webDotWiz talks Windows Live

A daily list of links to interesting sites

Monthly Archives: January 2007

Paint.NET version 3 can be downloaded

The latest version of the free graphics program, Paint.NET, is ready.

Among new features is the ability to have several graphics files loaded at once and being easily able to access these files from the toolbar (either via a dropdown list or thumbnails).

If you’re running an earlier version of Paint.NET, go to File — Update now, or if you want to download it for the first time, use the link off Paint.NET’s home page at www.getpaint.net.

Messenger 8.1 ready

Yesterday (Australian time) Live Messenger 8.1 became available for download.

The latest version has lots of new and improved features, including:

  • roaming identity (your display picture now goes with you whenever you move from one computer to another)
  • a better contact card
  • SMS phone book (click the mobile phone icon on the main screen)
  • send a text message to a friend’s mobile (if they’ve registered their mobile phone with the Live Messaging system – they’ll have a little mobile icon alongside; just right-click on their nickname in your contact list)
  • im and talk with your Yahoo! friends
  • 2 free VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone calls to anywhere in the world (except from Australia at present – we’ll have to wait and see if this service becomes available to Aussie Live Messers).
  • personal contact invitations when you add a new contact to your friend’s list so they know who’s inviting them.

Check out some screenshots and full description of the new and improved features at Inside Live Messenger (plenty of screenshots), Liveside (more screenshots; note the one which shows the phone icon on the main Messenger pane – scroll down until you see Update) and the Live Messenger features page.

Go get Windows Live Messenger 8.1 – and we in Australia will patiently wait to see if we get the VOIP service – from get.live.com/messenger/overview.

Latest update to Windows Live Mail

Another update is being put out for Live Mail – this one mainly deals with an increase in speed for those using the Live Mail in Classic view (formerly called Light view).

To quote the team from their Space:

…we’ve also been working hard on the next version of Windows Live Mail, called M9, which focuses primarily on the Classic experience. Classic (previously known as “Light”) is for those who prefer the more familiar look and feel of Hotmail, but want the safety, ease of use, and raw speed that come with Windows Live Mail. And when I say raw speed, I mean it: it’s faster than the original Hotmail, even though it has more features!

When an account is first migrated over, it will automatically start out in the Classic experience, allowing the user to decide if and when to move up to the Full experience. Even better, moving forward, everyone can switch between the Classic and the Full experiences in the Options section anytime.

Note this bit:

Just as with M8, we’re going to release M9 over some time, so don’t be surprised if you see some new stuff while your neighbor doesn’t. After testing things out over a week or two, we’ll make M9 available to everyone.

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Sign up for alerts

You already know you can find out when friends on your Live Messenger contact list have updated their Space – the little gleam to the left of the name will, well, gleam.

Or, you might be using Windows Live Mail desktop and new entries and photo albums will automatically be picked up by the Feeds aggregator and you’ll see the new info in the Unread feeds section.

But what about Spaces that don’t belong to your family and friends in your Live Messenger contact list? You’ve probably found Spaces on which people talk about things that interest you. How do you find out when new content has been added? You could subscribe to a feed from their Space and add this feed to those you’ve already got on your Live.com page but now there’s another way.

With the latest updates to Spaces (scroll down the page past the announcement about embedding videos), you’ll find there’s now a Sign up for alerts in the Visitors module:

When you go the steps to sign up for alerts, you can choose to receive your alerts to Live Messenger (use the bell icon tab to view them) or via email.

Now the important point about receiving alerts, especially via Live Messenger, is that they happen in real time. You’ve already experienced alerts popping up at the bottom right corner of your screen as soon as a friend signs into Live Messenger or when you get new email. Similarly for alerts from Spaces that are updated.

Embed a video demo

Here’s a demo of embedding a video into a post on your Space.
At the moment you have to use the Add a blog from Spaces itself – a gadget will be available soon to use in Live Writer.
The video below is from Soapboax (soapbox.msn.com) as you can see. You should take out the extra bit of HTML coding at the end of the code you copy from the right-hand Share pane in Soapboax although it doesn’t seem to matter (if you leave it, you’ll et a link to the video as well in your post).

Embed a video in your Live Spaces entries

The Windows Live Spaces team have announced they’ve just completed some updates to Live Spaces, the most significant being able to embed a video in an entry.

You’ll need an embed link to do this – wherever your video is stored online should provide this link. Secondly, the video must be in Flash format.

More later when webDotWiz has the time to try out this new feature.

By the way, the Customize-Modules section now provides the option to add the Soapbox gadget and a Universal Video Player gadget directly.

For some good screenshots of how the new feature works, see The Space Craft (Windows Live Spaces team space).

Note: The Insert Video gadget for Live Writer will be updated after its author chats with the Live Spaces and Live Writer teams.

Installing Windows Live OneCare – webDotWiz’s experience

So you’ve got a rough idea of what to expect when you install Windows Live OneCare, here are some of the steps the install wizard will go through.

Reminder: if you tried out OneCare for the free 90-day period, you’ll probably get an email with an invite to install the new, full version at the special discount price of $39.95 (Australian dollars; up to 3 computers). If you didn’t try the free version, go to http://get.live.com/onecare/introCC1 to get the special discount price (available until Feb 12).

webDotWiz clicked the link in the email he received, Special offer for Beta participants and was taken to a page where he selected his language/country.

After signing in to his Windows Live ID, he had to drag out his dust-covered credit card and give all the necessary details. Then the download and install started – the page gives you the estimated time and it’s pretty accurate.

Now like all good webDotWizards, webDotWiz has been using AVG Free for virus protection and Windows Defender to ward off spyware. OneCare knows about AVG Free and it’ll popup to tell you it’s going to remove it. After AVG Free goes through it’s removal process, untick the box that AVG shows because it wants to restart your computer. Don’t worry because after you’ve unticked that box and you come back to the OneCare install screen, OneCare tells you to restart – just click to Finish and it’ll do it.

After your computer restarts, OneCare will prompt you to finish installing online. You’ll get a Good status (in bright, shiny green).

A few seconds later you’ll be prompted to Activate your subscription – click the button to do so.

You’ll have to give a name for your computer (if you’ve got a home network you may not have to do this because your computers will each have a name).

Sign in again to your Windows Live ID and OneCare goes off to check if you’ve got an existing OneCare account. After a bit, OneCare will be happy and you’re activiated.

That’s it.

Windows Live OneCare now available for Australia (at a discount) – get it

The release of Windows Live OneCare has been publicly advertised as January 30 but it’s available now – get it – at a discounted price until February 12.

Those who tried out the earlier version using the 90-day trial period (it wasn’t possible to buy it in Australia so those of us who tried it had to remove it after 90 days) should receive an email from the OneCare team with an invite to purchase at the special price. Here’s part of the email that webDotWiz received:

Special, Limited-Time Introductory Offer for Beta Users

To show our appreciation for our beta participants, we are offering you the full, released version of Windows Live OneCare at a price of $19.95 for one year. This offer is over 60% off the full retail price and covers up to 3 Windows XP or Windows Vista PCs. The offer will expire February 12, 2007, so be sure to take advantage of it soon.

That $19.95 is the U.S. price and webDotWiz remembers being charged $39.95 for his Australian version but that’s a good price for what OneCare does (and you can install OneCare on 3 computers).

Even if you weren’t a beta tester (i.e., used up the 90-day free trial or were able to purchase a copy if you were in the U.S.) you can go to http://get.live.com/onecare/introCC1 and purchase OneCare at the special price (until Feb 12).

Windows Live OneCare provides the following:

  • antivirus
  • antispyware (via Windows Defender if you haven’t already got it installed)
  • 2-way firewall (XP service pack introduced a one-way firewall to protect us only from nasties coming in; a 2-way firewall stops nasties that may have got onto your system from doing more damage by trying to do their nasty work on other computers on the ‘Net)
  • backup and restore (a monthly reminder to backup; knows to backup to a DVD if you’ve got one – webDotWiz’s favourite feature; after the first big backup, monthly backups are incremental onto the same DVD if there’s space)
  • tuneups (clean up and disk defragmenting in the background)

Everything runs in the background without slowing down your computer (even old, slow ones like webDotWiz’s) or being intrusive with popup messages.

For more info, see the Windows Live OneCare team blog and Liveside.

Live Maps has more high-res imagery

More U.S. cities and regions have hi-res imagery as well several European countries.

See the Windows Live Local/Virtal Earth site for details see Lots of New Birds Eye coverage in Europe (cities are listed for France, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain and Norway), more U.S. cities and Miami in 3D. Here’s a link to a collection of all cities in the U.S. with bird’s eye coverage (as put together by the Live Local team).

Above is Marseille Saint Charles station (that’s a TGV Duplex in centre picture).

Vista and 2007 Office will be available from Windows Marketplace

January 30 is the day consumers can purchase Windows Vista and 2007 Office.

If you’re so inclined (i.e., you can’t bear to leave home to find a retail store but you have a good, high-speed broadband connection), you can make your purchase of Vista and 2007 Office from the Windows Marketplace site. By the way, your online purchase is protected by your digital locker which allows you to purchase, download, and install the products you have selected on Windows Marketplace and retrieve licenses stored on your behalf.

Via Windows Vista Team Blog.