Ian Moulster's blog

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

    Using any email address for your Windows Live ID

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    Did you know that you can use any email address to sign up for a Windows Live ID? Which means you can use any email address to access Hotmail or Messenger for example, or SkyDrive or Spaces or any other Windows Live Service. So if I have an existing email...
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    Vote for Popfly...before April 21st

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    Popfly is one of the smartest, coolest web-based product offerings I've seen in a while. And now it has been nominated for a CNET Webware 100 award . While it's terrific (and absolutely right) that Popfly has already achieved nomination status I would...
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    Very nice Vista gadget

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    Sick of Windows Vista sidebar gadgets that give you a weather forecast? Mike Ormond , that wizardly colleague of mine, has created a gadget that I think is really useful. It uses Virtual Earth to let you quickly see maps and driving directions, right...
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    Want to learn more about Windows Live?

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    For a developer, Windows Live offers a huge amount of potential, particularly for taking advantage of the success we've had with Hotmail and Messenger contacts (billions of records), and Windows Live Spaces. Plus the terrific service from Silverlight...
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    Watch the PDC keynote live

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    As you may know we have some big announcements to make today at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles. However even if you’re not there you can get a front row seat by watching the video streamed live from http://microsoftpdc.com...
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    Web 2.0 site roundup and Mix06

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    As "web 2.0" is grabbing so much of the news these days it's worth taking a look at this roundup of sites that claim to be in the next generation of web apps. It's good to see just how much is happening and it's hard to imagine a future where this kind...
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    A new dev.live.com

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    As a part of the announcements at Mix this week we have significantly revamped our Windows Live developer portal. Take a look at http://dev.live.com , I'd be interested in people's opinions as to how accessible and useful this is to you if you're a developer...
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    Get Sparkle now!

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    We have just announced availability of the first CTP of Expression Interactive Designer (previously known as Sparkle). Get it here: http://www.microsoft.com/products/expression/en/interactive_designer/id_free_trial.aspx More on this later but it's...
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    Are you a developer with a security story?

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    A slight aside from the normal topics... We're looking for developers who have an experience with security that they would like to share with the world. What do we mean by "experience"? Some examples: Your code has been attacked by malware...
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    Live Mesh signups opened to UK residents

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    The Live Mesh team have just opened up the ability for UK residents to sign up to the service. Previously it was only available in the US. In addition to the UK, residents in Australia and New Zealand have also been given the ability to sign up. Get in...
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    How to build accelerators, web slices and visual searches for IE8

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    My colleague Mike Ormond has created a handy, short (<10 min) video on how to create add-ons for IE8. See this link . Especially handy if you’re thinking of entering the developer competition to win an Xbox Elite…
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    Getting a vinyl skin for your Surface RT

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    I recently bought a vinyl skin for my Surface RT and wanted to share the experience. I admit I was in two minds about whether it was a good thing to do. I’ve had previous experience with this kind of thing before and have found them to be difficult...
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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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    Free ebook on Windows Vista

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    Always on the scrounge for anything free, I was pleased to find this huge book, weighing in at 1712 pages, being offered as a free download. The “Windows Vista Resource Kit” is described as follows: “In-depth, comprehensive, and fully updated for Service...
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    Enterprise mashups with WPF and Silverlight

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    The Patterns and Practices team have just released a whole load of information on how to build so-called “composite applications” (which I think of as enterprise mashups) using WPF and Silverlight. Download from here .
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    Blogging awards congratulations

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    Huge congratulations to some of my colleagues who have just won recognition from the Computer Weekly Blog Awards. These are: Steve Clayton’s “ Geek in Disguise ” blog won the “Company Blogs” category Jason Langridge’s...
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    Award-winning Developer launch

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    Those of you who watched the webcasts we produced for the UK Developer launch of Windows Vista and Microsoft Office in January may recall that we pushed the boat out a bit in order to make the experience as rich as possible. The keynote was streamed live...
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    Can you tell a cat from a dog?

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    I like taking a look at what's coming out of the Microsoft Research Labs (MSR) and came across a useful little feature recently that I thought worth sharing. Unless everyone already knows about it and I'm the last one...always a possibility. It's the...
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    Cool things you should know about Windows Live #2 - Virtual Earth 3D Videos

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    Here's the second piece about cool Windows Live stuff that's worth knowing about. What is it? I'm sure you're aware that Virtual Earth has a very cool in-browser 3D mode that really sets it apart from other web mapping solutions. You may also be...
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    Cool things you should know about Windows Live #3 - Photo Stitching

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    What is it? Software that automatically joins up a number of separate photos of a scene into a single combined image, providing a panoramic view (as per above example). The new Windows Live Photo Gallery does just that, and does a great job. You simply...
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    Cool things you should know about Windows Live #4 - Spaces Events

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    What is it? A new feature of Windows Live Spaces that let's you set up events eg you can set up a social gathering of some kind and invite people to it, and organise it all via your Space. Now you might say "but I've seen this before on xxx website"...
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    Cool things you should know about Windows Live #5 - SkyDrive

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    What is it? I have blogged about SkyDrive before but I'd like to include it in this series for completeness. So what is it? Think of it as a USB stick on the web. It's 1GB of free storage that you can use however you like - but generally I find it really...
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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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    Beautiful Cornwall with the Nokia Lumia 920’s Camera

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    On a recent short holiday to Cornwall I used my Nokia Lumia 920 as my only camera. Two things impressed me about this: Cornwall is really beautiful The Nokia Lumia 920 has an amazing camera :-) Here’s a selection. What do you reckon?
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    Bing set to ramp up in the UK

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    When bing.com was announced recently you may recall that while a full service was made available immediately in the US, a more limited beta service was provided in the UK while the team built out some UK-specific features so that the UK experience could...
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