Monthly Archives: September 2005

PDC05: Product Key Problems – Redux

"Some people have experienced difficulties with activating the Windows Vista builds that we distributed at the PDC. Please accept our apologies for this; there’s been a mismatch between the activation servers and the product key that was handed out. It’s embarrassing – we screwed up – we’re sorry. So here’s the deal:

  • For Windows Vista Beta 1, use the following product key:
  • For Windows Vista Build 5219 (PDC CTP), use the following product key:

If you are having problems activating either build, please try again tomorrow. We are replicating the needed changes as we speak, but at this point, not all the activation servers are updated.

A week or so ago, I posted an updated product key for the Windows Vista builds we distributed at the PDC. We’ve been keeping a close eye on attendee feedback to make sure we’ve mopped up any problems people have experienced whilst installing Windows Vista. In general, people seem to have had no problems once they used the correct key. However, a small percentage of installers manually extracted files from the ISO image with a tool that didn’t handle long file names well, and they hit a further problem as a result. James Adams (an SDE in the beta team) has posted a note to the beta newsgroup which I’ve reproduced here for visibility to a wider audience:

For those of you who have been trying to install the new build but have been encountering a message saying that your product key is invalid, we’ve figured it out.

Vivek Mukherji identified the root cause of this, and we have verified it. As such, we’ve got a workaround for you. If you are using a utility for extracting files from the ISO which has a setting for preserving filename length in the files you’re extracting, you will need to enable that setting. This will solve your problem.

[UPDATE: Removed text about manually renaming files, since this simply replaces one problem with another.]

If you’re unsure if you’re experiencing this issue or not, check out the c:\$windows.~bt\sources directory. If you see a file pkeyconfig.xml there, the ISO images were extracted successfully. If on the other hand, the filename has been truncated to pkeyconf.xml, you’ll hit this problem. One tool that some people have used with success for ISO image extraction is Daemon Tools. I have no direct experience with this tool and cannot therefore make a recommendation.

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Filed under Windows Vista

Talking about MSN Messenger 7.5.0306

 Just learnt of the new update of MSN Messenger 7.5 from Overdo


MSN Messenger 7.5.0306

A minor update to MSN Messenger featuring only bug fixes. If you don’t want to download the entire installer, wait a few weeks for Messenger to prompt you to upgrade, when it will then download a small patch instead.


Download (English)



Filed under MSN Spaces

AntiSpyware Beta 1 – Definitions Update [5763]

There are new updates for Microsoft AntiSpyware beta 1 Refresh Update Build 615. To ensure you have the latest definitions, click Help > About Microsoft AntiSpyware > under "Microsoft AntiSpyware system information:

Spyware Definition Version: 5763 (9/29/2005)

You can acquire the updates by ensuring you have AutoUpdater turned on (Options > Settings) or File > Check for Updates (Manual)


Filed under Uncategorized

Re-Visiting Vista – Setting higher resolutions than 800 by 600

"I’m not sure if this is for public consumption, but I’ve learned about a workaround for my Windows Vista build 5219 LCD resolution hiccup (wherein the screen won’t slide past 800×600). I’ve confirmed through a new digital friend that this registry hack indeed works for our laptop, the IBM Thinkpad T41p:
  1. Run REGEDIT
  2. Locate HKLM \ System \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ Video \ (BLAHBLAH) \ 0001, where (BLAHBLAH) is a GUID with a whole bunch of keys under it
  3. Change the value with DALRULE_GETLCDFAKEEDID to 0
  4. Reboot

Read more here


Filed under Vista Tips & Tricks

Office Project and FrontPage 12 Blogs

It seems like almost all of the Office Product Teams are blogging, I just found two more:
Office FrontPage 12 Blog:

Welcome! Let me introduce myself, my name is Rob Mauceri and I’m the Group Program Manager for FrontPage. I’m going to use this blog to talk about what is coming in the next release of FrontPage – code named “FrontPage 12”. This version of FrontPage will ship sometime next year, on the same timeline as the rest of the Office family of products.

Just a couple notes about me. I’ve worked on FrontPage for a long time (over 10 years, yikes!) and I contributed to every release of FrontPage including Vermeer FrontPage 1.0. I worked as a software developer on FrontPage 1.0 through FrontPage 2002, and as a program manager on FrontPage 2003 and FrontPage 12. I’m passionate about personal publishing, web site design, building web applications, and SharePoint.

Office Project 12 Blog:

Who am I? Why should you care?

I am the Group Program Manager (aka GPM) for Microsoft Project. I have been working on the Proj team since early 2000. I led the team that designed the Project EPM Solution for Project 2002. I then moved up to managing the overall program management team for Proj with the Project 2003 release.

I think the blogs that are left to join are PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Publisher, InfoPath and Visio


Filed under Office Productivity

Talking about MSN Messenger – The Future

 Overdo has the scoop on what might be coming in the next version of MSN Messenger, 8.


MSN Messenger – The Future

So it’s been a busy year for the Messenger teams. After the long beta for Messenger 7 we saw a relatively short beta for Messenger 7.5. For most teams, that would be considered enough excitement for one year. Oh no, the Messenger team have yet more surpises in store! Yes, you can expect to start hearing a lot more about Messenger 8.0 and sooner than you might think.
So what can we expect from this new version? We all know Messenger can improve in many ways, Jerome listed just a few of them in his recent post that labelled Messenger "not innovative."
Some of the pre-beta features include:
  • Tabbed Chatting – Popular request for all modern IM clients.
  • Dashboard/sidebar technology
    • Dock to desktop option
    • Other options include: float, minimize to side and smart resize
  • Pull away (rippable) parts
    • User-customizable layout
    • Multiple bar parts available, including: My Contact Card, Contact list, Tabs, RSS/Subscription info, File sharing info, Ads, Slideshow.
    • Premium bar parts: Encarta, Money, MSN Radio Plus
    • Other bar parts: Search, Radio, Headline, Weather, Traffic, Alerts, Stocks, WMP
  • Direct IM – Partly implemented in v7 and 7.5. Expect much greater use in v8.0

Please remember that the client is still at a pre-beta stage, so features can be cut if major difficulties occur. That said, Messenger will look nice in the Vista sidebar don’t you think 😉


Filed under MSN Spaces

Office 12: It’s Not Just UI – Jensen Harris

"There are a number of other Microsoft Office employee blogs you can check out if you’re interested in learning more about Office 12.

Here are a few of them to get you started:

  • Steven Sinofsky’s Microsoft TechTalk.  Steven is the Senior Vice President of Office and his blog is primarily focused on issues relating to helping college grads make an informed decision about what it’s like to work at Microsoft and the kind of impact new hires and interns have around Office.  Yet, Steven also finds time to write about some of the current decisions we’ve made in Office 12, always flavored with historical information about what Office has learned from past successes and mistakes.  His September 12 entry talks in-depth about some of the history behind the Office Assistant ("Clippy") as well as the Office 12 new UI.
  • Brian Jones: Office XML Formats:  I guess Brian’s blog is kind of the ying to this blog’s yang.  One of the other big advances in Office 12 is the new XML-based file format, and Brian’s blog is a great starting point to learn both the "why" and the "what" of the change.
  • Chris Pratley: A OneNote WebLog:  Chris is an accomplished and experienced product designer who runs the program management team that oversees Word and OneNote.  Chris has been posting since midway through the OneNote 2003 product cycle and has just started posting information about the next version, OneNote 12.
  • David Gainer: Microsoft Excel 12 Blog:  David leads the Excel program management team, and he has started a blog in which his team will let you know what’s coming in Excel 12.  First announcement: more rows and columns!
  • Owen Braun: Another OneNote Blog:  Owen was instrumental in shaping the first two versions of OneNote; I’m sure his blog will be interesting!
  • PJ Hough: Windows SharePoint Services:  PJ’s SharePoint blog is just getting started and includes some nice information about the upcoming WSS "v.3", especially its support of blogs, wikis, and RSS.

As more Office blogs come online, I’ll keep you updated.

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Filed under Office Productivity