Archive for the ‘Office 2010’ Category

Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification for April 2013

Monday, April 8th, 2013
Bulletin ID Maximum Severity Rating and Vulnerability Impact Restart Requirement Affected Software
Bulletin 1 Critical
Remote Code Execution
Requires restart Microsoft Windows,
Internet Explorer
Bulletin 2 Critical
Remote Code Execution
May require restart Microsoft Windows
Bulletin 3 Important
Information Disclosure
May require restart Microsoft Office,
Microsoft Server Software
Bulletin 4 Important
Elevation of Privilege
Requires restart Microsoft Windows
Bulletin 5 Important
Denial of Service
Requires restart Microsoft Windows
Bulletin 6 Important
Elevation of Privilege
Requires restart Microsoft Windows
Bulletin 7 Important
Elevation of Privilege
Requires restart Microsoft Security Software
Bulletin 8 Important
Elevation of Privilege
May require restart Microsoft Office,
Microsoft Server Software
Bulletin 9 Important
Elevation of Privilege
Requires restart Microsoft Windows

Excerpt from microsoft.com

Official version of Office for iPad, Android now rumored for November

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

The mobile version will reportedly look similar to a version leaked in February.

A new rumor suggests iPad and Android tablet users will be able to use a native, tablet-optimized version of Microsoft Office this fall. According to a source speaking to BGR, Microsoft will have a version of Office for both platforms ready in November.

A purported iPad version of Office was allegedly leaked in February, though Microsoft denied that what was published was “an actual Microsoft product.” Despite this, the company wouldn’t say whether it was in fact working on a version of Office for Apple’s popular tablet or not.

BGR’s source claimed to have seen Office running on an iPad, and confirmed that it looked “almost identical” to the previously leaked version. Additionally, Microsoft will reportedly release the software for Android-based tablets in the same November timeframe.

Microsoft would neither confirm nor deny the information in BGR’s report. “We have nothing to share at this time as we do not comment on rumors or speculation,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Ars.

With the increasing uptake of tablets at home, work, and school, there has been a growing demand to use Microsoft’s popular word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications on mobile devices. There are a number of apps that offer varying compatibility with existing Office documents, and a few solutions have popped up which allow running Office on virtualized Windows environments running on remote servers. Such solutions do work, but aren’t optimized for tablet interfaces.

Source:  arstechnica.com

Command line switches for Microsoft Outlook 2010

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Microsoft Outlook 2010 can be opened with a variety of command line options, or switches.  The list below is courtesy of Microsoft.

Available switches

Switch

Description

/a

Creates an item with the specified file as an attachment.

Example:

·      “c:\program files\microsoft office\office14\outlook.exe” /a “c:\my documents\labels.doc”

If no item type is specified, IPM.Note is assumed. Cannot be used with message classes that are not based on Outlook.

/altvba otmfilename

Opens the VBA program specified in otmfilename, instead of %appdata%\microsoft\outlook\vbaproject.otm.

 Note    This command line switch is only available if the following Windows registry DWORD value is set to 1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Security\EnableAltVba

/c messageclass

Creates a new item of the specified message class (Outlook forms or any other valid MAPI form).

Examples:

·      /c ipm.activity creates a Journal entry

·      /c ipm.appointment creates an appointment

·      /c ipm.contact creates a contact

·      /c ipm.note creates an e-mail message

·      /c ipm.stickynote creates a note

·      /c ipm.task creates a task

/checkclient

Prompts for the default manager of e-mail, news, and contacts.

/cleanautocompletecache

Removes all names and e-mail addresses from the Auto-Complete list.

/cleancategories

Deletes any custom category names that you have created. Restores categories to the default names.

/cleanclientrules

Starts Outlook and deletes client-based rules.

/cleanconvongoingactions

Deletes the Conversations Actions Table (CAT). CAT entries for a conversation thread usually expire 30 days after no activity. The command-line switch clears all conversation tagging, ignore, and moving rules immediately stopping any additional actions.

/cleandmrecords

Deletes the logging records saved when a manager or a delegate declines a meeting.

/cleanfinders

Resets all Search Folders in the Microsoft Exchange mailbox for only the first profile opened.

/cleanfreebusy

Clears and regenerates free/busy information. This switch can be used only when you are able to connect to the server that runs Exchange.

/cleanfromaddress

Removes all manually added From entries from the profile.

/cleanmailtipcache

Removes all MailTips from the cache.

/cleanreminders

Clears and regenerates reminders.

/cleanroamedprefs

All previous roamed preferences are deleted and copied again from the local settings on the computer where this switch is used. This includes the roaming settings for reminders, free/busy grid, working hours, calendar publishing, and RSS rules.

/cleanrules

Starts Outlook and deletes client-based and server-based rules.

/cleanserverrules

Starts Outlook and deletes server-based rules.

/cleansharing

Removes all RSS, Internet Calendar, and SharePoint subscriptions from Account Settings, but leaves all the previously downloaded content on your computer. This is useful if you cannot delete one of these subscriptions within Outlook 2010.

/cleansniff

Overrides the programmatic lockout that determines which of your computers (when you run Outlook at the same time) processes meeting items. The lockout process helps prevent duplicate reminder messages. This switch clears the lockout on the computer it is used. This enables Outlook to process meeting items.

/cleansubscriptions

Deletes the subscription messages and properties for subscription features.

/cleanviews

Restores default views. All custom views that you created are lost.

/embedding

Used without command-line parameters for standard OLE co-create.

/f msgfilename

Opens the specified message file (.msg) or Microsoft Office saved search (.oss).

/finder

Opens the Advanced Find dialog box.

/hol holfilename

Opens the specified .hol file.

/ical icsfilename

Opens the specified .ics file.

/importNK2

Imports the contents of an .nk2 file which contains the nickname list that is used by both the automatic name checking and Auto-Complete features.

/importprf prffilename

Starts Outlook and opens/imports the defined MAPI profile (*.prf). If Outlook is already open, queues the profile to be imported on the next clean start.

/launchtraininghelp assetid

Opens a Help window with the Help topic specified in assetid displayed.

/m emailname

Provides a way for the user to add an e-mail name to the item. Only works together with the /c command-line parameter.

Example:

·      Outlook.exe /c ipm.note /m emailname

/nopreview

Starts Outlook with the Reading Pane off.

/p msgfilename

Prints the specified message (.msg).

/profile profilename

Loads the specified profile. If your profile name contains a space, enclose the profile name in quotation marks (” “).

/profiles

Opens the Choose Profile dialog box regardless of the Options setting on the Tools menu.

/promptimportprf

Same as /importprf except that a prompt appears and the user can cancel the import.

/recycle

Starts Outlook by using an existing Outlook window, if one exists.

/remigratecategories

Starts Outlook and starts the following commands on the default mailbox:

·      Upgrades colored For Follow Up flags to Outlook 2010 color categories.

·      Upgrades calendar labels to Outlook 2010 color categories.

·      Adds all categories used on non-mail items into the Master Category List

 Note    This is the same command as Upgrade to Color Categories in each Outlook mailbox properties dialog box.

/resetfolders

Restores missing folders at the default delivery location.

/resetfoldernames

Resets default folder names (such as Inbox or Sent Items) to default names in the current Office user interface language.

For example, if you first connect to your mailbox in Outlook by using a Russian user interface, the Russian default folder names cannot be renamed. To change the default folder names to another language, such as Japanese or English, you can use this switch to reset the default folder names after you change the user interface language or install a different language version of Outlook.

/resetformregions

Empties the form regions cache and reloads the form region definitions from the Windows registry.

/resetnavpane

Clears and regenerates the Navigation Pane for the current profile.

/resetquicksteps

Restores the default Quick Steps. All user-created Quick Steps are deleted.

/resetsearchcriteria

Resets all Instant Search criteria so that the default set of criteria is shown in each module.

/resetsharedfolders

Removes all shared folders from the Navigation Pane.

/resettodobar

Clears and regenerates the To-Do Bar task list for the current profile. The To-Do Bar search folder is deleted and re-created.

/restore

Attempts to open the same profile and folders that were open prior to an abnormal Outlook shutdown.

/rpcdiag

Opens Outlook and displays the remote procedure call (RPC) connection status dialog box.

/safe

Starts Outlook without the Reading Pane or toolbar customizations. Both native and managed Component Object Model (COM) add-ins are turned off.

/safe:1

Starts Outlook with the Reading Pane off.

/safe:3

Both native and managed Component Object Model (COM) add-ins are turned off.

/select foldername

Starts Outlook and opens the specified folder in a new window. For example, to open Outlook and display the default calendar, use: “c:\program files\microsoft office\office14\outlook.exe” /select outlook:calendar.

/share feed://URL/filename

/share stssync://URL

/share web://URL/filename

Specifies a sharing URL to connect to Outlook. For example, use stssync://URL to connect a SharePoint list to Outlook.

/sniff

Starts Outlook, forces a detection of new meeting requests in the Inbox, and then adds them to the calendar.

/t oftfilename

Opens the specified .oft file.

/v vcffilename

Opens the specified .vcf file.

/vcal vcsfilename

Opens the specified .vcs file.

New IE9 update fixes several security flaws

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Microsoft has rolled out a new update for Internet Explorer 9 that fixes a host of different security holes.

Launched yesterday on Microsoft’s familiar “Patch Tuesday,” the August 2011 Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer is a critical one that resolves issues not just in IE9 but in versions 6, 7, and 8 as well, according to a Microsoft blog. The update is available through Windows Update, so IE users who have Windows automatic updates turned on should have already received it.

The patch takes care of five holes in IE that were disclosed in coordination with Microsoft and two others that were publicly revealed. The most serious of the security flaws could let a hacker run code on a remote PC if the user visits a malicious Web page. Microsoft also advises that people who run accounts without administrative rights are generally better protected against these types of exploits.

Beyond patching the security holes, the 21MB update throws in some non-security fixes. One resolves an issue in which IE took a long time to open an e-mail on Outlook’s Web App. Another addresses a flaw in IE8 in which the browser may have frozen when opening some pages in Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

Due to the critical nature of the security flaws, Microsoft is recommending that individual users who don’t have automatic updates turned on install the update manually as soon as possible. IT administrators will also want to roll out the update to their organizations using their own in-house update tools.

Yesterday’s Patch Tuesday was a big one for Microsoft and the third largest of 2011, according to security vendor McAfee. The folks in Redmond rolled out 13 security updates to fix 22 flaws that affected Windows, IE, Microsoft Office, the .Net Framework, and Microsoft Developer Tools.

“Overall this Patch Tuesday is on the large side,” Dave Marcus, director of security research and communications at McAfee Labs, said in a statement. “Although there are only two critical patches this month, this update comes after the July patches from Oracle and Apple, and there will be another release of critical patches for Adobe Flash Player [on Tuesday], leaving IT administrators with a full plate this summer.”

Marcus advises IT admins to place priority on the IE and Windows updates since their related vulnerabilities could “result in remote code execution attacks and can expose users to drive-by download attacks via the browser.”

Source:  CNET

Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification for August 2011

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Microsoft yesterday announced a significant number of patches to secure vulnerabilities in its desktop/server OS, Office suite, and developer software.  Key excerpts from the release can be found below:

Bulletin ID Maximum Severity Rating and Vulnerability Impact Restart Requirement Affected Software
Bulletin 1 Critical
Remote Code Execution
Requires restart Microsoft Windows,
Internet Explorer
Bulletin 2 Critical
Remote Code Execution
Requires restart Microsoft Windows
Bulletin 3 Important
Remote Code Execution
Requires restart Microsoft Windows
Bulletin 4 Important
Remote Code Execution
May require restart Microsoft Office
Bulletin 5 Important
Elevation of Privilege
May require restart Microsoft Windows
Bulletin 6 Important
Elevation of Privilege
Requires restart Microsoft Windows
Bulletin 7 Important
Elevation of Privilege
Requires restart Microsoft Windows
Bulletin 8 Important
Denial of Service
Requires restart Microsoft Windows
Bulletin 9 Important
Denial of Service
Requires restart Microsoft Windows
Bulletin 10 Important
Information Disclosure
May require restart Microsoft .NET Framework,
Microsoft Developer Tools
Bulletin 11 Important
Information Disclosure
May require restart Microsoft Developer Tools
Bulletin 13 Moderate
Denial of Service
Requires restart Microsoft Windows
Bulletin 12 Moderate
Information Disclosure
May require restart Microsoft .NET Framework

Windows Operating System and Components

Table 1

Windows XP
Bulletin Identifier Bulletin 1 Bulletin 2 Bulletin 3 Bulletin 5 Bulletin 6 Bulletin 7
Aggregate Severity Rating Critical None None None Important Important
Windows XP Service Pack 3 Internet Explorer 6
(Critical)Internet Explorer 7
(Critical)Internet Explorer 8
(Critical)
Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Windows XP Service Pack 3
(Important)
Windows XP Service Pack 3
(Important)
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2 Internet Explorer 6
(Critical)Internet Explorer 7
(Critical)Internet Explorer 8
(Critical)
Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Important)
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Important)
Windows Server 2003
Bulletin Identifier Bulletin 1 Bulletin 2 Bulletin 3 Bulletin 5 Bulletin 6 Bulletin 7
Aggregate Severity Rating Critical Important None None Important Important
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Internet Explorer 6
(Important)Internet Explorer 7
(Critical)Internet Explorer 8
(Critical)
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
(Important)
Not applicable Not applicable Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
(Important)
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
(Important)
Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2 Internet Explorer 6
(Important)Internet Explorer 7
(Critical)Internet Explorer 8
(Critical)
Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Important)
Not applicable Not applicable Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Important)
Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Important)
Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems Internet Explorer 6
(Important)Internet Explorer 7
(Critical)
Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems
(Important)
Not applicable Not applicable Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems
(Important)
Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems
(Important)
Windows Vista
Bulletin Identifier Bulletin 1 Bulletin 2 Bulletin 3 Bulletin 5 Bulletin 6 Bulletin 7
Aggregate Severity Rating Critical None None None None Important
Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Internet Explorer 7
(Critical)Internet Explorer 8
(Critical)Internet Explorer 9
(Critical)
Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Windows Vista Service Pack 2
(Important)
Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2 Internet Explorer 7
(Critical)Internet Explorer 8
(Critical)Internet Explorer 9
(Critical)
Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Important)
Windows Server 2008
Bulletin Identifier Bulletin 1 Bulletin 2 Bulletin 3 Bulletin 5 Bulletin 6 Bulletin 7
Aggregate Severity Rating Critical Critical None None None Important
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2 Internet Explorer 7**
(Critical)Internet Explorer 8**
(Critical)Internet Explorer 9**
(Critical)
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2*
(Critical)
Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2*
(Important)
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2 Internet Explorer 7**
(Critical)Internet Explorer 8**
(Critical)Internet Explorer 9**
(Critical)
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2*
(Critical)
Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2*
(Important)
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2 Internet Explorer 7
(Critical)
Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2
(Important)
Windows 7
Bulletin Identifier Bulletin 1 Bulletin 2 Bulletin 3 Bulletin 5 Bulletin 6 Bulletin 7
Aggregate Severity Rating Critical None Important None None Important
Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems and Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1 Internet Explorer 8
(Critical)Internet Explorer 9
(Critical)
Not applicable Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems and Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(Important)
Not applicable Not applicable Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems and Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(Important)
Windows 7 for x64-based Systems and Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 Internet Explorer 8
(Critical)Internet Explorer 9
(Critical)
Not applicable Windows 7 for x64-based Systems and Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(Important)
Not applicable Not applicable Windows 7 for x64-based Systems and Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(Important)
Windows Server 2008 R2
Bulletin Identifier Bulletin 1 Bulletin 2 Bulletin 3 Bulletin 5 Bulletin 6 Bulletin 7
Aggregate Severity Rating Critical Critical Important Important None Important
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 Internet Explorer 8**
(Critical)Internet Explorer 9**
(Critical)
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1*
(Critical)
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1*
(Important)
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1**
(Important)
Not applicable Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1*
(Important)
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1 Internet Explorer 8
(Critical)
Not applicable Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1
(Important)
Not applicable Not applicable Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1
(Important)

Table 2

Windows XP
Bulletin Identifier Bulletin 8 Bulletin 9 Bulletin 10 Bulletin 13 Bulletin 12
Aggregate Severity Rating None Moderate Important None Moderate
Windows XP Service Pack 3 Not applicable Windows XP Service Pack 3
(Moderate)
Windows XP Service Pack 3
(Important)
Not applicable Windows XP Service Pack 3
(Moderate)
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2 Not applicable Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Moderate)
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Important)
Not applicable Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Moderate)
Windows Server 2003
Bulletin Identifier Bulletin 8 Bulletin 9 Bulletin 10 Bulletin 13 Bulletin 12
Aggregate Severity Rating None Important Important None Moderate
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Not applicable Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
(Important)
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
(Important)
Not applicable Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
(Moderate)
Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2 Not applicable Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Important)
Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Important)
Not applicable Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Moderate)
Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems Not applicable Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems
(Important)
Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems
(Important)
Not applicable Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems
(Moderate)
Windows Vista
Bulletin Identifier Bulletin 8 Bulletin 9 Bulletin 10 Bulletin 13 Bulletin 12
Aggregate Severity Rating Moderate None Important Moderate Moderate
Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Windows Vista Service Pack 2
(Moderate)
Not applicable Windows Vista Service Pack 2
(Important)
Windows Vista Service Pack 2
(Moderate)
Windows Vista Service Pack 2
(Moderate)
Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2 Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Moderate)
Not applicable Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Important)
Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Moderate)
Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Moderate)
Windows Server 2008
Bulletin Identifier Bulletin 8 Bulletin 9 Bulletin 10 Bulletin 13 Bulletin 12
Aggregate Severity Rating Important None Important Moderate Moderate
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2 Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2*
(Important)
Not applicable Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2**
(Important)
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2**
(Moderate)
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2**
(Moderate)
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2 Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2*
(Important)
Not applicable Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2**
(Important)
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2**
(Moderate)
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2**
(Moderate)
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2 Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2
(Important)
Not applicable Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2
(Important)
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2
(Moderate)
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2
(Moderate)
Windows 7
Bulletin Identifier Bulletin 8 Bulletin 9 Bulletin 10 Bulletin 13 Bulletin 12
Aggregate Severity Rating Moderate None Important Moderate Moderate
Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems and Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1 Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems and Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(Moderate)
Not applicable Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems and Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(Important)
Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems and Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(Moderate)
Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems and Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(Moderate)
Windows 7 for x64-based Systems and Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 Windows 7 for x64-based Systems and Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(Moderate)
Not applicable Windows 7 for x64-based Systems and Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(Important)
Windows 7 for x64-based Systems and Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(Moderate)
Windows 7 for x64-based Systems and Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(Moderate)
Windows Server 2008 R2
Bulletin Identifier Bulletin 8 Bulletin 9 Bulletin 10 Bulletin 13 Bulletin 12
Aggregate Severity Rating Important None Important Moderate Moderate
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1*
(Important)
Not applicable Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1*
(Important)
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1**
(Moderate)
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1*
(Moderate)
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1 Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1
(Important)
Not applicable Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1
(Important)
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1
(Moderate)
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1
(Moderate)

Does Office 365 signal the end of Small Business Server?

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Office 365 is being touted as the perfect solution for the same small businesses currently using Microsoft’s Small Business Server to get Exchange and SharePoint. Will the cloud kill SBS?

On June 28, Microsoft officially launched Office 365, the cloud-based service that serves as the successor to BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite). It’s designed to provide Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync (formerly Office Communications Server) to small and mid-sized businesses as hosted services. It also includes the Microsoft Office desktop applications (equivalent to Office Professional Plus edition). Office Web Apps, the online versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, can also be used.

There are three different plans available:

  • One for small businesses that don’t have an IT department
  • One for mid-size organizations and enterprises that do have IT staff, and
  • One that’s directly targeted at educational institutions

If the small-business version sounds a lot like the same market Microsoft targeted with Windows Small Business Server (SBS), that’s because it is. SBS 2011 is an “all-in-one” server product that integrates Windows Server with IIS Web Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, and Windows SharePoint Services (and, with the Premium add-on, SQL Server, Hyper-V, and Remote Desktop Services).

Microsoft released the latest version of SBS last December, but I’ve heard rumblings in the small business community about whether it might be the last one. Like the fears for the future of Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 (TMG), this is fueled by Microsoft’s big push toward cloud computing, and the cloud is something that many see as a particularly compelling option for small businesses — the very organizations that currently use SBS. Are those fears unfounded?

The small business dilemma

SBS 2011 Standard Edition is designed for (and limited to) no more than 75 users and devices (more about SBS 2011 Essentials later). Companies of that size often have no professional IT staff. They may have a person who does IT duties on a part-time basis along with his/her primary job, or they may have an independent contractor who comes in to do periodic network administrative tasks (and is called in a panic when something goes wrong). Either way, unless the business itself is IT-related, maintaining on-premise servers involves a substantial “hassle factor.”

SBS takes some of the complexity out of setting up and maintaining a functional company network with enterprise-class components such as email and collaboration, as well as lowering the licensing cost for small organizations. But even administering SBS is too much work for some companies with limited personnel resources. In fact, many small businesses have used hosted services for at least some of their IT functions for many years. Hosted web services and hosted email services have been most commonplace.

SBS to the cloud — only half in?

Microsoft addressed this by coming out with an edition of SBS 2011 called “SBS 2011 Essentials.” It’s a hybrid solution that aims to ease very small businesses into the cloud, by integrating on-premise and cloud-based software. The SBS on-site server acts as a domain controller that authenticates users and then passes them through to hosted Exchange and SharePoint services that are accessed over the Internet — i.e., Office 365. Thus you get single sign-on for on-premise and cloud-based applications. When it comes to administration, simplicity is the name of the game, with the server using a dashboard console that’s very similar to that of Windows Home Server.

Image courtesy of MicrosoftImage courtesy of MicrosoftBecause it is limited to 25 or fewer users/devices (no CALs required), the Essentials edition won’t be an option for those organizations with between 25 and 75 users. They’ll need to stick with the Standard edition, which doesn’t provide the cloud integration.

Given Microsoft’s “all-in” commitment to the cloud, you have to wonder why they imposed the 25-user limit on the cloud-based version of SBS. What happens if a business with fewer than 25 users grows so that it now has 30 users? Does that mean they have to switch from the cloud-based networking model to an on-premise model? Assuming they want to keep using SBS, it would seem to. How does that make sense?

And to make matters worse, there appears to be no upgrade path from the Essentials edition to the Standard edition. Of course, you can still use Office 365 if you have a network based on SBS 2011 Standard edition, as well, but you don’t get the out-of-the-box integration and you pay for the on-premise versions of applications that you aren’t going to use.

Is SBS Standard on the way out?

Some of the folks who have been happily using SBS to service their small businesses and who aren’t particularly interested in going to the cloud are worried that the debut of Office 365 signals the beginning of the end for their simple, low-cost server solution. There does seem to be more excitement around the Essentials product than the Standard, and I’ve noticed that the Microsoft web sites often put Essentials first when they discuss the editions. Is that a subtle clue that they’re planning to eventually throw the traditional (non-cloud) version of SBS under the bus?

That notion might seem a bit more outlandish if not for the demise, in June 2010, of SBS’s “mid-size sibling,” Essential Business Server. EBS (also known by its code name, Centro), was released in 2008 with much fanfare and was designed for organizations with 250-300 users. It included Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, ISA Server, and Forefront Security. One reason given by Microsoft for killing EBS was a desire to streamline their product lineup.

You can’t blame people for wondering if more streamlining is about to take place. With rumors swirling around the future (or possible lack thereof) of other non-cloud products such as TMG and indications that the company is trying to regain more focus by reining in its recent “finger-in-every-pie” strategy, SBS (or at least the Standard edition) looks like a logical candidate to get the axe.

SBS fans may take comfort in the statement in the EBS TechNet blog post that announced the end of that product, which assures us that “we are working hard to build the next version of SBS and look forward to a second decade of success with this award-winning small business offering” [emphasis mine]. Pessimists will point out that this was written before the “all-in-with-the-cloud” philosophy came to dominate.

Reasons to let it die

Many will argue that SBS Standard has outlived its usefulness. They believe the cloud is the only sensible choice for small businesses, and they point to:

  • cost savings (especially up-front costs and unexpected emergency maintenance costs, as well as personnel costs)
  • the ability to cut the cord of dependency on IT consultants (on which many small organizations rely because they don’t have in-house IT staff)
  • more reliability and less downtime due to the hardware/software, including redundancy and multiple frequent backups that cloud providers implement as part of standard operating procedure and that small businesses often can’t afford to implement (or don’t implement well) on their own.
  • better security, due to standard practices and more money to invest in security measures on the parts of cloud providers

Microsoft’s Office Division president, Kurt DelBene, expects that more than half of small businesses will adopt Office 365 within ten years. And you have to admit that for a small company, it’s pretty compelling. For $6 per month per user, you get a lot: an Exchange account (with 25GB mailbox), Office Web Apps, SharePoint Online, even Lync instant messaging, and online meetings. That last one is especially interesting. An OCS server is something that few small businesses can afford or have the expertise to support on-site in the past.

Despite the early start enjoyed by Google Apps, many agree with Gene Marks at Forbes, who believes Microsoft will win the small business cloud war. But in a sense, on-premise solutions such as SBS compete with Microsoft’s cloud offerings. The company might not want to fragment its efforts to put more development resources into SBS if it’s a shrinking market.

Reasons to keep it alive

All the arguments above sound good, and if IT decisions were made by robots, dropping SBS Standard might make a lot of sense. However, those decisions are made by humans, and there is still a great deal of human resistance and distrust of cloud computing — perhaps especially among small business owners.

Corporate decisions are made by managers who report to officers who report to boards that are concerned primarily with the bottom line. Those officers and managers have, by necessity, gotten used to delegating responsibilities and trusting others to carry out various tasks. They probably have experience with outsourcing some duties.

Image courtesy of Microsoft The entrepreneurs who run most small businesses tend to be control freaks (and I don’t say that in a derogatory way; I am one of those entrepreneurial control freaks). We worry a lot, and we worry more when we can’t see what’s going on. We hate to fly — not because we’re afraid of heights but because the plane is controlled by a pilot we don’t know, whose competency we can’t be sure of, sitting behind a locked cockpit door, and who we have no power to fire in mid-flight if he doesn’t do a good job.

Likewise, having our data and applications living in some remote data center and being managed and manipulated by persons unknown makes us very uncomfortable. We may come around to the cloud idea, but we’ll do it slowly. In the meantime, we like having a cost-effective, relatively easy-to-maintain solution to meet our somewhat modest IT needs.

Another reason Microsoft should keep investing in SBS is choice. Even if they weigh the options and decide that the cloud makes sense for them, small businesspeople like having choices. We don’t want to be tied in to just one possible way to do things, even if that would simplify our lives. If Microsoft doesn’t give us choices (that we can afford), we might just look elsewhere for them.

Conclusion

Office 365 is an exciting option for many small businesses, but I hope Microsoft doesn’t decide it’s such a great choice that it should be the only choice and doesn’t discontinue the Standard edition of SBS, which has served many companies well for many years. While, in general, I think Microsoft should stop trying to be all things to all customers and stay on a strategic business course that will unify its product offerings, I think they also need to recognize that the migration to the cloud may come about more slowly in the SMB market than they’re anticipating. In the meantime, more choices mean more customers and more customer goodwill. And speaking of choice, how about increasing the user limit for SBS Essentials so companies with up to 75 users can choose whichever of the SBS 2011 editions (cloud-based or not) best fits their needs?

Source:  techrepublic.com

Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office Unites Office With Google Docs

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Wouldn’t it be great if you could combine the best of Microsoft Office and Google Docs? Imagine the feature set and usability of Office with the ability of Google Docs to store documents in the cloud and share them. With Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office, that’s exactly what you get. This free add-in for Microsoft Office, which hails from Google, lets you save your Office documents to Google Docs, where you can use them as you would normally.

After you install the software, it runs as its own toolbar at the top of Office. When you want to save a document to Google Docs, simply click Sync, and it saves the file, and then syncs it automatically every time you save. If you want, you can change that syncing behavior, and having Google Cloud Connect sync only when you manually tell it to.

You can also use the Google Cloud Connect toolbar to share a document that you’ve saved to Google Docs. Click the Share button and a dialog box opens that lets you share your document. You can use Google Cloud Connect with multiple Google Doc accounts; simply switch from one to the other. There are a few limitations, though. You can’t use multiple accounts simultaneously, and you can’t open a document stored on Google Docs from directly within Office.

There’s no simpler way to combine the power of Microsoft Office and Google Docs than Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office–and you can get it for free.

Source:  PCworld

The line between phone and PC has disappeared entirely

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Well, a cellphone maker has finally crossed the line between mobility and insanity – and even though it’s a Japanese carrier offering the device first, business users in the US shouldn’t feel any safer.

The Fujitsu LOOX F-07C is a dual-boot phone that can operate in either Symbian or – no kidding – 32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium.  Not Windows 7 Phone; you read it right the first time…

Hardware specs are right up there with other top-of-the-line devices, with a 1.2 Atom CPU, 1 GB RAM, and 32 GB onboard memory.  A physical keyboard and trackball mouse assist in navigation and input.  Battery life in Windows mode tops out at a mere two hours; after all, it is just a phone.  When the battery runs low, it kicks you back to Symbian.

The peripheral options and native Windows hardware/software compatibility, however, are what could open up the door for conceptual acceptance here in the US.  Connected to the available dock in Windows mode, USB and HDMI ports permit you to hook up your TV or monitor, mouse, keyboard, and even printers (without the need for third-party apps, which devices running Android, like the Motorola Atrix, require), making your phone a fully functional PC – not a webtop running a mobile OS.

Oh, and it comes with a full version of Microsoft Office as well.

We’re getting into dangerous territory here.  Soon there will be absolutely no escape from work.  Be afraid, business users; be very afraid….

Skype Is Microsoft’s Missing Lync

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Microsoft, in one of its biggest acquisitions ever, is set to purchase the cloud VoIP service, Skype, for $8.5 billion dollars. Of course, the question on everyone’s mind is not if Skype is worth that much (with over 170 million users, no one can dispute it is a valuable service) but just what are Microsoft’s plans for its latest acquisition? My guess: this purchase is largely about enterprise Unified Communications.

Most analysts are weighing in that this acquisition is about Microsoft competing against Apple’s Face Time and integrating Skype into Windows Phone 7. Yes, the consumer market and Windows Phone 7 is set to gain additional communications capabilities with this acquisition. Yet, there are bigger fish to fry as far as revenue goes, and that is in the enterprise space—all of the enterprise, from small- and mid-sized businesses to huge corporations. This Skype acquisition will make Microsoft most formidable against its major adversary in Unified Communications, Cisco Systems.

Cisco has been pushing TelePresence and its unified communications offerings, hard. Cisco is already deeply rooted in the switching and router markets (making up over 70 to 90 percent of its core business) that it had to expand into new markets to avoid stagnation. That venture into the new has not always worked out so well for Cisco. Just this year, Cisco CEO John Chambers spoke about overhauling Cisco strategy after some less than stellar ventures into the consumer market with set-top boxes, the Flip video camera, and home video conferencing products. Chambers told investors that he was adamant about retaining Cisco’s Unified Communications portfolio and TelePresence video conferencing products—all targeted mainly to the enterprise.

Chambers’ commitment to Unified Communications and TelePresence is no surprise. Microsoft and Cisco are the most widely deployed unified communication suppliers according to a report from Infonetics in 2010, with AT&T not far behind. Unified Commuincations, which is the convergence of messaging, VoIP, and conferencing into one platform, is expected as a market to top $1 billion by 2013.

Although Microsoft is at the forefront of the UC market, it has always had a challenge with the VoIP aspect of its UC solutions. Integrating VoIP has been too complicated and cost prohibitive for many businesses, particularly smaller ones. Office Communications Server (OCS) was Microsoft’s UC offering, now replaced by Lync server 2010. In a survey conducted by Osterman Research, the feature organizations with OCS deployed were most unlikely to offer users was enterprise voice, only suprassed by the group chat feature.

To deploy full-featured, enterprise VoIP, businesses still needed to deploy and maintain VoIP PBX systems, especially to do more advanced tasks like call queueing and IVR as well as compatible handsets, SIP trunks or hybrid gateways—all administrative-intensive and relatively expensive. Lync Server 2010 promises to cut down on some of the costs associated with enterprises incorporating voice into a UC solution with full-on PBX replacement. That is a big benefit to VoIP-managing weary business. With the Lync client as part of Microsoft’s new Office 365 solution including Lync server for a hosted UC platform and the hassle-free rich VoIP that the Skype acquisition could provide, it makes a strong and enticing case for businesses to move to Microsoft’s new cloud offerings like Office 365.

Leveraging the talents that make Skype what it is today with Microsoft’s rich cloud offerings for businesses already familiar with Microsoft products and Cisco may have to worry about holding its market share in UC and TelePresence, very soon.

Source:   pcmag.com

Microsoft Office 365 Beta available prior to phaseout of BPOS

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Tired of upgrading office productivity software every couple of years?  Microsoft Office 365 has you covered, with an all-inclusive suite of subscription services that will never go out of date.

Office 365 replaces the BPOS (Business Productivity Online Services) suite of services, and current BPOS customers will have to transition over the next year or so.  Users will still be able to access Office Professional Plus, Exchange, SharePoint and Lync Online.

The really good news is that subscription packages are far-ranging and should cover the needs of both enterprise and small businesses customers.  In Microsoft’s words, they will offer “a range of options from basic email for $2 per user per month to a complete solution for $27 per user per month that includes full Office Professional Plus desktop software, along with Office Web Apps; the most advanced versions of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online; phone support 24 hours a day, seven days a week; advanced IT controls; and on-premises use rights for voice.”  That should cover just about everybody….

So try out the beta version today, or contact Gyver Networks with any questions regarding integration of Office 365 into your current environment.

Microsoft security updates for March 2011

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Several critical security updates are pending for Microsoft products as of 3/8/11.  Be sure to update your server and workstation operating systems and MS Office products to repair vulnerabilities.  Details provided by Microsoft are as follows:

Windows XP

Bulletin Identifier

Bulletin 1

Bulletin 2

Aggregate Severity Rating

Critical

Important

Windows XP Service Pack 3

Windows XP Service Pack 3
(Critical)

Windows XP Service Pack 3
(Important)

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Critical)

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Important)

Windows Server 2003

Bulletin Identifier

Bulletin 1

Bulletin 2

Aggregate Severity Rating

None

Important

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2

Not applicable

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
(Important)

Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2

Not applicable

Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Important)

Windows Vista

Bulletin Identifier

Bulletin 1

Bulletin 2

Aggregate Severity Rating

Critical

Important

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2
(Critical)

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2
(Important)

Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 1 and Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2

Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 1 and Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Critical)

Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 1 and Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(Important)

Windows Server 2008

Bulletin Identifier

Bulletin 1

Bulletin 2

Aggregate Severity Rating

None

Important

Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems and Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2

Not applicable

Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems and Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2**
(Important)

Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2

Not applicable

Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2**
(Important)

Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2

Not applicable

Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2
(Important)

Windows 7

Bulletin Identifier

Bulletin 1

Bulletin 2

Aggregate Severity Rating

Critical

Important

Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems and Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1

Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems and Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(Critical)

Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems
(Important)

Windows 7 for x64-based Systems and Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1

Windows 7 for x64-based Systems and Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(Critical)

Windows 7 for x64-based Systems
(Important)

Windows Server 2008 R2

Bulletin Identifier

Bulletin 1

Bulletin 2

Aggregate Severity Rating

Important

Important

Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1

Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1**
(Important)

Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems**
(Important)

Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems

Not applicable

Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems
(Important)

Microsoft Office Programs

Bulletin Identifier

Bulletin 3

Aggregate Severity Rating

Important

Microsoft Groove 2007

Microsoft Groove 2007 Service Pack 2
(Important)

 

Use Windows Update to apply all recommended patches or visit the Microsoft Download Center to select updates a la carte.

Source:  microsoft.com

 

Google Apps to pose serious challenge to Microsoft Cloud services? Integrating Voice into Apps for Business is another big step

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Google’s recent announcement that their Voice service will be included in the new Apps and Apps for Business rebranding provides yet another weapon in their assault against Microsoft’s Office, Exchange Unified Communications, and Cloud offerings, in particular the Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS) suite.  With the inclusion of Voice, Google is now able to match Microsoft’s scope of services by offering a complete range of media tools, access, and storage to its Apps for Business subscribers.

While most larger companies will opt to remain with the established business services provider in Microsoft, many smaller, mid-sized, and even some larger companies are going to pull the trigger and switch to Google’s product.  Several large companies and government entities – such as salesforce.com, the City of Los Angeles and the District of Columbia – already have, no doubt lured by Google Apps for Business’ lower price tag.

Which office productivity solution is right for your business?  Contact Gyver Networks today and our consultants will help you figure it out.

US-CERT: Multiple vulnerabilities in Microsoft Forefront, Office

Friday, November 12th, 2010

From:  National Cyber Alert System

Technical Cyber Security Alert TA10-313A – Microsoft Updates for Multiple Vulnerabilities

Original release date:  November 09, 2010

Last revised: —  Source: US-CERT

Systems Affected:  Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway, Microsoft Office

Overview:

There are multiple vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway. Microsoft has released updates to address these vulnerabilities.

I. Description:

The Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for November 2010 describes multiple vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway. Microsoft has released updates to address the vulnerabilities.

II. Impact:

A remote, unauthenticated attacker could execute arbitrary code or gain unauthorized access to your files or system.

III. Solution:

Apply updates

Microsoft has provided updates for these vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for November 2010. That bulletin describes any known issues related to the updates. Administrators are encouraged to note these issues and test for any potentially adverse effects. In addition, administrators should consider using an automated update distribution system such as Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

IV. References:

Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for November 2010

Microsoft Windows Server Update Services

Microsoft to plug 11 holes in Office, VPN software

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Microsoft says it will release three security updates on Patch Tuesday next week, fixing 11 vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office and its Unified Access Gateway virtual private networking software.

One of the bulletins has a “critical” severity rating and the other two are rated “important,” Microsoft said today in a Microsoft Security Response Center blog post.

In addition to Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway, affected software includes Office XP Service Pack 3, Office 2003 Service Pack 3, Office 2007 Service Pack 2, Office for Mac 2011, and the 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Office 2010, according to the advisory.

The company, meanwhile, was mum on the time frame for a patch to fix a zero-day hole in Internet Explorer 6, IE 7, and IE 8 that has been used in targeted attacks disclosed yesterday. In the incidents, attackers sent e-mails to specific employees within organizations luring them to a Web site where exploit code targeting IE 6 and IE 7 was hidden. The attack is designed to drop a back door on vulnerable systems, which could allow an attacker to take control of the computer.

Source:  http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20021824-245.html

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011: best-in-class functionality and value

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

For those seeking to migrate from an existing CRM platform due to cost, scalability, or integration issues (think Salesforce), Microsoft recently released the beta of Dynamics CRM 2011 for on-demand or on-premise users.  Native support for and integration with MS Office applications already resident in most office environments, as well as a price point nearly half that of Salesforce.com, make the choice a no-brainer for companies in the market for a CRM solution upgrade.  According to Microsoft, the beta of Dynamics CRM 2011 offers:

  • Familiar experiences through a next-generation native Microsoft Outlook client, Microsoft Office contextual CRM Ribbon, RoleTailored design and user personalization
  • Intelligent experiences through guided process dialogs, inline data visualizations, performance and goal management, and real-time dashboards
  • Connected experiences through cloud development, Windows Azure integration, contextual Microsoft SharePoint document repositories, teamwork and collaboration, and the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace

Contact Gyver Networks today if your company is interested in learning more about what Dynamics CRM 2011 can do for your team.

Microsoft Office 2010 beta to end October 31st

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Unlike the attention-grabbing reminder users experienced with the Windows 7 beta (where your PC would suddenly restart every two hours as a gentle prompt that the beta grace period was about to end and it was time to shell out some cash for a full version license), Microsoft Office 2010 beta will quietly expire on October 31st.

If the date mentioned in the EULA  snuck up on you and you’re really strapped for cash, you can download a 60-day trial from Microsoft that will grant you an additional stay of execution. Whether you decide to buy or try, though, you’ll have to uninstall the beta and reinstall the full version.

For environmental purposes, Microsoft is asking that users download their purchase copy electronically, as opposed to buying hard copies of the software.

e-Mail error codes

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Regardless of the e-mail client you use – whether Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird, or even a webmail application – and your e-mail configuration – POP, IMAP, etc. – you have no doubt had your patience tried by innumerable bouncebacks, unreceived e-mails, and other frustrating denials of service.  The following error codes can help you diagnose precisely what the issue is, who’s to blame – and more importantly,  how to fix it…

Email Error Codes (format: x.x.x)

The 1st digit indicates if the response was good, bad, or incomplete

1 =The Command was accepted, but the action is pending confirmation of a reply
2 =The action was completed successfully
3= The command was accepted, but the action is pending receipt of further information.
4 =The command was not accepted and the requested action did not occur. These are usually because of a temporary error or condition and one should try resending the request again.
5 =The command was not accepted and the requested action did not occur. This is a permanent failure message. Something needs to be fixed before the action will work.

The second digit

0 Syntax=Usually refers to a syntax error occurring.
1 Information=Reply to a request for information.
2 Connections=Refers to the channel transmitting
3 or 4=Undefined
5=Indicate the status of the receiver’s mail system

x.x.x Email Error Codes

    x.1.x Codes

  • X.1.0 – Other address status
  • X.1.1 – Bad destination mailbox address
  • X.1.2 – Bad destination system address
  • X.1.3 – Bad destination mailbox address syntax
  • X.1.4 – Destination mailbox address ambiguous
  • X.1.5 – Destination mailbox address valid
  • X.1.6 – Mailbox has moved
  • X.1.7 – Bad sender’s mailbox address syntax
  • X.1.8 – Bad sender’s system address
  • x.2.x Codes

  • X.2.0 – Other or undefined mailbox status
  • X.2.1 – Mailbox disabled, not accepting messages
  • X.2.2 – Mailbox full
  • X.2.3 – Message length exceeds administrative limit
  • X.2.4 – Mailing list expansion issue
  • x.3.x Codes

  • X.3.0 – Other or undefined mail system status
  • X.3.1 – Mail system full
  • X.3.2 – System not accepting network messages
  • X.3.3 – System not capable of selected features
  • X.3.4 – Message too big for system
  • X.3.5 – System incorrectly configured
  • x.4.x Codes

  • X.4.0 – Other or undefined network or routing status
  • X.4.1 – No answer from host
  • X.4.2 – Bad connection
  • X.4.3 – Routing server failure
  • X.4.4 – Unable to routev
  • X.4.5 – Network congestion
  • X.4.6 – Routing loop detected
  • X.4.7 – Delivery time expired
  • x.5.x Codes

  • X.5.0 – Other or undefined protocol status
  • X.5.1 – Invalid command
  • X.5.2 – Syntax error
  • X.5.3 – Too many recipients
  • X.5.4 – Invalid command arguments
  • X.5.5 – Wrong protocol version
  • x.6.x Codes

  • X.6.0 – Other or undefined media error
  • X.6.1 – Media not supported
  • X.6.2 – Conversion required and prohibited
  • X.6.3 – Conversion required but not supported
  • X.6.4 – Conversion with loss performed
  • X.6.5 – Conversion failed
  • x.7.x Codes

  • X.7.0 – Other or undefined security status
  • X.7.1 – Delivery not authorized, message refused
  • X.7.2 – Mailing list expansion prohibited
  • X.7.3 – Security conversion required but not possible
  • X.7.4 – Security features not supported
  • X.7.5 – Cryptographic failure
  • X.7.6 – Cryptographic algorithm not supported
  • X.7.7 – Message integrity failure

 

xxx Email Error Codes

    200 Codes

  • 211 – System status / system help reply
  • 214 – Help message
  • 220 – Domain service ready
  • 221 – Service closing transmission channel
  • 250 – Requested mail action okay and completed
  • 251 – will forward to forwardpath
  • 252 – Pending messages for node started. Cannot Verify user, will take message for this user and attempt delivery
  • 253 – pending messages for node started
  • 300 Codes

  • 354 – Start mail input; end with . server is ready to accept the message
  • 355 – Octet-offset is the transaction offset
  • 400 Codes

  • 421 – Domain service not available, closing transmission channel
  • 432 – Domain service not available, closing transmission channel
  • 450 – Requested mail action not taken: mailbox unavailable. request refused
  • 451 – Requested action aborted: local error in processing
    Request is unable to be processed, try again
  • 452 – Requested action not taken: insufficient system storage
  • 453 – No mail
  • 454 – TLS not available due to temporary reason. Encryption required for requested authentication mechanism.
  • 458 – Unable to queue messages for node
  • 459 – node not allowed: reason
  • 500 Codes

  • 500 – server could not recognize the command due to a syntax error
  • 501 – Syntax error, no parameters allowed
  • 502 – Command not implemented
  • 503 – Bad sequence of commands
  • 504 – Command parameter not implemented
  • 510 – Check the recipient address
  • 512 – Host unknown. Domain can not be found.
  • 515 – Destination mailbox address invalid
  • 517 – Problem with senders mail attribute, check properties
  • 521 – Machine does not accept mail
  • 522 – Recipient has exceeded mailbox limit
  • 523 – Server or connector limit exceeded. Message too large
  • 530 – Must issue a STARTTLS command first. Encryption required for requested authentication mechanism
  • 531 – Mail system Full
  • 533 – Remote server has insufficient disk space to hold email
  • 534 – Authentication mechanism is too weak. Message too big
  • 535 – Multiple servers using same IP
  • 538 – Encryption required for requested authentication mechanism.
  • 540 – No DNS Server for email address
  • 541 – No answer from host
  • 542 – Bad Connection
  • 543 – Routing server failure. No available route
  • 546 – Email looping
  • 547 – Delivery time-out.
  • 550 – Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable.
  • 551 – User not local; please try forwardpath
  • 552 – Requested mail action aborted: exceeded storage allocation
  • 553 – Requested action not taken: mailbox name not allowed
  • 554 – Transaction failed

‘Microsoft Outlook was not shut down properly’ error

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

We have an extremely e-mail intensive brokerage client who, due to the nature of their business,  has about three-plus years of unarchived e-mails, 80,000-plus objects, and so on, for an average Microsoft Outlook user.  No wonder they recently contacted us because one of the users was receiving the always annoying ‘Outlook was not shut down properly’ error, prompting a never-ending scan each time he attempted to reopen the program.

The error was traced back to the user’s .ost file, which had become corrupt and entirely unwieldy.  The only thing to do at that point was to close Outlook, delete the .ost file in the local folder (located by default in Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 at C:|Users|USER|AppData|Local|Microsoft|Outlook|outlook.ost), then reopen Outlook and wait for the .ost to be recreated; six hours later, we moved onto the archive process; 10 hours and an Outlook-induced computer crash later (necessitating a trip to the site to confirm everything had completed) and it was good as new.

Tip of the day:  archive your e-mails on a regular basis; it’s not like you’re losing them.  Although Outlook doesn’t have a specific limit per se, it actually does have a limit to how many e-mails you can keep and still retain optimal functionality.

Microsoft Online Services Offering: BPOS is the ultimate in cloud connectivity

Friday, August 20th, 2010

People have been talking about cloud computing, cloud storage, cloud networking – and on and on – for some time now, but with its newest offering, Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS),  Microsoft Online Services has set the standard for cloud connectivity, encompassing computing, storage, networking, and pretty much anything else you could wish for.  The functionality of Office mainstays like Exchange, Communicator and SharePoint are included and integrated so it’s actually more like using one all-inclusive application instead of many.

 

After sign-in, the icon for the application stays open on your toolbar and you simply right-click to access any of the included services.  The company portal is also accessible and allows you to download necessary software (for instance, .Net is a requirement for BPOS) and enter SharePoint intranet sites and Live Meeting rooms.

Live Meeting has some particularly cool options, including the ability to record audio and video, view all attendees in panorama view (making everyone appear to be sitting across the same table from you even though they’re in multiple locations), and a number of meeting planning and management options.  SharePoint Services online offers something even cooler: the ability to view your Microsoft Outlook OWA mailbox right in the SharePoint homepage – no more multiple browser pages!

Microsoft SharePoint online

There are many more features available, so check it out if you’re intersted.  Microsoft is currently offering a free one-month trial of BPOS to anyone interested in sampling its cloud productivity services, and Microsoft partners are able to secure a one-year, 250-seat license for free.  Can’t beat that deal ….

Users begin by installing the sign-in application, which becomes the launch point for accessing all of the included functionality.

Microsoft Office 2010 – PowerPoint SmartArt Timesaver

Friday, June 18th, 2010

So you’re called upon to create a last-minute PowerPoint presentation to a new client and the clock is ticking.  You spend the majority of your time formulating the perfect phraseology to frame your compelling arguments – and then you realize as you’re about to walk out the door that your presentation is entirely in black and white and could possibly be the blandest thing since raw broccoli.  What do you do?

 

Microsoft Office’s PowerPoint 2010 features a carryover from PowerPoint 2007 which is right up your alley:  Convert to SmartArt.  In two mouse clicks, you can convert a page of text into a presentation that looks like it took hours to prepare.  See the difference in the before…

 

PowerPoint 2010 text

Plain, boring PowerPoint text

 

… and the after:

 

PowerPoint 2010 SmartArt

Not bad for a two-second fix...

 

With a variety of layouts to choose from, Microsoft provides a great timesaving option for those in crunchtime.  Just right-click on the textbox(es) you want to include, pick “Convert to SmartArt,” and select the layout you want.  Alternately, you can pick your template first by clicking the Insert tab on the ribbon and selecting SmartArt from the dropdown menu.

 

So thanks again, Microsoft, for saving us some time in our PowerPoint presentation creation – even if you’ll eventually take it back somehow in the future….