Facebook chat in Hotmail now available everywhere

Posted by sumeethevans on February 23 2011, 4:37 AM. Posted in Windows Live Hotmail.

Facebook chat is available to Hotmail customers worldwide, wherever Facebook is available.

When we first announced the ability to chat with Facebook friends from Hotmail, we were only able to offer this to customers in six regions. Since then, we’ve been working with Facebook to increase availability, and a few weeks ago, we announced that the feature was available globally through Messenger. Today this is available around the world through Hotmail too. And while Gmail beat us to bringing their own chat into the inbox, we have now gone a step further and brought both our own chat and Facebook chat into your inbox. Starting now, we will be displaying notifications of this update in Hotmail.

Since announcing the availability of Facebook chat in Messenger worldwide two weeks ago, nearly 2.5 more million people connected their Facebook accounts to Windows Live, bringing the total to over 20 million customers. And with three out of four Hotmail customers using Facebook, we expect that many more people will want to take advantage of this feature, now that it’s available from your Hotmail inbox.

Facebook chat now available in Hotmail

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Kinect for Windows SDK to Arrive Spring 2011

Posted by sumeethevans on February 23 2011, 4:36 AM. Posted in Xbox.

Ever since the November launch of Kinect for Xbox 360, enthusiasts and academic researchers alike have expressed their excitement and intense interest in the possibilities created by the product’s ability to enable users to bring games and entertainment to life without using a controller.

Kinect for Xbox 360 and the potential seen within its core technology have captured the imaginations of the academic research and enthusiast communities. To encourage and support that creativity, on Feb. 21, Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, and Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, announced that the company plans to release a non-commercial Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) from Microsoft Research this spring.

“Microsoft’s investments in natural user interfaces are vital to our long-term vision of creating computers that are intuitive to use and able to do far more for us,” said Mundie. “The fruits of these research investments are manifesting across many of our products, Kinect for Xbox 360 among them.”

While Microsoft plans to release a commercial version at a later date, this SDK will be a starter kit to make it simpler for the academic research and enthusiast communities to create rich natural user interfaces using Kinect technology. The SDK will give users access to deep Kinect system information such as audio, system application-programming interfaces, and direct control of the Kinect sensor.

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Our first Windows Phone update—and how to get it

Posted by sumeethevans on February 22 2011, 6:12 AM. Posted in Windows Phone 7 Series.

Starting today, some of you might see something new on your Windows Phone: A message announcing that a software update is available. Woo hoo!

Now, before you get too excited, let me explain: This isn’t the update you’ve probably been reading about or perhaps waiting for, the one with copy and paste (but that’s coming soon). 

What’s in this update?

This first update for Windows Phone is designed to improve the software update process itself. So while it might not sound exciting, it’s still important because it’s paving the way for all future goodie-filled updates to your phone, such as copy and paste or improved Marketplace search.

In the future, I encourage you to check out our new update history page on the Windows Phone website for a brief, plain-English summary of what each update does or what features it adds to your phone.

When will I get this update?

We’ll begin sending it out today. But to help ensure the process goes smoothly, it won’t be sent to everyone at once. So you might see an update message before your spouse, co-worker, or neighbor (or vice versa). This is a common industry practice. That said, we understand you’re eager to have the latest software on your phone, and our goal is to deliver it to you as quickly as possible.

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Windows 8 roadmap: A picture is worth a thousand build numbers

Posted by sumeethevans on February 22 2011, 6:11 AM. Posted in Windows (general).

In early 2011, a source of mine passed on to me what he claimed was a snapshot of the internal Windows 8 roadmap. On that roadmap snippet are a lot of alleged internal dates for Windows 8 Milestone 2, the second of what are expected to be three major internal builds of Windows 8. I showed off this roadmap during a ZDNet Webcast I did recently on Windows 8 and slates (which is available for listening as a free, on-demand file).

Here is the Windows 8 roadmap slide I showed off, for those who missed it:

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Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 has RTM’d

Posted by sumeethevans on February 22 2011, 6:10 AM. Posted in MultiPoint Server.

We are so pleased to announce to you that today Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 is available on the Download Center and to MSDN and TechNet Subscribers a bit later this week. This availability follows the official hand off of the final release (RTM) of Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 to our OEM partners which happened on February 11, 2011.

Volume License(VL) customers will be able to download and purchase Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 on March 1, 2011. Broader, public availability through partners will start mid-April 2011.

And by the way the evaluation version available on the Download Center today can be turned into a full production version when you purchase your VL license of Windows MultiPoint Server 2011- so there is no need for re-installation.

We also would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our beta testers for providing feedback and helping us refine and enhance the experience for this new product release.

There has been a lot of discussions around Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 over the last few weeks: it started at the BETT show, the largest tradeshow of Education technology, that took place in London early January where we first had the opportunity to showcase face to face Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 to customers and partners from around the world.

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[UPDATE] Lync/OCS to Windows Live Messenger Public IM Connectivity (PIC) Service Outage

Posted by sumeethevans on February 22 2011, 6:09 AM. Posted in OCS.

Microsoft Customer Service and Support, Lync/OCS and Windows Live Messenger teams are currently investigating a possible loss of service for enterprise Lync and OCS customers who federate with Windows Live Messenger.  The appropriate teams are actively investigating this issue and are working towards the quickest possible resolution.  I will update this notification again when full service has been restored or as developments warrant.

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RESOLVED: MSN PIC connectivity has been restored. Users may need to sign out and back into their client before seeing successful conversations/presence. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Top 5 UX updates in IE9 RC

Posted by bink on February 19 2011, 4:57 PM.

Based on your feedback, we also made it much easier to refine search queries in the One Box. Based on your feedback, IE9’s download manager will now display the download speed, and download notifications are animated and more noticeable. Based on your feedback, pinned sites now support multiple home pages – “redefining awesome” according to this comment. With Paste & Navigate (Control-Shift-L), hardcore enthusiasts can save a step pasting into the address bar. We’ve reduced the number of pixels in the frame, and updated the visuals, making the active tab easier to identify, and made it easier to close inactive tabs. We acted on your feedback unless there was a clear pattern of inconsistency (for example, big back button is bad… no, it’s good). There’s a list at the end of this post of additional improvements, and we will detail them in future blog posts.

In hindsight, this comment from the original beta post was prescient:

  • Tabs on same line as address bar! If this is believed to be the better way of doing things by yourselves then fine, leave it as defaullt but at least give us the option to move it around!!
  • Download speed not shown in download dialog. ??? Not acceptable.
  • Somebody said something about paste and go...it is indeed a useful feature. Can't be too hard to implement ;)

In this video you can see some of these changes that resulted from the feedback you provided:

Get Microsoft Silverlight Acting on Feedback IE9 Release Candidate Available for Download - IEBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blog

Lync Server 2010, Best Practices Analyzer

Posted by sumeethevans on February 18 2011, 9:12 PM. Posted in OCS.

The Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Best Practices Analyzer is designed for administrators who want to determine the overall health of their Lync Server environment.

You can use Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Best Practices Analyzer to identify and resolve problems with your Lync Server deployment. The Lync Server 2010, Best Practices Analyzer gathers configuration information from Lync Server 2010 components.With the proper network access, the Best Practices Analyzer can examine servers running Active Directory Domain Services, Exchange Server Unified Messaging (UM), and Lync Server. You can use Best Practices Analyzer to do the following:
  • Proactively perform checks, verifying that the configuration is set according to recommended best practices.
  • Automatically detect required updates to Lync Server 2010.
  • Generate a list of issues, such as suboptimal configuration settings, unsupported options, missing updates, or practices that we do not recommend.
  • Help you troubleshoot and fix specific problems.

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Introducing the February 2011 Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit

Posted by sumeethevans on February 18 2011, 9:11 PM. Posted in Windowss Phone 7 Series.

Today we pushed the button on the February 2011 release of the Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit. We’ve added a few new controls that previously app developers had to pick up separately while working on polishing their apps, including the tilt effect and performance progress bar. VB samples, too!
  • The tilt effect in use on the main page
  • The LongListSelector, which has received a number of improvements and bug fixes
  • The performance progress bar, including a quick demonstration where the blue progress bar (the PerformanceProgressBar in the toolkit) competes against the red standard ProgressBar with the user interface thread blocked. Also, the blue performance progress bar automatically fades out, yielding a smooth UX polish for your apps.
  • The tilt effect page, where you see a button, checkbox, and hyperlinkbutton being touched, responding with the tilt effect underneath.
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    Must-Have articles for Troubleshooting RemoteFX issues in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

    Posted by sumeethevans on February 18 2011, 9:09 PM. Posted in Windows Server 2008.

    As I mentioned last week, Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is in the midst of full public release. One of the new features of SP1 is RemoteFX, which I plan to post about soon. In the mean time, if you are running SP1 and using RemoteFX, please look to the following articles for some known issues you might run into:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2501763

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2501816

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2505030

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2506391

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2505694

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2506417

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2506434

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