Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

February 2004 - Posts

  • Microsoft To Make Longhorn Vulnerability-Aware

    According to InfoWorld, Microsoft is working to make Windows detect irregular system and network behavior, as well as the patches thet Microsoft has issued. Calling it “dynamic system protection”, it will make changes to the Internet Connection Firewall automatically to protect against exploits that have to been patched yet. For example, if Microsoft has provided a patch for a flaw involving ActiveX controls, dynamic system protection will block ActiveX controls from running on a Windows system until that patch is installed, Microsoft said.

    I think that's really cool. While I'm sure that a very small yet extremely vocal minority will lash out at this, I think it is a very good idea. Have the system block unusual activity, quarantine suspected operations, and contain any threats to the system. It's the next evolution in system protection, and something that I think many Sysadmins will be very excited about.

    [Source -]


  • Whitehorse Unveiled (Sort Of)

    Filed under:

    Microsoft talked to about plans for the next generation Windows software modeling tool, code-named Whitehorse. I've seen this tool in use, during one of the best Microsoft demos ever (5 minutes of Powerpoint, 50 minutes of using it), and I can honestly say that this will revolutionize software development in Visual Studio .NET. I'm still working on my “thorough rundown of Whitehorse” article, but believe me, it is nothing short of amazing.

    InterKnowlogy's Huckaby said that Whitehorse will have broad ramifications. When he first saw a demonstration of Whitehorse, his immediate thought was that Microsoft's design effort would set the bar for all competing tools.

    "The Whitehorse team has ambitious plans," Huckaby said. "But if they pull it off they will change the way applications are designed, built and delivered."

    Relatively little has been said about Whitehorse so far. That's mostly because no one (myself included) can get their hands on it. At some point I'll try to get some screencaps from my PDC 2003 DVDs on the demos, and hopefully try to explain what is going on. It's by far the most exciting feature of Whidbey, hands down. From what I understand, it will be in the Summer beta of VS.NET.

    More info: What's Behind Whitehorse? Microsoft Embraces Modeling

  • Will You Be Ready For Longhorn? is reporting that Microsoft will unveil system requirements for Longhorn at this May's WinHEC. While this is great for hardware driver developers, I doubt that MS will know the final requirements by then. More than likely, they'll have a ballpark estimate, closer to what it will actually be then they had at PDC 8 months prior.

    The article also continued the long-held notion that a public beta would be ready for this summer. I have some doubts about this. Personally, I'd be elated if I saw a beta anytime before PDC 2004. As stated previously, I'd rather see them get it right, for the sake of me, my parents, and everyone I've every taught computers too.

  • It Was Only A Matter Of Time

    I know someone would do it. It was only a matter of time. Someone would build a Sidebar Tile that would be a complete waste of time, but would hook you almost immediately. Like a slave to your computer, you would have to keep it on all the time. Well, leave it to Rory to come up with what I affectionately nicknamed the “Tamagotchi Tile”.

    Oh frickin boy. Make sure you read about the leak in the Sidebar though before you install. Now my sisters will have something to occupy their time. I knew Longhorn was good for something....

    WARNING: Installing the Tamagotchi Tile on Longhorn Build 4051 or later may cause severe distraction. Do not operate heavy machinery while under the influence of this code.