New blog from the Windows team: Building Windows 8

Building Windows 8

Want to see posts from the Windows 8 team? Follow their new blog, Building Windows 8, aka "B8", starting today..

This from Steven…

"For the Windows team, this blog is an important part of developing Windows 8, as was our blog for Windows 7. Blogging allows us to have a two-way dialog with you about design choices, real-world data and usage, and new opportunities that are part of Windows 8. Together, we will start the unique adventure of bringing a major product to market. We’re genuinely excited to talk about the development of Windows 8 and to engage thoughtfully with the community of passionate end-users, developers, and information professionals."

Hmmm. B8? Hope they don’t apply for a Google nameWinking smile


Tags: articles, blogs, Windows 8, Microsoft, Win8

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Things I keep: Buzz Kaplan’s “Rules to Live By” (What are yours?)

imageThere is life before (and, I’m sure I’ll find one day, after) Microsoft. It’s important to remember that and appreciate the little things from our time before MSFT that made an impact. This is one of my favourites. How appropriate I should note this in my 6,000th update (aka “tweet”) on Twitter.

During my days at Replay TV, I had the opportunity to work with some fantastic people in the industry on then what was a new class of product (the digital video recorder). Besides my other Silicon Valley keepsakes – including original 3DO juggling balls (thanks, Trip), the infamous Autodesk cow patent poster, and my Pinnacle team jacket – the most used and often referred to item from a previous employer would be the one I still carry in my wallet.

Buzz Kaplan’s Rules to Live By.

When I worked with Buzz, he had 15 on the little card in my wallet. On his blog, I see that he’s added a few more, 21 in all… which is a number that is coming up more and more in my work. (More on that later.) Although in this time of Spring Cleaning and general attempt to avoid being featured on the new hit TV show, Hoarders, there are items such as this one that’s easy enough to keep close at hand without contributing to the mess.

When I was at Replay TV, getting a copy of Buzz’s List was one of those things that made you feel like you’d arrived in a special club. I realized at the time this was one of his ways to get people up to speed on the basics. Most are common knowledge, especially if you’ve ever read the likes of Robert Fulghum’s “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

On the creation of the list, Buzz notes… “I just started the list 30 years ago to remind myself how to work better and be happier and then I started to share it with people I worked with and so and so on….”

Here they are for your enjoyment – details on each can be found on Buzz’s blog.  (You can also find him on Twitter @buzzkaplan.)

1. Have Integrity

2. Be on Time (OK, I’m still working on this one)

3. Keep your commitments

4. Always Close the Loop

5. Emails (and the proper use of the Cc:)

6. Count to 10

7. The Only Acceptable Attitude is a Positive One

8. Play on your Team, not Against It

9. Lose the Backstory

10. Leaving Notes for Co-workers

11. Spend your Employer’s Money as if it Were your Own

12. The Rule of Pages (or better, “The Rule of One Page”)

13. The New York Times (you know, it’s OK to write anything you wouldn’t mind seeing on the front page of the Times)

14. Top of the Pyramid (or improving quality in the sprint of a project)

15. Meetings

16. Spelling is Important

17. Make People Right, NOT Wrong

18. Be Generous with Information

19. Ask for the Bad News

20. Write So that a Twelve Year Old can Understand (he’s being generous 😉

21. To Lose a Client is a Great Sin (unless the client is habitually unprofitable in which case it’s a blessing)




Tags: articles, what I read, blogs, whack.


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Suggestions for weekend reading, Bill Gates explains why vaccines matter, and more of what I’ve read this week

United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs Division under the digital ID cph.3c05139This week John C. Maxwell offered this famous QOTD:

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas Edison

To end the work week, Dominic Carr offers his own suggestions for weekend reading on the Microsoft Blog

It’s Friday afternoon again, and time to wrap up some of the interesting things that happened this week that you might not have seen.  It is Super Bowl weekend here in the US and so it only seems fair to start with something sports related.

Jordan Brand taps Microsoft technologies:  The Jordan Brand turns 25 this year, and Microsoft technologies are helping with the celebration in partnership with Wirestone.  First up is a social mosaic called Mosaic 23/25.The Mosaic uses Silverlight 3 and Deep Zoom to create a huge mosaic of the man himself, all built from hundreds of individual pictures uploaded by fans.  And Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud operating system helped to make it possible.  There is more to come with Microsoft Surface and Windows 7.   If you are interested in more details on how the technology works, then read the Silverlight team blog and the Windows Azure blog.

Internet Explorer 8 is very popular:  This week NetApplications released their browser market share report and it showed that Internet Explorer 8 is the most popular browser, just less than a year after launch.  Brandon LeBlanc has more details on the benefits of IE8, and on reasons to upgrade from older browsers in his post over on the Windows Blog.

Using technology to help the planet:  BBC Radio covered the European Environment Agency’s Eye on Earth project, a partnership with Microsoft and based on Microsoft technology such as Bing maps, Windows Azure and SQL Azure.  The project aims to combine inputs from citizens with scientific data to provide a better understanding of air and water quality in a given location.  You can listen to the the BBC Radio story with the Eye on Earth project starting at 6:45mins.  

SharePoint Gets Social:  This week seven startups from around the world (all participants in Microsoft’s BizSpark program)  came together at  Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus for SharePoint 2010 SocialFest.  The goal; see how each team could take advantage of some of the new features in SharePoint 2010 to extend their social networking applications.  Each team worked closely with the SharePoint team over 4 days and showed off their work to a panel of judges.  The Brits won, and you can read more, and watch the videos in this Microsoft News Center article or in Techcrunch.

Microsoft Tag:  You may not yet have heard of Microsoft Tag, but the band We the Kings certainly has and is putting it to good use.  Microsoft Tag lets you snap a picture of a “Tag” and get access to more information online about the particular person, product or service.  You don’t need to rememeber a URL or text a short code.  Just take a picture.  We the Kings has teamed up with Microsoft Tag to give away free concert tickets.

Well Done Bill:  Microsoft Research Principal Researcher Bill Buxton has been recognized by Business Week as one of the world’s most influential designers.  Congrats, Bill.  You can read more about Bill and his work on things like Natural User Interface and Microsoft Surface in the News Center article, or this video.

And finally just when we thought we could go home the Bing team announced enhanced cooperation with Facebook on search.  This will give users a more complete search experience with access to some great Bing features, and expands the Bing-Facebook search integration beyond the US so that the more than 400 million people who use Facebook around the world will see the fruits of the partnership

And here are a few of my favourites found on Twitter during the week:

isdixon: Controlling Windows Media Center with an iPhone:

nytimesbits: In an effort to compete with Google and Apple, Nokia makes its mobile phone software free of charge.

PCMag – How to Buy the Right Netbook [If you’re not thinking about getting a powerful, cheap netbook, you should be.]

Pogue – My email column today: Why home videos matter. It’s a good one!

andreaplattdyal – Measuring Microsoft’s Work by Its Broad Impact:

MSFT_IT – White paper on the benefits of Office 2010 + SharePoint 2010 (something to look forward to!)

Microsoft – Nat’l Sci Foundation & Microsoft team on cloud. Huge info cache requires both desktop computers & cloud

techxav – Amazon Said to Buy Touch Start-Up

billcox – Some good stats showing why IE8 is doing well at Thanks brandonleblanc!

JohnFontanaMSFT-funded CodePlex Foundation gets first FT employee, executive director Paula Hunter

Microsoft_GovMicrosoft Education (@TeachTec) launched a K-12 ebook – Digital Storytelling in the Classroom –

neilblecherman – Students invent/distribute soccer ball that generates electricity, bringing clean power to developing countries

edbott – My latest at ZDNet: Will your new Windows 7 PC support XP Mode? It’s still too hard to find out:

MSFT_IT – See how Microsoft does IT, in this great post by BuckWoody

PCMag – The ever-divisive John C. Dvorak calls the Apple iPad "good for nothing."

slashdotARM Exec Says 90% of PC Market Could Be Netbooks

thurrott – What’s New in Windows Mobile 6.5.3:

Cisco_Mobile – A Peek at Apple’s Plan to Re-invent Textbooks

Cisco_Mobile How the #enterprise is going #social – thanks, susiewee for this Very interesting read.

stevecla – Microserfs at Microsoft UK

MSWindows – Set up an energy-efficient home with these tips from @MicrosoftCanada

comcastcares – New Personal Blog Post "The Customer, not the Company Defines How Products are Used"

MSWindows – Here’s a list of devices that work w/ Remote Media Streaming in Windows Media Center for you –

teedubya – Watching TV Without Cable: Series Part 1 – Netflix Solution

MSWindows – Stream your Windows Media Library to devices around the house w/ Remote Media Streaming –

WSJ – Medical journal retracts study linking vaccines to autism: More autism research:

LanceUlanoff – Why Chrome Will be Your Next Browser #Google‘s browser is about to make the leap from upstart to leader of the pack.

njeaton – NYTimes reports that Google is planning a business-app store to boost Google Apps.

Carnage4Life is impressed at how Google has made enemies. Apple and Firefox are the biggest surprises. See &

volkerwWindows XP to Windows 7 Migration workflow for the IT Pro on TechNet

warrenellis – Still can’t buy Tor books by writers like @cmpriest or @doctorow on Amazon? @Scalzi brings science:

toddbishop – New push for data-center tax breaks in Washington state, with support from Microsoft and others:

ForbesTech – The Growing Malware Problem [Article by Charlotte Dunlap]

thurrott – Apple Entry into Market Means Higher eBook Prices

mike_elgan retweeted this from ScotFinnie: Why Apple chose the iPad’s screen format Resident smart guy LanceUlanoff says he’s right.

JVascellaro – Google to Launch Store for Online Business Software.

MSWindows 4 steps to keeping your computer protected –

EverythingMS – Syncing Windows Home Server, Zune and Windows Media Center!

dancosta – 42 Reasons Why Netbooks Are Better Than the Apple iPad [Dan suggests that perhaps "Different" would be a better word.]

exectweets – Manage your company’s software with Windows 7 AppLocker (from our sponsor Microsoft):

edbott – My latest at ZDNet: Can Microsoft close the ‘app gap’ with Apple’s iPad?

Microsoft: Windows Azure & SQL Azure now available in 21 countries [Microsoft Blog]

valleywag – Googlers Fire Back at Steve Jobs ‘Bullshit’ Jab #nerdfight #stevejobs

joewilcox – Dalrymple’s beard speaks about "iPad and crazy people":

joewilcox – Apple US retail unit share is 90% for PCs selling above $1,000; doubled YoY in $500-$1,000 segment:

maryjofoley – Microsoft to target SMB users with new ‘BPOS Lite’ cloud service:

And this from BillGates – A quick post to Gates Notes – "why vaccines matter" –

Have a good weekend!


Tags: Friday Link, humour, Santa Claus, Christmas , Windows, Microsoft

Clubhouse Tags: Clubhouse, how-to, Windows 7, Windows Vista.

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Tablets & Slate PCs in Steve Ballmer’s CES keynote? The debut of Apple’s new iTablet? Dunno, but the Kindle DX does wireless worldwide on Jan 19th

amazon_kindleCES is off to a great start with plenty of new product news… and we haven’t even had the keynote kickoff!

As I noted last month (all of a week or so ago) I decided to get on the ebook reader bandwagon and finally ordered a new Amazon Kindle. I was torn on the size: the 6" appeared best for my needs at home, but the overwhelming majority of feedback I received was in favour of the 9.7" Amazon Kindle DX, and I agreed.

But I found that the wait was 3-5 weeks! from

Now I know why, thanks to chatter at CES on Twitter from engadget last night (, the WSJ Blog and now this latest mail from Amazon: the new Amazon Kindle DX includes global wireless support, shipping January 19th for $489. I love it when a company takes the initiative and beats my email query to the punch, asking about my back order…

From: Customer Service 
Sent: Wednesday, January 06, 2010 12:11 AM
Subject: Update on your Kindle DX order

Dear Kindle Customer,

Today we introduced Kindle DX with Global Wireless – the next generation of our 9.7” wireless reading device.

Because you already ordered the original Kindle DX and are awaiting its arrival, we are pleased to inform you that we are upgrading your order to receive a Kindle DX with Global Wireless at no additional cost. You will receive the new Kindle DX as soon as it becomes available later this month.

We kept everything readers love about the original Kindle DX, then added global 3G wireless coverage and improved battery life.

Kindle DX with Global Wireless now enables you to wirelessly download content in over 100 countries and territories. With an extended battery life, you can now read for up to 1 week on a single charge with wireless on, a significant improvement from the previous battery life of 4 days.

Read more about Kindle DX with Global Wireless at

With your Kindle DX order already placed, you will be among the first to receive Kindle DX with Global Wireless, and you do not need to do anything.

You can cancel your order or check on order status by visiting your order summary here: <link>

If you purchased a 2-Year Extended Warranty for Kindle DX, your warranty will automatically apply to your new Kindle DX with Global Wireless device. If you have not purchased and are interested in a 2-Year Extended Warranty for Kindle DX, visit the product page at

We hope you enjoy Kindle DX with Global Wireless. Kindle Customer Service

So, why get one now rather than wait for a new Apple tablet or a Windows based slate PC? (Or as Brandon coined, a "slablet". "Tablate" sounds horrible 😉 Perhaps "Slate PC." Whatever it is, imagine netbook performance w/ touch: that would be sweet.) As I said last month to stephbu, No, I have a tablet PC (actually, two) and wanted a Kindle for the Amazon book offerings and simple business model for buying content, and I expect there’ll be subscription fees tied to an Apple tablet offering.

As noted by njeaton and others on Twitter, the venerable New York Times reported here that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will reveal "slate-like" PC tomorrow during Steve Ballmer’s CES keynote (, and there’s already a (Kindle) app for that. (Regardless of tomorrow’s CES keynote, I’ll keep my Amazon Kindle (love it) & adopt the “Kindle for PC” app.)

You can follow Microsoft’s going’s on at CES via beginning Jan 6 @ 6:30PM PST with the live keynote – it will be streamed live from the convention.

And, no, to answer several mails from friends and associates this week: I’m not at CES this year (that’s two year’s running I’ve missed it in person, and my wife just asked, "when were you last there?"  Hey, Al Roker’s there covering the gadgets along with the weather, so you’re good.) So I offer my post "Surviving CES in Las Vegas: A few helpful hints", with a few tips for those heading off to Vegas this week for the event, recycling the bits in the blog post. I figure that with the number of great folks following the play-by-play on the ground in Las Vegas on Twitter (what’s the best hashtag to use? I’m following #CES generally) and in the news, I think that I’ll get my fill of new gadgets and devices. Plus, the various email alias subscriptions and RSS feeds will likely blow out my Outlook mailbox quota.


Tags: Microsoft, Xbox 360, CES 2010, CES, travel tips.

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Favourite past posts with more on Christmas poems, Bill Gates and buying a new PC

Santa shops retail, (c) M3 Sweatt 2006 For all of those who are still braving the crowds to finish their holiday shopping, you’re in good company, as you’ll note at right.

I’m off this week but working on a couple of belated posts. In the mean time, here are a few to hold you through the holiday weekend, including my favourite Apologies for my ode on the Day Before Christmas  (With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston)

And in the immortal words of Patrick Swayze: "Be nice."

Now on to the posts…

How to make an impact at Thanksgiving, even if you’re not Bill Gates   In a past post, I noted my posts on being thankful, in particular this one on being thankful, where I noted the Seattle P-I newspaper’s slide show on "Words of Thanks."

Your questions: "What do people read on your blog?" Stuff about Time, Bill Gates, Kids and shopping for a new PC. Here are some of the most popular posts. Jenn asked "What do people read the most on your blog? I found your article on how to choose a new computer and found lots more stuff." Good question, Jenn. I didn’t really know until I looked today.
Your questions: Common questions about upgrading to Windows 7   Here are answers to some common questions about upgrading to Windows 7 from our Windows 7 frequently asked questions page. (And if you need more information and guidance on installing and reinstalling Windows 7, check out this page on the Windows 7 site.)
My Windows 7 Party Pack Arrives As I noted earlier today on Twitter before my important afternoon meetings, my Windows 7 house party pack arrived.
Free download: Microsoft Security Essentials suite available now   Now available (US and Canada) is the new Microsoft Security Essentials suite, available for free, providing protection from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software for your PCs at home. Just installed the release version on my home PCs today. (Security Essentials will replace Windows Live OneCare, as I noted here this summer.)
More help and tips in finding that perfect laptop computer, this time from Rob Pegoraro of the Washington Post   image Over swim lessons today, I read Rob Pegoraro‘s article "Tips to boot up your laptop hunt" (which was picked up in today’s local paper) for users looking for new laptops (as I Tweeted today)…

"… many users — college students among them — still need laptops that survive away from desks and power outlets. Neither heavy "desktop replacements" nor ultralight netbooks with tiny screens and cramped keyboards work in that scenario.

"This piece is for those shoppers. What should they consider when looking for a new laptop?"

IMGP1554-smIt’s nearly back to school time: here’s info on buying a new PC  As I posted on Twitter today, Joel Santo Domingo over at PC Magazine has published a new article, How to Buy a Back-to-School PC. He covers what you should consider when shopping for a new PC for back to school or for you home. It’s helpful and timely information given the article I recently read from Jonathan Starkey on How to clamp down on spending for college, given how expensive tuition and housing are these days. Starkey said that "It all can add up quickly, but there are ways to stretch a family’s college budget."
Win7flagWindows 7 flying high in the skies above Redmond Last week a few of the folks got together and enjoyed a cool but fun afternoon on main campus. A fun time was had by all celebrating the RTM Engineering Milestone.

And one of the signed Windows 7 flags was on display for all to see.


Tags: Friday Link, humour, Santa Claus, Christmas , Windows, Microsoft

Clubhouse Tags: Clubhouse, how-to, Windows 7, Windows Vista.

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