Tech News and Opinions (by Paul Spain)

Zune HD launch: Windows Live Messenger 2011 and New Games

, posted: 2-Oct-2010 00:50

Today Zune HD users will be pleased to find that Microsoft have added the following free XNA application downloads to the Zune Marketplace: Windows Live Messenger 2011 Dr. Optics Castles and Cannons Wordmonger The Windows Live Messenger is a very full featured application and includes functionality such as facebook chat, video and photo viewing. In many regards this is a bigger and more powerful application Windows Phone 7's email or calendar applications. Does this mean there is a chance th (read the entire post)...

Windows Live Essentials 2011 – download now

, posted: 30-Sep-2010 23:30

The 2011 update to Microsoft's free Windows add-on product is now available for download. Even though the first beta was only launched 3 months ago, this is the release of final version of Windows Live Essentials 2011. Windows Live Essentials 2011 consists of: Windows Live Messenger 2011 Windows Live Writer 2011 Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 Windows Live Mesh 2011 (previously Windows Live Sync) Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011 Windows Live Family Safety 2011 Windows Live Mail 2011 This fre (read the entire post)...

Windows Phone 7 Comprehensive Preview: Handsets (Part 2)

, posted: 27-Sep-2010 10:12

I have to say, the Windows Phone 7 software is incredible - delivering an integrated environment that users will love thanks to a fresh, thoughtful and intuitive interface design. It's an experience I imagine Steve Jobs' secretly wishes his team at Apple had invented. The fact is though it comes from Microsoft so users can expect to see it on a much broader range of handsets than Apple would ever ship (and in time at varying price points). And that's great news for users everywhere. On the downs (read the entire post)...

Windows Phone 7 Comprehensive Preview: Intro (Part 1)

, posted: 26-Sep-2010 21:04

In just a few days the official launch announcement from Microsoft for Windows Phone 7 is expected. In the meantime it seemed appropriate to publish a full and comprehensive preview of this new system that incorporates so many interesting pieces and pits itself in direct competition to Apple's iPhone 4/iOS, Google's Android, RIM's Blackberry and numerous other products. I will include comment on some lesser known facts about Windows Phone 7 along with one or two predictions. This release comes s (read the entire post)...

Windows Phone Radio

, posted: 25-Sep-2010 19:51

For nearly 2 years Microsoft has been producing a weekly audio show called the 'Zune Insider' Podcast. It has focused on Zune related hardware, software, music, videos and discussions from staff inside the Zune team in Redmond, Washington. In anticipation of the upcoming launch of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft have recorded the first episode of 'Windows Phone Radio' - a new podcast hosted by Matt Akers (of the Zune Insider Podcast) and Brian Seitz. Both Matt and Brian work at in Microsoft's HQ in R (read the entire post)...

New Windows Phone 7 apps announced alongside final developer tools release

, posted: 17-Sep-2010 08:25

The finalised version of the Windows Phone 7 developer tools have been made available by Microsoft for download. Alongside this Microsoft have made announcements about some initial applications that have been developed including Twitter, Travelocity and NetFlix amongst others.

One initial download will initiate installation of all relevant tools - Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, the Windows Phone Emulator, Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone, and XNA Game Studio 4.0. Th (read the entire post)...

Internet Explorer 9 (IE 9) beta shines

, posted: 16-Sep-2010 18:24

I have been using the new Internet Explorer 9 beta today and have been very impressed so far. Bearing in mind it's just a beta and still likely some months away from final release it's reliability and responsiveness is excellent. IE 9 is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7.With Internet Explorer 9's improved performance and standards support including HTML5 it seems to address most techical reasons why Windows users have often been using competing browser (read the entire post)...

Gorilla Technology offering free IT help to firms offline due to the Christchurch Earthquake

, posted: 6-Sep-2010 14:21

It appears that little attention is being given to supporting those firms who have lost infrastructure or data and may fail as a result of the earthquake on Saturday.

In order to assist some of the affected small-medium businesses Gorilla Technology is flying me to Christchurch today. I will be able to provide a mix of hands on help and consulting advice for businesses wondering how to get back up and running again. Free assistance will be offered on a first-in-first-served type basi (read the entire post)...

Windows Phone 7 software (RTM) ships – is an update coming on launch day?

, posted: 2-Sep-2010 10:05

At a point where the anticipation for Windows Phone 7 seems to be reaching fever pitch amongst many gadget lovers and Microsoft faithful, it has been announced that the Windows Phone 7 software has been released to handset manufacturers. In the October/November timeframe the public can expect to see a range of handsets released from a selection of manufacturers that includes LG, Dell, Samsung and Asus. Over the next few days I will post a detailed preview of the Windows Phone 7 software here bas (read the entire post)...

Update to Email system ships - Exchange Server 2010 SP1

, posted: 26-Aug-2010 08:26

Microsoft have launched Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1 to businesses - following a public beta programme that has been running since June. This release brings a raft of new features just 10 months after the initial version of Exchange Server 2010 initially shipped.

The areas where new or improved functionality has been added include:
- Database Integrity Checker (ISinteg) - now operates online
- Outlook Web App - improved performance and functionality
- Database Av (read the entire post)...