webDotWiz talks Windows Live

A daily list of links to interesting sites

Monthly Archives: June 2006

Internet Explorer 7 Beta 3 now available

Internet Explorer 7 beta 3 was released some hours ago and webDotWiz has it installed and running (he took the plunge a few months ago when IE 7 beta preview was available then installed Beta 2 when it was released).

Don’t rush to download and IE7 beta 3 unless you’re prepared to put up with the occasional glitch – mind you, webDotWiz didn’t have any major problems with Beta 2, except for an excessive amount of memory consumed when his Windows Live feeds were open. He’s had his Live feeds page open for some 30 minutes or so and memory is not being consumed as it was in beta 2 so he’s happy thus far.

In Beta 3, some of the icons have been changed and there’s a better way of managing graphics that are larger than the browser windows (gone is that funny icon control introduced in IE6 and replaced with a magnifier). Anyway, you can read about the changes – and catch up on user comments – at the IE Team Blog. Note that there’s a special post about uninstalling any previous beta versions before you install beta 3.

A snazzy new feature is the ability to order your tabs – simply drag and drop and put them in the order you want – neat and effective.

About Skype – some information on how it works

Using Skype? You’d better read the two articles linked to below which point out how your bandwidth might be being gobbled up:

Without getting to technical, the reason why Skype works is because if it can’t connect directly the person at the other end, it will use other ‘nodes’ i.e. Skype users to relay the message, resulting in bandwidth usage for potentially anyone logged into Skype, no matter if they are on a call themselves or not.

It’s probably much better to start using Windows Live Messenger.

Discover Windows Live Spaces at The Spaces Landing Page

Get a look at the features that will be in the up-coming Windows Live Spaces at discoverspaces.live.com. Click to start the tour then click any area highlighted by the red line.

 

By the way, there’s a report on BetaNews that Windows Live Spaces is to be released on July 15.

Things to do in 1300 A.D from Alex Barnett

Alex Barnett, Community Program Manager for the Data Programmability team, Microsoft Corp, Redmond, often discusses thought-provoking ways in which to use all the data that’s floating around the Net. However he’s gone off-topic with this scenario:

 

<off-topic. if you’re looking for intelligent commentary on technological issues of the day, you’re at the wrong place. please move on.>

From time to time something catches my eye that sets me off down a complete waste of time. Like this.

"Here’s a hypothetical situation; you’re sucked into a worm hole and transported back to the year 1300 A.D. in Medieval Europe. You didn’t bring back your cell phone, or laptop, or any “more recent” invention. What advantages would you have over society at that time? Would you be able to survive, and would you be able to influence the course of history?"

Well, one obstacle to overcome would be language. Even if I landed in medieval Britain I’d have some considerable communication challenges. Middle English being the Lingua franca of the day in Ye Olde Blightey. Another consideration would be headwear…

Follow the remainder of Alex’s ponderings on his site.

Windows Live Mail Desktop

Windows Live Mail Desktop is the replacement for good ol’ Outlook Express that’s been the Windows email client for yonks. These days it’s no longer sufficient to have an email application that just sends and receives mail – searching through mail and contacts is important (it’s built into Windows Live Mail), there are RSS feeds to check, we might want to blog a reply email to our Space, we want to be able to keep in touch with our Messenger contacts and it would be good to be able to make any photos we send look their best, and a type of active search that would help find products to buy for a special occasion, say, would be a nice extra. Well, WLMD has all these things – take a look through the posts at the WDMD team Space. Yes, webDotWiz received an invite to install WLMD after he asked for one at ideas.live.com – join in the test program and see for yourself. More info as webDotWiz discovers and uses more of WLMD’s features.

Windows Live Search now part of Windows Live Messenger

As promised by the Live Search team, Live Search is now part of Messenger. In a conversation windows with one of your contacts, click the Activities button to access Live Search. Currently its scoped to search the web, for images and news. You can share with your friend any site listed in the search results pane with one click.

Call for Free in Live Local

Windows Live Local has a small update (at this stage for the US only) to enable free phone calls to be made between a business and yourself. To try it, go to a US city, enter a business name or category then, in the list that comes up, you’ll see a Call for Free link. Hovering over the pushpin also brings up the Call for Free option. There’s some more info on the Live Local team blog and Virtual Earth (Mapoint) B2B.

Coming soon – MSN Spaces will become Windows Live Spaces

The MSN Spaces team, on their team blog at The Space Craft, have announced that it won’t be long before we see the changeover from MSN Spaces to Windows Live Spaces. As well there will be some new features:
  • The Friends List will be available in more countries (we Aussie Spacers have been using the trial version for some time) and there’ll be a Friends Explorer that will integrate with Live Messenger so as to find new friends.
  • We’ll be able to put our Title and Tagline wherever we choose on our Space.
  • There’ll be a new Navigation module to help visitors much more easily move around our Space to find what they want to read and see.
  • Windows Live Gadgets can be placed on our Space. There’s one already on this Space – the weather forecast. But there are plenty of more interesting ones and there’ll be new ones once those keen to create their own get coding.

Live Messenger features at messenger.live.com

Looking for a convenient way to read through all Live Messenger’s features? Browse over to the messenger.live.com site and click the Features link. Note that you’ll soon be able to talk to your friends on Yahoo! Messenger. As well there should be a page giving details on the Messenger phones and Microsoft’s new web cams for Messenger but it’s not up yet.

How to set up Live Favorites

webDotWiz Online for 22-Jun-2006 takes you through the steps to use Windows Live Favorites so have a read and start getting the benefits of being able to take your favourite sites with you, wherever you are. As well there are a couple of hints of how to see, manage and add Live Favorites on Live Messenger on your desktop.