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Windows Live Collections (that could be a service in itself!)

March 31st, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

I saw this on CNet earlier on, and have basically transcribed what was written there into a nice little easy-to-view article on “what services are included with Windows Live” and I can guarantee that some you will have never heard of! 😉

Windows Live Mail – codenamed “Kahuna”
What is it? Successor to Hotmail, more like a traditional e-mail program such as Outlook
Status: Reached the “M5” beta stage in March, about 1 million users

Windows Live Search
What is it? Microsoft’s homegrown search engine
Status: Public beta launched in March

Windows Live Local
What is it? Maps and directions; Bird’s eye and street-level images
Status: Public beta launched in December

Windows Live Search Mobile
What is it? The mobile version of homegrown search
Status: Private beta

Windows Live Expo – codenamed “Fremont”
What is it? A free online marketplace for goods that can also be limited to a social network
Status: Recently moved from internal and limited testing into U.S. public beta

Windows Live Family Safety Settings – codenamed “Vegas”
What is it? Parental control tools for monitoring children’s online use
Status: In limited beta with fewer than 10,000 testers; public test expected in early summer

Windows OneCare Live – codenamed “A1”
What is it? Subscription antivirus service
Status: Updated 315,000-user beta added anti-spyware; paid service to launch in June

Windows Live Video – codenamed “Warhol”
What is it? User-generated video
Status: Not yet in public testing

Windows Live Messenger
What is it? Successor to MSN Messenger, adds social networking and contact-sharing features
Status: Recently moved from limited testing into invitation beta with 1.5 million testers
What is it? Based on, a homepage with gadgets, RSS feeds and more
Status: Public beta with 3 million registered users

Live AdCenter – codenamed “Moonshot”
What is it? For serving up paid search ads; Uses demographics to help target the marketing message
Status: Launched in Singapore and France and in beta in the U.S.; Serves 40% of MSN paid-search ads

Windows Live Safety Center
What is it? Free basic antivirus protection
Status: Beta; performed 1.3 million scans and cleaned 150,000 PCs as of February.

Windows Live Favorites – codenamed “Roaming Favorites”
What is it? Stores Web bookmarks online
Status: Public beta since November

Windows Live Custom Domains
What is it? A way for people to use Windows Live Mail with their existing e-mail domain
Status: Limited beta, U.S.-only

Windows Live Toolbar
What is it? A collection of services under a common Web toolbar
Status: Beta launched in March

Windows Live Answers
What is it? Direct answers to fact-based Web queries
Status: No release plans any time soon

Windows Live Clipboard
What is it? Outlined by Ray Ozzie, uses a mashup of technologies to allow an online equivalent of a PC’s clipboard
Status: No release plans any time soon

Windows Live ID
What is it? A new authentication tool for Live services, based on Passport, Microsoft’s once-controversial authentication service
Status: Expected to be released later this year

Windows Live Mail Desktop
What is it? A desktop application for viewing Windows Live Mail
Status: Went into early beta testing March 28, broader testing expected in the spring

Source: CNet

Posted in Windows Live | 1 Comment »

Public SBS Executive Chat

March 31st, 2006 by Joseph Bittman MCSD .Net

Small Business Server is going to host an Executive Chat with Chris Philips (GM) on April 13th at 10 AM PST (Pacific Std Time – about GMT -8). Here’s the description:

 Executive Chat: Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2
Please join Chris Philips, General Manager of the Windows Sever Solution team, who has worked on this second release of Windows Small Business Server 2003, to discuss what is in it for you and what it can mean to your customers. Exchange points of view, ask tough questions, share experiences and get answers.

ICS file for your calendar:

Enter Chat Room Here:


Have fun, and see you there!

-Joseph Bittman DPM MVP

Posted in Chats & LMs | 1 Comment »

Vista 5342 now activational

March 31st, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Not even sure if “activational” is a real word… however loads of people have complained about Vista 5342 not being able to activate. However, Microsoft have fixed this problem and if your computer has been on and connected to the Internet, it should have activated itself.

If not, then just head to Start, right click on Computer, select Properties and click on the activation button at the bottom. You shouldn’t have to change your product key, however if you do then head over to Connect and request a new key on the Downloads section.

If anyone else is having trouble, then leave a comment and we’ll get a response from the Beta Team with this one 🙂

Posted in Windows Vista | 8 Comments »

XBOX Patch.

March 31st, 2006 by Patrick S

I know we have alot of XBOX 360 owners that visit MSBLOG and well heres a bit of news for you…

Since the console was released you could only play certian xbox (originial) games. MSFT Xbox have released a patch allowing you to run any Original Xbox Games. 😀

 Brief Description

Original Xbox® game support enables your Xbox 360™ video game console to play an array of games from your original Xbox video game console. A list of games that are currently backward compatible is available here and we will continue to add support for additional games over time.

You can get the patch from HERE

hopefully not one of many patches 😛

-Patrick S

Posted in Xbox and Gaming | Comments Off on XBOX Patch.

“Vista Capable” Logo Revealed

March 30th, 2006 by Dennis Fraederich [MCP]

A new logo for WindowsXP machines was revealed which shows that a WindowsXP certified machine is upgradeable to Windows Vista.

Vista Capable



Posted in Windows Vista, Windows XP | 1 Comment »

Register for Windows Vista CTP’s

March 29th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

At the moment, only Technical Testers, MSDN Operating System subscribers and upwards, and TechNet Plus scubscribers have access to CTP (community technical preview) builds. Each month, Microsoft release these builds for beta reporting and bug testing. Anyone now can access these, but you must register for these first.

If you want to register, the link is here and when asked for the Nomination Code, make sure you enter 85894.

It asks that you are 18 and above, that you will provide feedback (but not necessarily bugs – they need to know what general customers think of the product as well), that you have a good computing environment so you can actually install and use the product, and that you have good knowledge of troubleshooting Windows. Although this site has been up for some time now (since January at least), many people don’t know about it, so if you can’t wait for the public release, sign up now!

Posted in Windows Vista | 10 Comments »

Microsoft employees call to “fire the power!”

March 27th, 2006 by Patrick S

While I was on my lunch break I was surfing my regular news site for some interesting news articles and one particular article caught my eye.

It seems that MSFT employees are arguing amongst themselves over who is to blame for the delay of Microsoft’s next operating system (Microsoft Windows Vista). One of the employees is voicing his feelings in his blog post saying “fire the power.” Because of the delay in vista that was announced a couple of weeks ago for corporate customers, while consumer versions will not be out until early 07.

In the posting the anonymous employee complains ‘We’re missing the holiday sales market. Not only did we miss last year’s opportunity, we’re missing this year’s opportunity, too’. He finally signed off with the call for heads to roll at Microsoft senior management with the comment ‘People need to be fired and moved out of Microsoft today. Where’s the freakin’ accountability?’ 

The diatribe set off a lot of feeling amongst Microsoft employees with several demanding that Ballmer should head the list of people who should be fired from the company. One remarked: ‘Being a 10+ year vet I feel ashamed and sad. This company is a mess on so many levels’.
Even more damning is the comment ‘Vista – I wouldn’t buy it with someone else’s money. Then again what do I know, I’ve only been testing the dog for the last 2-3 yrs’. 

Although the reasons for the delay are cited as beefing up the security of the product, there are said to be major problems in other areas of the code too – in particular the Media Centre (MCE) is said to be seriously flawed. One comment says ‘why exactly IS MCE so bad? Didn’t anyone test this puppy before kicking it out the door and having another PM party?’. 

I find this simply amazing indeed. Although MSFT will miss the holiday period vista will still be a big hit as seen in the Beta builds we testers get annually. Weather they can pull it together and release it earlier only time will tell. 

Quoted text: Source pcpro

Posted in MS News, Windows Vista | 1 Comment »

Microsoft Launches IE7 Bug Database

March 27th, 2006 by Patrick S

Microsoft Corp. has launched a public bug database for Internet Explorer 7, which is currently in beta.

Access to the Internet Explorer Feedback site requires a Passport account and signup is through Microsoft Connect. The new site is similar to Bugzilla, a bug-reporting site set up for Firefox by Mozilla Corp.

“The intent of this work is to give everyone a better place to give IE7 feedback and to prepare the ground for future versions of IE,” Microsoft said in its IE blog.

The IE public database, launched on Friday, is not for reporting security issues, Microsoft said. Those problems should be reported through the Microsoft Security Response Center.

Source: Information week

Posted in Internet Explorer | Comments Off on Microsoft Launches IE7 Bug Database

Microsoft Hotpatching Beta

March 27th, 2006 by Jabez Gan [MVP]
Lately, I have been playing with the new Microsoft hotpatch technology and my job consists on deploying hotpatch enabled fixes on test systems.  The hotpatching technology is intended to eliminate system downtime when installing critical security fixes onto systems. Currently this technology is available on 32-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 SP1. The idea is to extend support for the X64 and Itanium platforms. Hotpatching technology is planned to be part of Longhorn Sever and Vista SP1. Unfortunately this technology has its limitations; hotpatching cannot be applied to fixes that update the following components of the Windows OS:     

Win32k.sys: (kernel mode)

·         Exports windows “native” entry points

·         Implements Windows User & GDI  “native” functions; calls routines in GDI drivers


Ntoskrnl.exe: executive and kernel (both are in kernel mode)

The Executive includes:

·         base operating system services

·         memory management, process and thread management

·         security, I/O, interprocess communication


The kernel includes:

·         low-level operating system functions

·         thread scheduling, interrupt and exception dispatching

·         multiprocessor synchronization

·         provides a set of routines and basic objects that the rest of the executive uses 

          to implement higher-level constructs


Both are contained in file Ntoskrnl.exe


Kernel32.dll: One of the WINAPI DLLs (user mode)

·         Exports the APIs defined by the subsystem


Managed code (user mode)


According to Microsoft this is how a hotpatch package works:

The hotpatch package contains coldpatch and hotpatch binaries for the fix. The hotpatch binary only contains the updated function, function that needs to change to address critical OS flaw. The updated function, as a hotpatch binary, gets inserted into the loaded image of the defective binary. A jump instruction is inserted above the defective function to redirect all subsequent calls to the updated function.

The coldpatch contains the old binary with the fixed function appended to it and a jump instruction instrumented bypassing the flawed function to the fixed function. Hotpatch application addresses currently running instances of the critical flaws in all the process and the complementing cold patch secures the new instances of the process and persists the patch beyond reboot.

Thus the package containing a hotpatch enabled fix will have two binaries related to file being serviced. One with the “.hp.” in its name is the hotpatch binary and the other one is the coldpatch binary.

Posted in Beta News, MS News | 1 Comment »

DDoS by our faithful readers

March 26th, 2006 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

Dear Readers,

In the last 8 hours, we are having lots of request from and other sites where readers wanting to view our latest Vista’s screenshot. We are not anticipating this extreme load thus it took down MSBLOG.

Since MSBLOG has grown tremendously in the past few months, we are in need of a Virtual Private Server (VPN) solution and that will cost us around USD$50 a month. We are open for sponsorship (by hosting companies or individual) so we can have MSBLOG transferred to a VPS or a dedicated machine.

What we can give back to our sponsors is a undecided amount of things/freebies, decided on case by case basis.

If you are interested in helping to support MSBLOG, please send an email to with the details on what you can help to keep MSBLOG alive.

If you have any suggestions, do post a comment or email us at the above email directly.

Note: We have removed the album from our server temporary.

Posted in Computing, Daily Life | 1 Comment »

Vulnerability in the way HTML Objects Handle Calls.

March 25th, 2006 by Patrick S

Microsoft has put out a warning on a new, nasty, unpatched vulnerability in Internet Explorer. Proof-of-concept exploits are already out.

It would be a good idea to disable IE’s active scripting

Note Customers who use the Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview that was released on March 20, 2006 are not affected by the public reported vulnerability.
Thanks to F-secure

Posted in Security | Comments Off on Vulnerability in the way HTML Objects Handle Calls.

Windows Vista Build 5342 Screenshots

March 24th, 2006 by Patrick Elliott

As promised we have posted screenshots of Build 5342 of Microsoft’s Windows Vista Ultimate Operating System.

Update: Due to increase hits to see the screenshots, we have taken down album temporarily and will have it restored to another server. Please be patient.

Update 2: We will be re-enabling the album while monitoring the server’s performance. So you might be able to catch a glimpse if you visit the album at the right timing. 🙂

Click here to see them

Windows Vista Build 5342 Welcome Center

– PatrickE

Posted in MS News, Windows Vista | 15 Comments »

Vista: Screenshots

March 24th, 2006 by Patrick Elliott

Please select a build below:

Windows Vista Build 5365 (Released April 21, 2006)

Windows Vista Build 5342 (Released March 24, 2006)

Important Copyright Notice

Windows Vista™ Copyright ©2006 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
The Windows Vistaâ„¢ operating system and its user interface are protected by trademark and other pending or existing intellectual property rights in the United States and other countries.

Posted in MS News | Comments Off on Vista: Screenshots

60% to be re-written? Im afraid not!

March 24th, 2006 by Patrick S

Well it seems that the report about the “60% of vista code to be re-written” is utter fiction. Microsoft slammed an article by Australian technology publication Smart House on Friday, calling it “speculation.”

The article claimed that the Redmond company had to transfer developers from the Xbox team to the Windows division in order to ensure the Vista makes it to a CES 2007 release. Much of the article centered on issues with the Media Center and multimedia functionality, and claimed Intel was assisting Microsoft in rushing out the new code.

Microsoft claims that Vista is “feature complete,” which means that the code writing process is basically over. “The next phase of development focuses on security, testing and fit/finish – not writing new code,”


Posted in Windows Vista | Comments Off on 60% to be re-written? Im afraid not!

Windows Vista Ultimate Build 5342 Released to Testers

March 24th, 2006 by Patrick Elliott

At 2:30PM Pacific today Microsoft released Build 5342 of Windows Vista Ultimate Edition, both x64 and x86 editions to testers.

This build is not of CTP or IDW quality, but should show some real progress from build 5308 and give testers an oppertunity to check on bugs previously filed.

This build will NOT be released to MSDN.

If you are in the Windows Longhorn / Vista Technical Beta program, you can download the new build from Microsoft Connect

Review / Screenshots to come shortly!

Happy bug hunting —

Patrick Elliott
Microsoft MVP – Windows Server System – File/Storage

Posted in Beta News, MS News, Windows Vista | 2 Comments »

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