Although customers can already download version 4.6 of Microsoft Application Virtualization, the Redmond-based company is now offering for download the second major upgrade to its predecessor. Application Virtualization (App-V) 4.5 Service Pack 2 (SP2) is now available through the Microsoft Download Center, bringing to the table the latest updates to App-V 4.5. The main changes highlighted by the software giant for the evolution of App-V 4.5 with the release of SP2 involve virtualization support of Office 2010 and of SQL Mirroring.

“This service pack provides the latest updates to Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5. Because Microsoft Application Virtualization service packs are cumulative, you do not have to install Service Pack 1 before you install Service Pack 2. Service Pack 2 includes all of the fixes that were included in Service Pack 1,” Microsoft revealed. More »

Microsoft has made available for download updated DirectX 11 resources tailored to Windows 7 and Windows Vista, but also additional Windows client and server operating systems. According to the Redmond-based company, the refreshed DirectX 11 release brings to the table the RTM version of Direct3D. Essentially, what it is offering is an update for the DirectX software development kit. Developers are free to grab the SDK via the Microsoft Download Center since September 8, 2009.

“The August 2009 DirectX SDK contains the first official release of the DirectX developer resources for Direct3D 11, DXGI 1.1, Direct2D, and DirectWrite. Developers can now publish and distribute Direct3D 11 applications and games that leverage all of the software and hardware features of DirectX 11 in Windows 7 and Windows Vista,” Microsoft noted. “ll headers, import libraries, and symbol files (.pdb files) are no longer marked as beta with the ‘_beta’ suffix and now link to the RTM versions of the runtimes. In addition, the HLSL compiler features for Direct3D 11 are now of release quality. The beta DLLs are no longer available in the DirectX SDK.”

With the August 2009 DirectX Software Development Kit update, Microsoft is offering developers the new Effects runtime for Direct3D 11. More »

For Firefox users, Windows Update usually becomes the only time we are forced to run Internet Explorer. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Since Windows Update requires an ActiveX control in order to run, it’s impossible to exclude Internet Explorer completely, so you will need to install IETab first, the magical Firefox extension that lets you open a web page with Internet Explorer within Firefox in a couple of clicks.

Once it is installed, you will need to replace the Windows Update shortcut in the All Programs menu. To do this:

  • Press Start. Select All Programs.
  • Right-click on Windows Update menu item and select Properties.
  • In the properties window, enter “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe” in the Target field. Make sure you enter the correct path for your Firefox install and if the path contains any blank space, enclose the path in double quotes. More »

Announced as early a July 2008, a new update for the Windows Update Agent will be rolled out today, Monday, November 3. At the end of October, Microsoft offered a heads up for customers to prepare for the start of this week when the standalone WUA update was scheduled to become available. The Redmond company updates not only its software products, but also its updating infrastructure, part of which is represented by the Windows Update Agent. However, the software giant indicated that not all customers would be able to benefit from the WU Agent update immediately.

“Over the next couple of months we’ll be rolling out another infrastructure update to the Windows Update agent (client code). This update makes it possible for users to install more than 80 updates at the same time,” a member of the Microsoft Update team revealed. “We need to periodically update the client code to provide improvements in reliability and service quality.” More »