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News: Steven Sinofsky says nothing about Windows 7

I feel for CNET’s Inet Fried, who got an interview with Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky to talk about Windows 7, but got nothing of substance out of him, even though he is the right person to ask. I quite enjoyed this bit of circumlocution though. Sinofsky is talking about how Microsoft “re-plumbed” the graphics in Vista:

…continue reading News: Steven Sinofsky says nothing about Windows 7

UK Rock Band prices strike an ugly chord

I was surprised to see that the highly-regarded Rock Band game has been rated only a two-star game by customer reviewers at Amazon.co.uk.

The reason: not the game, but the price. The Band in a Box package, which costs up to £129.00, neglects to include the game itself: buy it separately for up

…continue reading UK Rock Band prices strike an ugly chord

More on Debian’s OpenSSL bungle

I reported on this in the Guardian. Interesting piece to research. First, the history. You can find the exchange between Karl Roeckx and Ulf Möller here. An unfortunate mistake; I make mistakes too (it was my fault that a name was misspelt in the Guardian piece, for example), so rather than heap blame on individuals

…continue reading More on Debian’s OpenSSL bungle

ODF support in Microsoft Office: a sign of strength, or weakness?

Big news in the document format wars today. Microsoft is (as far as I can tell) properly supporting ODF in Office. The press release states that both ODF and PDF will be fully integrated into Word, Excel and PowerPoint. This means Save As, not Export; and the possibility of setting ODF as a default save

…continue reading ODF support in Microsoft Office: a sign of strength, or weakness?

Microsoft Access needs a complete rethink – or retirement

Microsoft Access is now thoroughly out of sync with the company’s wider database technology. I’m writing an introductory piece on database applications, and the failure of Access to keep pace with what is happening elsewhere is glaringly apparent.

Let’s look at what database formats Access understands. There is its own native .MDB format, now

…continue reading Microsoft Access needs a complete rethink – or retirement

Who needs AIR? NY Times does desktop Silverlight app for Mac

The New York Times is porting its excellent Times Reader application to the Mac using Silverlight 1.0:

Times Reader for the Mac is a native Cocoa application, which uses the Safari toolkit and Silverlight to render the pages.

Follow the link for some screengrabs. Adobe’s AIR (which also uses the Safari toolkit) is the

…continue reading Who needs AIR? NY Times does desktop Silverlight app for Mac

Facebook Chat thinks I’m running IE6

Facebook needs to work on its browser detection:

If I click the button it tells me I have IE6. Perhaps a sneaky promotion for Firefox?

Technorati tags: facebook, chat, ie6, ie7

…continue reading Facebook Chat thinks I’m running IE6

Microsoft: forget the Live Search Cashback, just improve the engine

Microsoft is paying users to use its search engine with a new search cashback scheme. Looks like an affiliate scheme where the commission is paid back to the customer. US only.

I think Microsoft should focus on improving its search engine. This morning, I needed to call a local electrician and figured that search would

…continue reading Microsoft: forget the Live Search Cashback, just improve the engine

Why we don’t talk about Zune

Brandon LeBlanc comments on last week’s Guardian article on DRM and says:

What is interesting to me is the article neglects to look at what Microsoft is doing with Zune in regards to DRM. Just like Apple and Amazon – the Zune Marketplace also offers DRM-free music.

According to this page on the Zune Marketplace:

…continue reading Why we don’t talk about Zune

Installing .NET, PowerShell on Windows 2008 Server Core: it can be done

Dmitry Sotnikov explains how to install .NET and PowerShell on Windows Server 2008 in its Server Core configuration. It is necessary to tweak the .NET setup with Orca, a low-level editor for Microsoft Installer files. Note this is unsupported.

The lack of PowerShell is an annoyance; the lack of .NET is a major obstacle to

…continue reading Installing .NET, PowerShell on Windows 2008 Server Core: it can be done