IE Usage Share Fell in 2008

Posted by spy on January 4 2009, 12:46 PM. Posted in Internet Explorer.

According to researchers at Net Applications, use of Microsoft's Web browser, Internet Explorer, fell from 74 percent to 68 percent of the market by the end 2008. The main beneficiary of that decline was Mozilla Firefox, which jumped to 21 percent usage share in December, up from 18 percent in May. But browsers from Apple and Google also saw small gains in 2008 as well.

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Survey: Microsoft Holds Top Patent Portfolio for 2008

Posted by vasudev on January 3 2009, 9:04 AM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.


For the second year in a row, Microsoft has topped the rankings in IEEE Spectrum’s annual patent scorecard, which uses a series of factors to measure the health of a company’s “patent pipeline.”

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) annual Patent Scorecard, released in December 2008, gave Microsoft the top score among all categories. This is the second consecutive year Microsoft has topped the list.

IEEE’s Patent “Pipeline Power” ranking takes a number of factors into account, including the number of patents held, year-over-year portfolio growth, the variety of technologies influenced and the number of times a company’s patents are cited in the patent applications of other inventors.

The resulting “Pipeline Power” metric provides a weighted score of a company’s influence on the innovation ecosystem and is a strong indication of the quality of the company’s patent portfolio.

According to chief patent counsel Bart Eppenauer, who oversees Microsoft’s patent portfolio, the company’s evolving worldwide IP strategy is the result of a global innovation philosophy combined with a strong commitment to Microsoft’s business and technological priorities within local markets and economies.

“As the company expands its R&D facilities and efforts around the world, we have stepped up our efforts to expand Microsoft’s patent portfolio by increasing filings with the world’s major patent offices,” says Eppenauer. “We are continuously improving our ability to better identify and capture the innovation taking place at Microsoft and the related IP in alignment with Microsoft’s business goals of investing in innovation to improve people’s lives and provide economic benefit to regions around the world. You can think of this as part of the overall importance of IP to economic development — IP plays a role by protecting innovations, providing incentives for R&D investment, creating economic opportunities, which all gives back to those local economies, both large and small.”.................................Continue At Source



China jails Microsoft counterfeiters

Posted by spy on January 2 2009, 12:05 PM. Posted in Piracy.

A Chinese court has issued tough sentences to members of a huge software counterfeiting ring, which distributed more than $US2 billion ($A3 billion) worth of fake Microsoft goods, the company said.

The court in the southern city of Shenzhen on Wednesday sentenced 11 people to jail terms of up to six-and-a-half years for making high-quality counterfeit software that was sold in 36 countries, Microsoft said in a statement.

The sentences were the "stiffest ever meted out for intellectual property rights violations in China", said a report on the verdicts by the popular Chinese internet portal

The illegal syndicate, based in the southern province of Guangdong, pirated versions of 19 of the company's most popular products, which were produced in at least 11 languages, Microsoft said in its statement posted on Wednesday.

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30gb zune issues -- official update

Posted by vasudev on January 1 2009, 9:25 AM. Posted in Zune.

 Early this morning we were alerted by our customers that there was a widespread issue affecting our 2006 model Zune 30GB devices (a large number of which are still actively being used).  The technical team jumped on the problem immediately and isolated the issue: a bug in the internal clock driver related to the way the device handles a leap year. The issue should be resolved over the next 24 hours as the time change moves to January 1, 2009.   We expect the internal clock on the Zune 30GB devices will automatically reset tomorrow (noon, GMT). By tomorrow you should allow the battery to fully run out of power before the unit can restart successfully then simply ensure that your device is recharged, then turn it back on.  If you’re a Zune Pass subscriber, you may need to sync your device with your PC to refresh the rights to the subscription content you have downloaded to your device. Customers can continue to stay informed via the support page on ( know this has been a big inconvenience to our customers and we are sorry for that, and want to thank them for their patience. Q:  Why is this issue isolated to the Zune 30 device?It is a bug in a driver for a part that is only used in the Zune 30 device.Q:  What fixes or patches are you putting in place to resolve this situation? This situation should remedy itself over the next 24 hours as the time flips to January 1st.Q:  What’s the timeline on a fix?The issue Zune 30GB customers are experiencing today will self resolve as time changes to January 1.Q:  Why did this occur at precisely 12:01 a.m. on December 31, 2008? There is a bug in the internal clock driver causing the 30GB device to improperly handle the last day of a leap year.Q:  What is Zune doing to fix this issue? The issue should resolve itself.Q:  Are you sure that this won’t happen to all 80, 120 or other flash devices? This issue is related to a part that is only used in Zune 30 devices.Q:  How many 30GB Zune devices are affected? How many Zune 30GB devices were sold? All 30GB devices are potentially affected.Q:  Will you update the firmware before the next leap year (2012)?Yes.

30GB Zunes Failing Everywhere, All At Once

Posted by sumeethevans on December 31 2008, 10:04 PM. Posted in Zune.

Right, so this is a weird one: we're getting tons of reports—tons—about failing Zune 30s. Apparently, the players began freezing at about midnight last night, becoming totally unresponsive and practically useless.

The crisis has been dubbed by Zune users 'Z2K9', due to the apparently synchronized faceplantings across the country. According to tipster Michael, the Zune users experienced something like this:

Apparently, around 2:00 AM today, the Zune models either reset, or were already off. Upon when turning on, the thing loads up and... freezes with a full loading bar (as pictured above). I thought my brother was the only one with it, but then it happened to my Zune. Then I checked out the forums and it seems everyone with a 30GB HDD model has had this happen to themThis report is consistently corroborated by literally hundreds of others across the various Zune support and fan forums.

What hasn't emerged yet, largely due to the fact that MS's support lines aren't yet open for the day, is why these devices are failing. The evidence seems to point to a software glitch, but simple resets aren't providing any relief. Some reports indicate that only Zunes with the latest firmware are affected, but this hasn't yet been confirmed.

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Microsoft getting ready to lay off 17% of staff

Posted by sumeethevans on December 31 2008, 10:02 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

The rumor that Microsoft was set to lay off people on January 15th, 2009 is no longer a rumor but a fact. Staff at Microsoft have been informed that the company is readying major layoffs to its worldwide operations and it's not a small cut, either.

Currently Microsoft employs about 90,000 people across the world and from what we're hearing, some 15,000 of those are expected to be giving marching orders come January 15th. That's almost 17 percent of Microsoft's total work force, not exactly a small number.

So far, we haven't managed to confirm what departments or regions will be hit the worst, but we're hearing that MSN might be carrying the brunt of the layoffs. We're also hearing rumors about the possibility of somewhat larger staff cuts at Microsoft EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).

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At Home with HomeGroup in Windows 7

Posted by sumeethevans on December 31 2008, 10:01 PM. Posted in Windows "7".

Like many places we’ve spent the past few weeks under quite a bit of snow, which is pretty unusual for Seattle!  Most of us on the team took advantage of the snow time to install test builds of Windows 7 on our home machines as we finalize the beta for early 2009—I know I felt like I installed it on 7000 different machines.  We’re definitely looking forward to seeing folks kick the tires on the beta when it is available. For more information on the beta, please stay tuned to which is where we will post information about participation.

This post is about a Windows 7 feature that covers a lot of territory—it is about networking, user interface, sharing, media, printing, storage, search, and more.  HomeGroup is a way of bringing all these features together in a way that makes it possible for a new level of coolness in a home with multiple PCs running Windows 7.  A lot of us are the sysadmins for our own homes and for many others (friends and family).  We set up network topologies, configure machines, and set things up so they work—HomeGroup is designed to make that easier so it can be done without a volunteer sysadmin.  It makes for some challenges in how to describe the feature since the lack of such a feature has each of us creating our own private best practices or our own techniques for creating and maintaining a home network.  HomeGroup is about making this easier (or possible for everyone else) and at the same time giving you the tools to customize and manage—and no matter what, under the hood the file and printer sharing, media sharing, and networking you are already familiar with is there should you wish to stick with the familiar ways. HomeGroup is a deep feature that builds on a lot of new infrastructure/plumbing new to Windows 7, though in this post we’ll talk about it from the experience of setting up a network. 

This is a feature that is one you should just use and see it working, rather than trying to read about it as it covers so much territory in writing. 

This post is by Jerry Koh a lead program manager in the Core User Experience team, with help from a number of folks across the dev team

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Office 14: TAP and Beta Specifics Emerge

Posted by sumeethevans on December 31 2008, 10:00 PM. Posted in Office.

With the recent flood of information surrounding Windows 7 and its official status of Beta 1, I thought I would take a moment to shed some light on some of Microsoft's current plans for the Office 14 Beta. As some of you know, Microsoft begins collaborating very early on in its development process with select customers via a program called TAP (Technology Adoption Program). The next tier of testing much later down the road is a program called a Technical Beta. A Technical Beta is much more far-reaching with testers than participants of a TAP, but even then, the number of people on a Technical Beta is drastically less than the third tier of testing; a Public Beta. Both Windows and Office have followed these testing tiers, though it's questionable as to if the recent Windows 7 Beta invites sent to select people are merely a formality or if they're truly an invite to a Technical Beta program to be distinguished from that which the public will be able to participate in. Regardless, here is a detailed breakdown of the tiers of customer interaction with Office 14:

TAP (Technology Adoption Program)There are two phases of the Office 14 TAP: PV (Product Validation) and RD (Rapid Deployment)

TAP - PV: Extending from Alpha builds through Beta 2 builds, TAP - PV customers interact directly with their very own Microsoftee(s) to "provide actionable feedback throughout the product development cycle and commit substantial resources for the duration of the program." To be eligible for this phase of the TAP, you are required to have a sponsored business solution/POC (proof of concept), architectural and deployment plans readily reviewable, and a pilot deployment at Beta 2 (based on POC status). Alternately, you can just hope you happen to work for and have access within a company who goes through this process and gets nominated. That, or you can write the script for "Ocean's 14" and make the payload that of builds galore. Your choice.

TAP - RD: Getting involved at the end of Beta 2/beginning of the RC (Release Client) phase, TAP - RD customers "drive marketing evidence for launch" via requirements of production employment at Escrow and participation in launch activities. TAP - RD is "ideal for companies looking to showcase their involvement in leading edge industry efforts [and] engage in joint public relations efforts with Microsoft."

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Microsoft planning for pay-per-use PC model

Posted by sumeethevans on December 31 2008, 9:57 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

A recently filed Microsoft Patent shows that Microsoft is planning for a pay-per-use PC model. The patent is titled as Metered Pay-As-You-Go Computing Experience.

The current business model requires users to purchase a PC that is suited for various needs which can vary from simple word processing or web browsing or high end gaming or network gaming. With the new business model - Metered Pay-As-You-Go Computing Experience - user will be able to select a level of performance related to processor, memory, graphics power, etc that is driven not by a lifetime maximum requirement but rather by the need of the moment. For example, the user might need more memory and advanced graphics for gaming applications whereas less memory for word processing.

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I'm MCITP Enterprise Administrator!

Posted by bink on December 31 2008, 9:39 PM. Posted in Learning.

Wow in a record time I managed to get my certification up to speed. I never did an upgrade exam from Windows 2000 to 2003, so for Windows 2008 I had to start over and do 5 exams. I had 5 days, so that was 1 exam per day (christmas in between). Today I had the final exam and passed it [:D] 




The Windows 7 build 7000 leak and Microsoft's reaction

Posted by sumeethevans on December 31 2008, 5:12 AM. Posted in Windows 7.

This past weekend, Windows 7 build 7000 leaked to torrent sites. It's not the first build of Windows 7 to leak, but it definitely is the most important one so far. You see, the first 7xxx build marks the entrance of Windows 7 into beta phase (6xxx builds were pre-beta builds). Microsoft planned to release this build to a select number of beta testers, as well as to MSDN and TechNet subscribers. Unfortunately for Microsoft, and fortunately for everyone who couldn't, but wanted to, get access to the beta, this led to a leaked build. The company pulled the release off of MSDN and TechNet, and also removed the "Windows 7 Beta" entry from the next quarterly update kit for those part of the Microsoft Action Pack Subscription (MAPS), which is slated to be sent out to subscribers on January 5, 2009. Thanks to Google's cache, you can see that Microsoft also referred to build 7000 as "Windows 7 Beta" on MSDN.

According to the license terms that you must accept to install build 7000, the EULAID of this release is "Win7_B.1_PRO_NRL_en-US." This further confirms that this build was meant to be Beta 1, which Microsoft is expected to release to its testers early next year (with a public beta following soon afterwards). If we were to take a page from Redmond's history book, the software giant will likely stick to its plan and give the same Beta 1 build (6.1.7000.0.081212-1400), which was compiled on December 12, 2008, at 2:00PM, to its testers, subscribers, and MDC attendees. It does not have to, and could instead give out a later build, and I would not put it past them (especially considering the compilation date).

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Virtual Earth Data Release – December, 2008

Posted by sumeethevans on December 31 2008, 1:16 AM. Posted in Virtual Earth.

We’ve been doing some housecleaning the last 2 months with some of our road network data. As a result, a small blog post to let you know of a HUGE refresh / release (48TB worth) of all tile sets where vector information is included – Road, Hybrid Aerial, and Hybrid Bird’s Eye. Thus, we’re cleaning up the streets (as it were):
  • Global vector data updates.
  • Multi-lingual tile sets for all zoom levels (French, Italian, German, Spanish).
  • Japan localized tile sets.
  • All oblique (Bird’s Eye) photography reprocessed with new road labels (minus Japan).
  • New data source for the following countries:
    • Greece
    • Estonia
    • Latvia
    • Lithuania
    • Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia
    • Slovakia
    • Hungary
    • Slovenia
    • Croatia
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • Serbia
    • Montenegro
    • Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia
    • Albania
    • Bulgaria
    • Romania
    • Mexico  

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