XPS documents will no doubt start to surface on the web over the course of this summer. If you're not yet ready to load Vista as your day-to-day OS there are options for you to open and read .XPS files in XP.
The XML Paper Specification Essentials Pack (Beta 1) provides a standalone viewer that will register itself as the default for XPS. You can also load the February Community Technology Preview of the WinFX Runtime Components to open .XPS files in IE6 or later.
The guys over at OXD are ever-impressive. John Greer has posted 2 sample documents originally created in Word 97-2003 format and converted to Office 2007 .docx format.
I believe the point is to provide samples of the file formats and let users see the differences/similarities but you can't help but notice the difference in file size. One of the samples is the full text of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland including illustrations. The Office 2003 version is 528 KB. The Office 2007 version is 276 KB or roughly 52% the original. I'm sure the compression depends on content but this is an amazing example.
Microsoft’s Education team is pleased to announce its May TechTalks series. These Live Meetings are hosted every Wednesday and are designed for education customers (K-12 and Higher Education) to get technical information on our products and solutions. They are open to all K-12 and Higher Education customers and partners and require an event registration. Live Meeting details will be sent with registration confirmation. See below for details and registration links.
May 3rd: Higher Ed Session: Using Mobile Solutions to Stay Touch with Students & Extend the Learning ProcessPresenter: Bill Hagen, Mobility Solutions SpecialistTime: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm (Eastern Time) Register: Click here
Event Code: 1032285069
May 10th: Leverage the power of Microsoft’s Learning Gateway FrameworkPresenter: Tony Franklin, Productivity Advisor Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm (Eastern Time) Register: Click here
Event Code: 1032292997
May 17th: Securing Messaging and Collaboration in EducationPresenter: Dan Sommerman, Security Solutions ProfessionalTime: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm (Eastern Time) Register: Click here
Event Code: 1032293176
May 24th: Effective Computer Lab Management with the Shared Computer ToolkitPresenter: Scott Kennedy, Business Productivity AdvisorTime: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm (Eastern Time) Register: Click here
Event Code: 1032293186
May 31st: Classroom Learning Tools: Microsoft Student and Learning Essentials for OfficePresenter: Tony Franklin, Productivity Advisor Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm (Eastern Time) Register: Click here
Event Code: 1032293102
Received a few good questions today on Rights Managemet Server:
Does RMS work with PDF?
RMS works with a defined set of applications out of the box but can be extended. We have several partners that provide value-add including Adobe Reader. The RMS site includes a list of partners such as Liquid Machines who offers Adobe Reader support. In the Vista and Office 2007 time frame XPS will solve this problem and many others.
Do permissions need to be applied to both the document and the message if your are sending via Email?
Permissions apply to the object type so document permissions are things like modification of the document, printing, and copy/paste while message permissions are things like do not forward or reply to all. There is some overlap so I can see how this could be confusing. The answer is yes, to be clear - a protected message can include unprotected attachments. Once a document is protected you can send it or copy it and the protection stays intact.
How do I recover after an employee has been terminated that owned protected files?
There is an admintsrative group in RMS named Super Users. By default no accounts are a member of the group including administrator. This group can be used to recover files in scenarios such as employee termination.
Imagine – you are studying for a final and find an item on the syllabus you just don’t recall. That day your mind was off in space for one reason or another. You open a browser and search across the professor’s class notes. You see the material from that day, highlight a specific bullet point and click “play”. An audio/video stream opens starting from the point in time on the day in class when the professor took that note. You listen/watch the playback to make sure you get it right, actually learning something you otherwise would have missed.
Students today are doing that thanks to Tablet PC, OneNote, and SharePoint Server.
More and more I see Tablet PCs showing up in Higher Education. I met with a major University last week to discuss Tablet PCs in the classroom and how professors are using Tablets as presentation tools. I got an interesting link from one of our presenters:
The group discussed a lot of interesting tools including the Tablet Education Pack and OneNote. It was great to see several professors already using Tablets to provide notes and illustrations on top of PowerPoint. I have also talked to a couple of major Universities now that leverage software to capture lectures using streaming video of the presenter in combination with OneNote. I’ve even talked to a group that publishes the material all the way out to Windows Mobile devices and Xbox 360. Cool!
In demos and presentations we often communicate that Vista will run best on a “Modern Processor”. Chipset manufacturers have published their own web sites to describe which of their products offerings will provide support for Windows Vista.
You may have seen all the excitement and hype across the gadget sites these past few days around the Motorola Q. To understand why check out Verizon’s flash demo –
Why is this important to education? I’m willing to bet this will be the device that you see students start carrying. It has a really nice form factor and the price is 199$ with a 2 year contract (after rebate). I look at this as a great opportunity for Universities to leverage their .NET skills to build Smartphone applications that deliver on all the things we’ve been talking about in meetings for the past couple of years.
And of course many times we have discussed device agnostic solutions such as:
We have partners developing really interesting solutions for all of these ideas and more. Just last week I heard one of our go-to Sharepoint partners has developed a web part for publishing podcasts. The Q includes Windows Media Player 10. Why not carry one device for your phone, pda, and portable music player?
To follow up my post on chipset manufacturers, here is a list of websites from workstation providers. These are the sites I was able to find, if you know of others please post in the comments.
Dell - http://www.dell.com/content/topics/global.aspx/solutions/en/vista?c=us&cs=&l=en&s=gen
Gateway - http://www.gateway.com/vista/index.shtml
HP - http://h20219.www2.hp.com/services/cache/305765-0-0-225-121.html
Lenovo - http://www.pc.ibm.com/europe/microsoft/vista/en/index.html?europe&cc=europe
Toshiba - http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/ebtext.to?page=vista&seg=SMB&location=learn_about
Also, I’ll just post a link, we have GPU sites listed here for Intel, ATI, NVIDIA, S3, and Via.
Enterprise Hardware Guidance
In the past couple of days I’ve discovered several cool things going on at Purdue. The first was Boilercasting, the second was WIPTE or Workshop on the Impact of Pen-based Technology on Education (I appreciate that the syllable count is on par with some Microsoft product names). This looks like a great event based on the community blog generated by attendees. It’s great to see a major University get aggressive about new tech!
I spoke at a very similar conference at the University of Michigan several weeks ago. I am very interested in the pedagogical value of ubiquitous computing. In other words, how are professors using Tablets, phones, PowerPoint, OneNote, podcasting, blogs, wikis, and other technology to assist student learning without forcing it. Integrating new tools to help students access material and consume it in a way that works for them.
I met one professor that types only a baseline on each PowerPoint slide and then literally covers each with notes during lecture. Another records the entire lecture with notes and posts it for download, the students are expected to have watched the lecture online in the same way they would do out of class reading so they will prepared for work problems when they get to class.
If you know of or are a part of such an experience, leave a comment!
Update to this post - I recently learned part of the information in my original post was not correct. The index is in fact not part of the user profile, it is per-machine and stored in programdata/Microsoft/search. The search results are limited to what you have permission to read, which is more restrictive in Vista than previous Windows releases so searches will not by default span profiles even if you are a member of the administrators group.
At a recent customer event a question was asked, "Can you explain how indexing in Vista works securely and how it will effect network performance?" Many customers have expressed their concerns with desktop search engines provided by other software vendors.
The answer is the index will use AES 128-bit encryption and will be stored in the user profile. This will prevent other users from accessing the file. Administrators with access to take ownership could in theory still "access" the file although they would not be able to read it. Anything encrypted on the file system would not be put in the index by default although the option will be available if the user chooses to do so. The index will not be copied in the case of a roaming profile but testing is showing new machines can generate the index within reasonable time.
For network access - by default only content that is cached by the workstation and stored locally will be indexed so there should not be network overhead created by machines attempting to index network shares. The same is true for Outlook, only cached content will be indexed. In the future (Longhorn Server, Exchange 2007, SharePoint 2007) the servers will generate their own indexes of content and users will be able to seamlessly query those indexes in combination with their local index and the servers will be intelligent to the end that the query results will only return objects that the user has access to.
Kevin Dean (also a Higher Ed TS) reports on the release of MSFP for Treo 700w.
Now if I could only get the update for my XV6700!
This was already written up earlier today on another TechNet blog but I wanted to make note anyway in case subscribers don't digest the entire TechNet feed.
Prof. Eugene Stafford posted an interesting write-up on password policy myths. Especially relevant to HE where passwords very often span longer periods of time.
There is a great listserv for technical discussion of Microsoft and other technologies in high ed environments. Subscription information is available on http://windows-hied.org/.
The participants of the listserv have an annual conference in Redmond. The event is held on campus but is not a Microsoft event. It is organized and hosted by active members of the list. I am hoping to attend this year on my way back from the Nacubo conference.
More information pasted from the windows-hied.org website -
Windows in Higher Education Conference 2006
Date: July 10-12, 2006 (Sunday the 9th will be an optional evening 'meet and greet' event)Location: Microsoft Campus, Redmond, WashingtonCost: No registration fee, breakfast and lunch will be provided - attendees are responsible for airfare and hotelAttendees: Higher education IT staff from anywhere (max of 75? attendees)Hotel: Will be announcedTransportation: Shuttle from hotel to event and back provided each day - attendees are responsible for transportation between airport and hotel
As with prior events, this is a technical conference with about half of the content provided by Microsoft speakers and half by peer speakers. We focus a lot of attention on content and presenters and strive to bring together excellent content from both Microsoft and peers. A large part of the motivation for holding the event on the Microsoft campus is greater access to high level Microsoft presenters.
The event is a relatively small one, historically no more than 75 attendees. This year that number might increase, but only slightly. It is a great opportunity to connect with both peers and Microsoft experts.
Webinars are now available to help educators understand how to leverage Microsoft software in the classroom and to make schools more efficient.
Topics include -
Best of all the webinars are available for download individually or in bulk for offline viewing, if you don't have a reliable Internet connection you can order the webinars on CD at no cost.