Microsoft introduces Windows 7 Test Drive !!

For users who are currently on older Windows editions or other OS and are keen on trying Windows 7 first before installing it on their system. Microsoft has introduced and great option here to experience the Widnows 7 experience in the form of a Virtual Lab.

To experience the Windows 7 Test Drive or or Virtual lab, all you need is IE 6.0 or later and must be on Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista or 7. Some more important requirements as explined on the Windows 7 Professional test drive website are:

Screen Resolution:  The Virtual Demo sessions are best viewed at a screen resolution of 1024×768 or greater. Otherwise you may experience clipping of content.
Cookies Enabled: You must have cookies enabled to run these Virtual Demo sessions.
ActiveX Control: The Microsoft “Virtual Machine Remote Control” Active X control is required by this site. If you do not have it installed, you will be asked to when launching the Virtual Demo. There are instuctions relating to this located during the install.
Firewall: Connecting to the Virtual Demo sessions require that you have port 443 open. Please see your network administrator for assistance.

Some key points to remember:

  • Since its a virtual lab installed on older Microsoft virtualization technologies, so dont expect Aero features
  • Also since you are connecting to a desktop over the internet, your internet bandwidth will play an important role in the performance that you will get while working on this Virtual Lab. Which may cause some latency while operating on Windows 7
  • Clipboard access is only from host computer to Windows 7 virtual machine and not the other way around
  • No internet access (atleast I couldn’t figure that out)

Website : Windows 7 Professional Test Drive


Windows 3.1 Emulator in Web Browser

Just cam across this exciting website of Michael Vincent. Its an nice website that simulates the Windows 3.1 UI without installing any Virtual Machine. One needs to go to his website, and you get a good old interface of Windows 3.1. It emulates the operating system, allowing you to explore it as if you had it installed on your own computer.

But remember the following:

  1. The browser isn’t really the same as it was in Windows 3.1
  2. One don’t actually get to experience the boot up process.
  3. There is no right click available

Website : MichaelV
Source : CrunchGear

Windows 7 God Mode

There is a new option available in Windows 7. It is hidden feature and known as the God Mode. There is nothing special about it as its an extended control panel that allows you to control various aspects of the OS that are not typically surfaced via a GUI.

Here’s how you enable it:

  1. Create a new folder, on any location
  2. Rename the folder to GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
  3. What comes up is a Control Panel like window with sections for Action Center ("Check security status" and so on), Administrative Tools, and AutoPlay.

VMLite XP Mode – An alternate for Windows XP Mode

VMLite XP Mode is an excellent alternative for emulating the Windows XP Mode on a PC which doesn’t support Hardware Assisted Virtualization a.k.a. Hyper-V. To check if your processor supports Hyper-V, you can see my previous article about the HAV Tool from Microsoft. You get all the options that we get in Windows XP Mode of Windows 7 without any extra cost. This tool is not just restricted to Windows 7, it can work fine with Windows Vista or XP too (check supported OS below). It is a must try for any IT Pro..


Advantages over Microsoft’s XP Mode

  • Easy setup: You only need a few clicks to create a free virtual computer that is at your disposal.
  • Secure web browsing: An IE shortcut encircled by a green box is automatically created through VMLite on your desktop. When you click this icon, IE inside the virtual machine will be launched. You can safely surf the Internet without worrying about viruses or spywares affecting your host machine.
  • Runs on more PCs: VMLite requires no hardware virtualization support (Intel VT‐x or AMD‐V technologies).
  • Runs faster: Microsoft’s implementation treats the VM as a remote computer and uses Remote Display Protocol (RDP) to communicate between VM and host machine. VMLite uses direct high bandwidth communication between VM and host machine, and therefore performs much faster.
  • Runs more applications: Since Windows XP mode is based on RDP, some applications do not run when they detect a terminal session (RDP). VMLite can run such applications without any problems.
  • Available for more operating systems: Microsoft XP Mode only supports Windows 7 as host. VMLite supports Windows XP/Vista/7/Server 2003/Server 2008 as host.
  • Supports more virtual machine images: VMLite supports Microsoft’s XPM package, plus existing virtual machines already created from prominent VM vendors (VMDK, VHD, VDI, HDD) It also supports virtual machines converted from a physical computer using our MyOldPCs software.
  • Snapshot and Recovery: It takes a few seconds and a couple kilobytes to make a snapshot and save as a recovery point of VMLite XP Mode current status. To go back to a recovery point as defined by any of snapshots taken, it only takes another few seconds.
  • USB Support: at this moment, user can access USB devices attached to the host by allowing USB devices shared between the host and VMLite XP Mode.
  • Clipboard Sharing: bi-directional clipboard sharing as cut and paste between Windows host and any VMLite XP Mode environment is allowed. It can be changed to no or one-directional sharing.

Supported OS and System Requirements

  • Supports Windows XP/Vista/7/Server 2003/Server 2008 as host, Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/Server 2003/Server 2008 as guest 
  • Supports 32‐bit and 64‐bit for host and guest 
  • A licensed copy of Windows XP in virtualized image file format 
  • Additional 2GB of available disk space 
  • Additional 256MB of RAM 
  • No requirement on processors with hardware‐assisted virtualization feature. VMLite XP Mode takes advantage of Intel® Virtualization Technology or AMD‐V™ feature if it is available.


Detailed Overview and Installation Steps

Windows 7 ISO x86 and x64 Official Direct Download Links

For those who wouldn’t like to search the internet for downloading the Windows 7 ISO, here we have the direct links to download the Windows 7 ISO officially.

Windows 7 Ultimate, Professional and Home Premium Editions are available for download in both 32 bit and 64 bit.

It’s recommended to use a download manager to download Windows 7 ISO as the file size typically more than 2GB and some download server terminates connection after a period of time. If you’re a customer, just login to your account to trigger the built-in download manager or file transfer manager.

Windows 7 Ultimate Edition (32 bit) (64 bit)

Windows 7 Home Premium (32 bit) (64 bit)

Windows 7 Professional (32 bit) (64 bit)

Source : MyDigitalLife

How does Federated Search work in Windows 7?

In Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, we can use Federated Search to search for files, folders or contents of a file that are not on your computer.

Federated Search uses the OpenSearch 1.1 protocol, which is standard that defines simple file formats. The OpenSearch 1.1 protocol serves two main functions:

  1. How a client should query the Web service for the data.
  2. And how the returned data should be rendered by the client (or how the service should return results to be rendered)

Windows Federated Search connects to Web services that receives OpenSearch queries, and returns results in either the RSS or Atom XML format. The connection to the web services is provided by Search connectors.  These are Search Connector Description files with the .osdx file extension.

To register a new remote data source with Windows Federated Search, the end-user can open an .osdx file by clicking on a link to one placed on a web site or by opening one provided by someone else on a share or via an email attachment for example. This makes deployment of this functionality very easy and straightforward.

Example for a query against

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<OpenSearchDescription xmlns=""&gt;
<ShortName>Windows Help</ShortName>
<Description>Search Windows Help using the search engine</Description>
<Url type="text/html" template=";qu={searchTerms}"/&gt;
<Url type="application/rss+xml" template=";query={searchTerms&#125;;web.count=50"/>


Also read :

Windows 7 Federated Search Provider Implementer’s Guide
Creating an OpenSearch Description File in Windows Federated Search

Reference : ASKPERF

Microsoft introduces support for Windows 7 through @MicrosoftHelps on Twitter

Today Microsoft launched @MicrosoftHelps, a new Twitter handle that provides real-time Windows 7 information and support to customers around the world, but only in English. Although it’s only for Windows 7 now, judging by the name of the account we can expect Microsoft to expand its scope at some point.

Through this social medium, Microsoft will monitor and respond to real-time Windows 7 tweets and use them to improve the information, support and experience customers have with Windows 7. The @MicrosoftHelps team consists of experienced social media agents with extensive knowledge about support resources to get answers to customers questions. In addition to responding to direct tweets, they will monitor the Twittersphere and suggest resources to tweets about Windows 7 problems, issues or questions.

To use this service, you’ll need a Twitter account and make sure to add @MicrosoftHelps when tweeting your question or complaint. Microsoft says it will respond to direct tweets but it will also try to monitor tweets in the wild that describe Windows 7 problems and try to suggest helpful resources