Microsoft News and Links for the Week of April 27, 2009

Lot of stuff this week including Windows 7 Release Candidate, Office 2007 SP2, Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate.

Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 is now available from Springboard Series

Today we are proud to announce the launch of Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Service Pack 2 (SP2) represents the latest step in Microsoft’s commitment to continuous improvement. It includes all of the updates that have been delivered since SP1, as well as support for new types of hardware and emerging hardware standards. And since it comes with a single installer for both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, SP2 will be easy for IT Pros to manage, deploy, and support. For an overview of the changes introduced in SP2, check out the notable changes document.

Windows 7 RC is available for TechNet and MSDN subscribers to download from Springboard Series

We are pleased to announce that the Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) is available for immediate download to our TechNet and MSDN subscribers. If you’re not a TechNet Plus subscriber, please click here to learn about the benefits of becoming one.
Windows 7 RC will be made available to the general public on May 5, 2009. You will then be able to download Windows 7 RC here, through the Springboard Series on TechNet. Windows 7 Ultimate is the Release Candidate edition; it will be available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions in English, French, Japanese, German, and Spanish.

Improvements to AutoPlay from Engineering Windows 7 by e7blog

As mentioned before on this blog (regarding our UAC changes) and on the IE blog (regarding the SmartScreen® filter for malware), we have an increased focus to enable customers to be in control and feel confident about the software that they choose to run on their computers. Folks on this blog have also commented about the concerns they have specifically in the AutoPlay area. This blog entry addresses some of the changes that we have made to increase customer confidence when using their media and devices with Windows.  It is authored by Arik Cohen, a program manager on the Core User Experience team. –Steven  [Note: There was a technical problem so this post was reposted in its entirety.]

Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate is also available from Paul’s SuperSite blog

Let’s not forget that the server companion to Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, is also available in RC form today. I’ll have a lengthy write-up about this release out late today or tomorrow, but here’s the word from the Windows Server blog:

Microsoft: Your feedback is important to us. Please stay on the line from Paul’s SuperSite blog

The Windows 7 Feedback Tool is a pre-release only tool.  As we work towards finalizing Windows 7 we have removed the launch UI for the Feedback Tool, however the tool itself is still in the RC build.  If you need to report a bug that falls into one of the categories mentioned below, you may run the following command to start the Feedback Tool:

rundll32.exe FeedbackTool.dll,ShowWizard

Microsoft’s Releases Free Web Seminars: "A Developer’s First Look at Windows 7" from The Road to Know Where

A Developer’s First Look at Windows 7:  This 10 part series introduces Windows 7 with an emphasis on those new features that will be of most interest and use to developers. It consists of: two introductory sessions, one focusing on the new user interface, and one on behind-the-scenes features, two hour-long sessions that cover compatibility and security issues, six shorter sessions which focus on coding for a single new feature.

Who Gets Windows Security Updates? from The Windows Blog by Paul Cooke

RSA was great last week – security was clearly top of mind for the attendees, and I fielded a number of different questions last week about how Microsoft protects our customers. Some are pretty straightforward around how the various Windows 7 security technologies work, but many have focused on how we actually deliver protection to customers on an ongoing basis.

One question that comes up more than I would have ever expected is: Who gets security updates?

There seems to be a myth that Microsoft limits security updates to genuine Windows users.

Let me be clear: all security updates go to all users.

Talking About Windows from The Windows Blog by Brandon LeBlanc

I get the extreme pleasure of exclusively revealing a new Microsoft community website on Windows today specifically designed for IT Professionals: Talking About Windows.

Talking About Windows is a new website that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Windows 7 from the Microsoft engineers who helped build product as well as showcasing real IT Professionals talking candidly about their implementations and experiences in considering a more modern OS. This is done through a series of videos hosted within the Talking About Windows Website.

Newly Published: Deploy Service Pack 2 for Office Project Server 2007 from Microsoft Enterprise Project Management Content Publishing News

Deploy Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Office Project Server 2007 describes how to deploy SP2 for Microsoft Office Project Server 2007, which is included in 2007 Microsoft Office Servers Service Pack 2 (SP2). The article explains how to update a basic installation and a farm deployment, as well as language packs. Guidance and recommendations are given for successfully completing the process. Included are links to the SP2 download sites as well as informative Knowledge Base (KB) articles.


The TechNet article published 4/29/09 shows the version number for Project Server 2007 SP2 as 12.0.6425.1000. The correct number is 12.0.6422.1000. This is being corrected and will appear in the article when published next week.

Windows 7 RC Secure WMP Internet Streaming is Impressive from Paul’s SuperSite blog

Barb chimes in on one of the coolest new features in the Windows 7 RC: Internet-based digital media streaming. I was just writing about this for Windows 7 Secrets and I have to say, it’s one of those spontaneous-smile features. It’s just cool.

XP Mode Beta now available and MSDN and TechNet from Paul’s SuperSite blog

And speaking of the Windows 7 RC, you can also download XP Mode Beta (Windows Virtual PC) on MSDN and TechNet now.

Microsoft finally discusses XP Mode in detail from Paul’s SuperSite blog

After allowing Rafael and I to pretty much own the XP Mode discussion for the better part of a week for some reason, Microsoft has finally published some detailed information about this important new Windows 7 feature. I don’t normally just republish entire articles like this, but this one is a big deal, so here we go. I am underlining the bits I think are most relevant…


Steve Mullen has been involved in information technology for over 35 years. He is also actively involved in the music program (voice and English hand bells) and Vestry of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Damascus, MD.

Posted in Blog, Microsoft, Office 2007, Windows, Windows 7, Windows Server

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