Thursday, June 22, 2006 2:11 AM bart

Some hot releases

Rather calm on my blog lately due to a high workload. So, let's give a little overview of some recent hot releases that are worth to check out in case of some spare free time. This summer, I'll try to put some more serious posts on the web over here.

Here we go:

  • First of all, there's of course Windows Vista Beta 2 and the 2007 Microsoft Office System Beta 2 which are both available through MSDN (of course) and via the Customer Preview Program (CPP) on http://www.microsoft.com/betaexperience and on http://www.microsoft.be/testdrive for Belgian people. As I mentioned over here a while ago, I'm running those two (together with Windows Live Messenger, see further) on a day-to-day basis without complaints (so I have to deny all the stuff Paul Thurott is saying on his WinSuperSite - or I'm just very lucky it runs rocket fast on my machine).
  • Developers, don't forget to download the WinFX Runtime Components Beta 2 over here as well as the Visual Studio Extensions (a.k.a. "Fidalgo") and Workflow Foundation stuff. Of course the SDK will be a real bandwidth limits killer and can be found over here.
  • Graphic folks (working with WPF, the web or just bitmaps and vector graphics) will be pleased to see the May CTP builds of the Expression tools: Interactive Designer, Graphic Designer, Web Designer.
  • Windows Live Beta website refresh on http://www.live.com looks very promising and has become my homepage for a couple of days now. Of course I've set Windows Live as the default search provider in Internet Explorer 7 (a search is now reduced to CTRL-E to jump to the search box and entering the keywords - or, on Vista, by entering the search keywords right in the start menu's search box).
  • For those of you running Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 should be on the download list. Check it out over here: www.microsoft.com/ie, and don't forget to keep an eye on the IE team blog on http://blogs.msdn.com/ie.
  • For the communication stuff I'm running on Windows Live Messenger (the successor of MSN Messenger) which can be grabbed over here (RTM release).Check out other great Live Ideas on http://ideas.live.com as well.
  • Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals (a.k.a. "Data Dude", more info over here) has reached the CTP3 stage and can be downloaded right now. Pay Gert's blog a visit too on http://blogs.msdn.com/gertd and listen to his first podcast on sqldownunder.
  • Today the .NET Framework Compact Framework 2.0 SP1 was released as well. It's available on the Microsoft Download site.
  • A few days ago, the next generation Data Access vision has been released to the web on MSDN. Pablo Castro provides the links on the data access blog. The May 06 LINQ CTP can be downloaded too, including the C# 3.0 and VB 9.0 compilers. Anders and Sam give more information on ADO.NET vNext, Entities, providers and LINQ on Channel 9.
  • Right from the Microsoft Research folks, the Microsoft Robotics Studio CTP was released to the web a couple of days ago. All useful information as well as links to the download can be found via http://msdn.microsoft.com/robotics.
  • MSBee brings MSBuild to .NET Framework 1.x developers and can be grabbed from CodePlex. Other interesting releases include the Team Foundation Server Admin Tool (download) and the Managed Stack Explorer (download).
  • ASP.NET Atlas shouldn't be missing on this list too. Check it out here.
  • Exchange Server 2007 Beta 2 will be publicly available too in a while, if you register to get the beta on the Exchange site. IT folks will want to check out the System Center site too, for updates on the next releases of MOM (or should I say System Center Operations Manager now?) and other family members such as DPM and SMS. Find it over here: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/systemcenter.
  • Windows PowerShell RC1 shouldn't be missing on your have-to-download list too. Download it here.
  • I blogged about SQL Server 2005 Everywhere Edition a couple of days ago. More information over there.
  • Last but not least, check out http://connect.microsoft.com to get a glimpse of other available programs, such as BDD (Business Desktop Deployment) with Windows PE 2.0, WDS (Windows Deployment Services) and WIM (Windows Imaging Format) stuff as well as USMT, ACT 5.0 and the WAIK. Other stuff includes BizTalk 2006 R2, Phoenix, Speech Server 2007, Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition and much much more.

I'm sure I've forgotten a bunch of great releases in this list but I'm sure you'll find those exciting materials when you need them :-).

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