SharePoint Server 2010 needs 64-bit SQL Server

by Shijaz Abdulla on 14.05.2009 at 15:51

64 bitSharePoint Server 2010 will require a 64-bit edition of SQL Server – more specifically either SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008 running on Windows Server 2008.

SharePoint Server 2010 will not support Internet Explorer 6. Users will have to use Internet Explorer 7 or above. However, non-Microsoft  browsers such as FireFox 3.x (on Windows & non-Windows platform) and Safari 3.x (on non-Windows platform) will be supported.

The Office 2010 beta will be available in July, but SharePoint Server 2010 beta will not be made available at that time.

Enterprise Search in Office 2010 has been improved, with Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Fast Search & Transfer.

This information was revealed during the TechEd conference.

Instant Messaging inside Outlook Web Access

by Shijaz Abdulla on 26.04.2009 at 13:53

Outlook Web Access in Exchange Server 2010 offers integrated instant messaging capability right from the browser.

Check this out:


You also see presence information against each contact in an email header.


You can also change your status from the top right corner of the OWA page:


Exchange 2010 Beta

by Shijaz Abdulla on 26.04.2009 at 13:44


The public beta of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, part of Microsoft’s unified communications family, is now available. Exchange 2010 is the first server in a new generation of Microsoft server technology designed and developed to work on-premises and as an online service, and introduces a new integrated e-mail archive and features to reduce costs and improve the user experience.

New features in Exchange 2010:

Download the beta today at:

NOTE: Exchange Server 2003 is already out of mainstream support as of April 14. If you are running Exchange Server 2007, you should *really* consider upgrading!

Ribbon Interface in Windows 7

by Shijaz Abdulla on 24.02.2009 at 07:04

February 24, 2009

It has been quite a while since Paint and WordPad, two of the most common Windows accessories got some makeover.

Paint was one of the first Windows tools I ever used. Back in the Windows 3.x days it used to be called “Paintbrush”. WordPad used to be called “Write”.

Those days have gone by, and now, we have Windows 7 Beta, which added the Office 2007-style “ribbons” for the toolbars in Paint and WordPad.



Paint also got some feature enhancements, with some cool new brushes (demonstrated above), and the ability to add AutoShapes (arrows, callouts, etc).

Just for old times’ sake, here’s how Paintbrush used to look like in Windows 3.1:

User Account Control (UAC) in Windows 7

by Shijaz Abdulla on 23.02.2009 at 07:15

February 23, 2009

The User Account Control (UAC) feature, first introduced in Windows Vista, helps prevent potentially harmful programs from being executed inadvertently on the computer. UAC notifies the user each time a program uses the administrator privilege on the computer.

While UAC is a powerful means of securing the computer, I know many users find repeated warnings (for known changes) too annoying and eventually end up turning UAC off altogether, thereby compromising security.

Windows 7 Beta adds more granular control over UAC notifications. There are four levels on UAC:

  • Most secure: Always notify and dim the desktop till the user responds
  • Default: Notify only when programs try to make changes (not when user makes changes)
  • Notify progams only but don’t dim desktop (lets the user do other stuff while the message is on)
  • Least secure: Turn UAC off (never notify)


Improved taskbar in Windows 7

by Shijaz Abdulla on 22.02.2009 at 14:05

February 22, 2009

I am now running Windows 7 Beta on both my work and home computers and thought I’d demonstrate some of the new features of Windows 7 in the upcoming posts.

The taskbar in Windows 7 has been simplified, to save time, screen space, better organize running applications and to enable faster switching.

The taskbar button labels have been turned off by default (only the icon appears). However, these can be turned back on if you don’t like the idea.


Applications having multiple windows open (or multiple tabs – like Internet Explorer) have the icons grouped together. When you place the mouse cursor over such icons, you get screenshots of all windows/tabs that are grouped under that application, and you can click and switch to the one you want.


The system tray area has been reworked upon too. Instead of having a long list of tiny icons in the notification area, these have been hidden from view, but easily retrievable. You can easily drag hidden icons from this menu and drop it on the system tray if you like.


There is also an indicator which shows the wireless signal strength.

One of the pain points in the Vista/WS08 UI that customers have often told me is how difficult it has become to view/open the properties of the network adapter, compared to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. This has been simplified too. All you need to do is a right click:


If you’re wondering what the white flag is, it is the new Action Center. The Action Center helps you review recent messages about your computer’s status and helps you solve computer problems.

The space on the bottom right corner of the screen, next to the clock is the ‘Show Desktop’ button. While clicking this button minimizes all windows, hovering your mouse over it shows the desktop with just the border outlines of all windows visible – very handy if all you want is just a quick peek at that gadget on your desktop without minimizing anything!

Windows 7 Beta 1 now available

by Shijaz Abdulla on 11.01.2009 at 07:51

Just a quick note to let you all know that Windows 7 Beta 1 is now available for download to Technet subscribers.

Also be sure to check out the Windows 7 Springboard Series website for helpful real-time content such as video walkthroughs, articles, podcasts and deeper resources for evaluating Windows 7.

Internet Explorer 8 – Beta 1

by Shijaz Abdulla on 12.03.2008 at 18:39

I downloaded Internet Explorer 8 beta 1 yesterday. Here’s how it looks.

It looks more like IE 7.0 but it has got a few new features.

1. Activities

You can set up your activities – the online services that you use frequently for blogging, reference, etc and these will be made available on the toolbar as well as a right click.
2. Domain name highlighting:

Highlights the domain name in your URL. Helps users from being victimized by phishing sites.

3. WebSlices

These are slices of your favorite websites. Compatible websites/partners can give you a “webslice” that you can add on IE 8 and get content in a ‘slice’ at the click of a button. An example:

4. IE 7 emulation

IE 8 Beta allows you to emulate IE 7 in case you are having problems viewing certain websites. Of course, this will require you to restart your browser each time you choose to emulate. Here’s how it looks when you emulate IE7.

You can download IE8 here.

“Nitrogen” Beta 1

by Shijaz Abdulla on 31.10.2007 at 08:59

I’ve just been informed by the Microsoft Connect team that they are shipping my “Nitrogen” Beta 1 DVD!

“Nitrogen” is the code-name for the next generation of ISA Server/ForeFront Edge Security server. I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Unfortunately, the Nitrogen Beta is not public yet and is under NDA. So I will not be blogging about my experiences with the product for now.

Windows Server 2008 Beta 3

by Shijaz Abdulla on 23.05.2007 at 15:38

Windows Server 2008 Beta 3 is out.

More on it at
Download it at

Need I say more?

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