Microsoft is ready to offer free upgrades from Windows Vista to the latest iteration of the Windows client for participants in a Windows Media Center testing program. But the prizes go beyond the free Windows 7 upgrades, and include laptops, Xbox Elite consoles and even a PC Home entertainment System. In order to be eligible for the prizes, users must first get accepted into the Windows Media Center TV Ambassador program. The catch, well, there’s always one, Microsoft is accepting participation requests only from UK residents.

“Become one of our TV Ambassadors! If you’ve already got Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate, you could receive a free TV tuner valued at £60 so you can enjoy watching and recording live Freeview TV channels on your PC,” revealed Microsoft’s Rob Margel. “Just turn it on, watch and record your favourite TV shows from over 50 Freeview channels including BBC Three, ITV2, Film4, E4 and Dave, and tell us what you think. Spread the word and you could win free stuff: software, games, an XBox 360, and an ultimate home entertainment system. You could even be in our next ad.”
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Microsoft has made available for download the language packs for the gold development milestone of Windows 7. The Redmond-based company is attempting to help end users across the world tailor Windows 7 RTM to their specific language. According to the software giant, the language packs for Windows 7 have been released via Windows Update. In this regard, Windows 7 users will have to turn to WU in order to install extra languages into their copy of Windows 7 in addition to the default language.

By offering the language packs through Windows Update, Microsoft is following the same strategy that it did with Windows Vista. In this context, the company is restricting access to the language packs. And, of course, the limitations also survived from Vista. Microsoft permitted only users of the two high-end editions of Windows Vista to install additional languages, Enterprise and Ultimate. The same is the case for Windows 7.

“These language packs are available to our enterprise customers running Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate RTM versions only. Customers on the Windows 7 Release Candidate are not eligible for these language packs,” revealed Microsoft’s Stephen L. Rose. More »

Windows Aero is the premium visual experience of Windows Vista. It features a transparent glass design with subtle window animations and new window colors.

Here are some solutions to common problem with running Windows Aero.

Which editions of Windows Vista include Aero?

The following editions include Aero:

Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Home Premium, and Windows Vista Ultimate. Aero is not included in Windows XP or earlier versions of Windows.

To find out which edition of Windows Vista you have on your computer, do the following:

Open Welcome Center by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Welcome Center.

The edition of Windows Vista you’re running is displayed with your computer details near the top of the window. More »

Microsoft is offering Windows Vista users no less than 17 User Interface (UI) Language packs designed for integration with the operating system. However, the company informed that only the 32-bit editions of the latest Windows client can have LIPs implemented. In fact, the Language Interface Packs are restricted only to the English language versions of 32-bit Vista, with no support for the 64-bit variant of the operating system or for previous Windows releases. The 17 LIPs can be installed on Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise and Ultimate, but only 15 of them also play nice with the Starter SKU.

Albanian, Assamese, Bosnian – Cyrillic, Bosnian – Latin, Gujarati, Hindi, Icelandic, Indonesian, Kazakh, Macedonian, Malay, Marathi, Serbian – Cyrillic, Tamil, Uzbek – Latin, Vietnamese and Welsh are all the language UI packages offered for Windows Vista. With the exception of Icelandic and Welsh, all can also be deployed on the Vista Starter edition. The rest of the Vista SKUs are supported by default. More »

This guide shows you how to allow computers to connect to a computer and use it remotely via Remote Desktop.

The only Windows Vista versions than can be connected to via Remote Desktop are Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions. All versions of Windows Vista can use Remote Desktop to remote to another computer though.

Enable Remote Desktop

1. Right-click Computer in the Start menu and then select Properties.

2. Click Remote settings in the Tasks list on the left side of the System window.

3. Select Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop if computers connecting to it will only be from within a local network or are running versions of Windows other than Vista. Select Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication if computers connecting to it will connect from the internet or all computers connecting will be Windows Vista. More »