New Vail Preview Build, come and get it!

Posted by sumeethevans on August 17 2010, 12:51 AM. Posted in Windows Home Server.

 Since releasing our first Vail beta we have received lots of great  suggestions for "Vail" and quite a few interesting bugs.  Thanks to all of you who are beta testing!  We love having you part of our extended team and appreciate your help.

This new build has plenty of enhancements and improvements over the original build and can be downloaded from the downloads section of our connect site.  If you are new to the beta, please go to to sign up for the download.  You can provide feedback about the new build through our Connect site and even log ideas or feature suggestions for future versions of Windows Home Server. 

Download At Source


Announcing the Beauty of the Web event for IE9 Beta Launch

Posted by sumeethevans on August 13 2010, 4:53 AM. Posted in Internet Explorer.

Starting today, a select group of VIP web developers, designers, bloggers and press begin receiving their invitations to an event we’re holding in San Francisco on September 15th to celebrate the Beauty of the Web and to mark the launch of the IE9 Beta.

Reception for IE9 has been very positive since MIX with over 2.5 million downloads of the platform previews. The most recent platform preview – our 4th – was released last week.

Since space is limited at the event and not many invites have been sent out, I captured what the invite process looks like so everyone could see. Invitees get an e-mail invitation with a link to a special HTML5 website. To RSVP, they have to complete a word puzzle by typing the letters shown on the screen :

Unlock the _ _ _ _ _ _ web

Beauty of the Web Invite_sml

Continue at Windows Team Blog

Microsoft readies Beta 2 of Windows Live Essentials 2011

Posted by sumeethevans on August 12 2010, 5:55 AM. Posted in Windows Live.

Microsoft is preparing to deliver a second beta of the next version of its Windows Live Essentials suite next week.

That’s the word from blogger Francisco Martin Garcia, who posted about the coming beta on his blog on August 11. (Garcia’s had a good track record on predicting Microsoft delivery dates for various consumer wares.) Enthusiast site Neowin also is reporting the second beta will hit next week, naming Tuesday, August 18 as the likely delivery date. I am hearing the 18th is Microsoft’s target for the beta, as well.

According to Garcia, the new beta will incorporate new icons, new features and many bug fixes. He didn’t specify any of those features or fixes. One fix I’m personally hoping for is to remedy whatever is kept Windows Live Messenger Wave 4 Beta 1 from working on my Windows 7 PC. I got it to work twice but then kept receiving messages telling me the service was unavailable. When I did log in, Messenger froze my PC. Microsoft officials didn’t have a suggested fix for me, so I’m back to the Wave 3 Live Messenger for now.

Microsoft officials haven’t said when to expect the company to launch the final version of Live Essentials 2011/Wave 4. Originally it was expected this summer, but fall is now looking more likely.

Continue At Source

Answering your questions with Bing and Wolfram Alpha

Posted by sumeethevans on August 11 2010, 9:06 PM. Posted in bing.

Have your kids ever asked you a question for a school paper or homework that you wish you knew?  Have you given an answer that you “think” you remember from your days in school, knowing that the information you were about to give might be very outdated? Now, with the latest release of new Bing answers through our collaboration with Wolfram|Alpha, you can get access to more types of answers quickly and confidently.

For example, maybe your child is doing a report on France and they need to find the country’s GDP or the capital, go to Bing and type in “gdp of France” or “what is the capital of France” or how about those science homework questions that you think you know but you just need to make sure, like what is the  boiling point of water? You can also use Bing to instantly compare geographical information, like comparing the current population in India to that of China or even how their literacy rates compare. Bing and Wolfram | Alpha make finding the answers to these common questions that much easier by proving this information to you right in the search results.


Full Story at Bing Community

Microsoft adds mission-critical support to its Premier program

Posted by sumeethevans on August 11 2010, 9:05 PM. Posted in Support.

Microsoft rolled out a new add-on to its Premier support program on August 10 that is aimed at companies with mission-critical needs.

That new add-on, “Premier Mission Critical,” is designed to provide the “fastest response times available from Microsoft” to get a business back up and running if an incident occurs.

The new Mission Critical add-on also has this “proactive” goal, and includes consulting time with Microsoft around the customer’s infrastructure. From the press release:

“After the initial consultation, customers receive a dedicated line for support, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with priority access to the most knowledgeable experts. If an incident occurs, Premier Mission Critical provides customers with the fastest problem resolution services available from Microsoft Corp., including a 30-minute response time and an engagement process that begins at an advanced support level.”

The products covered by Microsoft’s Mission Critical program are all on-premises ones, not cloud services or infrastructure. Products for which the program is available include the .NET Framework, BizTalk Server, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Dynamics CRM, System Center, SQL Server and Windows Server. Support is available worldwide in English only.

Full Story at All About Microsoft

Windows Intune Beta Update

Posted by sumeethevans on August 11 2010, 8:56 PM. Posted in Windows Intune.

he Windows Intune Team would like to thank you for your participation in the April release of the Windows Intune beta! As many of you may know, we announced the second public Windows Intune Beta on July 12th and we hope you have had a chance to sign up for an account and are evaluating this most recent release. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can get the second beta here.

Please be advised that the first Windows Intune beta which launched in April 2010 will be decommissioned on August 9th, 2010. After this date, you will no longer be able to manage computers with the April release. To use the second public beta, please sign up for a new account and install the new client software on each of the PCs that you wish to manage with Windows Intune. Please visit our TechNet forums for more information.


Sources: Microsoft waving Kinect beta invites around

Posted by sumeethevans on August 11 2010, 8:55 PM. Posted in Xbox.

If an invitation provided to Joystiq by several tipsters is accurate, Microsoft will soon begin the "Xbox Live and Kinect Beta Program." Several readers claim to have received the invitation via Microsoft Connect, a Microsoft service used to gather customer feedback on its products. The invitation itself includes little information about the program, though it notes that participants will be provided with "a unique opportunity to see pre-release software."


Continue at joystiq

Microsoft Security Bulletins August 2010

Posted by bink on August 11 2010, 1:29 PM.

Microsoft released 14 security bulletins, addressing 34 vulnerabilities. Eight of those bulletins have a Critical severity rating, and Microsoft considers four of those to be high-priority deployments:

  • MS10-052 This bulletin resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft's MPEG Layer-3 audio codecs. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted media file or receives specially crafted streaming content from a Web site. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user.
  • MS10-055 This bulletin resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Cinepak Codec, which is used by Windows Media Player to support the .avi audiovisual format. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted media file, or receives specially crafted streaming content from a Web site. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user.
  • MS10-056 This bulletin resolves four privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office. The most severe vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user opens or previews a specially crafted RTF e-mail message. An attacker who successfully exploited any of these vulnerabilities could gain the same user rights as the local user. Windows Vista and Windows 7 are less exploitable due to additional heap mitigation mechanisms in those operating systems.
  • MS10-060 This bulletin resolves two privately reported vulnerabilities, both of which could allow remote code execution, in Microsoft .NET Framework and Microsoft Silverlight.


The six other bulletins offered this month are rated Important. Two of the Important-level bulletins, MS10-047 and MS10-048, are Windows Kernel updates.

As always, Microsoft recommends that customers test and deploy all security updates as soon as they can.

For a closer look at some of the issues involved in these bulletins, our Security Research & Defense (SRD) team writes about MS10-048, MS10-049, and MS10-054 today on its blog.

Fourth IE9 Platform Preview Available. Next IE9 Beta

Posted by sumeethevans on August 5 2010, 7:10 AM.

IE9 started from the premise that the modern web will deliver HTML5 experiences that feel more like native applications than sites. Building on hardware-accelerated SVG, canvas, video, audio, and text, developers will use the power of the whole PC to achieve great performance. On the modern web, developers will use the same markup across different HTML5 browsers.

The fourth Platform Preview of Internet Explorer 9, available now, shows the opportunity of fully hardware-accelerated HTML5. You can run new test drive samples that show modern SVG and native JavaScript integration in action. In March, we promised to deliver platform preview releases approximately every eight weeks. With this installment, you will find more performance and more support for same markup.

Getting sites ready for Beta

With the fourth Platform Preview, we strongly recommend developers, designers, and partners to start getting your sites ready for the IE9 Beta.

  • Test your site in IE9 Standards Mode.  This mode provides the best performance and interoperability and will offer additional benefits in the IE9 Beta. We suggest using the HTML5 doctype. More details here and here.
  • We recommend sending IE9 the same standards-based markup your site sends other browsers. More details here and here. From the feedback so far, and our experience with sites, the best way to get your site working in IE9 Standards Mode is to start from the same markup other browsers receive rather than IE6, IE7, or IE8 markup.
  • Use featuredetection, not browser detection to handle any cross browser differences in behavior or feature support.  This keeps your site working even as browsers change.
  • Please continue to report issues on Connect if your site doesn’t look or work right, and you’re giving it the same code as you’re giving to other modern browsers. With IE9 Platform Preview 4, we’ve fixed over 100 community-reported issues. We will fix even more between now and the IE9 beta and want your feedback.
  • Consider the experience for IE9 Beta users if you find that sending the same markup creates more issues than you can resolve in your production site. It is possible that running your site in Compatibility View is better for your users.
  • Take advantage of HTML5, CSS3, SVG, DOM, ES5, and more… all described here in the developer guide.  We’re excited to run the amazing experiences you bring to the web using these new capabilities, taking advantage of hardware through IE9.

Continue at IE Engineering Blog

The new Hotmail is now available to everyone!

Posted by sumeethevans on August 5 2010, 7:07 AM. Posted in Windows Live Hotmail.

Here at Hotmail, we’ve had quite a busy week! All of our customers are now upgraded. The majority of you got the new Hotmail just this past week, as we completed the rollout to over 350 million people in more than 220 countries around the world. Now, everyone can take advantage of a faster Hotmail experience with great new features like one-click filters, Sweep, Active Views and more.

We hope you like the new Hotmail. We want to hear from you, whether you like it or whether you’re having any issues or problems (or just found things you don’t like). You can leave comments in this blog, use our support forums or click the feedback link right in Hotmail (you can find it in the lower right corner of the page).

We’ve already gotten lots of feedback, and we’ve already made some changes based on the feedback we’ve received – for instance, we no longer sign you into Messenger by default. We’ll continue to go through feedback, and we’ll continue to make improvements and updates. So, keep the comments coming and thanks for using Hotmail.

Via windowsteamblog

Introducing Microsoft® Visual Studio® LightSwitch™

Posted by sumeethevans on August 4 2010, 12:29 AM. Posted in Visual Studio.

Today during the VSLive! keynote here in Redmond I announced a new product called Microsoft® Visual Studio® LightSwitch™, which is the simplest way to build business applications for the desktop and cloud.  LightSwitch is a new member of the Visual Studio family focused on making it easy to develop line of business applications.

At their core, most end user business applications combine two things:  data + screens.  LightSwitch is optimized around making these two things very simple.  Let’s walk through a simple example which demonstrates how easy it is to get going.

Hello World

LightSwitch is a stand alone Visual Studio product (it will also be available in future versions of Visual Studio Professional and above).  VS Professional gives you a lot of options for building your application, including being able to build top tier enterprise wide apps.  This is very powerful but also presents you with a lot of options to sort out up front as you contemplate your architecture.  With LightSwitch we make it really simple with two choices:  VB or C#!

Other Data, Including SharePoint

Not all of your data is stored in a single database.  Often time you need to combine data from more than one database as well as other data sources.  LightSwitch makes it easy for you to do joins across disparate data sources (internally using WCF RIA Services to serve up the data).  So as an example you can attach to a SharePoint list and create new screens that combine data from a database and SharePoint.  Being able to do this kind of data mash up is very powerful.  Being able to do the join without having to write any code is just awesome :-)

Kick Starting the Cloud

I’m sure you’ve seen that we are “All in” on the Cloud and LightSwitch is no exception.  In fact LightSwitch has been designed to target the cloud using the same set of data and screen designers I’ve shown above.  You can easily create your schema and store data using SQL Azure.  Your running business logic can be hosted in the Azure cloud meaning you never have to do administration work.  The really powerful thing about this is there is nothing special for you to do in order to run in the cloud.  You will simply do the deploy step when you are happy with your app and then point your users at the URL.  The same is true of SQL Azure:  it is just like any other database you can target.

Running in the Browser

By default LightSwitch produces a desktop application.  This kind of app can work very easily with local data and can integrate with Office as mentioned above.  Some times you will also want to give access to the application in the browser.  This is very easy using the Properties settings for the application:

Full Story at

MS10-046 Released Out-of-Band Today

Posted by sumeethevans on August 3 2010, 12:52 AM. Posted in Security.

As we announced on Friday, today we released Security Bulletin MS10-046 out-of-band to address a vulnerability in Windows. This security update addresses a vulnerability in the handling of shortcuts that affects all currently supported versions of Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. As our colleagues over in the MMPC have noted, several families of malware have been attempting to attack this vulnerability. The security update protects against attempts to exploit this issue.

For customers using automatic updates, this update will automatically be applied once it is released. Customers not using automatic updates should download, test and deploy this update as quickly as possible.

As we do with every bulletin release, we will be hosting a webcast to address your questions today at 1PM Pacific Time. Register now.

Source: MSRC