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Windows Operating Systems Software IT

New Shared Computer Toolkit for Windows 23

cygnusx writes "Microsoft Monitor and Ars Technica are reporting that Microsoft has released an administrative toolkit (beta) to help secure Windows machines that are shared by a number of people. Features include protecting the Windows partition from non-administrative changes and Group Policy-like access restrictions. This should be good news because Microsoft seems to be recognizing that not everyone can go down the Active Directory path to manage their Windows machines better."
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New Shared Computer Toolkit for Windows

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  • A lot of large labs that I've seen run Windows 2000, and this functionality is useless, as the toolkit is only for Windows XP.

    My lab, for instance, has approximately 100 terminals running Windows 2000...and none of them can benefit from this.

    Great job, too late, Microsoft.
    • This is just the same as the User/Root-Approah Microsoft plans - too lat, as always!
      • Whoops, hit the "Submit" Button instead of "Preview" - so much for my credibility. *sigh*
      • This is just the same as the User/Root-Approah Microsoft plans - too lat, as always!

        Do any of you believe in better late than never? Honestly, people bitch that Microsoft does nothing about security, if they attempt, they're flamed for a "poor attempt". Even now, they're trying to up security in XP, and 2000 users cry that it's too late. My sweet jesus guys, at least there's an effort somewhere. 2000 is pretty well EOL'd, I don't think it's their major worry right now.

        Yeah, i'll get flamed for sayin
        • Very well put. However, most people have their anti-MS goggles on and can't think logically and objectively. Good luck with the flames.
        • Finally, a voice of reason. True, this does not help the win2k users out there, and you know what? patches realeased now do not help the folks who are still using the linux 1.x kernels, the OS has moved on, MS has moved on. XP is, what?, 3 or 4 years old now. Its on SP2 for God's sake. If you have not moved up, then fine, use what works for you, and if it does not work for you then don't compalin that they are not making it work for you.

          I have a slew of machines, evenly split between Windows and non-Window

        • OK, I will bite.

          Insert windows issue here

          I switched to [linux] on my laptop because of this, and i'll run [linux] on my laptop now, until I get a new one, at which point in time, I can't say that i'll try and get my Windows issue working again. Are there efforts to fix it? Sure. But i've waiting a year and a half for them. You can offer Windows issue, but I think it's too late, i've moved on.

          See there is the thing - they all have issues. You want supported Wifi (That - I must point out was designe

          • I've been running cron jobs on Windows for years. There are any number of utilities to do it, CygWin, and there is even the equivalent in Windows NT called the AT command, although to get real functionality you do have to learn how to really get down and dirty with Windows scripting. Six of one, half a dozen of another.
          • Exactly what I was getting at :)

            All OS's have their issues. Plenty of them. I'm tired of people singling out MicroSoft as the be all and end all of bad software producers. Sure, they're not perfect, but no one is.

            What I was saying, was that people will slag them for this update, but if I did the *exact* same thing about any flavour of Linux, someone will come to it's defence, or cry foul play.
        • Hear, bloody hear! Mod me Troll but I couldn't agree more. Win'2K is now EOL'ed after five long years. I still use it, and support it, extensively here and I don't see that changing as it does some things I want very nicely and one of my development targets are all those individuals (one living with me) and businesses that still use it. However, it was five years. Most Linuxen don't even have five year EOL agreements. Heck, I know of only one, Debian, that does. The rest are three years or less. Oo
    • With the greatest of respect, TFA says:

      Shared computers are commonly found in schools, libraries, Internet and gaming cafés, community centers, and other locations.

      If you're running a lab with 100 terminals, you should already using group policies.

      Group policies address the needs for a particular market sector. This lock-down tool addresses the needs of another market sector. They do appear to be trying to do "the right thing"!

    • You are forgetting that MS is discontinuing support for 2000 in a couple of months. There only desktop OS will be XP (until/if Longhorn). Makes sense that this util only supports XP. BTW, I have not RTFA.
  • by yagu ( 721525 ) * <yayagu&gmail,com> on Friday July 01, 2005 @11:14AM (#12960940) Journal

    The problem lies more in the design, architecture, and implementation. One facet recently appeared here (The 12-minute Windows Heist) [slashdot.org] and here (Windows Users Ignoring LUA Security) [slashdot.org].

    Microsoft "grew up" from a fundamentally different mindset than real (no troll intended, just pragmatic viewpoint) computing technologies. Microsoft takes credit (rightly or wrongly) for inventing the PC. PC, that's Personal Computer... and the directory structure (among other things) especially reflects these roots:

    • the directory structure is a cobbled together hodgepodge with little apparent cohesive design. In my opinion it is an incredibly "designed by committee" hack.
    • any whiff of multi-user directory structure aside from not really being well designed is a cobbled hack on top of old directory structures and paradigms.
    • while there certainly isn't any requirement a computer have mulitple users, the notion of multiple users logged into a Windows machine is completely foreign without third party add-ons (terminal servers, et. al.).
    • the multilevel kernel architecture and hardware abstraction (HAL) early on were compromised to give direct access to hardware because HAL didn't allow for good enough performance for gaming.
    • many programs because of buggy behavior (this is not necessarily Microsoft's fault, but it's still true) require(d) conditional code in NT/XP to run thus propogating buggy design right back into the "new" product.

    The third item above was especially interesting to me when I worked at Microsoft. This was the early days of NT, and when I hired on, I didn't have a machine in my office powerful enough to run NT. Wanting to get an early start on learning as much as possible about NT I had an office peer set up an account for me on another NT machine. I asked how to "login" to that machine. He looked at me as if I were mad. His (their) notion of multi-user meant my account on his box gave me access to file services pretty much, not much more.

    Administration tools, while a nice idea, in light of the historical artifacts of Windows are only a bandaid over a compound fracture. It might cover up the bleeding and hide the potentially fatal wound, but it isn't going to solve the problem. Microsoft should have taken the time to desing the "P" out of PC when they completely re-designed the underlying technology. Had they done so, many of these problems today either wouldn't exist or would be much easier to fix.

    • In defense of Microsoft (damn, never thought I'd say that), of course it is a bandaid fix. However, given that XP is as it is, applying a bandaid is all you can do. One of my long standing gripes about Windows as a system is that it's way too complicated to manage the simplest of things (such as permissions). The permission options for the home user is laughable. You're either a full blown admin or are severely restricted to the point that most Windows programs don't function properly. In other words,
    • Oh, come on. Windows is, and has been for several years, a true multiuser-OS with a strong permission model.

      "the directory structure is a cobbled together hodgepodge with little apparent cohesive design. In my opinion it is an incredibly "designed by committee" hack. "

      Not true. Essentially, there are three directories, "Documents and Settings" (/home), "Program Files" (/bin), and "Windows" (no direct UNIQ equivilent).

      The problem is not the directory structure, it is stupid applications that write to the
  • 0000000 is a geniune windows validation code according to the MS website.

    Download all you like, kids :)
  • Now all the bot networks operators can control their bots a lot better, right?
  • by gdav ( 2540 ) on Friday July 01, 2005 @12:43PM (#12961837)
    is generated randomly in javascript by the registration page. Eight digits - the first must be nonzero, the last is seven minus (the sum of the others, mod 7). E.g 10000006.
  • I used to read Ars Technica [arstechnica.com], until it became apparent that "Caesar" Ken Fisher [arstechnica.com] is a racist. He typically comes off like your typical smug armchair intellectual, but once he gets fired up, he's got quite a mouth on him. I've seen him get pretty worked up on IRC over basically nothing.

    It's too bad, too, since the other guys on the site like Hannibal are actually pretty smart.

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