421 articles were published across 196 Microsoft Team blogs between the 06th October-2008 and 19th October-2008.   Here is my summary of interesting news, software release announcements and dates for your diary.

Key Dates for your Diary (Microsoft Conferences)

General News

  • Introducing Windows 7:  The Windows Product Group has confirmed that the next version of Windows will be called Windows 7.   Shortly more details will be released at the PDC and at WinHEC and over the coming weeks.  Read More...  If you would like to learn more about engineering Windows 7 check out the team blog. 
  • Microsoft Learning has had an offer in market since August 5th called Second Shot. You can ‘take a certification exam, if you fail, you get a second chance for free.’   On the 15th October Microsoft announced an additional reward on top of Second Shot.  It provides value for customers who not only fail, but also PASS their certification exam. It’s a limited time offer and available worldwide. Read More...
  • Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure (VDI):  In the second blog entry on VDI, the deployment guys explain the benefits that using Citrix Xendesktop as the connection broker can bring. As explained in the first blog Microsoft does not provide a broker but partners with companies including Citrix, Quest and several other companies.  Read More...  If you missed the first article you can find it here.
  • Argentina Daylight Savings Changes – Guidance: The Argentinean government has announced new start and end dates for the Daylight Saving Time in Argentina for the period of 2008-2009. Read More...
  • Introducing SecurityNow: A look of at the proof of concept that the Connected Information Security Group is working on.  Read More...
  • SQL Server Customer Advisory Team (CAT):  This specialist team within Microsoft works within the product group.   They have recently re-vamped their SQLCAT website which provides essential resources including technical notes, whitepapers and the toolbox.  Visit the website...
  • Upcoming Support Transitions for Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003:  Customers have only 1½   years to migrate from Windows Server 2000 and Windows 2000 Professional which reaches the end of extended support on the 13th July 2010.   Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2 will also transition from the Mainstream Support phase to the Extended Support phase on July 13, 2010.   Read More...

Software Releases

  • Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2:   Microsoft demonstrated the new release for the first time before an audience of telecom and IT professionals at the VoiceCon tradeshow in Amsterdam. Customers will be able to purchase the release, currently in private beta testing, beginning in February 2009.  Read More...    Watch the video from Stephen Elop – Microsoft Business Division President.
     
  • SysInternals: Whether you’re an IT Pro or a developer, you’ll find Sysinternals utilities to help you manage, troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems and applications.   Recent updates: Autoruns v9.35, Process Monitor v2.01, DebugView v4.76, AccessChk v4.21   Read More...
     
  • The Windows Small Business Server 2008 Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) examines a server that is running Windows® Small Business Server 2008 (Windows SBS 2008) and presents a list of information and errors that administrators should review.  This is a free tool.  Read More...
     
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Report Builder 2.0:  SQL Server 2008 Report Builder 2.0 provides an intuitive report authoring environment for business and power users.  It supports the full capabilities of SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services. The download provides a stand-alone installer for Report Builder 2.0.   Read More...
     
  • App-V 4.5 for Terminal Services Release: Application Virtualization 4.5 (App-V) for Terminal Services (formerly SoftGrid) will be available on the Volume Licensing Pricelist and for download on VLSC as of November 1, 2008. App-V 4.5 is the first version available that supports both Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. Read More...