Back in June, it was announced that Microsoft would no longer be including the ability to save to PDF from within the 2007 Microsoft Office System, which was a shame, because many users out there, as Steve Marsh mentions, would find it incredibly useful.
Well, it's time to rejoice, as it's back, as a free download, and it is available now. According to the download webpage, "This download allows you to export and save to the PDF and XPS formats in eight 2007 Microsoft Office programs. It also allows you to send as e-mail attachment in the PDF and XPS formats in a subset of these programs. Specific features vary by program"
It works with the following programs:
And for all those interested....here it is:
For more information on the 2007 Microsoft Office System, head on over and see Steve Marsh, or the Office Rocker!
Final Action: Download the 2007 Microsoft Office Add-in: Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS
Well, it's your lucky day - you can now download it, and you don't even have to be on MSDN, CPP, TAP or any of the other programs! It's yours! Take it!
Before you go zooming off to download this little beauty, it's important that you read the following:
"This build (5728) has a number of improvements and updates from RC1, but has not been put through the same internal testing process as RC1 and therefore may be unstable in certain installations. We are making this release available for a limited time only (and only by download) in order to get broad distribution and testing in a variety of PC configurations. Please note: This build may not have the same level of support or servicing via Windows Update, and you may not be able to upgrade to the final version of Windows Vista".
To be honest though, I have been using an even newer build, 5732, for a few days now, and it's sweet as a nut. No problems so far, and my machine is so packed with Beta software it's unreal, and it still manages fine. Everything runs smoothly, quickly, all the drivers are in there - I don't think you will have any problems.
"Installation notice: Users of Toshiba models M400, M4, and M5 should choose to do a clean install (not upgrade) of this build. Before upgrading from Beta 2, please install any Critical Updates from Windows Update for Beta 2. Go to Start, All Programs, Windows Update, and click the “Check for Updates” button"
A couple of new things you do get with the 5728 are some funky new wallpapers, and a new boot animation! If you are interested in how this release is on a different path to the RC1 release, head on over to Long Zheng's blog. Long writes some great stuff about Vista, so take a look. The image below is taken from Long's post, where he got the chance to chat with Paul Donnelly, the Microsoft Windows Vista beta program manager, to ask about the development process for Windows Vista and branching.
You can also go along to Long's blog and try to win a Vista Mousemat! Cool!
Get along to the download site to start downloading straight away! you can download it in two ways:
Bear in mind, that you can only download the 32-bit version for now, and it comes in ISO format, so your DVD-Burning skills will need to be up to scratch to take advantage of your huge download!
For those of you who would prefer to go with the supported 5600 RC1 build, you can still get your hands on it, here. Enjoy! :-)
See - your feedback does work!
Over the last few weeks, it's been flying round the web that we were going to include a default sound that would play when you boot up Windows. Many of you out there wanted at least an ability to turn it off if you wanted to. Well, it's in there. As Nick says over on the Windows Vista Team Blog, "your collective voice truly made a difference in this matter, as we've incorporated a way for users to turn off the start-up sound when it's more appropriate to boot silently - be it when you're mobile, at home or in the office".
Have a glance at the screenshot below - I kid you not! :-)
Not only does Windows Vista make PC's look cool on the inside, with its swanky Glass effects as part of the Aero interface, but, for the last 7 months, Microsoft has offered computer manufacturers guidelines on colour, shape and other design elements for the actual hardware PCs that will run Windows Vista.
Microsoft's internal-hardware group already has announced a wireless, backlit keyboard to complement Vista and is expected to introduce more new mice and keyboards at an event later this week.
This article, over on Seattle Times: Business & Technology, states "By far most [Windows] sales are attached to new PCs, so Microsoft has a vested interest in ensuring that the entire PC package is compelling enough to draw in users," said Steve Kleynhans, vice president of Gartner's Client Platforms Group. "If the operating system looks good, but the PC looks bland and uninteresting ... consumers won't be as interested in buying a new machine or Vista""
It's clear to see from this comment, how important the look of the hardware has become. Take my home desktop PC for example - it is literally a boring white box, but now, if I were to buy a new desktop case, I could include neon lights, see-through casing and multi-coloured wiring, all powered by a light-emitting power supply, giving my bedroom the 'Blackpool Illuminations' look that I have always desired ;-)
Cool looking hardware is something many people are passionate about. I love spinning round my Tablet PC into tablet mode when I'm working on the train (It's guaranteed to get a look!) but in terms of styling hardware, the Mac has had it sewn up for a while now. "Apple Computer has shown that if you control the software and you control the hardware, you can make the two fit harmoniously into a beautiful, elegant package," said Don Norman, a former Apple executive who now consults with Microsoft and wrote the 2004 book "Emotional Design: Why We Love (or hate) Everyday Things."
According to Joshua Maruska, a senior industrial designer with Seattle-based Teague, "compelling design is a challenge in the PC industry"..."High-end editions of Vista include the "Aero" user interface, including a "glass" effect designed to make the system feel lighter and help users focus on content, rather than the interface surrounding it. Aero, an acronym for "authentic, energetic, reflective and open, " is something designers try to keep in mind as they create Vista PCs"
Hewlett-Packard is another hardware manufacturer keen to get involved; "HP is devoting considerable resources to integrate hardware and software," Sam Lucente, HP's vice president of design, said. However, the design of market leader Dell's latest line was not directly influenced by the Microsoft guidelines. "We do plan to incorporate Microsoft's new buttons onto our keyboard when Vista becomes available," Marco Peña, a Dell spokesman, said. "That is about the closest you will get to a direct connection between Microsoft's [industrial design] toolkit and Dell design."
Some of the cool hardware I have seen around on my travels, manages to combine sexy looks and styling, with excellent performance. An example of this includes, and I'll admit, this is a personal favourite of mine, is the Acer Ferrari series, and in particular, the new Ferrari 5000. Not only does it look good....
But it is spec'd up to the max! The Ferrari 5005WLMi has an AMD Turion™ 64 X2 Mobile Technology TL-60 (2.0 GHz, 2 x 512 KB L2 cache) processor, a 15.4" WSXGA+ high-brightness (200 nit) Acer CrystalBrite™ TFT LCD with 1680 x 1050 pixel resolution (16ms), an ATI Mobility™ Radeon® X1600 with up to 512 MB HyperMemory™ (256 MB of dedicated GDDR3 VRAM; 256 MB of shared system memory), (deep breath...) a huge 160GB SATA HDD, a 2GB of DDR2 667 MHz memory (up to 4GB), 1X HD DVD-ROM drive, a 5-in-1 card reader, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ solution, Bluetooth® 2.0+EDR, 1.3MP Acer OrbiCam™, and an Acer Bluetooth® VoIP phone!
You better be reading this Santa!! (Or Steve ;-) )
Anyway, enough of me - You can read Benjamin J. Romano's full article, entitled "Microsoft wants PC package to appeal to the eye" over at the Seattle Times: Business & Technology page.
In an update to a recent post, Microsoft has released more information about this sexy piece of kit. Feel free to have a play with the cool flash demo below, before reading on!
For those of you interested in an overview of the product, you can find that information here, whereas, for those of you interested in even more of the features, check out the list below, which I've taken directly from this page. On the overview page, you will find a number of different views of the keyboard, for those of you who want to see it from every angle!
To me, this looks really cool, and the different fuctions that the keyboard provides, yeah, they may not all be new, like buttons to open certain programs etc, but the way it will integrate with Vista will ensure an excellent user experience, and building on the button functionality, is the backlighting, intelligent power usage, USB ports, and bluetooth technology mean it really is an excellent keyboard, empowering the user to get more done, with less effort.
Features to expect? Well, how about the following:
Rechargeable Mouse and Keyboard - First ever rechargeable backlit keyboard and mouse solution. Microsoft’s exclusive charging hub allows you to recharge both the mouse and keyboard in one easy-to-use place.
4 USB Ports - Integrated USB ports in the charging station give you the flexibility to download images from your digital camera or plug in your thumb drive or other USB device - right from your desktop.
Wireless Freedom - Give yourself room to move - wireless mouse and keyboard products let you work without worrying about tangled wires.
Battery Status Indicator - You'll know when power is low when the batter status indicator senses battery life is running out.
2.4 GHz Bluetooth® Technology - Connect wirelessly right out of the box with First Connect Technology for up to 30 feet with virtually no interference.
4-Way Mouse Scrolling - Scroll four ways for greater efficiency and comfort with Tilt Wheel Technology.
High Definition Laser Technology - Microsoft® High Definition Laser Mouse products are more precise, more responsive, and deliver smoother tracking.
Instant Viewer - Too many open items on your desktop? Click the scroll wheel button to instantly display your open windows, then point and click to select.
Magnifier - Point and click to enlarge and edit detail using the Magnifier.
Brushed Aluminum - The sleek, symmetrical design features an authentic brushed aluminum that feels as good as it looks.
Windows® Start Button - Press to launch your Start menu and search your PC or the Web if you have Windows Vista installed.
Ultra-thin Comfort Curve Design - Place your hands naturally and work comfortably using the distinctive and ergonomist-approved Comfort Curve design with quiet touch keys.
Navigation Pad - Command your PC from your lap or the comfort of your sofa with the integrated cursor control.
Windows® Live Call Button - Just press this button to access your Windows Live Messenger buddy list; then select an Online Contact and start a video conversation.
Compact Industrial Design - This sleek design reduces clutter on your desk, fits on your lap and complements your flat screen monitor.
Windows Gadgets Button - One-touch access to gadgets such as weather information, news updates, traffic maps and slide shows of online photo albums.
Media Center Start Button - One touch access to Windows Media Center.
Ultra-thin Keyboard - Experience true comfort with the ultra-thin Comfort Curve keyboard plus quiet touch keys.
Intelligent Backlighting - Backlighting comes on automatically when you approach the keyboard and turns off when you’re away - and backlit keys only glow when the lights are low, saving valuable battery life.
Media Controls - Media Controls allow you to easily navigate to next track, previous track, play, pause and volume control.
"My Favorites" Hot Keys - Access the folders, files, and Web pages you use most with one-touch “My Favorites” Keys.
Intelligent Power System - Adjust battery life depending on performance needs.
With billions of dollars of R&D coming to market this year in the shape of Exchange, Vista and Office we have a major focus on helping our UK partners get ready for "EVO" wave. This is a big team effort from the UK partner team and you will see lots of activity over the coming months both online and with regional events. Two points to highlight are:
Exchange Ignite Training
This training will be 2 day classroom course. The 2 days will be primarily hands-on-lab oriented technical drill-downs into Exchange Server 2007 and the new Office System 2007. The training is intended to provide early technical information on this exciting new version of Exchange Server and the new Office System. The course provides details on the architecture, installation, and configuration of Exchange Server 2007. Additionally, the course provides information on security, compliance, archiving and remote client access as well as the better together story with the new Office System 2007. This costs £200 + VAT for Gold, Certified and SBSC Partners & £300 + VAT for Registered Partners. Get registered soon as we expect high demand. The link above provides more detail if you need it.
Windows Vista for Developers Course
Vista is going to be an awesome platform for developing applications on. If you haven't seen it, check out the BBC demo from Mix.06 to see a glimpse of what is possible. You can learn much more from this course though which is a two-day course with Hands-On Labs will take you through the process of building on the Windows Vista platform. The course will focus on growing service opportunities and new features of the Windows Vista operating system. Again, more details on the link above but lightweight coders like myself need not apply - this is the real deal :) The part subsidized costs for this course are £200 + VAT for Gold, Certified and SBSC Partners & £300 + VAT for Registered Partners.
This is the first in a wave of readiness activities you will see from our team both online and offline. Watch this space!
Cheers to Steve for this information.
Are you a Microsoft Partner, and if so, would you like to be kept in the know as to what our plans are for the next year? I thought so.
Well, the Virtual Partner Conference is a new concept that we've developed as a way to provide you, our partners, with the latest information on our plans in each business area. It is their chance to hear about the UK market perspective, our FY07 business plans, the opportunities that exist, and much more. We have a broad range of video presentations given by execs and managers from around the business, as well as external speakers. The conference is delivered in an interactive online format - giving you the opportunity to watch as much as you like!
The Virtual Partner Conference goes live on 26th September, and will then be updated quarterly to ensure that you always have the latest information on our plans! Cool hey!
What are some of the things you can expect?
One of the highlights, and I'm not trying to blow our own trumpets here (!), is the video that James and I made, entitled 'Vista in 10', which gives a whistle-stop tour of the business value of Vista. Added bonus - you get to hear the delightful tones of my northern accent, along with the joyful sounds of James 'Queen's English' Senior ;-) Joking aside, the content is pretty good, and if you just want a quick 10 minutes on what's cool in Vista, for businesses of every size, check it out. I will no doubt get a copy on this blog anyway, for non-partners to indulge in. The exact description for the video is:
"James and Matt take you on a 10 minute journey through the key business scenarios addressed by Windows Vista, including Finding and Using Information, Enabling a Mobile Workforce, Improving Security and Compliance, and Optimising your Desktop Infrastructure."
If you are not a Microsoft partner, there are a number of benefits to becoming one. For further information about any subject covered on the Partner site, please call the AskPartner Hotline on 0870 60 70 700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Go-do: Visit www.microsoft.com/uk/partnerconference from the 26th September to start building your own conference!
Microsoft has just released the Beta 2 of Windows Media Player 11 which now allows users to share content with multiple devices around the home, and also includes additional music stores; eMusic, VidZone and Music Giants. The article goes on to say that previous beta's of Windows Media Player 11 have had favourable reviews, and from my personal experience, I'd say they are fully justified - Windows Media Player 11 is an excellent piece of software and makes finding and playing music effortless. The new beta also offers improved integration with URGE, MTV's music service.
But how does WMP11 for Windows XP, differ from that of WMP11 for Vista? Here are the answers you may be looking for.
You can download the new Windows Media Player 11 Beta 2 - here. Go-Do!
Now this is cool. Off topic, but cool. Have you seen this keyboard? Now to be honest, my keyboard at home must have cost me about £5 (approx $9), so as you can imagine, I was purely interested in something that worked, however, seeing this beauty, my feelings towards just choosing 'something that worked' is about to change. Check this video out, below, courtesy of YouTube.
This keyboard, made me sit up and think, cool. One problem I always associate with having a wireless keyboard, is changing the battery. This keyboard is rechargeable. Another problem; going too far away from the wireless receiver. How does 30 feet fit with you? I wouldn't be able to see my monitor from 30 feet away! And we've all been in a situation where we need to see the keyboard in the dark...ok...maybe just me, but, this keyboard is not only backlit, but is ambiently (Not sure that is a word!) backlit, meaning it is smart enough to know the level of lighting in the room, and will adjust accordingly. It even knows when you have left the room! Coolio!
Icing on the cake? It comes in a sexy metal finish, and, as with all things cool, its designed to work with Windows Vista. You can't get much better than that. James has unwillingly agreed to buy me one for Christmas. Cheers James :)
Action - Watch the flash video, in all its full size glory!
Are you an ISV? Would you like to be as happy as this fine chap? If you'd like to be so happy, that you could do the YMCA whilst simultaneously doing the Limbo, read on....
Vista's coming, don't you know. As an ISV (Independent Software Vendor), it represents a signifcant potential opportunity for you. Here at Microsoft, we want to help you take advantage of this opportunity and assist you in developing and delivering Windows Vista compatible software faster, more cost effectively, and with greater market segment impact than ever before.
Here are the things that you need to do to get ready for Windows Vista:
So, what are these logo's all about? Well, the first one, on the left, shows your customers that you are certified, increasing their confidence and satisfaction with your products. When you use this logo on your product packaging and promotions, customers will know at first glance that your software will provide the highest quality Windows Vista experience. Find out more information about the 'Certified for Windows Vista' logo.
What about the other logo, on the right? Well, this 'Works with Windows Vista' logo will help you communicate to your customers that your applications are supported and meet baseline standards of full functionality on Windows Vista. Good to know, me thinks! Find out more information about the 'Works with Windows Vista' logo.
Go-Do: Start testing your applications on Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 (RC1) and help ensure compatibility with the final major pre-release of Windows Vista. Windows Vista RC1 is now available to MSDN Subscribers and through the Customer Preview Program (CPP). Get Windows Vista RC1 and start testing today!