Internet Explorer 9 Beta is here!

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in Internet Explorer, Microsoft, Screenshots, Tips, Windows 7;

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Today, September 15th 2010, Internet Explorer 9 Beta went public. And the only way to sum up my first impressions is – wow – IE is back in the game. I have been using Google Chrome for the last year. I like its simple user interface and speed, compared to IE 8, which became slower and slower to me. IE 9 on the other hand is slick, slim and fast.

I will test the browser more thoroughly in the weeks to come, and will for now only show you some screenshots with my comments after a few hours use. For more in debth information Ed Bott and Paul Thurrott have both written up their impressions after a few weeks use and both articles are really worth reading.


If you want to download the beta yourself head on over to the site to get the bits;



Underneath are a few screenshots I have taken that shows IE 9 Beta in action;



The IE 9 Beta site that welcomes you after installing it



My homepage setup in IE 9 Beta with the LastPass add-in and the Favorites bar.



My Hotmail inbox with the taskbar preview of all the tabs showing at the bottom.



IE 9 Beta allows you to pin tabs to the taskbar, and for sites to make spesific jump lists for their sites. Paul Thurrotts’ already has that functionality enabled as seen on this screenshot.



The open new tab displays this page. Yes, there is definitely something similar to Chrome here, and I am pretty sure that a lot of people will compare IE 9 Beta to Chrome due to this and the general layout of the browser. It still feels different in all the right places.


Like in Chrome you now search directly from the addressbar. But unlike Chrome the more secure option is default and you have to actively select to turn on search suggestions – which means that your keystrokes are transmitted over the net.



Here I have locked the Favorties pane on the left, and here I am missing one of my simple but favorite UI solution from IE 7 and 8; the little blue arrow that pops up on the right side of your bookmarked links which enabled me to with just one click open the link in a new tab. Here I either have to right click and then choose “open link in new tab” or hold down CTRL while clicking the link – Microsoft – please bring back the blue right arrow.


To sum it up; Impressive and a total redesign of Internet Explorer. It is fast, it is good looking, it has great integration with Windows 7 and it really looks promising going forward. I have already made it my default browser and it will be interesting to see how I feel about it after more regular use of it. If you are using some other browser, it being an older version of IE or one of the competing browsers like Firefox or Chrome you ought to test this one out – you will be positively surprised


Two thumbs up!

Windows Live Essentials 2011 Beta 2 Available

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in Software, Tips, Windows 7;, Windows Live Essentials

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Neowin reports that Windows Live Essential 2011 Beta 2 is available now. I am downloading the suite and will report on the updates after I have tested it for a while. If you want the bits, go here and download the full installer.



7 Windows 7 Tips for July 2010

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in 7 Windows 7 Tips, Microsoft, Software, Tips, Windows 7;

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After a long period of no posting to my blog I return with an installment in the 7 Windows 7 Tips series.

Tip #1: Solving problems signing in to Windows Live Messenger Wave 4 – error code 800706ba

Like a lot of you I recently installed Windows Live Essentials Beta (Wave 4). After the upgrade I had serious problems logging on to Live Messenger, which provided me with the following error message at every attempt;


Searching around in forums and knowledge base articles came up with a lot of possible solutions – none that worked for me. I then went into the Microsoft Management Console to check out which services were enabled by default or not and found the culprit. So if you are experiencing the abovementioned error message try the following:

  • Click the Start orb and type in services.msc in your searchbar.
  • Once there scroll down to Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant;


  • Right click on it and select properties;


  • Make sure Startup type is set to “Automatic” and click Start to start the service, then “Apply” and “Ok”

You should now be able to log into Windows Live Messenger again.

Tip #2: How-to change your default Windows Explorer folder

When you click on the Windows Explorer icon in your taskbar you are by default taken to the Libraries folder. If you want to change this behaviour you can do it by following these steps;

  • Right click on the Windows Explorer icon in your taskbar, and then right click on Windows Explorer in the jumplist and select Properties;


  • In order to change the default location you need to make changes to the Target field in the Properties dialog box


  • If you want it to open a spesific folder of your choosing you enter %windir%\explorer.exe c:\YourFolderNameHere
  • If you want it to open to spesific pre set locations, like My Documents, you will have to enter special syntax into the target field
  • For My Documents enter: %windir%\explorer.exe ::{450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103}
  • For Computer enter: %windir%\explorer.exe ::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}
  • For Network enter: %windir%\explorer.exe ::{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D}
  • If you want to revert back to the default libraries folder you will have to enter: %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe
  • After you have made your choices hit “OK” and you are done!

Tip #3: How-to make your own Search Connector for searching your designated site within Windows Explorer

One of the really handy new features of Windows 7 is the ability to search not only your own computer, but also designated websites from within Windows Explorer. In order to do this you need a so-called Search Connector for the sites you want to search. There are many ready-made Search Connectors available out on the internet, for instance Long Zhengs Flickr-search connector which can be found here. If you want to make your own connector, say to be able to search a favorite website or blog, like (;-D) you can easily make your own in a few steps:

1. Open up Notepad

2. Copy the following text and paste it into Notepad as is

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<OpenSearchDescription xmlns=”<a href=”””>”</a> xmlns:ms-ose=”<a href=”””>”</a>>
<Description>Search Abokevins Blog using Windows 7 Federated Search</Description>
<Url type=”application/rss+xml” template=”<a href=”;query={searchTerms}”>;query={searchTerms}</a>;web.count=50″/>
<Url type=”text/html” template=”<a href=”{searchTerms}“/></OpenSearchDescription>

3. If you want to change to another website of your choosing change the text in bold;

  • <ShortName>AboKevin</ShortName> – here you give the Search Connector its name (you don’t have to have the text in bold)
  • <Description>Search Abokevins Blog using Windows 7 Federated Search</Description> – Here you give the description of your Search Connector
  • In the two instances of you change it into your websites URL without http://www.

4. When done editing your text click save. In the save dialog make sure you do the following;


  • Change Save as type to “All Files” and give the connector a name with the osdx file type ending. In my case: AboKevin.osdx
  • Make sure the Encoding is set to “UTF-8”
  • Click Save

5. Find your Search Connector in the folder you saved it to and double click it – You will be asked if you want to install the Search Connector – click Yes and you are done

6. Open up Windows Explorer and you will find your Search Connector under Favorites in the left pane – click and enter a search term and… voila!

Tip #4: How-to make Windows Live Messenger run from the notification area

One minor annoyance in Windows 7 compared to previous versions of Windows is the fact that when you run Windows Live Messenger it will no longer default to the notification area. It is very easy to fix this, although you will loose some functionality.

  1. First of all: make sure you close down all instances of Live Messenger
  2. Locate the messenger executable which can be found in the Program Files folder on x86 systems and in the Program Files(x86) folder on x64 systems. You then have to drill down to the following folder – Wimdows Live – Messenger
  3. Once there right click on msnmgr (highlighted in the screenshot above) and select Properties
  4. Select the Compatibility tab and set it to run in Compatibility mode for Windows Vista (Service Pack 2) – Click OK and you are done – The Messenger icon should now appear in the notification area when you log into Windows Live Messenger the next time.
  5. I mentioned earlier that you will loose some functionality, spesifically the ability to set your status just by clicking on one of the four buttons in the preview that pops up while hovering over the Live Messenger Icon while it resides in the taskbar (shown in the screenshot below). If you can live without that one – go ahead and follow the steps lined out above.

Tip #5: How-to speed up the display of thumbnail images on the taskbar


When you mouse over icons of running applications in the taskbar you will get a thumbnail preview of said application. If you think that it takes too long for this preview to show up an easy registry hack can make it appear faster.

Note: I advice that you create a restore point before editing the registry, and editing it is done on your own responsibility

1. Start your Registry Editor by entering regedit in the Start orbs search bar

2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Mouse.

3. Double-click MouseHoverTime and set the value to something lower than the default 400. I recommend trying 150. Click OK

4. Close the registry editor. You now have to either log off or restart your computer for the new settings to go into effect.

Tip #6: How-to copy and move files the way you want it

When you drag and drop files and folders from one location to another Windows sometimes copies the files and sometimes moves them depending on the location of source and destination. Simply said as long as Windows sees that the source and destination location is on the same partition/hard drive it moves the file/folder and as long as they are on separate partitions/hard drives it copies them. But what if you want something else to happen? How do you move a file from one location to the other without having to right-click – select cut – move to new location – right-click and select paste?

There is actually several ways to go about this:

Force a copy while performing drag and drop: Hold down CTRL while dragging and dropping will force a copy operation regardless of source/destination location.

Force a move while performing drag and drop: Hold down SHIFT while dragging and dropping will force a move operation regardless of source/destination location.

Force creation of a shortcut while performing drag and drop: Hold down both CTRL and SHIFT while dragging and dropping will force the creation of a shortcut regardless of source/destination location.

And the best of them all:

If you drag and drop with a right-click instead of the normal left-click you will be presented with the following choices when you release the mouse in the new location:



Tip #7: Download the Windows Live Essentials Beta (Wave 4)

The last tip is really a software recommendation. I have been running the Live Essentials beta for a while now, and I highly recommend it. The package includes updated versions of Windows Live Photo Gallery, one of the best free applications for managing your photo collection, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Sync – updated with most of the technology behind the previous Live Mesh service – a brilliant tool for keeping files and folders synced between 2 or more PCs, Windows Live Mail, Windows Movie Maker and Live Family Safety as well as an updated Bing bar for Internet Explorer. You can select which ones of the programs you want through the installer which you will find on this page. Go ahead – this one is a no-brainer. Good luck!


Windows Live Writer Beta


Windows Live Mail Beta


Windows Live Messenger Beta


Windows Live Movie Maker Beta


Windows Live Sync Beta

So – there you have my 7 Windows 7 tips for this time. Your comments, suggestions and general feedback is most welcome!

lick by lick


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