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Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 BETA2 is available for download!

August 31st, 2006 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

Got an email from Virtual Machine Program Manager

Virtual Server R2 SP1 BETA2 is now available for download, it includes:  

– AMD Virtualization (AMD-V) compatibility
– Intel Virtualization Technology (IVT) compatibility
– Volume Shadow Copy Service support
– Offline VHD mounting
– Active Directory integration using service connection points
– Host Clustering technical white paper

For complete details on the new features of Virtual Server R2 SP1 Beta2
and to download the software, please go to the Microsoft Connect Web
site (

Benjamin Armstrong

  • Both the 32-bit version and 64-bit version of Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta 2 are now available for download. 
    Note: A product key is not required for this release.
  • Windows Vista will be supported as a guest OS when Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 becomes generally available. Virtual Machine Additions for a Vista Beta 2 Guest OS are available for download. If you are not running Windows Vista Beta 2 as a guest, you do not need this version of the Virtual Machine Additions.

Posted in Beta News, Virtual Machine, Windows Vista | Comments Off on Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 BETA2 is available for download!

Windows Vista pre-RC1 available for public

August 30th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Get a product key:

Download via File Transfer Manager (recommended)
Windows Vista – pre-RC1 – 32-bit only.

There are NO planned downloads for x64, and you better hurry up because once the 100,000th person begins their download, they’re closing it straight back down again, so hurry!!

Posted in Windows Vista | 11 Comments »

Windows Live Essentials download link

August 28th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

I found the download link… but that’s it. There’s nothing on there, no download, no information, absolutely nothing.

Still, as soon as it comes into public beta no doubt there’ll be software there to download.

Posted in Windows Live | 2 Comments »

The whole, full, none edited list of Windows Live services

August 26th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

This is as far as I know, the first full list of official Windows Live services on the web, links and information about them

There have been a few posts on the web about all the Windows Live services (Mary-Jo at Microsoft Watch, Matt Mondok at M-Dollar, Yahoo!, even Microsoft PressPass) and how many there are and which are actually services. Well, in a joint effort from myself and Chris from LiveSide, we’ve managed to make this list. It’s categorised to the best of our combined knowledge, by project start date which essentially means when the service was thought of, it gets listed; essentially it also means that this list is “in order of Live services” well and truly. Here’s what we’ve come up with so far, and hopefully I’ll keep updating this as soon as new features and releases come out.

01. Windows Live Drive (codename: Storage)
Offering online storage to users

02. Windows Live Contacts
Part of a bigger picture, link goes to Live Mail but will integrate your contacts in Mail and Spaces together.

03. Windows (originally:
The new web portal for Windows Live – the homepage if you will.

04. Windows Live Web Search
The new MSN Search, with added features for searching for news, images, academia and feeds.

05. Windows Live Messenger
The rebranded MSN Messenger with integration with Live Spaces, interoperability with Yahoo! as well as free VoIP and video calls.

06. Windows Live Ideas
The central site reporting on what’s new, what’s coming and what’s already out – just had a facelift on the site as well.

07. Windows Live Mail (codename: Kahuna)
The rebranded MSN Hotmail – better interface, easier to browse contacts, and no page refreshing as well as advanced spam protection.

08. Windows Live Favourites (codename: Roaming Favourites)
Enabling you to access your favourites from anywhere in the world using this simple web interface – gadget for Live Spaces too.
(US) – (UK)

09. Windows Live Expo (codename: Fremont)
New competitor with eBay – buy, swap and sell products and without any costs to the users at all.

10. Windows Live Labs
The brainy guys workying on new products and advanced technologies to make Live products better.

11. Windows Live OneCare (previously: OneCare Live)
The one stop place for computer protection, anti-virus and advanced firewall.
Subscription service – 90 day trial available for free

12. Windows Live Local (previously: Virtual Earth)
An advanced mapping system with satellite coverage, road maps, soon to have driving directions and route planner, with Birds Eyeâ„¢ imagery

13. Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner (codename: Vegas)
Online scanning facility for checking your computer for viruses and cleaning up unnecessary files.

14. Windows Live Custom Domains
Allowing you to have your own domain name to use with Windows Live, Mail and Messenger.

15. Windows Live Call
Allowing you to call overseas and landlines for very cheap rates
Feature embedded in Windows Live Messenger

16. Windows Live Call for Free (codenamed: FreeCall)
Enables you to call businesses for free after searching for them in Live Local.
Feature embedded in Windows Live Local

17. Windows Live Search
The free desktop application allowing you to search files on your computer, the web, Messenger sharing folders and your Live Drive.
No URL yet – keep an eye out on Windows Live Ideas

18. Windows Live Search Desktop (codename OneView)
Part of Windows Live Search (there’s a lot of desktop/search/toolbars, we’re all a bit confused but they’re all set in stone)
No URL yet – keep an eye out on Windows Live Ideas

19. Windows Live Search Translation
Allowing you to search using Live Web Search but translate pages and/or text

20. Windows Live Local Preview
Imagery of San Francisco and Seattle, allowing you to navigate the map with a variety of views at street level.

21. Windows Live Toolbar
A toolbar which adds itself to Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer, allowing access to your Space, Live Mail, and Live Favourites and search everywhere you go.

22. Windows Desktop Search
Part of Windows Live Search (there’s a lot of desktop/search/toolbars, we’re all a bit confused but they’re all set in stone)
No URL yet – keep an eye out on Windows Live Ideas

23. Windows Live Mail Center (previously: Mail Desktop/Outlook Express Live)
Enabling you to see your Live Mail, other POP3 and IMAP folders as well as RSS feeds and other email addresses and contacts on your desktop.
No website yet, download only

24. Windows Live ID
The new and improved MSN Passport – working seamlessly with Live services and allowing multiple sign-ins with different accounts.

25. Windows Live Writer
 Enabling you to write, post and modify blog entries in real time with loads of customisable options like adding pictures and Live Local maps embedded into your entries.
 Download directly from Microsoft

26. Windows Live Essentials (previously Windows Live Now)
The Google Pack equivilant – allowing you to customise and install all the available Live services straight away
No URL yet – keep an eye out on Windows Live Ideas

27. Windows Live Account
The central point to change, modify and create new Live ID’s and settings.

28. Windows Live OneCare Family Safety
 Allowing you to set and manage options and viewable content for younger users’ Windows Live ID’s.

29. Windows Live Clipboard
Enabling you to cut, copy and paste information from one website server to another ideal for moving calendar or contact entries between accounts.
No URL yet, but check out the non-Microsoft site

30. Windows Live Marketplace (codename: Agora)
The new Marketplace enabling you to buy and download software straight to your Vista machine.

31. Windows Live Shopping
Competitor to – lets you browse and buy software at your own time, pace and leisure

32. Windows Live QnA (codename: Answers)
Ask questions, get answers, vote on answers and earn kudos points which earn you special rewards.

33. Windows Live Alerts
 Send information updates to your email inbox, mobile device or Messenger.

34. Windows Live Spaces (codename: Spaces 10.5)
The world’s biggest social networking site, letting you blog, add photo’s, customise content and add gadgets.

35. Windows Live Academic Search
Allows you to search the web for academia – books and journals from different authors and relevance.
Academic tab on

36. Windows Live Image Search
Enables you to search the web for specific images, of different sizes and preview panes.
Image tab on

37. Windows Live Product Search
Enables you to search the web for products to buy using Windows Live Search.

38. Windows Live Voicemail
A new feature for Live Mail and Messenger for leaving voice messages for other people for when they are unavailable.
No URL yet – keep an eye out on Windows Live Ideas

39. Windows Live codename “Max”
 Allowing you to create custom 3D galleries of photos and media and send it to other users across the Internet.
Will eventually become a Windows Live service. – keep an eye out on Windows Live Ideas

40. Windows Live Sign-In Assistant
The easier way to signin and out of Windows Live using a simpler interface and advanced security.

41. Windows Live Wifi Suite
Downloadable software for easy access to wireless networks on your laptop or mobile device.

42. Windows Live Hotspot Locator
Web interface allowing you to search hundreds of thousands of free or paid wireless hotspot locations in over 90 countries.

43. Windows Live Dev
The development center and supplier of software developmnet kits for Windows Live developers.

44. Windows Live Gallery (codename: Customise)
The central place to browse, submit or apply gadgets to or to Windows Live Spaces.

Windows Live Mobile
Live for mobile devices – accessible on a mobile device and able to see your customisable Windows
Mobile devices only
Will eventually migrate fully to

46. Windows Live Mobile Mail
The revamped MSN Hotmail for Mobile but brought to a mobile device.
Mobile devices only

47. Windows Live Mobile Search
The revamped MSN Search for Mobile but brought to a mobile device – mobile compatibility integrated.
Mobile devices only

Windows Live Publishing Portal
The new way to buy books – searching millions of books and able to buy them online using an online preview pane.

49. Windows Live Feeds
A dedicated team to help aggregate information around the Internet – just how RSS is part of Mail Center.
No URL yet – keep an eye out on Windows Live Ideas

50. Windows Live Dashboard
Part of Essentials but lets you see what you have installed, what’s on offer and other links for support.
No URL yet – keep an eye out on Windows Live Ideas

Note 1: MSN Video (codename “Warhol”) is an MSN service and not a Windows Live service.
Note 2: Some haven’t made the list because they’re not exactly services – Windows Live Help for example and SDK’s aren’t really services. Also, some “services” merged into the larger umbrella service, such as Windows Live Near Me Search was absorbed by Windows Live Local.
Note 3: Xbox Live and Office Live aren’t actually Windows Live products, so they’re excluded from the list. They’re different teams, different way of thinking and they just generally don’t have anything to do with Windows Live.

Posted in Windows Live | 17 Comments »

MSBLOG Exclusive: Now it’s 45…

August 25th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

I did tell you guys that this month was going to be a busy one, and it most certainly is. Now announced are two more Windows Live services:

Windows Live Essentials and with it comes the complimentary Windows Live Dashboard.

Windows Live Essentials is basically the Microsoft equivilent of Google Pack and we saw this coming ever since that last message in the installation of Live Messenger saying “Please note, there may be other installations in progress” or something of that effect. It’ll let you select the services and applications you want to install and highlight the main ones, Messenger, Mail Center (it’s still called Mail Desktop and will be called this eventually), and Live Toolbar which comes out before Christmas.

Windows Live Dashboard is the interface given of which lets you see what’s on offer, what you’ve already got and are using, as well as the opportunity to download and install new ones that come along once they’re finished.

The Live Essentials beta will begin in the next couple of weeks – and just to clarify, there are now 45 Windows Live services, even though Dashboard is a service hiding within Essentials.

Edit: Just noticed, Chris has posted just after this, go and see his post as well here.

Posted in Beta News, Windows Live | Comments Off on MSBLOG Exclusive: Now it’s 45…

MSBLOG Exclusive: And now counting 43…

August 24th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

That’s right, this will be the 43rd service being provided by Windows Live, and yes there are some you won’t know about because they’re super duper top secret. However, this is the 43rd.



The service will begin beta this week, and only Windows Live Butterflies will have access, but eventually you’ll be able to see it at

Posted in Beta News, Windows Live | Comments Off on MSBLOG Exclusive: And now counting 43…

MSBLOG – Where we’re standing in the online community

August 24th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Just thought I’d share a little love and tell you guys how well you’re doing in keeping us up and going 🙂 Obviously not all the hits will add up to the overall count, but this is just a poi-pourri of statistics of which shine through the dark and misty haze of numbers.

(from January 2006-present)
Total unique visitors: 208,224
Number of visits: 390,558
Pages viewed in total: 1,362,939
Hits in total: 11,387,102
Bandwidth used: 104.90 GB

Top countries to view MSBLOG
United States – 828,226 hits
Australia – 67,452 hits
Europe – 65,509 hits
Great Britain – 41,616 hits
Germany – 25,511 hits

Top search robots to view MSBLOG
Googlebot – 23,178 hits    (yay Google! :))
Inktomi Slurp – 8,554 hits
MSNBot – 5,154 hits
EchO! – 3,867 hits

How long people stayed on MSBLOG for
1 hour onwards – 3,861 hits (6.9%)
30 mins – 1 hour – 2,724 hits (4.8%)
15 mins – 30 mins – 1,407 hits (2.5%)
5 mins – 15 mins – 1,734 (3.1%)

Top 5 operating systems to view MSBLOG:
Microsoft Windows – 1,231,827 hits (93.8%)
Apple Mac OS X – 15,648 hits (1.1%)
A varient of Linux – 11,309 hits (0.8%)
Symbian (mobiles) – 33 hits (0.01%)
Sun Solaris – 29 hits (0.01%)

Top 6 web browsers to view MSBLOG:
Microsoft Internet Explorer – 872,350 hits (65.4%)
Mozilla Firefox – 324,728 hits (24.3%)
Opera – 32,654 hits (2.4%)
Safari – 8,502 hits (0.6%)
Netscape – 5,678 hits (0.4)

Most ways people actually connect to MSBLOG:
Directly from address/favourite: 193,530 hits (37.4%)
Linked from a search engine: 14,623 hits (2.8%)
   – 1. Google
   – 2. Google Images
   – 3. MSN Search
   – 4. Yahoo! Search
   – 5. Dogpile

Top 10 referring sites from the Ye Olde Blogosphere:
1. –
2. –
3. Our old domain name –
4. StumbleUpon –
5. Tweakers –
6. CNBeta –
7. Neowin –
8. Feeds2 –
9. The Hotfix –
10. Wikipedia –

Top 5 keyword groups used to access MSBLOG from a search engine:
1. microsoft private folder
2. flight simulator x beta
3. vista beta 2 product key
4. msblog
5. vista 5472

Top 5 actual keywords used to access MSBLOG from a search engine:
1. vista
2. windows
3. private
4. folder
5. beta
6. microsoft
7. key
8. live
9. xp
10. 5472

Users added MSBLOG to their favourites or bookmarks:
Estimated between 21,607 users and 24,064 users

Posted in MSBLOG Related | Comments Off on MSBLOG – Where we’re standing in the online community

Internet Explorer commands from Run

August 24th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Sorry if this is really widely known knowledge but something rather useless I’ve found… or something potentially rather cool.

If you go to Start, Run, and type in iexplore then you can directly navigate to a webpage. Essentially, the iexplore bit is the equivilant of http://. That’s the useless bit.

If you type in iexplore but instead of typing in a web address, you can open up Internet Explorer to an FTP folder. If I typed in iexplore then basically it’ll open up the FTP folder for Microsoft.

I guess we learn something new everyday :)… and you’ve all learned I’m a total n00b 😛

Posted in Internet Explorer | Comments Off on Internet Explorer commands from Run

Windows Internet Explorer hits RC1

August 24th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Here we go folks – hot off the presses, Windows Internet Explorer hits Release Candidate 1 at build 5700, and yes this means that there are daily builds of Windows Vista running at 5700 at least but big wow… Vista RC1 won’t be anywhere near 5700, just to clarify!

Download for Windows XP SP2
Download for Windows Server 2003 SP1 and R2
Download for Windows Internet Explorer 7 RC1 Release Notes

Edit: you can download them also much easier and for more different types of operating system here

Posted in Internet Explorer, Windows Server System, Windows XP | Comments Off on Windows Internet Explorer hits RC1

Vista’s New ‘Copy’ Dialog

August 24th, 2006 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

Info from :

Some of the more useful improvements to Windows Vista come in the underlying file system. There are a ton of improvements under the hood to make files easier to deal with. One of the more subtle but important differences from Windows XP is the way discrepancies are handled during file transactions.

In Windows XP, if a file encountered some kind of error (file already exists, etc.), it was handled at the time it occurred, interrupting whatever you were doing. If the same thing happens on Windows Vista, the operation continues, and you are prompted to resolve the conflicts at the end of the process.

The UK’s Official Windows Vista Magazine covers it as one of their favorite features:



Posted in Microsoft, Reviews, Windows Vista | Comments Off on Vista’s New ‘Copy’ Dialog

Windows Live Messenger to help protect kiddly-winks

August 23rd, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Sorry for the big image – I would have thumbnailed it but I think this is big news.

Basically, the Virtual Global Taskforce with help from SOCA (Serious and Organised Crime Agency in the UK, a bit like the FBI but not as crap) and Microsoft are coming together in harmony to create functionality to report abuse on Windows Live Messenger. This means that those cute little kiddlywinks out there who want to talk to their friends online, then a weirdo 50 year old bloke adds that kiddlywink and pretends to be a 12 year old girl, and the first kiddlywink gets a bit suspicious and feels a bit scared, they hit the button and report it.

However to be fair, the VGT (Virtual Global Taskforce) which has a website (here) has a Report Abuse tool which must be reitterated, is very similar as if you were calling 999, the Emergency Services. You can get into a whole load of trouble if you misuse the tool, because the reporting tool goes straight to the nearest policing authority. So use it if you need to, and don’t “prank call” them!

This will be rolled out into Windows Live Messenger at a later date, above as you can see is a concept design.

Edit: The BBC has nowreported on this subject – here’s the link if anyone wants to see it –

Posted in Daily Life, Security, Windows Live Messenger | 2 Comments » – Are you freaking kidding me??

August 23rd, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Here we go, has opened up and now you can see the main page, being this:

Are you freaking kidding me? All this hype over a bloody mouse? Oh wait, sorry, a mouse that is “jam packed with technologies”, that’s right, like a mouse that lights up?!?

It’s called the Microsoft Habu mouse, with a laser precision thingy and a comfortable shaped grip. But seriously, it’s not just a gaming mouse, designers and computer graphics boffs would love this mouse to do precise computer drawings with and stuff…

… oh what’s the use, it’s a freaking mouse, get a grip.

Posted in Microsoft, Xbox and Gaming | 2 Comments »

Blog entry of shame

August 22nd, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Have shame on thee – for stealing bandwidth off us by hotlinking our “Add to Live Favourites” button directly off our server.

I smite at thee with your bandwidth and image stealing! This is the original entry for the “Add to Live Favourites” button, and it states very clearly at the end of it not to steal but to upload to your own server!

The only way this entry’s being removed, if someone else on the team does it because they support bandwidth stealing, or removes the button or hosts it on his own server. Gooday to thee!

Posted in Rants | 9 Comments »

Clarifying Windows Live integration into Windows Vista

August 22nd, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

A lot of people have made speculation about Windows Vista having “Windows Live integration” in RC1 (Release Candidate 1) and there’s a simple and frank explaination for this: yes and no. Come on it’s me, nothing’s ever that easy with me 🙂

A little background history on why Live integration might be a problem

Windows has come under fire some time ago by the EU (European Commission) being the executive body of all the countries in Europe which has the right to initiate legislation and rules and stuff, because Microsoft put products in Windows XP which was making smaller businesses creating competitor products go bust. So because Windows XP came with Windows Media Player 9, it was making it difficult for Nullsoft to sell Winamp because people were using a product which was readily there.

So the EU got all stroppy about this and had a major hissy fit and said to Microsoft, “look, take Windows Media Player out of Windows, or give consumers an option to have Windows but without all of this bundled crap in, or we’ll fine your arses off”. Microsoft did this but not quite in time to receive a good few fines amounting to millions of dollars (enough to fill the pockets of those EU snobs for a while), and created Windows XP “N” Edition, the “N” standing for No Media Player.

This was basically called “anti-trust”. Now the same problem lies in Windows Vista, because that has Windows Media Player 11 bundled in, but because Microsoft learnt their lesson from getting smacked on the arse with a slipper from the EU, it’s decided to make preemptive strike by offering an “N” Edition of some Vista editions.

It’s not just Windows Media Player, it’s other bundled software too

Windows Live software is also in the competitor markets. With Live Expo you have eBay, with Live Shopping you have Amazon, with Live Search you have Google, with Live Messenger you have Skype and with Live Spaces you have MySpace. So basically, if you put Windows Live Messenger into Vista by standard just like Windows Messenger (a very basic instant messenger) was put into XP, it’ll cause a problem because competitors will say, “but why use our products when you’ve already got a program which does the same job bundled with the operating system?”

How Microsoft will get past this little snag in their evil plan to dominate the Earth

They’ll just put shortcuts and links to their software instead of actually bundling the software in.

Microsoft have learned their lesson, but they’re still looking for loopholes, and this stands a good chance of actually working. If you see the image below, you’ll notice from the wording what they’re trying to do.

“Go online to learn about”… “Download”… “Go to”… “Sign up for”… it’s all linking to complimentary software which won’t actually get bundled in to Vista.

Just to clarify

Windows Vista won’t have Windows Live software bundled in, but instead to get around the legal aspects and the anti-trust stuff, offer free downloads or links to the complimentary software and services instead.

Read more

Bryant’s post – AeroXP
Robert McLaw’s post – Longhorn Blogs

Posted in Windows Live, Windows Vista | 3 Comments »

Windows Vista RC1 Download

August 21st, 2006 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

Windows Vista RC1 Download link:

It seems that Microsoft is getting ready to launch RC1 anytime soon. However at the moment the link gives “The Customer Preview Program is now closed.”. However do stay tuned as it’s going to be launched and order RC1 before it really closes!!!

Posted in MS News, Windows Vista | 11 Comments »

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