Monday, September 14, 2009

Get Free Windows 7 Ultimate Signature Edition with Party Pack By Hosting Win7 Launch Party

In a new campaign to promote Windows 7, Microsoft is giving chances to Windows 7 enthusiasts around the world to be part of Windows history by hosting a house party to mark the official launch of Windows 7. The host will not only get the rare opportunity to invite friends, buddies, relatives and other guests to his or her home for a reason (Windows 7 launch), but will also get a special “Signature Edition” of Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 7 Party Pack for free.

The Windows 7 Launch House Parties to the tune of thousands will be available globally, as Microsoft intends to select participants to host personal Windows 7 Launch Party in the following countries:

Hong Kong

Friday, June 5, 2009

Windows Vista Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Available for Download

Service Pack 2, the latest service pack for both Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, is now available for public download . SP2 supports new types of hardware and emerging hardware standards, includes all of the updates that have been delivered since SP1, and simplifies deployment for consumers, developers, and IT professionals. For more details, see the TechNet page for Service Pack 2 for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Microsoft Bing is live, but Bing is not Live Search

Microsoft has launched new search engine last week called Bing.

Bing: Microsoft's search engine unexpectedly live, but not LiveMicrosoft has made its new search engine available ahead of schedule, and is redirecting searches from Live Search to the new site

If you fancied using Microsoft's new search engine, it's unexpectedly live at . (According to Microsoft, it was being opened at the SMX search marketing conference in Seattle on Wednesday.)

Or rather, Microsoft's new "Decision Engine and consumer brand" is unexpectedly live. Microsoft says:

Bing is specifically designed to build on the benefits of today's search engines but begins to move beyond this experience with a new approach to user experience and intuitive tools to help customers make better decisions, focusing initially on four key vertical areas: making a purchase decision, planning a trip, researching a health condition or finding a local business.

Bing is not Live Search, though obviously it's based on it, and the current UK beta version still has Live's front page layout, rather than a menu down the left hand side, which is the format for the US version. The UK also doesn't seem to have any image hot spots, and other features. To get the "real thing," go here.

It's too soon to say whether Bing will attract long-term users, rather than tyre-kickers. However, the reception on Twitter has been reasonably positive.

It does seem to work much better than Google for finding real product info and reviews, where Google's results are loaded with spam and price comparison rubbish. As @studentsoftware noted on Twitter: "Keyword stuffing that skews Google search results doesn't quite work in bing. Bing 1 Google 0. Over to you SEO gurus..."

Some Google commands also work -- for example, try ["psp go"] -- which could ease the changeover.

The Search History feature, which keeps a list of your previous searches down the left hand side, is obvious but excellent.

But in most respects, Google still rules. The fact is that Bing is an incomplete beta, and while it's not bad, it's not actually a match for Google at the moment.

Microsoft knows perfectly well that it's going to take it "years and years and years" (in Steve Ballmer's words) to get anywhere in search, if it ever does. It knows it has to overtake Yahoo first. In that sense, comparisons with Google are misguided, though we're all making them. In reality, Bing is competing with Yahoo and Ask to be the leading Google alternative, and that's how its success -- or failure -- should be evaluated.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 Now Awailable

Download the Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Beta 1

Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4 are the next generation of Microsoft development tools. They work together to accelerate the process of turning vision into reality for the developer. Visual Studio 2010 Professional has been engineered to support the development of applications for Windows, the Web, and Office.

As expected, on May 20, Microsoft made the Beta 1 bits of its Visual Studio 2010 release downloable by anyone interested in testing Microsoft’s forthcoming release of its developer tool suite.

Microsoft released the Beta 1 VS 2010 bits on Monday, May 18, to TechNet and MSDN subscribers. Both MSDN/TechNet subscribers and the public are able to test VS 2010 Professional, Team Suite, Team Foundation Server and the .Net Framework 4.

A list of what’s new in the 2010 release is on Microsoft’s MSDN Web site, including everything from the inclusion in the box of the new F# concurrent programming language, to parallel development techologies, to better support for Silverlight and the Windows Presentation Foundation. And a handy list of related VS 2010 resources is available here.

Company officials have not provided a target ship date for the final VS 2010 suite, but a number of company watchers (including me) think it will ship before the end of calendar 2009.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Internet Explorer 8 is now available

Microsoft has finally launched Internet Explorer 8.0 on 20-Mar-09. You can download it from it here

Internet Explorer 8 empowers content providers to create the richest, most dynamic experiences on the Web, extending the reach and value of online services. Whether you’re a developer, a systems integrator, or a sales and marketing professional, Internet Explorer 8 offers new possibilities for increasing revenue by building out solid solutions and service practice offerings.
Download Internet Explorer 8 and discover innovative features that help people browse faster easier, and safer than ever before.

Web Slice
A Web Slice is a navigation shortcut that can help eliminate the need to continually visit favorite websites to check for updates to e-mail, weather reports, sports scores, stock quotes, and other frequently modified content. When a Web Slice is available on a Web page, a green Web Slices icon appears in the upper-right hand corner of the browser. You can then subscribe to the Web Slice, and it will be added to the Favorites bar in your browser. When new information is available, the Web Slice is highlighted. Clicking on the highlighted Web Slice gives you a preview of the new information. You then have the option of clicking on the highlighted Web Slice to go directly to the other site to view the content.

Accelerators are a feature of Internet Explorer 8 that help you quickly perform your everyday browsing tasks without having to navigate to other websites to find the information you’re seeking. You can highlight text on any Web page and then click on the blue Accelerator icon for a list of available Accelerators that can instantly provide access to common web services. For example, if you need to find directions, you can highlight an address, click on an Accelerator, and view a map and directions, without having to cut and paste the address and open a new browser window.
Internet Explorer 8 Gallery?
The Internet Explorer 8 Gallery displays Web Slices, Accelerators, and other Internet Explorer add-ons that are currently available for use in customizing your Internet Explorer 8 browser. Everything featured in the Gallery is free for download and use. There is also no charge to submit an add-on to the Gallery.

The Internet Explorer Add-ons Gallery currently represents 19 languages across 22 locales. They are: US, Brazil, China (Chinese Simplified), Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, India (English), Israel (Hebrew), Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico (Spanish), Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan (Chinese Traditional), Turkey, UK.
Visual Search?
Internet Explorer 8 has teamed with top search providers such as Live Search, Wikipedia, Yahoo, and Amazon to deliver "visual search" images that provide you with immediate clickable results. For example, typing "Seattle weather" with Live Search will instantly show you a preview of the current weather directly in the Search Box drop-down.
Other new features of Internet Explorer 8?
New Internet Explorer 8 features include:
  • InPrivate Browsing: When activated, enables users to browse the Web without any evidence of searches or sites visited retained by the browser.
  • InPrivate Filtering: Helps prevent third-parties that serve content on a Web page from tracking the user’s Web surfing activities.
  • SmartScreen Filter: Helps protect against phishing Web sites, and sites known to distribute malware; helps detect and prevent “Click Jacking” which is a malicious technique of tricking web users into revealing confidential information.
  • Enhanced “Find on this Page”: Enables users to find text on a Web page more easily, in a way that does not obscure any of the page’s content.
  • Redesigned “New Tab” Page: Provides links to use an Accelerator, activate InPrivate browsing, reopen closed tabs, or restore the last browsing session.
  • Enhanced Address Bar: Provides matches as the user types across History, Favorites, and RSS Feeds, searching against all parts of the URL string (and the page title) instead of just the beginning. Allows mistyped entries to be removed from the address bar.
  • Enhanced Tabbed Browsing: Tabs are grouped and color-coded so user can quickly discern which are related. Users can easily group or ungroup tabs, and can reopen closed tabs.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Internet Explorer 8 RC1 Now Available

On 26-Jan-09, Internet Explorer General Manager Dean Hachamovitch has announced the immediate availability of Internet Explorer 8 RC1. Internet Explorer 8 RC1 is available in 25 languages for Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server. You can download IE8 RC1 here: . Here is what Dean says about IE8 today:

“IE8 focused on how people really use the web. Consumers want a browser that makes the tasks they do every day faster and easier. The activities people spend their time on define real-world performance: navigating to websites, working with tabs,searching, keeping track of changing information (like traffic or an auction), and using the information from one site with another (as in getting a map). Everyone wants atrustworthy browser that keeps them in control and protects their safety. Developers want great developer tools, great interoperability, and a powerful platform that enables them to innovate. For some people, accessibility is crucial; for some organizations, policy, administration, and deployment are essential.”

For more information on upgrading to RC1 – please see this post from Internet Explorer Program Manager Jane Maliouta. Jane provides an excellent and information-filled post on what you need to know to upgrade to RC1.
Internet Explorer 8 RC1 can only be installed on Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server. For more information on Internet Explorer 8 and Windows 7, please read this blog post.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Free e-book on SQL Server 2008

Microsoft is making a free offer on a book and three clinics on SQL Server 2008. Here's how you can get yours.

You'll have to register, but most of you are probably already registered on MSDN anyway. Here's the link.

There is another link to download SQL Server 2008 ebook from Microsoft without registration. Here's the link