Visual Studio

Local SharePoint 2010 development on Windows 7 - awesome experience

I thought I should share my experience on working with SharePoint 2010 development on Windows 7. My previous posts on installing SharePoint 2007 on Vista and Windows 7 are posts that are quite popular. The downside with the “old” SharePoint version is that it was not officially supported to install it on a client machine, but SharePoint 2010 is supported for installation on Windows 7 and Windows Vista SP1 for development purposes.

Visual Studio

Tip: Store your Codeplex passwords

Here is a tip for you Codeplex users out there. If you are using the Visual Studio and the Team Foundation source control then you are prompted for username and password every time you open up a project. This dialog does not contain any functionality to store the username and password. If you are often opening projects and/or switching projects entering usernames and passwords can get annoying. If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7 you can store the usernames and passwords in a pretty secured way using the Credentials Manager.

Windows Vista

Windows Search Index Tool - updated

I made some updates to my Windows Search Index Tool so it also displays all the inclusion and exclusion rules and even functionality for adding and removing rules. So now you can easily exclude folders by creating a rule like this: On the Rules tab, click on the Add button. The button should only be enabled if you are running in elevated privileges on Vista. Enter the pattern, like the image shows and choose if it is an inclusion or exclusion rule and hit Add.

Windows Vista

Introducing Windows Search Index Tool

Windows Search is a great for indexing your files and is included in Windows Vista by default (version 3). Version 4 is available for download from the Microsoft site. I recently had some problems when my index suddenly was corrupt and I had to restart indexing all files, which takes a long time if you are using your computer and do not want it to interfere with your work. Somehow it started working again but I have not been able to get it to index up all my files, there are always files left to index.

Security

In defense of User Account Control

Everybody has something to say about Windows Vista, good and bad. Most often I hear complaints and especially on the User Account Control. Today the Swedish IDG website had an article about the 10 most annoying things with Vista and how to solve them, and of course one of them was about the poor UAC. I must say, and I have been using Vista since before RTM, and only found the UAC annoying during the first few days, when installing the machine.

Windows Vista

Tinker - the new Ultimate Extras game

Once upon a time Microsoft decided to give the users of Windows Vista the opportunity to buy an extra expensive version – called Vista Ultimate. Buyers of this version would eventually get some nice and exclusive content and applications to their sweet new operating system. Microsoft did deliver some nice enhancements such as animated backgrounds and new sound schemes – certainly worth the extra cost. As time went on people waited for the real Ultimate Extra to be delivered…

Personal

Summertime

It’s summer and time for some vacation, finally. This year has been hard work so far – and I don’t expect it to get lighter this upcoming autumn and winter. I’ve had fun though! Microsoft SharePoint has really been one thing occupying my work – it feels like everyone is not just looking at SharePoint, they want to use it now! We have a couple of cases that is really interesting and I hope that I have convinced them and proposed a nice solution.

Windows Vista

Origami and Media Center - two interfaces that should marry!

Microsoft recently released the Origami Experience 2.0 for Windows Vista, download it here. This is an update to the Microsoft UMPC interface. The Origami Experience is designed for small screens with touch-capabilities, but after just trying it out on my laptop with Vista Ultimate I figured – some of these features would fit into the Media Center interface perfectly. There are a lot to say about the Windows Media Center interface, I think it is quite good – needs some fixes though; why are films divided in three categories – Videos, Recorded TV and DVD’s?

Windows Vista

Windows Vista performance tips

Author, editor and blogger, Ed Bott is currently publishing a series called Fixing Windows Vista, which contains really nice information and instructions on how to get the most out of your Vista machine. Currently three parts has been published: Fixing Windows Vista, one machine at a time Ed Bott shows how to install a clean Vista with the latest drivers (which is the most important thing on any Vista system) on a Sony Vaio.

SharePoint

Open linked Office documents in the application instead of in Internet Explorer

I have several time stumbled upon clients who complain that their hyper linked Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) opens up in the web browser, Internet Explorer, instead of in their respectively Office application. In SharePoint document libraries these problems are solved using a special JavaScript that fires up the correct application, but today I had a client complaining about this problem when having Office documents linked in a Wiki. So I dug up some information from the Microsoft Knowledge Base on this matter and though I should share it (or at least have it written down for future reference).

Windows Vista

Vista SP1 is imminent and Windows Server 2008 is RTM

The Release Notes for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 just appeared on the Microsoft Downloads Site. And just after this Microsoft posted a Media Alert: Microsoft Releases Windows Vista Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2008 to Manufacturing. Finally! Vista Service Pack 1 will be available “to customers in March” and Windows Server 2008 will “be available […] on March 1”. When will it be available on Microsoft Downloads or for MSDN/TechNet Subscribers?

Windows Vista

Possible solution to the missing icons in the Vista Notification Area

Finally there is a possible workaround for the missing icons in the Vista Notification Area, see my post from march 2007. The workaround is documented in KB945011 - “System icons may not appear in the notification area on a Windows Vista-based computer until you restart the computer”. It’s the network, power and volume icons in the notification area that suffers from this problem. The KB article pins down the cause due to heavy processing on a Vista based machine during the first startup and that it typically not reoccur after the first reboot.

SharePoint

How to get Remote Debugging work properly

Remote Debugging is a great feature to use, especially when you work with virtual machines. It allows you to develop and debug locally but have the code running on another machine, virtual or physical. Microsoft SharePoint can’t be installed on a Windows Vista or XP workstation, but needs to be installed on Windows Server 2003 or 2008, so the general recommendations has been for developers to have either Windows Server as their main OS or have a virtual machine with Windows Server.

SharePoint

SharePoint, Vista and Office 2007 security problems solved

For the last year I have had really annoying security troubles when working with documents in SharePoint (2003 or 2007, WSS or MOSS) on my Windows Vista machine with Office 2007. Every time I have opened up a document for editing the Office applications have asked me to log in to access the document. I have been able to press Cancel three times, but then the document is opened up in read-only mode.

Microsoft

What is the Digital Locker?

When using BitLocker or encrypting your file system with EFS on Windows Vista, you will be using certificates and/or passwords. If these certificates or passwords are lost the chance that you loose the information and data on the disks that are protected is very likely. The certificates can of course be backed up on removable media or similar. But storing these kind of crucial information bits on a remote location is of course the best way and you should do that.

Windows XP

Vista Ultimate Language Packs finally released

Finally the Windows Vista Ultimate Extras team released the remaining 19 language packs for Windows Vista Ultimate. The language packs allows Vista Ultimate users to easily switch between different languages in the Vista user interface. The language packs are maybe not the most exciting feature for Windows Vista and I believe that this should not just be an exclusive add-on for high-end users (the ones who buy the, as of today, very expensive Ultimate version) of Vista.

Internet Explorer

Leaks in Internet Explorer 7, part 2

Yesterday I wrote about Internet Explorer 7 starting to behave like mad when reading feeds with the built-in Feeds functionality. This morning when reading my feeds I specifically studied the usage of GDI Objects in the Task Manager, and these are my findings: GDI Objects Action 1.656 After started IE7 and watched first feed 6.037 After reading about 20 different feeds, in the same IE7 tab 811 Browsed to a non-feed site in the same tab

Internet Explorer

Leaks in Internet Explorer 7

Internet Explorer 7 has great RSS reader features based on the Windows RSS Platform but I have seen it degrade over the last few months as my number of subscribed feeds and new posts has increased. Every morning when I get to the office I have a few hundred of unread items to go through, see sample statistics from msfeedicon to the right. I have a pretty modern Dell XPS m1210 machine with 2 GB of memory and as I start reading these feeds Windows starts to trash and finally totally goes nuts.

SharePoint

Microsoft confirms Office 2007, Vista and SharePoint security problems

The Microsoft SharePoint blog has a new post called “Known issue: Office 2007 on Windows Vista prompts for user credentials when opening documents in a SharePoint 2007 site". The article is a result of many reported support cases on this issue and contains a few possible (I repeat possible) workarounds. We have had this problem ourselves and on several customers. In some cases these workarounds really work, but most of the times not.

Windows Vista

Three more updates for Windows Vista

Microsoft has released three more updates for Windows Vista mainly targeting performance, stability and reliability, one thing that Microsoft and Vista currently lacks. Service Pack 1 is in beta, but will not be ready for launch for several months, but to get get back some credibility for Windows Vista and to get the sales back on track I think Microsoft will continuously release these kind of updates. And of course they will get a wider target area for testing them.

Windows Vista

Ultimate Extras team responds

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. 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!

Windows Vista

Vista Ultimate - the Ultimate disappointment

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!

Windows Vista

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

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.

Windows Vista

Introduction to Vista Problem Reports and Solutions

Windows Vista contains nice functionality for reporting problems on your machine to Microsoft and to retrieve solutions for your problems using the Problem Reports and Solutions feature. To take advantage of this feature and to report problems or check for solutions you have to either enable the functionality, default behaviour, or do it manually. To access the Problem Reports and Solutions center open up the Control Panel and navigate to System and Maintenance and then click on Problem Reports and Solutions.

Windows Vista

Performance and reliablity updates for Windows Vista

Windows Vista is currently suffering from some major issues with performance and reliability when for example resuming from standby, when you are using graphic intensive applications (read playing games :-) or when you are copying files (especially over a network). As of today Microsoft has two new updates for Windows Vista targets some performance and reliability issues. Update for Windows Vista (KB938194) This one covers some cases when Vista stops responding due to display driver problems as well as some other stuff.

Microsoft Expression

Roadmap for Microsoft products for FY08 and beyond

istartedsomething dug up something interesting from the Steve Ballmer presentation at the Microsoft Show and Tell 2007. It’s a roadmap for Microsoft products for the fiscal year of 08 and beyond! Some things caught my attention: Expression Studio V2 - there will be a new version of the Expression series pretty soon Microsoft Tellme - this can be really cool. Windows Server 2008 Update Release and Service Pack 1 - wonder what nice stuff they have in the pipeline for these releases… Microsoft Surface - it will be a real product and is not just a showcase!

Windows Vista

How to use and understand the new folder structure in Windows Vista

Microsoft Windows Vista has a whole lot of new and exciting stuff and some things that may be disturbing (at least when you’re starting with Vista), like the new structure of the folders; X:\Documents and Settings has been shortened down to X:\Users which is good but then everything you are used to are changed (well almost anyway), My Documents is now called just Documents and this folder does not longer contains for example My Music, which is moved to a new location, one step up, with the new name Music.

Windows Vista

Finally some news from the Vista Ultimate Extras team

It has been awfully quiet from the Windows Vista Ultimate Extras team; no new Extras, no new hints on upcoming Extras…no nothing… Yesterday we finally got some good news, nothing exciting really but a sign of life from the Extras team. Their current plan is to ship the remaining lanugage packs and a non-beta release of DreamScene, but not until they all meet the quality requirements. There are nothing said about the upcoming extras, only that they “plan to ship a collection” of extras “over the next couple of years”.

Internet Explorer

Safari on Windows sucks!

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.

Windows Vista

Windows Home Server only on pre-built systems?

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.

Windows XP

Total Commander 7.0 released

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.

Microsoft Office

Office 2007 file format support for Windows Mobile Office 2007

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.

Microsoft Office

Dissecting XPS, part 8 - XPS Tools

This part of the Dissecting XPS series will focus on some XML Paper Specification tools that are available as of today. The success of XPS, vs PDF and others, are really depending on the number of supported devices, operating systems and tools. Right now the XPS support is limitied in applications outside the Microsoft Windows sphere, but there are plans for other operating systems. (Maybe Silverlight will boost this with the CoreCLR).

Windows XP

Annoying Windows Vista bugs - re-booting is necessary

I have been running Windows Vista for a few months now and I discover new bugs (and features) every other day. Vista does not seem so stable as it should be. It’s no big blue screens or major application crashes but small annoying stuff like not persisting settings and stuff like that. I earlier wrote about changing the start menu power button, this changed setting reverts to it’s original state about every third boot and then goes back to my changed state on the next boot!

Windows Vista

FrontView for Media Center on Windows Vista

If you have an Ahanix computer case (in my case an MCE 302-SA) with a Samsung VFD and have upgraded your HTPC system to Windows Vista you may have found out that the VFD does not work nor does the drivers available from the Ahanix web site. But to your rescue there is FrontView for MCE by Media Center Magic. FrontView is an alternative to the default drivers for numerous LCD and VFD displays (CrystalFontz, Samsung, SilverStone etc) optimized for Media Center experience and with a highly customizable interface.

Windows Vista

NVIDIA has released new beta drivers for Windows Vista

Yesterday NVIDIA released a new set of beta drivers for Microsoft Windows Vista, v 158.18. The drivers supports the GeForce 6, 7 and 8 series (not the mobile ones). Apart from a number of bug fixes and improvements (to the NVIDIA Control Panel, improved WMV playback quality and 3D performance) the new interesting feature is the PureVideo HD support. But there are numerous things for NVIDIA to fix, jus read the Release Notes.

Windows XP

Microsoft XPS Essentials Pack 1.0 RTW

Microsoft has released version 1.0 of the XML Paper Specification Essentials Pack. The pack is available for Windows Vista or Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server (both 32 bit and 64 bit versions is available). XPS Essentials Pack contains An XPS viewer called XPS Viewer EP - for reading XPS files An XPS Document writer - for printing to an XPS file Filters for previewing (IPreview) and searching (IFilter) XPS files Windows Shell handlers, for Windows Explorer integration and thumbnails Note: On Windows Vista Internet Explorer will still be the default viewer for XPS files.

XML

Dissecting XPS, part 4 - the content markup

This part in the Dissecting XPS series will take off were we ended part 3, by looking into how the actual content is marked up. The content is contained in the FixedPage element and it is marked up by three different elements the Path element which specified a geometry filled with a brush the Glyphs element which represents text the Canvas element which groups elements together The Path element The Path element is used to specify a geometry shape and optionally fill it using a brush.

Microsoft Expression

Microsoft Expression products now for MSDN subscribers

Microsoft has decided to make the Expression Blend and Expression Web products available for all MSDN Premium subscribers. This is great news for all developers, and a great enhancement to the MSDN subscription. The Expression Design application will not be included in the MSDN subscription and neither will Expression Media. I surely can understand why Media is not in but I think that Design should be included. Blend will help developers making nice WPF applications and Web will help out when making nice websites, but there is great need for nice graphics on a website and therefore I think Design should be included in the MSDN subscription.

Microsoft

Dissecting XPS, part 1 - The basics

I will in a number of posts try to explain the XML Paper Specification document format, XPS format, that has been developed by Microsoft. I think the XPS initiative is nice from a developer and ISV perspective, since creating and reading XPS documents is easy and supported from various environments. This series of XPS articles will start off with an introduction to the XML Paper Specification and then continue with general support and competitors and then of course some nice introduction on how to use XPS in applications.

Windows Vista

Missing icons in Windows Vista Notification Area

Numerous times my Windows Vista has been missing icons in the Notification Area (when did Microsoft stop calling it System Tray?). The icons that has been missing is normally Network, Volume and Power. In Windows Vista you can easily enable these three notification icons, as well as the Clock, in the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog, accessible by right-clicking the Start icon and selecting properties. But the problem is that I can’t enable these icons when they disappear after starting Vista - they are disabled.

Windows Vista

Windows Vista Ultimate Extras update information

About a week ago the released Windows Vista Ultimate Extras was updated and re-released on Windows Update with no information on the updates. The reason for the updates of BitLocker tools and Texas Hold’em game was bug fixes, localization issues and parental control issues. The information is now available in the Microsoft Knowledge Base, in these articles Windows Vista Secure Online Key Backup release information (932926) The Hold ‘Em game for Windows Vista Ultimate is available from Windows Update (932925)

Windows Vista

New NVIDIA beta drivers for Windows Vista

NVIDIA is continuing thier path to a great driver for Windows Vista. A week ago they released ForceWare 100.65 which is a WHQL certified driver, it does not contain anything revolutionary but is stable (that’s pretty good enough right now). Yesterday NVIDIA took another step forward with a beta of ForceWare 101.41 which is the driver we all have been waiting for since the launch of Vista, four months ago! Performance is better, flat panel scaling is fixed, reduced flickering when using Aero and lots of more stuff.

Microsoft Office

Preview PDF files in Microsoft Outlook 2007

Previewing files and attachments in Microsoft Outlook 2007 is one of the new killer features that makes my, and hopefully yours, life easier. When installing Outlook 2007 you will get preview functionality for the standard Microsoft applications and images. Previewing files is also integrated into the Windows Vista Explorer. Tim Heuer (mr double-snake error) has together with Foxit software created a PDF previewer. The PDF Preview Handler is easy to set up and is incredible fast in rendering PDF documents for preview.

Internet Explorer

Microsoft Windows RSS platform in unstable state

The last few days I’ve had trouble with the Windows RSS platform and Internet Explorer 7 on Windows Vista Ultimate. The feeds are updating fine but the notification has been troublesome, for example the feed folders never updated the number of unread items in the folder even though there were unread items in feeds in the folder, look at the image below. This also caused some trouble in the msfeedicon utility, the Windows RSS Platform notification application, which threw an exception for this.

Microsoft

Microsoft started using XPS as an alternative to PDF on microsoft.com

I previously wrote about that Microsoft is using PDF documents as downloads for product information on microsoft.com, instead of their own XPS format. Yesterday I was happy to see that the Virtual PC site contained a Technical Overview document available for download in XPS format, of course with references to the XPS viewer download and a “What is XPS?" link, and there are no PDF download available. I decided to check back on the some other pages on microsoft.

Windows Vista

Yet another NVIDIA Windows Vista beta driver

NVIDIA has released a new beta of the ForceWare Graphics Drivers Release 100 (100.64) for Windows Vista (32 bit and 64 bit), which is one step forward in their new official plans for a functional Windows Vista driver. According to the Release Notes there are still a lot of missing features, a lot of known issues and only a few small fixes, since the 97.46 WHQL driver. If you experience any kind of problems please go to the newly established Vista Quality Assurance program by NVIDIA and report any problems with the NVIDIA drivers.

Windows Vista

Windows DreamScene available for Windows Vista Ultimate

Windows DreamScene is now available from Windows Update. It’s a technical preview of the Ultimate Extra application and at a first glance it looks nice. To enable the animated background Personalize your Desktop Background and in the Location drop-down choose Windows DreamScene Content or any other folder that contains your animated backgrounds, see image below. The Location drop-down even contains, by default, your Videos folders so you can test one of the Sample Videos provided with Windows Vista.

Windows Vista

NVIDIA drivers for Windows Vista with overscan available in march

NVIDIA has been struggling with the drivers for Windows Vista and this has not gone unnoticable and they are even facing a possible class action. NVIDIA has now publicly released their plans for the ForceWare drivers for Vista. In short here is what we can expect: February - new WHQL certified drivers, probably not anything fancy or new about this one, big thing is that they will probably work fine March - new drivers with new features.

Windows Vista

Using Windows Vista ReadyBoost on an SD-card

Windows Vista contains a performance booster functionality called ReadyBoost which really can improve the performance of your Windows Vista system. In fact, ReadyBoost, is one of the top five Windows Vista features according to Ed Bott. In short ReadyBoost caches programs on a flash drive to speed up your Vista, reports are that a program that previously started in 10 seconds will now start in 2-4 seconds. Almost all articles I have read on this subject says that you should use an USB-stick as your ReadyBoost flash drive, but it will work with any kind of flash drive, like an SD-card.

SharePoint

Customize the Favorite Links in Windows Vista common dialogs

Microsoft Windows Vista contains new common dialogs, such as the Save As and Open dialogs, which have a new sidebar navigation to the left. The navigation can show the folder tree or your Favorite Links. Windows XP had a similar concept, but not as customizable as in Windows Vista. If you are like me and like to have your files organized and have easy access to them you can customize the Favorite Links really easy.

Windows Vista

New NVIDIA ForceWare drivers for Vista, Release 100

NVIDIA has released ForceWare Release 100 as a beta for Windows Vista, mainly to support the 8800 graphics cards but it works with all the 6/7/8 series. The Release 100 contains an updated NVIDIA Control Panel which contains new functions for scaling the display so finally I can use 100% of my plasma screen. So far it has been working fine, except for when you once have made your settings do not enter the Control Panel again cause it will the revert to default or faulty settings!

Microsoft

Windows Vista launched and Vista Ultimate Extras available

The day is finally here and Windows Vista is available for the consumer market and the commercials are everywhere. In Sweden we hade the annual Grammis awards, the Swedish music industry price, this evening and it was broadcasted on TV. The awards was sponsored by Microsoft and of course it had the standard sponsored by stuff in every commercial break (I’m glad I watched it on Vista Media Center with 30 minutes delay so I could skip those :-).

Windows XP

Announcing: msfeedicon 1.4

Here comes yet another update to the msfeedicon utility, version 1.4. The msfeedicon utility is a free notification icon for the Windows RSS platform, that comes with Internet Explorer 7. The utility will show whenever one of your feeds have been updated and gives you easy access to view the feed. All this so you do not have to waste space on your screen with the Internet Explorer 7 Feeds task pane or some Windows Vista Sidebar gadget.

Windows Vista

NVIDIA has released ForceWare drivers for Windows Vista RTM cont

When trying to install the latest NVIDIA ForceWare (97.46) drivers for Windows Vista RTM I ran into some troubles. First of all I downloaded English version which should be installed on a english Windows Vista Ultimate. This did not work at all. The setup exited and said nothing has changed - do you want to reboot? Then Windows Vista popped up an error dialog stating that I needed to download a fix for Age of Empires - duh!

Windows Vista

NVIDIA has released ForceWare drivers for Windows Vista RTM

Finally, NVIDIA WHQL ForceWare Release 95, version 97.46, is available for Windows Vista RTM (build 6000). It’s available for download at the NVIDIA website (x86 and x64). I have not yet tested it but the Release Notes states that support for overscan/underscan is not implemented in this release - not good, this is what I was expecting from this release, there are multiple things in the control panel not yet implemented (as they were in Windows XP).

Microsoft Expression

The year of constant betas

Today I start my two weeks vacation and I thought I should summarize this year. The year of 2006 has been characterized, for me, as the year of Betas and Technology Previews. I have been trying to involve myself as much as possible in the all the goodies flowing out of Redmond. Microsoft has released numerous amount of new applications and upgrades. Internet Explorer 7 The new version of Internet Explorer is the application this year that will have most impact in the short run on users.

Windows Vista

Watch DVDs in VIDEO_TS folders on Vista Media Center

Here is a small tip to all of you that have DVD movies on your hard drives, like me. I have copied most of our kids DVD’s to the hard drives so there is no need to change DVD every fifth minute and as all of you with kids know - they are not that gentle to the DVD discs nor the cradle of the player. Windows Vista Media Center does not initially allow you to watch ripped DVD movies using the Video Library, it only shows an empty VIDEO_TS folder.

Windows Vista

When will NVIDIA release drivers for Windows Vista RTM?

It has gone several weeks since the launch of Windows Vista and I am still waiting for a non-beta release of the NVIDIA ForceWare drivers! What are you guys doing? Are you waiting for the release to the general public in January? On the NVIDIA website only drivers for RC2, from october 17th, are available. These drivers do not contain the functionality to fine tune my plasma TV, nor does the standard drivers in Vista, like it can be done in Windows XP.

Visual Studio

Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack1 released

Microsoft has now released the first Service Pack for Visual Studio 2005 and the Team Foundation Server. The Service Pack comes in several versions, depending on which version of Visual Studio 2005 you have. Here are the downloads: Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite SP1, this updates Standard, Professional and the Team Editions Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server SP1 Visual Studio 2005 Express Editions SP1 What I look forward is that the Service Pack addresses theses issues:

Microsoft

Microsoft the Panel - what is this?

The Panel is a site, by Microsoft, with projects focused on the Windows Vista Presentation Foundation and XAML. The site will feature applications and source code for these techniques to show how you can design and implement nice applications for Windows and Live Gadgets. Currently there are some Live Gadgets available as well as a nice 3D RSS Reader called UniveRSS. Feeds are displayed as rotating boxes in a “galaxy” in which you can move around.

Windows XP

How to do when having installed Internet Explorer 7 but you need to test on Internet Explorer 6?

Since Internet Explorer 7 is on Windows Update and installed as a high-priority update a lot of users have Internet Explorer 7 installed or you are using the brand new Windows Vista, but how do you do when you are a web application developer and have to test it on Internet Explorer 6. Yes, Internet Explorer 6 will be with us for a long time. You have three options: Have a secondary machine stand by with Internet Explorer 6.

Windows XP

Total Commander 7.0 in beta

My favorite Windows Explorer replacement Total Commander is in beta for version 7.0. Total Commander is a great tool for managing files and folders and totally replaces the Windows Explorer for me since it is so much faster in managing files and folders in just one simple window. Version 7.0 contains mostly a nicer interface but includes some highlights such as: Show the drive names in the tabs Alternating background colors on files and folders Nicer overwrite dialog with thumbnail preview Run as administrator when privileges are insufficient I have been a huge fan of the application since I first discovered it years ago (when it was called Windows Commander).

Windows Vista

Windows Vista installation experiences

After years and months and weeks of waiting it was time to finally install Windows Vista RTM. I downloaded the ISO image from MSDN and burned it on a DVD, the download was fast but it took me hours of retries to get my hands on the license key, I guess the license servers was overloaded with requests. After making one of my hard drives ready I started the installation. This will take me an hour or so maximum I thought after reading all about the new and fast installation and of my experiences with installing the release candidates on Virtual PC’s.

Visual Studio

Visual Studio support on Windows Vista

Aaron Brethorst, Program Manager for the Visual Studio - IDE team informed me about a new article on MSDN that explains the Visual Studio Support on Windows Vista. The FAQ contains good answers to the common questions on why there is no Visual Studio.NET 2003 support and how to run Visual Studio 2005 with elevated privileges. There are several questions and workarounds worth reading. I’m still considering wating for the non-beta version of the Visual Studio 2005 SP1 before migrating to Windows Vista.

Microsoft

Microsoft.NET Framework 3.0 released

The Microsoft.NET Framework 3.0, or just .NET 3.0, has been released by Microsoft as well as the Visual Studio 2005 extensions for .NET 3.0 and the .NET 3.0 SDK. The downloads are available for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista where applicable. The .NET 3.0 is .NET 2.0 extended with new technologies such as Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation and Windows CardSpace.

Microsoft

Microsoft XPS Essentials Pack

To view XPS files, if you do not have Windows Vista or Microsoft.NET Framework 3.0, you can download the Microsoft XML Paper Specification Essentials Pack Version 1.0. The download contains an XPS Reader, very much like the Adobe PDF reader and an XPS Document writer, which allow you to print to XPS files. There are other goodies in this pack such as: an XPS IFilter that will help you index XPS files, with Windows Desktop Search for example Windows shell handlers for thumbnail views in Windows Explorer The pack requires Windows 2000, 2003 or XP with the latest service packs and Microsoft Core XML Services 6.

Business

Winternals resurrected in Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack

The Windows Vista blog announces the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, a desktop solution that will help Windows desktop users tune their applications and operating systems. It will include applications and features that will enhance: desktop deployment application comaptibility diagnostics and repair This pack is a result of Microsoft aquiring a handful of nice companies, such as the great Winternals. You can read all about it at the Desktop Optimization Pack site.

Windows Vista

Task Manager in Windows Vista

The Task Manager in Windows Vista (RC2) has improved somewhat since Windows XP. There are some really nice new features that makes the Task Manager more useful. First of all the Processes tab has been split into two: Processes and Services. This will makes it more easier to find the processes in the lists and the lists has also been improved with descriptions of the processes. On the Services tab you will also find a shortcut to the Services Management Console.

Microsoft

No Visual Studio support in Windows Vista...

Windows Vista will be released later this year to partners and volume license customers and in the beginning of 2007 to the masses. A successful release of a software product such as Windows Vista requires that a lot of consultants use it and can recommend it to the companies. The last few days it has come out in the open that Windows Vista will not support Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 until the first service pack is released, during the first half of 2007, and even then it will be compatibility issues.

Personal

Windows Vista startup sound

There has been a lot of discussions around the net on the non-customizable and non-removable Windows Vista startup sound. Robert Scoble has a post that explains why the Vista team decided to design it like that. My personal opinion, like Roberts, is that I would like to decide for myself if I wan’t a startup sound when I turn my computer on. For example; at home I have Windows XP Media Center which would benefit from having that sound, it lets me calibrate the volume before I put on a movie and it makes me aware of when the machine is up and running.

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 7 RC1 - first reactions and bugs

The posts are everywhere that Internet Explorer 7 RC1 is out, and I’m not late to test it out. The download of 15 Mb was fast and the installation was easy; it did uninstall the previous beta of IE7, rebooted and installed the RC1. The first think I noticed was that I think it is still a slow-starter, when you open it as the first application after the first boot (it may be my hogging Dell Inspirion 9100?

Microsoft

You need a floppy disk driver when installing Windows Server 2003

Ok, this may not be new to a lot of you or you have never even thought about it - me neither until a few days ago when I was happily unpacking our brand new Dell PowerEdge 2950. I assemled it fast and inserted the Dell OpenManage Server Assistant CD and followed the instructions to install it, this is usually the fastest method and involves so little interaction, everything went fine and it started configuring the RAID and copying files.

Personal

The lack of metadata on pictures in Vista Media Center

Microsoft Windows Vista contains Windows Media Center (in Home Premium and Ultimate) which is a great upate from the Windows XP Media Center Edition. Finally the user interface is taking advantage of widescreen and the navigation is faster and smoother. But I think one big thing is still missing in the Media Center interface - editing, sorting and searching pictures using metadata; today you can sort them on date taken! I would find it more useful to search for all images containg images of my family, my vacation in Spain or winter images from our summer house.

Microsoft Expression

Summary of Q2 2006 Microsoft betas

For me this second quarter of 2006 has been so interesting with all these beta and CTP products from Microsoft. The summer will be a long wait for the Release Candidates and the autumn a huge and shaky wait for the gold products. Here is a short summary of what i think so far; **Microsoft Expression Graphics Designer**An interesting product which I have big hopes for, I really like, and have just adjusted, to the vector way of doing my graphics.

Windows XP

Windows Vista Beta 2 for MSDN and TechNet subscribers

Microsoft announced at WinHEC 2006 that Windows Vista Beta 2 is available for MSDN and TechNet subscribers. The beta will be more broadly available through the Windows Vista Customer Preview Program in the next few weeks. The timeline is still November 2006 for business and January 2007 for consumers. You can find some more information about the release in this Fact Sheet. Go to the Windows Vista Get Ready site to check if you are ready for Windows Vista.