Announcing Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta!

Posted by sumeethevans on January 8 2009, 2:25 PM. Posted in Windows Server 2008.

For homo sapiens, getting older is painful. Take me for example. Nine hours on a plane never bothered me when I was in my 20s with a rubber backbone. But a couple of weeks out from birthday # 43 and one cross-country airplane ride translates into a sudden spinal meltdown that has me lying in bed, rigid as a vampire, popping painkillers like Christmas chocolates.

Fortunately, it's not the same thing for software. In the life of Windows Server, today marks general availability of public beta for the new Windows Server 2008 R2-and, for me personally, I've never had my geeky mitts on a better version. The new release incorporates a host of new features and capabilities that I hope you'll check out; the code is as stable a beta as I've ever seen and combined with the beta of Windows 7 you'll be able to evaluate not just a bevy of new server-side capabilities, but a new level of synergy between server and client operating systems, too.

A quick recap of my favorite highlights:

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Information on Downloading and Installing Windows 7 Beta

Posted by sumeethevans on January 8 2009, 2:24 PM. Posted in Windows "7".

As of today, I am running the Windows 7 Beta on several different PCs including my laptop, my work PC, and my PC at home, which I upgraded recently to Windows 7 from Windows Vista SP1. (I’ll be outlining the PCs I’m using to test Windows 7 shortly.) I’m all connected with HomeGroup, I’ve got several different Libraries set up, and I’m loving the new Windows Taskbar. I’ve got Windows Media Center recording my favorite TV shows and my Zune 80 syncing up with the Zune software. And things are even better with Windows Live Essentials installed. I find the Windows 7 Beta to be an amazing beta release and I am extremely excited for you to get your hands on it later this week! I’d like to take a moment to share some specifics regarding the Windows 7 Beta that I think are very important for people looking to give Windows 7 a spin.

On January 9th, the Windows 7 Beta will be available for Windows enthusiasts to download via the Windows 7 page on Windows.com. The Windows 7 Beta is going to be available download-only (we’re not sending out physical media) and available for a limited time to the first 2.5 million people who download the beta.

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Live Search Mobile update for Windows Mobile

Posted by sumeethevans on January 8 2009, 2:23 PM. Posted in Live Search.

For those of you using Windows Mobile phones, we have great news. This week we're releasing an update to our Live Search Mobile app for Windows Mobile. With this release, we've added some features that make it easier to find local businesses and to get maps and directions on your mobile phone.

For starters, no more fumbling around with your phone trying to enter your exact location. Location detection helps you automatically find your location even if you're not on a GPS-enabled phone.

 Image of Live Search Mobile

We also know that entering text on a mobile phone can be a pain. That's why we first introduced voice input in previous releases. With this release we've also added predictive query input to help speed up your searches. That's a fancy way of saying that after entering a few letters, you can browse through previous searches as well as some suggested ones.

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Windows Live Hotmail to get POP3 access this year?

Posted by sumeethevans on January 8 2009, 2:20 PM. Posted in Windows Live Hotmail.

As of September 2008, Windows Live Hotmail Plus ($19.95 a year) users have had the option of using POP3 (pop3.live.com on port 995) from any device with an e-mail application. However, one of the biggest complaints from hardcore Hotmail users has been the lack of this feature for all accounts, especially since other e-mail services offer it.

It's been speculated for a while now that Microsoft has plans to offer POP3 access to all users, and it appears that this will finally happen sometime this year. User cebcubs on windowslivehelp.com asked whether the software giant was planning on finally giving in and offering the feature to users of the free service. Although not very specific, the answer given was a positive one:

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Windows Helps Consumers Connect to the Digital World

Posted by sumeethevans on January 8 2009, 10:53 AM. Posted in Windows (general).

At the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft is shining a spotlight on something besides the biggest LCD screen or the coolest new tech gadgets: It’s showing consumers how Windows can make their lives easier, more productive, more enjoyable.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer opened the show with news that a beta version of Windows 7, Microsoft’s newest operating system, will be widely available for download on Jan. 9. He also announced the final availability of Windows Live – free software and services designed to bring a person’s online world under one roof and help them keep their life in synch.

Along with a new version Internet Explorer Mobile that helps today’s mobile phones connect to the Web in a more powerful way, these announcements underscore Microsoft’s efforts to design software that connects the PC, the web, the phone and even the television in a way that is easy to use and fun. It’s all part of Microsoft’s technology vision to deliver a “life without walls” for consumers.

Says Bill Veghte, senior vice president of the Windows business group at Microsoft: “We are excited to have the strongest pipeline of new technology for Windows in our company’s history. We really listened to what our customers want. And we think what we’re showing at CES gives consumers choices and experiences they haven’t had before.”

Windows 7: Available in Beta Today

With Windows 7, first shown at the D: All Things Digital Conference his past May, Microsoft is confident it has an operating system that reflects what customers want. Windows 7 designers have surveyed more than a quarter of a million people to learn more about how they use a computer and digital devices. The Windows Research Team also conducted thousands of online interviews, and enlisted 3,600 customers for user research and usability studies.

One thing they learned was that while people enjoy the convenience and features of the many digital devices they have these days – from cameras to music players – they also want it to be easier to use their devices with their PCs, to do everyday tasks such as moving pictures from a camera to multiple PCs, or sharing music, or printing to a network.

Windows 7 has been designed to cut through that complexity and make it easier for people manage devices and access their “stuff” across multiple devices, and in any location. A new feature called Home Group, for instance, is on track to help consumers connect PCs together to access music, photos and more regardless of where it is stored. That’s a big feature for many families – research from Forrester shows that more than half of all U.S. households now have multiple PCs. With Home Group, consumers can create “libraries” of files that extend across several computers or devices, so it’s easier to find things.

Windows 7 has been designed for better everyday use. The beta will feature a cleaner interface and minimal clicks to access to files and applications. Along with its improved task bar and start menu, Windows 7 will help users finish their work or find music, photos, or video faster and easier. It also on track to boot faster, shows fewer popups and helps extend battery life on notebook PCs.

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Microsoft’s Ballmer Announces Availability of Windows 7 Beta and Windows Live

Posted by sumeethevans on January 8 2009, 10:51 AM. Posted in Windows "7".

In a keynote address at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer announced the beta availability of the Windows 7 operating system as well as the availability of the latest version of the Windows Live, a suite of personal communications services and applications.

“I’m thrilled to announce the availability of the Windows 7 beta, which is on track to deliver simplicity and reliability,” Ballmer said. “Windows 7 and Windows Live are part of an incredible pipeline of consumer technology that is making it easier than ever for people to communicate, share and get more done.”

The beta version of Windows 7, Microsoft’s next-generation PC operating system, can be downloaded today by MSDN, TechBeta and TechNet customers. Consumers who want to test-drive the beta will be able to download it beginning Jan. 9 at http://www.microsoft.com/windows7.

Microsoft also announced the global availability of Windows Live, a free suite of communications and sharing applications. Windows Live makes it easy for people to communicate, share and keep their online lives in sync and in one place with one login. The new and enhanced Windows Live services — including PCMag.com 2008 Editors’ Choice winner Windows Live Messenger — along with Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Photo Gallery are designed to work seamlessly with more than 50 popular Internet services. Ballmer also announced new alliances with the following companies:

Dell Inc. In February, to offer a comprehensive experience for consumers to connect, share and personalize their content, Dell will offer preloaded Windows Live Essentials (a free suite of applications for instant messaging, e-mail and photos that complement Windows Live on the Web) and Live Search on a majority of its new consumer and small-business PCs globally.

Facebook. In the coming months, Facebook users can choose to share content they post on Facebook, including photos, directly into Windows Live.

Verizon Wireless. Under a new five-year relationship that covers mobile search and advertising, Verizon subscribers in the U.S. will be able to use Live Search to search for local business and shopping information; access maps and directions; perform general Internet searches; and find ring tones, games, wallpaper and other online mobile products and services.

Together with Internet Explorer 8, currently in beta and releasing soon, Windows Live helps make the things people do most on the Web (searching, sharing and communicating) faster and less complex with fewer clicks, logins and customizations. Windows Live is now available for download at http://www.windowslive.com/explore, or automatically via Microsoft Update for current customers.

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WorldWide Telescope - Solstice Borealis Release

Posted by vasudev on January 8 2009, 10:07 AM. Posted in Research.

The Microsoft Research team responsible for WorldWide Telescope has just pushed out another update (v 2.2.41.1). Code named “Solstice Borealis” the new release includes a couple sweet and mind boggling features.

National Virtual Observatory Cone Search / Registry Lookup – Search through the United States NVO registry to find information about astronomical bodies. You’ll find this under Search then VO Cone Search / Registry Lookup. Once the screen comes up, you can enter anything into the NVO Registry Title Like box then click the NVO Registry Search button. The results will populate the other form fields:

  • Base URL – the URL to the document.
  • RA - right-ascension in the J2000 coordinate system (decimal degrees).
  • Dec - declination in the J2000 coordinate system (decimal degrees.)
  • Search Radius - search radius in decimal degrees.
  • Verbosity - specifies how many columns are to be returned in the resulting table, with low meaning the bare minimum and high being the full width of the resulting table, which may be hundreds of columns............................Continue At Source

Toolkit to Disable Automatic Delivery of Internet Explorer 8

Posted by vasudev on January 7 2009, 4:14 PM. Posted in Internet Explorer.

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The Internet Explorer 8 Blocker Toolkit enables IT Administrators to disable automatic delivery of Internet Explorer 8 as a high-priority update via Automatic Updates and the Windows Update and Microsoft Update sites.
<basefont>To help our customers become more secure and up-to-date, Microsoft will distribute Windows Internet Explorer 8 as a high-priority update through Automatic Updates for Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and higher, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows Server 2003 SP2 for x64 and x86, Windows Vista for x64 and x86, Windows Vista SP1 for x64 and x86, and Windows Server 2008 for x64 and x86. This Blocker Toolkit is intended for organizations that would like to block automatic delivery of Internet Explorer 8 to machines in environments where Automatic Updates is enabled. The Blocker Toolkit will not expire........................Continue At Source................Download At Source
More details & Screenshots at IE8 Blocker Toolkit Available Today!
 

Macintosh Business Unit: 25 Years of Connecting Mac Users to Microsoft Productivity

Posted by sumeethevans on January 7 2009, 1:41 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp, Mac.

Twenty-five years after Microsoft Corp. launched Word 1 for Mac, the Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) continues to improve connections for Mac users to core Microsoft Office systems and servers. Office for Mac users will soon have simplified and efficient collaboration through Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies and Microsoft Office Live Workspace with the Microsoft Document Collaboration Companion for Mac Beta. The MacBU is also delivering Entourage for Exchange Web Services (Entourage EWS) Beta — a more modern protocol that updates how Entourage e-mail client connects to Exchange Server for overall improved e-mail and calendaring support. These developments are a critical step in the MacBU’s long-term commitment to deliver Microsoft software and services across platforms.

“For 25 years Microsoft has delivered productivity software for the Mac. We started on the desktop and today the MacBU delivers new ways for Mac users to connect to Microsoft productivity on the Web,” said Eric Wilfrid, general manager of the MacBU. “Entourage EWS and the Document Collaboration Companion lets Mac Office users connect with counterparts on a PC. These releases are the first step for the MacBU in harnessing the power of software plus services on the Mac.”

Better Together — Office Collaboration

Document Collaboration Companion provides Office for Mac users new ways to work with both Office for Windows and Office for Mac colleagues through a Cocoa-based application that provides easier downloading/uploading capabilities to SharePoint Products and Technologies and Office Live Workspaces. Delivering these improvements can help Office for Mac users tap into the future of productivity as software plus services become an essential combination across platforms. Features of Document Collaboration Companion will include simplified ways to download and upload documents, document check-out/in, offline document caching, and SharePoint Workspace, Document Library, and Office Live Workspace access and browsing. Document Collaboration Companion will be released in a private beta in February and a final releaser later this year. More information is available at http://microsoft.com/mac/itpros.

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The Microsoft Windows 7 Upgrade Program

Posted by sumeethevans on January 7 2009, 1:21 PM. Posted in Windows 7.

Important Program Dates for the Windows 7 Upgrade Program are listed in the table below. Some dates have not been finalized and will be included at a later date. These dates are marked as to-be-determined (TBD). However, for planning purposes, program eligibility will begin on July 1, 2009.

Program Eligibility Period- Windows Vista PCs preinstalled with qualifying software must be purchased by end users between these dates.- OEMs may choose to offer a shorter program period within the allowed date range.

July 1, 2009 through TBD

Program Calculation Period- The total number of eligible Windows Vista Certificates of Authenticity (COAs) invoiced to an OEM during the Program Calculation Period, multiplied by 20%, determines the number of program upgrade media that can be purchased by OEM through Microsoft ARs.- End of Program Calculation Period will be 90 days prior to the end of Program Eligibility Period.

April 1, 2009 through TBD

Initial Upgrade Media Fulfillment Date- Date on which OEMs may start shipping upgrade media to Qualifying End Users.

Windows 7 General Availability Date

Final Software Fulfillment Date / Program End Date- Date by which upgrade media must be shipped for Qualifying End Users’ upgrade orders.- Microsoft recommends that OEMs establish and communicate to their customers a final submission date to ensure fulfillment by the Program End Date.

TBD

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End of Life Extension for Sybari Antigen 8.0

Posted by sumeethevans on January 7 2009, 1:18 PM. Posted in Anti Virus.

Here is some important news for customers using Sybari Antigen 8.0 for Exchange or Antigen 8.0 for SMTP Gateways to protect their Microsoft Exchange environment.

Microsoft has decided to extend the end-of-life for Sybari Antigen for Exchange 8.0 and Sybari Antigen for SMTP Gateways 8.0 from December 31, 2008 to December 31, 2009. This decision was made to accommodate the antivirus needs of customers who are still running versions of Exchange prior to Exchange 2000 and who have requested additional time to upgrade in 2009.

The terms of the Sybari Antigen for Exchange 8.0 and Sybari Antigen for SMTP Gateways 8.0 end-of-life extension are as follows:

  • No product support will be provided after December 31, 2009.
  • Customers will not be able to receive antivirus engine definition updates after December 31, 2009.
  • New customers will not be allowed to acquire or deploy Antigen for Exchange 8.0 between December 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009. Only customers currently running Sybari Antigen for Exchange 8.0 or Sybari Antigen for SMTP Gateway 8.0 will be supported.
  • If an existing Sybari Antigen for Exchange 8.0 or Sybari Antigen for SMTP Gateway 8.0 customer has a contract that expires between now and December 31, 2009, Microsoft will only extend the licensing agreement for the 8.0 version until December 31, 2009.

If you are an existing Microsoft customer, please contact your Microsoft Account Manager to extend your license .cfg files for these products. If you are not an existing Microsoft customer, please send an e-mail to fssadmin@microsoft.com to extend your license .cfg files for these products.

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