T minus two – Internet Explorer 9 releasing on March 14

by Shijaz Abdulla on 12.03.2011 at 16:39

The final version of Internet Explorer 9 will be released two days from now, on March 14, 2011.

This exciting new release of Internet Explorer brings a host of new features including:

  • Performance enhancements including hardware acceleration
  • New intuitive user interface: more web, less clutter
  • Seamless integration with Windows 7 (jump lists, website pinning)
  • Download manager
  • “One box” for URLs, Searching, etc.
  • Security enhancements
  • and many more new features.

Photos: Windows 7 Launch in Qatar

by Shijaz Abdulla on 18.12.2009 at 01:06

I’m posting some photos from the New Efficiency Launch Event at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Doha, Qatar.

The event setting was very unique – it was an outdoor event with tents on the beach, popcorn, cotton candy, balloons, live barbeque, and even a clown on stilts and a magic show. The presentations were done inside a tent on the beach!

The event was unique and one of a kind, and I really think our marketing team did a creative and awesome job!

Some of our partners also had stands at the venue, with each of them showcasing an exciting solution based on Microsoft technologies.

Windows 7 Launch, Qatar SNC00863
The event setting
Qatar Launch event
Our partner, Mannai (Apps team) Our partner, Information & Communication Technologies WLL (ICT) at the event
Manoj, Antony and others from Mannai Apps team showcasing Mediaroom Joseph, Asanka and Fadel from ICT showcasing the Microsoft UC solution
Our partner, Qatar Datamation Systems (QDS) MS Hardware vendor - Al Masa
Hani and Ali from QDS demonstrating Multi touch Hardware vendor Al Masa
Our partner, Mannai (MS Infra services) xbox area
Johny & Jean from Mannai showcasing Hyper-V xbox area
SNC00874 SNC00881
Antony with a clown at the event Me 🙂
Tamer, Said and David Eqbal and I
Tamer, Said and David Eqbal and me
 SNC00877 SNC00875
Vinod and Rifaz at the xbox area me, Rifaz and Vinod
 The Windows 7 beach tents SNC00880

Press coverage: [ Gulf Times | Arabic newspapers ]

Windows 7 Launch event in Qatar

by Shijaz Abdulla on 13.12.2009 at 10:05

 The big day is on 15th of December, 2009.

logo_windows_7_01 This is the day that we’re officially launching Windows 7 in Qatar. The email invites to IT Pros had gone out a few weeks ago and we’ve had an overwhelming number of people who have registered to attend this event. This launch event is going to be one-of-a-kind – with an unconventional but exciting theme. If you’ve registered, you are surely in for some *very* exciting stuff. I don’t want to spoil the surprise – you’ll see soon 😉

The 16th of December will see the launch of Windows 7 in the academic sector. I will be present at the venue on both days, so this will be an excellent opportunity to network with you readers. Some of my managed partners like Mannai Computer, Information & Communication Technology WLL (ICT), EBLA, Qatar Datamation Systems, will also have spaces at the venue, where they will showcase our technologies and their offerings.

We have some awesome speakers talking about Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Phone, xbox, and a host of other new technologies. Alongside other presenters, I will be speaking at the event on the 16th.

See you there!

Threat Management Gateway 2010 now available

by Shijaz Abdulla on 28.11.2009 at 18:24

TMG LogoMicrosoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway has been released to market on November 16, 2009 after completing three beta releases and receiving extensive customer feedback.

You can download the trial version of Threat Management Gateway here.

From the Forefront TMG team’s blog:

“Forefront TMG is a Secure Web Gateway (SWG) that improves security enforcement by integrating multiple detection technologies such as URL filtering, Anti Malware, and intrusion prevention into a single, easy-to-manage solution. We have seen a lot of interest in the features that comprise this solution, so here is some information on what they do and how:

  • URL Filtering: URL Filtering allows controlling end-user access to Web sites, protecting the organization by denying access to known malicious sites and to sites displaying inappropriate or nonproductive materials, based on URL categories. TMG features over 80 URL categories including security-oriented categories, productivity-oriented and liability-oriented categories. Forefront TMG uses Microsoft Reputation Services (MRS), a cloud-based categorization system hosted in Microsoft data center. To ensure the best bandwidth utilization and low latency, Forefront TMG has implemented a local URL cache. There is a lot more on URL Filtering available in an earlier URL Filtering post (on the TMG blog).
  • Anti Malware: Stopping malware on the edge significantly decreases the possibility that a virus will hit a computer with anti-virus signatures that are not up-to-date or a test computer without an anti-virus to protect it. TMG has integrated the Microsoft Anti Malware engine to provide world class scanning and blocking capability on the edge.
  • Network Inspection System (NIS): NIS is a generic application protocol decode-based traffic inspection system that uses signatures of known vulnerabilities, to detect and potentially block attacks on network resources. NIS provides comprehensive protection for Microsoft network vulnerabilities, researched and developed by the Microsoft Malware Protection Center – NIS Response Team, as well as an operational signature distribution channel which enables dynamic signature snapshot distribution. NIS closes the vulnerability window between vulnerability disclosures and patch deployment from weeks to few hours.
  • In addition, HTTPS scanning has been introduced to enable inspection of encrypted sessions, eased the deployment and management with a set of easy to use wizards and significantly improved logging and reporting to provide full visibility into how your organization is accessing the web and whether it’s compliant with your organization’s policy.
  • VPN, Firewall, Email Protection and Infrastructure.
    Significant investments have been made to ensure that we keep delivering top notch VPN and Firewall functionality. We made quality improvements in Web Caching and made sure it works well with the new Windows 7 BranchCache feature. We have added several new features, among them: Email Protection, ISP redundancy, NAP integration with VPN role, SSTP, VoIP traversal (SIP support), Enhanced NAT, SQL logging and Updated TMG Client (previously known as the Firewall Client). In addition TMG was built as a native 64bit product that supports Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2008 SP2, allowing better scalability and increased reliability.”

Exchange Server 2010 now available

by Shijaz Abdulla on 09.11.2009 at 21:10

Today, at Tech-Ed Europe in Berlin, Microsoft announced the worldwide general availability of Exchange Server 2010.

In a previous post, I explained some of the exciting new features in Exchange Server 2010.

Here are some quick facts that you should know, regardless of whether you are a customer or a partner:

  • Exchange Server 2010 already has over 15 million users worldwide, through our Live@Edu service.
  • Today, Forrester released "Total Economic Impact” study which concludes organizations can expect a payback period of less than 6 months with Exchange Server 2010.
  • UK-based NEC Phillips is experiencing email storage cost savings of 70% with Exchange Server 2010 [more]
  • US-based TriWest Healthcare Alliance is saving approximately $250,000 with Exchange Server 2010, by avoiding the cost of purchasing an independent archiving & retention system. [more]
  • Organizations such as Aon Corporation, Glaxo Smith Klein, Lions Gate Entertainment, McDonald’s Corporation, University of Ohio and many others are satisfied customers of Exchange Online.
  • Global Crossing is saying bye-bye Blackberry, and implementing Exchange Server 2010.
  • Subaru Canada and Nasdaq OMX are other early adopters that have benefited from Exchange Server 2010.

Windows 7 Launch

by Shijaz Abdulla on 23.10.2009 at 17:58

Windows 7 was launched worldwide yesterday. I had explained new features of Windows 7 in previous posts.

Microsoft Qatar is the platinum sponsor of this year’s Made in USA exhibition in Doha, Qatar (Oct 21-23 2009). We had a booth at the exhibition where we showcased Windows 7, Windows Phone, xbox 360 and some Microsoft Hardware.

My son Abdullah and I at the Microsoft booth.

Windows Phone launched

by Shijaz Abdulla on 07.10.2009 at 15:36


Windows Phone, the next generation Windows Mobile was released worldwide yesterday. While the previous versions of Windows Mobile were focused on business applications, the new focus is on Work AND Play.

The new Windows phone will keep you connected to your business e-mail, calendar and contacts, as well as help you stay in touch with friends and family with voice, messaging, photo and video sharing, and social networking. Key new features for Windows phone include:

  • New touch user experience
  • Hi-tech browser – lets you view pages just as you would view them on a PC – and lets you do the same things that you could do on a PC!
  • Support for Exchange Server 2010 and integrated Windows Live Mail client
  • Microsoft MyPhone – a new service that lets you do automatic backups and online access to your phone contacts, calendar, SMS messages, photos, favorites, etc. The premium option of MyPhone also helps you find, lock or erase a lost/stolen Windows Phone device.

A word on upgrades:

Certain models running Windows Mobile 6.1 can be upgraded to Windows Mobile 6.5. For an up-to-date list of devices that can be upgraded, see the Windows Phone website.