Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Release of the System Center Configuration Manager Extensions for SCAP

The System Center Configuration Manager Extensions for SCAP are designed for organizations to use with the desired configuration management (DCM) feature in Microsoft® System Center Configuration Manager 2007 to scan the computers in your environment and then document their level of compliance with the Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) mandate.

The extensions enable Configuration Manager 2007 to consume Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) data streams, assess systems for compliance, and generate report results in SCAP format by taking advantage of the compliance checking capabilities inherent in the DCM feature. Now your organization can use its existing Configuration Manager 2007 infrastructure to ensure that the computers you manage meet this federal compliance requirement and generate the requisite FDCC reports for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

If your organization is affected by the FDCC mandate, these extensions should be very valuable to you.

Note: This solution has now been formally validated by NIST and is recognized as a SCAP validated tool with FDCC scanning capability.

To download these extensions, click here


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Windows 7

Windows 7 Release Candidate

Notice: Downloads will end August 20
Thanks for all your help building Windows 7. We are on our way to the last big milestone: Release to Manufacturing. Starting on October 22, you’ll see it on PCs and store shelves. As we gear up for that, it’s time to wind down the Release Candidate testing program.

If you or a friend needs a download, you’ve got time. We’ll continue to offer the RC download until August 20, 2009. After that, you won’t be able to get the download, but if you have the bits, you can still install the RC and get a key if you need one. (To get a key, just go to the Downloads page and follow the instructions.)

Tell us what you think. If you’re using the Windows 7 Release Candidate, we hope you like what you see. Let us know -- go to http://input.microsoft.com and tell us what you think. You’ll be able to give feedback on various aspects of the operating system.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

New tool ProcDump

New from the Windows Sysinternals Team

ProcDump is a command-line utility whose primary purpose is monitoring an application for CPU spikes and generating crash dumps during a spike that an administrator or developer can use to determine the cause of the spike. ProcDump also includes hung window monitoring (using the same definition of a window hang that Windows and Task Manager use) and unhandled exception monitoring. It also can serve as a general process dump utility that you can embed in other scripts.

Using ProcDump

usage: procdump [-c CPU usage [-u] [-s seconds] [-n exceeds]] [-h] [-e] [-ma] [-r] [-o] [[<process name or PID> [dump file]] | [-x <image file> <dump file> [arguments]]

-c CPU threshold at which to create a dump of the process.

-e Write a dump when the process encounters an unhandled exception.

-h Write dump if process has a hung window.

-ma Write a dump file with all process memory. The defaultdump format includes thread and handle information.

-n Number of dumps to write before exiting.

-o Overwrite an existing dump file.

-r Reflect (clone) the process for the dump to minimize the time the process is suspended (Windows 7 and higher only).

-s Consecutive seconds CPU threshold must be hit before dump is written (default is 10).

-u Treat CPU usage relative to a single core.

-x Launch the specified image with optional arguments.

To just create a dump of a running process, omit the CPU threshold. If you omit the dump file name, it defaults to <processname>.dmp.

get it here


Tools for deploying Windows 7

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit is a powerful inventory, assessment and reporting tool that can securely assess IT environments for various platform migrations and virtualization without the use of any software agents.


Get it Here


Speaking of great tool kits for planning your operating system deployments, you can now download the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Beta 2  MDT 2010 will support deployment of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 in addition to deployment of Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP. For details on the MDT 2010 Beta 2, see the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit Team Blog

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Beta 2 Review Program

Get ready to deploy Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 - Join Beta 2

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) is the recommended process and toolset for automating desktop and server deployment. MDT provides you with the following benefits:

  • Unified tools and processes required for desktop and server deployment in a common deployment console and collection of guidance. 
  • Reduced deployment time and standardized desktop and server images, along with improved security and ongoing configuration management. 
  • Fully automated zero touch installation deployments by leveraging System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 2 beta and Windows deployment tools. For those without a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 infrastructure, MDT leverages Windows deployment tools for lite touch installation deployments.

MDT 2010 will support deployment of Windows® 7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2 in addition to deployment of Windows Vista®, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP. New features such as flexible driver management, optimized user interface workflow, and Windows PowerShellTM can simplify deployment and make your job easier. Deploy faster and easier with MDT 2010.
New in MDT 2010 Beta 2
Improvements in MDT 2010 Beta 2 will allow you to:

  • Access deployment shares from anywhere on the network and replicate files and settings across organizational boundaries or sites.
  • Organize and manage drivers, operating systems, applications, packages, and task sequences with an improved UI.
  • Automate UI functionality using the Windows PowerShellTM command line interface.

Get the Download

To download the Beta version of this Solution Accelerator, click here.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Code 7 Contest

Code7 is where your ingenious application meets the opportunity to get millions of eyes on your work, plus a trip to LA for PDC09 and up to $17,777 in cash! This is open to all Windows developers.

I am not a professional software developer. Can I enter?

Yes, absolutely. The Code7 Contest is open to everyone, although it is targeted at developers, whether they are professional, hobbyist, or students.

Show the world what you're working with and take things up a notch when you code to the power of Windows 7.


Take three minutes to video yourself describing and demonstrating your application idea for Windows 7 and you could win big.

We'll choose one uber talented finalist from each of the following seven geographic regions:

  • China
  • Europe and United Kingdom
  • India and Southeast Asia
  • Japan, Australia, Antarctica, and New Zealand
  • Middle East and Africa
  • North America
  • South and Central America

As you work, keep in mind our Code7 Contest
Guiding Principles and Windows 7 Technologies:

Guiding Principles:
Your application should support one or more of the following Windows 7 scenarios:
Simplify My Life
Develop an application that makes the things customers do every day faster and easier, with fewer clicks, simpler navigation and easier ways to connect.
More Media, More Places
Design a great application to help customers create, edit, organize and share media.
Make it fun and exciting for customers to get their game on.
Work from Anywhere
Help make customers more productive at home, at work, or on-the-go.
Safeguard Your Work
Help customers protect their data, whether it resides on their PC, USB devices or on a network infrastructure.
Applications for a Better Tomorrow
Use the power of your code to help communities prepare and plan for a better future.
Windows 7 Technologies:
Your entry should take advantage of one or more of the following technologies:
Libraries make it easier for customers to find, work with, and organize files scattered across their PC or network.
Windows Touch
Use the Windows Touch APIs to build an application that introduces a new input method.
Shell Integration
Applications are now more discoverable, informative and interactive.
DirectX 11
Develop applications that utilize DX11 technology that delivers graphics so real, it’s unreal.
Sensor and Location Platform
Windows 7 introduces a platform for using sensor devices, such as light sensors or GPS sensors, to create environmental or location awareness in programs.


To learn more and submit your entry go to here

Windows 7

BILL VEGHTE: This morning we will release Windows 7 to manufacturing.


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Friday, July 10, 2009

Free - Outlook 2007 training courses

. Get familiar with Outlook

Up to speed with Outlook 2007
Where to find the commands you use most often. How to use new features such as the To-Do Bar and the new calendar navigation

Interactive guide: Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2007 command reference guide
Use this interactive guide to locate your favorite Outlook 2003 commands in Outlook 2007

2. Communicate more efficiently

Get out of your Inbox with Outlook 2007
Tips for finding and organizing the e-mail that's already in your Inbox

Create great-looking signatures for your e-mail
How to create a personalized signature so that you can stop typing the same thing over and over at the end of each message

Outlook and RSS: Internet information delivered to your Mailbox
Find out how to read and manage your Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds and blogs right from Outlook

Send text messages from Outlook 2007 to a mobile phone
Send text messages or a calendar summary to a mobile phone, right from Outlook

3. Manage your mailbox for size and storage

Manage your mailbox I: Find its size and trim it down
How to find the size of your own mailbox and understand what big means. Find out about tools and shortcuts to reduce bulk

Manage your mailbox II: Understand your choices for storing
The basics about Outlook's two methods for storing e-mail locally on your computer: Archive and Personal Folders

Manage your mailbox III: Move or copy messages to Personal Folders
The steps you need to follow to create and use a personal folder for e-mail storage

Manage your mailbox IV: Archive old messages
How to tell if AutoArchive is on and how to use custom settings

Manage your mailbox V: Retrieve, back up, or share messages
Advanced techniques for finding and using stored messages. Tools for backing up your .pst files and tips to help you avoid common problems

4. Use your calendar effectively

Calendar I: Outlook calendar basics
Calendar basics such as entering items and setting reminders

Calendar II: See and use multiple calendars
Track multiple schedules at once

Birthdays I: Keep track of birthdays and anniversaries
Two ways for entering special dates in Outlook

Birthdays II: Linking contacts and birthdays
Easy ways to connect contacts and dates

5. Manage your contacts

Create and use your own Electronic Business Card
How to create your own custom business card in Outlook

6. Fight junk e-mail

Reduce spam! Get your Junk E-mail Filter in top condition
How to use the Outlook Junk E-mail Filter to keep spam out of your Inbox

Note   You can also download shorter PowerPoint versions of some Outlook 2007 training courses and use them as training for yourself or a group.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Computer Outlook Interview July 7th- 5:00- 6:00pm PT

Come hear me talk about user groups and the APCUG (The Association of Personal Computer User Groups) annual meeting in Ohio. Listen here at www.computeroutlook.com


wants to invite you to its

Annual Meeting

at the Ohio Midwest Regional

in Newark, Ohio

at the Cherry Valley Lodge

The rate is $109 per night and the reservation code is lccs09

August 28th, 29th & 30th, 2009


Meet me at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC)

In New Orleans Aug 13 - Aug 17 Come meet me at Hands on Labs Area I love to meet you and talk about technology and User groups.

I be teaching about Office 2010 and Visio 2010.


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Monday, July 6, 2009

Office 2010


Here a great site to see a sneak preview of Office 2010.

This is also where you can apply to be on the be part of the technical preview.

Click here

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

More free stuff from GFI

GFI MailEssentials
Anti-spam Solution for Exchange/SMTP/Lotus
GFI MailEssentials Free Disclaimers (available soon!)

Benefit from free custom disclaimers added to all outgoing emails when downloading and installing GFI MailEssentials (freeware disclaimers are not yet available and will be launched shortly).

Main Product Features:

  • Highest spam detection rate (over 99%) by its two anti-spam engines
  • Various email management tools such as free custom disclaimers on all outgoing emails, reporting, pop3 downloading and more
  • Ultra low rate of false positives
  • Support for the industry leading messaging platforms including Microsoft Exchange 2000, 2003, 2007 and Lotus Domino

To be notified once the GFI MailEssentials FREE disclaimers are launched, please click here.

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Free Security Software From GFI

When times get tough, we could all do with a hug

GFI’s freeware will have the same effect!

GFI has launched its We Care initiative to help you beef up your IT resources in these hard economic times. We would like to give something back by offering three freeware versions of our software.
GFI LANguard
Network Security Scanner and Vulnerability Management Tool
Freeware full-featured 5-IP GFI LANguard
Using the Freeware version, your company can scan up to five IPs for free using the product’s full feature set – no restrictions whatsoever.
Main Product Features:

  • Powerful network, security and port scanner with network auditing capabilities
  • Over 15,000 vulnerability assessments carried out across your network, including virtual environment
  • Reduces the total cost of ownership by centralizing vulnerability scanning, Patch Management and Network Auditing
  • Automated options help to retain a secure network state with minimal administrative effort
  • Network-wide auditing functions provides a complete picture of network and port security set-up

To download, please complete the form below.


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Free Software From GFI


FREE, Easy-to-use backup software for all your backup and recovery requirements

When was the last time you backed up all the important files on your hard disk? Do you have a backup copy of those precious photos taken on your last holiday, of your resume and other important documents you have created, or of your favorite music and movies? While most computer users admit backups are important, few people actually do so… until it is too late and the damage has been done.

By minimizing the risk of loss, backing up your files is similar to taking out an insurance policy on your data. Now, with GFI Backup™ 2009 - Home Edition, you will never have to worry if your hard disk fails or a virus wipes out your data.

GFI Backup 2009 allows you to back up all your important documents, photos, music, emails and program settings using a simple but smart wizard-driven interface to nearly every storage device (including local and external disk drives, LAN, CD/DVD, removable devices, remote FTP servers, etc.). Download and use GFI Backup 2009 today – a FREE easy-to-use backup software solution, designed for secure backups of all your important data. Because we care!

Click here to download GFI Backup 2009 for FREE


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Windows Optimized Desktop Scenarios 1.1

IPD Assessment Guide and Scenario Selection Tool

Version 1.1 of this Solution Accelerator, now available, updates both the guide and tool to reflect the additional functionalities provided by Windows® 7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2.

Download This Solution Accelerator

About This Solution Accelerator

Organizations today face the challenge of maintaining rigorous controls over their computing environments while providing the power and flexibility users need to be productive. User and IT goals can sometimes appear to be in conflict. Optimizing the corporate desktop environment resolves this conflict by providing IT the manageability it requires while giving users the varying levels of power and flexibility they need.

The Windows Optimized Desktop Scenarios relate the business requirements (IT and user) for a flexible, efficient, and managed desktop environment to sets of complementary Microsoft technologies by defining and using five standard user scenarios that map business requirements to technology solutions. These core scenarios are: Office Worker, Mobile Worker, Task Worker, Contract/Offshore Worker, and workers who need to Access from Home.

Included in the Download

This Solution Accelerator is packaged as a zip file, Windows Optimized Desktop Scenarios.zip, and includes the following components:

  • Windows Optimized Desktop Scenarios Assessment v1.1 (a guide)
  • Windows Optimized Desktop Scenario Selection Tool v1.1

Download it here

Windows Server Hyper-V Management Pack for System Center Operations Manager 2007

is now available 

This management pack supports monitoring of Windows Server Hyper-V systems. This includes monitoring coverage of Hyper-V host servers, including critical services and disks, and Hyper-V virtual machines, including virtual components and virtual hardware.
Feature Summary
This management pack provides the following functionality:

  • Management of critical Hyper-V services that affect virtual machines and host server functionality
  • Management of host server logical disks that affect virtual machine health
  • Full representation of virtualization in a single Hyper-V host server, including virtual networks, virtual machines, and guest computers
  • Monitoring of virtual machine hardware components that affect availability

Download it here

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Free Software and Services to Encourage Exploration and Discovery

Teachers know that real educational success happens when students are engaged and motivated to study. Microsoft delivers a toolset of free technologies and resources to empower teachers to easily respond to individual learners and their course-related interests in an active learning environment. Some of these resources include the following:

Worldwide Telescope (http://www.worldwidetelescope.org). A rich Web application brings together imagery from the best ground- and space-based observatories in the world, including NASA, and allows students and teachers to explore outer space as a way to make science fun.

Photosynth (http://www.microsoft.com/education/products/student/photosynth). Photo-imaging technology stitches together overlapping, panoramic digital photos automatically to create exciting 3-D worlds students can browse and share online.

Digital literacy curriculum (http://www.digitalcitizenshiped.com). Free e-learning modules and assessments teach students about the Internet and the Web, computer basics, productivity programs, computer security and privacy, and digital lifestyles.

Expression Web curriculum (http://expression.microsoft.com/en-us/dd252934.aspx). Free curriculum, tutorials and videos assist educators in teaching middle and high school students Web design; free software is also available via a subscription to the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance.

Learning Essentials (http://www.microsoft.com/learningessentials). A desktop application runs on top of Microsoft Office helping educators easily create effective instructional resources, complete administrative tasks and implement new teaching strategies.

CareerForward (http://www.microsoft.com/education/uspil/careerforward). A self-contained online course, available to students across the United States, helps schools prepare students for their places in the work force of the future and for career opportunities in a global economy.

More information about the free tools and resources is available at http://www.microsoft.com/education/teachers/default.aspx.


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DOD Defining Microsoft Windows 7 Security

As users await the release of the next version of the Windows operating system, Microsoft is working with the government to establish secure system settings that are expected to become the Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) for Windows 7.

Earlier this month, Microsoft released the alpha version of its security guide for the new operating system. At the same time, it is working with the Defense Department to harmonize the setting with the FDCC. Ideally, the two components will constitute a single standard for secure configuration when Microsoft releases the operating system this fall.

It is not the first time the government has worked with Microsoft before the release of an operating system, said Steve Quinn, a senior computer scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The National Security Agency, the Defense Information Systems Agency and NIST worked with the company on configurations during the pre-release stage of Vista.

"A lot of the recommended security settings were baked into the system before it shipped," Quinn said.

NIST has outlined the process for creating security configuration checklists in its National Checklist Program (NCP). Quinn said DOD and Microsoft will perform the primary work of writing the configuration for Windows 7, but the goal will be a government wide standard applicable beyond just defense and national security systems. When completed, NIST will check the configuration against the NCP for appropriateness and evaluate it.


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Jay appointed as Microsoft MVP

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Re: Jay Ferron, Most Valuable Professional, Windows Desktop Experience

To whom it may concern,

It is with great pride we announce that Jay Ferron has been awarded as a Microsoft® Most Valuable Professional (MVP). The Microsoft MVP Award is an annual award that recognizes exceptional technology community leaders worldwide who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with users and Microsoft.

All of us at Microsoft recognize and appreciate Jay’s extraordinary contributions and want to take this opportunity to share our appreciation with you.

With fewer than 5,000 awardees worldwide, Microsoft MVPs represent a highly select group of experts. MVPs
share a deep commitment to community and a willingness to help others. They represent the diversity of today’s technical communities. MVPs are present in over 90 countries, spanning more than 30 languages, and over 90 Microsoft technologies. MVPs share a passion for technology, a willingness to help others, and a commitment to community. These are the qualities that make MVPs exceptional community leaders. MVPs’ efforts enhance people’s lives and contribute to our industry’s success in many ways. By sharing their knowledge and experiences, and providing objective feedback, they help people solve problems and discover new capabilities
every day.

MVPs are technology’s best and brightest, and we are honored to welcome Jay as one of them. To recognize the contributions they make, MVPs from around the world have the opportunity to meet Microsoft executives, network with peers, and position themselves as technical community leaders. This is accomplished through speaking engagements, one on one customer event participation and technical content development. MVPs also receive early access to technology through a variety of programs offered by Microsoft, which keeps them on the cutting edge of the software and hardware industry.

As a recipient of this year’s Microsoft MVP award, Jay joins an exceptional group of individuals from around the world who have demonstrated a willingness to reach out, share their technical expertise with others and help individuals maximize their use of technology.


Rich Kaplan
Corporate Vice President
Customer and Partner Advocacy
Microsoft Corporation

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