349 articles were published across 203 Microsoft Team blogs between the 17th November and 30th November.  Here is my summary of interesting news, software release announcements and key dates for your diary. 

General News

·         Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) 4.0 Companion Guides:  These new are intended to assist Customers and partners easily apply the principles of Core MOF to specific scenarios, challenges, and opportunities.  In the initial release these target varying audiences spread across the Manage Layer, the Plan Phase and the Operate Phase. Read More...  

·         Bluehat Security Briefings (v8): BlueHat is a by-invitation-only Microsoft security conference aimed at bringing Microsoft security professionals and external security researchers together in a relaxed environment to promote the sharing of ideas and social networking.   The content from the sessions held on October 16-17, 2008 have been shared on TechNet. Read More... or Visit the TechNet Site.  

·         New ‘Free of Charge’ Consumer Security Offering:  Code-named “Morro,” a new streamlined security solution will be available in the second half of 2009.  It will provide comprehensive protection from malware including viruses, spyware, rootkits and trojans.   As part of Microsoft’s move to focus on this simplified offering, the company also announced today that it will discontinue retail sales of its Windows Live OneCare subscription service effective June 30, 2009.   Read the official press announcement or More on the team blog...  

·         Geo-Replication with Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008:  Microsoft.com Operations (MSCOM) verified that the combination of Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 are great for enabling database geo-replication, thanks to a 100X gain in performance. The experiment provided sufficient evidence to motivate a more ambitious proof-of-concept case study with MSDN.  Read More...  

·         Exchange Online and SharePoint Online Out of Beta and Ready for Purchase:  Microsoft announced availability of Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft SharePoint Online for businesses of all sizes in the United States.  Read the official press announcement...,  For further information on adoption consider the Solution Accelerator Guide  

·         New Release of Windows Live coming soon:  Expect improvements and enhancements to the Live Home page, Spaces, Events, and SkyDrive, as well as a completely new web services including Windows Live Groups, Photos, and a new Profile page coming soon.      Read WindowsLive.Com  

·         New Xbox Experience ushers in a new era of entertainment:   A partnership between Netflix and with other movie studios throughout the world, the New Xbox Experience isn’t the only thing that will look great on your TV.  Netflix is taking the first step by instantly streaming movies and TV episodes in high definition with the introduction of approximately 300 choices in HD via Xbox 360,   Read the official press announcement.  

·         Microsoft Zune – Music Subscription Model: The Zune Pass subscription service currently gives consumers on-demand access to millions of tracks for $14.99 per month. Following the announcement subscribers will also get to select 10 tracks per month to keep and add them to their permanent collection (an estimated $10 value). Read the official press announcement.  

·         Internet Explorer Life after Beta 2:  The Product Team have released information about what happens next following the release of Internet Explorer 8.0 BETA 2.   Read More... 
 

Software Releases – Released to Manufacturing (RTM) / Released to Web (RTW)

·         Microsoft Online Services: Exchange Online:  Availability to businesses of all sizes in the United States.  

·         Microsoft Online Services: SharePoint Online:  Availability to businesses of all sizes in the United States.  

·         Microsoft Unveils Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008  

·         Windows Home Server:  Windows Home Server Toolkit Version 1.1  

·         TechEd: The New Microsoft Security Assessment Tool (MSAT) Available for Download  

·         Dynamics NAV: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Ships!.  For further information read the official press announcement. 

·         [RTM News!] Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2.0 Now Available:  

·         Microsoft Application Threat Modelling: SDL Threat Modelling Tool Now Available!  

·         Office Communicator: Communicator goes Mobile  

·         Popfly: New Release… 
 

Software Releases – Service Packs (SP) / Cumulative Updates (CU) / Other Updates

Software Releases – Alphas / Betas / Community Technology Previews (CTP) / Release Candidate (RC) / Research Projects

Key Dates for your diary – Microsoft Conferences