Windows

Microsoft, Eurocrats And Internet Explorer

I’m all against monopolies, so I’m glad the Eurocrats are putting my tax payer Euros to good use.

But it also got me thinking.

If I buy something like an operating system, I expect the vendor to be responsible for what I’m buying. Does anyone think Microsoft will ever accept any responsibility for software that it hasn’t built and is forced to bundle into its products. They probably make some disclaimer like “We didn’t build this. We were forced to put this here and we totally discourage its use.”. That will boost other browsers.

Probably the Eurocrats are planning to take that responsibility themselves. I think there’s a greater possibility for Microsoft to take responsibility for something they didn’t built and were forced to bundle into their products.

On the other hand, a personal computer is becoming something like an household appliance. Do you expect to download a timer for your microwave oven before being able to use it? I don’t.

Internet Explorer is built to be parte of Windows and to be freely used by any application running on Windows. Any other we browser could be built the same way, why aren’t they?

Why isn’t anyone thinking of forcing Microsoft to allow for third party components to replace parts of Internet Explorer? Probably because no one cares about build applications that are good Windows “citizens”.

Setting A Web Proxy Through Configuration In .NET Applications

Specially in enterprise environments, proxy servers are used to access the Internet.

In a Windows / Internet Explorer environments there is a proxy server configuration in Internet Properties > Connections > LAN settings > Proxy server.

Although these configurations are tightly connected to Internet Explorer, any well behaved Windows application should, at least, allow the user to choose to use them.

In applications targeting the .NET framework, these the proxy server can be set on a per call basis. Several networking classes have a Proxy property that receives a value implementing the IWebProxy interface.

In order for the Windows/ Internet Explorer configuration to be used, the application must be configured to use the default proxy settings.

This configuration is done in the machine or application file in the proxy element of the defaultProxy configuration section in the system.net section group:

<configuration>
  <system.net>
    <defaultProxy enabled="true">
      <proxy usesystemdefault="True"/>
    </defaultProxy>
  </system.net>
</configuration>

You can use this configuration also to set a specific proxy to be used by your application. In the following example, a proxy setting for using the Fiddler Tool is used:

<configuration>
  <system.net>
    <defaultProxy enabled="true">
      <proxy proxyaddress="http://ipv4.fiddler"/>
      <proxy proxyaddress="http://127.0.0.1:8888"/>
    </defaultProxy>
  </system.net>
</configuration>

Unfortunately, this is a MachineToApplication setting and, for that reason, is not allowed in the user settings configuration file, when in a shared installation. In these type of installations, the default Windows / Internet Explorer settings should be used as a default. If a user needs or wants to specify proxy server settings, application specific proxy server settings must be used but, assigning the user defined proxy server configuration to the GlobalProxySelection.Select property will allow its use for the entire application.

Updated: Corrected proxy address when using Fiddler following Eric Lawrence’s comment:

> <proxy proxyaddress="http://ipv4.fiddler/" />

That line should not work. Fiddler doesn't register anything in DNS, so for "ipv4.fiddler" to have any meaning, Fiddler must already be being used as the proxy.

The proper setting for Fiddler use should be:

<proxy proxyaddress="http://127.0.0.1:8888" />

PDC2008: Is My House On The Cloud Or Is The Cloud In My House?

This year’s PDC is mostly about the cloud.


Everyone is talking about the cloud: cloud services, cloud computing, etc. but I’m not sure everyone has the same understanding of what the cloud is. Let’s say it’s a cloudy concept.


So, what is this cloud thing, anyway?


Let’s take Windows Home Server (WHS) as an example. Microsoft provides a set of services through homeserver.com that allows me to control my home server and access my other PCs in the home network. I guess I could say that homeserver.com is a cloud platform that puts my house in the cloud.


On the other hand, WHS is built on top of Windows Server 2003 which allows me to take full advantage of its web server (IIS) to expose services through homeserver.com. Services that could be for my personal use or that I could provide to others, thus putting my house on the cloud.


At a larger scale, that’s how I see the cloud and it’s usage. An indistinct universe of service providers and service consumers where some are just providers, others are just consumers and others are both (service aggregators, value added brokers, etc.)


I guess that Microsoft’s view in regards to the cloud and WHS is aligned with mine because there will be two PDC sessions about this:





  • Tue 10/28 | 5:15 PM-6:30 PM | 409A

    Presenter(s): CJ Saretto, Fabian Uhse

    Learn how to build applications and services deployed on Windows Home Server that power PCs and devices throughout a connected home. See an example home automation and energy management service, and watch the creation of an on-premises service that exposes HVAC, window shades, and lighting controls to all devices on the home network. Hear how to package the service as a Windows Home Server add-in, quickly create a configuration UI, deploy a PC application for controlling the service, and demonstrate control from other devices such as TVs and cell phones.




  • Wed 10/29 | 10:30 AM-11:45 AM | 409A

    Presenter(s): Brendan Grant, CJ Saretto

    Learn how to leverage the Remote Access platform in Windows Home Server to expose on-premises services running in the connected home to the Internet. See how to expose a home automation service running on Windows Home Server to the Internet, and watch a demonstration that shows how to expose services that may be hosted on other devices inside the connected home using Windows Home Server as a gateway. Finally, see a sneak preview of Home Server and Live Mesh working together to further enhance the remote experience for the connected home.


Windows Home Server Resources

And, suddenly, a cloud in your future is not a ad thing, quite the opposite.

Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 Release Candidate Available For Public Testing

The Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 Release Candidate has been made available for public testing. Read all about it here.

Using Windows Server 2008 As A Desktop Operating System

When I installed my new machine I considered installing Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V. But this my desktop not my server and I like desktopy things on my desktop and I don't need virtual machines running all the time, I thought Windows Vista plus Virtual PC 2007 (although x64 support on virtual machines would be nice) would be the right choice.


Yesterday I was trying the Developer Interface from InnerWorkings and I couldn't get it to work because Internet Explorer kept popping up Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration errors from the InnerWorkings' Visual Studio add-in which blocked Visual Studio.


I know Rui uses Windows Server 2008 as his laptop operating system (as well as António) and I asked Rui how I could get rid of Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration. Rui pointed me to this blog posts:



Looking through Systweak's series of posts about the Windows Server 2008 Desktop (see below) almost made me regret having installed Windows Vista instead of Windows Server 2008. But my next laptop will definitely be running on Windows Server 2008.


Windows Server 2008 Desktop

Windows Home Server + Tsunami Tidal: To the Family 2.0

During TechDays Portugal 2008, Microsoft Portugal and JP Sá Couto S.A., via its Tsunami brand, launched the first Portuguese machine with Windows Home Server: the Tsunami Tidal.

To mark the event, Tsunami held a contest offering one of these machines to the best sentence about it.

When you hear everyone talking about Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, Life 2.0 and being at an event that promoted a World 2.0, the sentence that immediately popped my mind was: To the Family 2.0.

And it was with this sentence that I won the contest.

As I was giving my session wihle at the same time, Tsunami kindly allowed me to receive the price by proxy: my friend Nuno Gomes.

See the videos and photos of the event.

Techdays Portugal 2008 – For A World 2.0

Microsoft Portugal will be hosting Techdays 2008 from Mars 12nd to 14th, right after the Portuguese launch of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 on Mars 11th.

This is the biggest and greatest tech event in Portugal and there will be lots of national and international speakers and contests.

I'll be there. Come visit us.

Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 is out

Go to http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtualpc/ and find all about it.