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Saturday, May 30, 2009

UPDATE: Java Runtime Environment 1.6.0.14

Java software allows you to run applications called "applets" that are written in the Java programming language. These applets allow you to have a much richer experience online than simply interacting with static HTML pages.

Java Plug-in technology, included as part of the Java 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (JRE), establishes a connection between popular browsers and the Java platform. Java allows applications to be downloaded over a network and run within a guarded sandbox. Security restrictions are easily imposed on the sandbox.

Many cross platform applications also require Java to operate properly.

 

www.java.com or

http://www.filehippo.com/download_java_runtime/5696/

Installing Ubuntu Netbook Remix in Ubuntu 9.04

 

UNR 9.04
Installing Ubuntu Netbook Remix in Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope is easy. Unlike Ubuntu 8.04 or 8.10, you do not have to add any extra repositories to install UNR or add programs to the Startup Applications to get it to work.
The UNR packages have been added to the official universe repository. The developers have also created a package, ubuntu-netbook-remix-default-settings, that configures and adds the necessary programs, netbook-launcher and maximus, to your start-up applications.
To install Ubuntu Nexbook Remix
In a terminal type:


sudo apt-get install ubuntu-netbook-remix


The ubuntu-netbook-remix meta package includes 26 separate packages that make up the installation. They include:


app-install-data-commerical
cellwriter
cheese
cupsys-driver-gutenprint
desktop-switcher
fbreader
gnome-themes
go-home-applet
human-netbook-theme
libclutter-0.8-0
libclutter-gtk-0.8-0
libfakekey0
libzlcore-data
libzlcore0.9
libzltext0.9
libzlui-gtk
maximus
netbook-launcher
powernowd
ubuntu-remix-default-settings
webfav
window picker-applet
xautomation
xournal
xserver-xorg-input-evtouch


Once you have installed Ubuntu Netbook Remix, you can configure your panels to give it the UNR feel and look. To do this, right click the Gnome Panel and select "Add to panel".


UNR 9.04 Add to Panel


- Add the go-home-applet & window-picker-applet to the gnome panel.

THEN LOG BACK OUT AND LOG IN AGAIN!


- UNR with the go-home-applet and window-picker-applet running.


If you want to switch to the normal Ubuntu desktop you can use the desktop-switcher.
If you want to unistall Ubuntu Netbook Remix


In a terminal type:
sudo apt-get remove ubuntu-netbook-remix

Source: http://www.ubuntumini.com/2009/03/installing-ubuntu-netbook-remix-in.html

Microsoft: No more three-app limit in Windows 7 Starter Edition

Blogger Paul Thurrott was right. Microsoft is eliminating one of the biggest sticking points for Windows 7 Starter Edition — the three-application-concurrency limitation.

Microsoft officials acknowledged the change on May 29 on the Windows Team Blog. Windows Communication Manager Brandon LeBlanc posted the news:

“We are also going to enable Windows 7 Starter customers the ability to run as many applications simultaneously as they would like, instead of being constricted to the 3 application limit that the previous Starter editions included.

“We believe these changes will make Windows 7 Starter an even more attractive option for customers who want a small notebook PC for very basic tasks, like browsing the web, checking email and personal productivity.”

Microsoft attributed the change in the number of applications that can be run concurrently on Starter Edition to customer and partner feedback.

Windows 7 Starter Edition is the lowest-end SKU in the planned Windows 7 line-up. Microsoft has not made public Windows 7 pricing for either OEMs or consumers.  (XP Starter Edition is believed to cost OEMs about $15 per copy.)

Windows 7 Starter Edition — which Microsoft acknowledged back in February would be available in all countires, not just developing ones, a limitation of  XP Starter and Vista Starter –  is the version that most Microsoft watchers are expecting PC makers to preload on netbooks. (The second most likely choice is Windows 7 Home Premium.)

Microsoft is doing a lot of thinking about WIndows 7 on netbooks — or, as company officials prefer to call them, “small notebooks” — as of late. Microsoft has created a check-list of netbook specs to which PC makers will need to adhere to get netbook-level pricing for Windows 7, according to a recent report on TechARP.

Does removal of the three-apps-running-concurrently stipulation make you any more interested in running Windows 7 on a netbook?

 

source http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=2925

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Freeware: HashTab Windows Shell Extension

Download HashTab v2.3 (Latest version, all Windows hardware platforms)

Compare files with super precision!

HashTab is a Windows shell extension which adds a tab called "File Hashes" to the Windows Explorer file properties. The tab contains the MD5, SHA1 and CRC-32 file hashes. These are common hashes that are used to verify the integrity and authenticity of files. Many download sites list the MD5 hash along with the download link. The HashTab makes it very simple for Windows users to check these hashes on any file on the system without using external tools. The screenshot to the right shows an example.

hashtab

Home page:

http://beeblebrox.org/hashtab/ 

 

Windows only: If you download a lot of applications from the internet, chances are you've seen an MD5 hash next to the download link. This unique hash is used to verify the integrity of your download, ensuring that the file you got is in fact the file you were supposed to get. HashTab is a simple utility that adds a new tab to the Properties window of Windows Explorer that displays the file hashes for that file in several commonly used hash formats. To verify the authenticity of a download, then, you would just right-click the downloaded file, select Properties, and then compare the file hash in the new File Hashes tab to the hash posted on the download page. HashTab also compares files on your desktop to help you determine whether or not the files are identical. It's probably not for everyone, but if you do a lot of downloading and are interested in verifying the authenticity of those files, HashTab is a simple solution.

Microsoft releases Windows Vista SP2 and Server 2008 SP2

Microsoft has released a standalone installer for Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 today.
The software giant posted some things to know about the service packs last month, one of the warnings is if "vLite" was used to customize your Windows Vista installation, you may have removed required system components which prevent Service Pack 2 from installing. Microsoft has a workaround for this issue.
Microsoft is expected to post the bits to Windows Update in the coming weeks but if you are eager to install SP2 today then the download links are listed below.
Download: Vista SP2/Server 2008 SP2 32 bit
Download: Vista SP2/Server 2008 SP2 64 bit

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” on VMware Workstation 6.5.2

 

Ubuntu 9.04 otherwise known as "Jaunty Jackalope" was released last week, so we grabbed the Ubuntu 9.04 ISO image to try creating a VM in Workstation 6.5.2 (Windows XP host) and VMware Fusion 2.0.4 on Mac OS X. It works well but requires a few tweaks to get the mouse and shared folders to work fully.

Here are the steps I took to get a working Ubuntu 9.04 virtual machine on VMware Workstation. For VMware Fusion instructions check out this blog post.
1) Download the Ubuntu 9.04 x86 Desktop CD image.

2) In VMware Workstation 6.5.2, use the New Virtual Machine Wizard (File -> New), and point it at the Ubuntu ISO image you downloaded.image

3) Follow the instructions in the New Virtual Machine Wizard. You will see that Easy Install already recognizes this version!!! (we were thinking ahead…)

4) Once the Ubuntu virtual machine finishes installing and then boots up, you will have a working Ubuntu 9.04 virtual machine, however there are a couple of minor issues that can be easily worked around.

First, you will immediately notice that you cannot seamlessly move your mouse cursor outside of your virtual machine window. You will need to use CTRL+ALT to do that. This is because the vmmouse driver, a VMware mouse driver that enables the mouse ungrab feature, was not installed along with X.org included with Ubuntu. This can be easily fixed by running command "sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-vmmouse" as root in a terminal window in the Ubuntu virtual machine. After reboot, you should be able to mouse in and out of the virtual machine window without the ungrab key combo.

image

Second, shared folders do not work. The vmhgfs kernel module that powers the shared folder feature failed to compile during the VMware Tools install. The failure is due to a kernel API change in the new Linux kernel that ships with Ubuntu 9.04. A small source code change is required to fix this. If you don't mind getting your hands dirty a bit, you can follow the same procedure highlighted in this VMware Fusion forum post where some Fusion users discuss how to do this. (Credit: the original workaround for this was posted by Laptopbisnis in their blog).

Third, Unity mode does not currently work. If you try it, you will see an error message similar to this:

image
While VMware Workstation 6.5.2 does not officially support Ubuntu 9.04 guests at this time, this post will get you up and running with “Jaunty Jackalope” right away. In a future release of VMware Workstation we will provide official Ubuntu 9.04 support and ensure all the great features you have come to expect in VMware Workstation will work, including file drag and drop, text copy and paste, automatic screen resize, shared folders, and Unity.

Friday, May 22, 2009

How can I add my Dashboard Widgets on the Desktop? (MAC OSX)

 

How to add your Dashboard widgets on the DESKTOP much like Vista.

First, open up Terminal (Applications --> Utilities --> Terminal) and type in the following, exactly as you see here:

defaults write com.apple.dashboard devmode YES

You can just copy and paste from this Web page if you're concerned that you might type in something incorrectly, of course.

You'll get another regular system prompt within Terminal if it works, there's no other output to the defaults program.

Now log out of your account by choosing Apple --> Log Out, and log in again (You need to restart Dashboard).

Ready for the fun now? Press f12 to bring Dashboard up, then drag one of your Dashboard widgets around. While you're still dragging it around (that's critical: keep that mouse button down!) press f12 again.

Poof! Your Dashboard vanishes, but the widget's still visible. Move it to where-ever you want on your screen and it's there, running, fully functional, without the rest of Dashboard around!

THE ONLY PROBLEM with this, is that the widgets stay on TOP of all other windows, thus perhaps choosing a small widget would be best.

To move the widget back into the Dashboard world, reverse the trick: begin dragging the widget, then, while still keeping the mouse button down, press f12, then let go of the mouse button. The widget will be restored to its regular Dashboard layer.

dashboard-widget-desktop

In the screenshot above, you can see the dashboard Weather widget floating above Safari and adjacent to the little floating clock from the Date and Time System Preference.

This is a really cool little hack that I like a lot! My thanks to William Ayer for his help on this.

 

 

source: Link

Hey, I thought the internet knew no borders! > Microsoft shuts off Messenger in US-embargoed countries

 

Microsoft has switched off access to Windows Live Messenger in Cuba, Syria, Iran, Sudan and North Korea.
The software giant announced the policy change in a blog post spotted by our friends at LiveSide.
If any users in these countries attempts to sign into Messenger they will receive the following message:
810003c1: We were unable to sign you in to the .NET Messenger Service.
Work arounds are already available, signing in with a 3rd party client or setting your location in your Windows Live account to any other region will allow you to sign in again.
A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed  that the company has discontinued Messenger services to certain countries due to United States sanctions.

 

My comment is that the internet should be a tool to unify people, not create a bigger gap. In the long term via the internet, people will unify… and work with each other… Its already happening…

Of course Microsoft is only following US rules and regulations.. but the WORLD WIDE WEB should remain open…

Thats one of the reasons why the jabber chat network was created, as an open source network who NO ONE can control like Microsoft is doing now.

The google chat program uses the jabber protocol and any jabber client can talk with google talk.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Unlimited “virtual” wireless adaptors! WOW!

This technology is finding its way into windows 7 too.

Connecting to multiple IEEE 802.11 networks with one WiFi card

(VirtualWiFi is an old project, and we started working on it in 2002. We are not actively working on this project since 2006, and will not be supporting this software at Microsoft Research. Thanks for your interest. However, the software and code will still be available for you to play around with. Also, check out the supported VirtualWiFi OIDs in Windows 7.)


VirtualWiFi (previously known as MultiNet) is a virtualization architecture for wireless LAN (WLAN) cards. It abstracts a single WLAN card to appear as multiple virtual WLAN cards to the user. The user can then configure each virtual card to connect to a different wireless network. Therefore, VirtualWiFi allows a user to simultaneously connect his machine to multiple wireless networks using just one WLAN card. This new functionality introduced by VirtualWiFi enables many new applications, which were not possible earlier using a single WLAN card. For example,

· With VirtualWiFi, you can connect to a guest's machine or play games over an ad hoc network, while surfing the web via an infrastructure network.

· You can use VirtualWiFi to connect your ad hoc network, which may contain many nodes, to the Internet using only one node.

· VirtualWiFi can help make your home infrastructure network elastic by extending its access to nodes that are out of range of your home WiFi Access Point.

We have explored several other applications of VirtualWiFi. The first application is called Client Conduit, which is a very useful tool for fault diagnosis and recovery in Wireless LANs. Client Conduit is a tool that provides a thin pipe of communication for disconnected clients to exchange diagnosis information with the back end servers. The thin pipe is achieved by running VirtualWiFi on the connected clients. These clients dynamically connect to disconnected clients over an ad hoc network, and send messages from them to the back end servers. VirtualWiFi enables this thin pipe without requiring the connected client to explicitly disconnect from the infrastructure network. A more detailed description of Client Conduit can be found in the paper titled: "Architecture and Techniques for Diagnosing Faults in IEEE 802.11 Infrastructure Networks".
The second application of VirtualWiFi that increases the capacity of wireless ad hoc networks using orthogonal channels is called Slotted Seeded Channel Hopping (SSCH). SSCH uses VirtualWiFi to virtualize a wireless card with as many instances as the number of orthogonal channels. It then connects each virtual wireless card on a different orthogonal channel. Furthermore, SSCH proposes a novel scheme of partial synchronization that can be used with VirtualWiFi. The details of the SSCH protocol are described in another paper, titled: "SSCH: Slotted Seeded Channel Hopping for Capacity Improvement in IEEE 802.11 Ad-Hoc Wireless Networks".
The third application of VirtualWiFi is called WiFiProfiler, which enables clients to cooperatively diagnose the root cause of various wireless problems. Clients, including the ones that are disconnected from the WLAN, use VirtualWiFi to form an information plane, which is different from the data plane (the WLAN). All clients then exchange configuration information over this information plane and use this information to diagnose the root cause of various wireless failures. The details of this idea are described in a technical paper, titled: "WiFiProfiler: Cooperative Diagnosis in Wireless LANs".
We have implemented VirtualWiFi on Windows XP. The current version is a prototype implementation of VirtualWiFi, and we are in the process of making our software more robust to include more features. Your comments are very welcome.


Learn more about VirtualWiFi by clicking on the following links:

· Frequently Asked Questions about VirtualWiFi

· VirtualWiFi Software: Download and Usage Instructions
(Downloaded more than 100,000 times from this website. Also distributed to more than 400 universities worldwide as part of the Mesh Academic Resource Toolkit.)

· VirtualWiFi Documents: Papers and Talks

· Collaborators

· Press Coverage

VirtualWiFi has been used in two projects by the Networking Group at Microsoft Research. More details about these projects can be found on the following websites:

· Mesh Networking

· NetHealth

 

LINK:::: >>>> http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/virtualwifi/default.htm

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Screenshots of the Microsoft office 2010 technical preview

 

This technical preview is like a beta for the upcoming new version of office 2010.



Friday, May 15, 2009

Google suffers from more outages

Today some of Google's services were unavailable to a small percentage of users, causing problems with all of their services including YouTube, Gmail, Google Analytics, Google Maps and Google Docs.
Some speculations that AT&T was the root cause of it, but was later denied via twitter that it was not responsible. McAfee argues that the problem was caused by a IPv6 upgrade, but Google failed to respond to that issue.
The exact cause of the issue is not certain as Google's official statement didn't give exact details about the outage. The official statement claims that all of the traffic was routed through Asia causing a traffic jam and slowdowns or outages for many users.
Google posted this official statement about the outage:
"Imagine if you were trying to fly from New York to San Francisco, but your plane was routed through an airport in Asia. And a bunch of other planes were sent that way too, so your flight was backed up and your journey took much longer than expected. That's basically what happened to some of our users today for about an hour, starting at 7:48 am Pacific time.
An error in one of our systems caused us to direct some of our web traffic through Asia, which created a traffic jam. As a result, about 14% of our users experienced slow services or even interruptions. We've been working hard to make our services ultrafast and "always on," so it's especially embarrassing when a glitch like this one happens. We're very sorry that it happened, and you can be sure that we'll be working even harder to make sure that a similar problem won't happen again. All planes are back on schedule now.
"
The issues have since been fixed worldwide and all servers restored.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Gmail goes down again

According to IT Pro, Gmail has crashed at 11 AM today, making it the third time this year Google has had problems with their service.
A Google spokesperson said, "A number of our users had difficulty accessing Gmail this morning. The problem was immediately investigated, and service was restored within twenty minutes.".

The Worlds First Web Server: How long we have come in so little time!

 

800px-First_Web_Server

 

This NeXT workstation (a NeXTcube) was used by Tim Berners-Lee as the first Web server on the en:World Wide Web. It is shown here as displayed in 2005 at Microcosm, the public science museum at CERN (where Berners-Lee was working in 1991 when he invented the Web).

The document resting on the keyboard is a copy of "Information Management: A Proposal," which was Berners-Lee's original proposal for the World Wide Web.

The label on the cube itself has the following text: "This machine is a server. DO NOT POWER IT DOWN!!"

Just below the keyboard (not shown) is a label which reads: "At the end of the 80s, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web using this Next computer as the first Web server."

The book is probably "Enquire Within upon Everything", which TBL describes on page one of his book Weaving the Web as "a musty old book of Victorian advice I noticed as a child in my parents' house outside London".

Update: OpenOffice.org 3.1 Final, it just gets better and better…

 

OpenOffice.org 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers.

Great software

OpenOffice.org 3 is the result of over twenty years' software engineering. Designed from the start as a single piece of software, it has a consistency other products cannot match. A completely open development process means that anyone can report bugs, request new features, or enhance the software.

Easy to use

OpenOffice.org 3 is easy to learn, and if you're already using another office software package, you'll take to OpenOffice.org 3 straight away. Our world-wide native-language community means that OpenOffice.org 3 is probably available and supported in your own language.

... And it's free

Best of all, OpenOffice.org 3 can be downloaded and used entirely free of any licence fees. OpenOffice.org 3 is released under the LGPL licence. This means you may use it for any purpose - domestic, commercial, educational, public administration.

www.openoffice.org

fast mirror http://www.filehippo.com/download_openoffice/5603/

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor Beta

Brief Description

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor scans your PC to see if it's ready for Windows 7, and tells you about any known compatibility issues.

 

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor scans your PC's system, programs and devices to check if it's able to run Windows 7. After a few minutes, the report will let you know if your PC meets the system requirements, if there are any known compatibility issues with your programs and devices, and will also provide guidance on your upgrade options to Windows 7.

 

Instructions

Download and install Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to your computer. Launch it, and follow the directions.
If you are running Windows XP and do not have .NET Framework 2.0 yet, you will be asked to download and install it. After .NET is installed, you can restart the Upgrade Advisor installation.

 

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=1b544e90-7659-4bd9-9e51-2497c146af15

Thursday, May 7, 2009

CrossLoop Remotely Controls Any Windows or Mac PC

 

WOW, crossloop was featured on one of the biggest technology blogs in the world: Lifehacker. I am very proud to be a member of the crossloop helper team.. crossloop is growing by leaps and bounds, just like I predicted it would back in 2007… you can find me on crossloop here

 

Windows/Mac OS X: Free remote desktop application CrossLoop—which we've mentioned once or twice before—has just released a Mac version, which means simple, cross-platform remote support and file sharing for your friends and family.

The benefit of CrossLoop has always been that it's very easy to set up and use, even for beginners, making it an ideal tool for those of us who've been unofficially designated as tech support for our loved ones. Just install (on both your computer and the computer you want to control), sign up for accounts, and you'll be up and sharing screens in no time once you swap the automatically generated access code. I don't see any new options (screen sharing and file sharing have always been CrossLoop's brread and butter), but the addition of Mac support should open a lot of new doors for helping out across platforms. CrossLoop is a free download, Windows and Mac only.

http://crossloop.com/download.htm

 

My profile on crossloop: www.crossloop.com/kennys

posted on lifehacker

http://lifehacker.com/5243257/crossloop-remotely-controls-any-windows-or-mac-pc

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Kindle to feature a 9.7 inch screen

At last.. the ebooks readers are here…!

At last! e-Ink is here!

I have been waiting for this since early 2000…. and now at last its making its way into mainstream… e-ink is electronic ink… a fascinating “new” way to display images on a screen that is reflective, like paper and not self illuminating like a screen. This keeps the text easy to read and puts less strain on the eyes…

You can read about e-ink here http://www.eink.com/  and here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E_Ink

There was a gold-rush wave back in the early 2000 with everyone (including me) making ebook stores… but ebooks never really took off because of the strain on the eyes when reading from a normal screen, plus the lack of light ergonomic reading devices.

The Kindle seems to solve these problems

According to Engadget, the new Amazon Kindle DX will feature a 9.7 inch screen as opposed to the 6 inch screen on the current model. This new model is expected to be officially announced at the Amazon Press Event on the 6th of May.

Image from Engadget
The bigger screen could make the new Kindle "more newspaper and college textbook-friendly". Universities including Case Western Reserve University, Pace, Princeton, Reed, Arizona State, and Darden School at the University of Virginia have signed up for trials to issue the new Kindles with pre-installed textbooks to college students.

Image from Engadget
The device is also said to include a built in PDF reader, and "the ability to add annotations in addition to notes and highlights". It is also said to feature a more functional browser. Apparently, New York Times will be offering a $9.95 / month subscription which is a little lower than the current $13.99.
It would be interesting to see if Amazon would sell both the models of the Kindle simultaneously at different price points. It would seem ludicrous if Amazon phases out their second generation Kindle, just barely 3 months after its release. Do share your thoughts.

Windows 7 release candidate is LIVE…

 

The release candidate of windows7 has been released, this is not the final version, its a test version but you can download it and try it if you are interested. Of course you must do this on a second hard drive, partition or virtual machine. Or if you have a second computer as a test machine you can try it there too.. I do not advise people to use it as their main operating system yet unless they know what they are doing.. and know the risks..

Your PC, simplified. You told us what you want in a PC. We listened. And made hundreds of little improvements and a few big ones that add up to a whole lot less. Less waiting, fewer clicks, and less complexity. With less of what you don’t need, Windows 7 helps you do more. More work, more play, and more of everything in between. Making every task simpler and every day easier. See for yourself—get the Release Candidate.

The Windows 7 Release Candidate is available. Download it here when you’re ready.

“As for performance, I think Microsoft is going to surprise people. And if you're working for an enterprise that hasn't upgraded to Vista because it won't run acceptably on your existing PCs, you'll want to look again at Windows 7.” Paul Thurrott, Supersite for Windows

 

Link http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/default.aspx

Friday, May 1, 2009

Notable Changes in Windows Server 2008 SP2 and Windows Vista SP2

 

Updated: April 28, 2009

Applies To: Windows Server 2008,Windows Vista

Microsoft® continuously improves the Windows Vista® and Windows Server® 2008 operating systems by providing ongoing updates while working with software and hardware vendors to help them deliver improved compatibility, reliability, and performance. These updates are provided to customers by Microsoft’s hardware and software partners, as well as directly from Microsoft in the form of regularly distributed updates delivered via Windows Update. Updates to Windows are also delivered directly to some affected customers and preinstalled by computer manufacturers.

Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 are updates to Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 that address feedback from our customers and partners. By providing these fixes integrated into a single service pack, which will be thoroughly tested by Microsoft and by industry partners and customers during the pre-release cycle, Microsoft provides a single high-quality update that minimizes deployment and testing complexity for customers.

In addition to all previously released updates, SP2 will contain changes focused on supporting new types of hardware and adding support for several emerging standards. SP2 will also continue to make it easier for IT administrators to deploy and manage large installations of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

This document describes the notable changes in the Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 release. For a complete list of all the hotfixes and security updates in SP2, see Hotfixes and Security Updates in Windows Server 2008 SP2 and Windows Vista SP2. Note that many of the updates listed are already publically available and have been released via the Microsoft Download Center or Windows Update.

Organizations do not need to wait for SP2 to deploy Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008; we encourage them to begin their Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008 evaluation and deployment now.

Setup prerequisites

There are only two prerequisites for installing SP2:

  • Your operating system, Windows Server 2008 or Windows Vista must have Service Pack 1 installed.

    noteNote

    Windows Server 2008 shipped with Service Pack 1 built in.

  • Users updating through Windows Update/WSUS must install an update to the servicing stack (described in knowledge base article 955430) that handles installation and removal of software updates, language packs, and optional Windows features. This update is necessary to successfully install and uninstall the service pack; it also improves the performance and reliability of the service pack installation. This update may require a reboot and is part of the standalone update package. It will be offered as a separate package on Windows Update. Users installing SP2 in standalone format will have this update built-in

Service Pack 2 size

In order to make the improvements detailed in this document, individual files and components have been updated. Also, the language-neutral design of Windows necessitates that the service pack be able to update any possible combination of the basic languages supported by Windows Vista with a single installer, so language files for the 36 basic languages are included in the standalone installer.

These features result in a large stand-alone package, which is the delivery vehicle typically used by system administrators. However, most home and small business users will receive SP2 through Windows Update, which utilizes an efficient transfer mechanism to download only the actual bytes that are changed, resulting in an approximately 43 megabyte (MB) download. This is similar in size to many common software and driver updates that are delivered by other software vendors over the internet, and therefore should not cause issues for most customers.

Usage

Download size (x86)

Download size (x64)

Download size (ia64)

Standalone package

  • Computers without internet access
  • System administrators
  • About 302 MB (Five language package)
  • About 390 MB (Available in seven languages)
  • About 508 MB (Five language package)
  • About 622 MB (Full 36 language package)
  • About 384 MB (Five language package)
  • About 396 MB (Full 36 language package)

Windows Update

  • Most home users
  • Many business customers
  • About 43 MB (Windows Vista)
  • About 47 MB (Windows Server 2008)
  • About 60 MB (Windows Vista)
  • About 90 MB (Windows Server 2008)

N/A

Integrated DVD

  • New PCs
  • Fresh Windows installations
  • XP upgrades

N/A

N/A

N/A

Table 1   Delivery mechanisms for SP2

Application compatibility improvements

Thanks to the rich instrumentation capability of Windows operating systems, we are able to understand the types of issues that our customers experience while respecting their personal information and privacy preferences. We use this information to focus improvements in Windows, but we also share this information with our software vendor partners to help improve the reliability and compatibility of non-Microsoft applications. For example, in SP2, Spysweeper and ZoneAlarm, now work with POP3 e-mail accounts.

Our goal for SP2 is that applications that are written using public APIs and that run on the Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 operating systems will continue to work as designed.

Microsoft has already released several application compatibility updates which allow more applications to work seamlessly for the end user. These appear in SP2 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, but they are also available through Windows Update. Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 contain additional application compatibility fixes for individual applications.

For more information about previously released compatibility updates, refer to article 947562 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=128900

Hardware ecosystem support and enhancements

  • SP2 adds support for the 64-bit central processing unit (CPU) from VIA Technologies, which adds the ID and vendor strings for the new VIA 64-bit CPU.
  • SP2 integrates the Windows Vista Feature Pack for Wireless, which contains support for Bluetooth v2.1 and Windows Connect Now (WCN) Wi-Fi Configuration. Bluetooth v2.1 is the most recent specification for Bluetooth wireless technology.
  • SP2 improves performance for Wi-Fi connections after resuming from sleep mode.
  • SP2 includes updates to the RSS feeds sidebar for improved performance and responsiveness.
  • SP2 includes ability to record data to Blu-Ray Disc media.

Operating system experience updates

  • SP2 includes Windows Search 4.0, which builds on Microsoft’s search technology with improved indexing and search relevance. It also helps find and preview documents, e-mail (including signed e-mail messages), music files, photos, and other items on the computer. The search engine in Windows Search 4.0 is a Microsoft Windows® service that is also used by programs such as Microsoft Office Outlook® 2007 and Microsoft Office OneNote® 2007. Autotuning Diagnostics in SP2 now interprets current network conditions when implementing Windows scaling. This feature includes full netsh support.
  • SP2 improves Windows Media Center (WMC) in the area of content protection for TV.
  • SP2 adds a registry key that enables modification of the maximum number of open TCP connections to increase application compatibility.

Enterprise improvements

  • SP2 provides the Hyper-V virtualization environment as a fully integrated feature of Windows Server 2008, including one free instance with Windows Server 2008 Standard, four free instances with Windows Server 2008 Enterprise and an unlimited number of free instances with Windows Server 2008 Datacenter.
  • SP2 increases the authentication options for WebDAV redirector, enabling Microsoft Office users greater flexibility when authenticating custom applications using the WebDAV redirector.
  • SP2 provides an improved power management (both on the server and the desktop), which includes the ability to manage these settings via Group Policy.
  • SP2 improves backwards compatibility for Terminal Server license keys. Windows Server 2008 changed the licensing key from 512 bytes to 2,048 bytes which caused clients using older Terminal Server versions to fail. SP2 allows legacy license keys on Citrix applications to work with Windows Server 2008 Terminal Server.

Setup and deployment improvements

The SP2 standalone installer:

  • Provides a single installer for both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.
  • Includes the ability to detect an incompatible driver and either block service pack installation or warn users of any potential loss of functionality.
  • Provides better error handling and descriptive error messages where possible.
  • Improves manageability through logging in the system event log.
  • Provides a secure install experience.
  • Includes the ability to service the installer post release.

SP2 also includes a Service Pack Clean-up tool (Compcln.exe) which helps recover the hard disk space by permanently deleting previous versions of files (RTM and SP1) that are being serviced by SP2. The Service Pack Clean up tool can also be run offline while creating slipstream images to reduce the size of the image.

Conclusion

SP2 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 represents Microsoft’s continuing commitment to quality. While most updates contained in SP2 are available as individual downloads, the roll-up convenience of SP2 is a major benefit for administrators. This functionality coupled with new advanced deployment features, such as the single installer and the pre-installation analyzer, means SP2 continues to provide ongoing improvements that our customers have grown to expect from Microsoft. For more detail on SP2’s contents, see Hotfixes and Security Updates in Windows Server 2008 SP2 and Windows Vista SP2.