Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Firefox 3.0


Firefox 3.0 Improves Memory Management

If you use Firefox, you know that your browser has problems with memory leaks and will eat even 200 MB of RAM at times. I hoped that Firefox 2.0 (Bon Echo) will fix this issue, but unfortunately it's not the case, as this version focuses more on cosmetic issues. So I've decided to try the alpha version of Firefox 3 (Minefield), that is developed in parallel with Firefox 2.0. And the results are incredible: the browser has never consumed more than 70 MB of RAM even with 10 tabs opened.
This version of Firefox, due to be released next year, has more rendering problems than Firefox 2.0 and doesn't have too many new features (the most notable are Places - a unified interface for bookmarks, history, feeds, and a new data storage layer for bookmarks and history that uses SQL), but the memory management is clearly superior.
If you want to read more about the new features of Firefox 2.0 and how to make your extensions compatible, read this small review. Most of the things are still available for Firefox 3.0.
You can install the latest build of Firefox 3.0 from this page. For example, the Windows version can be downloaded from here [5.8 MB].
Remember it's an alpha version, so if you have problems, uninstall it and continue to use your current version of Firefox.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Windows Live Space goes mobile


Kopinath Exclusive: Windows Live Spaces goes mobile

Published by Zack Whittaker on August 13th, 2006 under Windows Live, Windows Mobile.

This seems to have been unseen everywhere else on the web, but believe it or not, Windows Live Spaces has been upgraded for mobile users. I use my mobile device a lot (running Windows Mobile 2003 Phone Edition, Second Edition) using wireless capabilities, and I regularly check out the mobile version of the Live pages. Although there’s a lot to be changed, and it’s still along the lines of “MSN” and not “Windows Live” (see this screenshot)

There’s a new logo, and thats about it. That’s pretty much the only change within the entire interface from a few days ago when it was still MSN Spaces. Nevertheless, it’s still cool and I like some of the changes they’ve done… well I like the new logo anyway, seeing as that’s all that’s changed.

Access Windows Live Spaces for mobiles:
1) Go to http://mobile.live.com/ in your mobile web browser
2) Sign in using your Windows Live ID credentials
3) Click on “MSN Spaces - updated”

Alternatively, check out any Space by using the address in your mobile browser:
eg: http://zacks.mobile.spaces.live.com

Google Operating System: Why Is YouTube More Popular Than Google Video?



YouTube, a video site created by three former PayPal employees in 2005, accounts for more than 60% of all videos watched online in the US. Google Video has a such a small share that it's not worth mentioning (things will change a little now that Google Video is linked on Google.com). Why is that?
1. YouTube is perceived as a video site. Google is a search engine that also has a video section. In addition, Google Video has disappointed twice: it was first a TV shows search but without videos and then a site that required a software to play videos (a version of VideoLAN).
2. YouTube is more open: it shows the number of views, links to a video, so you can have a better perspective about a video. Google shows the number of views only to the upoaders.
3. YouTube is more focused on the community: you could post comments from the beginning, you can post video responses and replies.
4. YouTube lets you have favorite videos, so it's easy to view the same videos again. Google lets you find the videos in the search history and bookmark it, but it's more difficult to do it.
5. You can create playlists in YouTube, and share them. There are also channels you can subscribe to. Google Video's playlists are only derived from search results.
6. In YouTube you can become a member of a group and discuss all sorts of topics related to videos. The videos an excuse for discussion.
7. YouTube lets people create an online identity, so it's closer to a social network. You can send messages to users, add to friends, subscribe to his/her favorite videos.
8. Popular doesn't always mean great. YouTube has a list of top rated videos and controversial videos. It's reassuring to know that a video has 500 excellent ratings from 3000 views.
9. YouTube has a better search. You can sort the results by number of views, rating, search in playlists and channels.
10. YouTube has a lot of free music videos and TV shows without having the legal right. Google is more inclined to remove copyrighted content and to sell premium videos. So YouTube has a more rebellious image.
To conclude, I'll say that Google Video should not try to copy YouTube's design, and let people do more with the videos, find out more about the videos and connect them in a meaningful way.

Windows live writer


Windows Live Writer is a new tool from Microsoft that allows you to publish to your blog using a desktop client. While the software is integrated with Windows Live Spaces, you can also use it with Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, WordPress.

What's nice about Windows Live Writer is that it reads your blog's template and it lets you preview your content while creating it. It's like seeing your blog post growing.

The rich-text editor is not impressing, as it contains the usual elements and doesn't produce clean code (you'll notice many unneeded tags). When you insert pictures, you've got more options: you can resize the picture, add a nice shadow, adjust brightness and even use some simple effects like sepia. Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't allow you to publish images for the hosted blogs.

Windows Live Writer also lets you insert maps using Windows Live Local and the maps can be customized to show the aerial view or bird's eye detail.

When you select the preview mode, you'll see how your blog would look if you published the post, so it takes the idea of preview one step further.

Windows Live Writer is available to download here [4.74 MB, Windows] and it's still beta. The simple interface and the innovative additions make this tool a good replacement for the standard blogging interfaces and it's a good alternative to Performancing for Firefox, Qumana, but it's still far from a commercial application like ecto.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Windows Live Mail Desktop beta refresh

The newest build of Windows Live Mail desktop beta, version 8.0.0932, released tonight. This is a major cleanup and upgrade to Live Mail desktop, and it looks and feels very much improved. You can sign up and try it out at ideas.live.com

Live.com Update Rolls Out

In an update to Live.com today, Microsoft made some UI changes as well as added an option to set Windows Live Search as your default search engine in IE7. There is no official word on this release from the Live.com blog, but it appears to just contain the UI changes. As you can see, the new version of Live.com uses the Windows Live Orb and the Orb Menu. I would also assume that there have been some bug fixes in this release as well, but we do not know for sure. As soon as we get an official word on what the exact changes are, we will update this post with more.

The Live.com Blog has posted the official statement on what has been changed. The changes include the following.

- Header Improvements
- Improved directory with 4 new gadgets (Today Show Recipes, MSNBC photo stream, Local News and New Media releases)
- Consistent Settings Model
- 3 New Markets (Korea, Norway and Mexico)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Windows Live Mail Desktop Beta Direct Sign-up and Download

Following my post last week about Windows Live Mail Desktop Beta, I would just like to remind you all that Windows Live Mail Desktop Beta is available for public download by doing the following, this of course requires no invitation:

-Go to http://ideas.live.com
-Find the tile for "Windows Live Mail Desktop beta"
-Click on "sign up" (if you're NOT signed in with your Passport email address)
-Click on "download" (if you ARE signed in with your Passport email address)
-Walk through the beta agreement and accept.
-Download and you're done!
-Be sure to sign into Mail Desktop with the Passport email address you used in step 3 and 4.

Fore more information check out the WLMDB Team Blog Post.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

New Microsoft Homepage Preview

Microsoft have a public preview of their new and upcoming home page (aka www.microsoft.com )

The new page dosn’t take up a whole page width (not on my monitor anyway) and is a whole lot more streamlined and a whole lot more JavaScript.

You can test it out right now-check it out here http://preview.microsoft.com/en/us/default.aspx

Edit: Hey, Zack ‘ere. Just wanted to add, Microsoft are jumping on the “Web 2.0″ bandwagon, yeh Patrick’s right in saying there’s a lot of JScript, but it’s actually ‘Atlas’, Microsoft’s version of AJAX on the page. It’ll run as if it’s a Windows desktop in the end… but just as a web page… strange I know

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Italy win World Cup on penalties

Italy win World Cup on penalties

Italy beat France 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out to win the World Cup after an absorbing 1-1 draw in Berlin

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Windows Live QnA invites go out

Windows Vista beta testers, living in the US (yes, yet another US only beta), got a little present in their inboxes tonight in the form of a Windows Live QnA invitation. Drawing on the Vista tester database is a clear attempt to build up a lot of good, accurate technical content early on for QnA. The invitation encourages testers to share info about downloads, swap sofware tips, and share their Vista knowledge.

At first glance, QnA is a great concept. The system is very simple:

1. Someone asks a question.
2. Users submit answers to the question throughout a 3 day answering period.
3. Users vote on the best answer and a "winner" is determined. That answer is then accepted as fact.

The results from these questions will be used on Windows Live Search to help simplify searching.

The execution of this process on qna.live.com is lacking a little bit. Loading the front page of QnA took about 40 seconds by my watch, during which time IE 7 stopped responding completely. I don't know about everyone else, but for me, 40 seconds is way too long to wait before I can even click something on a webpage. Live.com has also suffered from performance issues, which has largely stifled its growth and impaired its ability to explode into mass use.

Although, I'm sure that the performance issues will be addressed and fixed, this is essential to the success of QnA. To contend with competitors such as the already established Yahoo Answers, the site needs to work flawlessly.

If you can get past the slowness of the site, the concept is there and it works. I look forward to watching QnA develop and improve since the idea is sound and the service has great potential.

Discover Windows Live Spaces

Discover Windows Live Spaces

Thanks to Darren Straight who found this post by Satoshi, and a new web site – discoverspaces.live.com. The annotated screenshot provides a few clues about the new version, in addition to a cleaner, Windows Live looking UI. Looks like you can comment and tag photos, initiate a Windows Live Messenger session from within Spaces, see Msgr online status, and have more control over the title position. Can’t wait to see more.

(tamil video songz)azhage_brammanidam.

Tamil video songz.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Gates to end daily Microsoft role

Gates to end daily Microsoft role
Bill Gates insists he is not retiring
Speech highlights
Bill Gates has announced he will end his day-to-day role as head of software giant Microsoft by July 2008.

Mr Gates said the move would allow him to spend more time on health and education work at his charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"This is a hard decision," said Mr Gates, adding that he was not retiring but "reordering [his] priorities".

Mr Gates will continue to serve as the company's chairman and advise on key development projects after July 2008.

"I'm not leaving Microsoft," said Mr Gates.

The change we're announcing today is not a retirement - it's a re-ordering of my priorities
Bill Gates
Chairman, Microsoft

"What's happening now is we're starting the transition plan... I'll be working as hard as I ever have during these next years."

The firm said it would take two years to make sure the transition takes place smoothly.

Mr Gates said there was a "common thread" between his work at Microsoft and the foundation.

"I'm very lucky to have two passions that I feel are so important and so challenging," he said.

'No huge shock'

Microsoft's chief technical officer Ray Ozzie will be given the title of chief software architect and work with Mr Gates on all product issues.

Founded in 1975, now the world's biggest software company
Flagship products are the Windows operating system and Office suite of word processing and spreadsheet software
Windows runs on about 90% of the world's PCs
2005 revenues - $42.6bn

Craig Mundie meanwhile will assume the title of chief research and strategy officer.

At the same time Mr Mundie will work with general counsel Brad Smith to focus on the firm's intellectual property and technology policies.

The change comes as Microsoft gears up for the delayed launch of its new Vista operating system, now scheduled to be available to the public in January 2007.

Shares in the firm closed up 0.9% at $22.07 before the announcement but after the news emerged, they fell 9 cents in electronic trading on the Inet electronic brokerage.

Analysts said the move had not come as a huge shock and that two years provided enough time to make the change.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Fund of $29.1bn
$10.5bn in grants since 1994
Aims: reducing poverty and improving health and access to education
Largest grant: $1bn to the United Negro College Fund
70% of aid spent outside US

"The people who are taking over are very experienced and have been with Microsoft for a while," said Jean Orr, an analyst with Nutmeg Securities.

Daryl Nanes, principal at Nanes Delorme Capital Management, said: "I don't think Gates stepping away from his day-to-day responsibilities at Microsoft will be negative for the rest of the market.

"But Microsoft shareholders are assumed to have some jitters about the ambiguity regarding the future leadership of the company that Gates founded and ran for over 20 years," he added.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Google's Excel challenge

Google mounts a challenge to Microsoft's Excel with a new Web-based spreadsheet program. Google Spreadsheet supports the import and export of documents in the .xls format used in Excel and the .csv (comma-separated values) format.

Google Spreadsheet allows multiple people to edit or view the spreadsheet at the same time--their names will appear in an on-screen chat window.

Google Spreadsheets turns up heat on Excel
An Internet connection and browser is required to use Google Spreadsheet and no software need be installed on your computer. This eliminates the loss of data through hard drive failures or power outages.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Google Knocks Microsoft off Dell PCs

When consumers boot up their new Dell desktops and notebooks next week, they will find a Google home page and search tools, not the familiar Microsoft versions, the world's largest PC vendor confirmed Thursday.

Dell will factory-install the Google desktop, toolbar, search engine, and home page on desktops and notebooks shipping to consumers and small and medium-size businesses worldwide, said Dell spokesman Jess Blackburn.

It will also be installed on certain enterprise systems, unless the buyer specifies its own corporate software tools. Dell will begin shipping the new configuration by the end of May.

Microsoft Tools Still an Option
Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt also confirmed the deal on Thursday at a Goldman Sachs Group conference. "Dell is the pioneer in this. They've figured out a way to work with other partners to essentially fill out the Windows platform," he said at the event, which was Webcast. "Windows lacks certain features, and Dell figured out a way to add them."

The Microsoft versions of those tools will still be installed on the PCs, but they will not boot up automatically unless a user changes his default settings. Dell also preinstalls software such as office productivity, Internet connectivity, and security tools, depending on customer requirements.

Dell did not disclose the terms of the agreement, which had been rumored as long ago as February.

Good News for Microsoft?
Though the news may appear to be a blow to Microsoft, Rob Enderle, analyst with the Enderle Group, said it actually could serve the company well in the near term as it continues to battle antitrust charges in the European Union.

"Initially this works in Microsoft's favor, because they're trying to showcase that there is no lock-in on the desktop," he said. "Right now, a couple of the big [hardware] guys going with Google is a good thing."

However, the PC desktop is increasingly becoming a battleground for companies such as Google, Yahoo, and eBay that want to drive PC users to their Internet-based services to earn ad revenue, Enderle said. "Microsoft will have to respond" as competition for that visibility grows, he said.

Windows Vista Beta 2: Aftermath

Shortly after Microsoft released Vista Beta 2, the big hardware vendors released updated drivers for the general public to install on their test machines. NVidia has released nForce drivers (nForce 4 or greater) and Forceware drivers for their chipsets/video cards and ATI has just posted updated Catalyst drivers for their Radeon products.

Screenshot/video galleries are starting to hit the web as well:

Paul Thurrott has his preliminary Beta 2 review up along with a bunch of images
PCMag has a nice collection of screenshots on their site

If you missed the keynote addresses from this morning, Microsoft is providing on-demand access to them over here. Office 2007 Beta 2 can be downloaded using a nifty new software delivery manager over here. We've also got several staff members on the floor of WinHEC this year blogging live from the show. Our very own Creamhackered gave his preliminary rundown on Vista Beta 2 earlier today:

"Vista seems a little more responsive and stable from 5381. Nothing really different from that build but if you’ve been waiting to run Vista on your main machine then you may want to wait a little longer until RC0, as this release still isn’t at the stage where you could rely on it every day, especially on a mid-range PC."

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Oops, Britney Spears Almost Drops Baby Sean Preston

See Apple's glass palace

Apple Computer's latest retail store, located at 767 Fifth Ave. between 58th and 59th Streets in New York, will open Friday at 6 p.m. EDT. The underground store, which is marked by a 32-foot street-level glass cube with an Apple logo, will stay open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Xbox HD DVD unveiled at E3

Xbox HD DVD unveiled at E3
Microsoft built upon its recent press release and showed off some pics of the new HD DVD drive for the 360 which is definitely due out this year. The box, from the few glimpses we’ve had isn’t anything like as large as standalone HD DVD players and is a bit more comparable to an ordinary computer DVD drive (around 5” I think). However, even though Microsoft has wheeled the box out for all to see, there is still no indication of an HDCP compliant output. It will be very interesting to see how it intends to pull this one off.

Other hardware peripherals for the next-gen console included the new EyeToyesque USB camera, now given the official title of Xbox Live Vision, which will enable video-conferencing and video-mailing and should be available in the Autumn. Finally, there was also a new wireless racing wheel and a wireless headset.

PlayStation 3 E3 press event - launch dates and prices revealed

Kicking off the excitement of the Electronic Entertainment Expo in LA yesterday/last night, Sony was the first of the big three console manufacturers to make its speeches and reveal the PS3. Fortunately, this was no repeat of the closely veiled hints of last year – this time there was a hands on demo of the new controller in action, some games actually being played and no efforts to pass off pre-rendered footage as genuine.

The big news is, of course, the new controller. Since the previous version, christened the ‘batarang’ or ‘boomerang’ by cynical members of the press, was withdrawn, Sony has kept tight-lipped on the new design. Imagine our surprise when it turned out to look... exactly like the PS2 Dual Shock 2 controller. However, there’s a whole lot more to this next-gen edition as it supports all manner of motion detection, in fact it’s much more comparable to the Nintendo concept controller than the dull old Xbox 360 one. What ever will Microsoft do now?

The all-important High Definition abilities of the console were also made clearer. Some had said that 720p resolution in gaming was the limit of the new technology but Sony has obviously paid the naysayers no heed – on show was a demo of the new Gran Tourismo HD title, running in 1080i. Reports from the web haven’t been entirely sold on the quality of the early footage, but if anyone can get it right, it’s probably the Gran Tourismo team.

On to prices and specs: Sony has revealed the prices and launch dates of each region’s console. First of all every PS3 comes with a hard disk drive, although you get to choose between a 20 or 60GB version. The prices are, as expected, higher than that of the 20GB Xbox 360 coming to 499 Euro (around £340) for the 20GB and 599 Euro (around £410) for the 60GB version. Ouch – looks like I’ll have to be selling a kidney or two when they launch in November. Exact dates are the 11th November for Japan and the 17th for the US. I can’t find an exact European yet but will update you as soon as I do.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Internet Explorer 7.0 Beta 2 is LIVE

Beta 2 of IE 7.0 is Released

Yeah, I’ve been using a pre-Beta 2 version for awhile now, and I’m loving it. Click here (or the logo graphic) to learn more about the new features, and to download beta 2 for yourself.

Seriously – I’m hooked on the RSS feed support, and on tabs.
Click here

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Microsoft Announces Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition Beta

Today at the National Association of Broadcasters convention, NAB2006, Microsoft Corp. announced availability this week of a new addition to the Windows Media® tools family, Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition. The beta encoder is a powerful tool for video professionals, optimized for the creation of high-quality offline encoding using Microsoft’s implementation of the VC-1 video standard (Windows Media Video). Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition beta provides the key features necessary to create next-generation video content and capitalize on the growing importance of optical media and video-on-demand scenarios.

“With the final standardization of VC-1, Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition will prove to be an invaluable tool for the offline encoding community,” said Amir Majidimehr, corporate vice president of the Windows® Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “This is another example of how Microsoft is providing the end-to-end solutions for content creation and meeting the evolving demands of the professional video community.”

Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition Beta Info at Microsoft's Windows Media Website

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Google Calendar: be afraid Microsoft, be very afraid

The latest Google web service offering, Google Calendar, may not be the end all and be all of desktop organisers. It may not have any special features that cannot be found in other organiser products, such as Microsoft Outlook. However, it is just one more nail in the coffin of the old software paradigm that Microsoft made its own in the 1980s.

It seems that not a week goes by without Google announcing some new free software service that can be accessed from a web browser. It is busily building a bunch of direct competitors to Microsoft in both the web services and desktop space. GMail of course competes with rivals Microsoft Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail in the free email market. It is, however, on the desktop where Microsoft makes most of its money and it is the desktop which Google threatens to make redundant for many users.

Google Calendar, which is still a beta project, may not be any better than Outlook’s calendar but, unlike Outlook, it is free. It is operating system agnostic. All you need is the web browser of your choice. That’s a frightening prospect for a Microsoft, not so much because some of its customer may not want to use Outlook for calendar functions anymore, but because of the implications for the product group where it makes the bulk of its money, Office.

Last month, Google acquired web-based word processor Writely from a tiny Silicon Valley startup called Upstartle. A cursory examination of the product then showed that, unlike the free product from Open Office.org, Writely was by no means ready to put in a bid as a serious challenger for Microsoft Word. However, it showed enough that in the hands of a development team backed by the resources of a Google, plus the company’s global server power to deliver reliable web services, it could eventually make Word redundant for many users.

Slowly the web services jigsaw puzzle that Google is building is starting to form. It now has an email product, a word processor, a calendar and a web page builder (Google Page Creator). All of these products will be funded by Google’s advertising model.

We should not be surprised and indeed fully expect to see a number of additional web-based office productivity tools appear from Google in ensuing months. As soon as web service equivalents to Excel and Power Point make an appearance, Microsoft may need to consider seriously how much longer it can stick with its legacy business model of the 1980s.

Also see Apple & Windows

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Windows Live Mail Desktop beta begins!

Yes it has finally started, albeit in a very small way. According to the team blog, only 100 testers will be able to use the beta initially, though it will expand to about 5000 within the coming weeks. After that it will be much more widely available via ideas.live.com as with all the other Windows Live betas.

Keep an eye on your inbox, invites have already started being sent out :-)

Windows Live Messenger Final - Sneak Peek

Yes I'm posting yet another screenshot, this time of the expected Windows Live Messenger final UI.

- Yes the UI looks must better, no bleaching!
- Note the new status icons, a cross between old and new.
- The two new icons at the top of the contact list refer to the new VOIP and VoiceMail features coming to Windows Live Messenger. I'll be posting more information on this shortly :-)

Update: Apparently this hasn't been 100% confirmed as the final UI yet. Parts of it are definitely the final UI whilst the other parts are still being disucssed internally. So if you want this to be the final UI, then make sure you leave a positive comment below! If you can be specific about what you do/don't like about it, then this really will make a difference to the team :-)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Windows Vista Consumer release put off until 2007, Microsoft delays wide launch of Windows Vista

Microsoft Corp. will delay the consumer release of its new Windows operating system until January 2007, missing the holiday sales season and throwing some PC makers and retailers into turmoil. Shares in the software giant slid as much as 3.3 percent in after-hours trading.

The delay in Windows Vista — caused by Microsoft needing more time to enhance security and other functions — will come as a blow to Microsoft partners who were looking forward to a new operating system to boost holiday sales.

“It’s not the optimal situation, to be launching the next-generation version of Windows right after the big holdiay sales season,” said analyst Joe Wilcox with Jupiter Research.

The company will release some versions of the new operating system for big businesses by November as planned, but the consumer version will be postponed until January, said Jim Allchin, co-president of the Microsoft division that includes Windows.

He said the decision to delay the release came after Microsoft realized that Vista would be completed several weeks later than originally planned, largely because of efforts to improve security in the new system.

That delay was enough for some retailers, computer makers and other corporate partners to say they would have trouble preparing for the holiday season.

“The fact is that we wanted everybody in the industry to be ready for this,” Allchin told journalists and analysts in a conference call.

Businesses who buy a number of Windows licenses at the same time will be able to get the system in November. Although the consumer versions will be ready at the same time, Allchin said Microsoft will essentially hold back that software so computer makers and others have time to prepare for a January release.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Picture This: A New Look For Office

This: A New Look For Office

Screenshots of the Office 2007 User Interface

First, here are some basic screenshots of the Office 2007 programs.

There are so many changes from the Beta 1 visuals that it would be hard to make a complete list, but a couple of the things you might notice right off the bat: the Quick Access Toolbar in the title bar, group titles on the bottom of groups, and the Office Button (more on that below.)

Click each thumbnail to open a full-size version of the picture.

Word 2007 - Click to enlarge picture

Excel 2007 - Click to enlarge picture
PowerPoint 2007 - Click to enlarge picture

Outlook 2007 - Click to enlarge picture

Access 2007 - Click to enlarge picture

Close-up Screenshots of the Ribbon
The Office Button

The Office Button provides access to all of the document and system-level functionality in the program. This is where you go to start doing things with your document in Office--from simply opening a file to saving as a PDF to starting a workflow or publishing the document on a server. This is where you start a document, and this is where you finish a document.

There's so much more to write about this in the future, but here's the simple screenshot of what you get when you first click the Office Button.

Adjust To Taste

In Office 2007, we've done something else that we've never done before: given you a choice of skins for the user interface. If you don't like the default blue skin and would prefer something more neutral, we've got you covered with the striking new black skin.
On Windows Vista, of course, we fully support glass in both skins. I'll get you some screenshots of that in the not-too-distant future.

I will update when more details available
posted Thursday, March 09, 2006

Bush plays cricket

Monday, February 27, 2006

Chart: Six versions of Vista

A Vista for all seasons

Microsoft has decided to offer six distinct versions of the Windows update. Here they are from simplest to most tricked-out.


Windows Vista Starter

Sold only on new PCs in emerging markets such as India and Thailand. Runs only on 32-bit machines, and will be able to handle only a limited number of programs at a time.

Windows Vista Home Basic

Comparable to XP Home. Has the security and search abilities particular to Vista, but does not offer its fancy graphics or high-end media features.

Windows Vista Home Premium

A higher-end option for consumers. Adds support for Vista's new graphics as well as Media Center and Tablet PC features.

Windows Vista Business

Similar to XP Professional. It's the mainstream corporate OS; also contains extra tools for small businesses.

Windows Vista Enterprise

Available only to customers with volume licenses. Includes all of the features of Vista Business, with the addition of encryption, Unix services and virtual machine capabilities.

Windows Vista Ultimate

Combines the features of Windows Vista Enterprise and Windows Vista Home Premium to offer the highest-end version of Windows yet.

Note: Microsoft will also offer "N" versions of Vista Home Basic and Vista Business in Europe that have Windows Media Player removed.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Microsoft Windows Vista Editions Finalised

According to sources close to Microsoft, the company has finalised the editions that they will be releasing mid-end of October 2006.

To co-inside with the 5 year anniversary of Windows XP, Microsoft will release the following editions:

-> Windows Vista
-> Windows Vista Business
-> Windows Vista Business N
-> Windows Vista Home Basic
-> Windows Vista Home Basic N
-> Windows Vista Home Premium
-> Windows Vista Small Business
-> Windows Vista Ultimate

Microsoft is clearly adhering to the European Commissions ruling that an unbundled version of Windows (without Windows Media Player) needs to be available to all OEMs and retail outlets hence forth.

Unfortunately we're unsure of the specifics of each version as this has not been finalised yet.

Microsoft Releases Windows Defender Beta 2


This release includes enhanced features that reflect ongoing input from customers, as well as Microsoft’s growing understanding of the spyware landscape.

Specific features of Windows Defender Beta 2 include:

-> A redesigned and simplified user interface – Incorporating feedback from our customers, the Windows Defender UI has been redesigned to make common tasks easier to accomplish with a warning system that adapts alert levels according to the severity of a threat so that it is less intrusive overall, but still ensures the user does not miss the most urgent alerts.

-> Improved detection and removal – Based on a new engine, Windows Defender is able to detect and remove more threats posed by spyware and other potentially unwanted software. Real Time Protection has also been enhanced to better monitor key points in the operating system for changes.

-> Protection for all users – Windows Defender can be run by all users on a computer with or without administrative privileges. This ensures that all users on a computer are protected by Windows Defender.

-> Support for 64-bit platforms, accessibility and localization - Windows Defender Beta 2 also adds support for accessibility and 64-bit platforms. Microsoft also plans to release German and Japanese localized versions of Windows Defender Beta 2 soon after the availability of the English versions. Use WindowsDefenderX64.msi for 64-bit platforms.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Apple tunes up 1GB iPod Nano1 2 3 4 Next »

Apple tunes up 1GB iPod Nano
Apple takes the wraps off a new iPod Nano model with 1GB of storage space. The new Nano is designed to hold 240 songs or 15,000 photos and will cost $149.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

New ANZ launch date for Xbox 360

Xbox today announced a new launch date in Australia and New Zealand for the Xbox 360™. The new launch date is 12:01am on March 23 2006. The new launch dates have been set due to unprecedented global consumer demand stemming from challenges in ramping supply for a complex product like the Xbox 360. This is a short term manufacturing challenge and steps have been taken to increase supply to provide adequate supplies at launch. Xbox 360 is well on its way to becoming the fastest-selling video game console in history, and remains on track to meet the year end forecast to ship between 4.5 million and 5.5 million consoles worldwide by the end of June 2006.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Microsoft IE7 Beta 2 Public Preview

Microsoft is planning to release, to the public, a preview version of Internet Explorer 7.

Dubbed "Public Preview" the release includes tabbed browsing, page zoom, tab groups, RSS support and improved printing support. The release is expected to be available by this evening (GMT).

Amongst the many new features, tabbed browsing will allow customers to manage multiple web pages within one session of a browser. Firefox, an open source rival, has long intergrated this functionality by default but now Microsoft is catching up this may lure many users back to the Microsoft browser. RSS is a heavy new feature of IE7 allowing users to "syndicate" feeds from various sites.
Microsoft is expected to deliver the final version of Internet Explorer 7 at the end of the year alongside Windows Vista.

Internet Explorer 7 Public Preview will be available shortly to users with Windows XP SP2 and a genuine copy of Windows.

Update: Microsoft have now released Beta 2 as build 5296, download below.

Download: Download IE7 Beta 2

Monday, January 23, 2006

Mystery tech HQs revealed

Mystery tech HQs revealed

The company in this clutch of towers is Amazon.com, based at 1200 12TH Ave S, Suite 1200, Seattle, WA 98144.

Intel, headquartered at 2200 Mission College Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95052.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

PC viruses hit 20 year milestone

PC viruses hit 20 year milestone
Floppy disk, BBC
The first PC virus travelled around on floppy disks
The 20th anniversary of the first PC virus falls this month.

It was during the opening weeks of 1986 that the first PC virus, called Brain, was discovered in the wild.

Though it achieved fame because it was the first of its type, the virus was not widespread as it could only travel by hitching a ride on floppy disks swapped between users.

Now 20 years after they first appeared there are more than 150,000 malicious programs in existence.

Rapid attack

The origins of the Brain virus are disputed. It is thought to have been created by a Pakistani software firm to help protect the software it created and sold.

The virus was discovered in January 1986 but may have been written some time before that as it used a relatively slow method to travel.

The most significant change has been the evolution of virus writing hobbyists into criminally operated gangs bent on financial gain
Mikko Hypponen, F-Secure
Brain was known as a "boot-sector" virus because of the area on a floppy disk it hid on. By concealing itself in this region, the virus could ensure that it would be installed every time that floppy disk was used on another computer. The Brain virus is now extinct.

Although Brain was the first PC virus, it was not the first malicious computer program. That honour goes to the Elk Cloner virus written by Richard Skrenta which infected Apple II machines.

The term computer virus dates from 1984 and was coined by US computer scientist Fred Cohen.

Since Brain first appeared, the number of viruses and other malicious programs in circulation has grown enormously. Microsoft's Windows operating system is the favourite target of virus writers.

The growth of local computer networks, e-mail and the internet has fuelled this rise and now it can take only hours for a new virus to appear and infect thousands. There are also many different types of viruses that use varying attack types to infect machines.

The reasons people write viruses has also changed.

"The most significant change has been the evolution of virus writing hobbyists into criminally operated gangs bent on financial gain," said Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at Finnish anti-virus firm F-Secure.

This week the FBI released figures which suggest that 84% of US businesses were attacked by viruses, spyware and other malicious programs in 2005.

On average, dealing with the attack cost US businesses $24,000, said the FBI.

Afridi's 4 Sixes of 4 ballsl Paki Vs India 2005 Test Match

Afridi's 4 Sixes of 4 ballsl Paki Vs India 2005 Test Match

Pakistan vs India 2006 Test 1 (ALL THE HIGHLIGHTS)

IE 7.0 BETA 2

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Google.com overtakes MSN.com in Alexa rankings

Google.com overtakes MSN.com in Alexa rankings

I see lots of people talking about Digg v Slashdot, but this seems to have gone unnoticed.
And non-techies say the Internet is boring ;)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Message Board Service Beta

Message Board Service Beta
Yes boards.live.com is almost ready to be used (i say almost, I personally don't speak Spanish ;).

Read more over at LiveSide.net

Sunday, January 08, 2006



> TEACHER: Why are you late?
> BONGANI: Because of the sign.
> TEACHER: What sign?
> BONGANI: The one that says, "School Ahead, Go Slow."
> *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
> TEACHER: BONGANI, why are you doing your math sums on the floor?
> BONGANI: You told me to do it without using tables!
> *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
> TEACHER: BONGANI, how do you spell "crocodile"?
> TEACHER: No, that's wrong
> BONGANI: Maybe it's wrong, but you asked me how I spell it!
> *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
> TEACHER: What is the chemical formula for water?
> TEACHER: What are you talking about?
> BONGANI: Yesterday you said it's H to O!
> *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
> TEACHER: BONGANI, go to the map and find North America.
> BONGANI: Here it is!
> TEACHER: Correct. Now, class, who discovered America?
> *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
> TEACHER: BONGANI, name one important thing we have today that we didn't
> have ten years ago.
> *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
> TEACHER: BONGANI, why do you always get so dirty?
> BONGANI: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.
> -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
> BONGANI: Dad, can you write in the dark?
> FATHER: I think so. What do you want me to write?
> BONGANI: Your name on this report card.
> *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
> TEACHER: How can you prevent diseases caused by biting insects?
> BONGANI: Don't bite any.
> *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-**-*-*-*-*
> TEACHER: BONGANI, give me a sentence starting with "I".
> BONGANI: I is...
> TEACHER: No, BONGANI. Always say, "I am."
> BONGANI: All right... "I am the ninth letter of the alphabet."
> *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
> TEACHER: "Can anybody give an example of COINCIDENCE?"
> BONGANI: "Sir, my Mother and Father got married on the same day, same
> time."
> *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
> TEACHER: "George Washington not only chopped down his father's Cherry
> tree, but also admitted doing it. Now do you know why his father didn't
> punish
> him?"
> ONGANI: "Because George still had the axe in his hand?"
> *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
> TEACHER: What a pair of strange socks you are wearing, one is green and
> one
> is blue with red spots!
> BONGANI: Yes it's really strange. I've got another pair just like that at
> home.
> *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
> TEACHER: Now, BONGANI, tell me frankly do you say prayers before eating?
> BONGANI: No sir, I don't have to, my mom is a good cook.
> *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
> TEACHER: BONGANI, your composition on "My Dog" is exactly the same as
> your
> brother's. Did you copy his?
> BONGANI: No, teacher, it's the same dog!
> -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
> TEACHER: What do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are
> no
> longer interested?
> BONGANI: A teacher

Courtesy : NASA Digital Image Collection

The recently discovered bridge currently named as Adam's Bridge made of chain of shoals, c.18 mi (30 km) long, in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka, reveals a mystery behind it. The bridge's unique curvature and composition by age reveals that it is man made. The legends as well as Archeological studies reveal that the first signs of human inhabitants in Sri Lanka date back to the a primitive age, about 17,50,000 years ago and the bridge's age is also almost equivalent. This information is a crucial aspect for an insight into the mysterious legend called Ramayana, which was supposed to have taken place in tretha yuga (more than 17,00,000 years ago). In this epic, there is a mentioning about a bridge, which was built between Rameshwaram (India) and Srilankan coast under the supervision of a dynamic and invincible figure called Rama who is supposed to be the incarnation of the supreme. This information may not be of much importance ! to the archeologist s who are interested in exploring the origins of man, but it is sure to open the spiritual gates of the people of the world to have come to know an ancient history linked to the Indian mythology.

Microsoft acts on Xbox shortages

Microsoft has addressed criticism about shortages of its Xbox 360 by announcing a third manufacturing partner.
The company faced the ire of frustrated gamers last month as limited supplies of the new console quickly sold out.
Speaking on the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Xbox's Peter Moore said Microsoft was trying hard to meet demand.
The Xbox 360 is the first of a new generation of games consoles.
It went on sale in the US in November, and in Europe and Japan in December.

MS Opens Live Messenger Beta to More

Microsoft began sending out additional invitations for its Windows Live Messenger client on Thursday, BetaNews has learned. The company had previously closed the test to a few thousand users, who have received only a limited number of additional invites over the past several weeks for friends and family."We'd like you to be among the first to try a new beta version of Messenger," the invite reads. "We need your feedback if there's anything that doesn't seem to working right, or that you would like to see done differently." No information has been released as to how many invitations will be sent out during this second phase of the beta test.