December 23rd, 2010 News Thursday Holiday Edition: Client Technology Preview of Server Application Virtualization on Windows Azure, AVIcode 5.7, Silverlight Enhanced Movies and more Server & Tools news.

Microsoft Releases Client Technology Preview (CTP) of Server Application Virtualization on Windows Azure

As previously announced at PDC 2010, Microsoft is now delivering the final Community Technology Preview (CTP) promised by the end of CY2010.  This week, Microsoft is making available an invitation only CTP of Server Application Virtualization and the Server Application Virtualization Packaging Tool to enable virtualized applications to run on Windows Azure. The CTP will be availableto select customers.Server Application Virtualization makes it easier to move existing applications to the cloud and run them more efficiently by enabling customers to deploy virtualized application images onto the Windows Azure worker role. Through this approach, customers can migrate their traditional applications to Windows Azure without the need to rewrite them or to package them within a Virtual Machine. Once the application is deployed within a server application virtualization package running on Windows Azure, customers can benefit from the automated service management capabilities of Windows Azure, including automatic configuration and ongoing operating system management. The final release of this technology will be available to customers in the second half of 2011. You can learn more about this technology on the System Center blog here.


AVIcode 5.7 Delivers Market Leading Functionality for Business Critical Applications

In October, Microsoft announced the acquisition of AVIcode, Inc, which provides .NET application performance monitoring solutions to help ensure availability of business-critical applications and services. We have now released AVIcode 5.7, the first software since it became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft.  AVIcode 5.7 benefits for application performance monitoring include:


  • Simplified management with automatic discovery of application dependencies and requirements
  • Optimized business productivity with always-on, real-time monitoring, and rapid error resolutions of business-critical applications
  • Lower cost of managing datacenter services through enterprise-wide standards for managing custom and disparate applications

A wide range of System Center and Microsoft Core Infrastructure customers with active Software Assurance will receive a grant of AVIcode use rights. More details, as well as a video about AVIcode, are available here.


Paramount Announces Movie Apps Built in Silverlight for the Windows Phone Marketplace

On December 14, Paramount announced the availability of 10 new movie apps in the Windows Phone Marketing that lets users watch full movies and bonus features not available on other mobile platforms. The new applications were built using Silverlight, which gives Windows Phone 7 owners the ability to create custom clips and view the movie with pop-up trivia. For more information please visit the Windows Phone Marketplace. To learn more, check out the Microsoft Corp blog post, Windows Phone Developer Blog post and official release.


 SQL Server 2005 SP4 RTM Now Available for Download

The RTM version of Service Pack 4 (SP4) for Microsoft SQL Server 2005 is now available for download, and includes SQL Server 2005 SP3 cumulative updates 1 to 11, customer requested fixes and the SQL Server 2005 SP4 database engine support for DAC operations.


As part of our continued commitment to software excellence for our customers, this upgrade is free and doesn't require an additional service contract. SQL Server 2005 service pack upgrades are cumulative, and this edition upgrades all service levels of SQL Server 2005 to SP4 RTM.


SQL Server 2008 R2 showcases a continued commitment to mission-critical workloads, providing a trusted scalable platform, increased developer and IT efficiency and managed self-service BI. Some of the capabilities include:


  • Resource Governor, a feature than you can use to manage SQL Server workload and system resource consumption
  • PowerPivot, a managed self-service analysis solution that empowers end users to access, analyze and share data across the enterprise in an IT managed environment using Excel2010 and SharePoint Sever 2010
  • Master Data Services (MDS) an 'any domain' hub that helps organizations standardize and streamline the business data used enterprise-wide.
  • Application and Multi-server Management, better utilization of resources and SMP scale up with support for up to 256 logical processors
  • Report Builder 3.0 with support for geospatial visualization,
  • Compliance-ready security features like Transparent Data Encryption and SQL Server Auditing
  • A savings of 50-60% on data storage with backup and data compression
  • Policy-Based Management for server policy compliance and PowerShell support for automating administrative tasks
  • Support for a more diverse set of applications with support for unstructured documents and file types and spatial data.


To obtain SQL Server 2005 SP4 RTM with its improved security and supportability please visit SQL Server 2005 SP4 Express RTM or download SQL Server 2005 SP4 Express RTM. To find out more about SQL Server 2008 R2 visit the SQL Server homepage.

Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010 SP1 is Available for Download

On December 6th, Microsoft announced that Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) 2010 was released and is available now for download as an upgrade from UAG 2010 or for a clean install. SP1 includes a leap forward in DirectAccess deployments, ADFS 2.0 support and investments in quality. You can learn more on the TechNet Library and SP1 blog posts. You can download SP1 here.