January 2007 Entries

Why Windows Vista? - Reason 2 on why you should move on to Windows Vista


Well, I just thought of continuing my earlier post to share my day to day experiences of using Vista so that it benefits everyone and more so, the folks who keep questioning - "Why Windows Vista".

One of the key features that I could see is the "Search" that comes as an integrated component with Windows Vista.  The ability to search for keywords, phrases from "Start" Icon brings productivity and ease of access to information to the greatest possible levels.

With Windows Vista, you dont need to install any additional desktop search utility, which again needs to scan your system and update it periodically.

Just before I wrote this post, I was looking for a phrase which I had also used for quite sometime.  The search not only yielded me with files / folders, but also opened up an outlook email which had this phrase embedded in one of the attachments.  This was awesome from the perspective of what I was looking for and I would have never had a chance to access this mail and subsequently this document unless I had used this search.

If you are running Vista, just click on the "Start" Icon (Window Icon) and type the phrase or word you are looking for, and there you go, you will get what you needed.

Cheers !!!

Why Windows Vista? - Reason 1 on why you should move on to Windows Vista


Why Windows Vista is the question that previals in many of our minds.  Many of the users running Windows XP SP2 must be much happier with the features, security and other related things and would wonder on why 
Windows Vista is required.

One of the top reasons I felt was the world of improvements that have been made with regard to Network Sharing and Connectivity.

If you are person who keeps travelling frequently, there are a variety of places where you would require to change the network connection to get connected to the internet.  It is tiresome to troubleshoot, check the settings and get connected at every location, be it office, home, airport etc.,

With Windows Vista's advanced network capabilities, it can automatically help you diagnose and fix any issues that might be preventing you to connect from a public connection (airport etc.,).  The Network and Sharing Center provides a wealth of information on the connectivity, whether you are connected to local only or both local as well as internet and gives a beautiful picture map for viewing and fixing the issues.  It also helps you reset the network adapater occasionally to fix issues related to connectivity. 

For a person like me who is not tech savvy when it comes to network and connections, this really simplifies me and let me concentrate on my actual work (working on the internet)

One of the reasons I felt on why you should upgrade to Windows Vista.

Cheers !!!

p.s. This post is made by me from an airport, with Windows Vista helping me fix the connectivity issues of a public network available over Wifi.

ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 Released !!!

Just few weeks back, I had posted on the steps and links to download and implement Ajax enabled ASP.NET Website using the ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 RC1 release.

ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 has been released.  What does this mean? 

It is now a fully supported version and is free for download and use with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and ASP.NET 2.0.

This release version fixes a lot of performance issues as well as some of the earlier bugs that were still out in the RC1 version.

Also, the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit provides 30+ Ajax Enabled Controls which can be used freely in your ASP.NET AJAX Enabled Websites.  All of these controls have been built on top of the Control Extender Pattern of Microsoft AJAX Library.

The ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 can be downloaded from

Also, Scott has got a very good post covering the details and a few quick fixes at his blog

All these that you need to currently download separately will be an integrated part of Visual Studio vNext code named "Orcas"

Cheers !!! 

Visual Studio 2005 SP1 - Features - What is there in it?

Many of you would have read my earlier post on the What is what on Visual Studio 2005 SP1, ASP.NET AJAX RC1 and .NET Framework 3.0.

While the other two are more or less a future preview releases or a little new, let us talk about Visual Studio 2005 SP1 since Visual Studio 2005 is already in the market for quite some time.

Visual Studio 2005 SP1 covers a number of bugs such as slowness in the editor, default HTML Validator turning on and quite a few related to performance reported by folks like you.

The feature that has been added are support for ASP.NET AJAX, Web Application Projects & Web Deployment Projects which were earlier available as separate downloads / betas.  If you had worked on Visual Studio .NET 2003, you would love the Web Application Projects and I am sure you would have searched for it when you first started using Visual Studio 2005.

So, I would highly recommend users of Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 SP1 and Windows Vista users to download and use the Visual Studio 2005 SP1 to find improved performance and additional features.

The Visual Studio 2005 SP1 can be downloaded from here.

Omar Khan has a nice post on the Web Tools changes with Visual Studio 2005 SP1 here.  A must read if you really want to know what is in it, to install.

Scott Guthrie has a nice post on the HTML Editing Performance improvements in Visual Studio 2005 SP1 here

Cheers !!!

First in Billion - Windows Vista and 2007 Office System Launch - Be the first in a Billion !!!

With just 20 days to go for the Consumer launch of Windows Vista, 2007 Office System, be the "First in Billion" and get rewarded fabulously.

Be the first in a Billion and get a super-cool HP Pavilion Desktop PC with a copy of Windows Vista Ultimate signed by Bill Gates!

What’s more, you get to receive this award at the glittering launch event in Mumbai that will be telecast on TV to millions of households across India!

Watch out for the hunt across TV, Internet and over 370 Cafe Coffee Day outlets across the country.

You can participate through SMS (FIRST to 6388) or visit

Know anyone who wants to be “First in Billion” ?
Click here: and give them a chance to be famous!

Looking forward to see you at the Windows Vista and 2007 Office System Launch !!!

Cheers !!!

Microsoft Expression - One Expression Community for Designers


We made a whole bunch of important announcements last month laying out a definitive design strategy and talking about our roadmaps around the Expression suite.


Importantly, we also announced the first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere “WPF/E” (codename) which will enable creating very rich applications for the browser on a wide variety of platforms.   We also have a new addition to the Expression family, re-branding of the existing products and a complete new designer site, new expression site and new site for developers wanting to work on “WPF/E”.


Check out the Microsoft Expression Website for more information and downloading the Beta versions.


Discuss and contribute to the Microsoft Expression Community


Cheers !!!

Visual Studio 2005 SP1, ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 RC1 and .NET Framework 3.0

What an year 2006 has been?  There were major releases such as Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange 2007.

There were interim releases of Microsoft Ajax Library Beta 1, Beta 2 and RC1.

There has been an SP1 Release for Visual Studio 2005.

Clearly, it has been an year of new technologies.  Secondly, the term "Web 2.0" caught up attention everywhere and suddenly everyone seems to have swallowed "Web 1.0" which never existed.

Well, I am planning for a detailed post on Why it is never "Web 2.0" later but to summarize, there has been a lot of buzz in the industry much similar to the Dot Com Buzz 7 years ago.

What is the relevance of this post?

In this post, I am just providing a list of things Developers need to know about what is released, what to use and how to upgrade. 

Why is it important?

Sometimes, we ourselves get confused with the avalanche of releases and it is quite easy that you may get lost out of the flood of tools and technologies released over the second half of 2006.

What follows next?

In my next and subsequent posts, I want to write about making your things work together with all the above releases and gearing up for the latest updates.

Correct me !

Although I take utmost care before putting out the information, I might miss out sometimes more due to a perspective than due to lack of knowledge.  Please correct me in these cases.  You can post your clarifications in the comments and I would incorporate them ASAP into this post.

Having made enough build up above, let me move on to what you need to know if you are a .NET Developer and want to work on Next Generation Tools & Technologies.

Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 SP1 users

Visual Studio 2005 SP1 (Covers the Web Application Project, Web Deployment Project and other issues)

ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 RC ( Provides Microsoft Ajax Library, ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Controls and optional Control Toolkit, December CTP)

.NET Framework 3.0 (Provides runtime for WPF, WCF, WF & WCS)

Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for .NET Framework 3.0 (Building Workflow Enabled Applications using WF)

Windows Vista Users

Visual Studio 2005 SP1 (Covers the Web Application Project, Web Deployment Project and other issues)

Visual Studio 2005 SP1 Update for Windows Vista (Fixes some of the elevation priveleges issues with Windows Vista)

Follow the steps in Mike's Post for solving the Debugging Issues on Windows Vista

ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 RC ( Provides Microsoft Ajax Library, ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Controls and optional Control Toolkit, December CTP)

The .NET Framework 3.0 comes shipped along with Windows Vista so doesnt need to be downloaded.

Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for .NET Framework 3.0 (Building Workflow Enabled Applications using WF)

Well, thats an exhaustive list.

The above links are direct download links and in case any of them doesnt work, I would recommend you to visit the following sites for the download link.

Microsoft Visual Developer Center for downloading the Visual Studio SP1 and related stuff.

ASP.NET AJAX Home Page for ASP.NET AJAX downloads.

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Community for .NET Framework 3.0 downloads.

All the above pages have links for respective downlods for the Express Editions.

Cheers and Happy Programming !!!

Out of Office - Outlook 2007 - Setting Expiry for sending automated responses

One of the cool features in Outlook 2007 with Exchange 2007 is the ability to specify the expiry date for sending automated responses (Out of Office).

All of us who use Outlook have definitely benefited the "Out of Office" Assistant which sends an automated response to the sender for once (and different options) with a customized message stating your absence and the ability to provide your emergency contact details, alternative contact person etc.,

With Outlook 2007 and Exchange 2007 you can specify an auto expiration for the "Out of Office" replies.  Many of us would want to avoid "Out of Office" replies to go even after our vacation and particularly, if we forget to remove that option.

Go to Tools - Out of Office Assistant - You will find the Send Out of Office replies only during this period, where you can specify the period till you want the replies to be sent.

Secondly, you can find the option for sending a different response to senders within your organization as well as people outside your organization.

This would benefit you largely since you may want to send some specific information for senders within your organization and a different message to others.

I am sure this is not one of the best features but definitely one which I liked very much.