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Microsoft Certification Second Shot Exam Offer

May 31st, 2006 by Patrick S

Microsoft has just launched a cool deal allowing those who fail their Learning IT Professional, Developer, or Microsoft Dynamics Exams a 2nd chance to pass.

To participate, register for the second shot offer before you take any exam. You’ll receive a promotion code that is good for one free second shot at the same exam in case you don’t pass it on your first try. There’s no limit per customer, so after you’ve registered, you’ll be entitled to one free retake of any exam that you sign up for.

To view the FAQ’s check out the Microsoft Certification Site.
Sweet Deal-Get in while you can-Deal ends in June 🙂

Posted in Learning, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Microsoft Gadget Gallery

May 31st, 2006 by Patrick S

Calling all Fellow Windows Vista users-Are you sick of being bored? Sick of using those pre-installed gadgets? Want a bit of change?
Well check out NEW Gadget gallery by Microsoft. The gadget gallery grows weekly with people submitting new Gadgets all the time.

Go check them out and add new life to your Vista Sidebar.
Also if you are up to the challenge, why not submit a gadget of your own and make your mark on Vista.

Find help building Gadgets HERE
Gadget Gallery

Posted in Windows Vista | Comments Off on Microsoft Gadget Gallery

Introducing The Server Core blog

May 30th, 2006 by Patrick S

I have decided to make it my duty to introduce the brand spanking new Windows Server Core blog-Targeted to all users who are interested in the awesome technologies of this new Operating System.

Server core is a shell type OS that can run on a range of Computers (even the most underpowered).
Let me clarify what features this new OS has to offer.

Server Core is a minimal server installation option for Windows Server “Longhorn”. It runs a subset of the server roles included in Longhorn Server, specifically it supports the following:

  • DHCP server
  • File Server
  • DNS server
  • Active Directory

Server Core also includes the following optional features:

  • Failover Cluster
  • Network Load Balancing
  • Multipath IO
  • Removable Storage 
  • Bitlocker Drive Encryption
  • Subsystem for UNIX-based applications
  • Backup

Server Core is all about letting an administrator run the above roles with less installed, running, and needing to be managed on a server. For example, there is no GUI shell on Server Core, the local interface for managing the server is the command prompt. You can use MMC snap-ins to remotely manage a Server Core installation. All of this provides the following benefits:

  • Reduced maintance
  • Reduced attack surface area
  • Reduced management
  • Less disk space required to install

If you are in the Vista beta i do encourage you to try out Server Core and feel the power of a true shell OS.

Back to the post… Check out the server core website today. .
Patrick S (Patrick E would be proud 😉 )

Posted in Beta News, Products, Windows Vista | 4 Comments »

Flight Simulator X Beta Has Begun!

May 29th, 2006 by Dennis Fraederich [MCP]

On may 24th the long awaited beta test of Microsoft Flight Simulator X has begun confirmed my internal source. This time it seems to be a very secret / special beta program because I know one betatester only who was invited to participate in this game beta. But atleast it seems to be an international beta, not restricted to US residents.

fsx002.thumbnail.jpg    fsx004.thumbnail.jpg

The latest installment will have it’s best experience on Windows Vista because only Vista will have DirectX 10 integrated into it to provide outstanding graphics powered by DirectX 10 capable graphic cards. Flight Simulator X will include over 23.000 airports and more than 60 missions which will challenge the skills from the beginner level up to expert pilots. At the moment beta binaries are supplied on two DVDs images. It’s to be expected that the final product will ship on less media.

fsx001.thumbnail.jpg    fsx004.thumbnail.jpg


For simulation fans it seems that Flight Simulator X will be a very realistic top seller game for Windows Vista! A release date for Flight Simulator X wasn’t not announced yet but we know that Vista will ship in december to system builders and will be available to retailers in january of 2007. After all I guess it can be expected to be available in December 2006 if all goes well, otherwise in the first quarter of 2007! Stay tuned for additional screenshots and information.

Source: you know who you are!


Dennis Fraederich [MCP], a Microsoft Betatester
Contact on WLM: mcgiga[at]

Posted in Products | 29 Comments »

Invasion of the Robots

May 29th, 2006 by Patrick S

You heard right, Robots are invading however no need to panic Messenger robots cannot hurt you.

A while ago Microsoft ran a pretty cool competition to make the worlds best application for MSN Messenger, some pretty cool concepts were entered with Hide & Seek taking out the contest overall.
With Windows Live as the new kid on the block they thought it about time they should have a competition of their own.

Introducing, the new competition launched by Windows Live that’s going one step better than the “Worlds Best App” contest and targeting messaging itself. The title sort of gives it away but this time round Windows Live are asking competitors to make MSN chat bots. There is $40,000 in prizes up for grabs (not to mention good publicity).

What’s cool is the site provides 3 SDK’s for users to learn how bots work and get the hang of writing them (i.e messenger protocol, headers, sockets etc etc.) 

 Most of you no doubt have tried a chat bot on MSN (and realized how fun they are-e.g. BOT2K3) so why not go one better and run your own bot. Enter today!

Patrick S

Posted in Windows Live, Windows Live Messenger | 2 Comments »

Announcing Microsoft Standard User Analyzer Beta 1

May 28th, 2006 by admin

The UAC team has just released the first beta version of the Microsoft Standard User Analyzer (SUA) tool.  SUA is a tool that independent software vendors (ISVs) and IT developers can use to diagnose and identify possible application compatibility issues when migrating applications from running as administrator on down level Windows operating systems to Windows Vista which even with administrators run most programs with standard user privileges by default.

SUA is a runtime diagnose tool and has two modes, predictive mode and diagnose mode.  In predictive mode, the application being tested is launched elevated with administrative privileges.  SUA works by monitoring a set of selected APIs that are used to access resources, like files and registry keys, on the operating system.  During application runtime, SUA interprets how each API is called, monitors the result, and logs the result on whether such a call will succeed or fail when the application is running as standard user instead of as administrator.  This allows the application to be fully exercised to provide a high level summary of all the potential standard user issues in the application.  In diagnose mode, the application being tested is launch with a standard user token.  The application may fail at the first error it encounters.  This mode is useful if you want to test the application in a standard user environment after you have fixed all the issues identified by SUA in the predictive mode.

Source:  UACBlog

Posted in MS News | Comments Off on Announcing Microsoft Standard User Analyzer Beta 1


May 28th, 2006 by Dennis Fraederich [MCP]

The whole team wishes you a wonderful eighteenth birthday!

We hope all your wishes come true today!


Posted in Daily Life | 8 Comments »

SearchBox Plugins for IE7 by

May 28th, 2006 by Dennis Fraederich [MCP]

Today we present you our first two plugins for the new Internet Explorer 7 SearchBox feature.

1) The first add-in is a English to German and vice versa translator with a integrated dictionary. It’s based on I came across it last week and because everyday I’ll talk to much english-speaking people like readers/members and betatesters too, it’s a very helpful service for me. I thought how can I use it in my daily work without accessing the site everytime I’ll want to translate something. Then the new Internet Explorer 7 SearchBox feature came across my mind. 🙂
So I started searching the Windows Vista Registry to find the corresponding registry keys for the SearchBox feature. While writing this posting I used it very often to find the right words I didn’t knew before. Maybe we have some german-speaking readers who will find it a bit useful. Add-in



2) The second one is especially for Sometimes I want to find some older news/postings on without loading the entire website every time. So guess what I could use for it? Yes, the SearchBox feature of Internet Explorer 7! 😀 Add-in



Download: SearchBox Plugins for IE7 by Size: 467 Bytes


Maybe you want to write your own plugin to use i.e. instead of
Here is a short description how to achieve it:

1. Install the lastest Windows Vista beta OR Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP.
2. Open the registry editor by pressing Windows + R, enter regedit and hit enter.
3. Move to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes
4. Right click on SearchScopes and click on New -> Key and name it i.e.
5. On the right side right click again then create a new String
6. Name it DisplayName, then double click it and enter the name which should show up in Internet Explorer 7, i.e.
7. Again create a new String and name it URL
8. Double click the URL and enter your address which will receive the search content you enter in the SearchBox of Internet Explorer 7. It could like this:{searchTerms}
9. The variable {searchTerms} will be replaced with the content you enter into the SearchBox and then send with the complete URL to a tab of your window.
10. Close the registry editor to and close all open Internet Explorer 7 windows to activate it.

Overall I have written two very small plugins to have those features integrated into my Internet Explorer 7.
Atleast I hope some of you find them a bit helpful too.
Tell me your opinion, suggestion, positiv and of course negativ critisism too via WLM or the comment function.


Dennis Fraederich [MCP], a Microsoft Betatester
Contact on WLM: mcgiga[at]

Posted in Internet Explorer, MSBLOG Related | 5 Comments »

Windows Vista Workshop Day 3 – Singapore…

May 27th, 2006 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

… which is the 2nd day and last day of Vista training.

Here’s another quick recap for the day:

  • Media Center is developed using Hosted HTML, XBAP (WinFX XAML Browser Application) and MCML (Media Center Markup Language). For more information regarding Media Center, check out this site: Oh and did you know that we can use the remote control to control most, if the entire OS and program.
  • Text to Speech (TTS) and Speech Recognition (SR) was presented by Chiwei Che, who is part of the MS Advanced Technology Center in Beijing. He explained that SR was already in numerous older products, eg MS Office, MS Speech Server etc but they are trying to make SR in Vista more natural when Anna (the female voice in Vista) speaks.
  • For the security session, we were told by Ravi from MS India that there’s now >3000 Group Policy in Vista, and was introduced to the anti phishing feature.

Will be touching down in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 1610 on Sunday.

Update 1: Here is some photos of my Singapore trip:

Posted in MS News | Comments Off on Windows Vista Workshop Day 3 – Singapore…

Free e-Trust Antivirus for Vista Testers.

May 27th, 2006 by Patrick S

If you’re experimenting with Windows Vista Beta 2, you’ve probably already noticed that many antivirus programs are incompatible. Computer Associates has just announced that it’s offering a free one-year subscription to eTrust EZ AntiVirus for Vista beta testers.

Heck I couldn’t say it better than ED
Source: Ed Botts Personal Blog

Posted in Security, Windows Vista | 5 Comments »

New Beta Drivers For Vista Beta 2 Build 5384.4

May 27th, 2006 by Dennis Fraederich [MCP]

It’s 12.42am here in Germany and I am sitting in the living room at my laptop. Since the day before yesterday I am in a very sad mood because of some personal problems. Some of our readers and members know what I am talking about. So I am trying to divert myself… not very successful 🙁

So I have updated our Vista beta drivers subpage with new drivers from Realtek, ATI and NVidia for the new Windows Vista Beta2. Go and grab them if you have some technical difficulties with your add-on cards. You can reach it on the right panel “Vista: Beta Drivers”.

Today I’ll take a time-out to refrain from all sad things…


Contact on WLM: mcgiga[at]

Posted in Daily Life, Windows Vista | 1 Comment »

Microsoft needs feedback for Windows Vista Beta 2

May 27th, 2006 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

Windows Vista Beta 2 was released on 24th May (or was it 23th May ??) and it’s 3-4 days after the launch. While this is good news, but what’s the use if you can’t submit your feedback to Microsoft after playing with Beta 2 build?

If you are not in the Technical Beta program and you are happy or unhappy in any parts of Vista Beta 2, you can have your feedback submitted at this page:

Do note that all feedbacks will be read by MSFT, although due to the many feedbacks that they receive, don’t expect to receive any replies from MSFT.

Get your engines started and write some feedback on Beta 2 now! 🙂

Posted in MS News | 5 Comments »

Microsoft Game Studios Beta Program

May 26th, 2006 by André Nogueira

Interested in beta testing Microsoft games? Here is your chance!

Today I decided to take a look at the “Available Programs” section of Microsoft Connect, and much to my amazent I saw a “Microsoft Game Studios Beta” program.

I clicked “Apply”, and was given a survey to complete. It’s the typical “What’s your computer and what games do you play” survey you’d expect.

It doesn’t guarantee you’ll beta test games, but at least they’ll look at your profile if they need anyone!

Go and get it! It’s for Windows and/or Xbox games 🙂

Source: Microsoft Connect

Posted in MS News, Xbox and Gaming | 9 Comments »

Life at Microsoft – Part 1

May 26th, 2006 by Patrick Elliott

After two weeks working here at Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington campus, I’ve been told I need to write a blog post 🙂 So here goes..

Two weeks ago I flew to Seattle from Richmond, Virginia to take a contract with Microsoft.  My job is to process incoming feedback and bugs from the Technical Beta programs, and to analyze that feedback and coordinate it with the appropriate development teams, as well as test leads for the Windows Beta such as Jeff DeVos, Paul Donnelly, Sam White, Todd Frederickson, Tenny Cho, and others. 

I’m still waiting to move into a room I rented starting on June 1, so until then I’ve alternated staying with a couple of guys on the team — and one night I even stayed in the luxiorious “Hotel Microsoft” — I have a sleeping bag (picture below), and ordered a pizza delivered to the front of my building — it’s truley an awesome company to work for 🙂


As many of you (okay, mostly all of you) know, we shipped Beta 2 of the Windows Vista operating system to partners and testers on May 24th.  We’re as excited internally (if not more so) about getting that out to you guys and hearing your thoughts and feedback on it.  I’m actually writing this blog post from a x64 build 5384.4 (same as you guys) machine right now, and I can say it rocks — we’ve truely come a long way on Vista, but it’s mainly due to the great feedback you guys give.  So on behalf of myself and all of us here at Microsoft, thanks 🙂

Anyway, I’ll write more as time permits –

-Patrick Elliott

Posted in Daily Life, Jobs, MS News | 7 Comments »

Windows Vista Workshop Day 2 – Singapore

May 26th, 2006 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

Posted in MS News | 32 Comments »

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