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Happy Birthday MSBLOG-1 Year OLD!!

July 31st, 2006 by Patrick S

Wow…its hard to think that one year ago today we were making the first posts on MSBLOG and introducing ourselves for the first time… A couple of months before I had just been accepted into the Microsoft windows server 2003 R2 beta. I was a young naive tester who didn’t know one single tester in amongst this fabulous group. Everyday I would check newsgroups and make the odd post. One day I stumbled across a post made by a one Patrick Elliott with pictures of his sweet server test setup (i still have them somewhere). Fascinated I added him to messenger… The two of us got talking-it seamed we shared common interests etc-one thing lead to another and we became good friends. Patrick introduced me to Jabez-we ‘clicked’ and also became good mates. I was then introduced to Andre N & Joseph-now both good friends of mine/us. From there we all met Zack-a guy who was pretty clued up on Microsoft in general. Then I met Dennis (because he claimed he submitted 100+ bugs for server within a day [I didn’t believe him, but boy was I wrong ]-the competition between Andre N and Dennis was on for most bugs submitted.) Dean later joined the team after reading our blog and getting in touch with us.

The test group was formed…Patrick put his awesome server setup to use…we could all remote in and test any time of the day… This was a key part of our success in R2. One day in a multi-convo chat between Patrick, Jabez and I we decided to start a blog on windows server tech. MSBLOG was formed. Our original authors consisted of our test group. So it began…armed with a windows server 03 os, a schools T1 connection, a virtual machine, word press and our “know-how” we gave life to our project…introductions were given then we got into the midst of blogging. Like anything new we started small…we made our name for ourselves by talking about a piece of operating system software (beta) that no one else had the inside information or skill in the blogging world. MSBLOG quickly became a resource for users to get inside technical information. While our blog was in the back of our minds something great happened to THREE of our fellow test group friends…Patrick E, Jabez and Zack were awarded the title of Windows Server 2003 R2 mentors!(what an honour-good on you guys)

MSBLOG continued to grow…new themes were applied and bloggers came and went. (ill name you new guys later =]) Finally the day windows server 03 r2 ended (how I miss that beta :'( ) We migrated to windows codenamed longhorn (so we see each other day to day still) MSBLOG is still going and growing.

We met new writers Kristan, Kenlin and Daniel who added a great deal of life to MSBLOG to keep it still going strong. Jabez offered to move us to his server (BLIZHOSTING) and we have never looked back since with this excellent uptime etc we had all the ingredients necessary to expand. We also acquired the MSBLOG.ORG domain thanks to Andre moving on from MSBLOG.RESDEV.NET Which brings me right here to today… Look where everyone is now… Patrick E is working for Microsoft as a Test Engineer on the Vista team, Zack is working for Microsoft on the Live team, Jabez is studying at College, Dean is studying, Joseph is studying, Dennis works with Network systems whilst he studies and me…I study too. (sorry to the guys I forgot)

Things have changed A LOT in the space of 1 year. I miss the R2 beta day to day but I am very happy I am privileged enough to know the people on this great team. Happy Birthday MSBLOG and well done Gang we have done it…One year done hopefully many more to go =D

Patrick Squire


Oh and what of the blog stats… We  havecurrently 604 posts and 1,949 comments, contained within 35 categories and counting (Not one Spam comment in sight-1949 comments is not bad 🙂 )

Posted in MS News | 15 Comments »

Toolkit to Disable Automatic Delivery of Internet Explorer 7

July 28th, 2006 by Patrick S

With the upcoming mandatory update of Internet Explorer 7 via Windows Update  for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 soon after the final version of the browser is released (planned for fourth quarter 2006),  many System Admins will be up in arms (especially the ones that loathe IE). Never fear Microsoft have released a patch making a non-expiring Blocker Toolkit available for those organizations that would like to block automatic delivery of Internet Explorer 7 to machines in environments where Automatic Updates is enabled.

  • The Blocker Toolkit will prevent machines from receiving Internet Explorer 7 as a high-priority update via Automatic Updates and the “Express” install option on the Windows Update and Microsoft Update sites. The Blocker Toolkit will not expire.
  • The Blocker Toolkit will not prevent users from manually installing Internet Explorer 7 as a Recommended update from the Windows Update or Microsoft Update sites, from the Microsoft Download Center, or from external media.
  • Organizations do not need to deploy the Blocker Toolkit in environments managed with an update management solution such as Windows Server Update Services or Systems Management Server 2003. Organizations can use those products to fully manage deployment of updates released through Windows Update and Microsoft Update, including Internet Explorer 7, within their environment.

You can find the download right here. (Validation required)

-Patrick S

Posted in Internet Explorer, MS News, Products, Windows Server System, Windows XP | Comments Off on Toolkit to Disable Automatic Delivery of Internet Explorer 7

Another Live Secret Project:-Photosynth

July 28th, 2006 by Patrick S

Another secret little live page (live labs) has popped up overnight. With all sorts of information regarding a new upcoming project called photosynth.

Photosynth takes a large collection of photos of a place or object, analyzes them for similarities, and displays them in a reconstructed 3-Dimensional space. With Photosynth you can:

  • walk or fly through a scene to see photos from any angle;
  • seamlessly zoom in or out of a photograph even if it’s gigapixels in size;
  • see where pictures were taken in relation to one another;
  • find similar photos to the one you’re currently viewing;
  • explore a custom tour or see where you’ve been; or
  • send a collection to a friend.

For futher information and to view a demonstration video visit the Photosynth web site.
 Looks very interesting…We will keep you posted on all news regarding this new conecpt and live labs 🙂

Posted in Beta News, MS News, Windows Live | Comments Off on Another Live Secret Project:-Photosynth

Microsoft Acquires Patient Information System

July 27th, 2006 by Patrick Elliott

Microsoft has acquired Azyxxi, a patient information system that gives physicians real-time access to patient data including X-rays, electrocardiograms, prescriptions, patient allergies, and other clinical information. More »

Posted in MS News, Products | Comments Off on Microsoft Acquires Patient Information System

Commerce Server 2007 Evaluation Software

July 26th, 2006 by Patrick S

Microsoft has just made the decision to allow you to download Commerce Server for free.
The restriction is that this is only for evaluation and development – you cannot use it for production systems. (So, for the environments where business data is changed or analyzed, data is staged, and the production Web farm – you need Standard or Enterprise licenses.) has the download.

The evaluation software requires:

• A computer with a 2.0 GHz or better processor
• 1.0 GB or more RAM
• 30 GB or more free hard disk space
• Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 or later
• SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 1 or SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 4

Posted in MS News, Products, Windows Server System | 1 Comment »

New Vista VM Additions available

July 26th, 2006 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

News from Virtual Machine Program Manager,

We have new Virtual Machine Additions up for the Windows Vista CTP
releases.  These new Additions (13.709) have performance optimizations
for Windows Vista Beta 2 (Build 5384), Windows Vista Beta 2 June Refresh
(Build 5465) and Windows Vista Beta 2 July Refresh (Build 5472).

You can download the Additions from the Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta
program at  For Virtual PC – the Additions
are available as a separate download on the beta program, so once you
have signed up you can download just the Additions and use them with
Virtual PC.


Posted in Beta News | Comments Off on New Vista VM Additions available

New Microsoft Homepage Preview

July 25th, 2006 by Patrick S

Microsoft have a public preview of their new and upcoming home page (aka ) 

The new page dosn’t take up a whole page width (not on my monitor anyway) and is a whole lot more streamlined and a whole lot more JavaScript.

You can test it out right now-check it out here

Edit: Hey, Zack ‘ere. Just wanted to add, Microsoft are jumping on the “Web 2.0” bandwagon, yeh Patrick’s right in saying there’s a lot of JScript, but it’s actually ‘Atlas’, Microsoft’s version of AJAX on the page. It’ll run as if it’s a Windows desktop in the end… but just as a web page… strange I know 😛

Posted in MS News, Products, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Windows Live Mail M7 beta is the next to face the public

July 25th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

I know I know, it’s been one hell of a busy day for Windows Live… yes I know it all kicked off being a Monday morning and all and yes, there is still a little more of Live to come, but as yet, Windows Live Mail M7 (Milestone 7) has been rolled out to all users using the software.

As Darren wrote only a few days ago on Liveside (check out the article here), we now have some of these:

  • Easier signing in: you can now sign up and sign in far easier with Windows Live ID
  • Optimised for connection: will give you the option to use a light version of the software if you have a slow connection, to mkae your experience better and easier
  • Updated Today page: with a storage meter that is new in this build, updated contacts and seamless links to your latest updated contacts Windows Live Spaces
  • Imaging in mail: ability to upload and send photos just as you can in Hotmail and Spaces
  • Spell checking: although only spell checks the first 2,000 characters (set to change), you can still turn it off if you wish
  • Lingustics: available in 12 different languages including Scandinavia, Chinese, Korean and Thai
  • Clickety click click: checkboxes are back, with the ability to select all and untick all from a single button

Go and check it out now – those already using it, signin to Windows Live Mail, or those who are not can signup and wait for an invitation. Over 6.7 million users are using it (latest figures), so why not join the cult? 😛

Posted in Windows Live | 2 Comments »

Windows Live Favourites – use it for your own website

July 24th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Got this information through work. Windows Live Favourites lets you add a website directly to your own online favourites by a one-click command. The information’s available from here (click Add Bookmarklet) of which you can right click the link or save it as a Quick Link in your Internet Explorer browser, and whenever you see something you like, simply click on it. However… why not do this with your website?

Right click this image (image dimensions 237×49, non-official logo) – and save to your drive. Then upload this image to your own server and position on your website. Link the image to the following address, whilst changing the appropriate bits:

Make sure that you put a target=”_blank” on the hyperlink to make sure that it opens up the Save Favourite in a new window so they keep your site in view.

Please note: the above image is not an official image, and please make sure you download and upload the image to your own server. If we see anyone hotlinking to this image (and trust me, we can tell), we’ll remove the image. It’s so we can save our bandwidth a bit 🙂

Posted in Internet Explorer, MS News, Windows Live | 4 Comments »

Windows Live Gallery joins the rest in the beta family

July 24th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

A new product joining the Windows Live shabang, is Windows Live Gallery. It’s a strange one to try and explain, even though I’ve been in the loop about it for a while now… but it’s certainly changed since I saw a prototype-type-thing.

As Windows Live and Windows Vista (hense the logo’s) are being tied together in this electronic family style scene, this new Gallery which has jumped straight into public beta lets you download and upload content designed for Windows Live services, such as plugins, tools, content and media. You can also use it to download content specifically for your Windows Vista machine such as small applications designed for other parts of your Vista experience.

There will be some changes to other websites which provide such content already, although I’m not allowed to go into detail… but think “Gadgets” for Vista, and now they’re available on Windows Live Gallery… 😉

Customise Windows Live specifically with content and plugins for Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Search Toolbar, Windows Live Desktop Search, and over the coming weeks, more and more related Live services will jump in the loop.

It’s gonna be packed with Live related stuff – if you thought Windows Live was all about downloading an application and using it as it is… woah you better think again 😉

Posted in Introductions, Windows Live | 1 Comment »

Windows Live Expo released to public

July 22nd, 2006 by Zack Whittaker


Quite possibly the one main competitor to eBay, Windows Live has released it’s new online marketplace software, Expo. It provides:

New Look – A brand new look & feel for the site, including the official Windows Live look and integration, plus improved accessibility, scaling, and ease of use
Integrated Feedback – This feature allows users to share feedback or comments on a particular listing with the rest of the community
Enhanced Mapping – Satellite imagery, driving directions, more
Improved Security – Enhanced protection against spam and fraud

“We hope you will keep on using Windows Live Expo to connect with your community in fun ways. Please stay in touch and keep those opinions coming. Tell us if your stuff is selling, and what works and doesn’t work for you. Because, even though we’ve launched, Team Expo is not resting on our laurels-we’re hungry for your suggestions to make Windows Live Expo even better.”


Posted in MS News, Windows Live | 1 Comment »

Protected: MSBlog’s announcement

July 20th, 2006 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

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

Posted in MSBLOG Related | Enter your password to view comments.

World Jump Day tomorrow

July 19th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

I saw this website some time ago, and now it’s ready to be “used” as such. Dubbed “World Jump Day”, it’s designed to get people from specific places in the world to jump at a specific time on a hard surface on the ground. This is meant, so that if enough people do it (approximately 600 million), then the orbit of the Earth will shift ever so slightly off it’s regular orbit, and give us loads better stuff… no global warming, overall temperatures would go down a bit in the hottest places in the world… yada yada.

Look, it’s so hot in England today, I’m just gonna stop typing.. check out and see for yourselves

Posted in Daily Life | Comments Off on World Jump Day tomorrow

BREAKING NEWS: Microsoft Acquires Winternals Software

July 18th, 2006 by Patrick Elliott

MSBLOG Exclusive – Breaking news from Microsoft courtesy of

Company appoints operating systems kernel expert Mark

Russinovich as technical fellow.

REDMOND, Wash. — July 18, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the acquisition of Winternals Software LP, a privately held company based in Austin, Texas, that provides Windows®-based enterprises with systems recovery and data protection solutions in addition to offering a freeware tools Web site called Sysinternals. The addition of Winternals is a significant advance in Microsoft’s promise to lower customers’ total cost of ownership of the Microsoft® Windows platform. Customers will be able to continue building on Sysinternals’ advanced utilities, technical information and source code for utilities related to Windows. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Winternals was established in 1996 by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell, who are recognized industry leaders in the areas of operating system design and architecture. Russinovich will join the Microsoft Platforms & Services Division as a technical fellow, working with numerous technology teams across Microsoft, and Cogswell will join the Windows Component Platform Team in the role of software architect.

“I’ve had my eye on Mark for some time,” said Jim Allchin, co-president of the Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft. “The work he and Bryce have completed in system recovery and data protection illustrates the depth of thinking and skill they will bring to future versions of Windows. The addition of their deep kernel-level expertise to our existing strong talent will help provide us with the edge we need to continue to raise the quality and functionality bar for Windows on both the client and the server.”

“I witness regularly the profound impact that even a few lines of code can have in a world of globally connected systems,” said Russinovich. “The technologies that sustain and enhance business, health, commerce and entertainment are emerging from platforms that Microsoft creates. I look forward to bringing my experience in designing operating system technologies to Microsoft. I’m excited to broaden the reach and impact on Windows and Microsoft customers.”

Winternals products support IT professionals in numerous ways, providing intelligent enterprise recovery solutions, network defragmentation solutions and powerful system tools, all focused on reducing the total cost of ownership for Microsoft-based businesses. Sysinternals enjoys a strong and active community of systems administrators and support personnel, averaging about a million visitors per month.

Microsoft is evaluating how the Winternals products and technologies can be integrated within Microsoft offerings to maximize customer value.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Posted in MS News, Products | 3 Comments »

Exploit Wednesday

July 18th, 2006 by Patrick S

Another Microsoft Office exploit, Bifrose.UZ, was discovered last week. It drops a backdoor using PowerPoint (PPT) files. The exploit was discovered after a limited number of people received e-mail with the PowerPoint file as an attachment.

So what’s the deal with Microsoft Office and why the exploits? There were Word fixes in June – Several Excel fixes were included in July’s patches – And now there is a PowerPoint exploit that will need to be patched in August. See a pattern?

There’s a growing trend here. F-secure been saying for some time that the lack of large virus outbreaks is evidence that the malware environment could be getting worse, not better. The bad guys want to make money – not make attention. So as a malware author, if you want to target a few prominent companies for the purpose of industrial espionage, you design your exploit to attack them within and then lay low. Spoofed e-mails are sent to company insiders and they, thinking it’s just another document that they need to review, open it up and the backdoor gets installed.

The bad guys are taking advantage of three things:

The first is the patch cycle itself. These new exploits are being released after the second Tuesday of each month to maximize its lifespan.

The second is the common day-to-day routine of receiving Office files. There haven’t been any new macro viruses to speak of for some time and so Office files (doc/xml/ppt) easily pass through corporate firewalls and people don’t think twice about clicking on them. This avenue of attack is currently under the radar and is not perceived as a danger by end users.

And the third advantage is that the companies exploited don’t want to talk about it. They dread the negative publicity as a victim of espionage. That’s why the public doesn’t know the name of last month’s Excel exploit victim. Such hush-hush may be keeping some of these exploits from being reported.

 Source straight from F-secure weblog

Posted in Office 2007, Security | 2 Comments »

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