Ian Moulster's blog

A Microsoft employee translating Microsoft technology into plain English
  • Ian Moulster's blog

    Apps on my Windows Phone–January 2012

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    Way back in March last year I posted a blog entry listing apps that I was using at the time on my Windows Phone. I thought it might be time to update that list with some of the applications I currently have installed that are proving useful to me. Since...
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    An alternative to the Facebook app on Windows Phone

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    I like the Facebook app on the Windows Phone but it’s fair to say that it has its detractors too. One school of thought says that it’s unnecessary anyway due to the way in which Facebook is integrated into the phone natively. But some people like to have...
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    Hotmail: Flagging done right

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    Continuing my short series on the great new Hotmail features, I will be taking a look at how Hotmail handles flagging. Flags are a great way of highlighting emails that are important or require action. Flagging and un-flagging emails is really easy using...
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    New categories feature in Hotmail

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    Hotmail has a great new categorisation feature that really helps you to find information and emails more quickly and keep your inbox organised. It’s worth spending a little time reviewing the various ways in which this new feature works so I’ll delve...
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    Touchstudio: Free scripting engine for Windows Phone 7

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    Microsoft Research has announced the availability of a free scripting engine for Windows Phone 7, something that is great fun to play around with. It's a free download from the Zune Marketplace on your phone (search for "Touchstudio" in the apps section...
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    What to do if your Windows 7 taskbar is filling up with pinned IE9 sites

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    Site pinning is a great feature in Internet Explorer 9, and I use it all the time. I have a host of sites pinned to my taskbar such as Facebook and Hotmail, but also some internal apps we use in the office for things like internal product news. These...
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    My Current Favourite Windows Phone 7 Apps

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    As the number of apps in the Windows Phone 7 marketplace zooms past 10,000 I thought it worth a quick summary of the apps that I use most. Almost certainly there are loads of great apps that I’ve missed, so feel free to let me know if you are aware of...
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    What’s the use of a Zune Pass?

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    It took me a while to realise that many people don't seem to "get" the Zune Pass (available on Windows Phone 7, Xbox 360, PC, and US Zune players). To explain the value as I see it, I’d like to back up a bit and look at the way the vast, vast...
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    London Underground image on Bing UK

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    I pointed out the great London Underground image on Bing’s UK site today commemorating the opening of the world’s first underground railway system in London in 1863. He asked where the photo was taken – it’s easy to find out. Just hover over the copyright...
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    Windows Phone 7 Tips

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    Having had my Windows Phone 7 for a while now I've come across a number of features that weren't obvious to me from day 1. You may already know some or all of these (I have seen some on other sites) but take a look and see what you think. If you have...
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    Creating your own jumplists for your favourite sites in IE9

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    I'm sure you haven't missed that with the newly-released Internet Explorer 9 you can now pin websites to the taskbar in Windows 7 and, if the site supports it, get access to jumplists for easy access to areas of the site. While this is a really useful...
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    The .NET Awards

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    Once again I am honoured to be a judge in the annual .NET awards, run by the excellent .NET Magazine , the primary magazine for web designers and web developers. There’s a good list of nominees once again and I encourage you to get voting! Start here...
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    Microsoft Virtual Desktop 101 – making sense of VDI, RDS, App-V, MED-V and desktop virtualisation

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    Desktop virtualisation is a hot topic right now. It seems wherever I go and whatever I read about the desktop and where it’s headed, virtualisation is something that people want to talk about. Often these conversations are about VDI (virtual desktop...
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    Disabling Add-Ons in IE8

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    It’s easy to lose track of how many add-ons you’re running in IE8 and how they can slow things down. An interesting experiment is to use the “-extoff” flag to disable all add-ons and see how zippy IE8 becomes. To do this, create an icon for IE on your...
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    Using the radio on Zune HD in the UK

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    I've been playing around with my Zune HD and having great fun with it. I was interested to see how well the radio would work in the UK and the answer is "not too bad". Assuming you adjust the radio options in the settings menu to "Europe", you get reasonable...
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    Track eBay Daily Deals Via IE8 Web Slice

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    Ebay have just published a new IE8 web slice that I really like. Why? Because it’s a great example of what a web slice should be (if you need more info on web slices read here: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/features/easier.aspx?tab...
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    How to make your passwords secure

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    With the recent news of email accounts being hacked there seems to be plenty of advice floating around for avoiding falling victim to scams and other attacks. One of the pieces of advice is to use a strong password .Even though there’s no evidence that...
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    Searching your Hotmail inbox

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    I didn’t realise until recently that you could search your hotmail inbox using keywords to narrow the search. I’m talking about the web version of Hotmail, not when you’re accessing it via a client application like Outlook. For example, let’s say you...
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    Controlling the new Zune player from the Windows 7 Taskbar Preview

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    The latest Zune player has been reviewed in great depth elsewhere so I’m not going to go into it in huge depth here, other than to say it’s not just a pleasure to use but is very, very cool and aesthetically pleasing too. But I did want to point out...
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    Great List of Windows 7 ISV Compatibility Resources

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    Over at the UK ISV blog they have just posted a really useful list of resources relating to Windows 7 application compatibility. If you’re an ISV it’s well worth a look: http://blogs.msdn.com/ukisvdev/archive/2009/09/23/windows-7-application-compatibility...
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    Changing Windows 7's XP Mode memory size

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    I've been using XP mode on Windows 7 for a while and it has been proving useful to have an old XP copy available for things like compatibility testing. One issue I had is that it comes configured with only 256MB of RAM available to the virtual machine...
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    .NET Awards

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    This year, once again, I have the honour of being a judge in .NET Magazine’s awards. I’m sure you know .NET magazine – nothing to do with Microsoft .NET, the name is just a coincidence – as a world-class web developer magazine. Voting is open now so take...
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    Which Windows 7 Build Am I On?

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    Someone asked me how they could tell which build of Windows 7 there were on, as they “inherited” a machine from a colleague and weren’t sure if they were still on beta, RC or RTM. You can find out via the registry, so click the orb in the bottom left...
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    Are you an ISV in the UK? Get Ready for Windows 7

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    We’ve recently launched the UK version of isvappcompat.com (see www.isvappcompat.com/uk ), a one-stop-shop site for ISVs to either get their application compatible with Windows 7, or help tell the world about it if you’re already compatible. Three specific...
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    The applications I rely on

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    When I installed Windows 7 RTM on my machine at home I decided to go for a clean install rather than an upgrade because I like the cathartic feel I get from wiping my hard drive and starting from a fresh, clean install. It also meant that I could take...
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