Microsoft Everywhere

By Scot Petersen  |  Posted 2003-12-22 Print this article Print

Microsoft Everywhere

For the first time in memory, Microsoft made more news on the software front than in the courtroom. With many of its legal problems being settled, Bill Gates & Co. executed on several fronts, launching Windows Server 2003 in April, Office 2003 and Exchange 2003 in October, and giving users a peek at the future with its "Longhorn" and "Indigo" technologies in November.

In December, Microsoft pulled the plug on some old standbys, namely Windows 98, as part of the Java legal settlement with Sun Microsystems Inc.

Nevertheless, security problems continued to dog the company—and millions of Windows users—in 2003. Ironically, those now-retired Windows 98, 98 SE and 95 products were immune from one of the worst worms to hit this year—the Blaster worm that ripped through the Internet in August. Another worm, Slammer, hit SQL Server database sites in late January and knocked out much of the Internet—and Microsofts MSN—for two days.

If Microsoft made any progress on security this year, it was in improving management of its security update system. Early in 2004, service packs for Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP will help shore up leaks in those products.

Next page: It Must Be the Chips


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