Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Do you know about Windows OneCare, Microsoft's entry into the anti-virus market? I read an article on CNET this morning that OneCare (as of yesterday) opened up the beta program to all users who are working with a U.S. English version of Windows XP with Service Release 2. The beta is free (try it before you buy it), and the final release version (in 2006) will be a subscription service. But as a person who has lost two (count em, two!) hard disks full of data in the last six months, security, backup, and antivirus utilities are programs I'm taking a whole lot more seriously these days.

I thought you might be interested in testing out OneCare to protect all the documents you're busy creating in Office XP, 2003, and beyond. :)

Monday, November 28, 2005


Special Holiday Insert! Just for the holidays, come by the fun new space I created, called All Things Christmas This space includes holiday favorites, trivia, organizing templates, and links to great projects, offers, games, and more! Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 14, 2005


Do you subscribe to the Inside Microsoft Office Newsletter? If not, you might want to sign up--it's free, available at

I received my copy tonight and it included alerts for two new free updates:

To find out whether your version of Office 2003 requires these updates, go to the Microsoft Office Downloads page and click Check for Updates.

Friday, November 11, 2005



Last week I posted something about the big Microsoft announcement on Windows Live and Office Live. I'm been doing some research (stay tuned for news coming on that) and working with Windows Live (there is a whole collection of beta utilities open to the public; Office Live doesn't have anything "Live" yet to share).

Windows Live is really great. You can customize your home page by dragging-and-dropping your favorite news feeds; you can add gadgets (I added my favorite mind-numbing game, Tetris) to your page for those rare moments when you have nothing else to do. Take a look at the photo I'm uploading here; this is just a sample of my new home page. But you can customize your own with whatever news you most want to see; then check back several times a day (I just keep my page open in a browser window while I do other things) to see what's going on in the world while you work (or play).

It's free; it's easy; it's very slick. Try it out! Just click to get started. And check back to let me know what you think.

Hint: You can add this page to your feeds too. In, click Add Content > Advanced Options and enter in the Subscribe to a specific feed box. Click Subscribe and that's it! These posts will show up on your page automatically. Convenience is good. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Another interesting Microsoft announcement broke this week. In a traveling, across-the-country (actually I think it's international) launch, Steve Ballmer announced the new edition of SQL Server, Visual Studio, and BizTalk Server. Now most of these server products are beyond my scope, but watching the launch was exciting for me because of one product: Visual Web Developer 2005. Part of Visual Studio, then new Visual Web Developer offers more than 20 Web starter kits available for free download. The demo was really great--you can add an ecommerce kit seamlessly(complete with shopping cart and preconfigured for PayPal). Here's the link to the launch (and you can get to the free downloads from there):

Coming next: Working with OneNote. Do you use it? Drop me a note and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


In addition to my book writing I have been doing some really fun and fast-paced work over at The Hive (, a community for technology group leaders. We've just launched a redesign this morning and it's really terrific. Come see! There are varying levels of access in The Hive--if you are a group leader (for example, you host an online technology group, are head of your IT department, publish a Web site about technology, and so on), you can apply for access to the members-only portion of the site. But even if you're a fascinated end user with no community affiliation, you'll find a lot of information--including the latest news on the biggest Microsoft products, as well as input from some of the PMs (program managers) in The Hive. Come take a look!


Hi everyone! I'm changing the look and feel of this blog, but Blogger isn't cooperating this morning. If you see something weird, please bear with me. *sigh* No matter what, technology will always be technology.

Did you hear the huge announcement about Windows Live and Office Live?! I am so psyched. Very smart, integrating things. Microsoft really is making things easier on us. And it is much appreciated. My coauthor Mike Torres has a bunch of the details (and some valuable screen shots!) on his MSN Space.

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