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Microsoft Certification Exam 70-500 Beta Announcement

October 5th, 2006 by Patrick S

Back by popular demand, Microsoft Certification Exam 70-500 will be made available in Beta form again starting October 16th and running through November 3rd! This is a Technology Specialist exam for IT Professionals in the mobility space.  If you were unable to participate in the last beta because registration was full, make sure that you don’t miss this opportunity!

The Preparation Guide is available for the Exam at:

To register visit one of our independent testing providers:
* Thomson Prometric:
* Pearson VUE:

Please use the following promotional code when registering:  BTA500
Source Backstage at MED

Posted in Beta News, Learning, Products, Testing | Comments Off on Microsoft Certification Exam 70-500 Beta Announcement

Microsoft Launches Forefront Security for SharePoint Beta

September 29th, 2006 by Patrick S

As mentioned in the Redmond Wash-Microsoft Corp. today is launching the public beta of Forefront Security for SharePoint ( This latestrelease of Microsoft Forefront security products for businesses is based on Antigen for SharePoint Server, the multi-engine security solution acquired by Microsoft as part of the acquisition of Sybari Software Inc. in 2005.

Forefront Security for SharePoint is optimized to provide advanced protection for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. Microsoft SharePoint products and technologies facilitate easy collaboration across an organization, connecting people, processes and systems within and beyond organizational boundaries. Forefront Security for SharePoint uses the combined power of multiple antivirus engines from leading security providers to protect against viruses, unwanted files and inappropriate content.

Microsoft Forefront Security for SharePoint delivers the following: 

  • Protection against the latest threats.  Forefront Security for SharePoint simultaneously utilizes up to five antivirus engines from leading security vendors to provide customers with increased protection against malware threats, inappropriate content and dangerous files types. This latest release includes the new Microsoft Antivirus engine.
  • Integration to help optimize server performance.: Integration with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, as well as scanning innovations and performance controls, help ensure optimal collaboration server performance.
  • Simplified management control.: Forefront Security for SharePoint provides centralized management control to help ensure organizations can simply and cost-effectively deploy, manage and maintain the security of their collaboration servers.

The launch of Forefront Security for SharePoint will coincide with the general availability of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, which are scheduled to be available to businesses by the end of 2006 and generally available in early 2007. It will be available through Microsoft’s global channel of Security Solutions Competency partners. Companies can download the beta release at

Posted in Beta News, MS News, Products, Windows Server System | Comments Off on Microsoft Launches Forefront Security for SharePoint Beta

Windows Vista Build 5728: 64-bit Version Available; Build Availability Window Closing Soon

September 26th, 2006 by Patrick S

Here is a quick update regarding the release of interim build 5728:

  1. The 64-bit version of build 5728 is now availabile in both German and English. 
  2. The window is rapidly closing for download of the English build, as Microsoft near their targeted download quantity.  If you’ve not yet downloaded the build, I would suggest doing so today.

Posted in Beta News, Windows Vista | 4 Comments »

The Microsoft Usability team needs testers in Seattle!

September 26th, 2006 by André Nogueira

According to Microsoft’s usability homepage, they’re looking for testers in the Seattle area:

Let us know if you live in the Seattle Washington (USA) area and match one of the profiles below. We may have a study for you!

• Mac User
• MP3 Player Owner
• C++ Developer
• Xbox 360 Game Player
• Project Manager
• Software Tester

If you match one of our Hot Profiles above, E-mail us with the study that interests you in the subject line. We’ll reply to your mail about participation in one of our studies!

Even if you’re not in the Seattle area, you can still register with the Usability team – in their site they say that some studies are conducted online!You can find more info at the Microsoft Usability website

Posted in Beta News, Microsoft, MS News | Comments Off on The Microsoft Usability team needs testers in Seattle!

Where in the World Are Vista Beta Testers?

September 24th, 2006 by Patrick S

Windows Test Manager Paul Donnelly just sent out an email to connect beta testers with a few interesting stats about Microsoft Windows Beta Testers.
The email as follows:

I’m sure you’ve noticed people here in the newsgroups from all over the globe.  When we put this program together one of our goals is diversity that closely mirrors that of our customers as much as possible.  We’ve hit all our targets and have a truly global program.  I realize only a fraction of people are active in the newsgroups and you never get to interact with and learn about most testers. The below will help you get an idea of where we get feedback from and where Windows Vista is being tested.  The below represents just the Technical Beta Program and is current as of 2 weeks ago.

Interesting facts:

  • We have approximately 30,000 Vista Beta testers in this program now.
  • There are Windows Vista beta testers in 125 countries.
  • We have testers in all 50 U.S. States, Puerto Rico, Guam and several other U.S. locations.
  • Exactly 50% of our testers are somewhere other than the U.S.
  • The northernmost person appears to be in Fairbanks, Alaska at 64.85 degrees N. latitude though it’s a close call with a person in Iceland.
  • The southernmost person appears to be in the Kerguelen Islands at 49.56 degrees S latitude.
  • We have 1 person on the island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands.
  • We also have a person in the Tuamoto archipelago which is almost exactly half-way between South America and Australia.
  • If we had someone in the Yukon and someone in Labrador/Newfoundland we would have all Canadian provinces and territories represented.
  • In the U.S. we have testers in over 6,000 zip codes, or well over 10% of all zip codes in the U.S.
  • There is a roughly 15% failure rate for pushpin creation due to the complexities of matching addresses globally.

The figures speak for themselves…its darn amazing how big this project this is…. With this many people onboard Vista is bound to be great 😀

Showen here…All vista testers around the world (I can see my pin 😉 )

If you want to see more maps-By country check out the post here at the vista team blog. 

 -Patrick S

Posted in Beta News, Windows Vista | Comments Off on Where in the World Are Vista Beta Testers?

ActiveSync 4.5 Beta 2 released

September 24th, 2006 by Patrick S

A couple of days ago we released the updated Beta of Activesync 4.5.

You can download it from HERE

Changes in ActiveSync 4.5 Beta 2 help resolve issues related to setup, partnerships, and connectivity with the PC and Microsoft Exchange. In addition, it includes a troubleshooter utility that scans your computer and device to identify problems and offers information and corrective actions to solve them.
Fixes include:
• Faster file transfer speed and photo sync via Outlook are only available for Windows Mobile 5.0 powered devices.
• Remote PC Sync (via WiFi or LAN) has been removed due to Enterprise customer feedback around security issues.
• Customers using Microsoft Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2 with devices running the Messaging and Security Feature Pack for Windows Mobile 5.0 will benefit from the following feature enhancements included in ActiveSync 4.5: Direct Push Technology, local device wipe, and certificate powered authentication to Microsoft Exchange.
• Microsoft® Outlook® 2000 is not supported by ActiveSync 4.5 Beta 2. It is highly recommended that users upgrade to Microsoft® Outlook® 2003 messaging and collaboration client.
• Conversion of database files for use on a mobile device is not supported by ActiveSync 4.5 Beta 2. On previous versions, this feature was limited to devices running Windows Mobile software for Pocket PC 2003 and earlier.
• Conversion of font files for use on a mobile device is not supported by ActiveSync 4.5 Beta 2. On previous versions, this feature was limited to devices running Windows Mobile software for Pocket PC 2003 and earlier.

Posted in Beta News, Gadgets, MS News, Products | 3 Comments »

Microsoft Beta Client to be replaced

September 20th, 2006 by Patrick S

Looks like that trusty little tool (MBC)-the workhorse of the humble beta tester is to be replaced by something bigger and better!

Today the Windows Beta Team was pleased to announce our plans to develop a new bug reporting client, code named “Holmes”. In the future, “Holmes” will replace the current bug reporting client Microsoft Beta Client (MBC).

Microsoft have started to gather requirements for the new client from beta participants this summer. They hope that testers can help them prioritize these requirements so that they can focus our resources on areas that are most important to us the beta tester.

So… If you are a vista tester get that survey answered ASAP to get “Holmes” going-cant wait.

Holmes and [Dr] Watson what an awesome team!! 😉

Posted in Beta News, Windows Vista | 1 Comment »

Longhorn 2006 CTP Now Available!

September 13th, 2006 by Patrick S

Hot on the heels of Windows Vista RC1, we have now released the August 2006 Community Technology Preview (CTP)of Windows Server “Longhorn”. It’s available for MSDN and TechNet subscribers to download.Marked as Build 5600, the August 2006 CTP is an update to Windows Server “Longhorn” Beta 2. You won’t find many additional features over Beta 2, but there are big gains in performance and reliability as we’ve been able to bake in all the core OS improvements that were happening simultaneously in Windows Vista [as well as fix a bunch of our own bugs ;-)].

Source Windows Server Division WebLog

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

New Display Driver for Windows Vista RC1

September 7th, 2006 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

Windows Vista RC1 has been released to Beta Testers for almost a week, and it is also becoming public download since today(as Patrick S blogged, click here for detail). ATI and Nvidia has also released their most update display driver for Windows Vista RC1. You may download them and install into your Windows Vista RC1.

    ATI Product series supported: 

  • Radeon®
    9500, 9550, 9600, 9650, 9700, 9800, X300, X600, X700, X800, X850, X1300, X1600, X1800, X1900 series
  • Mobilityâ„¢ Radeon®
    9550, 9600, 9700, 9800, X300, X600, X700, X800, X1300, X1400, X1600, X1800 series
  • CrossFireâ„¢ Xpress 3200 series
  • Radeon® Xpress 200, 200M series
  • Download here

Posted in Beta News, Introductions, Products, Windows Vista | 2 Comments »

Windows Vista RC1 available to public!-Then Bug-IT

September 7th, 2006 by Patrick S

I am sorry we are a bit late but I for one have been relatively busy lately, but don’t let that make it any less of a momentous occasion because Windows Vista RC1 is available to public download!

Yep, today’s the day you can go download vista and have your very own influence in the next upcoming Operating system from Microsoft.
You can find the download Here at 
Make Patrick E (MSBLOG’s very own Test Engineer on the Vista team) work his butt off 😉

CRC values of the .ISO files:
    MD5 hash: 22486e815a38feffd9667317dfeec55a
    SHA1 hash:  e00b4ebbc81fb420cf047973b95a9cfb7cdf51b7
    MD5 hash: f3a385aae6e4dea9226e31d9f1148b56
    SHA1 hash:  8e4de7a72c828a3543ff1663243eb0836da07eea

Posted in Beta News, MS News, Windows Vista | 8 Comments »

MS Expression Web goes beta

September 6th, 2006 by Patrick S

Microsoft this week released a beta version of its Web design tool, Microsoft Expression Web, formerly known as Expression Web Designer.

The company decided to shorten the name in an effort to simplify branding. The beta, which is the second preview release of Expression Web, is available as a free download on the Expression Web site. However, the beta still identifies the product as Expression Web Designer.

Expression Web features CSS-based (Cascading Style Sheets) layout, standards compliance and ASP.Net 2.0 server technology.

The beta release of Expression Web removes some features that relied on FrontPage Server Extensions. This signifies a big step further to making Expression Web a complete professional Web design tool, the company said.

Other members of the Microsoft Expression family include Expression Graphic Designer and Expression Interactive Designer. All the Expression products are in a pre-release stage. Microsoft has not yet set dates for general availability of the final products.

Info soured from InfoWorld

Posted in Beta News, MS News, Products | Comments Off on MS Expression Web goes beta

Most update build number for Windows Vista

September 5th, 2006 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

Build 5536.16385 (released 24/08/2006)
This is Pre-RC1, Unlike Beta 2, only the x86 (32bit) version of 5536 is made available.
However, the 32bit version will run fine on 64bit CPU’s. This pre-RC1 build is available for a
limited time – Microsoft will close the program when they reach 100,000 downloads. 

Build 5600.16384 (released on 01/09/2006)
Now it is only available to Beta Testers.
Next week, a broader set of technical customers will get them via MSDN and TechNet.

There are a lot of improvements since Beta 2. MSFT has made some UI Adjustments,
added more device drivers, and enhanced performance. If you are an ISV, RC1 is the
build you should use for certifying your application.

You should use your same key(s) from previous releases.  To generate a new key,
please request from key package “5342 and Up – Ultimate” and “Beta 2 Home
Basic/Home Premium/Business (v.5384)”.

Minimum Hardware Requirement for this 2 builds
Processor: 800 MHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor2
System Memory: 512 MB
GPU: SVGA (800×600)
HDD: 20 GB
HDD Free Space: 15 GB

Posted in Beta News, Reviews, Windows Vista | 8 Comments »

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!

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…

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