Sunday, April 13, 2008

Microsoft Confirms Windows 7 for 2010

windows-seven-thumb1 Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 7 is right on track for release in 2010. Concomitantly with the leaked details associated with Windows 7 Milestone 1 dropped by the Redmond company to select partners in January 2008, a potential timetable for the availability of the successor of Windows Vista was also made public. According to the leaked information on the next iteration of the Windows platform, having just reached M1, the final version of Windows 7 was to be wrapped up the end of 2009.
Officially, the Redmond company has only been saying that Windows 7 development would take an estimated three-year timeframe. However, Microsoft always failed to specify the moment when the three-year timeframe started. The debut of Windows 7 development was indeed connected with the release of Windows Vista, but this aspect only contributed to the confusion because the latest Windows client was launched to businesses in November 2006 and to the general public in January 2007. So in this context, the finalization of Windows 7 could just as easily be aimed for the end of 2009, as well as 2010.
Well, this is no longer the case. Microsoft explained that it would deliver Windows 7 three years after the consumers launch of Vista. "We are currently in the planning stages for Windows 7 and development is scoped to three years from Windows Vista Consumer GA. The specific release date will be determined once the company meets its quality bar for release," a Microsoft spokesperson revealed to Softpedia via email.
Windows Vista Consumer GA means nothing more than the general availability of the operating system. In this regard, Microsoft has merely reconfirmed what it has in fact said since mid 2007, that Windows 7 is planned for 2010. Recently, the Redmond company has delivered a build of Windows 7 for review to the U.S. antitrust regulators. This was made public via the "Joint status report on Microsoft's compliance with the final judgments."
I contacted Microsoft and asked whether the new version of Windows 7 was still M1 or if the company has reached Milestone 2 (M2). The leaked timetable for Windows 7 had M1 set to expire in March, and M2 to be delivered in March/April. Outside of the confirmation quoted above, Microsoft did not comment on Windows 7 M1, M2 or the potential antitrust issues that would be generated by the connecting of Windows 7 with Windows Live Wave 3.
News Source: Softpedia

Friday, April 11, 2008

Microsoft To Release XP SP3 Next Week

Now that Windows Vista service pack 1 has been released, all eyes have shifted to Microsoft's plans for Windows XP service pack 3, the final package of updates for the trusty OS. And, according to at least one source, Microsoft will roll out XP SP3 next Monday. As of Wednesday afternoon Pacific time, the BitTorrent search engine Mininova listed a 568.73 MB Windows XP Professional SP3 5503 file available for download. The file, which had 112 seeds and 417 leeches, had been downloaded 2083 times since it was posted Tuesday, according to the listing.
According to the file description notes, Microsoft will release the final version of XP SP3 on March 24, but the 5503 test build passes all Windows Genuine Advantage checks and is able to download Windows updates that previous XP SP3 builds weren't able to, which suggests that it could, in fact, be the final RTM build. When Microsoft released Vista SP1 in February, the final RTM code was identical to the Vista SP1 Release Candidate (RC) 1 Refresh 2 test build that was released to a group of 15,000 testers two weeks earlier.
A Microsoft spokesperson, perhaps weary from the months-long barrage of Vista SP1 related inquiries, said the final version of XP SP3 is still on target to be released the first half of calendar year 2008, and the XP SP3 5503 build was a minor interim build released to address one specific issue for a subset of private beta testers. 

News source: CRN

Monday, April 7, 2008

IE8 Beta 1 For Developers Now Available in Chinese (Simplified) and German

The IE team is pleased to announce the availability of Chinese (Simplified) and German versions of Windows Internet Explorer Beta 1 for Developers. The two languages released today are fully localized versions of the IE8 English Beta 1, released March 5, 2008. They carry with them the same improved CSS 2.1 support, better scripting performance, and other features and improvements that the English beta 1 developer release contains.

Download links:

Supported Platforms:

This release is supported on the same platforms as the previous IE8 Beta 1 English release. Here are the supported operating systems:

  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Vista SP1 (final version only - Currently available to MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers and Volume License customers)
  • Windows XP SP2
  • Windows XP SP3 (RC2 candidate - Build 3311 or higher)
  • Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2
  • Windows Server 2008 (final version only)

For install guidelines, please see the "How to Install the German or The Chinese (Simplified) Builds of Internet Explorer" section of the Windows Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 release notes here.

Please note that each international version may only be installed on its native language operating system or on English versions of the operating system with the native language’s Multi-language User Interface (MUI) installed. You can learn more about Multi-language User Interfaces (MUI) here.

We value your expertise and look forward to hearing your feedback on this Developer Beta release! Online support is available through the IE Beta Newsgroup and you can sign up through MS Connect to vote on IE8 Beta bugs. You can report a webpage problem and also request to be added to the IE Technical Beta Program by following instructions found at the bottom of the IE8 Beta Feedback blog post.

Source- IEBlog

Friday, April 4, 2008

Microsoft Language Portal is Live!

The Microsoft Language Portal is live in 11 languages! The site contains information, resources and tools that will hopefully be of use for you.  Here are some of the top features:

  • A search tool that allows you to search for English terms and shipped software strings in more than 90 languages
  • More than 30 style guides are available on the site for you to download for free
  • A feedback tool for you to use to give us your feedback on any term used in any of our products and technologies
  • Information on our terminology processes
  • Information on upcoming events and interesting terms

You may access the site in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian) or Russian.

Microsoft Language Portal is designed to enable individuals and communities around the world to interact with each other and with Microsoft’s language specialists on matters related to computer terminology. As a products and solutions provider, Microsoft is constantly striving for excellence and the highest level of customer satisfaction. Your feedback is crucial for us to ensure that the terminology we use in our products worldwide meets and exceeds your expectations.

Windows Live OneCare 2.5 enters public beta

OneCare, the anti-virus/tune-up/back-up all in one program, has just opened up a public beta of version 2.5 (current released version is 2.0.2500.22, on my machine, anyway).  Anyone can go to Microsoft Connect and sign up and try the new beta, you don't need to be signed in to get to the page:

Sign up for Windows Live OneCare 2.5 beta

Looks like there's quite a list of countries available, no US only this time.  Not sure what the changes are from the released version, and there's no information about changes on the public Connect site.


Source- Liveside

Thursday, April 3, 2008

8 Microsoft Security Bulletins next week

On April 8th... Microsoft  is planning to release 8 Security Bulletins.

Products affected:

  • Microsoft Project 2000 SR1, 2002 SR1 & 2003 SR2
  • Windows 2000 SP4
  • Windows XP SP2
  • Windows 2003 Server SP1, SP2
  • Windows Vista SP0, SP1
  • Windows Server 2008
  • VBScript 5.1, 5.6
  • JScript 5.1, 5.6
  • Internet Explorer v5.01 SP4, v6 SP1 & SP2, v7
  • Microsoft Vision 2002 SP3, 2003 SP2 & SP3, 2007 SP0, SP1

They also plan to release some non-security updates (see  and for the list of items to be released)

The Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool will be updated next week.

See also Microsoft's Security Response Center's blog on the above at

Windows XP SP3 Release Timeframe

Microsoft may have inadvertantly let the cat out of the bag when it posted the General Availability (GA) date for Windows XP Service Pack 3.
In general, that posting really means nothing, because the service pack has not officially been released, in fact, its just simply stating that the RTM date is 3-31-2008. Microsoft is holding off on delivering the update to customers until at least mid-April, according to company officials and sources close to the company.
Windows XP Service Pack 3 will contain hotfixes and updates released since Windows XP SP2. It will also include an expanded set of product keys for Windows XP Professional that were originally introduced in Windows XP SP2c.
However, there are a few new features included in Windows XP SP3 and those are as follows:
Network Access Protection compatibility. Announced years ago, this feature allows Windows XP machines to interact with the NAP feature in Windows Server 2008. This functionality is built into the RTM version of Windows Vista as well.
Product Key-less install option. As with Windows Vista, new XP with SP3 installs can proceed without entering a product key during Setup.
Kernel Mode Cryptographics Module. A new kernel module that "encapsulates several different cryptographic algorithms," according to Microsoft.
"Black hole" router detection algorithm. XP gains the ability to ignore network routers that incorrectly drop certain kinds of network packets. This, too, is a feature of Windows Vista.
And that's about it. Nothing dramatic, as promised.
Microsoft has said that there will not be any integrated SP3 release for Windows XP Media Center Edition or Windows XP Tablet Edition. That means you won't be able to buy or obtain a complete Windows XP Media Center Edition / Tablet Edition SP3 CD. In addition, users of Windows XP Media Center Edition or Windows XP Tablet Edition will only be able to update to Service Pack 3 through Windows Update.
All languages will now be released in two waves. Earlier, Microsoft said that languages support for Windows XP Service Pack 3 will be released in three waves. What was previously identified as wave 2 and 3 have now been combined into a single wave 2.
Overall, despite what the others have said about the XP SP3 release date, don't expect to see it for about another 2 weeks (somewhere on or around April 15-18). In addition, for those of you out there using any other language than Chinese (Simplified), English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish you will be waiting an additional 21 days after the general availability of Windows XP SP3 to get your hands on it.