avril 2010 - Posts

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At the start of April 2010, Microsoft announced Windows Summit 2010, an event dedicated to software, device and system implementers looking to embrace Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 8.

Initially, Microsoft was looking to bring not only hardware and software designers, but also technology developers, engineers, testers, etc. together in Redmond for the Windows Summit 2010. When it initially announced the event, the company emphasized that Windows 7 and IE8 would be the main focus, with no announcements planned in relation to Windows 8.
While this aspect remains unchanged, the Windows Summit 2010 will no longer take place at the company’s Redmond campus. According to Brandon LeBlanc, Windows communications manager on the Windows Client Communications Team, the event has been moved online, and will no longer require participants to travel to Redmond.
In keeping with LeBlanc, the decision was made in order to ensure that the Windows Summit 2010 would be accessible to as many people as possible. Moving the event online also means that the Redmond company will be providing additional tools and resources designed to help participants better navigate the content that will be made available.
LeBlanc also shared the schedule for Windows Summit 2010:

  • May 25th - Device Track: Discover the rich customization features in Windows 7 that enables partners to create a custom user experience for the PC or device. Targeted at software and device firmware engineers, this track will provide you with the direction and technical information to unlock the power of Windows 7 to create a great device experience.
  • June 2nd - System track: Understand the features of Windows 7 that you can leverage to create and deliver the best system possible. You'll see how implementing a few fundamental techniques can dramatically improve overall system quality and key user experiences.
  • June 16th - Software track: The Windows 7 platform makes it easy for developers to create engaging, user-friendly applications by providing familiar tools and rich development features that allow them to take advantage of the latest PC capabilities. The sessions in this track will guide you through the key developer advances in fundamentals, richer application experiences, and the best of Windows and the Web.

source: news.softpedia.com

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Dave Berkowitz: Many of you may already know that Microsoft has been hard at work on the next version of Windows Home Server. We are excited to announce today that the beta of this next version (code name “Vail”) is now available. We invite everyone to check it out by downloading the software from the Microsoft Connect site. (English language builds are available now). We are releasing this Vail beta with one express goal: to solicit your feedback!

Source : Windows Team Blog

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Touch Pack for Windows 7 Consumer Download Six applications optimized for Windows 7 Touch.

The Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 is a collection of games and applications that are made available to computers with multi-touch enabled displays running Windows 7.
The Touch Pack includes:

Microsoft Blackboard, an intricate game of physics in which you solve a puzzle by creating a fanciful machine on a blackboard.

Microsoft Garden Pond, a tranquil game that takes place in serene Japanese water gardens.

Microsoft Rebound, a game in which you use your fingertips to control Tesla spheres with an electrical field between them to catapult a metal game ball into your opponent's goal.

Microsoft Surface Globe, a program that you can use to explore the earth as a flat 2-D map or as an immersive 3-D experience.

Microsoft Surface Collage, a program that you can use to explore and interact with your photos and arrange them as a desktop background.

Microsoft Surface Lagoon, a screen saver and interactive water simulation, complete with a meditative rock arrangement and playful, shy fish.

Download details Touch Pack for Windows 7

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Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 - Management Tools

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Management Studio Express (SSMSE) is an integrated environment for accessing, configuring, managing, administering, and developing all components of SQL Server Express.

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 R2 End User License Agreements

The Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 End User License Agreements provide the legal terms and conditions for using the SQL Server 2008 R2 core software

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 - Express

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 R2 Express is a powerful and reliable data management system that delivers a rich set of features, data protection, and performance for embedded applications, lightweight Web Sites and applications, and local data stores.

SQL Server Modeling CTP Nov 2009 Release 3 (formerly “Oslo”)

SQL Server Modeling (formerly code name "Oslo") is a set of future technologies that provide significant productivity gains across the lifecycle of .NET applications by enabling developers, architects, and IT professionals to work together more effectively with SQL Server at the center of the application lifecycle.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Evaluation : Trial Experience for IT Professionals

Download SQL Server 2008 R2 180-day Trial Software. Building on SQL Server 2008, R2 provides an even more scalable data platform with comprehensive tools for managing your databases and applications, improving the quality of your data, and empowering your users to build rich analyses and reports using tools they are already familiar with.

Microsoft® SQL Server 2008 R2 Evaluation : Trial Experience for Developers

Download SQL Server 2008 R2 180-day Trial Software. Building on SQL Server 2008, R2 provides an even more scalable data platform with comprehensive tools for managing your databases and applications,improving the quality of your data, and empowering your users to build rich analyses and reports using tools they are already familiar with.

Microsoft SQL Server2008 R2 RTM - Express with Advanced Services

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 R2 Express is a powerful and reliable data management system that delivers a rich set of features, data protection, and performance for embedded applications, lightweight Web Sites and applications, and local data stores

SQL Server Driver for PHP 2.0 CTP

Download the SQL Server Driver for PHP v2.0 CTP1 to enable a PHP application to use the PDO (PHP Data Objects) API for using SQL Server for data storage

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Subscribers to Microsoft Corp.'s developer and IT professional services are first in line to get Office 2010, which will be released to MSDN and TechNet on Thursday, the company has confirmed.

MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) and TechNet subscribers can download the production versions of Office 2010 starting April 22, five days before volume license customers with Software Assurance will be able to obtain the new application suite.

Last Friday, Microsoft announced that Office 2010 had reached the RTM, or release to manufacturing, milestone, meaning that the company had declared the code completed and was set to ship it to computer makers and media duplicators.

Office 2010 will hit U.S. retail in June; Microsoft has not yet set a specific on-sale date. Users can now place pre-order three editions -- Home and Student 2010, Home and Business 2010, and Professional 2010 -- at the company's online store, as well at some third-party outlets, including Amazon.com.

People who have installed the Office 2010 beta -- Microsoft said more than 7.5 million copies have been downloaded since last November -- can continue to use it until Oct. 31, 2010, when the preview expires and stops working.

The move to let MSDN and TechNet subscribers get first crack at Office 2010 is in stark contrast to the situation two years ago, when Microsoft announced that those users would not get an early look at Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). The company later changed its mind after subscribers complained that leaked copies had already been posted to the Internet. MSDN and TechNet subscribers also ripped Microsoft in April 2008 over plans to issue Windows XP SP3 to them at the same time the upgrade would be available to the general public.

However, Microsoft offered Windows 7 RTM first to MSDN and TechNet subscribers, posting the new operating system on the services two days before volume license customers with Software Assurance were able to download it.

Users who purchased an eligible copy of Office 2007 starting March 5, 2010, and those who buy the older version of the suite through Sept. 30, will be allowed to download a corresponding edition of Office 2010 for free when it releases to retail in June.

Source : computerworld.com

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Microsoft said on Friday that its new Office suite, due in May for businesses and June for consumers, has reached the released to manufacturing (RTM) milestone.

In a company blog posting, Takeshi Numoto - Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Office, confirmed that Microsoft had hit the RTM milestone. "RTM is the final engineering milestone of a product release and our engineering team has poured their heart and soul into reaching this milestone," Numoto said. Microsoft also said that 7.5 million people download the beta version of Office 2010, 3 times the number of 2007 beta downloads.

Microsoft is currently running an Office 2010 Technology Guarantee. Neowin revealed Microsoft's plans for the guarantee program. Customers who purchase Office 2007, or a new PC with Office 2007, and activate it between March 5, 2010 and September 30, 2010 will be offered a free upgrade to Office 2010. Copies will be available online, via download, at no additional cost.

Microsoft also confirmed that Volume License customers with Software Assurance will be able to download the RTM bits on April 27. MSDN and TechNet customers will be able to download Office 2010 RTM on April 22.

Microsoft is holding business launch event for Office 2010 in New York on May 12. Consumers will not be able to purchase the product until June. Although Microsoft officials will not confirm the exact date, Neowin firmly believes this will be June 15. In January Microsoft announced Office 2010 pricing. The professional edition will retail for $499 boxed.  Office 2010 will be released in at least five different flavours, including a free version that includes Microsoft Word and Excel, but comes with limited functionality and includes advertisements. The editions of Office 2010 will include Starter, Home and Student, Home and Business, Professional and Professional Academic.

Sourece neowin.net

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Email is very important, online you can’t go without it. As *** Craddock, one of the Hotmail engineering team leads, says: “Email is your online identity.”

Hotmail has lots of users. There’s over a billion inboxes that generate over 2 petabytes of new storage every month with a grand total of hundreds of petabytes in total! Of course when you run such a large service you will run into major issues.

http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windowslive/archive/2010/04/07/hotmail-tips-the-scales.aspx

[What’s with the new golden logo?]

How is Hotmail run? Did you know that there are about 100 different services running all the time? These run on tens of thousands of servers in data centers around the world. You can group them in the following classes:

- Manageability services
- Storage services
- Message delivery services
- Anti-abuse, safety and privacy services
- Data synchronization services
- Site maintenance services
- Application services

To build out and manage all of these services Hotmail uses clusters, hundreds of them with dozens added each year.

A cluster is a management unit of computation, storage, and memory caching servers grouped together in a network unit.  Clusters allow building and running the Hotmail operational system in a repeatable and predictable manner at ever-growing scale. The cluster contains everything necessary to manage and run a set of services for a set of users.

More about this (and tips for developing at scale) can be found in the latest article on Inside Windows Live: Hotmail tips the scales

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Via The Microsoft Exchange Team Blog, the Redmond based software giant has unveiled its plans for the first Service Pack for Exchange Server 2010. A beta version of the update will be made available in June at TechEd North America. Service Pack 1 will include all previously released roll-ups, as well some new and exciting enhancements.

Some of the changes include:

  • Archiving and discovery enhancements
  • Outlook Web App (OWA) enhancements
  • Mobile user and management improvements
  • Added UI for management tasks

As part of the update, it seems that PST file management will be getting some much needed changes. With SP1, Microsoft is "adding the flexibility to provision a user's Personal Archive to a different mailbox database from their primary mailbox. This means your organization can now more easily implement separate storage strategies (or tiered storage) for less frequently accessed e-mail. And, we didn't just stop there! We've also added new server side capabilities so you can import historical e-mail data from .PST files, directly into Exchange, as well as IT pro controls to enable delegate access to a user's Personal Archive." These updates, along with improvements to multi-mailbox search have been highly requested by IT professionals since Exchange 2010 was released last November.

The Outlook Web App will be getting a much needed UI face-lift, making the experience faster, cleaner, and better suited for netbook monitor sizes. Users will also be able to share their calendars with anonymous users on the Internet. Also returning are the ability to add a theme to your web experience, as well as being able to place your reading pane wherever you'd like.

For more information regarding the new management UI elements, as well as the updated mobility features, visit msexchangeteam.com. The team notes that most of the changes in SP1 are a direct response to feedback from users. Expect a full list of features for SP1 on TechNet "soon."

Source : neowin.net

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Xbox 360As previously promised, a title update for the Xbox 360 went live this morning that adds support for nearly all USB flash drives (and even USB hard drives) up to 16GB in size.

Microsoft's Larry Hryb confirmed release of the title update today, which will allow gamers to use external flash drives to store just about anything that previously had to go on a 360 hard drive -- including game saves, Xbox Live profiles, and any downloaded game demos.

To use a USB flash drive, you must first configure it in the memory area of the 360's system settings menu. You can choose how much of your device to commit to 360 use (up to 16GB), but note that for however long that portion remains committed to the 360, it won't be usable when you connect your drive to a PC or Mac -- only whatever space you didn't commit to the 360 will remain accessible.

To support the new functionality, Microsoft has partnered with SanDisk to create 360-branded 8 and 16GB flash drives for release in May. Do note that these devices are rumored to cost between $40 and $70 (via Kotaku), although Microsoft hasn't revealed any official pricing details. Still, any standard USB flash drives will work, so it shouldn't be an issue if Microsoft decides to stick with their unreasonably expensive pricing tendencies when it comes to official 360 storage devices.

Source : 1up.com

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Pulling another page from Apple's playbook, Microsoft has sent out a cryptic invitation to lure reporters to an upcoming event, while offering almost no clue as to what will be introduced.

Microsoft logo

In this case, Microsoft has invited select reporters to an event on April 12 in San Francisco. Engadget appears to be first along the mail truck route from Redmond, Wash., so for now you will have to go there to see pictures of said invitation.

Microsoft is declining to comment, though I'd bet it has something to do with the mobile front. One possibility is the introduction of a Microsoft-designed consumer phone, which is on track to come out this year, ahead of the first Windows Phone 7 devices from other makers.

As interesting as what Microsoft has in store--OK, maybe not as interesting, but still noteworthy--is the evolution of Microsoft's consumer marketing to try to generate more buzz and a bit of a cool factor for its products.

For those keeping track of the lessons Microsoft appears to have learned from Cupertino, it's got better product naming, slick packaging, hip retail stores, and, now, mystery events.

Of course, Apple has its own mystery event in the coming days, where it is expected to introduce the next version of the iPhone OS.

Source : news.cnet.com

UPDATE :

Earlier today, Microsoft announced it will be holding a mystery event for their latest project.  This mystery meeting was revealed today by Ina Fried from Cnet.

The invitations were sent out to members of the press with the message “It’s time to share.”

The mystery meeting is to reveal their “Pure” and “Turtle” phones, part of Microsoft’s Project Pink.  The Pure and Turtle are mobile phones but do not run Windows Phone 7 that will be released later on in the year. The devices are a replacement for T-Mobile Sidekicks, manufactured by Danger, a company Microsoft acquired.  The phones will support the Windows Mobile operating system, but not Windows Phone 7 OS, and come feature packed with social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, including the Zune music service.

The Windows Phone 7 smartphones aren’t expected until the holiday season, an overhaul to Windows-based phones, featuring a Zune like interface.

The Pure and Turtle will both be slider phones, with touch screen and will go on sale within the month following the announcement on April 12.  The devices will be offered through Verizon Wireless.