Ian Moulster's blog

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

    What is WinFX anyway?

    • 13 Comments
    I've been having a discussion with some of my colleagues regarding how good a job we've done (and are doing) at explaining what WinFX actually contains. In the interests of keeping everyone on the same page, I'm talking about a description of WinFX...
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    Write a bot and win big

    • 12 Comments
    See www.britbot.co.uk Although an increasing number of developers have come across the concept of an MSN "bot" (robot), I still find that many people aren't aware of them. So for the uninitiated, a bot is an application that is exposed via MSN Messenger...
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    Hotmail problems solved

    • 11 Comments
    Do you have questions on any of these topics: Account Problems Hotmail Sending Limits How can I stop receiving spam? I can't send attachments I forgot my password Mail and Settings Mail Clients WebIM These any many more questions answered on the Hotmail...
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    How much will it cost me to develop against Windows Live?

    • 11 Comments
    In my previous blog post I outlined some new commercial terms for Windows Live services that we announced at Mix. These are important because they give developers simple clarity on how they can use our services - and of course because the terms are so...
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    Changing Windows 7's XP Mode memory size

    • 11 Comments
    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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    trueSpace 7.6 now a free download

    • 11 Comments
    In case you missed it, Chris Pendleton announced in his blog post yesterday we are now providing the full trueSpace 7.6 3D tool as a free download. This is really cool for a number of reasons, not least because a) trueSpace is a serious 3D tool that...
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    New Windows Live SkyDrive

    • 11 Comments
    We've just announced the beta of our SkyDrive service (previously known with the far less cool name of Windows Live Folders). For every Live ID you get 500MB of storage space to play with. Take a look and see what you think, this is going to be really...
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    Online version of Official Windows Vista Magazine

    • 10 Comments
    Future Publishing have just sent me the link to their online version of the Official Windows Vista Magazine, running as an XBAP in WPF: http://wpf.windowsvistamagazine.co.uk/ttpdownload/browserapp.xbap If you're running Windows Vista this will just...
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    Using the radio on Zune HD in the UK

    • 10 Comments
    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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    What’s the use of a Zune Pass?

    • 10 Comments
    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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    How can I install MS Office on my computer if it has no CD or DVD drive?

    • 10 Comments
    Ok, I know I’ve been lax at blogging lately and it might seem like this first blog post for a while is actually some kind of sales pitch…which might make you wonder if I’ve been turned into a salesman (no, I haven’t). Actually I’m posting this because...
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    Visual Studio 2005 Express - Free product

    • 10 Comments
    In case you missed it: While there were plenty of announcements at the launch events about benchmarks, discounts, etc, the one that I was happiest to see was that the Express editions of Visual Studio 2005 will be free of charge to download (SQL Server...
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    Reach vs Fidelity: WinFX, Atlas, WPF/E, XBAP and ASP.NET

    • 9 Comments
    In the world of application delivery there has long been a choice between reach and fidelity: either your application is high fidelity (eg a rich client with a rich user experience) or it has really broad reach (eg an HTML page). The Nirvana is to bring...
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    Looking for the keynote for developer launch?

    • 9 Comments
    It will be available on www.microsoft.com/uk/launch2007/dev absolutely as soon as possible. The delay? We need to sync the presenation slides with the video scenes. This was set up yesterday but we tweaked the slides slightly this morning, which means...
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    How to make your passwords secure

    • 9 Comments
    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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    Flying Turtles and Windows 7

    • 9 Comments
    If you’ve installed the RC of Windows 7 you may have discovered some interesting themes that you weren’t expecting. Certainly, I wasn’t expecting them. Sure you get some really wonderful landscapes, nature scenes and iconic locations as your wallpaper...
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    What do your Vista sidebar gadgets say about you?

    • 9 Comments
    I seem to have developed a new obsession - seeing what sidebar gadgets people are using and trying to read something into the kind of person they're likely to be. A good place to exercise this obsession is at conferences or seminars where you can see...
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    The Office 2007 Quiz

    • 9 Comments
    So...we've done the Vista quiz , now we've got the Office 2007 questions. Actually I think these were more difficult than the Vista ones, see what you think. BTW same deal applies: these questions were written for the developer launch of Office and Vista...
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    The Zune In-Car Kit

    • 9 Comments
    It’s pretty rare these days that I’m pleasantly surprised by something. However, it happened recently when I bought an in-car kit for my Zune player. Frankly, my expectation levels weren’t that high. Not because I suspected there would be anything wrong...
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    Some questions you might have on your mind (regarding the UK launch)

    • 9 Comments
    I'm aware that readers of this blog are waiting for answers to three questions (maybe more, but let's start with these): For people who attended the physical launch, you want to know when the "thank you" email will be sent giving you your choice...
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    Software for launch event attendees (physical event)

    • 8 Comments
    A number of people have been asking the following quite reasonable question: We know that we're giving away 1000 copies of Windows Vista and Microsoft Office for the online launch event, but what about people who are attending the physical event at Thames...
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    Searching your Hotmail inbox

    • 8 Comments
    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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    Microsoft Virtual Desktop 101 – making sense of VDI, RDS, App-V, MED-V and desktop virtualisation

    • 8 Comments
    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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    What do you need to know about popfly?

    • 8 Comments
    You may have seen various annoucements last week about Popfly , a new mashup / web creation / social interaction tool that we're developing. I didn't blog it immediately as I wanted the dust to settle a bit before talking about it. If you haven't come...
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    Video tutorial on Silverlight Streaming

    • 8 Comments
    [UPDATE: We have since published a plug in to Expression Encoder that makes it much, much easier to publish your videos to the web. See this post for more details. I have removed the links to the original tutorial below as it is no longer relevant] ...
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