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NEWS HEADLINES FOR: THURSDAY AUGUST 31, 2000

  MSN Explorer  
  • MS docs open to Web Privacy Bug -- No bites yet
    Time: 17:10 EST/22:10 GMT | News Source: ZDNet | Posted By: Julien

    Documents created with some Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) software can be rigged to "phone home" to another computer and report where and how often a document is read, a privacy organization said Wednesday. The technique known as a "Web bug" takes advantage of a shortcut for including images in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, the Denver-based Privacy Foundation said on its Web site. But the group's chief technology officer, Richard Smith, added that there was no evidence that anyone had exploited the set-up, and he did not recommend that users disable the features in their software. Full Story.

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  • ActiveSync 3.1 (Build 9587) Released
    Time: 16:08 EST/21:08 GMT | News Source: ActiveWin | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft has released a new build of their Windows CE software ActiveSync 3.1. This contains only bug fixes and no new features:

    If you have ActiveSync 3.1 build #9386 or build #9439 and you are unable to connect your Windows Powered Device to your desktop PC or laptop via a USB connection, you may need to download the latest version of ActiveSync 3.1 (build #9587). In addition, if you have installed the Outlook 98 or Outlook 2000 Security Update you may also need to download ActiveSync build #9587.

    Notes
    If you use AvantGo and have installed an upgrade (such as the AvantGo Security Upgrade for Pocket PC devices), installing ActiveSync 3.1 will prevent AvantGo from syncing properly. To fix this problem, please reinstall the latest version of AvantGo.

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  • MSN Explorer: Usability Research Underlies the Elegance, Ease and Functionality of MSN’s New Integrated Web Experience for Consumers
    Time: 07:40 EST/12:40 GMT | News Source: Microsoft Press Release | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Alan Waters and Laura Briggs are about as average as you can be. They each have kids in school and busy lives. Alan is a working-class guy whose teenage daughter knows more about the Internet and computers than he ever will, and he’s starting to get nervous that the technology era may be leaving him behind. Laura, on the other hand, is not shy about using the computer, but is mainly interested in the Internet as a way to save time as she works to keep her family running.

    Familiar as their lives may seem, there’s something unique about Alan and Laura. They aren’t real. They are archetypes — or "personas" — of Internet users or potential users created by the Consumer Usability Group at Microsoft and inspired by the work of Alan Cooper, author of "The inmates are running the asylum." In this case, the personas were created to help developers build the new MSN Explorer, which will soon be available in a preview 2 version that offers superior integration and user experience so that people can get the most out of their time on the Web. Named and "brought to life" by usability engineers, personas are tools that help make customers very real to the product developers while comprising a rich collection of consumer data, field research and other studies.

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  • MSN Announces Preview 2 of MSN Explorer, Offering Consumers An Early Look at a Personalized Next-Generation Web Experience
    Time: 07:40 EST/12:40 GMT | News Source: Microsoft Press Release | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    MSN today announced the Preview 2 version of MSN® Explorer, an ideal combination of integrated services and software for delivering a next-generation Web experience. Easy to use and personalized, MSN Explorer is designed to provide users with a refreshing experience and a new home on the Web that helps them get the most out of their time online and be more productive in life. The Preview 2 version of MSN Explorer (formerly called "next-generation MSN") is the centerpiece to a worldwide update to MSN coming this fall that will change the consumer online experience and provide a home base for users. Simplicity, integration and a rich feature set make MSN Explorer both a perfect choice for Web novices and the clear alternative for Internet fans whose current online experience isn't living up to their expectations.

    A portal and browser in one, MSN Explorer is a unique blend of powerful software and rich services to offer consumers an intriguing new Web experience, whether they use MSN Internet Access or another Internet service provider (ISP). The product integrates Microsoft's award-winning Internet software technologies - such as Microsoft® Internet Explorer browser software, Outlook® Express and Windows Media™ Player - with Microsoft's expertise in Web-based services - including the MSN Hotmail® Web-based e-mail service, MSN Calendar, MSN Messenger Service, the MSN MoneyCentral™ online personal finance service, MSN eShop and MSN Search - to offer users the best possible Internet experience and a convenient home base on the Web.

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  • MSN Explorer Beta To Hit Sometime Today
    Time: 04:20 EST/09:20 GMT | News Source: Press Release | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    As mentioned last month the slightly delayed next version of the MSN browser is due to be released sometime today. It is most likely to be out late tonight.

    Microsoft Corp (NasdaqNM:MSFT - news) is issuing an improved version of a new Web browser that blends in video and music capability and content from its MSN Internet service, in what is the opening shot in the software giant's biggest assault yet on Internet rival America Online Inc (NYSE:AOL - news)

    A new and improved test, or beta, version of the browser, now called ``MSN Explorer'', is to be released on Thursday, Deanna Sanford, lead product manager for MSN, said in an interview at Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., headquarters. The software is the first of a series of steps Microsoft is taking this fall to beef up every aspect of MSN, Sanford said.

    Known internally as ``MSN 2001'', the project will remake the look and content of sites like finance page MoneyCentral and music and movies portal WindowsMedia.com, and fine-tune the process of getting subscribers online, Sanford said. ``It's a really big time for MSN,'' she said. ``MSN.com will have significant upgrades this fall. For the first time it will signify that there's a clear alternative to AOL.''

    Microsoft, which fumbled its early attempts at building an Internet business, has won increasing praise from analysts and users for improving those services, which are now one of the fastest-growing parts of the company. Microsoft's Internet sites appeared among the top three Web and digital media properties in six countries, while rivals AOL and portal Yahoo! Inc (NasdaqNM:YHOO - news) placed in the top three in five countries, according to a Media Metrix Internet usage report for May.

    Microsoft's MSN.com portal includes news site MSNBC.com, automobile buying service CarPoint, travel site Expedia, MoneyCentral and WindowsMedia, among others. Although subscribers to the MSN Internet access service are about one-fifth of AOL's 22 million customers, Sanford said that business was growing strongly. Microsoft would also roll-out broadband, or high-speed, Internet access soon, Sanford said.

    She declined to give details, but noted that MSN had several options. Microsoft has experimented with DSL service, which gives fast, always-on Web access over regular telephone lines, but also has strong ties to the cable and satellite industries, which offer alternative high-speed on-ramps to the Internet. ``We've had things going on with broadband for several months, and this fall we are going to bring it all together,'' Sanford said. ``The important thing is giving customers high-speed access.''

    Meanwhile, users interested in getting a hint of what lies down the road can download the MSN Explorer from MSN.com or Microsoft's Web site. Among the key improvements in MSN Explorer is the ability to customize functions so that, for example, a user who doesn't care for sports news can replace that icon with one that links to an entertainment page, Sanford said.

    It is also easier on Web novices. For example, if someone tries to type an e-mail address in the Web browser instead of opening an e-mail program (something Sanford said new users frequently do), the browser will realize that the user is trying to write a message and will launch the e-mail program for them.

    ``If that's the way people want to do it, we should make it work,'' Sanford said. The software also softens the utilitarian feel of Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser, using pastel colors and cartoonish icons. It also boasts a built-in media player so users can continue to surf the Web or work online while watching a video news clip or listening to a song.

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NEWS HEADLINES FOR: WEDNESDAY AUGUST 30, 2000

  Office 10 Beta - Symantec WinFax Pro 10.0 Review  
  • ActiveWin.com: Symantec WinFax Pro 10.0 -- Review
    Time: 14:30 EST/19:30 GMT | News Source: ActiveWin  | Posted By: Julien

    I've just posted my review on the new recently released WinFax Pro 10.0 fax software from Symantec. Here is a snippet of it:

    Symantec the uncontested and unrivalled worldwide communicating software manufacturer leader comes back to us with a new milestone of its awesome fax software which is sold all around the world. WinFax Pro 10, in the past named Delrina Fax Pro and bought to Delrina by Symantec in 1996, is a major update of the software that henceforth works perfectly with Microsoft Windows 2000. Even if some thought that the Internet would be the fax's death sentence, this remains, despite everything, a simple, fast, powerful meaning of communication that has a certain legal authenticity. Moreover sending a fax through a PC has several advantages: no need to print the documents, better management of the sent faxes, etc... The fax has thus still beautiful days in the future and Symantec understands this very well.

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  • Microsoft faces class action
    Time: 07:15 EST/12:15 GMT | News Source: CNNfn | Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    A judge has allowed the first class-action suit to proceed against Microsoft Corp. on allegations that the software giant's monopoly harmed California consumers. Dozens of similar suits linger nationwide.

    In a 21-page opinion released late Tuesday, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Stuart R. Pollak said an untold number of California consumers could be represented in one trial to determine whether they were forced to pay unreasonably high costs for Microsoft products. He said denying the suit "could result in repetitious litigation."

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  • Microsoft Releases Office 10 Beta
    Time: 07:13 EST/12:13 GMT | News Source: PCWorld | Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Microsoft is releasing the first beta-test version of the promised successor to Office 2000 to a limited number of users, the company said Tuesday.

    Code-named Office 10, the upcoming release of the company's widely used Office applications includes enhanced Web collaboration features and user interface changes, such as support for speech recognition.

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NEWS HEADLINES FOR: TUESDAY AUGUST 29, 2000

  Windows Me on the Road ; Microsoft to distribute BigHuge Strategy Games  
  • TransPoint Sends E-Bills to Customers of Sallie Mae, Cellular One of San Francisco, Large Regional Utility Companies
    Time: 11:55 EST/16:55 GMT | News Source: Microsoft Press Release | Posted By: Julien

    TransPoint LLC today announced that customers of Sallie Mae can begin receiving and paying e-bills online today with the TransPoint™ online bill payment service. The service will be available to customers of Puget Sound Energy, Cellular One of San Francisco and Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. by Sept. 15, 2000. In addition, Detroit Edison will begin offering the service to its residential and small-business customers in early 2001. These companies have a combined total of more than 8 million customers who are currently able, or soon will be able, to receive and pay their bills online through TransPoint. Companies that deliver bills electronically through TransPoint benefit from targeted marketing, greater control over the billing process and personalized customer care. In addition, the costs of customer inquiries are dramatically reduced with e-billing, because much of the user interface offers self-help options. Currently, the TransPoint e-bills service is available to consumers through the MSN MoneyCentral online personal finance service (http://www.moneycentral.msn.com/), TransPoint (http://www.transpoint.com/), Prodigy Internet service (http://www.prodigy.com/), the Go2Net Network (http://www.go2net.com/), Compass Bank (http://www.compassweb.com/) and InterWest Bank (http://www.interwestbank.com/). Full Story.

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  • AT&T Mulls Microsoft Alternatives After Set-top Delay
    Time: 11:53 EST/16:53 GMT | News Source: ZDNet | Posted By: Julien

    Microsoft Corp.'s (Nasdaq: MSFT) delay in providing interactive-television software may slow AT&T Corp.'s (NYSE: T) technical trials of the technology and could limit the number of set-top boxes the telephone company lets Microsoft outfit, sources familiar with the situation say. AT&T, the No. 1 U.S. long-distance telephone and cable TV company, last year agreed to have Microsoft supply the software for 7.5 million of its planned 10 million interactive-TV set-top boxes. AT&T has said Microsoft or another vendor could supply the software for the remaining boxes.

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  • Microsoft Inks PC Games Publishing Agreement With Big Huge Games
    Time: 11:50 EST/16:50 GMT | News Source: Microsoft Press Release | Posted By: Julien

    Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Big Huge Games Inc. (Big Huge), a developer of strategy-oriented computer games, that gives Microsoft the exclusive publishing and distribution rights to Big Huge Games-developed titles. In addition, Microsoft also announced it has made an equity investment in Big Huge. Based in Hunt Valley, Md., Big Huge is a newly formed independent development studio founded by veteran game designer Brian Reynolds, whose list of PC game titles includes the revolutionary strategy games "Civilization II" and "Alpha Centauri." Before forming Big Huge earlier this year, Brian was a founding partner of Firaxis Games Inc., the computer game development house led by legendary game designer Sid Meier. "We are extremely excited to be working with Brian and the team at Big Huge," said Ed Fries, vice president of games publishing at Microsoft. "This relationship reflects our continued commitment to grow our PC games business by working with the industry's best developers to produce top-quality games." Microsoft and Big Huge will work together to develop innovative strategy games for the PC platform. Full Story.

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  • Microsoft Hits the Roads with Windows Me on the Meet Me Tour
    Time: 11:48 EST/16:48 GMT | News Source: Microsoft Press Release | Posted By: Julien

    As the finishing touches are made on three 1,024-square-foot traveling displays, Microsoft Corp. today announced it will hit the road with a 25 U.S. city Meet Me tour beginning Sept. 14 in malls and shopping center locations across the country. The tour is designed to give visitors a hands-on introduction to the latest Microsoft® operating system designed specifically for the home user, Windows® Millennium Edition (Windows Me). The tour will feature an interactive home-like display, where visitors can get acquainted with the product by creating and sharing photos, experimenting with music in new ways, producing a video, accessing the Internet and playing games. In this interactive display, visitors can test drive the latest home PC advances in music, digital media and home networking. Full story.

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NEWS HEADLINES FOR: MONDAY AUGUST 28, 2000

  Microsoft delays AT&T TV ; DirectX 8 Beta 2 Released  
  • ActiveWin.com: Interview with Chirstine Kerr, Product Manager: Microsoft Mice
    Time: 17:12 EST/22:12 GMT | News Source: ActiveWin | Posted By: Julien

    We have just posted our latest interview with Christine Kerr, Product Manager for Microsoft Mice at Microsoft. Christine discusses with us the development of the IntelliEye technology, features and development questions about the current IntelliEye mice and she gives us some info on the new trackball mice to be released this fall... Check it out!.

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  • Microsoft hones look of Windows
    Time: 16:17 EST/21:17 GMT | News Source: ZDNet | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft Corp. may still be more than a month away from releasing the first beta build of its Windows 2000 successor. But the latest alpha build of "Whistler" shows how Microsoft is changing the look and feel of Windows. Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) posted to its private Web tester site late last week build 2257 of Whistler, the second developers' preview. The company posted the first, build 2250, in mid July.

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  • Microsoft Announces Strategic e-Book Alliance with Amazon.com
    Time: 15:57 EST/20:57 GMT | News Source: Microsoft Press Release | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq "MSFT") today announced that leading online retailer Amazon.com (Nasdaq "AMZN") has selected Microsoft® Reader as the preferred format for Amazon.com's future e-Book store. Under a strategic alliance announced today at Seybold San Francisco/Publishing 2000, Microsoft will create a customized Amazon.com version of Microsoft Reader, giving consumers the ability to purchase and download eBook titles directly from Amazon.com and read them in Microsoft Reader format.

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  • Microsoft and Seagate Software Join to Integrate Crystal Reports As Standard Web Reporting Technology for Visual Studio.NET and the .NET Platform
    Time: 15:57 EST/20:57 GMT | News Source: Microsoft Press Release | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Seagate Software Inc., a leader in enterprise reporting and analysis, and Microsoft Corp. today announced that Microsoft will include Crystal Reports within Visual Studio.NET as the Web reporting technology of choice. Crystal Reports for Microsoft® Visual Studio.NET is a new product designed to provide Web developers with exceptional data visualization and analysis capabilities. Crystal Reports delivered in Visual Studio.NET will deeply support Visual Studio.NET features including Web Services, Web Forms and Windows® Forms.

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  • Microsoft and Fiserv Demonstrate Superior Scalability With Fiserv's Internet Banking Solution
    Time: 15:57 EST/20:57 GMT | News Source: Microsoft Press Release | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft Corp. and Fiserv Inc. subsidiary Information Technology Inc. (ITI) today announced the results of their scalability tests demonstrating that Fiserv's PremierEcom Internet banking software, running on a Microsoft® Windows® platform, is capable of processing more than 225,000 transactions per hour. This and other results confirmed that PremierEcom can meet and exceed the processing demands of the largest Internet-based banks.

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  • Macintosh Users Can Now Lay Their Hands On Unprecedented Comfort and Style
    Time: 15:57 EST/20:57 GMT | News Source: Microsoft Press Release | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft Corp. today announced that, in response to growing customer requests, Macintosh drivers are available for its popular Internet Keyboard Pro and Microsoft® Natural® Keyboard Pro. Today's news extends the line of Microsoft's Mac-compatible desktop hardware, which began last year with the popular Mac-compatible optical mice and trackballs. Now Mac customers can experience keyboards offering the latest in comfort, ergonomic style, customizable keys, multiple USB ports, and Internet and multimedia keys.

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  • Microsoft Released DirectX 8.0 Beta 2
    Time: 10:36 EST/15:36 GMT | News Source: Email | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    We have just received word that Microsoft has released to testers Direct X 8.0 Beta 2. DirectX is an API set of instructions designed to enhance game & multimedia applications performance. Indeed if before MS-DOS game developers were forced to develop specific drivers for each different hardware, DirectX allows them to don't worry about creating hardware related drivers and enable them to concentrate on their first job: the game!

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  • Microsoft Snows on AT&T's TV Plans
    Time: 10:34 EST/15:34 GMT | News Source: ZDNet | Posted By: Julien

    Delays by Microsoft Corp. in providing interactive-television software to AT&T Corp. could further slow AT&T's planned rollout of interactive services and prompt the company to consider other vendors for part of its project deploying 10 million TV set-top boxes, people familiar with the matter said. Losing any part of the AT&T (NYSE: T) deal would be a black eye for Microsoft, which long has touted its commitment to supply high-end software for as many as 10 million AT&T cable boxes. The pact is the cornerstone of Microsoft's fledgling efforts in digital TV, one of the many new businesses the Redmond, Wash., company is targeting for growth as its Windows and Office computer-software lines age. But Microsoft's TV project recently has run into snags, many of which were disclosed in a meeting between Microsoft and AT&T executives about a month ago, the people familiar with the matter said. Those technical issues -- which also have thrown a wrench into Microsoft's deployment of advanced TV software for a European cable company, United Pan-Europe Communications NV -- are now on AT&T's mind as it figures out how many boxes it will allow Microsoft to outfit. "We're evaluating that with Microsoft, and we're moving forward with them to get this trial done as quickly as we can," said Rich Fickle, AT&T's senior vice president and program director for interactive TV. The first technical trials for the software now aren't expected until around the first of next year, people familiar with the matter said; last year, both companies had hoped to wire up "showcase cities" for interactive TV by this summer. AT&T has said for several months it hopes the showcase-city project will launch next year.

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NEWS HEADLINES FOR: FRIDAY AUGUST 25, 2000

  MSN Money Central Loan Center launched - Microsoft Visio 2000 Professional review  
  • Microsoft Visio 2000 Professional -- Review
    Time: 15:00 EST/20:00 GMT | News Source: ActiveWin | Posted By: Julien

    I've just posted my review of the recently released Microsoft Visio 2000 Professional software. Here is a snippet of the review:

    Microsoft has recently released its Visio 2000 range of products declined in four different editions: Standard, Technical Edition, Professional, & Enterprise Edition. Visio 2000 has been bought by Microsoft to Visio Corp (an other Seattle based corporation) this year on January 7th for an amount of $1.3 billion: this shows the interest that users and business communities grant to flowcharts software. This product is now a part of the Microsoft Business Tools Division. With this new edition of Visio the focus is to bring the power of clear, visual communication to your everyday work. With more than 3.8 million customers worldwide using Visio is now recognized software to draw in a few mouse clicks diagrams, flow charts, etc. Recent studies shown that Visio 2000 is the second essential software used by customers to accomplish their day to day work after Word. Whether you manage people, projects, or networks, there's an edition of Microsoft Visio® 2000 that will meet your business needs. And all four editions share a set of intelligent diagramming tools and a common graphics engine that help you convey your ideas successfully—no matter what they are. With this new edition you can create a wide variety of drawn documents.

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  • Microsoft Posts New Windows Whistler Build
    Time: 11:29 EST/17:29 GMT | News Source: WinInformant | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    According to Paul Thurrot, Microsoft provided its Whistler beta testers with a second preview release, build 2257, last night. Whistler 2257 ships in Personal, Professional, Server, and Advanced Server editions, while offering a number of new features including a new Start Panel replacement for the Start Menu, a new-look "Professional" skin and more. Microsoft hopes to ship the first beta of Whistler, which will replace Windows 2000 sometime late next year, later this fall.

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  • MSN Personal Finance Service Launches New Loan Center Featuring Guaranteed Lowest Mortgage Rates Online
    Time: 11:27 EST/17:27 GMT | News Source: Microsoft Press Release | Posted By: Julien

    Microsoft Corp. today announced the launch of the MSN® MoneyCentral™ Loan Center, a complete selection of financing services available at http://moneycentral.msn.com/ that enables consumers to compare, review and select the home loan, automobile loan and credit card that best meets their individual needs. The new Loan Center features mortgage options from HomeAdvisor Technologies Inc. and provides consumers with access to automobile and credit card lenders on LendingTree Inc.'s online loan marketplace. The MoneyCentral Loan Center extends the site's personal finance offerings, providing yet another way for consumers to make smarter financial decisions. Now, in addition to tracking account balances, paying bills and managing investment portfolios, consumers can research and apply for mortgage loans, auto loans and credit cards in minutes -- all in one place.

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NEWS HEADLINES FOR: THURSDAY AUGUST 24, 2000

  JOLAP - Fund Cuts - Win Me - Game Voice  
  • Microsoft Glitch Leaves MSN MGS Contact List Vulnerable
    Time: 15:29 EST/21:29 GMT | News Source: CNet | Posted By: Julien

    Microsoft is investigating complaints that its MSN Instant Messenger usernames and contact lists can be taken over through lapsed Hotmail accounts.For the past week Microsoft has been "thoroughly investigating" a scenario in which expired Hotmail accounts are thought to provide an avenue for either malicious or unwitting appropriation of existing IM usernames and contact lists, according to a company representative. A recent complaint followed a general warning about the problem, which surfaced more than a year ago. Hotmail suspends accounts that are idle more than three months and deletes those accounts after another three months elapse. James Nelson, a systems administrator for Cisco Systems, says he lost his Hotmail account because of inactivity, and when he created a new account with the same name, he found that his old IM contact list lingered with the cleaned-out account.

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  • Game Voice: Avid Gamer Helps Launch Latest Version of Gaming Product She Helped Devise
    Time: 09:40 EST/14:40 GMT | News Source: Microsoft Press Release | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    When Isabella Carniato told her college classmates and professors she was going to work for Microsoft’s SideWinder gaming device group, they were shocked. After all, Carniato, a senior at the time at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, was studying architecture and political science. And, of course, she’s a woman. How did she win entry into the traditionally male-dominated world of computer games? And why would she want to?

    The answer is Microsoft SideWinder Game Voice, the latest incarnation of an online gaming product that she helped develop and that promises to change the way people play their favorite computer games. The first device of its kind, Game Voice allows online gamers to talk and play over a single Internet connection, as well as control games with voice commands. It also offers a control pad to organize voice chats and includes the built-in software to operate all of these functions.

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  • Windows Me Delivers Updated Home Networking Features
    Time: 09:39 EST/14:39 GMT | News Source: Microsoft Press Release | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    At Larry Norris’ house in Stanwood, Wash., the computers are networked to enable the whole family -- Norris, his wife, his mother and his three children -- to share Internet access, printers, software and games. "We can all use the Internet and email without having to tie up all the different resources," Norris says. "Home networking is ideal for people who have more than one computer in the house."

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  • Sun Counters Microsoft .NET
    Time: 06:15 EST/11:15 GMT | News Source: ZDNet | Posted By: Julien

    Sun Microsystems is leading the development of an open-systems competitor to Microsoft .NET, Bill Gates' sweeping initiative to deliver software as a set of services over a wide range of Internet-connected devices. Gates claimed in June to be betting his company on Microsoft .NET, a move he deems as important to Microsoft as the transition from DOS to Windows. At the core of Sun's counterplan is StarOffice, the Microsoft Office competitor that Sun acquired one year ago. But Sun's success also depends on its ability to forge relationships with key members of the open-source community, which can help supply additional technology and create an infrastructure for developers to continue improving it. "Microsoft .NET is bigger than the Win32 application programming interfaces--it's the biggest thing Microsoft has ever done," says Marco Boerries, who founded StarDivision as a teenager in Germany and became Sun's VP for Web-top and application software after Sun acquired his company. "If Microsoft .NET wins, Microsoft will take over the Internet. It's a bit of a revival of what they tried to do with MSN." Full story here.

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  • Server Flow? Read the manual says MS
    Time: 06:10 EST/11:10 GMT | News Source: ZDNet | Posted By: Julien

    Microsoft has posted guidelines to system administrators on how to close an apparent security hole in MS SQL Server 7.0 -- read the instruction manual! The problem, which has been blamed for several UK and American government sites being hacked into in recent weeks, results from a default blank system administrator login that some administrators have failed to change. Microsoft denies the default blank password is a vulnerability and suggests it is more a case of system administrators not following its recommended best practices and installing their own complex password. The company has posted guidelines on the Bugtraq site on how to do that. The problem first came to light on Bugtraq last month when it was revealed that not only SQL Server 7.0 but several programs that ran a light version of it, called Microsoft Data Engine, had the same blank password. Full story here.

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  • The readers speak: Netscape and Microsoft
    Time: 06:05 EST/11:05 GMT | News Source: Mac Central | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Mac users may not like Microsoft's business practices, but many agree with columnist John C. Welch's recent assertion that Internet Explorer and Outlook Express are better Mac clients than the alternatives from Netscape (see "Netscape's woeful Mac support"). However, Netscape does have a few defenders among our readers. Here's what they had to say.

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  • Fund firms cut Microsoft holdings in second quarter
    Time: 06:04 EST/11:04 GMT | News Source: Press Release | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Many of the biggest mutual fund families, including Fidelity Investments, Janus Capital and Putnam Investments, cut their holdings in Microsoft sharply in the second quarter, according to recent regulatory filings. Fidelity cut its holdings by 36 percent -- to 119 million shares from 185 million -- as the software maker was hit with a federal court decision that the company had abused its monopoly power in the software market and should be broken up.

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NEWS HEADLINES FOR: WEDNESDAY AUGUST 23, 2000

  Microsoft Home Advisor Snags $100M  in Funding  
  • Microsoft Releases Windows Me Compatible DDK
    Time: 17:39 EST/22:39 GMT | News Source: WinInformant | Posted By: Julien

    Microsoft announced this week that it had released the long-awaited Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me) Device Drive Kit (DDK), which will enable software developers to write drivers for the new OS. Unlike previous versions of the DDK, which were OS specific--Microsoft used to supply different versions for Windows 2000 and Windows 98, for example--the new Windows DDK supports all current versions of Windows, including Win2K and Windows Me. The Windows DDK specifically addresses Windows Driver Model (WDM) modem driver development, DirectX 7.0, and other driver issues that affect both Windows Me and Windows 2000.

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  • Will Windows Me Pricing Confuse Consumers?
    Time: 17:31 EST/22:31 GMT | News Source: CNet | Posted By: Julien

    Windows 95 users will have to pay $30 more than their Windows 98 counterparts to upgrade to Microsoft's new consumer operating system, in a promotional strategy that could end up confusing customers instead of simply rewarding them. Microsoft announced earlier this month that it will sell its new operating system for home PC users for $59 through January. This promotional pricing represents a new strategy for the software maker, which typically sells upgrades to its operating systems for $89. In a break with its own tradition, Microsoft confirmed today, it will sell the upgrade under the name Windows Me Promotional Step-Up for $59 to people who have Windows 98 or Windows 98 Second Edition. Windows 95 users will have to pay the full $89 for their upgrade to Windows Me, or Millennium Edition. After January, everyone will pay the full price. But the company's decision to sell the promotional upgrade under a separate name could cause confusion among consumers over possible differences--if any--between the $59 and $89 upgrades, according to Paul Thurrott, editor of the WinInfo newsletter, which tracks Microsoft software news. Full story here.

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  • Microsoft Disses Jolap Initiative
    Time: 16:39 EST/21:39 GMT | News Source: ZDNet | Posted By: Julien

    Microsoft Corp. has declined to participate in the so-called JOLAP initiative, led by Hyperion Solutions Corp., IBM, Oracle Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc., deriding it as an "anti-Microsoft marketing effort." The JOLAP initiative, announced Monday, calls for the development of a standard Java-based interface for creating, storing, accessing and managing data and metadata in OLAP (On-Line Analytical Processing) servers. Full story here.

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  • Microsoft to Unveil a Chip for Net, TV
    Time: 16:37 EST/21:37 GMT | News Source: Microsoft Press Release | Posted By: Julien

    Software giant Microsoft Corp. and its subsidiary, Mountain View-based WebTV Networks, have been quietly developing a sophisticated communications chip, a sliver of silicon that holds a key to Microsoft's future in the Internet age. The chip, set to make its debut this fall, will control the forthcoming version of WebTV's interactive television service. But the chip can also be used to power other next-generation devices and services over the Web. Microsoft sees the Internet-linked TV service as only the beginning of a new wave of services and software it hopes to deliver to consumers over the Web in coming years. Full article can be read by clicking here.

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  • Systran Professional Standard 3 -- Review
    Time: 16:35 EST/21:35 GMT | News Source: ActiveWin | Posted By: Julien

    Are you on the look for a translating software? If yes, read our complete review on the most popular translating software: Systran Professional Standard 3! Here is a snippet of the review:

    Technology has brought human kind many advantages throughout this last century and one of the major results of these technologies is the fact that the world became a small village where communicating is paramount to survive or to have the feeling to exist. Among this philosophical observation, we can easily note that man’s thirst for communication has lead to the growth of innumerable and various exchanges between countries and is able to communicate in one universal language: (most of the time) English. However if English is certainly the most used language all around the world businesses also need to be able to understand and translate messages, business letters, etc. written in various major languages like German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, etc. into English. Before this would require the services of an interpreter, now everyone can now translate letters from various languages to English using a dedicated translator software. The one we’ll review is Systran Professional 3 that allows to translate Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese to English and likewise English to the above languages.

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  • Microsoft Japan Workers Accused of Tax Evasion
    Time: 13:26 EST/18:26 GMT | News Source: ZDNet | Posted By: Julien

    About 150 current and former employees of Microsoft Corp.'s (Nasdaq: MSFT) Japanese unit failed to declare income of roughly seven billion yen gained through stock options, a Japanese newspaper reported on Wednesday. The Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau notified the Microsoft employees, including its former president, of the tax avoidance and is seeking back taxes and penalties of about three billion yen, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun financial daily reported. 

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  • Microsofts HomeAdvisor Snags $100M in Funding
    Time: 13:06 EST/18:06 GMT | News Source: ZDNet | Posted By: Julien

    Microsoft Corp.'s online home-buying and financing service, HomeAdvisor Technologies Inc., has snared more than $100 million in funding from two big mortgage companies. The equity investments from Chase Manhattan Mortgage, part of Chase Manhattan Corp., and GMAC-Residential Funding Corp. will be announced Wednesday, HomeAdvisor said. The money should help HomeAdvisor move forward with its ambitious -- and still unproven -- plans to automate many aspects of the home-buying process, analysts say. The company, formed five months ago after Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) decided to reposition its existing HomeAdvisor real-estate site, competes with online lenders, back-end software providers and entrenched sites like Homestore.com Inc. 

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  • Microsoft takes Acquisition Route to Bolster Project 2001
    Time: 05:48 EST/10:48 GMT | News Source: ZDNet | Posted By: Julien

    On Wednesday Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) will announce an alliance with eLabor.com as a next step in evolving Project 2001, the upcoming workgroup data management tool that is due in the first half of next year. The Redmond, Wash., company will acquire eLabor.com's Enterprise Project, which provides project and resource management functions including time-sheet reporting for projects, scheduling, resource allocations, project planning and budgeting. Enterprise Project will likely be incorporated as a member of the Project family along with Project Central, a Web-based application in the current version of Project that allows team members to collaborate on projects, officials said. "[Enterprise Project] adds the ability to view all resources in a centralized way across all projects in an organization," said Todd Warren, general manager of Microsoft Project. "Plus, it gives organizations the capability to assign and manage skills associated with those people and then links it with project management information that's in Project and Project Central." Microsoft also will establish broader business alliances with eLabor.com, of Camarillo, Calif., which will become an application service provider for Project and Project Central as well as a provider of time and attendance services on bCentral, Microsoft's portal for small businesses. Further, Microsoft will invest an undisclosed amount in eLabor.com's second round of equity financing, which is valued at more than $30 million, according to eLabor.com officials. eLabor.com will continue to sell and support Enterprise Project until it is bundled with Microsoft Project 2001. Customers who purchase it now will receive a free migration tool and upgrade to the Microsoft version.eLabor.com provides workforce management services through its Hosted Workforce Portal. Services comprise labor management, contractor management and project management. Notice that we'll have a complete review on Microsoft Project 2000 very soon: be sure to often check our reviews area!

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NEWS HEADLINES FOR: TUESDAY AUGUST 22, 2000

  Competition  
  • Microsoft Security Bulletin (MS00-059) Patch Available for "Java VM Applet" Vulnerability
    Time: 14:53 EST/19:53 GMT | News Source: Microsoft | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Microsoft has released a patch that eliminates a security vulnerability in the Microsoft® virtual machine (Microsoft VM). If a malicious web site operator were able to coax a user into visiting his site, the vulnerability could allow him to masquerade as the user, visit other sites using his identity, and relay the information back to his site.

    Frequently asked questions regarding this vulnerability and the patch can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/fq00-059.asp

    Issue

    The Microsoft VM is a virtual machine for the Win32® operating environment. It runs atop Microsoft Windows® 95, 98, or Windows NT®, or Windows 2000. 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.x and Internet Explorer 5.x contains a security vulnerability that could allow a Java applet to operate outside the bounds set by the sandbox.

    By design, an applet should only be able to communicate with the web site that hosted it. However, this vulnerability would allow an applet to bypass this restriction. If a user visited a web site operated by a malicious user, the site could start an applet that would be able to establish a connection with another web site and forward any information from the web session to the malicious user’s site.

    The session would be established in the guise of the visiting user, rather than that of the malicious user. Thus, the vulnerability could be used to access an intranet site located behind a firewall, access information in the guise of the user, and relay it to the malicious user. The only prerequisite is that the malicious user would need to know or guess the name of the intranet site. Although the applet would be able to make use of the user’s credentials to authenticate to the site, this vulnerability would not provide a way to compromise them.

    Affected Software Versions

    Versions of the Microsoft VM are identified by build numbers, which can be determined using the JVIEW tool, as discussed in the FAQ. The following builds of the Microsoft VM are affected:
    • All builds in the 2000 series.
    • All builds in the 3100 series.
    • All builds in the 3200 series.
    • All builds in the 3300 series.

    Patch Availability

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  • Windows Me special upgrade version - Update
    Time: 11:37 EST/16:37 GMT | News Source: Microsoft | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    A number of people have been writing in asking questions about the new Windows Me "Special Upgrade Version" that Microsoft announced a week or so ago. You will be able to do a clean install with this version but ONLY if you have a Windows 98/98SE CD as proof of purchase, we hope this helps some of you come to a decision over it.

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  • Microsoft .NET for Manufacturing Enables Users to ’See.Use.Act’ on Information Throughout Their Operations and With Customers and Suppliers
    Time: 11:37 EST/16:37 GMT | News Source: Microsoft Press Release | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Production lines at Delphi Automotive Systems’ Packard Electric division run day and night, producing 40 billion parts annually in 36 countries. Coordination is more than important. It’s critical. "You need to know you are producing the right part number for the right customer at the right time," said Frank Ventura, Delphi Packard Electric manager of manufacturing information systems.

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  • Gates Receives ISA’s Top Honor at Annual Gathering, Microsoft Helps Build Homes for the Needy
    Time: 11:37 EST/16:37 GMT | News Source: Microsoft Press Release | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    ISA, the international society of industrial measurement and control, presented Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates its highest award this week for his company’s contributions to the instrumentation industry.

    Gates received the ISA Honorary Member Award at this week’s ISA Expo 2000 in New Orleans. Andrew Hoover, Microsoft’s director of manufacturing and engineering, accepted the honor for Gates, who was unable to attend the event.

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  • Microsoft Files Reply Brief with U. S. Supreme Court
    Time: 10:28 EST/15:38 GMT | News Source: Microsoft Press Release | Posted By: Julien

    Microsoft has announced that they have today filed a reply brief in the government's antitrust case, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to deny the government’s direct appeal and remand the case to the Court of Appeals. You can read it by clicking here.

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  • Microsoft Office 10 Beta 1 Preview
    Time: 07:55 EST/12:55 GMT | News Source: WinSuperSite | Posted By: Julien

    Paul Thurrot has just posted its Microsoft Office 10 preview with some exclusive shots of the new software. Here is a snippet of it:

    The recent release of Office 10 Beta 1 has unearthed a slew of new features, including a subscription software service, voice control, and numerous simplification improvements that will help shape this release into a compelling upgrade over Office 2000. Office 10 Beta 1, which Microsoft now says will be called Office 2001 or Office 2002 when it ships, includes the client software, an Office Web Server, the Office Resource Kit, two Language Packs CDs, and a ClipArt CD; it's not clear which of these products will be separated out from the main Office product.

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  • Inprise/Borland Joins IBM and Microsoft to Support New Intel(R) Itanium(TM) Processor Platforms
    Time: 07:52 EST/12:52 GMT | News Source: Press Release | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Today at the Intel Developer Forum, Inprise/Borland (Nasdaq: INPR - news) announced that Inprise/Borland will port its awarding-winning Borland® JBuilder(TM), Inprise(TM) Application Server(TM), VisiBroker® for Java® and JDataStore(TM) for platforms based on the Intel® Itanium(TM) processor. The software will be ported to the Microsoft® Windows® 2000 64 bit and Red Hat(TM) Linux 64 bit operating systems running Java 2 v1.3 runtime from IBM. All of Inprise/Borland offerings on Intel IA-64 architecture (IA-64) -- including Intel Itanium processor-based systems -- will be compatible with what are available on IA-32 today. This will enable companies who use Inprise/Borland's integrated Java tool set to easily move their applications running on IA-32 based systems today to IA-64 based systems of tomorrow. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000117/SFM040 )

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  • Vertigo Software Launches First Microsoft .NET-Based Application With Data Return
    Time: 07:51 EST/12:51 GMT | News Source: Press Release | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Data Return Corporation (NASDAQ: DRTN - news), a leading global provider of managed hosting services, today announced it is hosting IBuySpy.com from Vertigo Software, Inc., unveiled at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference in Orlando, Florida last month. This educational site shows developers how to utilize the next generation Microsoft .NET platform to rapidly create e-commerce applications, and includes all source code in either Visual Basic or C#, the new development language from Microsoft.

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  • ActiveWin Competition
    Time: 07:50 EST/12:50 GMT | News Source: Active Network | Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    A new silent revolution is hitting the streets right now: while actual PCs are now almost everywhere, power users start using various handheld PCs to help them stay organized & connected... Maybe some day these small new PCs will replace our cumbersome ones... Who knows?

    Want a free Windows CE computer to enter tomorrow's world right now? Dream to have it but can't afford it? Wanna be a precursor? If you can answer a simple question you may have a chance to win the NEC PC we are offering to our faithful readers.

    Enter Here

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  • DirectX 8.0 Beta 2 nears
    Time: 07:50 EST/12:50 GMT | News Source: BetaNews | Posted By: Byron Hinson

    According to Betanews, it seems that Microsoft has sent word to applicants that Beta 2 of DirectX 8.0 will be released shortly and chance for participation will soon close. Version 8.0 was expected for release this summer and inclusion in Windows Me, however delays have been extending the test and final release date alike. DirectX 8.0 will feature a new graphical input device control panel in DirectInput along with a multitude of other enhancements to its rendering capabilities. Along with the Beta 2 announcement, Microsoft today released an interim build of version 8.0, Build 0145, however details are unknown. 

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  • Norton Personal FireWall 2000 2.0 -- Review
    Time: 07:50 EST/12:50 GMT | News Source: ActiveWin | Posted By: Julien

    I've just reposted my review of Norton Personal FireWall 2000 2.0 software with a new test topic that details the exact performance of this software to protect your PC from hackers. Here is a snippet of the review:

    Every Internet user is aware that their Internet connection is a potential risk source that grows if he stays online a lot of time. That’s why Symantec released last year its Norton Internet Security range of software dedicated to protect every Internet user. Norton Personal Firewall 2000 2.0 is in fact a lighted version of Norton Internet Security 2000 and doesn’t include any account management feature to protect family members nor Norton AntiVirus. Norton Personal Firewall 2000 2.0 is –only- a software firewall based on the WRQ’s AtGuard software. The aim of Norton Personal Firewall 2000 2.0 is to protect users from every kind of internet threat: hackers, malicious activeX or Java code, cookies,…. So here’s my complete review of this great product that works at least with Winndows 2000.

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You can 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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