Tom Archer's Blog

My name is Tom Archer and I'm a Senior MVP Lead. Our team is tasked with recognizes, rewarding and enabling exceptional technical community leaders who foster the free and objective exchange of knowledge by actively sharing their real world Microsoft p

  • Tom Archer's Blog

    Moving blog homes

    Just a quick note that I've moved my blog to WordPress:
  • Tom Archer's Blog

    Joining the MVP Team!

    On 25 July 2007, I officially started my new job as a Senior MVP Lead !! While I enjoyed my time as a Program Manager on the Windows SDK team (where I was responsible for the .NET Framework and Platform SDK Tools, C++ compilers and reference assemblies...
  • Tom Archer's Blog

    Windows Vista September CTP and Compatibility Matrix Update

    The Windows SDK team has now released their September CTP to match the Windows Vista September CTP. While Windows Vista September CTP is only available to beta and TAP members, you can use the Windows SDK on "downlevel" machines - Windows XP SP1 or Windows...
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    Microsoft Acquires SysInternals

    From the standpoint of someone working at Microsoft and responsible for the Windows SDK, this is incredible news. We are basically acquiring some of the best tools for that space (low-level, hard-core devs) as well as the services of two very talented...
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    Windows Vista, .NET 3.0 and Windows SDK Compatibility Matrix

    [28 September 2006 Update] The Windows Vista September CTP has been released to beta members. There is a matching September CTP from the .NET 3.0 Runtime Components, Windows SDK, "Orcas" Tools and Workflow Extensions to Visual Studio 2005. I originally...
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    June 2006 CTP Windows SDK and .NET Framework 3.0 Released

    Hot on the heels of last month's public Beta 2 release, we've released a June 2006 CTP for the Windows SDK . Note that this build of the Windows SDK is to be used with the following: Windows Vista (Build 5456), Windows XP SP2 or Windows Server 2003...
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    Windows Vista Beta 2 Now Available to the Public!!

    Not much to say here except ... "YAY!!!" You can finally download the Vista Beta 2 bits by enrolling in the Customer Preview Program. Note that the WinFX Runtime Components (needed to run WinFX apps) are automatically installed in this Windows Vista...
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    ReadyBoost Q&A

    Back in April, I posted a blog entry on the ReadyBoost feature - the Windows Vista feature that allows you to use a USB key as virtual memory in order to enhance performance. While I originally intended the post to be an overview of ReadyBoost, it proved...
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    Great Resource Site for Preparing Your Applications for Windows Vista

    A member of another team here at Microsoft dropped by and chatted with us a bit about a great new site that enables developers to prepare for Windows Vista. This site - - contains lots of great technical articles and interviews...
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    New Windows Vista and WinFX Sites Launched

    In addition to the launch of the first public Windows Vista Beta since last year's PDC, we have also published a complete redesign of the MSDN Windows Vista and WinFX developer centers in order to create a seamless, unified experience for users moving...
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    Are Hash Codes Unique?

    While you will hear people state that hash codes generate a unique value for a given input, the fact is that, while difficult to accomplish, it is technically feasible to find two different data inputs that hash to the same value. However, the true determining...
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    ReadyBoost - Using Your USB Key to Speed Up Windows Vista

    One very cool feature of Windows Vista – especially for machines not natively equipped with the kind of horsepower to fully enjoy the rich visuals of Windows Presentation Foundation (Avalon) applications is ReadyBoost. ReadyBoost enables you to plug a...
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    Why MSDN publishes more Managed Code than Native Code Information

    From time to time, I get queries like “Why is Microsoft forcing managed code on us?” or “Why is Microsoft abandoning native code?” and so on. As MSDN is a key Microsoft public interface to developers, I thought I’d answer that from my own perspective...
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    Windows Vista, STI and a Story about Customer Service

    One of the most exciting things I’ve seen since I started to work at Microsoft is how open the development teams are to listening and helping our customers when a problem arises. One case in point took place over the past couple of weeks. Without...
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    Free Microsoft Certification Exam (in Visual C++)

    Sorry for the late notice, but I've just been informed that there's a free Visual C++ 2005 certification exam available (#71-526). While this is a "beta" exam and is only good until January 31, it does count towards certification in the same way as the...
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    Windows SDK, WinFX and Cider December CTP Released

    We've released the December CTP (Community Technology Preview) of several interrelated technologies this morning. These include the Windows SDK (with WinFX ) and and several "Orcas" technologies such as Cider (a Visual Designer for the Windows Presentation...
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    Windows SDK Team Releases First Part of the "Vista Developer Story"

    Earlier this year, the Windows SDK team started working on the "Windows Vista Developer Story". This massive 500+ page document provides real content to developers looking to get started writing Windows Vista applications using the new Windows SDK. ...
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    Why so many examples in Visual Basic?

    I've received a few queries lately as to why MSDN - and Microsoft as a whole - has become more focused on producing Visual Basic.NET examples and code snippets in our articles and presentations. The reason is two-fold. First, while I can't publicly...
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    WinFX November CTP Questions & Answers

    It's finally here! The WinFX November CTP (Community Technology Preview) is the latest version of the WinFX technologies and is now available for download/installation. Included in this version is the WinFX Runtime Components (RTC) , Windows SDK and Visual...
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    Free Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and ASP.NET 2.0 Training!

    This past Friday, we announced that our Training/Learning division is offering *free* training on several courses related to the November 7 launch of Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006. From what I'm being told this training is...
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    Retrieving special folder locations the right way (and some history)

    Raymond Chen has a great one page piece in this month's TechNet magazine about why you should use the Shell API to retrieve special folder location information (such as the Fonts folder), why the Shell Folder registry key should not be used and how that...
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    Video from Product Team on new products

    In the latest installment of "Microsoft After Dark", the product teams speak of the new innovations related to SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006:
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    Get Visual Studio 2005 today!!

    While the official launch is still November 7, you can get Visual Studio 2005 today with an MSDN Subscription[1]. If you have an MSDN Subscription - if not, this is a great reason to get one! - you can obtain the final versions of the following products...
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    Microsoft PDC 2005 – A Microsoft Employee’s Perspective

    Due to the increasing popularity of the TechEd and PDC conferences, most Microsoft employees do not have the opportunity to attend so that we can reserve the very limited space for customers. Therefore, I’m dedicating this blog entry to detailing my experience...
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    Notes from the PDC - Final Bits

    I think one of the most interesting things I heard all week were the constant remarks along the lines of "Microsoft sure kept that secret. I had never heard of it!" This was said in reference to such technologies as Microsoft Workflow Foundation and Microsoft...
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