Nav 5.0: Why no entries?

Well, it’s not Microsoft’s fault. They released the beta. It’s my schedule. You can tell from last week (no posts) that I’ve been out of town. Actually, it was only two days last week, but still it seems to have mushroomed into three or four days behind.
I should be caught up enough by the end of the week to post a couple of things. Most of the reason that I haven’t posted was that I wanted to be able to give you an actual look at some of the new features. Screen captures, you know.
Look for them the end of the week or first of next week.

Daylight Savings 2007…Better Watch Out

I first raised this issue in December of last year. Turns out that there may be more to it than I initially thought. It’s such a big deal that now–a couple of weeks before it cuts loose–Microsoft is talking about it at all their partner briefings. It’s the Daylight savings change…DST moves back 3 weeks from its normal place (March 11 this year rather than the first part of April). Also, we’ll fall back a week later in the Fall.
Turns out this affects a lot of products. For Microsoft’s list, check out
Best of luck. Call us if we can help.

Dynamics NAV 5.0: New Features

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0 beta is out and about, along with the “What’s New” training manuals. There are two volumes of training designed for dealers and implementers, but the basic information should be available on CustomerSource as soon as 5.0 actually starts shipping.
5.0 is expected to ship the first part of April (perhaps the very end of March). Nothing is out yet about whether the first shipments will contain the conversion kit necessary to move users from previous versions to the new version. The basic look and feel is about the same as 4.0, but there are about 500 pages of training just on the new features.
There are three that I’ve picked out from Volume I of the Whats New training (which I’ve finished reading) to discuss here. I also have some comments about the implications of some changes that are occurring in the development tool.
Here are the first changes I’ll talk about:
(a) Outlook integration which is much improved and fully customizable in 5.0
(b) Approvals which allow better control over sales and purchasing, and
(c) Export to Excel and Word using style sheets.
You’ll have to wait for more details. I’ll post them over the next few days.
Also, Microsoft Quarterly Partner Briefing for my area is next Wednesday. Might be something of note at that meeting.

Vista Sales Forcast Too Aggressive. Really? Don’t Say?

Consider this gloating if you will. Or consider it a case of “I told you so.” Vista isn’t moving as quickly as the early estimates said it would. There’s a real question in my mind, though: Is anyone surprised? I don’t think so.
Reuters wrote:

SEATTLE (Reuters)—Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said on Thursday analysts’ forecasts for revenue from Windows Vista in fiscal 2008 were “overly aggressive.”

No joke. Really?
Microsoft CEO: Vista Revenue Forecasts Too Aggressive

Computer Feeling Down Since Valentines? Maybe You’ve Got the Love Bug

I don’t care for email greeting cards. Even from folk I know and trust. Problem is, I’m not sure where they’ve been. Kinda like putting money in your mouth.
If your computer is acting funny since Valentine’s day, and you opened an email greeting card, you may have the love bug. Not related to Cupid or candy, this little beastie can be nasty. So don’t send me any email greeting cards. I won’t open them. But do take a look at the love bug virus if you think you might have it.
The Love Bug: Valentine’s Day Virus Strikes – Security, Worm, SophosLabs, Secure Computing – CRN

Insider Security Breaches More Common Than Hacker

A lot of fear has been generated by stories of hackers, spyware, and security breaches. But the reality for most companies is that the biggest danger of data loss or theft comes through the door every day using a key…current employees.
Here’s a story about theft from DuPont pulished by InformationWeek. A key quote:

The best way to guard against insider breaches is for companies to monitor database and network access for unusual activity and set thresholds that represent acceptable use for different users. If an employee starts downloading thousands of documents, and this is unusual for the job designation, this should automatically trip red flags to an administrator or manager.

Is it time to review your security practices? I know I probably need to review ours.
Massive Insider Breach At DuPont – News by InformationWeek

Vista (Again)…

Ok, you’ve figured out that Vista is one of the main things you’ll hear about from IT folk this year. Right?
I’m going to get tired of Vista-bashing articles. I actually like it. I haven’t yet been brave enough to load it on a laptop I bought last year that claims to be “Vista Ready” or some such thing. But Wayne Rash at eWeek is a bit more venturesome. He decided to try it on an old “high end” machine.
Before you read this, keep in mind that I read the specifications for the machine he’s trying Vista on. Most of the readers of this column probably don’t own that machine. Also, Wayne had to buy some more hardware before it worked well, and it took 3 days to get it working. Here’s how his article begins:

Surely, I thought, a dual-Xeon HP xw8000 workstation with a gigabyte of memory and fast hard disks could run nearly anything. Besides, this computer is new enough that it’s still under warranty, so if I really got into trouble, I knew that I could always call HP’s tech support for help.
Turns out, I was wrong about a lot of things, including that. While I did manage to install Vista on the machine, you might want to think twice before trying the same thing in your business. Or your home, for that matter.

You got the patience of Waynev?
Wayne’s Old Computer Gets Vista

Data Security Bill Pops Up Again In Congress

Congress has bee trying to figure out IT for years now. This new bill is an attempt to address the issue on several fronts. It includes provisions to punish offenders who hack into computers, to require reporting of computer breaches, and to protect consumers from data fraud. How effective it is remains to be seen, and the unintended consequences haven’t yet been analyzed.
This is something all businesses should be aware of, particularly if business computers are connected to the Internet.
Data breach bills resurface in Congress | Tech News on ZDNet

Software Security Problems: Should you be concerned?

Yet another software security problem has been reported. As of the time it was reported, there was no fix from the manufacturer. The software manufacturer in this case turns out to be Microsoft.
Don’t get the impression that just because Microsoft problems are reported often that Microsoft is the only company with problems. All software is the product of imperfect human intellect, and is…therefore…imperfect. Microsoft just gets the bulk of the press because they sell a lot of software. So when a defect like this finds its way into a Microsoft product, it affects a lot of people.
Here’s a quote from the eWeek article:

Zero-day refers to a flaw for which there is an exploit but no available fix. The Excel vulnerability is Microsoft’s fifth zero-day exploit since December, and part of an increasingly troubling trend.
The zero-day flaw affects Office versions 2000, XP, 2003 and 2004 for the Mac, but not 2007 or Works 2004, 2005 or 2006.
An attacker could exploit the flaw either by enticing a user to click on a file hosted on a Web site or an attachment sent via e-mail. Either exploit would require some end-user interaction.

New Zero-Day Threat Excels