In a previous post I mentioned that I would add a user-friendly context-sensitive ribbon to Wallpaper Cycler.
I’m working on that right now, and found a very interesting icon pack that contains lots of icons that I can use for my ribbon bar. It’s called the Ribbon & Toolbar Stock Icons from Axialis. Their description:
- Pixel perfect, ready-to-use royalty-free icons
- 48×48, 32×32, 24×24, 16×16
- RGB with alpha channel, RGB
- 96 PPI compatible with WPF, Silverlight, MFC, VB…
- Normal, Hot, Disabled states
- PNG, ICO, BMP file formats
- Many derivatives & overlays
- Lifetime Commercial/No-Attribution License
The set contains 1108 unique icons for €39.
And even better, you get 30% discount if you order before November 20 by following this link.
By now, virtually everyone on this planet heart about the Windows 8 Developer Preview that was launched a couple of days ago on the Microsoft BUILD conference.
Everyone can download this developer preview. This will give you the opportunity to play and experiment with the new Metro layout for Windows.
Any serious developer should download this preview and learn as much as possible about the new Windows platform.
Go to the BUILD website to download the preview and to download interesting video recordings of the sessions on the BUILD conference.
Get your copy here.
You can also browse the above site to learn all the new features of IE9, especially its focus on speed and standard compliancy
Microsoft has released the release candidate of Internet Explorer 9.
Get it here.
Microsoft released Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2 to MSDN subscribers which extends testing, code visualization and modeling capabilities in VS2010. Its main features are more advanced platform and tool support for both manual and automated testing scenarios. It allows you to better control your Silverlight 4 testing scenarios and UI testing code.
Feature Pack 2 includes the following C++ related additions:
Feature Pack 2 is cumulative and includes Feature Pack 1.
Get more information here.
In October, Microsoft will be making a change to the licensing of its Microsoft Security Essentials product. After the change, small businesses can install the Security Essentials on up to 10 PCs for FREE. Previously, it was only free for consumer use. Microsoft Security Essentials provides protection from viruses, spyware and other malicious threats.
Get more information on MSDN.
Visit the Microsoft Security Essentials website.
Today Microsoft released a public beta of Internet Explorer 9. The new version is much better standard compliant and support such standards as HTML5, CSS3 and SVG2. It scores a nice 95/100 on the Acid3 test. I just installed it myself and I’m impressed with how much faster it works compared to IE8. You can read a full review here.
Download it here.
Microsoft has launched the following products for business customers:
- Office 2010
- SharePoint Server 2010
- Visio 2010
- Project 2010
“Microsoft’s Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 beta programs were the largest ever, with three times the number of participants compared with the Office 2007 beta program. As a result, 8.6 million people are already using Office 2010 and related products. In addition, more than 1,000 partners are already building solutions for the 2010 set of products.”
Right now it’s available in 14 languages. In the next few months it will become available in 94 languages.
Read the full press release.
This is a message to everyone who is running an older version of Windows. There are a few End of Life Support dates coming up, so it’s important to keep that in mind to avoid running unsupported versions of Windows.
Windows 2000 Professional and Windows 2000 Server are approaching 10 years since their launch and both products will go out of support on July 13, 2010.
Windows XP was launched back in 2001. While support for the product will continue, Service Pack 2 will go out of support on July 13, 2010. From that date onwards, Microsoft will no longer support or provide free security updates for Windows XP SP2. Please install the free Service Pack 3 for Windows XP to have the most secure and supported Windows XP platform.
Finally, Windows Vista with no Service Packs installed will end support on April 13 2010. Please install the free Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista to have the most secure and supported Windows Vista platform.
Microsoft has released a white paper for Visual Studio 2010 licensing which provides an overview of the complete Visual Studio 2010 product line. The paper also gives a number of example deployment scenarios and the licensing requirements for those.
Client editions in the Visual Studio 2010 product line include:
- Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN
- Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Premium with MSDN
- Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional with MSDN
- Microsoft Visual Studio Test Professional 2010 with MSDN
(Visual Studio 2010 products can be purchased without an MSDN subscription in certain channels.)
Server products in the Visual Studio 2010 product line include:
- Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010
- Microsoft Visual Studio Lab Management 2010
Volume licensing customers who need a definitive guide to licensing terms and conditions should reference the Microsoft Licensing Product Use Rights (PUR) and applicable licensing agreements. For retail customers, the license terms are specified in the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) included with the product.
Microsoft has just released a beta version of Office 2010.
The following programs are available in this beta version:
- SharePoint Workspace
Separately available beta programs are:
- Microsoft Visio 2010
- Microsoft Project 2010
Get all the details.
I’m a big fan of Axialis IconWorkshop. A while ago I wrote a small review of it which you can find here.
It seems Axialis is having a special promotion this weekend. From Black Friday until Cyber Monday you get 50% discount on all products. Find out more.
Apparently the pre-order of Windows 7 went extremely well. According to Amazon UK, they sold more Windows 7 pre-orders in the first 8 hours of its release than Vista did during it’s entire pre-order period.
According to Brian McBride, Amazon UK MD:
“The launch of Windows 7 has superseded everyone’s expectations, storming ahead of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as the biggest grossing pre-order product of all-time at Amazon.co.uk, and demand is still going strong. Over the past three months, only Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol has sold more copies than Windows 7, which is an incredible achievement for a software product.”.
Tomorrow is the official launch date of Windows 7
I just came across an interesting blog post.
Apparently, Windows 7 comes with several regional themes which include wallpapers from Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Great Britain. You can easily activate those themes following the procedure in the following blog post.
Access Hidden Regional Themes in Windows 7
The Visual C++ 2010 Beta 1 release contains the Windows 7 Beta SDK. For Direct2D and DirectWrite there were some breaking changes between the beta version of the SDK and the RC version of the SDK. So if you want to use those new Direct2D and DirectWrite APIs, you definitely need the latest Windows 7 RC SDK. There are some manual steps involved in getting that to work with Visual C++ 2010. For detailed explanation please check out Using the Windows 7 RC SDK in Visual C++ 2010 Beta 1 on the Visual C++ Team Blog.
Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 and .NET FX 4 Beta 1 have been released and is available for download if you have an MSDN subscription. The beta 1 will be publicly released very soon. Check out http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/products/2010/default.mspx for more information.
It seems that Microsoft Windows 7 is on track to be released in time for the holiday season of 2009. At the TechEd North America 2009 in Los Angeles, Bill Veghte said:
Microsoft is committed to ensuring that IT professionals and developers continue to have the platform and technologies to drive maximum value and business results. Getting the most out of IT investments is even more important in today’s economy.
With early RC testing and extensive partner feedback we’ve received, Windows 7 is tracking well for holiday availability.
Read the full press release.
A friend of mine pointed me to EasyBCD to easily make changes to the Windows Vista Bootloader. This is expecially useful if you have installed Windows 7 in a VHD for example. If you want to remove your VHD installation, simply delete the VHD file and then use EasyBCD to remove the Windows 7 boot entry from the Bootloader.
I downloaded the freshly released Windows 7 Release Candidate from MSDN and was thinking on how to test it. First I thought to install it in a virtual machine, however, that means I would not be able to test with Aero enabled. A friend of mine suggested to use a new feature in the Windows 7 bootloader that allows you to boot an operating system installed inside a VHD (Virtual Hard Disk Image). On his blog he explains the steps involved in getting this to work. I followed his steps and everything went without a hitch and Windows 7 was up and running in no time, including Aero
The benefit of using a VHD is that you don’t need to repartition your drives. The VHD is just 1 big file but when booting from the VHD, everything looks and feels as if the operating system was installed on its own physical drive/partition.
I did encounter one anomaly while using Windows 7 booting from VHD. The Windows Experience Index cannot be computed. When asking Windows 7 RC to compute the WEI score, it gives an error saying that it cannot properly assess hard drive speed, but other than that, everything seems to be working smoothly.
Over the coming days I will keep testing Windows 7 RC. One thing I stumbled upon today is that Windows 7 RC seems to have built-in support for playing XVID movies. It even shows thumbnails for XVID movies in the Windows Explorer.
The Windows 7 Release Candidate has been made available to MSDN and Technet subscribers. It will be available to the general public on May 5th. This RC will expire on June 1 2010. There is also a dedicated forum for Windows 7 at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/category/w7itpro