So many Microsoft-related tidbits today, and so little time to write them all up. Here are a few that caught my eye during my daily content-consumption rounds.
BizTalk Server 2010 RTMs; General availability set for October 1: The latest version of Microsoft's enterprise integration server, a k a BizTalk Server, has hit the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) milestone as of September 23. Microsoft officials are saying October 1 will be when the product is generally available. BizTalk Server 2010 is a minor release of Microsoft's integration server that supports Visual Studio 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2, Windows Server AppFabric and Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft officials say there are 10,000 BizTalk Server customers out there. No new word today about where the Softies are at in their "BizTalk vNext" development schedule.
Internet Explorer 9 to require Windows 7 Service Pack 1?: A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document about Internet Explorer 9 reveals that the final IE 9 release will require Windows 7 Service Pack (SP) 1. (Currently, the IE 9 beta works just fine on Windows 7 without SP1. And ArsTechnica notes that IT admins will still be able to add IE9 to existing Windows 7 images in order to streamline the deployment process.) The Win 7 SP1 requirement shouldn't be a problem, as Microsoft officials have said SP1 will be out in the first half of 2010 (or possibly sooner, if the stars align). Microsoft still hasn't made public its IE 9 ship target, though I'm hearing from my sources that April 2011 could be the goal.
Update (9/24): Microsoft updated the FAQ to make it clear that Windows 7 SP1 won't be a requirement for the final version of IE 9, after all.
Google's Chrome Frame IE impersonator now a 'stable' release: Google Chrome -- Google's plug-in that allows users to run Internet Explorer inside of Google's Chrome browser -- has moved from the beta to "stable" phase, according to Google. Google introduced an early build of Chrome Frame in September 2009. Microsoft officials promptly dismissed it as a security nightmare waiting to happen. But Chrome does provide users of IE 6, 7 and 8 a way to make IE look and feel more like Chrome.
HP's Windows 7 tablet still coming: A new leaked YouTube video purportedly shows a demo of a working build of HP's long-promised Windows 7 slate. As Engadget notes, it also shows why Windows 7 is not really designed to be s a touch-centric platform. No new word on ship targets, specs or features beyond what's already been rumored.
Embeddable presentations come to Office Web Apps: Microsoft is continuing to trickle out new Offie Web Apps features. The latest updates include the ability to embed a PowerPoint presentation on a blog or Web site and the option to embed a spreadsheet, table or chart on a blog or Web site. Microsoft rolled out additional Office Web App features in August. Microsoft officials say more than 20 million people have tried using one or more Office Web Apps -- the Webified versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote -- since Microsoft made them available (in both free and paid form) three-plus months ago