Monthly Archives: April 2010

Windows Live Wave 4: Major Things to Come!

Wow, this is really exciting! It is rumored that Microsoft might provide a preview of Windows Live Wave 4 today. NeoWin has started wetting our software taste buds with some early previews of technologies expected as part of this wave. One in particular is a Windows Live Messenger client for the iPhone OS. Yep, you read right, Windows Live Messenger on the iPhone OS. Microsoft’s Mac BU already develops a client for the Macintosh OS X.

Remember in December 2009 we told you Microsoft were planning a Windows Live Messenger app for iPhone? Well today we can reveal a little bit more.

Today we can exclusively unveil the first official screenshots of Windows Live Messenger for iPhone. The application will arrive in June alongside the rest of Windows Live Wave 4. According to our sources, Microsoft will unveil the next generation of Windows Live Messenger tomorrow but will not ship bits to public beta until June. A limited private beta is expected to take place in May.

Check out the additional screenshot’s here

Windows Live Messenger for iPhone will include photo sharing, chat and a social stream for users.

The Windows Live team has shifted focus to the next major release internally known as Wave 4. The announcement was made by Chris Jones, Corporate Vice President of Windows Live, on the Inside Windows Live team blog, Getting ready for Windows Live Wave 4.

Jones writes, “We will then roll out updates to our web services, followed by betas of our software for Windows PCs, Macs, and phones. Our approach is to release betas to the public once we think the build is in pretty good shape, learn through beta usage data and beta user feedback, and make additional refinements that eventually become the final release. Of course, we’ll continue to update the service as we see how you use it every day and hear from you about what’s working and what needs improvement.”

Learn more here

 

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Learn more about the Microsoft Windows Community

Join an online live conversation with Microsoft Community Managers Matt Bernardy and Jake Grey on May 4th, 2010 from 9:00 A.M. – 10:00 A.M. PMT. This is your opportunity to learn more about the Clubhouse, Microsoft Answers, the MVP Program, and to ask questions about all the Windows community programs.  To join, follow these simple steps:

  1. Find out what time this Live Meeting is in your country/region.
  2. Download Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007. We recommend you download the program several hours in advance to avoid technical difficulties during the session.
  3. Enter the meeting and fill in your name.

Join the Event

 

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Windows 7 Trial: For those still on the fence

If you are still deciding whether you should upgrade to Windows 7 or not or whether its even worth upgrading to (trust me, it is according to me and more than 100 million users so far), then here is a good way to go about it. Take Windows 7 for a spin! The Windows 7 Enterprise Trial which has been extended after it was launched last year offers potential upgraders a chance to try a full version of Windows 7 for 90 days.

The availability of Windows 7 Enterprise (Eval) 90-day Trial is being extended to Dec 31, 2010. Intended primarily for IT pros, the 90-day trial is the full-featured Enterprise SKU that will enable any organization to explore, test hardware and applications, perform pilot activities, and develop deployment scenarios.

Download here (If you are experiencing difficulties downloading the trial, select IT Pro for your background to receive access to the download.)

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Windows 7 Touch Pack now available

If you are running Windows 7 on a Touch enabled computer such as HP TouchSmart, then you should download the free Windows 7 Touch Pack. Microsoft announced the add on almost a year ago and it was only available to OEM’s to provide on select systems. As long as your computers monitor supports multi-touch, you can download it from Microsoft directly for free! More from CNET:

The Touch Pack offers three games and three Microsoft Surface apps, all designed to show off the experience of moving, pinching, and twirling your fingers on a touch screen.

What’s in the Touch Pack? On the game side, Blackboard challenges you to solve a puzzle by creating your own unique machine on a blackboard. Garden Pond is a peaceful game that asks you to move an origami shape around a pond by touching the screen to create tiny ripples. And Rebound prompts you to use your fingertips to move Tesla balls (which respond to touch with an electrical light show) and try to catapult a game ball into your opponent’s goal.

Learn more here

Download Windows 7 Touch Pack here 

More about Windows Touch: Instead of pointing and clicking, you just touch and tap. Pan the screen to scroll through Web pages and lists and tap to launch programs and open documents. Sort and resize photos more naturally. With Windows 7 and a touch-enabled monitor, virtually any program that works with Windows now responds to your touch.

Windows 7 is touch-friendly throughout. For instance, the Start menu, Windows Taskbar, and Windows Explorer all have bigger icons that are easier to select with your finger. You can use your ginger to arrange the pictures in a photo album or scroll through and select recorded TV in Windows Media Center.

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Windows Live – What is coming next?

Some official news is finally starting to trickle out about the next wave in the Windows Live platform. For the past few months now, unofficial leaks have been available of the next generation of Windows Live Essentials. Microsoft Vice President, Chris Jones recently spoke with CNET about what to expect with the next release:

The new versions are part of a series of changes coming to Windows Live in the "Wave 4" update to Microsoft’s online services. In updating Windows Live Movie Maker, Windows Live Photo Gallery, and other downloadable Windows Live Essentials programs, Microsoft opted to take advantage of the improved graphics engine and other capabilities that have come into the operating system with Windows Vista and Windows 7. However, that meant sacrificing compatibility with the older operating system.

"We just decided that was the right choice," Microsoft Vice President Chris Jones said in an interview this week. Jones said existing versions of the programs will continue to be supported for XP users and online services like Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger will continue to run on Windows XP.

Read more here

If you don’t know, Windows Live Essentials consist of programs and services for extending your Windows experiences, it compliments Windows 7 very well. Programs such as Windows Live Movie Maker for video editing, Windows Live Photo Gallery for basic editing, management and sharing of photos, Windows Live Writer for blogging, Windows Live Mail for email, calendar and news feeds and a host of other technologies for synchronizing with various services such as your Windows Live Skydrive, multiple PC’s, devices and popular social networking services.

One of the most exciting parts of the next generation of Windows Live services I am looking forward to is Office Web Apps which promises to implement that rich experience found in Microsoft Office on the PC in the web browser.

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Microsoft Office 2010 has RTMed!

Microsoft announced this evening that it has finalized the latest version of its popular desktop productivity suite.

I am very excited to share some great news with you. Earlier today we reached the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) milestone for Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010!

RTM is the final engineering milestone of a product release and our engineering team has poured their heart and soul into reaching this milestone. It is also an appropriate time to re-emphasize our sincere gratitude to the more than 5,000 organizations and partners who have worked with us on rapid deployment and testing of the products. Since the start of our public beta in November 2009, we’ve had more than 7.5 million people download the beta version – that’s more than 3 times the number of 2007 beta downloads! The feedback that we’ve received from all these programs has shaped the set of products we’re excited about, and that I’m sure will delight our customers.

Learn more here

Pre-order Microsoft Office 2010 here

I have been running the latest beta of Microsoft Office 2010 64 bit and I like the improved user experience. Office 2010 is a lot more than just the desktop apps such as Word and Excel, Microsoft is introducing a wide range of options for users to experience Office in new ways. Office Web Apps will allow users to do basic editing and review documents in the browser with a rich set of capabilities on mobile devices through Office Mobile 2010. There are a few things I don’t like though, such as the in ability to do an in place upgrade from Office 2007 to Office 2010 64 bit. If you have a large collection of Office apps installed, prepare to uninstall them first.

This is minor of course, when you check out the improved Outlook 2010 which embraces the Fluent UI, Conversation threads and much improved performance. I also like the improved menu system and features such as Backstage document preview technology. Office 2010 programs also include direct support for saving files to a Windows Skydrive.  Other apps in the Office family that are now Office Fluent include Visio, SharePoint Designer (formerly FrontPage which is now free), SharePoint Workspace (formerly Groove), InfoPath and Publisher.

Resources:

Checking out Office Word Web App
A look at the new Office 2010

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Introducing Fix It Center

Yesterday Microsoft introduced a beta of its online troubleshooting service for Windows, adding over 300 built in fixes for resolving common issues users might encounter when running supported operating systems such as Windows XP, Vista or 7.

"Fix it Center finds and fixes many common PC and device problems automatically," Microsoft said on its Web site. "It also helps prevent new problems by proactively checking for known issues and installing updates. Fix it Center helps to consolidate the many steps of diagnosing and repairing a problem into an automated tool that does the work for you."

The service works with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, although for XP it requires customers to be using at least Service Pack 3 (or Service Pack 2 of the 64-bit version of Windows XP Professional). It also works with Windows Server 2003 (with Service Pack 2) and Windows Server 2008.

Learn more here

Fix it Center

Last year, Microsoft introduced an extensive set of troubleshooting tools built into Windows 7 called Windows Troubleshooting, which provides solutions to common problems in 27 areas. Windows Troubleshooting can resolve problems with networking, printing and application compatibility to name a few. I took a look at how Troubleshooting works in a Notebooks.com article which you check here This additional service should be a big help.

Windows 7, Vista and XP users can also find additional help through Microsoft’s Answers Forums here where Microsoft MVP’s, Microsoft Support staff and volunteers provide their real world expertise and time to help folks out.

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