Tweak Windows Server 2008 R2 into Windows 7 Look and Feel

Use Themes on Windows Server 2008 R2;

Like Windows 7 its also possible to use the Aero theme including 3d flip or at least the Windows 7 Basic theme without transparency nor 3d flip on Windows Server 2008 R2. Note that following this tutorial and installing the “Desktop Experience” Feature also installs Windows Mail, Windows Media Player, Video for Windows (AVI support), Windows Photo Gallery, Windows SideShow, Windows Defender, Disk Cleanup, Sync Center, Sound Recorder and Character Map.

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Visual tour: 25 years of Windows

Twenty-five years ago, on Nov. 20, 1985, Microsoft introduced its first version of Windows to the world. Not many people outside the technical press or the tech industry took notice. Product launch events that cost hundreds of millions of dollars were still years away.

What’s changed in Windows in the last 25 years? Plenty. In this image gallery, we take a look at the various faces of Windows over the past couple of decades and clue you in to what happened at every stage of the operating system’s development.

1985: Windows 1.0

Windows 1.0

Windows started in 1981 as a project called Interface Manager and experienced a series of delays getting out of the gate. When it was finally released in late 1985 as Windows 1.0, it made a ripple, not a splash. It had to be run on top of DOS, few applications were written for it, and application windows couldn’t be overlapped (they had to be tiled).

Still, the OS allowed for multitasking of Windows apps (not DOS ones) and, even though few knew it at the time, it would eventually become the foundation for the Microsoft empire.

Windows 1.0 shipped with a handful of apps, including the Notepad text editor, a rudimentary calendar and the long-lived graphics painting program Paint. The operating system required MS-DOS Version 2.0, 256KB of memory and a graphics adapter. It could be run either from a hard disk or on two floppy disks running simultaneously — in other words, you couldn’t swap the disks in and out of a single drive.

from: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9196998/Visual_tour_25_years_of_Windows?taxonomyId=125&pageNumber=1

some Screenshots courtesy of Microsoft or  GUIdebook!.

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W2K8R2 & Windows 7 SP1 Release Candidate Now Available

Today, Microsoft has made available a Release Candidate (RC) for Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. SP1 includes both a roll-up of operating system updates and several new capabilities for Windows Server.

Microsoft RemoteFX introduces a new set of remote user experience capabilities that enable a media-rich user environment for virtual and session-based desktops. RemoteFX can be deployed to a range of thick and thin client devices, enabling cost-effective, local-like access to graphics-intensive applications. RemoteFX also supports a broad array of USB peripherals to improve the productivity of users of virtual desktops.

SP1 also includes Dynamic Memory, which enables servers running Hyper-V for server virtualization, to be more efficient in the use of memory.  Dynamic Memory pools and distributes memory among the virtual machines running on a physical host, enabling higher consolidation ratios, increasing server utilization rates, and providing more flexible workload management. Furthermore, memory is dynamically added based on the demands of the current workloads and without service interruption.

Expect to see Service Pack 1 released in its final form during first quarter 2011 and whether you’re virtualizing servers or desktops, take a few minutes to learn more about Service Pack 1 here. You needn’t wait for SP1, however – you can join those already enjoying the benefits of Windows Server 2008 R2 by deploying today.

Improve the efficiency and availability of IT resources and applications with the new virtualization innovations provided in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 RC. Dynamic Memory and Microsoft RemoteFXTM, to help businesses further optimize their datacenter and desktops.

  • Dynamic Memory lets Hyper-V administrators pool available memory on a physical host and dynamically distribute it to any virtual machine(s) running on that host.
  • RemoteFX lets Windows Server 2008 R2 administrators provide a rich end user desktop virtualization experience by delivering vivid content, independent of any graphics stack, to server-hosted virtual and session-based desktops.

Businesses can take advantage of these innovations to help deliver new capabilities such as private cloud and VDI. To learn more about Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 RC and the benefits it provides, read the documents, feature overview and FAQs below.

Dynamic Memory Overview

Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V introduces a new feature, called Dynamic Memory, in the Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 RC releases.  It allows customers to achieve increased density when they’re consolidating physical servers into a virtual realm, providing them with predictable performance and linear scalability.

With Dynamic Memory, IT administrators are able to pool available memory on a physical host and then dynamically dole that memory out to virtual machines running on the host, based on current workload needs.

RemoteFX Overview

RemoteFX, a key feature of Remote Desktop Services (RDS) lets IT administrators deliver a rich graphics experience to end-users through virtualized desktops.  Using new protocol enhancements between Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7, end users can now access virtual machines on a wide variety of target devices and still get a rich graphics experience with server-side graphics processing.

Download SP1 here; http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyId=C3202CE6-4056-4059-8A1B-3A9B77CDFDDA&hash=wrw75DeobQ1hLeOrOvthYUYCv7PJpk89RMXhKQ3RVng1XsUOVWqxDvThIkaoGa34DtzYCHZTKY4Evdlqyp7X4Q%3d%3d

Sources;
http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsserver/ 
http://bink.nu/news/windows-7-and-windows-server-2008-r2-service-pack-1-release-candidate.aspx

Free eBooks from Microsoft Press

Of course everybody reads the e-books posted on E-Books.BassQ.nl !? Right?
Well ii found some new books in a post off the blog of steven bink witch i haven’t read yet,

Free ebook: Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (10 chapters by by Patrice Pelland, Pascal Paré, and Ken Haines)
Free ebook: Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 (10 chapters by Ross Mistry and Stacia Misner)
Free ebook: Programming Windows Phone 7 Series (DRAFT Preview) (6 chapters by Charles Petzold)
Free ebook: Petzold’s Programming Windows Phone 7 (Special Excerpt 2) (newer than the ebook above; 11 chapters by Charles Petzold)
Free ebook: Own Your Future: Update Your Skills with Resources and Career Ideas from Microsoft (8 chapters by Katherine Murray)
Free ebook: Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions (Second Edition) (6 chapters by Mitch Tulloch)
Free ebook: First Look Microsoft Office 2010 (14 chapters by Katherine Murray)
Free ebook: Windows 7 troubleshooting tips (short ebook by Mitch Tulloch)
Free ebook: Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2 (9 chapters by Charlie Russel and Craig Zacker)
Free ebook: Deploying Windows 7, Essential Guidance (10 chapters from the Windows 7 Resource Kit and 6 TechNet articles)

Source ; http://bink.nu/news/free-ebooks-from-microsoft-press.aspx

The new look of RES Software

Hot off the press: As previously announced, wonderful things are happening over at RES. Today 5pm CET, RES Software has changed the website, logo and messaging, but that’s not all. Product names and categorizations have changed too! More below. There are many other significant changes underway, which will be revealed over the course of this week. To help you make sense of it all, here is a quick breakdown on what’s going on so far:

  • New website. Have a look at the new RESsoftware.com, which is live now.
  • New logo. Gone is the old blue-white-black. You can view the new shaded logo in all it’s glory by clicking on the miniature in the upper left corner of this article.
  • New product suite: As of today, all the current products are considered part of ONE  suite, called the RES Dynamic Desktop Studio. See the illustration on the right.
  • The product now formerly known as RES PowerFuse will from today be known as the RES Workspace Manager, part of the Dynamic Desktop Stuido.
  • RES Wisdom will from today be known as the RES Automation Manager. also part of the suite
  • Orchestra aka Orchestraton Pack for Wisdom is now known as the Service Orchestration Module in the Automation Manager.
  • The Workspace Extender aka Subscriber will from today be known as the Virtual Desktop Extender, or VDX.
  • VDX will be available as a stand-alone product from January 2011.

All this information and more is available in the New RES FAQ, available here.

As mentioned there will be made more, important announcements during this week, so keep an eye out for them here at the ‘Guru. In the meantime, you can see what the  new names and logo’s for the components of the Dynamic Desktop Studio will look like. Click on the individual components to jump to the corresponding product page.

Source ; http://resguru.com/

There are a variety of ways to experience the power of RES Software solutions – check out the evaluation and free product downloads below.

RES Workspace Manager 2010 SR2 – Free 60 day trial version (formerly RES PowerFuse 2010 SR2)
Download a 60-day trial version of RES Workspace Manager 2010 and see how user workspace management software will work for your business. The trial version allows you to evaluate the Enterprise-, Standard- or MyWorkspace Edition of RES Workspace Manager 2010.

RES Workspace Manager 2010 SR2 Express Edition – Free Download (formerly RES PowerFuse 2010 SR2 Express Edition )
Download a copy of the free, production-ready Express Edition for delivering a personalized, secure and reliable user workspace to your end users. Supports up to 100 concurrent users.

RES Automation Manager 2011 RC – Free 60 day trial version (formerly RES Wisdom)
Download a free 60-day trial version of RES Automation Manager 2011 Release Candidate and see how run book automation for Windows will work for your business.

Web page to search group policy’s from Microsoft

So.. have you ever tried to find the registry setting for a specific group policy setting, or just tried to actually find the group policy setting you needed and couldn’t quite remember where it was?

Under MSDN Microsoft has launched a new site called http://gps.cloudapp.net this site is awesome! The site will allow you to search for group policy settings, filter by Internet Explorer version, office version and others and browse by registry or by policy.

But this tool makes it much easier to find the right settings and apply them either with registry hacks or policy objects.

This is a quick example of a search on hide drives which is pretty commonly used but still..

image

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IE9 will never run on Windows XP

Microsoft‘s new browser, Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), will not run on Windows XP, now or when the software eventually ships, the company confirmed Tuesday.

The move makes Microsoft the first major browser developer to drop support for XP, the world’s most popular operating system, in a future release.

Although Microsoft excluded Windows XP from the list for the IE9 developer preview, it sidestepped the question about which versions of Windows the final browser would support. In an IE9 FAQ, for example, Microsoft responded, “It’s too early to talk about features of the Internet Explorer 9 Beta” to the query, “Will Internet Explorer 9 run on Windows XP?”

 dialog box

This dialog box pops up during attempts to install IE9 Platform Preview on Windows XP.

That caused some users to demand a straight answer. “Please tell whether the final version will run on Windows XP SP3 or not,” said someone identified as “eXPerience” in a comment to a blog post by Dean Hachamovich, Microsoft’s general manager for the IE team. “If not, please be clear about it. Really, enough is enough of keeping users in the lurch about Windows XP support.”

Others bashed Microsoft on the assumption that IE9 would never run on XP. “Dropping Windows XP support is one of the worst decisions ever taken by [the] IE team, probably even worse than disbanding the IE team back in the IE6 days,” claimed an anonymous commenter.

Microsoft had offered up broad hints that IE9 was not in Windows XP’s future, however. Tuesday, a company spokeswoman said the new browser needs a “modern operating system,” a phrase that hasn’t been paired with Window XP for years. “Internet Explorer 9 requires the modern graphics and security underpinnings that have come since 2001,” she added, clearly referring to XP, which appeared that year.

Windows XP’s inability to run the Platform Preview or the final browser stems from, IE9’s graphics hardware acceleration, which relies on the Direct2D and DirectWrite DirectX APIs (applications programming interfaces). Support for those APIs is built into Windows 7, and was added to Vista and Windows Server 2008 last October, but cannot be extended to Windows XP.

Some users worried that by halting browser development for Windows XP, Microsoft would repeat a current problem, getting customers to ditch IE6 for a newer version. “Those who choose to stay with XP will be forced to [then] stay forever on IE8, which will become the new IE6,” said a user named Danny Gibbons in a comment on Hachamovich’s blog.

Tough, said Sheri McLeish, Forrester Research’s browser analyst. “This is the stick to get off XP,” she said. Windows XP users will solve the browser problem themselves when they upgrade, as most eventually will, to Windows 7. “What are they going to do, go to Linux or run XP forever?” she asked.

Still, IE9’s inability to run on Windows XP will prevent it from becoming widespread until the nearly-nine-year-old OS loses significant share to Windows 7. According to Web metrics company NetApplications’ most recent data, if IE9 was released today, it would be able to run on just over a quarter — 27% — of all Windows machines.

No other major browser maker has announced plans to stop supporting Windows XP, but several have dropped other operating systems or platforms. Last month, for instance, Mozilla said it would not support Apple’s Mac OS X 10.4, known as “Tiger,” in future upgrades to Firefox. Google‘s Chrome for the Mac, meanwhile, only runs on Intel-based Macs, not on the older PowerPC-based machines that were discontinued in 2006.

The IE9 Platform Preview can be downloaded from Microsoft’s site. It requires Windows 7, Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 or Windows 2008 R2.

Available for download: Windows 7 SP1 Beta!

Microsoft announced on Monday that the first Windows 7  Service Pack 1 public beta is now available.

Speaking at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, Corporate Vice President of Windows & Windows Live – Tami Reller announced the public beta. Microsoft revealed its plans for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 last month at its annual Tech-Ed conference. Windows 7 SP1 will include the usual hotfix patches and new virtualization tools in SP1 will help Windows Server 2008 R2 users prepare for cloud computing. SP1 will include RemoteFX which provides rich 3-D graphical experience for remote users. The service pack also will include a series of incremental updates, previously released on Windows Update for both Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.

RemoteFX is a new enhancement to RDP’s graphical remoting capabilities. The idea behind RemoteFX is to allow for a full remote experiences including multiple displays, Aero and multimedia streaming to all types of client devices including low cost thin clients. RemoteFX achieves this by using a technique known as host-based rendering. This technique allows for the final screen image to be rendered locally on the remote PC after being compressed and sent down to that remote host. The enhancements are expected to greatly improve video streaming across remote sessions which is currently one of the major drawbacks of virtualized computing.

In April this year an early copy of Windows 7 SP1 surfaced on the Internet. The build leaked to file sharing sites. SP1 is also rumoured to include USB 3.0 support and enhanced Bluetooth/Wi-Fi stacks but Microsoft has not yet confirmed this.

Microsoft released a beta build of Windows 7 to testers earlier this month. Weighing in at 1.22GB the build was compiled on June 3 with the number 7601.16562.100603-1800. Microsoft released the public beta on its TechNet Evaluation Center page.