Wednesday, December 23, 2009

FREE: Device Remover – A powerful Device Manager alternative

Device Remover can do much more than its name indicates. It has all the features of the built-in Windows Manager plus a few additional functions that can be helpful if you have to troubleshoot device driver problems. Here is a list of the most important features of Device Remover:

  • In-depth information about devices and drivers
  • Print device tree
  • Displays hidden, non-present, and problem devices
  • Searches device drivers
  • Bulk removal of device drivers
  • Backup device drivers
  • Open and export device driver registry entry
  • Start/stop, enable/disable device
  • Update driver
  • Save detailed driver information

Apart from troubleshooting device driver problems, you can use the tool to get rid of unused drivers, for example, if you need more disk space on the system drive. Sometimes old drivers also interfere with the system.

Device Remover

Source : 4sysops

FREE: HWiNFO32 – Detailed hardware information and diagnostic


HWiNFO32 is a freeware hardware information and diagnostic tool. The information it provides goes far beyond the built-in Windows tools. ….

HWiNFO32 has a useful summary view, which gives you a quick overview of a PC’s hardware capabilities. Since the tool is also available as a standalone version, you can fire it up easily on a new machine, just to know with what you are actually dealing with.


Source : 4sysops

iPhone Most Popular Smartphone of 2009, But Only If You Screw with Statistics

According to Nielsen, Apple's iPhone was the most popular mobile device in 2009. But that's only true if you ignore the entire planet outside of the United States and don't count different Blackberry devices as being part of the same product line. In other words, it wasn't really the most popular smartphone of 2009, but since everyone loves Apple we're going to say it was, and eventually the sales will catch and meet our expectations.

As the number one smartphone of 2009, the iPhone was responsible for just 4 percent of all mobile device users in that year, well ahead of number two player RIM Blackberry, which accounted for just 6.3 percent of the installed base. Yes, that's seriously what Neilsen reported.

In other news, the iMac is the number one PC (if you don't count PCs that aren't all-in-ones), and Yahoo! is the top website (if you're on drugs).


Source : Paul Thurrott's WinInfo blog

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How to Cross-Check Your Facebook Privacy Settings

Double Check your Facebook Privacy Settings

Now that you have updated your Facebook privacy settings, you should try looking at your own profile from the eyes of your friends, strangers and search engines to make sure that none of the information you want to keep private on Facebook is visible to other people.

A must read, step-by-step procedure, to be sure you have correctly set you privacy settings in Facebook.

Source : Digital Inspiration - Technology Blog

Looking for a Good Puzzle Game for Windows? Microsoft Tinker is here

Tinker Puzzle GameLooking for a good puzzle game for the whole family? Tinker is a simple yet challenging game where you have to help a robot find his way out of a maze. The levels get progressively more challenging, and the in-game animations are always delightful.

Microsoft Tinker, which was previously available only on Vista Ultimate, is now available as a free download for all versions of Windows including XP, Vista (all editions) and Windows 7. The game is also integrated with Windows Live so you can chat with friends from the game itself.

Source : Digital Inspiration - Technology Blog

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Helicon Ape (Apache emulator for Microsoft IIS)

It literally implements Apache configuration model (like .htaccess and httpd.conf files) and all most demanded Apache modules in a single IIS add-on, not only making IIS compatible with Apache, but also extending it’s functionality by a number of highly essential features.

Source :

Monday, November 16, 2009

How to add a Windows group in the SharePoint Farm Administrator’s group

I know what’s your gone say: “it’s easy just add the Windows group in the Farm Administrator’s group from Central Admin”. You’re almost right.

Here’s the thing :

One of our developers created a custom  “Self-Service Site Creation” application. Has you know, to be able to create a new site collection you must be a member of the “Farm Administrator’s group”, so his application has to do an impersonate with an account that is a member of that group.

We always prefer to use Windows Groups (when possible), so we have created a new windows group “SharePoint Farm Admins”, added the impersonated user in that group and added that group to the SharePoint Administrator’s group.

Here’s the problem :

When the Self-Service Site Creation application try to create a new site collection an error is generated :

Insufficient SQL database permissions for user ‘***** ’in database 'SharePoint_AdminContent_******’ on SQL Server instance ‘****’. Additional error information from SQL Server is included below.  The EXECUTE permission was denied on the object …

Here’s the solution :

Just logon once in Central Admin with your impersonated account and recyle the application pool in IIS.

Here’s the explanation :

I’m not a SharePoint engineer (so I could be wrong), but as I understand it any account that logon to SharePoint must have a profile stored in the database (tables UserInfo and  AllUserData in SharePoint_AdminCoutent DB ). When you logon for the first time through a SharePoint page a new profile is created by SharePoint. When you use system’s API to do an impersonate the new profile doesn’t get created at your first logon, so you get an error.

That’s why you simply have to logon once to Central Admin, your new profile gets created and everything starts to work after that.

Note :

This type of profile is not visible in any Central Admin’s UI pages. You have to dig in SharePoint DB to see it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

REPORT: VW takes over #1 carmaker slot, sings "Wir sind die Meister, mein Freund"

It was a little more than a year ago when Volkswagen, because of Porsche's stock market finagling, briefly became the most valuable company in the world. This was just after it passed Ford for the number three slot in global sales. Now the big company that could -- powered by the little car that could -- has passed Toyota to take the number one slot as the world's largest automaker.

Source : Autoblog

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

VHD Attach

This is small tool that adds Attach and Detach option to contextual (aka right-click) menu of Virtual disk (vhd) files. That enables those operations to be done without trip to Disk Management console. Detach option is available on hard drive contextual menu also.

Additionally program can be used as classic utility in order to see various information about virtual disk, even without attaching it.

Do notice that this program only works with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Older operating systems are not supported.



Source :

Double click to mount a virtual hard disk (Windows 7 Style)

I have been wanting to come up with a workable solution for mounting virtual hard disks by double clicking on them in Windows 7 for a while now.  The problem is that:

  • There is no easily scriptable API for VHD mounting
  • You need to be elevated (running “As Administrator”) in order to mount a virtual hard disk

The best idea I could think of for a simple solution was to try scripting the DISKPART tool.  Unfortunately – once I got going I got a bit carried away.  The result is this batch file …

Source : Virtual PC Guy's WebLog

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Access Services in SharePoint 2010 or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Access 2010

Like most .NET developers I had looked as Access as more of a file format than an application, something from the past.

So enters Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 Access Services, for me this changes the game. For those who don’t know this technology, you can create an Access database locally on your PC then publish it to SharePoint. Tables become SharePoint lists, macros become workflows and forms well become forms. Access becomes a RAD tool to create data driven SharePoint sites.

Source : Richard Fennell

Short Overview of SharePoint Features in Visual Studio 2010

As you probably know, Visual Studio 2010 was announced last week and it contains a lot of great features and project templates for SharePoint developers. Below is a short overview for some of the SharePoint development related features and project templates.

  • Configurable deployment
  • Sandboxed and farm solutions
  • Extending SharePoint Tools
  • Feature and Package Designer
  • SharePoint Explorer
  • SharePoint Project and Project Item Templates
  • Project Templates
  • Project Item Templates

Source : Microsoft SharePoint Team Blog

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Active Directory management with PowerShell v2

The introduction of PowerShell was a major improvement for all administrators who are not afraid of the CLI. However, it also has some drawbacks. For instance, it is not included in the OS and it lacks many features. Microsoft wanted to correct those shortcomings. PowerShell Version 2 is now a part of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 RC2 and offers many new Cmdlets. One area that was improved is the management of the Active Directory (AD).

If you want to use these new features, you have to add the Cmdlets first. PowerShell v2 is now modularized.

Source : 4sysops

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Windows Virtual PC / Windows XP Mode RTM now available for general download

Go and get it:


Source : Virtual PC Guy's WebLog

Microsoft releases Windows 7 sponsored themes

As the official Windows 7 launch is set in motion, a bunch of new content is being released online to support the wider public availability. To kick things off, a handful of new first-party theme pack have been released on

Source :

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How to Secure Your Wireless Home Network

This article describes how you can secure your Wireless Network from hackers and you’ll also learn about free tools that people generally use to intercept your Wi-Fi signals.

A “must read” for anyone who has a wireless home network.

Source : Digital Inspiration - Technology Blog

The Best HTML5 Presentations To Help You Get Started

If you are curious to know more about HTML 5, here are links to some presentations, video recordings and web article that you may find useful.

Source : Digital Inspiration - Technology Blog

SharePoint 2010 Revealed

At the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft unveiled SharePoint 2010 with an impressive display of functionality and confidence.

Today, you will experience a tsunami of information about SharePoint 2010. There is no lack of surprises and announcements.
The list is so long that all I can do is list right now--hopefully this will help you spot the features and value propositions that are meaningful to your enterprise.

Great post by Dan Holme, a must read.

Watch out developpers, you can now develop on a Windows 7 or Vista client running SharePoint (yes!).

Source :

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Microsoft adds free root certificate authority to Windows

A couple of weeks ago some very interesting Windows news flew by under the radars that I think deserves much more credit than it received, considering how much we rely on the web and the impact this has on making it safer.

In the September 2009 update to the Windows Root Certificate Program, Microsoft has added to the list of trusted root certificate authorities StartCom Ltd, notably its first member who issues amongst others free Class 1 digital certificates.

Source : istartedsomething

Disk2vhd v1.0

Disk2vhd is a utility that creates VHD (Virtual Hard Disk - Microsoft’s Virtual Machine disk format) versions of physical disks for use in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs). The difference between Disk2vhd and other physical-to-virtual tools is that you can run Disk2vhd on a system that’s online. Disk2vhd uses Windows’ Volume Snapshot capability, introduced in Windows XP, to create consistent point-in-time snapshots of the volumes you want to include in a conversion.

Source :

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

MPIO Step-By-Step guide for Windows Server 2008 R2

Our MPIO Guide for Windows Server 2008 R2 is now available in our Storage area on TechNet for Windows Server 2008 R2 at the link below:

Source : Storage Area Networking

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Windows 7: 77 Windows 7 Tips

Whether you’re upgrading from Vista or skipping it altogether and moving up from Windows XP, you’ll need to know how to make the most of Windows 7 in your environment. Here are 77 tips and tricks to get you there.

Source : TechNet Magazine

Thursday, October 01, 2009

How we did it: Speeding up

We teamed up with Aptimize Software to optimize for high performance.

Today’s guest post is by Ed Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of Aptimize Software. This post will review how we did it and the underlying performance techniques that improved the page loading speed of the SharePoint marketing website. We hope you can leverage the same process to optimize performance for other websites.

Tony Tai

SharePoint Senior Product Manager

Source : Microsoft SharePoint Team Blog

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why Forms in Google Docs are Perfect for Creating Online Surveys

While there are plenty of web polling services around where can you create online polls and surveys for free, there are couple of reasons why the form builder in Google Docs rules them all.

Source : Digital Inspiration - Technology Blog

Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft anti-virus and anti-malware new bundle is now out of beta et available for download.

Learn more and download at

So you have a slow logon…?

Interesting series of article by the Directory Services Team about slow logon.

Source : Ask the Directory Services Team

Monday, September 28, 2009

Using a PS Session without having Administrative Permissions

One of the great features of PowerShell V2 is the remote session support. But in the default configuration only local administrators can create a remote session.

Read the complete instructions: Using a PS Session without having Administrative Permissions

Apple up to its old tricks, pushing unwanted software onto PCs

Apple has a long and checkered history of using its Apple Software Update program to push unrelated programs to Windows users. But I was floored today when I was offered an iPhone configuration utility as an important "update" on a system that has never had iPhone or even an iPod plugged into it.

Source : Ed Bott's Microsoft Report

Monday, September 14, 2009

Finally, a fix for the PDF preview bug in 64-bit Windows

Way back in May 2008, I noted an annoying, longstanding bug that surfaces when you install Adobe Reader on Windows Vista x64. The preview function, both in Windows Explorer and in Outlook 2007, is broken. The only fix I could find at the time was to replace the broken previewer with a third-party alternative such as FoxIt PDF Preview Handler.

Now, 16 months later, there’s a new 64-bit operating system, Windows 7, and a new version of Acrobat Reader (9.1). And the bug is still there.

That’s really a good way to support your customers, way to go Adobe !

As mention in Ed Boot’s post, here’s the direct link to a manual fix :

Source :

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Search for Ad groups with name containing …

Have you ever noticed that the find function in Active Directory Users and computers (ADUC) console cannot search within a group (or user) name ? You can only search fields that “Starts with” or “ends with” a string. What if I want ton find all groups that contain “web” in their name ?

Here’s how to do it :

  • Select Custom Search from the find dialog
  • Click on the Advanced tab
  • Paste (&(objectCategory=group)(name=*WEB*))
  • Hit then Find Now button


Oh and don’t forget to replace the “WEB” string by the value you are looking for.

You could also do the same thing from the command line :

dsquery group -name *WEB*

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Microsoft SharePoint Administration Toolkit v4

Great tools for any SharePoint Admin :

  • SharePoint Diagnostics Tool (SPDiag)
  • Broken Inheritance Report Jobs
  • Check Effective Permissions
  • Compare Permission Sets
  • Quota Management

and more…

ref : Announcing the Fourth Release of the Microsoft SharePoint Administration Toolkit
SharePoint Administration Toolkit (TechNet)
Download (x86)
Download (x64)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Wii Internet Channel now free to use

Nintendo has unlocked the Wii Internet channel to enable free web browsing for anyone with a Wii hooked up to their broadband connection

Source :

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Implementing an OCSP responder: Part I - Introducing OCSP

Chris here again. For those Security Architects and PKI implementers, you may have known that since Windows Server 2008 we have an Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) responder, and since Windows Vista we have an OCSP client that is integrated with the operating system. I wanted to cover the in and outs of the OCSP responder, and walk through the installation.

Source :

Friday, August 28, 2009



OutlookAttachView scans all messages stored in your Outlook, and displays the list of all attached files that it finds. You can easily select one or more attachments and save all of them into the desired folder, as well as you can delete unwanted large attachments that take too much disk space in your mailbox.

It’s free and it’s portable !

Sources :

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Little known Outlook feature - Hold down [Ctrl], right click on tray icon - "Connection Status" appears

Lots of people aren't aware of this little "trick" and it is very handy when debugging a temperamental RPC over HTTP connection. Normally, the "Connection Status" dialog box only shows up if you launch Outlook with "/rpcdiag".

If you hold down [Ctrl], and then right click on the Outlook tray icon, with Outlook 2007, "Connection Status" and "Test E-mail AutoConfiguration" appear. E-mail AutoConfiguration testing is handy for Exchange 2007 setups.

Just passing this along as an FYI because whenever I show it to people, 9 times out of 10, they have never seen those options before.

Source : Aaron Tiensivu's Blog

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Free Microsoft Product for college and university students

One of the benefits of being a college student is that you get discounts on lot of stuff especially computer software.

Almost every software vendor offers educational discounts but Microsoft took that idea to the extreme when they introduced the DreamSpark program that allows students worldwide to download certain Microsoft tools for free :

  • Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
  • Expression Studio 3
  • SQL Server 2008 Developer
  • Robotics Developer Studio 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard
  • Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
Source : A Student’s Guide to Microsoft DreamSpark - Published at Digital Inspiration
Link :

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

IT Professionals: Prepare for Internet Explorer 8 availability via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) in August 2009

For those of you who manage your organization’s desktops using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) Internet Explorer 8 will be made available via this technology starting August 25, 2009.  Internet Explorer 8 will be made available as an “Update rollup” and will be applicable to all supported languages.


Source :

Friday, August 07, 2009

Engaging users and changing minds about SharePoint: Friday Cool Content

There has been a lot of great discussion out there recently about the importance of end user engagement and change management to a successful SharePoint deployment. Your SharePoint solution may be technically brilliant, but if nobody uses it, it won’t be a success. And getting people to use SharePoint often involves getting them to change how they work…or how they think they need to work.

If you are involved with deploying SharePoint in your organization, these links might help you think about how you can integrate a bit of change management into your end user training.

Read the article : Get the 'Point

Windows 7 Enterprise Edition; Understanding Software Assurance/Volume Licensing

Starting tomorrow August 7th, our Software Assurance/Volume License customers will be able to download the Windows 7 Enterprise Edition as well.

As of September 1st you will be able to purchase product Volume License upgrades to Windows 7 Pro and be able to order the media for Windows 7 Enterprise available to Software Assurance customers.

Source : The Windows Blog

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

How display or remove disconnected USB Device

Did you ever want to see witch USB drivers are installed on your computer, but you don’t have the device at hand to connect it ?

I know it’s not a new solution, but i keep forgetting about it, so I decided to make a post about it.

Here’s what to do :

Start > Run > Execute
set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
start devmgmt.msc
View > Show hidden devices 

You could be surprise to see how many hidden drivers you have installed under disk drives and mobile devices.

Source :

Monday, August 03, 2009

NewsGator’s Online Reader will die !

NewsGator’s Online Reader will no longer be available for consumer use as of August 31, 2009.

NewsGatos - google Reader

I was using NewsGator service to sync my feeds on my two computers with RSS bandit. I guess I will have to move to Google Reader. I’m not really happy to do that because Google Reader doesn’t support 2 levels folders (sub folders) like NewsGator and guess what, all my feeds are organized in a 2 levels folders structure.

Source :

Ed Bott's Windows Expertise
NewsGator Consumer RSS Reader Product Changes & Google Sync

Thursday, July 30, 2009

8 New Free ASP.NET and PHP Open Source Apps in the Web App Gallery

8 new apps were added to the Windows Web App Gallery :

Did you notice the big new comer : SugarCRM ?

Source : The Official Microsoft IIS Site

BuddyFuse Web Messenger


Looking for an alternative to using Hotmail to get connected with Messenger from the browser ? check out BuddyFuse.

It’s a preview version, but it’s really cool.

Source :

Monday, July 27, 2009

Block Adult Sites Automatically

Since you don’t want kids to accidentally see any of sites that contain adult content, an easy option for blocking such sites is OpenDNS.

You don’t have to download or install any software - just go to in any Internet browser, choose the "Computer" option (let’s keep it simple) and follow the instructions on the screen. Once your computer is configured with OpenDNS, go to Dashboard -> Settings and set the Filtering level to either Moderate or High.

Now whenever your kid mistakenly types a URL of some adult site in the browser (e.g. instead of or clicks a link that may be pointing to an inappropriate site, the OpenDNS filters will match the address of that site against their own database of adults sites and if there’s a match, the underlying web page won’t be displayed on the child’s computer.

Source : Digital Inspiration

Rogue DHCP Server detection

Overview Rogue DHCP servers are those DHCP servers that are misconfigured or unauthorized unknowingly or those that are configured with a malicious intent for network attacks. Either be the case the impact on clients that are serviced by the rogue DHCP...(read more)

Source : Microsoft Windows DHCP Team Blog

Mastering PowerShell :Free E-book

"Mastering PowerShell" by Dr. Tobias Weltner, Windows PowerShell MVP, is now available as a free PDF eBook. You can download it here or read the online version.

Source : Shay Levy

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

RSAT and ADUC for Vista - Update to add tabs for Terminal Services Profile, Environment, Sessions, and Remote Control

Ned here. After much strife, here is the hotfix to get RSAT AD Users and Computers to include tabs for:

  • Terminal Services Profile 
  • Environment 
  • Sessions 
  • Remote Control 

960890 Some tabs are not available in the properties of a user account in the Active Directory Users and Computers MMC snap-in after you install Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) on a computer that is running Windows Vista;EN-US;960890

If you have been hacking away at this previously to make it work, make sure to unregister and remove your server DLL's before installing this update.

Linda Taylor rules.

- Ned Pyle

Source : Ask the Directory Services Team

Migrating from NTLM to Negotiate in a nutshell

Although it’s kind of old news, there is an interesting article on the Windows Authentication Blog :

Migrating from NTLM to Negotiate in a nutshell

Two More Mega Data Centers Online In July

In order to fulfill the ever growing demand of data centers (Online Live and Cloud services), Microsoft is opening two more mega data centers this July.

The first one to open (July 1st) is located in Dublin (Ireland) and is the first mega data center Microsoft has built outside of the US.

The second one is the Chicago Data Center, which will open on July 20th. This facility will be one of the largest data centers in the world measuring no less than 700,000 square feet (approximately 16 football fields)!

Read more :

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Internet Explorer behaviors with Kerberos Authentication

Hey Rob here again, I thought that I would share with you some of the things that we see where Internet Explorer Kerberos authentication fails.

It is important to understand the default behavior of Internet Explorer and its support for Kerberos authentication so that you don’t start ripping out your hair (can’t speak to what Ned does here). I have listed three very common problems that we typically see when Kerberos authentication is failing with web-based applications.

Source : Ask the Directory Services Team

Monday, June 22, 2009

Web Page Error Toolkit

Customize your 404 error pages with the Web Page Error Toolkit
For large web sites with extensive amounts of content, 2 to 10 percent of traffic is looking for pages that either don’t exist or have been moved. Most web servers return a generic 404 error page or a sitemap when a user’s desired page cannot be found. These unhelpful pages often result in a dead end for users.

With Microsoft’s Web Page Error Toolkit, you can create dynamic 404 pages that contain customized error messages along with search results seeded with relevant keywords to help your users move past the missing page and find the information they need.
The Toolkit is a customizable application that replaces the default error page on your IIS server. The Toolkit enables you to use Bing to return results for the specified domain and locale, control the number of results returned on your page, choose whether to offer spelling corrections, and customize your error message.

You also have the option of choosing from several keyword extraction strategies that are included with the install, or providing your own implementation.

Download :
More info : Technet Magazine

Friday, June 19, 2009

What is Integrated Mode in Windows Virtual PC?

If you use Windows Virtual PC you will see “integration features” being mentioned.  These are enabled once you have the latest integration components installed, and can be enabled or disabled at will – but what are they?


When the integration features are enabled we are actually using Remote Desktop to connect to the operating system running inside the virtual machine.  This allows us to take advantages of many of the technologies built into remote desktop:

  • The ability to display seamless Windows from the virtual machine
  • The ability to redirect smart cards and printers to the virtual machine
  • The ability to share folders to the virtual machine

Source : Virtual PC Guy's WebLog

VMware FUD Fiasco Final

For those of you who have been following the "VMware FUD Fiasco" blog thread (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4), it's been an unfortunate incident that has gone on far too long. However, I'm pleased to report that we've finally reached resolution and it's time to close this chapter. What resolution am I talking about? Specifically,

VMware has admitted their mistake, apologized and removed the video.

Source : Windows Virtualization Team Blog

SharePoint technical content on CHM file

If your in interested by SharePoint technology, you will be happy to know that Microsoft updated the SharePoint Technet Library in Compiled Help format (CHM) :

What's new in the Windows 7 Firewall?

Since the introduction of the first firewall built into the operating system (Internet Connection Firewall) of Windows XP, Microsoft has steadily improved the firewall in each subsequent incarnation of Windows. While the Windows Firewall included in the newest client OS, Windows 7 is more evolutionary than revolutionary, it does provide some nice tweaks to make it more user-friendly and at least one big change that makes a difference to mobile users. In this article, we will take a look at the Windows Firewall in Windows 7 and show you how to configure it with multiple active firewall policies.


Source : WindowsSecurity.Com

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Google Apps Sync Disables Outlook Search

The Outlook team has recently been made aware of a serious bug / flaw with the recently announced Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook, and as a result we wanted to provide the Outlook user community with additional details around this problem as well as information on how to address it.

The installation of the Google Apps Sync plugin disables Outlook’s ability to search any and all of your Outlook data.

To lean more read the complete article. 

Source : Microsoft Office Outlook Team Blog

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Rolling Upgrade to Windows Server 2008 SP2 Failover Clustering

Hi Cluster Fans,

Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 (SP2) is now available for download on the web!  This blog post will walk you through performing a “rolling upgrade” from Windows Server 2008 RTM to Windows Server 2008 SP2.  A rolling upgrade allows you to progressively upgrade your cluster nodes while keeping your resources highly-available, however you may have some downtime while moving the resource groups between nodes.

Source : Clustering and High Availability

Thursday, June 11, 2009

“Inside Windows 7 User Account Control” by Mark Russinovich

These days there is a lot of fuss about UAC and Windows 7 on the net.

The famous Mark Russinovich (SysInternals tools) made en excellent technical overview of the feature in TechNet Magazine.

Read the article :

Microsoft Translator Instant Answers Now On Bing

Wow, did they read our comments? More integration of the translator into Bing? You got it! Starting today you can translate a word or phrase directly on Bing.

How does this work? Say you want to know how to say thank you in another language. Simply type ”translate Thank you” 

Source : LiveSide - Windows Live news and interviews

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Quote about “The Boss”

If everybody says "you're right!", you are either very smart or the boss.

(André Birabeau, French Play Writer [1890-1974])

Source : Jorge 's Quest For Knowledge!

TechNet Launches New Interactive Silverlight Application for STSADM Technical Reference

The vision was to plan, design, develop, test and publish a high quality SilverLight application that would improve the overall customer experience with the current downloadable Visio diagram for the Stsadm SharePoint command line admin tool. We have delivered; our application provides a fully browsable interface, in-depth information from the TechNet TOC and library, and links to specific topics for each Stsadm command line operation and property. By using separate XML data files, the SilverLight application is instantly updatable and localizable!

To view our Stsadm SilverLight application on TechNet:

Congratulations to the Office UA Content Engineering team and especially to Randy Lewandowski, Kirk Stark, Derrick Nguyen, Theano Petersen, Eling Voon, Emily Schroeder, Kiran Annamraju and Varun Shandilya.  You can also join their Facebook site.

Source : Microsoft SharePoint Team Blog

Monday, June 08, 2009

Can you really tell witch search engine is better ?

Try BlindSearch.

The goal of this site is simple, we want to see what happens when you remove the branding from search engines. How differently will you perceive the results?

Type in a search, hit search then vote for the column which you believe best matches your query (the columns are randomised with every query) and see if Google, Yahoo ou Bing is the winner.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Free: one year TechNet Plus subscription

A Microsoft TechNet Plus subscription is aimed at IT Professionals who want full-version Microsoft software, beta software, professional support incidents, managed newsgroup support, a technical information library, Microsoft eLearning courses, online concierge chat, the TechNet Magazine, and many other resources for evaluating, deploying, and maintaining Microsoft software. The subscription normally goes for $349 (download-only) or for $599 (download and DVD shipments). You want it free though, right? No problem: Canada link, US link, and UK link.

Source : Ars Technica - One Microsoft Way


Sorry folks, looks like Microsoft made a mistake. The free subscription was not meant to be public but only for members of the ITAC program. If your one of the lucky persons that was able to get in and obtain a key, Microsoft has disable your account and place your key on the black list.

More info : www.neowin

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Windows on Small Notebook PCs: The Momentum Continues in the US and the UK

On the eve of the Computex, the largest computer exhibition in Asia and the second largest in the world, we got word that PC World, the largest electronics retailer in the UK, is de-assorting (i.e., getting rid of) all of the Linux small notebook PCs in their stores and going all-Windows.

Jeremy Fennell, Category Director at PC World, sums things up perfectly at the end of the release:

Despite initial hype that netbooks would move more users onto the Linux platform, Microsoft has emerged as the preferred operating system because Windows makes it easier to share content, and provides customers with a simpler, more familiar computing experience on the move. Based on this insight, all the netbooks in our stores will feature Microsoft Windows, larger screens and keyboards, and greater colour choices to satisfy customers demand for performance, design and familiarity.

Source : The Windows Blog

Friday, May 29, 2009

Microsoft: Sorry Pundits, Vista Is (Still) Doing Just Fine

Much has been made about how Windows 7 is so good that it will help Microsoft overcome the bad PR image it developed with Windows Vista. But while everyone is busy patting themselves on the back for "knowing" how poorly Vista is doing, the reality is somewhat less exciting. In fact, Vista is selling better in businesses than Windows XP was at the same point in its lifecycle. Lest we forget that inconvenient truth, Microsoft this week decided to remind everyone. Again. "Adoption and deployment of Windows Vista has been slightly ahead of where we had been with XP," Tami Reller, Microsoft corporate vice-president and Windows Business division CFO, said this week. "We also have a number of enterprises that are mid-cycle [in Vista deployments], that are doing a tremendous amount of testing, planning, and training, and getting ready for Vista." Much has been made about the declining fortunes of Windows lately, but let's not forget that the entire economy is tanking in nearly historic proportions. The Windows division generated $2.5 billion in income in the most recent quarter. That's not chump change, sorry, and it's double the amount of money that all of Apple—Mac, iPhone, and iPod combined—earned in the same time period. I'm pretty sure most of the tech press did nothing but celebrate that figure and Apple's various blockbuster products. Let's not let the angst get ahead of reality here.

Source : Paul Thurrott’s WinInfo Short Takes : Week of June 1

Thursday, May 28, 2009

How to save additional Active Directory attributes and the user password in tombstone objects

Knowing that deleted Active Directory objects are not erased immediately, but only after 60 (Windows 2000/2003) or 180 days (Windows 2003 SP1/2008), can save your day if you accidentally delete user, computer or container objects. …

… A downside of tombstone reanimation is that by default, important attributes are stripped from AD objects when they are deleted. For example, user objects’ last and first name attributes are not saved in tombstone objects. …

… The good news is that you can configure the Active Directory schema to store additional attributes in tombstone objects. The bad news is that the procedure is a bit complicated. 

Source : 4sysops

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Is WMIprvse a real villain?

How often has it occurred that you were working on something and suddenly your computer became slow? You opened task manager to find out the culprit that is hogging your systems CPU cycles. You sorted the processes according to CPU usage and saw WMIprvse.exe happily sitting at the top.

Before putting the blame on WMIprvse.exe have you ever wondered that it can be that some other application contracted the WMIprvse.exe to create havoc on your computer? Here’s how you can find the culprit which is using WMIprvse.exe to eat up your system resources.

Source : Windows Management Infrastructure Blog

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

WSUS 3.0 SP2 RC Program now available on Microsoft Connect!

I am very pleased to announce that WSUS 3.0 SP2 RC will be available to the general public today, May 26, via the Connect Site.

All you have to do is sign in to your Connect account or sign up now in order to participate in the RC program.
This program is available to all registered and authenticated users of Connect.

New Windows Server and Client Version Support

  • Integration with Windows Server® 2008 R2
  • Support for the BranchCache feature on Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Support for Windows 7 client

Source : WSUS Product Team Blog

Friday, May 22, 2009

Virtual Monaco Circuit in 3D

Look at this great video !

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The official blog of the Micorosft Office 2010

The Microsoft Office 2010 IT Blog

"This blog is being created by the Office team to help our IT professionals and enthusiasts get a better idea of what we are building with Office 2010 and discuss the key issues that matter to you.  We are all incredibly excited to start talking about the new version of Office and hope you will participate here."

Source :,

Disk Partition Alignment Best Practices for SQL Server

Disk partition alignment is a powerful tool for improving SQL Server performance. Configuring optimal disk performance is often viewed as much art as science. A best practice that is essential yet often overlooked is disk partition alignment. Windows Server 2008 attempts to align new partitions out-of-the-box, yet disk partition alignment remains a relevant technology for partitions created on prior versions of Windows.

This paper documents performance for aligned and nonaligned storage and why nonaligned partitions can negatively impact I/O performance; it explains disk partition alignment for storage configured on Windows Server 2003, including analysis, diagnosis, and remediation; and it describes how Windows Server 2008 attempts to remedy challenges related to partition alignment for new partitions yet does not correct the configuration of preexisting partitions.


For more information, please refer to the Disk Partition Alignment Best Practices for SQL Server whitepaper

Source :

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tip: How to install and uninstall a program in Safe Mode

I’ve never really understood why uninstalling programs in Safe Mode isn’t officially supported in Windows. The main purpose of Safe Mode is to troubleshoot Windows, and what usually causes the trouble? Right, misbehaving programs.

Excellent post of Michael Pietroforte explaning how to uninstall a program in safe mode by allowing the Windows Installer Service to start in safe mode.

Source : 4sysops

The 2007 Microsoft Office Suite Service Pack 2 (SP2)

The 2007 Microsoft Office Suite Service Pack 2 (SP2) provides customers with the latest updates to the 2007 Office suite (the products that are affected by this update are listed below). This download includes two types of fixes:

  • Previously unreleased fixes that were made specifically for this service pack.
    • In addition to general product fixes, this includes improvements in stability, performance, and security.
    • You can find out more information in Knowledge Base Article 953195, where product-specific changes are described.
  • All of the Public Updates, Security Updates, Cumulative Updates, and Hotfixes released through February 2009.

Before installing this service pack, you are strongly encouraged to read 953195, which describes some big improvements introduced by SP2, and also calls out some important information that you should be aware of before installing.


Source :

Monday, April 27, 2009

FREE: VHD tool - Create, convert, and extend a VHD quickly


This is the VHD tool’s usage description:

VhdTool.exe /create <FileName> <Size> [/quiet]
VhdTool.exe /convert <FileName> [/quiet]
VhdTool.exe /extend <FileName> <NewSize> [/quiet]

Create: Creates a new fixed format VHD of size <Size>.

Convert: Converts an existing file to a fixed-format VHD.
The existing file length, rounded up, will contain block data
A VHD footer is appended to the current end of file.

Extend: Extends an existing fixed format VHD to a larger size <Size>.

VHD tool

Source : 4sysops

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Web IM is here!


We’re happy to announce that Windows Live Hotmail is integrating instant messaging capabilities within its web interface. With this functionality, you can get your email and IM all in one place!  This feature lets you IM your Windows Live Messenger contacts from within your Hotmail inbox or People page without having to switch over to the Messenger client.

Source : Your mail is here, come and get it!

Friday, April 17, 2009

The difference between the Microsoft’s Hyper-V and the VMware’s ESX hypervisor

Greg Shields published an interesting article that explains the difference between the hypervisors of Microsoft’s Hyper-V and VMware’s ESX. It is a response to a widespread misunderstanding. VMware supporters tend to believe that VMware ESX has a bare metal hypervisor, whereas Hyper-V runs like Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 on top of Windows. Greg explains in detail in what sense both virtualization solutions are Type 1 hypervisors contrary to Virtual Server and VMware Server, which use Type 2 hypervisors. A Type 2 hypervisor is installed on top of the administrative OS, whereas a Type 1 hypervisor runs on bare metal, a layer below the administrative OS (Windows Server 2008 in the case of Hyper-V and Red Hat in the case of ESX).

However, there are also important differences between Hyper-V’s and ESX’s hypervisors. Greg makes things absolutely clear: Hyper-V has a far more advanced hypervisor because it is microkernalized, whereas ESX has a monolithic hypervisor. Among other things this means that Hyper-V uses synthetic device drivers, which are just pointers to the real device drivers into the primary partition’s administrative OS (Windows Server 2008). ESX’s device drivers exist within its hypervisor.

Source : 4sysops

Prepare for Automatic Update distribution of IE8

Starting on or about the third week of April, users still running IE6 or IE7 on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2008 will get will get a notification through Automatic Update about IE8. This rollout will start with a narrow audience and expand over time to the entire user base. On Windows XP and Server 2003, the update will be High-Priority. On Windows Vista and Server 2008 it will be Important.

IE8 will not automatically install on machines. Users must opt-in to install IE8. Users will see a Welcome screen that offers choices: Ask later, install now, or don’t install.

Source : IEBlog

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Creating and Configuring a Generic Application Resource

Excellent post to learn how to create a Generic Application Resource in a Windows 2008 Cluster.

Windows Server 2008 (and R2) Failover Clustering supports virtually every workload which comes with Windows Server, however there are many custom and 3rd party applications which take advantage of our infrastructure to provide high-availability. Additionally there are some applications which were not originally designed to run in a failover cluster. These can be created, managed by and integrated with Failover Clustering using a generic container, with applications using the Generic Application resource type. For more information about cluster-unaware applications, visit

Source : Clustering and High Availability

Service Pack 2 for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 due to ship April 28th

Office Service Pack team announced Service Pack 2 for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 would be available on April 28th. It provides many fixes and performance improvements, as well as some new features. Also with the new service pack, Internet Explorer 8 will be added into browser support matrix as level one, and Firefox 2.0 and 3.0 as level two. We recommend every customer to start planning their patch window to apply this service pack. Please look out for more details on the 28th.

Jie Li

Technical Product Manager, SharePoint

Source : Microsoft SharePoint Team Blog

Friday, April 03, 2009

Microsoft Office Visio 2007 Professional Add-In for Rack Server Virtualization (Virtual Rack)

Rack Server Virtualization Add-in provides the capability to pull the rack-server data either from an Excel spread sheet or from the user and render the Visio diagram.

This amazing Add-in from Microsoft® Office Visio® 2007 Professional helps you plan virtualization.

With over 70% of server hardware being under-utilized, this very valuable tool can draw a clear picture of your hardware utilization. This tool auto-generates the diagram of your rack and provides clear server details from a linked Excel template. Analyze your racks and servers using WMI or get the utilization data over time using the Operations Manager connection.
Use the virtualization button to see the before and after detailed diagram of your racks. See clearly where you have the opportunity to save on space and power.
See the power of Data Visualization at work with this Add-in For Visio 2007


Source :

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Is IE8 really fat and slow?

Since IE8 shipped last week, I've read two criticisms repeatedly: One is the burning question of whether IE8 is faster or slower than its competitors; the other is whether it makes reasonable use of system resources. In this post, I explain why some people are seeing performance issues (and share an obscure system tweak that might just cure IE8 performance and stability problems). I also take a closer look at why you might prefer a browser that uses more memory than others.

Source : Ed Bott's Microsoft Report

McAfee fails the Conficker test

The hysteria over the Conficker worm is reaching a fever pitch, with mainstream media doing their bit to whip Windows users into an unjustified panic. The trouble with virus scares in general is that they do a wonderful job of driving people directly into the arms of rogue security vendors. So what's a confused consumer to do when one of the largest security companies in the world creates a website filled with sloppy mistakes that make it look exactly like a rogue vendor?

Source : Ed Bott's Microsoft Report

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Explore the Internet Explorer Compatibility Center

Learn more about Internet Explorer compatibility, check out new tips and tricks, and find tools to help you get the job done.

Source : MSDN: U.S. Local Highlights

Compatibility View List and IE8 RTW

I’ve blogged about the Compatibility View features included in Internet Explorer 8 a few times during the Beta 2 and Release Candidate milestones. Now that Internet Explorer 8 has released, I wanted to follow-up with a quick post highlighting the content that’s been created on MSDN regarding the Compatibility View List.

Coinciding with the release of Internet Explorer 8, we’ve created a content store on MSDN that discusses the finer-grain details of the Compatibility View List.

Source : IEBlog

Windows 7 Product Editions: A Comparison


Great post by Paul Thurrott (as usual) listing what’s in each edition of Windows 7. Thanks Paul.

Read it : Windows 7 Product Editions: A Comparison

Monday, March 30, 2009

Enforce Windows Password Policy on SQL Server Logins

If users choose to use SQL login to connect to SQL Server rather than using NT authenticating, it is worth to remind that SQL server does provide the option of enforcing window password policy on SQL logins.

Source : SQL Server Security

Friday, March 27, 2009

Announcing the release of Exchange Server Remote Connectivity Analyzer

I'd like to introduce you to the Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer (ExRCA) tool which can be accessed at

In this version, the tool will allow you to remotely test the following client types and services:

Exchange ActiveSync

  • Windows Mobile 5, 3rd party devices
  • Windows Mobile 6.1+ with AutoDiscover

Outlook Anywhere (aka RPC/HTTP)

  • Outlook 2003
  • Outlook 2007 with AutoDiscover

Inbound SMTP

Source : Exchange Team Blog

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What’s new in JScript for IE8

During Beta1 and Beta2 pre-releases of IE8, we’ve blogged about the performance optimizations done in the Script engine and the addition of new language features such as native JSON support. We also provided details about the JScript Debugger and the JScript Profiler –that shipped as part IE8 Developer Tools

The JScript engine now exposes new language features only when the layout (document) mode is set to “IE8 Standards Mode.” Versioned JScript language features available in this release include native JSON support and accessor methods for enabling Document Object Model prototypes.

Source : IEBlog

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Live Smooth Streaming for IIS7


Smooth Streaming enables uninterrupted, streaming to Silverlight clients via HTTP, up to true HD (720p+) Learn More

Live Smooth Streaming delivers massively scalable Smooth Streaming for live events. Learn More

It’s currently in beta, but chek out the demo it’s really cool.

Source :

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Database Manager for IIS 7.0 - RC Released!

Database Manager integrates with the IIS 7 Management Console UI to provide a one stop location to perform database management tasks.  It uses configured web site and web application connection strings as well as custom database connections from within the tool. Here are some of the major changes from the previous...(read more)

Source : The Official Microsoft IIS Site

Expression Web SuperPreview makes cross-browser testing like moist delicious cake

Every web developer today faces the challenge of checking website compatibility across a large pool of browsers and browser versions in the marketplace. Up and until now, either you could install every browser, verify the website via a visual inspection and debug with tools specialized to that browser, or you could send a URL to a third-party screenshotting service like BrowserShots for an all-in-one visual inspection. The former is messy and tedious but gives you more control and an opportunity to diagnose problems, whilst the latter is simple but slow and useless to fix the problem. Needless to say, SuperPreview is the best of both worlds.

Note: The following screenshots come from a newer unreleased internal build of the application and does not reflect accurately what you can do in Expression Web SuperPreview today. Please don’t hurt me. I like kittens.

Expression Web SuperPreview

Expression Web SuperPreview

And perhaps what I think is the coolest feature, an overlay mode to compare exactly what’s different for pixel-perfect alignment. Or if you cross your eyes, the web in 3D.

Finally, how you can get your dirty web developer paws on this awesome tool, and it’s a little complicated to say the least. The beta of this software available right now is downloadable from (250MB). The catch being it only supports renderings between IE6 and versions of IE installed on your computer already, but it should ease the pain of testing for IE6/7/8 compatibility for a lot of devs.

The full and final version of this product will be bundled together with Expression Web 3, sometime later this year and will run as a separate standalone application. 

Source : istartedsomething

Friday, March 20, 2009

Reminder: End of Life for Service Pack 1 in Windows Server 2003 Coming Soon

Ned here again with a quick reminder: Support for computers running Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 ends on April 14th, 2009. Yes, that's just under a month from now. After that point there will be no hotfixes, security updates, or support for computers...(read more)

Source : Ask the Directory Services Team

Monday, March 16, 2009

Check your Internet speed


Do you get the speed what you paid for ?

There is a few internet sites that allow you to test your Internet Service Provider speed, but this one is really cool.

Check it :

Friday, March 13, 2009


WuInstall is a command line tool for windows, which enables you to install windows-updates for a certain workstation in a controlled way by using a command line script instead of the standard window update functionality.

WuInstall uses the windows update API and is written in C++. It searches either on the Microsoft - Update - Server or at the internal WSUS-Sever (depending on system configuration) for currently available updates for the current workstation and can also download and/or installs these updates

Usage: WUInstall.exe [/search | /download | /install | /help]
/search -> Searches only for available downloads
/download -> Searches and downloads updates
/install -> Searches and downloads and installs update
Return codes: 0  ... sucessful, no reboot required
              1  ... at least one error occured, no reboot required
              2  ... no more updates availabed
              20 ... sucessful, reboot required
              21 ... at least one error occured, reboot required
Copyright by hs2n Informationstechnologie GmbH 2009

Source :

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Utility Spotlight RichCopy

RichCopy is a free utility that comes to us from Ken Tamaru of Microsoft. The tool was first developed in 2001 and has been updated regularly to keep pace with evolving needs. Trust me when I tell you, this is the answer to all your file copying needs. What you'll find most striking the first time you take RichCopy out for a spin is that it's a multithreaded copying tool.


Source & download : Technet Magazine (April 2009)

Free PowerShell EBook

PowerShell MVP and prodigious PowerShell blogger Keith Hill has converted his very popular Effective PowerShell blog series into a FREE Ebook.  You can download it HERE.

Here is a taste of you'll you'll get:

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Item 1: Four Cmdlets that are the Keys to Discovery within PowerShell
  • Key #1: Get-Command
  • Key #2: Get-Help
  • Key #3: Get-Member
  • Key #4: Get-PSDrive
  • PowerShell 2.0 Update
  • Item 2: Understanding Output
  • Output is Always a .NET Object
  • Function Output Consists of Everything That Isn't Captured
  • Other Types of Output That Can't Be Captured
  • Item 3: Know What Objects Are Flowing Down the Pipeline
  • Item 4: Output Cardinality - Scalars, Collections and
  • Empty Sets - Oh My!
  • Working with Scalars
  • Working with Collections
  • Working with Empty Sets
  • Item 5: Use the Objects, Luke. Use the Objects!
  • Item 6: Know Your Output Formatters
  • Item 7: Understanding PowerShell Parsing Modes
  • Item 8: Understanding ByPropertyName Pipeline Bound Parameters
  • Item 9: Understanding ByValue Pipeline Bound Parameters
  • Item 10: Regular Expressions - One of the Power Tools in
  • PowerShell
  • PowerShell 2.0 Update
  • Item 11: Comparing Arrays
  • Item 12: Use Set-PSDebug -Strict In Your Scripts – Religiously
  • PowerShell 2.0 Update
  • Item 13: Commenting Out Lines in a Script File
  • PowerShell 2.0 Update 

Source : Keith Hill's Blog

Lab Experiment: Hypervisors

Is there really a performance difference between hypervisors from VMware, Microsoft and Citrix? We put them under a microscope and stress-tested them for days to find out the answer.

Source :

Update : Read the post from Windows Virtualization Team about the test. Did you know that reviewing ESX without VMware's permission violates the VMware EULA about posting benchmarks ?

Monday, March 09, 2009

VSeWSS 1.3 Feb 2009 CTP

This is the SharePoint developer tools for Visual Studio 2008. These tools are suitable for use with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. It includes project and item templates for common SharePoint artifacts, it includes build, packaging and deployment for SharePoint solutions and it includes the SharePoint Solution Generator which creates a new Visual Studio 2008 project from a SharePoint site.
The tools provide item templates for List Definition, List Definition from Content Type, Content Type, Field Control, Web Part, Module, Root File, Template, Event Receiver, and List Instance. It provides project templates for Team Site Definition, Blank Site Definition, List Definition, Web Part and Empty. It works with Visual Basic .NET and C# languages and a comprehensive user guide is included. It does not include the SharePoint Workflow templates as they are built in with Visual Studio 2008.
New features in version 1.3 include:

  • Can be installed on x64 Server OS machines running SharePoint x64. Previously only x86 Server OS could be used
  • Separate build commands for package, deploy and retract are added as Visual Studio menu items
  • WSP View improvements for consistency of deleting feature elements, merging features and adding event receivers to features
  • Command line build, package and retract commands are included enabling continuous integration and build servers. Previously command line build of SharePoint projects was very difficult
  • Refactoring support for renaming of Web Parts. Previously renaming a web part required changes in several files in the project
  • Solution Generator can now generate solutions from publishing sites. Previously only regular sites could be generated
  • Allowing partial trust BIN deployments of web parts
  • New project item template for SharePoint RootFiles items
  • Deployment will now optionally remove conflicting existing features on the development server prior to redeployment. Previously any feature name conflicts would result in an error
  • Ancillary assemblies such as for business logic can now be added to the SharePoint Solution WSP
  • Hidden features related to Site Definition projects are now shown in WSP View. They are no longer hidden
  • For advanced users a fast deploy is included to update only the compiled assembly on the SharePoint development installation
  • Deployment step logging is included
  • The List Definition from Content Type template now allows for the creation of a List Definition Event Receiver
  • The User Guide is now installed with the extensions instead of being a separate download
This download is not supported by Microsoft support. We encourage you to visit the MSDN Forum for SharePoint Development to discuss it. This download is the February CTP of the 1.3 version. If you need the released version 1.2, please check the related downloads.

Source : Microsoft Download Center