Monthly Archives: September 2008

Where are my Ultimate Extras and DreamScene Content Pack 4?

A couple days ago I saw post over at NeoWin.net informing users that new Ultimate Extras updates for Windows Vista Ultimate customers were released ‘silently’ through Windows Update. Unfortunately I was at work, and I wouldn’t be back home until the weekend. But here I am, checking Windows Update and the only thing I see is a few optional updates for Windows. I am not sure if its only showing for US customers since my local is set to English (Jamaica).

Tinker, new in Ultimate Extras

One of the the highlights of the new update is the inclusion of a new game called Tinker, the game revolves around a robot who has somehow lost his way in a confusing world and needs to find his way back home with the help of you of course. The last time a new game was included in Ultimate Extras was back in early 2007 when Microsoft released ‘Texas Hold’Em Poker’.

New Ultimate Extras, hello where are you?

Resources:

Microsoft releases new Ultimate Extras – Microsoft Tinker
Windows Vista Ultimate Extras
Ultimate PC
New Ultimate Extras: Microsoft Tinker and Dreamscene Content Pack 4

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Filed under Windows Vista

More Windows 7 screenshots

Windows 7 build continues to make its way across the web and more countries. The German Enthusiast web site Winfuture.de post a huge gallery of additional Windows 7 screenshots, based on the Enterprise SKU. The screenshots also confirm that Windows Media Player is now at version 12.

Check out the rest here

Windows Media Player 12.0

Interestingly, WMP 12 looks a lot like Internet Explorer 8, the light bluish color theme to the alignment of toolbar buttons. I love the focus on consistency that was somehow lost along the way in Vista.

Resources:

Windows 7 Preview Teching It Easy

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Windows 7 – Where is Windows Meeting Space?

I have been perusing those Windows 7 screenshots leaked to the web last week (build 6780) and one of the things I noticed missing from the ‘All Programs’ group is Windows Meeting Space, the ad hoc collaboration tool Microsoft introduced to make setting up meetings and make collaboration more simplified. A lot of persons have derided the software as useless and rarely used and I am wondering if Microsoft has been listening to its customers and decided to end development. I personally have never taken advantage of it except for testing or writing a review about it which you will find here.

Persons covering Windows Vista have also said some not so nice things about Windows Meeting Space, here’s a quote from Preston Galla over at Computer World:

Windows Meeting Center
Have you ever heard of this Vista feature? Likely not. And even if you have, you haven’t used it. It’s supposed to let you set up meetings over a network or the Internet either on an ad hoc or planned basis. But with no whiteboard, a worthless chat module, and no VoIP, who would ever use it? No one, of course. It’s a waste of bits — let it go.”

Then again, Microsoft could have just disabled the feature in Windows 7 or is planning more advanced features everyday users can take advantage of, since its more focused on groups in an organization today. I personally have some recommendations for it where social networking is concerned. The approach to getting everybody up and running now in Meeting Space is cumbersome, not seamless and dynamic enough. I wish it would just integrate with existing Microsoft technologies such as Windows Mail, Office Outlook and Live Messenger more flawlessly. Inviting somebody needs to be more convenient, a contact pane with quick access to my Address Book and Instant Messaging list so I can send a invite with a pre-ready message would have been nice.

Windows Meeting Space on Vista

I think Microsoft should make Windows Meeting Space into a social networking tool that targets not just businesses, but consumers. It clearly needs to be revamped. Make it a way for users to extend their personal computing experience with family, friends and colleagues. For example, you aggregate, data from a number of online sources such as Twitter, Facebook, Windows Live Space, Pictures, Music, Videos, Flickr and Office files. Have common scenarios setup, home work, business projects, travel with sub categories and makes it full functionality available to all editions of Windows 7 with support for video conferencing. Right now, Windows Meeting Space is limited to the premium Windows Vista SKUs. Hopefully the Windows Team has some surprises in store, hey, maybe it has become one of those Live Apps you will have download.

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Filed under Windows 7

New Windows 7 Sessions added – New Feature Desktop Taskbar

 
Long Zheng has discovered some new sessions that have been added to the Windows 7 category on the PDC Sessions Website one of these of interest is Windows 7 Desktop Taskbar.
 
Quote:

"Windows 7: Integrate with the Windows 7 Desktop Taskbar
Rob Jarrett
This session dives into new APIs that enable integration with the latest Windows desktop features. Learn about new extensibility methods to surface your application’s key tasks. Discover how enhancements to the taskbar, Start Menu, thumbnails and their desktop elements provide new ways for you to delight your users. This talk is a must for application developers who wan to provide the best user experience for their applications on Windows 7."

Could this be Desktop Taskbar?

Windows Vista did not present totally radical new features to the desktop except for the addition of the Windows Sidebar which were tiny applications called Gadgets, which gives users quick access to information whether its an RSS Feed or jotting down a note. With 7, it looks like old favorites such as the Taskbar will be getting major improvements. I am not sure, but the mockup screenshot above done by Tjeerd Hoek could be a possible guess as to where the Taskbar is heading. Especially with Multi-Touch being adding, the current layout of the Taskbar today in Windows just won’t do for multi-touch experiences.

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Filed under Windows 7

Unveiling of Windows 7 – Attendees to receive pre-beta builds

 
Well, this should be great news for those attending this years Microsoft Public Developer Conference 2008 in October. Microsoft has confirmed that a pre-beta build of Windows 7 will be demonstrated and handed out to attendees. I assume this will be on the 160 GB special edition Western Digital hard disk attendees will be getting. Regardless of what we know so far about Windows 7, it looks like this will indeed be an enticing upgrade to look forward to as there will be a whole lot more to talk about come October and November. I wonder if Office 14 will be part of the package?
 
Quote:
"Be one of the first to get a look at Windows 7.  Steven Sinofsky, Senior Vice President, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group, will keynote on Tuesday, October 28.
 
At this year’s PDC, keynote attendees will be among the first to receive the pre-beta build of Windows 7.  Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to attend 21 different sessions that drill down into the details of developing for Windows 7."
Read the entire post here

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Future Windows Live Applications to become optional apps for Windows 7

From News.com
 
Its official, those applications that came with Windows Vista such as Photo Gallery, Movie Maker and Windows Mail will now become optional downloads when Windows 7 is released. This is a good move I believe that will save the Company a lot of hassle from both its customers, competitors and partners. New opportunities will arise by giving the consumer the choice whether they want those features or not, but with improvements I see so far in Windows Live Wave 3, it shouldn’t be so hard to get people to download what will be "free" applications that you would normally buy. Here is a quote from the article on CNET:
 
Quote:

"Microsoft has decided that Windows 7 won’t include built-in programs for e-mail, photo editing, and movie making, as was done with Windows Vista, CNET News.com has learned.

The software maker included Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Mail, and Windows Movie Maker as part of Vista, but later chose to offer separate downloadable Windows Live programs that essentially replaced those components with versions that could connect to online services from Microsoft and others." 

Read the entire article here, Mary Jo Foley also has her take on the changes here

Brian Hall from Microsoft goes on to say, this will also make new releases of Windows come to market much faster providing less complexity for Microsoft’s own developers. It seems this approach to providing so many built in multi-media and productivity tools in Windows was either clogging innovation and slowing down the pace at which Microsoft can deliver updates compared its competitors, not necessarily for the OS, but for applications themselves. With this new approach, new updates of the existing applications will be released much faster and Microsoft can focus on improving the core OS experience.

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Filed under Windows 7

Windows 7 M3 Photo Gallery

 

I just posted a Gallery of Windows 7 M3 screenshots, to view them click the Gallery of Pictures below. 

Windows 7 Gallery – Click the above image to view.

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Filed under Windows 7