Community Activities Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Moving Applications to Windows 7 and App-V | Flexera Software Webinar

Join Flexera Software™, the leading provider in Windows® 7 application readiness solutions, for a discussion of how you can automate and standardize OS migration and application virtualization projects to ensure a fast and successful application deployment. This Webinar will explore an end-to-end process for Windows 7 and App-V application migration projects, strategies to reduce the cost and complexity and also, how a continuous application readiness process creates a repeatable and reliable standard for your next migration project.

In this Webinar you learn the “6 Steps to Faster Windows 7 Application Migration” and how to:

  • Drive down the cost and complexity of preparing for a Windows 7 software deployment
  • Speed conversion of MSI packages to App-V and other virtualized formats
  • Shift from reactive to proactive application management
  • Better understand your application estate
  • Make sure your applications are ready to move when you are
  • Reduce manual migration to save time and resources

Date: Thursday, June 24, 2010, Time: 9:00 PT / 11:00 CT / 12:00 EST

Register for the Webinar here

General IT News, Tech Information and Analysis

Rip Protected DVD to iPod – Download WinX HD Video Converter for Mac

Rip Protected DVD to iPod with Fast SpeedWinX HD Video Converter for Mac is an easy-to-use solution for Mac users to convert Multi-track HD video M2TS, MKV, AVCHD, HDTV BDTV, BDAV, MPEG-TS videos. It can also convert video files to the video formats that playable on both portable and console players, such as iPad, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, PS3, PSP, Xbox, Zune, PDA, Blackberry, Nokia, Android, Zen, etc. It works on Mac OS with powerful functions.

To get the full version for free, please download this program and register with this License Code: WINXMC-2010-3721-GIVEAWAY.

Note: This giveaway starts from June 9, 2010 and will expire at 12:00AM GMT July 1, 2010. During this period, you can get the full version for free. If you have any suggestion or question regarding the giveaway version, please feel free to email at

Courtesy: Sophia, Digiarty Software, Inc.

You would be interested to read  –

General Microsoft Tools

Microsoft Released the All new Hotmail and Live Messenger

Microsoft today introduced an all new and cool Hotmail that helps you INTERGRATE, SHARE and CUT THE CLUTTER in your inbox like never before. The innovative new Hotmail integrates Windows Live Messenger, other email accounts and updates from your social network all within a single intuitive interface that allow you to do so much more with your Hotmail be it on the Web, mobile phone or a PC.

The smart new Hotmail brings together emails from other services like Gmail and Yahoo right into your Hotmail Inbox. You can stay active and connected in the social networking scene with updates from Facebook, LinkedIn, etc and Live Messenger integration all within your inbox. Hotmail users can access images and videos from Bing or photo albums from Windows Live SkyDrive without having to leave their inbox or having to worry about the size of the attachment – as the new Hotmail has a phenomenal 10 GB limit per message. With added capabilities to make your inbox CLUTTER FREE by enabling views by conversations and highlights and Sweep functionality, Hotmail becomes the one stop shop destination for all your virtual needs.

The new smart interface helps make a clutter-free inbox with features such as:

  1. With conversation view never lose a chain of thought or let emails be all over the place
  2. One click sweep which allows consumers to take bulk action to clean, delete or organize emails into folders
  3. With Automated highlights users can immediately see if they have new e-mail from friends, social network updates, shipments, appointments and birthday reminders — all in a single glance on logging in
  4. Categorization of email which saves precious time wasted by sifting through emails.

Underneath the neat intuitive interface lies a secure emailing experience through:

  • Powerful new spam filters: which the new Hotmail has to help combat spammer infrastructure head-on, which makes sending spam more difficult, and helps cut down on spam.
  • Microsoft SmartScreen: that helps intuitively distinguish between legitimate e-mail messages and spam
  • Trusted Senders a feature that will visually demarcate e-mails in inboxes from specific senders that it recognizes as legitimate, helping users easily tell the good from the scams with a safety logo next to messages from Trusted Senders.

The fun and excitement in enhancing consumers’ digital experience does not stop with just Hotmail, the new version of Windows Live Messenger that was recently launched brings Video Chat in High Definition for a fully loaded experience. It allows consumers to Share photos from SkyDrive and Facebook in real-time and Share and update across social networks with a single click.

Further, Live Messenger seamlessly integrates Bing search, making it easier to add links, photos and videos without leaving the conversation window.

Another fun and innovative feature is the ability to set availability status by category, for instance, consumers can be online for family, while appearing offline to co-workers! The new Live Messenger is a must-have social dashboard, with updates from across social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace, as well as videos directly from YouTube – all in one place.

The new Live Messenger can be previewed today at

So with all new loaded Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger, stop sending emails and start connecting with people you love. Stop Instant Messaging and start having conversations with your buddies!

Also read – What is Email Phishing and How can you avoid email hacks?

Microsoft Tools Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Download SuperFlow for Configuring Software Updates and Deployment

The SuperFlow interactive content model provides a structured and interactive interface for viewing documentation. Each SuperFlow includes comprehensive information about a specific dataflow, workflow, or process. Depending on the focus of the SuperFlow, you will find overview information, steps that include detailed information, procedures, sample log entries, best practices, real-world scenarios, troubleshooting information, security information, animations, or other information. Each SuperFlow also includes links to relevant resources, such as Web sites or local files that are copied to your computer when you install the SuperFlow.

The SuperFlow for Configuring Software Updates provides detailed steps that help you to plan for and configure software updates at a site. This SuperFlow also includes troubleshooting information and additional resources that you can use to learn more about configuring software updates in Configuration Manager 2007.

This below software provides information that helps you to prepare for and deploy software updates after you configure the software updates infrastructure and synchronize software updates.

Download the Software Update Deployment SuperFlow here [.msi format]

This Software provides detailed steps that help you to plan for and configure software updates at a site.

Download SuperFlow for Configuring Software Updates here [.msi format]

Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7; Windows Server 2003; Windows Server 2008; Windows Vista

Also you will be interested in downloading these SuperFlows:

How-to Microsoft Tools

Merge multiple .NET assemblies into a single Assembly using ILMerge Utility

ILMerge is a utility that can be used to merge multiple .NET assemblies into a single assembly. ILMerge takes a set of input assemblies and merges them into one target assembly.

The first assembly in the list of input assemblies is the primary assembly. When the primary assembly is an executable, then the target assembly is created as an executable with the same entry point as the primary assembly. Also, if the primary assembly has a strong name, and a .snk file is provided, then the target assembly is re-signed with the specified key so that it also has a strong name.

If you aren’t aware about Assemblies, do read this introduction article here

ILMerge is packaged as a console application. But all of its functionality is also available programmatically. There are several options that control the behavior of ILMerge. ILMerge runs in the v2.0 .NET Runtime, but it is also able to merge v1 or v1.1 assemblies. However it can merge PDB files only for v2 assemblies. 

Download the ILMerge tool here [.msi format]

Currently, ILMerge works only on Windows-based platforms. It does not yet support Rotor or Mono. You can find more information about this tool here the ILMerge web site.

To read more on the Side-by-Side Assemblies and WinSxS folder, I would recommend you check this article which was written sometime ago!

Also read,

General How-to Microsoft Tools

Documentation and Softwares – Developing for Windows Phone 7 Series

Windows Phone 7 Series is expected to hit the town in about 5 months from now. Microsoft has already released the Phone SDK which you can make use of to build your apps and keep it ready for the market by the time the device arrives!

All set to start developing your first application for Windows Phone?

Download Windows Phone 7 Developer Training Kit: This Training Kit below will give you a jumpstart into the new Windows Phone world by providing you with a step-by-step explanation of the tools to use and some key concepts for programming Windows Phones. This training kit is geared for beginners who want to get started with developing applications for the latest Windows Phone operating system. Even if you don’t know Silverlight or XNA Framework, you’ll find this Training Kit useful. More seasoned Silverlight developers should also find this kit useful, as it explains some of the differences between Silverlight and Silverlight for the phone. – Download this Training Kit here

Update: 28th July, 2010 –

The UI Design and Interaction Guide for Windows Phone 7 v2.0 has been updated for beta. With additional information and a new layout we hope you will find more readable, this guide provides detailed information about UI elements and controls, UI system behaviors, and the interaction model for the touch interface based on the design system codenamed “Metro”. Designers and developers should read this guide to learn about the dos and don’ts of UI implementations for their Windows Phone applications.

The Design Templates for Windows Phone 7 are a collection of 28 layered Photoshop template files and system fonts that can be used to create pixel-perfect application layouts, to help guide UI development, or to pitch an idea. These design templates showcase many controls that are a part of the Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta. They also include examples of controls that are a part of Windows Phone, but are not available as a part of the Windows Phone Developer Tools.

Update : 30th April, 2010 –
Beginning today you can download the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP Refresh (WPDT CTP) from, which means you can now build Windows Phone 7 apps on the final release of Visual Studio 2010 (VS2010). While this update is primarily intended to enable development using the final release of VS2010 there are a few new things here too. You can read the complete article here on the Windows Team blog!

There is a huge bulk of Windows Phone development documentation on the MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network). You do have lots of information like,

Windows Phone 7 Series

Other important documentation links include Developing Windows Phone Games and Silverlight for Windows Phone as a part of the XNA Game Studio 4.0 and Silverlight 4 RC documentation sets, respectively.

Charlez Petzold is authoring a Book called “Programming Windows Phone 7 Series”. He has already offered a draft preview of his eBook FREE of cost! – Download the ebook here (pdf document)

2/4/2010 – Update : New XNA Game Studio 4.0 samples for Windows Phone released on the Creators Club site

Yesterday, Microsoft released several samples and mini-games to help you get started using the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP (which includes the XNA Game Studio 4.0 CTP) to create games for Windows Phone 7 Series.  Here is some additional information about the samples and where you can download them:

  • Reach graphics demo – this is the demo that Shawn Hargreaves used in his talks at GDC and MIX to show the 5 five built-in effect types provided by the XNA Framework 4.0 on Windows Phone (BasicEffect, DualTextureEffect, AlphaTestEffect, SkinnedEffect, and EnvironmentMapEffect).
  • Snow Shovel mini-game – a simple Windows Phone game that shows how draw 2D sprites using SpriteBatch and handles player input using the accelerometer. You will not be able to use accelerometer input in the Windows Phone 7 Series emulator in the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP however.
  • Primitives sample – an updated version of an existing sample that works with the XNA Game Studio 4.0 CTP and demonstrates how to create a reusable class to draw 2D primitives (points, lines and triangles) on the screen.  The source code for the 4.0 version of this sample is available at this link.
  • Primitives3D sample – an updated version of an existing sample that works with the XNA Game Studio 4.0 CTP and demonstrates how to create a reusable class to draw 3D primitives (cubes, spheres, cylinders, torus and teapots) on the screen.  The source code for the 4.0 version of this sample is available at this link.

You can also join the discussion in the Windows Phone forums to get your queries answered.!

General Microsoft

Download Internet Explorer 9 – Developer Preview

5/5/2010 – Update:

The Second Internet Explorer Platform Preview is out here (via Tim Sneath) with more JS performance, HTML5 stuff and CSS 3 improvements, Do check it out :

A nice read on HTML5 and Same Markup: Second IE9 Platform Preview Available for Developers

Today, Microsoft is making the first developer preview of Internet Explorer (IE) 9 at MIX2010. The developer preview is available for download now. Microsoft retools its browser with HTML5, accelerated graphics. There are lots of demo applications which are built in to test the Speed, HTML5 and Graphics Demos. IE9 has a new JavaScript engine, and it’s screaming fast, it beats Firefox 3.6 on SunSpide. Rounded corners show up well.

Internet Explorer 9 Demos

The developer Preview is available for download here

The IE 9 Platform Preview doesn’t include the IE 9 user interface; instead, it is the plumbing, specifically the new Microsoft JavaScript engine (which is codenamed “Chakra”) and the new graphics subsystem, coupled with a home page full of test sites. There’s no back button and no built-in security. It’s basically the IE 9 rendering engine and early developer tools.

A sample Flying images demo –

IE 9 Flying Images Demo

IE9 Preview and Chrome showing the same demo, check at the FPS difference –

IE9 and Chrome comparision

HTML5 applications are a lot richer and demanding, in terms of graphics and speed than Ajax applications. Microsoft is planning to deliver a lot more preview builds of IE 9 before it hits beta. In fact, the team is committing to delivering an update every eight weeks, and to interact with developers via the Microsoft Connect feedback loop.

IE9 will not be available on Windows XP as IE9’s GPU-powered graphics take advantage of new technologies available in Windows 7 and back-ported only to Windows Vista.

Via – [ZdNet]

General How-to

ZoomIt – An Awesome tool to use while giving Presentations

People who have attended my presentations would have seen me use a tool more often to zoom into a screen during demos. Few of them have come back to me post event and asked…what this cool thing is? Is it a new feature in Windows 7? How to get it run? What are the keyboard Shortcuts? etc..

I reckon, it would be worth to write a small note about this awesome Tool so that, even other readers would benefit out of it! Well, this is not a Windows 7 feature and its just a 270 kb sized tool, which can very well run in any version of Windows. This little wonder is called ZoomIt., and its from the team who have created some wonderful tools as a part of Sysinternals toolkit!

ZoomIt is a screen zoom and annotation tool for technical presentations that include application demonstrations. You have hotkeys to control the Zoom and annotations. ZoomIt runs in the system tray and it gets activated whenever you use the hotkeys.  Once you zoom into an area, you can move around, draw annotations, and even draw images to showcase a particular section.

ZoomIt - Focusing on a segment of desktopYou can also change the HotKeys for this application, However the default keys are more user-friendly! Here are the default key combinations.

  • Cntl + 1 -> This will zoom into a screen. This is an image zoom, where you wont have access to control any text/button in it. You can zoom in and zoom out., and do all the annotations like Writing, drawing images, highlighting texts etc – (Check the image beside) .
  • Cntl + 2 -> This will not zoom into the screen, however it makes your desktop ready for annotations. You can write and draw! – (See below to understand on what types of annotations you can make).
  • Cntl + 4 -> Gives you live Zoom. (This works only if Aero is enabled on your Vista / Windows 7 Machine)

To come out of a zoomed state or an annotated screen, just press the ‘Esc’ key!

In this below screenshot, i have showcased the annotations feature of Zoomit. Once you zoom (ie., Cntl+1) or Cntl+2, you can do all of the below things-

ZoomIt Annotation Demo

  • You can draw an Arrow to make a point (using the key combination of Cntl+Shift+ Click and move your mouse to draw)
  • You can draw a free text as well – (just click your mouse and start dragging to write – If you have a tablet PC, you can also write using the pen!)
  • To draw a straight line – (Use Shift key + Click and move your mouse to draw)
  • To highlight a section of code – you can use the rectangle box to showcase a section. If you see in the screenshot below, I drew boxes to denote the same – (Cntl+Click and move your mouse to draw)
  • You can change colors of your Annotations – (Press the key ‘r’ for red, ‘b’ for blue, ‘g’ for green, ‘y’ for yellow and ‘p’ for pink)
  • If you want to completely clean the screen and write something and show to the audience, instead of running a notepad.exe and bringing up a white board… (press key ‘w’ for whiteboard, and ‘k’ for blackboard

ZoomIt can be downloaded here. You can also choose to run these tools live from –

ZoomIt works on all versions of Windows, so do give it a try now. Hope this quick little tip was useful.!

General How-to Microsoft Tools

Open Source LaTeX Editor for Windows – TeXnic Center

TeXnicCenter is a feature rich and easy-to-use integrated environment for creating LaTeX documents on the Windows platform. Its powerful editor and its tight integration with the LaTeX environment helps you to concentrate on just the content of your document! TeXnicCenter is Free Open Source Software (GPL).

LaTeX is not a wordprocessor but a typesetting system that achieves beautifully typeset documents without any deeper typographic knowledge. If you are not aware of Latex, then I would recommend, you read this article on introduction to LaTeX.!

Whats good about TeXnicCenter?

The full power of  TeXnicCenter comes from its tight integration with the other components involved in the process of writing, building and viewing LaTeX documents. With TeXnicCenter you get a central user interface that allows you to control all the other tools. And all this packeted in a comfortable and modern user interface. TeXnicCenter has been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times and is the best choice for LaTeX authors working on the windows platform!

Download the Software TeXnic Center here (.exe Format)

You often have to create new LaTeX documents? You will love TeXnicCenter. Its powerful template mechanism allows you to define document templates once and create new documents based on these templates by simply choosing the ‘New’ option from the ‘File’ menu. The COM-Plug-In mechanism allows every one to implement document wizards. Some quite useful wizards are already available on the internet. You also have options to easily add any technical character (as shown below)

Constructs Menu Item - TeXnic Center

Instead of having to use several different tools like i.e. an editor for writing the document and the LaTeX command line tools for building them, TeXnicCenter provides all necessary tools from within its powerful user interface. The powerful LaTeX editor including syntax highlighting, auto completion, realtime spell checking, dynamic word wrapping and a lot more makes it a joy to enter and maintain your texts. Tons of predefined text snippets and LaTeX commands available from the menus and the toolbars make it needless to search the LaTeX reference. (you can see the screenshots below on Auto completion and Spell check)

auto-completion options

Spell Check Options - LateX - TeXnic Center

The project support in conjunction with the sophisticated structure parser helps you to always keep the overview of your whole document, even if it is spread about several files and contains hundreds of pages: The structure parser always shows the document structure and jumping to another section or inserting references just requires a mouse click.

The flexible and fully configurable build system makes it easy for you to build you document’s output using any target format you like. The possibility to define as much output profiles as needed enables you to quickly change between i.e. DVI, PDF or PS output. Direct support for MakeIndex and BibTeX and the flexible post processor mechanism make it easy to build any tool chain you can think of.

Starting the build of your document just requires you to hit one key or choose the relevant menu item. TeXnicCenter will parse LaTeX’s log output and highlight box errors, warnings and errors. With just a mouse click you can jump to the relevant positions in your source text. Though TeXnicCenter’s user interface with all its menus, toolbars and sidebars provides what you might expect from a Windows application, we also ensured, that it is fully usable via keyboard, to provide you quick access to all features. To make your work even more productive, you can customize all shortcuts and toolbars to your needs!

Download the Software TeXnic Center here (.exe Format)

Do try this software today!

Via – SourceForge.NET

General How-to Microsoft Tools

A new way to search Information – Pivot from Live Labs

When we use the Web today we treat the most fundamental scenarios as separate activities. Search takes us from many things to one, browsing moves us from one thing to another, and recommendations expose affinities that enable us to explore related topics.  How about getting a more unified User Experience by combining this scenarious? – Pivot broadly apply this philosophy to the Web and focuses on this concept of Internet Search.

Pivot is a new way to browse and arrange massive amounts of images and data online. Built on breakthrough Seadragon technology, it enables spectacular zooms in and out of web databases, and the discovery of patterns and links invisible in standard web browsing!

Recommended System Configuration: Windows 7 with Aero enabled, 2-GHz 32-bit (x86) processor, 2 gigabytes of random access memory.

Pivot requires .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and Internet Explorer 8. Pivot will import your browsing history from Internet Explorer and Firefox during installation.

When you launch the Pivot after installation, it will give you a set of the collections which the Microsoft Team has already created. (See image below)

Collections on the Pivot

The core concept of Pivot are “Collections”. They combine large groups of similar items on the Internet, so we can begin viewing the relationships between individual pieces of information in a new way. By visualizing hidden patterns, Pivot enables users to discover new insights while interacting with thousands of things at once.

Developers can find more information on Pivot Collections here

Now, Lemme show a couple of demo’s here. In the first one, I will do a Search on the Wikipedia Collection on Pivot., I search for A R Rahman. (Do I need to say.. who Rahman is..?)

Search Wikipedia using Pivot - A R Rahman

Once you hit the Search button, Pivot will browse you through massive amounts of data online and provide you categories to choose and filter. As I know that, A R Rahman excels in music, I will select the Music category and view his information in the right side. You can also open the click (which appears in the right pane) and view this page inside the Pivot. (You cannot call Pivot a Web browser, but will eventually give you a feel of it and you can browse all webpages inside the Pivot)

Rahman information on Pivot

This is how you can get information without even leaving a browser or going back and forward. In the second scenario, I will select the Leaders Collection which is available in the Pivot Home page.  The moment I click it, It lands in this below dialog, which breaks down the Global Leaders based upon their ages. You have an option to Sort upon their age, party, Gender etc..

Global Leaders - Pivot

When you click on an image, You will experience DeepZoom of images and information, and you can click on the leader whom you are looking for. The information of that particular person does appear in the right side pane. As said before, you can continue to surf through the information (by pressing on the red color ‘Open’ button on the image) in the Pivot Collection or launch the webpage inside the Pivot window itself.

 Queen Elizabeth II - Pivot

With Pivot, you have a zoomable technology for all webpages like shown in the below screenshot, so you can just step back and zoom in and get to the appropriate section you want.

Zooming into a browser with Pivot

By viewing the webpages this way on Pivot, you can now have the similar kind of Data collections for all your history webpages, which is sorted by date (default). This helps you to drill into what you have actually browsed through in the past and retrieve the information, when you have face a similar need!

Browsing History - Pivot

You can also fetch information on at what time did your browse a webpage!

Browsing History with Time frames - Pivot

Pivot from Microsoft Live Labs, changes the way how data can be used. The information on the pivot is now not only condensed to a single page..but indeed its with a higher level of abstraction. Instead of navigating from one thing to another, we can now move from many things to many! You can drill down to what you need. – Simple Slice and dice Concept. Do try out this amazing experiment Today!

You can download the Pivot Software here (.msi file format)

Check out this MIX2010 presentation on how to build a Collection –

You can also see this demo in this below TED video, where Gary Flake (Technical Fellow at Microsoft) demos’ this soooper cool tool ‘Pivot’ – a new way to browse and arrange massive amounts of images and data online!