Just as promised, the final bits of Office 2010 are now available for download. However, April 22nd, 2010, marked just the first wave of availability for Office 2010 RTM, as Microsoft gave downloads the green light for MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers. Members of the Redmond company’s developer and IT professional networks can now grab the RTM Build of Office Professional Plus 2010. Both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) flavors of the productivity suite went live yesterday, as Office 2010 is making its way toward General Availability.

Office 2010 GA is still approximately a couple of months away. The latest iteration of the productivity suite will only hit store shelves in June 2010, but Microsoft has yet to deliver a specific deadline. This is only valid for the public. Following the release to MSDN and TechNet, Office 2010 will be offered to business customers next. As of April 27th, all Microsoft Volume Licensed Customers with Software Assurance license agreements will be able to purchase Office 2010. Next in line will be businesses without Software Assurance, starting on May 1st, and only then, over a month later, will Office 2010 hit GA. More »

After speculation emerged earlier this week indicating that Microsoft had wrapped up the next generation of the Office System and was gearing up to announce hitting the RTM development milestone, the company confirmed officially that Office 2010 has been released to manufacturing. The Redmond company was reported to have signed off the successor of Office 2007 on April 12, 2010, although at that time it had yet to decide the specific Build for the RTM release. Microsoft only confirmed the RTM of Office 2010 on April 15th, 2010.

“I am very excited to share some great news with you. Earlier today we reached the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) milestone for Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010,” revealed Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president, Microsoft Office.

However, Microsoft is yet to offer a specific general availability deadline for the next iteration of Office. Numoto did nothing more than underline what the company has already been saying, that Office 2010 will be released to the public in June 2010. From what I’m hearing, the company is eyeing planning availability for mid-June, however, there’s no official confirmed date at this point in time. More »

After more than half a year of work, Microsoft has reached an important stage with its plans to refresh the resources offered under the Windows Driver Kit umbrella to developers. Jim Travis, group content publishing manager Windows Hardware and Devices, explains that the end of March was synonymous with the republishing of all the Windows Driver Kit documentation on MSDN Library. The move is designed to align the source docs to the same XML-based content management and authoring system leveraged by the Windows SDK team. However, Travis underlined that the refreshed documentation was not only set up to kick up a notch the authoring and content management system for Microsoft, but to also benefit developers by offering them updated syntax and header information, enhanced abstracts for search results, and better content formatting.

“The kit documentation contains over 32,000 topics. The former system, which we called CAPE, used a hybrid of Microsoft Word and a very loose XML schema. Without a straightforward way to map between XML elements in the old and new schemas, transforming that much content introduced all sorts of issues. It took at least 30 people to get us to the point where we’re comfortable republishing this content, and much of what they had to do ended up being painstaking, manual, page-by-page repairs,” Travis stated. More »

A new release of the Windows Driver Kit documentation associated to the latest iteration of the Windows client from Microsoft is currently available for download. According to the Redmond company, the next update to the Windows Driver Kit resources will take some time to be released as the infrastructure behind creating and offering the documentation to developers is being reworked. The software giant did not say when the next refresh for the WDK documentation will be offered, however, the latest update was made available at the end of 2009.

“It’ll be a little while before we do another update, because we’re taking some time to rework our authoring and publication systems. Stay tuned. You can download the offline version of the documentation (in HxS and CHM!!! format) here,” revealed Jim Travis, senior content publishing manager, Microsoft.

The Redmond company usually updates the Windows Driver Kit documentation both MSDN and Windows Hardware Developer Central (WHDC) in bi-monthly intervals, especially between major releases. It sounds like the updates are going to be put on hold, at least for a while. The latest MSDN Library documentation can be accessed here. More »

Want to know just how easy it is to hack Windows 7? It actually takes only a few actions on behalf of the end users to literally hand over a computer to an attacker, in spite of the fact that the computer in question is running the final version of Windows 7, along with security software. The antivirus is useless from the get go, as it is incapable of detecting a zero-day custom hack, let alone prevent or block it in any manner. At the same time, the mitigations of Windows 7 in the default security configuration are also by passed.

But better yet, do you want to witness a Windows 7 RTM yourselves? Then just have a look at the video embedded at the bottom of this article. You will be able to see a hack put together by a non-Microsoft security researcher and demoed at TechEd. And of course, you’ll also be able to find out the steps you need to take in order to protect your environment against this type of attack.

“Marcus Murray, security consultant at TrueSec, shows us a hacking demo he created of Windows 7 using Excel over the internet. After this he explains what security features in Windows 7 you could have used to prevent this hack from occurring. More »