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50 free essential software to consider using

December 17th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Here is compiled a full list of software which must be downloaded. Yep, every one of them. All of these are brilliant in every way, shape and form and are just plain brilliance. OK you don’t have to download them, but all of these are free except where stated, and are just great. Download ahoy!

 = Download the software
 = Show information regarding the software

  1. Windows Live Messenger
Talk to your online friends, view your Live Space and join the biggest instant messenger network in the UK! Formerly MSN Messenger, you can video chat, transfer files and even talk using your mobile device.

  2. Adobe Reader (formerly Acrobat Reader)
“The reader of e-books” – allowing you to view the popular PDF format. Use it to view small tiny files which can contain rich content and images.

  3. Audacity
One of the best sound and audio editors on the market, and it’s 100% free. It’s open source so you can play with the program to your hearts content. Hosts many features and simple to use.

  4. Daemon Tools
Emulate ISO and other type of images as if it’s another disc drive in your computer. It’s fast, reliable and works brilliantly restoring files from images you’ve created previously, and ideal for installing Vista!

  5. Microsoft Virtual PC 2004
Virtually run an entire operating system from a small, compact and simple to use stable and reliable environment which has no impact on your actual system other than using memory and CPU. Brilliant!

  6. Microsoft Visual Express 2005 Editions
Free software for developing web pages, C++ applications, J# and the ever so popular C# programming language. Write visually rich applications and the code behind it aint so difficult to get either!

  7. Mozilla Firefox 2
This web browser being open source is free, simple to use and secure. You can search from any web page, and reads pages directly from the code behind it.

  8. Visual Task Tips
An XP program designed for emulating the “Live Thumbnails” feature in Vista. Any program in the taskbar will show up in it’s own preview window above the taskbar item to show you what it’s doing.

  9. Winamp
A small, compact and very handy media player. It just sits in the corner of your screen playing music, playing video and even streamed music over the web.

  10.Windows Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP Service Pack 2
The next Internet browser following on from the world’s most used browser. Simple, secure, has some brilliant safety features and works on all Windows machines.

  11. Windows Live Maps (and Virtual Earth 3D Beta)
Online maps are fair enough, but this is the Google Earth equivilent and runs directly from your web browser. You can see the contours of the landscape, advertisements on billboards and 3D-buildings.

  12. The Linux operating system
The free operating system – boasts some brilliant things such as plug-ins and styles.

  13. OpenOffice
If you’re a student or strapped for cash, use the OpenOffice suite – totally free and works with all the Microsoft Office filetypes. Brillant for opening and editing Word documents and it’s simple to use.

  14. Apache Web Server
The world’s most popular web server application. Host your own websites from your computer at home – drag and drop in your web pages and it’ll organise them and traffic easily.

  15. PHP Runtime
Superb backend server side programming language which lets web developers do some amazing things with their code. Highly dynamic and it’s all server side so it’ll work in any browser on any computer.

  16. Free Download Manager
Sick of your downloads failing or stopping for no reason? This free solution lets you start, pause, stop and manage your downloads and even preview them before their even done. Hense the name, 100% free.

  17. Sygate Personal Firewall 5.8
Although taken over by Symantec, this is one of the best free firewalls on the market. Simple to use, and protects your computer from incoming and outgoing traffic which could be malware etc.

  18. Windows Defender
Microsoft’s free anti-spyware tool. It runs in the background and constantly protects your machine from all kinds of nasty malware. It’s very easy to use and even for the most basic user it’s simple to manage.

  19. ClamWin Anti-Virus
The world’s free portable anti-virus. It doesn’t embed itself into your system, and doesn’t realtime scan so it doesn’t use loads of memory. However you can scan your system whenever you feel like it!

  20. LimeWire 4.13 (Beta)
Browse the world of peer-to-peer networking, download files from other machines and even download torrents using this software. Remember, play safe and don’t donwload something which has a copyright!

  21. WinRAR (free trial)
A brilliant software tool which lets you compress and decompress all kinds of files. It uses a popular RAR extension which is used worldwide and decompresses all kinds of file types – ISO, ZIP, TAR and GZIP.

  22. FLV Player (free trial)
A web Flash player which lets you convert any media file into a web standard. Instead of hosting hefty files online, simply embed this into your page and it’s small, efficient and easy for users to use.

  23. Windows Media Player 11
One of the world’s most used media players which comes as an Automatic Update in Windows XP and as a download. Enables you to download from an online store, organise your music, videos and pictures.

  24. Primo PDF
Forget saving everything as a Word or PowerPoint document, not everyone uses the Microsoft Office System. Using this software you can turn any Office file into a PDF so it’s small in size and portable.

  25. Password Safe
Loads of passwords? I know, so put them all into the Password Safe for memory’s sake and use one strong password to open it up again. Keeps all your passwords safe but helps you keep track of them all.

  26. Microsoft Office 2003 File Viewers
If you only want to view certain Microsoft Office 2003 documents, you can just view them with these programs instead of downloading or buying the full version of Office. Download the Word, Visio, PowerPoint, Excel viewers.

  27. Paint.NET
An excellence in image editing. Initially a project from Microsoft interns, this software has become huge. You can do almost anything with almost any image type and it’s amazingly simple to use.

  28. DynDNS Updater
Want to host a website but only get an IP address? Then DynDNS enables you to transfer your websites homepage IP address into an actual website – eg. =!

  29. Messenger Plus! Live
The world’s biggest Windows Live Messenger plugin. Forget standard instant messaging, with this you can send each other sounds, you can enhance your IM experience and set custom status messages.

  30. VLC Media Player
This media player will play absolutely anything and everything. It’s light, it’s portable and it works on almost any computer (from the download source anyway).

  31. Windows Vista Product Guide
Want to know more about Windows Vista before it comes out? Download the product guide – it is packed with information, screenshots, images and lets anyone understand the power of Vista.

  32. Microsoft USB Flash Drive Manager (Standard)
Got loads of USB devices? Then this software is for you – you can backup and restore entire drives and even rename them so when you plug them in, it’ll give you a handy description of it so you know which is which!

  33. Windows Live OneCare Family Safety
Protect your family and the kids in the house from those bad websites – this free software enables parents (administrators) to block categories of websites and individual websites out for the kids (clients) so that kids are protected from the online nasties.

  34. Windows Live Mail desktop/center
The replacement for Outlook Express – manage your Windows Live Mail accounts, your POP3 accounts, work email accounts and even your schedule with this free software. Say goodbye to Outlook for good!

  35. Windows Desktop Search
With this, you can search any aspect of your computer from documents, emails, pictures, and other types of media with the push of a button.

  36. HealthMonitor
A brilliant free and powerful system performance monitor which monitors CPU usage, memory usage, disk space and the Event Viewer and can inform users via email, popups or even through text message.

  37. Cheetah DVD Burner
The ultimate in burning software – it lets you burn pretty much any kind of media to disk and even sets options for bootable disks, setup disks, and disks which work in DVD players.

  38. Microsoft Research Group Shot
Free image manipulating software which overlays two similar pictures to expand the final image to a bigger and more beautiful image. Take two photographs and overlay them together for a brilliant finish.

  39. HijackThis
Lets you see right into your computer – what’s running and what shouldn’t be running. Kill processes, check your startup items, and browser hijackers. Very simple and powerful software for any user.

  40. Orb 2.0
Free remote access software which lets you stream music, images and video directly from your home computer to any other computer in the world and even over a mobile device.

  41. Skype
VoIP (Voice over IP) software which lets you make free phone calls to potentially anyone in the world. Excellent voice quality, video support and even instant messaging support. Works on desktop computers, mobile phones and mobile devices.

  42. Google Earth
Lets you search for any landmark or location and find it on a 3D map. You can browse through the 7 Wonders of the World and even find landmarks through the online submission forums.

  43. NetStumbler
Wireless software which lets you pick up information about any detected wireless network, and also helps protect the user against rogue access points. Any wireless user should have this software.

  44. Microsoft Sysinternals Suite
A collection of small unique programs and utilities which can help any system administrator or even the advanced user troubleshoot and help secure their systems.

  45. MediaPortal
This software turns your computer into a media center. It’s open source, works with most TV sets and allows you to share, store and record DVD’s and other file formats.

  46. WordPress
Free web-based database software for blogging with! Runs on any web server and is easy to use and install, and even has free plugins and themes for the user to change the style of their blog.

  47. Resource Hacker
A small utility to extract, view, modify, rename, add, delete and extract resources in Windows executables and resource files such as DLL files and other files with media attached.

  48. Azureus
A free, simple Java based torrent downloader which manages your torrents in any number of ways. Limit download speeds, upload speeds, handy icons to see what your torrent is doing – simply ingenious!

  49. IrfanView
One of the most popular image viewers in the world. Convert images to other file types, it’s small, compact, and opens files within micro-seconds.

  50. Zone Alarm
A free, simple to use personal firewall and lets users customise their computers inbound and outbound traffic so that they are significantly safer from online threats.

Posted in Daily Life, Windows Live, Windows Vista, Windows XP | 14 Comments »

Windows Live OneCare Family Safety software beta refresh now active

December 12th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

It’s been released! Very excited about this release – hope you all enjoy it! Toast notifications will go out in an hour or so, and you can download directly from the site.

Download the software or visit the site – new users will really love the new sign-up experience 🙂

Posted in Online Safety, Windows Live | 2 Comments »

Windows Live OneCare Family Safety hits Beta 2

December 10th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Finally – a new release of Windows Live OneCare Family Safety (FSS for short). Although the new features cannot be said as yet, all the bugs which were previously submitted have been stamped out and Microsoft are ready to send out Beta 2 of the software.

FSS is client and web based software – which depends on a parent’s Windows Live ID to set options, levels of security, what the child can go on and what they can’t, and it depends on the child’s or children’s Windows Live ID to logon to use the Internet and therefore the parent’s settings are enforced.

This allows children to safely view the web and have restricted to them most of the bad content out there. Windows Live OneCare Family Safety is designed for Windows XP SP2 machines only – it will not be released initially to Windows Vista users as they already have Parental Controls in the Control Panel to play with.

Here’s what Microsoft had to say:

We’re very excited to announce that December 11th will be the Windows Live OneCare Family Safety Beta Refresh! Over the next few days, you may see a preview of the refreshed Family Safety website as we update our servers and transition them over to the new content and functionality. The website update will be final by Monday. The client software is also being updated in parallel and we expect the client download to be ready by Monday also, but you may not see the “toast” notification to update your client until Tuesday the 12th.

The Beta 2 software will be available shortly – on Monday or Tuesday.

Windows Live OneCare:
OneCare Family Safety:
FSS Team Blog:

Posted in Online Safety, Windows Live | 4 Comments »

Windows XP still seems to have advantages over Windows Vista

November 19th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

This has got me puzzled, flummoxed, baffled, confused, mystified and perplexed… if you would. See if you can try and explain this one because I certainly can’t.

 Windows Vista RTM
 I open up Messenger, click to go to my inbox and once it loads up I see “Office Live Mail”
 and Office Live related advertisements splattered everywhere. Using a email
 address, in this instance is  and I’m using Windows Vista RTM.


 Windows XP Media Center Edition
 I sign into Messenger again and once again I go into my inbox. This time it appears that
 Windows Live Mail (as it’s currently branded) has released to web as there aren’t any
 beta tags, and it’s given me premium services such as no advertisements. I’m using the
 same  account except I’m using a different machine.

What?! I don’t get it – the same account, logging in from two different computers and two different operating systems but from the same network. Anyone got any ideas? Is Windows Live Mail readying for release? (it’s not by the way, but before Christmas definately) Shall I complain that my advertisements have disappeared? (I won’t by the way!)

It’s all very confusing – check your Windows Live Mail accounts – please comment on what you see and if anything’s changed, and if you’ve seen this sort of thing happening before. Thanks 🙂

Posted in Bugs, Windows Live | 4 Comments »

Microsoft shows hatred for Google using Windows Live OneCare to hit out at Gmail

November 14th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Well… probably anyway. Not all “virus” are actually viruses you know; a lot of anti-virus suites pick up certain bits of code which could cause damage and they take the necessary precautions such as deleting the file or quarantining it. Sometimes JavaScript code can be seen as damaging which is unfortunate as all it wants to do is make something better for the user and I believe that’s what has happened in the case of Gmail.

I don’t use Gmail – I’m a Windows Live Mail user (but of course…) and only use Gmail for competitor reviewing and suchlike for my work. I logged in today and to my surprise Windows Live OneCare jumps in and tells me it’s detected a virus… actually on the main Gmail page after I entered my credentials.



To me, this tells me that Windows Live OneCare is incredibly good at picking up even the smallest threats (even when one might not be a threat at all), and that Gmail has unstable or insecure code. On the other hand, this tells me that Windows Live OneCare is too damn picky about what is a threat and what isn’t… and that Gmail has unstable or insecure code 😉

Posted in Security, Windows Live | 2 Comments »

Hold on a cotton picking minute… Microsoft Max is dead? Pffft

November 3rd, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Yet another old Longhorn-based project bit the dust today when Microsoft Max’s website was suddenly shut down and replaced with the following message:

“Thank you for participating in the beta of Microsoft Codename Max. Over the next week, we will be shutting down the Max services and our team forums. Over the past year, you’ve sent us tons of fantastic feedback that we’ve incorporated not only into Max, but into the platform layer with the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0.

If you’re interested in seeing where we go with these ideas, keep your eye on Windows Live. We look forward to delighting you in the future!”

That announcement will surprise many, since the team had released a new update to their project last month and Max seemed to be coming together quite nicely…

I want to say at this point, I find a highly respectable website of which forums are brimming with fun and knowledge and n00bs asking silly questions; I think they’re great. However I do believe this story which was originally posted on Neowin is wrong.

Windows Live will be one of the main supplier to the Windows Ultimate Extras. Other additions will be added, such as the “Aurora Desktop” will be added at a later date. Microsoft Max (speaking carefully because I’m not saying this is gonna happen) will be transformed somewhat into a Windows Live service, which will then be added as a Windows Ultimate Extra for download.

Still love you guys at JCXP – I usually have a morning blog-roll where I check out the broadest but best sites for technology news – LiveSide is one of them, so is Bink, and the latest addition is Long Zheng at Lovely 🙂

Posted in Windows Live, Windows Vista | 8 Comments »

Taadaa! Get Windows Live becomes a little easier to navigate

October 22nd, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Finally – I think I speak for the majority of people who actually wanted to get Windows Live (even though I’m partly internal, but for the customer perspective) as now Get Live ( is a lot more easier and accessible.

Redesigned interface, easier navigation, and all the basic standard Live goodness all in one place. Say goodbye to the times where if you missed the /overview part off a URL then you’d get redirected back to Live Ideas, now it’s all swish and beautiful. But lest there is more – it’s not quite finished yet as it’s still being uploaded and tweaked around, but so far so good.

You can still access all the old URL’s and they still look the same for the time being (, Live Search, Messenger and Spaces)

Check it out now – or click the images below for a couple of screenshots.


Posted in Windows Live | 4 Comments »

WLM 8.1 Testers…Where are my tabs?

October 16th, 2006 by Patrick S

I signed into Windows Live Messenger 8.1 tonight and it seams that my beloved tabs have vanished from the face of my Messenger Client! A look at the version number shows the same as it was yesterday-so what’s the deal?
My shiny alerts bell has disappeared, however it has been replaced to the top of my contact list once I receive a new alert. Now i can dismiss alerts as you would reminders on a Pocket PC to remove them from the list. A quick glance at the Tabs menu in the options also is empty so at the moment there doesn’t seem to be a way to bring them back.

Why has Microsoft done this… Alerts are paid advertising for other companies… I want my Tabs back (especially the Shiny Bell) 🙁


My tabs have vanished...Whats happend to them...This is what they have been replaced with.

Update: John from the WLM team has stated that the missing tabs and buttons is a known issue at this time and was not a planned occurance due to server work.  There is no ETA for a resolution to the issue but it is being worked on.(Just like Zack said 🙂 )

Update 2 Tabs are back on tonight 🙂

Posted in Windows Live, Windows Live Messenger | 7 Comments »

Microsoft forced to revoke Patchou’s MVP award

October 10th, 2006 by Patrick S

One week after it named the creator of a Windows Messenger add-on to its list of Most Valued Professionals (MVPs), Microsoft has revoked the award.  The news spurred criticism from fellow MVPs and the Windows Live Community due to Patchou’s Messenger Plus product being bundled with an optional adware.

Patchou’s popularity grew after he created Messenger Plus, a free program that adds some useful functions to Microsoft’s instant-messaging software (Windows Live Messenger), like the ability to stack several chat windows together and access them via tabs.
He was nominated and then last week, Microsoft named Cyril Paciullo, the creator of Messenger Plus and Messenger Plus Live, to its list of MVPs. The award recognizes people with expertise in Microsoft products who make significant contributions to other users, often in the form of technical advice.

Once the award was handed to Patchou people were up in arms over the issue alciming that his software distributed LOP,  a major source of annoyance and anger for web-users. This however is not true… Patchou switched to a different vendor that installs a small harmless and above all OPTIONAL software package with ads targeted at people from particular countries. These complainers won and the rest is history…

Microsoft released this following statement:
Microsoft today issued the following statement: “Cyril Paciullo was awarded with MVP status this year on the basis of his technical expertise and strong community contribution. However, his active MVP Award status was revoked as soon as the extent of the connection between his application and spyware was made apparent to the MVP Program.“.

While one could easily understand the company’s reaction in this matter, the very fact that Patchou was awarded the MVP award in the first place proves that Microsoft has acknowledged his extraordinary product expertise and significant contribution to the MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger, now and in the past. Once again it’s been proven that all the criticism regarding the optional adware doesn’t devalue the quality of the addon in the eyes of its millions of users and those millions of users cant be wrong.

I can see where people are coming from complaining but in my honest opinion it dosen’t really matter.
Source derived from

Posted in Daily Life, MVP Program, Windows Live | 10 Comments »

Windows Live OneCare – desktop application, web safety and web scanner

October 9th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Here I am trying to explain what “OneCare” actually is. Google doesn’t have a definition for it, so I’m going to define it right here.

 OneCare™ – noun [whon-khare]: The service name for providing security and protection  facilities to Microsoft® Windows® operating systems.

The thing is, at the moment there are three different products under the “OneCare” title. These do different things and run in different ways and hopefully this quick guide will actually explain what each product does and you’ll realise that they’re all rather marvelous in each individual way.

Currently the 1.5 client version is in beta, but don’t let this fool you! Windows Live OneCare is a desktop application product of which provides you with real-time anti-virus protection, anti-spyware protection (with help from Windows Defender) as well as an advanced firewall to protect your incoming and outgoing Internet traffic. It also provides you with useful facilities such as in-built operating system protection (such as in Windows Vista, it’ll help implement and manage the advanced security features of the new platform), and tune-up services which allow you with one click to clean up unnecessary files, defrag the hard disk and scans for viruses as well.

Windows Live OneCare runs as a series of background system services, and stays in the bottom right of your screen in the notification area near your clock; it’ll either be shown as green for “good”, amber for “there’s something not quite right” and red for “oh my God something bad has happened”.

Download Windows Live OneCare (free trial, paid annual subscription)


Windows Live OneCare Family Safety Settings (the longest Windows Live service name, but sometimes just called “Family Safety”) is a web controlled, web controlling and system application. Confused? Don’t be! The parents can set up Windows Live ID’s to login with, and then their children can be added using their credentials, and then after that – the children’s Internet usage and the pages they visit can be customised by the parent in many different ways to stop them seeing what they shouldn’t see.

You can block out whole categories of websites ranging from bomb-making to pornography, to chat rooms and even web-based email services. You can block specific websites and all the subdirectories and pages from that domain – and although it’s mainly web based, only a small “client” application needs to be installed onto each computer you want your family to use. This enables you to easily turn off Family Safety for a set period of time or for good until you turn it back on using a parents password; you can also allow websites using a parents password. However the great thing about this – is that each time a child logs in then it picks up their settings and applies them immediately.

If the child doesn’t log in, they can’t use the Internet and they’ll just get an error page asking them to log in. So it’s either log in and use a limited and protected version of the Internet or don’t use it at all.

Signup for Windows Live OneCare Family Safety (beta)

The Safety Center (previously known as “Safety Scanner” has just come out of beta, and it’s a scaled down version of the Windows Live OneCare application to download, except this is free and very easy to use. Available from the website, it uses ActiveX controls to gain secure access to certain parts of your computer so that it can clean up unnecessary and temporary files, a virus scan of your selected drives, a defragment of your selected drives as well as a port scanner to ensure that your firewall is secure.

There is no strings attached – the only one is, is that once you download and install the ActiveX control which attaches itself to Internet Explorer, it means you don’t have to download and install on that computer again, enabling you to run the OneCare Safety Center immediately from the main page button.

Use the Windows Live OneCare Safety Center for free

Do hope that clears things up a little bit – if anyone wants to leave questions in form of a comment, I’d be happy to reply

Posted in Online Safety, Security, Windows Live | 5 Comments »

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 »

Google becomes Windows Live Search

October 7th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker


OK so the title may be slightly misleading, but this is strange:

1) Go to
2) Type in search then hit I’m Feeling Lucky
3) Have a guess at what comes up.

I find this rather strange because Google and Microsoft are like raaawwrrrr at each other because of sibling rivalry (unlike Apple which is most certainly the black sheep in the family, like the uncle we don’t talk about because he likes wearing women’s dresses and lederhosen for example). But then something like this comes about – I dredd to think what the PageRank is for Windows Live Search… if anyone wants to tell me what it is so I don’t have to bare the agony of installing Google Toolbar for my precious Internet Explorer 7, I’d appreciate it.

Posted in Bugs, Humour, Windows Live | 12 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

Windows Live Mail – the final user interface released to testers

October 5th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Well we’re nearly there – Live Mail is very nearly ready to be released (set for the end of October/start of November) and with that comes the brand new, (and other locales supported) and addresses for people to use. Still not sure on how messages and emails will be migrated, but that’ll come as soon as possible.

  • New flair effects in Windows Live Mail, as well as many other differnet themes
  • Firefox compatible and works perfectly fine in Windows Internet Explorer 7
  • Slick and new “Windows Live” theme and style
  • Faster interface, faster running and easier to switch from one folder to another
  • Many bug fixes and interface tweaks finalised
  • Search support tweaked and enhanced to search Mail as well as the web
  • Spam filter greatly improved
  • Yellow and red bars for suspicious and dangerous messages updated and tweaked.


Posted in Windows Live | 4 Comments »

Windows Live Media Center – Liveside reveals more information

October 2nd, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Remember – you saw it first here! – more details to come from our soures soon, but it’s been a busy couple of weeks for me so haven’t had time to type it all up yet. A beta should be available by the end of 2006, and final naming of the product is still not set yet, although we get the idea it might be Windows Live Media Center; not confirmed but a bloody good guess. It’ll be a long beta, spanning at least 6 months until it’s released – probably nearer the Vista SP1/Longhorn Server launch than the actual finished launch of Vista itself so late 2007 as a guess, but as Chris says, the project is on hold for various reasons (Vista related, not Live related, that’s what I know :))

Quote – Liveside

Codename Nemo is designed to be an add-on for Windows Vista (Home Premium and Vista Ultimate editions), that integrates Spaces, Messenger and Live Call into a UI designed for large monitors and TVs. Nemo essentially creates a Windows Live Media Center, and is optimized for use by Microsoft Media Center remote, as well as keyboard. Of particular note is the 3D Gallery view for browsing Windows Live Spaces, shown below, presumably built using the new Windows Presentation Foundation that will be included in Windows Vista.

By bringing Windows Live to the living room, Microsoft could expose users to its online services in a way that competitors such as Google or Yahoo have not yet exploited. With content plus advertisers equaling revenue, this can only be a good thing for MSN. Adding MSN Soapbox or MSN Originals integration into this Windows Live package could present Microsoft with a content delivery method that really starts to move the PC out of the office. Combine this with live concert streaming thanks to MSN’s recent partnership with Control Room, and suddenly the Media Center PC has much more to offer. Nemo would make upgrading to Vista a lot more attractive for the Windows Live fans too.

Although initial indicators that Nemo would be in beta by the end of 2006, the project now appears to be on hold, for reasons unknown. We have heard it was demoed at MGX 2006, an internal-only Microsoft conference for those working in global sales and evangelism, so we’re expecting (and hoping) to see it back on track soon.

(Concept design only – more information to come soon!)

Posted in Media Center/Media Player, Windows Live, Windows Vista | 1 Comment »

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