Archives de catégorie : Windows

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Build 7601.16556 v.172

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Build 6.1.7601.16537 v.153 was leaked in the wild a little over a month ago and at that time, the bits came accompanied by documentation detailing the changes associated with the first major upgrade for the operating system.

I did offer an overview of the evolution represented by Windows 7’s first service pack in April, but without going into all the details, reportedly coming from Microsoft. The Redmond company, of course, has yet to officially announce any changes for Windows 7 SP1, with two exceptions, the Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX features, or to confirm the leaked information.
However, the documents that made it outside of Redmond and into the wild alongside Build 6.1.7601.16537 v.153, do deliver an insight into the modifications planned for the service pack. Earlier this week, another early development milestone of Windows 7 SP1 was leaked. Build 7601.16556.100421-1510; Service Pack 1, v.172 is reported to be a candidate for the first fully-fledged Beta for Windows 7 SP1, by third-party sources, including Wzor, which shared the bits with the world.
Users that have jumped the gun and installed the leaked copies of Windows 7 SP1 are noting that they’re unable to notice differences compared to Build 7600 RTM. This is because modifications, when they do exist, are under-the-hood rather than on the surface of the OS. I have included an excerpt from the leaked “Notable Changes in Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2” documentation below in order to help end users understand just what Microsoft has planned for the future of the platform.
There are a few things, however, that must be underlined. First off, according to the leaked info, the details in the documentation have been updated last in March 2010. In this regard, all information needs to be taken with a grain of salt, as the features or changes it is describing might not actually make it into SP1. In addition, just as it was the case for Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2, Service Pack 1 will be released as a single package for both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. This is why the same service pack will impact both platforms differently in some aspects, and in the same manner in others.

Changes specific to Windows 7

Additional support for communication with third-party federation services – Additional support has been added to allow Windows 7 clients to effectively communicate with third-party identity federation services (those supporting the WS-Federation passive profile protocol). This change enhances platform interoperability, and improves the ability to communicate identity and authentication information between organizations.
Improved HDMI audio device performance – A small percentage of users have reported issues in which the connection between a computer running Windows 7 an HDMI audio device is lost after a system reboot. Updates have been incorporated into SP1 to ensure that connections between Windows 7 computers and HDMI audio devices are consistently maintained.
Corrected behavior when printing mixed-orientation XPS documents – Prior to the release of SP1, some customers have reported difficulty when printing mixed-orientation XPS documents (documents containing pages in both portrait and landscape orientation) using the XPS Viewer, resulting in all pages being printed entirely in either portrait or landscape mode. This issue has been addressed in SP1, allowing users to correctly print mixed-orientation documents using the XPS Viewer.


Download Office 2010 Filter Packs for Windows 7

A small utility offered for free by Microsoft could prove immensely helpful in scenarios in which users are searching for information inside Office documents on certain platforms.

The Office 2010 Filter Packs went live on the Microsoft Download Center last week, and are currently up for grabs, enabling customers to enhance the default search capabilities of products such as SharePoint Server, Exchange Server, SQL Server and Windows client and server platforms. Of course, the Office 2010 Filter Packs integrate with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
“The Microsoft Filter Pack is a single point-of-distribution for Office IFilters. IFilters are components that allow search services to index content of specific file types, letting you search for content in those files. They are intended for use with Microsoft Search Services (Sharepoint, SQL, Exchange, Windows Search),” Microsoft explained.

In certain cases, the Filter Pack will significantly simplify the search process, especially for queries using terms related to the content of documents rather than to the name they were saved under. However, the Office Filter Packs work only in the context of the Microsoft Search Service. As the name of the app implies, content of Office 2010 documents will also be indexed following the installation of the utility. At the same time, additional files, even those of non-Microsoft formats will be indexed.

“Install this product if you want to search for content in the file types listed below. The Filter Pack includes: Legacy Office Filter (97-2003; .doc, .ppt, .xls); Metro Office Filter (2007; .docx, .pptx, .xlsx); Zip Filter; OneNote filter; Visio Filter; Publisher Filter; and Open Document Format Filter,” the company stated.

Microsoft finalized Office 2010 in mid-April 2010. At this point in time, Office 2010 RTM is available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers, but also to business customers.

Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Packs x64
Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Packs x86

Windows 7 SP1 Closing the Gap between Physical and Virtual Desktops

While Windows 7 Service Pack 1 will not be a major upgrade to the RTM version, the evolution of the operating system is designed to close the gap between physical and virtual desktops, as far as Microsoftis concerned. Service Pack 1, which will be delivered as a single package for both Windows 7 client and Windows Server 2008 R2, will deliver a key, new RDS platform capability to the latter, namely Microsoft RemoteFX. Along with Dynamic Memory, RemoteFX will kick up a notch the company’s virtualization stack.

Specifically, RemoteFX will make possible a media-rich, local-like user experience for virtual and session-based desktops and applications based on Windows Server 2008 R2, according to Max Herrmann, from the Windows Server RDS team at Microsoft. Closing the gap between physical and virtual desktops starts with details such as support for full-fidelity video, rich media and 3D graphics. However, there are additional capabilities that can blur the line between physical and virtual machines.

“I want to introduce another aspect of Microsoft RemoteFX and how it can further help close the user experience gap between physical and virtual desktops: Customers looking to deploy a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) expect their users to be able to plug any peripheral device into their client device and have it ‘just work’ within a virtual desktop as if it was a physical desktop,” Herrmann stated.
With Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM, the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is limited when it comes down to supporting high-level redirection. While the OS is capable of dealing with printer redirection, disk drive redirection, and PnP-device redirection, there are a consistent number of devices for which this type of experience is not possible today.Windows 7 SP1 will change this, and deliver a more comprehensive, high-level device-redirection solution through RemoteFX USB redirection.

“A much better solution is to redirect devices at the USB level (or to be more specific, the USB request block, or URB level). With that type of solution, which we have chosen for VDI desktops, no device drivers are needed on the client device, and we can provide a universal interface that works with any USB device on any of our supported platforms. This solution is able to successfully redirect most of the devices users wish to use, including audio in/out devices, storage devices, HID devices (tablets, keyboards, etc.), and printers and scanners,” Herrmann added.

What is important to underline is that Microsoft is not looking to replace the current redirection model available to customers. Herrmann made it clear that RemoteFX USB redirection would be added on top of existing device-redirection capabilities in RDP.

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Windows 7 Summit Now Exclusively Online

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.


Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7

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

Microsoft announces SP1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2


Until now, Microsoft has remained pretty tight-lipped on Windows 7 SP1, and the only information we have thus far on it is the leaked info from an array of sources, primarily Russian enthusiast site WZOR. However, today, amongst a flurry of virtualization-related chatter, Microsoft said a little something about SP1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

On the Windows 7 front, nothing much was said asides from the fact that Windows 7 will simply include a wide array of “minor updates”. However, there’s some new features slated for Server 2008 R2. While not too much was said, Microsoft did announce that SP1 for Server 2008 R2 will bring 2 new virtualization-related technologies: RemoteFX and Dynamic Memory.

RemoteFX is a set of RDP technologies that allows people working remotely to have the rich, immersive visual user experience as that of people working on a local desktop machine. Essentially, it is a set of graphics virtualization technologies that support Silverlight, 3D graphics, highly-synchronized audio, Windows Aero, and all media types without impacting performance, so you get the rich eye-candy of a local desktop machine without sacrificing performance. To find out more, check out the TechNet blog post. RemoteFX is the result of technologies Microsoft got their hands on upon acquiring Calista Technologies that they have built up on and improved.

Microsoft has also announced a partnership with Citrix, which will allow Citrix to integrate Microsoft’s RemoteFX technology in its XenDesktop virtualization suite while also extending the capabilities of RemoteFX with HDX RichGraphics from Citrix, which optimizes the performance of graphics-intensive 2D/3D applications in virtualized environments.

“By joining forces in desktop virtualization, Citrix and Microsoft can provide customers of all sizes with groundbreaking solutions that are profoundly simpler, richer and more cost-effective,” said Gordon Payne, senior vice president and general manager, Desktop Division, at Citrix Systems. “Today’s announcements mark a historic milestone in our 20-year relationship that will dramatically simplify desktop computing for years to come.”

On the other hand we have Dynamic Memory, which is essentially improved memory management for Hyper-V which allows people to get increased consolidation/VM density ratios. It allows administrators to “pool” available physical memory and distribute it to virtual machines on that host as necessary. It will dynamically do this depending on the need, so there’s scalability and efficiency right there with now the memory is handled. To learn more about this, check out the blog post outlining this upcoming technology.

As you can see, Microsoft has quite a bit in store for us when it comes to virtualization. Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of the Management and Services Division at Microsoft has written a lengthy blog post regarding Microsoft’s approach to virtualization technology, which you can check out here. While Microsoft hasn’t officially disclosed any roadmaps or timeframes for SP1 development, people whisper to us that SP1 is slated for RTM sometime around the end of 2010.

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The Windows 7 RTM Rogue Pixel

Microsoft has informed of a Windows 7 RTM-related issue in which users will notice that a rogue pixel will appear on their screens. A white dot can be displayed on the top-left corner of the screen for Windows 7 computers that are running under a Windows Aero theme, but for which the customers have disabled transparency. Disabling Aero transparency is one of the key actions that users can do in order to squeeze a little more performance from their computers into scenarios in which the hardware requirements of Windows 7 are not exactly met.
According to Microsoft, “one white dot (1 pixel in size), may appear on the top-left corner of the screen in the following scenarios: in Windows 7 Home Basic Edition, the issue may occur after a user selects the "Windows 7 Basic” color theme and changes the wallpaper. In Windows 7 Ultimate and other editions listed in the "Applies to" section, this issue may occur after a user selects an Aero theme and then un-checks “Enable transparency”. ”I’m running the Ultimate SKU of Windows 7 and just checked for this issue, and indeed it’s just as Microsoft described it. It is important to know that noticing a white pixel in the top-left hand side of the screen, is not a defect in the monitor, but simply an issue with the Redmond company’s latest iteration of Windows.
Microsoft has so far confirmed the problem, but this is all that it has done. For the time being, users that are going to run Windows 7 RTM with “Enable transparency” unchecked will be experiencing this issues, without being able to do anything about it. The software giant hasn’t said when or even whether it is planning a fix for this issue.

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Windows 7 UNIX Free Resources Available for Download

Just as it was the case with its predecessors, select editions of Windows 7 include by default a multi-user UNIX environment, designed to offer functionality specific to the open source operating system, on top of the Windows platform.

In addition to the Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (SUA), Microsoft is also offering Windows 7 users additional resources as a standalone download. Utilities and a software development kit (SDK) for Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications in Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are currently up for grabs via the Microsoft Download Center.

“Utilities and SDK for Subsystem for UNIX-Based Applications is an add-on to the Subsystem for UNIX-Based Applications component that ships in Microsoft Windows 7/ Windows Server 2008 R2,” Microsoft revealed. SUA is available only in the high-end and volume licensing editions of Windows 7, namely the Ultimate and Enterprise SKUs.

As some customers undoubtedly know, Windows Vista also featured SUA, and Microsoft also complemented the components with utilities and the SDK for Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications in Microsoft Windows Vista RTM/Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 RTM.

The utilities and the SKD consisted “of the following components: Base Utilities, SVR-5 Utilities, Base SDK, GNU SDK, GNU Utilities, UNIX Perl, Visual Studio Debugger Add-in. This release enables 64-bit application development for SUA. development and porting of custom UNIX applications using the Windows OCI (Oracle Call Interface) and Windows ODBC libraries (‘Mixed Mode’),” Microsoft added.

Utilities and SDK for Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (AMD64)
Utilities and SDK for Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (IA64)
Utilities and SDK for Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (X86)