1. Problem Steps Recorder

As the local PC guru you’re probably very used to friends and family asking for help with their computer problems, yet having no idea how to clearly describe what’s going on. It’s frustrating, but Microsoft feels your pain, and Windows 7 will include an excellent new solution in the Problem Steps Recorder.

When any app starts misbehaving under Windows 7 then all your friends need do is click Start, type PSR and press Enter, then click Start Record. If they then work through whatever they’re doing then the Problem Steps Recorder will record every click and keypress, take screen grabs, and package everything up into a single zipped MHTML file when they’re finished, ready for emailing to you. It’s quick, easy and effective, and will save you hours of troubleshooting time. More »

The componentized and embedded Windows 7 spin-off formerly codenamed Quebec is now available for download from Microsoft. Windows Embedded Standards 7, which had been labeled Windows Embedded Standard 2011 at one point, was released to manufacturing at the end of April 2010. The Redmond company is now offering a free download of the operating system designed for devices. A trial version of Windows Embedded Standard 7 RTM went live on the Microsoft Download Center on May 5th, and is up for grabs for customers looking for a replacement for Windows Embedded Standard 2009.

“The Runtime images created by the Windows Embedded Standard 7 Evaluation will run for 30 days with no product key and 180 days with a product key,” Microsoft informed. In order to get their hands on evaluation product keys, testers will need to get the Windows Embedded Standard 7 Evaluation Toolkit from Microsoft. “The Windows Embedded Standard 7 Evaluation toolkit will run for 180 days with no product key. After 180 days you must either obtain a retail key or uninstall the toolkit software from your PC.” More »

1. 15 Free Microsoft Downloads

2. More than one EULA in your copy of Windows

3. Download Windows 7 Shortcuts Ebook

4. Windows 7 DirectX 11 Resources

5. Windows 7’s IE8 and Media Player Configuration

6. Top 10 – January 2010 Popular Tips

7. Office 2010 RC Is Here

8. Security Process that Bulletproofed Windows 7

9. PowerShell 2.0 Install Issues on Vista and XP

10. Windows 7 Security Release ISO Image for February 2010

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As it does every month, Microsoft has built an ISO image packaging all the security updates it released for supported versions of the Windows client and server operating systems via its monthly patch cycle.

The latest release, namely the February 2010 Security Release ISO Image, brings to the table the Windows patches offered on February 9th through the Windows Update and Microsoft Update for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, but also older releases of the OS, such as Windows Vista and Windows XP.

Just a few days ago, the Redmond company released no less than 13 security bulletins patching a total of 26 vulnerabilities in Windows and Office. A total of 11 patch packages were designed to plug security holes in Windows. “As always, it is recommended that customers deploy all security updates as soon as possible.

Of the bulletins released this month, customers should prioritize and deploy MS10-006, MS10-007, MS10-008, MS10-013, and MS10-015, given Critical severity ratings and/or Exploitability Index ratings of 1 (‘Consistent Exploit Code Likely’),” Jerry Bryant, Sr. Security communications manager – lead, revealed. More »

Microsoft is offering free downloads of all its supported Windows clients, including Windows 7 RTM, Windows XP and Windows Vista. Starting with the advent of Vista, customers, partners, IT professionals and developers have been able to take advantage of a variety of offerings involving free releases of Windows from the Redmond company. Furthermore, the software giant has made somewhat of a tradition from making sure that XP, Vista and now Windows 7 are available as free downloads in order to streamline various testing, training, planning and adoption programs.

Various releases of Windows, packaged both as ISO and VHD images can be grabbed from the company, and installed into testing environments immediately. In this regard, it is critical to note that one downside of the free Windows OS downloads is the fact that the bits cannot be deployed into production.

On December 29th, 2009, Microsoft has updated the virtual hard disk images of Windows Vista and Windows XP. Initially delivered following the release of Internet Explorer 7, the VPC Hard Disk Images of XP and Vista are designed for testing websites in accordance with multiple Internet Explorer versions. There are three copies of XP SP3 and two of Vista available at no charge via the Microsoft Download Center. More »