Following the release to manufacturing of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft is slowly setting in place all the software pieces that traditionally accompany new client and server platform releases. An illustrative example in this regard is the WinHlp32.exe download. The utility is designed to enable users running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to access Help files, easily identifiable after the “.hlp” file name extension.

According to KB917607, titled “I cannot open Help files that require the Windows Help (WinHlp32.exe) program,” “At this time, there is no WinHlp32.exe download available for Windows 7 or for Windows Server 2008 R2. However, separate downloads for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will be offered after the RTM versions of these products are available to public.”

However, Microsoft has failed to wait for the October 22, 2009 general availability deadline of Windows 7 and already released the 32-bit (x86) flavor of WinHlp32.exe. Before Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, the Redmond-based company allowed third-party developers to include WinHlp32.exe with their Windows programs. This is no longer the case, and the utility is now available exclusively as a standalone download from Microsoft. WinHlp32.exe is set up to integrate with both the 32-bit and the 64-bit editions of Windows 7, as well as with the exclusive x64 version of Windows Server 2008 R2. More »

An integral part of the Software Assessment Management efforts from Microsoft, the Microsoft Software Inventory Analyzer 5.1 is available for download accompanied by a range of resources designed to streamline usage. MSIA is a tool designed to permit customers to scan either a local machine or computers connected to a network in order to identify and produce a report containing a list of core Microsoft software products installed. In addition to MSIA, the company is also offering for download documentation containing a User Guide and a FAQ. According to the Redmond giant, MSIA is capable of putting together software inventories only for networks with a maximum of 250 computers.

“MSIA reports the results of the scan in three possible formats, based on the user’s selection: HTML, Excel, and Text. These reports contain details such as the names of all the installed Microsoft products, links to the list of computers scanned, links to the error log, and so on. In addition, the summary report enables users to enter corresponding license purchase information for all software detected in the scan,” Microsoft revealed. More »

Although Apple is yet to acknowledge 3G connectivity issues surrounding its newly-released iPhone, reports are hitting from everywhere with claims of both hardware and software glitches to be the cause of weak signals. Additionally, Apple is said to be prepping a software fix to deal with the problems users are experiencing.

A BusinessWeek piece, for instance, reveals that the Infineon chipset used to provide 3G connectivity in the iPhone is likely the cause of the said issues. Forced to keep up with the immense data consumption of the device, the connectivity is poor or lost in some cases. Other sources cited in the report say that Apple has been so conservative with the software settings that the device cannot accurately determine whether the 3G signal and bandwidth are sufficient to support the features using it.

“Two sources say Apple will likely issue a software update by the end of September – if not by the end of this month – to resolve the issues,” reads the report. “Apple and Infineon are currently testing the fix, which will be included in a broader update of the iPhone’s software […]. Part of the role of the Infineon chip is to check whether there’s enough 3G bandwidth available in a given area. If 3G isn’t available or there isn’t enough bandwidth, the iPhone will be shifted to a slower network.” More »

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 stand-alone packages may not bring to the table the updated SP1 Help documentation, but at the same time Microsoft is offering a much better deal to users of its latest Windows client planning to install the first service pack. One year’s worth of free Windows Vista SP1 support. This means that between March 18, 2008, and March 18, 2009, Vista users will be able to tap the Redmond company for unlimited installation and compatibility, free of charge. The move is a standard practice for Microsoft when it comes down to the Service Pack policy for all its operating systems. And in this context, it will also be made available for Windows XP SP3, once the third and last service pack for XP will be released.

All Vista users “needing technical support regarding your installation of Windows Vista SP1 – please go to the following URL and choose the bottom option that says ‘Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (All Languages).’ You have a variety of options you can choose for support – all of which will NOT cost you any support fee. I repeat: support for SP1 will NOT cost you anything – as long as you choose the correct option for support. We can only point you in the right direction in hopes of having your issue taken care of. However I am relaying as much feedback you give here to the folks internally at Microsoft regarding SP1 so your feedback is most certainly not falling on deaf ears. I will continue to relay feedback moving forward,” stated Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc. More »

The second Community Technology Preview of Windows PowerShell V2 is now available for download. Designed as the successor of Windows PowerShell 1.0, Windows PowerShell V2 CTP2 also marks a consistent evolution in comparison with the initial Community Technology Preview release. As such, it delivers new features, along with extended usability. In this manner, Microsoft offers a more mature command line shell and scripting language that enables an increased level of control over Windows environments, leading to a jump in productivity. The CTP will integrate seamlessly with Windows Server 2003 SP2; Windows Server 2008; Windows Vista SP1; Windows XP SP2.

“This release adds a plethora of new features. PowerShell remoting now allows a one-to-one interactive experience. Thought about partitioning and organizing PowerShell scripts? Use modules to create self-contained and reusable units. More »