Security boost for NT likely to delay moves to Win 2000

Security boost for NT likely to delay moves to Win 2000

By Michael Cheek

GCN Staff

REDMOND, Wash.'Government security ratings for current Microsoft Windows NT operating systems will likely encourage some agencies with secure offices'especially those using Defense Message System services'to hold off on upgrading to Windows 2000.

Late last month, Microsoft Corp. released NT Service Pack 6, which includes cryptography compliant with Federal Information Processing Standard 140-1, said Tiffany Treacy, federal programs manager for Microsoft federal systems.

Service Pack 6 updates Internet Explorer 5.0 and Internet Information Server 4.0 to be FIPS 140-1 compliant under NT 4.0, Treacy said. The Windows 9x version of Internet Explorer 5.0 will be ready by early December, and C2-level security certification for NT should be coming soon, she said.

Although Microsoft plans to integrate several security protocols into NT's successor, Win 2000, it will take awhile. Microsoft plans to release Win 2000 on Feb. 17 in two server versions and a desktop version. Treacy said the company will submit Win 2000 for FIPS 140-1 certification and is evaluating C2 certification.

'We expect Win 2000 deployment on the server side to take more time,' said Pete Hayes, general manager of Microsoft federal systems. 'We expect to see adoption much faster on the desktop side.'

Clients and servers that use DMS services will have to wait to adopt Win 2000, however, said Bogdan Pintea, DMS program manager for the Microsoft Exchange Server group. Microsoft has just released a DMS 2.1 version of Exchange Server 5.5 for NT 4.0; client systems use Outlook 98, Pintea said.

Testing for the company's DMS 2.2 software, which will continue to run under NT 4.0, will likely begin in December and end in the summer, Pintea said. It will use Exchange Server 5.5 with a new service pack and will support Outlook 2000, he said.

Around July, Microsoft expects to finish its DMS 3.0 software, running under Win 2000 for the first time. Deployment is expected late next year or in early 2001.

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