Archives / 2007 / September
  • Ultimate Extras team responds

    Tags: Windows Vista

    Barry Goffe, Director of Windows Vista Ultimate, has now responded to the last days of angry posts on the non-existing upcoming Extras for Windows Vista Ultimate.

    DreamScene In his post he announces that Windows DreamScene now is officially released. I really hope that this is not a release that has been forced out from the Redmond buildings, due to the complaints, but instead something that actually works smooth. The language packs are still on delay - let them wait until they are ready, but keep us informed (not only when you are forced to!).

    There are no more information on other upcoming Extras more than that they will continue to release "Extras that [they] are confident will delight our passionate Windows Vista Ultimate customers".

    Mr. Goffe also comments on why  the Extras information in Vista SP1 has been trimmed down to a minimum with:

    Our intent in making this change was simply to broaden the definition in anticipation of a broader range of Ultimate Extras being available in the future—that do  not necessarily map to the original, narrow definition.

    A tip for Mr. Goffe and the Extras team; why don't you invite some external beta testers for  the  Extras, and let them test them and with your knowledge "leak" some information to the public. This is a well-known method for creating a hype and keeping the crowd informed  on the development. If you do decide to take this approach, and be more open, don't hesitate to contact me.

  • Office 2003 Service Pack 3 needed Office 2007 - can't be right!

    Tags: Microsoft Office

    Today the Office 2003 Service Pack 3 popped up in my Windows Update (Vista Ultimate) as an important update. Duh! I have only installed Office 2007, as far as I know!?

    Office 2003 SP3 in Windows Update

    But after a check in Programs and Features of Vista I found out that I sometime installed the Microsoft Office 2003 Web Components and Office 2003 SP3 applies to the OWC. So the update was not for Office 2007...

    2003 Web Components in Programs and Features

    So let's install it!


  • Vista Ultimate - the Ultimate disappointment

    Tags: Windows Vista

    The summer is now officially over and there has not been any Windows Vista Ultimate Extras as promised! In July, the Ultimate team the Ultimate Team directory promised us a that the remaining language packs and DreamScene would be released, so far no trace of them!

    Windows Vista Ultimate with the Ultimate Extras was a smart way to get consumers to pay a whole lot of extra money, about 60% more than the Home Premium version, to get nothing! Yes, there has been some extras released, but that was like 8 months ago! Since then we have seen some language packs removed and a technical preview of DreamScene.

    During the spring I several times tried to get in contact with the Ultimate Team to ask some questions about the Extras and they all said - "sure, no problem". But once they got the questions I heard nothing (except for one who said he was not the correct person to answer the questions).

    Long Zheng has a nice article on The Ultimate Con, in which he shows how Microsoft tries to wash out the Extras information in Vista in Vista Service Pack 1.

    I have not, since a few months back, recommended Windows Vista Ultimate to friends and colleagues - it's a waste of money. You can upgrade if the team in the future get some speed or competence to deliver something good and useful.

  • msfeedicon reviewed by

    Tags: msfeedicon

    I'm really happy that CNET has reviewed my application msfeedicon, a free RSS plugin to the Windows RSS platform. The rating is 4 stars of possible 5 and here is the review:

    c|net review of msfeediconIf you cant get through the day without checking your RSS feed subscriptions, you'll be glad to know about Msfeedicon: It perks up and simplifies Internet Explorer's RSS feature by adding some functionality. There's one caveat: The tagging feature described by the publisher didn't work in our tests.

    After installation and a reboot, this little IE add-on dropped an RSS icon in our system tray. When we held the cursor over the icon, a small alert popped up with the number of unread posts in the updated feeds. Although Msfeedicon is tied to IE, clicking the icon opened our default browser instead of IE. The publisher updates this utility frequently, so we wouldn't be surprised if an upcoming version addresses that issue so you can configure Msfeedicon to open IE despite your default browser setting.

    An alert popped up when feeds were updated. Although the publisher describes a Tags feature that will pick up feeds on related topics, we weren't able to make this feature work during our tests. Still, the ease of use and its space-saving component (no more keeping Favorites Center open to be alerted to updates) make this a recommended tool for RSS-feed devotees.

    The review is pretty good, but "complains" on the Tag feature, which I think that the reviewer has misunderstood. Although the comments on the feature has given me a nice possible enhancement opportunity.

    I am currently rebuilding msfeedicon from scratch to include some nice suggestions from users and adding some new features. Msfeedicon 3 will also include a new interface, that at least I think it looks nicer.

    There will be some kind of beta in the near future and if you are interested in participating or if you have any feature suggestions, please contact me.

    I'm heading for that last star!

  • XPS standardization proceeds

    Tags: XPS, Office Open XML

    Documents The standardization of the XML Paper Specification (XPS) as an ECMA International standard proceeds. Adrian Ford reports that the initial working draft has been published on the ECMA web site.

    There are no major changes as of now to the original specification by Microsoft, but rather some editorial changes, read the latest draft here (available as PDF or XPS). Lets hope that the ECMA TC has learned from the recent Office Open XML ISO failure and get rid of all these non-issues that most of the OOXML comments really was about.

    XPS and OOXML both uses the Open Packaging Convention (OPC), and I would like to know how ECMA will handle this part of these standards. Will XPS reference OOXML, or OOXML reference XPS or will OPC be a separate standard?

    The next meeting for the TC is in late September, so I hope we get some nice reports from that meeting within a few weeks.

  • Great blog for SharePoint end-users

    Tags: SharePoint, Microsoft Office

    Users The net is crowded with SharePoint blogs, including this one, and I have missed one thing - information for the end-users. I think that there is a great void in knowledge for SharePoint users out there,for example how to use SharePoint as an end-user in the most efficient way, how to do the simple stuff such as creating sites or lists etc.

    Today I stumbled upon "Get the 'Point" by Suzanne Ross, which has a focus on the SharePoint end-users. The blog is quite new but features a two-part article series on how to set up a Team Site. It does not sound like rocket science to us developers, but hint you customers and/or users about this blog.

    If you help your users get to know what can be done in SharePoint you will all gain from it - the will realize the potential of WSS and MOSS and you will most likely get rid of all these "simple support questions" that only take up your precious time.

  • Windows Live Developer Community launched

    Tags: Windows Live Writer, Windows Live, Silverlight


    A new developers community for Windows Live developers - Via Windows Live - has just been launched. The community site contains sections about Silverlight, Live ID, Live Writer, Messenger, Alerts and all the other Live products.

    As of now the content is quite thin, but it's up to you/us to fill it with useful information. Just register and then start using it. The site has a Wiki, a Gallery, Articles and more. And you can subscribe to the "aggregated blog of everything Windows Live".

    Why Via Windows Live uses their own login procedure instead of Live ID gives me a headache, but that's just me...

  • Do you think you have the best Vista Ultimate Media Center?

    Tags: Windows Vista, Windows Media Center

    image If so, then you have the chance of winning a grand prize by Microsoft.

    Microsoft has announced a Windows Media Center - Ultimate Install Contest in which they are looking for the best (finest and most creative) installation of Windows Vista Ultimate Media Center. If it is you, then send in your submission before November 1st, 2007 (for where to send the stuff, look at the link above). The winner will be announced at Electronic House (EH) Expo Fall 2007.

    If you don't have the best solution yet, then head over to and look for great components and start building...

  • Silverlight 1.0 Released

    Tags: .NET, Internet Explorer, Silverlight

    Silverlight Finally Microsoft has released Silverlight 1.0 - Microsofts new streaming media platform which aims to compete with Adobe Flash.

    Silverlight is a cross-platform and cross-browser plugin with focus on delivering high performing graphical web interfaces, with support for Windows and Mac OS. Download the final release here. The download page still says Silverlight 1.0 RC , but the RC will automatically update to the final version.

    For Linux there is a project under the Mono umbrella called Moonlight which will provide a Linux implementation of Silverlight.

    Full press release here.

  • No ISO approval of Office Open XML

    Tags: Office Open XML

    No! ECMA Office Open XML (ISO/IEC DIS 29500) will not get an approval from ISO, as of now.

    This is what almost everyone expected after the last week of turbulence. Now we can hopefully look forward to some constructive work on all the recieved comments on the specification from ECMA and Microsoft. This will in the end make a better OOXML specification and I hope it will be approved in february of 2008.

    Here are some more links:

    I'll get back when we have something official...

  • Royalty-free specifications for Microsoft Office binary file formats

    Tags: Microsoft Office, Office Open XML

    Word 97 splash screen Yes, you read it right! Microsoft now offers a royalty-free file format program for the Microsoft Office Binary File Format (the old .doc, .xls and .ppt used in previous versions of Microsoft Office).

    Microsoft Office 2007 is built-upon the Office Open XML file format which is an ECMA International standard, and an ISO proposal (you have all read about it). But some of us still have application and/or customers that heavily rely on the old binary format. Until now it has been a mess doing something with these documents (for example in the SharePoint event handlers) or producing them without expensive 3rd party applications. We have solved it in some cases by making compressed HTML files (.mht) and renamed them to .doc (it actually works smooth). But if you still have to dig in to the old binary formats you can recieve the binary file formats specifications, which covers the latest versions as well as earlier ones, you can send an e-mail to Microsoft and request an agreement which you have to sign. I have not read up on all the legal issues, but you can read the agreement here.

    For more information and the e-mail to use is found under the KB article 840817.

  • HTTP 403 Forbidden in a SharePoint site when adding members

    Tags: .NET, SharePoint

    When I was installing a new Windows SharePoint Services 3 site today I HTTP 403 Forbiddenstumpled upon an error I've never seen in SharePoint before. It was when I was trying to add new users in the People and Groups administration. It was not a "normal" error page but instead a  HTTP 403 Forbidden message was thrown when going to the /_layouts/aclinv.aspx page. This was on a brand new server instance, with everything patched and up to date.

    After some research I came across a thread on MSDN forums where this is discussed. Some suggests renaming the web.config file, refreshing the page, renaming web.config back and the try again as one possible solution, this did not work for me.

    The second suggestion was to remove an ASP.NET version 2 hot fix, KB928365, and it helped me! Now I can add users and groups the the WSS site. Remove it using Add or Remove programs, and don't forget to check the Show Updates checkbox.


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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