Outlook Auto-Complete

This isn’t a problem I’ve ever experienced but I had to help a colleague out with it today, and it seems to be relatively common.

The problem is where Outlook’s AutoComplete feature for remembering previously used email addresses just doesn’t work, each time you open Outlook-they’re all gone which is pretty annoying. It all comes down to the “.NK2″ file that Outlook 2003/2007 uses and there are 2 likely causes:

1) Your .NK2 file has become corrupted somehow

2) You upgraded from Outlook 2000 and the new file wasn’t created.

Outlook 2000 used a “.NICK” file which is unreadable to later versions of the email client, but it seems that an upgrade from 2000 to 2007 doesn’t replace it with the required “.NK2″ file. This was the case at work so we simply closed Outlook/deleted the “.NICK” file (some prefer to rename the file rather than deleting it)/re-opened Outlook/sent an email/hey presto a new “.NK2″ file appeared and all was well :-)

The file can be found here:

C:\Documents and Settings\<your username>\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

I hope this helps!

Windows 7 Beta Exam

Registration for the “Configuring Windows 7″ beta exam will open next week:

Registration begins: April 27, 2009 


You are invited to take beta exam 71-680: TS: Windows 7, ConfiguringIf you pass the beta exam, the exam credit will be added to your transcript and you will not need to take the exam in its released form. The 71-xxx identifier is used for registering for beta versions of MCP exams, when the exam is released in its final form the 70-xxx identifier is used for registration.

By participating in beta exams, you have the opportunity to provide the Microsoft Certification program with feedback about exam content, which is integral to development of exams in their released version. We depend on the contributions of experienced IT professionals and developers as we continually improve exam content and maintain the value of Microsoft certifications.


71-680: TS: Windows 7, Configuring counts as credit towards the following certification(s).

·          MCTS: Windows 7, Configuration


Registration begins: April 27, 2009

Beta exam period runs: May 5, 2009– May 18, 2009


Receiving this invitation does not guarantee you a seat in the beta; we recommend that you register immediately! Beta exams have limited availability and are operated under a first-come-first-served basis. Once all beta slots are filled, no additional seats will be offered.

Testing is held at Prometric testing centers worldwide, although this exam may not be available in all countries (see Regional Restrictions).  All testing centers will have the capability to offer this exam in its live version.


Regional Restrictions: India, Pakistan, China

Registration Information

You must register at least 24 hours prior to taking the exam.
Please use the following promotional code when registering for the exam: WIN7J
Receiving this invitation does not guarantee you a seat in the beta; we recommend that you register immediately.

To register in North America, please call:

Prometric: (800) 755-EXAM (800-755-3926)

Outside the U.S./Canada, please contact:

Prometric: http://www.register.prometric.com/ClientInformation.asp

Office 2007 SP2

The Microsoft Office team have released a great big list of fixes contained in Service Pack 2 for Office 2007 and some of them are great, and look like they’ll fix some issues I’m having :-) The full article can be found here and my pick of the fixes is below. (ps SP2 will be out 28th of April 2009-so next week!)

Excel: A chart object model has been added to Word and PowerPoint.

Groove: Synchronization reliability has been improved.


  • Performance in startup, shutdown, view rendering, and folder switch has been improved.
  • Calendar updates, search, and RSS are more reliable.
  • Powerpoint: Resaving of files is faster.

     Server side:

    Excel Services: Improved compatibility with Mozilla Firefox browsers.

    Props to Chris Parkes for his tweet on this :-)

    Windows 8

    Although we’re all caught up in the buzz waiting for Windows 7 to be released, MS have started looking forward to Windows 8!

    A job posting highlighted by CodeName Windows is looking for someone to work on Distributed File System Replication (DSFR) technology for Windows 8:

    “For the upcoming version of Windows, new critical features are being worked on including cluster support and support for one way replication. The core engine is also being reworked to provide dramatic performance improvements. We will also soon be starting major improvements for Windows 8 where we will be including innovative features which will revolutionize file access in branch offices.””

    That last point shows that the advanced made in Windows 7 and Win Svr 2008 R2 with Branch Cache are only the beginning of Microsoft’s plans to help companies with satellite offices.

    Windows Server 2011 (as I imagine it will be) gets in on the action too:

    In Windows Server 2008 R2 release, the Server UX Test team (under the File Server Management organization) is finalizing the MMC [Microsoft Management Console] based User eXperience (UX)/Interfaces for the File Server Role. Currently the team owns DFS [Distributed File System] Management, Share and Storage Management, FSRM [File Server Resource Manager] & Classification UI, Disk Management, SMFS. For Windows 8, the SSD organization is working on the next version of the file server.

    “As the team moved to Windows 8, you will have 2 main responsibilities – (i) put on the customer/design critique hat as we plan our next version file server management experience (i) participating in the architectural design, and development and driving automated testing for managing the next generation file server. Our current automation does not meet the multi-machine paradigm requirement and so you will contribute significantly in the development of test automation to validate setup/configuration of the new server, managing configuration changes, performing diagnostics and reporting using Power Shell, Command line, Object Model, UI.”

    Thanks to Mary Jo for the job descriptions.

    I know some people will think it’s weird that MS are working on another version of Windows while the newest version hasn’t been released yet, but that’s teh best way to ensure that the UX (User Experience) is very similar between the two aswell as keeping to the 3 year timeline.

    I’m very excited for Windows 7 but I can’t help wondering what awesome features will be in Windows 8…any ideas?! :-)

    Windows 7 RC Release Date

    A “slip-up” on the Microsoft Partner Portal earlier revealed that the Windows 7 RC (Release Candidate) will be with us on 5th May :-)

    I got the Windows 7 beta as soon as it was available which was Build 7000 and I installed that on my desktop at home. There have been numerous leaks of newer builds (we’re up to 7077 now) but I’ve not moved up to any of these for 2 reasons:

    1) I’m not sure of the legality of downloading a leaked beta build and I don’t want to get caught up in all that!

    2) The hassle of backing up and upgrading for what might be imperceptible changes.

    Despite, or perhaps because of that, I can’t wait to upgrade to the RC. To see the many 1000′s of changes and updates that have been made will be excellent.

    Windows Mobile 6.5 Launch

    MS have confirmed that the offical launch date for Windows Mobile 6.5 is May 11th 2009, which is the first day fo this year’s TechEd event.

    The Windows Mobile blog says:

    “Stephanie Ferguson, GM (General Manager) of Business Experiences at Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business is going to deliver the kick off launch presentation of Windows Mobile 6.5 on Monday, May 11th at 1:00PM – 2:15PM. This Tech Ed 2009 session focuses on one of the biggest launches in the history of Windows Mobile – Windows Mobile 6.5. It is targeted at both IT Professionals and Developers, with a cool demo and an outline of great stuff to come.”


    It will still be a number of months until we see any WinMo 6.5 devices but TechEd will give us a chance to see even more about the features of the new mobile OS and more things to look forward to!

    *Update* Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 phones will start being released on October 6th 2009 :-)

    Exchange 2010 Public Beta Released

    Microsoft today (15/04/09) made the beta of Exchange 2010 available to the public-this can be downloaded here:

    Get Exchange 2010 Beta

    There are numerous new features in the latest incarnation of the world’s most popular email platform (I think that’s a safe statement to make?!) including:

    ·         OWA (Outlook Web Access) support for Internet Explorer (IE) 7 and 8, Firefox 3, and Safari 3.


    ·         MailTips. Are you about to accidentally send a personal e-mail to the whole company? A a time-sensitive e-mail to someone who is on maternity leave for six months? A 30MB attachment to people who have 20MB attachment size limits on their mailboxes? MailTips tells you before you send the message.


    ·         Conversation view. Have the arrangements for a company party Friday night cluttered up your mailbox to the point where you can’t find the approval e-mail for the urgent customer visit that you need to book today? Switch to conversation view, and collapse those 50 party discussions into one expandable node.


    ·         Calendar sharing extended to OWA


    ·         Automatically transcribed text-based preview of voice mail messages

    ·         Federation – Trust Exchange servers of partner organizations, share calendars, presence. You can schedule meetings with your business partners as easily as you can schedule meetings within the company.

    ·         Mailboxes can be moved during normal business hours with user online!

          ·      The Exchange 2010 version of OWA will have full parity with Outlook 2010 by the time they both ship; & the Windows Mobile client will come close.

    One thing that might surprise some and will probably cause issues for others is that Exchange 2010 will require Windows Server 2008 minimum-so NO Windows Server 2003 support. I’m sure this won’t sit well with everyone but Windows Server 2008 is such a great product, and a huge leap forward from Server 2003, that I’m sure it will only benefit people to adopt it.

    I’ve just seen a tweet from @Pbarone that Exchange 2010 will have a “mute” button which will allow you to remove yourself from email threads…that is seriously cool! At least a couple of times a week I find myself caught up in a “reply all/forward” whirlwind where I’m one of say, 6 people that all receive an email and then each of then “reply all” and then that receives multiple replies and so on. It’s very rare that I actually need to see these responses but once one person hits “reply all”, it seems to be the custom for everyone else involved to follow suit…and it can be really annoying so this mute button is a great new feature!

    Modern Day Samurai

    This might be the most off topic thing I’ve posted on here so far but it’s awesome. This guy Isao  Machii is a master of the sword-cutting string beans horizontally, slicing moving bullets in half and all sorts! Also, the “English Subtitles done by a Japanese speaker” are brilliant :-)

    Outlook Thread Compressor

    Geek in Disguise Steve Clayton has posted about a great utility, Ewan Dalton’s Outlook Thread Compressor.

    “it’s an add-in to Outlook which removes unnecessary emails, on the assumption that most people reply to mail and leave the original intact, so you could keep the last mail in each branch of a thread, and remove all the others.”

    I’d just like to re-iterate Ewan’s disclaimer:

    “Let me say that again: Thread Compressor, as it is configured by default, WILL DELETE DATA FROM YOUR INBOX.

    If you choose to download it and use it from here, you do it with the author’s blessing, but it’s completely at your own risk and Microsoft cannot be held responsible for what it does.”

    Head over to http://threadcompressor.co.uk/default.aspx for more info and to download this great tool.


    I know every man and his dog has blogged about Twitter by now but I just want to do a quick post with my thoughts on the hottest Web 2.0 topic of the moment.

    I took a while to get in to Twitter. I’d tried  a few times but thought it was boring, pointless and vain and then around November 2008 I finally got it :-) I saw the potential within Twitter for increasing/creating business contacts as well as discovering and learning about new things-and that’s how I use it.

    You may have seen my “Windows 7 Diary” on the MS Technet letter a few weeks back…I found out about that through Twitter. I’ve got the Royal Institute Xmas Lectures on DVD…got that through Twitter. Got an early invite to Spotify…through Twitter. There are plenty more. too. It’s also great for connecting with people for work (I follow, and am followed by, a number of MS people) and strengthening relationships etc. For things like this I think Twitter is great and invaluable but there are 2 things I don’t get at all:

    1) Following “celebs” for the sake of it. These can be media celebs such as Stephen Fry, Wossy, Russell Brand, Lily Allen and the 100′s others and/or “web celebs” such as Scobelizer, Loic etc. I follow Mr Fry as his tweets are for the most part interesting and pertinent while most, if not all, other celebs are amazingly bland and boring; however they still have 1000′s/10,000′s of followers for no real reason. I found particularly “Wossy” was very boiring and irritating!

    2) Tweeting about what you’re doing: doesn’t that mean you’re not doing it?! I often see tweets such as “Am having lovely meal with family-great night”…really? If it’s that good why have you got your phone out and started Tweeting? Surely if it was that good, you’d be too busy enjoying yourself?! Another one you see is “Am really enjoying being with the kids”…do the kids really enjoy watching you type?!

    I don’t want to sound too militant about it but certainly number 2 really strikes me as being odd! That said it’s each to their own and Twitter is great ;-)