Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 3.2 Now Available!

Posted by sumeethevans on November 4 2008, 8:00 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

Many of you are in the midst of an IT migration or upgrade planning but do not know with 100% certainty what computers are in your IT environment or what applications have been deployed.  The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 3.2 makes it easier for customers and partners like you to quickly identify what servers, workstations, and network devices are in your IT environment. MAP also provides specific and actionable IT proposals and reports to help you get the most value out of Microsoft products and infrastructure.

Today, Brad Anderson, General Manager of the Management and Solutions Division at Microsoft, announced the RTM release of the MAP Toolkit 3.2 at the TechEd EMEA 2008 in Barcelona.

Over 510,000 Microsoft customers and partners have already downloaded and used MAP and its prior versions including Costco Wholesale Corporation, Continental Airlines, and Banque de Luxembourg.

Introducing Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP)Toolkit is a scalable and agent-less assessment platform designed to make it easier for you to adopt the latest Microsoft technologies. In this version, MAP has expanded its assessment capabilities to include SQL Server 2008, Forefront/NAP, and Microsoft Online Services migration, as well as providing a Power Savings assessment to help you “go green.”<o:p></o:p>In summary, MAP Toolkit 3.2 assessment areas now include:<o:p></o:p>                    SQL Server Database Instance Discovery (NEW!)<o:p></o:p>                    Microsoft Online Services Needs Assessment and Survey (NEW!)<o:p></o:p>                    Forefront Client Security/NAP Readiness Assessment (NEW!)<o:p></o:p>                    Power Savings Calculator (NEW!)<o:p></o:p>                    Virtualization Infrastructure Assessment (e.g. reporting the mapping of hosts by guests) (NEW!)<o:p></o:p>

                    Windows Server 2008 Hardware Assessment

                    Server Consolidation Reports and Proposals (Hyper-V or Virtual Server 2005 R2)<o:p></o:p>

                    Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 Hardware Assessment

                    Desktop Security Assessment to determine if desktops have anti-virus and anti-malware programs installed and up-to-date, or if the Windows Firewall is turned on

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TechEd: New networking features revealed for WIndows 7: DirectAccess and BranchCache

Posted by RayC on November 4 2008, 4:47 AM. Posted in Windows 2008 R2, Windows 7.

 

Microsoft is clearly using Tech Ed IT Pro in Barcelona to start revealing details about new features in the upcoming releases of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008.

 

One of the first sessions after the openening keynote was about new networking features in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. The enhancements clearly focus on making Windows work better from outside the corporate network and in Branch office situations.

 

Two prominent new features are:

  • DirectAccess
  • BranchCache

 

Direct Access is Microsoft's implementation of what I have earlier referred to as DirectConnect. The technoligy enables user to access resources on the corporate network from a corporate system over the Internet without a VPN using IPv6 and IPSec. Steve Riley already did a demo of this technology at Tech Ed in Orlando. It will be implemented as a client in Windows 7 and as a role on Windows Server 2008 R2.

 

BranchCache is a new caching technology that locally caches data that is retrieved over a WAN link using SMB or HTTP(S). This enables the next user that needs the same piece of information to retrieve the data without pulling all data over the line again. The demo's showed a substantial gain in speed. BranchCache is implemented in such a way that is preserves the security of the information.

 

BranchCache can be implemented in two modes:

  • BranchCache Distributed Cache
  • BranchCache Hosted Cache

 

BranchCache Distributed Cache provides a peer to peer mechanism for caching the data at the branch office. In this modes Windows 7 systems request for a local copy of the data at each other before pulling the data over the WAN link. Each time the data is fetched, the client checks with the originating server if the data has not changed and if the security settings allow access. BranchCache Distributed Cache only works for clients at the branch office that operate in the same subnet.

 

With BranchCache Hosted Cache, a Windows Server 2008 R2 server is assigned at the branch office to hold a cached copy of data that is retrieved over the WAN link. This server is configured with the BranchCache role and assigned as the caching server with Group Policy. It will work as the caching server for all Windows 7 clients at the branch office not regarding their subnet location.

 

The only downside I see in BranchCache is the fact that you need Windows Server 2008 R2/Windows 7 on both sides of the connection.

Terminal Services in Windows Server 2008 R2 becomes Remote Desktop Services, What's New?

Posted by bink on November 3 2008, 8:00 PM. Posted in Windows Server 2008, Windows 2008 R2.

Two weeks ago I had a press briefing on Windows Server 2008 R2, one of the great new changes are on the Terminal Services side and from now to be called: Remote Desktop Services.

 

Windows Server 2008R2 considerably improves the set of tools to accelerate and extend desktop and application deployments to any device. In addition to the traditional presentation virtualization scenario, which Terminal Services has enabled for many years, this new version of the operating system will expand its role to provide an extensible platform for a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, also known as VDI. VDI is a centralized desktop delivery architecture which allows customers to centralize the storage, execution and management of a Windows desktop in the data center. It enables Windows Vista Enterprise and other desktop environments to run and be managed in virtual machines on a centralized server.

Increasingly businesses aim to enable their employees and contractors to work from home or from an offshore, outsourced facility. These new work environments provide better flexibility, cost control and lower environmental footprint but increase demand for security and compliance so that precious Corporate data is not at risk.

Key benefits of Microsoft centralized desktop strategy include better enablement of such flexible work scenarios such as work from home and hot-desking, increased data security and compliance, as well as easy and efficient management of the desktop OS and applications.

In the spirit of this extension, the Terminal Services role will be renamed to “Remote Desktop Services” in Windows Server 2008 R2. This new name will cover both the presentation virtualization and VDI functionalities. All the existing sub-roles will also be renamed consistently with the new Remote Desktop umbrella name.

Microsoft is also announcing great progress in improving user experience through new Remote Desktop Protocol capabilities. These new capabilities, enabled with Windows Server 2008 R2 in combination with Windows7 Enterprise Edition and Ultimate Edition, improve significantly the experience of remote users, making it more similar to the experience enjoyed by users accessing local computing resources.

With this release, Microsoft is progressing in its vision to provide the best platform for any deployment where desktops and applications are hosted in the datacenter provided to remote users, enabling all major architecture. Presentation Virtualization and VDI are complementary in this vision and both architectures build on the solid infrastructure introduced with Windows Server 2008, which include RemoteApp, Remote Desktop Web Access, Remote Desktop Gateway and Remote Desktop Connection Broker as the most notable new features. We are extending our platform allowing our partners, which include Citrix, Unisys, HP, Quest, Ericom and several others, to leverage new extensibility points for value-add solutions.

Remote Desktop Services (RDS), which separate where the desktop or application is used from where it is run, accelerates desktop & application deployments and enables any client to run any application or operating system. RDS enables a full fidelity desktop or application experience and efficiently connects remote workers from managed or unmanaged devices. RDS helps to keep critical intellectual property secure and to radically Simplify regulatory compliance by removing applications and data from the desktop.

Renaming of Terminal Services to Remote Desktop Services. All the existing sub-roles will also be renamed consistently with the new Remote Desktop umbrella name. Some examples of renaming are below:

  • Terminal Services →Remote Desktop Services
  • Terminal Services RemoteApp™→RemoteApp™
  • Terminal Services CAL→ Remote Desktop Services CAL
  • Terminal Services Web Access → Remote Desktop Web Access
  • Terminal Services Gateway→ Remote Desktop Gateway
  • Terminal Services Session Broker→ Remote Desktop Connection Broker

Extending Remote Desktop Services to provide tools to enable a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). The in-box Remote Desktop Services capability is targeted at low-complexity deployments and as a platform for partner solutions, which can extend scalability and manageability to address the needs of more demanding enterprise deployments. Combined with Microsoft Hyper-V Server, System Center Virtual Machine Manager, App-V within MDOP, and VECD licensing, Microsoft provides a complete end to end VDI solution.

The elements of the Remote Desktop Services solutions are:

  • A connection broker infrastructure, which extends the Session Broker capabilities already found in Windows Server 2008, and creates a unified admin experience for traditional session-based remote desktops and (new) virtual machine-based remote desktops. The two key deployment scenarios supported by the Remote Desktop Connection Broker are persistent (permanent) VMs and pooled VMs. In the case of a persistent VM, there is a one-to-one mapping of VMs to users; each user is assigned a dedicated VM which can be personalized and customized, and which preserves any changes made by the user. Today, most early adopters of VDI deploy persistent VMs as they provide the greatest flexibility to the end user. In the case of a pooled VM, a single image is replicated as needed for users; user state can be stored via profiles and folder redirection, but will not persist on the VM once the user logs off. In either case, the in-box solution supports storage of the image(s) on the Hyper-V host.
  • The Remote Desktop Connection Broker has been designed as an extensible platform for partners; it includes extensive APIs for partner value-add around manageability and scalability of the brokering solution. Specifically, extensibility points include the ability for partners to create policy plug-ins (e.g. for determining the appropriate VM or VM pool), filter plug-ins (e.g. for preparing a VM to accept RDP connections) and resource plug-ins (e.g. for placing a VM on the proper host based on the host’s load).

Improving User Experience through new Remote Desktop Protocol capabilities. These new capabilities, enabled with Windows Server 2008 R2 in combination with Windows7 Enterprise Edition and Ultimate Edition, improve significantly the experience of remote users, making it more similar to the experience enjoyed by users accessing local computing resources. These improvements include:

  • Multimedia Redirection – Provides high quality multimedia by redirecting multimedia files and  streams so that audio and video content is sent in its original format from the server to the client and rendered using the clients local media playback capabilities.
  • True multiple monitor support – enables support for upto 10 monitors in almost  size, resolution or layout with RemoteApp and Remote desktop; applications will behave just like they do when running locally.
  • Audio Input & Recording -  Supports any microphone connected to users local machine, enables audio recording support for RemoteApp and Remote Desktop, great for VoIP scenarios & enables speech recognition for Remote Desktop Services.
  • Aero Glass support - provides users with the ability to use AeroGlass for  Remote Desktop Server; ensuring that remote desktop sessions look and feel like local desktop sessions
  • Direct X redirection – For DirectX 9, 10 & 11 applications will render on the server and will be remoted using bitmaps (required direct3D hardware).  If the application supports the new DirectX 10.1 API with remoting extensions the DirectX (2D& 3D)graphics are redirected to the local client to harness the power of the GPU on the users local device, removing the need for a GPU on the server
  • Improved audio / video synchronization -  RDP improvements in Windows Server 2008 R2 are designed to provide closer synchronization of audio video in most scenarios.
  • Language Bar Redirection –easily & seamlessly control the language setting (e.g. right to left) for you RemoteApp programs using the local language bar (great for Japanese etc)
  • Task Scheduler – add the ability in Task Scheduler to ensure schedule applications never appear to users connecting with RemoteApp – for example Server Manager; this reduces user confusion.
  • Providing simplified publishing  and access to Remote Desktops and Applications.  The New Remote Desktop & Application feed provides a set of resources, such as RemoteApp programs and Remote Desktops.  These feeds are presented to Windows 7 users using the new RemoteApp & Desktop Connection control panel.  The new RemoteApp & Desktop Web Access provides the ability to connect to resources from Vista & XP in addition to Windows 7.
  • RemoteApp & Desktop Connections control panel - a user can easily connect to RemoteApp programs and Remote Desktops  using the RemoteApp & Desktop Connections
  • Seamless integration with Windows 7 – RemoteApp programs & desktops  show up in the Start Menu; A new System Tray icon shows connectivity status to all of the connections the user has
  • Unified administrative infrastructure -  both RemoteApp & Desktop connections and RemoteApp & Desktop Web Access (previously called TS Web Access); this ensure that connections can still be used from XP and Vista by using a web page)
  • Application display filtering – need to find out more
  • Designed for managed & unmanaged computers - Easy to configure and use from both managed and unmanaged (not connected to Active Directory) computers.
  • Always up to date – Once a workspace is set up the workspace keeps itself up to date until it is removed; when an admin adds an application it automatically appears on the start-menu & in the  Web Access page
  • Single sign-on experience within a workspace – ensure that only a single logon is required to access all applications and resources with a RemoteApp & Desktop connection
  • RemoteApp & Desktop Web Access - provides integration with RemoteApp & Desktop Connections to ensure a consistent list of applications is available to the user at all time, irrespective of the desktop OS used.  The default web page provides a fresh and inviting look and feel and includes a new web based login with integrated single sign-on.

Providing a better platform for partner innovation  

  • TS Web Access Customization – it is now possible to easily extend the look and feel of web access by both customers and partners using support for cascading style sheets.  It is possible to host the the webpart sharepoint .. It is also possible to create custom websites that consume the  RemoteApp & Desktop Connection  XML feed and transform these with XSLT.
  • RemoteApp & Desktop Connection – Whilst RAD connections are currently only used for Remote Desktop Services is it is possible to extend both the server side infrastructure and Windows 7 client shell to add support for any type of applications or service – even ones that don’t use RDP or remoting protocols.  This provides a single UI and point of discoverability for any service.
  • Session broker extensibility -  The session broker offers broad extensibility to enable customers and ISV to take advantage of the built in RDP redirection features whilst providing significant additional unique value through the various types of plug-ins; for example:- Policy (policy plug-in) – determining proper farm or VM for a connection - Load Balancing (filter plug-in) – Choosing the proper endpoint based on load - Orchestration (filter plug-in) – Preparing a VM to Accept RDP connections - Placement (resource plug-in) – Locating the proper VM and placing it on the proper VM Host

Completing the Remote Desktop Services toolset addressing customer  needs. Remote Desktops Services in Windows Server 2008 R2 focuses on improving management for all the existing scenarios delivered previously in Terminal Services and the exciting new scenarios in Remote Desktop Services; additionally we have added features to help improve application compatibility and ensure system stability by protecting against runway applications.

  • RDS Powershell Provider – Easily manage multiple sever and repetitive tasks - almost all Remote Desktop Services administrative tasks can now be scripted; view and edit configuration settings for RD Gateway, Remote Desktop Server and more.
  • New Kernel Scheduling for RDS scenarios – Stop runaway applications from affecting all users on a server – the new kernel scheduling mechanism for RDS fairly distributes CPU cycles across sessions. It dynamically scales the distribution based on number of active sessions and their loading.
  • Profile Improvements – The user profile cache quota removes the need to delete profiles at logoff speeding up user logon and prevents server downtime caused by disk space exhaustion due to user profile bloat. 
  • Group policy caching can now be performed across a TS Farm to speed up group policy processing during logon
  • IP Address Virtualization - Enable per-session or per application IP virtualization to meet regulatory and compliance needs & fix applications that break when it shares an IP address with other applications.
  • Microsoft Installer (MSI) compatibility – We have fixed multiple MSI related issues with Remote Desktop Server to ensure that MSI install packages can be installed normally, that per-user install settings are correctly propagated and removed the need to put the server in ‘install mode’, meaning users no longer need to be logged off.
  • Session Broker (clustering support, wizard driven, no shared disk – share based quorum config, powershell installation)

Enable Windows 7 PreBeta Build 6801 protected bits!

Posted by MBrant on November 3 2008, 7:01 AM. Posted in Windows &quot;7&quot;.

PDC blogger Rafael Rivera reported on the new Windows 7 taskbar last week. He now explains how some of the cooler features of Windows 7 aren't missing from the pre-beta build but actually locked. By reverse enginering some of the coding bits, he could unlock the new taskbar in the PDC build!

I got home and starting doing some research on a potentially new feature called Aero Shake when I stumbled upon an elaborate set of checks tied to various shell-related components, including the new Taskbar. To use these, what I call “protected features”, you must meet the following criteria:

Must be a member of an allowed domain wingroup.windeploy.ntdev.microsoft.com ntdev.corp.microsoft.com redmond.corp.microsoft.com Must not be an employee with a disallowed username prefix a- (temporary employees) v- (contractors/vendors)

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Hot off the Press: CodeFocus on IE8!

Posted by vasudev on November 2 2008, 10:54 AM. Posted in Internet Explorer.

 

In preparation for the Professional Developers Conference, the IE team recently authored some articles for a special issue of Code Focus magazine.  The articles cover everything from cross-version compatibility to performance, and include new sample code.

You can read the articles online at the following locations:

Download the Entire issue at source

Windows 7 to scale to 256 processors

Posted by bink on November 1 2008, 4:33 PM. Posted in Windows (general).

Microsoft has been hinting that even though it had no plans to make major changes to the Windows kernel, it did have a scheme up its sleeve to make Windows 7 and Windows 7 Server better suited to working on multicore/parallel systems. Now details are becoming clearer as to how Microsoft plans to do this.

During the debut of the pre-beta of Windows 7 this week, Windows Engineering Chief Steven Sinofsky made a passing reference to Windows 7 being able to scale to 256 processors. But he never said how this would be enabled.

Mark Russinovich, Technical Fellow in Microsoft’s Core OS division, explained in more detail how Microsoft has managed to do this in a video interview published on Microsoft’s Channel 9 Web site.

Russinovich said that Microsoft has managed to break the dispatcher lock in Windows — a task that had stumped even the father of the Windows NT operating system, David Cutler. When Cutler designed Windows for the server, systems beyond 32-way seemed far, far away, Russinovich said.

On more massively multiprocessor systems, Windows threads spin while waiting for the dispatcher lock. Once Cutler had been moved to work on Microsoft Red Dog (Windows Azure), another kernel developer, Arun Kishan, looked at this problem with a set of fresh eyes and found a solution, Russinovich said. By adding another state — so threads aren’t just running or waiting, but can be “pre-waiting,” as well — Windows will be better suited to running parallel, multithreaded applications running across manycore systems, Russinovich said.

Russinovich noted with the dispatcher-lock roadblock removed, a second set of locks became the new focus for folks working on the Windows kernel.

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Mark Russinovich: Inside Windows 7

XBox 360 Hard Drive 60GB Live Pack

Posted by sumeethevans on October 29 2008, 8:46 PM. Posted in Xbox.

Includes 60GB Hard Drive, 3 month card, Headset, Ethernet Cable

Jump into Xbox LIVE with the Xbox 360 60GB LIVE Starter Pack. Everything you need to get up and running is included: a spacious 60 GB Hard Drive, Headset, 3-month LIVE Gold subscription, and Ethernet cable. Save your games and profiles, along with a host of downloadable content: Xbox LIVE Arcade and Xbox Original titles, demos, game content, and HD videos.

 

 
$99.99
Pre-order Ships 11/4/2008
Ships to U.S. addresses only
Billing does not occur until shipment is processed.Pre-order low price guarantee. More info.Pre-order to receive date change notifications.

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Notes on the Windows 7 Demo from Today’s PDC Keynote

Posted by MBrant on October 29 2008, 4:23 AM. Posted in Windows &quot;7&quot;.

Just a few hours ago, Steven Sinofsky, Senior Vice President for Windows and Windows Live Engineering, did his keynote here at PDC2008 unveiling Windows 7 to the world for the first time. Steven asked Julie Larson-Green, Corporate Vice President of the Windows Experience, to come up on stage and demo specific Windows 7 features that I think you’ll find very exciting. I’d like to take a moment and share some notes I took live here from PDC from his keynote about those features that they demoed.

It’s important to note that many of these features that were demoed during the Keynote were from more recent Windows 7 build and didn’t make it into the Windows 7 build being handed out to attendees here at PDC – but we wanted to show them off to you anyway

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Welcome to Windows 7

Posted by sumeethevans on October 29 2008, 3:52 AM. Posted in Windows &quot;7&quot;.

If you're looking for information about Windows 7, you've come to the right place. And as we make new information available, we'll make sure you can find it all from here. If you want day-by-day news about Windows 7, sign up for the RSS feeds of the Windows team blogs.

Windows 7
So what is Windows 7?

It's the next version of Windows for PCs, and it's the result of working hand-in-hand with our partners and with people who use Windows in the real world every day. We're paying particular attention to the things they're telling us are important to them and will make their PCs work the way they want them to—things like enhanced reliability, responsiveness, and faster boot and shut-down. We're also trying to make their everyday tasks easier, like connecting and syncing devices, browsing the web, and managing a home network.

Of course, we're also working on new capabilities, so people will be able to do things with Windows 7 that were difficult (or perhaps impossible) to do with PCs before. Finally, we're working hard to ensure that Windows 7 will run on any PC and work with any program that works today with Windows Vista, so upgrading from Windows Vista will be easy.

We hope this helps you find what you're looking for. Please check back soon.

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Microsoft Announces the Next Version of Windows Embedded Standard to Be Built on Windows 7

Posted by sumeethevans on October 29 2008, 3:13 AM. Posted in Windows Embedded.

Today at the Embedded Systems Conference Boston, Microsoft Corp. announced plans for the next generation of Windows Embedded Standard, code-named “Quebec” to be built on Windows 7. Windows Embedded “Quebec” delivers powerful next-generation Microsoft technologies including Silverlight 2, Windows Presentation Foundation and interoperability with Visual Studio 2010. Alignment with Windows 7 features will give OEMs access to the skills and contributions of a global community of Windows developers familiar with Visual Studio. OEMs will be able to quickly develop applications and drivers for connected device scenarios requiring rich applications, services and end-user experiences connecting to Windows-based PCs, servers and Windows Web services.

Driving Connected Experiences With the Richest Set of Solutions

“Windows Embedded ‘Quebec’ will provide OEMs with the ability to further differentiate their devices by taking rich user experiences to the next level with exciting new input capabilities through multitouch, gesture support and user interface enhancements,” said Kevin Dallas, general manager of the Windows Embedded Business Unit at Microsoft. “It also will feature a rich set of componentized operating system technologies and specific features that let developers optimally size the operating system on their devices with only the drivers, services and applications they need.”

Built on Windows 7, Windows Embedded “Quebec” will offer developers a powerful, familiar and reliable experience that will include the following benefits:

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Announcing Windows Server 2008 R2!

Posted by sumeethevans on October 29 2008, 3:13 AM. Posted in Windows Server 2008.

Windows Server 2008 R2 showed its pretty face at the Professional Developers Conference today, here in Los Angeles. Hi there, my name’s Oliver Rist and I’m a new technical product manager on the Windows Server team. I’m down here in La-La Land heaving great sighs of satisfaction as we unveil the first sneak peeks of pre-beta Windows Server 2008 R2. Though this release is right in line with our announced roadmap strategy for future Server releases, there are several items of note with R2:

First and foremost, 32-bit is done. History. Archives. Windows Server 2008 R2 is the first Windows OS platform to go 64-bit only, and frankly it was high time. Customers have been unable to purchase a 32-bit server CPU for over two years now, and the advancements in CPU architectures really dictated that we squeeze as much performance out of customers’ hardware purchases as possible. The move to 64-bit is a first step.

You’ll also find that we’ve aligned R2 development around four core technology pillars:

First, there’s virtualization. R2 represents our most pervasive move into virtualization yet, including R2’s undisputed marquee feature, Live Migration. Think physical host migrations of running VMs happening in milliseconds—no service or user connection interruptions. With Live Migration, data centers can truly go virtual and largely divorce management considerations between software and hardware, and all managed from inside a single OS frame.

R2’s virtualization also extends to a new Hyper-V for Windows Server 2008 R2 (think mucho better management, beefier resources for VMs and more). And potentially more exciting, Terminal Services is updating its remote applications feature to include a true Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Think desktops and applications wrapped in virtualized packages, managed centrally and deployed to Windows 7 desktop with such tight integration most users will be unable to tell the difference between centrally hosted apps and those installed locally. (And don’t worry, a Web Access feature will let Windows XP and Windows Vista users in on the fun, too.)

Our second area of core concentration is streamlined management. R2 contains a host of new server role-specific management UIs. Even better, these are all built on PowerShell 2.0, which hosts a bunch of improvements of its own. For one, you’ll find over 240 new cmdlets inside the R2 box with more coming from other Microsoft platform products. There’s also a new Graphical PowerShell UI that adds developer-oriented features so you can more easily create your own cmdlets, including syntax coloring and better debugging tools. Add to that a new Active Directory Domain Services management console, enhanced Group Policy functions and a remote-capable Server Manager, and IT administrators have a lot to look forward to with R2.

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Microsoft Delivers Pre-Beta Release of Windows 7 to Developers and Previews New Web Applications Based on Office Software

Posted by sumeethevans on October 29 2008, 3:12 AM. Posted in Windows &quot;7&quot;.

Today at its Professional Developers Conference 2008 (PDC2008), Microsoft Corp. rallied software developers by sharing the first full public demo of Windows 7. Windows 7 extends developers’ investments in Windows Vista and encourages the creation of new applications and services for the Windows platform. The company also delivered a pre-beta build of Windows 7 to PDC attendees and announced plans to release a full Windows 7 beta early next year.

Microsoft also demonstrated, for the first time, its new Web applications for Office, which are lightweight versions of Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote that are used from within standard Web browsers. The company showed how anyone can use all of the Web, phone, and PC versions of Office to edit the same rich document, switching among them seamlessly with lossless file compatibility.

“We are bringing the best of the Web to Windows, and the best of Windows to the Web,” said Ray Ozzie, chief software architect at Microsoft. “From PC to the Web to the phone, and from the server to cloud, we are focused on enabling the creation of the next generation of user experiences that change the way we live, work and play.”

Windows 7 Preview

Windows 7 is designed to make everyday tasks faster and easier, and make new things possible for end users. Windows 7 reflects an evolved approach to engineering that incorporates customer and partner feedback more closely into the development process. It will deliver innovative new features while focusing on application and device compatibility. With Windows 7, Microsoft is working to establish a more consistent and predictable release schedule so partners across the Windows ecosystem can easily and quickly build on the new capabilities Windows has to offer.

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http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/oct08/10-28PDCDay2PR.mspx