Microsoft releases first set of Win 2000 patches

Microsoft releases first set of Win 2000 patches

One patch provides fixes for three critical items

By Michael Cheek

GCN Staff

The day after Microsoft Corp. launched Windows 2000 last month, early installers who had enabled the Critical Update Notification service received a splash-screen message about the first fixes for the new operating system.

Four patches are available as free downloads from windowsupdate.microsoft.com. Some of the fixes are more critical than others.

On the critical list are three items provided in a single patch:

• A security fix for the Index will prevent hackers from viewing server system logs and data files.

• A Microsoft Word and Excel fix is necessary for saving Hypertext Markup Language pages directly to Web servers from these Microsoft Office 2000 applications.

• A non-Gregorian calendar fix repairs an error in the way the year is reported for systems that are running non-Gregorian calendars.

Microsoft also made available three optional patches:

• A high-level encryption patch scrambles files at 128 bits, the highest level of encryption available for Win 2000. Without the patch, the OS defaults to 40-bit encryption.

• A patch for Zip and Jaz external drives from Iomega Corp. of Roy, Utah, lets the OS recognize the drives when they are attached to a PC's parallel port.

• Finally, what Microsoft calls a compatibility update is needed to run 48 specific applications under Win 2000. Most are games, including Doom, Star Wars and Sesame Street titles. The Microsoft FrontPage 98 Web authoring program, however, is also on the list.

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