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WinHEC 06: Live Stream from Seattle

May 23rd, 2006 by Dennis Fraederich [MCP]

Watch the WinHEC 2006 keynote from Bill Gates via live stream beginning 9am PST today!
The live stream is available from 56Kb up to 300Kb per second.

So have fun watching it like we will have!

And stay tuned for the upcoming Windows Vista 2 Public Preview which will be launched at WinHEC today!
You’ll get all download locations here later.

Live Stream: 56K | 100K | 300K



Contact on WLM: mcgiga[at]

Posted in WinHEC | Comments Off on WinHEC 06: Live Stream from Seattle

Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor Now Available for Download

May 23rd, 2006 by Patrick S

Microsoft has released the beta version of its Vista Upgrade Advisor software for download.

The small applications is designed to let people know what hardware must be upgraded in order to get the best experience from Windows Vista.

Download it HERE

Posted in Windows Vista | Comments Off on Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor Now Available for Download

12 Office 2007 Tutorial Videos

May 22nd, 2006 by Patrick S

The Ted Pattison Group have just launched a few (12) Office 2007 tutorial videos Mauricio Ordones and the Microsoft DPE team. Never the less they are free and i must say pretty good. A lot of the content relates directly back to earlier versions of office but a few new features are throwen in there (and you get to see how the next generation of the Office platform looks, feels, runs)

See it all here 

Posted in Office 2007 | 3 Comments »

How Words Zero Day works.

May 22nd, 2006 by Patrick S

There’s been quite a lot of buzz about the new 0-day Word vulnerability.

While talking about details of the vulnerability, it’s easy to forget what the vulnerability was actually used for.

According to the information we have, a US-based company was targeted with emails that were sent to the company from the outside but were spoofed to look like internal emails.

8866The emails contained a Word DOC file as an attachment. DOCs are a nasty attack vector. Few years ago, when macro viruses were the number one problem, many companies were not allowing native DOC files through their email gateways. Now that has changed, and DOCs typically get through just fine. But Word has vulnerabilities and users typically don’t install Word patches nearly as well Windows patches.

When run, the exploit file ran a backdoor, hid it with a rootkit and allowed unrestricted access to the machine for the attackers, operating from a host registered under the Chinese domain. is a free host bouncing service in China. Anybody can register any host name under (like and the service will point that hostname to any IP address you want. There’s actually a series of such services, including,,, and There are tons of useful things you can do with such host-resolving service. And tons of bad things too.

So, should you block access to hosts under, and others? Depends. It’s kind of like blocking access to Geocities: you’d block lots of bad stuff – and lots of good stuff. But then again, most users of these services are in China. If you’re not in China and your users are not supposed to access different Chinese services, blocking might not break too many things.

We’d recommend you’d at least check your company’s gateway logs to see what kind of traffic you have to such services.

Source straight from F-secure Weblog

Posted in Office 2007, Security | Comments Off on How Words Zero Day works.

Protected: Final Prices for All Vista Editions? Post pulled due to public flaming

May 21st, 2006 by Dennis Fraederich [MCP]

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Posted in Windows Vista | Enter your password to view comments.

Windows Live Mobile Client

May 21st, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Few days ago I spoke about the Live Mobile Client at the Windows Live Session in London. I couldn’t get any photos of it, however I tried my best to run off my memory what I saw, where and how it worked. Please note, it’s a concept so until I can get some screenies, this’ll have to do.

With it, you’ll be able to talk to other Messenger people whether they’re using a mobile device or a PC, you’ll be able to send and recieve nudges, instant messages as well as emoticons. The speeds between the PC and the Live Mobile Client are pretty fast – with about a second or two waiting times. You’ll be able to transfer files from and to your mobile device, including recording a voice clip using your device microphone and send pictures with your device camera.

With the Live Mobile Client (not the final name by the way, we’ll keep you posted on it), you’ll be able to click on a contact with your devices buttons, and check out their contact card and Live Contacts details – so you’ll be able to check out whether they’ve updated their blog and also pick up their contact details from your handset. You’ll be able to subscribe to RSS feeds and view the latest updated feed, as well as being able to access your Space and email via Windows Live Mail (Mobile). It’s really cool from what Phil showed us, and is expected only to run on Windows Mobile 5 devices, and we should be able to see it arriving in beta within the next few weeks 🙂


Posted in Windows Live, Windows Live Messenger | 61 Comments »

Kinks in Windows Live Mail M6

May 20th, 2006 by Patrick S

The Windows Live Mail Team has informed us that due to several major kinks in their M6 release – they were forced to revert back to M5 today. That means all of the M6 features are now gone – including Firefox support – for the time being.

The Team says they are working hard this evening to try and get M6 back online for us all. I have no doubt we’ll see M6 back again real soon. Its great seeing such a rapid response from their team to address major issues. I’m glad they aren’t affraid to push us all back to an earlier release to iron out major issues instead of rather pushing on and waiting for the next update.

Source: Your mail is here, come and get it!
Sidebar Geeks Hive blog

Posted in MS News, Windows Live | Comments Off on Kinks in Windows Live Mail M6

Atom Feeds the same as RSS

May 20th, 2006 by Patrick S

Looks like Microsoft will be considering Atom an “RSS format” in Windows Vista.

From the Windows Vista Developer Center RSS homepage:

Windows Vista will support all common RSS formats, including: RSS 1.0, 2.0 and Atom 0.3. We will support Atom 1.0 when it’s released.

And from the RSS Support in Longhorn article:

RSS, as we use it in this document, refers not to a single format (such as RSS 2.0), but to the general concept of feeds of syndicated content. It should be considered to cover all feed formats that meet the basic criteria of updateable [sic] collections of items.

Source John Lamansky’s blog

Posted in Internet Explorer, Windows Vista | Comments Off on Atom Feeds the same as RSS

Word gets exploited

May 20th, 2006 by Patrick S

Internet Storm Center reported about a new zero-day Word vulnerability being used. It seems that it is indeed a Word DOC document that attempts to exploit a vulnerability in Word, in order to drop and execute a binary file that downloads a backdoor.

Both the shellcode used in the exploit as well as the binary part in the document are encoded in order to hide them.

More details about the backdoor is available in the W32/Ginwui.A description.

Posted in MS News, Office 2007, Security | Comments Off on Word gets exploited

Kiwi entrepreneur nets multi-million dollar Microsoft deal!

May 20th, 2006 by Patrick S

She worked colossal hours without pay. The office equipment didn’t work properly. She stayed in ratbag hotels. But now 31-year-old Wellingtonian Claudia Batten has sold her software company to Microsoft. For up to US$400 million (NZ$643 million).

Batten is now flying high among the ranks of the dotcom millionaires in a deal which dwarfs even the recent purchase of Trade Me. 

Four years ago, Batten founded Massive Inc with two expat Australians in New York, to develop software that downloads advertising into online video games – a world first. 

Tapping into the “Lost Boys” market – hard-to-target 18- to 34-year-old males – was the key to the company’s success, Batten said. 

“We told advertisers: ‘We’ve found the Lost Boys. They’re playing games and we can get you in front of them’.” 

Speaking to the Herald on Sunday from Seattle, Batten was coy about how much she got from the sale, reported at between US$200-400 million ($643m NZD)
Read full story: NZ Herald

Woo go New Zealand 😉

Posted in MS News, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Kiwi entrepreneur nets multi-million dollar Microsoft deal!

Microsoft gives free towels to staff

May 20th, 2006 by Patrick S

Microsoft has unveiled its secret weapon in the intensifying battle against Google: free towels for staff.

So the towels are back. And there will also be new services, such as dry cleaning and take-away meals designed by the chef Wolfgang Puck

The bonus scheme was based on a points system where the number of employees who can receive a top score is fixed, forcing managers to give a lower score to a worker even though they might have performed at the same level as a peer. It will be replaced with a “commitment rating” and larger numbers of free Microsoft shares.

This and all the soda you can drink…What a cool place to work.

Posted in MS News, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Symantec suit targets Vista

May 20th, 2006 by Patrick S

Symantec filed a lawsuit on Thursday accusing Microsoft of abusing a business relationship between the two and misappropriating its technology and trade secrets for use in the upcoming Vista operating system.

In the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, Symantec said it wants Microsoft to stop work on Vista until its technology is removed from the system.

The lawsuit centers on Veritas software that helps businesses store and manage data. Microsoft licensed a bare-bones version of the software for its Windows 2000 operating system, and gave Veritas the exclusive right to sell more advanced products for the operating system, the lawsuit said.

Symantec said that Veritas shared its trade secrets and even trained Microsoft engineers as the companies began working together. But Microsoft used those trade secrets to start developing products that directly competed with Veritas’ offerings, the lawsuit said.

Now, Microsoft is building into Vista some of the advanced features that were supposed to be reserved for Veritas to sell for the operating system.

Source info: Seattle Times

Posted in MS News, Uncategorized, Windows Vista | Comments Off on Symantec suit targets Vista

Microsoft and PC Manufacturers Make It Easier for Customers to Get Ready for Windows Vista

May 18th, 2006 by André Nogueira

Microsoft today launched the Windows Vista “Get Ready” Web site. The new site, available at, provides a variety of information and tools customers can use to prepare for Windows Vista. Today, this includes information on Windows Vista Capable and Windows Vista Premium Ready PCs, details on how customers can use the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor beta, and background on the different editions of Windows Vista. The site will be regularly updated with more information related to the forthcoming release of Windows Vista.

Read all about it at Microsoft Presspass! 😀

Posted in MS News | Comments Off on Microsoft and PC Manufacturers Make It Easier for Customers to Get Ready for Windows Vista

Windows Live Sessions #2 – London UK

May 17th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

The second session was held in London last night and all the big blogs were present including,, and I was there representing and reporting for MSBLOG. Other techy’s include Phil Holden, the director of Windows Live; Koji Kato, group program manager for the Windows Live Platform; Adrian Simons, the head of marketing in the UK, some other Microsoft folk including Tom, David and Cristiano from the MSN UK lot stuck around for sometime as well. Thanks to the guys at Heaven, the French based PR company who organised it all; Romain and Nicholas – as usual did a great job.

Phil started off by talking about mobile applications and also they’d expand developing opportunities for the Windows Live services. There are 17 Live services either available in beta or preview mode, as well as a whole load more to come in the coming weeks – boosting the number to around 25. Windows Live Mail was updated on Monday night to the Milestone 6 stage, and now has around 4-5 million uses using it, whilst Hotmail features have been added for old style users so now they can have a search mailbox feature. Live Mail M6 offers a cleaner interface (as reported here earlier this week) and performance has been tweaked to offer the services there much faster.

Windows Live Messenger now has 8 million users using it whilst MSN Messenger 7.5 and below stands at about 210 million, so a big difference but now that anyone can download the new software and sign in, the Windows Live Messenger user numbers are expected to shoot up over the next couple of weeks. With the latest build available externally, 8.0.0689 sees the fourth user interface revision and is expected to stay that way until final release.

In regards to, the teams are aware that it needs a lot of work doing on it and is the primary focus at the moment, is getting the performance optimised for the end user. They are planning this by using idle bandwidth to load other branched pages in the background so they are instantly available; in about 2 months from now will we see much faster loading times for the search and Live Academic. They will also be rolling out a first time user ”setup” so that it guides first time uses into collecting what they want on their homepage such as gadgets and RSS feeds. Also what we will be able to do is share our customised setup with other people like friends and family to also ease first time usage.

Windows Live Local is going to expand much more globally. The Birds Eye Imagery which lets users to pan over certain supported US cities is now spreading to London, Prague, Paris, Berlin and Sydney, Australia. There are certainly some beautiful shots of the London Eye and Tower Bridge in the demo’s of London we saw.

Koji, one of the top developers in the room showed us some cool stuff with web applications. He explained that websites used to be custom web applications and to some extent they still are, but now with RSS and XML content, they’re now more towards being data sources. Creating gadgets for are simple as well and can be as little as an XML configuration file and a couple of JavaScript (.js) files. The same with Messenger activities as well – start off with an XML file that points to a web application, load it into the Messenger Program Files folder, and that’s your activity made. That’s very similar to how the “scan a friend’s computer” works with the Windows Live Safety Center activity.

Windows Live QnA was also demoed to us last night. The idea behind it came as the top search or Q&A service in Korea wasn’t Google or Microsoft, so they developed this community site so users can ask questions and reply to others. Simply add a question by typing it in then adding tags to it – keywords if you like to keep track of your question, add a more broad description to it and you’re set. QnA even checks the whole site to see if there are any similar questions and answers before submission. At the moment, your question will last three days (which may not be in the final version) but will let you continue to vote on left comments.

You’ll be able to use Live Contacts with QnA so you can check a user’s blog and other details, as well as specific QnA stuff like how many questions they’ve asked, how many answers they’ve provided, last time they logged in and votes. Although QnA is still in internal beta, it will be opened to external testing in the next few weeks. Because QnA is a community support site, it offers ”kudos” points for frequent and good users. This new points architecture means that incentives are provided as rewards as Messenger content such as WeeMees and Dynamic Display Pictures (DDPs) and points are displayed with the users details to show other users that they already have credibility.

A breakthrough for mobile devices is coming soon as Phil demonstrated last night with his phone. What it’s known as at the moment is the Live Mobile Client. It’s a mobile application which may be available from network operators (if they choose to support it) and downloadable over the Internet, which will only be supported on Windows Mobile 5.0 devices, although there will be a kit which will let you modify it to some degree to run it on other devices. You’ll be able to send instant messages with emoticon enhancement, with an Messenger-esque design, view users Live Profiles, display pictures and send Voice Clips from your device’s microphone and pictures directly from your devices camera. Sending video is not currently supported but is something they will consider for a later date.

There isn’t a known codename or product name as yet, so it’ll only be referred to as the Live Mobile Client. Other features include either locally provided or as web based content, like an RSS aggregator, local mobile search and full email support, not to mention advanced editing of your Windows Live Space (the future of MSN Spaces). The one really cool thing about the Live Mobile Client are the little things such as the Nudges. Tyat’s right, you’ll hear it here first (I think) – when a PC user sends a nudge to your mobile device, it’ll make a sound… and vibrate as well, very cool! Emoticons show up as well, but Winks are not currently supported.

So I’ve just got back from London, I’ve got a stinking cold and feel crap so I’m going to leave it there – I’m going to bed.

Posted in Windows Live | 8 Comments »

Windows MediaPlayer 11 Public Preview available for download!

May 17th, 2006 by Dennis Fraederich [MCP]

Today Microsoft has released a public preview build of the Windows MediaPlayer 11 for Windows XP.
Go an grab it! 🙂




Dennis ~ Contact me on WLM: mcgiga[at]

Posted in Windows XP | 3 Comments »

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