Microsoft is pushing ahead with the final stretch associated with the development process of its next iteration of the Windows client. Windows 7 will continue to cook for a little over a month as the Redmond company is baking the RTM build, with the Release Candidate milestone continuing to be available for a taste of the platform’s final development build. As Windows 7 starts on the last yards ahead of next month’s release to manufacturing, the software giant is not only focusing on the testing for the operating system, but also on getting the ecosystem of hardware and software solutions orbiting Windows ready for the successor of Windows Vista. One aspect of the company’s efforts is the Windows 7 RC Training Kit for Developers.

“The Windows 7 Training Kit for Developers includes presentations, hands-on labs, and demos. This content is based on Windows 7 RC and provides an early peak to our final training. This training kit is designed to help you learn how to build applications that shine on Windows 7 by utilizing key features such as: Taskbar, Libraries, Multi Touch, Sensors and Location, Ribbon, Trigger Start Services, Instrumentation and ETW, application compatibility,” Microsoft explained. More »

The Windows Automated Installation Kit for Windows 7 RC has accompanied the Release Candidate development milestones of Windows 7 client and Windows Server 2008 R2. The latest release of the Windows AIK is specifically tailored to the next iterations of the Windows client and server operating systems. Microsoft is offering the kit in an effort to streamline deployment of both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. According to the Redmond company, the Windows Automated Installation Kit allows for the customization and deployment of the successors of Windows Vista and Windows server 2008.

“The Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) is a set of tools and documentation that support the configuration and deployment of Windows operating systems. By using Windows AIK, you can automate Windows installations, capture Windows images with ImageX, configure and modify images using Deployment Imaging Servicing and Management (DISM), create Windows PE images, and migrate user profiles and data with the User State Migration Tool (USMT). Windows AIK also includes the Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT), which enables IT professionals to automate and centrally manage the volume activation process using a Multiple Activation Key (MAK),” Microsoft informed. More »

The upcoming stage in the development of the next iteration of Firefox is blocked by a consistent volume of bugs, Mozilla revealed. No less than 17 blockers are stopping Firefox 3.1 from moving onward to Beta 2. On November 10, the conclusion was that the Firefox 3.1, codename Shiretoko, Beta 2 was not ready for build because of the large number of issues affecting the development milestone of the open source browser.

“Despite a lot of hard work, we’re still a little bit away from being ready to hand the code for Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 over to the build team at this time. As of this writing, there are 17 bugs (marked blocking with the appropriate TM) that need to be resolved before we can ship,” revealed Mike Beltzner, Mozilla’s User Experience lead.

Beltzner indicated that no less than ten bugs impact Firefox 3.1 Beta 2, while another seven affect the underlying Gecko 1.9.1 Beta 2 rendering engine. The release of Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 continues to be planned for mid-November 2008; however, considering the number of blockers still unresolved, availability might slip toward the end of the month. More »

Microsoft has made a new release of the Windows operating system available for download for free. The Redmond company is offering the gold bits of the next iteration of its Windows embedded platform via the Download Center as of October 8, 2008. Windows Embedded Standard 2009 was packaged as WES2009Eval.iso, an offering aimed exclusively for test driving. The evaluation edition of Windows Embedded Standard 2009 is designed to offer a taste of what the embedded version of the Windows platform has to offer for a total of 120 days.

“Windows Embedded Standard 2009 delivers the power, familiarity, and reliability of the Windows operating system in componentized form, helping device makers easily create smart connected devices requiring rich applications, services, and end-user experiences,” Microsoft revealed in the product’s description.

The first Community Technology Preview of Windows Embedded Standard 2009 went live on Microsoft Connect at the start of June 2008. At that time, the Redmond giant pointed to the third quarter of this year for the general availability of the RTM version of Windows Embedded Standard 2009. More »

Firefox 3.1 codename Shiretoko Alpha 1 is available for download. The fully-fledged Alpha development milestone of the next version of Mozilla’s open source browser went live at the end of the past week. In this context, Mozilla managed to slip just a tad from its initial plans to make Alpha 1 available in mid-July. Firefox 3.1 only entered the code-freeze stage on Monday July 21, with the first build up for grabs on July 26. Still, Mozilla is moving full steam ahead to deliver the successor of Firefox 3.0 launched on June 17, downloaded over 8 million times just in the first 24 hours.

According to Mozilla’s own release criteria, Firefox 3.1 is meant to be nothing more than “generally usable for testing websites and features”. Developed under the codename Shiretoko, version 3.1 of Firefox has not, as of yet, officially been made available for download. Still, the Firefox 3.1 Alpha 1 bits were published to Mozilla’s FTP servers over the past weekend. More »