Mozilla is building different flavors of the next iteration of its open source browser, offering both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) builds for testing.

At the end of the past week, Mozilla’s Armen Zambrano Gasparnian revealed that the company was producing the 64-bit builds of Firefox 4.0 for Windows. At this point in time, early adopters can download a very early pre-Beta 2 release of Firefox 4.0, in 32-bit (x86) as well as 64-bit (x64) versions.

“I had to switch to Visual Studio 2008 since in VS2010 we don’t jemalloc support. I still have to test that the compiler switch won’t cause any regression to anybody who has a build built off VS2010.

The following build has: been built with MSVC9 (VS2008); Windows 7 SDK; has no update; it now has jemalloc; it still does not have PGO. To note, I have tested the build on win7 64-bit build and has worked as expected,” Gasparnian stated. More »

When you run your thumb down the list of new features and improvements in Windows 7 (see the feature comparison chart at, you’re bound to wonder how you’re going to get your arms around all that new technology so that you can deliver it to your users without too much disruption.
Following are 10 steps that can help you accomplish that goal.

1. Get to know Windows 7 on a first-name basis.

Obviously, the first step is to gain personal experience. And that means more than just puttering around in the lab. Install Windows 7 on every workstation in your organization and on the machine you use at home for remote-access trouble calls. Force yourself to find ways to make everything work.

Most tools for managing Windows servers from Windows 7 are included in the Windows 7 Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT), which must be downloaded separately. At this writing, the final RSAT package hasn’t been finalized. The release candidate is available at here. More »

The latest updates to DirectX resources from Microsoft have been tailored to the most recent iteration of the Windows client. In this regard, the Redmond company revealed that both DirectX End-User Runtimes (August 2009) and the DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer come with support for Windows 7. Earlier this month, the software giant made available an update for the DirectX Software Development Kit (SDK) bringing to the table Direct3D 11, DXGI 1.1, Direct2D, and DirectWrite. The August 2009 (even though it was released in mid-September) DirectX SDK enables developers to build and distribute Direct3D 11 programs designed to play nice with DirectX 11 not only in Windows 7 but also in Windows Vista.

DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer – “provides updates to 9.0c and previous versions of DirectX — the core Windows technology that drives high-speed multimedia and games on the PC. Microsoft DirectX is a group of technologies designed to make Windows-based computers an ideal platform for running and displaying applications rich in multimedia elements such as full-color graphics, video, 3D animation, and rich audio. DirectX includes security and performance updates, along with many new features across all technologies, which can be accessed by applications using the DirectX APIs,” Microsoft noted. More »

As Windows 7 advances toward RTM, the operating system is accompanied by a range of resources focused on the next iteration of the Windows client. An illustrative example is the software development kit, designed to streamline the development of native (Win32) and managed (.NET Framework) applications. Proof that the Windows 7 SDK is evolving comes from the Redmond company’s Visual C++ Team. A member noted that an issue related to Windows 7 SDK RC and Visual Studio 2010 had already been dealt with in the RTM version of the software development kit.

“If Win7 SDK (RC) is installed SidebySide with Visual Studio 2008 RTM before Visual Studio 2008 SP1 is installed, x64 and Itanium platform will not be available from the New Platform drop-down list. Build targeting x64 and Itanium will also fail. Note that the issue has been fixed in Win7 SDK RTM,” the Visual C++ team representative stated.

The problem was initially signaled on June 15th, by the Windows SDK team. At that time, Microsoft warned that installing Windows 7 SDK (RC) and Visual Studio 2008 RTM could disable VC++ configuration platform options. In this specific scenario, the Itanium and x64 listings will be missing from the New Platform drop-down lists of both the New Project Platform and New Solution Platform dialogs in Visual Studio IDE. More »