Office 2007 SP2 is available


As you may already have seen-SP2 for Office 2007 is out and available now. MS have stated it will be added to Windows updates within 3 months but I seem to have it available today…which is nice :-) If you haven’t got it and you can’t wait, head over here to grab it now.

It makes all kinds of improvements but the big one is it gives Outlook a great boost, up to 35% faster at starting up, switching between folders etc! It also helps bring the Excel charting more in line with Excel 2003…

Set MP3 as SMS alert


Today I finally got around to finding out how to set MP3’s as the sounds for other (non-incoming call) alerts on my Windows Mobile phone, and it’s nice and easy!

All you need to do is save the file in the root of your My Documents folder and it will appear in the selection list; so now I’ve got Chubb Rock as my new text message alert :-)

It might be that everyone already knows this but I figured it can’t hurt to mention…

What is XP Mode?


XP Mode is new feature of Windows 7 that will be available in the Release Candidate (it wasn’t in the beta) and I think it wil be a game changer.

It is a simple, yet quite brilliant, concept-using Virtual PC 7 as a base, it lets you run XP only applications inside Windows 7 :-) You might think, “Well why not just use Virtual PC?”…the biggest problem with using Virtual PC, VMWare Workstation etc is that you have 2 separate desktop entities causing you to switch back and forth without much interoperability but that’s not an issue here. XP Mode lets you run the legacy applications actually inside Windows 7, this screenshot from Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows shows IE 8 & IE 6 running alongside each other in Windows 7:

vxp_ie_windows

As a feature this really is a biggie. So many people, especially corporate, are still running on XP and the vast majority of them are doing so becuase of app compatability. For example, our CRM system doesn’t work with Vista so as much as I’d love to have that as my work OS I simply can’t…however that’s all changed now. I’ll be able to use Windows 7 with XP mode and, like Hannah Montana, have the best of both worlds ;-)

From a licensing perspective, it’s worth noting that XP mode will only be available in Pro, Enterprise & Ultimate editions.

From a technical perspective, Windows 7 XP Mode requires processors with Hardware Assisted Virtualization. Not all CPU’s have this, so a list of those that do is here.

Star Trek Rap


I love this track-it shows a great knowledge of Star Trek but with a brilliant hip-hop twist! Regardless of your feelings towards Star Trek and/or Hip-Hop-you’ve gotta love this :-) The use of samples from the show is a great touch…

Warning, lyrics are NSFW…

Shout out to MS Prime Directive and Galaxy Class!

Windows 7 RC New Features


The Windows 7 Release Candidate will be available via Technet/MSDN on 30/04/09 and to the general public 05/05/09 but the leaked version is floating around El Torrento’s right now and Gizmodo have been checking out it’s new features…and these have got me EXCITED!

1) Stream your Windows Media Player library over the internet! You need a Windows Live ID that you associate with your Windows 7 user account using a tool you have to download. You need to have WMP 12 at both ends and then your home library will be listed under “other libraries”..as Giz says “Can’t do this in iTunes, buddy” :-)

2) XP Mode: To encourage enterprise people to let loose and rock Windows 7, it runs a full-fledged Windows XP virtual environment using Microsoft’s Virtual PC. (Requires additional download)…this could be excellent for large corporates and increasing their adoption rates. More info on XP Mode here.

It also has loads of new , crazy backgrounds like this one:

windows7background

Upgrade Windows 7 Beta to RC


The Windows 7 Release Candidate will be released to the world on May 5th and the many millions of beta testers will definitely want to download and use it; however upgrading straight from the beta to the RC won’t be easy.

Microsoft would prefer that you go back to Vista and then upgrade to Windows 7 RC, that way will give them the correct metrics to analyse the upgrade process. That’s fair enough but it’s a bit of a hassle doing that so there is a way to get from A to B without going via Vista:

Here’s what you can do to bypass the check for pre-release upgrade IF YOU REALLY REALLY NEED TO:

  1. Download the ISO as you did previously and burn the ISO to a DVD.
  2. Copy the whole image to a storage location you wish to run the upgrade from (a bootable flash drive or a directory on any partition on the machine running the pre-release build).
  3. Browse to the sources directory.
  4. Open the file cversion.ini in a text editor like Notepad.
  5. Modify the MinClient build number to a value lower than the down-level build. For example, change 7100 to 7000 (pictured below).
  6. Save the file in place with the same name.
  7. Run setup like you would normally from this modified copy of the image and the version check will be bypassed.

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See more over @ the Engineering Windows 7 blog here.