I am Microsoftie 4 ever (19+ years) working in Windows Services and Content team in the UK, my blog is mainly focused on the Windows family of products and trying to provide help pointers and resources for customers on our products.
OK so maybe it was supposedly an internal video that got leaked onto Youtube, or maybe even a viral effort, but you still have to worry at a lot of levels about it.
Watch the video and make you own mind up!
Updated with the smilies 17/04/2008
You can download the Helpful Hints – Your guide to mastering the Windows Vista Ultimate operating system for free here. Its quite big at nearly 9mb but contains some great and useful content especially if you are new to Windows Vista it is well worth a quick read.
It covers everything from starting your computer to managing pictures and security features to games.
However one thing to note is that it is focused on the Ultimate version so not all features are available if you have a different version.
Spurred on by my poor effort yesterday, I decided to give it another go today, and wandered out and took 5 shots (again on the E650) of the Microsoft UK main campus at Thames Valley Park. After a bit of cropping I got the following much better (but not perfect result).
(Click on it to open up the full image 1.3Mb)
So a better end product, I was surprised about how well it came out. Pity about the foreground ropes not quite lining up, and clearly it was sunny when I took the first shot on the left.
Whilst outside the London offices, I took some pictures with my mobile phone (E650), with the plan of stitching them together later using the Create Panoramic Picture option using Windows Live Photo Gallery. We have a great demo of this on the site at:
So only the train back from Paddington I created the following, it is not as good as I would have liked but nether the less it is worth showing.
(Click on it to open up the full image 1.1Mb)
A couple of problems I encountered where (all my own fault)
1. the obvious not keeping the phone straight issue!!
2. there was actually 5 pictures but clearly the 2 edge ones didn’t over lap so Windows Live Photo Gallery ignored them
3. the camera only shoots up to 2mb, which these days sounds a little low
4. I should have done it in front of the big lamp post on the left
Doing this on a cramped train was actually easier than I thought, thanks to the very easy to use software, even though the end result wasn’t great.
You can get Windows Live Photo Gallery for FREE at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=3c04d993-dbb4-4fb1-96dd-4b806a9ef1a4&displaylang=en&tm
try it out :)
Just back from a day meeting some of my colleagues up in our London offices to talk about how we can work together better, to improve the overall customer experience whether they are visiting our more corporate sites such as Windows Help and How-To and http://www.microsoft.com/uk/windows or our more consumer focused sites such as http://www.msn.co.uk
Our suspicions are that customers are visiting one, both or more sites to get the same piece of information whether it be product information, demos, tutorials or reviews. I sat down with various people who own sites, so a quick hello to:
Claire Jane and Nik – who look after the Tech & Gadgets section, there is even a Microsoft sub section tot his site where I think the greatest co-operation and place to work together is. They also have a blog at http://msnuktech.spaces.live.com/
Matt – who looks after the http://windowslive.uk.msn.com/ site, and he also has a blog at http://windowslive.uk.msn.com/
We are likely to just start of simple and share data on popular topics, upcoming items of interest and data analysis etc so hopefully over the coming months we will start to work together a little more.
Updated 16/04/2008 with the embarrassment of having got someone's name wrong, sorry Jane
There has been some good debate for the pros and cons (mainly cons on the debate) of the switch from LiveMaps to Multimap for UK users today. James Senior a UK Microsoft blogger has some information about it on his blog below…
James.Random() : Live Maps switches to Multimap
There is some geo-targeting going in the mix somewhere so as a UK user you will be likely sent to the MultiMap interface by default, whether you type in http://maps.live.com or http://www.virtualearth.com !!
However if you prefer the old VirtualEarth experience you can override it using the following link http://maps.live.com/?mkt=en-us
...well than using Windows XP.
Abid one of my colleagues sent out a link to this report
XP vs. Vista: Consider the Power Savings
‘Enterprises with an abundance of Windows XP desktop PCs and laptops can reduce power consumption costs and carbon dioxide emissions by half in switching to Windows Vista. When considering a total cost of ownership analysis for a Vista implementation, IT decision makers should understand how the two operating systems affect power consumption and consider the savings.'
Some of the conclusions of the report include
So another good reason to upgrade ;)
If you are looking for some good Windows Vista content on this topic then there is some good articles on the Windows Help and How-To site on this topic
We also have a UK press release from last month on the article and its implications
Looking at the browser breakdown of people visiting the UK Windows Help and How-to we are starting to see people using Internet Explorer 8 to view the site, sure it is a small percentage but since it was launched in February the numbers are going up. So I thought I would install and a) see what it was like and b) make sure the user experience on the site was broken, and it isn’t.
I am not normally someone who jumps onto beta products on my main (well only) work machine, but in this case I was reasonably happy to because of the wonderful emulate IE 7 button which allows me to go back and see the page in IE7 if it becomes unreadable in the IE8 mode. A couple of my favourite sites have a little trouble but nothing major.
Just getting up to speed on WebSlices and Activities.
Check system requirements and how to download IE 8.0 Beta (for web developers and designers) at the following link
Last month I highlighted the pages on the UK Windows Help and How-to site that had the most traffic. I have looked at the data for March now and there really is not much change except for the inclusion of the Windows Vista SP1 pages. Lower down is the list.
However looking at the data I couldn't understand why tabbed browsing was such a popular topic. So after a quick bit of digging I think I have found the reason why. When you create a new tab in IE, you get a page with the following view...
... and if you press the Lean more about tabs link it takes you to the Internet section on the Windows Help and How-to site, which has a section on Using Quick Tabs at the very top. Mystery solved.
At the same time I clicked the Show more tab shortcuts link and found a useful set of shortcuts for use within in IE. I had been wondering how to tab between tabs and now I know CTRL and TAB. Why I hadn't thought of that in the past I don't know but it had always bugged me how to do that.
March top 10 Visited Pages
If you already have Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) and you have had problems with the installation or compatibility then you can get FREE support from Microsoft (well at least till March 18 2009!) either via email or phone.
To see what options you have go to our support site https://support.microsoft.com/oas/default.aspx?prid=11274&gprid=500921&ln=en-gb&ct=2&tp=so
It wasn’t something I was aware of till very recently and thought I would share.