Engineering the Windows 7 “Windows Experience Index”

Posted by sumeethevans on January 21 2009, 4:13 AM. Posted in Windows 7.

We’re busy going through tons of telemetry from the many people that have downloaded and installed the Windows 7 beta around the world. We’re super excited to see the excitement around kicking the tires. Since most folks on the beta are well-versed in the hardware they use and very tuned into the choices they make, we’ve received a few questions about the Windows Experience Index (WEI) in Windows 7 and how that has been changed and improved in Windows 7 to take into account new hardware available for each of the major classes in the metric. In this post Michael Fortin returns to dive into the engineering details of the WEI.

The WEI was introduced in Windows Vista to provide one means across PCs to measure the relative performance of key hardware components. Like any index or benchmark, it is best used as a relative measure and should not be used to compare one measure to another. Unlike many other measures, the WEI merely measures the relative capability of components. The WEI only runs for a short time and does not measure the interactions of components under a software load, but rather characteristics or your hardware. As such it does not (nor cannot) measure how a system will perform under the your own usage scenarios. Thus the WEI does not measure performance of a system, but merely the relative hardware capabilities when running Windows 7.

We do want to caution folks in trying to generalize an “absolute” WEI as necessary for a given individual. We each have different tolerances or more importantly expectations for how a PC should perform and the same WEI might mean very different things to different individuals. To personalize this, I do about 90% of my work on a PC with a WEI of 2.0, primarily driven by the relatively low score for the gaming graphics component on my very low cost laptop. I run Outlook (with ~2GB of email), Internet Explorer (with a dozen tabs), Excel (with longs list of people on the development team), PowerPoint, Messenger (with video), and often I am running one of several LOB applications written in .NET. I feel with this type of workload and a PC with Windows 7 and that WEI my own brain and fingers continues to be my “bottleneck”. At the other end of the spectrum is my holiday gift machine which is a 25” all-in-one with a WEI of 5.1 (though still limited by gaming graphics, with subscores of 7.2, 7.2, 6.2, 5.1, 5.9). This machine runs Windows 7 64-bit and I definitely don’t keep it very busy even though I run MediaCenter in a window all the time, have a bunch of desktop gadgets, and run the PC as our print server (I use about 25% of available RAM and the CPU almost never gets above 10%).

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Windows Home Server Power Pack 2 is Codenamed "Snoqualmie"

Posted by sumeethevans on January 21 2009, 4:13 AM. Posted in Windows Home Server.

I haven’t been able to tell you this to date, due to my MVP non-disclosure agreement, but Todd Headrick, Product Planner for Windows Home Server mentioned on the team blog that the code name for Windows Home Server Power Pack 2 is “Snoqualmie” (or SnoQ to its friends).

So, that’s:

WHS Power Pack 2: Snoqualmie WHS v2: Vail

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Microsoft Hardware Support for Windows 7 Beta

Posted by sumeethevans on January 21 2009, 4:12 AM. Posted in Hardware.

If your computer is running a beta version of the Windows® 7 operating system, the following information can help you select the correct beta software to download for your Microsoft Hardware product.

For the best Microsoft Hardware device and software performance, it’s essential to install all of the important and recommended Windows updates from the Windows Update site.

Important: These are beta versions of software to support Microsoft Hardware devices on beta versions of the Windows® 7 operating system. The following table lists the beta software you will need to install to support Microsoft Hardware products for the 32-bit and 64-bit versions. The notes column contains late-breaking information and additional details that you will need to read and reference in order to install the beta software. Please read the notes before you install the software. Product Release Notes include information about 32-bit and 64-bit products wherever appropriate.

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Windows Installer 5.0 support now available in WiX v3.0

Posted by sumeethevans on January 21 2009, 4:11 AM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

Windows Installer 5.0 will be included in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.  A beta version of the Windows 7 SDK was released last week to go along with the beta of Windows 7. 

Bob Arnson recently announced on his blog that WiX v3.0 now includes support for new Windows Installer 5.0 features starting with the 3.0.4917.0 build on the SourceForge site.

Here are a couple of useful links to help getting started learning about the new features that will be available in Windows Installer 5.0.

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Microsoft set to unveil MobileMe competitor next month

Posted by bink on January 20 2009, 4:32 AM. Posted in Windows Mobile.

Microsoft is planning to unveil three new mobile services at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona next month. The software giant is aiming to move your mobile data into the cloud and rival Apple's MobileMe service.Microsoft announced the Windows Azure platform in October at its professional developers conference and will be expanding its software + services platform with several new products. According to sources close to Microsoft, the company has been working on products codenamed SkyBox, SkyLine and SkyMarket. The final offerings are likely to be named under the Windows Live branding."SkyBox" is a service for users to sync a phones information with the web. Microsoft will be offering automatic backup and restore services, access and management of phone data and provide easy communication and sharing with others. The service will also allow syncing of contacts, email/SMS, calendar items and pictures into the cloud, similar to Apple's MobileMe. The difference from Apple's offering is Microsoft could be set to offer this out to non Windows Mobile devices."SkyLine" will be aimed at small businesses. Offering similar functionality to SkyBox, businesses will be able to setup their phones with Microsoft's Exchange hosting with their own domain names."SkyMarket" was originally discovered in September 2008 when Microsoft advertised several external job positions. SkyMarket is the codename for Microsoft's mobile marketplace, a competitor to Apple's AppStore and RIM's Blackberry application center. This service will only be available on Windows Mobile devices and will showcase the 1000s of Windows Mobile applications available today.

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Photosynthing the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States

Posted by vasudev on January 19 2009, 8:58 AM. Posted in Research, Photosynth.

From the Photosynth Blog: 

The world will change on January 20th when Barack Obama, the President-elect takes the oath of office and becomes the 44th President of the United States.<o:p></o:p>

"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."<o:p></o:p>

If you are going to be among the millions attending, you can be part of history by helping create the most immersive and detailed experience of a single moment ever created.  <o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>Capturing the Moment of Transition<o:p></o:p>

We’re partnering with CNN to gather thousands of your photographs to create an immersive experience of the moment when President Obama takes the Oath of Office. From the vast sweep of the crowd to a close-up on the President’s hand on the Bible, every part of this historic scene will be frozen in time and presented in 3-D as only Photosynth can.<o:p></o:p>

Well placed CNN photographers will capture lots of detailed shots for this synth, and if you’re there you can help make this an even more amazing experience by adding your perspective with your digital camera or camera phone.<o:p></o:p>

Check out CNN’s page dedicated to this collaboration: http://cnn.com/themoment.<o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>How it Will Work<o:p></o:p>

We’ll take your photos from every angle, combine them with CNN’s professional shots, and produce what we hope will be an amazing experience that will be shown live on CNN. And you thought the Jessica Yellin hologram was cool! The synth will also be available for everyone to see on CNN.com. <o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>How to Participate<o:p></o:p>

When you make a Photosynth on your own, you shoot tens or hundreds of photos from different positions. Since we hope to have thousands of people participating, we’re asking to just capture the view from one position. <o:p></o:p>

If you have a…........Continue At Source

Microsoft Silverlight Selected by Presidential Inaugural Committee to Enable Online Video Streaming of Inauguration Events

Posted by vasudev on January 17 2009, 8:43 AM. Posted in SilverLight.

 Microsoft Corp. today announced that the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) has selected the company’s Silverlight technology to enable live and on-demand video streaming of the official inauguration swearing-in ceremony on the PIC Web site at http://www.pic2009.org. As part of its efforts to hold the most open and accessible inauguration in history, on Saturday, Jan. 17, the PIC will also stream video of a Baltimore event on the Whistle Stop Tour that will take President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden to Washington, D.C., from Philadelphia.

“Microsoft is proud to be part of this event by helping to bring the inauguration activities online,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel. “Just as during the campaign itself, Internet technology is enabling people around the world to participate more directly in historic events in new and exciting ways.”

In August the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) used Microsoft Silverlight to stream convention proceedings, including President-elect Obama’s acceptance speech...............................Continue At Source

Microsoft Statement on European Commission Statement of Objections

Posted by sumeethevans on January 17 2009, 6:14 AM. Posted in Microsoft Corp, Legal Issues.

 “Yesterday Microsoft received a Statement of Objections from the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission. The Statement of Objections expresses the Commission’s preliminary view that the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows since 1996 has violated European competition law. According to the Statement of Objections, other browsers are foreclosed from competing because Windows includes Internet Explorer. The Statement of Objections states that the remedies put in place by the U.S. courts in 2002 following antitrust proceedings in Washington, D.C. do not make the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows lawful under European Union law.

“We are committed to conducting our business in full compliance with European law. We are studying the Statement of Objections now. Under European competition law procedure, Microsoft will be afforded an opportunity to respond in writing to this Statement of Objections within about two months. The company is also afforded an opportunity to request a hearing, which would take place after the submission of this response. Under EU procedure, the European Commission will not make a final determination until after it receives and assesses Microsoft’s response and conducts the hearing, should Microsoft request one.“

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DISH Network's Draco project brings programming to Windows Media Center

Posted by sumeethevans on January 17 2009, 6:13 AM. Posted in Windows Media Center.

Just over a month after DirecTV went and killed its totally promising HDPC-20 tuner, in flies this. DISH Network is apparently gearing up to unveil some sort of HD-capable DISH-to-Windows Media Center liaison, with current test setups involving a modified ViP 211K receiver attached via Ethernet to a PC.

The initiative is being coined Draco, and we're even told that dual tuner setups (most likely using dual boxes for now) are in action and working beautifully.

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Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) Beta is publicly available

Posted by sumeethevans on January 17 2009, 6:12 AM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

In May 2008, Microsoft closed the acquisition of the desktop virtualization vendor Kidaro, which soon became Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) – the sixth product in MDOP. I came to Microsoft with this acquisition, and today I’m proud to let you all know that MED-V 1.0, the first product from the Kidaro technology, is available in beta today.   Simply register at https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=665 and download the beta software. For an easy start, on the site, we also prepared a Quick Start guide to walk you through the installation and testing of MED-V 1.0 beta.

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For those of us on the MED-V product team, our primary goal was to deliver an enterprise virtualization solution for the compatibility challenges that IT teams have with some of their line-of-business applications, during the upgrade to new operating systems (like Windows Vista). With MED-V 1.0, you can easily create, deliver and centrally manage virtual Windows XP or 2000 environments (based on Microsoft Virtual PC 2007), and help your users to run legacy applications on their Windows Vista desktops. No need to wait for the testing and migration of those incompatible applications to complete.

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Microsoft Commerce Server 2009 - Release Candidate - DVD ISO Image File

Posted by bink on January 16 2009, 2:20 AM. Posted in Commerce Server.

Commerce Server 2009 (formerly known as Commerce Server 2007 code name “Mojave”) delivers the ability to increase your business reach by making it possible to sell via multiple channels using an out-of-the-box shopping site, SharePoint Commerce Services, and the Multi-Channel Commerce Foundation. The new out-of-the-box shopping site leverages SharePoint Commerce Services, which provides a gallery of ASP.NET 3.5 Web Parts, a comprehensive e-commerce shopping feature-set, and technology integration between Commerce Server and SharePoint technologies. The Multi-Channel Commerce Foundation provides a new unified, extensible run-time programming model for Commerce Server, including new run-time e-commerce capabilities. This Release Candidate is our last pre-release before final release of the product. While this version contains a limited "use in production" license, it is a time-bombed release and you will need to acquire the product through your Volume Licensing, MSDN or ISV channels in the near future. This pre-release requires an installed version of Microsoft Commerce Server 2007 Enterprise or Standard Edition. This release is not compatible with Commerce Server 2007 Developer Edition.

Windows Live Calendar is out of beta and ready for action

Posted by vasudev on January 15 2009, 5:12 PM. Posted in Windows Live.

Over the past several months, Windows Live Calendar has been in beta. We’ve been experimenting with features, listening to your feedback, and polishing up the service. Now the calendar is ready for everyone and we’re excited to roll it out in more than 45 languages. Here are some of the new features you’ll see.

Expandable weeks let you see more eventsMost people look at their calendars in the month view, but until now the grid could only display a limited number of events. Now, you can stay in the month view yet choose to see all of the events in a day by expanding one week at a time. Just select “Show More” in the top right of the calendar grid to always show all of your events or click the “# more…” link to expand just one week.

Charms help you personalize your calendar

Charms are unique to Windows Live Calendar and allow you to add an icon to each of your events. It’s a fun way to visually display your events and allows you to see more events in the month view. One of our team members came up with the idea for charms during his off-hours, and we thought the idea was so much fun that we wanted everyone to have them. To add a charm to an event, just select “More details” and choose a charm to fit your event.................Continue At Source