Critical of VS.NET SP1 (and Vista)

When I read the post by Somasegar about the availability (I should say lack of it) VS.NET 2005 SP1 and their support for Vista, I was quite pissed (you can read my comments here).

Come on guys, why are you acting like a 5-person development shop who just started does not know how to make software? Sad

It seems Dilbert can get a lot of “fodder” from this.

Chaos (by design)

CNNMoney has an interesting read on Google and how they operate in Chaos by design. It also lays out the challenges for Google on with a 2nd act – right now it is a one-trick pony (albeit a very good trick one). Wink

The author for Competing on the Edge: Strategy as Structured Chaos, works for Google as a Sr. VP of Business Operations. I have not heard of her or this book, but it seems interesting. Has anyone else read it? What are your thoughts on it?

(Thanks to Megha for sending this one)

Sites not liking IE7 – change the user agent string

IE7 is still new and while there are many sites it will just work without any issues there are many that it will just not work and you will get a “I don’t know what the heck that browser is” error. (There are a few who handle this quite gracefully – e.g. I am on the Yahoo Mail Beta and they say they don’t support it, but if you want to give it a shot – go ahead).

If some of these sites who do not want to party with IE 7 are on your must have and you cannot live without them, then I would recommend to check out the User Agent String utility from Microsoft. This opens a new IE 7 instance that reports to being as IE 6.0. And it runs on most of the flavors of Windows (XP, 2003 and Vista).

Vista Build 5728 Available

Vista Build 5728 (which is of course after RC1) can be downloaded from here for a limited time. As per Microsoft, this build has improvements from RC1 but has not gone through the same regression testing as a RC or Beta, and it might not work in some situations.

Furthermore, Microsoft also highlights:

This build may not have the same level of support or servicing via Windows Update, and you may not be able to upgrade to the final version of Windows Vista.

(Thanks to fellow Avanut Ken Scahefer for pointing out the link for this one.)

Update: This build has some new backgrounds and a new start up animation (if that interests you). Matt has been running this build for a few days without any issues. Below is how the branching is working internally within Microsoft for Vista; you can read more about what this means here.

Live Writer show-stopper bug

After my initial feedback and having using Windows Live Writer more I have found a critical bug. I have not kept an eye on the groups to see if someone else has reported this (or if there is a work around), but I wanted to capture it here.

If you are modifying a post that was originally created with Live Writer and contains images which are uploaded to a FTP server, when you add another image and try and publish it then Live Writer will crash.

On the other hand, same scenario as above – except you are modifying the post without adding any new images – then it will be fine.

Hopefully there will be a new build fixing this as there is no work around other than manually editing the post directly on the site. I found this the hard way when updating the Call A Contact post.

What video game character am I?

What Video Game Character Are You? I am Mario.I am Mario.

I like to jump around, and would lead a fairly serene and aimless existence if it weren’t for my friends always getting into trouble. I love to help out, even when it puts me at risk. I seem to make friends with people who just can’t stay out of trouble. What Video Game Character Are You?

(via Lap’s distraction)

Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office 2007

MS has released the Second Edition Beta of VSTO 2007 which works with VS.NET 2005. This is updated to be in sync with Office 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh. This can be installed on VS.NET 2005 Professional, Team System or Tools for Office System edition only. Here are the highlights quoted from MS:

  • Application-level add-in projects for six applications in the 2007 Microsoft Office system: Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007, Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, Microsoft Office Visio 2007, and Microsoft Office Word 2007.
  • Support for the new Ribbon user interface extensibility model.
  • Support for the new application-level customizable task pane.
  • Support for managed code behind InfoPath 2007 forms, which enables the InfoPath 2007 design environment to appear inside Visual Studio 2005 for an integrated experience across your Visual Studio projects. You can use it to design forms with or without managed code.
  • Support for Outlook custom form regions.
  • Application-level add-in projects for five Microsoft Office 2003 applications: Microsoft Office Excel 2003, Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003, Microsoft Office Visio 2003, and Microsoft Office Word 2003.

Syncing your mobile with Vista RC1 via WMDC

Update: Microsoft has now publicly released the Beta 3 version of WMDC which you can get from here and you do not need to use the hack detailed below in this post. This beta 3 also supports Windows Mobile 2003!

WMDC (Windows Mobile Device Centre), is the new software in Vista that replaces ActiveSync and you cannot even install ActiveSync on Vista.

If you installed Vista RC1 and plugged in your Windows Mobile Phone (either Pocket PC or Smart Phone) and expected Outlook to start syncing you would be in for a rude shock. All Vista does is open the device in Explorer so you can browse it and get to explore files – but nothing to sync up. This is because the WMDC bits are not publicly released yet but are being dogfood’ed internally.

If you are like me and cannot wait then below are the steps you need to do to get your mobile sync between the device and Outlook / Exchange using WMDC (make sure you also read warning before you do anything):

  1. Add a new key called “WHOS” (without the quotes of course) in HKLM\Software\Microsoft. (See the image below on how this should look like with the blue circle around the key)
  2. Plug in your mobile to the machine (either via USB or your Cradle).
  3. Run Windows Update.

Windows Update should detect that you have a new update and download and install the WMDC bits. After which you can setup a new partnership to get this running with Outlook.


  1. This is not supported – so you are really on your own. If something breaks and/or you lose data please don’t come crying to me or Microsoft. At the end of the day, there is a good reason why MS has not released this yet.
  2. Delete any existing partnership from your mobile and make sure there is nothing associating it with another computer. I had issues setting this up as a Guest or even as another one and had to restart all over (including installing Vista), so to be on the safe side, delete the partnership!
  3. Back up your data – both on the machine and the device.
  4. If you are not sure where to find WMDC – it should create a shortcut on your desktop. Also you can get to it via Mobile PC in the Control Panel (Control Panel\Mobile PC).

Below are some screen shots of this working on my machine. I also show the Control Panel and the Sync Centre.


Currently this is exposed via a MSI which essentially adds this key. Best of Luck!

Running Max on Vista

I am sure you must have come across Microsoft Max and it is a shame that Max cannot run on a Vista at this point of time – I mean come on guys, you certainly can do better?

However, there is a work around (till Microsoft fixes this), if you want to get Max to run on Vista. The only downside is that you need to have a Win XP machine handy – which might be an issue for some people out there. Basically there are two things you need to do, to get this working on Vista – fudge the registry and use xcopy.

  1. Fudge the registry on Vista to fix the .Net 3.0 Setup registry key. To do so,
    • Go to \Program Files\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\Framework\v3.0
    • Look at the properties for System.ServiceModel.dll
    • Find the version of the binary (Details tab) (on Vista RC1 it should be 3.0.4324.17)
    • Open regedit 
    • Go to key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP\v3.0\Setup
    • Modify the Version value to match the one found for the System.ServiceModel.dll assembly above.
  2. Install Max on WinXP machine (with the correct dependencies, etc of course) and xcopy the Max bits to the Vista machine.