Tech News and Opinions (by Paul Spain)

Dreamspark provides free copies of Visual Studio Pro and Expression Studio

, posted: 21-Jun-2008 12:58

Apparently this is old news, but something I just heard about is that Microsoft have launched the 'Dreamspark' programme to provide students with Microsoft developer and designer tools at no charge.

The line-up of free software includes:
- Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
- Expression Studio
- Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition
- SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
- XNA Game Studio 2.0 (with an XNA Creators Club membership)

Currently the off (read the entire post)...



Live Mesh update

, posted: 19-Jun-2008 09:19

The update below arrived in my inbox today about Microsoft's Live Mesh product. I've been using it now for a couple of weeks at home and am enjoying some of the features such as Remote Desktop style access to PCs behind a router or firewall. It's certainly a product with some potential, but it would be nice if there was an option for it handle synching larger amounts of data (even if a cost were associated).
Live Mesh Tech Preview: Version Update June 18, 2008The Live Mesh team has been wor (read the entire post)...



Silverlight 2 beta 2 available (updated with download links)

, posted: 4-Jun-2008 22:34

Silverlight 2 beta 2 is now available. So what? Well, I don't think many Flash developers will care, or even be aware of this event.

What I am expecting is that the mass of developers and organisations who have sidelined Flash will be happy to leverage Silverlight 2 since it builds on the skills they already and works with tools they know (i.e. Visual Studio).

I know for instance that the Cloud Labs team will be using Silverligh 2b2 to create improved and more responsive us (read the entire post)...



Microsoft Live 'Mesh' - www.mesh.com

, posted: 3-Jun-2008 22:41

I visited www.mesh.com over the weekend and signed up to be in queue to try the 'tech preview'. About 24 hours later I got my invite to try it.

So far I've only had a quick look, but it appears to take the file synchronisation technology previously available in 'FolderShare' (which Microsoft acquired a couple of years ago) with a bunch of new features such as 'Live Mesh Remote Desktop' to use remote applications on the computers you've got linked up. You also get a 'live desktop' of 5 (read the entire post)...



ISA Server 2008 / Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) 2008

, posted: 30-May-2008 16:22

A few people I've spoken with have been wondering what happened to the planned ISA Server 2008. There is little data about this so I thought I would provide a quick bit of info and links to point you in the right direction.

This new version of ISA Server is now called Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG for short since it's rather a mouthfull!). It will be part of a new suite of Forefront products from Microsoft currently covered by the codename 'Stirling'. Right now St (read the entire post)...



Windows Small Business Server 2008 reaches RC0 release candidate stage (updated)

, posted: 30-May-2008 05:07

Last week I heard a whisper about Windows Small Business Server 2008 having reached released candidate stage. At first I wondered if my source was mistaken as there hadn't even been a public beta yet, and some at Microsoft had been suggesting a release at the end of 2008. With RC0 being available now, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the final product released by late August - early October timeframe (it's somewhat dependant on when SQL Server 2008 is finished).

Today however Microsof (read the entire post)...



Motorola Q9h releases in NZ

, posted: 29-May-2008 18:54

From 1 June Vodafone will be making the Motorola Q9h (aka Moto Q9) available in New Zealand. This is a quad band GSM handset running Windows Mobile 6. As there are only a small number of Windows Mobile devices available in this market it is a welcome addition - and the first from one of the top tier Cellphone brands.

The version being launched in this market does not appear to include a GPS or Wifi. Interestly it includes a Blackberry Connect client and Opera.

NZ RRP is $7 (read the entire post)...