Kodu Puts Children In The Driver’s Seat

Posted by vasudev on January 15 2009, 5:09 PM. Posted in Xbox, Research.

 Kodu, a game to be released on an Xbox Live Community Games channel in the spring, helps youngsters learn to program and lets them create their own video games to play and share.

For children, learning to program at an early age can open up a lifetime of creativity and opportunity. And with Kodu, a new game unveiled by Microsoft at the recent 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), they can learn the skill of programming while having fun creating and playing their own games.Kodu will be released this spring on the Xbox Live Community Games channel and will help people of all ages program their own games in addition to exercising their logic and problem-solving skills, says Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division. “It started as a way to help kids learn how to program, but what it’s turned into is a way to not only learn how to program, but to create your own games,” he says.

Kodu is built around a game-friendly programming language that is simple and icon-based. Players can choose from 20 different game characters – including flying saucers, submarines, and a Pac Man-like Kodu main character – then use an interactive terrain editor, a bridge and path builder, and other tools to create their own game world. Players also have the option of using pre-loaded worlds.Kodu is a product of Microsoft Research, where it was developed over the past two years by principal program manger designer Matt MacLaurin. His goal: Create a game his four-year-old daughter could use to both have fun and learn something about programming...........Continue At Source

Microsoft: We Are Expanding, Not Killing, the Zune

Posted by spy on January 14 2009, 11:15 AM. Posted in Zune.

After a series of vague statements last week by Microsoft officials at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the software giant found itself at the center of yet another controversy: It was allegedly killing its Zune hardware devices, conceding defeat to the iPod, and moving the Zune software to other devices, like smart phones and the Xbox.

It's not true, Microsoft says. Yes, the company has plans to expand the Zune platform from the PC, Web, and Zune devices to other portable devices, including smart phones, and to the Xbox 360. But it is not exiting the Zune hardware business, contrary to rumors.

"We are going to be in the hardware business going forward," Microsoft Zune marketing director Adam Sohn said.

 Full Story At Source


Exchange 14 Video

Posted by sumeethevans on January 14 2009, 9:44 AM. Posted in Exchange.

We've been hard at work on Exchange 14 (E14) for a few years now, and although we've shared a lot of details and code with customers on our TAP & Live@edu programs, we haven't been too chatty publicly. That's going to be changing over the coming months, starting with this first introductory video[1] with myself and Jim Lucey, the product manager for Exchange Labs, to talk a little bit about some of the work we've been doing.

One of the biggest things that's different in E14 is that we started from day 1 two years ago with the goal of building a product on a single codebase that could be deployed in the way Exchange has been for over a decade in on-premise environments, as well as also be deployed in a service environment and scale to (eventually) hundreds of millions of users.

I say 'eventually' because we're not quite there yet. We have only 3.5 million users right now :) I know, chump change, right?

The service thinking really got traction at the company when Ozzie wrote his software plus services memo, and that has been our mindset from the beginning of the E14 development cycle, affecting everything we do - what features we should build, how we architect them, how we test the code, how we get customer feedback, etc. Although Exchange has always been a group that's very reliant on dogfooding, even with Microsoft's ~100,000 mailboxes, that wasn't enough for us to validate our high scale. So that's why we started using Exchange 14 in Exchange Labs back in October 2007 as part of the live@edu program. Get Microsoft 

Continue At Source


1 Security Patch for all Windows versions, also 2008 Core, no release for Windows 7 Beta

Posted by bink on January 14 2009, 3:08 AM. Posted in Security.

MSSRB: Today Microsoft is releasing one new bulletin, MS09-001. This bulletin is rated as ‘Critical' for Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 and is rated as ‘Moderate' for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. My colleague Mark Wodrich has put together a posting over at the Security Vulnerability Research and Defense (SVRD) weblog which explains more about the vulnerability and the Exploitability Index rating.

Also, as we do every month, we've released an updated version of our Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT). This month's release adds the ability to remove the Win32/Conficker and Win32/Banload families of malware. Impacted customers will be interested in the addition of Win32/Conficker.B; which has had a significant and sudden impact on some customers. While we've had protections for Win32/Conficker.B; since Dec 29, 2008 in Microsoft Forefront, Windows Live OneCare, and Windows Live OneCare safety scanner, we're also adding it to the MSRT to help impacted customers with remediation. My colleagues over in the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC) have more details about this on their weblog.

We know that there might be some questions about the beta version of Windows 7 and today's bulletin. Windows 7 is affected only by the SMB Validation Denial of Service Vulnerability (CVE-2008-4114) and, like Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, would be rated as Moderate because the vulnerability would require authentication for any attack to succeed.. We provide security updates for beta versions of Windows through Windows Update for Critical issues only. So the SMB Validation Denial of Service Vulnerability (CVE-2008-4114) will be addressed in the next public release for Windows 7.

The Bumper List of Windows 7 Secrets

Posted by sumeethevans on January 14 2009, 12:11 AM. Posted in Windows 7.

It’s great to see Windows 7 Beta finally released to the world! We're very proud of what has been accomplished over the last months; in many ways, it sets a new quality bar for a beta operating system release. Building on top of the Windows Vista foundation, Windows 7 adds a great deal of polish and refinement to both the user interface and the underlying architecture, while at the same time introducing many new features and improvements that support new hardware, give power users and casual users alike better tools to manage their digital lives, and enable new classes of application experience.

Over future blog entries, I’ll spend time drilling into some of those areas in more detail; of course, there are plenty of articles already out there that dissect Windows 7 in some depth, with the Windows SuperSite and Ars Technica providing notably comprehensive entries. I’d also like to draw particular attention to the series of Windows 7 interviews that Yochay Kiriaty has been posting on Channel 9, which give the inside scoop on the development of many of the most significant new features.

For now, though, I want to focus in on some of “secrets” of Windows 7: the many little tweaks and enhancements that we’ve made in this release that I’ve discovered and collated over the last few months of using Windows 7 across my home and work machines. These are the things that are too small to appear in any marketing document as “features”, but that you quickly miss when you switch to an older version of Windows. There are some who think that we’re arbitrarily hiding functionality to make Windows easy for casual users, but I’d argue that a great deal of effort has been put into this release to satisfy power users. In homage to those of us who enjoy discovering the nooks and crannies of a new operating system list, I’ve put together the longest blog post that I’ve ever written. If you’ve downloaded and installed Windows 7 Beta recently, I think you’ll enjoy this list of my thirty favorite secrets. Have fun!

Continue At Source

Installing the Windows 7 Beta with Virtual PC 2007 SP1

Posted by spy on January 13 2009, 3:57 PM. Posted in Windows 7.

Yesterday we made the Windows 7 Beta available for public download. Hopefully you’re as excited as I am that the beta is here! The Windows 7 Beta is already getting some rave reviews for its new features, performance, and stability. But it is a beta, and with that comes the potential risk that some things may not work as well as they will in the final release.If you have a spare test machine that supports the system requirements then I highly recommend installing the beta on your test machine. But if not, one way to mitigate the risks of using pre-release software is to use virtualization technology such as Microsoft Virtual PC 2007.Creating a Windows 7 Beta 1 virtual image (aka virtual machine) is fairly similar to the process you would go through to install the Windows 7 Beta “on the metal” (non-virtualized). But for people who have never used Virtual PC before there are some differences.Here is how to install the Windows 7 Beta with Virtual PC 2007.

 Continue At Source


First look - Windows 7 beta 1 Home Premium + Windows Anytime Upgrade

Posted by sumeethevans on January 13 2009, 11:08 AM. Posted in Windows 7.

The other day I got access to the Home Premium edition of Windows 7. After a tortuously long download process I got my hands on the ISO and installed it on a few machines to check it out.

So, what’s the difference between Windows 7 Home Premium and Ultimate editions? Well, after spending a couple of hours with the OS it seems that the differences are almost identical to the differences between the two editions of Vista.

Here are the most significant differences:

Continue At Source

New Ads Explain, “It’s Everybody’s Business”

Posted by sumeethevans on January 13 2009, 5:56 AM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

A new wave of advertising from Microsoft launched this week, offering a fresh look at a range of technologies designed to empower people to drive the success of their businesses.

Using the theme “It’s everybody’s business,” the campaign includes a mix of television, online and print. The spots use audio interviews with executives in leading companies worldwide, presented through animation, to illustrate how companies use technology to solve business problems, seize opportunities and ultimately, make themselves more competitive.

As general manager of Microsoft’s Advertising and Customer Engagement Team, Gayle Troberman leads the teams that create Microsoft’s advertising concepts across its products and services for companies. To get more on the new campaign, PressPass spoke with Troberman last week.

Full Story At Source

First Office 14 screenshot unveiled?

Posted by sumeethevans on January 13 2009, 5:54 AM. Posted in Office.

Microsoft enthusiast and blogger Stephen Chapman sends word that he has discovered an early concept Office 14 screenshot from a PowerPoint presentation hosted on Microsoft.com.The screenshot itself appears to be from a slide deck detailing Grava's intergration into Office 14. Grava is a set of tools developed for the needs of those creating educational content. Stephen says he "noticed that instead of the Office logo in the orb, there's a 'G' to obviously signify Grava, so does this mean we're looking at a standalone Grava application or a conceptual idea for how the interface of Office might change to signify the user is currently using Grava? If nothing else, we can see the ribbon influence in yet another application and further indication that the ribbon is certainly not going away in Office 14."

Continue At Source

Windows 7 Here’s where we stand

Posted by sumeethevans on January 13 2009, 5:53 AM. Posted in Windows "7".

I know many of you have had issues with the Windows 7 Beta site over the last 24 hours. As you may have noticed the download site has been up and running smoothly since this morning. That said, we apologize for the inconvenience that it caused some of you.  

Due to an enormous surge in demand, the download experience was not ideal so we listened and took the necessary steps to ensure a good experience. We have clearly heard that many of you want to check out the Windows 7 Beta and, as a result, we have decided remove the initial 2.5 million limit on the public beta for the next two weeks (thru January 24th). During that time you will have access to the beta even if the download number exceeds the 2.5 million unit limit.

Continue At Source

Windows Home Server - Macworld Expo Best of Show 2009

Posted by sumeethevans on January 13 2009, 5:50 AM. Posted in Windows Home Server.

HP's MediaSmart Server is a server for the home. The idea is that it gives you one place to store all your family's shared libraries of photos, music, and video, and provide a backup drive for every computer in the house.

It looks like a mini-tower. It's got four drive bays. You can buy it with one or two of those bays full, for 750GB or 1.5TB of storage. You can plug any SATA drive into the remaining bays if you need more storage.

The MediaSmart Server isn't new, but the latest version adds improved Mac compatibility. For one thing, it now works as an iTunes Server. You can copy your iTunes libraries to it, then access those combined libraries from any computer in the house. (Unfortunately, the media collection tool, which can go out and find all those libraries and do the copying on its own, only works with Windows PCs for now.)

The MediaSmart Server can also work as a centralized backup drive for everyone on the network. The key addition there: Unlike other network-attachable drives, it's compatible with Time Machine.

The HP MediaSmart Server is specifically designed for homes with a mix of Macs and Windows PCs. It requires a PC for the initial installation�in large part because the server itself runs on the Windows Home Server OS. But once you've done that set-up, the MediaSmart is fully accessible from your Mac.


Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 Beta

Posted by sumeethevans on January 13 2009, 5:49 AM. Posted in Hyper-V.

Microsoft® Hyper-V™ Server 2008 R2 is a stand-alone product that provides a reliable and optimized virtualization solution enabling organizations to improve server utilization and reduce costs. With the addition of new features such as live migration and expanded processor and memory support for host systems, it allows organizations to consolidate workloads onto a single physical server and is a good solution for organizations who are consolidating servers as well as for development and test environments. By having the ability to plug into existing IT infrastructures Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 enables companies to reduce costs, improve utilization and provision new servers. It allows IT professionals to leverage existing patching, provisioning, management and support tools and processes. IT Professionals can continue to leverage their individual skills and the collective knowledge of Microsoft tools, minimizing the learning curve to manage Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. In addition, with Microsoft providing comprehensive support for Microsoft applications and heterogeneous guest operating systems support, customers can virtualize with confidence and peace of mind.

    Note: This is a pre-release version of Microsoft® Hyper-V™ Server 2008 R2 and not intended to be used in a production environment. Download At Source