Although it is currently cooking Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1), Microsoft continues to ensure that the latest version of its Windows client continues to evolve even ahead of the upgrade planned for the first half of 2011.

Case in point, two application compatibility updates offered by the Redmond company to customers this week.

Accompanying the updates are two knowledge base articles, including KB 2272691 (Application Compatibility Update for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2: August 2010).

In addition, the software giant also released KB 982110 (The QueryPathOfRegTypeLib function does not return the correct path for a 32-bit version of an application in a 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or in Windows Server 2008 R2). More »

While Outlook 2007 offers many new features that do indeed offer real benefits it can come at a price – performance.

On my Core 2 Duo with 2GB of RAM Outlook 2007 originally took a good 20 seconds to fire up from a fully booted PC and appeared to be constantly sluggish. So what can be done about it?

Tip 1: Delete attachments

A little-known feature in Outlook is the ability to keep an email but delete one or several attachment. Firstly, sort your inbox by file size (descending) and open a message (by double clicking so it opens in a new window) where you no longer wish to keep the attachment. Right click over the attachment and select Remove. Now save the email, repeat with all relevant emails in this mailbox and then repeat in any other mailboxes (including your sent items). More »

In part eight of the our tweaking series we’ll go through a few Control Panel optimizations for Windows XP power users that may not interest most people using their operating system for basic tasks. When they wish to install and especially uninstall a program, users access the Add or Remove Programs component in the Control Panel. However, this window has many other options that a system administrator, for example, would remove for safety reasons.

As we’ve grown accustomed to it by now, Microsoft does not allow users to customize this window in the “old-fashion” way, therefore a workaround is needed and a few modifications to the registry must be performed. That’s where we come in and, fortunately, the registry patching is fast and very easy to perform. For starters, if you’re not familiar with the tweaking process, please take the time to read the first article that will help you understand what the bolded lines below mean and what you should do with them. More »

One of the several things I like to do to keep my Windows computer running efficiently as possible is to remove unnecessary programs or processes from running that I really don’t need (such as crapware).

The next type of optimization I usually perform is to see if there are processes that I do need, but don’t want them running all the time and wasting valuable resources that can slow down performance. The first place I usually look for these types of processes is Windows Services that are set to auto start during boot up.

Once I identify which service or set of services I don’t need running constantly in the background, I’ll create a simple batch file that can be clicked on to start them up quickly…when I need to have them running.

If you are not familiar where to look for Windows services, there are several ways to access the services console window. The quickest way is to click on Start \ Run and enter services.msc from the run box. More »

Microsoft issued a warning related to the detection of new examples of malicious code in attacks attempting to exploit a vulnerability affecting various Windows client and server releases. In October, the Redmond giant put out an out-of-band security patch designed to plug a vulnerability residing in the Server Service on Windows systems. According to the company, a successful exploit of the security flaw would lead to remote code execution. The patch was released on October 23, 2008, and will render attacks useless.

“We have seen some new pieces of malware attempting to exploit this vulnerability this week. And while so far, none of these attacks are the broad, fast-moving, self-replicating attacks people usually think of when they hear the word ‘worm,’ they do underscore the importance of deploying this update if you haven’t already,” revealed Security Response Communications Lead, Christopher Budd.

Budd indicated that Microsoft was seeing consistent deployments of the MS08-067 patch, and urged customers that had failed to update so far to do so as soon as possible. At the same time, Microsoft provided a list of malware built to exploit the Server Service vulnerability, including: More »