No beta 2 for Windows 7

Microsoft has confirmed that it won’t issue a second beta of Windows 7, saying that the next test version of the operating system will be a Release candidate. Windows engineering head Steven Sinofsky announced the move in a blog posting on Friday, confirming that Microsoft would stick to earlier plans for just a single beta. “The next milestone for the development of Windows 7 is the Release Candidate or ‘RC,’” Sinofsky wrote. “Historically the Release Candidate has signaled ‘we’re pretty close and we want people to start testing the release, especially because all the features are done.’”

Sinofsky didn’t say when to expect a release candidate, or the final release, though the company is believed to still be aiming to have the operating system ready to go on PCs in time for this year’s holiday shopping season.

Via MSDN Blog - Engineering Windows 7

Gears takes GMail offline

Google Gears is a great way to access web content offline. Google Services such as Google Reader and Google Calendar made it possible to download feeds and tasks on the computer and access them later from the same web interface when offline. Even third party services like Remember The Milk offered support for Google Gears. However, Google is now offering Gears support for GMail.

Before, it was only possible to access mails offline by fetching them by POP3 or IMAP. But now you can use Google Gears and use the GMail interface to browse mails when offline. This feature is currently experimental and can be enabled through the Google Labs tab.

ZumoDrive joins the Cloud storage race

ZumoDrive is just another online storage service provider. Besides Dropbox, Box.net, iDrive, Mozy and many more, ZumoDrive has someting exiciting to offer. It includes:

  • Unlimited storage 1 GB FREE
  • Fast access
  • Sync software
  • Mobile Access (iPhone app)
  • File sharingAnd all that for FREE !

Sounds pretty exicitng to me!  ZumoDrive is in private beta. Sign up now! at ZumoDrive.com

Need a Boxee set-top-box?

Boxee is a great multimedia platform that provides music, movies, torrent downloads to online streaming, right from its nice little interface. Furthermore, you can even add friends to Boxee and send and receive recommendations. However, Boxee can only be used with your computer (Mac and Linux - Windows in Private Alpha) or with an Apple TV. Its a great option if you have a Mac mini or an Apple TV. But what about the others ?

Boxee has got a solution. Set-top-box providers can sell their box with Boxee pre-installed. In fact, Boxee has got several inquiries recently. But wouldn’t it be even better if you could get a Boxee set-top-box itself?  Well, Boxee is thinking about it and needs your suggestions. Just head to the Boxee blog and let them know what you want.

Gizmo Drive mounts disk images for you

Gizmo Drive is a free software that mounts almost any virtual hard drive you have, right from ISO, BIN, CUE, MDS, MDF, NRG to the new virtual hard drive (VHD) images supported in Windows 7. Besides mounting the disks, it can also create images from the disks you insert or even burn images to writable media. And that’s not it, it can even set up a ram drive and create password-protected, encrypted virtual hard drives for storing sensitive data. Like most virtualization apps, you can either pre-allocate the virtual drive’s full capacity or allow it to expand on-the-fly !

There are other alternaives like DAEMON Tools, ISODisk, Virtual CD-ROM, and Pismo File Mount, but Gizmo Drive may be the first we’ve seen that’s added VHD support, as well as providint the two features of setting up a RAM drive and protected drives.

Download Now

Google to release WebDrive?

News has spread that Google is likely to start providing cloud storage service. Blogoscoped research shows that a DNS entry has been updated to be a CNAME for the webdrive-client.l.google.com subdomain, suggesting that a Google “webdrive” client, other than Google’s internal-only Platypus client may now be released.

Continue reading…

YouTube reaches consoles

Ever wanted to see YouTube on your TV? Well, if you don’t have a Mac mini or Apple TV or a Tivo box, then here’s something for you. Google said that they have partnered with several set-top-box providers to give YouTube access, but there are very few in the market. So, Google has released a new TV-friendly website for gaming consoles that can stream YouTube on your TV!  Google has just posted this news on their YouTube blog.

Just fire up your browser on your console (PlayStation or Nintendo Wii) and head to YouTube.com/TV  and there you go! You have a new YouTube site just for your TV!

Note: This site does not open in your PC browser. However, if you have a Mac mini, here’s a trick for you. Get the User Agent Switcher add-on for Firefox and make YouTube think that you are using a console!

Search the web with Windows 7 Search Connectors

Windows 7 supports a new feature called Federated Search. It’s based on OpenSearch and RSS2 and enables searching of remote repositories from the Windows desktop. Developers have created some really interesting search plugins that allows users to search Flickr, Twitter, Deviantart, Google News, Yahoo and YouTube right from the desktop search in Windows 7.

To get going, all you have to do is download and open the OSDX file and Windows will automatically add the site to your saved searches folder. Then you need to goto Library –> Searches. And select the search you want to use.

Here is a list of all Search Connectors for Windows 7.

1. Flickr Connector

2. Twitter Connector

3. YouTube Connector

4. Deviantart Connector

7. MSN Search Connector

5. Google News Connector

6. Yahoo Search Connector

NOTE: These connectors work with Windows 7 Build 6801 (PDC 08 Build) and above. (Includes Beta - Build 7000). IT DOES NOT WORK WITH WINDOWS VISTA.

Google releases QuickSearch for Mac

Quicksilver is a free application launcher that we all love. Its the first app that Mac owners install on their Macs. Today Google is released a new search-and-launch application called Google Quick Search developed by Nicholas Jitkoff, the developer of Quicksilver.

Google Quick Search not only searches Google, but also AddressBook contacts, Applications, Documenst, Music library and Calendar lists. Users can also perform a deep search by hitting Tab to drill down into possible actions to perform—like composing an email or starting an IM chat.

The application is currently just a prototype, so you can expect some glitches. But it has run smoothly for me so far. And some good news for Developers: It’s open source, just like Chrome.