technical solutions and commentary

May 27, 2008

Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) Web Site Preparedness

Filed under: internet — Jason Hartley @ 9:42 am

Microsoft will be releasing Internet Explorer 8 to render content in its most standards-compliant way by default. Giving top priority to Web standards interoperability helps web developers and designers drive toward the ideal of “write once, run anywhere”, freeing up more time to innovate rather than modify content for different browsers. This also addresses several development and design pain points from previous Internet Explorer releases.

However, browsing with this default setting may cause content written for previous versions of Internet Explorer to display differently than intended. This creates a call to action for site owners to ensure their content will continue to display seamlessly in Internet Explorer 8. Microsoft has provided a meta-tag usable on a per-page or per-site level to maintain backwards compatibility with Internet Explorer 7. Adding this tag instructs Internet Explorer 8 to render content like it did in Internet Explorer 7, without requiring any additional changes.

Site administrators should begin to get their sites ready now for broad adoption of Internet Explorer 8, as there is a planed beta release in the third quarter of 2008 targeted for all consumers. To learn more and get started, please follow the step-by-step instructions located at the following link: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=120024.

Additional Resources

The following links provide additional information you may find useful:

· Internet Explorer 8 main site: http://www.microsoft.com/ie/ie8

· Internet Explorer Team Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie

· Internet Explorer Developer Center: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/default.aspx

· Internet Explorer 8 Readiness Toolkit (for web designers and developers):
   http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/ie/ie8/readiness/default.htm

· Microsoft Interoperability Principles: http://www.microsoft.com/interop/principles/default.mspx

May 19, 2008

Microsoft Mobile Search and 411

Filed under: internet,windows live — Jason Hartley @ 5:04 pm

On Mobile Phones with Internet Access:

1. Go to http://m.live.com to get Web-based Live Search for Mobile devices

2. http://wls.live.com to download and install Live Search for Windows Mobile directly on your Windows Mobile device. The updated Live Search for Windows Mobile now includes voice input (beta version), gas prices, and hours of operation for businesses.

From any phone – cell phone or land-line phone:

Live Search 411.  Live Search now has a new toll-free number, users can simply dial (800) CALL-411 (800-225-5411) and say the city and state, then ask for the business or business category to hear a list of options. Users say “Connect me,” to instantly connect to the business.

March 5, 2008

Microsoft IE8 Readiness Toolkit

Filed under: internet,tools — Jason Hartley @ 10:53 pm
Technorati Tags: ,,,

Microsoft has made available the IE8 Readiness Toolkit for download. This beta 1 version of IE8 is focused on developers and the User Interface is still similar to IE7. Expect the UI to change a little in future IE8 beta releases.

You can download the toolkit from:  http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/ie/ie8/readiness/Install.htm

Since this is an early beta and developer focused, this should not be installed on production machines. This is meant to be installed on development machines, or lab machines for testing.

November 20, 2007

Visual Studio 2008 Released!

Filed under: internet,software — Jason Hartley @ 4:34 pm

On November 19th Microsoft released Visual Studio 2008 to Manufacturing. Visual Studio contains over 250 new features and has major enhancements in every Visual Studio edition including the Express for hobbyist and Visual Studio Team System for shops with a more controlled architect/build/test/release environment. Developers of all skill levels now have a secure, reliable and consistent solution for building applications for the Web, Windows Platform, and the Office System. With the integration of Silverlight into Visual Studio, developers can build rich cross-platform web applications including HD quality video.

Visual Studio 2008 is available for download for MSDN Subscribers at http://msdn.microsoft.com. The VS 2008 Training Kit is downloadable from http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7602397.

Released in parallel with VS 2008, the .NET Framework 3.5 builds on top of previous versions of the .NET Framework and brings improvements in areas such as the Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Windows CardSpace. Other improvements include: 

  • Deep integration of LINQ and data awareness. This lets you write code written in LINQ-enabled languages to filter, enumerate, and create projections of several types of SQL data, collections, XML, and DataSets by using the same syntax.
  • ASP.NET AJAX lets you create efficient, interactive, personalized cross-platform Web applications.
  • New Web protocol support for building WCF services including AJAX, JSON, REST, POX, RSS, ATOM, and several new WS-* standards.
  • Full support for WF, WCF, and WPF, including the new workflow-enabled services technology.

The .NET 3.5 Framework is available for download from http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7755937

November 7, 2007

FREE! Microsoft Enterprise Search Server in RC phase

Filed under: internet,software — Jason Hartley @ 1:04 am

Microsoft is nearing release of Enterprise Search Server 2008 Express software. The Release Canidate is a FREE download that is a available now. The RTM version will be a free download as well. 

Windows Server 2003 is the required platform for installation of Search Server 2008 Express. The Express edition has limited scalability – where it supports only one “search application server” but support an unlimited number of “web front-end servers”.

You can see a complete list of the extensive features on the Microsoft.com/EnterpriseSearch site. Try it out.

October 24, 2007

SharePoint Forms Based Authentication

Filed under: internet,software — Jason Hartley @ 8:40 pm

The default authentication method for MOSS 2007 is to use NTLM or Kerberos Authentication. This is typically desired for internal intranets/portals to provide an integrated method to authenticate and authorize user to access pages and content. 

When using MOSS to build an Internet or Extranet Site this can be very difficult to use. Managing extranet and internet users through Active Directory is not even practical in some circumstances such as these. Through CodePlex, Microsoft has released a Forms-based authentication and user management solution that address just this issue.

The Official Microsoft SharePoint Team Blog has details on this Community Kit release. You can also go directly to CodePlex to get the Pre-Release Beta of the Form Authentication Community Kit download and code.

October 23, 2007

Windows Live SkyDrive Updates

Filed under: internet,windows live — Jason Hartley @ 9:43 pm

Windows Live SkyDrive was updated the first half of October with more storage and new features. Here ius a brief run-down:

  • 1 GB of Free Storage (upgraded from 512MB)
  • RSS Feeds – you can subscribe to RSS feeds on public SkyDrive folders. Whenever a file is updated or added you will recieve a notification vis RSS.
  • Add Contacts fron the SkyDrive Website -now you can add contacts on the SkyDrive site without having to log into Hotmail or MSN.
  • Share Files with anyone – who has an E-mail Address. The person you want to share with no longer has to have a Live ID.
  • Enhanced File Details – Now see who uploaded or made changes to a file.

To share data and sync files between multiple PC’s you can also use Windows Live FolderShare for free. You can get access to it from www.foldershare.com.

September 11, 2007

4 Gigabytes Free for Silverlight Hosting

Filed under: internet,software — Jason Hartley @ 11:39 am

The Windows Live team is offering 4GB of free space to Silverlight developers and designers to host their streaming applications. Silverlight enables the simplified delivery of cross-platform, cross-browser rich media applications.

This Windows Live Service is in Alpha Release. You can sign up for it at http://silverlight.live.com/

August 8, 2007

Disable IE7 Protected Mode on Windows Server 2008

Filed under: internet — Jason Hartley @ 2:49 pm

These steps will remove IE Hardening (IE Protected Mode) for members of the Administrators and Users group. Only disable IE Protected Mode after serious consideration of the consequences – especially on a Server.

All these steps require Administrator privilege.

1. Set the following registry values:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{A509B1A7-37EF-4b3f-8CFC-4F3A74704073}]

“IsInstalled”=dword:0000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{A509B1A8-37EF-4b3f-8CFC-4F3A74704073}]

“IsInstalled”=dword:0000000

2. Run the following command lines: (from an elevated command line window.)

Rundll32 iesetup.dll, IEHardenLMSettings

Rundll32 iesetup.dll, IEHardenUser

Rundll32 iesetup.dll, IEHardenAdmin

3. Delete these registry keys: (must be done after the commands in step 2)

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{A509B1A7-37EF-4b3f-8CFC-4F3A74704073}]

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{A509B1A8-37EF-4b3f-8CFC-4F3A74704073}] 

Note the minus at the start of the key path is the format for a .reg file to delete a key.

Completing these steps will modify the default home page and add a registry value to show a warning page on first run. 

Optional: Disable the warning page on first run.

Delete the following registry value: 

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]

“First Home Page”=-  Re-enable IE7 protected mode by reversing the process in steps 1 and 3, step 2 remains unchanged.

October 23, 2006

Install SSL on IIS when you cannot use Renew Certificate option

Filed under: internet — Jason Hartley @ 3:46 pm

When using an SSL certificate to secure a web site, you can typically choose to “renew” an existing certificate with the original certificate authority. If you decide to switch SSL providers when the time comes to renew, you cannot simply choose to “renew the current certificate”. You need to generate a new CSR for the site, but do not have that option available if an SSL certificate is currently associated with the site. Removing the current certificate in order to generate a new CSR is typically not acceptable.

You can create a new virtual web site in IIS and use it to generate a CSR to use with the existing live site. TI created a document that walks you through that process. You can download it from the Technical guides Tab or directly from here at Install a SSL certificate on IIS when you cannot use the renew certificate option

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