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News Date: Monday 20th December 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
 PIII 800
  • Windows 2000 Gold Review
    Time: 18:29 EST/23:29 GMT News Source: CNet Posted By: Byron Hinson

    CNet has posted a review of Windows 2000 Final. Here is a snippet from the review:

    On Wednesday, Microsoft shipped its next-generation business operating system, Windows 2000, to manufacturers. It's been a long, strange trip to final code--fraught with delays and strategy shifts--but after an in-depth look at this new OS, we say it's worth the wait.

    For any size of business, Windows 2000 has the right stuff, both as a workstation and as a server. It's stable, easy to install, and packs in enough new features to make it a must-have upgrade from Windows NT 4.0. It's even easier to run on most laptops (an area where NT 4.0 fell short). Windows 2000's dizzying array of new server tools will keep larger businesses busy deciding which ones to deploy, and the server is sophisticated enough to make it worth the extra effort.

    Windows 2000 isn't for everyone, however. If you want a new OS for gaming or surfing the Net, you'll be better off with Windows Millennium, the Windows 98 replacement due out the second half of next year. And even if Windows 2000 is up your alley, you still have to wait a couple of months to get your hands on a copy. If Microsoft doesn't run into any snags, the boxed version of Windows 2000 will hit store shelves and start shipping with PCs on February 17, 2000, two months later than Microsoft had originally promised.

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  • MSDN Windows 2000 Package News
    Time: 17:21 EST/22:21 GMT News Source: E-Mail Posted By: Byron Hinson

    I have just received a bit of good news from Microsoft in regards to the news about the version of Windows 2000 in the MSDN pack due sometime next month. It was expected (Well MS said it themselves) that the MSDN version would be time-limited, well it now seems that Microsoft has decided to ship out the full version which isn't time-limited in the MSDN shipment...Good news indeed.

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  • ICQ 2000a Alpha Page Opens Download Page
    Time: 17:00 EST/22:00 GMT News Source: E-Mail Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Mirabilis' has opened its download page for the much anticipated new 2000a Alpha Version. Only advanced ICQ users i.e. users who have installed and used previous versions of ICQ will be able to use ICQ 2000a Alpha. It is recommended to remember your ICQ# and password for use of later versions of ICQ 2000a Alpha.

    Caution! The nature of alpha software is that it is experimental, still under development and not yet ready for release to the general public. Therefore, ICQ 2000a time limited free alpha software version, the alpha versions of the IrCQ-Net plugin, the ICQ Message Archive , the Free ICQ Homepage or any other alpha software provided by ICQ Inc. or any part thereof ("Software") are likely to contain bugs, may be unstable and may expose you to privacy and security risks. ICQ Inc. does not warrant the performance of the Software in any way. ICQ Inc. may make improvements, corrections, adaptations, conversions or cease to provide, limit or terminate the availability of the Software, or access to the ICQ system and network or any part thereof, and/or the ICQ system or network may cease to support the Software, temporarily or permanently, to all users or any part thereof.

    At this time the download link does not seem to be working. We will keep checking and let you know when this becomes available.

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  • Benefon Licenses Microsoft Mobile Explorer To Bring WAP and HTML-Based Services and Content to Mobile Phones
    Time: 15:24 EST/20:24 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft Corp. and Benefon today announced the licensing of Microsoft® Mobile Explorer (MME) for Benefon's new wireless communication products. Microsoft Mobile Explorer, first announced on Dec. 8, is a comprehensive, open software platform designed to power Internet-enabled mobile telephones. MME enables wireless carriers to provide their customers with the choice of a broad line of applications and services on data-enabled telephones. It is a key component of Microsoft's end-to-end wireless strategy to provide mobile Internet solutions that utilize additional technologies such as Microsoft Exchange Server, the BackOffice® family and MSN™ Mobile Services.

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  • Consumers Can Sign Up for MSN Internet Access While They Shop At More Than 120 Simon Malls
    Time: 15:22 EST/20:22 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft Corp. and Simon Property Group Inc., the nation's largest mall owner and operator, today announced that they have joined forces to provide post-holiday mall shoppers with an exciting offer that includes a Simon mall shopping spree with purchase of the MSN™ Internet Access online service. Consumers who sign up to get connected to the Internet through this onsite offer for MSN Internet Access will instantly receive a $50 or $100 Simon mall gift certificate from any one of 120 participating Simon malls across the country.

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  • MSN Adds a Calendar Service
    Time: 12:37 EST/17:37 GMT News Source: PC World Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Microsoft launches beta of calendar gleaned from Jump; requires Hotmail.

    Yahoo's got one. Netscape does, too. And Go Network just added one to its site. Now Microsoft is joining the Web calendar club, by launching a beta version of the application on its MSN portal on Monday.  The technology for MSN Calendar is not Microsoft's own. About eight months ago, Microsoft acquired Jump Network, a subscription portal that offers Web-based utilities.

    "A calendar was missing from our site," says Brian Riseland, product manager. Jump's calendar, however, had to be tailored to Microsoft's look and feel before it was ready for launch.

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  • Windows 2000 DDK Final Release Now Available
    Time: 09:57 EST/14:57 GMT News Source: EFront Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft has released the final driver development kit for Windows 2000. The Windows 2000 DDK is provided to assist IHVs in developing products that interact with the Windows 2000 operating system on i386 platform. It provides the development environment for creation of drivers for the Windows 2000 operating system. The DDK also provides additional driver-specific headers, libraries, sources, tools, and documentation. The final release of the Windows 2000 DDK includes clarifications, corrections, and new information about installing drivers and creating information (INF) files for Windows 2000. This release may be downloaded at http://microsoft.com/ddk/W2kDDK.htm

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  • Intel drops Pentium bomb on AMD
    Time: 09:51 EST/14:51 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Intel Corp. is stepping up its attack on Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in a battle that should ultimately benefit the consumer. The Santa Clara Calif. chip maker Monday rang the bell on the latest round with rival AMD, by announcing it is now shipping 750MHz and 800MHz Pentium III chips. The 750MHz Pentium III chip was expected in January. The 800MHz Pentium III, however, comes a full two months before it was originally expected.

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  • The Bat flies out of Microsoft hell
    Time: 09:49 EST/14:49 GMT News Source: The Register Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Towards the beginning of last week, we found ourselves slightly embarrassed because two 20MB Powerpoint presentation, courtesy of HP's UK spin doctors, clogged up our big pipe here at Vulture Central for half of the afternoon. We killed the job because, basically, no-one could work, thinking that we'd pick it up at home, first thing in the morning, when the pipes have just been cleaned here in Blighty.

    There then followed a full four days of 20MB Powerpoint Hell at the teleworking office of a Reg staffer. Microsoft Outlook, which we had used at home, has an option that is supposed to let you specify that files above a certain size not be downloaded. Whoever put that box in Outlook had better re-examine his or her code, because it certainly didn't work. Instead, our ISP bravely attempted to download our email and then Outlook consistently fell over during the 20MB monster, so filling up our hard drive and, eventually, destroying Windows 98 completely. We thought we'd see if our StinkPad fared any better, but the Powerpoint Presentation from Santa HP's PR bunnies pulled over IBM's best too...

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  • Microsoft in business deal with malls
    Time: 09:17 EST/14:17 GMT News Source: MSNBC Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Microsoft Corp. is teaming up with the nation’s biggest mall owner and operator to advertise and sell its Internet service in shopping centers around the country. The deal, expected to be announced Monday, follows a flurry of partnerships in the last week between big bricks-and-mortar retailers and Internet companies that are both looking to expand their reach on and off the Web.

    “As the internet becomes a mass-market phenomena, we need to find new incentives to bring people online and hook them into the Web,” said Alan Alper, an analyst at the online research firm Gomez Advisers.

    Starting on Jan. 2, Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group will let Microsoft hawk its MSN Internet service in 120 of its more than 190 large malls, including Roosevelt Field in Garden City, N.Y., and Lenox Square in Atlanta.

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  • Microsoft boosts streaming push with Intervu stake
    Time: 08:00 EST/13:00 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Microsoft today moved to expand its share of the streaming media market by taking a $30 million stake in Net streaming pioneer Intervu.

    Intervu said it plans to use the investment to expand its broadband capabilities and develop affordable applications based on Microsoft's Windows Media software in an effort to lure a greater number of users to streaming media.

    The investment allows Microsoft, which has been embroiled in a long battle against rival RealNetworks in the streaming media market, to bring its Media player to a larger number of media content companies. Recently, RealNetworks said it would focus its efforts on being both a streaming media infrastructure company and a content aggregator. Microsoft, on the other hand, is positioning its streaming efforts to be an infrastructure player only.

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News Date: Sunday 19th December 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
 

News Date: Saturday 18th December 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
 Site News - AMD 900 Athlon
  • Site News: Job Opportunities
    Time: 19:29 EST/00:29 GMT News Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron Hinson

    We are on the lookout for a few Registry Experts who would be interested in writing up tips for Windows 95/98/2000 and NT. If this sounds like your kind of thing - e-mail me at byron@activeie.com. We are also looking for some new reviewers, so if you would be interested in reviewing new software releases and getting to keep the stuff you review - then e-mail me byron@activeie.com ASAP with examples of your writing.

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  • AMD Demonstrates 900-MHz Chips
    Time: 09:29 EST/14:29 GMT News Source: TechWeb Posted By: Alex Harris

    Advanced Micro Devices has demonstrated two different versions of its Athlon microprocessor running at 900 MHz. One uses the company's standard 0.18-micron process with aluminum interconnects, while the second is produced at the same line width, but comes from AMD's Dresden, Germany, fab and features copper interconnects.

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  • Gateway's chip shortages could hurt earnings
    Time: 09:26 EST/14:26 GMT News Source: CNet News Posted By: Alex Harris

    Computer maker Gateway is being hurt by Intel chip shortages at the worst possible time: the holiday buying season.

    The San Diego, Calif.-based company, which custom builds and ships its PC products, has been hit disproportionately hard by Intel's struggle to manufacture enough of its newest and fastest Pentium III processors, according to several industry research reports. Unfortunately for Gateway--reliant on Intel after a flirtation with competing chipmaker AMD--its highest-volume products run on the hardest-to-find chips, according to the reports.

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  • Reviews On The Web
    Time: 09:16 EST/14:16 GMT News Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron Hinson

    PowerGamerz - Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer
    Well Rounded Entertainment - MS Flight Simulator 2000

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  • Site News, Community Update and ActiveSci-Fi/ActiveLinux
    Time: 09:00 EST/14:00 GMT News Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Christmas is drawing ever closer so we thought we would discuss some of our upcoming arrangements that will happen over the next few weeks. As you would expect, we will all be taking some time off from around the 23rd of December till the 27/28th so don't expect many/any updates during that time and with the Millennium on the horizon we will also have time off for a good few days then just like most of you guy/girls will too.

    We have decided to delay the launch of our news engine indefinitely - we expect it early next year if all goes to plan, you'll find out why soon enough.

    As most of you already know, we plan to launch http://www.activelinux.net at some point this month. My plan is to switch the front-page of that domain to a Linux news page sometime next week instead of the template that is up now. The site will contain all of the news, reviews and tips that you expect from us.

    We have begun our regular daily updates of ActiveSci-Fi, so those of you who are interested in science fiction - check it out. As you know we take your feedback seriously here - so if you have any comments on the Sci-Fi site just let me know.

    As usual it is also time to mention our MSN Community, we are currently still the leading Operating System community on MSN and we are yet again the main site featured in the Windows 95/98/NT/2000 area, so make sure you check us out - our next chat is on December 17th Here is a list of our upcoming reviews:

    Hardware: Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer, SoundBlaster Live! Platinum, Microsoft Force Feedback Steering Wheel, Microsoft Force Feedback Joystick
    Software: Tomb Raider 4, Quake 3, Gabriel Knight 3, SWAT 3, Interstate 82, Star Trek: Hidden Evil, Ultima 9, Asheron's Call (Ongoing Monthly), Unreal Tournament, Wheel Of Time (Sometime this week), Delta Force 2, Flight Simulator 2000 (Next week), Driver (Sometime this week), Encarta Africana
    Applications: Corel Suite 9, Vizact 2000
    DVD's: Inspector Gadget, The Last Broadcast, The Iron Giant, Wild Wild West, The Haunting, The Thin Red Line

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News Date: Friday 17th December 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
 DirectX 7a Released - Microsoft shares - Intel - Half-Life: OF Review 
  • DirectX 7a SDK & Other Languages Released
    Time: 21:45 EDT/02:45 GMT News Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft has also released the new DirectX 7a SDK on their website. Here are a few of the new bits and pieces:

    • A new Microsoft® Visual Basic® type library makes key DirectX features available to applications developed using Visual Basic.
    • Microsoft® Direct3D® Immediate Mode offers many new features, including device-state blocks, geometry blending, cubic environment mapping, user-defined clipping planes, and more.
    • Microsoft® DirectMusic® supports the DLS2 (Downloadable Sounds level 2) standard.
    • Microsoft® DirectInput® now supports up to eight mouse buttons, exclusive access to the keyboard, and delayed start for force-feedback effects. New methods allow reading and writing of force-feedback effect files, and a Force Editor application is provided for creating effects.
    • Improved hardware voice management is provided in Microsoft® DirectSound®.
    • New 3-D audio processing algorithms result in better CPU utilization in DirectSound.
    • Microsoft® DirectDraw® stereo support has been added for active devices.
    • Ripple launching is provided for Microsoft® DirectPlay® lobbied applications.
    • Improved documentation includes dynamic filtering for language-specific information.
    • More sample applications are included.
    • Provides improved force feedback performance and the best compatibility with today's input devices.

    And on another note - DirectX 7.0a is available for download in following languages: Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.

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  • Exclusive: DirectX 7a Released
    Time: 19:59 EDT/00:59 GMT News Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft has released DirectX 7a to the public this evening. This new version fixes various DirectInput problems with game controllers and USB devices. Note that DirectInput drivers are the ONLY files updated in this version and they will change to build 0716 when this download is installed.

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  • Compaq To Ship Windows 2000 Machines Next Month
    Time: 18:44 EDT/23:44 GMT News Source: TechWeb Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft's launch of Windows 2000 is slated for Feb. 17, but Compaq says it plans to ship systems to its customers on Jan. 24. Compaq and other original equipment manufacturers received the final code for Windows 2000 Professional, Server, and Advanced Server Dec. 15, the day Microsoft released its next-generation operating system to manufacturing.

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  • Win 2000 Advanced Server More Stable Than NT 4.0
    Time: 18:36 EDT/23:36 GMT News Source: TechWeb Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Performance tests at the CRN Test Center showed the release-to-manufacturing version of Microsoft Windows2000 Advanced Server throttles back CPU and memory use to increase stability, at the sacrifice of throughput for Web applications.

    That lets the network operating system scale up better in enterprise environments, keeping the server up and running under torturous loads. Tweaks can be made to enhance throughput if the reseller so chooses.

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  • Windows 2000 Server: A smart move
    Time: 18:34 EDT/23:34 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Byron Hinson

    The question for anyone running Windows NT 4.0 Server is not whether to upgrade to Windows 2000 Server but when to upgrade. That's not to say that the upgrade will be easy. In fact, upgrade is the wrong word; Windows 2000 will require a complete overhaul of NT 4.0 enterprise networks. However, it's a huge improvement over NT 4.0: Windows 2000's multilevel directory, Internet standards, quota-enabled file system, and built-in transaction and queuing services earn it a PC Week Labs Analyst's Choice award.

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  • Prisoner's paradox: Mac and Windows
    Time: 14:30 EDT/19:30 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Byron Hinson

    The rutabagas are in, and I'm delighted with the apparent read-through rate on last week's "Macs rule, PCs drool" column. (For those who missed it, the piece tested reader attention by asking Talkback participants to include the word "rutabaga" in their posts. Guess you had to be there.)

    Other than the gratifying number of Brassicaceae references, however, the exercise didn't make much of a dent in the direction of the ensuing discourse; it more or less followed the normal pattern of platform advocacy that's become a tradition from week to week. I plead guilty in promoting that particular thread, since I find myself running into a fundamentally contradictory position: Even in the process of decrying Mac-vs.-Windows-vs.-Linux flame wars, I'm setting up a cross-platform comparison that ultimately encourages those kind of exchanges.

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  • Windows 98 Large IDE Update
    Time: 08:43 EDT/13:43 GMT News Source: E-Mail Posted By: Byron Hinson

    We missed this one a few days ago. This new Large IDE patch for Windows 98/SE is now available on Windows Update. Here is what it fixes:

    This update addresses an issue on Windows® 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition computers that have an integrated device electronics (IDE) hard disk that is larger than 32 gigabytes (GB) in size. If you use the protected-mode (graphical) version of ScanDisk to perform a thorough scan (which includes a surface scan) on an IDE hard disk that is larger than 32 GB, ScanDisk may report errors on every cluster after approximately cluster number 967,393.

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  • Chinese court rejects Micro$oft piracy suit
    Time: 08:36 EDT/13:36 GMT News Source: The Register Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft appears to have sued the wrong company for software piracy, the Beijing Number One Intermediate Court ruled on Friday. The court remained unconvinced that the foreign mega-corporation had identified the correct defendant. Not that being a foreign corporation could possibly have influenced the decision.

    Microsoft made the mistake of suing the Beijing's Yadu Group, accusing it of making widespread use of bootlegged Microsoft products, when in fact it should have set the crosshairs on Yadu Group subsidiary, Yadu Company, the court decided.

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  • Majority of top shopping sites powered by Windows; seven of top 10 use SQL Server 7.0
    Time: 03:47 EDT/08:47 GMT News Source: Microsoft Daily News Posted By: Alex Harris

    Brick-and-mortar retailers need a foundation. E-commerce retailers need a platform.

    And according to Internet consulting firm Netcraft, the Microsoft platform is the choice of many of the top shopping sites on the Web. Netcraft says that the Microsoft® Windows® operating system powers 52 percent of the top 100 shopping Web sites. In addition, seven of the top 10 shopping sites use Microsoft SQL Server™ 7.0, and 12 of the top 60 sites use Microsoft Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition, a number that exceeds any other commerce server on the market. Microsoft solutions have helped companies such as SuperMarkets Online and Buy.com get online quickly and easily and handle growing consumer demand.

    Netcraft also found that more than 6,000 Web sites are using Windows 2000.

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  • Athlon Mail over on CPU Review
    Time: 03:37 EDT/08:37 GMT News Source: CPU Review Posted By: Alex Harris

    CPU Review have posted up a small selection of the mail they got about their recent Athlon related articles; including:

    - a pointer to an upcoming inexpensive Athlon board
    - another confirmation of an upcoming Tyan board
    - more on memory speed
    - an IWill(!) Athlon board

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  • Intel closes in on 1,000MHz chip
    Time: 03:34 EDT/08:34 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Alex Harris

    Coming closer to breaking the next major chip barrier, Intel Corp. plans to disclose plans for a 1,000MHz Pentium III chip in February. The Santa Clara, Calif., chip maker will present a paper on the 1,000MHz, or 1GHz, Pentium III, which is based on its current Pentium III design, code-named Coppermine, at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) on Feb. 7.

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  • Father of World Wide Web wins $100,000 prize
    Time: 03:32 EDT/08:32 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Alex Harris

    Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the World Wide Web, is one of the recipients of a $100,000 grant celebrating the ability of the entrepreneurial spirit to benefit society worldwide, the Stargazer Foundation said Thursday. The Vienna, Va.-based Stargazer Foundation named Berners-Lee, currently director of the World Wide Web Consortium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Laboratory for Computer Science, and Bill Shore, founder and executive director of Share Our Strength, a national anti-hunger organization, as its first two recipients of the $100,000 tax-free grant. "There's something going on in society that's more than just stock options and IPOs," said foundation Chairman Arthur Bushkin. "We define the entrepreneur to be anyone who has a vision and makes it so."

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  • Microsoft shares climb on Windows 2000 optimism
    Time: 03:29 EDT/08:29 GMT News Source: CNet News Posted By: Alex Harris

    Microsoft shares reached an all-time high today, boosted by analysts' reports indicating that the stock is undervalued and by the release of Windows 2000.

    Despite the uncertainty hanging over the company as a result of the pending Justice Department antitrust suit, a group of analysts issued reports today raising their price targets for the company's shares. The reason: Windows 2000's potential to dominate the nascent e-commerce and Internet battlegrounds much as Windows 95 dominated the personal computer desktop.

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News Date: Thursday 16th December 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
 DirectX 7a - Ask Maxwell - ActiveLinux
  • Microsoft Security Bulletin (MS99-057) - Patch Available for "Malformed Security Identifier Request" Vulnerability
    Time: 20:36 EDT/01:36 GMT News Source: E-mail Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Microsoft has released a patch that eliminates a vulnerability in Microsoft(r) Windows NT(r) 4.0. The vulnerability could allow a malicious user to cause a Windows NT machine to stop responding to requests for service. The patch for this vulnerability is included in the previously-released patch for the "Syskey Keystream Reuse" vulnerability. ( See article below ) Customers who have already applied it do not need to take any further action.

    Read more

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  • Microsoft, Time Warner fear outcome of benefits suits
    Time: 17:06 EDT/22:06 GMT News Source: NYLJ Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Mention Microsoft and Time Warner to employment lawyers and one thing comes to mind: litigation over misclassified workers. Depending on the outcome of suits filed against the two companies, the potential liability they could face for denying certain workers employee benefits could be enormous. And that risk has sent a chill down the collective spines of employers across the country.

    Publishing, high-tech, construction and consulting companies have routinely hired contingent workers to help them with unexpected projects or busy periods, but many now worry that these workers or the Department of Labor might bring suit, alleging that the employer misclassified workers and unlawfully denied them benefits.

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  • Microsoft Security Bulletin (MS99-056) - Patch Available for "Syskey Keystream Reuse" Vulnerability
    Time: 16:19 EDT/21:19 GMT News Source: E-mail Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Microsoft has released a patch that eliminates a vulnerability in Syskey, a utility that provides additional protection for Microsoft(r) Windows NT(r) password databases. The vulnerability allows a particular cryptanalytic attack to be effective against Syskey, significantly reducing the strength of the protection it offers. The patch eliminates the vulnerability and restores strong protection to the password database.

    Read more

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  • DirectX 7a To Be Released Tomorrow
    Time: 16:14 EST/21:14 GMT News Source: E-Mail Posted By: Byron Hinson

    I know a number of you have been waiting for this release to fix the numerous DirectInput bugs that cropped up with gaming devices, well the good news is that Microsoft will release DirectX 7a on their website tomorrow.

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  • Netscape admits Communicator flaw
    Time: 16:06 EST/21:06 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Byron Hinson

    America Online Inc.'s Netscape division acknowledged yesterday that a security flaw can allow a hacker to break the password code in the e-mail component of the Communicator Web browser. Two engineers at Reliable Software Technologies Inc., a Sterling, Va., software security company, spent eight hours duplicating the mathematical algorithm that Netscape Messenger uses to scramble users' passwords, according to Reliable officials. The duplication allowed them to figure out the supposedly encrypted password.

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  • Best Buy & Microsoft Agree to Form Comprehensive Strategic Alliance
    Time: 14:13 EST/19:13 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Nation's Largest Digital Technology Retailer and Worldwide Software Leader to Join Forces

    Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) today announced their plans for a comprehensive strategic alliance that encompasses broadband, narrowband, in-store and online efforts. The parties signed a letter of intent that provides for significant joint marketing in Best Buy's retail stores, online and through print/broadcast vehicles, profit sharing, the promotion of BestBuy.com to the 40 million users throughout Microsoft's properties, and technology assistance.

    Under this alliance, MSN™ Internet access and Microsoft's full range of connectivity solutions will be demonstrated and sold at the more than 350 Best Buy stores in the U.S. and through BestBuy.com. In addition, Microsoft plans to invest $200 million in Best Buy common stock.

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  • EU court says pro-Microsoft ruling was wrong
    Time: 11:53 EST/16:53 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Byron Hinson

    A European court ruled on Thursday that the European Commission was wrong to reject a complaint from a French software wholesaler against Microsoft in a dispute over cheap imports from Canada. The Court of First Instance said the Commission failed to consider Micro Leader Business' allegations that the U.S. giant had abused a dominant position when it took steps to prevent the French firm from purchasing software in Canada for resale in France.

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  • ActiveWindows/ActiveLinux Run By Microsoft?
    Time: 10:17 EST/15:17 GMT News Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron Hinson

    This morning I have come online to a lot of hate mail (Which is always welcomed) from Linux users - well mostly Slashdot readers actually. The reason...Well most people who read our site know that we are working on a Linux news, tips etc etc website, because of this we created a quick way for people to post comments about it and Linux via an MSN community (Anyone can create them you know?) before our news engine and comments stuff begins next year.

    Someone posted a note on Slashdot to say that it was funny that an ActiveLinux site and Community was being created by us here, while I agree that the Community is quite funny as it is hosted by MSN...Most people who read us regularly know that we create sites based on the Active**Whatever name, none of them are run by Microsoft whatsoever. I know it may be hard for some paranoid Linux users to realize, but there are actually some of us don't take sides in this so called "War". Some of the regular readers will also take note that we have recently been slamming Microsoft, but hey, it has brought in more hits so that can't be bad.

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  • Microsoft Introduces Ask Maxwell, an Automated Support Assistant Designed to Find Answers for Consumers Quickly
    Time: 09:42 EST/14:42 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron Hinson

    In an ongoing effort to simplify and improve online support, Microsoft Corp. today announced that Ask Maxwell™ Internet search technology, a new, easy-to-use question and answer service, is available on the Microsoft® Personal Online Support site at http://support.microsoft.com/askmaxwell/.

    Ask Maxwell, which utilizes the Corporate Question Answering Service from Ask Jeeves®, allows consumers to ask questions in plain English (e.g., "How do I install and remove programs in Windows® 98?") and then directs users to the best answer located within Microsoft Online Support. Instead of using search, Ask Maxwell compares consumers' questions to a knowledge base of known questions. It then returns a list of questions and answers that most closely resemble the original inquiry. Consumers simply click on the best match and Ask Maxwell guides them to their answer. This service helps consumers navigate more quickly and easily through the Microsoft Knowledge Base of more than 200,000 articles.

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  • Microsoft Helps Small Businesses "Get Found" on the Web By Offering RealNames Internet Keywords
    Time: 09:41 EST/14:41 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron Hinson

    RealNames Corp., creator of the Internet Keyword Web addressing and navigation service, and Microsoft Corp. today announced that the Microsoft® bCentral™ online business services portal for small businesses is selling Internet Keyword subscriptions as one of the portal's services for small and growing companies. Internet Keywords are intuitive, familiar names that allow customers to find businesses and their brands easily on the Internet and are a perfect complement to a domain name. Internet Keywords can be used in the MSN™ network of Internet services, Internet Explorer and other leading software, portals and search engines.

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  • Motorola signs up for Palm OS
    Time: 03:56 EST/08:56 GMT News Source: Computer World Posted By: Alex Harris

    Motorola Inc. said yesterday it will license the Palm OS operating system from Palm Computing Inc. for use in future devices. Motorola will also join Nokia Corp. and America Online Inc. in taking a combined 4.5% stake in the soon-to-be independent company.

    On Monday, Palm Computing's parent company, 3Com Corp., announced it had filed for an initial public offering of Palm Computing, which is to be renamed Palm Inc.

    Motorola said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Palm to license the Palm OS for future wireless devices. "The market is showing us that the Palm and [the Symbian Ltd. EPOC operating system] are the two platforms to go after," said Motorola spokesman Bott Ikeler. He said the company has no plans to offer devices based on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows CE or the Mobile Explorer browser announced by Microsoft last week.

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  • Interview with Microsoft's Sports Product Manager
    Time: 03:53 EST/08:53 GMT News Source: Computer Games Online Posted By: Alex Harris

    Computer Games Online have posted an interview with Microsoft's Sports Product Manager, William Abner. Here is a snippet:

    Microsoft's emergence as a PC sports game publisher and developer is very important to the genre. It's important that a powerhouse company with deep pockets and a high profile take a serious interest in sports gaming. John Rodman is partly responsible for the quality of work that Microsoft churns out. NFL Fever 2000 and NBA Inside Drive 2000 proved that Microsoft is playing to win—both games are of very high quality but they also show unlimited potential (for future releases). We recently had a chance to chat with John about Microsoft's new interest in sports gaming, the competition of EA Sports, and what the future holds for Fever and Inside Drive.

    To read more of the interview click here.

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  • Yahoo! Messenger Beta released
    Time: 03:45 EST/08:45 GMT News Source: Desktop Watch Posted By: Alex Harris

    Yahoo! Instant messaging allows you to quickly exchange messages with your online friends. Unlike email, instant messages appear as soon they're sent. To use this beta version of Messenger for the MacOS, you must be using a PowerPC Macintosh with System 8.5 installed.

    To download the Yahoo! Messenger Beta then click here.

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  • LAVA! Player v2.0 Beta released
    Time: 03:45 EST/08:45 GMT News Source: Desktop Watch Posted By: Alex Harris

    LAVA! Player is an MP3 player with many more features. Users can download music videos from Creative and watch them while the music plays. These videos move to the music and can be either texturized or plain.

    To download the LAVA! Player v2.0 Beta then click here.

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  • Software for Rent Might Yet Make Microsoft Sweat
    Time: 03:42 EST/08:42 GMT News Source: LA Times Posted By: Alex Harris

    Microsoft often says that its hold on the fast-changing world of computer software faces powerful new threats every day. It's tempting to laugh off that refrain as a diversionary tactic in Microsoft's antitrust wars. But a tiny "dot-com" start-up recently launched what could ultimately emerge as a true alternative for mainstream computing: free office-productivity software and the low-cost rental of other applications. That model could eventually prove more worrisome to Microsoft than its legal problems. 

    Understand first that this is still a conceptual threat; for not even the Justice Department will unseat Bill Gates as software's emperor any time soon. But MyWebOS.com, based in Baltimore, offers a provocative Web-based replacement for Windows and Microsoft Office as the central software tools for most PC users. 

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  • Microsoft's Stamp of Approval
    Time: 03:39 EST/08:39 GMT News Source: Wired News Posted By: Alex Harris

    E-Stamp, the online postage company, strengthened ties with Microsoft Wednesday, announcing a deal that will expand its services across the software giant's array of business sites.

    Microsoft will link to E-Stamp's services on its bCentral.com site, which is aimed at small businesses, as well as on its Expedia travel site. Meanwhile, Microsoft's cable news channel, CNBC, will be running promotions for the company.

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  • Lotus Ready To Let Raven Fly
    Time: 03:35 EST/08:35 GMT News Source: TechWeb Posted By: Alex Harris

    At its annual Lotusphere conference in Orlando, Fla., next month, Lotus, a subsidiary of IBM, will crown the successor to its Domino/Notes collaborative computing system with Raven, the code name for the knowledge management platform first revealed by the company in October.

    Also in the pipeline in the coming months: added XML support in the Domino server that will ultimately allow all Domino data to be stored and exchanged with other applications in XML; support for Notes applications on handheld computers; added security through support for digital certificates from Entrust and other PKI vendors; and the ability to replicate Domino data with Web browsers.

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  • Intel to Push 800 MHz
    Time: 03:33 EST/08:33 GMT News Source: PC World Posted By: Alex Harris

    Intel escalates its speed war with Advanced Microprocessor Devices next week, when the chip giant is expected to announce not only a 750-MHz Pentium III CPU that matches AMD's latest Athlon, but also an 800-MHz PIII.

    The debut occurs about three weeks in advance of Intel's original target date for announcing the 750-MHz PIII, and months ahead of the expected release of the 800-MHz PIII, sources say. Intel declined comment on the expected announcement.

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  • When Outlook Won't Share Nicely
    Time: 03:29 EST/08:29 GMT News Source: PC World Posted By: Alex Harris

    Like its predecessor, Outlook 2000 is excellent in concept but could do with some serious polishing. One of the more obviously underpolished bits is the rules system that allows you to determine how incoming and outgoing mail is handled (for example, if the message is from the boss, send a note to my pager and pop up a message).

    Outlook 2000 rules will sometimes stop working and messages will not be processed until you restart Windows.

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  • Las Vegas police to deploy Windows 2000-based 911 backup system for New Year's Eve
    Time: 03:24 EST/08:24 GMT News Source: Microsoft Daily News Posted By: Alex Harris

    There aren't many applications more mission-critical than a 911 system.

    That should be particularly true on New Year's Eve 1999 in Las Vegas. On Dec. 31—which is expected to be the busiest night in the city's history—the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department will use a Microsoft® Windows® 2000-based system for backup emergency response. The system was built for the city by Plant Equipment Inc. (PEI), a technological leader in public safety communications.

    "Windows 2000 is a very robust system that will better serve our needs for power and dependability, particularly on laptops," said John Fuller, vice president of marketing for PEI.

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  • The Dysfunctional Windows Family Exposed
    Time: 03:22 EST/08:22 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Alex Harris

    Family get-togethers can be a hoot. Or a disaster. Often depending on the level of familial dysfunction. Do we have to invite him again? How late do you suppose they'll be this year? Will she leave when she finds out he's bringing her?

    The Microsoft Windows family is as dysfunctional as they come. Sure, there are good vibes on the Redmond campus with yesterday's announcement that Windows 2000 is (finally) being released to manufacturing. Click for more. You know how it goes: This is a historic day for Microsoft. Win2K is the best performing OS ever...

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News Date: Wednesday 15th December 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
 NetMeeting 3.01 SP - Win 2k Gold
  • Microsoft Officials Brian Valentine and Iain McDonald Look Back on the Development Effort Behind Windows 2000
    Time: 19:02 EST/00:02 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft this week announced the release to manufacturing of Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server. As the Windows 2000 team finishes up the most intense development in the company's history, Microsoft Windows Division senior vice president Brian Valentine and project manager Iain McDonald reflect upon the joy, frustrations and accomplishments of the past year.

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  • Microsoft Strengthens Existing Relationship With E-Stamp
    Time: 19:01 EST/00:01 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron Hinson

    E-Stamp Corp. (Nasdaq "ESTM") and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq "MSFT") today announced an expansion of the strategic alliance between the two companies. Through the new agreement, E-Stamp will extend its reach to the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that frequent the MSN™ network of Internet services as well as bCentral™ online business services (http://www.bCentral.com), Microsoft's small-business portal on the Web. Through the agreement, E-Stamp will sponsor several MSN Web sites and will be the exclusive Internet postage advertiser on Microsoft bCentral. E-Stamp will also have category exclusivity in the small-business and technology sections on MSNBC. The companies will participate in a variety of activities including advertising and joint promotions. The agreement will extend the benefits of the E-Stamp® Internet postage service to Microsoft's online small-business customers.

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  • NetMeeting v3.01 Service Pack 1
    Time: 18:23 EST/23:23 GMT News Source: Desktop Watch Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft has released NetMeeting 3.01 Service Pack 1 (Build 3388). This Service Pack includes many customer-requested updates, as well as support for the new MSN Messenger Service. NetMeeting's Microsoft Internet Directory integrates this service so that you find other people more quickly on the Internet.

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  • MSDN Gets A Revamp
    Time: 15:39 EST/20:39 GMT News Source: Microsoft E-Mail Posted By: Byron Hinson

    MSDN Online has a new home page, better navigation and search, and new support and community features. Developer Centers to make it easy to find everything about a specific product or technology in one place. The Microsoft DLL Help database helps troubleshoot file versioning issues. Talk back to Microsoft by rating articles and adding your own comments. And make sure and catch the MSDN Show, an on-demand Web cast covering development topics.

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  • Casio to make wireless WinCE device
    Time: 14:56 EST/19:56 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Byron Hinson

    German technology and engineering group Siemens and Japan's Casio Computer Co. Wednesday joined the rush to make sophisticated mobile data devices. Siemens and Casio said in a statement they would together develop, manufacture and market a new generation of Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows CE-based devices with multimedia, wireless Internet, mobile phone capabilities and hi-color touch-screens.

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  • EU to rule on Microsoft case
    Time: 14:54 EST/19:54 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Byron Hinson

    A European Union court is expected to rule Thursday as to whether the European Commission should have investigated Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) for allegedly trying to stop a firm buying its French language software in Canada for resale in France. Micro Leader Business, a wholesale distributor of computer software and equipment in France, bought French-language Microsoft software in Canada at a lower price than was available in France.

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  • Microsoft Releases Windows 2000 to Manufacturing
    Time: 14:47 EST/19:47 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Today Microsoft Corp. announced the release to manufacturing of the Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server operating systems. Hundreds of customers, PC manufacturers, and independent software and hardware vendors have signed off on the quality, performance and reliability of Windows 2000, confirming that it is ready to ship to customers. Microsoft plans general availability of Windows 2000 with a worldwide launch on Feb. 17, 2000.

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  • MSN Hotmail Announces Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and Italian Language Versions to Deliver the Everyday Web Around the World
    Time: 11:30 EST/16:30 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    E-Mail Extended to Make the Web a More Integral Part of Lives of Users Worldwide; World's Largest E-Mail Provider Exceeds 52 Million Active Users

    Microsoft Corp. today announced three new language versions of the MSN™ Hotmail™ Web-based e-mail service to provide local language communications tools around the world as one of the key elements of its Everyday Web vision. MSN Hotmail, the world's largest e-mail service, will now be provided in Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and Italian to target more than 18 million online users in fast-growing markets in Europe and South America.

    "These new language versions are a significant step forward in helping deliver the Everyday Web to consumers around the world," said Steven Guggenheimer, director of international marketing, Consumer Group at Microsoft.

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  • SAP gets cozy with Microsoft, leaves Oracle in cold
    Time: 11:30 EST/16:30 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    SAP yesterday said it plans to replace Oracle with Microsoft as the primary database for almost all of its internal development work on the Windows operating system.

    The Walldorf, Germany-based company will use Microsoft's SQL Server 7.0 for as many as 150 internal development and production systems within SAP.

    The duo also said they will work together to make the Windows 2000 operating system the platform of choice for customers installing mySAP.com applications. MySAP.com is the German software giant's Internet strategy, through which it intends to sell Web-based applications to customers who want to connect their businesses to their partners and customers on the Web.

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  • Microsoft, Excite@Home may team for enhanced TV
    Time: 11:27 EST/16:27 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    In what is shaping up to be a furious battle to bring interactive television to consumers, Microsoft and high-speed access provider Excite@Home today said they are in discussions to form an alliance to develop enhanced television technology and services.

    The announcement, made at the cable industry's Western Show conference in Los Angeles, calls for the two companies to redirect their two-year relationship to focus on accelerating the release of enhanced television services on advanced set-top boxes and other devices.

    With today's announcement, Redwood City, Calif.-based Excite@Home plans to develop a broadband TV portal application, user interface and other applications and services to work on the Microsoft TV Platform. Microsoft said it will work with Excite@Home to extend its TV platform offer to deliver a system to support enhanced TV cable systems.

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  • Official: Win2k to RTM today - announcement 5pm GMT/12pm EST
    Time: 09:41 EST/14:41 GMT News Source: The Register Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Windows 2000 has finally gone gold, and the High Command has scheduled a conference call hugging ceremony for 5pm GMT, 9am Pacific today. As reported here earlier, MS has been dropping heavy hints for the past 24 hours, but now it's certain-sure enough to book the phone lines.

    This means that Microsoft has met its most recent self-imposed deadline of releasing Win2k to manufacture before the end of the year.

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  • Netscape security flaw revealed
    Time: 09:24 EST/14:24 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Byron Hinson

    A software-security firm warned that its researchers have found a potentially serious security flaw in the e-mail system used by Netscape's Web browser. Reliable Software Technologies, a Sterling, Va., software-security company, said Tuesday that two RST engineers needed just eight hours to duplicate the mathematical algorithm Netscape Mail uses to scramble users' passwords. The company said the problem affects all current versions of Netscape.

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  • Adobe Systems Joins Microsoft Windows 2000 Global Launch Effort
    Time: 09:20 EST/14:20 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft Corp. today announced that Adobe Systems Inc. has joined Cisco Systems Inc., Commerce One Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., i2 Technologies Inc., Intel Corp., SAP AG, Toshiba Corp. and Unisys Corp. as a Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Global Launch Partner. These industry leaders are showcasing significant investment in the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating systems through solutions, services and support.

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  • Windows 2000 Almost Goes Gold
    Time: 05:00 EST/10:00 GMT News Source: Various Posted By: Byron Hinson

    We have had a number of e-mailed reports this morning stating that (As expected) Windows 2000 has almost gone gold with build number 2195.3. Also noticed that Win98Central states that there are still a few more tests to be run on the final version before it is finally finished. We should have a massive, in-depth review of the final version of Windows 2000 very soon indeed....So keep a look out.

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  • Site News, Community Update and ActiveSci-Fi/ActiveLinux
    Time: 04:55 EST/09:55 GMT News Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Christmas is drawing ever closer so we thought we would discuss some of our upcoming arrangements that will happen over the next few weeks. As you would expect, we will all be taking some time off from around the 23rd of December till the 27/28th so don't expect many/any updates during that time and with the Millennium on the horizon we will also have time off for a good few days then just like most of you guy/girls will too.

    We have decided to delay the launch of our news engine indefinitely - we expect it early next year if all goes to plan, you'll find out why soon enough.

    As most of you already know, we plan to launch http://www.activelinux.net at some point this month. My plan is to switch the front-page of that domain to a Linux news page sometime next week instead of the template that is up now. The site will contain all of the news, reviews and tips that you expect from us.

    We have begun our regular daily updates of ActiveSci-Fi, so those of you who are interested in science fiction - check it out. As you know we take your feedback seriously here - so if you have any comments on the Sci-Fi site just let me know.

    As usual it is also time to mention our MSN Community, we are currently still the leading Operating System community on MSN and we are yet again the main site featured in the Windows 95/98/NT/2000 area, so make sure you check us out - our next chat is on December 17th Here is a list of our upcoming reviews:

    Hardware: Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer, SoundBlaster Live! Platinum, Microsoft Force Feedback Steering Wheel, Microsoft Force Feedback Joystick
    Software: Tomb Raider 4, Quake 3, Gabriel Knight 3, SWAT 3, Interstate 82, Star Trek: Hidden Evil, Ultima 9, Asheron's Call (Ongoing Monthly), Unreal Tournament, Wheel Of Time (Sometime this week), Delta Force 2, Flight Simulator 2000 (Next week), Driver (Sometime this week), Encarta Africana
    Applications: Corel Suite 9, Vizact 2000

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News Date: Tuesday 14th December 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
 U.S. Delays Encryption
  • Win 2K set to go to manufacturing on Wednesday
    Time: 17:00 EST/22:00 GMT News Source: Computer World Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Users said Microsoft Corp. will release Windows 2000 to its manufacturing facilities on Wednesday, meaning that the company has settled on the first production version of its flagship operating system.

    Microsoft declined to confirm the report, saying only that the code would go to manufacturing by the end of the year. Its general release is scheduled for Feb. 17.

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  • Microsoft plans huge "dot com" blitz
    Time: 15:53 EST/20:53 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Microsoft is changing the way it targets customers as part of a continuing reorganization intended to broaden the software maker's appeal among "dot com" Internet firms.

    The company will open a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign tomorrow to highlight the Windows 2000 operating system and related software used to build e-commerce sites, Microsoft representatives say. A new unit will serve as a single point of contact for Internet-based customers.

    The ad campaign will be among the largest ever for Microsoft, spanning print, television and Web outlets, said Tod Nielsen, a vice president in Microsoft's developer tools group. Nielsen would not disclose the exact cost of the campaign but said it is in the "mid-hundred-million-dollar range"--which would put it on the scale of previous high-profile initiatives, such as the "Where do you want to go today?" program.

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  • Asheron's Call Event: Get Ready For The "Big Freeze" Later This Week
    Time: 14:59 EST/19:59 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft today announced an extraordinary holiday event that will take place later this week in the dynamic world of Asheron's Call. With an impressive array of gameplay developments, from new monsters and items to a new look for the world and a major quest, the "Sudden Season" event is the first in a series of large scale events planned now that Asheron's Call is commercially available.

    As was originally reported last week, temperatures have been steadily dropping on the isle of Dereth with expectations that even the desert will soon freeze. While many are planning winter celebrations with holiday festivals, others believe something more sinister is behind the change in climate. The truth will likely be revealed in coming days.

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  • Valentine: Win2000's new shepherd
    Time: 14:49 EST/19:49 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Byron Hinson

    At the weekly Windows 2000 development meetings held in a Microsoft cafeteria, the long-suffering attendees start off by chanting: "We read the [tabloid] The Weekly World News. Why? Because we have no life."

    One of the loudest voices in the chorus is that of Brian Valentine, the head of Windows 2000 development, who at the start of this month was named head of Microsoft's newly minted Windows Division. Valentine reports directly to group VP Jim Allchin.

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  • Microsoft Defines "What TV Can Be" at 1999 Western Show
    Time: 14:49 EST/19:49 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft Corp. today announced a variety of events scheduled for the Western Show in Los Angeles this week. Attendees will see compelling enhanced TV exhibits by Microsoft and other industry leaders demonstrating "what TV can be." In addition, Microsoft executives will participate in a CTAM pre-Western Show Workshop and Western Show general sessions as well as present special events.

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  • MSN HomeAdvisor Expands Relationship With ImproveNet
    Time: 14:49 EST/19:49 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron Hinson

    MSN™ HomeAdvisor™ online real estate service, the most comprehensive guide to finding homes and loans on the Internet, today announced a new multi year agreement with ImproveNet Inc., the most comprehensive home improvement resource on the Web, that will expand home improvement information and resources on HomeAdvisor for years to come. The deepening relationship includes broad-based advertising for ImproveNet's content and directories throughout HomeAdvisor and other areas of the MSN network of Internet services. The agreement also includes an investment in ImproveNet, designed to solidify HomeAdvisor as the consumer's first choice for all home-related information online. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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  • MS shops around for Win2k web stats
    Time: 08:24 EST/13:24 GMT News Source: The Register Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Microsoft claimed recently that "thousands of companies have built their Web sites on the Windows 2000 platform" and announced that "6,000 Web sites are currently running on the Windows 2000 beta". We were therefore puzzled to find that Microsoft's Hotmail still uses Apache 1.3.6 Unix on FreeBSD, while msn.com uses IIS 4.0 on NT or Windows 95, according to Netcraft. Microsoft.com itself is running on the Windows 2000 beta.

    Microsoft was also keen to point out that "the Windows platform, including the forthcoming Windows 2000, is used to power more than half of the top shopping sites, according to Netcraft..." Of course, qualifying that claim to "top shopping sites" does give some definitional latitude.

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  • U.S. delays encryption export rules until January
    Time: 05:28 EST/10:28 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The Clinton administration will delay by about a month the release of new rules easing the export of computer data-scrambling products, missing a previously announced Dec. 15 deadline, the Commerce Department said today.

    Confirming an earlier report, a representative for the department's Bureau of Export Administration said the government now aimed to issue the rules by Jan. 14, 2000.

    In September, the administration announced it would dramatically relax export restrictions on encryption products, which have become an increasingly critical means of securing global communications and e-commerce on the Internet.

    The announced easing of export restrictions reflected the growing importance of encryption in commercial, nonmilitary industries, as well as the growth of non-U.S. companies willing and able to meet market demand for encryption products.

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  • Microsoft Donates Recoveries From Software Piracy Lawsuits to Local Charities
    Time: 05:21 EST/10:21 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Microsoft Corp. today announced it is donating more than $500,000 in cash and software to three community organizations serving at-risk citizens in Southern California: Team TECH Los Angeles, Computer Hope™ and Second Byte Foundation.

    "Microsoft is committed to donating money recovered in piracy lawsuits to organizations - like these in Southern California - that provide technology and training for underprivileged citizens," said Dave Derry, general manager of Microsoft Southern California. "We are pleased to provide assistance to organizations like these that play such an important role in our community."

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News Date: Monday 13th December 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
 128 Bit Exporting - Bill Gates - SCO
  • Registration For Allegiance Beta 1 - Now Live
    Time: 18:59 EST/23:59 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft today announced that registration for the closed beta of Allegiance, a massively-multiplayer space-action game, is now underway at http://www.microsoft.com/games/allegiance/. Coming to stores in Spring 2000, Allegiance will be playable on the MSN Gaming Zone as well as independent game servers worldwide. Allegiance combines furious space combat with the social challenge of squadron-based combat in a stunning 3D universe.

    To be one of the 3000 lucky gamers chosen to participate in the closed beta, gamers must register on the official Allegiance Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/games/allegiance/. Only the first 3000 people who sign up will be allowed into this exclusive event, and registration will only be open for a short time.

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  • Visio Shareholders Eager To Join Microsoft
    Time: 18:43 EST/23:43 GMT News Source: TechWeb Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Visio shareholders overwhelmingly agreed Monday to be assimilated into Microsoft. At a special shareholders meeting at the local headquarters of the business diagramming software maker, far more than the required two-thirds of shares were cast in favor of the merger, according to Thomas Cooper, ChaseMellon Shareholder Services assistant vice president.

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  • United States grants PGP encryption export license to Network Associates - Various companies will ship programs with 128 bit encryption - including Microsoft with Windows 2000
    Time: 15:55 EST/20:55 GMT News Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    In a story we here at ActiveWindows heard about  a week or so ago, but we were not allowed to post about it, we have learned today the U.S. government has granted Network Associates a license to export its PGP encryption software -- a move that the company termed "landmark".

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  • Microsoft, Netscape facing browser bugs
    Time: 15:24 EST/20:24 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft and Netscape are facing a swarm of browser bugs with potentially serious privacy and security implications. Microsoft in recent weeks has issued a trio of bug patches and is working on a fourth; Netscape is investigating two browser security problems. Both companies reiterated their long-standing position that security is a high priority, and Microsoft added that software bugs are a fact of life that is not going away.

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  • MSN & Inktomi Deal
    Time: 15:16 EST/20:16 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Inktomi (Nasdaq: INKT) search technology will be incorporated into Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) MSN network, the companies said today. Inktomi will provide general Web searches as well as customized site search for specific MSN sites.

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  • MS-DOJ meet again in mediation talks
    Time: 15:08 EST/20:08 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Byron Hinson

    The mediator in Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) antitrust trial met with parties in the case in Chicago, for the third Monday in a row, sources said. Judge Richard Posner, chief of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, who is acting in a private capacity, is mediating the case.

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  • Microsoft Unveils SQL Server 2000, Windows 2000 Integration
    Time: 15:05 EST/20:05 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft Corp. today announced that the next major release of Microsoft® SQL Server™, currently code-named "Shiloh," would officially be named SQL Server 2000. Microsoft also revealed the features within SQL Server 2000 that will take advantage of the Microsoft Windows® 2000 operating system, as well as the ways SQL Server 7.0 customers today can reap benefits from Windows 2000. SQL Server 2000 is due to ship in the first half of 2000. Already in beta testing with nearly 750 companies, SQL Server 2000 makes optimal use of new features and capabilities of Windows 2000 to offer dramatic improvements in the areas of scalability, reliability and manageability.

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  • Wanted: MS spin-doctors to spin Linux to press, OEMs
    Time: 09:48 EST/14:48 GMT News Source: The Register Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft has been spotted advertising suspicious jobs again, reports LinuxToday, and currently has no less than four positions mentioning Linux in the job descriptions currently posted on its site. But regrettably, although the more dynamic-sounding jobs involve "developing and executing Microsoft's Linux strategy," it's pretty clear from the posts themselves - spinmeisters and uberspinmeister, it would appear - that the strategy isn't intended to be entirely constructive.

    On the positive side, Redmond is indeed searching for a software test engineer for the IE Admin Kit test team, and some Linux experience here would be considered a plus. Which means in the real world Microsoft is starting to run into Linux shops, and is having to do something about it.

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  • Bill Gates domain 'for sale' at £2m
    Time: 09:17 EST/14:17 GMT News Source: The Register Posted By: Byron Hinson

    According to the weekend UK press, Bill Gates is trying to stop an anonymous "entrepreneur" auctioning www.billgates.co.uk for something in the region of £2 million. But seriously folks, it's extremely doubtful either that the domain is really for sale at this price tag or that Gates and his merry men have the slightest intention of stopping any sale happening.

    The domain itself was registered on 14th May 1999 by British outfit EntWeb on behalf of one Peter Bohn, so on the surface we're not entirely anonymous here. And it is offered for sale at www.buystuff.co.uk, which was registered on 13th May by British outfit EntWeb on behalf of one, er, Peter Bohn. This anonymity lark is something else, isn't it? Bohn may of course only be fronting for somebody else, but we have turned up a company director Peter Bohn of Teddington, Middlesex, which just happens to be where Netstuff Limited, the holding company for buystuff.co.uk, has its registered office.

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  • MS Anytime, Anywhere scheme promotes class warfare
    Time: 09:17 EST/14:17 GMT News Source: The Register Posted By: Byron Hinson

    A Microsoft free education project could break the piggy bank for parents at Tudor Grange School, Solihull. They are being asked to stump up £1,300 each for laptops supplied by the school to enable their children to take part in Microsoft's Anytime, Anywhere learning scheme.

    The laptop purchase is not compulsory, but children whose parents refuse to pay will be taught separately. Does Microsoft really want to be associated with a school that is actively promoting class warfare?

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  • Microsoft: Protecting Our Critical Infrastructure
    Time: 09:14 EST/14:14 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Technology has made many of our nation’s essential services — utilities, banking, communications, transportation and health care — enormously more productive and reliable.

    Yet, while we take for granted many of technology’s benefits, concerns over issues like Y2K, mischievous viruses, hackers and even technological warfare raise legitimate questions about our preparedness.

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  • SCO crosses Microsoft's Maginot line
    Time: 06:10 EST/11:10 GMT News Source: The Register Posted By: Byron Hinson

    If you can't get them round the front - try round the back. Following on from Novell's reverse engineered NDS-for-NT, the Santa Cruz Operation has become the latest intrepid to pop behind Microsoft's Maginot line. Intriguingly, on this occasion it seems the work has been done with some degree of connivance from Redmond - but more on that in a moment.

    SCO has reverse-engineered Microsoft's RDP protocol used by Windows NT Terminal Server (and from February on, all Windows 2000 Server editions) to display multi-user NT apps on thin clients. SCO had originally floated the idea of reverse engineering RDP as a contest for open source hackers, but its British Cambridge team - who came on board when SCO acquired IXI and VisionWare a few years back - fancied they could do the job themselves, and they did. Their handiwork will ship in the next version of its Tarantella 'application broker' thin client middleware in the new year.

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  • Site News, Community Update and ActiveSci-Fi/ActiveLinux
    Time: 06:06 EST/11:06 GMT News Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Christmas is drawing ever closer so we thought we would discuss some of our upcoming arrangements that will happen over the next few weeks. As you would expect, we will all be taking some time off from around the 23rd of December till the 27/28th so don't expect many/any updates during that time and with the Millennium on the horizon we will also have time off for a good few days then just like most of you guy/girls will too.

    As most of you already know, we plan to launch http://www.activelinux.net at some point this month. My plan is to switch the front-page of that domain to a Linux news page sometime next week instead of the template that is up now. The site will contain all of the news, reviews and tips that you expect from us.

    We have begun our regular daily updates of ActiveSci-Fi, so those of you who are interested in science fiction - check it out. As you know we take your feedback seriously here - so if you have any comments on the Sci-Fi site just let me know.

    As usual it is also time to mention our MSN Community, we are currently still the leading Operating System community on MSN and we are yet again the main site featured in the Windows 95/98/NT/2000 area, so make sure you check us out - our next chat is on December 17th Here is a list of our upcoming reviews:

    Hardware: Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer, SoundBlaster Live! Platinum, Microsoft Force Feedback Steering Wheel, Microsoft Force Feedback Joystick
    Software: Tomb Raider 4, Quake 3, Gabriel Knight 3, SWAT 3, Interstate 82, Star Trek: Hidden Evil, Ultima 9, Asheron's Call (Ongoing Monthly), Unreal Tournament, Wheel Of Time (Early this week), Delta Force 2, Flight Simulator 2000 (Next week), Driver (Today), Encarta Africana
    Applications: Corel Suite 9, Vizact 2000

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News Date: Sunday 12th December 1999
Today's Top Headlines:
 New WMP - Site News
  • Windows Media Player Version 6.4.07.1112 - Released
    Time: 13:27 EST/18:27 GMT News Source: E-Mail Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Thanks to Matt for sending this one in, we are not sure what has been updated but here is the old information anyway:

    Support for Windows Media Technologies 4.0, which delivers FM-stereo-quality streaming audio for all modem users via Microsoft's Windows Media compression software "MSAudio", high-quality download-and-play music with files half the size of equivalent-quality MP3 files, and a copyright system for enabling content providers to charge for electronic distribution of music & videos; Windows Media Audio SDK; updated intelligent streaming.

    The Microsoft Windows Media Player is based on the DirectShow architecture and designed to provide the most extensible, flexible, and convenient player for accessing multimedia content. You can play most multimedia content formats, including Windows Media (formerly NetShow), RealAudio and RealVideo 4.0 and below, QuickTime, AVI, WAV, and more--all from one easy-to-use application.

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  • New Windows-based handhelds coming
    Time: 13:23 EST/18:23 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Despite manufacturer defections and strong competition from Palm Computing, makers of Microsoft-based handheld devices keep plugging away, with several products set to be released next year.

    The market for devices based on Microsoft's scaled down Windows CE operating system has been turbulent during the last year. For instance, manufacturers of handhelds such as Everex and Philips have discontinued their CE-based products. Microsoft also has undergone internal strategy shifts, the most recent being the company's decision to relaunch the products under the "Windows Powered" name.

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Read more of the past months news in our News Archive for October and Previous November News.

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