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    Microsoft Study: Botnets a Launching Pad for Cybercrime

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    Microsoft Australia today released the ninth volume of its Security Intelligence Report (SIR v9) into internet security, which exposes the extent to which botnets are providing a launch pad for cybercrime such as spam, phishing, identity theft, click fraud, and advance fee fraud. BTW, a botnet is described as a computer connected to the Internet that has been set up to forward transmissions (including spam or viruses) to other computers on the Internet, without the knowledge of the computer owner. For more information on this, you can refer the Microsoft Australia's Press pass page.

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    Outlook 2010, Windows Mobile & SMS Sync: Send and receive text messages from your e-mail account

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    You can send and receive text messages from your e-mail account if you're using a Windows Mobile 6.5 phone or you've downloaded and installed the Outlook Mobile Update on your Windows Mobile 6.1 phone. This functionality is known as SMS Sync.

    Enable Text Message Synchronization

    To enable text message synchronization on a Windows Mobile 6.1 phone or a later version that's synchronized with a Microsoft Exchange account, use the following steps.

    1. On the mobile phone, select the Text Message application.
    2. To display the configuration page, select Menu > Tools > Manage SMS Sync.
    3. On the Manage SMS Sync options page, turn on SMS Sync by selecting either Inbox or Text Message. These are the two folders that can hold your text messages.
    4. To complete the setup, select OK.

     

    image

    Note: An update is required for Windows Mobile 6.1 phones. This update can be downloaded and installed on your phone after it's synchronized successfully with an Exchange server that supports SMS Sync.

    Sending Text Messages from Your Account

    After you've set up your mobile phone to synchronize text messages with your e-mail account, you'll receive an e-mail message titled Send and receive mobile text messages on your computer. Text messages from your mobile phone will be synchronized to your mailbox and will appear in either the Inbox or the Text Message folder.
    image

    To start sending text messages from your e-mail account, close and reopen Outlook 2010 or Outlook Web App. To send a new text message, click Text Message in the New drop-down menu. When you click Send, the message will be synchronized from your mailbox to your phone and then sent through your phone.
    image

    Note: Normal text message fees apply and will appear on your phone bill.


    Depending on your synchronization settings, there might be a short delay before your text message is sent from your phone. To avoid delays, set ActiveSync on your phone to synchronize items as they arrive instead of on a schedule.

    To set ActiveSync on your phone to synchronize items as they arrive, use the following steps.

    1. On your mobile phone, select the ActiveSync application.
    2. Select Menu > Schedule to open the scheduling options page.
    3. Select As items arrive.
    4. Select OK.


    Note: We don't recommend that you choose a synchronization schedule of as items arrive unless you have an unlimited mobile phone data plan.

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    Receive Server Error while browsing the Exchange EWS or Autodiscover sites

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    Recently i received the following error while try to browse the following /autodiscover/Autodiscover.xml">https://<servername>/autodiscover/Autodiscover.xml  or /ews/exchange.asmx">https://<servername>/ews/exchange.asmx:


    Could not load file or assembly 'Microsoft.Exchange.Diagnostics, Version=8.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.
    Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

    Exception Details: System.IO.FileNotFoundException: Could not load file or assembly 'Microsoft.Exchange.Diagnostics, Version=8.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

    Source Error:

    An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below.

    Assembly Load Trace: The following information can be helpful to determine why the assembly 'Microsoft.Exchange.Diagnostics, Version=8.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35' could not be loaded.

    WRN: Assembly binding logging is turned OFF.
    To enable assembly bind failure logging, set the registry value [HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Fusion!EnableLog] (DWORD) to 1.
    Note: There is some performance penalty associated with assembly bind failure logging.
    To turn this feature off, remove the registry value [HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Fusion!EnableLog].

    Stack Trace:

    [FileNotFoundException: Could not load file or assembly 'Microsoft.Exchange.Diagnostics, Version=8.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.]
    Microsoft.Exchange.Services.AuthorizationModule.Init(HttpApplication context) +0
    System.Web.HttpApplication.InitModulesCommon() +135
    System.Web.HttpApplication.InitInternal(HttpContext context, HttpApplicationState state, MethodInfo[] handlers) +2601588
    System.Web.HttpApplicationFactory.GetNormalApplicationInstance(HttpContext context) +347
    System.Web.HttpApplicationFactory.GetApplicationInstance(HttpContext context) +139
    System.Web.HttpRuntime.ProcessRequestInternal(HttpWorkerRequest wr) +196

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:2.0.50727.1434; ASP.NET Version:2.0.50727.1434

    During the analysis, i noticed that the issue had happened as it could not load the assembly Microsoft.Exchange.Diagnostics due to incorrect entry in the application web.config file. I followed the below steps to over come the issue specified in the KB.

    If the problem is occurring with /autodiscover/autodiscover.xml">https://<servername>/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml

    Take a backup of web.config in "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\ClientAccess\Autodiscover".
    - Open web.config from C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\ClientAccess\Autodiscover in notepad.
    - Replace all "file:///%ExchangeInstallDir%" with "file:///C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\" where C is the drive where Exchange is installed.
    - Save the file.
    - Open an Administrator command prompt and run IISreset /noforce
    - Test browsing /autodiscover/autodiscover.xml">https://<servername>/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml

    If the problem is occurring with /ews/exchange.asmx">https://<servername>/ews/exchange.asmx 

    Take a backup of web.config in "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\ClientAccess\exchweb\ews".
    - Open web.config from C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\ClientAccess\exchweb\ews in notepad.
    - Replace all "file:///%ExchangeInstallDir%" with "file:///C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\" where C is the drive where Exchange is installed.
    - Save the file.
    - Open an Administrator command prompt and run IISreset /noforce
    - Test browsing /ews/exchange.asmx">https://<servername>/ews/exchange.asmx

    Hope this helps.

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    Live @ PDC 2010 - Real Games Analysis and Optimization of XNA Framework Games for Windows Phone

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    Microsoft PDC 2010 - Live from the Microsoft CampusJust to update you that PDC 2010 is on, and you can watch it online (i am watching now :) ). Right now I am attending Jeff’s Real Games Analysis and Optimization of XNA Framework Games for Windows Phone session. Earlier i watched Shawn Hargreaves’ session. If you’re a Windows Phone 7 app or games developer, then you have couple of sessions to watch out…

    Streamed Sessions

    Things I Wish I Knew Three Months Ago about Building Windows Phone 7 Applications

    Jaime Rodriguez Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM (GMT-7) (Add to your calendar)

    The Windows Phone clients for Twitter and Facebook are two new, native-looking Windows Phone applications. Come hear about all the lessons learned while developing these applications. Gain insights about the UX as well as development/architecture patterns for building great, well-behaved, native-looking Windows Phone 7 apps.

    Optimizing Performance for Silverlight Windows Phone 7 Applications

    Oren Nachman Thursday, 3:15 P.M. - 4:15 P.M. (GMT-7) (Add to your calendar)

    Hear about the key tips, tricks, and common mistakes that we uncovered by analyzing several real world applications. See demos of how real apps are debugged. Also learn how to write world class applications with animations running at 60fps.

    Things You Need to Know Before Building XNA Games for Windows Phone 7

    Shawn Hargreaves Friday, 11:30 A.M. - 12:30 P.M. (GMT-7) (Add to your calendar)

    So you have a cool idea for a game. This session covers some of the less obvious things you will need to know to turn your idea into reality when using XNA Game Studio for Windows Phone. Topics include how to choose the best orientation and resolution, how game content differs from typical productivity or web applications, how to deal with tombstoning, how to speed up load times, and how to proceed if you are interested in getting access to Xbox LIVE on the phone.

    Real-World Analysis and Optimization of XNA Framework Games on Windows Phone 7

    Jeff Petkau Friday, 2:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M. (GMT-7) (Add to your calendar)

    Good code design, performance tips, and a solid understanding of the platform are all essential to game development. Learn how to use the Microsoft Advanced Technology Group's (ATG) battle-tested techniques to find and fix performance-killing issues in Windows Phone 7 XNA Framework game code. Also, hear about real-world analysis and optimization of XNA Framework games on Windows Phone 7.

    3-Screen Coding: Sharing Code between Windows Phone, Silverlight, and .NET

    Shawn Burke Thursday, 4:30 P.M. - 5:30 P.M. (GMT-7) (Add to your calendar)

    Get a preview of upcoming Visual Studio features that will allow you to share code between Microsoft .NET platforms. You’ll learn how to structure applications to maximize the amount of shared code, how to write an app that’s used across Silverlight Desktop and Windows Phone, and how to build business logic and helper functions that work across all 3 screen types plus the cloud.

    Building Windows Phone 7 applications with the Windows Azure Platform

    Steve Marx Thursday, 11:30 A.M. - 12:30 P.M. (GMT-7) (Add to your calendar)

    Learn how to build Windows Phone 7 applications that are backed by scalable cloud components hosted in Windows Azure. This demo-heavy session will cover best practices relating to communication, authentication, and data synchronization between phone applications and cloud components.

    On Demand Sessions

    The Rich Mobile Web – Today and Tomorrow

    Joe Marini (On demand recording)

    Learn how to plan and design for today's - and tomorrow's - Rich Mobile Web, whether you have an existing site that you want to get mobilized or are starting from scratch.

    Making Money with the Windows Phone Marketplace

    Karen Luk (On Demand recording)

    In Windows Phone 7, Microsoft provides a central mechanism for distributing your application or game to all Windows Phone users: the Windows Phone Marketplace. In this session, we’ll review the high level workings of the Marketplace, but more importantly, we’ll drill deep into the functional criteria your application must meet, and the practices you should use in order to meet them.

    You can get the full list from the client devices: http://player.microsoftpdc.com/Schedule/Filter/ClientDevices and the entire PDC 2010 available at http://player.microsoftpdc.com/Schedule/Sessions.

    Enjoy the sessions!!

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    Microsoft Xbox: What else you can do more than playing games?

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    With Xbox LIVE, a whole world of extraordinary entertainment experiences awaits, including streaming music, HD movies, live sporting events, Facebook, Twitter, Video chat and more…

    ESPN on Xbox 360:
    With Kinect and ESPN you don't just watch the game, you live the game. With thousands of sporting events and the interactive social network of Xbox LIVE, ESPN on Xbox 360 brings the excitement of a stadium experience into your living room…

    Friends and family:
    Video Kinect™ lets you connect with family and friends from the comfort of your living room. The Kinect camera captures a full room view and even automatically zooms to capture everyone in the room. Connect with friends on Windows Live Messenger or chat from one Xbox 360 to another…

    Bring your gamer friends with you wherever you go. With Xbox LIVE and Windows Phone 7, you can see who’s online and what your friends are doing on their consoles, PCs, or Windows 7 phones

    Learn more about this

     

    Movies and music:
    Listen to music, watch a film or TV show, connect with your friends in real-time. Zune on Xbox 360 delivers HD movies in the clearest, eye-popping instant-on 1080p. You can access your favorite music and buy music videos too… Learn more about this

    Mobile

    Windows Phone 7:
    Game on the go and connect with friends wherever you are. Access your Xbox LIVE account right from your Windows Phone 7 and see what your friends are up to on Xbox LIVE. Add some edge to your gaming repertoire with mobile tips and tricks, track your gamer score, or deck out your avatar with the latest duds. Also stay in the game with the only phone with Xbox LIVE built in. Whether you’re waiting for the bus, traveling out of town, or just kicking back around the house, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE will keep your life in motion and put mobile gaming

    Streaming music:
    Bring a party to life with Last.fm and listen to the world's largest online music catalog - including all your favorite songs - on your Xbox 360. Discover tons of new music and listen to personalized radio stations powered by millions of music fans. Learn more about this


    Use your voice:
    Kinect uses advanced entertainment technology to respond to the sound of your voice. Just say “Xbox” to reveal a series of voice commands. So you’ll be able to control HD movies with the sound of your voice—no remote required

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    Release to Manufacturing – Microsoft Lync 2010

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    On October 27, 2010 Microsoft Lync 2010 moved into the final engineering milestone - the next release of Office Communications Server and Communicator - also known as Release to Manufacturing, or RTM. For more information you can refer Kirk’s blogpost on the TechNet blog.

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    Zune Software: Installation failed with error code 0x80070643

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    Recently I tried to install Zune Software in my PC, encountered installation failed with the error code: 0x80070643 and message “Setup must stop because the required package ‘Zune"’ didn’t install.

    image

    Done research and found the following Microsoft support knowledge base article – states that “A required component cannot be installed when you try to install the Zune software”. This issue may occur when software updates that are required by the Zune software are not available when you try to install the Zune software. The following required updates are available from the Microsoft Update website: 

    • The .NET Framework 2.0
    • Microsoft Error Reporting
    • XMLLite
    • Windows Format SDK

    To obtain all required updates in one package, follow these steps:

    1. Verify that you have administrative rights to install software.
    2. Make sure that you have sufficient free space to install the Zune software. For more information about system requirements for Zune, visit the following website: http://www.zune.net/products/software/minsystemreqs.htm
    3. Click the Download button on the following page to install the update package:  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=104738
    4. In the dialog box that appears, click Run to start the installation process.
    5. The installation should start automatically. If you are prompted, type the name of the folder where the files will be extracted.
    6. When the files are copied to the folder, open the folder, and then double-click Startzune.exe to install the Zune software.

     

    This resolved the issue. Based on the above support KB, you may also receive one of these error messages when trying to install the following products:

    • The Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
    • Microsoft Windows Media Format 11 runtime
    • Microsoft Error Reporting 2.0
    • XMLLite
    Additionally, the installation cannot continue.

    Happy troubleshooting!!

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    Download and Try: Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Release Candidate

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    Lync 

    Lync Server 2010 ushers in a new connected experience transforming communication into an interaction that is more collaborative, engaging and accessible from any location with internet connectivity. A single interface unites voice, IM, audio-, video-, and web-conferencing into a richer, more contextual offering and a single identity makes it easier and more efficient for users to find contacts, check their availability and connect with them.  Lync Server 2010 works consistently with Microsoft Office, enriching the experience of familiar applications like Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, Microsoft SharePoint, and more.


    Try a fully functional version of Lync Server 2010 RC in your own environment. You can download it from: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/lync/try-it_lync.aspx?CR_CC=200004695. This download includes both Microsoft® Lync™ Server 2010 and Microsoft® Lync™ 2010 (client).

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    Future Roadmap for IronRuby & IronPython

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    Microsoft announced the road forward for IronRuby and IronPython.  These two dynamic language implementations that incubated internally the last few years. We have released several versions of both language environments (IronPython releases and IronRuby releases), and all of the source code has been released under open source licenses (recently moved to Apache License V2.0). For more information, refer Jason’s blogpost “New Components and Contributors” talks about this.

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    Happy first anniversary, Windows 7

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    Do you know Windows 7 turns one on Oct. 22? Happy first anniversary, Windows 7!!

    In the space of a year, the company sold more than 240 million licenses, a record for a Microsoft operating system’s first year. Windows 7 – it’s been a busy year. Since the new operating system launched worldwide a year ago, Microsoft has sold more than 240 million licenses.



    Windows 7 at One Year


    People are four times more likely to recommend Windows 7 to a colleague or friend than they were a year ago, and in its first five months, the number of IT professionals recommending Windows 7 surpassed those recommending Windows XP.




    In addition, as Windows 7 marks its one-year anniversary, it:

    • Has sold more than 240 million licenses worldwide

    • Has a customer satisfaction rate of 94%*

    • Is on more than 1.2 billion Windows PCs worldwide

    • Is on 93 percent of new consumer PCs, as of September

    • Has over 17 percent of the global operating system share**

    • Has inspired nearly 90 percent of companies to upgrade or start upgrading to the new OS

    • On average, can save companies US$140 per PC per year, and a 131 percent return on investment in the first year


    * Lifehacker

    ** Net Applications, October 1, 2010

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    Xbox Kinect : 17 Controller-free games launch in November

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    Anticipation for Kinect swells with sold-out pre-orders, ad campaign launch, special appearances on two of America’s top daytime talk shows. Today, the countdown to Kinect begins, as Microsoft Corp. announced the launch of a multiyear advertising campaign and revealed the complete line-up of 17 controller-free games that will transform living rooms around the world starting on Nov. 4.

    With 17 Kinect-enabled titles debuting in November, Kinect for Xbox 360 offers something for gamers (and nongamers) of every stripe.

    “Kinect Adventures” (Good Science Studio/Microsoft Game Studios), included with every Kinect sensor
    Float in outer space. Experience the thrill of roaring rapids. Tackle mountaintop obstacle courses. And dive into the deep sea to save a leaky underwater observatory — all from your living room. With “Kinect Adventures,” you are the controller as you jump, dodge and kick your way through exciting adventures set in a variety of exotic locations. “Kinect Adventures” is designed with something for everyone to enjoy and will be available with every Kinect sensor and Kinect bundle sold.


    “Kinectimals” (Frontier Developments Ltd./Microsoft Game Studios), limited collector edition.
    “Kinectimals” invites children, their parents and animal lovers of all ages to build lasting friendships with some of the world’s most exotic creatures. Just like real pets, your feline cubs will come running when they hear your voice, respond to commands such as “jump,” “roll over” and “play dead,” and purr with joy when you scratch them behind their ears. Limited collector’s editions of the “Kinectimals” game packaged with a 7” plush toy that unlocks a new animal and toy in the game will be available exclusively at Toys “R” Us and GameStop.

    “Game Party™: In Motion” (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
    The popular party game value series comes to Kinect for Xbox 360. “Game Party: In Motion” lets players engage in true-to-life motions with 16 games appealing to people of all ability levels, ranging from sports such as Hoop Shoot and Darts to arcade and party games, including Rootbeer Tapper, Table Hockey and more.


    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 The Videogame” (Electronic Arts/EA Bright Light)
    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 The Videogame” is the most challenging yet, packed from start to finish with action and combat. Playing as Harry, you are on the run from the opening sequence, fighting for survival on a desperate and dangerous quest to locate and destroy Voldemort’s Horcruxes. And with 22 exclusive Kinect challenges, conjure the weapons of magical warfare where your motions make the magic, only on Xbox 360.


    “Your Shape™: Fitness Evolved” (Ubisoft)
    With Kinect for Xbox 360 and “Your Shape: Fitness Evolved,” you will experience the most advanced fitness technology available, your way and on your schedule. The advanced feedback system detects when your body is out of alignment and coaches you to correct your form. Personalize your workout, challenge your friends and share your progress while achieving real results.


    “Dance Central” (MTV Games/Harmonix)
    From the creators of “Rock Band” comes the next great music experience: “Dance Central,” the first controller-free, body tracking, fully immersive dance video game that helps you take your moves to the next level. Featuring more than 90 routines and 650 dance moves, every routine has authentic choreography for beginners and experts alike to master, alongside a killer soundtrack that spans today’s current pop, hip-hop and R&B artists. You won’t just learn the dance moves — you’ll own the dance floor.


    “The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout” (THQ)
    Based on the hit television show, “The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout” comes to Kinect offering the ultimate workout experience. Complete your fitness program using the interactive motion control sensors providing real-time feedback. From a body analyzer and recipes to personalized tips and a video diary to track your journey, “The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout” fitness game has it all to drop the weight and change your life.


    “DanceMasters” (Konami)
    The pioneer of the franchise that started the dance game craze, Konami introduces a brand new way to experience music and rhythm. The next generation in full-body dancing is finally here.


    “EA SPORTS Active 2” (EA SPORTS)
    EA SPORTS Active 2” with Total Body Tracking will combine motion tracking from Kinect and heart rate data from the included wireless heart rate monitor to provide true fitness results. Users will be able to track and share their workout data online through automatic uploading from their online connected Xbox 360 consoles to their personalized EA SPORTS Active profile.


    “Zumba Fitness®” (Majesco)
    Join the party with “Zumba Fitness,” a one-of-a-kind, dance fitness workout set to sexy, high-energy Latin and international music. Find your rhythm and let go as “Zumba” instructor fan favorites Gina Grant, Tanya Beardsley and “Zumba” creator, Beto, guide you through 30 routines that will work you into a sweat and make you forget you’re even exercising.

     


    “Kinect Sports” (Rare/Microsoft Game Studios)
    The first full-body, controller-free sports game that lets you physically compete with friends over Xbox LIVE, “Kinect Sports” is so real, you will almost feel the wind in your hair as you fly over hurdles and the sand in your toes as you set, bump and spike your way to volleyball victory. With six full sports — Soccer, Beach Volleyball, Track & Field, Boxing, Bowling and Table Tennis — “Kinect Sports” is the only title with a Team vs. Team mode, allowing the whole family to play in a fast-paced tournament style competition.

    “MotionSports™” (Ubisoft)
    Grab your friends and rush the living room, it is time to catapult into the wide world of “MotionSports.” Race down the slopes of a Super G slalom, score a mind-blowing penalty kick, duck-and-run your way to a game-winning touchdown, or throw punches at the champ as you test your skills in more than 40 awesome sports challenges. The “MotionSports” live in-game commentary will follow your hits and misses, as you compete to go from local hero to a global sports phenomenon.

    “DECA SPORTS FREEDOM” (Hudson Entertainment)
    Hudson Entertainment is taking sports to the next level with 10 sporting events you play using your own body in “DECA SPORTS FREEDOM.” No controller necessary — just move yourself as if you were playing the sport in real life. Spin, throw and smash your way to victory across all of the included events: tennis, boxing, archery, paintball, beach volleyball, dodge ball, kendo, mogul skiing, snowboard cross, and even figure skating.


    “Kinect Joy Ride” (Big Park/Microsoft Game Studios)
    “Kinect Joy Ride,” the first controller-free racing game, will take you and your friends on the ride of your lives — no driver’s license required. “Kinect Joy Ride” combines wild kart-racing excitement with the effortless fun of full-body gaming possible only with Kinect for Xbox 360. Go solo or compete with up to eight players over Xbox LIVE to take on the world.

    “ADRENALIN MISFITS” (Konami)
    “Adrenalin Misfits” thrusts gamers into unbelievable fantasy worlds with exciting, sideways-stance boarding battles in amazing environments. It's not just a race, it’s a battle!


    “Fighters Uncaged” (Ubisoft)
    Charge head-first into the vicious world of illegal free-fighting tournaments, where you will use every muscle in your body to battle your way to the top. Forced into a secret tournament, Simon must use what he learned from his father, an ex-boxing champ, as he faces off against violent combatants who will brutally unleash a range of mixed martial arts attacks to take him down. No guns. No blades. Your body is the deadly weapon.

    “SONIC FREE RIDERS™” (SEGA)
    Sonic is speeding onto Kinect for Xbox 360 in an action-packed experience unlike any other. Become your favourite character as you jump on your board and compete in adrenaline-fuelled races against tough competition. For the first time use full-motion body control to twist and turn your way through a range of stunning courses.

    For more information, visit http://www.kinectholiday.com and Microsoft News Center’s Press Pass. Also follow Kinect on Facebook as we tour the world, transforming how people experience games and entertainment. More information is available at http://www.facebook.com/xbox.

     

    Are you ready for the party?

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    Next Gen. Cloud Productivity: Microsoft Office 365

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    Office 365Microsoft Corp. today announced Microsoft Office 365, the company’s next generation in cloud productivity that brings together Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online in an always-up-to-date cloud service. Office 365 makes it easier for millions more organizations to get and use Microsoft’s award-winning business productivity solutions via the cloud. With Office 365, people can work together more easily from anywhere on virtually any device, while collaborating with others inside and outside their organization in a simple and highly secure way. As part of today’s news, Microsoft is also opening a limited beta program for Office 365 in 13 countries and regions.

    Few key benefits are:

    • Anywhere-access to email, documents, contacts, and calendars on nearly any device*
    • Work seamlessly with Microsoft Office and the other programs your users already count on everyday
    • Business-class features including IT-level phone support, guaranteed 99.9% uptime, geo-redundancy, and disaster recovery
    • Pay-as-you-go pricing options which give you predictability and flexibility for all or part of your organization
    • Latest version of Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), which has millions of business users today

    * Access from mobile devices require WiFi capability or depends on carrier network availability

     

    With the announcement of Microsoft Office 365, the productivity power of the cloud just got a turbo boost for customers of all sizes. The new service brings familiar applications, including Office desktop software and Office Web Apps, together with SharePoint, Exchange and Lync in the cloud, for the first time. New cloud service brings together Office, SharePoint, Exchange and Lync for organizations of all sizes. Moving to the cloud with Office 365 means people don’t have to change the way they work, because Office 365 works with the most popular browsers, smartphones and desktop applications people use today.

    Office 365

    Office 365 will be available worldwide next year. Starting today, Microsoft will begin testing Office 365 with a few thousand organizations in 13 countries and regions around the world, and the beta will be expanded to include more organizations over time. Office 365 will be generally available in 40 countries and regions next year. Customers and partners can sign up for the Office 365 beta and learn more at that site, or follow Office 365 on Twitter (@Office365), Face book (Office 365), or the new Office 365 blog at http://community.office365.com to get the latest information.

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    Troubleshooting: IIS/Exchange logs and WebDAV functions

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    You can collect information about client requests by enabling logging for sites and services. IIS logs are stored in %SystemRoot%\system32\Logfiles\<service_name>. If you examine the IIS/Exchange log file you will see the request for the sample application being handled by IIS - you can notice couple of jargons like GET, PUT, POST, MKCOL, LOCK, UNLOCK, PROPFIND, SEARCH, PROPATCH, SUSBCRIBE, UNSUBSCRIBE, POLL etc.

    clip_image002

    The three main HTTP functions used are GET, PUT and POST:

    • GET: Retrieves a document 

    • PUT: Puts an item in a folder 

    • POST: Submits an item to a folder


    In addition to above, there are few more WebDAV functions that are used:

    • MKCOL: Makes a collection that is in essence the same as a Web Storage System folder. MKCOL allows you to make folders and set their properties. 

    • LOCK: Locks documents to prevent writes. 

    • UNLOCK: Allows writes and creates updates. 

    • PROPFIND: Searches for properties individually or for a whole set of folders. 

    • SEARCH: Provides filter, subquery and sort capabilities to a search. 

    • PROPPATCH: Sets arbitrary properties on an item. 

    • SUBSCRIBE: Adds a user to a list. 

    • UNSUBSCRIBE: Removes a user from a list. 

    • POLL: Checks to see if the notification is fired.

    Happy troubleshooting!!

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    Development : Threading with Outlook Object Model?

    • 2 Comments

    Developers do complain when they use multi-threading the Outlook Object Model (OOM) API, it fails or hangs inside and outside of Outlook?  The reason behind this is the Outlook Object Model is not thread safe which means that COM will never allow multiple threads to enter concurrently.  Instead, it will serialize all calls using a message-based protocol which, in turn, means that the user will not be able to interact with Outlook while your background thread is being serviced and vice-versa.

    If your COM object needs to believe that it is in a single-threaded environment, use STA. You are guaranteed that the creation and all calls will be made by the same thread. You can safely use Thread local storage and you don't need to use critical sections.

    In general, rules for single-threaded apartments are simple, but it is important to follow them carefully:

    • Every object should live on only one thread (within a single-threaded apartment).
    • Initialize the COM library for each thread.
    • Marshal all pointers to objects when passing them between apartments.
    • Each single-threaded apartment must have a message loop to handle calls from other processes and apartments within the same process. Single-threaded apartments without objects (client only) also need a message loop to dispatch the broadcast messages that some applications use.
    • DLL-based or in-process objects do not call the COM initialization functions; instead, they register their threading model with the ThreadingModel named-value under the InprocServer32 key in the registry. Apartment-aware objects must also write DLL entry points carefully. There are special considerations that apply to threading in-process servers. For more information, see In-Process Server Threading Issues.


    To isolate the issue, you can try running two instances of Outlook in same machine? Can you do that. The answer is No, you can’t do that. So all calls to the Outlook object model execute on Outlook’s main foreground thread. When you design or develop application, the only threading model supported by Outlook object model is single-threaded apartment (STA). Calling the Outlook object model from a background thread is not supported.

    I recommend you also to refer pcreehan’s blogpost regarding this.

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    Provide your valuable feedback via Visual Studio 2010 Survey

    • 0 Comments

    Got 5 minutes? Please take the survey and let us know what you think about VS2010. Your feedback will help inform future versions of products. Microsoft Visual Studio team looks for your valuable comments and feedback via the following Survey. It will help inform us as they plan for next versions of our product.

    We do not collect identifying information such as your name, email or IP address. For additional information, please reference Microsoft's Online Privacy Policy.

    This survey should only take about 5 minutes of your time. In order to progress through this survey, please use the following navigation links:

    • Click the Next >> button to continue to the next page.
    • Click the Previous >> button to return to the previous page.
    • Click the Exit the Survey Early >> button if you need to exit the survey.
    • Click the Submit >> button to submit your survey.


    Provide your valuable comments!!

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    Verify performance/stability with Exchange Server Jetstress 2010?

    • 0 Comments

    You can use Jetstress 2010 to verify the performance and stability of a disk subsystem prior to putting a Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, 2007 and 2010 server into production. Jetstress helps verify disk performance by simulating Exchange disk Input/Output (I/O) load. Specifically, Jetstress simulates the Exchange database and log file loads produced by a specific number of users.

    JetStress

    There are two basic kinds of testing you can do with JetStress:

    • Performance Testing
    • Disk Subsystem Stability Testing


    You use Performance Monitor, Event Viewer, and ESEUTIL in conjunction with Jetstress to verify that your disk subsystem meets or exceeds the performance criteria you establish. After a successful completion of the Jetstress Disk Performance and Stress Tests in a non-production environment, you will have ensured that your Exchange disk subsystem is adequately sized (in terms of performance criteria you establish) for the user count and user profiles you have established.

    Using JetStress 2010 you can simulate disk I/O load on a test server running Exchange to verify the performance and stability of your disk subsystem before putting your server into a production environment.

    You can use this Utility to verify for Microsoft Exchange Server versions 2003, 2007 and 2010. It is highly recommended that the Jetstress user read through the tool documentation before using the tool.

    You can download,

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    Download : Exchange Server 2010 SP1 VHD

    • 0 Comments

    If you want to evaluate Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 then you can try this?

    You can download this fully configured virtual machine of the latest release of Exchange Server 2010 SP1. Evaluate the new capabilities of Exchange Server 2010 SP1, which helps you achieve new levels of reliability and performance by delivering features that help to simplify your administration, protect your communications, and delight your users by meeting their demands for greater business mobility.

    You can download the VHD @ http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=53f7382a-3664-4de3-8303-31e514d69f02

    Note:
    1. This trial software is intended for evaluation purposes only.
    2. There is no product support for this trial. You are welcome to share your trial experience with others and to ask for advice by participating in the forums

    3. This download comes as a pre-configured VHD.
    4. This download enables you evaluate Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP1 for 180 days
    5. Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V or Windows Server 2008 R2 is required to use this virtual machine. For more info visit the following link.
    6. In order to use this evaluation package you will need to have Microsoft Hyper-V installed on a physical machine.

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    Developer info : Microsoft supports jQuery

    • 0 Comments

    As you know jQuery is a lightweight open source JavaScript library (only 15kb in size) that in a relatively short span of time has become one of the most popular libraries on the web. A big part of the appeal of jQuery is that it allows you to elegantly (and efficiently) find and manipulate HTML elements with minimum lines of code. jQuery also includes a built-in set of animation APIs that can be used as commands.  The combination allows you to do some really cool things with only a few keystrokes.

    Microsoft has announced its plans to support the jQuery open-source JavaScript library - a fantastic library, which can really benefit ASP.NET and ASP.NET AJAX developers. Not only will Microsoft support the jQuery library, but they giant also plans to ship it as part of its Visual Studio tool set. Microsoft announced the news on Sept. 28. See: http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2008/09/28/jquery-and-microsoft.aspx

    The journey started when ScottGu decided to start supporting jQuery back in September 2008. The journey started for contributing features to jQuery when Scott sent Stephen Walther, Program Manager of ASP.Net for AJAX to meet with John Resig – the creator of jQuery and leader of the jQuery project – to find out whether Microsoft and jQuery could work together. Microsoft ASP.Net team shipped jQuery with every release of MVC and we already include jQuery in the Visual Studio 2010 templates for Web Forms and MVC. Now, Microsoft and the jQuery project have announced that three plugins developed by developers on the ASP.NET team – the jQuery Templates, jQuery Data Link, and jQuery Globalization plugins – have been accepted as official jQuery plugins. In addition, the jQuery Templates plugin will be integrated into jQuery 1.5 which is the next major release of jQuery.

    Relevant info:
    =============
    - Scott Guthrie’s blog: http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2010/10/04/jquery-templates-data-link-and-globalization-accepted-as-official-jquery-plugins.aspx
    - jQuery team’s announcement: http://blog.jquery.com/2010/10/04/new-official-jquery-plugins-provide-templating-data-linking-and-globalization/
    - Stephen’s blog: http://stephenwalther.com/blog/default.aspx.
    - Video @ Channel 9 : Web Camps TV #5 - Microsoft Commits Code to jQuery!
    -
    Support for jQuery from Microsoft Product Support Services (PPS): http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2008/09/28/jquery-and-microsoft.aspx 

    Developer info:
    ===============
    - Sample article from: http://www.borismoore.com/2010/09/introducing-jquery-templates-1-first.html 
    - MSDN Magazine article (Web Site Improvements Using jQuery and jQuery UI): http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd898316.aspx
    - MSDN Magazine article (Explore Rich Client Scripting With jQuery) - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd453033.aspx

    As i pointed our earlier jQuery is a fantastic library; using that you can do really cool things with only less programming efforts.

    Try this out. Happy Programming!!

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    Hotfix: Failure Sending mail error with System.Net.Mail (.Net Framework 4.0) while sending large attachment

    • 0 Comments

    Recently one of my customer ran into an issue with his application used to send email messages using System.Net.Mail.SmtpClient (SNM) API. He used Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0. It’s a pretty simple code,

    //Sample C# code snippet using System.Net.Mail API
    SmtpClient MyClient = new SmtpClient("mail_server");
    MyClient.Credentials = new System.Net.NetworkCredential("User", "Password", "Domain");
    MailMessage MyMsg = new MailMessage("fromuser", "touser", "Testing Attachment", "Testing");
    Attachment MyAttachment = new Attachment(@"attachmentfile");
    MyMsg .Attachments.Add(MyAttachment );
    MyClient.Send(MyMsg );

    Using the above code, whenever he adds the attachment size is larger than 3 MB and tries to send the message. It fails with the following a exception System.Net.Mail.SmtpException and error message “Failure sending mail”. Also during troubleshooting i noticed that i generates a inner exception System.IndexOutOfRangeException with the error message “Index was outside the bounds of array”. In the application he also failed to specify the TransferEncoding property of the attachment.

    In this customer scenario, recommended him to try with TransferEncoding property with QuotedPrintable worked for him. We tried it like,
    MyAttachment.TransferEncoding = System.Net.Mime.TransferEncoding.QuotedPrintable;

    You can find the following support knowledgebase article which talks about the issue and provides resolution to overcome the issue. 

    Also there is a hotfix available to overcome this issue. Please make sure that you must have .NET Framework 4.0 installed to apply this hotfix. To download this hotfix, you can visit following Microsoft website: https://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/Downloads/DownloadDetails.aspx?DownloadID=30226.

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    Outlook Object Model: Handling mailbox items - read or unread - from any folder

    • 0 Comments

    Being Exchange/Office developer, you make use of Outlook Object Model (OOM) API to can handle the mailbox items programmatically and process as per your wish. Let me walkthrough through this sample:

    'Declaration block
    Dim iOut As Outlook.Application
    Dim iNs As Outlook.NameSpace
    Dim iFldr As Outlook.MAPIFolder
    Dim iCount As Integer
    Dim iMsg As Outlook.MailItem
    Dim iCtr As Long

    'Create New Outlook Application
    Set iOut = New Outlook.Application


    'Get the MAPI Namespace
    Set iNs = iOut.GetNamespace("MAPI")


    'Select the folder you want to process
    Set iFldr = iNs.PickFolder


    'Print the values - No. of item count in the folder & No. of unread item count
    Debug.Print "Total Items: " & iFldr.Items.Count
    Debug.Print "Total Unread items = " & iFldr.UnReadItemCount


    'Iterate the Messages
    For Each iMsg In iFldr.Items


    'Get the Message
            With iMsg

                'Print the fields
                Debug.Print .To
                Debug.Print .CC
                Debug.Print .Subject
                Debug.Print .Body

                'Check and print whether the item has been read or not
                If .UnRead Then
                    Debug.Print "Message has not been read"
                Else
                    Debug.Print "Message has been read"
                End If
                iCount = iCount + 1
            End With
        Next iMsg


    'De-reference the objects whenever not used
        Set iMsg = Nothing
        Set iFldr = Nothing
        Set iNs = Nothing
        Set iOut = Nothing


    You can see using Outlook Object Model (OOM) API is easier and implement your business logic easily.

    Happy Programming!

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    How to: Configuring and using EWS Impersonation for Exchange Server 2007?

    • 0 Comments

    Please find the links for configuring and using EWS impersonation for the Exchange 2007:

    Hope this helps!

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    Exchange Server 2010: Using Test-MapiConnectivity cmdlet

    • 0 Comments

    With Exchange Server 2010, recently i used the Test-MapiConnectivity cmdlet. Because it verifies server functionality by logging on to the mailbox that you specify. This cmdlet logs on to the mailbox that you specify (or to the SystemMailbox if you don't specify the Identity parameter) and retrieves a list of items in the Inbox. Logging on to the mailbox tests two critical protocols used when a client connects to a Mailbox server: MAPI and LDAP. During authentication, the Test-MapiConnectivity cmdlet indirectly verifies that the MAPI server, Exchange store, and Directory Service Access (DSAccess) are working.

    It logs on to the mailbox that you specify using the credentials of the account with which you are logged on to the local computer. After a successful authentication, the Test-MapiConnectivity cmdlet accesses the mailbox to verify that the database is working. If a successful connection to a mailbox is made, the cmdlet also determines the time that the logon attempt occurred.

    In order to test the connectivity to the server ‘Serverx’ then it should be used as,
    Test-MapiConnectivity -Server "Serverx"

    In order to test the connectivity to a mailbox, specified as a domain name (contoso) and user name (user1) then it should be used as,
    Test-MapiConnectivity -Identity "contoso\user1"/

    Happy troubleshooting!!

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    How to : Configuring EWS Impersonation for Exchange 2010

    • 0 Comments

    Please find the articles how you can configure EWS impersonation for the Exchange 2010:

    Hope this helps!!!

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    Security warning: The name of the security certificate is invalid or does not match the name of the site

    • 0 Comments

    Recently i started MS Outlook 2007 and tried connecting to a mailbox that is hosted on a mailbox server that is running Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 inside the local network. I received the following security warning “The name of the security certificate is invalid or does not match the name of the site.”

    During my analysis, i found that this error had happened due to the default self-signed Exchange Server 2010 certificate – it causing a name mismatch error to occur.

    Also regarding this, i found the following support knowledgebase article talks about it - this scenario applies only to Outlook clients that connect to Exchange from inside the local network.In order to overcome the problem and the article provides resolution also.

    Based on the above article this issue may occur if the following conditions are true:

    • You replace the default self-signed Exchange Server 2007 or Exchange Server 2010 certificate with a different certificate.
      Note The Setup program in Exchange Server 2007 or in Exchange Server 2010 creates a default self-signed certificate when Exchange Server 2007 or Exchange Server 2010 is installed.
    • The common name on the replacement certificate does not match the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the URL that is stored in the following objects:
      • The Service Connection Point object for the Auto discover service
      • The InternalUrl attribute of Exchange 2007 Web Service (EWS)
      • The InternalUrl attribute of the Offline Address Book Web service
      • The InternalUrl attribute of the Exchange unified messaging (UM) Web service
    By default, the URL that is stored in these objects references the NetBIOS name of the server. For example, a URL that resembles the following URL is stored:

    https://NetBIOS_name.contoso.com/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml

    This may differ from the host name that is used in the FQDN of the replacement certificate. For example, the replacement certificate may have an FQDN that resembles the following FQDN: mail.contoso.com

    This issue causes a name mismatch error to occur. Therefore, you receive the security warning message when you try to connect Outlook 2007 to the mailbox

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    Outlook error : Your mailbox has been temporarily moved on Microsoft Exchange Server

    • 0 Comments

    Recently one of my customer tried opening Outlook and it thrown the following error:

    Outlook Connectivity Error

    During troubleshooting we noticed that the OWA works fine but problem while accessing Outlook. This happens because he still using the same profile and the mailbox was recreated some time earlier.

    In this scenario, i recommended him to delete the existing profile and create a new one like (Control panel-> Mail-> Show profiles...-> remove existing profile ->Create new profile). This resolved the issue and helped him to move ahead.

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