Stories by Elizabeth Montalbano

Service-pack previews for Vista, XP

Microsoft released pre-beta code to two forthcoming Windows service packs to testers in the past week, but the company continues to remain vague about when the final code for Windows XP Service Pack 3 and Windows Vista SP1 will make it to end users.

Microsoft buddies up to Digg

In a deal that boosts Microsoft's plan to increase revenue from online advertising, the company will be the exclusive provider of display and contextual advertising on the popular Digg news site.

Windows Home Server near completion

Microsoft's first server OS aimed at helping Windows users organise and share files on a home network is nearly ready for prime time. The company is releasing Windows Home Server Release Candidate 1 (RC1) to early adopters this week in anticipation of the product's final release later this year.

Adobe Apollo becomes Air

Adobe Systems has officially named its new Apollo runtime "Adobe Air" and will release a beta of the technology on Tuesday (NZ time) along with a beta of the next version of the company's Flex development environment.

Tools aim to ease Vista deployment pains

Microsoft released tools to help companies deploy Windows Vista, acknowledging that there are deployment and application-compatibility pains enterprise IT managers face when updating business desktops to the new OS.

Betas for Windows Live services

Microsoft continues to test updates to its Windows Live online services, including a service launched last year that allows users to submit blog posts simultaneously to more than one blogging platform.

Microsoft patent claims hint at internal issues

Microsoft's aim to seek patent royalties from open-source distributors and users may be an attempt to use legal threats to deflect attention from larger questions surrounding its business, including lack of interest in new versions of core products and lackluster profit from new wares.

Open-source players scoff at Microsoft threats

Open-source supporters are thumbing their noses at Microsoft's plan to seek royalties from users and distributors on 235 patents it holds for technologies in Linux and open-source software. They say there is little concern about being the target of litigation for patent infringement.

Microsoft's last Longhorn public beta

Microsoft is posting the final beta and first publicly available and feature-complete version of Windows Server "Longhorn," marking the final time the product will be available for testing and feedback before the long-awaited server update is available later this year.

Microsoft delays key virtualisation software

Microsoft's plan to catch up to competitors in providing virtualisation has hit a snag. The company says it has pushed back the release of both a beta of virtualisation technology for Windows Server and a service pack to its existing virtualisation software.