Say you've got a nice new machine, with a 100gb hard disk, efficiently running Windows XP, but what if, for one reason or another, you want to split that hard disk into multiple partitions. What are some of the reasons you would want to create multiple partitions? Well, how about a separate drive for your paging file, to aid system performance, a separate drive for all your media / photo's / movies, or, a separate drive, to run another operating system, in a dual boot environment. Sound good? How can you do it in XP? Well, it's not the easiest thing to do...
Well, looking at the first one - it's abit of a hassle, and what if you already have alot of work on there? You will need to back it all up etc, taking valuable time and effort. This is obviously assuming that you have the DVD of XP. The second method would provide you with a feature-rich application, but, it's not free, and if you are only to use it once or twice, maybe the cost isn't quite justified.
So, how does this all change with Vista?
Well, although not as full featured as some third party partition management applications, in the Disk-Management snap-in, pictured below, users can shrink, extend, create, and format partitions. The new resizing features will allow users to shrink a single partition with unused space, and then create a new partition in the resulting free space, as well as extending a current partition if there is available free space after it.
Compare this with the options you have in XP:
And you can see the number of features has increased a great deal.
So, you've installed Vista, on your single-partition, but you've decided that you'd like to create another couple of partitions, one for your media, and one for your other data, keeping just your system files on the current partition. All you have to do is click Shrink Volume, enter the details...
and your unallocated space is created, where you can subsequently create your new volume with the New Volume Wizard, allocating size and choosing drive letter, or, you can extend an already existing volume. You can split this space again, and again, to create your required partitions.
I think you'll agree, with the new enhancements to Windows Vista Disk Management, the wizard-driven shrinking and extending partitions is now easily accomplished. As always, when making changing to the partition structure, users should ensure that all important files and data are backed up.
(Click image to Enlarge!)
If you are confused by this new term, BitLocker, well, don't worry, because you are not alone. In a nutshell, BitLocker is a new data encryption technology that is built into both the Enterprise and Ultimate versions of Vista, and also Windows Server 'Longhorn' and is Microsoft's response to one of our top customer requests: address the very real threats of data theft or disclosure from lost, stolen or inappropriately decommissioned PC hardware with a tightly integrated solution in the Windows Operating System.
If you want to understand more about BitLocker and its various features and details, here are some resources:
BitLocker Drive Encryption: Technical Overview
BitLocker Drive Encryption: Executive Overview
BitLocker Drive Encryption Step-by-Step Guide
About a week ago, I stumbled upon this post from David Overton, providing details of Windows Vista Demo's that are available on t'internet.
They originate from the Windows Vista Demo site, and have been organised nicely, into 5 categories:
Programs, Files and Folders
Internet and e-mail
Security and Maintenance
Help and Support
They demo's are pretty short, and some of them are pretty basic, but, you may know someone who will find them useful...My parents would be perfect targets!
Envisioning Session (Vista & Office 2007)
This half day session is to help ISV's better understand the positive impact Windows Vista and 2007 Microsoft Office System can make on their solutions.
These sessions are for Business Decision Makers and Technical Decision Makers to help you to better understand our roadmap and the key new features.
Familiarity with Microsoft platform.
The intention is to keep the sessions demo rich (and code free!), interactive, thought provoking and informative. You will leave with a clear understanding of the real advantages that Windows Vista and Office deliver as well as specific next steps to obtain substantial technical assistance from Microsoft.
3rd November (Welcome time - 12:30pm)
To register, visit: - http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032313066&Culture=en-GB
Technology Overview (Vista & .NET 3.0)
This one day technical overview highlights the new technologies in Windows Vista and .Net Framework 3.0 and outlines how these might be leveraged within your applications.
This session is aimed at Architects, Senior developers and System Designers
Familiarity with .Net Framework desirable.
The day will be a mixture of presentations and demos with lots of time set aside for discussion. (NB the event is constrained to a maximum of 20 people, 2 per company, to ensure lots of opportunity for discussion!).
The session assumes limited or no previous exposure to the technologies covered.
31st October & 23rd November (Welcome time - 9:30am)
To register, visit:
Oct 31st: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032312548&Culture=en-GBNov 23rd: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032312554&Culture=en-GB
I read a couple of interesting announcements yesterday, both around the Xbox 360. The first, over on GameDaily Biz, talks about the fact that, as we know, Microsoft is already working away on the next version of the Xbox, but also that the chip that powers the next console, may in fact be made by Microsoft. So far, in the original Xbox we had a trusty old Intel chip. In the 360, we had the IBM PowerPC-based chip, whereas Sony on the other hand, had their custom CPU, rolling in at about 300mhz, and with its funky name 'The Emotion Engine', and now, they too have moved towards producing their own chip; the extremely powerful Cell Processor. They are however, not producing this on their own, they have Toshiba and IBM on board for this - would Microsoft consider going it alone? In my eyes - abit risky...
Well, so far, Microsoft has started the new project, tentatively called the Computer Architecture Group. Watch this space I guess!
This wasn't the only announcement, oh no. When Microsoft released the Xbox, they decided, just the same as Sony has now, to release the console in 2 flavours, Core and Premium. I don't know about you, but I didn't think twice about which one I would buy - Premium all the way - for a number of reasons, one of which being the 20gb hard disk. That will be useful I thought. Now, they have only gone and announced the release of a 100gb Hard Disk for the Xbox 360. Now, as a 20gb owner, if I get the 100gb version, what am i supposed to do with the 20gb version? I've no box for it, as it came attached to the console, and if there is a 100gb version, it's unlike many people will want it on eBay. No date has been set for the release, however, as the guys on BetaNews say, when it does release, "With 100GB of storage, Microsoft could more easily position the Xbox as a full-blown media center for the living room"
I'm not sure if I'd want a 100gb hard disk for my Xbox to be honest. I would like a Media Center, in fact, I recently specc'd up my own home-built version, Core2Duo included, but, the Xbox as a fully fledged Media Center? I'm not so sure. Don't get me wrong, the Xbox as a Media Center Extender - awesome, especially when Vista Media Center is being extended, but, that's the key, it's an extender, not a fully functional Media Center. What if you don't have a Media Center? What does your Xbox give you? Well, it gives you the Live interface, but in terms of looking at your pictures, listening to your music, watching your video's etc, the interface, well, it's abit basic, especially compared to the awesome Media Center. Don't get me wrong, Xbox Live is, in my opinion, the killer feature of the 360, and something that Sony really has to work hard against if they want to get anywhere close in online gaming arena. So, would I need a 100gb hard disk? At the moment, definitely not. Of the 20gb disk i currently have, 13gb is available, and I currently have, just 1 downloaded demo on there, so, I have about 11gb left. I don't store my music on there, nor do I store video's. When game downloads become the norm, then I can see the 100gb hard disk becoming useful, however, unless they make a dramatic update to Live, and make the 360 into a fully fledged Media Center, I'm not too sure I'd ever need to invest in the 100gb disk. For those of you who have a large collection of music, photo's, and (non-divX) movies, and you are only looking for a no-fuss interface to access your collection, than the disk may be an ideal upgrade, but if you are like me, until it becomes a fully fledged Media Center, like this:
or game downloads become the norm, I think I'll wait...
So, you've heard about this three-headed beast on the horizon, which really is going to change the way we work, but you haven't had the chance to install it, don't have any spare hardware to test it on, or, you just don't want to install it yet. What can you do? Well, how about having a play around, hands-on style, without even having to install any of the products?
This is where the TechNet Virtual Labs come in. They allow you to quickly evaluate and test Microsoft's newest server products through a series of guided, hands-on labs which can be completed in 90 minutes or less. The best part is, TechNet Virtual Labs can be accessed online immediately for FREE!
You can access the TechNet Virtual Labs homepage here.
Alternatively, follow these links for the relevant product labs:
Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Virtual Labs New Labs Just Added!New Exchange Server 2007 Virtual Labs are here! These labs will walk you through the basics of administration in Exchange Server 2007, new features in Outlook Web Access 2007, enforcing compliance and retention policies in Exchange Server 2007, and more.
Windows Vista Virtual Labs New!New Windows Vista Virtual Labs are here! In these labs you'll learn to deploy operating system images using Windows Deployment Services, configure User Account Control for standard and administrative users via group policy, and more.
2007 Microsoft Office System Virtual Labs New Labs Just Added!In these labs, you'll experiment with the new user interface improvements in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 including enhanced views and menus that simplify navigation within and among SharePoint sites. Integration with familiar productivity tools, including programs in the 2007 Microsoft Office system, makes it easy for you to get up to speed quickly.
As if you needed any more incentive to have a go at the labs, you can win an Xbox 360 for simply trying a lab, and submitting an evaluation form!
Now, if you're anything like me, from time to time you may find it a little difficult to figure out what is going on with all these 'Live' products, how they differ from the non-Live products, a-la Office 2003 / 2007 and how also, they differ from what kind of apps that other 'Search Engine' company are bringing out.
Well, after reading this article over on infoworld, things are starting to become clear :-)
Essentially, as Chris Capossela (Corporate VP of Microsoft's Information Worker Product Management Group) states, "Office 2007, unlike its predecessor Office 2003, is not just about personal productivity tools, but is focused on collaboration...However, collaboration features available in the Enterprise edition and some other versions of Office 2007 will not be offered in the Small Business version of Office 2007". He goes on to say "Small businesses want the collaboration features that are available in the enterprise edition of Office 2007, but they don't want to have to install and run the servers for it. Instead Microsoft is developing Office Live services that complement the Office desktop for small business users".
So, does that mean Office Live is aimed just at Small Businesses? Well, primarily yes, however, over time, services will be added to Office Live that will be of use to Home users and also Student users. Small Business users of Office 2007 also get a few nifty features that are not included in Enterprise or Home versions of Office 2007:
"The small business version of the product has a contact management system that is not available on the enterprise or home versions. Small businesses are not likely to buy a separate, stand-alone CRM (customer relationship management) system, but they want contact management capabilities, Capossela said. "The contacts module in Outlook has been beefed up, and it is almost like a CRM lite," he added."
So, what does Office Live give you? How about...
Reach new customers with search engine advertising
Track all of your contacts and leads in one place
Ready to sell on eBay?
More Space. More E-mail Accounts.
Sounds good right? Well why don't you head on over and sign-up right now?
The process is simple and fast, so you can be up and running in no time :-)
If I haven't persuaded you enough already, you have to see the flash demo or, alternatively, view some of the successful customer stories.
So, you've just heard that Internet Explorer 7 is available for a free download, right here, right now.
But then what? What else can you do with it, apart from the cool stuff that you get right out of the box? Well, check out this little goldmine, over at http://www.ieaddons.com/.
That's right, this site is dedicated to providing Add-Ons for Internet Explorer, and there are already a load to choose from...
The site really does make it easy to find Add-Ons that are relevant to what you want, and provides an excellent glossary for terms that people may not understand, such as Spoofing or Pharming. You can search for Add-Ons:
and the results that are presented are easily 'sortable' - blimey, you can even rate and read reviews of the Add-Ons!
Does it stop there? Oh no.
Are you a developer? Well, now you too can get in on the 'Add-On Act' and make and submit your own IE Add-Ons - We've also partnered with CNET and Download.com to collect, evaluate and host add-ons for this site. Take advantage of this opportunity. Submit your add-on for review today.
Right, final piece of information - you can subscribe the RSS feeds from the site, so you stay up to date with th Add-Ons!
That's all folks!
That's right, Internet Explorer 7 was coming quicker than I thought! It's available now for download!
Unfortunately at present, the download is only available in English, but other languages will be available soon. As I mentioned a few days ago, we will begin distributing Internet Explorer 7 as a high-priority update via Automatic Updates in November. In addition, Internet Explorer 7 (with protected mode capability) will ship in Windows Vista in 35 languages. Cool!
I'm sure you are aware, IE7 incorporates major advances like a streamlined interface, tabbed browsing, printing enhancements, RSS feeds, instant search capabilities, improved security, and much more. We will also offer free customer support for consumers.
What are you waiting for?
If you need even more reason to download, listen to the experts....
“IE7 is a monumental improvement over IE6 in both security and functionality. [It] is a solid, feature-packed browser that all IE users should flock to immediately.” - Paul Thurrott, Windows IT Pro
“I’ve spent the past few days looking at this build of IE7 and can recommend it enthusiastically.” - Ed Bott, ZDNet.com
You can also read a full review, by David Pogue of the NY Times, over here. You will need to register, but this is something I would recommend anyway! You could also download the awesome NY Times Reader, for XP and Vista.
Action: Download Internet Explorer 7
Here at Microsoft, there are regular questions flying around about the settings needed to run Virtual Server on Vista. Many people think they have set it up correctly, only to be presented with problems such as not being able to load the admin page etc. Well, here is the definitive guide, and it comes in the form of an image, and textual information. A huge thanks to Jeff Woolsey for producing this information.
So, if you’re trying to run Virtual Server on Vista, you need to do two things.
Step 1 - Enable IIS and the correct settings. To do this, go to Control Panel and under the Programs category click on Windows Features to Turn Windows features on and off. Here you will see a long list of features that can be enabled/disabled in Vista. For this discussion were specifically interested in enabling features under Internet Information Services (IIS). I’ve typed out what needs to be enabled below and included a screenshot which you can maximise by clicking the image.
Step 2 - Run IE using elevated privileges. To do this, right click on IE and select Run as Administrator.
You must do both.
For those of you who don't want to look at the screenshot, here are the details:
IIS Features that need to be enabled for Virtual Server to function properly
1. Under Web Management Tools enable IIS Management Console.2. Under IIS 6 Management Compatibility enable IIS Metabase and IIS6 configuration compatibility.3. Under Application Development Features enable CGI.4. Under Common Http Features enable Default Document, Directory Browsing, HTTP Errors, Static Content5. Under Health and Diagnostics enable HTTP Logging, Request Monitor6. Under Performance Features enable Static Content Compression7. Under Security enable Windows Authentication