Archive for February, 2009

W7 Changes Beta –> RC

As part of the "keeping you informed" and "in the loop" the Windows 7 Engineering team have released a new post today detailing some 36 changes that will be in Windows 7 when the RC/RTM comes to our door step compared to the beta we’ve got in hand now.  Some of the more interesting ones are Aero Alt+Tab, More options and of course, S-P-E-E-D, which is what we all know Vista lacked.  Kudos to the W7 team for listening, changing, adapting and making a better product.

Read more here

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Vista and 2008 SP2 RC

Hot off the Vista team blog, SP2 is now considered RC.  Many changes, many updates and soon to be available to you for testing.  GA set to be Q2 of this year.

Read more about the release here or alternatively jump across to the Springboard site and see if there are any new things you can find out about it!

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Electronista report W7 RC on April 10

In an article focusing primarily on the fact that Office 14 will be delayed and most likely not released this year, Electronista has reported that “A single release candidate for Windows 7 is scheduled for April 10…”

Hmm, wonder where they got this information from or heard for sure it was RC on 10 April?

More at electronista

Original story

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Compal Electronics recon Win 7 in Sept or Oct?

In an interview today, Ray Chen, the head honcho of Taipei based Compal Electronics (a company who manufacturers HP and Acer) said he recons "according to current planning, it should be late September or early October (when Windows 7 ships)".

Read more over at

Welcome to STEP

Normally I write with information about technology, however, today’s posting is something about me :)  I’ve been selected to the STEP Program as part of the Windows 7/Windows 2008 drive to ensure success.  I’m part of the UK contingency along with some other good colleagues who’ve been selected.  Here’s more on the STEP initiative – and if you have any feedback, shoot it my way and I’ll try and help!!

STEP is an initiative of the Springboard Series team.

The Springboard Series Technical Expert Panel (STEP) Program has been created to build community and advocacy for a Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 launch "by the community, for the community." In an effort to drive global awareness and value of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 through Springboard Series, a program is created that will expand reach beyond typically-attended Microsoft events like Tech-Ed by activating top IT Pro community influencers within the Microsoft, MVP, and MCT communities.

This new program will:

  • deliver content across the globe via the advanced technical knowledge from this select "virtual" team of IT pro experts
  • offer IT Pros community-created instructional tools and resources for further learning of Windows Client products
  • help build a pool of highly recognized influencer evangelists toward the strategy of ensuring that Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are launched "for the community, by the community"

As a member of STEP you’ll probably hear more from me in the near future. The benefits of the program involve:

  • Working with the Springboard Team at Tech Ed US or EMEA (I’ll be at both events)
  • Being a part of the "Opening Windows" campaign
  • Accessing First look seminars at new Windows 7 content before it gets released to the general public
  • Worldwide speaking opportunities
  • Participate in Virtual Roundtables with Mark Russinovich
  • Access to product teams for Q&A at Microsoft events


x86 (32 bit) versus x64 (64 bit)


Recently Microsoft gave us the opportunity to look at Windows 7 and Windows 2008 Server R2.  The later brings up a topic that some think of, some don’t worry about and others take for granted.

With the upcoming release of Windows Server 2008 R2, your hardware MUST (yes I repeat) MUST run 64 bit.  You CANNOT run Windows Server 2008 R2 in a 32 bit environment.  Again, like stated earlier, some of us will take that for granted as we have been running our servers in an x64 environment to take advantage of more memory for years, others of us won’t worry about it as we we won’t thing about it as we’ll be doing fresh installs and it won’t come to light, but I guarantee you and quote me, there will be a handful of those out there that will cry bloody murder as they try to upgrade their x86 Windows Server 2008 Standard to Windows Server 2008 R2 and wonder why it won’t do that.

Are you in that category? Have you been installing x64 editions for a while?  Are you anticipating the 64 bit only release of Server 2008 R2?

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Time…amazing isn’t it?


Today I had a virtual on-line meeting at what was 16:30 (4:30 p.m.) my time and during the introductions, it made me think how interesting time is and probably how we all take it for granted.

The meeting was chaired at 08:30 a.m. PST half-way across the USA, who were just opening their windows, driving to work, logging on, where as me and my colleagues were just drawing the curtains and winding down for the day (and the weekend even).  To add complexity even to that algorithm, we had other colleagues join us from the APAC region who were already a day ahead – Saturday morning.

An amazing thing when you think about it…we take for granted that at 17:30 each day (or thereabouts) we eat dinner and at 8:00 the following morning we wake up and go to work where we are, but when you think about it (the world as a whole) what is happening where we aren’t and what time is it?

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Trying to avoid failure

Have you ever seen the article top ten reasons why businesses fail?  If you look at it carefully, it really applies to most situations, not just business related.  Have a look:

1.  Planning. If you don’t know where you’re heading, how on earth do you plan to get there?

2.  Incompetence.  You better know what you’re doing and/or the market you’re in. 

3.  Undercapitalized.  Especially in today’s credit crunch times, you better know what you’ve got and how you’re spending it.. 

4.  Website.  It’s the front door in to your business.  Don’t use some simply knock off or cheap-o FrontPage design to knock up what you want your company to be portrayed as.  Also, don’t make it utterly difficult to navigate else people won’t stay around.. 

5.  Presentation.  Quite simply said – you very rarely get a second chance to make a first impression.. 

6.  Advertise.  In order to get the best customer base in the world, the best thing is to have people selling you on your behalf – quite simply put – word of mouth.  For those who don’t know you or what you’re doing/offering, try and figure out the best way to get them on board too.

7.  Ask for the order and give options.  If you’re selling something that is going to cost a fortune, make it sound “not so bad”, i.e. figure out a way to split it up and make it more attractive..

8.  Too $$ and ££ focused.  Know what your customers want and try to deliver that to them.  Don’t force what you think is best for them on them if they don’t want it (just because you’ll make a few extra bob).  Ensure you give them what they need and want and over time many small sells will equate to much larger than the one big sell you were trying to reel in.

9.  Mistakes.  Everyone makes them and don’t think you’re immune.  Learn from them and admit when you make one.  Makes you 150% more respected.

10.  Trends. Know what’s going on because if you’re not always in touch you might become out of touch real fast and that’s not what you want or need if you want to be successful.

Bottom line, plan, learn, look out for your clients as well as yourself.

I’m in the office really (says the server)

If you’re using Outlook 2007 and Exchange Server 2007, you might have seen before – when configuring your Out of Office – the server reply that he’s out of the office:


What is really means is he doesn’t like the version of the .NET framework that is on the server and he’s lost in translation.  Good news is that it can be fixed.  There’s a KB that sorts it.

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The New Taskbar

As one of the major overhauls of Windows 7 (in some ways), we present the new superbar/taskbar.  You’ve got large icons by default:

superbar large icons

(you can change them to be smaller if you want)

superbar small icons

and they let you get to your most common programs.  If you count from 1 – x from left to right (starting with the Start button), Using the windows key and that number will autostart that programme.  Using above as an example Windows + 3 would start Windows Media Player, Windows + 5 would start Outlook, etc.

One other cool feature is the status of programs.  Two common tasks are file move/copy and also downloads from various sources (usually the Internet).  With both of these operations there is a % complete as it gets further and further along.  If you look at the superbar whilst doing this, it changes the icon accordingly:

superbar progress

as you can see above, my file copy progress was about 60% done.  Cool eh?

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