IE8 Beta 2 is available now

Read all about and download it  here:


I have been running Beta 2 this morning, and it seems noticeably faster.

If you really want a good insight into IE8, check out the IEBlog. This link will take you right to Paul Cutsinger’s  post where he introduces IE8 Beta 2. Paul is Lead Program Manager for the IE8 User Experience, and given how important the browser has become, I think this is well worth reading.

Link: IEBlog and Part II of that series

Installation Notes

I had been running IE8 Beta 1 and it was working fine for the most part. Today when I downloaded Beta 2 and tried to install it, it required that I uninstall Beta 1. Let me save you some time if you are in the same situation.


Go to


Control Panel
– Uninstall a program

click -> View installed updates
You will find it under

Windows Internet Explorer 8 Beta  (if you are running Vista – search for “inter”. It will come up right away). 



Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 and .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1

Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 and .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1

are available for download

There is also a download for Visual Studio 2008 Express Edition with Service Pack 1. You can read about all the changes in the overview.



Now just in case you are not a developer, there is an other treat.


Autoruns for Windows version 9.3

For people running Tablet PCs there seems to be a passion for understanding and controlling processes, especially those that start automatically. Autoruns is a great tool for finding and controlling all of those.

This utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them. These programs include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. You can configure Autoruns to show other locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more. Autoruns goes way beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows Me and XP.

Read more and download


I have Autoruns installed on every machine I own. It’s great. This latest version came out a couple of weeks ago (July) so follow the link above and learn more.

LinkedIn and Tablet PCs

I tossed out a question on LinkedIn today.

Do you own a Tablet PC?

  • Do you use the Inking or Touch capabilities?
  • Always / Often / Rarely
  • More or less than you expected?
  • Would you get another one

That was seven hours ago – and in that time there have been 16 answers. That is a pretty enthusiastic response compared to similar questions asked over the past couple of years.  Perhaps this is an indicator of heightened awareness, and perhaps even enthusiasm. Check out the answers. It’s interesting to see what people are thinking.

People’s Answers at LinkedIn


I was invited to LinkedIn awhile back and thanks go out to John Hill ( for that. I hate to say how long it’s been since he did that and I joined. I was busy at the time and I didn’t give it much thought, then or since.  Recently Gaelen O’Connell ( encouraged me to revisit LinkedIn.

M700 and the Intel Matrix Storage Manager

I have read several threads in various forums and there seems to be a thought that uninstalling the Intel Matrix Storage Manager results in better benchmark scores. The numbers look compelling.

I wondered how this might affect me, and whether I would see any difference with applications that I run.

The short conclusion: I will stick with the Intel Matrix Storage Manager

My machine *does* have the 1 gig Intel Turbo Memory installed and this may also have impacted my results. I also have 4 gigs of ram installed running Vista Ultimate 32-bit.

Testing with and without the Intel Matrix Storage Manager.

My test was very simple and to eliminate the vagaries of the Toshiba Utilities and other things that were preloaded I did my testing running Virtual PC with an image having only: Vista Ultimate, ESET NOD32, Office 2007 Ultimate.
The things I timed:

  • Time to Login
  • Time to Desktop
  • Time to fully operation Excel 2007

The actual times are not important – but the differences are.
The times to reach each of these milestones was longer in the Virtual Machine but I got really consistent results. I tested once, and then shut down the Virtual Machine and then did it again.
The interesting result was first time load of the test was slower with the Intel Matrix Storage Manager installed. But the second and subsequent tests were faster with Intel Matrix Storage Manager installed than without it.

Both with and without, the second runs were faster.

  • Without: The second run was 10 seconds faster to each milestone
  • With: The second run was 45 seconds faster to each milestone.

The net result was:
On the second run, using the Intel Matrix Storage Manager was 25 seconds faster.
I am going to leave it installed because having tried it both ways, I did not see a huge improvement in any noticeable way except that second and subsequent loads of applications seemed faster with the Intel Matrix Storage Manager installed.

I don’t have any theories to account for what the benchmark numbers are showing.

Tablet Enhancements for Outlook is now Free!

This is great news from Josh Einstein.

From the Einstein Technologies site

Download TEO 3.0 for free… no strings attached!

Download Tablet Enhancements for Outlook and find out why so many Tablet PC users will never use Outlook on their tablets without it. There’s no expiration date, no limits, etc. It’s just free.

I have been using TEO for years and wouldn’t use Outlook on a Tablet PC without it. If you don’t have it yet, go get it now and find out why.


Thank you Josh!

Live Mesh Tech Preview

I have been using the Live Mesh Tech Preview for several days now and I am quietly excited about what it allows me to do. While I have no good reason to have several Tablet PCs around here, the fact is, I do. Okay – it’s because I like to have various kinds of machines so that I can spread them out on a table or pass them around when I do a presentation about them. Anyway, it is just a monstrous task to keep sample files and synchronized. The same is true of presentations. I go through minor conniptions and have major anxieties about arriving at a presentation with the wrong version of a file (or worse, without it) because I grabbed the wrong machine on the way out the door.

I was chatting with an old buddy and fellow MVP the other night, and we got talking about usage scenarios. He’s far more adept than I am at making sure that his servers are always up, running, accessible from anywhere, and secure. For him, there was no compelling need to explore Live Mesh.

For me, I am only certain that I am in-sync when all of my machines are on, running, and connected to my home network. So if I grab a machine that was not on, or had not synchronized with a shared folder on my network recently, it is entirely possible that I don’t have the latest version of a file I may need to use on the road.

Enter Live Mesh.

It took a couple of minutes to install the Live Mesh client piece on each of my travelling machines, and on the main ones that I use when stationary. From that point, as long as I am connected to the web, anything that is in my Live Mesh has been synchronized and backed up locally. That is pretty transparent. A couple of minutes of setup and then it just seems to be running seamlessly. I can hardly wait until I can connect my Windows Mobile smartphone too.

You can also use Live Mesh Remote Desktop to connect to the devices in your Mesh just in case you need to do something that you can only accomplish on a remote machine. I haven’t tried to do this from a machine running Windows Vista Home Edition, but I have asked some others to try it to see if it will work.

So you may not have a bunch of different Tablet PCs but your usage scenario could be Tablet PC and a desktop. Or maybe you have several different people who need to share files without having to consciously log into a SkyDrive, which also another way to approach this. I encourage you to take a look and see if you can use it.

I am still figuring out different ways to use Live Mesh, Windows Live SkyDrive, Microsoft SharedView, Office Live Workspace and whatever else pops up next. But these seemingly simple tools are changing my workflow and making things simpler. Maybe they can do that for you too.