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.
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.
No this isn’t a topic that will end up in a Phythonesque dead parrot sketch. But over my morning black americano I was reading The Independent when I stumbled upon an article about punctuation, and a complaint from our French cousins that:
"English writing style has killed the semi-colon; it’s too direct, they say."
anyway it was quite an interesting topic (for a Friday) so I thought I would share it with you below.
Punctuation: does it matter? - This Britain, UK - The Independent
On the web site, one of my goals is to get good and consistent use of punctuation, grammar and spelling so the site is as professional and easy to understand as possible. I don't always get it right as I am not an English language expert. Recently I have been trying to find out the correct use of the colon and if you should have a capital following it. Some sites suggest in British English that it should always have a capital, and in others that it depends. So my decision for now is get a level of consistency and try and get the capital correct.
Whilst on the subject of language, check out the Microsoft Language Portal
"...is designed to enable individuals and communities around the world to interact with each other and with Microsoft’s language specialists on matters related to computer terminology. "
The site is really useful if you are looking for computer wording translations as well as providing (ripped form the blog posting below):
Well worth a visit if you have to do any type of translation or localisation work.
The Microsoft Language Portal team have a blog as well over at http://blogs.technet.com/microsoftterminologyforum/default.aspx
Thanks to Mina, my French Canadian counterpart who sent me the information.
Well based upon a quick analysis of search terms sending customers to the Windows Help and How-To it is the following questions… I have also suggested a good link(s) to try and answer it.
Hope you find those useful, let me know if you do not.
It was great to see the tutorials coming up at the top as this is one of the primary aims of the web sites to provide simple, easy to understand help and how-to content so you can get the most out of Windows Vista.
Couple of quick notes
I was a little surprised to not see anything about Windows Vista service pack 1.
Why would you want or need a server in your home? Well if you got more than one PC it is great for doing everything from sharing your music and videos and digital memories to backing up all those PCs in one place, automatically.
We only have one current PC at home but are thinking of adding to this in the near future, plus both the wife and I have laptops that I am wondering if can be connected. So have been doing some looking around the Microsoft Web sites and have come across some useful stuff
I think it needs a little more research on my part before I make a decision but will let you know if I do…