Joshua Hoffman

We certainly live in interesting times. It's impossible to glance at the news and not hear about another brutal day on the stock market or another age-old institution on the verge of collapse. Surely every generation has seen its ups and downs, its share of economic prosperity and its equal share of distress. Sadly, today, we find ourselves experiencing the latter—a financial downturn on a massive scale, rippling through our now global economy.

Each of us experiences these peaks and valleys in different ways, but it's probably relatively safe to say that in this particular course of events, few have remained unscathed. Unfortunately, TechNet Magazine is no exception, so I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge and thank those members of our staff who have been most directly impacted by these events. Hopefully they know how much their hard work and dedication has been valued by our entire community over the years. They leave behind a lasting legacy of skill, commitment, and quality that is permanently engrained in these pages. For that, and for having been able to call each one of them a friend, I am truly grateful. I think I can speak for everyone here, as well as our reader community, in wishing each one of them every bit of luck and success as they forge ahead to conquer their next great challenge.

But, in age-old tradition, the show must go on. So we too forge ahead and bring you another edition of TechNet Magazine packed with information aimed at making your lives easier. We focus first this month on the imminent release of Internet Explorer 8. In our time, and especially in our line of work, it's pretty difficult to imagine a day going by without some sort of Internet experience. Virtually every aspect of this latest release of Internet Explorer strives to improve that experience by leaps and bounds. From Web Slices and Accelerators to InPrivate Filtering and Tab Grouping, to standards compliance, developer tools, and more, there's something here for everyone. Matt Hester digs in to show you everything that's new, and I think you'll be pretty impressed.

Of course, it doesn't stop there. John Policelli discusses Active Directory schemas, Rajesh Ramanathan talks about Voice Conferencing in OCS, Greg Stemp and Jean Ross walk us through Communicator Web Access, and Joshua Kunken highlights his organization's recent success with High Performance Computing. And many of our regular columnists join us this month as well, including Don Jones, Pav Cherny, Paul Randal, Greg Shields, Jesper Johansson, Raymond Chen and more. Enjoy!

—Joshua Hoffman

Thanks to the following Microsoft technical experts: Chris Bellee, Tim Carroll, Elden Christensen, Steve Ekren, Justin Hall, Jim Harper, Rick Kingslan, Sanjeev Nair, Dan Reger, Dhigha Sekaran, Omar Sinno, Ken Tamaru, Kimberly L. Tripp, and Jim Truher.