Windows 8 Developer Preview is here !

14 Sep, 2011 11:55

Microsoft announced their latest operating system, Windows 8.

The Windows Developer Preview is a pre-beta version of Windows 8 for developers. These downloads include prerelease software that may change without notice. The software is provided as is, and you bear the risk of using it. It may not be stable, operate correctly or work the way the final version of the software will. It should not be used in a production environment. The features and functionality in the prerelease software may not appear in the final version. Some product features and functionality may require advanced or additional hardware, or installation of other software.

You can obtain an ISO copy of Windows 8 Developer Preview ( the full time-limited beta version ) via the following links ( scroll down for system requirements ) :

Windows 8 Developer Preview (with Developer Tools ) , 64-bit (x64) , English

DOWNLOAD ( 4.8GB ) , which includes :

– 64-bit Windows Developer Preview
– Windows SDK for Metro style apps
– Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows Developer Preview
– Microsoft Expression Blend 5 Developer Preview
– 28 Metro style apps including the BUILD Conference app

Windows 8 Developer Preview only , 64-bit (x64) , English

DOWNLOAD ( 3.6GB ) , which includes :

– 64-bit Windows Developer Preview

Windows 8 Developer Preview only , 32-bit (x86) , English

DOWNLOAD ( 2.8GB ) , which includes :

– 32-bit Windows Developer Preview


System Requirements

Windows Developer Preview works great on the same hardware that powers Windows Vista and Windows 7:
– 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
– 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
– 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
– DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
– Taking advantage of touch input requires a screen that supports multi-touch

BREAKING: Windows Live Mail is DOWN !

9 Sep, 2011 12:29

For Windows Live Mail users, it may be the doom day today. Because when you try to login to the Windows Live Mail, the browser reports that the mail domain cannot be found !

Error 105 (net::ERR_NAME_NOT_RESOLVED): Unable to resolve the server’s DNS address.

Funny huh ? Microsoft has no response yet . Hope the emails are not affected , though .
One more reason to choose GMail instead.

UPDATE @ 2:30PM GMT+8 : Windows Live Mail is back ! Time to migrate to GMail before it’s too late !

Microsoft Windows still dominate the world, in terms of revenue

2 May, 2011 12:19

It is well-known that Microsoft Windows are the majority in operating system choice. As you can see from above chart , Microsoft still dominates operating system’s business, with 78.6% market share and 8.8% growth in 2010.

It is noteworthy that Oracle has 7682.8% growth (what?!) after it acquires Sun Microsystems, thus allowing the company to hop to the 4th place of OS market share. Apple and Red Hat are gaining their place with >15% growth.

Yet, this chart does not show the whole picture. There are still some popular operating system that does not charge users money, such as Ubuntu. Here is the full press release:

Gartner Says Worldwide Operating System Software Market Grew to $30.4 Billion in 2010

Recovery of the Global Economy Substantially Contributed to Market Growth
STAMFORD, Conn., April 27, 2011- As the global economy recovered, worldwide operating system (OS) revenue totaled $30.4 billion in 2010, a 7.8 percent increase from 2009, according to Gartner, Inc.

Linux (server) and Mac OS were the fastest-growing subsegments in the server and client OS segments, respectively, while Microsoft maintained its leading position in the overall OS market, with 78.6 percent market share.

“Generally, client OSs outperformed server OSs and grew 9.3 percent in 2010, while the server OS segment grew 5.7 percent,” said Matthew Cheung, principal research analyst at Gartner. “The long-pending demand for PC refreshment was unleashed as the economy stepped out from the economic turndown, which drove growth of client OSs.”

Among client OSs, Mac OS was the fastest-growing subsegment in 2010 as the unit shipments of Mac desktop/laptop devices saw strong sales, although from a much-smaller basis. Windows client was still the largest client OS segment, with high-single-digit growth, particularly driven by adoption of Windows 7 and the imminent end of life (EOL) of Windows XP.

“In the server OS market, Linux (server) was the fastest-growing subsegment in 2010 as end users adopted more open-standard systems. Within the Unix OS market, IBM AIX had high single-digit growth, but Unix generally experienced modest or negative growth,” said Alan Dayley, managing vice president at Gartner. “The EOL threat for Unix OSs such as Tru64 and NetWare pushed the ‘other proprietary Unix’ subsegment down 39.6 percent in 2010 as some vendors retired their proprietary Unix and moved users to more open systems.”

Microsoft held the largest market share of the worldwide OS software segment, with 78.6 percent share in 2010 (see Table 1). The distant second- and third-place vendors were IBM and HP, with 7.5 percent and 3.7 percent share, respectively. Oracle climbed up the ranking from No. 8 in 2009 to No. 4 in 2010 by acquiring Sun Microsystems’ Solaris business in April 2009.

Microsoft’s Windows (client) business had higher growth at 9.2 percent, compared with its Windows (server) business at 7.5 percent growth. A new wave of PC refreshment after the economic recession was the major reason for the better-performing Windows (client) business. Windows 7 also gained market acceptance as the successor to Windows Vista and XP. The projected EOL of XP in early 2014 drove enterprises to accelerate migration to Windows 7 in the second half of 2010.

Among the three OSs owned by IBM, AIX experienced the highest growth at 9.2 percent due to the popularity of Power Systems. The consolidation of the System p and System i platforms and the strategy to push more AIX contributed to the slow growth of System i at 2.7 percent in 2010.

HP-UX was able to maintain modest growth at 3.7 percent in 2010. However, HP’s revenue from proprietary Unix and other proprietary OSs continued to decline because of the discontinuation of Tru64 and a decline in shipments of business-critical systems, such as NonStop and OpenVMS.

Oracle’s software revenue from Solaris declined 3.2 percent in 2010 as end users were skeptical about Oracle’s commitment to the Solaris platform – although the company made several announcements to clear this anxiety. Oracle’s Linux versions (also known as Unbreakable Linux) grew a small base almost 200 percent in 2010 – which also showed Oracle’s strategy to lessen its dependence on other vendors’ Unix or Linux OSs.

Red Hat has been dominating the commercial Linux (server) market. Revenue of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) server license went up 18.6 percent to $592 million in 2010, taking a 58.2 percent share of the Linux (server) market. Gartner analysts said the phenomenon demonstrates that the market has accepted Linux as a viable alternative to Unix and other proprietary OSs in mission-critical environments.

Mac OS grew 15.8 percent to a size of $520 million in 2010, fueled by the strong sales of Mac desktops and laptops. Apple’s making of Mac OS as a “cool” client computing OS has attracted a group of loyal customers on Mac devices and platforms. Apple’s continuous innovations in mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, have prompted sales of other Apple devices and will continue to drive Mac sales.

Additional information is available in the Gartner report “Market Share Analysis: Operating System Software, Worldwide, 2010.” The report is available on Gartner’s website at: http://www.gartner.com/resId=1634314.

Project SETI suspended

27 Apr, 2011 22:57

Project Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) suspended due to lack of funding . This project was funded by Microsoft’s co-founder Paul Allen, to find E.T. from outer space by analyzing sound waves using various techniques . The analysis job is distributed to members’ computers through Berkeley Open Infrastructure of Network Computing (BOINC) grid computing software . Yes , I am one of the members .

The suspension is not a surprise . Outer space sound waves are collected by array of radio dishes in United States , which costs a lot in running costs . The project aims to raise $5 million to revive the project in 2013 .

Hope our planet stay alive till 2013 .

People , if you are interested in this project , please donate here .

How-to: add domain name to Microsoft Azure Blob Storage

26 Mar, 2011 16:24

Microsoft Azure Blob Storage is the storage service hosted by Microsoft hosted service. It can store unlimited files and the files can be distributed to worldwide easily via Content Delivery Network (CDN) at an affordable price. Microsoft will charge for few cents per GB and bandwidth usage.

Assuming you have already set up your Microsoft Azure Blob Storage, you first have to login your Microsoft Azure Management Portal ( http://windows.azure.com ) . Then, follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to Hosting page (on left bottom corner) > Storage Accounts
  2. Select your storage
  3. Click “Add Domain” on the tool bar
  4. In the “Configure Custom Domain” toolbox, type your desired domain name, such as: blob.raptor.hk
  5. After clicking “Configure” button, you will be told to add a CNAME record in your domain DNS server.
  6. Open your domain DNS server, or domain management page (depends on what domain hosting service you are using)
  7. Add the CNAME record as mentioned in step 5
  8. Wait 4-24 hours for DNS servers to propagate to worldwide root DNS servers
  9. You will notice that a new entry has been created in Storage Accounts page, named “Storage custom domain”, with status “Pending”
  10. Click “Validate domain” on the toolbar. If configuration is made successfully, no error will be shown and the status will change to “Allowed”

At this point, you can use your blob storage with your domain name, for example:
Original blob storage link:

http://testblob.blob.core.windows.net/blobname/abc.png

Custom blob storage name:

http://blob.raptor.hk/blobname/abc.png

How about CDN-enabled Blob Storage?

You can use custom domain name for CDN-enabled blob storage as well. Before performing step 3 – 10 above, you have to first enable CDN for your blob storage. Click “Enable CDN” on the toolbar. If you validated your custom domain for your CDN, a new record named “CDN custom domain” (with status Allowed) will appear in your Storage Accounts page, under for CDN-enabled blob storage.

How-to: password protection in Word 2007 & 2010

22 Mar, 2011 11:22

Layout of Microsoft Word changed a lot since version 2007 & 2010. Some people can’t find how to  protect their Word document with password, here is the way:

  1. Click Microsoft Office Button > Save As …
  2. Click Tools > General Options
  3. Pick a password for “Password to open” and / or “Password to modify
  4. Click OK
  5. You will be prompted for retype of password; re-type the password & click OK
  6. Click Save to save the file

Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) available

22 Feb, 2011 06:41

Service Pack 1 of Windows Server 2008 R2 is now available today through Windows Update, standalone download & integrated DVD. Download size varies from 96MB-903MB. Here is the list of changes :

Dynamic Memory
Constraints on the allocation of physical memory represents one of the greatest challenges organizations face as they adopt new virtualization technology and consolidate their infrastructure. With Dynamic Memory, an enhancement to Hyper-V™ introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, organizations can now make the most efficient use of available physical memory, allowing them to realize the greatest possible potential from their virtualization resources. Dynamic Memory allows for memory on a host machine to be pooled and dynamically distributed to virtual machines as necessary. Memory is dynamically added or removed based on current workloads, and is done so without service interruption.
Virtual machines running a wide variety of operating systems can use Dynamic Memory; for a complete list, see the “Dynamic Memory Evaluation Guide” at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=192444. The guide also discusses Dynamic Memory settings and usage in detail.

Microsoft RemoteFX
Businesses are increasingly looking to leverage the efficiency and cost savings that can come from a virtualized desktop infrastructure. With the addition of Microsoft RemoteFX in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, a new set of remote user experience capabilities that enable a media-rich user environment for virtual desktops, session-based desktops and remote applications is introduced. Harnessing the power of virtualized graphics resources, RemoteFX can be deployed to a range of thick and thin client devices, enabling cost-effective, local-like access to graphics-intensive applications and a broad array of end user peripherals, improving productivity of remote users.
RemoteFX can function independently from specific graphics stacks and supports any screen content, including today’s most advanced applications and rich content (including Silverlight and Adobe Flash), ensuring that end users maintain a rich, local-like desktop experience even in a virtualized thin-client environment.
RemoteFX also adds mainstream USB device support to virtual desktop computing, including support for USB drives, cameras and PDAs connected to the client device. RemoteFX also provides a platform for hardware and software partners to enhance RemoteFX capabilities in a variety of possible host, client and network configurations.
To use RemoteFX, the virtualization server must be running Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1, the virtual machine must be running Windows 7 Enterprise with SP1 or Windows 7 Ultimate with SP1, and the remote client computer must be running either Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 or Windows 7 with SP1. To connect to the virtual machine, the remote client computer requires an updated version of Remote Desktop Services (included in the service pack for all editions of Windows 7).
Enhancements to scalability and high availability when using DirectAccess
DirectAccess is a new feature in the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems that gives users the experience of being seamlessly connected to their corporate network any time they have Internet access. In Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, improvements have been made to enhance scalability and high availability when using DirectAccess, through the addition of support for 6to4 and ISATAP addresses when using DirectAccess in conjunction with Network Load Balancing (NLB).
Support for Managed Service Accounts (MSAs) in secure branch office scenarios
SP1 enables enhanced support for managed service accounts (MSAs) to be used on domain-member services located in perimeter networks (also known as DMZs or extranets).

Support for increased volume of authentication traffic on domain controllers connected to high-latency networks
As a greater volume of IT infrastructure migrates to cloud-based services, there is a need for higher thresholds of authentication traffic to domain controllers located on high-latency networks (such as the public Internet). SP1 allows for more granular control of the maximum number of possible concurrent connections to a domain controller, enabling a greater degree of performance tuning for service providers.
Enhancements to Failover Clustering with Storage
SP1 enables enhanced support for how Failover Clustering works with storage that is not visible for all cluster nodes. In SP1, improvements have been made to the Cluster Validation and multiple Failover Cluster Manager wizards to allow workloads to use disks that are shared between a subset of cluster nodes.

Change to behavior of “Restore previous folders at logon” functionality
SP1 changes the behavior of the “Restore previous folders at logon” function available in the Folder Options Explorer dialog. Prior to SP1, previous folders would be restored in a cascaded position based on the location of the most recently active folder. That behavior changes in SP1 so that all folders are restored to their previous positions.

Enhanced support for additional identities in RRAS and IPsec
Support for additional identification types has been added to the Identification field in the IKEv2 authentication protocol. This allows for a variety of additional forms of identification (such as E-mail ID or Certificate Subject) to be used when performing authentication using the IKEv2 protocol.

Support for Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX)
There has always been a growing need for ever more computing power and as usage models change, processors instruction set architectures evolve to support these growing demands. Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) is a 256 bit instruction set extension for processors. AVX is designed to allow for improved performance for applications that are floating point intensive. Support for AVX is a part of SP1 to allow applications to fully utilize the new instruction set and register extensions.

Improved Support for Advanced Format (512e) Storage Devices
SP1 introduces a number of key enhancements to improve support of recently introduced storage devices with a 4KB physical sector size (commonly referred to as “Advanced Format”). These enhancements include functionality fixes, improved performance, and updated storage drivers which provide applications the ability to retrieve information as to the physical sector size of storage device. More information on these enhancements is detailed in Microsoft KB 982018.

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) available

22 Feb, 2011 06:27

Service Pack 1 of Windows 7 goes live today! It is available through Windows Update, integrated DVD & standalone download. Download size varies from 44MB to 903MB. Here are the important changes :

Additional support for communication with third-party federation services
Additional support has been added to allow Windows 7 clients to effectively communicate with third-party identity federation services (those supporting the WS-Federation passive profile protocol). This change enhances platform interoperability, and improves the ability to communicate identity and authentication information between organizations.

Improved HDMI audio device performance
A small percentage of users have reported issues in which the connection between computers running Windows 7 and HDMI audio devices can be lost after system reboots. Updates have been incorporated into SP1 to ensure that connections between Windows 7 computers and HDMI audio devices are consistently maintained.

Corrected behavior when printing mixed-orientation XPS documents
Prior to the release of SP1, some customers have reported difficulty when printing mixed-orientation XPS documents (documents containing pages in both portrait and landscape orientation) using the XPS Viewer, resulting in all pages being printed entirely in either portrait or landscape mode. This issue has been addressed in SP1, allowing users to correctly print mixed-orientation documents using the XPS Viewer.

Change to behavior of “Restore previous folders at logon” functionality
SP1 changes the behavior of the “Restore previous folders at logon” function available in the Folder Options Explorer dialog. Prior to SP1, previous folders would be restored in a cascaded position based on the location of the most recently active folder. That behavior changes in SP1 so that all folders are restored to their previous positions.

Enhanced support for additional identities in RRAS and IPsec
Support for additional identification types has been added to the Identification field in the IKEv2 authentication protocol. This allows for a variety of additional forms of identification (such as E-mail ID or Certificate Subject) to be used when performing authentication using the IKEv2 protocol.

Support for Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX)
There has always been a growing need for ever more computing power and as usage models change, processors instruction set architectures evolve to support these growing demands. Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) is a 256 bit instruction set extension for processors. AVX is designed to allow for improved performance for applications that are floating point intensive. Support for AVX is a part of SP1 to allow applications to fully utilize the new instruction set and register extensions.

Improved Support for Advanced Format (512e) Storage Devices
SP1 introduces a number of key enhancements to improve support of recently introduced storage devices with a 4KB physical sector size (commonly referred to as “Advanced Format”). These enhancements include functionality fixes, improved performance, and updated storage drivers which provide applications the ability to retrieve information as to the physical sector size of storage device. More information on these enhancements is detailed in Microsoft KB 982018.

Build number of Windows 7 SP1: 7601.17514.101119-1850

Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac, now available on App Store

16 Feb, 2011 23:00

Windows Phone 7 Connector is now available at Mac App Store at no cost . WP7 users do not need to boot up Windows in their Mac to sync with their phone anymore . Here is the download link : http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id415571499?mt=12

However , I do think the combination of Windows Phone 7 and Mac is a strange pair . I , as a Mac user , would prefer iPhone as my phone , though . For WP7 , I would prefer to stay sync with my Windows PC .

GPU-Powered Science and Innovation Drive GPU Technology Conference 2011

13 Feb, 2011 11:22

NVIDIA announced on 12 Feb that GPU-Powered Science and Innovation Drive GPU Technology Conference 2011 (GTC 2011) will be held on 11-14 Oct , 2011 at San Jose’s McEnery Convention Center. At the same time , Accelerated High Performance Computing (HPC) Symposium will be co-located by its organizer Los Alamos National Laboratory.

“GTC has moved to the top of the annual agenda for the scientific and technical GPU computing community. The addition of the Accelerated HPC Symposium in this event underscores the central importance of GPUs and parallel computing.”

- Bill Dally, NVIDIA’s chief scientist

Confirmed sponsors and exhibitors of the event includes Microsoft, Supermicro, PNY, Adobe, Next IO, GE Intelligent Platforms, AMAX, Appro, The Portland Group, and Wolfram Research.

For more information , read the official event website : www.gputechconf.com

Our Sponsors
%d bloggers like this: