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MSBLOG Exclusive: Windows Server “Centro” – a disappointing first glance

November 19th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

I want to apologise in advance – it’s not all that special. I’ll link to the screenshot and then I’ll explain some things from my point of view.

Click to expand

Here’s the nitty gritty about it:

  1. This image is not a fake. It came directly from a source in Microsoft (who I’ll say is a good friend of MSBLOG, but isn’t a blogger here) from the Windows Server Business or something-or-other team earlier on this evening.
  2. The build number and memory available to Windows are identifyable parts of which can be traced back to the source of the leak. So for his/her protection, it’s been concealed, but trust me – the build number really is very irrellevant.
  3. The wallpaper is one of those from Windows Vista RTM – I noticed it, you probably have to.
  4. I don’t think it has Windows Aero with transparency… whether it’s compatible or not, or whether it’s turned off is anyone’s guess.
  5. It’s based on Windows Server “Longhorn” but “Centro” is all for mid-sized organisations, so they’ll be some changes.
  6. The desktop version says “Windows Server 2008” in it – I’ve been told that this is pre-empting the release of Windows Server “Longhorn” in the second half of 2007 meaning that it’ll be 2008 rather than 2007 in the title. Also this desktop version best reflects the actual product – it’s Windows Server 2008/Longhorn with “Centro” on top of it.
  7. Is it just me who thinks the image in the About Windows box is naff? I think it’s dreadful – I’ll be submitting it as a bug once the first build is released to testers.

Windows Server “Centro” will be available for testers within the next month to two-months on Microsoft Connect. Let me know what you think of the first look of “Centro”… even though there really isn’t much to look at!

Posted in Beta News, Windows Server System | 13 Comments »

MSBLOG Exclusive: Windows Vista testers get free copy of RTM

November 16th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker


Not everyone saw it coming… nothing came in Office 2007 for testers but Vista was always a hell of a lot bigger than Office 2007. Windows Vista released to manufacturing last week, and MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers could get it… and those with Volume Licensing access… and now fellow testers can!

If you’re a Vista tester, Windows Vista Business (by default, Ultimate if you ask for it) is yours – check your email account associated with your Connect profile. If you qualify (if, that is) then you’ll get a free copy in form of a unique Connect invitation to a new sub-page with the build on. You must have submitted one bug at least to get a free copy and be on the technical beta.

You can activate the copy of Vista unlimited times on one machine (not entirely sure how the licensing thing works, just going off internal sources). Anyway, those who have contributes certainly deserve it – enjoy your reward 🙂

Update: Due to the load from Connect, MSDN, TechNet, etc. the X64 images have been removed.  If you have already begun a download, you will be able to finish, but no new X64 downloads will be permitted until the load has lessened. Additionally, the Vista team will be intermittently stopping new downloads for periods of time when the servers reach capacity. 

On a side note: Remember the last time that the Connect servers were having this much trouble at the Beta 2 Launch? Well, the connect sercers are currently seeing ~2.5x the traffic that we did for Beta 2.  No wonder Connect is suffering. 🙂

Posted in Beta News, Windows Vista | 90 Comments »

Calling all Vista beta testers to contact Cullen D and Matthew L!

November 15th, 2006 by André Nogueira

Cullen and Matthew are preparing something special for the holiday season, but they need all Tech Beta Tester’s help!

If you’re a Vista Beta Tester, contact them on Windows Live Messenger or by email:


Note: to stop spambots – you’ll have to manually type these addresses in – sorry! 


Posted in Beta News, MS News | Comments Off on Calling all Vista beta testers to contact Cullen D and Matthew L!

Windows PowerShell 1.0 Released!

November 15th, 2006 by Patrick S

Today at the keynote at ITForum in Barcelona, we announced the official release of Windows PowerShell 1.0!  

For those of you unfamiliar with Windows PowerShell, it is a best of breed next-generation commandline shell designed from the ground up to be flexible and powerful while still remaining easy to use. Many thanks go to our friends at for coming all the way to Barcelona to show how they’re using Windows PowerShell in production today for the mission critical task of maintaining and managing the second busiest website in the world.

To download Windows PowerShell, please visit:

Source: Powershell blog

Posted in Beta News, Corporation, MS News, Products, Windows Server System | Comments Off on Windows PowerShell 1.0 Released!

Farewell Beta Place

November 1st, 2006 by Patrick S

I remember starting out beta testing-signing up on beta place ages ago to become a Microsoft Beta tester… Well overnight betaplace ( has vanished, replaced by it successor Microsoft Connect ( which has just recently been updated to version 2.2.
I am sure a lot of the MSFT staff will miss betaplace as Connect is sometimes labelled as a slow piece of software (but it can only get better right?)

Farewell beta place-Long live the memories 😛

Posted in Beta News, Corporation, MS News, Testing | 1 Comment »

Windows Live Messenger 8.1 Beta makes it to the public

October 31st, 2006 by Patrick S

Microsoft made Windows Live Messenger Beta 8.1.0106.00 available to the whole world for widescale testing. This build is considered to be very close to release quality and comes with a lot of bugfixes. Changes compared to previous (private) Beta builds include:
– The removal from the PSM menu of the Show my location feature.
– An SMS Phone Book added to the dashboard for quick mobile texting.
Report abuse option in the Help menu.

This build will also be pushed down as an auto-update tomorrow.

>> Download Windows Live Messenger 8.1 Public Beta in the following languages: English, Spanish, Dutch, French, German, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Polish, Finnish, Hungarian, Turkish, Slovak, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Japanese, Hebrew, Greek, Korean, Arabic, Chinese (simplified).


Posted in Beta News, Windows Live Messenger | Comments Off on Windows Live Messenger 8.1 Beta makes it to the public

Connect 2.2 Deployment

October 28th, 2006 by Patrick S

A little while ago The guys at the Feedback Loop posted about a Microsoft Connect 2.2 Preview.

Well as of last night Connect 2.2 has been deployed to the public (you may notice some slight UI changes when you next visit)

Not sure if it’s me but it seams faster. Great to see this upgrade.
Checkout the Feedback Loop’s Blog post

Posted in Beta News, Corporation, MS News | Comments Off on Connect 2.2 Deployment

Bug causes Microsoft to push Vista RTM to Nov. 8

October 26th, 2006 by Patrick S

Computer World reports that PC manufacturers which had expected to get their hands on the final version of Windows Vista today will have to wait a couple more weeks for the operating system, according to sources familiar with Microsoft Corp.’s plans.Microsoft originally targeted today for Vista’s release to manufacturing, but a last-minute bug that “took most of the Vista team by surprise” caused an unexpected delay, the Vista team discovered the bug, which “would totally crash the system, requiring a complete reinstall,” in Vista Build 5824 on Oct. 13. The team fixed the bug a week later in Vista Build 5840, he said, but the delivery of the operating system to PC makers was delayed. Therefore the team is now targeting a new date of Nov. 8 for Vista’s release to manufacturing.

Although this dosen’t change my perspective on Vista being a really great operating system-finding a bug at the last minute does put a damper on its credibility….hopefully that’s the only hiccup and Vista will be the very best Operating System out there today.

Posted in Beta News, Bugs, Corporation, MS News, Windows Vista | 3 Comments »

Windows Live Messenger 9.0 – milestone feature request

October 22nd, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Whilst you budding Windows Live Messenger testers are fiddling around with the interim version, 8.1, there’s still another major milestone coming. Once a product has been released, they usually look for how it can be improved for the later version; with Windows XP, before it hit the shelves they realised how it could be improved for the next operating system, being Windows Vista. Even though Messenger 8.1 is to come out before Christmas 2006 (if all goes accordingly), Microsoft are still planning what’s to come in Messenger 9.0 which will be the next major milestone for this core Windows Live service.

So… what do you want to go into it? If you use any version of Windows Live Messenger, what could be improved – what doesn’t need to be there – what could be included? If you’re not a Windows Live Messenger user (maybe you’ve stuck with MSN Messenger 7.5 or use an alternative client), then what would persuade you to jump on the bandwagon for the new version?

Some things to think about include:

  • Theme of the client
  • Adding features that Messenger Plus! Live offers as an addition to the original client
  • Family Safety features – making sure your children and those younger are safe
  • Windows Vista and Windows Aero (previously known as Aero Glass) enhancements
  • Audio/video features
  • Virus and malware protection
  • File sharing and modifications to Sharing Folders
  • Video sharing
  • Windows Live Spaces within the main window (eg: blog directly from Messenger)
  • Windows Live Mail within the main window (eg: send mail directly from Messenger)
  • Added plug-ins and sharing activities
  • Colour functionality in names by default

If you can think of anything including, or a modification of the above features that you want to see in Messenger, leave a comment and I’ll make sure someone/many of the Messenger team has a browse around for ideas. Leave a comment below 🙂

Update – 23rd October 2006 at 17:25 GMT: All these comments have been submitted to Microsoft. As I’m writing this, I’m sending it as a transfer over Messenger… but keep the great ideas coming in – all of these comments are really good and with some confidence I can say that I think they’ll like them 🙂

Posted in Beta News, Windows Live Messenger | 118 Comments »

ASP.NET Ajax V1 Beta

October 21st, 2006 by Patrick S

Announcing the new ASP.NET Ajax V1 Beta available for download from 
I have been looking forward to this… This will be one major step for WEB 2.0, more and more sites will begin to use it. Hopefully future version of WSS have this included 🙂

With ASP.NET AJAX, developers can quickly create pages with rich, responsive UI and more efficient client-server communication by simply adding a few server controls to their pages. This new Web development technology from Microsoft integrates cross-browser client script libraries with the ASP.NET 2.0 development framework. ASP.NET AJAX provides developers building client-based Web experiences with a familiar development process and programming model that they already know from using server-side ASP.NET development. Because ASP.NET AJAX is integrated with ASP.NET, developers have full access to the built-in ASP.NET 2.0 application services and the entire .NET Framework.

Download it from HERE

Posted in .NET Framework, Beta News, Visual Studio | 1 Comment »

Beta Refresh 2 for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 is released!

October 19th, 2006 by Patrick S

The windows server beta team today launched the brand spanking new Beta refresh for Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2. 

This build contains:

Roll up of hotfixes released to date
Roll up of security updates released to date
Fixes for bugs reported by Beta customers and other known issues on previous Service Pack 2 builds
Fix for Volume Licensing customers who are using Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

Due to a recent installer change, the update package of build 2805 will not install on Windows Server 2003 Small Business Server. This issue will be fixed in the next refresh.
Here is the list of releases:

Windows Server 2003 R2 Editions integrated with SP2 (32-bit x86): English, German and Japanese
Windows Server 2003 R2, x64 Editions integrated with SP2: English and Japanese
Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems integrated with SP2: English, German and Japanese
Standalone update packages: English, German and Japanese
Also please note that symbols for this build are available from the public symbols server

Go get it from Connect and bug it 😀

Posted in Beta News, MS News, Windows Server System | Comments Off on Beta Refresh 2 for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 is released!

Connect 2.2 Preview

October 11th, 2006 by Patrick S

Is finally here! Go to and take a look around. You can do most of the things you can on the main Connect site, although you’ll find that the available programs list is pretty limited. None of the feedback or sites from the production site are available here, with the exception of the Connect demo site.

Take a look around and see what you think. After you sign in, click the “Manage My Profile” link at the bottom and fill out your profile data in order to be able to submit feedback. Keep in mind that this is a beta site, so the feedback isn’t going to be processed or resolved. Don’t enter your real bugs here- or do, but enter them on the real Connect site as well!

 After you’ve taken a look around, if you have any comments you can file a feedback or suggestion form on the main Connect site at

A couple of notes about the beta site; some issues were found after the deployment to the beta site and have already been resolved internally.

  • File uploads may not work correctly with Firefox 1.5. This is known and has been corrected in a later internal build.
  • Feedback should work with both Opera and Firefox, although some display elements may not be correctly placed or visible in non-IE browsers. These issues have been largely eliminated in our internal builds.
  • After attaching files, you may notice that the “attached files count” on the Feedback Details page always remains 0. This has been corrected in our latest builds.

Source straight from The Feedback Loop

Posted in Beta News, Bugs, MS News, Testing | 8 Comments »

Slam 1.0 Release!

October 10th, 2006 by Patrick S

The Slam team is pleased to annouce the first release of Slam: your Windows Mobile social software client and service. Slam allows users to make and manage social groups right from their phone for group-based messaging and photo sharing. You can also use Slam through the SMS and/or web interfaces.

See screenshots and learn more about Slam on the about Slam webpage, and get started your self by downloading the installer or having a link sent to your phone.

Source Slam blog

Posted in Beta News, MS News, Windows Mobile | Comments Off on Slam 1.0 Release!

Windows Live OneCare for Vista enters beta

October 9th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

As I’m sure you’ve heard already, Windows Live OneCare for Windows Vista has entered beta. It’s not directly for Vista, however it will be compatible with Vista. Windows Live OneCare 1.5 is the “R2” if you like, of the original codebase enabling better features as well as advanced security and support for the Windows Vista (NT 6.0) codebase.

As usual, it’ll have an anti-virus, anti-spyware protection as well as a better and advanced firewall protection. Some of the countries involved in the beta include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, UK, and of course the United States (what a surprise!).

It lets you have a one-click glance of your entire system – it enables the Phishing filter in Windows Internet Explorer 7 as well as advanced security features of Windows Vista. It also lets you backup files and settings to a network drive and external hard drives (hurrah!!) and even provides you with solutions to problems that you might be having; not to mention the ol’ tune-up wizard letting you click-once and leave your computer for a while to come back to it after it having removed old files, defrag’d your hard disks and virus checked.

The greatest part of Windows Live OneCare is that it’s fully compatible with Windows Vista RC1 and above. It’s noted that the recommended that you test using RC1 and not RC2 because obviously it’s a slower process than the Vista beta; they need to build the new version of OneCare around the codebase of Vista.

Feel free to apply for the beta at Windows Live Ideas – if you’re accepted, an email will be shot of to you within a week to a fortnight.


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

Check out the Windows SideShow Gallery on

October 5th, 2006 by Patrick S

Last Tuesday, September 26, the live team quietly released a new service called Windows SideShow Gallery on!  This new site is a one-stop shop to personalize your Windows Live and PC experience. Windows Live Gallery helps you find all the cool & useful Gadgets, Toolbar custom buttons, Messenger Bots and much more. Keep an eye out for new gadgets on the gallery; they will be adding beta gadgets as they’re ready-You can upload something as well.

So quit stalling and give it a try

Posted in Beta News, MS News, Windows Live | Comments Off on Check out the Windows SideShow Gallery on

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