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  • This consumer operating systems stuff is harder than 1st thought – Red Hat and Novell no longer targeting consumers with desktop Linux

    I saw this and it made me smile – looks like building a desktop OS for consumers is harder than people thought :-) And I thought consumers were more willing to put in time to fiddle too, so that makes the enterprise play even less likely for me!! Red Hat skips consumer Linux desktop Red Hat has no plans to create a traditional desktop product for the consumer market, but will continue to place its bets on a desktop for commercial markets. "We are focused on infrastructure software for the enterprise market, and to that market we are offering the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop," said Michael Chen, vice president of corporate marketing at Red Hat. "You need a different support ecosystem and applications for the consumer desktop," Chen added. Among the company's desktop goals for 2008 and 2009 is to ensure that its desktop products complement its server and middleware products, Red Hat said in a company blog post Wednesday. Red Hat's strategy is similar to that of Novell , which is currently...
  • Improved searching of Windows Servers (2003, 2008, SBS, Windows Home Server) and Windows desktops (Vista and XP) through the Windows Search 4.0 Preview which improves local and network searching

    There is a feature that I 1st found of Windows Home Server that can be applied to SBS, Windows Server, Windows Vista / XP and any other Windows system with Windows Search 3 or 4 on it. This feature is the ability to search the other machine’s index rather than the files, meaning that you can go to a file share and search 100s of GBs of files in a couple of seconds simply by using the Vista search box. The Search V4 Preview extends this ability to more versions of Windows. That is not all it does – see the note from the Windows Vista Team Blog : Announcing the Windows Search 4.0 Preview that has some information: Windows Search 4.0 introduces several improvements I'd like to call out making search even better in Windows Vista: With Windows Search 4.0, the Windows Search Team has fixed most of the reported bugs causing a majority of distractions users have seen since Windows Vista RTM - many of those bugs were reported by you. Great improvements have been made with regards to performance .Even now as Preview...
  • Available to everyone (well almost) - Windows Vista SP1 Released to Windows Update

    Today Windows Vista SP1 has made it to Windows Update for the 5 lead languages with the rest to follow over the following weeks. Lots of details at Windows Vista Team Blog : Windows Vista SP1 Released to Windows Update . Perhaps some of the most important points from the blog entry for me are listed below, but read the blog entry for all details: If in running Windows Update you do not see Windows Vista SP1 listed, there are a number of good reasons for this (Eight in fact, see the whole list ) If You have a pre-release version of SP1 and need to uninstall it before installing SP1. This is quite a chore - expect the uninstall to take 30 to 90 mins depending on hardware, then start the whole install process again!! Back in February we announced that we'd be using Windows Update to help make the update as seamless as possible for our users. Windows Update will detect drivers that we know may be problematic when updating to SP1 and will not offer the service pack until an update has been installed. More details...
  • Action Pack Subscribers get Full Windows Vista DVDs - not upgrades and they also get a copy of Ultimate too, plus a stack of materials to sell the product

    Full, not Upgrade Vista product Well anyone who says we don't listen is just talking rubbish!! What am I talking about - I'm talking about the Action Pack and Windows. We moved to non OEM media and boy did it cause a stink, but that has changed again. According to Important changes for Action Pack Subscribers regarding Windows Vista while you are still required to have a legal license for a machine (FPP or OEM) you can now apply full copies (i.e. do a bare metal install) without having to do a double install. There are also a stack of sales materials coming too (I've copied some of the points from the link below): Partner feedback has enabled Microsoft to make the Windows Vista operating system even better. Now you can reap the benefits. Sell more with hardware, software and services built around Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (SP1). And learn how we're making it easier than ever for you to learn, use and sell Windows Vista. Based on partner feedback, we've taken action to improve the partner...
  • Office Live Workspace Update for Windows Vista to enable "Open From" and "Save to" menu items in Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint

    One little feature that others might have missed with the new release of Office Live Workspace is the two nifty buttons for Office to enable direct access from the Office Live Workspace Update for Windows Vista The Office Live Workspace Update installs three Windows Vista updates (KB945435, KB945145, KB933860) and one Office 2007 update to ensure optimal performance on Windows Vista when using Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with Office Live Workspace. The update improves the performance of opening and saving Workspace documents from these Office programs. In some cases, the update also resolves problems with "Open from Office Live" and "Save to Office Live" functions of the Office Live Add-in . This update is only needed for computers running Windows Vista. Download details: Office Live Workspace Update for Windows Vista ttfn David Technorati Tags: Live , Office Live Small Business , Office Live , Office Live Workspace , Vista , Windows Vista , Save to , Open From
  • Latest news, events and downloads in the Security world from Microsoft - Windows Server 2008, Mobile, employee habits, Antigen, IPSEC, ForeFront, NAP, XP Firewall, System Center

    Each month the TRM blog product this great summary of the Microsoft world in various product areas. The blog can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ News Help your customers securely deploy Windows Server 2008 with the Windows Server 2008 Security Guide! http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=92550 Every day, adversaries attempt to invade your customers’ networks and access their servers—to bring them down, infect them with viruses, or steal information about customers or employees. Your customers are looking to Microsoft and Windows Server® 2008 to help them address these threats. To assist customers in taking full advantage of the rich security features in Windows Server 2008, Microsoft has developed the Windows Server 2008 Security Guide. The Windows Server 2008 Security Guide provides IT professionals with best practices, predefined security templates, and an automated deployment tool to help strengthen the security of servers running Windows Server 2008. Supporting Your Family, Friends, and Neighbours...
  • More ways to engage with customers using the Microsoft advertising campaigns

    [updated 4th March] Many people congratulated Microsoft after the Mr Busy campaigns allowed partners to drive their customers back to them using a MS campaign. Well, this is now being repeated for a number of campaigns. Today I found the click and go site to get them all ( http://www.campaigns.arvato-services.com/ ). You can get 200 post cards or 1,000 e-mails for free and then a low price for additional cards/ e-mails if required. The campaigns covered include: Business Productivity Customer Acquisition and Retention Security and Reliability Small Business PC Mr Busy This method of engaging is not new to the Small Business team and others have covered this before (eg Susanne here ), but it is worth re-highlighting this now as some of the campaigns have been renewed, so go back and visit the site!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Marketing , Campaigns , Business Productivity , Customer Acquisition and Retention , Security and Reliability , Small Business PC , Mr Busy , Partner , SME , Small Business Server...
  • Microsoft drops the price of retail versions of Vista significantly all over the world, but plenty in the UK

    I saw some people talking about this on the Yahoo groups and on the blogs, so thought I would do some investigating. The retail price has moved quite nicely in the UK .. in the following blog they talk about a drop of upto 40+% in the UK, while US prices only dropped 20% http://hackinthebox.org/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=25990 - Microsoft is cutting the retail price of its Windows Vista operating system by as much as 39% here in New Zealand. Prices in the US will drop 20% and in the UK and Europe, savings of up to 46% are available on some versions. On Friday, Microsoft announced sweeping price cuts to boxed copies of Vista, saying then that the cuts would range from as low as 3% in developed countries to nearly 50% for some editions sold in poorer nations. Prices just released by the local Microsoft office show that New Zealand has done pretty well with a drop of 39% for the top Vista Ultimate from $979 to $599, and a 24% drop for the Home Premium edition from $589 to $449. Home Basic also drops...
  • Technical RollUp : March 2008 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms (Windows, virtualisation, Active Directory, Core, Debugging, Terminal Services, Vista SP1 changes / new / implementation guides)

    As always, from the Technical RollUp : March 2008 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms blog posting. I've removed all the KB article stuff and it is worth pointing out that towards the end of the list are all the docs associated with what has changed with Windows Vista SP1: Blogs and information Windows Virtualization Team Blog http://blogs.technet.com/virtualization/ The World Simplified is a Virtual World http://blogs.technet.com/virtualworld/ Ask the Directory Services Team http://blogs.technet.com/askds/ Ask the Performance Team http://blogs.technet.com/askperf/ Microsoft Enterprise Networking Team http://blogs.technet.com/networking/ Ask the Core Team http://blogs.technet.com/askcore/ Microsoft Advanced Windows Debugging and Troubleshooting http://blogs.msdn.com/ntdebugging/ Terminal Services Team Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/ts/ The Hot Blog http://blogs.technet.com/hot/ Downloads Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP1 Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 (WSUS 3.0 SP1) delivers updates to...
  • All change - Windows Vista SP1 here now for technical customers - it was delayed. It is still a little way away for non-technical people

    Last week Microsoft announced SP1 for Vista to the world , but then said some device drivers were causing problems so there would be a delay to enabled those to be resolved. That is the device drivers, not SP1. Well, as you can imagine, there was a fair amount of noise around this, so the rollout has been changed to enable technical people who were on the beta and MSDN & Technet Plus people to get it much earlier. Someone once asked me why we could not get things on the web quicker - well, if you have a few million people downloading something at the same time it has a hit, so all releases, even system updates, have an element of staggering. From the blog posting Windows Vista Team Blog : Windows Vista SP1 availability for technical customers some salient points are: On Monday (February 4th), we announced the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). Overall, people are excited to hear that we have reached this milestone, but some are disappointed they are not able to immediately...
  • Is your network going to be IPv6 ready?

    You remember IPv6 - it was that thing that people didn't like in Vista and tried to turn it off? Well it is coming and it is coming quickly. I saw this and thought I would remind everyone that what you know about IPv4 is no longer going to be enough. Is your network technology and software up to the task? Switch To IPv6 On Internet's Root Servers Begins The current version -- IPv4, which can accommodate 4.3 billion addresses -- would have run out of addresses by 2012, experts predict. The switch to a new Internet address format has begun, as Web overseers look to provide a pool of virtually unlimited addresses to support the growing number of Internet-connected devices. On Monday, records written in IPv6 were added to the Internet's root servers, making it possible for the first time for computer systems to communicate via the Web using only the new format, the London-based BBC news agency reported. The development marks a milestone in the conversion from IPv4. Switch To IPv6 On Internet's Root...
  • How to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 on Windows Vista

    My boss had some problems on his PC after installing some tools onto it and upon further diagnosis it appeared to be that the .Net Framework had been corrupted. We did all the usual things of looking in "Add/Remove Programs" etc, adding service packs etc all to no avail. I then came across this blog entry and a fix started to come to light How to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 on Windows Vista Since the Windows Vista public launch in January 2007, I have been receiving questions about how to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 to try to resolve various bugs. As I previously described here , the 2.0 and 3.0 versions are installed as OS components on Windows Vista and do not appear in the Programs and Features (formerly known as Add/Remove Programs) control panel. Many of the customers I have heard from have tried to use the .NET Framework cleanup tool , but it does not list the .NET Framework 2.0 as a valid removal option when it is run on Windows Vista. This is by design - the cleanup tool does...
  • New build of Vista SP1 RC Preview to load and rumour that Vista SP1 Confirmed for February 15

    I've been running Vista SP1 builds for a while and I like them. I don't like the process of changing builds which is "simply" a case of uninstalling the old build, letting it reboot twice, updating the registry, doing find updates in windows update, reboot, do it again, reboot, do it again, wait 15 mins, do it again, then let it install for a chunk of time, reboot twice more. Now, you won't have this fun when the "real" update comes out, but us testers simply enjoy this process!! To get the latest preview go to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=529d992a-d69e-4c73-9213-7a7f3852c0ca&DisplayLang=en Vista SP1 Confirmed for February 15 – XP SP3 Too? Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is just around the corner. Despite the fact that Microsoft continues to point to the first quarter of 2008 as the deadline for the delivery of Vista's first service pack, it appears that the refresh will drop as early as next month. According to the Redmond company, Vista SP1 is...
  • Report: Small businesses moving to Vista fastest | InfoWorld | News | 2008-01-14 | By Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service

    Yes this is a US report, but I believe a similar move is happening in the UK Nearly half of businesses polled in a recent survey are in some phase of updating to Vista, and of those companies, 53 percent are small businesses By Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service January 14, 2008 Nearly half of businesses are in some phase of preparing to update desktops to Windows Vista with small businesses moving the fastest to implement the OS, according to a new report released Monday. The number of organizations evaluating and testing Vista increased from 29 percent in February 2007 to 48 percent by early November 2007, found the report, commissioned by reseller CDW and based on information collected by Walker Information from 772 IT decision makers. Moreover, about 35 percent of companies are currently implementing or have implemented Vista already, compared to 12 percent last February, the report said. The report is the third of a wave of reports on Vista adoption that CDW has done since the OS was in its final testing...
  • CES (Computer Electronics Show) is coming and Microsoft will be there. Want to learn more and watch the keynote...

    I love CES. Yes, it is not business oriented, but it is great to see what everyone / anyone is doing in the consumer end of the market. Microsoft have a little silverlight site for people to find out more: This site can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/ces/ :-) Notice the areas we will be talking about at the bottom of the screen shot - Windows Vista, Xbox 360, Zune, Office, Windows Live, Windows Mobile and Games for Windows... rock on!! You can find links to more information, more ways to view etc at http://www.istartedsomething.com/20080105/bill-gates-ces-2008-keynote/ ttfn David (still officially on holiday)
  • Samba developers can now see the Windows Protocols, make their products more interoperable with Microsoft Windows and see where Patents are to then choose to avoid or license

    I have never been known to sugar coat my opinion and one that has been forming recently is that much of the EU work on opening the Windows Media player is undesired by the consumers or the industry. This is my opinion, but I've seen no evidence to the contra. However, the licensing of protocols, while I don't wholly agree with the pricing structure, I see it as a good thing. This is a classic example of a de-facto standard working how it should. Today yet another organisation licensed the protocols, this time for the Samba community (with restrictions on redistribution and patent awareness) and this should deliver the reality of "interoperability, not standards" that I personally feel is the true desire of the world. Update: Microsoft to hand over Windows secrets to Samba team | InfoWorld | News | 2007-12-20 | By Robert McMillan, IDG News Service Developers of open-source Samba software will find their work a little easier thanks to an agreement with Microsoft, signed Thursday, that will give...
  • Post Install Issues with MS07-069 (IE6 on XPSP2) - Internet Explorer 6 crashes on launch

    Just a quick one for those of you on XP SP2 with the latest security updates. There is a risk of seeing IE start crashing following this update. You have two choices: Don't install the security update - always a bad idea Install the update and deploy a registry fix to solve the problem. The IE team have documented it at Post Install Issues with MS07-069 (IE6 on XPSP2) After downloading the Internet Explorer Cumulative Security Update for December 2007, some customers using IE6 on Windows XP Service Pack 2 have experienced an unexpected crash or hang upon launching Internet Explorer. This might occur while navigating to a website hosting considerable media content (for example: http://msn.com ) resulting in Internet Explorer displaying a dialog that states “Internet Explorer has experienced a problem and needs to close”. If you experience this issue, implement the applicable workaround provided in the following knowledge base article: Microsoft Knowledge Base article 946627 For your security, we strongly recommend...
  • Windows Vista SP1 Guides for IT Professionals - download details

    If you do plan to deploy Windows Vista then you need to be aware of the information that these guides can give you: Windows Vista SP1 Guides for IT Professionals These guides will assist IT Professionals in evaluating and deploying Windows Vista SP1 and are downloadable versions of the SP1 guides found in the Windows Vista Technical Library . (http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsVista/en/library/90a564b9-34af-4a6b-937f-324e1862244b1033.mspx) Files in This Download The links in this section correspond to separate files available in this download. Download the files most appropriate for you. Deployment_Guide_for_the_Release_Candidate_Version_of_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1.doc Enterprise_Guidance_for_Application_Compatibility_Testing_and_Windows_Vista_SP1.doc Hotfixes_and_Security_Updates_included_in_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1.doc Notable_Changes_in_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1_Release_Candidate.doc Overview_of_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1.doc Download details: Windows Vista SP1 Guides for IT Professionals ttfn...
  • How to get Windows Vista Service Pack 1 RC (legitimately) via the Public Availability Program

    I knew this was coming, but I've not seen it shouted too much. My machine feels more responsive and some operations as mentioned before are faster. If you read the Windows Vista team blog Windows Vista SP1 RC now available for public download you would think it is only available to MSDN and Technet customers. It does have some good pointers though. We're making available today the RC release of Windows Vista SP1, found here on MSDN and here on TechNet , with an FAQ here . I invite you to download, install and use the SP1 RC and let us know about your experience by providing your feedback here . Before you install SP1 RC, please bear in mind the following points of advice, detailed in this short article : If you have a prior version of SP1 Beta installed, you must uninstall it prior to installing RC. This is pre-release code and will change before the final release. This pre-release software is provided for testing purposes only. Microsoft does not recommend installing this software on primary or mission...
  • More on the differences between real world Vista performance and that of a benchmark

    Following up on my articles that discuss Vista performance (I still stick by my statement that it is reasonable to expect Vista to need more resources) at More on Vista vs XP performance - why doesn't everyone want a racing car, but instead do they opt for safety, comfort or even the ability to have more than one passenger? and Vista SP1 beta vs XP SP3 beta and performance - what a load of old <insert your favourite derogatory term here> I saw this and thought it was worth sharing - especially worth watching the video!! The right time to assess Windows Vista's performance Posted by Nick White on Friday, November 30, 2007 4:29 PM Measuring the performance of an operating system is a tricky thing. At the same time, it's the right and necessary thing to do, because performance is one of many criteria important to customers. Part of the trick of measuring performance is to time testing execution with the product cycle such that the results are as meaningful as possible for customers; this helps them...
  • How to modify the Windows Vista Aurora, bubbles, mystify and ribbons screensaver hidden settings

    I saw this and thought I would share it for those who want to customise the screen savers that ship with Vista. Windows Vista Aurora Screensaver Hidden Settings For those of you who are using Windows Vista, you may have noticed that the screen savers that are included do not contain any settings. Actually, they do , but Microsoft didn't include options dialogs for them. Long Zheng posted the settings for the Bubbles, Mystify, and Ribbons screensavers back in September before Windows Vista officially shipped. But he didn't post the settings for Aurora . Through a little bit of digging and guess work, I've uncovered one registry key that actually works for customizing the Aurora screensaver. Let's get started, shall we? Kristan Kenney: Confessions of a Windows Enthusiast : Windows Vista Aurora Screensaver Hidden Settings ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista Tweaks , Windows Vista , Vista
  • More on Vista vs XP performance - why doesn't everyone want a racing car, but instead do they opt for safety, comfort or even the ability to have more than one passenger?

    Having been quotes by Vlad and others (or was this others? ), some more views worth reading here and some Windows Blog stuff here I thought I had better make myself a bit clearer. 1st off, this is MY opinion, not something that is sanctioned or designed by anyone else in Microsoft. I did benchmarking for 5 years and won plenty of business by it, but I also understand when a test is Apples to Apples and not Apples to Oranges. If the purpose of Vista was to be the fastest engine for Office 2003 (as was the test), then there is a lot that can be done to the product to make that happen, but that was not the goal, so testing it on that one goal and then saying it fails is a bit poor. You can turn off the new features that "slow" it down if you want, but then you don't get the feature. My car accelerates faster with the air-con turned off, but on hot days, being comfortable is more important that the acceleration, so I opt to go slightly slower rather than get there just a bit quicker. There is more to...
  • Is Vista really that bad or do we have rose tinted glasses - How well was Windows XP accepted in the early years

    I have had a bit of a rant with Vlad over at Vista SP1 vs. XP SP3 Performance Stats: Flawed Samples or Market Reality? and the comments are good - the communication is very worthwhile, but I thought I would share some of the "what was it like with Windows XP" reality. That does not excuse the issues people see, but rather highlights the fact that with XP, it took some time for things to bed down and hopefully what you are seeing with Vista is a more responsive Microsoft and partner eco-system. Complaints about Whistler (Windows XP and 2003) come in the form of performance, adoption rates, application compatibility, relevance - all things people are complaining about today with Windows Vista. I will say it again - ONLY DEPLOY VISTA IF IT MAKES SENSE FOR YOUR BUSINESS. What is more, only deploy Windows XP on new machines if there is a compelling reason to NOT deploy Vista . Remember that if you buy Vista Business / Ultimate and downgrade you can then re-load Vista at a later date without having to re-buy...
  • Another Vista UI tweak - change the size of the thumbnail (preview) picture in Vista Aero when you hover over an icon in the taskbar

    The final one from Ave, another amazing UI tweak. Thumbnail Sizer Thumbnail Sizer allows the user to change the size of Vista's Window thumbnails that show when one hovers over the taskbar button for the window. download from Ave's Vista Apps ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Vista Tweaks , Vista
  • 3D Rotating (swaying gently back and forth) User Pictures in Windows Vista Start Menu

    Another User interface trick that I am now using from Vishal's blog - it just adds minor touches to Vistas UI. 3D Rotating User Pic in Windows Vista Start Menu Ave’s 3D UserPic In the old longhorn 4xxx days, the startmenu user picture was more animated as it was today. Today, we get a cheap alpha-fading effect when you hover over an item: the user picture simply blends with the icon for a while. Back in the days, the user picture was actually rotating when you had the start menu opened. This application tries to achieve that effect. Screenshot ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista Tweaks , Windows Vista , Vista

(c)David Overton 2006-21