Windows 7 Repave Checklist

In anticipation of repaving my Vista x64 machine with Windows 7 after the MSDN release on August 6, I’ve prepared my wish list of hardware upgrades I’d like to do at the same time I pave the machine with the new OS.

Should the family financial officer (FFO) decline to approve my purchase request, I’ll at least sneak in the SSD purchase.

Update (new list, bigger appetite):

Qty Description


2 SUPER TALENT 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

$ 739.98

1 ASUS Z8NA-D6C Dual LGA 1366 Intel 5500 ATX Dual Intel Xeon 5500 Series


2 Intel Xeon E5520 Nehalem 2.26GHz LGA 1366 80W Quad-Core


1 SUPER TALENT MasterDrive SX SAM56GM25S 2.5" 256GB SATA II MLC Internal SSD



$ 2,395.94

What plans do you have for your Windows 7 upgrade?


Getting Started with Windows Azure

Here’s the content of the most exciting email I’ve received lately (invite code redacted of course):

Thank you for your interest in Windows® Azure™.

Your invitation code is xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx.

You can now sign up for a Windows Azure account at Please keep this email in a safe place.

This invitation to participate in the Windows Azure Community Technical Preview is subject to the following usage limits:

        Total compute usage: 2000 VM hours
        Cloud storage capacity: 50GB
        Total storage bandwidth: 20GB/day

During the CTP, we reserve the right to suspend your account activity (this does not imply we will delete your cloud storage) if you exceed these usage limits.

Windows Azure Platform Team

You have received this email because you registered as being interested in the Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Windows Azure. As a participant in the Windows Azure CTP program, you will continue to receive emails related to that program unless you end your participation by emailing with “END PARTICIPATION” in the subject line.

To ensure proper delivery of future updates please add to your address book or safe-senders list.

Microsoft respects your privacy. To learn more about Microsoft's privacy policy, please click here.

Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052

I’m very excited to begin learning to develop against Azure in all my spare time. If I learn anything worthy of note here, I’ll share it. Just too many things to dabble in and too little time.

Will the Enterprise Adopt Silverlight 3 for LOB?

With the release of Silverlight 3 on Friday, I’m wondering whether the enterprise (that mythical stereotype) will adopt Silverlight 3 for line of business (LOB) applications. The official “what’s new” section included the following items that I found very interesting:

Improving Rich Internet Application Productivity. New features include:

  • 60+ controls with source code : Silverlight 3 is packed with over 60 high-quality, fully skinnable and customizable out-of-the-box controls such as charting and media, new layout containers such as dock and viewbox, and controls such as autocomplete, treeview and datagrid. The controls come with nine professional designed themes and the source code can be modified/recompiled or utilized as-is. Other additions include multiple selection in listbox controls, file save dialog making it easier to write files, and support for multiple page applications with navigation.
  • Deep Linking. Silverlight 3 includes support for deep linking, which enables bookmarking a page within a RIA.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Silverlight 3 enables users to solve the SEO-related challenges posed by RIAs. By utilizing business objects on the server, together with ASP.NET controls and site maps, users can automatically mirror database-driven RIA content into HTML that is easily indexed by the leading search engines.
  • Enhanced Data Support Silverlight 3 delivers:
    • Element to Element binding : UI designers use binding between two UI properties to create compelling UI experiences. Silverlight now enables property binding to CLR objects and other UI components via XAML, for instance binding a slider value to the volume control of a media player.
    • Data Forms. The Data Form control provides support for layout of fields, validation, updating and paging through data.
    • New features for data validation which automatically catch incorrect input and warn the user with built-in validation controls.
    • Support for business objects on both client and server with n-Tier data support. Easily load, sort, filter and page data with added support for working with data. Includes a new built-in CollectionView to perform a set of complex operations against server side data. A new set of .NET RIA services supports these features on the server.
  • Improved performance, through:
    • Application library caching, which reduces the size of applications by caching framework on the client in order to improve rendering performance.
    • Enhanced Deep Zoom, allows users to fluidly navigate through larger image collections by zooming.
    • Binary XML allows communication with the server to be compressed, greatly increasing the speed at which data can be exchanged.
    • Local Connection This feature allows communication between two Silverlight applications on the client-side without incurring a server roundtrip: for instance a chart in one control can communicate with a datagrid in another.

I’ve just downloaded the bits and will begin exploring the new controls and just how easy it is or is not to build applications. My only criteria at the moment is whether or not the applications are as easy to build as a Windows Forms application. Obviously there are far more important evaluation criteria, but I’m wondering whether my stated criteria here will be the more common question raised in the enterprise. That is, can we build apps faster, easier, better with this? If not, I’m not sure the enterprise will get too awfully excited about it unless a clear case can be made for replacing the often time consuming, error prone web application development process with a simpler Silverlight 3 development process.

One way or another, I’m excited about Silverlight 3 and eager to dive in and have some fun.