Microsoft to Extend Office to the Browser

Posted by sumeethevans on October 29 2008, 3:11 AM. Posted in Office.

As part of a strategic companywide shift toward embracing web-based solutions, Microsoft today announced plans to deliver Office Web applications – lightweight versions of Office – through web browsers.
Viewing OneNote notes in OneNote Web application.
Viewing OneNote notes in OneNote Web application.
Click for hi-res version

At the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, where the announcement was made, PressPass spoke with Chris Capossela, Senior Vice President, Microsoft Business Division. We asked him how Office Web applications complement Office, and what this will mean for people who use Office applications.

PressPass: What are you announcing today?

Capossela: As part of the next release of Office, we’re announcing that Microsoft will deliver Office Web applications - lightweight versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote - through a browser. With these new applications, people can use a browser to create, edit, and collaborate on Office documents. What’s great is that this provides a consistent Office experience when and where our customers want it, regardless of whether they are accessing their Office documents through the PC, phone, or browser.

PressPass: What does this announcement mean for Microsoft?

Capossela: We are on a path to deliver all our technology as “software plus services,” and today is an important milestone in this journey. For more than 10 years, millions of workers have benefited from Microsoft cloud-based services, including Hosted Exchange, Outlook Web Access and Live Meeting. Earlier this year, we announced Microsoft Online, which businesses such as Coca-Cola Enterprises, Blockbuster, and Energizer are using to access Exchange and SharePoint over the Web. Last month, more than 1 million people turned to Office Live Workspace for sharing and collaborating over the Internet.

Full Story At Source

Microsoft Unveils Windows Azure

Posted by vasudev on October 28 2008, 6:32 AM. Posted in PDC 2008.

 Today, during a keynote speech at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2008 (PDC2008), Ray Ozzie, Microsoft Corp.’s chief software architect, announced Windows Azure, the cloud-based service foundation underlying its Azure Services Platform, and highlighted this platform’s role in delivering a software plus services approach to computing. The Azure Services Platform is an industry-leading move by Microsoft to help developers build the next generation of applications that will span from the cloud to the enterprise datacenter and deliver compelling new experiences across the PC, Web and phone.

Ozzie described how this platform combines cloud-based developer capabilities with storage, computational and networking infrastructure services, all hosted on servers operating within Microsoft’s global datacenter network. This provides developers with the ability to deploy applications in the cloud or on-premises and enables experiences across a broad range of business and consumer scenarios..................................Continue At Source 

Azure Services Platform Web site

Introducing Windows Azure

Windows Server 2008 R2 Overview Feature Overview

Posted by bink on October 27 2008, 1:00 PM. Posted in Windows Server 2008.

This week at PDC 2008 in LA and next week at WinHEC 2008 Microsoft will announce details about the next release of Windows codename Windows Seven. In this article I will inform you about what is coming to Windows Seven Server, which will be released as Windows Server 2008 R2, this is the same release schedule as first used with Window Server 2003 (Major release, Minor Release). For this reason I still find it strange that Microsoft used "Seven" as a codename (for client even releasename). For both client and server this is a minor release or point release, the kernel version is 6.x and not 7.0. Ah well, marketing is not my thing I guess.

As stated by Bink.nu few years back already, this Windows release will be a 64 bit only version, a logical decision, since all server hardware for a few years now is 64 capable. (Maybe Windows Seven Client Starter Edition will still be 32 bit)

With the release of Windows Seven it is the second time that Microsoft will release both client and server at the same time, just like it happened when Windows 2000 was launched in January 2000.

Hyper-V 2.0

2008 R2 will include Hyper-V R2, it promises to deliver the final pieces for enterprise level OS virtualization (together with SCVMM2008) and to really compete with VMware at that level.

Live Migration

The most anticipated is of course Live Migration: moving running VM's from one host to another without interruption of services running inside the VM's

To accomplisch this technique a new shared filesytem is needed and so will also be introduced in Hyper-V 2.0: Clustered Shared Volumes.

The Live migration works best together with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, it can provide additional Live Migration management and orchestration scenarios such as Live Migration via policy.

Cool thing is you only need to update to Hyper-V 2.0, none of the rest of the infractructere needs updating.

Logical Processor Support

  • Support for 32 logical processors on host computer
  • Twice the initial supported number of logical processors of Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V

Hot add remove storage

  • Add and remove VHD and pass-through disks to a running VM without requiring a reboot.
  • Hot-add/remove disk only applies to VHDs and pass-through disks attached to the SCSI controller (not the IDE controller)
  • Hot-add remove of storage controllers is not supported

Benefits

  • Enables storage growth in VMs without downtime
  • Enables additional datacenter backup scenarios

SLAT

Second Level Translation (SLAT)

Overview

  • Leverage new processor features to improve performance and reduce load on Windows Hypervisor
  • AMD: Enhanced Page Tables
  • Intel: Nested Page Tables
  • Benefits
  • Improved memory management performance
  • Memory usage of Windows Hypervisor will decrease from approximately 5% to 1% of total physical memory.
  • More memory will be available for child partitions enabling higher consolidation ratios

Dynamic Memory

Overview

  • Pool of memory is dynamically distributed across VMs
  • Memory is dynamically allocated/removed based VM usage with no service interruption

Benefits

  • Enables much higher consolidation ratios per host by addressing the greatest limiting factor to consolidation: Memory

How

  • VM memory configuration includes:
  • Initial (what VM will boot with)
  • Minimum (what VM is guaranteed)
  • Maximum (what VM can grow to)
  • Memory is added via Hot-Add MEM functionality
  • Memory is removed via Balloon driver (supported OSs)

!!NOTE:The Dynamic Memory feature, will not be available as a part of the Beta for WS08 R2.  Microsoft is still evaluating options to make this feature available as a part of RC/RTM of WS08 R2. So let's hope this won't be killed before release.

Boot from VHD

Allows any VHD to work on physical hardware, this is very interesting! Boot an OS VHD on your physical hardware

Terminal Services

Terminal services will get whole new Platform Improvements like a New API, Connection Broker Extensibility, Dynamic CPU Allocation,  IP address virtualization, Best Practices Analyzer! and Full MSI support.

I will get more in to this at WinHEC.

New Management Features

  • The Server manager will able to remote manage servers! Also performance counter viewer in Server Manager. And best: The Best Practices Analyzer integrated into Server Manager.
  • Top server roles/tasks can be managed using remote & local PowerShell scripts, meaning virtually every AD, DNS, DHCP task can be done using Powershell 2.0 J
  • Easier migration of roles and core server settings from WS03/08/WS7 to Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Active Directory Domain Services: New console called Active Directory Administration Center, Powershell 2.0 based, AD recycle bin J, Offline Domain Join, managed service accounts and more.

PowerShell 2.0

PowerShell 2.0 includes the ability to extend PowerShell scripts functionality by using the following features:

New commandlets

A UI for powershell J

Create advanced functions. Advanced functions allow you to write wrappers around existing cmdlets. PowerShell 2.0 searches for functions first and then cmdlets. This allows advanced functions to take precedence over cmdlets.

Call .NET application programming interfaces (APIs). This feature allows you to extend your PowerShell with the features provided by any .NET API.

Improved script debugging. PowerShell 2.0 allows you to set breakpoints on lines, columns, functions, variables, and commands. You can also specify actions to run when the breakpoint is hit. The debugging environment supports stepping into, over, or out of functions. You can also get the call stack information (breakpoints)

Subscription-based interface to Windows Event System. This feature allows your PowerShell scripts to respond to specific events in event logs.

Write cmdlets in PowerShell script. This feature allows you to write cmdlets in PowerShell instead of compiled C# or VB.NET.

Script Internationalization. This new feature allows PowerShell script authors to write scripts that can be translated to any language supported by Windows.

Improved Portability of PowerShell Scripts and Cmdlets

Another area of improvement for PowerShell 2.0 is in the area of portability. The improved portability in PowerShell 2.0 allows you to easily move PowerShell scripts and cmdlets between computers.

The features that help improve the portability of PowerShell scripts and cmdlets include:

New module architecture. This architecture allows the packaging of cmdlets, which includes the definition and packaging of scripts. You can send these packaged modules to other administrators.

New method of storing configuration information. PowerShell version 1.0 some of the configuration  was put in the registry. In PowerShell version 2.0 the configuration is stored in an .xml file . The .xml file allows the configuration information to be more easily moved from one computer to another.

Note: Although you must uninstall  PowerShell 1.0 before installing PowerShell 2.0, the registry settings are automatically migrated to the .xml file.

2008 R2 Power Management

  • Reduce power consumption by using only the power needed to drive a workload
  • Reduced multi-core processor power consumption
    • Core parking J
  • Centralized control of active power policies, to enable servers to "throttle-down" during off hours by using DMTF-compliant remote management interfaces
  • SANs connected to Windows Server will be able to opt-in to go into a lower power state when they're not being fully utilizedUPDATE: The latest customer feedback to the development team indicated that this capability is a much lower priority than other new features planned for Windows Server 2008 R2. So with that feedback in mind, Microsoft has made a decision to focus its development resources on other top features, and SAN power management will not be included in R2. Microsoft has not yet made a determination if or how this capability will be included in a future release.
  • New Logo Program with specially for Power AQ

Direct Access

Direct Access allows access to resources on Corporate network without the need to establish a VPN connection, invisible to end users.

This feature was originally announced as part of R2 of Server 2003, implemented the same way as Outlook Anywhere does (RPC over HTTPS), but now it is implemented using the latest technologies: SSTP, IPSec and IPv6.

Branchoffice Cache

Branchoffice Cache, caches  http & SMB downloaded by users in the branch, users can quickly open files stored in the cache which frees up network bandwidth for other uses.

Server Core

.NET for Core installation! Yes Microsoft componentized .NET framework the same way as they did with VISTA/2008 OS components. So now it is possible to install .NET Framework on Core with all the benefits that come with it, like asp.net websites! And PowerShell 2.0 J!!

More to come this week on Bink.nu.

 

 

 

Windows Seven Software Logo Program

Posted by bink on October 27 2008, 12:23 AM. Posted in Windows (general).

Microsoft just published the Windows Seven Software Logo Program Requirements Document on MS download center, which states that it is confidential and under NDA, that is weird practice [:^)]

Proposed technical requirements for the Windows 7 Software Logo for Client
 
Windows has a broad ecosystem of products and partners that all support Windows. Displaying the Windows brand on your product represents a relationship and a shared commitment to quality between Microsoft and your company. Customers trust that seeing the Windows brand on your product ensures that it has been verified to work well on Windows. The Windows 7 Software Logo program is made up of policies and requirements that help ensure logo’d applications are easy to install and reliable on PCs running Windows 7. The purpose of this document is to outline the technical requirements an application must meet in order to participate in the Windows 7 Software Logo Program.
 
Download At Source
 

Embrace the new .NET Logo!

Posted by MBrant on October 26 2008, 4:56 AM. Posted in .NET.

Microsoft gave .NET a new logo. Stephan van Stekelenburg is reporting:

"Yay! After only 8 years of the old .NET logo, today is actually the day Microsoft announces a new logo for the best technology until the day of today, and I like it."

Full Story At Source

Exclusive article: Windows 7: Looking ahead at PDC

Posted by MBrant on October 26 2008, 4:02 AM. Posted in Windows (general), Windows Vista, Windows "7", PDC 2008.

What can we expect to see of Windows 7 at the upcoming Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (or PDC) next week? We take a sneak peak at some of the features or improvements leaked, discussed or presented the last couple of weeks. This list isn’t accurate as Microsoft has deliberately been quiet about Windows 7 and its main features. Expect to hear about most of the following article next week when Windows 7 is officially uncovered to developers, IT pros, the press and the rest of the public at Microsoft PDC 2008!

Will Windows 7 get a cool new user-interface in terms of graphical overhaul?

Nope. Microsoft did officially state they won’t be changing the UI allot (like they did when moving from Windows XP to Windows Vista) as, although very cool, most people get scared when seeing a new UI. The average user or users with less computer experience had some trouble with adapting to the (rather minor, in my opinion) changes Windows Vista brought. So be prepared to be let down when it comes to the graphical appearance of the system itself if you were expected something better / newer / nicer. There are however putting some effort into making the experience more uniform across the system

Will Windows 7 have a completely new and rewritten kernel powering the OS giving us more power?

Nope. Microsoft stated on their official Windows 7 blog they won’t be brining a brand new kernel to the system as it’s simply not needed. The current NT kernel is just fine and, although people like to think otherwise, is fairly fast. They did say they are brining improvements to the kernel as always. One should also consider the compatibility issues one could get when changing some as fundamental as the Windows kernel itself.

I hate User Account Control (UAC) in Vista! Are they going to change that at all?

Nope. UAC as designed is a basic security and permissions/access design that should be implemented in every modern day operating system. Linux and Mac OS X have had this design for ages now, separating users from admins and raising privileges on the spot when needed. In some of the latest leaked screenshots, it showed Microsoft is however working on refining the user experience when using User Account Control. It showed a configuration panel allowing the user to set when and how the user should be notified of UAC notifications. Also note that Microsoft is very much paying attention to the general public on this issue. Based upon user input when Vista launched, Microsoft refined UAC in the Windows Vista Service Pack 1 release.

Full Story At Source. PDF Download link At Source.

Emergency Patch.. The effect on installations?

Posted by MBrant on October 24 2008, 1:55 AM. Posted in Windows (general), Windows XP, Windows Server 2008, Security, Windows x64, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center, Windows Vista, Seven, Windows "7".

Microsoft has been quick to act on informing IT pros and the general public on the security issue in nearly every NT-based Windows version out in the wild however more details are still lacking.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

The bug concerns the Server service found in all NT-based Windows OS responsible for communication between computers in a Windows based Network allowing for remote execution of code.

Bink first reported the issue along with a link to the rather small KB article. Since then Microsoft updated the article (several times?) to provide more information to the public. Questions are raised after seeing this additional information.

<o:p></o:p>Why are Windows 2000 / XP / 2003 rated "Critical" and why are Vista and 2008 rated "Important"?<o:p></o:p>Why is there information available on what could happen on Windows 2000 / XP / 2003 systems but not on what could happen to Vista and 2008 systems?<o:p></o:p>Why are Windows Server 2008 Core installations effected?<o:p></o:p>Who found this critical flaw? (Internal or external reporting)<o:p></o:p>How come Windows 7 is effected? (This also confirms the bug is in the deep roots of the NT Server service and no major overhaul is taking place in concerning these types of services in Windows 7, not that a overhaul was expected.)<o:p></o:p>The updated are available to all users via Windows Update right now. All systems using the default autoupdate settings should get the patch tonight. For enterprise deployment, please refer to the deployment guide.<o:p></o:p>

Hopefully when the systems are patched, we could get a glimpse on how this bug works and how it could be there has been a flaw in a modern and secure system for over 8 years now. More information will be posted as it comes available.

Emergency Patch Details: Server Service vulnerability

Posted by bink on October 24 2008, 12:28 AM. Posted in Security.

This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in the Server service. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if an affected system received a specially crafted RPC request. On Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 systems, an attacker could exploit this vulnerability without authentication to run arbitrary code. It is possible that this vulnerability could be used in the crafting of a wormable exploit. Firewall best practices and standard default firewall configurations can help protect network resources from attacks that originate outside the enterprise perimeter.

This security update is rated Critical for all supported editions of Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and rated Important for all supported editions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 ( also Core) and Windows Seven.

Full Story At Source

Microsoft: iPhone and Android are no threat

Posted by sumeethevans on October 23 2008, 8:07 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

Windows Mobile has nothing to fear from either the iPhone or Google Android, says Microsoft's John Curran.

TechRadar asked the Windows business lead for Microsoft UK how he saw Windows Mobile, Android and the iPhone divvying up market share in three years' time.

"Well I would have to say that number one would be, not surprisingly, Microsoft," says Curran. "We've got over 50 partners... from a hardware perspective we're really well positioned."

Placing Android and Apple in order in the remaining three rivals is "a tough call", he continues. "One's an emerging one, the other is a very limited form factor. One has relatively limited hardware support and limited distribution; the other is just one form factor from one company with limited choices of operators. So they both at this point feel fairly restrictive compared to all the great options consumers would have with a Windows Mobile phone."

Full Story At Source

BE AWARE: Microsoft will release an emergency security patch today!!

Posted by bink on October 23 2008, 6:12 PM. Posted in Security.

Microsoft notified me that they will release an emergency security patch later today.

Thursday October 23rd, 17:00 GMT (That is 19:00 for GMT+1+summertime)

All Microsoft said is that the vulnerability can be remotely exploited by malware.

Microsoft advices every Windows user / administrator to update their machines

Every currently supported Windows version is affected, so:

Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Vista, Windows 2008, 2008 Core.

I'm not sure if all editions are affected, but it does look like it, so also Windows Embedded? Windows CE ? 2008 Core installation? Hyper-V Server?

To my knowlegde this is only the second time that Microsoft has released an out of band security patch.

 

UPDATE: now posted: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms08-oct.mspx

 

 

The Windows 7 Blog for Developers

Posted by vasudev on October 23 2008, 4:52 PM. Posted in Windows &quot;7&quot;.

 Welcome to the first post of a new Windows 7 blog. This blog will mainly focus on the development aspects of Windows 7 by providing valuable content for developers. We shell call this blog “The Windows 7 Blog for Developers”. By valuable content we mean that this blog will be a “one stop shop” on the road to get yourself familiar with what Windows 7 has to offer for developers and how you can “Light-Up” using Windows 7 features in your application.With your help, this blog should evolve to become some sort of Windows 7 developer content index. If you are looking to write some code using one of Windows 7 new features, you should find some reference to that topic in this blog. If you don’t find it, please feel free to comment and we’ll try to pick the subject as quick as possible. In case you have content you want to share, ping us so we can write a post and reference your content. You can also expect this blog to have lots of code samples, and cool demo showcasing some Window 7’s new features. You can also expect this blog to have Web Cast with different people .................Continue At Source