March 2009 - Posts

More IE8 facts

After my post about IE8 last week I got an email from someone asking me to explain more about other security features and also the Compatibility View that you can use. As always with a new broimagewser, there might be web sites that are not displayed correctly. With compatibility view you can still see web sites designed for older browsers as they should be. You find the Compatibility View button just right to the address bar. When you install IE8 you get the choice to opt-in to a list of sites that will automatically be displayed in Compatibility View. The sites of the list are added there based on customer feedback and usage. You can also have your own list of sites that will always be opened in Compatibility View. From the Command Bar, select Tools, and then select Compatibility View Settings to add and remove sites from this list.

Around security I wanted to mention something about Malware and Phishing and what we do to protect you against that. In IE7 we introduced the Phishing Filter to help you avoid these type of attacks. In IE8 we build upon that and add anti-malware support, better performance etc. The result is the Smart Screen Filter. You will get warned when you access a site that is known for distributing malware. If you try to download something from that site you will also receive a warning. The Smart Screen Filter is of course optional and you can turn it on and off as you go but we highly recommend you to have it on as default. Read more about this here

If you are interested in learning more about all the security features of IE8, I recommend you to check the Security tag of the IE8 Blog

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Internet Explorer 8 is ready to rock!

Internet Explorer 8 is now released and available for download! This is a faster browser than previous versions and as an end user you get some new cool features like Accelerators, Web Slices and InPrivate Browsing.

With Accelerators you can highlight a word and by right clicking you can chose from a menu of things to do with the highlighted text. If you highlight a city you can map it, do a search on it or look it up on Wikipedia. You find tons of Accelerators on the Add-ons Gallery. I found one that translates English words into Swedish, wonderful!

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Web Slices helps you keep up to date on things like news, weather reports or maybe what’s showing at the movie theatre. By adding a Web Slice in your tool bar, you can in one click see the latest entries on a web page without going there. In some cases it’s very much like RSS feeds, especially for news but one example is eBay, where you can keep track on a specific auction and what bids come in. See a list of Web Slices here or look for this Web Slice icon green icon when you visit web pages.

When you open up a new tab you can click InPrivate Browsing. IE8 will then start a new browser session that won't record any information, including searches and history.

That was a few reasons for using IE8, download it now if you’re running Windows XP or Windows Vista. If you’re running Windows 7 Beta you have to wait for an update from Windows Update.

You also have to view this funny video about The History of Internet, do you remember the Hamster Dance?

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SQL Server 2008

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I get a lot of questions around SQL Server 2008, it seems like a lot of people have started to look at this product to see what it can do and how to skill up on all new features. The SQL Server TechCenter is a good place to start, here you can find product documentation on how to get started and white papers on everything from Data Warehousing to encryption and how to improve performance. There is also a free E-Book available now from MS Press, download it here

You can of course learn a lot by reading documentation to get facts, but for myself I want to try things out. You can of course install the product in a virtual machine and play around but I would also recommend you to try our Virtual Labs on SQL Server 2008. This gives you a manual that you can download and then do the lab online without installing anything. There is more than 20 available labs around SQL Server 2008. See the full list here: SQL Server 2008 Virtual Labs. If you want to run it yourself you can download a trial here. If you want to watch videos instead there is a lot of SQL Server 2008 videos on TechNet EDGE

I also want to recommend the SQL Server 2008 Compare site where you can look at comparisons between SQL Server 2008 and Oracle, DB2 or MySQL. You find both White Papers and Case Studies around this for all these products. We also have a tool called SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) to help you migrating from Access, Oracle or Sybase. Read more about that and get access to the tool here

All this information and links should keep you busy for a while :-) Good luck!

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Windows 7 Roundtable

Last month it was time for one more Springboard Roundtable, this time focusing on Windows 7. Mark Russinovich talks about benefits, features and how to deploy Windows 7 together with a number of external industry experts, MVP’s and Microsoft people. Check the video online or download it here

The panel couldn’t answer all the questions they got due to time limitation so they have followed up with a blog post on the Springboard Blog.

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Windows Server Compare

I just found a report talking about how Microsoft works with external security researches to understand how to best protect the code against attacks and how to fix vulnerabilities. The report is part of a series that you can find on the Windows Server Compare site and others include information on threat modelling, security education etc. You find all reports here
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If you are interested in security I also recommend you to subscribe to our Security Newsletter that we send every month. Click here to subscribe or look at the latest version of the newsletter.

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IT Management Hub

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If you are an IT Manager or just interested in the more business related aspects of IT, there is a lot of resources available on the new IT Management Hub. You can find information about licensing, learn about the Windows Roadmap and find Analytics Reports around Virtualization and other hot topics. Check it out now!

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TechNet Magazine April Edition

The April Edition of TechNet Magazine is now available online. This issue focuses on the upcoming release of Internet Explorer 8 and what is new in the interface for end users, like Web Slices and Accelerators but also on security enhancements, enterprise features and developer tools. Check out the article on “What’s New in Internet Explorer 8”. You also find articles on High Performance Computing, Active Directory and much more.

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Upcoming changes in Windows 7

I found this blog post from the Engineering Windows 7 blog: Some Changes Since Beta for the RC. It describes some changes in the interface, explorer and around performance that has been done based on user feedback. I think it’s an interesting read if you have tried the Beta of Windows 7 and it shows why we release Betas: For users to try it out and for us to act on the feedback!

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