Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Browser and OS Wars

My web site at Office Live has some nifty user reports that track page views, browsers, and operating systems. This is not my main web site, so the volume of traffic is slight but the user reports are interesting. Submitted without comment...


IE 6 at 83%; Mozilla and IE 7 are tied at around 8%; the last 1/2 percent being Opera.

Operating systems

Win XP at 93%; Vista at 2.4%; OS X and Linux tied at 1.6%; Win 2000 at 1%.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Outlook Connector for Hotmail

Microsoft has released a new add-in for Outlook that allows you to view, respond, and otherwise access your Windows Live or Hotmail account. From my testing, it works wonderfully.

I happen to be running MS Office 2007 Enterprise on a Windows Server 2003 Standard R2, but results on PC's would be expected to be the same. When you install the add-in, it create an additional Inbox-type folder in Outlook named the same as your Windows Live address, e.g.
And you can take manage your Live Mail or Hotmail account comfortably with all that thick-client desktop power that Outlook offers; virtually all PC users have at least some experience with Outlook, which reduces re-training when MS decides the change their Hotmail pages and navigation, as they're done three times since I had beta-tested several iterations since the program's inception.

The Outloook Connector works with Outlook versions 2003 and 2007 only.

The download I used was this (URL's shift around all the time) if this doesn't work, then do a Google search on "Microsoft Office Outlook Connector" and the file as of this writing was named "OutlookConnector.exe" (Office Validation is required, of course) and the link is


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Patch Tuesday, again

This week Microsoft released two security updates via Automatic Updates, this time it was one for TCPIP and the other for LSASS security vulnerabilities. Plus, another version of the venerable Malicious Software Removal Tool which has yet to find anything malicious on any of my systems.

Both of these "security issues" affect Windows 2000, XP, and Server 2003; the TCPIP issue affects Vista, but that OS had a few other non-security updates as well.

It never ceases to amaze me how most MS security updates require a reboot. When I was actively testing Ubuntu Linux 6.06, there were always tons of updates due to the multitude of installed software packages, but the only time a reboot was required was for an update to the kernel. Makes you think that Windows does not have a "kernel" in the same sense as Linux, but rather an interconnected set of pieces. Changing out any one piece requires a reboot.

For the most part, this patch worked like the patches of old - the gold shield pops up in the system tray, alerting you to available updates. Except of course with Vista, which plays the new game - the updates icon appears and then disappears, but when you go to turn off the PC it shows "install updates and then shut down" which forces you to do the workaround - launch Windows Update, view what is pending and then check / uncheck what you wish. Vista still thinks I need the Office 2003 service pack, even though it has 2007 installed (never had 2003, ever).