Archives / 2007 / June
  • XPS soon as a formal ECMA standard

    Tags: Microsoft Office, XPS

    ECMA International has started a technical committee, TC46 - XML Paper Specification (XPS), to "produce a formal standard for an XML-based electronic paper format". One of the points in the TC46 programme is to consider a submission of the XPS format as an ISO standard.

    This is really good news to all users of the XPS format and is really vital if XPS is going to be able to compete with the PDF format (which already is an ISO standard, ISO 19005-1:2005/ISO/DIS 32000).

    TC45 - Office Open XML Formats, the XML based format used in Office 2007 is currently in the ISO approval process and if all the ISO members approve of it, as ISO/IEC 29500, then XPS will probably have a good chance in the possible ISO process. Office Open XML and XPS share a lot of common grounds, such as the way the documents are packaged.

    You can read more about the XPS format in my Dissecting XPS series.

  • Freebase Alpha invitations

    Tags: Internet and the Web

    imageI have recieved five invitations for the alpha of Freebase, the first five comments on this post with a valid e-mail adress will be invited.

    Freebase is "a structured, searchable, writeable and editable database built by a community of contributors, and open to everyone". Everyone are allowed to edit and add data and topics, categorized into domains, types and instances. Read more about it on the Freebase FAQ.

    Freebase is like a more structured Wikipedia.

    Freebase has a nice API for creating Freebase enabled applications. You can easily query and edit the Freebase for information using JSON.

  • Update to the XPS Essentials Pack?

    Tags: Windows Vista, XPS

    I found an update to the Microsoft XPS Essentials Pack on Microsoft Download Center today. It does not look like an update but on Vista you will get an Windows Update (.msu) package and when I run it it says that it does not apply to my machine. The download link points to the same link that the Essentials Pack was available on before, but it has a new published date (6/19/2007).

    If you take a quick look inside it refers to a MSKB article (932929) which still is not available/published.

    Anybody have any clue on this one?

    Microsoft should provide us with some history log on each download - wouldn't that be something!?

  • NiXPS 1.0 released - cross platform XPS tool

    Tags: XPS

    NiXPS v1.0 has been released and is now available as a 30 day trial or for purchase. It's available for the Windows and Mac OS/X platform.

    imageNiXPS is an XML Paper Specification, XPS, tool which can be used for inspection and manipulation XPS documents. The main features are extraction of pages, fonts and images from the document, merging of documents and find and replace.

    The other major feature is an inspection tool for examining the XPS document structure and XML as well as editing the XML.

    This is a really promising tool for the XPS world, and these are the kind of tools we need to get XPS going!

  • Safari on Windows sucks!

    Tags: Internet Explorer, Internet and the Web, Windows Vista, Software

    Yet another It sucks post! Yesterday I installed the Apple Safari browser on my Windows Vista machine. I thought that it would be nice to use the fastest web browser in the universe to do some application/site compatibility testing without having to have a Mac OS/X system.

    Yes it is a beta, so I won't complain about all the bugs and rendering problems (it might of course be the sites I'm testing but in some cases I don't think so) - I will instead complain on the ugly look and appearance of it.

    The Window

    Safari for Windows is a Windows application created by Apple for the Windows platform and nothing else. So, the window layout should apply to the Windows standards! The brushed metal thingies Apple uses don't work with me, that's one of the reasons I always disliked QuickTime. Resizing the window is only allowed in the lower right corner - don't like it either. Since I'm using Vista Aero it does not look good, no shadow nor transparency! OS/X scroll bars and all other OS/X stuff don't get me on.

    If Safari is to be some kind of success and if Apple is trying a hostile takover of the desktop then make it look and behave like a Windows application.

    Font smoothing

    Yes I've read Joels post on why Apple and Microsoft uses different methods of displaying fonts on the screen and I understand why. But it does not look pretty - it looks like someone poured water on the screen and let all the liquid crystals float around and get all blurry! I get a headache when reading text in the Safari - it feels like I'm not wearing my glasses!

    Safari blurring vs IE Clear Type

    I just had to get all this off my chest, and I'm not alone having some troubles with Safari.

    The future

    I think Safari for Windows is here to stay and not just to create another browser war (remember the good old IE and Netscape) but to recruit (read steal) developers for the iPhone scene.

    And now we don't have to get a Mac OS/X license to make website compatibility testing!

  • Windows Home Server only on pre-built systems?

    Tags: Windows Vista, Windows Media Center, Windows Server 2003

    Windows Home Server, WHS,  is a great addition to the Windows Server family, a product that I have wanted to have for a really long time. It will really help me connect my machines at home and provide great features to the connected home and make me share my digital media easier between Media Centers, laptops etc.

    I have hoped that I could turn my current Media Center, a quite powerful machine, into a Home Server later this year once it is time to build my own new Media Center. I would like to make a clean install of Windows Home Server on that old (2 1/2 years) machine after picking WHS up from my local store.

    Hockey puck But, it seems like WHS will only be provided pre-installed on systems provided from HP etc and not be available as an of-the-shelf product!

    Why!? I do not want to spend a lot of money on a designed "puck", even though I think they look nice, but having another box in my living room is out of the question (just ask my wife :-)! I want a big Home Server with plenty of space for disks, and I will place it in the attic, where it may be noisy - but cool - and running 24/7.

    Please give us the option to buy it as a regualr operating system.

  • Total Commander 7.0 released

    Tags: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Software

    image My favorite Windows Explorer replacement has finally been released in it's 7th version.

    Total Commander, which much remainds of the classic old Norton Commander, is a fast and intuitive file and folder manager by Christian Ghisler. It performs much faster than Explorer and has nice built-in features such as packing (ZIP, RAR...),  FTP support, multi-renaming, quick-access to common directories... you name it!

    Version 7 contains a number of new features and fixes, read more about them in my previous post on the subject or on the Total Commander home page.

  • Office 2007 file format support for Windows Mobile Office 2007

    Tags: Microsoft Office, Windows Vista, Windows Mobile

    I previously blogged about the lack of Office 2007 file format support in Windows Mobile 6. Today Jason Langridge revealed that you will not longer need any third party application for this - but instead Microsoft will provide an update to Microsoft Office Mobile 2007 with support for the new Office 2007 file formats (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx).

    A free update will be available for Windows Mobile 6 and 5 devices and all new shipped devices will have it in the ROM, all starting in Q3 of 2007.

    This is really good news for all us Windows Mobile and Office 2007 users and I think it's great that the update is supported on Windows Mobile 5 also.

    I was just going to write that the Windows Vista Mobile Device Center was in need of an upgrade for better synchronization and device identification - then I found that John Kennedy announced the Windows Mobile Device Center 6.1 for Windows Vista has been released.

  • is now live!

    Tags: Windows Media Center, Hardware

    image The Windows Media Center Components Database is now live! MCE components is a site which targets Windows Media Center self-builders with help to choose components and to see how the components work together. To help build the database you can add your own system and grade it to help others out.

    There are currently about 100 systems entered into the database and it will keep growing, as long as you help out. When you are adding your system you will rate it, on a scale 1 to 5, in stability, noise and performance. You can also enter your Windows Experience Index stats, if you are using Vista.

    To use it you just select which component you are interested in. For example Graphics->NVIDIA->Ge Force 6600. This will show you that three other systems have that graphics card and from there you can see how well these systems perform and what other components these systems use.

    The site is just launched but it is already a good source of MCE components, and there are still some Coming Soons. To keep you up to date of the site, subscribe to the feed.

    With all that data gathered I really would like to see these features implemented:

    • Average stats/experience index for each selected component
    • Most highly performing components
    • The most quiet system

    Good job Paul!

  • Open Xml SDK CTP available now

    Tags: .NET, XML, Microsoft Office

    Microsoft has released a CTP for Microsoft SDK for Open XML Formats, which can be downloaded here.

    The SDK contains a strongly typed library, built on top of System.IO.Packaging namespace, for creating documents based on the Open XML Format. Great, now we don't have to use the System.Xml.XmlWriter to create Office 2007 documents.

    Here is a sample on how to write out the number of characters in a Word 2007 document:

    XmlDocument extendedProperties = new XmlDocument();
    using (WordprocessingDocument wordDocument = WordprocessingDocument.Open("document.docx", false)) {
          ExtendedFilePropertiesPart part = wordDocument.ExtendedFilePropertiesPart;
    XmlNodeList characters = extendedProperties.GetElementsByTagName("Characters");

  • New beta of Windows Live Writer

    Tags: Windows Live Writer

    You probably already have read all about the new beta of Windows Live Writer. I thought I should write some lines about some of the new really nice features.


    image WLW contains an improved linking interface. You can easily link to your previous posts or to a link in the Link Glossary, using the Link to button, which allows you to write down (remember) a number of links that you often use in your blog posts. When you create a new link you can check the Add to link glossary checkbox and the link will be added to your glossary. The glossary is also accessible from the Tools->Options dialog.

    The WLW Customization API

    One of the coolest features is the WLW Provider Customization API, which allows you to customize the capabilities and of WLW and it's interface. Scott Hanselman writes all about it.


    image A minor, but good feature, is the remainders of titles, categories and tags.


    Plugins from the previous beta still works; you can get them from the Windows Live Gallery or download my own two from here; MSDN Locator and Acronyms.

About Wictor...

Wictor Wilén is the Nordic Digital Workplace Lead working at Avanade. Wictor has achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) - SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) - SharePoint  and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) - SharePoint 2010 certifications. He has also been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for seven consecutive years.

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