With the landmark alliance inked with Novell in 2006, Microsoft stepped up its game of supporting customers with heterogeneous environments in which Windows and Linux were running side by side. The Microsoft and Novell Windows and Linux interoperability and support broad collaboration agreement covered Windows Server and SUSE Linux, but since them the Redmond company has also worked to support Red Hat customers.

The Linux Integration Components for Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V R2 are designed to provide a collection of drivers designed to enable synthetic device support in Linux OS virtual machines running under the software giant’s hypervisor role in Windows Server 2008 R2.

“We are excited to announce the availability of Linux integration components for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL 5.2, 5.3, and 5.4) which provides synthetic network and storage drivers enabling RHEL to work with the optimized devices provided by Hyper-V.

We’ve already submitted these drivers to the upstream Linux kernel in July 2009, and are looking forward to these being integrated with a future version of RHEL,” revealed Mike Sterling, Hyper-V program manager, Microsoft.

According to Sterling, Hyper-V customers that rely on virtual machines with open source platforms from both Novell and Red Hat will be able to enjoy the same level of performance for Red Hat Enterprise Linux guests, as for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The Integration Components need to be installed on the virtualized copy of Linux running in Hyper-V. More »

Keeping Windows 7 and Windows Vista running under normal parameters takes much more work than is done in Redmond alone. Fact is that the ecosystems of software and hardware products designed to integrate with the Windows clients have to do this seamlessly, especially when dealing with solutions that hook into the core of the operating system. Driver update failures for example, can easily cripple Windows 7 and Windows Vista, causing the two platforms to no longer start.

“This problem may occur if any one of the following conditions is true: The new device or the driver causes conflicts with other drivers that are installed on the computer. A hardware-specific issue occurs. The driver that is installed is damaged,” Microsoft explained.

In case you performed a driver update for a device component of your computer and Windows 7 and Vista are acting up, then your best choice to resolve the matter is to roll back the changes. Reverting the driver update will cause the issues introduced by the refresh to go away. First you will need to boot into Windows.
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Customers testing the virtualization extensions of Windows 7, namely Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode have been experiencing performance problems in scenarios in which sharing folders are enabled. Ben Armstrong, Program manager on the core virtualization team at Microsoft, revealed that the issues reported are connected with the latest development milestone of Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode, namely the Release Candidate Builds. Fortunately enough, a hotfix is already available from the software giant.

“A number of users have seen performance issues using shared folders / having shared folders enabled with Windows XP Mode on the RC release of Windows Virtual PC. This can be addressed by installing this hotfix inside the virtual machine. Please note – this hotfix is for Windows XP and is installed inside the virtual machine, not in the host operating system,” Armstrong noted.

Knowledge Base Article 972435 doesn’t mention Windows XP Mode, a Windows 7 feature, which is available as a standalone download. However, the resources designed to help customers resolve “slow performance when you try to open a redirected drive on a remote computer through a Terminal Services session” applies to Windows XP Professional.  And Windows XP Mode is indeed based on a free and pre-activated copy of Windows XP that is available for Windows 7. More »

To uninstall Windows 7, you must determine your specific installation scenario from the scenarios that are listed in this section, and then follow the steps for that scenario.

Scenario 1: You installed Windows 7 on a Windows-based computer

You installed a version of Windows 7 as a new installation over Windows XP, Windows Vista, or another version of Windows 7. You used the Windows 7 installation media to install Windows 7 to the same hard disk drive as the original operating system.

In this scenario, the Windows 7 installation will have created a Windows.old folder that contains your previous operating system and personal files. This Windows.old folder is in the root of the Windows partition. To revert to this previous operating system, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

971760 How to restore a Windows 7-based computer to a previous Windows installation by using the Windows.old folder.
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Windows Vista Service Pack 3 gets its first hotfix from Microsoft. Yes, Service Pack 3, and yes, the error lies with Microsoft. The Redmond company is offering a hotfix designed to fix Event Viewer crashes associated with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 opening large event log files and attempting to sort log entries by a single column. But when it comes down to actually downloading the fix, the software giant offers it for the 32-bit, 64-bit and Itanium flavors of Windows Vista SP3. It is highly improbable that at this point in time Microsoft has debuted testing of Vista SP3 bits, and in this regard, the SP3 references are nothing more than an error. (via Neowin)

The Redmond company has recently wrapped up the code for Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista. The SP2 RTM bits are so “fresh” that they haven’t yet been served to Vista users, and Microsoft only pointed to the second quarter of 2009 for the availability of the second service pack for Vista, while not offering any specific deadline. The Redmond company announced that it had released Vista SP2 to manufacturing on April 28, 2009. MSDN and TechNet subscribers already got access to SP2 RTM, and the bits have even been leaked in the wild. Still, the public will only get Vista SP2 in Q2 2009. More »