Sunday, November 12, 2006

Microsoft's New Things

After launching its long-time awaited browser, IE7, and Windows Media Player 11, what can we wait from Microsoft next? Well, A LOT.. For the next several months, Microsoft will come with a lot of new things, some of them are really BIG. Start from new claim-to-be IPOD killer, Microsoft's digital music player. Microsoft will launch this item at Nov 14, 2006. Although a lot feel sceptical of this to compete with Apple's so famous IPOD, but it come from Microsoft and it might be something to eat Apple's pie slice. You can find more information at

Next is Microsoft's biggest thing, WINDOWS VISTA. This is the next upgrade for Windows since Windows XP was launched 5 years ago. Windows Vista will be released to corporate users or volume license users at Nov 30, 2006 and wider market at Jan 30, 2007. Microsoft claims it to be the most secured OS (well, I think I have ever heard it before, just hope it is going to be..), with a lot of fancy thing, like Windows Aero, Windows Vista new interface with glassy look. Very sad that my notebook cannot support this feature. For more information at

After that, the next big thing is Microsoft Office 2007. With complete change of the interfaces to the most used software (excluding OS) like Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. The most famous change is called RIBBON feature. It replaces traditional menu and toolbar in previous office version. With Ribbon feature, we will get toolbar-alike that change automatically according to what we are doing, like when we create table, Ribbon will show tools to draw/setting table. At first, of course, it will be very confusing as we cannot find our best friend, menu and toolbar, but after use several times, I found it quite useful. With new technical refresh on beta 2, this ribbon is collapsible. But, if you collapse the ribbon, we lose cool feature of ribbon, which automatically change to what users are doing. But this is option, if you need more space for your document, you can auto-collapsed the ribbon, which, IMO, the cleanest interface like Notepad. Office 2007 is planned to be released along with Windows Vista. You can feel ribbon in Office home page. Other products like Sharepoint 2007 will get significant update, like Excel Services, which allow users to open excel file directly in the browser and save to Sharepoint server. New feature like Microsoft Groove, which is more about collaboration, think it's like chat messenger combine with document sharing capability (of course it will be more than that). More information at

For developer, more things to do research, it is the next version of Microsoft .NET 3.0. Well, actually it's still .NET 2.0, with additional Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), and Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF). Will we get the next version of its languages (C#, VB.NET)? No, .NET 3.0 will not change any base library in .NET 2.0, nor its languages. Nevertheless, it already keep developers busy upgrading their knowledge. Microsoft .NET 3.0 has been released early November 2006. More information at

Next thing is Exchange 2007. I don't use to work directly with Exchange 2007, so I don't have so many ideas what is new in Exchange 2007.

So, with a lot of things to come, Windows Vista, Office 2007, .NET 3.0, Exchange 2007 will keep Microsoft's marketing team busiest ever, and might be impact on IT labour like me :).