Microsoft Deployment Toolkit Team Blog : A new version is coming soon!

Posted by sumeethevans on December 6 2008, 4:46 AM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

The latest version of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, MDT 2010, is currently being developed. This new version, which is due to be released shortly after the Windows 7 release, will offer:· Support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.· Deployment Workbench and script architecture improvements.· Documentation improvements.The first beta release will be made available in the coming weeks. Please sign up for at the Connect website to be notified as soon as it is available, if you haven’t already done so. To sign up, follow these simple steps:1. Access http://connect.microsoft.com. 2. Sign on using any valid Live ID.3. From the Connection Directory, find the “Solution Accelerators” connection.4. Apply for the “Microsoft Deployment Toolkit” program. Approval is automatic.

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Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Beta and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Beta - Five Language Standalone (KB948465)

Posted by sumeethevans on December 6 2008, 4:46 AM. Posted in Windows Vista.

Windows Server 2008 SP2 Beta and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Beta is prerelease code offered to the public through our Customer Preview Program. Please see the Windows Server SP2/Windows Vista SP2 Customer Preview Program page on TechNet/MSDN for additional details, documentation, and forums. Windows Vista SP2 TechNet Windows Server 2008 SP2 TechNet Windows Server 2008 SP2 Beta and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Beta apply to people, organizations, and technical enthusiasts who are comfortable evaluating prerelease software. This prerelease software is provided for testing only. Installation of Service Pack 2 Beta will result in Microsoft collecting information about the installation process, even if the installation is not completed. We do not recommend installing this software on primary or mission-critical systems. We recommend that you have a backup of your data before you install any prerelease software. SP2 is an update to Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista that addresses feedback from our customers and partners. By providing these fixes integrated into a single service pack, Microsoft provides a single high-quality update that minimizes deployment and testing complexity for customers.In addition to all previously released updates, SP2 will contain changes focused on addressing reliability and performance issues, supporting new kinds of hardware, and adding support for several emerging standards. SP2 will also continue to make it easier for IT administrators to deploy and manage large installations of Windows Server 2008. Service Pack 1 is a prerequisite for installing Service Pack 2. Please make sure that your system is running Service Pack 1 before you install Service Pack 2. Windows Server 2008 SP2 Beta and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Beta - Five Language Standalone version can be installed on systems with any of the following language versions: English, French, German, Japanese, or Spanish. Support for Windows Server 2008 SP2 Beta and Windows Vista SP2 Beta can be received by visiting the Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 TechNet forum.

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Smartphone numbers are in: iPhone sales exceed Windows Mobile sales for first time

Posted by sumeethevans on December 6 2008, 4:44 AM. Posted in Windows Mobile.

Gartner's latest and greatest analysis of the global smartphone industry is in, and there are quite a few interesting nuggets tucked within all those percentages. For starters, the sector still managed to grow 11.5% in Q3 2008 compared to a year prior, but that increase is the smallest since it began tracking. Of course, given the current economic climate, we'd say it's a win to see any number not in the negative.

Moving on, we see Nokia maintaining its numero uno status with 42.4% market share, though it did recognize a rare decline in sales of 3% year-on-year; as for RIM, its BlackBerry phone sales increased an amazing 81.7% in Q3. We're also clued in to why Apple was rumored to be hacking its iPhone production some 40% in Q4, as the company has some two million units of inventory built up in the supply channel.

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Windows market share drops to 15-year low

Posted by sumeethevans on December 6 2008, 4:43 AM. Posted in Windows (general).

Microsoft higher-ups might not exactly be shaking in their boots upon hearing this news, but market research firm Net Applications has just released new information that puts the Windows OS market share at its lowest point in 15 years. That low point - 89.62%. Yes, Microsoft still holds the overwhelming lion’s share of the computer OS market and that most definitely won’t be changing any time soon. Since 2004 when Net Applications began OS market share data however, Microsoft’s market share has been steadily declining.

Windows reportedly had an astounding 96.4% of the OS market in October of 2004 when Net Applications’ first report on the subject was issued. In other words, Microsoft is losing an average of 1.7% of the market each year, a trend that it certainly hopes to reverse with its recent advertising campaign and eventually with the release of Windows 7. An interesting related note - Vista currently holds approximately 20.45%, up 2.12% over the past three months. Microsoft’s recent ad campaigns have been going strong during that period so this may appear to be a small victory until XP’s market share loss of 2.36% over the same period is considered. As for Microsoft’s largest competitor, Apple’s market share now sits at 8.87% up from 6.80% in November of last year and 3.2% in November of 2004 when the first Net Applications OS report was published.

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8 security fixes next Tuesday

Posted by bink on December 5 2008, 2:33 AM. Posted in Security.

As part of our regularly scheduled bulletin release, we're currently planning to release eight security bulletins:

  • Six Microsoft Security Bulletins rated as Critical and two rated as Important. These updates may require a restart and will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer.

As we do each month, the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool will be updated.

We are also planning to release high-priority, non-security updates on Windows Update and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) as well as high-priority, non-security updates on Microsoft Update and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). For additional information, please see the Other Information section of the Advanced Notification.

I also want to note that we have simplified the Executive Summary of the Advance Notification to make it easier to quickly get a high level view of the notification. 

As always, we'll be holding the December edition of the monthly security bulletin webcast on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008 at 11 a.m., Pacific Standard Time.  We will review this month's release and take your questions live on-air with answers from our panel of experts. As a friendly reminder, if you can't make the live webcast, you can listen to it on-demand as well at the same URL. In addition, we'll also be posting the text of the questions and answers from each month's webcast. You can see a full listing of the posted questions and answers on this page.

You can register for the webcast here: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032374647&Culture=en-US

Microsoft details "Generation 4" data centers

Posted by vasudev on December 4 2008, 1:42 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

 FrancoisAjenstat of 'Microsoft's Environmental Sustainability Blog'  posts about the "Generation 4" data centers : I wanted to share some exciting news from Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services team, which manages Microsoft’s global infrastructure and its network of data centers. This week we shared our vision for “Generation 4” modular data centers, a significant step forward that we anticipate will reshape how the industry approaches the design, build and management of data centers.

The concept behind the modular data center builds on the learning's and innovations garnered from our research and data centers like the Chicago facility, which was designed to house hundreds of shipping containers packed with up to 2500 servers each. From our experience in designing Chicago and exploring the benefits modularity can provide, we have developed our vision for the future. Our “Gen 4” modular data centers will take the flexibility of containerized servers and apply it across the entire facility, which will be composed of modular “building blocks” of prefabricated mechanical, electrical and security components, etc. in addition to containerized servers................For more details and video Continue At Source

Windows Vista SP2 - What's Inside? What's Important?

Posted by vasudev on December 3 2008, 11:18 AM. Posted in Windows Vista.

 With today's launch of the Customer Preview Program (CPP) for Windows Vista® Service Pack 2 (SP2), we wanted to provide a brief synopsis of the elements in this service pack, and encourage you to download and test this release. Windows Vista SP2 is a traditional service pack release with all cumulative released security updates available since the SP1 release in March 2008. In addition, Windows Vista SP2 includes support for new types of hardware and emerging standards that will grow in importance in coming months, along with fixes discovered via automated error reporting as part of our Customer Experience Improvement program. What makes the Windows Vista SP2 release unique is that it represents a single service pack which applies to both client (Windows Vista SP1) and server (Windows Server 2008) operating systems—since the code base for Windows Vista is shared with that for Windows Server® 2008, a single update can be deployed across your infrastructure. This service model also provides the ability to detect an incompatible driver and block service pack installation, or warn users of any loss of functionality during installation. Other highlights for IT pros include: Emerging Hardware Support

  • Bluetooth 2.1 feature pack
  • Ability to record data on Blu-ray media
  • exFAT file system now supports UTC timestamps, which enables correct file synchronization across time zones
  • Support for the new VIA 64-bit CPU
  • Support for ICCD/CCID smart cards
Hyper-V*
  • Windows Vista SP2 includes Hyper-V™ technology, enabling full virtualization of server workloads
*To clarify, Hyper-V is not included in Windows Vista SP2, it is part of the Windows Server 2008 service pack. This means that when you install SP2 for Windows Server 2008, or if you install a slipstreamed version of Windows Server 2008 with SP2, the RTM version of the Hyper-V role will be included. Hyper-V was released after Windows Server 2008, which means that the role you currently install is a pre-release role and needs to be updated to bring it up to RTM. This update will be applied (only if necessary) automatically when you install SP2.

Security

  • Windows Vista SP2 incorporates previously released reliability updates, as well as addressing crashes discovered since the launch of Windows Vista SP1................Continue At Source

FutureFed-The Microsoft Federal Blog

Posted by vasudev on December 3 2008, 11:12 AM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

Welcome to Microsoft FutureFed

 Change is upon us, and it’s not just the weather.  We’ve all heard the term over the last few months.  However, now we truly are on the doorstep of a transitional -- and potentially transformational -- time in the Federal government.

What better time then to step back and look at everything going on in the Federal workplace – the innovations, the efficiencies, the yet-to-tackle big challenges that Federal workers seek to solve every day on behalf of citizens of the U.S.  

It is amidst this atmosphere that we at Microsoft launch FutureFed, our Microsoft Federal blog.

We’ve been working with government public servants for a long time – and we’ve seen firsthand how their efforts and the work of a nation takes place every day.  We have volumes of stories to tell about the unsung heroes who have made technology work for the agencies they serve – and for taxpaying citizens…to keep all of us safer, to make government more accessible, more transparent, and more efficient.

The truth is, the Federal government is where so much innovation actually initiates.  Yet is also true that we have a long way to go to use technology so that government can operate to its fullest potential and so that everyone can not only recognize the benefits but participate meaningfully................................Continue At Source

IE8 at Add-On Con in Mountain View

Posted by vasudev on December 3 2008, 11:07 AM. Posted in Internet Explorer.

 

A few of the startups building browser Add-Ons have organized the first ever Add-On Con, to take place in Mountain View on Dec 11, 2008.  We thought it was such a cool idea that we decided to co-sponsor the event (Mozilla is the other sponsor).  We will be giving some sessions about extending Internet Explorer, and Mozilla and Google will be presenting about their respective web browsers.  Many companies with successful Add-Ons will be sharing their stories and experiences, so it’s a great education and networking event. 

Matt Crowley, Program Manager for Extensibility, will cover all of the extensibility options available in IE8.  I will be discussing the lessons learned porting Firefox extensions to IE.  

Come say hi to us if you’re attending!........................Continue At Source

New Photos web service is LIVE!

Posted by vasudev on December 3 2008, 10:51 AM. Posted in Windows Live.

 

We're excited to report that the completely redesigned photos.live.com is up and running!

Here are just a few reasons why you should go check it out:

  • Beautiful new views of your photos, including an amazing Slide show view.
  • 25 GB of FREE storage! That's a ton of pictures of any resolution plus there's no more 500-per-month limit on photos.
  • The photo-centric What's New feed on photos.live.com shows you the photos your friends are sharing.
  • Spaces and SkyDrive photos are now combined, so all of your photos are in one place.
  • Better permissions give you greater control over who can see your photos online.................Continue At Source

SkyDrive: 25 GB of free online storage is Live now !

Posted by vasudev on December 3 2008, 10:48 AM. Posted in Windows Live.

SkyDrive: 25 GB of free online storage

We’re live! You can sign up here: http://skydrive.live.com

Here are a few things you’ll find on your shiny new SkyDrive:

  • 25 GB of free online storage
  • Available in 6 more regions and 13 more languages
  • Download entire folders as Zip files (limited release)
  • Gorgeous online slide show for your photos
  • And much, much more!

Check it out and let us know what you think.

-The SkyDrive Team

Announcing the Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 CPP

Posted by vasudev on December 3 2008, 8:42 AM. Posted in .NET.

Announcing the Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Customer Preview Program (CPP)

Hi, Mike Nash here. In late October I announced the Beta  of Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 - beginning with a small group of Technology Adoption Program customers. This week we're opening up the beta to a broader audience. Starting today, MSDN and TechNet subscribers will have access to the Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Beta to begin testing.   

Beginning Thursday Dec. 4th, we will be making the Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Beta available to everyone through a Customer Preview Program (CPP). The CPP will launch on TechNet and be available to anyone interested in trying out this service pack. The CPP is intended for technology enthusiasts, developers, and IT Pros who would like to test Service Pack 2 in their environments and with their applications prior to final release. For most customers, our best advice would be to wait until the final release prior to installing this service pack.

For those of you who choose to test this service pack, we encourage you to install the beta as soon as you can; your feedback will help us to ship a solid and stable service pack for Windows Vista.

Windows Vista SP2 builds on the solid foundation of Windows Vista SP1, and represents our ongoing commitment to Windows Vista today. Windows Vista SP2 includes all of the updates that have been delivered since the release of Windows Vista SP1, and incorporates improvements discovered through automated feedback from the Customer Experience Improvement Program (where users voluntarily opt-in to sending Microsoft error reports from their systems). ...................................Continue At Source