James O'Neill's blog

Windows Platform, Virtualization and PowerShell with a little Photography for good measure.

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  • Blog Post: IE 7 is coming. Are you ready ?

    Back in July, we announced that that IE 7 for Windows XP will be pushed out using Windows update. Since IE7 is bound up with Windows Vista, the release of IE7 for XP will happen at about the same time as Vista releases to manufacturing. A few weeks after that it will be pushed out via Windows Update...
  • Blog Post: IE is cool again

    I remember the year hen 3 versions of Internet explorer were released. That was before I came to Microsoft, when the web was still new and browsers were exciting - partly because (to outsiders at least) Microsoft seemed scared of Netscap. The Netscape battle ran its course, and I joined Microsoft as...
  • Blog Post: Patch for IE 6 VML vulnerability

    We have been getting some bad press over a bug which affects the Vector Markup Language in IE 5 and IE6 (but not IE7). Over on the Security Response Center Blog there are several posts about it. There were attacks based on the vulnerability (though very few), so we published a workaround and then released...
  • Blog Post: IE 8 is safest. Fact.

    Every now and then a news story comes up which reminds us that if people with bad intentions, even sensible people can fall into traps on-line. There was one such story last week where friends of the victim said she was “the sensible one” – if she wasn’t unusually gullible it could happen to anyone....
  • Blog Post: The Zombie cookie apocalypse (or how flash bypasses privacy)

    Earlier this week I went to “Oxford Geek Night” and the title of one of title of one of the sessions was “The Zombie Cookie apocalypse” delivered by David Sheldon (I wish his slides were on-line so you could read more and I could give him a proper credit), it wasn’t the only informative session – there...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 federated search.

    I was a little surprised to find it was nearly 3 years ago that I first wrote about Open Search… So first off… Open search provides a specification for XML to describe search services. It’s easy to build this XML, and there’s a Microsoft Page which builds it for you , so here’s an example for IMDB, which...
  • Blog Post: But I don’t want the default browser

    OK cards on the table. I’m prejudiced. I don’t pretend to be anything else, and I try to open about my biases - flaunt them even. And Like most prejudiced people I can explain the logical roots that my prejudices spring from. When it comes to browsers I think IE is pretty good .Actually let me qualify...
  • Blog Post: Firefox tops list: IE nowhere to be seen

    In a previous post I admitted a small heresy for a Microsoft person. I quite liked firefox; past tense because IE7 gives me all that I liked about Firefox, and more besides. Last week I learnt of a survey by bit9 which details their top 15 most vulnerable applications. And top of the list is Firefox...
  • Blog Post: Vista DOES HAVE Podcasting! (but it’s a bit ugly). The RSS screen saver is built in too..

    Regular readers (if I have any) will know that RSS is one of my interests. So I noticed Robert Scoble’s post “Windows Media 11’s lack of Podcasting gets noticed” which in turn followed up a post on Geek News Central For background: Podcasts are just RSS feeds with Enclosures. Internet...
  • Blog Post: Get the search you want in IE7

    I guess people who worked for Microsoft a few years ago must have some idea what it's like to be Google right now. A huge market share means people want to criticize you, you seek solace by watching your stock price, but that only makes you worry that the whole thing is built on sand and someone could...
  • Blog Post: One small step for search...

    I was talking to a customer (I know he reads this blog, so no names). He was having some trouble because two parts of Microsoft weren't communicating the way you'd expect them to. And I said in passing that one thing which we are unjustly accused of from time to time is underhand collusion: for example...
  • Blog Post: IE 8 – something else I’m growing to really like

    A few days back I wrote about acceleators in IE 8 and talked about how search box had been streamlined as well. I knew we’d re-worked how tabs worked but my first reaction was “yeah … but so what”. I’m a big fan of tabs: IE 7 changed my experience of the internet. I guess other tabbed browsers did the...
  • Blog Post: IE8 and privacy , part 1

    I wanted to talk about the privacy enhancements in IE8 , and to save you from reading something of epic length this is only part 1. First, I do know there are some poor souls out there who work for benighted organizations which can’t get off IE6 - so the idea of working efficiently with a multi-tabbed...
  • Blog Post: Landlord! IE7 for Everyone !!

    The IE team have announced on their blog that when it is finalized, IE 7 will be pushed out via Windows Update. It also explains what to do if you or your company DON'T want it. You have a little while to act because this isn't going to happen until the fourth quarter of the year: expect IE7 to be released...
  • Blog Post: Now available on ebay … I’ll have a slice of that !

    I’ve been pretty enthused about IE8 since it got to Beta 2. Yes there are some sites which need to be put into “Compatibility view”, which would be better called “IE 7 view” as it renders sites correctly which rely on IE7’s departure from standards. There is an argument for saying “Stuff what the standards...
  • Blog Post: What else did I miss ?

    So I said that we'd done a lot while I was away , other gems now sifted from my inbox include. As well as all the other Server "SKUs" I mentioned before , we've announced HPC Server 2008; (formerly called Compute Cluster Server - CCS) the beta is downloadable now. Staying with servers, Home...
  • Blog Post: IE 8 is coming: are you ready ?

    IE8 has features to please users, which makes me expect a pretty rapid uptake (Read Eileen for a user's eye view of accelerators) . We've also tried to remove the standards issues which annoy developers. Here's the problem though. If you have diverged from official standards in the past, then what do...
  • Blog Post: RSS Stumbler now available for download

    It was a pleasant surprise to get a mention from Robert Scoble , for my "RSS in 90 lines of code", and the I'm pleased to announce that it is available for download. Before give you the link, please be aware that Only the source code is included, you need Visual Basic 2005 (or express edition)...
  • Blog Post: The Browser Choice Screen for Europe: What to Expect, When to Expect It

    Dave Heiner, one of our Vice Presidents and our Deputy General Counsel has posted an explanation of exactly what will be happening . I would expect something in due course to explain how organizations can prevent their users being presented with the choice screen (if you are using WSUS – and you should...
  • Blog Post: "Vanity" searching

    After being taken to task by some recent commenters I'm a bit hesitant about suggesting that I (or others) are vain, but I can't come up with a better tag for it. I find that quite often I want to find a post on my blog. Because I often write about things I've found on the web the link to them is in...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft and open source. IE and Firefox

    Here's Something I bet most people most people thought they'd never see. (Thanks to Information week ). We're making sure we help Firefox development. We have an Open Source Software Lab in Redmond - they have an interesting web site at http://port25.technet.com . It makes a good story to portray Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: RSS for the bewildered.

    The volume of web content is overwhelming. And it keeps changing - we could spend all day just checking discussions, news, blogs and so on in the hope of finding something new (a process I call " Optimistic Browsing "). Shouldn’t stuff come to us ? After all, computers are good at polling. I don't want...
  • Blog Post: Accelerators in IE8

    Internet Explorer 8 seems to be guided by the same “many little improvements” philosophy that has driven Windows 7 – or put another way it’s not packed with radical new features , and in some cases I find it hard to be sure if something really wasn’t there before: I think the “Privacy Policy” is new...
  • Blog Post: Another reason why I like IE8 – dealing with broken scripts

    IE 8 just locked up on me. This in and of itself is a Bad Thing. I’ve got into the habit of having lots of tabs open in IE - I checked it’s currently 70 (why … ? because I can, it’s a pile off stuff I’m thinking about, going back to or what ever). IE 8 will recover from being killed off in task manager...
  • Blog Post: Blockers. What would we want from IE 8... or 9

    I have used this blog to grumble about "Flash turds" - those super-annoying adverts whose determination to grab the eye brings them to the point of being a test for epilepsy. I'm not seeing many of them being built in Silverlight, yet, but it can only be a matter of time. Fortunately I use...