Sneak Peak of the Windows 7 MSDN Flash Newsletter.

Sneak Peak of the Windows 7 MSDN Flash Newsletter.

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If you have disconnected yourself over the holiday period you may not have caught up with the news that we have released the first beta of Windows 7.

Windows 7 Beta Logo

I recommend that you join the Windows 7 Beta Customer Preview Program to get on the inside track. Brian Keller shows how to virtualize the Windows 7 Beta if you are that way inclined. Once you have Windows 7 up and running Tim Sneath has published a Bumper List of Windows 7 Secrets.

The Windows 7 Beta was announced by Steve Ballmer at the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas on the 8th of Jan. You can watch the keynote on-demand.

Another interesting point is that some applications that have been included with prior releases of Windows (Mail, Calendar, Movie Maker and Photo Gallery) are no longer included and are instead offered separately (free of charge) as part of the Windows Live Essentials suite for Windows XP, Vista and 7. I personally love the updated Windows Live Photo Gallery application that ties in well with the new Silverlight 2 based photo slideshow.

Along with Windows 7 the first beta of Windows Server 2008 R2 is also available for download. Read how the new server is improving the Web Application Platform. Of note you not get a subset of .NET 3.5 with a server core installation. Check out the Developing with Microsoft .NET and ASP.NET for Server Core session from PDC.

As always the best way to get Microsoft news as it breaks is to subscribe to the Microsoft Press Pass RSS feed.

So what are you waiting for go get it!

Editor’s picks

The source code for the Silverlight 2 controls has been released under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL). With the release of this source code as well as having access to the source for the Silverlight Toolkit, you should have some great base implementations to extend and learn from!

PhotoSuru is a new sample from the WPF team that provides a unique way to browse photos.  The application takes advantage of some of the richer WPF features such as pixel shaders, adaptive layout, custom themes and offline storage. The sample is based on the SCE Starter Kit which is available for download and includes the full source.