From the Editor

When we launched TechNet Magazine a year ago, our goal was to serve the needs of the working IT professional. We knew that no matter how long you’ve been working in IT, there’s always something new to learn. The need to stay current keeps the work interesting, but can also make it seem daunting at times.

Magazine publishers face similar challenges. For each issue we must present fresh and pertinent topics, and we quickly realize that there is a vast amount of valuable information that we have to distill for our readers. The biggest challenge facing any good publisher is packing all the information into a limited number of pages. Balancing the topics we present in each issue becomes the key goal of the editorial staff. One of the ways we have addressed this challenge is to give ourselves room: TechNet Magazine averages a whopping 80 pages of editorial content (we don’t count the ads in this) because we know that you come for the meat. Of course, we still have to select just the right content, and the decision is never simple.

Over the past several months, we’ve listened to hundreds of readers like you, telling us what you need to know to do your job better and to keep your skills current. While IT encompasses a huge variety of job descriptions, there are many common threads. Whether you’re supporting a large enterprise or a small shop, you need to know how to use Active Directory. The principles behind Microsoft Office are the same no matter where you work. Security is important everywhere, because you’re only as strong as your weakest link. All companies handle data. Almost all companies have e-mail. And most companies maintain some form of a Web site.

The question readers have asked most often is, of course, "when will we be seeing more of you?" Well, if you enjoyed our first two issues, we have good news. This issue brings us a step closer to our regular publication schedule. We will be coming to you bimonthly through Microsoft Tech•Ed 2006 (which takes place in June in beautiful Boston, by the way), and then we will be increasing our frequency again to publish monthly.

Our technical and acquisitions editor, Joshua Hoffman, is planning world-class coverage to help you with security, Exchange Server, Office, SQL Server, Windows, IIS, deployment, disaster recovery, and computer management, to name a few. All with our unique blend of Microsoft and non-Microsoft viewpoints.

In this issue, we tackle three major themes: IIS and the Web, patch management, and Microsoft Office. We tell you how to configure and run IIS successfully, how to boost your site’s performance, and how to look into the metabase.

Patch management has practically become a field of its own; factors like the rise of the Internet-borne virus, coupled with versions of Windows that can be more easily updated, have created a need to go beyond sneakernet and enforce cross-enterprise standards. Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), free to download from, helps you manage the distribution of updates you get through Microsoft Update. We’ll show you how to take full advantage of WSUS and take the sting out of Patch Tuesdays.

Of course, in my opinion, the best article in this issue falls within the Microsoft Office area. The author is not only insightful, he’s also dashingly handsome (as you can see from the photo above). I’m dedicating the article to every phone call I’ve ever received from my mom asking how to get back that file she was editing when the power flickered. I hope all you desktop support folks out there find it useful.—J.T.

Thank you to the following Microsoft technical experts: Bill Anderson, Rebecca Chan, Tracy Daugherty, Rebecca Dias, Bill Emmert, Brett Hill, Rick James, Jeffrey Johnson, Bryan Keller, Ajoy Krishnamoorthy, Maureen Magnotta, Vikas Malhotra, Adrian Maziak, Michael Murgolo, Brian Murphy-Booth, Steve Riley, Marc Shepard, Jeffrey Snover, Vikas Taskar, and Stephen Toub.

Active Directory, ActiveX, Excel, FrontPage, Microsoft, MSDN, MSN, Outlook, PowerPoint, SharePoint, Visual Basic, Visual Studio, Visio, Windows, Windows NT, WinFx, and Windows Server, and Windows Vista are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Other trademarks or trade names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

Microsoft Corporation makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, with respect to any code or other information herein, and disclaims any liability whatsoever for any use of such code or other information.

© 2008 Microsoft Corporation and CMP Media, LLC. All rights reserved; reproduction in part or in whole without permission is prohibited.