Windows 7 Build 7004 “Pre-Beta” Screenshot  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , ,

Microsoft’s Director of Development and Platform Strategy, Scott Wylie, wrote on his blog today about his experience with what he called a “pre-beta” build of Windows 7 - build 7004 and also included a screenshot. There isn’t much to see other than the Live Mesh icons and the new build number. The Windows community had previously speculated that the Beta 1 build would be 7000.0.081212-1400, so this has certainly caused some confusion.

According to, this build was compiled at December the 3rd, which was before build 7000 which was compiled on December the 12th. Neowin states that Microsoft employees were given access to this build earlier this week and greeted with the following message:
"Thank you for joining us on our shared journey to Windows 7. The work we’ve done is largely based on the feedback we’ve gotten from you before and throughout the development process. We rely on beta testers, like you, to help refine the product before it’s commercially released. If you haven’t already installed the Beta, we want you to! Please refer to the Installation Instructions to get started"
From what is gathered so far despite the confusing post from Steve, Build 7000 is to be Beta 1, and Build 7004 is the next branch that starts for the RTM/RC phase.

Interestingly, Scott Wylie has pulled the article off his blog, suggesting that he might have revealed something that he shouldn’t have.

On another note, Softpedia seems to believe that we can see the Public Beta being delivered as early as January 5th 2009, although the author does not cite any sources at all. (full Story)

Microsoft, Please Remove This Junk  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , ,

A dangerous Internet Explorer exploit has pushed Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) to do an out-of-cycle patch. If the complete-system-ownage aspect of the bug isn't scary enough, there are already several exploits floating around on the Internet, even being served out as malicious ads on reputable sites.

Historically, December has been a stale fruitcake of a month for the Microsoft security mavens. In December 2006 there was the Windows Metafile exploit which, like this new threat, was serious enough for Microsoft to release an emergency patch.

This new threat has something else in common with that older WMF exploit in that it supports a Microsoft-specific feature that is largely obsolete: DHTML data binding. When this feature was introduced with Internet Explorer 4.0 in 1997, it was an innovative way for a Web page designer to selectively load just part of a page.

DHTML data binding never spread to other browsers. Instead, the Internet world warmed to Ajax and DOM operations to build dynamic Web pages. That left Internet Explorer with yet another unhealthy feature. Few people use it, but since it's there it offers an attack surface for the bad guys. Even the IE8 beta is susceptible to this exploit -- proving, I guess, that it's fully compatible with IE6 and IE7.

The IE8 team has been doing some great work to bring Internet Explorer up to par as far as features and performance go. This latest security problem is a reminder that there are still plenty of dark code corners in Internet Explorer that, (full Story)

Hardware vendors are getting an early jump on Microsoft's next OS to avoid Vista-style compatibility headaches.

in an effort to avoid compatibility problems that plagued the launch of Windows Vista, Intel (NSDQ: INTC) is giving developers a jump on its Windows 7-based product line.

The company has released a pre-production version of Windows 7 drivers for graphics chipsets. The WDDM1.1 graphics driver is designed for "enabling the full Windows 7 experience," Intel said, noting that the driver is the result of ongoing collaboration with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT).

"As a result of the collaboration, OEMs and beta users can stay in step with Windows 7 prereleases for smooth product development," Intel said.

Drivers allow hardware components to communicate with a computer operating system. Windows 7, the successor to Windows Vista, is expected by industry observers to be released in late 2009 or early 2010.

When Vista launched in January of last year, many hardware makers -- including Intel -- didn't have fully compatible drivers ready. The problems marked the beginning of a slew of bad press for Vista that ultimately led many businesses and consumers to reject the OS.

To avoid a repeat of those problems, Microsoft earlier this year ordered computer and other hardware makers to begin testing their devices on Windows 7 as soon as the first beta version becomes available.

Hardware makers that don't comply with the edict won't qualify for Microsoft's Windows Logo certified compatibility program for Windows 7 or Windows Vista. "Beginning with the first beta of Windows 7 all Windows Vista submissions must include a complete CPK with test logs from Windows 7," Microsoft said in a 61-page bulletin to its hardware partners.

CPK refers to a process control method used in software development.

Microsoft's hard line with PC and chipmakers on Windows 7 compatibility should be no surprise. The software maker is embroiled in a lawsuit filed by consumers who claim they were misled into buying systems that, they contend, were falsely labeled as Vista compatible.

A recent Microsoft blog post states that programmers who attend an MSDN Developer Conference in January will be given a DVD containing the first Windows 7 beta. (full Story)

The service pack is designed to improve support for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Blu-ray devices.

A trial version of Windows Vista Service Pack 2 is now available for free Download from Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)'s TechNet Web site.

"For those of you who choose to test this service pack, we encourage you to install the beta as soon as you can; your feedback will help us to ship a solid and stable service pack for Windows Vista," product manager Mike Nash wrote on his blog.

Windows Vista SP2 will include security and performance updates issued since Microsoft released Vista SP1 in March. It also includes "support for new types of hardware and emerging standards that will grow in importance in the coming months," said Nash. Among other things, Vista SP2 will add support for the latest Bluetooth specification and Blu-ray high-definition media encoding. It also adds Microsoft's Windows Connect Now Wi-Fi configuration tool.

As for the forthcoming Windows 7, another Microsoft blog post states that programmers who attend an MSDN Developer Conference in January will be given a DVD containing the first beta version of the operating system.

Microsoft for the first time unveiled Windows 7 features at its Los Angeles Professional Developers Conference in October and appears anxious to release the OS as soon as possible. The company has formally said that Windows 7 won't ship until early 2010, but the January release of a beta disk is the latest sign that Windows 7 could debut in late 2009. (full Story)

Nvidia on Thursday said it expects to see its netbook graphics platform running alongside Intel (NSDQ: INTC)'s Atom processor in mini-laptops within six months, and even sooner in PC desktops.

Drew Henry, general manager for Nvidia's media and communication processor business unit, told InformationWeek that the company's GeForce 9400M motherboard graphics chipset, called the Ion platform, would replace two Intel chipsets typically used in today's netbooks, the 945GSE and the I/O controller hub 7, or ICH7. Netbooks, which cost as little as $300, are mini-laptops with screens 10 inches or smaller.

Nvidia claims its one chipset with Atom delivers 10 times the speed of current Intel-only netbooks. The performance boost means the mini-laptops can run high-definition video on top of Microsoft's Window Vista or upcoming Windows 7 operating systems, according to Nvidia. Today's netbooks typically ship with either Windows XP or Linux and have limited video capabilities.

Performance has been an issue with netbooks. Industry observers say the systems are returned to retailers more often than standard laptops, mostly because of buyer unhappiness over the inability of netbooks to go beyond basic Web browsing and e-mail.

Nvidia's Intel-only alternative, however, will cost more. Henry estimates that a $300 netbook today, using the Intel platform and Windows XP, would cost about $100 more with the GeForce 9400M and Windows Vista Basic. Add Vista Premium and the price would probably jump another $50.

Manufacturers "would probably tell you that's a reasonable price range," Henry said.

Henry declined to name manufacturers that have committed to selling Nvidia in netbooks, but he said products should be available by June, with desktops appearing in stores by March.

Nvidia has made it easy for manufacturers to adopt its platform, Henry said. The GeForce 9400M requires less space than the two Intel chipsets it replaces and can operate within the same cooling configuration. The latter is important, because if the Nvidia chipset ran hotter, it would require a redesign of the netbook, which would add cost and make it less likely manufacturers would adopt the platform. (full Story)

Microsoft's iPhone App: Death To Windows Mobile?  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , ,

Although it's just one highly specialized piece of software, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)'s Seadragon iPhone app would appear to represent an acknowledgment by Microsoft that Apple's portable platform is the dominant mobile system in North America -- a fact that's unlikely to change anytime soon, if ever.

Though Apple launched its iPhone app store more than five months ago, Microsoft had chosen to remain on the sidelines until this weekend. Redmond's thinking may have been that adding applications to the iPhone ecosystem would just make its Cupertino, Calif., rival stronger.

However, data released last week showed that, for the first time, the iPhone's market share in North America and worldwide was larger than that of all Windows Mobile-based devices combined. The iPhone now holds 12.9% of the market, with Windows Mobile down to 11.1% from 12.8% a year ago, according to Gartner.

Those numbers may have prompted Microsoft to conclude that it must support the iPhone if it wants to be a serious player in the mobile applications market. Not only does Microsoft now trail the iPhone in North America, Windows Mobile is utterly dwarfed by the open source Symbian OS in international markets.

Microsoft officially entered the iPhone application market Saturday, with the launch of its Seadragon Mobile image browsing software. The app lets users easily navigate through large images, or image collections, using the Apple iPhone's touch-screen interface.

"Want to see giga-pixel images on your iPhone? Now you can -- with Seadragon Mobile," a company blogger wrote in a Saturday post on Microsoft's Live Labs site. "Seadragon Mobile brings the same smooth image browsing you get on the PC to the mobile platform."

According to the blog, Seadragon Mobile lets users scroll through, and zoom in on, maps or photos "with just a few pinches or taps of your finger." The app is specifically designed to enable navigation through large images built using Microsoft's Photosynth technology. Photosynth lets users stitch together separate images into a continuous whole to create panoramic pictures. (full Story)

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google: Failing To Forget  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , ,

Computers can be great at remembering things. Sometimes too great. The major search engine providers are competing to remember your search terms for the shortest possible period. Or at least that's what they are saying publicly. There seem to be loopholes in this competition for the shortest data retention, and in some cases I'm actually glad for that.

The latest development came when Yahoo reduced its personal data retention to 6 months, down from 13 months. Google (NSDQ: GOOG) currently keeps the data for 9 months, and Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) still keeps your personally identifiable information for 18 months. There are definitely cases where the search engines can keep your data for much longer, though.

I don't mind a search engine keeping data about my searches as long as I can see the data and have some control over how long it's kept. It's useful to be able to see the results of past searches, particularly when you're trying to find something that you know you saw before but aren't able to find. I just checked my Google account and it has search results saved all the way back to October 2006. During that time, Google says I've made 10,552 searches. (Wow.)

On this very day in 2007, for example, I used Google to make several searches to determine how to repair a damaged Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) setup. I've had to go back to those pages several times, and when I search for WMI in Google it shows me the date and time that I visited those pages in the past.

If some of those 10,552 searches are so embarrassing that I wouldn't want to risk anyone seeing them, Google gives me the ability to selectively delete a search. I can even remove the entire search history so that it can't be retrieved. There is no way that I would do that, though; this information is too valuable. Even though Microsoft keeps search data for the longest period of time, I couldn't find any way to view my search history with Live Search. (full Story)

Game Addiction Similar to Drug Addiction  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in ,

A new scientific study proves that video gamers who crave to play their favorite game exhibit about the same symptoms, neurologically speaking, as drug addicts looking to score their next dose. The same areas of the brain lit up, when MRI imaging was used on a few "game addicts," whereas in the control group, those areas remained unaffected. The mechanisms that trigger the activation of these areas are still largely unknown, and researchers are working hard to determine what it is exactly that keeps people locked in front of a computer for hours.
The research was prompted by the fact that nearly ten or more million people are engaged in the on-line game World of Warcraft (WoW), with many players spending an insane amount of time playing on-line. Some people even play for 16 to 20 hours a day, which leaves them with virtually no personal life to speak of. Thus, the only satisfaction they get in life is doing the same actions over and over again, while their families and friends are lost, as is their health. (Story Link)

The Rarest & Most Valuable Nintendo Game cube  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , ,

Nintendo game libraries are always filled with all sorts of collectibles. Between the cult following of the corporate brand and the fact the platforms have played underdogs at times (especially the Gamecube), it’s not a surprise that there are some treasures to be found in the Nintendo library. The Gamecube hasn’t been dead for long, but here is a relatively early look at what games are tricky to find for collectors. I will probably revise this one more often than those of older consoles as the resale values haven’t settled quite as much just yet.

In stark contrast to the Cheapest Games series, this Rare & Valuable series by JJ Hendricks and I will round up the rarest and most valuable games for a given console or handheld so you’ll know what to look for whether you are buying or selling. JJ owns the video game pricing website, and writes a Video Game Pricing Blog which analyzes video game prices, pricing trends, and charts historic video game prices. He used his pricing statistics to find both the average selling price and the highest selling price for each game over the last three months. Below you will see two prices beside each title. The first is the average daily selling price, which is typically the going rate for the game by itself. The second price is the highest price in the past three months which is usually the price for the new/sealed game. The list is ordered by the balance of the two prices. Note that some of these games are not rare in the sense that there are not many available, but rare relative to demand, which makes the games expensive. (story Link)

How to Hide your Hard disk Partition -WinXP  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , ,

This trick is for all those guys whose wants to Hide tons of data into their disks, We want to store some personal files or data which we don’t to show anyone or access it!!

Click start button>run type "gpedit.msc", now move to user configuration> administrative templates> windows components> windows explorer, press double click on "Hide these specified drives in My Computer" after following This steps properly You’ll find another option "Prevent access to drives from My Computer" double click on dis option & change it accordingly.

To make it normal again click on "disable" by double clicking on "Hidethese specified drives in My Computer" option. That's it, your done with it !!!! enjoy This trick (story Link) - Blog Search