Wednesday 29 February 2012

Windows 8 Consumer Preview (BETA) is here!

I am travelling at the moment, and not close to a proper (read wired) internet connection, but all of you who are at your desks should download the latest update to the Windows 8 release schedule - the Widows 8 Consumer Preview. From what I can tell, its a BETA release of Windows 8 but has been branded as a "Consumer Preview". 

I am really excited about this release of Windows, as we are now closer to a Production release and access to some of the new features offered by this Consumer Preview including;

Windows Store: The Microsoft Windows store is included in this Consumer Preview, with access to downloadable applications and access to several pre-loaded applications. I am sure that over the next few months, Microsoft will use these pre-loaded applications to test out the update process. So, watch out for new additions to the Windows store and application updates as Microsoft tests out this new application installation, update and potentially uninstallation process.

Cloud Syncing: With this release of Windows 8, you will be able to synchronise your Windows mobile and PC using the updated Microsoft Skydrive as a cloud storage and synchronization platform.

New Metro Applications: As part of the Consumer Preview for Windows 8, you will also to get to try out the new Metro style apps for Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging, Photos, and SkyDrive.

Internet Explorer 10 - Platform Preview Version 5: The latest iteration of Microsoft's web browser, specifically designed for Windows 8 and the new Metro design language. This version will build on the good work completed in Internet Explorer 9 and will make good use of graphic accelerators and a fast JavaScript engine.

So, if things go well, and this release gets some solid, positive feedback, we may see a full release of Windows 8 in time for the holiday season. 

You can download the Microsoft Consumer Preview here:


Steven Sinofsky's Blog: Welcome to Windows 8 - The Consumer Preview

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Not Upgrading, but Migrating to Windows 8

I was asked a little while ago about the potential for migrating from Windows XP to Windows 8. My initial response was that there was no direct upgrade path from Windows XP to Windows 7 and so, I don't think that Microsoft will provide a direct upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 8 would be supported.

But, I wasn't answering the question properly

Microsoft did not support upgrades from Windows XP to Windows 7, but they did support Migrations. 

To explain, the difference, we need to understand Microsoft's terminology. In Microsoft's view of the world, when you upgrade 
"your files and applications are maintained on the computer and do not need to be reinstalled" 
Where Microsoft's definition of Migrate is;
"Migrate means that you save files and settings in a safe location, such as on a USB drive or a network share, prior to installing Windows 7 on your computer. When the installation is complete, you can move the files and settings from the safe location to the computer running Windows 7."
It is vital it differentiate between the two options (migrate and upgrade) as the Microsoft TechNet Windows 7 Migration guide explicitly states'
"The Upgrade option is available in Windows 7 Setup for some computers running Windows Vista®, but it is not available for Windows XP."
Therefore, migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7 was supported, but upgrading was not. As correctly noted in a few blog posts, Windows 7 folders and configuration settings are significantly different from Windows XP. And, from what we have seen so far, Windows 8 leverages those settings and basic directories (shell folders in Microsoft parlance).

So, to answer the question, will I be able to upgrade my Windows XP to Windows 8 is: No.

And, will I be able to migration to Windows 8 from Windows XP? Yes! 

But, you will have to;
  1. Transfer you data and settings to a secondary storage (probably a USB drive)
  2. Format the machine
  3. Install Windows 8, 
  4. Re-install your applications (or install the upgrades)
  5. Re-apply your settings.  

You can find out more about's Microsoft current upgrade availability here:

Also, If you are interested in the New Windows 8 logo, you can grab a copy here;

Note: the colour scheme is very METRO. And, apparently, the colour scheme changes when you change your background colour… Neat.


Windows 7 Upgrade and Migration Guide

Step-by-Step: Basic Windows Migration using USMT for IT Professionals

Must Microsoft Offer a Direct Upgrade Path from XP to Windows 8?

Friday 24 February 2012

SkyDrive: Microsoft's integrated Windows 8 Storage Service

Reading one of my regular feeds (Windows Team Blog) earlier this week, I came across some great posts relating to how Windows 8 will integrate (Mesh?) with Microsoft SkyDrive.

I love these postings, as they provide some real gems of Microsoft's core vision on how things will "work" with Windows 8. For example, Microsoft has neatly organised the Cloud into three basic functionality clusters or groups;

1) File Clouds: which in MS terms is "A file-centric view of cloud storage presents your information to you in a traditional file and folder based metaphor."

2) Device Clouds: Which references Apple's iCloud as a great example and is defined as; "A device-centric view of cloud storage "hides" the folders from you. "

3) App Clouds: And, "App Clouds not only remove the need (and ability) to pay attention to individual files, but they can also redefine traditional notions of personal ownership."

This is a great way to begin to break down the rather amorphous usage of clouds right now. The usage of "Cloud" as term now means pretty much anything on the internet and is close to be useless.  So, I am leaning to my own definition of the "Cloud": 

     Cloud : "refers to an internet based service or functionality that is user-specific and is provider, device and location agnostic". 

Pretty generic, eh? Well, so is cloud.

These posts continue with some great introductions to Microsoft's SkyDrive, specifically outlining the core drivers for the design of SkyDrive, including; 
  • No copying files from one cloud to another just to share or collaborate. 
  • No converting files or having to switch to new apps. 
  • No searching across different storage areas to find files.
Mike Torres and Omar Shahine explain, that with Windows 8
"All you need to do is register your email address on a PC that’s running Windows 8 and then, whenever you save files on SkyDrive, every Windows 8 device you use will provide seamless access to those files. For app developers, this means that, so long as your app supports opening and saving documents and photos, it will automatically support SkyDrive without any additional work."

So, here's a thought. What's going to happen to Dropbox?

For further reading, look here: 

SkyDrive - designing personal cloud storage for billions of people

Extending "Windows 8" apps to the cloud with SkyDrive

Connecting your apps, files, PCs and devices to the cloud with SkyDrive and Windows 8

Wednesday 22 February 2012

The Internationalization of ChangeBASE

Hurrah! We have updated out product information to support the following languages;
  • Spanish
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Russian
  • Portuguese
You can now  find the ChangeBASE application compatibility product descriptions in your language of choice at the following locations;

This should really help out those working with ChangeBASE in Latin America and in Europe.  And when I am in Berlin next, I think it will be really helpful for me to be able to say ;
"Schnelle, automatische Anwendungsbereitschaft für Microsoft Windows und Office, virtualisierte Desktop- und applikationsbezogene Umgebungen und neue Browser-Versionen" 
And since you may not speak any of the above languages (I wish I could speak Italian), we have a new video available from Quest. This is similar to the previous animated series and does a great job explaining vWorkspace.

You can view the Quest vWorkspace video  here;

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Apple moves from Many to One with Mountain Lion

I was reading the Wall Street Journal earlier this week (on yet another flight) and found a great article on the new OS from Apple (currently code named Mountain Lion).  

A couple of interesting things to note;
     1) I am talking a lot more about Apple these days
     2) Apple may be attempting to address an issue I raised a little while in the following post:

The gist of the article is that Apple is  planning (and now doing) to integrate their two operating systems Mac OS and iOS. Meaning the next release of Apple's desktop Operating System (Mac OS:  Mountain Lion) will start to merge functionality (and importantly application compatibility) with their tablet and mobile platform (iOS). This may seem like a no-brainer - and "of course they should do this.." 

This seems like a good idea to me for the following reasons;
     1) I can play my iPhone and iPad games on my Mac Air - Cool!
     2) Merging platforms generally seems like a good idea - for shared code, share UI/X (experience)
     3) Most important: my multiple device, multiple platform, multiple access mode (multi-multi-multi) problem dissolves. 
Yes, dissolves into a (hopefully) cogent strategy to that allows me to "do what I want to do" regardless of the machine/hardware/access point that I am currently using/abusing. And as I am sure most of you now know; Apple will automatically download/install an application on each of your platforms (where applicable) when you install an application on any one device. Meaning: if you install an application on your iPad and there is an iPhone equivalent, the next time you update your iPhone you will have that latest applications... 

Multi-Multi-Multi becomes one user experience - regardless of hardware.

That said... 

You think this is a good idea still? Well, look at the results that Microsoft had with attempting to bring a desktop experience to the phone. It didn't really work for me.  There were a number of reasons;
     - using a stylus sucked (yes, this is the technical term)
     - the hardware was not ready (read: powerful/fast enough
     - the form factor was not quite right (screen too small and the resolution was almost good enough)

Will this approach work for Apple?

Here are two images that tell a great story. First, the share of Apple's Mac OS in the desktop space.

Second: The current share price of Apple Stock.

I think that a lot of people think that this is going to happen and be a "good thing"

I can't wait - I just can't wait... In fact, I downloaded the latest (BETA) version of Apple Messages which can be found here:


Apples Mac Makeover

Another form of Compatibility: Application Eco-systems

Introduction and Overview of Apple's Mountain Lion

Friday 17 February 2012

Windows 8 on Arm (WoA): A birth of a new ecosystem

9000 words! Yes, a blog post that would put most graduate essays to shame. Well written, in fact, a joy to read. And, I have read it over many times.

I am talking about Steven Sinofsky's epic blog posting, "Building Windows for the ARM processor architecture" Steven may or may not have written this (though I am sure if he did - he had lots of help. 

Read it, have a bit of a think, and then you will probably want to read it again.

As I stated in the first few words of this post, this is a rather large posting and so I thought I might summarise some of the key points made by Steven when he introduces the Windows on Arm (WoA) architecture and how Windows 8 will offer an entirely new ecosystem (after the Windows desktop, server and embedded offerings). Effectively, creating a consumer "durable" (something you plugin, turn-on and the use for a specific purpose - think stereo, fridge or DVD player) that is based on Microsoft Windows 8 code base. We have been waiting for this (or have been promised with Windows Embedded) for a number of years - this could be the time when Microsoft has a proper offering for our "smart" TV's, integrated stereos and game stations.

Here are some summary points from Steven's post;
  • Windows on ARM, or WOA, is a new member of the Windows family that builds on the foundation of Windows, has a very high degree of commonality and very significant shared code with Windows 8, and will be developed for, sold, and supported as a part of the largest computing ecosystem in the world.
  • WOA PCs are still under development and our collective goal is for PC makers to ship them the same time as PCs designed for Windows 8 on x86/64
  • Metro style apps in the Windows Store can support both WOA and Windows 8 on x86/64. 
  • WOA can support all new Metro style apps, including apps from Microsoft for mail, calendaring, contacts, photos, and storage..
  • WOA includes desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. 
  • With WOA you can look forward to integrated, end-to-end products—hardware, firmware and WOA software, all built from the ground up. 

Let me put me put some perspective on each of these points;
  1. This is the birth of new ecosystem, that could extend and benefit from THE largest software/hardware ecosystem in the world
  2. WoA looks like it will be ready for the shipment of Windows 8. Which judging by the planned release date of the public beta (called the Consumer Preview) of Windows 8 and positive feedback will have a Windows 8 gold build in the hands of OEM vendors in time to ship Windows 8 machines for the holiday season.
  3. WoA will most likely use a customised version of the Metro style apps due to power consumption and the ready access to HTML5 applications that will already work on ARM platforms.
  4. WoA will start out and ship with a version of Office. I don't expect that we will have many native WoA applications ready initially. However, having in place and working on the platform is a HUGE commitment and should demonstrate Microsoft's weight behind the new platform. This should give developers a boost, both in terms of confidence and a layered, robust platform to develop upon.
  5. Look to "walled garden" or closed systems. As stated in previous postings from Steven, he has indicated that there are three main providers of WoA products; Texas Instruments, Nvdia and Qualcomm. Expect a closed system (a weaker form of Apple) from these providers. Note: "closed system" in this case is not a pejorative, in fact, for the planned usage, it may be a good thing.

In addition to these thoughts, here are a few more points from the posting;
  • The Windows desktop will be supported/provided on WoA machines
  • Windows App Store will be offered in WoA platforms
  • Office 15 (the hybrid/cloud/table supporting version of Office) will be available on WoA
  • You won't turn-off WoA machines, you suspend them just like an iPad 
And you for you application compatibility hounds, Steven has said (in bold no less) that;
"Absolutely nothing about this approach will change for Windows 8—as millions have experienced with our Windows 8 Developer Preview, Windows 8 will run on every Windows 7 logo PC, and will run all of the existing software and peripherals designed for and supported on Windows 7 (when supported on Windows 8 by the manufacturer, of course)."
There is still huge amounts to think about here, and to comment upon. This is posting that will spawn a thousand blogs! More will come on this topic.

Thursday 16 February 2012

Patch Tuesday: February 2012

With this February Microsoft Patch Tuesday update, we see a set of 9 updates; 4 with the rating of Critical and 5 with the rating of Important. This is a moderately large update from Microsoft, with one notably large payload (MS12-011); however the potential compatibility impact for these up-dates is likely to be low.
As part of the Patch Tuesday Security Update analysis performed by the ChangeBASE team, we have seen a small number of potential compatibility issues caused by updates MS12-011, MS12-013 and MS12-015. All identified issues are designated at Amber issues by Quest ChangeBASE, as they would be relatively straight forward to fix with no serious compatibility impact.
Given the nature of the changes and updates included in each of these patches, most systems will require a reboot to successfully implement any and all of the patches and updates released in this February Patch Tuesday release cycle.
Here is a sample of the results for two applications tested for compatibility with these updates:
Top: MS12-013 Vulnerability in C Run-Time Library Could Allow Remote Code Execution
Bottom: MS12-011 Vulnerabilities in Microsoft SharePoint Could Allow Elevation of Privilege
Below these is a sample Summary report for a sample database where the Quest ChangeBASE Patch Impact team has run the latest Microsoft Updates against a small application portfolio:

Testing Summary
  • MS12-008 : Vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2660465)
  • MS12-009 : Vulnerabilities in Ancillary Function Driver Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (2645640)
  • MS12-010 : Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (2647516)
  • MS12-011 : Vulnerabilities in Microsoft SharePoint Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (2663841)
  • MS12-012 : Vulnerability in Color Control Panel Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2643719)
  • MS12-013 : Vulnerability in C Run-Time Library Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2654428)
  • MS12-014 : Vulnerability in Indeo Codec Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2661637)
  • MS12-015 : Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Visio Viewer 2010 Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2663510)
  • MS12-016 : Vulnerabilities in .NET Framework and Microsoft Silverlight Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2651026)

Patch NameTotal
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS12-008<1%<1%YESGreen
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS12-009<1%<1%YESGreen
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS12-010<1%<1%YESGreen
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS12-011<1%<1%YESAmber
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS12-012<1%<1%YESGreen
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS12-013<1%<1%YESAmber
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS12-014<1%<1%YESGreen
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS12-015<1%<1%YESAmber
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS12-016<1%<1%YESGreen

No IssueNo Issues Detected
Applications flagged as GREEN have no issues identified against them.
FixablePotentially fixable application Impact
An AMBER issue is one that pertains to the installation routine. A packager can change things in the installation routine and so can AOK Workbench. Anywhere an issue is found and a change can be made to the installation routine to get rid of it we will flag it as amber. AOK Workbench fixes almost all of the issues it flags as amber. For the few issues that require a decision to be made, a packager can manually remediate these using the issue data provided by AOK Workbench.
SeriousSerious Compatibility Issue
A RED issue is generally one that pertains to how the code or actual program works. In this case we will flag as Red issues where a package tries to use objects or functions that have been deprecated from the OS or where their use has been restricted. In this case there are no changes that a packager (or AOK Workbench) can make to the install routine to fix the problem. The problem needs to be dealt with at the program code level by the programmer that wrote it or by providing a more up to date driver. However it is reasonably straightforward once a programmer has the information provided by AOK Workbench to make these changes. For vendor MSIs an upgrade may be required.

Security Update Detailed Summary
MS12-008Vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2660465)
DescriptionThis security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability and a publicly disclosed vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The more severe of these vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user visits a website containing specially crafted content or if a specially crafted application is run locally. An attacker would have no way to force users to visit a malicious website. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the website, typically by getting them to click a link in an email message or Instant Messenger message that takes them to the attacker's website.
PayloadWin32k.sys, Updspapi.dll, W32ksign.dll
ImpactCritical - Remote Code Execution
MS12-009Vulnerabilities in Ancillary Function Driver Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (2645640)
DescriptionThis security update resolves two privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Win-dows. The vulnerabilities could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker logs on to a user's system and runs a specially crafted application. An attacker must have valid logon credentials and be able to log on locally to exploit the vulnerabilities.
PayloadAfd.sys, Updspapi.dll
ImpactImportant - Elevation of Privilege
MS12-010Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (2647516)
DescriptionThis security update resolves four privately reported vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. The most severe vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted web page using Internet Explorer. An attacker who successfully exploited any of these vulnerabilities could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
PayloadNo specific files
ImpactCritical - Remote Code Execution
MS12-011Vulnerabilities in Microsoft SharePoint Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (2663841)
DescriptionThis security update resolves three privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft SharePoint Foundation. These vulnerabilities could allow elevation of privilege or information disclosure if a user clicked a specially crafted URL.
PayloadAudits.asx, Auditsettings.ascx, Dispform.asx_multilang, Dispform.asx_xlatelist, Dlc.workflow.routing.dll, Dlc.workflow.tasks.dll, Dlc.workflow.tasks.dll2, Dlcwork-flowactionsvs_dll, Dlcworkflowactions_dll, Editdlg.htm_multilang, Editform.asx_multilang, Editform.asx_xlatelist, Featurestapling.xml,,,,,,,,,, Mopap.dll, Newform.asx_xlatelist, Sche-ma.xml_multilang, Schema_records, Upload.asx_multilang, Acsacnt.apx, Acscntrl.acx, Addbestbet1.aspx, Addcs.apx, Addentity1.aspx, Addfeaturedcontent1.aspx, Add-fedl.apx, Addkeyword1.aspx, Addmanagedproperty1.aspx, Addrankpromotion1.aspx, Addshr.apx, Addsnm.apx, Addspellcheck1.aspx, Addtype.apx, Addusercontext1.aspx, Admcmds.xml, Adminlistcontrol1.ascx, Admin_sitemap_pub.xml, Admmap.apx, Adsearch.aspx, Advanced_aspx, Advsfast_aspx, Advsrch_aspx, Aform1.apx, Ajaxtkit.js, Aslibalt.xml, Aslibft.xml, Assetpck.xsl, Astptlbr_asx, Bb.apx, Bdcph.dll, Bestbetor-der1.aspx, Blckvert.mst, Blglsbnd.mst, Blkband.mst, Blksingl.mst, Blueband.mst, Bluetabs.mst, Bluevert.mst, Busdatar.dll, Categ.apx, Centraladminpopupselector1.aspx, Cformsec.acx, Client.config, Clientx.dll, Clientxr.dll, Cmscrntl.rsx, Cms_tenantadmindeploymentlinksfeature_feature_xml, Connfxom.dll, Connfx-om.dll_0001, Connfxph.dll, Contextualkeywordmanagement1.aspx, Convfeat.xml, Cpyfedl.apx, Crawledcategories1.aspx, Crawledproperties1.aspx, Credentialfieldset-tingssection.ascx, Crprop.apx, Default_aspx, Deffast_aspx, Depfeat.xml, Dispfast_aspx, Docxpageconverter.exe, Ecrcntrl.acx, Editcategory1.aspx, Editcrawledproperty1.aspx, Editcs.apx, Editdlg.htm_ldoclib, Editdlg.htm_pubfeap, Editdlg.htm_pubresfeat, Edit-fast_aspx, Editrule.apx, Editsch.apx, Edtfedl.apx, Edtrelst.apx, Emconfig.xml, Enfet.xml, Enhsrch.apx, Enlayfet.xml, Enthmft.xml, Enthmpst.asx, Entityexcludelist1.aspx, En-tityincludelist1.aspx, Entitymanagement1.aspx, Escntrl.acx, Eupref.apx, Ewsmodel.xml, Expfedl.apx, Explrank.apx, Extendedsearchadministration.aspx, Extendedsearchadmin-links.xml,,,,,,,,,,,, Fastcentraladminhelpcollection, Fastenduserhelpcollection, Feapsite.xml, Frmadmin.apx, Fs.admin.dll, Fs.admin.dll.isapi, Fsfrmact.xml, Glsband.mst, Hau-to1.apx, Hauto2.apx, Hauto3.apx, Hedit1.apx, Hmng1.apx, Ibonet.xml, Ibptem.xml, Impfedl.apx, Keyworddetails1.aspx, Kword.apx, Laymap.apx, Laymapes1.apx, Lay-outs_sitemap_pub.xml, Lcscntrl.acx, Lobigen.dll, Lobitooi.dll, Lobitool.dll, Logcss.apx, Logerr.apx, Loghst.apx, Logsmry.apx, Logvwr.apx, Lstcat.apx, Lstcct.apx, Lstcs.apx, Lstdspgp.apx, Lstkw.apx, Lstmnp.apx, Lstsnm.apx, Managedpropertymanage-ment1.aspx, Managesssvcapplication.aspx, Masttpl.mas, Mchrule.apx, Mchrule1.apx, Mcrcntrl.acx, Mediaplayer.xap,,,, Microsoft.sharepoint.publishing.dll_isapi, Microsoft.sharepoint.taxonomy.dll, Mi-crosoft.sharepoint.taxonomy.dll_gac, Microsoft_office_securestoreservice.dll, Mngfedl.apx, Mngrules.apx, Mngshr.apx, Mngtypes.apx, Mobileresults_spx, Mo-bilesearch_spx, Mprop.apx, Msdym7.dll_osssearch, Msdym7.lex_osssearch, Msscpi.dll, Mssdmn.exe, Mssearch.exe, Msslad.dll, Mssph.dll, Mssrch.dll, Msswelcm.apx, Mstr4tsc.dll, Mswb7.dll_osssearch, Mswb70011.dll_osssearch, Mswb7001e.dll_osssearch, Mswb70404.dll_osssearch, Mswb70804.dll_osssearch, Natlang6.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0000.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0002.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0003.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0009.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd000a.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd000c.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd000d.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd000f.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0010.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0018.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd001a.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd001b.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd001d.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0020.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0021.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0022.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0024.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0026.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0027.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd002a.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0039.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd003e.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0045.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0046.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0047.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0049.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd004a.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd004b.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd004c.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd004e.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0414.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0416.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0816.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd081a.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsd0c1a.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsg0009.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0002.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0003.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0009.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl000a.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl000c.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl000d.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl000f.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0010.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0018.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl001a.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl001b.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl001d.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0020.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0021.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0022.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0024.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0026.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0027.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl002a.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0039.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl003e.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0045.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0046.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0047.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0049.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl004a.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl004b.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl004c.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl004e.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0414.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0416.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0816.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl081a.dll_osssearch, Natlangnlsl0c1a.dll_osssearch, Newffast_aspx, Nightandday.mst, Nl7data0011.dll_osssearch, Nl7data001e.dll_osssearch, Nl7data0404.dll_osssearch, Nl7data0804.dll_osssearch, Nl7lexicons0011.dll_osssearch, Nl7lexicons001e.dll_osssearch, Nl7lexicons0404.dll_osssearch, Nl7lexicons0804.dll_osssearch, Nl7models0011.dll_osssearch, Nl7models001e.dll_osssearch, Nl7models0404.dll_osssearch, Nl7models0804.dll_osssearch, Notesmodel.xml, Notesservice.svc, Notessiset.apx, Noteswebservice.dll.oss, Onet.xml, Orgsingl.mst, Oss.basic.feature.xml, Oss.basic.searcharea.xml, Oss.cntrl.adminlinks.xml, Oss.cntrl.feature.xml, Oss.cswp.sts_dwp, Oss.dwpadvancedsearchbox_dwp, Oss.dwpcoreresults_dwp, Oss.dwpdualchinesesearch_dwp, Oss.dwphighconfidence_dwp, Oss.dwppeoplecoreresults_dwp, Oss.dwpsearchbox_dwp, Oss.dwpsearchpaging_dwp, Oss.dwpsearchstats_dwp, Oss.dwpsearchsummary_dwp, Oss.enhanced.adminlinks.xml, Oss.enhanced.feature.xml, Oss.enhanced.mobilesearch.xml, Oss.enhanced.searcharea.xml, Oss.farm1.sys_dwp, Oss.farmsa.lst_dwp,,,,,,,,,,, Oss.healthpushdown.feature.xml, Oss.intl.dll, Oss.peoplerefinement_dwp, Oss.portal.feature.xml, Oss.powershell.searchcmdlets.xml, Oss.querysuggestions_dwp, Oss.refinement_dwp, Oss.sa1.sys_dwp,,,,,,,,,, Oss.searchactionlinks_dwp, Oss.searchbestbets_dwp, Oss.searchresults_aspx, Oss.searchserverwizard.feature.xml, Oss.shcuts.sys_dwp, Oss.srch.12.rsx, Oss.srch.rsx, Oss.srchadm.rsx,, Oss.srchconnectorgenerator_aspx, Oss.srchrssgen_xsl, Oss.srchrss_aspx, Oss.stplg1_dwp, Oss.summaryresults_dwp, Oss.swpf.advancedsearchbox_dwp, Oss.swpf.coreresults_dwp, Oss.swpf.dualchinese_search_dwp, Oss.swpf.highconfidence_dwp, Oss.swpf.peoplecoreresults_dwp, Oss.swpf.peoplerefinement_dwp, Oss.swpf.querysuggestions_dwp, Oss.swpf.refinement_dwp, Oss.swpf.searchactionlinks_dwp, Oss.swpf.searchbestbets_dwp, Oss.swpf.searchbox_dwp, Oss.swpf.searchpaging_dwp, Oss.swpf.searchstats_dwp, Oss.swpf.searchsummary_dwp, Oss.swpf.summaryresults_dwp, Oss.swpf.topanswer_dwp, Oss.tcscsearchresults_aspx, Oss.topanswer_dwp, Oss.upgrade.config.xml, Oss.webconfig.spss.xml, Oss12plc.config, Oss12plc.dll, Pblyfeat.xml, Pblyprovui.xml, Pefeat.xml, People_aspx, Pepfast_aspx, Pepre-sults_aspx, Peprfast_aspx, Pkmexsph.dll_0001, Plnfeat.xml, Plnkfeat.xml, Pnfeat.xml, Popupselector1.aspx, Portal.dll, Portal.dll_001, Portal.js, Ppldefault_aspx, Pplre-sults_aspx, Pplsearchres.aspx, Premstpl.xml, Prm0001.bin_osssearch, Prm0005.bin_osssearch, Prm0006.bin_osssearch, Prm0007.bin_osssearch, Prm0008.bin_osssearch, Prm0009.bin_osssearch, Prm000b.bin_osssearch, Prm000e.bin_osssearch, Prm0013.bin_osssearch, Prm0015.bin_osssearch, Prm0019.bin_osssearch, Prm001f.bin_osssearch, Pubfeat.xml, Pubonet.xml, Pub-prft.xml, Pubrfeat.xml, Pubtfeat.xml, Query9x.dll_0001, Quickacc.xml, Rankpromotionmanagement1.aspx, Ratings.js, Reportcenterdoclibeditdlg_htm, Re-portcenterdoclibschema_xml, Reportcenterdoclibupload_aspx, Resfast_aspx, Resrem.apx, Results_aspx, Rleditdlg.htm, Rlschma.xml, Rlupload.aspx, Scfeatr.xml, Scfonet_xml, Scftabslistschema_xml, Schema.xml_ldoclib, Schema.xml_pubfeap, Schma.xml, Schreset.apx, Sclonet_xml, Scltabslistdispform_aspx, Scltabslistedit-form_aspx, Scltabslistnewform_aspx, Scltabslistschema_xml, Scope.apx, Scope1.apx, Scpdspgp.apx, Scriptforwebtaggingui.js, Sctabslistdispform_aspx, Sctabslistedit-form_aspx, Sctabslistnewform_aspx, Sctabslistschema_xml, Scwedadm.apx, Scweddbs.apx, Scwedisv.apx, Scwedqsv.apx, Scwfinsh.apx, Scwtpcfg.apx, Sde-fault_aspx, Search.admin.fdprov.xml, Search.admin.saprov.xml,,, Search.js,,, Searchextensionsfea-ture, Searchextensionswebpartdescription, Searchextensionswebparts, Searchmain.aspx, Searchom.dll, Searchom.dll_0001, Searchres.aspx, Selcrpr.apx, Selmpr.apx, Sharepointpub.dll, Sharepointpub_gac.dll, Showfulltextindexmap-ping1.aspx, Siteactn.xml, Sitesv3siteslistdispform_aspx, Sitesv3siteslisteditform_aspx, Sitesv3siteslistnewform_aspx, Sitesv3siteslistschema_xml, Sitesv3tabslistdispform_aspx, Sitesv3tabslisteditform_aspx, Sitesv3tabslistnewform_aspx, Sitesv3tabslistschema_xml, Sm.asx, Sp.publishing.resources.rsx, Sp.ui.rte.publishing.debug.js, Sp.ui.rte.publishing.js, Spdisco.aspx, Spellcheckmanagement1.aspx, Sppubint.dll, Sppubint_gac.dll, Spscrntl.rsx, Spsintl.dll, Srcadmin.apx, Srchcenhlp.xml, Srchcenurl.xml, Srcheml.apx, Srchout.apx, Srchprx.apx, Srchssl.apx, Sresults_aspx, Tamanagesssvcapp.aspx, Targetappgeneralsettingssection.ascx, Taxonomy.sql, Taxupdateprocs.sql, Tpcfgfh.apx, Tplapset.apx, Tquery.dll, Treecontrol.js, Updsched1.apx, Upgrade.dll_001, Upload.aspx_ldoclib, Upload.aspx_pubfeap, Upload.aspx_pubresfeat, Urlselector.aspx, Usercontextmanagement1.aspx, V2vpblyfeat.xml, Vwfrmlk.xml, Vwscope1.apx, Vwscopes.apx, Vwscpse1.apx, Vwscpset.apx, Wacproxy.ashx, Web.config,, Wizardlist.aspx_2060739507, Editdlg.htm_dcl,,,,,, Microsoft.resourcemanagement.dll, Office.odf, Offxml.dll, Osafehtm.dll, Osrvintl.dll, Schema.xml_dcl, Sspadmin.mas, Svrsetup.dll, Svrsetup.exe, Upload.aspx_dcl, Accountjoiner.dll, Activityinformation.sql, Adgalmaat-tributeinclusionlis, Adgalmadata.xml, Adgalmamandatoryattributelis, Adgalmamandatoryobjectclassl, Adgalmaobjectclassinclusionl, Adgalmvdata.xml, Admaattributeinclusionlist.x, Admamandatoryattributelist.x, Admamandatoryob-jectclasslist, Admaobjectclassinclusionlist, Admapropertypages.dll, Aduisettinginit.xml, Antixsslibrary.dll, Assemblyinfo.cs, Assemblyinfo.vb, Assemblyinfo.vb.galsync, Assem-blyinfo.vb.logging, Atl90.dll.21022.08.vc90_atl_x64.rtm, Build.xml, Certmgr.exe,,,,, Configdb.dll, Constants.sql, Constantspecifiers.sql, Containerpicker.dll, Crt.manifest, Cscdextensioncallbasedscript, Cscdextensionfilebasedscript, Csexport.exe, Csmaobjectscript.xml, Csmvobject-script.xml, Cspasswordextensionscript.xm, Cssearch.dll, Databasesettings.sql, Dbmapropertypages.dll, Dbuisettinginit.xml, Dropsqlpersistenceproviderlogic.sql, Dropsqlpersistenceproviderschema.sql, Drop_procs.sql, Edirectoryma.dll, Edirecto-rymaattributeinclusi, Edirectorymamandatoryattribu, Edirectorymamandatoryobjectc, Edirectorymaobjectclassinclu, Edirectoryuisettinginit.xml, Editconnectionfilters.aspx, Editdsserver.aspx, Editlink.aspx, Editproperty.aspx, Enableservice-broker_storedprocedure.sql, Exch2007extension.dll, Exch2010extension.dll, Exchangema.dll, Exchangemaattributeinclusion, Exchangemamandatoryattribute, Exchangemamandatoryobjectcla, Exchangemaobjectclassinclusi, Ex-changeuisettinginit.xml, Filemauiconfig.xml, Fimmaattributeinclusionlist.xml, Fimmadata.xml, Fimmamandatoryattributelist.xml, Fimmamandatoryobjectclasslist.xml, Fimmaobjectclassinclusionlist.xml, Fimmapropertypages.dll, Fimmvdata.xml, Func-tionlibrary.dll, Galma.vb, Galmv.vb, Galsync.dll, Galsync.sln, Galsync.vbproj, Galutil.vb, Genericsolutionfile.xml, Globaloptions.dll, Grouplistview.dll, Helpurl.xml, Ibmdsmaat-tributeinclusionlis, Ibmdsmamandatoryattributelis, Ibmdsmamandatoryobjectclassl, Ibmdsmaobjectclassinclusionl, Ibmdsmapropertypages.dll, Ibmdsuisettinginit.xml, Importhelperconfig.xml, Iplanetmapropertypages.dll, Ipmaattributeinclusionlist.x, Ipmamandatoryattributelist.x, Ipmamandatoryobjectclasslist, Ipmaobjectclassinclusion-list, Ipuisettinginit.xml, Lnmaattributeinclusionlist.x, Lnmamandatoryattributelist.x, Lnmamandatoryobjectclasslist, Lnmaobjectclassinclusionlist, Lnschema.dsml, Lnui-settinginit.xml, Logging.dll, Logging.sln, Logging.vb, Logging.vbproj, Logging.xml, Maconfig.dll, Maconfig.dll_help.xml, Maexecution.dll, Maexport.exe, Mahostm.dll, Mahostn.dll, Makecert.exe, Managelinks.aspx, Managementpolicyrule.sql, Manageso-cialitems.aspx, Manifest.21022.08.vc90_atl_x64.rtm, Mapackager.exe, Mapropertypages.dll, Mcrypt.dll, Membership.sql, Mgrperms.aspx, Mgrpolicy.aspx, Microsoft.identitymanagement.externalsettingsmanager.dll, Mi-crosoft.identitymanagement.findprivatekey.exe, Microsoft.identitymanagement.settingscontract.dll, Mi-crosoft.identitymanagement.setuputils.dll, Microsoft.identitymanagement.sqm.dll, Microsoft.logging.dll, Microsoft.metadirectoryservices, Mi-crosoft.metadirectoryservicesex.dll,,,,,,,, Microsoft.resman.dll, Microsoft.resman.service.exe, Microsoft.resourcemanagement.service.exe.config, Microsoft.resourcemanagement.service.exe.ilminstall, Mi-crosoft.resourcemanagement.service.exe.mossinstall, Microsoft.resourcemanagement.serviceconfiguration.preparationutility.exe, Mi-crosoft.resourcemanagement.serviceconfiguration.utility.exe, Miisactivate.exe, Miisclient.exe, Miisclient.exe.config, Miiserver.exe, Miiserver.exe.config, Miiskmu.exe, Miisrcw.dll, Mms.chm, Mmscntrl.dll, Mmsevent.dll, Mmsmaad.dll, Mmsmads.dll, Mmsmaed.dll, Mmsmaext.dll, Mmsmafim.dll, Mmsmaip.dll, Mmsmaxml.dll, Mmsperf.dll, Mmsperf.h, Mmsperf.ini, Mmsps.dll, Mmsscpth.dll, Mmsscrpt.exe, Mmsscrpt.exe.config, Mmsserverrcw.dll, Mmsuihlp.dll, Mmsuishell.dll, Mmsutils.dll, Mmswmi.dll, Mmswmi.mof, Mmswmix.mof, Msft.metads.dll,,, Msft.metads.impl.dll, Msft.metads.xml, Msft.metadsex.dll, Msft.metadsex.xml, Mstlay_mysite.master, Msvcm90.dll, Msvcp90.dll, Msvcr90.dll, Mv.dsml, Mvdesigner.dll, Mvviewer.dll, Notesmapropertypages.dll, Ntma.dll, Ntmaat-tributeinclusionlist.x, Ntmamandatoryattributelist.x, Ntmamandatoryobjectclasslist, Ntmaobjectclassinclusionlist, Ntuisettinginit.xml, Objectlauncher.dll, Objectschemacon-figpopulate.sql, Objectschema_storedprocedures.sql, Objects_indexes.unfiltered.sql, Objects_storedprocedures.sql, Objects_tables.sql, Objects_views.sql, Objectview-ers.dll, Operations.dll, Personalsites.aspx, Portaluiconfigurations.sql, Preview.dll, Profilesrp.sql, Profilup.sql, Propertypageconfig.xml, Propertysheetbase.dll, Psite_mysite.master, Rightrule.sql, Rulerctrl.dll, Schemacollections.sql, Searchscopes.sql, Sets_storedprocedures.sql, Soccom.js, Socialsrp.sql, Socialup.sql, Sourcecode.galsync.dll, Sourcecode.logging.dll, Sourcecode.logging.xml, Sqler-rormessages.sql, Sqlpersistenceproviderlogic.sql, Sqlpersistenceproviderschema.sql, Sqlpersistenceservice_logic.sql, Sqlpersistenceservice_schema.sql, Sql-workitemschedulerlogic.sql, Sqlworkitemschedulerschema.sql, Sqmapi.dll, Storedprocedures.sql, Svrexport.exe, Syncsetuputl.dll, Sync_storedprocedures.sql, Sync_synchronizationrules.sql, Tables.sql, Teditconnectionfilters.aspx, Teditdsserv-er.aspx, Teditlink.aspx, Teditproperty.aspx, Timezones.sql, Tmanagelinks.aspx, Tmanagesocialitems.aspx, Tmgrpolicy.aspx, Tpersonalsites.aspx, Uiutils.dll, Uoc-configurations.sql, Upcmdlet.xml, Userprofileservicewsdl.aspx, Values.sql, Vbcdextensioncallbasedscript, Vbcdextensionfilebasedscript, Vbmaobjectscript.xml, Vbmvobjectscript.xml, Vbpasswordextensionscript.xml, Vbwmirunscript.xml, Vspro-jectcs.xsl, Vsprojectvb.xsl, Wmirunscript.xml, Xmlmapropertypages.dll
ImpactImportant - Elevation of Privilege
MS12-012Vulnerability in Color Control Panel Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2643719)
DescriptionThis security update resolves one publicly disclosed vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a legitimate file (such as an .icm or .icc file) that is located in the same directory as a specially crafted dynamic link library (DLL) file. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
PayloadColorcpl.exe, Colorui.dll, Icmui.dll
ImpactImportant - Remote Code Execution
MS12-013Vulnerability in C Run-Time Library Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2654428)
DescriptionThis security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted media file that is hosted on a website or sent as an email attachment. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the local user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
ImpactCritical - Remote Code Execution
MS12-014Vulnerability in Indeo Codec Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2661637)
DescriptionThis security update resolves one publicly disclosed vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a legitimate file (such as an .avi file) that is located in the same directory as a specially crafted dynamic link library (DLL) file. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code as the logged-on user. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. If a user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker could take complete control of the affected system. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
PayloadIacenc.dll, Updspapi.dll
ImpactImportant - Remote Code Execution
MS12-015Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Visio Viewer 2010 Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2663510)
DescriptionThis security update resolves five privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office. The vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Visio file. An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
PayloadSaext.dll, Seqchk10.dll, Vpreview.exe, Vviewdwg.dll, Vviewer.dll
ImpactImportant - Remote Code Execution
MS12-016Vulnerabilities in .NET Framework and Microsoft Silverlight Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2651026)
DescriptionThis security update resolves one publicly disclosed vulnerability and one privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft .NET Framework and Microsoft Silverlight. The vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution on a client system if a user views a specially crafted web page using a web browser that can run XAML Browser Applica-tions (XBAPs) or Silverlight applications. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
PayloadNo specific files affected
ImpactCritical - Remote Code Execution

*All results are based on a Quest ChangeBASE Application Compatibility Lab's test portfolio of over 1,000 applications.

Monday 13 February 2012

Microsoft Patch Tuesday: 2011 Round-up

It's that time of the month again, and Microsoft is preparing to release (notice I did not say unleash) a number of updates to the Windows domain. It looks like Feb will be an "average" month with 9 updates; 4 rated as Critical and subsequently 5 rated as Important. 

There will be a complete analysis of this February update available on the ChangeBASE\Quest website (and this blog) on Wednesday morning, so I thought that I might take the time to have a quick look at the numbers Microsoft released over last year (2011)'s Patch Tuesday.

Starting with a brief summary for the year of 2011, Microsoft released 100 updates through the normal Patch Tuesday release cycle with the following Severity (or Ratings);

Critical: 34
Important: 63
Moderate: 3

I have also compiled some tables (with pretty diagrams) that illustrate the profile for the Microsoft Patch release cycle. Here you can "surges" in some months and then quieter months. January is generally quiet as the patch cycle is "working from one month behind", so you can see the months that Microsoft is really busy. Namely,  Jan (with large releases in Feb), March (large release in April) and following with May (subsequent large update in June). 

Not sure about the exact reason for this, other than loads of people are off in December and therefore there are less updates for Jan.

I have also compiled a table of the targets for each patch. You can see the the largest target is Windows (do we need a pie-chart here?) and then Office. 

Hopefully, this following histogram illustrates the severity rating over several months for the year of 2011. April and June really do look quite serious when you look at things like this....

And, instead of a pie-chart, and I thought a 3-landscape diagram might help more (or, couldn't figure out the pie-charts stuff, sorry)

So how does this help? Well, given the number of patches this year (2012), with 7 releases  in Jan and 9 updates  in February (already quite high), we might expect to see a significant up-tick in the number of patches and security updates from Microsoft. As the year progresses, I will start do some more trending analysis and see how things look.

Friday 10 February 2012

Discovery: The beginning of the Migration journey

The focus of this blog is generally on application compatibility, however, one of the challenges an organisation has to face even before they identify and remediate their application compatibility issues is pretty basic; how many applications do I have? Digging deeper into this question includes the following broader issues;

  •      How many applications do I have?
  •      What versions are duplicates?
  •      Who is using these applications, and where?
  •      Are all of these applications used? 
  •      Could they be shared across users?
  •      Is there are a regional distribution to my application portfolio?
These questions are just the beginning of one the key aspects of a migration and is generally described as "Application Discovery" or simply the Discovery stage. A number of the ChangeBASE presentation include this stage as necessary and immediate precursor to the application compatibility assessment and remediation stage. Here is a quick snap-shot of one our standard diagrams that illustrates this application lifecycle approach;

As you can see the arrow starting from the left starts at Discovery and works its way through the assess, fix, deploy and test (UAT) stages and subsequently ends back up at the Discovery stage again. I think that the thinking here is that "Change Never Stops" and that as soon as something is deployed, you will verify it's status and then plan the next change.

And this really follows the thinking of the Quest "Chained" Solution philosophy. By chaining a number of focussed products that cover the spectrum of the migration challenges that enterprises face today.

Delving into the Discovery solution offered by Quest, ScriptLogic Asset Manager allows remote scanning of PC's servers and attached hardware to deliver a complete inventory (and usage) of your application and asset portfolio.
  • Software Recognition: Identify and categorise more than 85% of all software found without any manual intervention. The ScriptLogic Software Pattern Identification Database (SPID) includes more than 200,000 software packages, including bundles, so that you can even differentiate between editions of common software
  • Submit Software for Identification: If your software isn’t in the SPID database already, you can upload the Software DNA pattern to us, and ScriptLogic Asset Manager will identify it and add it to the next update. 
  • License Management: Import software license agreements and link them with the applications that are installed.
  • Software Metering: Passive metering can track when and how often software is used. Active metering will let 100 run, but will stop the 101st copy in its tracks.
  • Compliance Reporting: Asset Manager has over 120 pre-defined reports including installed software, license compliance, usage reporting and more. 
  • Block Unapproved Applications: Report and alert on new applications that have been added to your network and prevent unwanted software from being run.

You can find more about ScriptLogic Asset Manager here: