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Computing: Windows News

Windows NT 4.0, 2000 and XP are susceptible to a vulnerability which is being mooted as the cause of the next Internet meltdown (a la CodeRed and SQL Slammer). If you have one of these operating systems, go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com and download the MS03-026 (823980) patch under Critical Updates. If you don’t have time or bandwidth, de-select the other patches listed. If you have Windows 95/98/Me or a firewall (such as in Windows XP or an ADSL router) you aren’t vulnerable to this problem. If the patch isn’t listed, you may need to first install the latest service pack. If you require assistance, please call us — this is an important update for all internet-facing NT systems.

Update 14/04/2004 — this patch has been replaced by MS04-012 (828741).

Windows Server 2003, the successor to Windows 2000 Server and the companion server product for Windows XP, has been released. It is available in several Editions for different uses: Web, Standard, Enterprise and Datacentre. The latter with a 64-bit Itanium processor supports 512Gb RAM and 64 CPUs.

Windows 2003 is “Windows NT 5.2” whereas Windows XP is “NT 5.1” and Windows 2000 is “NT 5.0”. The next Windows product will be “Longhorn” (NT 6.0) for the desktop and server and then “Blackcomb” (7.0?) for the server. We should start to see some of these new releases in about 2005.

Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 has been released. This latest collection of fixes includes every update that came before in one easy to use package. What’s not so easy is getting it: at 129Mb it’s quite a download. Cadzow 2000 users will receive a copy on any Cadzow 2000 CDs issued from July 2003 or non-Cadzow 2000 users can request our $11 Updates & Patches CD which contains a number of other large updates you’ll need such as Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player.

Windows 95 was retired by Microsoft a while ago and the software available for this platform is drying up. The latest productivity software, web browsers, media players and games don’t support it. Now Windows NT 4.0 Workstation has been retired, after having its life extended a few times by Microsoft. Windows NT 4.0 has always missed gaming and media support but security updates have been supported for some time. Now that this will stop, businesses need to seriously consider upgrading their NT 4.0 systems to Windows 2000, XP or 2003. The next to go will be Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0 Server.
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