Windows 7 has an upgrade to Virtual PC which allows you to run Windows XP applications virtualized on your Windows 7, without having to run the whole desktop running. I still have to use Visual Studio 2003 to support some old good applications including SharePoint 2003 apps. So I have used a Windows XP virtual machine to run it, but now I can fire up Visual Studio 2003 directly from my Start menu in Windows 7.
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.
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.
Yes, you heard it right, Sandi Hardmeier (IE MVP) brings us the story that today Microsoft will re-release Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP. The interesting stuff is that the re-release will not have any Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) check during installation. My humble guess is that Microsoft is trying to get all non-legal copies of Windows XP to update to the more secure version of Internet Explorer. I have not seen any official words yet on this and it’s not available on Windows Update, but I’ll update this post as soon as I get more news.
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.
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!
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.
Virtual PC and Virtual Server uses Virtual Hard Disk which may be dynamically sized, that is they don’t occupy the whole size of the disk on the host system. But they may take up much more than the guest operating system reports. I will show you how to reduce the size of you dynamically expanding virtual disk, using the tools provided with Virtual PC 2007 beta 2 (it’s the same on VPC 2004).
msfeedicon is now released at version 2.0 and is a major update to the previous versions. msfeedicon is a plugin to the Windows RSS platform and Internet Explorer 7 Feeds and appears as an icon in the Windows XP/Vista system tray and displays when you have unread posts in your subscribed feeds. Whenever there is new posts in a feed msfeedicon will show an alert window with direct access to unread posts.
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.
Microsoft yesterday released the second beta of the Microsoft XML Paper Specification Essentials Pack 1.0 (build 5715). The pack contains the following: XML Paper Specification (XPS) Viewer XPS metadata and thumbnail handlers for Windows Explorer XPS rich-preview provider XPS IFilter You need Windows XP SP2 or later and the Microsoft Core XML Services 6.0 to be installed on your system.
For a while I have been annoyed that there is no good notification in Internet Explorer 7 when you have unread posts in your subscribed feeds. You have to have the Favorites Center opened to be notified of any feed updates, which may take up useful space on your screen. Therefore I created a small utility that takes advantage of the Windows RSS platform and shows an icon in the system tray which notifies you of any unread feed posts - called msfeedicon.
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.
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).
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.
A few days ago Microsoft officially released a modified Royale theme in black. The Royale theme is the one used in Windows XP Media Center. Now there is an updated variant of that theme called Zune desktop theme, download it here. This theme looks really great and matches the black and silver themes in the new Office 2007 and the default theme for Windows Media Player 11.
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.
Microsoft has released Windows Desktop Search 3.0 RTW and it’s available for download here (XP x86, other versions are available at Microsoft Download Center). I have been using the beta 2 extensively since the release, and the betas before that. It’s a great desktop search application and integrates incredibly nice with the upcoming Office 2007. Finding e-mails in Outlook 2007, documents on your harddrive or captured images in OneNote 2007 is really easy and fast.
I recently ran into a problem where I had by mistake checked the Remember password checkbox in Internet Explorer 7 (RC) when visiting a NTLM based website, then I wanted to get back to use my currently logged on user to access this website. There is no way to clear these usernames and passwords using the standard ways in Internet Explorer. First of all I tried to turn off the Automatic logon only in Intranet Zone and entering a new but faulty password for the user and checking the remember password checkbox.
I ran into some troubles with the IPSec Services on my Windows XP SP2 machine today. This service was needed by a VPN application that I installed to connect to one of our customers. But during the last re-install of my machine, I set this service to manual startup, and now when I tried to start it It could not start. I recieved the following error message when trying to start it:
According to Lawrence Liu Microsoft will release a a demo with Microsoft Office Server System 2007 for Virtual Server as a .VMC and a virtual harddisk for Microsoft Certified Partners as a part of the Techinical demonstration toolkit during the next 4-6 weeks. This is great, I guess that it will contain the latest build, and gives us a good opportunity to test and show the new functionlity of MOSS without having to set up new servers or VM’s.
Finally an update to the beta of Windows Desktop Search 3.0. The user interface is back, looking like the 2.6 version, and it works really nice. Looks like the problems with Outlook 2007 and One Note 2007 Beta 2 is gone and it consumes less memory. This update is required for the Microsoft Office 2007 Beta 2 Techincal Refresh release that will be upon us soon.
The incredible Jensen Harris gives you all the details on how to use Fitt’s Law to improve the user interface of your application in the post Giving You Fitts. The article gives you a good insight on how to create a great interface using a mathematical approach instead of just lettting a art/creative director making the job. It explains why the northwest corner (as Jensen told us it should be named) has changed so dramatically.
Here is a tip and some help for you out there who are using Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 for optimizing the hard disk of the virtual machines. First of all make sure that you hard disks are fixed size, that means that they don’t have to expand during runtime. Then take advantage of the Virtual SCSI adapters, when the Virtual Machine Add-Ons are installed on the virtual server you will have a significant performance increase of up to 20 %.
Yesterday I wrote about our new server which is now up and running nicely hosting a number of Virtual Server, this morning none of them was up and a few sites and applications was down. This was due to that the server had Windows Update set to Automatic which is recommended by the OS - which had led to that the server rebooted. I’ve seen it before so this time I found the resolution quick, but the last time it caused me a headache!
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.
A few days ago I complained about not being able to categorize photos in Vista Media Center using metadata. I was using the 5384 (beta 2) build! But in the most recent builds there are a new pivot called Tags, in which you can watch the photos organized by keywords instead of only by date and folders. The tags can be edited through the Windows Photo Gallery and is persisted in the image.
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.
Winternals Software LP is aquired by Microsoft! Winternal (previously known as NTInternals) is most known by their freeware site Sysinternals a site containing numerous awesome and crucial applications to be used with Windows operating systems such as; RegMon, FileMon, Debug Viewer etc. The aquisition is great for Microsoft as they will get their hands on Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell and their knowledge in how to create small, efficient and safe applications.
Microsoft Hardware will later this year release a new keyboard - Ultimate Keyboard. The keyboard is a wireless (bluetooth) and ergonomical keyboard with backlight functionality that senses the light in the room and when you use the keyboard. The keyboard are designed for Windows Vista and the Microsoft Live services (Messenger etc). I really like the design and that it is an ergonomical layout of the keys. I use that kind of keyboard at work but at home or when sitting at my laptop my fingers more thatn often slip.
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.
Just a friendly reminder to all of you that have the Office 2007 beta installed and still have Office 2003 installed: do not install the Office 2003 updates available through Windows Update. I did - stupid me I had the update service on automatic and when turning off the computer I said ok let’s install the patches. After installing the latest patches, Update for Outlook 2003 Junk Email Filter (KB917149) and a few others, I started to receive the following errors in Outlook:
XPS (XML Paper Specification) is an electronic paper format and is competing with Adobes PDF. Since Microsoft is forced to withdraw the function of publishing to PDF from Office 2007 the XPS will be more widely adopted. Read more about it here; Adobe PDF vs Microsoft XPS. Windows Vista will include a XPS reader, but if you already now get XPS files you can download either the WinFX runtime components or the XPS Essentials Pack (beta).
Bink.nu reports that the public beta of Windows Vista 2 will be available soon. Here are the download links (the links will work shortly): Download here: - (English x86) http://download.windowsvista.com/preview/beta2/en/x86/download.htm- (English x64) http://download.windowsvista.com/preview/beta2/en/x64/download.htm- (German (x86) http://download.windowsvista.com/preview/beta2/de/x86/download.htm- (German (x64) http://download.windowsvista.com/preview/beta2/de/x64/download.htm- (Japanese (x86) http://download.windowsvista.com/preview/beta2/jp/x86/download.htm- (Japanese (x64) http://download.windowsvista.com/preview/beta2/jp/x64/download.htm
Just a follow up to my last post on Outlook 2007 Instant Search and Windows Desktop Search problems: My scenario in the post does not always happen and it may work for you. The System Restore I did was not that complicated since I did not install anything while I had the troubles, and I have not had any problems after it either, so don’t worry about it.
I have installed the Office 2007 beta, including Outlook 2007, and I wanted to enable the Instant Search functionality and followed the instructions in the dialog that popped up in Outlook. It said that I had to go and download the Windows Desktop Search Beta 3.0 Engine Preview, read about it in Microsoft Help and Support. I did, but I had a previous version of Windows Desktop Search installed. There was no warning and when I tried to search in Outlook I recieved a message saying that Outlook cannot perform your search.
Microsoft has release the first public release of the Windows Live Gadgets SDK, you can find it MicrosoftGadgets.com. You can also find the Gadgets Development Overview for Microsoft Sidebar for Windows Vista Beta 2 on the site. Developing Gadgets for both live.com and Microsoft Sidebar will be really easy and fun. But I see a problem with only having live.com as the only web-based Gadget host (host meaning where the Gadget can execute).
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.
So, Microsoft Office 2007, applications and servers, are finally here for download at http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/beta/getthebeta.mspx. Expect some huge downloads; Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services is at 75 MB and the SharePoint Server at 1.000 MB. The Office Suite and programs is a tiny download of 2.049 MB. That would be a massive hive of 3.5” disks :-). I think a lot of bandwidth will be used on the backbones tonight, and this is just a faint hint of what will happen in a few weeks when the new public Vista beta will arrive.
Have you ever experienced the 0xe0434f4d exit code and thought, what the heck is thathas a nice blog If broken it is, fix it you should which in a post explains how to interpret the exit code which is very good. 0xe0434f4d means that it is an exception from the CLR, ie any managed exception is referred to with this code. And she also explains what the funny 0xe0434f4d means:0x43 0x4f 0x4d are the ASCII codes for COM!
I’m a bit concerned about all the new user interfaces and layouts that will appear when application developers starts taking use of the Windows® Presentation Foundation (formerly code named “Avalon”). This “tecnology” is awesome but it has it’s drawbacks. With the WPF you can create applications that are really neat looking and have high usability, just take a look at Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer. I saw a really nice demo, on a Microsoft Partner event, of a medical journal application looking like a “medical journal” - not the old fashioned MDI interface with a File, Edit… menu.
Today I had to move (make an exact copy of) an ADAM (Active Directory In Application Mode) installation to a new server. It was not that trivial and therefore I thought I would share on how to do it. Add the BUILTIN\Administrators group to the Administrators Role in the Adam instance_This group has a well known SID and therefore can be moved to any server. Se picture below._ Make a backup of the Adam data files folder, using Microsoft Backup_The files can not just be copied because they are locked_ Create the exactly same installation on the new server_Use the same ports, service name, application directory partition etc_ Stop the newly created service_So the files won’t be locked_ Restore from the backup you created in 2)Make sure that you specify to overwrite all files, which is not by default Start the service and test it Adding the BUILTIN\Administrators group to the Administrators Role in Adam