September, 2006

  • Vista RC1:: How to enable hidden audio devices

    One of my colleagues received a mail  from Matthias with the question how to find the stereo mix device in his recording devices, with the previous versions of Vista these devices where visible. The next day he sent us a mail that he had found the solution. I just wanted to share the solution with you.

     

    Open the Playback or Recording devices dialogue box (right click on audio icon in systray). Right click in the dialogue box and select show disabled devices, from here you can enable the devices and start using them.

     

     

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  • Vista:: Shortcut keys

    While I am using the Win-Tab (flip 3d) and Win-L (lock computer) key a lot I was wondering which keystrokes could be handy so I tried them out and here is the result:

     

    Win-Space: Show sidebar

    Win-D: Show desktop

    Win-Tab: Flip 3D

    Ctrl Win-Tab: Flip 3D which stays onto desktop, you can then scroll with up, down, left and right keys

    Win-E: Opens explorer window

    Win-R: Opens the run dialogue box, yes it still exists

    Win-T: Tabs between running applications onto the taskbar, you know like you would hover over each task with the mouse and get a live preview of the app's.

    Win-Q: When I tried this one out it launches the Office communicator for me, how does this behave for you?

    Win-F: Opens the search window.

    Win-G: Gives the sidebar the focus and when you press this key combination again it tabs between the gadgets on the sidebar

    Win-L: Locks the computer, I use this a lot just quickly lock the PC when you go grab a cup of coffee.

    Win-U: Opens the Ease of Access Center

    Win-M: Minimizes all windows

    Shift Win-M: Undo minimize windows

    Win-X: Opens the Windows Mobility center

    Win-Number: Press the Win key and then choose a number of the applications that are in the quick launch task bar. An example the third icon on the taskbar (starting from left) is IE so to run IE press Win-3 and it will launch IE.

    Another shortcut of key combination I use often is the ctrl-shift-esc to open the Task Manager

    Which shortcuts are you using?

     

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  • System Center Data Protection Manager V2 Beta1

    As of today you can download System Center Data Protection Manager V2 Beta 1 (DPM V2). To download the beta bits just go and apply for the beta program onto the connect site.

    How does DPM works? Well you install an agent onto the servers you want to backup and the agent will capture all changes and put this into a sync log, every 15 minutes data is pulled to the DPM server. We only copy the byte level changes which reduces the amount of data to transfer over the wire and make this product interesting to use for remote locations backup.

    Once the data is onto the DPM server you can do different things to it, you could create snapshots of the data by using the VSS technology or you could back it up towards tape drive

    Because we are talking about disk to disk backup we can have a very fast restoration time and even the end-users could restore their data backup by using the DPM client which will shows them which versions of their files are available for restore.

    What's new to DPM V2:

    DPM offers integrated support for E12 CCR and LCR clusters, shorter SQL backup windows without the need for compression, and integrated Farm, DB, and site-level restores for SharePoint. DPM also provides one touch application restores so there’s no need to pre stage recovered data and then utilize other application-specific UI’s.

     

    Support for Microsoft Exchange (E2k3 & E12), including advanced configurations such as E12 Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR) and Local Continuous Replication (LCR) clusters.

    Support for Microsoft SQL (2k3 & 2k5), including advanced configurations such as SQL 2005 mirrored clusters. DPMv2 also supports shortened SQL backup windows without the need for costly compression solutions.

    Support for Microsoft SharePoint (WSS2.0 & WSS 3.0).

    Bare metal Recovery, including recovery to alternate hardware.

    Update: The sharepoint support and Bare Metal recovery are not yet available int Beta1

    Because we support local tape library we can have the following backup scenarios:

    Disk-to-Disk – Data can be moved from the source disk to the DPM attached secondary disk using a very efficient block level replication solution.

    Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape – Once data is on DPM attached secondary disk, it can be moved to DPM attached tape media where it is written using the industry standard MTF format.

    Disk-to-Tape – Data can be moved directly to DPM attached tape drives.

    I will cover some more in the coming weeks as I get more information and performed some tests.

     

  • Vista RC1:: Sound settings

    What I really like in Vista and particularly in this build is that you define different sound settings for your applications. So if you are listening to a podcast or viewing a Webcast you don't want to have your Messenger sounds interfering with that.

     

    Here's a screenshot of my settings I usually use:

     

     

    However what I somehow miss is the is in the Mobile center where we can define presentation settings that we are not able to select the applications you don't want to have sound enabled for. The workaround for that is to set the settings onto the volume mixer for those items that you certainly do not want the sound to be enabled. Anyway it's a real improvement if you compare it with Windows XP.

     

    As you may know we changed the audio stack quite a bit here is a whitepaper about the Audio Innovations in Vista.

     

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  • Monad aka Powershell

    If you like Monad like I do then I have some resources for you. Check out Thomas Lee's blog, he likes Monad and Vista and links also to valuable resources like the video of Monad that we posted on IT's showtime guess who is doing the Video.

     

    IT's Showtime is really a great place to find information about our technology. You can find the best of Tech-Ed, Vista and WinHec sessions. Go ahead and start learning our technology. I'll do.

     

    Another hgreat place to find information about Monad is Jeffrey snover his blog.

     

    I am currently reading chapters of a book on Powershell that has not yet been released. I'll blog about that later on.
    First I have to prepare myself for a talk about System Center Products like
    Data Protection Manager and "Service Desk" .

     

    Somewhere in october I will do a Funcast (screencast, webcast, what's in the name) about Powershell for Exchange 2007. Maybe I should invite Thomas Lee for a session about Powershell during our Dev & IT Pro days. What do you think? Should I?

     

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  • Talking about Evangelism

    Just got back from dinner with Thomas Lee  who is an MVP and Ilse Van Criekinge who is one of the founders of Pro-Exchange and guess what we talked about yeah powershell. I enjoyed talking about powershell providers and cmdlets. You know that Exchange 2007 has a lot of cmdlets to make the management of an Exchange 2007 infrastructure much easier and Operations Manager mostly rely on the Powershell providers. But enough on that we also talked about many other IT Pro (geek) stuff and the fact that he maybe presenting at our Dev & IT Pro days.

    And finally what Ilse did today is what we call Evangelism, she actually converted Thomas to like our Exchange 2007 product which what was not the case before. So I have to thank Ilse for doing a part of my job in evangelizing Exchange 2007.

     

    As I was looking for the link to Thomas his blog if found a post  about a really cool product that leverages the power of Powershell to create so called gadgets. Go ahead and take a look at the Powergadgets site.

  • Ready for a new day????


     

    November 9th will be the day that we will have the biggest event in Belgium.  During that full day we will share lot's of information about Office, Vista and Exchange. There will be 16 breakout sessions of 30 min's.

    I am responsible for 3 sessions about Vista & Office Deployment, Vista Management and Vista security. During these sessions we will show you why Vista is the best operating system we ever released.  But we will not only talk about Vista we will show you what are the new communication, security, features in Exchange and many more. Just check out the website to find the agenda of this important day.

    So I am (almost) ready for a new day and you?

    And as a finishing touch we will have a keynote with Bill Gates.

    Curious about the event, want to subscribe ?  http://www.readyforanewday.be

  • GreatNews

    Yesterday I was talking to Kris Hoet about blogging and feedreaders. We talked about how many blogs we read and which feedreader and which editor to use, etc ...
    If you read my blog often you know I like RSS bandit but had some issues with this piece of software on my Vista box. Now Kris told me he was using a new feedreader, it's called GreatNews.

    If you read his blog "Cross The Breeze" you noticed that he really love this reader and he convinced me during our talk about blogging to try it out and guess what. I have GreatNews no, I installed it and must admit it has sort of the look and feel of RSS bandit but faster and some nicer features.

    I can now read my +100 feeds without have to click to every feed I subscribed to. If you use the keyboard just hit the space key and with the mouse you can scroll through the blog posts. By the way Kris celebrated his 400th feed subscription.

     

    A last nice thing I just discovered is that there  is a Windows Live Writer (which is my blogpost editor) plugin for GreatNews.

     

    Thanks Kris for showing me this awesome feedreader. It works so much better on Vista then RSS Bandit.

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  • Windows Powershell in action

           

     

    I am currently reading the first chapters of a Powershell book called "Windows Powershell in Action" written by Bruce Payette.

     

    There are currently Five chapters available and I am done with the first two. It's very well written with lot's of examples and a good explanation of how Powershell works and what the different parts means. I like the fact that in Powershell you can create aliases of commands which can make a script more- or not readable at all. So be careful when using aliases or describe your aliases in comment within your script, you will remember them tomorrow but maybe not next month.

     

    You can download the first chapter here.  If you want to know more about this book go on to the publishers site: Manning Publication

     

    I will definitively continue reading the next chapters as I receive them.

     

    Speaking of Powershell Bart De Smet a Belgian MVP wrote a very cool post about how Using System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox in PowerShell.

    Another very good Powershell blog is "/\/\o\/\/ PowerShelled"  where he actually links to a video of the author of the book I am reading. He also wrote (11 now) different blogpost about Powershell and Active Directory, check it out very very cool.


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  • Inline Search for IE

    I was reading through my blogs when I came onto this post from omar about inline search for Internet Explorer.
    It's a simple add-on for IE but it will make my life searching so much easier. Why didn't we develop that ???

    Anyway you can download it here

    I will try it tomorrow on my Vista box and see if it works.

     

    Update:

    I installed it on my Vista RC1 box and it works very well. I came across "Extending IE quick and Dirty" post on the
    IE blog where they explain how to build such add-ons. They linked to another find as you type add-on.

     

    Source: shahine.com

  • Vista:: User Experience

    Yesterday I discovered the following, If you have two machines that are member of the same Active Directory domain and you change your domain password on one. And if you logon to the second machine without network connection. So far so good. After a while you connect the second machine to the network then Vista will give you the following easy to understand dialogue box. I am not quite sure if this existed on Windows XP, it has been so long ago since I used this OS.

     

    Just lock your computer, unlock it and type your new password and you are done. I call this a neat User Experience, easy to understand and very visible dialogue boxes.

     

    Any feedback about the existence of such feature in Windows XP is welcome.

    Update: Apparently it is the same on Windows XP and Windows 2003, I just never noticed it because as a good Admin I always lock down my machines. Thanks for the feedback

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  • Download Windows Powershell RC2

    You might already have noticed it we released Windows Powershell RC2.

    Go ahead and download Powershell RC2

     

    Some resources about Windows Powershell:

    Update:

    Work in progress: Manning Publication

  • Exchange 2007 Technet Evening Session summary

     

    Yesterday Ilse Van Criekinge presented the Technet Evening about "Designing, Managing and Maintaining Exchange Server 2007, beyond the basics"

    She tackled different topics going from the installation requirements through high availability. In this post I will summarize the most important topics:

     

    Installation: What you need to remember here is that we only have a 64bit version for the production environment, you can combine the 4 server roles onto one server (this will mostly not be the case in larger environments). With the 64bit you will not have the 4GB memory issues anymore and because you can have more memory you will be able to host more users or give the users more storage onto the Exchange box.

    She explained what the hardware requirements are for the Edge Transport Role, Hub Transport Role, Mailbox server, Client Access Server, Unified Messaging.

    We've included the Exbpa (Exchange Best Practices Analyzer) into the install procedure, you can also use the Exbpa to evaluate if your current environment is ready to deploy Exchange 2007.

    What are the software requirements - see another of my posts on how to install Exchange 2007 Beta 2.

    You need at least a Windows 2000 or higher AD, the Global Catalog  and Schema master needs to be Windows 2003 Sp1. Fortunately you don't need a GC on each site you just need one.

    And much more  (see the link below to download the ppt)

     

    Transport Routing and Architecture: Forget everything you know about the routing groups, there aren't any, there gone (almost see this post). To send and receive mails you need the Hub Transport Server and optionally the Edge Transport server. The most important item I noted on this topic is the fact that the Exchange will try to relay the messages directly to the destination server and when he cannot connect directly he will fall back to the AD site topology.

    Another great feature is that when a mail is send to a distribution list the Exchange 2007 server will not split the list until it is needed for instance you send a mail to a DL with 1000 members, with Exchange 2003 the DL with be split immediately and send accordingly, now with Exchange 2007 the server will decide when it is needed to split up the DL. This is called delayed fan-out and takes several elements like site topologies into consideration.

    And much more  (see the link below to download the ppt)

    Security: Exchange 2007 uses a new security and permission model . The new administrator roles are comparable with the built-in Windows server security groups.

    She showed us how you can set the permission using the Exchange management and/or Powershell commands.

    Next she talked about the Anti spam features of the Edge server role. She dived into the different features and settings of the edge server. To much to post here see the ppt link below.

    High availability: Exchange 2007 will introduce some major changes when we talk about high availability. I will focus on the mailbox role because we added most of the features onto the mailbox role.

    What do we have?

    We have Local Continuous replication (LCR), Clustered Continuous replication (CCR) and Singe Copy Clustering (SCS). What is the continuous replication. It's a mechanism you enable onto a storagegroup, once enabled the database from this storage group will be replicated onto another server (CCR) or onto another directory (LCR). With CCR you have two servers running in a MSCS cluster (but without the need of shared storage). You can see the advantages here. Wit LCR there is only one server with two databases so you are not protected against hardware failures.

    Ilse demonstrated how to revert to a copied database when the production database crashed or is corrupt. The procedure she explained was for Beta 1 and we changed (or better simplified) it in Beta2. She did the procedure manually into the powershell console but you could easily create a script that you could launch when a database failure happens.

    Her is Ilse"s procedure:

        - move-storagegrouppath -configurationonly $true -identity NH -systemfolderpath "path to log" -logfolderpath "path to logs"

        - move-databasepath -identity hotel -configurationonly $true -edbfilepath "pad naar edb"

          Then manually copy some log files and your done.

    Here is the script how to do it with Beta 2 (this can still be changed when we RTM this product):

        #Restore TNE MBX database

        Dismount-Database "TNE MBX" -Confirm:$false

        Restore-StorageGroupCopy TNE -ReplaceLocations:$true -Confirm:$false

        Mount-Database "TNE MBX" -Confirm:$false

    Below is a screenshot of the commands that I executed to create the script.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Last but not least Ilse talked about the different tools like Exbpa, Expta, Exdra and Extra (download the ppt for more details about that)

     

    Download this presentation from the ProExchange user group site and do not forget to register for their upcoming user group meeting.

     

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  • BDD 2007 Beta Updated for Windows Vista RC1

    The BDD 2007 Beta has been available on connect for a while and have now been updated to support the deployment of Vista RC1.

    Here is the list of changes we made:

    • Zero Touch Installation (ZTI) using SMS 2003 (requires OSD Update build 3726) in addition to Lite Touch Installation (LTI) when SMS 2003 is not in place.
    • Windows XP desktop image creation.
    • x64 hardware (running Windows XP or Windows Vista).
    • BDD Workbench installation of the Windows AIK during first use.
    • Windows Deployment Services images for Refresh, Replace, New, and Upgrade scenarios.
    • BDD Workbench now builds the set of files needed for SMS 2003 OS Deployment Feature Pack package creation.
    • Office 2007 deployment is integrated into the BDD Workbench to build the source share, create, and populate the application selection screens.
    • New OS source move feature-faster than copy when adding a new OS to Workbench and the source is the same drive-primarily added to enhance demos and training.
    • Application grouping with dependency checking.
    • Product ID key handling for Windows XP and Windows Vista deployment scenarios.
    • Removable media deploy points and better filtering to reduce media size.
    • Fewer restrictions on version mixing of newer WAIK and Vista releases. Version checks now performed and detected issues are displayed.
    • User State Migration Tool (USMT) update for Windows Vista RC1.

    This Beta release of BDD 2007 is not feature complete. For more information, please see the Release Notes included with BDD 2007 Beta 2.

    Go ahead and download it.

     

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  • Zune:: The details revealed

    Today we revealed some of the details of Zune. I have one word for it "Awesome", now I know why I didn't bought an I**d yet.

     

    Source Picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/92906904@N00/243185960/

     

    Read the interview with J Allard, Microsoft Corporate Vice President about Zune on the Engadget site.

    Zune is a 30 GB Player. You can store up to 7,500 songs, 25,000 pictures, or 100 hours of video. Make playlists on the go and watch a slideshow while you’re listening. But Zune's about being connected - about turning 1000 songs into 1000 recommendations or 1000 different experiences with 10,000 different friends.

     

    The Zune Insider blog posted a list of sites that posted their first impressions about the product.

    Stereogum
    Coolfer.com
    My Old Kentucky Blog
    Scenestars
    Tiny Mix Tapes
    Music For Robots
    3Hive

    Read the complete post here.

    Read the Press releases and fun stuff on: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/zune/default.mspx.

    There are documents describing the three packs that will be available:

    • Car Pack
    • Home A/V Pack
    • Travel Pack

    Can't wait to test this out.

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  • TechNet & MSDN event Brussels

    Yesterday we had our TechNet  & MSDN event in Brussels.

    The free event was fully booked over a 1000 attendees. Which is great and whoever attended I just want to say thank you to be there it was a great event and I hope you liked it.

    I know Ilse liked the TechNet event, on her ProExchange usergroup she wrote a  wrap up of the day and she enjoyed and learned a lot.

     

    We had two tracks one was forefront with some great speakers like Fred Baumhardt and for the best of MMS tour we had a great attendance and top speakers. I had the opportunity to a talk about "Data Protection Manager" and "Capacity Planner".

     

    I hope to see you all back again at one of our upcoming events "TechEd IT Forum" Barcelona and out next big local event Dev & IT Pro days.

     

    So again THANK YOU for being there and if you have any questions don't hesitate arlindoa@microsoft.com

  • Vista:: New Step by Step guides available

    We already had some step by step guide but we just released som new ones.

     

    Have a look (or download) at the following guides:

    • Deploying Vista Step by Step Guide
    • Managing Group Policy ADMX Files Step by Step Guide
    • Managing Roaming User Data Deployment Guide
    • Performance Monitoring and Tuning Step by Step Guide
    • Print Management Step by Step Guide
    • Step by Step Guide to Controlling Device Installation and Usage with Group Policy
    • Step by Step Guide to Device Driver Signing and Staging
    • Step by Step Guide to Managing Multiple Local Group Policy
    • User Account Control Step by Step Guide
    • Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption Step-by-Step Guide
    • Windows Vista Beta 2 Migration Step by Step Guide
    • Windows Vista Beta 2 Trusted Platform Module Services Step by Step Guide (May 2006)
    • Windows Vista Mobile Device Center Step by Step
    • Windows Vista Multilingual User Interface Step by Step Guide
    • Windows Vista Speech Recognition Step by Step Guide
    • Windows Vista Windows Meeting Space Step by Step Guide

    Go ahed and download them: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=311f4be8-9983-4ab0-9685-f1bfec1e7d62&DisplayLang=en

     

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  • System Center Capacity Planner 2006

    As I am preparing to do a session about some of our System Center Products. I thought by myself why not share it and blog about one topics I will talk about.

    So are you busy designing or managing Exchange 2003 or MOM 2005 then this is a product you really will like. System Center Capacity Planner 2006 (SCCP) is all about pre-sizing or planning the capacity of Exchange 2003 or MOM 2005 infrastructures.

    You all know how hard it can be to create the requirements for such an infrastructure, well there is good new SCCP 2006 will make this much much easier. Let's take a look at the pre-sizing tool.

     

    First of all you will enter your organizational data like how many branch offices, how much users at each office, which is your preferred hardware and so on.

    Next SCCP will compute the Recommended architecture. You can from here run a simulation to see which load each server or other components will have.

    You can now use this recommended architecture as a bill of material to create/ask a proposal. The tool is easy to use and has a Visio like interface. Once you are happy with the architecture you can export it to Excel or Visio.

     

    Now presume that you have deployed the recommended architecture and that your manager is asking you to give him a report about what the impact should be if there where 1000 new users to add into for example the Exchange organization. How would you  do this today? Use your own calculation or just guessing? Not with SCCP anymore you open the architecture previously saved and start make changes to the architecture.


    Using SCCP as a capacity planner let's you do some what-if analysis, what will the server load be if we added 1000 users, what would happen with the required bandwidth for the remote sites and so on. It is a real powerful tool that is based on best practices from bot the Exchange and the MOM team. Because the tool know's which roles and how much resource each role takes under certain situations you have the option to consolidate the servers.

    So you've added the new site with a 1000 users and simulated the impact of those changes, you will have a report to submit to your manager which will actually help him defend the additional budget he needs for to add the new site to the Exchange architecture.

     

    And because SCCP runs on a stand alone machine it is really easy to use this product. No need to deploy on the test or production environment.

     

    Do you want to know more about this product? Check out this Webcast : Introducing System Center Capacity Planner 2006

    We also created a flash based demo where you can see how the products works:  System Center Capacity Planner Demo

     

    In the next wave of products we will add suport for Exchange 2007, Operations Manager 2007 and 64 bit.

     

  • 112 Run commands

    Today I came across this blog post about how to run Windows Programs really fast from the run dialogue box.  It's basically a list of 112 commands you can run.

     

    Useful, maybe on Windows XP but with the integrated search in Windows Vista this not needed anymore just type the name of the command like "Paint" for example and the command will show and not only that but also documents, mails, etc .. that contains the word "Paint". I find this awesome and I could not imagine going back to my Windows XP machine again. Even with all the pain we suffered with selfhosting Windows Vista since January but its getting better and faster.

     

    So for me Windows Vista Rocks.

  • TechEd: IT Forum

    I wanted to inform you that we are almost closing on the Teched IT Forum early bird.

     

    It is the absolute top event for IT Professionals across Europe. Gerd de Bruycker, who is responsible for TechEd : IT Forum, and his team have been working overtime to bring you the content you want from the best speakers on each topic.

     

    We will also organise a Belgium & Luxembourg countries drink at TechEd if you are going to the event please drop me an e-mail to make sure you get invited, make sure you keep Wednesday evening 15/11 free.

    Did you know that we’re giving away a TechNet Plus Direct subscription to each and every attendee of TechEd : IT Forum ? With TechNet Plus Direct you get all the benefits of a regular TechNet Plus subscription directly from an online portal.

    Make sure to register now as the September 29th deadline of the 300€ Early Bird discount for TechEd : IT Forum is approaching fast. 

     

    Hope to meet you there and have fun.

  • Belux: Upcoming Technet Events

    TechNet Evening : Technical Overview of Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 and Office SharePoint Server 2007
    During this session we will go into more detail on the specific feature areas in SharePoint 2007: collaboration, portal, search, content management, business intelligence, business forms, and platform services. Each of these feature areas emphasizes improvements that have been made in SharePoint 2007 to aid enterprise management.

    Level 200
    When?  October 4, 2006 / 18:00 - 20:00
    Where? NH Hotel, Diegem
    Register now

     

    TechNet Evening : Upgrading to SQL Server 2005 - Tips and tricks from the field
    Frederik Vandeputte will demonstrate different upgrade scenarios and show you the pros and cons of each upgrade path. He will pinpoint potential pitfalls and show you the tools which can help you during the upgrade process.

    Level 300+
    When?  December 12, 2006 / 18:00 - 20:00
    Where? NH Hotel, Diegem
    Register now

     

    TechNet Evening : Group Policiy Deep Dive: Managing Features, Troubleshooting, Settings with Windows Vista
    Learn about new Group Policy features in Windows Vista, including ADMX files (which replace ADM files), the ADMX Central Store, an improved awareness of changing network conditions, using Multiple Local GPOs, and GPMC integration into the operating system. Additionally, we demonstrate and discuss some of the most important of the hundreds of new policy settings delivered with Windows Vista, and review Group Policy features planned for the Longhorn Server timeframe.

    Level 300
    When?  January 10, 2007 / 18:00 - 20:00
    Where? NH Hotel, Diegem
    Register now

  • Vista:: Suggested US retail prices

    With the release of Windows Vista RC1 we also released the suggested US retail prices for the different Vista editions.

     

    Windows Vista Business:

    • Suggested retail price for full package product, $299.00 USD.
    • Suggested upgrade retail price, $199.00 USD.

    Windows Vista Enterprise:

    • Will only be available for Microsoft Volume License customers, it is not available for retail purchase.

    Windows Vista Home Premium:

    • Suggested retail price for full package product, $239.00 USD.
    • Suggested upgrade retail price, $159.00 USD.

    Windows Vista Home Basic:

    • Suggested retail price for full package product, $199.00 USD.
    • Suggested upgrade retail price, $99.95 USD.

    Windows Vista Ultimate:

    • Suggested retail price for full package product, $399.00 USD.
    • Suggested upgrade retail price, $259.00 USD.

    If you want to know more about the features on these different builds then this is the place. So get ready for Vista.

    Vista RC1 will be made available for more then 5 million users through different programs. Did you played with Vista yet, what do you like or dislike, let me know arlindo.alves@microsoft.com

     

    You can still subscribe to our local BetaCentral (Dutch - French) site to testdrive not only the new release of Vista RC1 but also Office 2007 Beta 2 and Exchange Server 2007 Beta 2.

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  • Vista RC1:: Customer Preview Program - Downloads open

    I just read on the Vista team blog site that all who subscribed to the CPP program back in June can start using Vista RC1. The Beta2 keys you received are still useable with RC1. So if you have a key download Windows Vista RC1.

    If you are not part of the CPP program yet you can download Windows Vista but will have to wait until the CPP program opens for new registration (and it will open again).

    You can download it from here : http://download.windowsvista.com/preview/rc1/en/download.htm. There are two options downloading using the download manager wich is the recommended way and if for some reason it doesn't work you have the download with the browser.

     

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  • System Center Essentials Beta 2

    System Center Essentials Beta 2 has been released as always you can subscribe and download the Beta from the http://connect.microsoft.com site.

    Do you know what System Center Essentials does? If you don't read my post about SCE.

    A great resource for you is the System Center Essentials team blog.

  • EuroOSCON

     

    Today I was at the EuroOSCON conference in Brussels most of the day.
    The first keynote in the morning was done by Tim O'Reilly.

    Open Source 2.0

    Tim talked about Open Source 2.0. His main question was what is the value of opens source when the data is not open. It's actually a good question how much is an open api, application worth when the data is not?

     

    He also talked about what we don't know yet about open source 2.0:

    • We don't know yet what the platform future will look like
    • What does it mean for a web service that is open?
    • etc..

    Something I found really interesting when he was comparing the top 10 websites. You will find out that the craigslist is on the top ten and is a company with about 20 employees and that other sites have thousands of them.

    Tim also mentioned that vitalization is worth a look on it. For us at Microsoft Vitalization is very important and with Virtual Server and Hypervisor, Virtual Machine Manager we have really good products to virtualizes and manage your virtual world.

    craigslist factsheet

    Q: What is craigslist?
    A: Local community classifieds and forums - a place to find jobs, housing, goods & services, social activities, a girlfriend or boyfriend, advice, community information, and just about anything else -- all for free, and in a relatively non-commercial environment.

    Q:How much traffic does craigslist get?
    A: More than 4 billion page views per month

    Want some more facts : http://www.craigslist.org/about/pr/factsheet.html

     

    The second morning keynote was a very entertaining one given by Tor Nørretranders 

    Attention, Please! Who Are We?

    Tor's session was very very entertaining and you it was too bad for us that he did not have more time to talk to us.

    Tor talked about peacocks and their tail, it's not functional but it's made for sex :) relating to the handicaps principle (Israeli biologist Amotz Zahavi). 

    In the end peacocks and open source are the same thing, isn't it.

    His conclusion was:

    Dare, Care & share ==> Attention ===> Sex, Jobs and Recognition. But maybe not in that order he concluded.

     

    CodePlex and Port25

    The rest of my time I stayed at the CodePlex - Port25 booth where I talked to many people about the port25.technet.com site. Most of the attendees like the fact that we are working on projects like CodePlex and Port25.

    You want to know what codeplex is:

    CodePlex is Microsoft's community development web site. You can use CodePlex to create new projects to share with your fellow developers around the world, join others who have already started their projects, or use the applications on this site and provide feedback

    What is Port25:

     Port 25 is open. The people, insights, and analysis from the Microsoft Open Source Software Lab. Read the Port25 Mission