OpenDocument comes to Microsoft Word and Excel

After the intense interest in OOXML vs ODF during last year’s ISO document standardisation wars, I’m surprised that the inclusion of OpenDocument support in the newly-released Office 2007 SP2 has attracted so little attention. Well, not really surprised. The general public doesn’t care much about document formats as such, just that the documents they send

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Microsoft’s Outlook 2007 SP2 speed report

The poor performance of Outlook 2007 has driven many users to Google for solutions, and a good proportion arrive at this blog, which is why there are nearly 200 comments to this post.

Microsoft says it has fixed the problems with Office 2007 Service Pack 2 – though this comment disagrees. Personally I’ve not installed

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Windows 7: on sale pre-installed from October 2009

Windows 7 will be on sale pre-installed from 23rd October 2009, according to plausible leaks. So much for “when it’s ready.” You heard it from me first though: on 29th October 2008 I posted that Windows 7 may be less than a year away.

The OEM vendors need at least a couple of months to

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Signing into Windows Live with CardSpace

Roger Jennings shares his frustration that after nearly two years in beta, Information Card management for Windows Live still does not work reliably.

I’ve tried this before, but since switching to 64-bit Vista I’ve not used CardSpace. I had another look.

My first experience was poor. I headed to the card management page, entered the

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Faking synchronous web service calls in Silverlight

I ran into a small but thought-provoking problem in my sample Silverlight database application. I wanted to call a web service, and only call a second web service if the first was successful. The problem is that all web service calls are asynchronous, so you cannot do this with a simple if statement. The quick

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A Silverlight database application with image upload

I’ve been amusing myself creating a simple online database application using Silverlight. I had this mostly working a while back, but needed to finish off some pieces in order to get it fully functional.

This is created using Silverlight 2.0 and demonstrates the following:

A bound DataGrid (as you can see, work is still

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Microsoft disabling USB AutoRun in Windows 7 RC

It’s so easy. Install your virus or worm on a USB memory stick, set it to run automatically via AutoRun. An obvious security risk, and I’m surprised that Microsoft hasn’t already disabled the feature by default in a security update or service pack for XP or Vista.

The company is finally paying attention:

AutoRun entries

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New in Windows 7 RC: Windows XP Mode, Remote Media Streaming

A new feature in Windows 7 has been announced as part of the Release Candidate rollout. Called XP Mode (XPM), it lets users run applications in a virtual instance of Windows XP itself, for excellent compatibility. Although not part of the retail Windows 7, XPM will be a free download or may be installed at

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Microsoft’s quarterly results: will it ever make sense of the cloud?

Most comments on Microsoft’s quarterly results are understandably focused on the overall picture: a quarterly revenue decline for the first time ever.

Revenue decline can be forgiven during a recession, but it’s more interesting to look at the breakdown. I made a simple quarter-on-quarter table to look at the pattern:

Quarter ending Mar 31st 2009

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Ubuntu 9.04 not so jaunty

I still love Ubuntu, but it’s hard to find much to enthuse about in the latest release, 9.04 also known as Jaunty Jackalope. As this post observes, most of the changes are under the hood, so users will not notice much difference from the previous release, Intrepid Ibex or 8.10. Well, there’s faster start-up, and

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