HelpWithWindows Newsletter
 2 September 2006, Vol 9 No. 17

In this issue:

Tweaking Toolbox XP

Microsoft Restructures Support Program for Legacy Products

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

This week, Microsoft announced a new Custom Support Agreement (CSA) program for legacy products that will give its business customers more options when making product migration decisions - including the speed at which they migrate to new versions of products.

Customers will be able to migrate their systems based on their specific situation, taking into consideration the CSA costs and Microsoft's Support Lifecycle policy timeline. The program provides customers with control over how quickly they upgrade from one product version to another given budgetary and/or IT requirements. In addition to providing customers with more autonomy, the new model also streamlines pricing so that customers pay only for what they need on a per-device basis.

In the past, customers could enter into a two-year custom support agreement for certain legacy products. With this new CSA program, Microsoft has extended this deadline for legacy products. CSA can be granted to customers who require support for longer than the 10-year minimum (Microsoft extended its product support for business and developer products to ten years in June 2004).

Details are still sketchy: It's not clear to which legacy products will be eligible, nor the length of support available (Microsoft said it could be indefinite, assuming sufficient demand).

To be eligible for CSA, customers will also need to subscribe to Microsoft's Premier Support Services.

Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 on the Horizon!

Windows VistaAt the end of August Microsoft supplied its technical beta testers with a Pre-RC1 build (5536), and to the surprise of many testers, this build proved to offer some major steps in the right direction. This build fixes a number of (sometimes long-running) bugs, and also offers some major performance and compatibility improvements.

According to sources, Microsoft will ship Release Candidate 1 (RC1) in September, most likely right after Labor Day (September 4). RC1 will be publicly available.

Seeing the improvements made, it does now looks realistically Microsoft will be able to finish Windows Vista in October, so that its volume license customers will receive it in November.

Recent Support BBS Postings

Newsletter Summer Schedule

Summer is drawing to an end for most of us, I'll publish one more newsletter this month (on the 23rd), after which I will return to the "regular" bi-weekly schedule.

I hope you had a good summer!


Windows Media Player 11 Beta 2

Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP offers you unmatched choice and flexibility for your digital media. Easily manage your libraries of digital music, photos, and videos on your computer, and then sync with a variety of portable devices so you can enjoy it all wherever you want.

Supported Operating Systems: Windows XP Service Pack 2

Read the Release Notes for Windows Media Player 11 Beta 2 for more information.

WARNING! All the usual warnings about "beta" software apply (including: use at your own risk!

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Windows Desktop Search 3.0 Beta 2

Windows Desktop Search 3.0 (WDS) enables fast search on your computer using indexing technology. It helps you to find your documents, email, music, photos and other items.

Supported Operating Systems: Windows XP Service Pack 2

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