just few days ago, The Register reported, "Gates hints Win2k shipment will slip to next year". Somehow this 'nightmare' may be truth now. We have received news that Microsoft have decided to delay Windows 2000 RC2 until Mid-September. It was originally planned for early September. Does this mean the Final will be delayed? We don't know yet, but so far MS haven't changed the RTM schedule.

  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Review
    Time: 12:20 EDT/17:20 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun- ReviewI have posted my review of Westwood's Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Here is a snippet:

    The new "3D" terrain manages to really enhance the gameplay over the original Command & Conquer, vehicles and troops take longer to travel up hills or mountains, ice is harder to walk on and using your weapons on the enemy is now harder due to ground level differences. Bridges and new units also help to make this a worthy purchase over Command & Conquer.

  • Microsoft Virtual Java Machine possible virus - Update
    Time: 03:10 EDT/08:10 GMT Source: E-Mail Posted By: Alex H

    Through the night I have received about 5 emails about the possible virus and 2 people have people have been getting a few false alarms and warnings from their virus checker. Once again please send in any news you get about this to me here at ActiveWin.

News Date: Friday 27th August 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
MS International Football - VJM - Winamp
  • Microsoft, HP Connect With Internet Printing
    Time: 18:10 EDT/23:10 GMT Source: PC World Posted By: Alex H

    Are you frustrated with using fax machines, e-mail attachments, or overnight mail to get a document into someone else's hands? You can send almost anything across the Internet, so why can't you just send the document right to someone else's printer? With new software from Microsoft and Hewlett Packard, you can.

    The two companies announced Friday that they will offer a beta version of Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) 1.0 as a native component of the third beta release of Microsoft's Windows 2000 Professional and Server operating systems. Furthermore, Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows 98 Second Edition users can download a final version of the related Internet Printing Services client.

    IPP allows print jobs to be sent to any printer connected to the Internet. The standard offers a new alternative to traveling professionals who need to remain in contact with home offices, or anyone who needs to share information quickly over long distances, according to the two companies.

  • Microsoft International Football 2000 - Review
    Time: 17:53 EDT/22:53 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    Microsoft International Football - ReviewI have posted my review of Microsoft's extremely new (Released today in the UK, sometime later in the US) International Football 2000. Here is a snippet:

    I began my first game with the friendly option, I selected the two default teams, England and France. Before starting the first game, there are a number of settings to choose from such as Weather (Snow, Rain or Sunny), Stadiums etc. I yet again went with the default settings. The game begins with your team coming out of the tunnel, the first thing I noticed was that the player names are not correct, I'm sorry If I sound dumb, but I have never figured out why some companies can use player names while others such as Microsoft/Rage have to make up their own?

  • Microsoft Virtual Java Machine possible virus
    Time: 17:44 EDT/22:44 GMT Source: E-Mail Posted By: Alex H

    I have received an email from someone saying that after they had installed the Microsoft Virtual machine update Norton Antivirus detected a virus in the file. Even though it didn't give a name for the virus, the details said it was a Macro virusbut still didn't give a name. This might be a one off situation, but I thought it would be important to let people know about it so they can check their systems as well to see if we have found a serious virus in the Microsoft Virtual Java Machine. If you do find you have this virus by letting us know.

  • Winamp 2.5c released
    Time: 17:39 EDT/22:39 GMT Source: Desktop Watch Posted By: Alex H

    We have just spotted a new version of winamp, 2.5c, over at the winamp ftp site. This new version now has mjf support, It also fixes eq volume setting bug, fixes some rare and strange docking bugs and nullsoft removed the playlist editor child options.

  • MS ActiveX security holes publicly demoed
    Time: 17:35 EDT/22:35 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Alex H

    Several security problems with Windows 98 were embarrassingly exposed at a security conference earlier this week. At the 8th Usenix Security Symposium in Washington DC, Richard Smith of Pharlap Software showed how ActiveX controls designed to help technical support could be used to gain access to users' PCs.

    Smith has been pointing out the problem for some time, exposing it on HP machines as early as July. It would seem to bee more a case of fundamental design flaws than bugs per se, but that of course makes matters worse.

  • Action 2K slams MS and others over Y2K info
    Time: 17:33 EDT/22:33 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Alex H

    The UK's Action 2000 campaign group is setting its sights on software packages whose manufacturers seem to be unable to decide whether, or how, Y2K-compliant they are. And Microsoft products are strong performers in the list of shame.

    As we've pointed out here in the past, Microsoft has an unfortunate habit of both discovering millennium issues in relatively recent products, and of changing its mind about the compliance status of its products. Action 2000 says that software manufacturers are failing to provide clear information on their products, and they keep changing the information they supply about compliance.

    This is causing major delays to companies trying to tackle Y2K. Action 2000 so far has a list of 24 software packages where this information has been changed recently, and this list includes Word 97, Excel 95, Outlook 98 and Windows NT Site Server.

  • How Microsoft hedged its 64-bit Alpha NT bets
    Time: 17:29 EDT/22:29 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Alex H

    We've now received copies of two postings Microsoft did on the same day about the future of 64-bit Alpha NT. Both appeared on August 24. In the first posting, Microsoft said: "This announcement does not currently affect our plans to develop and support 64-bit versions of our products on the Alpha platform. Compaq, as well as our other OEM partners, will continue to work with us to deliver a 64-bit version of Windows for our enterprise customers."

    In the second posting, Microsoft said: "There will be no future releases of Microsoft products for the 32-bit or 64-bit Alpha platform. This means there will not be 32-bit Alpha versions of Windows 2000, beginning with Release Candidate 2, nor will there be new 32-bit Alpha releases of SQL Server, Exchange, or other 32-bit Alpha BackOffice products. There will also be no 64-bit version of Windows or BackOffice developed for the Alpha platform."


  • Microsoft + IBM + Amway = Quixtar site
    Time: 17:26 EDT/22:26 GMT Source: ZDNet Posted By: Alex H

    Next Wednesday, a joint venture aimed at web-based entrepreneurs and involving some unlikely bedfellows -– Amway Corp., IBM and Microsoft Corp. -– will go live. The Quixtar (pronounced Quick-Star) web site ( will aim to provide a variety of products and services to Web shoppers. But the Quixtar development partners are claiming the site will be more than just another online mall, it also will offer shopping club features and will pioneer a new business model, the partners claim.

  • Locking Windows' Backdoors
    Time: 04:34 EDT/09:34 GMT Source: Wired News Posted By: Alex H

    If you use Microsoft Outlook, be warned. Over a dozen bugs in Windows 98 let malicious virus writers and meddlesome peeping Toms view or erase any file on your hard drive.

    At a computer security conference Wednesday afternoon, an expert demonstrated how malcontents can send apparently innocuous email with hidden commands that -- if opened using certain email programs -- will give an intruder complete access to a Windows computer.

    "We've got some serious problems here, folks. We've got some really bad backdoors on the computers we have on our desktops," said Richard Smith, president of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Phar Lap Software, who identified the person accused of writing the Melissa virus.

    During his presentation at the 8th Usenix Security Symposium, Smith demonstrated some new security flaws he and his collaborators have identified in their spare time. One recently unearthed and not-yet-fixed Win98 glitch lets an email opened in Outlook execute any DOS command -- including reformatting your hard drive or uploading its contents to a remote Web site.


  • A Flaw Worse Than Melissa
    Time: 04:32 EDT/09:32 GMT Source: Wired News Posted By: Alex H

    A team of computer scientists has discovered a bug in many Microsoft Windows computers that lets an attacker take control of a PC by sending an email message. The security hole, present in most copies of Windows 95 and all versions of Windows 98, would allow a malcontent to conceal malicious computer code in an email message or Web page that can surreptitiously modify files, reformat a hard drive, or execute any DOS command.

    "It's the Melissa virus, but even worse [than that]," says Dan Wallach, an assistant professor of computer science at Rice University who is one of the team members. "The Melissa virus required someone to click 'OK.' This doesn't."

    Microsoft has acknowledged the backdoor. This week, after the researchers contacted the company, it released an upgraded version of its Java virtual machine that fixes the problem.

News Date: Thursday 26th August 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
  • Microsoft Offers Special For Macs
    Time: 16:45 EDT/21:45 GMT Source: Tech Web Posted By: Alex H

    Microsoft is wooing Apple customers with Word 98 Special Edition for customers of the new Apple iBook and iMac computers. It includes Microsoft Word 98 Macintosh Edition, Internet Explorer 4.5, and Outlook Express 4.5. The software, released Thursday, also includes thousands of clip-art images, 100 greeting-card templates, and sample greeting-card paper. The cost after rebate is $99.

  • CE Fair: Germany Going Gaga
    Time: 16:38 EDT/21:38 GMT Source: Wired News Posted By: Alex H

    Germany is finally discovering this Internet thing, just in time for this year's International Consumer Electronics Fair here. The huge, biennial event dates back to 1924, when radio was introduced to German retailers as a hot new thing. The emphasis in recent years has been on TV and entertainment, which has been a sexy enough topic to draw half a million people over the nine-day event.

    But when this year's event opens Saturday at the Berlin fairgrounds, the growing European focus on the Internet will be on full display with an On-Line World exhibit area encompassing 6,000 square meters (64,000 square feet).

    "Of course, people are excited about this. The fair will have lots of things concerning the Internet and how to use that at home, and AOL. To have services like e-commerce and e-banking, it's a very big thing," said Klaus Juergen Dreier, head of the IFA organizing committee.


  • Microsoft puts boot into 64-bit Alpha
    Time: 16:24 EDT/21:24 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Alex H

    Compaq has suffered a further body blow to its Alpha chip strategy after it emerged any Microsoft support for 64-bit software will be thin gruel indeed.

    Earlier this week, senior VP Enrico "The Cloak" Pesatori held out hope for 64-bit Microsoft Alpha development, but those dreams have been dashed by a PR release from the Satan of Software.

    In a company statement, Microsoft said 64-bit versions of its products will be targeted at the Intel IA-64 architecture. It will discontinue development of future 32-bit and 64-bit Alpha products across its product line, Microsoft added.

  • Microsoft share price rise is a puzzle
    Time: 16:24 EDT/21:24 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Alex H

    For no agreed reason, Microsoft shares have increased in value by 14 per cent this week. There's an opinion from Michael Stanek of Lehman Brothers which noted that Microsoft is "somewhat immune from Y2K", and projects a price of 130 within 12 months. Bloomberg and Dow Jones cited "a favourable court ruling" which may be an optimistic way of describing the failure of the judge to give some reasons for decisions in Sun's action against Microsoft over Java.

    Bloomberg also mentioned as a reason the expected appointment of Richard Belluzzo to head Microsoft's Internet activities, but this was unrelated, according to Bill Epifanio of JP Morgan, who though the approach of Windows 2000 was more important. Steve Ballmer is on holiday and Gates is essentially out of operational matters, so the word from Microsoft is "no comment" about Belluzzo. Since he is tipped to start on 1 September, he is no doubt negotiating his contract details and reading the relevant Dummies book on the Internet, since his background is strongest in printer sales.


  • Merced silicon happens: Linux runs, NT doesn't
    Time: 16:21 EDT/21:21 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Alex H

    Reliable sources close to Intel's plans say that the company has produced first silicon samples of the processor in its fabrication plants. Intel has struggled to produce working silicon for some time, with various stops and starts, as reported here previously on numerous occasions. But while the news may be good for Intel, Microsoft is already gnashing its teeth. Because the Linux operating system is already running on the silicon while Microsoft's Win64 software won't.

  • Netscape issues fix to Web server bug
    Time: 16:14 EDT/21:14 GMT Source: Posted By: Alex H

    Netscape and a security software maker are offering a fix for a bug that could allow hackers to gain access to Netscape Web servers.

    Using a method called "buffer overflow," a hacker can send a server a Web address with more characters than the machine can handle, which causes it to grant access to the attacker that it normally would not.

    "A [malicious] hacker could do whatever he wants to the server. He can launch a virus or open an account without a password," said Christopher Rouland, director of Internet Security Systems' X-Force, a research and development team of security experts that maintains a database of hacking exploits and techniques.

    The bug affects Netscape Enterprise and FastTrack servers, according to ISS, a provider of network security software based in Atlanta. Businesses use Netscape Enterprise and FastTrack servers to build and manage intranet and extranet networks.

  • Patch Available for "Virtual Machine Sandbox" Vulnerability
    Time: 16:09 EDT/21:09 GMT Source: E-Mail Posted By: Alex H

    Microsoft has released a patch that eliminates a security vulnerability in the Microsoft(r) virtual machine (Microsoft VM). The vulnerability could allow a Java applet to take virtually any action on the computer of a web site visitor.

     Frequently asked questions regarding this vulnerability can be found at 


  • 2000 May Arrive Before Win 2000
    Time: 08:22 EDT/13:22 GMT Source: PC World Posted By: Byron

    Microsoft is "pretty sure" that Windows 2000 will ship by the end of the year, although delivering a top-quality product is the main concern and will dictate when the operating system is released, Bill Gates, chair and chief executive officer, says.

    Speaking at Dell's first user conference here this week, Gates calls the new operating system "the biggest version of Windows we've ever worked on." The product has been dogged by delays and will be more than a year behind schedule if it ships by December as promised.


  • Winamp 2.5 Released
    Time: 08:19 EDT/13:19 GMT Source: E-Mail Posted By: Byron

    Winamp 2.5 has been released here are a few of the new features:


    • Winamp is now freeware! Thanks to all who have previously registered, your support is really appreciated!
    • Skin selection menu in main menu, browser in preferences
    • Builtin visualization settings are now in preferences
    • Two streaming-related bugfixes to in_mp3.dll
    • Added streamed-file saving to in_mp3.dll (no shoutcast saving, sorry)
    • Added extended-M3U/PLS support (files include title and length info)
    • Improved in_mp3.dll's frame sync code
    • Better multi-byte character set support
    • Numerous playlist editor bugfixes, and refinements
    • Fixed some default skin images
    • Fixed some leak and GDI issues (thanks, BoundsChecker)
    • Fixed some leaks in in_cdda.dll
    • Restructured some internals of Winamp for bitrate reporting for speed
    • Added recent stream list to open location box
    • Automatic IE integration for SHOUTcast
    • Fixed a bug in out_wave.dll
    • Updated AudioSoft plug-in
    • Final WMA support for full version

News Date: Wednesday 25th August 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
 Intellimouse Explorer
  • Slate launches 'Office 2000' presidential coverage
    Time: 15:41 EDT/20:41 GMT Source: ZDNet Posted By: Byron

    Slate, the online magazine published by Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT), said today that it would launch a special section devoted to coverage of the 2000 presidential and congressional races. The new section has been dubbed "Office 2000" which also happens to be the name of one of Microsoft's top-selling pieces of software.

  • Microsoft Shows Off New Kit (UK)
    Time: 15:40 EDT/20:40 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Byron

    Today Microsoft revealed a wealth of consumer products intended for release in the run up to Christmas.

    The company has produced a range of new hardware and software, ranging from PC gaming add ons, like the Sidewinder Dual Strike control, to reference material, like the new version of Encarta, or Works Suite 2000.

  • Days Top Story
    Windows 2000 Can Hook You Up

    Time: 15:36 EDT/20:36 GMT Source: WinMag Posted By: Byron

    You'd be hard pressed to find the words "networking" and "easy" in the same sentence. Getting a company's PCs to talk and share and be good digital citizens is often an intimidating task. But Windows 2000 Server may take some of the work out of networking with a bevy of new features designed to make setting up and configuring a LAN easier--if not downright simple.

    Many of Win2000 Server's new networking features and improvements are related to administrative convenience. For example, Active Directory Services (ADS), with its Group Policies support, lets administrators set and modify security permissions, set computer management options, control Desktop settings and user profiles, and deploy applications en masse for 10 or 10,000 users.

  • Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer - Review
    Time: 05:20 EDT/10:20 GMT Source: CGO Posted By: Byron

    CGO has posted a Intellimouse Explorer review. Here is a snippet:

    The new IntelliMouse is an optical mouse, which is a technology that has been around for a while. Previous optical mice had to be used on a special reflective mouse pad, though, and the Microsoft product requires no pad at all. It doesn't even require a flat surface. The little red "eye" on the bottom takes thousands of really close-in snapshots of the surface you're working on, and compares them to determine mouse movement. You can use the mouse on your desk, a book, your pants leg, your neighbor, etc. And it works perfectly, at a resolution of about 400dpi! There is a catch, of course. You can't use the mouse on a glass table or mirror, or a surface that is incredibly clean, smooth, and reflective on a microscopic level. At least, not without putting a piece of paper on it first. The oversized mouse is very comfortable with a lot of hand contact, and movement is natural and accurate. Also, it will operate on both standard PS/2 mouse parts and as a USB device.

  • Will IM stand for 'instant money'?
    Time: 02:22 EDT/07:22 GMT Source: ZDNet Posted By: Alex H

    Sure, tens of millions of people use instant messaging technology on the Web. And, sure, it's the fastest growing application on the Web, outperforming chat and personal pages. But Web sites that offer the technology to their users still haven't found a way to make money from the surge in IM use, beyond improving their traffic to attract more advertisers. But that may be about to change.


  • Standards body translates Web for devices
    Time: 02:16 EDT/07:16 GMT Source: Posted By: Alex H

    The basic language of the Web is due for an overhaul--one that proponents say will make it easier for an array of Web browsing devices to read Web pages.

    Standards body the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today released a proposed recommendation--the penultimate stage in the W3C recommendation process--of Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML). The proposed recommendation would rewrite Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), commonly referred to as the Web's lingua franca, in Extensible Markup Language (XML), a newer technology for creating Web languages.

    Web authors use HTML to design basic Web pages. HTML tags designate format and page elements such as paragraph breaks, color, tables, lists, and the like. XML defines a tagging structure for the creation of industry- or task-specific languages. One example is MathML, for creating Web pages with mathematical content.

    High on the list of goals for XHTML is to make Web pages more easily readable by devices other than the traditional desktop browser, as devices such as handheld computers become ever-more-connected to the Internet. XHTML divides elements of a Web page into groups called "modules." When a device with a small screen accesses the page, the server can choose to send the device only the module with information that will fit on that small screen.

News Date: Tuesday 24th August 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
 Neptune - DirectX
  • AOL Updates Instant Messenger
    Time: 17:47 EDT/22:47 GMT Source: Internet News Posted By: Alex H

    America Online Inc. Tuesday launched version 3.0 of its popular Instant Messenger communications tool, on the heels of the recent launch of a messaging tool by Microsoft.

    Available via free download, features added to version 3.0 include: a customized news and stock ticker, as well as buddy list icons and an auto-reconnect if the connection is briefly lost. AOL boasts more than 45 million users of its instant messaging service.

    AOL has been a public quarrel with Microsoft since July, when Microsoft launched its own messaging client, MSN Messenger. "AIM 3.0's next-generation communications tools will greatly enhance the instant messaging experience for our registered users," said Bob Pittman, AOL's president and chief operating officer. "And, in the coming months, we will be rolling out new features to ensure that AIM continues to be the most valuable instant messaging product in cyberspace."

  • Days Top Story
    New IE5 Security Bug the Worst Ever?

    Time: 17:46 EDT/22:46 GMT Source: Internet News Posted By: Alex H

    Bulgarian browser bugmeister Georgi Guninski is at it again. The 27-year-old independent computer consultant has discovered a new security flaw affecting Internet Explorer 5, which enables a malicious hacker to place a program on the victim's hard disk, to be executed at the next reboot.

    Guninski is credited by Microsoft with discovering and publicizing a number of significant security flaws in its Internet Explorer browser in the past year. While he's also spotted several security bugs in Netscape's Navigator, Guninski is especially fond of poking holes in Active X, the scripting technology used in IE.

    "I think this is the most significant of my discoveries and the most dangerous also," Guninski told InternetNews Radio. "It allows a Web page or e-mail message to take control of the computer and do anything."

    According to Guninski, the attack can be launched by causing IE5 users to click on a hyperlink on a web page, but it also can be transmitted by e-mail to users of Microsoft's Outlook 98. The exploit places an executable program in an HTML Application file in a Window 95 or 98 computer's start-up folder. When the victim reboots his or her computer, the program will execute.

    Guninski said the problem lies in an Active X control called "Object for constructing type libraries for scriptlets". He has posted a demo and source code of the exploit at his Web site.


  • Neptune News
    Time: 15:07 EDT/20:07 GMT Source: E-mail Posted By: Alex H

    We are trying to get some more screenshots of Microsoft Neptune to post on the site for you to see. At the moment Neptune is in the very early draft stages. In fact, it "lives with" Win 2000 Professional now -- kind of an add-on to Win 2000 PRO (Build 2072 ONLY). Music Center, in the screenshot we posted on the 22nd doesn't even work yet - it's broken. Neptune's version is 5.50 (for now, just like Millennium is v4.90 now).

  • Microsoft Encarta Reference Suite 2000, Available This Week, Provides Students With a Technological Edge
    Time: 15:05 EDT/20:05 GMT Source: Presspass Posted By: Alex H

    If history could express itself, it would use more than just lifeless words and photos on a black and white page. People from the past would leap from the pages to tell their stories. If an atlas could talk, it would come alive, revealing rich cultures and making a place not just a point on a map, but someone's home. And if people of all countries and cultures could understand the nuances of each other's languages, then miscommunication might be a thing of the past.

    Welcome to the world of the Microsoft® Encarta® multimedia encyclopedia. Scheduled to be available Aug. 27 in stores nationwide, Microsoft Encarta Reference Suite 2000 delivers history, science, the arts, geography, the English language and more in four indispensable resources. Encarta Reference Suite 2000 includes two of the world's most popular reference products, Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe 2000 and Encarta Interactive World Atlas, formerly Encarta Virtual Globe. This year, two other outstanding programs join the suite, Encarta World English Dictionary, the first U.S. dictionary that captures global English and was created using Internet and computer technologies, and Encarta Online Deluxe, the encyclopedia's premium online version.

    "Learning today is different. Students are surrounded by a wealth of information, especially in a technological sense. Encarta Reference Suite aggregates this information, providing users with a starting point from which they can then synthesize and analyze the information that is important to them at home and in school," said Mark Young, Microsoft group product manager, Learning Business Unit.

    Encarta World English Dictionary

    Unsure of the nuances of the word "boot" in an e-mail from your colleague in England? Encarta World English Dictionary helps eliminate miscommunication by capturing the differences in English as it's spoken around the world, with clear definitions written in everyday language. More than 320 expert editors and consultants from more than 20 English-speaking countries used e-mail to compile some 400,000 authoritative references in the easy-to-use dictionary.

    The dictionary also includes five additional references: Encarta Book of Quotations, The Original Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases, The Encarta 2000 Almanac, Microsoft Press® Computer and Internet Dictionary, and Encarta Manual of Style and Usage.

    Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe

    Know a high schooler who needs to research a topic for debate class, such as the bombing of Hiroshima? Using Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe 2000, students can search among more than 42,000 articles, over 19,000 Web Links, nearly 20,000 images, video and audio clips, and much more. This year, several new features give students, parents and educators an edge with schoolwork. For instance, the new Curriculum Guide lets users choose a grade level and subject and see a list of relevant information in Encarta. In addition, the Point/Counterpoint collection - part of the popular Sidebar feature - presents differing views on such controversial topics as gun control, the Hiroshima bombing and the death penalty.

    Other new Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe 2000 features include a Dynamic Timeline that allows users to compare and contrast history across time, place and subject matter, and the addition of Collier's Archives, more than 10,000 articles from 1960 to 1998 that detail the history of the late 20th century. A single mouse-click takes users to the free* Encarta Yearbook, which provides monthly online updates that can be downloaded and integrated into the encyclopedia, thus ensuring that Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe is always up to date.

    Encarta Interactive World Atlas

    Where is Nepal in relation to China? Encarta Interactive World Atlas will take users to both locations on a dynamic map and introduce their rich cultures - or whisk them to any of 1.7 million other places around the globe. Eight times more detailed than any print atlas, Encarta Interactive World Atlas integrates maps, text and multimedia content into an invaluable resource for students and travelers exploring the world's cities, countries and cultures. New customizable map styles added this year are Languages, Religions, and Parks and World Heritage Sites. Other new features include Map Treks, which explain geographic phenomena right on the map; the Multimedia Map, which uses the globe to display images, flags and world music clips; Pushpins, which enable users to create new map points to annotate and customize; reverse highlighting to clearly show the borders of countries and regions; dynamic latitude and longitude lines that help pinpoint locations; and closed captioning.

    Free** Encarta Online Deluxe 2000, Yearbook and Educator Materials

    With Encarta Reference Suite comes free* access to Encarta Online Deluxe, the premium online version of the encyclopedia, through Dec. 31, 2000. Encarta Online Deluxe is available any time, on any computer with Internet access. It's part of Encarta Online,, a collection of rich premium and free* educational resources for students, adults and teachers that also includes Encarta Schoolhouse, Web Links, classroom integration tools, homework help and more.

    Educators can find more than 500 engaging lesson plans in 13 subject areas - including 23 new lessons about the millennium - to use with Encarta Reference Suite products in the free* Encarta Lesson Collection at the Encarta Schoolhouse Web site,


  • Microsoft Purses Lips On Internet Hire Report
    Time: 14:58 EDT/19:58 GMT Source: TechWeb Posted By: Alex H

    Microsoft officials declined comment Tuesday on a report that Richard Belluzzo, former CEO of computer maker SGI, would be named to head its Internet operations.

    SGI, formerly known as Silicon Graphics Inc., Monday said Belluzzo had resigned unexpectedly as chairman and CEO to take a "noncompetitive, non-CEO position with another company."

    Belluzzo spent less than two years at troubled SGI after being recruited in 1998 from Hewlett-Packard, where he had been regarded by some as heir-apparent to CEO Lewis Platt.

    Microsoft has been searching for a high-profile executive to take over its portal and other Internet operations since November, when group vice president Pete Higgins stepped down to take an indefinite leave of absence.

    A number of candidates have reportedly turned down the job, including Brad Silverberg, another high-ranking Microsoft executive on indefinite leave. Silverberg recently was lured back part-time to advise president Steve Ballmer.

  • Departing SGI chief may join Microsoft
    Time: 14:38 EDT/19:38 GMT Source: Posted By: Alex H

    Rick Belluzzo, who abruptly resigned yesterday as chief executive of Silicon Graphics, reportedly will join Microsoft to run its interactive operations unit. The unit includes the Microsoft Network online service. Microsoft has been searching since last November for a new leader for its Internet businesses, which are facing stiff competition from America Online and others, the Wall Street Journal said in reporting Belluzzo's decision today.

    When Belluzzo's resignation was announced yesterday, Silicon Graphics spokesman John Cristofano would say only that the departing CEO was leaving to take a position at a company that doesn't compete with SGI.

    Although his resignation took SGI's board by surprise, it was mainly the timing of his decision that was unexpected, sources said. During the last board meeting in July, Belluzzo told the directors that "he was not sure he was the right person to lead the company," a source familiar with those discussions told CNET yesterday.

    The board responded that it had confidence in Belluzzo and that the CEO would put the company in a difficult position if SGI went forward with its planned restructuring, only to have him pull out later on.

  • Looking For A U.S. Reviewer
    Time: 11:22 EDT/16:22 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    Advantages: Gets to test new or upcoming products in a variety of software/hardware areas. Return shipping will be paid.

    Disadvantages: You have to return the product at the review period. Usually 30-60 days.

    If you are interested, e-mail with a link to an example of your review work. On another note - we are yet again looking for more news reporters to add news to our site. Currently we are looking for new reporters in the Gaming, Hardware and Business news sections. Again e-mail for details.

  • ActiveWindows Community Reminder
    Time: 04:28 EDT/09:28 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    Just another reminder about signing up for our ActiveWindows Community on MSN. It allows you to chat with us in our chat room (First chat coming up this Friday night) or via our message board, it also lets you post your own screensavers and backgrounds for other ActiveWindows readers to download.

  • Sun, IBM decaffeinate JavaOS
    Time: 03:18 EDT/08:18 GMT Source: Posted By: Alex H

    Sun and IBM have pulled the plug on JavaOS for business, an ill-fated attempt to power a Java-only computer that bypassed Windows and other operating systems.

    The project, announced April 1, 1998, was a joint development and marketing effort by Sun and its closest Java partner, IBM. It aimed to create an operating system that could effectively serve as the cornerstone of Java-centric desktop computers. But, like other Java-centric desktop computer efforts, few customers adopted it.

  • IBM beefs up mainframe operating system
    Time: 03:17 EDT/08:17 GMT Source: Posted By: Alex H

    Big Blue has made its "big iron" more palatable for its button-down corporate customers by upgrading its operating system with more secure features. IBM released an upgrade for its S/390 mainframe operating system to help large corporate customers better use these brawny machines for e-business.

    Over the last 30 years or so, IBM has sold its mainframes to more than 15,000 of the largest companies in the world. IBM said the update is for these customers who are looking to make their systems more secure on the Internet for applications such as transaction processing. IBM mainframes are used by large banks, for example, to handle millions of daily customer transactions.

    OS/390 Version 2 Release 8 comes with enhancements in security, connectivity, and systems management, IBM said.

  • Browser multitasks as "Internet Desktop"
    Time: 03:15 EDT/08:15 GMT Source: Posted By: Alex H

    As the battle over instant messaging heats up, one company is combining Web browsing and messaging in a single browser product in an effort to get a leg up.

    Browser maker NeoPlanet is teaming up with portal site Lycos and its partner Valent Software, in which Lycos has an equity stake, to offer a browser that lets users surf the Net, send instant messages and email, and participate in what it calls "virtual communities."

    NeoPlanet offers a browser that companies and individual users can customize with their own branding or look. The company builds its browser around Microsoft's browser engine and has released a preview of a browser built around America Online's browser engine as well.


  • DirectX 7 RC3 - Released To Testers
    Time: 02:08 EDT/07:08 GMT Source: Microsoft Posted By: Alex H

    Microsoft have released what is expected to become their final released candidate for DirectX 7 before it goes gold. The new version of DirectX is expected to be released to the public early next month.

News Date: Monday 23rd August 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
 Compaq & MS
  • Win 2000—whenever it gets here—is the next big thing
    Time: 15:40 EDT/20:40 GMT Source: ZDNet Posted By: Byron

    Operating systems used to be a central focus of PC Week. IT and, of course, this publication paid an inordinate amount of attention to choosing, slamming and fixing them. They're still important, but much of our attention has been diverted to the Web.

    But one OS is back. Soon, the computing world will go through an OS upheaval once again. Makes you break out in a sweat, doesn't it?

  • Days Top Story
    Excel may not calculate Y2K

    Time: 13:18 EDT/18:16 GMT Source: ZDNet Posted By: Byron

    Unless users of Microsoft Corp.'s Excel download scanning tools from the company's Web site, their spreadsheets could go haywire when they open their files on Jan. 1.

    A Boston-based technology management consulting company has found that an Excel year 2000 error causing drastic math errors went undetected by a handful of Y2K analysis tools.

  • Compaq Alpha cuts pull rug from Microsoft's 64-bit NT
    Time: 09:18 EDT/14:18 GMT Source: The Register Posted By: Byron

    Is Compaq pulling the rug out from under Microsoft? The news of job losses in the company's NT Alpha development unit last week at least indicates that Compaq is reducing emphasis on NT as an OS for the Alpha platform, but more important from Microsoft's point of view will be the crumbling of a long-standing alliance, and the withdrawal of resources that were important for the future development of NT.


  • The UltimateOS
    Time: 09:03 EDT/14:03 GMT Source: E-Mail Posted By: Byron

    Rumor has it The UltimateOS portal site is close to going online in a beta form, the official launch is Jan. 1, 2000. UltimateOS? Wonder which will win or what will be included. The folks that created that great graphics magazine (internet EYE) are the ones behind the new UltimateOS portal

    email suggestions and comments to

News Date: Sunday 22nd August 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
 Site News
  • Site News
    Time: 16:03 EDT/21:03 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    Cheers to everyone who has been sending in comments on the reviews database. We should have some of your suggestions added by the end of the week. Here is the upcoming reviews round up again. These will be posted over the next 2 weeks.

    Hardware: Microsoft Dual Strike (Zulu), Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer, Matrox Millennium G400 32MB Dual Head, Palm Pilot V
    Software: C&C2 Tiberian Sun, System Shock 2, Heavy Gear 2, DirectX 7
    Shows: Massive ECTS (Entertainment Computer Trade Show starting September 5th) round up - Hardware news, software news and interviews with Microsoft's DirectX and Hardware teams. Both Alex & I will be on the show floor reporting directly to the site.


  • Microsoft Faces the Music
    Time: 03:59 EDT/08:59 GMT Source: Wired News Posted By: Alex H

    Microsoft is learning that becoming part of the music scene isn't easy unless you know the right people. The company released a new version of its digital audio technology this week, but competing on unfamiliar turf with entrenched formats such as MP3, Liquid Audio, and RealAudio, it found that it takes more than spin to win.


  • Reviews Database - Alpha - Reminder
    Time: 02:30 EDT/07:30 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron

    Here you go, we know you love testing out things and sending in your comments so here is your chance to try out our new and still being worked on Reviews Database.

    Take note that it is still in its early stages although many review sites already add to it. Here are a few things that we know about and don't need to be told about.

    Search Forms need to be completed before the official launch
    Records Matching “ appears on the searches the “ should tell people what they searched for

    They are pretty basic - the main thing we want is your feedback, would you use it - what needs to be added etc.

    If you run a site that does reviews you can contact us if you wish to be added to the database.


  • ActiveWindows Mouse Pads
    Time: 02:30 EDT/07:30 GMT Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Bob

    Click Here To OrderNow with a lower price, don't forget that the first ActiveWindows piece of merchandise is now available to order. The mousepads arrived and they look fabulous! The first product in our new range of logos is the ActiveWindows Mouse Pad.


News Date: Saturday 21st August 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
 Excel - Office - MS Media
  • Microsoft patches Excel security holes
    Time: 05:00 EDT/10:00 GMT Source: ZDNet Posted By: Alex H

    Microsoft Corp. Friday released a patch to close a security hole found in the database drivers for Excel 97 and Excel 2000. The problem in Excel 97 was discovered by a computer programmer in Spain, Juan Carlos Garcia Cuartango, who notified both NTBugTraq and Microsoft in late July. 

    The security hole in Excel 97 is a vulnerability in the ODBC driver of the Jet database engine and allows a user to create malicious code in a spreadsheet that will plant viruses and delete files, according to Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT). Opening an affected spreadsheet attached to an e-mail message or linked from a Web site triggers the vulnerability in the ODBC drivers.

  • Microsoft does multimedia in slow motion
    Time: 04:58 EDT/09:58 GMT Source: Posted By: Alex H

    At Microsoft's computer graphics laboratory, they are running out of back burners. Often characterized by internal squabbling, Microsoft's various groups working on 3D graphics technology for the PC and the Web have delivered more confusion and delay than product to market in recent years. And the fates of their various efforts are often so nebulous that Microsoft's employees, partners, and customers cannot agree whether they are living, dead, or, in the words of one insider, left "just twitching."

    Hanging in the balance is control over technologies that proponents have long promised would revolutionize computing online and off. To date, however, they have yielded little to the average consumer. The challenge for Microsoft and its competitors in the computer and Web graphics market is to maintain the technological upper hand in anticipation of widespread consumer demand that has yet to materialize.

    Within Microsoft's graphics world there are three technologies in various states of limbo. They are Fahrenheit, a project to fuse parts of Microsoft's and SGI's graphics programming interfaces; Chromeffects, a set of technologies to bring graphics common on personal computers to the Web; and Talisman, a graphics chip architecture.

    All three of these technologies, like many in the same category that have never seen the light of day, have emerged and then foundered in a swift, quixotic market for computer and Web graphics. In addition to facing elusive demand, Microsoft has had to contend with smaller firms that have been able to maneuver around Microsoft in getting their products to market at cheaper prices and with lighter bandwidth demands.

    Microsoft has not been alone in its struggle with multimedia graphics technology; just yesterday, Intel said it is abandoning its graphics chip business.


  • Sun buying Microsoft Office competitor
    Time: 04:56 EDT/09:56 GMT Source: Posted By: Alex H

    Sun Microsystems is finalizing a deal to buy Star Division, a maker of a software suite similar to Microsoft Office, and it appears that it is off on a second attempt for desktop glory.

    A deal to purchase Star Division was signed August 11, and an announcement is expected August 31, sources familiar with the plan said. Star Division makes two types of its StarOffice software, one type that runs on Linux, Solaris, Windows, OS2, and Mac OS, and the other, a thin client version of the software that runs on Java-enabled devices. The purchase price for Star is unknown at present.

    Assuming the deal doesn't go awry, the acquisition of the German company would put Sun into more direct competition with longtime foe Microsoft. Microsoft's office suite is dominant on computers running Windows and Mac OS, whereas Sun's strength has been not with end-user software but with server hardware and software.

Read more of the past months news in our News Archive for July and Previous August News.

Do you have any Windows based news? Just Remember To Get In Touch!

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