Microsoft News

Windows Server News

Some stuff I ran onto covering different Windows Servers and Operating systems.

A first look: Microsoft Longhorn Server Beta 3 After Microsoft released the Beta 3 version of Microsoft Server, code named Longhorn, Techrepublic shows you the basic installation and configuration screens that are found in Beta 3 of Longhorn.

Testing 1, 2, 3 ? Beta 3 of Windows “Longhorn” Server goes public Microsoft is finally releasing the first public test version, Beta 3, of its Windows Longhorn Server, and they say Beta 3 is “feature complete,” but there will be a near-final release candidate version released before sometime before the launch in 2008.

Windows Home Server installation Pictures of the installation process on Windows Home Server Build 3790.

How do I… Configure Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Remote Access? Step-by-step procedures to get remote administration installed and configured in your enterprise using Windows Small Business Server.

Microsoft patches nasty DNS server, Exchange flaws Seven groups of patches were released today, fixing 19 bugs. Microsoft rates all seven of the updates as critical, but, everyone should make sure they check out the MS07-026 and MS07-029 updates, which fix flaws in Microsoft Exchange and the Windows DNS, or Domain Name System, server.

Hands on: Windows Server ‘Longhorn’ Beta 3 review Features have been added, including the much-anticipated Windows Server Virtualization code, which was called Hypervisor. There are some small improvements to features that have been on Windows Server for a long time, like Terminal Services, and clustering and server management, with some new capabilities as well, like Server Core and PowerShell.

Microsoft doc names Longhorn as ‘Windows Server 2007′ Microsoft will name the server operating system known as Longhorn, with the name “Windows Server 2007,” according to a document on the company’s site. Man that’s one good name.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 8, 2007 at 5:59 pm

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Microsoft Buying Yahoo!?

Microsoft has revived talks with Yahoo about a possible acquisition, or a merger, although I would think Microsoft would just buy them, but what do I know.

Microsoft Eyes Search Giant In Proposed Takeover Stung by the loss of Internet advertising firm DoubleClick to Google last month, Microsoft has re-invigorated its pursuit of a deal with Yahoo!, asking the company to re-enter formal negotiations. While Microsoft and Yahoo have held informal deal talks over the years, sources say the latest approach signals an urgency on Microsoft’s part that has up until now been lacking, i.e. desperate to beat Google. Both companies declined comment.

Microsoft, Yahoo Reconsider Merger In what appear to be early-stage discussions, executives at Yahoo and Microsoft are taking a fresh look at a merger of the two giant companies or some kind of match-up that would pair their companies’ respective strengths, say those people who say they are familiar with the situation.

Microsoft pursues Yahoo! takeover The same report values Yahoo at $50 billion; and the world renowned bankers Goldman Sachs are giving Microsoft advice on the deal. If the deal comes through, the takeover would be one of the largest corporate takeovers in American corporate history, and likely the largest ever in the Technology sector. Yahoo’s stock was up almost 18% at the time of this posting.

MASSIVE: Microsoft May Acquire Yahoo for $50 Billion Microsoft has reacted to Google’s purchase of DoubleClick by stepping up it’s talks with Yahoo about a possible acquisition/merger. The estimated price tag for Yahoo? $50 billion. Good fit? Bad fit? Frankly, I think it would be an awesome pairing, and (if executed well), it could/should provide a powerful challenger to Google’s web dominance. Why wouldn?t Microsoft buy Yahoo?

One reason I can think would be the possible exodus of Yahoo employees. And some sites are reporting that the deal is for 50 billion, while the Wall Street Journal estimated the price, it didn’t say they were offered that much.

I think it could be a great deal too, not the money, just the pairing, combining of forces and knowledge, and all of that. It will be interesting if it happens.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 4, 2007 at 6:03 pm

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Microsoft’s May 2007 Patch Tuesday

Microsoft has posted their advance notification for next week’s patch Tuesday, looks like 7 security patches, 7 non-security patches and another update to the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool.

Security Updates: Two Microsoft Security Bulletins affecting Microsoft Windows. The highest Maximum Severity rating for these is Critical. These updates will require a restart. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer.

Three Microsoft Security Bulletins affecting Microsoft Office. The highest Maximum Severity rating for these is Critical. These updates may require a restart. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer.

One Microsoft Security Bulletin affecting Microsoft Exchange. The highest Maximum Severity rating for these is Critical. These updates will not require a restart. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer.

One Microsoft Security Bulletin affecting Microsoft CAPICOM and BizTalk. The highest Maximum Severity rating for these is Critical. These updates will not require a restart. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer and the Enterprise Scan Tool.

Non-security High Priority updates: Microsoft will release 1 NON-SECURITY High-Priority Update for Windows on Windows Update (WU) and Software Update Services (SUS).

Microsoft will release 6 NON-SECURITY High-Priority Updates on Microsoft Update (MU) and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). Source: May 2007 Advance Notification

Webcast will be here on Wednesday May 9, 2007 at 11 AM Pacific Time.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 3, 2007 at 6:56 pm

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Microsoft Silverlight and Google News

Microsoft Silverlight debuts amid praise and scorn, as always, and Google updates their personalized homepages.

Microsoft “rebooted the Web” yesterday Robert Scoble describes Silverlight as slicker, feels better, and has far better video quality than anything Google can throw at Windows users with YouTube/Flash/etc.

Take Time To Understand Silverlight. It’s Important The announcements around Microsoft?s new Silverlight platform yesterday were important to anyone who is thinking about where the web will evolve. For those of us watching the demos at the Mix conference the immediate importance of it was apparent – Silverlight will be the platform of choice for developers who build rich Internet applications. It makes Flash/Flex look like an absolute toy. After the keynote, the main topic of conversation in the hallways centered on just how effectively Microsoft carried out its execution of Adobe.

Ozzie’s quiet revolution at Microsoft Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s chief software architect, is not one to take extreme views or make outlandish claims. But he is adamantly sure of one thing: a combination of software and online services is the future.

Netflix Demos Silverlight Watch Now From Zatznotfunny.com.

You’ve got gadget mail For a while now, we Googlers have used a bit of shorthand to refer to the Personalized Homepage — a name that connotes interactivity, the Internet, and personalization all at once. Please meet iGoogle, the new name for the Google Personalized Homepage.

Google’s Personalization Push: iGoogle, Localization, Gadget Maker The announcement last night of iGoogle (the new name for Google Personalized Homepage), Gadget Maker and other localization features, shows that Google is ramping up its personalization efforts once again. Google Blogoscoped has excellent coverage from the Google Personalization Workshop, held yesterday at Mountain View for a select group of local bloggers. In this post we analyze these new features and compare them to Google’s competition in both search and personalized homepages.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 2, 2007 at 1:59 am

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Tech, Google, XP, and Microsoft in China

Here are a bunch of tech stories for today.

Dell brings back XP on home systems Amid significant customer demand, the computer maker said on Thursday that it has returned to offering the older Windows version as an option on some of its consumer PCs.

How Security Companies Sucker Us With Lemons More than a year ago, I wrote about the increasing risks of data loss because more and more data fits in smaller and smaller packages. Today I use a 4-GB USB memory stick for backup while I am traveling. I like the convenience, but if I lose the tiny thing I risk all my data.

Vista, IE7 help Microsoft boost search market share In a rare bit of good news for Microsoft on the search front, web metrics firm comScore reported that for the month of March, Microsoft’s search engines saw their first market share increase in nearly a year. Microsoft’s search market share jumped 0.4 percentage points from February to March, giving it 10.9 percent of the total market.

April ’07 Back Compat Update April showers have yielded us a Back Compat update The latest backwards compatibility update is now available over Xbox Live (or will be very soon.) This free update brings the complete list of original Xbox games that you can play on your Xbox 360 to over 300.

Back to basics So we’re renaming Froogle as Google Product Search. We’re taking the opportunity to refocus the user experience on providing the most comprehensive, relevant results in a clean, simple, easy-to-use UI. Who cares.

Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) Latest Ubuntu released, I may as well download this one and try it.

Google Video powering some pirate sites Google, already being sued for copyright infringement on its YouTube service, may have another copyright tempest brewing on its older Google Video site. The site hosts numerous full-length movies which are now being exploited by “guerilla” video sites; in essence, Google is one part of the engine that powers video piracy.

MySpace News Launches Thursday On Thursday morning MySpace will launch its much rumored news property at news.myspace.com. Expect the site to go live and a press release to be issued around 7 am EST.

Microsoft aims to reach next billion PC users Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is using a speech in Beijing to unveil a new low-cost bundle of Office and Windows, one of several new initiatives aimed at getting PCs into the hands of more people in emerging markets. Especially considering they have only sold 244 copies of Vista in China.

Widgetsphere: New Playground For Marketers If you’re in the online marketing game and are not yet hip to widgets, listen up. Two emerging Web 2.0 technology firms focused in this space have a message for you. Those companies are Widgetbox and ClearSpring, both of which presented in a session on Tuesday afternoon at Web 2.0 Expo that was billed as “Using Widget Syndication for Online Marketing and Measurement”.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 19, 2007 at 6:22 pm

Categories: Google, Microsoft News, Windows Vista, Windows XP   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Microsoft Security Roundup

Major Nelson says we weren’t hacked, in reference to accusations that some accounts were hacked into and taken by other users, and says there is no evidence that there was any compromise at all of their security on Xbox Live.

Despite some recent reports and speculation, I want to reassure all of our 6 million Xbox Live members that we have looked into the situation and found no evidence of any compromise of the security of the Xbox Live Network or Bungie.net. There have been a few isolated incidents where malicious users have been attempting to draw personal information from unsuspecting users and use it to gain access to their LIVE account. This is a good time to remind our members that they should never give out any of their personal information. Additionally it may be a good idea to download this free PDF file from Microsoft.com ‘ Help Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft? that gives you some excellent information and tips on how to protect yourself. Source: Xbox Live Security

But this website, Security Focus, lists how you do it, and it is a simple social engineering technique, you call them up and say hey, my Xbox crashed or my friend changed my password, of course, they won’t do it for you right off the bat, you need to keep calling and picking out bits and pieces of the info that you need.

“We here at Infamous steal at least 10 accounts a day depending on there (sic) levels,” claimed a site belonging to Clan Infamous, which bills itself as “the best account stealing + boosting clan” in Halo 2. “If you talk s**t we will mod on your account until it is banned. If the levels on it are good, we will use the Credit Card on your account to then change the gamer tag.”

The clan’s Web site, however, does detail the method its members use to steal accounts. Rather than hacking computer servers, the clan’s account stealers claim to rely on social engineering to convince support personnel at Microsoft—and its subsidiary Bungie Studios, the creator of the Halo game series–to help the attackers take control of the accounts. To do so, the players spin a story about something going wrong with their account–from a crashed box to a sibling changing the password–and ask for help “recovering” the data.

“You call 1-800-4my-xbox, pretend to be that person, make up a story about how your little brother put in the information on the account and it was all fake,” stated the Clan Infamous Web site. “You might get one little piece of information per call, but then you keep calling and keep calling, every time getting a little bit more information … once you have enough information you can get the password (and) the Windows Live ID reset.” Source: Account pretexters plague Xbox Live

So, no, they weren’t hacked, technically, but they are being socially engineered out of the info and helping them take the accounts. One would think that Microsoft would keep record of the calls made about each account, then it would be easy to tell if this is really happening.

And other news I’m sure Microsoft is just loving, they were declared Most Secure OS by Symantec, a company who isn’t to happy with Microsoft right now because of the Patch Guard stuff. The report is Internet Security Threat Report, and it is summed up nicely on the Internet News site.

The report found that Microsoft (Quote) Windows had the fewest number of patches and the shortest average patch development time of the five operating systems it monitored in the last six months of 2006.

During this period, 39 vulnerabilities, 12 of which were ranked high priority or severe, were found in Microsoft Windows and the company took an average of 21 days to fix them. It’s an increase of the 22 vulnerabilities and 13-day turnaround time for the first half of 2006 but still bested the competition handily.

Red Hat was next requiring an average of 58 days to address a total of 208 vulnerabilities, Mac OS X had 43 vulnerabilities in Mac OS X and a 66 day turnaround on fixes and HP-UX from Hewlett Packard and Solaris from Sun, HP-UX had 98 vulnerabilities in the second half of 06 and took 101 days to fix them, while Sun took on average 122 days to fix 63 vulnerabilities. Sun said they don’t know where Symantec got their numbers because they were way off.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - March 22, 2007 at 8:31 pm

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Windows Vista Ultimate Extras Revealed

I asked before if anyone knew what the Ultimate Extras that were supposed to be coming with Windows Vista Ultimate, Bill Gates released that news in his keynote at CES this year. There are three of them and they will be released January 30th, about the same time Vista is released.

Windows DreamScene: Windows DreamScene gives users the ability to use a video as their desktop background, just as they would any stationary image background. DreamScene will consist of high-quality looped videos that make your desktop come alive. As a default, we’ve included a nice waterfall video (shown at the keynote) among several others. Better yet, you can even use your own videos. Want to know a little-known secret? For computers that support Windows Aero, DreamScene offers enhancements to positioning of stationary images as wallpapers in Windows Vista. More info

BitLocker and EFS Enhancements: MS will provide enhancements to BitLocker in Ultimate Extras, including a tool called the Secure Online Key Backup, with which you can store your BitLocker recovery password on a secure MS website. More info

Texas Hold’em Poker Game: MS is bringing this popular poker game to Windows Vista. With this Ultimate Extra, you can add to your Windows gaming experience. Hold’em players: Windows Vista’s DirectX improvements give you amazing graphics effects in the game — you can play up to five computer players at once. We’ve also thrown in the ability to customize the table and cards, too. More info Source: Windows Vista Team Blog

Nick White and some other Vista team members will also be doing a bus tour January 16-24, 2007, in a custom-wrapped Windows Vista bus and they will be visiting the following cities, and some points in between:

Nashville, Lexington, Cincinnati, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Charlotte, Savannah, Jacksonville, Orlando, Gainesville and Atlanta.

They will demo Windows Vista, Ultimate Extras, speech recognition, Tablet functionality, and the way Media Center works with the Xbox 360 as an extender, and they say they will also be giving stuff away.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - January 17, 2007 at 1:31 am

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Windows Home Server

Windows Home Server
In his keynote speech at CES, one of the products Bill Gates introduced was the Windows Home Server, a small form, headless, meaning with no monitor, computer that you can set anywhere on your network. The Home Server will backup every computer that connects to it every night, and make it available online using your Windows Live ID. They have a website up at www.stopdigitalamnesia.com, it’s trying to be funny and informative at the same time, be sure to check it out for more information. One of the developers notes below that he has been working on it for three years.

I am writing this from the Windows Home Server blogger’s lounge in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Bill Gates just finished up his CES 2007 keynote where the product I have been slaving over for the last 3 years was finally formally announced to the world!

The photo you see in this post was taken today in the blogger’s lounge (with my Windows Mobile phone; hence the picture quality). This is a Windows Home Server Prototype that we built to explore innovative hardware design. I put my hand in the shot so you could get an idea of just how big (small) this particular device is. This prototype uses 2.5″ hard disks and thus has less storage expansion capability than the HP MediaSmart product will, but it was built to show another perspective of what a Windows Home Server could be. Source: cek.log

From the Microsoft Press Release,

Delivered on hardware from leading partners, Windows Home Server will help families with multiple PCs connect their home computers, digital devices and printers, in order to easily store, protect and share their treasured photos, music, videos and documents. By automatically backing up home PCs, centralizing a family’s digital “stuff” and allowing access to it away from home, Windows Home Server will help simplify and enhance family life.

Simple to set up and use, Windows Home Server takes advantage of the familiarity of the Windows operating system to help families easily store and organize digital content. As consumers use Windows Vista to create, find and enjoy digital media, Windows Home Server will be an ideal solution to help manage, protect and access that content. Families using the product will be able to automatically back up every Windows Vista or Windows XP-based computer in the home and completely restore, or ?rewind,? a PC to a time when it was working well. They will also be able to use Windows Home Server to centrally monitor the health of their Windows Vista-based PCs, to proactively identify and resolve problems.

Windows Home Server customers can use a personalized Windows Live Internet address to connect to Windows Home Server from outside of the home. As a result, they can share photos with friends and family and enjoy their music and videos. Families can use the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system or other Windows Media Connect-supported devices to view or listen to digital media stored on Windows Home Server, as well. They can also connect a printer to Windows Home Server in order to print from any connected PC in the home. Source: Bill Gates Unveils Windows Home Server at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show

Windows Home Server will be available from many harder providers, AMD is announcing the AMD LIVE! Home Media Server, at CES this week. Inventec Corp. and Quanta Computer Inc. are also demonstrating hardware designs, complementing the HP MediaSmart Server product demonstrated in Bill Gates’ keynote address and in the Microsoft booth. The HP MediaSmart Server comes with four hard drive bays and four USB ports. It also comes equipped with HP Photo Webshare.

A post from Jesse Lewin has a video and some more info,

As a small, headless box that lives on your network and in your closet, a Windows Home Server can quickly grow the pool of storage from which all of your shared files for each of your users lives. The backup engine in Windows Home Server also silently backs up the entirety of each machine connected to it every night. And because the data is always online, using the built-in remote access abilities, you?ll also be able to access your data from any machine on the planet. Source: 10

A post from InsideMicrosoft, which is huge and contains loads of information, some of it I will quote here, says that it will store all of your files, data, MP3, photos and video, and it will stream to digital media extenders, like the Xbox 360. They plan on it pretty much being plug and play, although you will have to setup some things like the remote access, the hard drives can be of any size, and it will be accessed as one big drive. You can remove the drives and the Server will tell you how it affects the file system and will move the files to other drives. He also predicts that if Microsoft adds wifi to computer sharing, the Zune will be able to download music from it. You will be able to configure a free internet address, yoursite.homeserver.com, for example, and you can access it from a networked computer or a web browser to upload or download files. It says its three primary purposes are,

Automated Computer Backup – Home Server will sit in the middle of your house and completely backup the entire hard drives of every computer connected to it, automatically. Lose anything, even an entire computer, and you will be able to restore it. You will even be able to restore older versions of files, taking advantage of a valuable feature in Windows Vista.

Access Everything From Anywhere – With a Home Server, you will be able to access all of your files from any computer, inside or outside your home, as well as accessing your home computers from outside the home. You will centrally store your files to make them easier to access at all times.

Grows With You – Home Server will be designed to make it easier for users to expand its capabilities, especially making it easy to add more hard drives. Source: EXCLUSIVE: Windows Home Server In Detail

According to Microsoft’s projections, Beta 2 of Home Server will arrive in just two weeks, on January 22. Pre-Beta 1 was reached last July. They are also projecting Release Candidate status by May 15 and the final Release To Manufacturing on June 22. I haven’t seen any pricing information yet, I will add it when it is released.

Minimum System Requirements:

  • 1 GHz Pentium 3 (or equivalent)
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 80 GB internal hard drive as primary drive
  • Bootable DVD drive
  • Display (only for software installation)
  • 100 Mbps wired Ethernet
  • Keyboard and mouse (only for software installation)

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - January 9, 2007 at 4:58 am

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Microsoft Patch Tuesday, Jan 9 2007

The next patch Tuesday will include at least 8 patches, 4 security patches, with one being critical, the usual Malicious Software Removal Tool update and three non-critical patches. From the bulletin,

Security Updates

One Microsoft Security Bulletin affecting Microsoft Windows. The highest Maximum Severity rating for this is Critical. This update will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer and the Enterprise Scan Tool. This update will require a restart.

Three Microsoft Security Bulletins affecting Microsoft Office. The highest Maximum Severity rating for these is Critical. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer. These updates may require a restart.

Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool

Microsoft will release an updated version of the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool on Windows Update, Microsoft Update, Windows Server Update Services and the Download Center.

Note that this tool will NOT be distributed using Software Update Services (SUS).

Non-security High Priority updates on MU, WU, WSUS and SUS

Microsoft will release no NON-SECURITY High-Priority Updates for Windows on Windows Update (WU) and Software Update Services (SUS).

Microsoft will release two NON-SECURITY High-Priority Updates on Microsoft Update (MU) and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). Source: Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance notification via Microsoft Security Response Center Blog!

There will be a web cast, go here to register online.

On January 9, Microsoft releases its monthly security bulletins. Join us for a brief overview of the technical details of the January security bulletins. The intent of this web cast is to address your concerns. Therefore, most of the web cast is devoted to attendees asking questions about the bulletins and getting answers from our security experts.

Presenter: Christopher Budd, CISA, CISM, CISSP, ISSMP Security Program Manager, PSS Security, Microsoft Corporation and Mike Reavey, Lead Security Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - January 5, 2007 at 8:15 pm

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There once was this techie named Charlie…

…who didn’t know his ass from his Harley?

Hey I’m a poet and didn’t know it. Okay, you can stop booing at anytime. I shouldn’t be mean, but after reading the usual bashing and fighting at digg and slashdot over this, I thought I should point the finger at the real problem, the tech guy himself.

I just read Windows screw-up forces Ubuntu shift from the Inquirer. He starts out by saying he does this every week, but after reading the article, I think he either tried some hardware he had never used before, or he does not do this every week, or just thought this would be a good article to get some links and some traffic for the Inquirer? Possibly, doesn’t know his ass from a whole in the ground, you decide…

It started out quite simply, a client needed to set up a small branch office, something I do almost every week. Four workstation and a repository for files, occasional backups, and a shared printer is all they would need, nothing special. Five HP 5100s, a printer, a Promise TX2300 with mirrored drives and a DVD-R was all I needed. That was the easy part.

Out came the anaemic 40GB drive from one HP, and in when the Promise controller and two WD 200GB SATA drives. The TX2300 was a snap to set up, the hardest part was rebooting 10 times until I caught that CTRL-F is the key to get into the card BIOS. A minute later, the RAID was built and it was time to restore the OS from the CDs. Two thumbs up to Promise here, it really could not be easier. Source: the INQUIRER

The gist of the story that he wants you to come away with is that Ubuntu saved the day, while HP and Microsoft just made it harder. Hardly, the client just wanted four client pc’s and one for file serving, he decided to use a third party raid controller and remove the original windows boot drive, which would make for him being onsite even longer, so he must be charging by the hour instead of the job. Why reinstall the OS at all? The setup is almost perfect, the execution left something to be desired, and this ends up being a poor attempt at beating down Microsoft instead of taking blame himself because he was not ready for the situation. If you are going to sell your services professionally, you should be prepared for the job that you sold them. While I agree the policy of not sending operating system install CD’s with the computers is a pain, you can create the installation CD’s yourself, or do it differently. This was not Microsoft’s fault, just poor planning and execution by the writer.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - January 2, 2007 at 3:29 am

Categories: Microsoft News, Ubuntu, Windows XP   Tags:

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