Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1 RTM

Windows Server 2008 RTMs with zero defects. Both the Windows Server and Windows Vista teams released new builds today. The much-awaited Windows Server 2008, formerly known by the code-name Longhorn Server, was released to manufacturing today, as was the highly anticipated service pack 1 update to Windows Vista.

If you are running Windows Vista you can expect to possibly see the service pack sometime in March as is described here:

Here’s the timing for SP1 availability for current Windows Vista users:

  • In mid-March, we will release Windows Vista SP1 to Windows Update (in English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese) and to the download center on microsoft.com.  Customers who visit Windows Update can choose to install Service Pack 1.  If Windows Update determines that the system has one of the drivers we know to be problematic, then Windows Update will not offer SP1.  Since we know that some customers may want to update to SP1 anyhow, the download center will allow anyone who wants to install SP1 to do so.
  • In mid-April, we will begin delivering Windows Vista SP1 to Windows Vista customers who have chosen to have updates downloaded automatically.  That said, any system that Windows Update determines has a driver known to not update successfully will not get SP1 automatically.  As updates for these drivers become available, they will be installed automatically by Windows Update, which will unblock these systems from getting Service Pack 1.  The result is that more and more systems will automatically get SP1, but only when we are confident they will have a good experience.
  • The remaining languages will RTM in April.

Windows Server 2008 I presume will be available from the various distribution channels on or after the 27th of February (official launch date). I can’t wait to try out the awesome new virtualization feature called Hyper-V.

Well done to the two teams at Microsoft for what I’m sure will be two awesome deliverables.

[tags]Longhorn Server,Windows Server 2008,Windows Vista[/tags]

Gears of War releases in South Africa

Gears of War for Windows cover art We all knew that Gears of War was coming to the Windows PC gaming platform and now its official. Yes it should be in stores later this week and will run on Windows XP and Windows Vista machines. One thing that is awesome about Games for Windows LIVE (basically Xbox LIVE) is that online multi-player is completely free and only requires a silver account. I understand that if you want to use the advanced TruSkill matchmaking functions you will need a gold account. Anyone care to confirm this?

JOHANNESBURG 6th November, 2007 – Microsoft Game Studios announced today that the eagerly-awaited “Gears of War” for Windows (Windows XP/Windows Vista) has shipped to retailers worldwide and will be in stores later this week. After launching exclusively for the Xbox 360 last November, “Gears of War” is now bringing the fight to Windows, featuring five new campaigns and new multiplayer modes.

With the Xbox 360 version of the game selling more than 4 million copies to date, “Gears of War” has been lauded by critics for its gripping campaign and fast-paced multiplayer action. Windows gamers can look forward to the “Gears of War” experience for the very first time, and will get to choose between doing battle via mouse and keyboard, or using the Windows-enabled Xbox 360 controller. From renowned developer Epic Games, “Gears of War” for Windows will engage gamers in hyper-realistic combat, allowing players to fight for survival against the Locust Horde, a nightmarish race of creatures that surface from the bowels of the planet.

In addition to retaining all of the content from its Xbox 360 counterpart and all previously released downloadable content (seven multiplayer maps and the Annex game mode), “Gears of War” for Windows will feature exciting original content, all-new Achievements to unlock and ultra-high resolution visuals, including support for DirectX 10. Five new campaign chapters expand upon the riveting story (including an epic battle with the fearsome Brumak.) The action-packed multiplayer offering is bolstered with three exclusive multiplayer maps – a “King of the Hill” game type.  A new game editor will allow users to develop an unlimited number of user-created levels with complete access to the Unreal Engine 3 Editor.

Players can get their hands on “Gears of War” for Windows for the estimated retail price of R 319.00, with a rating of 18V. For more information, please visit http://gearsofwar.com/news/.

* Games for Windows LIVE is supported to deliver online matchmaking for LIVE members.

[tags]Gears of War,South Africa[/tags]

Windows Live doesn’t support Vista x64, yet!

As you may have noticed earlier this month, Microsoft released new builds of the Windows Live series of programs that it seems are destined to form the Windows Live Suite 2008. The individual components and their build numbers are listed below for prosperity

Unfortunately users that try to run the installer on a Windows Vista x64 system will encounter the rather obscure error message “Windows Live programs can’t be installed on this operating system.” as can be seen in the screen shot below.

image

A search using Google didn’t bring back anything useful so I wandered over to the newsgroups and found a workaround as well as the following statement from Brandon LeBlanc on Vista x64 support:

“To everyone running 64-bit and unable to install the betas – do not worry. Microsoft fully intends to support 64-bit users for the new Windows Live installer and apps at release.”

Apparently the problem is not with the actual applications or their individual installers but rather with the new shared Windows Live Installer (WLInstaller.exe) which doesn’t support x64 as yet. This is confirmed by the release notes I found for Windows Live Installer (build 1320.0823).

However I did find some users posting workarounds to the problem. The easiest solution is to run the shared installer on a x86 machine first and to then copy the MSI files and run the individual installations manually. If you don’t have access to an x86 machine then you can always hack the shared installer using a hex editor and get the installers out that way.

I’m personally very excited to check out the new Windows Live Writer features as well as the first public beta of Windows Live Photo Gallery which apparently replaces the Vista Windows Photo Gallery component.

[tags]Windows Live,Windows Live Messenger,Windows Live Writer,x64[/tags]